I think I might have made a pretty good Jew…if only because I seem to have gotten that guilt thing pretty well-nailed.
Having had a fairly decent track record for writing these past few years, I missed the deadline on not one, but two articles. In the little scheme of things, it’s just one part of my brain kicking the other part of my brain in the ass and saying, “Hey— Remember? You’re supposed to get a blog out this week.” I actually didn’t forget so much as more pressing things jumped out in front. A new novel is in the process of growing, not inside my belly but somewhere among the ghostly synapses of my brain. And there were those 22 inches of snow and 3000 feet of driveway to contend with……
That little creative portion that I call my Muse, came up with an idea that’s never been explained or written about in much depth before and once I sit down at the keyboard, the world I’m in truly disappears. The topic is time travel and…….trust me…..I’ve read every book and seen about every movie on the subject. For the most part, everybody just really sucks at trying to adhere to any rules at all. In The Time Traveler’s Wife, the character essentially watches a bug fly by and the time traveling begins. Somewhere in Time, is a beautiful movie, mostly because of a gorgeous young Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve. The source of the time traveling consists of Christopher lying on a bed and closing his eyes. At least H.G. Wells came up with a cool-looking machine. Things spin around, levers are moved and then….VOILA!
In my quickly growing manuscript, you see it all. The screw ups, the miscalculations, the premature entry into the wrong time, the theories, the nuts and bolts. I swear, when they finally get one up-and-running, someone will have to go back to this book and see how much I got right. I’m pretty sure I’m in the ballpark. So that’s where I’ve been and that’s where I will continue to be. Want to know what happens when two of your twelve 10,000 micro-farad capacitors crap out while you’re just landing in the flapper era? I have an answer. Can you hover partially in and partially out of phase before you actually alight in your next time period? All these questions are answered and there’s a bang-up set of characters powering this baby.
And……this neat introduction is actually only anecdotal to the much more important thrust of this essay. The demographics of you readers has been crystallizing for some time now. You are, for the most part, over the age of 40. You are significantly above average in intelligence, and you are mostly free-thinkers, whether male or female. Most of you have given some thought to the stages of your lives that are unfolding. For me and for most of you, it’s ACT THREE in what will most likely be a three-act play.
It’s time to sit back, pour another cup of something and ask, “Have I done everything that I’ve wanted to do while residing on planet Earth? Are there any big screw-ups I need to fix? Is there some little dream I wanted to pursue…but never had the time?” When my relatives receive either a big expensive bulky casket…or a little Pottery Barn urn full of “me,” how do I want to be remembered??? I know what I want for myself. Do you? Seriously, think about it.
In the past year or so, our generation has lost some biggies in the music world. David Bowie checked-out. Glenn Frye graduated, Natalie Cole, Percy Sledge, Lynn Anderson, Cory Wells, Ben E. King, Joe Cocker…and those are just a handful of the music biggies. Each year it gets a little scarier. If you think you’re gonna get passed-over or forgotten….think again. Maybe you need a time machine to intervene.
What is much more interesting, however, is that essentially none of these people had to work, had to produce anymore. They’d already done their jobs fifty or a hundred times over. But did they want to sit on a beach or watch TV to cap off their Golden Years? Hell no. HELL NO!!! They had stuff to do and miles to go before they slept. And so do you.
The examples are all over the place if you care to look. Love him or hate him, one of the most erudite (and annoying) writers on the planet, Christopher Hitchens (Hitch to his friends) fought his cancer with the voracity of a pit bull. His raison d’etre? Writing. His last book was short and dealt with his demise. You can read the last word of the last paragraph before his wife had to bring it on home. Hitch, by his own account, was “obscenely rich.” Didn’t have to lift a finger, yet even when handicapped by chemo-brain, he climbed up on stage to debate people half his age with half of his intelligence.
Did David Bowie have to stay up nights, go in weekends to finish still one more project…still one more album? Of course not. But he did. Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, had to get that last song down on tape. That was his reason for living. What is yours? Want to help out? Do you have a cause? Let’s get to it.
