As I turn 64 today, I look back upon my nearly six-and-a-half decades on this planet. Rather than judge those decades, I take a Zen Buddhist approach as well as that adopted by my favorite analyst, the Jungian “renegade” and former Robert Bly Men’s Movement guru, James Hillman.
My past life (and all its actions/reactions) is neither “good” nor “bad”: it just “is”—a life unique and unlike that of any other person.
I also no longer obsess over the past and all its regrets; neither do I wonder about the future, which I cannot foresee; rather, I live only in the present, one second at a time, even as I type this.
Of course, there are exceptions to my wondering about the future:
With less time remaining than there was when I was 21, I see a powerful need to revise my much-too-long-in-progress novel KLAN COUNTRY (http://leeswritingjourney.blogspot.com/2011/06/13/klan-country-a-novel-in-progress.htm and http://leeswritingjourney.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/klan-country-a-novel-in-progress/) and to see it in print.
I also long to see, finished and in print, my also-much-too-long-in-progress novella “Common Dark”—based on my reunion with my father in Tacoma, Washington, March 11–13, 1988, and on his funeral, August 13, 1991.
The novella is a companion to my already-completed novella “Common Ferrell.” (http://leeswritingjourney.blogspot.com/2011/05/26/common-ferrell-a-novella.htm and http://leeswritingjourney.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/common-ferrell-a-novella/)
I have many, many other fiction and nonfiction projects in mind and listed on my computer, but I doubt I’ll live long enough to complete most of them.
About my past—just highlights here: One of my planned writing projects is a memoir of my childhood, A CHILDHOOD: A BIOGRAPHY OF A DECADE, 1947–1963. Another memoir: CURRICULUM VITAE: THIRTEEN EPISODES IN A LIFE TO COME.
Today, some good news: Two friends of mine on Facebook wished me a Happy Birthday, to whom I responded: “Many thanks! Whenever I am asked how old I am, I say, ‘I’m Hillary Clinton’s age”—thinking she’s still going strong as Secretary of State, one year before Medicare!”
So is today a day of light, or a day of dark? My answer: “Light, yes, light!”
Later, I’ll post photos to this blog relevant to my 64th.