Reading back through old journals is the sort of activity that's kind of painful while I'm in the midst of it, but winds up being clarifying and somehow refreshing--a bit like rolling about in the snow in the altogether after coming out of a sauna. It's easy to cringe at all of my past screw-ups, at all the stupid things I did or thought or allowed myself to feel, but in the end I find that I need to be thankful for precisely those things that make me shudder, since they contributed to the convoluted path that's landed me where I am now.

(As an aside, I sometimes think that if I ever need to inure myself to public humiliation and/or criticism, all I'll need to do is publish my journals in toto and let the world have at me.)

I could write reams on the particular subject of Past Mistakes in the Boy Department, as Recorded for Posterity on Paper, but the less gut-wrenching (not to mention more politic) course of action would simply be to sum up those mistakes by noting that they've taught me what I don't want while reinforcing the details of what I do. I've let myself stumble into (more than) enough of the former to truly understand that what I have now--the sweet, gut-shaking, heart-palpitation-inducing latter--is meant to be held onto.

I intend to do just that.


True Crime

Erfert has shared with us this criminal news tidbit:

I did read one interesting article this week -- the one about how a San Francisco banker bilked the tiny island nation of Tonga out of its entire $26 million national emergency fund (which the king claimed he had put into an American bank so Tongan authorities wouldn't use the money to fix roads). ... Before his dastardly deeds were discovered, the American managed to get himself declared court jester of Tonga. I assume that job is now open. I am adding it to my list of career possibilities if joining the circus doesn't pan out.

It makes me wonder whether the entire human race is always headed toward moral corruption, but most of us are able to keep ourselves from leaping over that ledge (sort of like how everyone carries around some strain of herpes, the vast majority of which are harmless), or whether the reverse is true: we're really all quite good, but some of us just can't hold ourselves back from making that terrible, sullying leap.

It also makes me wonder how many nations still employ court jesters.