Saturday, August 26, 2006


Yesterday was my last day on my last project for my current employer.  As I was driving to the airport to come home, I listened on the radio to the song "Nights in White Satin" by the Moody Blues.  The radio station played the long version which ends with the following poem:


Late Lament:

Breathe deep the gathering gloom

Watch lights fade from every room

Bedsitter people look back and lament

Another day's useless energy spent.


Impassioned lovers wrestle as one,

Lonely man cries for love and has none.

New mother picks up and suckles her son,

Senior citizens wish they were young.


Cold hearted orb that rules the night,

Removes the colors from our sight.

Red is grey and yellow white,

But we decide which is right.

And which is an illusion?


That seem to set the tone of the day.  I'm going to a new job and I am excited about that.  But I am also closing out a chapter in my life.  There are dreams that can no longer be realized.  There are expectations can no longer be fulfilled.  There are possibilities that are no longer relevant.  I am one who writes.  Much of this "coulda, shoulda, woulda" is reflected in my writing.  As I sift through each of the files on my laptop which I will turn in a week or so, I have to decide whether to delete the file, to archive the file for my old employer, or to keep a copy for myself.  I spent over half a decade here and there are more than a few things in that latter "I can't bear to throw it away just now" category.  At one point, and perhaps still now in some sense, these things were important to me.  By changing jobs, I am deciding that they will never come to be.

With any decision, there's always the nagging thought: is this the right thing to do?  Is my appraisal of the current situation valid?  To resolve this uncertainty, we focus on some of the bad things in the current situation to justify making the change.  There is a temptation to focus on the phrase "Another day's useless energy spent".  I learned a great deal in the time that I was here.  Not all of it was because of my employer's efforts.  And some of it was in spite of my employer.  In many ways I am much better prepared to do the things I want to do than I was when I started years ago.  It could have been better, perhaps much better, but it could also have been worse.  I am reminded of Nietzsche's famous comment: "That which does not destroy us utterly, makes us stronger."

I respectfully add these unfulfilled hopes to the pile of things I will keep.  In a year or two, or five, I will look at them again.  Perhaps I will throw them away then and perhaps I will not.

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