I wish I had an enthralling, timeless, seductive beginning. Had I a “Call Me Ishmael,” or “In the beginning was the Word,” or “In Xanadu, did Kubla Kahn A stately pleasure dome decree,” I might have a start more effective than this, but the best I have is the thought that beginning is only a tiny bit different than ending.
I am not dead yet. This is not so much a reassurance for those who have not heard from me for a while, or a curse to those who might wish I was, as it is a simple declaration of my status…...and somewhat of a surprise to me. Certainly my life the last five years has been about little but endings and beginnings, so perhaps this title is a summary of what has been since I have been absent from corresponding, writing, and socializing much.
For some unknown reason I have been struck with a drive to write about my life and my experience. It is not that I feel I have something so much to offer that I fear people will miss a great deal without the addition of my prattling, as it is a sudden selfish desire to have a conversation with many others. I have in my head a list of “others”, people I have known in my life. There are friends and acquaintances recent and past. There are people with whom I worked and lived, There are people who dramatically affected my life...some wonderfully and some to my detriment. There are those closest and most intimate with me. Of course that includes the two women who are my life partners, known here as swan and t, who share my life and love, and whose identities I must protect from those who would fire one of them from her career if they knew of her true life, and the other just from prying and judgmental eyes. It of course includes my son and those who love him and with whom he would choose to share this. It includes fellow students whom I have encountered recently, and old friends and some enemies from several eras in my life. I intend to invite this group whose consciousness has somehow intersected mine impactfully to read, listen, and perhaps to participate. I am determined to write this as it will be whether many of those others, or no one at all chooses to read it. I hope that in this I can come to believe my ending a few years ago was in reality a beginning: that “I am not dead yet” in an immediate sense, and moreover that the ending that must come sometime in the next three decades for me is, in fact, perhaps a beginning. And that if I come to see that, then, too, for those closest to me as well that theirs, too, can be a beginning for them.
There is so much I think of to say. Social commentary and activism, and its unrelenting brother and sister: politics, advocacy, nonprofit organizational management, psychology, sexuality and love, plain sexuality, hedonism and kink, striving, elation and its demise in my current life, spirituality and numinosity (and its opponents: religion and theology), history, and music, drugs and the role their presence and their absence can play in life, are all areas I aspire to discuss. I am sure there are more, and I am sure I will miss some of even these.
If you are inclined to suffer this, then please, you are invited and included. If not, then I apologize for not being deterred from having you in mind as I write this, and while I will regret your absence of attention, I am not tailoring any of this for anyone other than whatever sort of “muse” it is that seems to be driving me to this self-indulgence
.A series of events left me shaken and terror stricken four and a half years ago and I withdrew from contact with just about everyone but my loves and my son. Perhaps this is a step to re-establish contact with others without the risk of true interpersonal intimacy which prospect still feels just soul-shakingly scarey to me. Or maybe I turned sixty-six two days ago and feel a need to do some sorting out and processing and seeing if there is any possibility of the rest of my life’s focus being more than television viewing of baseball, football, current events watching, and remembering when my life felt as though living was striving for joy and not merely the passage of my time in existence as it has seemed to need to be the last several years.
Recently I’ve written some diverse autobiographical pieces each about 350 words length give or take. They are a hodge podge of thoughts, topics and experiences. There is also one letter to the President……(and you think you are struck by my presumptiousness in sending this out:) And even a paper on a study I did of Carl Jung and religion. I thought that would give me a diverse buffet of items to begin with, and might sort of permit anyone so unfortunate as to undertake following this, an opportunity to sample some of what it is that has occupied my reality in recent years. If you think this is worth your time and or not unpleasant please read. If you feel called to comment or email me, please do. I can certainly imagine some will choose one, or the other, or neither.
Thank you for entertaining this self-indulgence of mine, and for whatever compassion or interest you might have for me.