A check-in after 5 years

I don’t leaf through my old journals very often, so it was interesting Thursday morning to pick up a journal that I just happened to have completed May 11, 2017, five years and one day ago. I had started scratching out words in the 192-page journal July 27, 2016. During the months that I filled those pages, I had been laid off, started a digital newspaper, got a new job, republished a dozen Myke Phoenix novelettes, got married to Red after nearly 20 years … and (here’s the last page):

The world got scarier. No, that’s not true — it was pretty scary last July 27. Maybe more people realized it was scary.

But …

I noticed people are OK. We have more in common than not. We all want to — on second thought, we want different things. We each have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but there are 7 billion definitions of happiness. Funny that all three of those rights are in jeopardy. We each have the right to life, but there are so many who wish us dead — often not us specifically, but “us.” “Kill the infidels!” “We ought to turn that country into glass.” We each have the right to liberty, but so many people make a career of setting limits on liberty. “You can’t do that!” “You can’t say that!” And we each have the right to pursue happiness, but oh! Does that make some people unhappy!

This is a valuable exercise, taking the time to pick up a pen and scrawl stuff in a book. I go back and wonder what I was thinking in some places — in other places I am inspired to go back and flesh out what I was thinking. My greatest fear is that I will overlook a gem of a thought that would have unlocked my Ultimate Masterpiece — no, actually my greatest fear is someone will read all this and find me boring — but my greatest hope is that this will make a difference for the better.

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