In my life I am often misunderstood, and my writing, especially during the days of my youth was often difficult to interpret or understand; mysterious, fleeting, and wild.  In a word, enigmatic.

My early writing was scatter-brained, completely unfocused, and difficult to understand.  I wrote down thoughts, ideas, observations, pretty much anything that floated through my mind, which left me with several filled $1 notebooks from the dollar store which contained useless information.  In that regard, I am happy that I decided to burn my old notebooks to ashes, and although they were a testament to my humble beginnings, they were also, an embarrassment.

It is one thing to archive your greatest work and to improve upon it over the course of a lifetime, taking pride in your continued achievements, but yet another to hold onto nonsense.  My early writing consisted of picture-perfect maps of how my life and love would be; plans for things that I should have known would never come to pass.  When we are young, we allow ourselves to dream, and we  honestly believe that all of our dreams will come true one day, but the older we get, the more that reality teaches us otherwise.  How my life might have been, for better or for worse, had those childhood dreams actually become reality, is something that I often think about.

I started reading Dead Mans Diaries and realized that right now is the best time of my life to write, and to photograph, and to document my life experiences because it is now that I am completely focused, and driven enough so that whatever I write will actually make sense.  The world has yet again become a scary place; natural disasters, terrorism, and civil unrest make one often wonder about ones own seemingly uncertain future.  And yet again it feels as if I’m running out of time and I fear being forgotten by those whom I held in such high regard.  I often fear dying, and fear that all that will be left behind to serve as my legacy are my personal effects.  My photographs and filled handwritten notebooks, of which pale in comparison to the life I have lived, and the memories and adventures that made me the person that I am today.

My father left behind photographs and letters, but very little about his life.  In many ways, I wish he had written more about his life, or at least told me about his life, specifically how much the world has changed over the years.  My father was a brilliant man, yet he completely overestimated the amount of time he had at his disposal for such much needed conversations.  Instead of writing about his life, and leaving me with something I could turn to for advice and sage wisdom, my father spent the last few years of his life writing a novel, of which was never published in print.

I’m constantly reminded that 2016 is an election year here in The United States, and this only adds an extra, added layer of worry and anxiety about the world I live in.  I fear that regardless of who is elected president, there is likely to be civil unrest in the streets, and it scares me.  There are just too many things still left unsaid, and perhaps more importantly, undocumented.  Sadly, my father passed away before he could document what really mattered, and what really mattered was his life, his thoughts, and his life experience.

Thomas Slatin & Harvey Slatin 8-17-2009

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I Used To Write In Riddles And I Used To Write In Rhymes | I Almost Dedicated My Life To Writing | When Is It Time To Let Go | I Haven’t Gotten It All Figured Out Just Yet | I may be overanalyzing EVERYTHING | She Loved Mysteries So Much That She Became One | The Letters Of Dr. Harvey L. Slatin | I Am The Only Child Of An Atomic Engineer | Dead Mans Diaries | Harvey Slatin Radio Interview On WUOW

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