Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Given that today is Valentine’s Day (or Singles Awareness Day for those of us currently not in a relationship), I thought it appropriate to take a pause from politics to discuss the subject of love.  Recently at church, I was reminded of a love story that had a very profound impact on me growing up.  It is the story of Jacob and Rachel that begins in the 29th chapter in the book of Genesis (that’s in the Bible for you non-Bible reading folks out there).

The Meeting of Jacob & Rachel by William Dyce 1854

The Meeting of Jacob & Rachel by William Dyce 1854

For those unfamiliar with this tale, let me provide you with a brief summary.  Following the wishes of his parents, Jacob travels to his ancestral home to find a wife.  While there, he meets Rachel, his first cousin, and falls in love with her.  (Hey, suppress the shouts of “incest!” it was a fairly common practice back in those days.)  Although details of Rachel’s appearance and personality are extremely limited, we are told that she “was beautiful in every way, with a lovely face and shapely figure” Genesis 29:17 NLT.  Jacob speaks to Rachel’s father, his uncle Laban, and agrees to work for a period of seven years in order to win Rachel’s hand in marriage.  (Again, before you decry the idea of trading one’s daughter for labor, one has to take into account that they lived in a different culture and time period where such arrangements were the norm.)

Although we don’t know the full extent of their love, it is obvious that Jacob must have had pretty powerful feelings for Rachel.  After all, could you imagine working for seven years, (yes, seven years!) just to be with the person that you loved?  But the story of Jacob and Rachel doesn’t simply end when Jacob’s term of service has been fulfilled.  Laban, being a rather devious fellow, tricks Jacob into marrying his eldest daughter Leah, instead of Rachel.  Now this development raises all sorts of relationship questions between Leah, Laban, Jacob, and Rachel, but as this post focuses on Jacob and Rachel, we’ll set those issues aside for now.  Now, I would assume that if any of us were to find ourselves in Jacob’s shoes, we would likely be exceedingly upset, feeling horribly cheated.  Nevertheless, driven by his devotion for her, Jacob agreed to work another seven years for his uncle in order to call Rachel his bride. Although we don’t really have any insight into Rachel’s opinions in this biblical story, I’d very much like to think that the feelings that Jacob felt for Rachel were reciprocated. The story continues for several more chapters, but as it exceeds the purpose of this article, I’ll stop here.

Personally, I found the idea of finding a Rachel of my own quite appealing, so much so, in fact, that I crafted a version of her into a character in my second novel (which will hopefully be available for public consumption at some point in the not-so-distant future).  Of course, that does require me actually finishing it).  Although there were some trivial differences between the fiction and real life (including, not surprisingly, having a name other than Rachel), in an unbelievable stroke of fortune, by the end of 2012, I believed that I had found a woman who could very well be my Rachel.

So what happened next, you might ask.  Well, if you scroll down a few posts, you come across a poem, seemingly out of place among the myriad of political topics.  Unfortunately, some love goes unrequited. Drawing from personal experience, unrequited love is perhaps the thorniest kind of love imaginable and, as this love is not the love of Jacob & Rachel, it is not the love I seek.  I’ll confess that I’ve have mourned this realization every day for the last several weeks which is why you find snippets of this story recently embedded in the Virginia Conservative.  Although it is a different kind of love as it is platonic, within the larger liberty movement must I continue along that path relatively unappreciated as well?  Writing prolifically about the matter in a series of unsent letters and short stories has helped quite a bit, but a shredded heart is not something that can be mended overnight.

Even with all the setbacks of life, hope still survives.  So wherever and whoever you are, and whether we discover each other tomorrow or it takes another full fourteen years of effort, I dedicate this post to you, my wonderful Rachel.  And it is my sincere hope, good reader, if you have not yet found that special person, you too will one day come across a Rachel or Jacob of your own.

Thanks for reading and happy Valentine’s Day to everyone.

