Moving Back To The Country - an old letter by D.M. Jerman

       I've never been as mixed up about anything as I have been about everything for about a year. I don't know why. I honestly don't. I've searched everywhere and every part of me, honestly and openly, and I don't know what is confusing me…


Sometimes I get so confused that I wish that I was that same kid that had been dating that other kid while holding hands in church. That's how bad it gets. To think that ignorance and complete acceptance are what I want makes me feel like a fool. Like someone that should know better, but doesn't, and worst of all, is enjoying it. The more I question it seems like the less answers I get, which leads to uncertainty.  I read a review of Jack Kerouac recently, because some anniversary of his was recent.  It said that he made us question the roles that society thrusts upon us.  When it said that he makes us question… that was it. I question things that I didn't before and it's unsettling.  I thought of it recently as being "without joy."  Not that my life in any way is or was recently awful. I teach good kids at a good school and work with good people. I have the least excuse of anyone to complain. But I didn't find joy in things. Things I used to enjoy and really get excited for. I miss the feeling of "the first day of school" or right before a big game, or the moment before you get in a fight. I miss that pure joy of it after the fact is over.  For whatever reason joy has become a lost thing for me. I enjoy things, but I don't get the joy out of them that I used to. I miss that little kid feeling when you know that something great could happen very soon.  Like that movie with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, the Smiths, that's what he says to her. You looked like Christmas morning. I want Christmas morning to come again, and more often. I've still been doing what I told you last time, but I think a little better.  I've been a better family member, all around, and I've been better professionally and personally. It's funny, because the more people at my school that realize I'm leaving, the more people come up to me and say they're going to miss me.  It's flattering, but I feel ashamed, because I think of what I could have been had I given 100%. I guess that feeling, ashamed, has also had to something to do with me recently.

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This isn't a life where dreams come easily. And the older you get the harder the dreams are to see, and to realize.  To be honest, I haven't had a clear future picture in mind since college, so it's not as if I'm disappointed. On the contrary, when I search myself right now I don't find disappointment at all. A bit of regret, but mostly a sense of looking forward and finishing strong. The feeling of being close to a finish line, but this is the hardest part of the race. I guess that I've come to realize that I am a person easily affected by my environment in almost all aspects. My roommates have been so great, putting up with me.  Not that I've been mean or a dick or a slacker in terms of my roommate responsibility, but that I haven't been myself.  Anyway, I find that my environment has a great deal to do with my activities and thoughts. I was home recently for my spring break, and I purposely stayed for about 8 days straight at my parents house.  It was different. I woke up and didn't feel a sense of boredom, or as if there were a million things I should be doing but wouldn't, or anything. I felt calm, and got a lot of things accomplished, some of which were overdue. That's another thing I've come to realize about myself: I get deep into procrastination. I'm looking forward to my grandfather's farm a lot, because I feel that it will do a great deal for me in terms of centering me.

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I honestly don't know where I would be if it weren't for you. You're probably the most amazing person I've ever met, bar none. Your ability to take life as it comes, for what it is, amazes me - and makes me jealous. You've been constant for me. Unwavering. If I was ever desperate or upset, or feeling helpless, I knew I could call you and talk, and that helped. The knowledge that someone was there that always seemed to be completely open, honest, and deep thinking. That makes a difference. I thought the other day, "what is the world without you like“ and it was odd. There were so many experiences that seemed like cornerstones to my past. It was hard to see. That in itself tells me how important you are to me. I would say about once a week you're in a dream of mine, often in no context whatsoever. Other times it's such an obvious connection it almost makes you laugh. Here's one that has actually occurred more than once, and you can read it as you want. You and I are together, alone. It isn't clear where. I'm going out of my mind, as usual, like my head's going to explode if I can't organize my thoughts and get control of them. For some reason the obvious solution to my problem is that you're there, and that if I can just have sex with you, I'll feel all better. I don't know how I convince you, it was never clear, but while we're having sex I suck on one of your nipples, and it's as if I were drawing something from you that made me feel all better and that I didn't need to worry any more. It never gets any farther than that, but in short, I don't know your role in my life. All I know is that I feel as if you're an integral, necessary part in the framework that is who I am. I don't ever want to lose you, in any regard, and I would love to spend a large amount of time with you soon.


