My heart is full. My mind overflows with observations, revelations, and connections. Yet my flesh and bones are tired, and my knees hurt when I go up and down the stairs. I, Paul Tyler, just passed my 65th birthday.
I am still working, in fact I am teaching more classes this semester than ever before. My music career, which a few years ago seemed to be waning, is as rich and involved as ever. But I need to take an old man nap nearly every day. (I know I am not alone in this necessity.) The notion of retiring from my often frenzied schedule is attractive. But I still love to teach and play and sing. I still have unfinished scholarly business. There are books yet to read, research trails still to follow, and publications to prepare. Plus, there is still plenty of parenting to do.
Most of all, I wish to find the focus and time to write more. For the last few years, as is typical of senescence (a word I just became fully aware of), I have felt increasingly compelled to account for all that I have done and experienced. Not because I have achievements to trumpet, but because I have been blessed with a full and fortunate life within a wondrous array of communities and friends.
Most of all, here, I desire to tame this one wild beast. Writing has never been easy for me. Well, that is not entirely true. There are times, increasingly common in the age of social media, that I become possessed by an idea or issue and streams of words that more or less make sense flow from my keyboard. However, the challenge of shaping my thoughts into a clear and concise whole to offer up to the world has been a constant struggle for me.
Many times in my life I successfully carried that burden through to completion. I have written a doctoral dissertation, published several scholarly articles, and produced reasonable annotations and introductory essays for a variety of public programs. But my past is also littered with unsuccessful attempts and unfinished assignments.
So, in an attempt to tame the beast, atone for past failures, and tell my stories, I am trying my hand at blogging. I have written a few good posts, most with the tones and hues of memoir. My attempts to pointedly address public affairs exist mostly as flotsam on my computer hard drive. In coming months, I hope to sharpen my focus and my rhetoric in order to categorically clarify my political and ethical positions on this blog.
I also look forward to a further exploration of the ideas and experiences that brought me to this milestone, and to follow them wherever they lead. Just yesterday, as I was playing fiddle tunes with a dear friend, my heart was full and my mind was overflowing. So much was happening inside me while the music was gushing forth free and bounteous. When we finished, I said I wish that I had had a tape recorder running in my brain to capture the stream of thoughts and feelings that flashed past while we fiddled. It was a mystical moment that revealed to me the unity of all that I have tried to do with my life: teaching and being, loving and parenting, examining and reflecting, protesting and communing.
I promise to be more regular in my offerings here. I thank you for visiting.