A few diamond jubilee reflections

Yeah, a big Seven Five. Amazed I’ve survived so long, considering much of the stress and upheaval earlier.

The achievement comes with a burden of feeling I’ve failed to accomplish so much of what was expected of me – even without appropriate resources or support – as well as an amazement at the twists my life has taken along the way.

Perhaps that’s a generational issue many of my peers feel. Please weigh in.

Meanwhile, the serious political crisis in America’s future leaves me feeling utterly terrified. Quite simply, we failed to preserve the republic, with the assault coming not from a Commie left but rather by the know-nothing, no-saying, me-first, destroy-it-all right – those who would conserve nothing, despite the label they cling to. Along with their superrich allies.

Let me admit that at one point in my development I would have claimed to have been a Goldwater Republican. These folks are way to the right of that, like the hoards that destroyed Rome.  Yes, ready to sack and ravage. Could they be the dreaded zombie hoards awaiting in the ultra-wacko wing?

I was amused recently by a Project Runway Junior’s challenge that had the teens trying to define themselves (blame my beloved elder stepdaughter for my even watching the streamed series). How would I have seen my core at age 14 or even 17? Quite simply, I’d say we were all so confused.

So here I am, once again pondering how we ever wound up in this state.

Me, back as a cub reporter.

Personally, it’s been what I’ve seen as a zig-zag journey, building from what I heard in a poetry reading by John Logan in the very early ‘70s.

Much of what evolved in my encounters can now be found in my novels and poems, though my last third – and most fulfilling – years are yet to be expressed, apart from flashes here at the Red Barn.

In short, I’ve moved far beyond my expectations of things like Paris Review and the haute literary scene or some upper middle-class comfort.

There were 25 years in my native Ohio, most of them early but with two returns to other corners, one in my 20s and another a decade later. But they ended in ashes.

To my surprise, there are 42 years in the Northeast, 36 of them in New England. Well, technically Maryland isn’t quite Northeast but as Eastern Seaboard, I’ll include it.

Throw in four years in the interior Pacific Northwest, four in southern Indiana, and a season in eastern Iowa.

Plus a childhood I’m finally admitting was dutiful, not “happy.”

Two years later, between southern Indiana and Upstate New York,

Many people my age find themselves living more and more in the past. I, in contrast, want to live more and more in the present – having dug out through so much of what has guided me here, to the easternmost sliver of the continental U.S.

When I’m 80, I will have lived half of my life in the Northeast.

Unless another twist pops up before then.

And two years after that, as a young yogi running a mimeograph printer.

I really hate the excuse, ‘Well, it’s my truth’

Quite simply, to make truth subjective muddies the water and likely denies the existence of any external standard of measurement. Or, from another perspective, to impose “my truth” will quickly make everything unreal. End of argument, if you must.

Or, for perspective, Donald Trump manages to negate the rest of us and all science. The world becomes flat, OK? And insanity rules.

In contrast, the concept of a universal Truth exists as a perfection outside of our individual perceptions. It’s something to reach for. You know, the way one and one is two, no matter what. (Except, maybe, in some higher mathematics that nevertheless remain rigorous.) It’s the basis of logic, so without it, everything is illogical. You know, one Truth. As in either/or.

I do wonder if that imposes a monotheism, even when coming from Greek philosophers. One God rather than some chaotic, even neurotic, confusion.

To say, however, “It’s my reality” is far more on target.

Yes, “My reality” in contrast to “My truth.” I can buy that. Now we can talk. After all, feelings are real, even when they’re wacko. And dreams, however fleeting, are another reality.

Through that, too, I have come to recognize times when both sides in an argument are right as well as when both sides are wrong. Forget Aristotle here.

For now, let me point you to my booklet Seeking After Truth, available for free on my Thistle/Finch blog.

Well, there we were!

Find places of wonder where you are.

Without a history – its rooting and stories – there’s no future of meaning. So look around, definitely.

Otherwise, you know, it’s just back to wandering around endlessly in a chaotic wilderness.

But look overhead, too. Why the ancients discovered whole mythologies in the stars!