Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mr. Gray's Panoplies

We have been prompted and tutored to interest each other and ourselves, and I value those lessons. Here, as an example, I am concerned to write about growing older - though not about the process - but to share what I hope has the look and feel of an insight or two, and certainly not about any mere fact, for what could be less interesting?

Well, I have been searching and wondering, and at times despairing, as my blogs demonstrate, don't they. And you have read and understood, I am sure, because we make ourselves understood more or less perfectly, one way or another. But even as hard as life has been at times, it has never been impossible. I know this looking back, seeing all that remains intact and even bits of constructive work dotting the landscape. And now I can say, getting older is no picnic insofar as when your mind or body shifts in place and you can no longer do things as you once did them and are compelled to make changes.

This business of shifting and changing, if you are very lucky and can look back at it, takes place more or less throughout one's life, but at certain times the shifts are quite spectacular, and the changes are commensurately breath-taking, so that on looking back we might be pardoned for feeling like we have escaped some real peril.

But poetry, I feel, and writing about poetry, or about life and being a poet, is always addressed to people younger than oneself. Don't you? I mean, after a certain point, what else really matters? So these words may only serve to suggest future road bumps, and perhaps at that time they will have done some work having installed a helpful imprint of what-is-to-be.

With this introduction, I feel I have little left to say. I can't pretend that the changes I have undergone are universal. And it would be unhelpful at the very least to plant an idea of a thing that may never some to pass, or that would distract someone from whatever process is required to comprehend and negotiate their own aging issues. I mean, of all things, I wish least to be wrong. So, I am at a perspective where, once again, I wonder if philosophy saves us or ruins us for other pursuits.

Oh, never mind that.

I am surrounded by work and litter and am somewhat blinded to regret. So I pick out the musts of my present and future life and consciously plan to attend to those things. I apportion my time and energy, for I am a slave to both. I cannot manufacture time and I no longer believe I can do anything I want to do when I want to do it. I accept that I may not do everything I want to do even given the time to do it. I pull back another step (this may have taken years) and say, I will be certain to do what I must do. That will free me from a certain kind of anxiety and may preserve my energies. I can hope for this in the way that other people might pray for world peace.

...but what I do in actuality is think about what must be done and let the rest slide. And when I say slide, I mean slide. I have fewer opinions and less certainty than ever in my life. And why not? What should I learn if not that life/earth/history are endlessly various, that we are all faced with impossible decisions working with incomplete or ill-fitting theories fostered by imperfect upbringings?

I suspect at the end there are many answers and maybe a thank you for participating. The answers come and go and I wouldn't hang my hat on answers. I really wouldn't. That participation thing though. That's big. You hate to lose your handle on it, though you may at times, but there's a way back, or should be. There's got to be. Always. There's always one step you can take toward someone.

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