We came from the same womb and were nurtured under the same set of beliefs and rules. We were fortunate to live near natural beauty – the woods, then the rolling foothills and nature preserve with panoramic views of civilization below. We witnessed, firsthand, the American Dream play itself out from start to finish. But our paths have taken very different directions.
Your nature was strong and rebellious from the start and therefore you were cast out. You were the older brother I was to avoid – the black sheep. You, brother, equipped with an imagination and a passion for wisdom and the arts, were considered dangerous and a threat to my young mind.
As an orphan, metaphorically speaking, you learned to define your course and have held steady and consistent – like a river carving its way through rock flowing downhill to the expansive, glistening ocean. All of them failed to beat the demons out of your nature.
I, on the other hand, leaned more towards the influence of nurture, at the expense of my nature. Although I evolved as an observer and lover of beauty, it wasn’t until later in life (college and our time together in Europe) that I became interested in wisdom and the arts.
It would have been so easy for me to just stay the course, not to think, not to dream, not to question this or that. But my nature never died and therefore I experienced a perpetual discomfort, even amidst my “outward” success. As a result, my course has swayed this way and that – running into many ponds, lakes, and dams on my journey towards the ocean expanse.
But, without you, I fear that my course wouldn’t have swayed as much as it has and I may never have broken free from the idea of the American Dream. You were and are a source of inspiration. Later in life, you became my mentor. I find it so strange that we think so much alike on all the big ideas, even though so much time, space, and path directions have kept us apart. Your depth of thought travels much deeper and wider, but the fundamentals are the same. And most important of all, when we are together, we know how to enjoy life and laugh at it all, including ourselves.
You are the only person that I connect with on so many philosophical levels. The ideas we share may appear harsh, critical, and disturbing to many people, but it is unfortunate that they don’t see the incredibly positive aspects of those fundamental ideas. You are a great man my brother, the one consistent pillar in my life, aside from that of nature herself — I love you.