10 December, 1955
One year ago today, almost to the very minute, I was in an R5D landing at Floyd Bennett Field, New York. The day before, I had graduated from Pre-Flight. Oh, how long ago it all seems—the band, Mr. Barnes, parades on Friday, bookbags, navigation classes—all as though they’d never happened. Then I’d never have dreamed I’d be aboard the USS Ticonderoga, a mere enlisted peon. But all that is gone now, & I must look to the future, which surely must be brighter but could hardly be more interesting.
Two hours or so have passed, during which I was in the library, reading magazines. I came across a clever "filler" in this month’s Reader’s Digest & will quote it for you, in case you missed it:
When a destroyer escort cut too close behind the flagship, an unlucky roll brought his sea boats’ davits in contact with the carrier’s stern. The Flag Officer promptly signaled to the destroyer: IF YOU TOUCH ME THERE AGAIN, I SHALL SCREAM.
Tonite is Saturday, which means that with good luck, I should be able to sleep late tomorrow morning. Sleep, to me, is a marvelous state of nonexistence, mixed occasionally with wonderful fantasies & unrealities.
Not, by mentioning nonexistence, that I plan to put an end to my own "veil of tears," but I do enjoy the complete freedom possible—where the mind creates & controls things it has no power over while awake.
Have you ever stopped to think how, though people envision a marvelous Heaven, so few of them are willing to die to attain it? How, though they curse Man as evil & moan that life is Hell on Earth, they fight, scratch, & claw to hang onto it?
If Man would only open his eyes, he may find that, though the light hurts at first, there are colors never dreamed of. I believe that we are capable of far more power than we utilize. I have not found perfection, & never will—but that does not mean I cannot look for it, & thereby perhaps find things worth more than I have now.
It is my desire to always seek something that is forever out of reach, & so climb only part way up an endless stair—but isn’t that better than just sitting at the bottom saying "I can’t make it" & not go anywhere at all?
Logic is something that should be projected. If two & two made four yesterday, & they make four today, isn’t it safe to assume that they will make four tomorrow? For some unknown reason (fear of change?) Man is unwilling to even glance over his shoulder (he stands always with his back to the future) to see what might be. He assumes that, because something is not practicable or possible here, now, today, it never will be. If he prepared for it, he would not stumble over it when it arrives. All it takes is a little projection—a little acceptance that things will change; that someday the automobile will replace the horse.
Someday; someday soon. Maybe tomorrow….