What Was I Ever Thinking?
Today is my birthday, which for me is a good time to take stock of my life and all the twists and turns, planned and mostly unplanned that brought me to where I am, this very moment in fact, sitting in front of a computer screen in my swivel chair writing a blog post. If someone were to tell me a mere 5 years ago I’d be writing material for public consumption on such a thing as a blog, I would have said, “Me? Impossible!” I have never imagined myself as a writer. Truth is, I still do not fancy myself as one. There are far more people out there with so much more talent and skill who truly earn the right to be called writers. I’m more of an interloper of sorts. But that’s not the point. I digress. Again! Dammit, I need to work on better introductory paragraphs. See? Told you I wasn’t a good writer!
As I stare at that picture of me as a young boy, a few thoughts pop into my head. Random thoughts of course. I keep looking at that picture and wondering, what was that young boy thinking? How did he imagine the world to be, and how did he picture being a part of it when he grew up? What did he dream about? Things were so much simpler then.
So I wonder, what was this young adult in his early twenties thinking? What dreams were circulating about his mind? How did he imagine his future to be? Could he imagine having a wife, a family of his own, a career? What would his life be like say oh, 30 or so years into the future?
I now sit and look at those eyes and can’t help but wonder, what are you thinking? What are you dreaming about? How’s the future look to you? Who are you? How has your life turned out so far? What’s next?
Live in the present and look forward to the future. Don’t get me wrong. I love to reminisce as much as the next fellow, but my mind and body are built to move in forward gear. I never cared much for neutral or reverse. So rather than wax sentimental, let me dream of the next 30 or so years and perhaps I’ll be lucky enough to post another picture of my eyes then. I imagine those old and tired eyes will still be twinkling as they wonder about the future and what it will hold.
I’ll leave you with the closing lines from William Cullen Bryant’s poem titled Thanatopsis. Amazing stuff about living and dying from someone who was 17 at the time it was conceived and updated for the following verse when he was 27. This is an example of what a real writer with a gift can do – far better stuff than I could ever write:
So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, that moves
To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustain’d and sooth’d
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
Good advice. Now go out there and LIVE, so you will have no regrets!