The Mission Creep of Life

I thought today about some of the things I believe, and about some of the things I have believed but have forsaken.

I thought about the idealism of youth and how easily it is lost in the shuffle of the “mission creep” of aging. (Oh how I love the invention of that phrase!) I thought about how aging itself affects the human psyche.. particularly my own.

My memory is becoming weird. On some things I’m razor sharp, on others I’m blunt as a brick. My mind is like a block of unsliced Swiss cheese, sitting where a good aged gouda should reside. Very holey at times, and unexpectedly dense.

So, my thinking process takes unusual paths. But it still functions.

I find I believe that happiness requires a personal commitment and cannot be handed to us by other individuals, or groups of people pushing any certain philosophy. I have waited practically all my life to have the secret of true happiness revealed to me, when all this time I have had it packed away inside.

I have been an irritant and a pest many times. I have alienated some, and confused many others. In my understanding about what passes for conformity I have become a non conformist. I’m sure I often baffle those closest to me with my actions. For that I am so sorry.

Tomorrow is a new day and I’m certain I will not be perfect. I will try harder to be happy though. Even though I hold very little in worldly goods or riches. Even though I fight daily battles with my body, and as I have stated, with my mind. Even though I realize I have fewer and fewer dawns coming. Even with the world in turmoil. Even with all these things…I am happy with the people with whom I share this journey, and these daily challenges. By having the people I am richer than a king, and by having the daily challenges I know I’m still alive and still necessary.

May the creator of all things be with you.

Longing for October- From 2017

Right about now, I long for October. I don’t like to wish time away, and I do love fresh tomatoes, squash and okra….but…

It’s not just the Fall itself, but the things that it brings with it. It seems as October rolls in, families become closer. When the leaves start to turn, and the air turns cool and fresh, pumpkin pies, and jack o lanterns are not long off. Turkey smells, and dressing delights are around the corner. December and Christmas loom in the near future.

I will be 68 this October if all is well. Fifty years since I turned 18, fifty years since I moved off down to West Georgia, fifty years since I met my wife. Fifty years already since Martin and Bobby were killed. Fifty years since Vietnam was in full swing. Fifty years since I dreamed of so many things that have not come true, but have lived through fifty years of joys and sorrows which have been the substance of my life.

Fifty Autumns come this October if my luck and my health hold out. Fifty years and life is so different now than it was then, that it seems like an alien world now sometimes. I feel lost in it sometimes. Much more so than in 1968. I felt at home back then, in those days…in my time, and the time of my fellow boomers.

So when the first Autumn winds start to blow, these memories will blow in with them, and though I will continue to live in the moment, nostalgia will at the same time transport me back in time occasionally. I don’t think there’s any harm in it as long as we do not let the past rule us and ruin our present.

Fifty years from now, we’re going to be in somebody else’s nostalgia trip memories, and I can only hope theirs will give them as much pleasure as mine do for me. I so very, very much hope that.

Amber

I was looking at a little sterling silver ring that I have which has Amber on the top as the gemstone. I like Amber. It’s one of only a few things that humans use in jewelry that once was a part of another living thing. In this case it is tree sap, which dates anywhere from 150 million to 300 million years old, which has hardened and fossilized into gorgeous hues of color ranging from bright orange to a warm honeyed brown. Sometimes, and rarely, the more recent pieces of Amber have some type of insect trapped inside. They landed on the tree sap when it was sticky, got trapped, and ended up totally incased in the sap, which then hardened around it.

These rare pieces of Amber with the insects inside have been the subject of many fictional works. They were the entire basis for how dinosaurs were recreated in Michael Crichton’s “Jurassic Park”. A “Dragonfly in Amber” was a book by Diana Gabaldon which she used as a representation of something of great beauty which is preserved, and exists out of its proper time….in the case of this novel it was one of Gabaldon’s characters who represented the dragonfly.

Many human beings are interested in these types of things. To me, they represent something tangible which I can hold in my hand that has such great age that I can barely comprehend it. Here is something which has existed for thousands of a human’s lifetime, and within it is contained a once living creature who’s life ended by the chance of landing on something from which it could not escape.

Time also fascinates me. The age of our planet is almost beyond my comprehension. The fact that a creature which has been spawned by this planet could evolve to the point where he or she could consider that vast amount of time amazes me.

As a student in Geology classes, we learned all the ages, that are used to classify the passage of time of our home planet. We learned how life developed slowly over long periods of that time. Out of our planets 4.5 billion year age, most complex life has developed only in the last 500 million year, and humans only in last 200 thousand years, with written human history only being a recent 5,000 years beginning with the Sumerians….or thereabouts. We’re really newcomers on this planet. The dinosaurs were around hundreds of times longer than we.

I’m sorry, I regress and blabber.

There’s really not much of a point to this post. I’m not trying to teach, nor am I trying to preach. I only know as I looked at that piece of Amber this morning I tried to reach back into it’s past and I felt comforted to know even a little bit of it’s history. As I turned away and tried to project my thoughts towards the future, and what we humans might one day be, I could not find a situation in my thoughts which made sense, given where we are now.

I could only think of that dragonfly which accidentally landed on the sticky sap that ended up becoming Amber. How that was totally random and unplanned. The dragonfly certainly could not comprehend the danger he was in. He didn’t have much of a brain.

We humans do.