Looking back on a busy life, one can see that certain heuristic events had great "mileage" or impact. For me, the Song of Hiawatha [Longfellow]has a resonance, a pull upon me, beyond anything that can be explained or reasoned out. A child is open to influences one cannot predict, and which may even be arbitrary or contrary.
BY THE SHORES OF GITCHE GUMMEE,
BY THE SHINING BIG-SEA-WATER,
STOOD THE WIGWAM OF NOKOMIS.
DARK BEHIND IT ROSE THE FOREST,
ROSE THE BLACK AND GLOOMY PINE TREES,
ROSE THE FIRS WITH CONES UPON THEM;
BRIGHT BEFORE IT BEAT THE WATER,
BEAT THE CLEAR AND SUNNY WATER,
BEAT THE SHINING BIG-SEA-WATER.
Of course, we CAN compare and "explain" post factum.
The poem was my first reading primer. And life is
clearly a desertified jungle, famine-flood, and gitche gummee
with beatings. So many gloomy pines later --
"no quiero acordarme" [Cervantes]-- here I am "Nel mezzo del cammin
di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura" [Dante].
- Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable. I am filled with joy. It can't be helped.
Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired. Filled, just filled, with Joy.