“Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost“- J.R.R. Tolkien
I love and live that quote. Some of you tease me about my semi-anonymous state and ask for explanations about the who, what and why and I don’t answer. Understand that sometimes my silence is intentional and sometimes it is because I am in the midst of a grand journey and I would rather give you an answer than some half mumbled response that you can’t quite follow.
Yesterday I found a 100 year-old penny. It was sitting in a pile of loose change that I was sifting through. Don’t know what caught my eye. It is not shiny, in fact it is quite dirty. The front shows a very faded outline of President Lincoln and the back is the old style that says “One Cent.”
Still, something about it made me pick it up and that is when I noticed the date, 1912. I love history and I couldn’t help but get excited about what has taken place in this penny’s “lifetime.” The world transitioned from an agrarian age of farms, horses and buggies into a technological marvel of cars, spaceships and computers.
Think about it. Two world wars, the end of empires and the beginning of new ones. Had I the will and the time I could write a 100 stories in which this penny participated. Perhaps I shall one day. Perhaps I’ll decide that it is something that I must do, but I am not quite there yet.
The Same But Different
That penny reminds me that the people of the past are the same but different. Were it possible to go back in time 100 years we would certainly notice differences in how people lived. Â You wouldn’t fly off to Maui to take advantage of a long weekend or Â head cross country for a quick visit with friends/relatives cross country. The lack of cellphones, email and computers would force you to communicate differently with those you wished to speak with.
But other things, fundamental things wouldn’t really be any different. Relationships would be the same…in every way. Love would still drive people to act and do as they do today. Hormones would still drive teenagers to act as they do today. The need for friendship and companionship of every type would still drive people to act as they do today.
I Wander With Purpose
I don’t know about you, but I wander with purpose. I am prone to taking the long way home and I don’t always follow the trail but I have a general sense of where it is I am going.
My grandfathers were like that but my father isn’t. The man figured out what direction he wanted to head in and off he went. Didn’t matter what got in the way because dad went through, over, under or around. But he didn’t wander in the sense that I am thinking of.
I suspect much of it has to do with moving 13 times as a kid. He figured out where he wanted to be and made a life of it. I used to think that he didn’t have much sense of adventure but I was wrong. He wouldn’t have joined the Peace Corps or done some of the other things he did. Took a while for me to figure that out, blame it on the blindness of youth.
When you get to be older you start to see things differently, or at least I did. It is like listening to different musicians cover the same song:
Same song, three very different renditions.
Flotsam and Jetsam
My train of thought got completely derailed and now you have been granted the gift of reading odds and ends. That I feel like I need to spit out but don’t necessarily fit in this post.
We moved more than six months ago but are still in temporary housing. That is in part because it hasn’t been clear if work would require some sort of relocation or if I could continue to maintain a remote office.
Lately I have found this temporary housing situation to be particularly irksome. Much of my stuff is in storage and I am tired of not having access to things when I want them. The upside is that I have continued to shed pieces and parts of my life that I don’t really need anymore.
While that wasn’t a reference to people it does lead me to a comment about them. There are a few “friends” who swore that they would would never leave and did just that. I miss a few of them. Reached out and was rebuffed so I guess they are gone.
I suppose that you can attribute this to being part of why it is really hard to get me to promise some things. I just won’t do it unless I am confident that I can come through because I don’t want to be the guy that can’t.
Still have some technical issues with the blog that are irritating me and a few with my computer. Working hard to try and fix them. I have come really close to figuring out what is making things go a bit haywire, but haven’t quite managed to get it all sussed out yet.
I’ll get there…eventually. It might take some more doing, but I’ll get there even if I have to take the long way home.
This blog reminds me of my 100-year-old penny. It is filled with a 100 different stories about people that are all the same but different.
What do you think?