Friday, November 02, 2007

The Latest from Waltham

Waltham is an interesting place to live. Actually it isn't but since I live there I want to think that it is. Over the past year it's declared itself the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. In light of global warming that traces its roots right to the rise of industry, Waltham gives itself a dubious distinction in history. This is where the destruction of the environment began in earnest. I don't find that something to be particularly proud of. Yet, I live here, in the aftermath of Waltham's rise and subsequent decline. The town is now a bedroom community of Boston, overpriced, old and gritty, like some of the other towns inside the Route 128 corridor. Unlike several of the surrounding towns it hasn't re-invented itself, at least not yet. There's Moody Street with its restaurants, the museum of industry and the Charles River running through town. Even with Brandeis and Bentley colleges inside the city limits, Waltham is pretty much a blue-collar place.

My own life has taken a new twist. I'm back to being on my own. An interesting proposition it is to share meals, thoughts and observations about the day with myself or to Dixie, the Airedale dog. Dixie will look at me with interest when I start to talk, seemingly absorbed with everything I have to say, but it's still a one sided conversation. At some point she'll put her head down, as if she's heard enough, shift into a more comfortable position on her bed and, with a snort or a sigh, take a nap. I can't argue with her on that, I get tired of hearing myself, too. It's even tougher trying to listen to what I'm saying to myself.

I've started a new project. I've decided to write a book on self-defense. I'm going to try to put into writing my eighteen years in martial arts. I studied and taught karate and self-defense for most of the 1990's and, with all this information rolling around in my head I decided to get it out and down on paper. Since I now have a lot of time on my hands I can pursue this project with ambition and without conflict. It's an intellectual pursuit and it also fills up the empty space in my life and in my heart.


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