I started writing in my first journal when I was twelve years old. The first thing I wrote was: “My Life Plan” — in pencil on lined notebook paper. I still have that “Life Plan” and oddly enough, I have stuck to all these many years. I set out both short term and longterm goals for myself. I have achieved nearly every one of them. Short term goals give me the feeling that I CAN accomplish something within this lifetime. Longterm goals give me the feeling that I still have goals to reach and strive for. Something to live for.
When I was in college I wrote a lot of poetry. Most it was maudlin or downright self-indulgent. But in writing those poems I kept my hopes alive and my sanity somewhat intact. I printed a volume of the poems and titled it: Poems Written on Rainy Days. Obviously, ‘rainy days’ were the “down” days; the days when I slipped into the depths of despair and wondered if I would ever be able to climb out.
I still have that bound volume of poems around here somewhere. I hope to find it as I pack up papers, correspondence, dummies, sketches, etc. for the Kerlan Collection.
Only one poem stands out in my memory; one worth remembering:
Two trees stand firm against a bitter wind;
a friendship has grown between them
I was eighteen years old when I wrote that poem. Those words still resonate with me today more than forty years later.