Monday, October 16, 2006

Algorithmic Rythms of Life

(Photos courtesy of Brian Castagne)

If to everything there is a season, there's nothing like being a middle-aged parent of growing children to sense when autumn is in the air. And, when your own parents have passed away in recent years, you feel yourself growing into their role -- as an elder -- in the family structure. Add to that the prospect of being a grandfather soon, and the picture becomes almost complete. You want to go out and buy some hair dye, some better-fitting clothes, and adjust your diet. You hope that to some people's eyes, at least, you still will be desirable.

In this context, it becomes clear you simply can't do everything you used to do. Feel one of those unnatural upwellings of strange pains inside your body, as I did this weekend, and all of a sudden, you're acutely aware of how vulnerable we all are; how our lives hang by a thread.

There simply isn't enough time left for all the living I would like to do. Nor for all the writing. If we are, as I claim, what we write, I'd like to quadruple this blog's content, for starters, so that over 1,000 entries could be posted here, cumulatively topping 500,000 words and probably 1500 images. Since I consider this now a "life journal," this has become the main place I'll document my time, my experiences, my feelings and my remaining dreams.

It will continue to be a delicate dance, balancing my own privacy and the privacy of others, with the quest to be unequivocally emotionally and factually honest. But, after all, that is a journalistic and a writerly challenge that is not unfamiliar to me, after forty years of publishing. So, I should be up to the task.

Meanwhile, those in the early spring of their lives conduct such a different dance -- soccer games, math homework, a phone call from a close friend who is a girl telling him her friends want to know whether he is "tall or short." His answer" Why do they want to know?"

It's all relative. One moment, he looks short, skinny, and young. The next he looks tall and wiry, with muscles sprouting on his upper arms. One moment he kisses me as he exits my car for school; the next, he is answering another phone call from a girl.


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