Perfect. This is just the way I feel much of the time, now that I've reached the semi-geezerish age of 59.
Like I'm sliding down the hill of life, faster than before, since the descent seems steeper the closer you get to the bottom.
So photos of me and my granddaughter, Evelyn, that my daughter emailed today were just what I wanted, Father's Day wise.
I sort of thought that Starbucks would offer up a discount on my latte this morning. But no. Disappointed, I cut my tip in half and just clinked a couple of dimes into the jar.
Giving starts at home, they say, and I'm never far from the domicile called Me.
The records show that it's a lot older than I feel it to be. My birth certificate affirms that I was born in 1948. However, I don't feel anywhere near as mature as that.
And my goal is never to grow up. Which Evelyn is going to help me to do, for sure. When she visited us for the first time last March, I hadn't slid down a slide in quite a few years.
I was pleased to discover that my butt hadn't forgotten what to do (not much, admittedly), as the photos above attest.
Here we are in a more serious moment, pausing on a walk around the lake near our house. I like this photo. There's a yin and yang to it.
Evelyn's youth and softness; my mature (I resist saying elderly) grizzledness.
More and more, I find myself pondering what I'll be when I'm no more. I don't know, naturally. Nobody does. All we can do is make up stories about an afterlife – which, in reality, likely will amount to a big pile of non-existence.
That bothers me, since Woody Allen and I have a similar attitude toward death.
"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying."
But looking at Evelyn, especially when she's in the arms of my daughter, Celeste, I realize that death can't be cheated – but everyone still wins at the game of life. Even at the inevitable moment when life is lost.
Each of us leaves behind traces of ourselves.
Children and grandchildren are obvious continuances of living. However, all that we do, including the elemental act of simply being, creates ripples that continue to move on the ocean of life after our physical body and mind are inert and motionless.
That's everlasting life. Not the sort religions would have us believe in, but something that I can count on, unlike heaven or salvation.
I hope my last breath and final heart beat mark the beginning of another form of life, rather than nothingness.
Yet if that really is The End of my life's story, I'll turn the last page knowing that others are continuing to enjoy a tale that I helped write.
Beings you still seem at a young age to me, who has gone already into the old age years and has found the water is actually not that different-- okay I lie. There are differences and 60 did bother me. I had gone past 30, then 40 and 50 with nary a notice but 60 seemed significant (wait til you have to sign up for Medicare... now that really makes you feel old). I think these years though have a purpose and they are a good time to think about what might come next and become comfortable with it.
One of the women, whose blog I read, had her heart begin to fail in February. She has been through a lot of suffering in an attempt to survive but it was not to be. She died this week-end. She was only a couple of years older than me; so it definitely is an age to remind ourselves the end is closer than the beginning (although it always could have been at any point given the uncertainty of life). You might check out my blog on this lady, Maya's Granny, and then go to the link where her daughter put a dream she had shortly before her mother died. I think the dream was showing her how it is for her mother now.
Because of assorted experiences in my life (not near death for me) I don't believe life ends with physical death of the body. I also won't claim to know what comes next, and recognize that nothing might come next, but her daughter's dream was an encouragement to my belief that there is more. It's what I'd like to think, but I am practical enough to know truth and what we want do not always mesh.
Posted by: Rain | June 16, 2008 at 07:44 AM
Brian. You should read the short novel by William P. Young "The Shack". I happened on your blog doing a search on "Align probiotic", and read today's posting just by 'chance'. Pierre
Posted by: Pierre | June 17, 2008 at 07:32 AM