A lot of things in life fall short of the mark, but thoughtfulness has never let me down. For some forty years I have faithfully kept journals of the wanderings of my mind—most of which is lost in some way or another, but the effect hangs on like a sailor clinging to a piece of flotsam: it proves to me that I am real and not lost; it creates substance out of what might otherwise be ephemeral ether lost to the vagaries of procrastinated time. In the meandering evolution of my words set to page is left a lingering mark etched into a marble wall of time that can never be sandblasted clean.
Simple reminders that I am what I am.
It is almost frightening to know that who I am is freighted with an urgency to continually change what I am. The irony is in how tightly I must shut my eyes to see clearly into myself. Stripped bare I am a meagre and skeletal portrait of a man—a shaky scaffold of dreams and desires connected inextricably to the pulsing aorta of reality.
Life. Ineffable life.
But it can not be any other way.
I am doomed and emboldened to speak the voice that barks and sings, laments and praises, and shouts and drones the inexcusable and intransigent me in glorious triumph and ignominious defeat. I need to see my reflection in stark contrasts: I need a barometric gauge to sense and measure the depth of the coming storms or easy weather. I need to know when to set anchor or set sail.
And all I have is words to guide me.
Words and love are all that is real to me, but it is only words that I question. I do not question my love or unequivocal devotion to Denise or our children or the eclectic diaspora of extended family. I only struggle with the constructs I create. I question my words because they are not created for me—they are created for you; hence, they are weighted by all that preys upon me: vanity, desire and a mania for a purposeful and meaningful life—the very stating of which is almost an anathema, a self-aggrandizing denial and abnegation of human empathy!
Stripped of words I can only utter and respond to what is palpably real and connected to me. I protect my own in spite of all else. Viciously so. And that is good and right and is built into me, and it is unerringly built into me by the hands of a creator beyond my understanding, enough so that I question my reflection on any still waters I see. Beyond faith. Beyond the myopia of circumstance. Beyond anything we share. I am left with words.
It simply is.
I write because I know no other way, but I have no illusions that my path is leading to a greater source. I am constantly humbled by the misdirections I follow. I am less of a guide than a foot soldier commandeered to go foot-first into the minefields of a greater field laced with weed and flower. My solace is that I am still alive—that somehow I have navigated well enough to be where I am—safe, secure, and almost retired into a golden age. I covet my joy like a child his or her inheritance of perpetual splendor. I cannot count or measure my blessings; I can only pass them on.
So I close my eyes at night and expect an infinite dawn.
And so can you.