A Testimony of My Higher Power Part 1
Birth seems to be the best starting point for something like this. My birth certificate says that I was born on August 19, 1982 at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Va with a Father and a Mother as eye witnesses. I was the only child from that marriage and the first born. My Dad had a previous marriage with child, an older sister.
My earliest memories coincide with a second-story apartment my father and I resided at on Bainbridge boulevard in Norfolk, VA when I was around 2-3 years of age. I remember an attempt of getting my own bowl of cereal which I accidentally spilled on the floor. I remember jumping on my parents’ bed and injuring my bottom lip on the foot rail. I remember waking up earlier than my parents on one occasion, turning on the TV, and flipping through the channels until I found a show I enjoyed named Pinwheel that aired on Nickelodeon. I remember opening my toy box located in my Dad’s room and seeing what I thought was a live crab. In a startle I ran to get my Dad’s future 3rd wife. When she checked the toy box the crab was gone. I remember looking down the staircase that led to the apartment we lived in and feeling apprehensive of making it to the bottom by myself. The incident of the crab in the toy box still puzzles me. Was the crab ever really there or was it just my imagination?
My biological mother and father divorced before I can remember which led me to believe my Dad’s third wife, was my Mom. A belief I maintained until the age of 7 when the question arose of why I had 3 sets of grandparents. My biological grandfather and stepmother would visit me from time to time which led me to ask that inevitable question. One Sunday before church I remember talking to my biological mom on the phone and discovered I had two more siblings, a brother and a sister, from her new husband. I can’t remember exactly how I felt with this discovery but I’m confident it had a positive impact which led me to pursue to learn more about what I didn’t know.
I was a young boy attending Great Bridge Church of Christ in Great Bridge, VA the first time I heard the words “Jesus” or “God”. The preacher catechized me at my request when I was around 7 or 8 years old and I was baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Innocence was lost soon thereafter.
The concept of being “born again” alluded me then but may have revealed itself little by little over the course of my life in ways seen strange and often contemptible to the society I live. I could expound on that later. A few words which may, as I sincerely hope, illumine anyone in contemptuous doubt with regards to my ambitions and inspirations for this, prior, and future literary compositions are as follows.
Hari Kari or Seppuku is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Seppuku was originally reserved only for samurai. Part of the samurai bushido honour code, seppuku was either used voluntarily by samurai to die with honour rather than fall into the hands of their enemies (and likely suffer torture), or as a form of capital punishment for samurai who had committed serious offenses, or performed for other reasons that had brought shame to them.
Benjamin Franklin wrote in his autobiography that it “shall a good deal gratify my own vanity” siting “being persuaded that it is often productive of good to the possessor, and to others that are within his sphere of action.” Some of my maternal ancestors inspire me to write autobiographical essays; a 2nd great-grandfather Samuel Willard Saxton, a great grandmother Grace Birgfield, and a great grandfather Robert Murphy. An autobiography at 32 seems a little young so a partial testimony seems most appropriate for the present.
“If any ambitious man have a fancy to revolutionize at one effort the universal world of human thought, human opinion, and human sentiment, the opportunity is his own — the road to immortal renown lies straight, open, and unencumbered before him. All that he has to do is to write and publish a very little book. Its title should be simple — a few plain words — “My Heart Laid Bare.” But — this little book must be true to its title.”–from “Marginalia,” by Edgar Allan Poe 1844.
I have fancied suicide as an honorable way to escape from my own scorn, embarrassments, and burden on others. I have fancied to gratify my own vanity and make humble those in my sphere of action with my thoughts into words. I have fancied a revolution in the world, I know I’m not the only one, and I found that they will fail in the same mire of delusion and vexations that covers our adulterated natures.
I think now I should fancy a revolution, not of myself for the world, but of higher power for the innocent, especially children. While exacting no recourse or payment except my own affirmative action; in the faith, hope, trust, confidence, belief, view, whatever term suits my fellow man to conjure the efforts required for liberation to keep the most corruption in the past and the least corruption at its farthest conceivable distance in the future. If this is conceivable, then the rest is sure to follow.