When I was young I guess I was sometimes a pretty serious guy as I often thought about what the future would be like. I enjoyed sitting out in the dark of night looking at the stars and thinking about what my life would be like “x” years in the future. I would lie down on my back in the grass and look at the stars for hours at a time. One time I thought I was meant to be an astronomer but I learned that looking at stars and really knowing them are two different things. One requires just taking them in and the other requires much much math! That was not at all my favorite subject!
Sometimes I found it absolutely necessary to get away from everyone else to contemplate things. When I was living in a dorm at Purdue University in the 1960’s getting away from people was not an easy task. Even during the late night hours there always seemed to be people roaming around the campus. After several nights walking around looking for that solitary spot I finally found it. On the edge of campus there was a railroad track that brought food and other supplies to the campus facilities. It was out by the Purdue airport. I found a spot along that track that was out of reach of the ever present street lights that adorned the campus. It looked out on the airport runway. Since the airport was used almost exclusively by the aviation technology school there were no planes or road traffic late at night. After I discovered my “secret spot” I spent several nights over the next five years on my back looking at stars and dreaming of the future.
When I got my first glance of Vincent Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night (shown above) I was entranced by its intrinsic beauty. I quickly got a copy of it and kept in on my walls for many years. There was also a song about the painting in Don McClean’s 1972 American Pie album called Vincent. I played that tune many times over the years at least up until I went deaf. I remember most of the lyrics even after so many years! The song told the story of the troubled life of Van Gogh but I could also see my own life in the words. There is now some evidence that Van Gogh cut off his ear due to tinnitus (severe ringing in the ears). I share that problem with him and it can be overwhelming sometimes but I am not ready to cut of my ear as I know that won’t cure the problem 🙂 .
I guess I was, and still am to some extent, a dreamer. Like the subtitle of this blog says I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up (ha). I am still dreaming of doing other things with my life. What there is left of it that is.
And the journey goes on…