THERE COMES A POINT IN LIFE usually after the kids have grown moved out and begin living their lives on their own that you take stock of who you are or who you think you are or were and from there you ask yourself What DO I Know with the follow-up question being What DON’T I Know?
The more I toss these question around in my mind the same answer crops up which is to say I don’t know what I know (Knew) nor am I really sure of what I don’t know. Sure the in’s and out’s of how to be a “professional” are there but the questions above persist.
Becoming an instant father or three children (from my wife’s first marriage) was something I never expected to happen. What did I know about being a parent especially about being a parent of three Elementary School Children who knew very well who their “real” father was and that clearly I was not him. There was little I did know except for the fact I knew at the time (or thought I knew) I made a HUGE mistake!
I am more than aware of what is making news today along the various issues or sub-plots if you will behind each story. There is the vie w of the Left (aka the party of Obama & Clinton) who tirelessly try to dissuade people from accepting the philosophy all or in part of the right. There is then the view of the right (aka the party of Donald Trump?) who tirelessly and unceasingly try to dissuade people from accepting the philosophy all or in part of the left. I know that I think I know how I feel now. Or……
Despite moving to the right philosophically I know (albeit disagree with their politics or think I do) that I still need to hear and enjoy hearing the poetry of song of artists like Phil Ochs ( I miss Phil as he quickly became my favorite singer songwriter and remain so to this day,, Dylan, Baez, Simon & Garfunkel, Harry Chapin, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins and others. The hypnotic effect of the guitar melodies with the power of poetry set to music. I know I want to learn to play guitar to sing and play those songs perhaps even writing a few songs of my own.
What don’t I know? I know that I don’t know how I made the mistakes I made with the kids, with money , cars, relocating for a while to Santa Rosa, California only to come back to what I thought I wanted to get away from or perhaps just to be with a girl I met out there through a friend from Brooklyn. I do know that I loved her and we would take an apartment together here in New York. All that went wrong to this very day causes me to agonize what should I have done differently.
Just to digress for a moment my wife’s eldest daughter gave birth to two grandchildren that I am head over heals in love with. They are innocent, sweet and beautiful. I know I can be a better parent now than I was when the kids were growing up yet very saddened by the fact that will never again be possible. As life is precious they are precious.
I also know that I don’t know why our cat Juice means the world to me. She seems to know when I am not feeling well mentally or physically. Pets have a way of taking care of you (or at least trying) even though they need you to take care of them. What I know what they offer is love without conditions. They care not about your wallet, your face, your body type or even if you smell like rotten eggs they still love you.
What don’t I know? I don’t know why I paid so little attention to what my parents were trying to teach and tell me but I did not listen because I THOUGHT I knew better. I don’t know why I treated my sisters so horribly. My older sister is deceased so that makes the pain that much more intense.
I know I have been married to my wife for nearly thirty years now. The arguments, the disagreements, the times we don’t speak, the blaming of each other when something inevitably goes wrong, yet despite it all I know that we know (we really do know) that we really love each other with the prospect of living apart scares the hell out of both of us.
What DO I Know? I don’t know all that I know or think I know. What DON’T I know? I don’t know why I just don’t always know why or which way is up.