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On Writing My Story

 I am very happy present this collection of pages that tells of my trip thru life.   I am living by my self in my own apartment I call "El Nido" - The Nest, with a beautiful view overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in the Costa del Sol, southern Spain. Life worked out well to have experienced life to it's fullest while I was physically able, and now old enough, retired, owning no one, enjoying each day, and free to discover what I remembered of my experiences, and learn what ever I want to fill in the gaps.

 

When I was 72 and I figured it was time to learn how to write so I chose to write my autobiography. "View from El Nido" is a chronological story from my first memories to now. Everything was based on what I remember from my memory of my experiences aided by pictures, recollections by my family, and the paper trail of documents.

 

No, I didn't want to write a book, best seller or not. I do not want to have to publish it and go around promoting it; I love my life here and now. I also do not want to publish the original  chronological story for it is in graphic detail and I don't want to spend my time in court. I hated English, writing, spelling and reading. I didn't hear very well and the school systems didn't do much about it. I always sat near the back of the class since my last name began with an "N" and I could barley hear the teacher. I learned how to day dream well and always enjoyed my thoughts. I had to do  little writing as I grew up but I learned how to manipulate my mother into doing most of it for me. My spelling is atrocious. I still hate it when people criticize others, especially me, for not spelling correctly, most of them didn't know anything about science and math and probably couldn't take something apart  and put it back together and make it work.

 

My writings can’t even come close to describing the experiences captured in my memories.  It took my writing down my memories in chronological order that opened the flood gates of a new adventure. I always thought that you wrote the introduction first, yet now after three years of writing, I see that it is not necessarily true. If I had had the training on how to write well, then yes it might have been true because I would have written an outline. I didn't, so I'm learning how to write from experience; "View from El Nido" became an adventure. There was no way I could write the introduction first; that would be like predetermining what life was about and there is no way that can happen.

So I started writing about my motorcycle trip as a travelogue for my mother. I soon realized that it couldn't stand alone because I needed to tell about selling the houseboat to finance the trip; so I wrote about my houseboat living adventure. Then how, at 40, I moved from suburbia to my new life on the boat. I couldn't stop writing so it became a story of my life.

I grew up not having to be perfect at anything, just enjoy learning and make a better life than my parents had; however, I didn't see why, I thought it was a pretty good life. It was not easy to learn that life was much more than my stereotypic protestant upbringing for there were no books to tell me about how to think or even what my options were. I had to find out for myself. While I wrote this to be an aid to see if I could clearly find the flow and values of my life, I still found that many things about life are never taught; anywhere.

 

Life turned out to be such a series of experiences that I'm glad I didn't have to write as I went along, for it would have been very distracting. Now I have something I want to write about, time to learn how to write, and the beautiful feeling of looking back on my adventures thru this life so far. I am now privileged to have grown old so that I can take the time from having to accomplish and put together all the events that made me, me. As I reread my stories I found that almost every story had a lesson that I learned from, although sometimes not until later. I enjoyed the humour of the contradictions of the human experience in them for I had many laughs as I wrote them.

 

 Yet I felt that there was something missing, something behind some of my writings that I couldn't see and seamed important. It was this statement that kept me going.

 "An unexamined life is not worth living" - Socrates 470 – 399 BC 

At first I thought that this was a little arrogant but on further research I found that he was really referring to looking inward. Sure enough, during the editing of my story, I found so many ways to enrich my life that it started me on a process of understanding how my life fit together.

When I rearranged the pages of my chronological story in the order of how I saw the phases in my life played out, it started an adventure I didn't even think existed. I saw how some lessons were learned over a period of time and sometimes in different phases over several years. I became aware of something in my Magic Years that didn't ring true and certainly didn't coincide with what I experienced later in life. I knew somehow that I had to find out why and a way to relate all my experiences in all my phases to different views to understand life.

 

Since it was from my own written memories that many questions came up, I thought that possibly  my answers lay inside me, not outside; outside as how it appeared where everyone else was looking. Maybe I could see  by looking inward how my thinking was different and how it changed my previous views.

 

Then I remembered these sayings as I became interested in on the meaning of art:

 

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things,

but their inward significance.” Aristotle (384 - 322 BC)

 

I asked my dad, “How does this work?”, he replied,

 Take it apart, examine each parts function,

put it back together; then you tell me.”

 

 "Give a question honor by looking for its answer"

 

Could I use these ideas to create my portal looking inward?

What would I find? Where would it lead me?

 

Learning how to write so far, turned out to be quite an experience; so much harder than I could have ever guessed and I feel this quest "View from El Nido by Phases" would be no different. "I am ready!!" I may never complete my story since I may not be able to write the last chapter, and I don’t stop experiencing new things every day. 

 

It is this story of my adventures in life that I care to share with you now.

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