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.

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