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Love Deterred

Love Deterred

A Poem by Joshua Huffman



It is an amazing feeling

An exquisite pain

That reaches to the depths

Of one’s very soul

It tempts you to rip out your heart

In a vain attempt to escape the agony

Or, at least, to hide someplace safe

Where no one else will ever look


Love brought you to this abyss

In all of its unrequited glory

Yet this marvelous same affection

Made you feel alive

A blanket of comforting joy

And led you to rediscover

The best things of life are found

In the warm embrace of love


Yes, today may seem bleak

And tomorrow not much better

But life will improve

This pain will one day fade

Replaced by the promise of love

Mingled with the hope of a bright future

Yes, life will get better

They say that love finds a way

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My Tiki

Good evening readers.

You may have noticed that updates have been sort of light these last several weeks.  Well, I’ve been dealing with a bit of sorrow.  About a week ago, Tiki, my 18-year-old Siamese cat, died after an extended period of illness.  Now although losing a pet is not the same as losing a close friend or relative, it still can weigh heavily upon you.  After all, she was a good and loyal companion who will be sorely missed.

Mar. 13 2008: From left to right Taz (shortly before his death), Tiki, and Thimble (still living)

And yes, before you ask, despite being a New York Giants fan, I didn’t name her after Tiki Barber.  After all, I got her back in 1992, a full five years before the Giants drafted Barber.

I wanted to share with you a few more photos of my cat as well as a rather amusing story.    Back in August of 1998, when Tiki was six years old, I was busily packing up the family vehicle before I headed off to college in Williamsburg.  After loading up my car, I put a few of the bulkier items in my parents’ minivan such as my computer, bedding, suitcase, and the like.  Right before we were set to leave, I looked around to say goodbye to my cat, but she was nowhere to be found.  As went back to the vehicle, I discovered her as you can see in the picture.

Aug. 21, 1998: Going off to college

They say that Siamese are typically a smart breed of cat, so I guess she figured something was amiss.  As so many of my items had already left the house, I suppose she didn’t want to be left behind.  Unfortunately, given the university’s policies, I could not take her with me.

She was a strange, but colorful, animal.  Much like a puppy, she would often follow me around the house and, until she went deaf, would usually come when called.  Tiki was a vacuum; she would suck up just about any foods she could find: meats of all kinds, cheese, crackers, chips, insects, and even ice cream from time to time.  She had a bizarre habit where she would chew on my socks right around where the tendon meets the heel.  I can’t tell you how many socks I lost to her.  In her youth, she would attack the shoes of any stranger who came near her.  When I would take her to the vet or if I tried to force a pill into her mouth, she struggled mightily and would foam as if she was infected with rabies.

My, my…she was a pretty good-sized cat in her day.  Once her kidneys began to fail about a year ago, she lost a lot of weight.  Around a week before she died she refused to eat anything and dropped below six pounds.  Trying to force-feed a cat is a difficult task, but I kept hoping she would recover.  Despite my efforts, she continued to wither away like a flower in the hot sun.  In the end, her time came at last.

Mar. 4, 2011: The day before she died.

What more can you say about a faithful and constant friend like Tiki?  Although she can never be replaced, I hope my next cat is of the same calibre.

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The Downward Spiral

Good evening readers.

I hope your Labor Day weekend is going well.  I just wanted to send you out a personal note.  As some of you know, when I’m not working in politics I have been in the retail industry, selling and demonstrating gaming products to the community.  Such has been my life, on and off, for the past five years or so.  Well, I’m afraid that those days are over.  Yesterday evening, my employment suddenly came to a close.  Due to financial difficulties, I was abruptly released.  Although I’ll freely admit that I have been searching for political work once more, I don’t have anything new confirmed and so I was, at best, at least two weeks away from leaving.  So now here I am, another statistic in a troubled economy, madly scrambling to find my next job before my savings are reduced to zero.  But as for you, the reader, I hope that you will stick with me through this rough patch until I escape this downward spiral.

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