I wish I could paint. Oh, not just slop some paints on a canvas and call it my artwork, really paint what my eye tells my mind that it sees. I am convinced that we all see things slightly differently.. pick out different subtleties in the world around us as it presents itself. I am quite envious of those who can. What remarkable beauty they can lay out on a canvass. I wish that I could paint, especially now, at my late age. Not only do I see things differently than others, I see things more intensely, more acutely, than my younger self. That young man was much too busy working and interacting with his co-workers, bosses, wife and children to notice the world around him.. at least, not as I do now. I used to be able to draw a bit when I was young, but that talent, sadly, has left me as the years flew past. Oh, to have taken advantage of that little trace of talent that I had. You have to nurture these things, coddle and work with them so that they may grow and bloom into something special. Sadly, I let it starve and die from lack of encouragement. Now, I see the beauty in the world around me in intricate detail. I know what I would like to put down as art, but the ability to do so is gone.
 I wish that I could play an instrument. I love music of almost all types.... from Blues to Big Band, through Country and Cajun to Rock and Roll, Jazz and Swing. Folk, Folk Rock, Classical, Contemporary.. you name it. I can pick out a tune by trial and error on a keyboard or a piano, but I cannot smoothly play with two hands.. only one, and not smoothly. I would love to play a guitar, or even a ukelele.. hell, I'd settle for a Harmonica. Unfortunately, being a bit ADD, I never had the patience for learning to play. I wanted to pick up the instrument and just PLAY; but things just don't work that way. You have to dedicate yourself to learning all the basics, one slow step at a time. So, the best that I can do, much to my regret, is play air guitar... or just sing along. Which brings me to....
  I wish that I could sing. Oh, I can carry a tune, and I can sound good on some songs, but my range is small. I wish that I could sing like Pavarotti. I wish that I could sing like The Beatles (Harmonizing with myself, because no one wants to sing with me). Sometimes, I embarrass my wife when we're out in a place that has music, and I get caught up in the magic of it all and start to sing along.... loudly.. usually after a few cocktails. Unfortunately, voice is another thing that starts to fade as we age... but I will continue to try.
 I wish that I could write.... not that I can't put a paragraph or three together to put my passionate thoughts down via things like this blog or a Facebook rant.. but I'm talking about real writing... a novel, a short story... something creative. Unfortunately, it just doesn't happen for me. I've tried, but it just never comes together for me. I just am not that creative when it comes to putting fiction down. I love to write. I love to put myself out there, but as far as fiction is concerned, I just don't have it.
 I wish that I was handy and able to create things out of would and brick, like my talented son in law can. When I was young, I did put up a wall and build two sets of bunk beds and closets, but they were very rudimentary. I guess that, if I had the time, I could have built on this, but I was too busy working and raising a family, so I never developed as a handyman. I was a very good telephone universal tech and Union Steward, so I have to be happy with that.
  I wish that I had been a better person when I was younger, but I can console myself with the knowledge that this is something that develops over time. You can't change the past, but the mistakes of the past do shape the path to the future. So, while there are many things that I wish that I could have done or been, I have learned to reconcile what could have been to what is. In the end, we can have regrets, but we cannot let them cast a shadow over who we are now. Life, with all the fits and starts, has been good.

John Zaffino Kent Lakes, NY
May 3, 2014

Post Script
 After reading some of the comments made on this particular blog, I guess that I should have stressed my positive ending, as so many took it to mean that I regret my life. I do not! The blog was about things that I do regret not doing, but in the end, being satisfied with the my life as it has played out. As I said at the very end: Life, with all it's fits and starts, has been good. Would I, if I could, change things? That is very hard to say, because any change in my choices would have an effect on my life as it is, and who is to say whether these differences would have been good or bad? All in all, I think that I would stay with what I have, and let the road not taken remain so. 
 Love and Peace!
John Zaffino Kent Lakes NY
May 4, 2014


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