Two workmen are building a road on the outskirts of Ancient Rome. They can be seen working under the boiling afternoon sun, shovels and picks in hand, carving the earth while masons lay stone behind them. Their orders are to build to the edge of the Empire that has begun to collapse, and they are disillusioned.
First Worker: Quid fine laboramus?
Second Worker: Fini viae larboramus.
Get it? Huh? Huh?
The other day I realized that I don’t really know where I’ve been the past few years. I feel as one who has been wallowing in the middle of truth and fiction; one who looks across a darkening ocean for a future, only to see the past. I feel as though all of that is behind me, though. I’ve woken up.
I’m returning to my studies of literature, philosophy, and Latin. I’ve got a career as an information architect that I’m enjoying fully. I’m working to get my dad’s poetry to the public. Perhaps the most exciting, though, is today I bought myself new saxophone reeds and am practicing again.
My saxophone is important to me, and it was the trigger for my realization above. I’ve gone for three years without ever taking it out of its case, without ever feeling the taste and rough-hewn flexibility of a bamboo reed, without ever honking out my feelings through the tube of cold brass, ivory, and wood. Tonight, though, I felt the vibration of that reed against my bottom lip and honked myself silly.
So now why does Deval Patrick have to go and ruin it? Why was it I voted for him? I’m going to write him and find out.
The last month has been downright hectic, to be honest. I’d devoted too much of myself to too many tasks, and it shows now that I’m through with them. Soccer coaching, ghost tour in Salem, promoting my Dad’s book, and following presidential politics. Through it all, though, I learned a number of things about myself that — perhaps — will help me better focus my energy in the future.
- I love my family more than any activity or extra source of money
- The world of letters is a world in which I want to belong, even if it be on an ad hoc, hobbyost basis
- The world of sports — even kids’ sports — is not one in which I excel
With those lessons learned, I believe I can venture forth in the world with more confidence and pride than before, but also with a greater humility: I know where I stand. I know in what I believe. I know wherein my battles lie.
Until next time…