Pam and I have done some stuff in our lives, though not nearly as much as I’d hoped. I doubt that many people can seriously say, “Yeah, I did EVERYTHING.” Having said that, however, I have a small handful of manuscripts I’ve written but just never had the time to publish. I have some patents and inventions, which once I figured out and created…I just didn’t have enough time to push or pursue. Guess what: About half of them are now products you and I use every day. The ones they didn’t come up with…I’m going to pursue.
And when Pam and I finally get our little heinies down to Blue Bayou, the name of what will be our new abode, we aim to help as many young artists, writers, inventors and outside-the-box thinkers before some tiny ganglion inside my brain pops and I return to being stardust. That’s the game plan. And no, at this precise moment in time, neither Pam nor I have any threatening ganglion……………of which we are aware.
Whatever you’re going to do, now is the time. Don’t wait for next month. Don’t wait for next week. I’m even dusting off my old accordion and my tarnished old sax. Pam wants me to play The Theme from Moulin Rouge while sitting next to our waterfall. If nothing else, I can scare the wildlife in NC.
No, thank YOU, for nudging me to ponder the important points you make. Best wishes to you and your lovely wife, Pam.
Barbara Di Toro
It’s an opportunity for all of us to review where we’re at…and get to it, if there are any things we want to do on our wish lists…bucket lists.
Once again, truer words never spoken.
If you are offering metalwork art lessons…sign me up.
Consider yourself signed-up!
You can make some really wild horseshoes for your big furry babies!
Judaism opposes proselytizing (or every trying to convert someone); however, as a life-long Jew, I’d have to say you’re a true mensch, who’d make an awesome member of “The Tribe”!! And fyi, while I now align with Humanist (or, as some would say Secular – or even, the “A” word) branch of Judaism, I’ve never managed to shed any of the guilt buttons carried over 56-years (yes, right in there with your 40+ demographic)!
As always, I loved this article and appreciate your relevant reminders/message. Ironically, the majority of the Jewish “High Holidays” is actually devoted to reflection and self-assessment, making things right with PEOPLE we’ve wronged; and then, developing our own plan for the coming year – which we’re to hold ourselves accountable for. Equally important, is the message, “Say what you mean, and do what we say – effective immediately.” That said, it’s evident we all need that regular kick in the ass, reminding us to live our lives to the fullest – doing everything we possibly can. As we continue to realize, life is precious – each and every day of it. We really have certain obligations – living life to its fullest, realizing our personal dreams and aspirations and leaving our impact on loved ones, friends . . . and others, whether currently known or not.
Once again, you are correct, no “great person” rides out into the sunset, without a burning desire to do more – or to complete at least one more project. Of course, this isn’t for fame or financial gain but rather, that is the very essence of that individual – and in truth, what led to their original success. I must also say, knowing what I do of you and Pam, you’ve both managed to live lives that truly should fill you with pride, and I have no doubt whatsoever, the legacies you’re still constantly endeavoring to spin will be profound and lasting ones. For the sake of the rest of us, I hope you’ll have many, many more years to share whatever it is that comes from your MUSE!!! And finally, your concept of time and time travel is fascinating!
Thank you, Henry!
As always, sending you my best,
Thank you. “Mensch” a word I am very familiar with and I you honor me more than you know.
More importantly, it’s wonderful hearing from you! I’ve thought about you often and wondered how you are doing.
In my own duel with Darkness, I’ve had a number of people who began hanging around, almost like vultures, suddenly much more interested in me when I was in trouble than when I was just trundling through life. I didn’t enjoy it at all. We all die, that’s a given. And being sick or very sick doesn’t suddenly make you a sainted person. I liked that Hitch, commented, “If I ever recant my positions and ask God to save my sorry ass, you’ll know that the cancer or the treatment has addled my brain.” I’m paraphrasing but you get the point.