I start this newsletter at an airport hotel on the edge of San Francisco airport, and continue it at 41,000 ft (12,496.8 m) as the aircraft approaches the west coast of Ireland. London in a little under an hour and a half. I’m guessing that I will finish this letter in the middle of the night in England while dealing with the disorientation of jet lag.
Hello, and welcome to my January 2023 newsletter. This last month has felt revelational to me. I will be sixty this year. Off and on over the last year, I have considered looking back and exploring my story. What I have done with my life to date, where it has taken me and for as long as I have left on this planet, what direction the coming years could take me. This has been a project that has sat in the back of my mind, but I have not delved into in any serious way. I think it has just been a sense of overwhelm. Where do I start?
Early in the month, I was on the phone with my mother when she suddenly asked me if I had ever thought of writing down my story, what I had done in my life as in her view it was interesting? It was a question that came with no prompt from my side and felt like an affirmation, a vote of support for the project. A few years ago, my mother gave me an envelope with letters that I had sent to her while I was away. A source of material as well as a trip down memory lane.
Then midway through January the family were all gathered in a small room where I have a projector sitting above boxes full of slides from my travels back in the 1980s. They asked if they could see some. A couple of days later I had finally got around to sorting some out, they really are very mixed up at the moment. By the time that I went to bed, I had gone through three carousels worth of images – about 240 slides. There are many more still to go through. My wife and I took pictures of some of the projected images. Some of those photographs I have shared below.
That evening of going through the slides brought back to me a time of exploration and discovery for me. This was more than nostalgia for my youth. Something was stirred within me, touching what I will call for now an essence of me.
So, I have opened folders in my note app and writing app to collect ideas and snippets from my Story. I don’t have any plans or ideas for where this project might lead, but I do want to follow it. I hope that I stick with it.
And ”Yes,” I did complete this in England, in my mother’s apartment, late at night.
I hope that you enjoy the selection of posts from this last month. Please do get in touch with any comments or questions.
Thank you for reading.