When I get to California this summer, I intend to take every opportunity for closure with my apparent previous life.
For one thing, I’m going to visit places I knew. Point Reyes Station, San Rafael, and Berkeley are all on the itinerary.
For another, I plan to have what I guess could be termed a memorial service for my earlier life. I’ll go out to the cliffs along the California coast with a boom box and play “Da Stiegen Die Menschen Als Licht” from Beethoven’s “Cantata on the Death of Joseph II” and watch the sun set over the ocean.
I already feel the need for this more strongly than I have since the memories broke. I think my recent trip to San Jose- a place I’m sure I had been to at least on occasion during that life- has really only made the pull of these places I knew from the late 30s to the early 70s that much more irresistible.
It’s time to start letting go and moving on. I have learned a lot from my previous life but I can’t write in the same voice or see the world through the same eyes, because too much has happened since then.
Incidentally, my next book should be out some time around the 33rd anniversary of Phil’s stroke; the significance of the number is not lost on me.