Each posting is a walk, a sansaku (see twenty-four), and about 500 words long. I try to keep it short. There is so much more I would like to say, but I know better. Because I’m in a hurry, I try to remember to take the long way, best slowly.
My wife, who’s a potter, says don’t try to throw a perfect pot, throw a hundred. That’s the way to get a good one. I write with a similar philosophy. Besides, it keeps it real.
Now that I’m retired from my career as a counselor and teacher, I find my past more alive than ever. I seem to have become unstuck in it. I’ve always loved stories and was grateful for both the dream and training groups, where we could share them.
The best definition, at least for me, of what it means to be human is this one: We are the story-telling species. The ones who imagine and ask, what if? The poet tells us, we are made of stories, not atoms. And God made humans because God loves stories. Memory and story walk hand in hand.
Stories are like gifts and must be given and retold, again and again, to be kept alive. That’s why I need to write them down. It’s how I’m moving into this more psychological stage of life. Anything we want to keep, we have to give away. And these are headed to the breezes and to those I love.
Our culture is instant everything and more and faster and busier than ever. Give it to me now, all of it. But memory and connection and relationship take time. The chief metaphors of psychology are depth and development, and they cannot be bought or sold.
I miss the days when a letter was carefully crafted and mailed. And then the waiting and forced patience. Often, I would have that after-wit moment, and wish I could change what I wrote. And when the reply arrived, some of the letters I sniffed before I opened them. You know why.
I have kept a journal for a very long time. It’s a bit like writing a letter to one’s self. Strange I didn’t open them for so long. Now my practice of late has been to read them. It’s something I started a few years ago.
These stories I call sansaku are landmarks of a different kind.