What follows is the first in a series of reflections. These arise most vigorously when I take my annual writing retreat, but can sneak up anytime. I took the accompanying photograph on this year’s retreat. This figure is one of my most cherished objects. I found her at an outdoor antique store, in her present condition. Though you cannot see it in this photograph, incised beneath her bare feet is the word “Life.” She lives here on my desk, but likes to go on trips.
Heeding at the silver dawn of sixty the ongoing clarification of identity. The ongoing clarification of the ongoing changing identity. And identifying the identity which is steady throughout, always present, who rides the bucking bronco, but is never unseated.
Still occasionally entertaining the delusion that there is an inside and an outside. That there is a world and a me. Still in kindergarten. Still teaching in order to learn, learning in order to teach. Still searching, stretching for the pattern to impose over freedom. Still seeking comfort in syncopation, yearning yet for steady rhythm. Still pausing to spell “rhythm,” still some ancient doubts. Not knowing the destination, outside of the fiction of death. Yet knowing destination’s not all that important, since each destination is supplanted by another. Direction’s more important. Direction is the pen-name of identity.