I'm going home this weekend with a load of stuff from my apartment/storage area. I want to get a start on it, and I feel like if I do it will feel more present and realistic. Next year I'm going to be living at my grandfather's farm. I don't know what I'll be doing for money yet. That bothers me a lot less than it used to, which is good. Either way I'll be taking classes at the local college and paying the bills somehow. Luckily I won't have many bills, and I'll get to enjoy space, country, and all that those things entail. I don't know where you are right now, or what your plans are, but you should consider staying at the farm with me sometime after July of this year. I'll be there permanently there after that, and welcoming your kind of visitor 24/7. I honestly don't know where you and I go, but it's somewhere.


A Wedding Speech- June 17, 2017. by D.M. Jerman

A cousin of mine got married recently. I knew I wanted to write something for them, so I did. It's just one basic thing I can do to contribute. It marks the 2nd wedding I've been to this summer. I kind of teared-up at both ceremonies, and Don mentioned "they really affected you," and I wasn't sure how to take that statement. The bride at the first wedding started crying when vows were read to her, so I started with tears in kind. And Eli Rinzler and Ana Bennett's wedding was just so gorgeous it was hard to keep a dry eye. My brother, a groomsman, felt the same way.

But it was not for beauty and empathy that I cried, but for both and more... These are the first weddings I have been to as a married person myself. In awe of, and now truly aware of, the magnificence and splendor that a real and honest match can bring to the world. 


"TO regale you quickly with a personal most-embarassing-moment, caught on VHS tape well-over 25 years ago…

The Jerman/Liggett/Rinzler extended family were together in Ontario, Canada for our ongoing annual early-August vacation. This particular year, Grandma and Grandpa Liggett were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

This was a big deal, and a well-kept surprise, due to much hard work and preparation. All my relatives were speaking in-turn and, being especially young and eager, I was caught up in the moment and wanted to contribute.

I had no idea what I might say. Everyone was witty and had prepared remarks. I figured out later how to do this sort of thing as you can probably tell, but after listening to all the familiar voices I’d come to know and appreciate, and being surrounded by so much love… by the time I got up to speak I said two words and simply burst into tears.

My mother then gratefully escorted me from the room.

Here today I’ll try to refrain from offering her the task of repeating history…

To Ana and To Eli-

The pair of you are already so brave for having a fantastic wedding party beyond just an elegant and warm ceremony. You have made it seem effortless, and flawless, and I thank you with deep gratitude.

I say this as someone for whom getting hitched in the desert city of Las Vegas Nevada after only 3 months of engagement couldn’t have been more perfect…

I guess really what I mean to say is- celebration comes naturally when the party is pretty large. But the less exclusive it becomes, the more it risks spinning out from the center. It takes the power of individuals to stay its focus… In other words, each of us share different reasons for why we’re all here for the same reason.

Acts of bravery beyond these herculean tasks involved in throwing a wedding are naturally in the long game of maintaining the marriage itself.

I quote my husband here: “The wedding is for everyone else, and for now. The marriage is for you, and for after.”

So it is for this reason, that of the greatest family traditions we can possibly foster, the single best is the act of Marrying for Love. And if we’re very lucky, for Life.

A magnificent hope that so many in this room share for you: that 50 years from now you both will be seated again at the head of a table. Your golden anniversary being celebrated with you, for you, and all around you. Including friends and family yet to be. With laughter and stories, and sincere and beautiful tears.

You two came and visited me in Chicago nearly 5 years ago. The windy city I live in and love was a stop-along on a pretty epic road trip for the pair of you. We went to Rivers Casino in Rosemont, Illinois, just outside the city limits.

It was for all of us an inaugural visit, but Ana unwittingly came to indulge in her first-ever foray into buffet-style eating. This girl was in her 20’s and had never been to a buffet before?! So she claims! When she told Eli and I this, our eyes just about bugged out of our heads, we couldn’t believe it.

A great many of you present share such exclusive moments with this enchanting and very busy couple. Times that seem so alive and vivid no matter how brief, or how simple.

Remember them, and lift your glasses for them-

Here’s to making more of those times today.