Around the time I was 8 I recall vivid fantasies about the future. Not just my future, but The Future. Then I remember, at about 10 years old, sitting up all night reading Michael Crichton’s - The Andromeda Strain. While, this was the beginning of my lifelong interest in Science and Science Fiction, it was also the first hint of a future that may not turn out quite as I imagined. Still, the rose colored glasses of the American middle class held firmly to my sense of the future. I recall eagerly imagining all the interesting devices I would see and read about in Popular Mechanics, I remember knowing I would be 43 years old when the year 2000 began. I would be an adult, have a job… and assumed so much more.
Of course as time flowed, I began to discover life is not so neat and tidy. Anyone observing the hubris of men and women (including myself) cannot help but be amazed if not surprised. In short, it isn’t like they said it would be. Life is full of surprises. While my faith in the ongoing human march toward a better world remains regularly shaken; I have, what I hope, is a more balanced sense of the world. A world view made up of a reasonable amount of cynicism balanced against an innate sense of hope. Clearly, I don’t expect peace to break out across the planet anytime soon; yet, I do retain a strong measure of that youthful enthusiasm for the future. I find myself drawn to those glinting hints of a positive future.
Still,there are times one should reminisce, even regret. As we turn and hurtle more fully into the 21st century, it is worth stopping briefly to observe the passing of time. To ponder those that have fallen away from this time line… or perhaps better put… those who have settled into their place in time, to rest and yes sadly… eventually to fade.
Rather than ruminate upon personal losses, I think a fonder farewell is in order. With time and in music I find a balance of sadness and hope. Take a moment to remember the musicians who have passed as we’ve moved along. True, all of us are worthy of love, remembrance and appreciation… in life and in death… yet to few it is granted.
As I move forward, eager to learn and grow, I ponder this list of wondrous human talent … saddened and happily amazed all at once. I know I will try to step more humbly into this day… wondering both, how long before the red beans and rice are done and what more I can do to learn and create… this is good.