It's amazing what 8 years and 8 months of life will do to your blog. I look back on who I was and how my voice sounded inside my head when I started this thing, and it seems so very different than the one I have now. The words I chose and the content of my experience are such distant, fond memories. That voice was so much younger, purer, sometimes even stronger, but never more honest.
This voice is an oft-beaten, love tussled and loss wounded older, wiser, harder and yet humbler voice. These days I keep it inside my head more often than not. I fear things I didn't and have lost all concern for things I once feared. I cry, I rant, I apologize, I scold and I discipline only to love and to lament, to lavish whatever kindness I have inside upon those few I have around to share them with. I want more of it. I want more of the best of me for those I love.
I start to talk and wonder if it's even worth the effort...do I really want to hear the same thing come out of my mouth even one more time? Doesn't this very post, in fact, sound so similar to so many posts I've pasted up here before it? Is this that voice again, the voice from the past, the naive, younger, dumber, still hasn't learned his lesson voice of my past? Perhaps it is that same voice. Perhaps there is something back there from 8 years ago I missed and maybe, just maybe there is something I thought or felt that merits revisiting.
"Old or young, we're on our last cruise."
Robert Louis Stevenson once said that, and I once posted something that included it. He couldn't have been closer to the truth. And right now, I stipulate to the fact that sometimes the voices from the past have a lot of light to shed on our present...even if the voice was my own younger, less educated version of myself. It was the same cruise and I'm just further along the way. I've been through some stormy parts already, and hope that the sea stays relatively calm for me now. I'm better now at following the stars and using the compass. I count on it today. The compass. It's actually a quiter, subtler, whisper sort of a voice...but it is mine.