Monday, September 9, 2019


We are back in Los Angeles after a lengthy summer stay at our Laguna Beach cottage. It is 10 degrees hotter here--I think in terms of ambient energy as well as air temperature. I feel the difference, and recognize the need to also make adjustments to the inner life  to adapt. It takes a while.

Meanwhile, I have been reflecting on the writing that I'm working on--a sequel to "What a Good Boy Am I," the story of my childhood growing up in England during the Second World War and the post-war period. I'm looking now at the years of my young manhood, from ages 18 to 25, a time of great confusion and insecurity as to my identity as a man and the direction that my life would take.

Given the mistakes I made, my obsession with myself and my own needs, my casual misuse of others for my benefit, I find myself wondering what there is to like about this young man. I conclude that it is his vulnerability, and the suffering that makes him no different than any other human being. When I ask myself what it is that impels me to write so much about myself--as a child, as a young man--the principle reason I can find is nicely expressed in the familiar precept attributed to Sophocles, that "the unexamined life is not worth living."

The other reason that I tell myself is this: there is value not only to myself but potentially to others in sharing the sometimes dark, sometimes even shameful depths of my human experience. The more I'm able to be get to the heart of my own being in the world, the closer I come to every other human being with whom I share this planet; the more painfully personal, the closer to the experience of all humankind.

So I persist.

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