Archives For reflections

floods

08/31/2017 — 1 Comment

In October, 1955, we had a terrible flood in my home town that left three feet of water in our basement. I was eight. I still remember standing on the basement stairs watching stuff float by — years of photos and memorabilia on the loose, the past drowning.

Much was saved, though, and I have savored the family photos we still have all the more ever since.

Next summer after the flood, my much older brother, on a visit home, hauled boxes other debris out into the back yard for an inventory and great unburdening event. With a twenty-something’s lack of appreciation for a fifty-something’s sense of value, he became impatient after a while and tossed things that our mother would have rather kept a while longer, maybe cleaned up, perhaps restored. I don’t know she ever fully recovered from the losses. I quickly got over the few toys that I lost. My brother never spoke of the event again.

Floods come. If we are lucky enough to suffer only small losses, we can move on more easily sometimes. And other times, not.

getting old

01/21/2016 — Leave a comment

The trouble with getting old, if you’re not careful, is coming to believe that you’ve got it all figured out. By the time you get old, the temptation to figure it out has been with you a long time. Once you start believing that you’ve got it all figured out, it feels like a relief…and a reward for all that trying to figure it out.

But you can’t ever figure it out, and you really don’t want to start thinking you can, much less should. Figuring it out takes the mystery and suspense out of living. And the adventure of trying to figure it out. It seems that suicides are people who come to believe they’ve got it all figured out.

A lot of my old friends act as though they’ve got it figured out — their kids, politics, business, the Cubs, relationships, faith, art, the Middle East, economics, the Internet. Sometimes I think I do, too.

But it’s so tempting. There are all these deep and puzzling conundrums that have kept you thinking and worrying for so many years, decades really. It surely must be possible in my “three score and ten” to get something figured out. Doesn’t that seem reasonable?

When I was an angst-ridden college student in the sixties, I thought, “What if I know everything? What if I get it all figured out and it’s all bad? Won’t life be unbearable? Won’t the only option at that point be to end it all? I’m thankful that from somewhere, I got the good sense to realize that there will always be something more to learn. And interesting stuff, too. As long as I could reasonably expect to live, nature and humanity would always be able to provide some new field of thought, area of study, and puzzle to ponder. Whew! I suppose this seems obvious, but you know it’s hard to  see new possibilities when you think you’ve got it all figured out.

 

About blogging

07/13/2014

I have a love-hate thing, apparently, with blogging.

Since I can remember, or at least since I was 7, I’ve always seen myself writing. Blogging is the perfect way for me to quickly and easily write down my ideas, musings, and reflections.

And yet, I have this mostly insurmountable barrier to getting started. Here, in this “invitation only” blog, I can write to my heart’s content and not have to be concerned about what a reader might think. We’ll see how it goes.