January 18: These days

I ended up sleeping in today quite late. I must have been a bit more worn out by the drive home from Sacramento yesterday than I realized. Today was a little lonely but I managed to get a few things done. I got an email back from Alba telling me that she was working on a revised version of the cover for Cottonwood right about the time I was sending her a message through Instagram telling her that I was close to deciding to stick with her initial artwork. Then, I heard from my client, Yoshi, in Japan about an issue related to putter shafts.

Distractions, but nothing felt quite important enough to hold my attention.

I took an abbreviated walk so I could get my other chores done and still make it to the post office. Then I heard from my friend, Jess, and made plans to meet him for dinner. I’m glad I did this. Even though he can be a little frustrating and even vexing at times he reminds me of what someone said about the idea of nostalgia…that it’s a kind of homecoming.

These days, these days beyond the middle days of our lives, can find us looking ahead and behind at the same time. There’s something a little disconcerting about that. But, still there’s something about these days, these days of change and unexpected and often unwelcome change, that make this time feel special. So many years ago Jess and I would have seldom had the chance to share a relaxed dinner. But, these days it has almost become commonplace, even though we know it isn’t. It is an easier time to find a little time but there will never be enough time for everything we’d like to do, or to do what we would like as often as we might care to.

Yes, it’s confusing.

In economics these kinds of times might be called a scarce good, like clean air, pure water or an enduring friendship. None of these kinds of goods come without a cost whether we are able to identify it at the time we enjoy the good or not.

So, on this day and in this hour, I have a found a few moments to recall the times that have come before, may come tomorrow, as well as those that find me writing in my journal of the year 2022. I hope to tomorrow might bring a day of sharper focus but I can’t guarantee it. All I can do is put my head on the pillow with gratitude and a humble hope for what might come next.

As this day slides toward tomorrow I find myself listing to The Yellow Cake Review, Farewell to Stromness buy the L.A. Guitar Quartet from their 1998 record, L.A.G.Q. Sure, I wish they called themselves The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet but that’s another story. This is a lovely, gentle and articulate interpretation and arrangement of Peter Maxwell’s sublime piano composition of the same name.

If you never do anything I ask of you, go out and buy each piece music today. You will not be disappointed. Enthralled? Yes. But never disappointed. Thank you, as always, for reading.

January 18: These days

Time enough, but none to waste: A journal of transition

December 31, 2021

Until I finished my first novel I didn’t think of myself as the kind of writer who would or could write a novel. But, after I finished the first book I started in on the second without even thinking about it, or enduring a moment’s uncertainty about whether I could pull it off. The same may go for memoirs and journals. Outside of a less than half-hearted attempt to keep a journal back in high school this is the first time I’ve tried to write one. I enjoy autobiographies. But the truth is I enjoy autobiographies because I enjoy learning about noteworthy people. Bobby Jones wrote about himself when he was still in his 30s, or maybe even younger. Then again, he was Bobby Jones. I’m 60 now, heading for 61 in April. Things have changed, and a definitive change is coming at the end of 2022. My longtime employers will be closing their law firm. It’s time. Their decision is understandable. One of them is 66 and I think the other is pushing 70. One just lost his wife to cancer and the other’s daughter is battling a form of lymphoma. When the end of the firm finally comes I will only have one emotion…gratitude. Both of my bosses have been more than employers to me. They’ve been friends and will remain friends until that other end. I’ll have more to say about both of them later on, I think. The point is that this journal is about a particular transition, from one job to another, at the time in life where I now find myself. The determinate nature of the transition period allows me to focus and plan for the future but also to experience the days of the coming year in an unusual way. Most big changes hit without notice but this one has announced its impending arrival quite conveniently.

I don’t anticipate this to be a traditional journal. Then again, I don’t know what a traditional journal is like, having never knowingly read one. My anticipation is that it will include more than a few ideas about things I’d like to write. I’m also thinking that it will look back more than I want it to but I’m going to try hard to keep my eyes looking forward. They say a writer has to know the beginning and ending of a novel before sitting down to write it. I agree with that. A journal is a different proposition. No one knows how anyone’s journal will end, even and perhaps especially, their own. There’s a kind of freedom to writing without knowing the ending.

It should be interesting anyway. The year, I mean. No promises about the journal.

Time enough, but none to waste: A journal of transition