That Was Embarrassing • 5 November 2007

Some of you will have read the nice story I told on Saturday, about being born the day they elected Jimmy Carter.

That’s my truth. It’s been my truth for years. 

Also, November 3, 1976, was a Wednesday. Election Day was the day before that. My mother did go off to the hospital after voting in the high school, but I didn't arrive until well in to the following morning.

Huh. At least learning this was not as large a disappointment as the actual Carter presidency, which began with such hope and populism with Rosalynn and Jimmy walking down Pennsylvania rather than taking the traditional Inaguration Day motorcade (or so the story goes)… and led quickly enough into gridlock with Congress, oil crisis and eventually hostage crisis, and laying of all the ground for the enduring horrors of the Reagan Revolution. Come to think of it, I’m so glad I wasn’t born the day they elected Jimmy Carter.

So much for peoples’ history.

We have some stories like this in my family, and I suppose the historian in me finds them a little too fascinating. There's a case to be made for letting the concealed things remain concealed, though I'm too interested in everything to operate that way. A true story worms its way to the surface every now and then.

Meanwhile, damn the blog and its auto-correction tendencies. When I start writing about my early years, I wonder what the hell is going to break loose.

There’s much to be said for “my truth” even when it doesn’t map on to the truth. The subjective side of history is as determinative of the present and of the future as is the objective side. (Or more determinative…? Naaaah, I'm too far to the left for that.) Both subjective and objective histories are alive; and insofar as my sense of destiny and possibility lives in the mindstuff, that Jimmy Carter thing has been ramifyingly true for years. Not trivial.

But it is nice to let it go.

Those of you silent ones who caught the mismatch and let it go again without saying… mmm… what am I going to do with you?