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Exalting Towers



Man of Earth

Preface & Reader Response

This is not a full life, but a half life.



Phases of Astonishment


Chapters: i | ii | iii | I | II | III | IV

by Jerry Murley

It all boils down to this: by far the most daring and perhaps ludicrous experiment that I have yet conceived and undertaken. These stories will change and grow over the months and years ahead. What is said on one day, may be expressed differently or refuted the next. These chapters of self-biography will be composed in part from letters and scattered thoughts committed to writing as a routine journal. Sundry notes will be stitched together as pieces of a personal past, refinished in hindsight. It is, so to speak, my personal Frankenstein, meant to please but dangerously assembled.

It is important that in this process, the innocence and ignorance of an largely untrained, unskilled, but earnestly observant youth glare through with its original intent and flare. I will reveal as much as is prudent for an older man to do. I am not so much a fool as to include all the fun and embarrassing bits. But much undesirable will be imaginable to those with the sensitivity and common luck to have experienced similar temptations.

Dear reader, I care not a whit whether you find this enlightening. My endeavor is an organization aimed at my bloodline and the bloodline of my friends – and for those for whom reflection and letters matter, muddled though they be. This is not a full life, but a half life. However, in an age of clutter, half a life is more than one is likely to live on personal terms or deserve to express in full measure of awareness, gratitude and wonder.

I intend to parse and portion this project in little nuggets for some time to come. My thought is that some few might find it amusing to partner me in dissecting the tiny nuclear engine that has fueled my current burst of expressivity. Oddly, I still believe that our lives project far beyond our merger personal needs and wants.

Fear not friends and family – and perhaps employers, neighbors and contractors. Though I will maintain an unexpurgated version for my private record and reference, there is no plan nor reason for wounding indiscretions. (Please forgive the lofty editorial voice of a head inside the head of a declining older man, for this is the rare bedazzled crown dawned on occasion – mainly days off – in exquisite delusion.)

I am not one to embellish the details of personal stories after the fact – when I can accurately recall them. But I can't always retrieve absolute truth. What blossoms is the memory of youth, though youth itself may not be always kind. Nonetheless, I need to summon light and color to drive the tongue, though dark and gray was the reality. Neither will I paint youth in the imagined reason of advanced years, for to do so threatens to dilute the freshness and folly of youth with the overbearing caution of age.

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