I spent yesterday and some of today trolling through old Huenemanniac blogposts, sorting them into new categories and wondering whether there may be a way to assemble them into a vanity-bound collection of musings – perhaps “The Huenemanniad.” The most forceful realization I had while strolling down memory lane is that I have indeed had a wonderful life. I have had so much fun with family and friends, and so many delightful adventures through books, media, and lectures. And, as vain as it may sound, I’m very pleased with my own intellectual take on things. I have managed to put the key human virtues – kindness, amusement, honesty, wonder, and the power of art – at the heart of what I have been thinking, reading, and writing. If I am truly an episodic with regard to personal identity – believing, in other words, that there is no stable and enduring self, but strings of different selves in succession – then I am happy to inherit this particular stream of ideas and enthusiasms as one I am inheriting from previous selves. Small wonder, this: for I’m really only saying that I’m the sort of person to like the stuff that people like me like.
Back in 2009, I was wrestling with some professional identity issues, realizing that my grad student dream of – what, exactly? I can’t remember – was not going to come true, and that I would have to make do with being an eccentric character pursuing my own interests. I have to say, that’s worked pretty well for me. I now have my shed, or rather the Canyon Road Institute for Humanistic Studies, which has become my intellectual home. I stand now at my desk, fashioned from a 1912 optician’s stand, look out the windows upon a small backyard garden, listening to birds and music going wherever my interests lead. Luckily, I’ve found a few venues willing to publish my nattering, and a few handfuls of readers who encourage me and help to keep me honest. THANK YOU. Having a responsive audience, especially one so kind, gives me all the ammunition I need to fight off the worry that I’ve descended too far into solipsistic graphomania. (Or gramophonemania.)
Anyway, it’s been fun to look back. But too much self-examination (let alone self-congratulation) makes the mind as empty as two smudgy mirrors facing one another. So: onward to new distractions!