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August 12, 2017
DreamHill Farms

(My good friend Clive and neighbor passed on recently. His wife brought a letter he had written and she said he wanted me to have it…she said he told her I would understand.)

Hey Bing, 

S’long friend. I am no poet or nothing. But you don’t have to be a poet to feel stuff. So I wrote my feelings down about the happiest things to me. I thought you'd understand. 

It seems that Parrot County and I have been lovers forever. 

It took awhile, but that was my fault. I resisted the passions of a rural existence over a more citified one, but my soul was yearning for a farm’s life from the time I figured out I had a soul. 

One day I just decided what I should do about all those yearnings, a more commonsense way to live a life. I sold everything I had that reminded me of my cosmopolitan ways and began searching for that special spot of land. I found it, or, rather it found me.

It’s like something you are always searching for then find. You spend too much time looking everywhere other than where you should. When you find your place in the sun you sure know it, and nothing will ever keep you apart again.

I was meant to live in the country. All of the hotel suites, airplanes, limos and giant skyscrapers, was once my life of ambition. Though exciting, never seemed to fit me right. It’s like wearing a tuxedo to go to the grocery store. It may look fancy to others and you feel special flitting about, but when you finally take it off you realize just how uncomfortable it all really made you feel-you were someone else, not you. Just someone in a rented exterior pretending to be some other reflection. 

Some might say they hide behind such an illusion because they don't know who they are and need to be someone else. That was never my problem.

Things can convey an honestly, or dishonesty about a place if you shut out all the noise you’re making and give a good, hard listen. Honesty has a sound and a smell even the hardest souls can’t resist.

I have been in love long before I ever came to love the simple, rolling farmland of Parrot County. They say the human heart is capable of unlimited love. The heart is elastic and can accommodate more than the mind can reconcile sometimes. I think that is so. 

But I also think there is love, and then there is ultimate love. At the top of all of this affection it seems that you need ultimate love of three things: love for one other special person, a love for where you are and a love for who you are. 

After that the list can become endless with the many people and things life can offer. Love can satisfy a yearning that nothing else can. 

Those who have voids in such yearnings easily know what I mean. You can live without money, but you can’t live without love. You may have a fortune and no love and exist, but you are not alive; and you end up spending all of your money to distract from that loveless fact.

When I came here to Parrot County I was lucky. I came with at least those ultimate love-things packed deep in my heart.  I didn’t come with much else. I once had material wealth but it is now all gone. I pissed it all away one way or the other and don’t miss it a bit.  I think when a person dies, in that last minute, they understand what was most important and what was not. They don’t have time for regrets, only clarity. 

And then you are no longer of this world. Some experience this ritual alone, some with witness. Either way they die with understanding, as simple as it may seem; a life defined by meaning, even if only for a minute. For me that minute became years since I put down roots, as shallow as they be, here in Parrot County.  

I was under no illusion when I first came here of ever becoming a nature part of the culture in Parrot County. Folk’s families have lived here for more than two hundred years. It will always be them and you. 

But they are secure in who and what they are and most accommodating to someone new. That friendliness was clear when I first arrived and has been so ever since. I have earned my own niche; where folks know enough about me and my family to trust us as much as we can ever expect. I don’t know if it could be called respect, but you sense that they talk among themselves and begin to define you in a favorable way. If they understand your nature in a way they appreciate, you'll find out soon enough. 

Such delineation cannot be conveyed by words but you see it through a comfort in their eyes. Folks here have a quick reflex in determining an outlander’s nature; be it real or phony. If they figure you out to be plastic, they do a good job of hiding it; they give that distant, polite demeanor; resisting inclinations of anything that might resemble snobbery. 

If they take you for real you won’t know for sure until one day they ask you for a favor. 

Asking someone for a favor in the rural country is like being offered a lifetime contract in the city. One day something happens and you figure you have been accepted into that individual’s trust. You will never be part of their clan or tribe, just somebody they feel a comfort with.

It takes time to evolve into something citified folks call trust, if it ever really be trust. There are secrets everywhere. In the city trust was an odd, complex concept. People were all calculated in a way as to either being an ally for or an enemy against your agenda. There was nothing convoluted about it. It just existed and everyone knew it. Here in the country folks don’t have time for such wasted energy. There is just too much work to do throughout every season of the year and there is no tolerance for wasted games.  

In Parrot County trust means…trust.

I figure the same idea of searching is true about Heaven than it is about our place here in this world. Sooner or later we figure it all out. Or, at least create a good enough story to satisfy our doubts.

I figured out Heaven will be what we were most searching for here on earth. For me it ain’t no golden palace. It is just my little farm, with my wife and family and dogs, cats and all. 

All the same as yesterday’s new morning. My everlasting morning. 

All the best, Clive

1,855 - 6 - 0 - US
Bing spent 25 years in the Film Entertainment business. He also spent 10 years teaching university students visual storytelling and other production components of filmaking where he developed a curriculum entitled "Visual Language'.
He now lives in the rural farming landscapes of Kentucky where he spends time writing when farm chores allow.

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