Where is the beginning?


Does the beginning come first – or the end? It’s a complexity that we bypass when we structure our lives around our existence in this short time span on Earth. Should we worry about how we end up or how we begin? After all, isn’t image the whole crux of everything we try to push? I suppose I should chalk this up to drinking…I am. Kee-rist!

I often wonder where we think we are with ourselves. That’s the first complexity and the quandary of beginning. We know the difference between right and wrong and there’s certainly no struggle if we just do what’s right. If we get ‘right’ with ourselves, where do we think we are with everyone else? In truth, I know where I am with everyone else…it’s me I’m worried about. I don’t fade any crap to get along with anyone. I do put on ‘the face’ when I’m at work because that’s another aspect that one has to learn to deal with to survive. I may even ‘cow tow’ at times because I feel I’m in the superior position over the position of the other person I’m ‘cow towing’ too. But in general, everyone around me knows exactly where I am in my thoughts and feelings on any subject…I’m never one to pander words.

But back to the subject of self – how long do I want to live and how do I want to spend the time I have left on Earth? This is the part of me that I worry about…where I am with me. Am I superior? No…I’m a little kid just trying to figure out where to start and where to end. I’ve often thought of different ways to commit suicide. Hold on to your shorts…I’m not going to kill myself. I see things – that manifest at certain times of my life – one of them is suicide, and how easy it would be. WHOA! I don’t go around thinking, “I may kill myself today.” As a matter of fact, that is not even close to being in the top 1,000,000nths of my thoughts. But I do, upon occasion have a run where it pops into my head. Do I think that’s weird or strange? No!

I think lots of people either exclaim, “I’m going to kill myself!” or in general conversation state, “I may have to kill myself,” not even for one second feeling or believing that they would ever commit such an act.

Some years ago, while running a poker game in a college bar in Missoula MT, The Stocks, my clientele was all young men – jocks – and I had a conversation with one young lad in which I said something about suicide. He wasn’t really shocked but he couldn’t believe I would even think such a thing. I asked him if he’d ever contemplated it or even made the statement in idle conversation or as a joke amongst friends…NO! He’s the only person I’ve ever spoken to on the subject that was adamant about the downside.

So while I’m on the subject, the only downside is if you are productive, healthy, and have a lot of people that love you and support all of your endeavors. If you are seriously ill, and there is no out, and you have a lot of people that truly love you, they should support you if that’s your choice. Whoops! I’m going to get an outcry from people that don’t think God would approve. If God is kind and loving, God would definitely approve of you not putting yourself through all the pain and suffering and forcing your family and loved ones to share it with you, not to mention the expense of trying to stay alive. I’m off on a strange thread. I can’t break the thought or the thread of where I’m going.

Why do we struggle so hard? From the moment our lungs scream for the first breath and the last breath we breathe, we fight. We fight to live. Why? Survival? If that’s the case, why do we destroy everything around us – even people that love us? The Earth? Our children? Ourselves?

At times I can barely deal with the pain going on around me. At other times I’m oblivious to everything – I chalk that up to self preservation because if I had to know about it all the time, I’d surely have to kill myself to keep from screaming 24/7.

I watch people, I listen. I interact and from all of it, I know death is the easy out. Living is the most difficult part. Nurturing and caring takes the heart to a new level, learning to love yourself brings the pain of learning to love others. The beginning…the path to the end.

About Linda R. Geenen

The easiest way to begin is to start at the beginning. But where is that? At what point does one suddenly decide they are going to spend the rest of their life involved in the intricate art of the dance? What is the art of the dance? A game about people - played with a deck of cards. Poker! I stepped into the poker world in 1980 in Missoula, Montana. I didn't know anything about poker, couldn't tell you what the difference was between a bet and raise, or if a straight beat a flush. I had three boys to feed, needed a job and a dealing spot was open in one of the local bars. I played my first hand of poker in a 5 Card Stud game (with the help of one of my bosses) and that was it! I was hooked. I lived, breathed, slept, dreamed, ate, and talked poker. I eventually ran my own games (licensed by the County) in several different bars in Missoula, and at one point, managed the games in the bar where I started my first dealing job. In 1987 I traveled from Montana to Nevada to deal major poker tournaments, returning to Montana at the end of each one. In 1989, I opened The Mirage – along with 6,400 other people. In 1993, I moved to Gulfport, Mississippi, and opened Grand Casinos Poker Room, returning a year later to Las Vegas and The Mirage. In 1998 I opened Bellagio - along with over 9,000 other employees. In 2003, I dealt the final table of the Aruba Ultimate Bet Poker Classic event. Hey…I’m on TV! I had the privilege of being chosen as the dealer in the Howard Lederer videos that have been released on No Limit Holdem. I play poker on a regular basis and I deal to every name brand player that is still above ground and breathing air, the elite, the freaks, the ne’er do wells, the rich, the poor, the illiterate, the educated, the beautiful, the ugly, the superstitious, the rational, the sane, and the insane. Perhaps I am the one that is insane but if I am, I fit right into the game plan. Five nights a week I walk into the greatest, social melting pot known to mankind. I no longer dream about it but the art of the dance is prevalent in everything I do - see you there!
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