This question was put to me by a "life coach," a man with whom I talked for a few times earlier this month. I called him in order not simply to see how he might challenge me in certain areas but also what made up his life. In fact, the actual question he posed to me in our parting email was "how do you want to be remembered?" but because I can't control that at all, I thought it might be more useful to answer a question that may be a little more in my grasp. Thus, the question, "what do I want out of life?" is a much more personal and, for me, evocative question. I would say that I would like three things: (1) firm and useful knowledge; (2) a means to express knowledge to broad, and individual, audiences; and (3) love and intimacy. Each of these requires some explanation.
When I speak of knowledge, I refer both to a present possession as well as a yearning for more clarity and understanding each day. Knowledge to me is something "firm"--i.e., it reflects what we as humans believe to be true about the world. I desire a great breadth of knowledge; this essay on becoming the "state polymath," lays that out. I would like historical, textual, linguistic, current knowledge of all kinds of things. I spend a good deal of time each day trying to come up with precise knowledge of the world. It is a drive both of my heart and mind, and I feel myself a unified person yearning after understanding of life.
The diversity of my sought knowledge is reflected, for example, in some of my activities today. For one hour I talked with an expert from IL on financial responsibility of motor carriers--and how to work with the federal Department of Transportation in suggesting new regulations on that issue. Then, I studied aspects of the new state receivership statute from WA, since I am trying to understand the "collapse" of the "condo craze" in America from a financial and legal...