which I am offering only here. I was invited when this site was being organized, but could not make a commitment to be a regular contributor. Nor can I make such a commitment now. But many of those here and as part of the offlist group have meant a lot to me, both their own writing and by the support they have given mine. I am actually quite insecure about many things, including my writing. Thus the willingness of others to read what I offer, to comment, to criticize constructively and challenge where appropriate, has helped me improve both my thinking and my writing.
Today is our wedding anniversary, #22, about which I have diaried in a number of places. And as await for Leaves on the Current to return home from NJ (she is now in transit), rather than doing school work, I am being reflective in a somewhat different way.
Each milestone we can mark on our live’s paths provides an opportunity for saying “now what?” It is not that we cannot appreciate what we have managed despite all odds to achieve, nor is it necessary that we bemoan where we have missed the mark (and I will win no medals for my own accuracy this past year).
I have always been shy but an extravert, a dangerous combination, because in most social situations I have trouble maintaining balance. I find as I age I become increasingly introverted, even as my caring for other people deepens. I am far less likely to attend purely social functions. For the first time in 9 years at my school I did not attend my dpeartmental holiday celebration. I could have – I had had to make an emergnecy trip north for an issue involving the athletics at my alma mater, but I was back in the DC area in time to have stopped, picked up some food, and arrived basically on time. But I found myself relieved to have a legitimate reason not to attend, perhaps because at the school-wide celebration I found myself wanting to withdraw somewhat.
And perhaps the change in the nature of the subjects about which I find myself drawn to write are a further indicator of this. I do want my words read – I am insecure that way, which is why so often I tell other people when I have posted, hoping that they will at least glance at my words. But today I realize that it doesn’t matter. My task is to wrestle with what I perceive and think, to express it in a fashion that MIGHT be of use to others, but then to let go – of ownership, of concern. Or as the words of Paul and Ringo said sime 4 decades ago, “Let it be.’
Thank you all for putting up with my insecurity. For being willing to share your time with me, even if only by occasionally reading.
At various points in my life I seriously considered becoming a monk. But my spiritual father on Mount Athos told me back in 1983 that while I might make a good monk, my calling was elsewhere – he told me to go back into the world and marry Leaves. He also told me things about our nature, even though he never met Leaves – somehow he knew. And I have struggled for more than 2 decades to live up to the insight he offered me then.
I will be 62 in May. My mother died before she was 50. my father lived on until his 84th birthday. I do not know how much longer I might live. But in that time I am drawn increasingly to simpler truths. I ask then when I do write you be unafraid of challenging me. My words should not be for my benefit, and if they do not speak to others there is no point in offering them.
I am sorry I cannot now offer more clarity, but I am slowly coming to an understanding of how I must live and what I must do. It will require me still to grow, of course, to change in some ways small (which is often far more difficult) and in others on a lrger scale.
Again, thanks for your friendship, your tolerance, your patience.