May 30, 2013
Learning for the sake of learning. Ahh, there’s pleasure in that. To think for the sake of thinking. To think about thinking. To form a vision of the world from ancient times til now and see the cord that stretches from that point to this. In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevya sings about sitting in the synagogue all day “ and that would be the sweetest life of all.” Yes. This is the sweetest moment in one’s life—to arrive at a place of thought and reflection for the sake of thought and reflection.
I don’t have to take a test or write an essay on what I study or learn. I don’t have to shape and form my opinion to concur with others or anyone. I am free to move among ideas and see the shape and essence of them without bother. And to move at my pace. Days, weeks, months will pass and I am still on page one and what does it matter? If I understand page one, do I have to answer to anyone for page two or two thousand? I accomplish what I accomplish. This is so breathtaking. Is this the definition of freedom?
Does all this come because I have paid my dues to reality? Because I have given my 45 years to the growth and development of others? Because I have raised my children? Because I have sustained a successful partnership? Whatever debt I feel I have paid, I now walk out of that cell a free person.
This is the journey I was meant to take. I am excited, liberated and at peace. This inner journey will be mine alone with brief stops to nourish the realities of life I cannot nor do not want to escape—husband, children, friends. But, at last, I have my journey. Postcards will arrive from time to time telling you of my stops and starts and stays. But don’t envy me. I believe we each find this place and if we are prepared to recognize it, we may enter. Bon voyage.
This is dedicated to Nick, my children, Ann Bain and Dahna Willis (both mentors to me).