My 57th Orbit Around the Sun
by David Eide .

My 57th orbit around the sun. It is almost funny how the different orbits come with different pressures. On my 27th trip I probably felt more pressure than now because I was trying to survive in west Berkeley on a meager revenue from freelance writing. Not a good situation.

But not impossible and I was full of hope in those days.

In my seventh trip I was flying airplanes with my dad.

In my 17th trip I was starting a novel about troubled teens in the hippy days.In my 37th trip I started to feel as though I were in a new vector. I know that was one of my best journals.

In my 47th s trip I had the adrenaline of the newly discovered Net behind me.

So now in the 57th trip around the sun there is a combination of somber realism and excitement.

A man begins to stand up at 57 or, at least, reality is a bit more solid; he still has poetry left in him but most of his days are pure prose.

He sees the world in terms of how that world can destroy sensibility and avoids it like the plague. He sees evidence of this destruction everywhere.

He is much more acutely aware of the decisions of power and how they shape things.

They say, "well, you should be President by now or have written War and Peace by now....why not? What's your problem?" Lack of funds for the first one and lack of desire to write the second. Why write a masterpiece that has already been written? Isn't the challenge to write the one that hasn't been written?

My friends and I all wanted to scatter the four winds when we left home. The irony is not lost on me. One of my best friends became the captain of an oil tanker, another one became a trail guide in the Andes Mts, a third became a trader on the floor of the grain exchange in Chicago. Another good friend is now teaching in South Korea. My dad has travelled all around the world. My daughter has been in Paris three times and was in Iceland this year and in the summer will go to the Galapagos Islands. That has been my environment. I don't know what I was protesting if that is the case. I wanted to be a writer. So I am the fool. Stuck in the role of fool. There's little I can do about it.

On the 57th orbit around the sun a man is acutely aware of decay and that the body is rushing downward in that direction. But there are good things as well. A more mature mind. A more determined spirit. Interesting experience, even in one little space of longitude and latitude, will produce a man still full of passion for what he wants in life.

At the 57th orbit around the sun a man realizes that life is a storage and retrieval system and begins to use it with more intelligence, if not glee.

I will scatter one of these days by the grace of God.

I decided at some point that "place' was more important for the literary imagination than "no place."

A sense of being here, in this geography and so on meant more than being among many geographies, from a literary point of view.

The important thing is to set things up as well as I can for the next phase of development. In the short run I will continue to elaborate on "events," continue to develop, start the ball rolling for new projects while figuring out how to make the journals my prose project. A lot depends on whether there is any demand for what I'm doing. And, of course, the number one priority is with income/revenue. Something I've had to face down in the past six or seven years. That is still the most pressing matter. That is what the stars say at any rate as I sail around the sun again, the 57th time.

Back to Essay Page

Back to

© 2016 David Eide. All rights reserved.