Below is a brief preview of what is down the road in
"Life Without A Map"
The book has 365 daily entiries, some poetry, and is 187 single spaced pages in length. Cost will be determined upon publication in the summer 2005. Advance orders are now being taken. Contact The Timmel Collection.
"Life Without A Map"
I have decided to keep a day-by-day journal for the next year of my life. Three months ago my doctors gave me a year to live, "two at best." Though I have every intention of fighting the odds, I've been so sick these past two years of my life, I am fearful the killing that lies within will win me over quickly, and then, with a vengeance. If this occurs, I will not have the opportunity to let you know who I am.
Today is Good Friday. In a Christian mind of sorts, this day of crucifixion, is an appropriate day to start my own resurrection. The bright sun woke me at six, I brewed some Kona coffee, and decided "today" I would begin tracking my thoughts and observations. For the past several years, I have lived without focus. I retired from my business the previous July 'knowing' it was to be the last of 'my' summers. When I wasn't completely out-of-sorts, I've tried to continue on with my worldly travels, a flight here, a trek there. But mostly I've been enjoying that which surrounds and is involved with my country home in Saugatuck, Michigan.
On a higher plane, the crocus are in full bloom, the dog-tooth violets have peaked, and the daffodils, jonquils, and tulips (eight thousand of them planted over the past four falls) have all broken the ground. This will be the first year I've been able to enjoy this beauty full time. I should be able to observe them daily as they reach for their maturity and then as late May approaches, once again snuggle into the ground for another year. Fortunately, as the season progresses, there will be other bloomers to replace them.
With a bright but brisk morning, conditions are perfect for making afternoon plans to work out-of-doors. Usually I begin these yard and garden chores in early April, with childhood memories of past Good Friday's returning to me as this always having been a good start point for one being able to do so. This day is no different!
Cool this morning with night temperatures having fallen into the fifties, so reminiscent of "More Acres" at this time of year. There is no humidity. The brisk, spring air is very welcome.
And 'it' is done. Like the final paperwork on a bank loan, the last meeting with a prospective client or future employer before a decision is made on your services, the taking of the 'last chance drug' after an array of failed medicines to return your body to better health, all things come to a closure. Enough already. Whatever the process, you've reached the end. You wait for the conclusion. You move on. You continue to fill your basket with eggs - some from here, some from there. You step up to the next level ...or back one, for the powers that be to set their course. You take where you're at ... no matter how deep into the woods and off the main road, and hopefully advance, one way or the other. You change course. You do something. No matter what. It is a must. Until the outcome is known. Outcome, outcome, outcome. Before the results. Outcome. After the results. Outcome.
How good is good? How far for a fraction of an inch? How many loafs of bread does one need to multiply a number beyond comprehension? How many millions are enough? There is no end. We need to know when to stop ... when to "cruise" ... when to move on. And this is what I must do.
I decide to drive across country from New York City to Los Angeles. I've never done this before so it will be at a leisurely pace. There will be stops along the way, taking in the sights, short trips down side roads. How many times, in adventuring through unexplored territory, will I have to pull to the side of the road and study the map? How often will wrong turns be made, back-tracking a necessity, traveling the same ground more than once to get on the right route?
If journeying with a companion, unplanned stops will be made for coffee, a washroom, and a planned overnight in a double bed. The sexual act will be repeated, over and over. For some, in pleasure, others not. How many of the same bacon and eggs, burgers, and vanilla shakes will I imbibe? How many stops at Mobil and how many at Shell?
Indeed, most of our lives are spent driving around with a definite route. We have an idea of direction, formatted and fermenting somewhere, but due to individuality, a specific elementary school, parents, religious input, and countless other variations of program, changes and repeats, turnarounds and delays, side-tracking and rerouting is commonplace. As is the case in this one life. Nevertheless, my 'destination' will be reached. And the next. And the one after that.
Once there, the decision may be made to go on - to Honolulu, Singapore, Mahe, Mombassa, possibly even around the world. I could end up back on Manhattan, where this venture started, years ago, at the beginning of my life as a man. Changes are routine. Planning for the unplanned. Unusual, untried travel patterns occur midway through a trip. Circumventing, diverting, rerouting, leaving early, arriving late, staying longer than anticipated, this is the road well traveled.. This is my being here.
This is life without a map.
The author continues to spend his summers in Saugatuck, MI, winter in Naples, FL. Over the next year 10 more books will be published here all written over the past 40 years. The author is currently working on an epic poem entitled "The Book of Mammout"
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