Right now and for the last couple of months I have been feeling my way into a new part-time job which is not so new because I did it seriously for a good number of years but is very new because I have been out of it for a greater number of years and things have changed over time. But although, buying new tires, trying to make adjustments to keep work afloat at a logistical level and other transitions have made this as lean a time as any before — I am GRATEFUL FOR THE WORK I HAVE GOTTEN. If am still working at this job in August then I will post it publicly on some of my blogs and social media sites. But it is not a job with lots of guarantees and I am also coming from a place where it would be foolish for me to take anything for granted. There have been many blessed and happy times in recent decades but what there has not been is a path I felt I could walk forward on into the future. But I still hope for it. I hope for it partly because I remember feeling that there was a path forward. Having felt that way once I can manage to hope to feel that way again. But it’s not a very strong hope.
Recently, I had occasion to look through some online archives — which I often do for research but this time with myself as the object and I am adding some of the clippings to this blog that I have been neglecting. I hope that they give a bit of a feel for the past for which I am sometimes nostalgic — but only a sliver of that past and that nostalgia.
Today, I am not posting clips from the vermilion, Straight Street, Bonnes Nouvelles or the Daily Advertiser where I regularly wrote and was written about at various times. That will be for some other time to come or not to come. I am posting a few clippings from the Abbeville Meridional online archives in this post in my blog in a single run together montage below. They are just a relatively small portion of the things written by me and about me in that paper from the 1980s and the 2000s. Also some badly reproduced pictures of me and by me accompany these articles. I have done a lot of work around here in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana and a good bit of it has been in the public eye to some degree or other but I have not had a career which led to feeling that I have a foothold from which to project a future path. In fact quite the opposite. I am always teetering on the edge of not making my minimal obligations no matter how much those are restricted and I am feeling pretty tired when I look back at the large investments of time which have produced no value for me at all, or at least too little to really matter much. But the truth is that I still want to believe that all the bad things over my shoulder and obstacle in my path are the lesser story and that there will be tomorrow brighter than today — most people want that.
This is a weekend a bit like and a bit unlike many others It’s 10:08 on Saturday and I am at the public library using the public access computer and realizing that I am short on time, energy and money to accomplish everything that I would like to accomplish. I am also aware of larger trends of challenges and even some joys across the board of life. But at the back of every life the actual challenges, regrets and obstacle are different — so are the ways that we find hope. I am a Christian and although I do a poor job of modeling Christian hope I do in fact derive hope from my Christian faith and its object. Also I realize that lots of people as good as are better than I am in many ways have challenges and limitation just as great as mine. But I do feel that few people if any have a mix of challenges that closely resembles mine. I have memories of being able to talk to more people more openly about more of my life than I can today although I was never the most open and connected person I know. This blog post is still full of generalities and obfuscation — which I dislike in writing and speech. I have always needed the occasional biggish break to make my way compared to people who get by on the fruit of well laid plans and such breaks have become more rare.
One thing I realize is that I have made lots of choices and choices have consequences. That does not mean that I believe every outcome of every choice is fair and predetermined. But I do believe that I have had the chance to make a great number of choices — more than most people and perhaps more that my share. Every freelance article, every school I enrolled in over the age of 18, my only marriage, my handful of serious romantic relationships, the property I bought and sold, the business and occupational licenses I worked to acquire and had to let lapse — are all more choices than some ever have. I have done a lot of unrequited good and also remained relatively unpunished for some bad deeds. I have lost on reasonable risks backed by hard work and been cheated but I have been spared penalties I deserved as well. Breaks in the sense I mentioned earlier are simply the presentation of more capacities and opportunities to choose. It may mean very bad outcomes for me — but I can hardly complain if my run of choices and breaks is getting near the end. But today I am nostalgic and toying with hope — and am aware of all the ways that I am not really on top of the present. But mostly missing the youthful vigor that did not need to be on top of things to bring a full array of energy to meet the day’s challenges.