So, I was sitting at my desk, working on my memoir, getting my words in for the day, when I stopped to consider something.
The memoir is a recorded collection of events that reflect my journey in life from point A to point B–I knew that–but I hadn’t thought about this collection in terms of my overall life journey–point A being my birth, and point B being, well, you know. Maybe it’s the remembering/processing/writing process of the memoir, or perhaps the fact that my friend Ilona has struck out on a journey to traverse Spain’s 500-mile El Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James) that has prompted this thought. In any event, I’m thinking about my own “way”–path, journey, road–to… To what? If life is all about finding our way, then what is it I am finding my way to?
For me, the answer relates to the concept of “satisfaction,” posited by British philosopher Alfred North Whitehead. Simply put–and I admit I’m using his schematized idea as a broad extrapolation (or even metaphor)–it means this: When we are conceived, we “become” into a process that endures for a time and then completes itself, thereby establishing a “fully determinate relation with the world.” In other words, our journey is ‘satisfied.’ Along the way, we experience challenging trials–becomings and satisfactions in themselves–in varying degrees of joy, disappointment, love, despair, etc.
Each word I write “becomes” with others to become phrases, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and books. Creating this memoir is a challenge within the path I am on. Sometimes it is fraught with joys and disappointments, but if I give up, I’ll be singing that old Rolling Stones song.