Monthly Archives: August, 2020

An Aficionado of Life

Another great Jonathon Brooks blog!


What are you passionate about? What are your loves and hobbies? What in the world gets you out of bed in the morning and gives pleasant dreams at night? I’ve found that everyone falls in love. We fall in love with our hobbies or our interests or our chosen careers. Or we fall in love with negativity or alcoholism or a pessimistic attitude. I aim to be passionate about the best that life has to offer.

A secret to enjoying life thoroughly is to live in the moment without regret for yesterday or apprehension for tomorrow. Did I do the best I could with today? Did I treat others with kindness and respect? Did I have the same respect and kindness for myself? In every moment was I the best I could be?

I fell in love with book reading at the age of around 19; I’ve been flipping the…

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Mask — The Jazz Man

We have had several cool days in August in Little Egypt. I am inspired! MJ has been ordering us face masks from a shop named, Art Travel Love, and I now am the proud owner of two Starry Night masks and two, The Scream of Nature, by Edvard Munch. Much has been made about our […]

via Mask — The Jazz Man

I Hope I Don’t Forget My Lines

An inspirational blog from Jonathon Brooks!


Enthusiasm is contagious! All of humanity is capable of doing tremendous good or deadly harm. A smile from one often leads to a smile from the smiled upon. A mean spirited word can lead to retaliation. If we build others up, instead of tearing them down, then we feel good inside about ourselves as well as them. Although if you look for the ugly in this world and in other people, and in yourself, you’ll assuredly find it. I’ve spent the last 18 years trying to be a better man than I was yesterday.

Faultfinding is an incredible waste of time. We are so often prone to looking down on others in a foolish attempt to make ourselves feel good, or better, about our faults. Pride can take a one way ticket away from my soul. An attitude of humility is why I’ve made it this far. If we judge…

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A Quiet Life

We are enjoying another day of fall like temperatures.  Cooler weather and the promise of fall bring out the best in me!  I am of the Baby Boomer generation.  We were all told that we could be the president of the United States…and we have witnessed that promise fulfilled.  We B. Boomers set out early in life to seek our fortune and fill our days with something to occupy our time…24/7.  Do you recall when there was a push by educators to enroll their children into nursery school and then Pre-K…and then Kindergarten.  We were admonished that if we did not seek to enrich our kids almost from the womb…that they would be woefully behind.  I not only worked a full-time position….But regularly worked 20 or more additional hours per week…for free…  While I was working all those hours I was taking university classes as well.  The hectic manic pursuit of being busy…leaves you exhausted and out of touch with you family…and yourself!  

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Photo by fauxels on

Have you ever taken a holiday and subsequently packed so many activities into the two weeks that you are not only not refreshed but left wondering was it really worth it?  We spent a month in Europe in 2014.  For the first two weeks we stayed strong.  The third week…we were tired…and the fourth week…we were struggling to climb all of the steps in Florence, Italy.  Holidays are like fine red wine…they are meant to be sipped slowly and savored…  

The older I become the more I understand the intricacies of the quiet life.  Certainly 2020 has afforded ample opportunity for a walk on the quiet side.  We humans need down time.  We require long periods of reflection and meditation on the beauty of just being here…  We are consumed with social media and 24/7 satellite or cable news.  When you expose yourself to news that makes you anxious and depressed…on a daily basis…you are missing the forest for the trees.  Media can warp your opinions on many issues if you do not take a healthy break from it.  Often we are exposed to politicians and pundits who are performing for what they perceive as their voters.  You are not witnessing the real person…but the cardboard cut-out theatre version.  Our views and passions are set by actors and jokers.  and court jesters…and clowns… that you would not want to have a cup of coffee with…

close up photo of a clown

Photo by BROTE studio on

We enjoy pastoral paintings.  Many of us enjoy being renewed by nature.  A happy life does not have to be a life filled with busy work and stress and sour stomach!  As I sit on the writing porch enjoying the cool breeze and the peaceful setting…I am grateful for the quiet life.

The Struggle — The Jazz Man

I was in Morris Library today and was once again inspired by the large brass bust of our former president, Abraham Lincoln, with his Saluki face mask adoring his countenance. I was heartened to see all of the Grounds workers manicuring our lovely campus and preparing it for the beginning of the fall semester. Indeed this is the beginning […]

via The Struggle — The Jazz Man

Pumpkin Spice Thoughts

I am on the writing porch enjoying a new experience…writing after dark.  The temperature today has  been ‘to die for,’ as my buddy Ron often says!  Ron and Ira Kaye visited us yesterday and we had a wonderful time visiting Von Jakob Winery with our masks affixed and not only socially distanced but one of the few groups on their large patio with the majestic view.  

IMG_8698 2Before our friends arrived MJ asked me what table runner she should put on our dining room table, and I chose one with fall colors.  You see, fall begins for me on August 1st!  You may retort that I am a month and 3 weeks early…and I would not disagree.  But then again…I love fall and anything that I love I stretch out for as long as is humanly allowed!  

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Today it was time for Wal-Mart once again.  MJ and I were pleasantly surprised that we saw no one who did not have a face mask on!  When we rolled into the coffee aisle…there was Pumpkin Spice coffee…and now I know that there is someone who agrees with me on the beginning of fall.  

IMG_6215 2I enjoy the popular holiday song from the Broadway musical Mame entitled, ‘We Need a Little Christmas.’  ‘The song is performed after Mame has lost her fortune during the Wall Street crash of 1929.’   I think that we need a little fall now with all of its rich colors and cool climate and the hope of halloween fun and Thanksgiving fellowship…and Christmas delights!

Nothing is forever.  When I was a child I recall waiting for Christmas to arrive…and a year seemed like 10!  When I began my career at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale I was disillusioned when I was passed over for the position of foreman…twice.  I thought that I would never advance in the organization…I was 28 years old…  

I wonder if we do not make  many decisions in the heat of the moment and at the height of our emotions… at the time?  Having almost arrived at the ripe old age of 63…I have experienced disappointments and reversals and felt that I must take my stand and have my say and ‘Damn the Torpedos’…unleash the lifeboats…and as that great sage of my favorite Christmas movie, Christmas Vacation,  hath said, ‘We are going to have the merriest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny F…… Kaye!’  There is nothing wrong with a quiet life.  What seemed earth shattering at one stage of my life…is nothing but a memory now.  I have never been sorry for remaining silent and listening and reflecting…but I have regretted on many occasions…speaking…

IMG_4180Ron and Ira Kaye and MJ and Aaron and Jonathon and I reminisced about past adventures on Friday.  The temperatures were comfortable, as fall should be, and we planned future sojourns.  Our current distress will end…a vaccine will be found…and we will be wiser…and perhaps a little more quiet…as we contemplate the richness of life…and the goodness of God…

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Bipolar Happens

Please enjoy a wonderful blog by Jonathon Brooks!


Originality isn’t easily attained. It’s easier to follow the crowd than to think for one’s self and sing a unique song. In the story of my life I have followed the crowd and I’ve followed Christ. Following Jesus led me out of my misery and saved me in a way that none of my peers or seniors ever could’ve done. I fought like heaven to become one-of-a-kind.

I’ve heard before that every case of bipolar disorder is different. I’ve heard that no two cases are ever alike. I have bipolar; it does not have me. With confidence I know that I was born with this devastating mental illness. I rejoice in my savior and in who I’ve fought to become.

Whatever unfairness or sorrow that comes our way we always have a choice to make. We can wallow in despair or we can sing praise songs. We can stay in…

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