I started out with a Prologue in the memoir musing as follows:
A day does not go by in my life that I don’t ask: Why am I here? What’s the purpose? What am I supposed to do? I have lived day to day, experience to experience; I have followed religious prescription; I have conformed; I have rebelled; always my intent: “to do what I ought!” What is it I ought to do? Whatever it is that directs me at the time, look no further, do that. Whether it is my parents, my family or what I have become defined that directs me; it is the influence of this, almost a force outside of me, that I have always sought to satisfy. Each of those forces placed expectations directing what I am supposed to do or what I am supposed to be. I have always acted or re-acted in response to this outside force.
I am age 68 as I start to write. My purpose is to review and investigate what I have discovered in my life, by my life, and to what purpose it has served. I do not expect any great revelation. This will be a chronicle of what has happened, what it means to me, how it fits into the larger picture in which my life has been but an infinitesimal part.
If there are any cornerstones or absolutes, they are these:
1. We live; we die; between these events we take up space, use energy. If lucky: we experience, learn, hopefully arrive at some truth.
2. We recognize that we live in our minds, in our hearts, in our bodies; we also sense or intuit that we have other spheres in which we dwell, have input, make decisions and are affected in ways not manifestly understood by us.
3. Relationship with persons and things outside of us are necessary in order to engage within ourselves. It is our nature to engage. It is the nature of our engagement to form relationships. The process of relating, communicating, having relationships give us the dimension that life truly is.
4. There is in us a tension prompting us to:
5. There seems to be something about us in which we endeavor to transcend (at least this has been continually true for me) beyond the limitations of this sphere we know as life.
I have now experienced the greater part of my life. I still do not know what it’s all about. I do not know why I have lived. I know it doesn’t matter that I don’t know. If in the end, when it is all summed up, if I can say “I have been true to myself” that is what counts!
It is my hope my life will in some way produce some understanding of its purpose. I also hope having lived I somewhere, somehow, will leave a mark!
I wrote this Memoir for my own edification and never intended for anyone to read it until after my life ended, then, at best, any family member who might be interested in it. My primary reason for doing it was this: 25 years I have been researching and creating a Family Genealogical History. I took it as far as I could. In retrospect I wished my ancestors had left a better record than they did. My initial purpose in the memoir is to provide a record for any descendant of mine who might have the same interest in genealogy that I did.
As I started writing it got to be more than just reciting the data of my life, it got into analyzing the dynamics involved, looking for relationships of things that seemed so wholly unrelated as I lived them, and finally the conclusion of the events and episodes added up.
I will have it published just to make it permanent. I will not expect anyone to read it, but anyone who might have an interest I will make it available.
More will follow this in: My Search: What’s it all about? Part II