Michael Gottlieb / Letters to a Middle-Aged Poet / 28


Weren’t we once ambitious?

And, could it be that by recalling to mind some – not all, certainly not all – but some of the reasons, the drivers, the impulses that led us to lead this life we might find a way to renew our vows to them, as it were? Have we really accomplished all that we set out for ourselves? If we say we are seeking to be honest with ourselves, and we come to the conclusion – and isn’t it inescapable – that we have fallen, perhaps very far, perhaps far enough – whatever that means – from the goals we set out for ourselves back then (however fantastical or deluded they may have been), can’t we say that armed with this honesty, and keeping in mind at least some of those goals, we can reapply ourselves to them?

What might that mean? Might that mean tearing down everything we’ve grown comfortable with, grown accustomed to producing over the last few years? And perhaps not just the last few years?

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