The New Reality

I haven’t written much in a while.  Haven’t really felt like it.  A lot of things have been happening in my life.  A few months ago my father was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer.  The outlook is not positive although there has been some good news.  Dad has been through chemotherapy treatments and they have been effective at slowing the cancer.  I don’t think anyone expect anything better than that but if it gives him more time then it has value.

Mom and dad have effectively moved back to our home state of Kentucky.  The old house isn’t sold and a new one has not been found but they are there and I am happy for them.  They have been too long away from their brothers and sisters.  I am extremely glad my father will have some time in the state I know he still calls home.  I only wish we could be there with him.  Being away from family and isolated is hard and it seems to get tougher all the time.  When I was young both sides of my family lived close and the memories of those days still burn bright in my mind.  I think we all lost a big part of our lives when we moved to Alabama and I am thankful mom and dad have made it back north for however long that is.

On a personal level not much has changed.  My daughter continues to grow.  It seems she is maturing faster than I ever could have guessed.  It is fun to see echoes of the person she is going to be and in some ways a little bit frightening.  I want her to be a better person than me.  To learn from my mistakes and to avoid my failures.  It is often hard to remember that she isn’t even 10 years old yet.  She has so much ahead of her.  I hope I don’t screw her up.

I continue to struggle with my career and my future.  Too often I don’t think I have a future.  My life is day to day and often that gets the best of me.  I break down occasionally but I do it in private and it only lasts a moment.  My personal sense of duty and responsibility is too strong to let hopelessness take hold for too long.  I have ways to deal with the struggle of life.  I can lose myself in a book for a little while and let my mind go places that my body can not.  Then there are things like TV and games that can provide an escape.  Then there is the often rare chance to spend a little time with friends I have made over the years.  It may be those moments that I covet the most.  I am most thankful that there are people that seem to want me around.  Even if it is semi-regularly!

I am also thankful for my car and that I can continue to pay for it, for the time being anyway.  Things can change at any moment and I am keenly aware of that reality.  My car has become my personal sanctum.  There is no room in my home for a “man cave” and there is really nowhere for me to go and hide from the world except in my car.  I don’t “love” it like some people say they “love” their cars but I do look forward to the drive home these days.  Whether I listen to audiobooks, podcasts, or just some music I am happy for the time to let go of work and come home as something close to the person I am.  I remember the days driving home in my truck.  The stifling heat, the anger at not being able to do anything about it and the resentment for all the things that got me in that position.  I know it is a little thing and a luxury many can’t afford and it is for that reason that I appreciate it so much.

I have some things I want to write about.  I am feeling the urge to tackle things again which is something I have not felt in some time.  The bigger problem is carving out some part of my day to actually take the time and write.  The days go by so fast.  Time disappears like smoke in a breeze.  Weekends are gone before they can be fully enjoyed.  I think that is one of the great tragedies of human existence.  By the time we are old enough to appreciate the true value of time most of it has already run out.  The old saying is that youth is wasted on the young.  There is wisdom there but it is missing something.  In truth, it is time that is wasted on the young.  It is never a good to have something in abundance when you don’t understand its value.  Then again maybe it is only when we don’t have a sense of time that we can really reach out, be bold, and do wonderful things.  Robert Herrick seems to have figured it out a long time ago.

The new reality for me is that I am entering into what I guess is the third stage of my life.  It is a time where things start being taken away.  I am not afraid of that.  I understand the cycle of life.  I am just a bit sad.  I think maybe “melancholy” would be a good word for it.  I wonder if writing more would help me make sense of things.  Getting my thoughts out and then sending them into the world is probably the only type of therapy I can stomach.  We’ll see how it goes right?

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

— Dylan Thomas


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