‘You wonder what I am doing’? Well, so do I, in truth. Days seem to dawn, suns to shine, evenings to follow, and then I sleep. What I have done, what I am doing, what I am going to do, puzzle me and bewilder me. Have you ever been a leaf and fallen from your tree in autumn and been really puzzled about it? That’s the feeling.” T. E. Lawrence Letter to Eric Kennington 6 May 1935
I always am a bit morose and introspective when I transfer from one duty assignment to another. Since I have done this many times in the course of my 32 year career in the Army and the Navy it is something that I have come to expect. Since my return from Iraq this condition has become more pronounced and my thoughts much deeper and often darker.
Like T. E. Lawrence I wonder what I have done, what I am doing and what I am going to do as day folds into night and each new dawn breaks forth. So many things trigger thoughts that make me wonder.
In a week the I will be done with my current assignment and on to a new one as the Ethics faculty at the Joint Forces Staff College. I believe that I may also get to teach some military history and theory too. That excites me. It is the first assignment that I have really looked forward to since I found out I was going to Iraq. It will be a place where I will be able to do what I do best.
My current assignment at Naval Hospital Camp LeJeune has been good for me in some ways and frustrating in others. But that being said it is part of the tapestry that makes the current me who I am. It is part of my past, still a part of my present and I will carry the experiences, relationships and memories into my future.
But that is normal I think, as William Shakespeare wrote “What’s past is prologue.”