06 March 2009

Long Time No Blog

I am returned from my annual pilgrimage to the pacific coast. Those who are facebookers know this, as I posted some pix from my trip there. I did that here last year but now Facebook is the place for that sort of thing.

True confessions time: I have wanted a job on the west coast since seeing it for the first time twenty two years ago. Something about that rugged shore, those less than pacific waves, the striking intensity of the place, spoke to me. But try as I might, the offer never came.

I take that back. At the very beginning of my career, newly married and newly minted, the director of my employment office suggested I look into an assistant minister’s position in Santa Barbara. The presiding preacher needed someone to help out, especially with the large portion of singles in the church. My wife, who was an only child of elder parents on the east coast, said that she could not go that far away. Thus the only way I could have that job would be as a single person so to speak.

I made the right choice.

Realizing that many of your dreams will not come to pass is one of the signs one is moving from middle age to elder. It is a part of real wisdom I think. Every dream is a path we might take, but there is no time to explore them all. Along the majestic Pacific Coast Highway, for example, there are hundreds of places worth stopping and savoring. Having traveled its entire length I know this and that I will never spend enough time at each of those spots. Some will have to go unexplored. That I can understand this intellectually even as I still have the emotions of longing tells me I am not wise quite yet.

8 comments:

Robin Edgar said...

Welcome back Fred. I would like to do that trip myself one day. I might do it in the train though. . . I very much enjoyed spending time in the Bay Area in August 2006 and taking the California Zephyr to Chicago on my way back to Montreal. I took the train all the way but the California Zephyr route ends in Chicago. You might want to do the same yourself one day.

Regards,

Robin Edgar

Elisa Winter said...

Why is simultaneous intellectual understanding and emotions of longing "not wise." I don't get it. If there was no longer longer, would that be a sign of wisdom. This is important. I'm in "both/and" mode very often and consider it a sign of wisdom. Am I mistaken?

WFW said...

Robin, I grew up in a a railroad family, before Amtrak and thus remember when railways had passenger service. Very cool. But the Coast Starlight does not let you stop along the way to savor places. Drive or bike to see it right.

Elisa, Maybe I was not clear. I understand intellectually the fact that some dreams cannot be realized, but still resent it and find it hard to accept. I don't deny that I will never conduct a great orchestra or compose an opera or live in Rome or Vienna, but I do not like or accept those facts completely. Does that make sense?

Robin Edgar said...

How about train and bike Fred? If I got an AMTRAK pass surely that would allow me to freely get on and off when I wanted to, to say nothing of when the Coast Starlight wanted to show up at the station less than fashionably late. ;-) No?

WFW said...

There you go, Robin. Go for it.

Robin Edgar said...

I think I will Fred. It's only a question of when. It *could* be as early as this summer. I might work Salt Lake City into my itinerary. :-)

Anonymous said...

My brother was a UU in Bloomington, Ind and quite liked it, but in California, he found the UU's a most odd bunch, what with their cleansing rituals, their speaking to Gaia, their consuming self-reverance--(not an issue in Hoosier territory). So you also might have found California UUs an uncongenial bunch.

WFW said...

My wise son echoed what my father dryly observed years ago - he loves the west itself but westerners not so much. I would add to your list self-reference. I am an odd duck in this world, a UU with a strongly tragic worldview, sort of a goyishe jew, which may explain why i go to shul often.