What will not be

I have reached the time in life when I am beginning to understand and accept some things will likely never be. I have come to believe, quite firmly in fact, that by accepting what will not be we are freed to accept what is and what will be.

Certainly accepting some of the things that will not be means experiencing sadness and, in some cases, loss, neither a particularly pleasant experience; but life is not ended by these experiences, nor is its value diminished. I accept, for example, and have accepted for some time now that I will never again have a relationship with family. Although I did not realize it nor see it coming at the time, my relationship with my family ended the day my father died. I was 15.

However, I have a friendship closing in on 40 years with Michael Sulsona; we are actually brothers at this point. His sons, Vincent and Philip, grew up calling me Uncle Peter and in my heart and soul they are my nephews.  And while I would have weathered the storms of life, Michael’s presence and the presence of his boys have made managing the storms a lot easier. I love them with all my heart. I am blessed.

I have come to believe too that at this point it is unlikely I will ever have the relationship with a woman that I’d like to have; one deep-heart committed under the same roof sharing the daily strides of life. There are few gifts in life more wonderful than waking up next to the person you love. But love and relationships have many forms, they are not cookie-cutter made, even though we are raised by well-intentioned misguided folks to think so. Once we gently disengage from that myth we are free to love in ways we  never thought possible.

And then there is my writing, the part of myself I am closest too. Getting a book published is not all about quality writing. What gets published proves that. Hell, while The Da Vinci Code had a good story line, it was some of the worst writing I’ve ever encountered; the only cliché the book left out was It’s quiet, too quiet.

When it comes to my writing, my job is to  write one piece of work at a time, send them out when they are complete, and then get to work on the next peace.

Life is good, not always easy, but good. Remember (please) that accepting what will likely not be will free you to experience what will be. And hey, when you notice you’re there when you wake up in the morning you know things could be a helluva lot worse.

Spider Flowers in Bloom

For the first time in my life I am considering thinning my library. Actually, I’m not considering it, I am going to do it.  Juxtaposed to this is the fact that for the first time in life I am actually planting flowers in the yard. Now my library has to be in excess of 1,000 books at this point. The very notion of thinning my library, at this point more than 1,000 books in size, has always been anathema to me. However, the time has come. Something about the sanctuary of open space  is at play here. I’ve been dazzled by watching the newly planted flowers bloom. A rose, I can’t remember the specific type,  along with some Pansies and Spider Flowers, known as Cleome’s, are all in bloom. Whenever a new flower bursts forth, my eyes often wet up, the beauty moves me so.

The task of choosing which books to store or give away and which to keep on the shelves will be guided by several things. First, some of the books are signed by my father, a few by my mother, and one or two by Poppop, my mother’s father. They stay. Others are gloriously beautiful and they too will stay,  like the 1937 Random House publication of James Morier’s “The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan,” illustrations by Cyrus Leroy Baldridge, and the 1938 Heritage Club’s publication of Russian author Dmitri Merejcovski’s book, “The Romance of Leonardo Da Vinci,” with more than 100 reproductions of Da Vinci’s work. These books, like many others, are family members.

There are other books that will stay as well. Books by Steinbeck, Dickens, Tolstoy, Updike along with non fiction works like Shelby Foote’s breathtaking three-volume history of the Civil War and Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals”.  And, yes, there are more.

I know too that some of the books I donate or give away will likely bring joy to others. I hope so. To read a good book is to experience the blooming of a life. At least it is to me. I develop emotional bonds with books. “Steinbeck: A Life in Letters” has affected me more than any other, and that is saying something because I am, if anything, a voracious reader.

While both books and flowers bloom, books hold the edge, because they bloom simply by opening to the frist page. Flowers are far more independent creatures, which is how it should be. Anyway, the Spider Flowers are in bloom now and emotional bonds abound. 

Life is good.

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