Where All Good Futures First Appear


Sometimes we are victims of our own making. What we represent in one moment of our lives isn’t always who we are later, or were earlier, for better or worse. My writing desk fairly well mimics just such a representation.

There have been articles over the years, stories about those who grow up to meet their heroes and then feel let down because they turned out to be more human than they expected. Writers, I’ve read, are no exception to this.

Occasionally there is the story about someone living up to an expectation, a musician, poet, or philosopher who behaves exactly like the lyrics or words they write; a great many I suspect do not, or do not always. Life, after all, happens to us all.

My desk is a good example of my life; it might be just as clean or messed up as any other, especially if a visitor arrives unannounced. It took me a great many years to stop being so irrational about it and understand many others go through it, too; I still do. Sometimes the words of a writer are more reflective of their environment than they realize, or want to realize anyway.

When my writing seems to lose its way, I scroll back through previously published posts. I search for a time when I thought exactly as I meant to, or had a more eloquent way of saying something than the words that exist in the present. Today I took a break, looked back through my accomplishments and failures, and looked out the window thinking about planes that I could not see flying above the clouds in the overcast sky. “Even the most advanced aircraft need to land for repairs and refueling from time to time,” I tell myself. My desk really is a mess right now.

I thought last night the national broadcast of the opening ceremonies for the Olympics might clear my head a little. But I soon found myself frustrated by some commentary that, to me, belonged somewhere else. Fortunately, this frustration was quickly overshadowed by the smiles on the faces of competitors, fans, and political representatives alike, when their team entered the stadium. What I concentrated on, though, were the many cheers that continued regardless of who entered the stadium when.

The last year of my life seems to have been marred by as clean a desk as a messy one, and frustrations about flight paths and rough landings I often feel powerless to do anything about. Maybe there is someone who will find inspiration in these words as I did at the time of their publication. Hope truly is the horizon where all good futures first appear.


On All Sides: A Message From The Past For The Present