To be able to look back upon one's past life with satisfaction is to live twice.
I have sometimes heard seniors say if they could live their lives over again they wouldn't change a thing. I don't know if they really mean that or not but to me that's total nonsense. If I could live my life over again I would change almost everything, beginning with a home and a family.
I would wish to be born into a family with a mother and a father and some brothers and sisters to grow up with. I would want to be in a home, a house that was a permanent place in the world to which I could return when I wanted to. I would want intelligent guidance and influence. I would like to know who my relatives are and get acceptance from those around me for who I am and what I can do.
I never knew my father. There were two grandfathers and one grandmother I never knew, two aunts and a whole flock of cousins. I have relatives now that I will probably never meet.
There was no stable home. I moved 25 times during the time I was growing up. I have no school chums because I kept changing schools. Even as an adult I found no stability. The longest time I lived in one place was 20 years in a transient hotel room, but even then I was touring all over the country as an actor.
I've noticed that many great writers are focused on particular circumstances that preside in their writings in one form or another. Many of Shakespeare's characters live through loss and sometimes regaining of place, power or influence. Dickens spends much time on the plight of the young in a poverty society. Dostoyevsky was in a constant search for spirituality.
I suppose I have been on that long search for home and family in my own writings. I guess I've always been a wanderer in search of my life, a life that got left somewhere. I tried, pointlessly, to make a family out of whatever theatre company I was with, an attempt that was misinterpreted by everyone.
I became a walker. I walked for miles through the cities of New York, Boston and it's suburbs. Hartford, Connecticut, Springfield, Massachusetts, Westchester County in New York State. In Boston one night I walked from Back Bay across the Charles River through Harvard Square to Somerville. In New York one day I walked from 104th Street and West Enid Avenue down to 4th Street and !st Avenue. In Westchester I walked from
Rye to White Plains. What was I looking for? My home? In 1960 I hitchhiked across the country, from Boston to Los Angeles.
I spent a few years, off and on, walking through the White Mountain National Forest where I was searching for myself.
People wonder why I live where I do now. I have no roots here and know almost no one. Well, I've grown accustomed to that.
I once started a list titled WHERE ARE YOU. On it were the names of all the people I once knew and liked, former friends and colleagues. It was astonishing to me how many people I used to know well. I stopped it before the list was finished and before I got too depressed. Today I am grateful for the few friends I have.
Music, literature and my career as an entertainer have been my life's companions and there have been very few people to share those things with.
Now I write. My two finished novels and a few of my short stories are about people who don't stay put, either because they can't or because they don't want to.
I'm a wanderer, a vagabond, I accept that. Now I wander through the pathways of what might have been and among the endlessly interesting imaginations of my mind. I do not look back on my past life with satisfaction. So instead I look forward.
DB - The Vagabond
(This is not a contest)
What was the most significant event that happened in 2010?
1 response so far
I await your answer.