Ishmael's Blog

August 4, 2009

Stranger in a Strange Land

Filed under: Stranger in a Strange Land — Ishmael @ 12:05 am

I have an older brother who has been a major influence in my life.  He is three years older than I am and taller, but he tells people I made up for it just because I was meaner.  I can’t argue, he was right.

He started me reading Science Fiction and Fantasy when I was really young.  I read better and faster than almost everyone in school probably up until the 8th grade.  I was reading novels at eight.  My heroes were Issac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Jerry Pournelle, the Three B’s, and a score of others. My brother and I would walk several miles to the libray a couple times a week and come back with an armload of books.  When we finished our stack, we start on the others.  I was born and raised in Alaska when it was still a Territory, I remember celebrating when it became a state, and I remember my brother and I reading all night on June 21st without a light on in the house just by the light from outside.  We read until dawn then went to sleep.  When I got to Junior High I read around 1200 words a minute with 90% comprehension.

Looking back, I think what I liked best about the novels was they weren’t real.  They allowed me to escape, to be someone else, to be somewhere else.  One of my favorite things to do when my oldest son was growing up was to sit in the chair with him by my side and watch the original series Battlestar Galactica.  I don’t know if he liked the show, just doing something with me, or both.

I don’t read much SciFi any more, but I did quit Direct TV when they took away the SciFi channel from me.  It comes standard with Dish Network 🙂  I also don’t need to escape anymore.  Overall I am satisfied and content with my life.  Now is the time to enjoy my wife, children and grandchildren.

I still look up into the night sky and long to be traveling among them.  Heaven help me, but if I was told I could go and I could never come back, I would kiss and hug my wife and children goodbye, and I would be gone. I would probably regret it for the rest of my life, but I would regret not going, also.

Here is a phrase for all of you who long to escape.
Ad Astra

Why did you want to escape?
Where did you want to escape from?
Who did you want to escape from?
Where did you, (do you), want to go?
Tell me now.

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