Patterns of Force

Dear J-

Well, it’s with visible relief that I note that Kearny Mesa in San Diego is named not after Dennis Kearney (although what kind of delicious irony would that be)  but Stephen Kearny instead, a general in the Mexican-American War.one of the things that I was never concerned about growing up was the origin of various place names; I’d ride by places like Hangman Creek and Qualchan Golf Course without a thought to what those names meant. There’s all kinds of dubious history out there that soon becomes tradition and therefore involate, unbreakable; this is why I think any smartphone needs to have a wikipedia client installed.
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Some time later is the date we seem to live in; we tut and cluck at the mistakes of the past and yet going forward we can’t convince anyone that we’re any better than we were, that we haven’t learned anything. The fascination that I have with history is seeing the patterns of the past echoed in our today, almost as if there is some genetic plan for the human race, our wars and hates predetermined, some long thread of fate spinning away and guiding us into these same paths over and over again.

And yet history itself is a kind of cheat; no one ever thinks to write down what they’re doing, only what they’ve done and there’s no end to the hyperbole that can flow from your own pen; I know I’ve been guilty of it which is why I scrupulously downplay everything in my resume in an effort to avoid that, swinging perhaps too far to modesty (which itself sounds especially immodest, sorry). Are we busy closing the gaps in our experience or learning that there’s an infinite land of possibilities ahead, driving us somewhat crazy with the sheer potential of everything? We only have two eyes, and it’s hard to be mindful of the past, looking for the future, and cautious of the present all at once.

Mike

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