Prologue

Another story begins…

All tales are true. Some are parables and some are fact. Every fact is interpreted and filtered with the perspective of the viewer. This story is no exception. There are facts; there are truths; there are aspirations; and there are interpretations. This story is intended to relate a very personal set of experiences and history. It is shared to honor my predecessors and successors. It is also shared in the hope of indicating that my story and yours are intertwined.

As Truman Capote is reported to have said: “If this isn’t true, it should be.”

The essays [and web pages] you are about to read are built upon my truth; the truth and facts as I relate to and interpret them.

”Who am I? In a very basic sense, I am you. Conversely it can be argued, you are me. In my mind this fundamental truth forms the basis of our shared humanity. Even though the specifics of our pasts, our histories, and our families my be different, we are still the same.

Like most of you, I am the product of my predecessors. I am inclined to believe that being a product of my predecessors makes me pretty normal in the eyes of most everyone, except for perhaps a chosen few. By way of over-simplification, most people see me as a middle-aged, male, white American. I am reasonably certain that that description is pregnant with meaning for most of you. As well it should be. At the same time, the purpose of my tale is to put some flesh on this statement and indicate that those descriptors hide the essence of who I truly am. The larger point being that any such similar descriptors represent little of who anyone truly is.

As I begin this story, I am approaching my fifty second birthday. I know that sounds like an odd place to begin but for some reason it seems important to me. I am reasonably certain that a fifty second birthday is not viewed as being culturally significant, but I sense a certain urgency to begin and import to share as I move ever closer to the date.

The last two years of my life have been quite an eye opener for me. Up until my forty ninth year life was moving rather smoothly and in what I thought was a desirable direction. Perhaps that makes me unique or blessed. I don’t really know. What I do know is that in the time since my forty ninth year reality has made its presence known. Both my past and my future have begun to merge, fuse and move in directions that were both unanticipated and in many ways unwanted. My reactions to both the future and the past have surprised me. And so, here is where it all begins.

…Mark Rabideau [originally written and copyright 2004, revised many times since]