Above are this year’s Christmas cards for us. I am nothing if not woodsy, this holiday season.
A wonderful thing about my life right now is that I am still learning, and I’m getting very nearly old enough to believe that I will keep learning, my whole life. It’s an endless video game, apparently, and you keep leveling up for as long as you keep playing. At fifteen you think you know the essentials, at twenty you have realized you are still missing some essentials, at twenty-five you maybe don’t care what the ungained essentials are, momentarily. At thirty I was pretty good at the opaque things in life. At thirty-three I am beginning to understand that there are some translucent things too, and that in time I can get better at them.
Aesthetics matter to me. By which I mean, having a cohesive theory within which one approaches the world. Maybe that’s ethics in some books, but for me it’s aesthetic. Up till approximately now I had the (naive) idea that I could find someone else’s aesthetic and it would suit me. Now I know that’s wrong. One has to invent oneself, and it takes decades of trial and error. Every few years the things you think are essential about yourself have changed a little bit. You have to compare yourself at different ages and find the common threads, and that begins to tell you what you really want, what you really need.
An unanswered question for me is whether I really have a creative spirit. It’s my dream, like it’s so many people’s dream, to come up with something so creative and wonderful, and to be so dedicated to it, that I can do it for the rest of my life and gain respect in the doing. I remember trying to verbalize this when I was seven or eight years old. I believe that my thing is out there… I just wonder if I’m going to find it. Or if maybe I’ll never find it because the creative force isn’t really there.
“If you have to wait for it to roar out of you, then wait patiently. If it never does roar out of you, then do something else.” –Charles Bukowski
Maybe “it” won’t roar out of me until I’m forty, fifty, sixty, or seventy. Maybe it never will. Maybe the desire to find it means it’s in me somewhere. Or maybe that’s just ego. Maybe “it” is a myth.
Anyway. You never stop learning, and a lot of the things you learn are about yourself.