I’ve noticed several friends sharing the same sentiment recently, that they are getting old, a state of being usually noticed because old patterns of behavior no longer work as well with their bodies (and by “bodies,” I also mean “minds”). “I cannot stay up all night carousing, instead I prefer to stay home and make tea cosies” is more or less typical of this sort of complaint, though I’m not sure it is wholly complaint, and it is only more or less typical because I don’t know anyone who makes tea cosies. I do know several semi-retired carousers, however. I say that I’m not sure it is entirely complaint because I detect a sense of relief as well as a mourning for the vitality of years gone by, a sense that one no longer has to pay attention to all the very stupid shit that accompanies being young and party-worthy, like having to go to parties and pretend each one is the best one, ever, anywhere in time and space. Part of the problem is marketing, I know, we have created a culture in the US (and, increasingly, elsewhere) that venerates images of youthfulness (because they have disposable income and lack the self-restraint necessary to not dispose of it); yes, the idea of youth is venerated across history, but we have made it something of a cult, hence the feeling, when young, that every day is like New Year’s Eve, full of stress to have a good time, haunted by the suspicion that in fact it’s not much fun at all.
I am having a fine time growing older, myself, and since my goal is to hit 100, I’m not even halfway there, so I tend to think of myself as older, but not old. My body is much stiffer and slower to recover from strenuous activity, but I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing either, as it makes me more careful–more grateful, even–than I was before. In any case, it simply feels natural, another expression of living as a human being means. I was reading an essay by David Bohm recently (“The Qualitative Infinity of Nature“) about how the “things” we perceive are only relatively invariant structures that are actually quite fluid; I, for example, am a body in space, but I am also in a constant state of flux, transforming into something else, and I was something else prior to my birth–not in the sense that there was an “I” prior to my birth, but that my constituent elements all existed before being transformed when sperm hit egg and gestation began. That’s what I mean by getting older feeling natural, and I only wish that every age could be more properly venerated in our culture, maybe we could see how full the world is of people like these folks .
CDs listened to: 443) Fun Boy Three: Best of (wow, that was fun); 444) Bebo & Cigala: Lagrimas Negras; 445) God Speed You Black Emperor: lift yr skinny fists like antennas to heaven; 446) Sigur Ros: Takk; 447) Nick Drake: Way To Blue; 448) Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelly: The Quintet of the Hot Club of France(perfect following Nick Drake); 449) Allen Toussaint: The Complete Warner Recordings; 450) Lucinda Williams: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road; 451) Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Greatest Hits; 452) Luna: The Days of our Nights; 453) XTC: Skylarking; 454) Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsies; 455) John Coltrane: A Love Supreme(ahhh… that’s the stuff); 456) Django Reinhardt: Art of the Jazz Guitar