By Will Baker

It seems to me that memories can be tricky things. For example, during times of "quiet desperation," that, once in a while we sisters and brothers all feel, our memories can sometime seem to be the only things that we have to hold on to. But at other times, I believe that they might actually be responsible for holding us back from moving forward.

As my regular readers know, during the past year I have been involved with writing this on-line essay project. And during that time I have attempted to present an unvarnished representation of that which I have experienced going on about me, and my interpretation of those events. I have also attempted to chronicle somewhat, the "doings" of my life during this period. So I suppose that this body of work could be construed as a pseudo-journal of my life and times over the past year or so. And what a year it has been. There has been life and death, and many pages of various sorts have turned, not only for me, but also for all of us. And the very act of writing these essays has provided me with an opportunity to really live in the moment, to examine the experiences, to roll over in my mind these events, and then attempt to make some sense of them.

Well, for all intents and purposes, the deed is done. I have given you this year of my life, to do with, as you will. But for me, I believe, the time has come to move on to something new. But please do not infer from this that I have not enjoyed writing for, and interacting with a great many of you. I especially enjoyed the opportunity for discussion with my student readers that the project afforded me. And by the way, not all of the comments that I received were entirely favorable. Yet on some level, I appreciated the negative responses as well. For I felt privileged to know that folks were taking time out of their very busy lives to comment on my work…even if it was just to call me a wacko.

So I have the memory of this project to consider-all of the words that I have written, and the discussions, and in some cases, face to face interaction that I have had with my readers. But I indicated above my belief that memories can sometimes prevent us from moving forward, and I am concerned that this might be the case with this very situation. My intent was to complete this project, and with the writing of this essay, I have done so. Yet, based on the comments that I have received from many of my readers, regarding the enjoyment that they derive from reading my weekly pieces, it appears that perhaps the task is not really over. However I am reluctant to commit to another year. I have taken this project seriously, have done the research when necessary, and have managed to pump these essays out, rain or shine from week to week. And in light of the goings on in my life, this has not always been an easy task.

Yet it is clear to me that, among my scribbling can be found glimmers, which speak to the very meaning of life itself. And there must be value in that, as some of you have told me. For instance, together we have discovered that perhaps the most important thing is honesty--and more specifically, honesty with oneself. And what a simple notion that is, yet how incredibly difficult it is to sometimes place this understanding into practice. Yes, the human condition is an amazingly contradictory thing, and I believe that these essays have chronicled this fact. So where does this leave us? Well, gentle reader, my friends and travelling companions all, perhaps there is no meaning to life other than what we make of it. But that is not such a terrible thing. For if we are truly defined by the choices that we make, and we make good choices, and touch the lives of others in a positive way, at the end of the day, how can that be so bad?

Yes, when one door closes, another one opens. Well, this door is closing. The project is over, and I wish to thank you for reading my work. But were I to tell you that I intend to stop writing all together, I would be a liar. I could no more stop writing than breathing. Yet this project is very much over. But please do not delete your bookmarks just yet! I do not believe that I shall take down the web-site. I am sure that we have more to discuss. As a dear friend once told me at the parting of our ways, "I am sure that we are not finished with each other just yet."


 (Essay Collection)