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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Oh how I hate to get up in the mawnin'!

Just wasn't designed for leisure. I need work to do; meaningful work. The full effects of this retirement that I've drifted into without purpose is weighing heavily on my psyche. There are added distortions caused by the shift from standard to daylight savings time to contend with. It all feels surreal...I'm becoming more and more sensitive to the speeding up of time; and of how finite. During early April it's hard to remember that time has never been a certainty, only a temporary gift to be used well and treasured as precious.

It's gradually dawning that my work life is over now, and that I'm needing to structure my days differently, or structure them at all. I've lost the rudder on this glider so haphazardly built over the past half-century, or, gotten myself hung up in the web of indecision from which there may be no escape. Morning dawns then night falls with little to distinguish them one from the other. I seem to be moving between Jon Stewart shows and trips to Albertsons for groceries. That's simply not enough upon which to hang a life! I need to keep reminding myself that I could be spending my time moving between the doctor's office and the pharmacy; and of what a blessing it is that I'm not.

Oh there's this new man in my life; and that lends some spark to the days -- but at our advanced ages the relationship is non-directional. Not even sure what that means, except that the word seems fitting for where we are in time and space. He's warm and interesting and undemanding and we're settling into a warm and comfortable relationship of sharing time and creating new memories at a time when one might have expected yesterdays to have replaced all of the tomorrows. Not so, apparently. And there are very different expectations evolving. Instead of checking out my Palm Pilot for the next scheduled meeting of the civic whatever or the committee to overturn the most recent attempt by the governor to ... I find the little beeping signal means that I've punched in "4/12/05 -- the wild rhododendrons will be in full bloom in the pigmy woods at Little River." Maybe that's good; a sign that my priorities are changing dramatically, and my values along with them. However, I'm not at all sure that the rapid turnaround won't cause whiplash or that it will come in time for me to redirect myself before the abyss!


Watched a part of the Bolton confirmation hearing on CSPAN before dropping off to sleep last night, and found that some of the fear for the nation's survival has been replaced by boredom and dangerously-lowered expectations of national leadership. I simply cannot imagine the amount of slippage that has occurred in governance, and of how effectively mediocrity has replaced excellence over a lifetime. Or is it only the past 30 years -- those years when cleverness (a la Carl Rove et al) resoundingly trounced statemanship, and the country and the marketplace were taken over by Corporatism? Fascism? Could it also be that as an octogenarian I bring more accuracy and wisdom to my assessments of that leadership? Maybe we could do worse than to find ourselves being led by Hal the Computer, after all, since at least it might prove to be more even-handed in doling out power and privilege, and less subject to the arrogance and greed of human power out of control.

Maybe, along with the growing ennui, I'm beginning to sense inevitability in our decaying social and political systems. And even while writing those words I find myself wondering if I'm not expressing an attitude common to elders as we look back upon where we've traveled over time; while more and more aware that we've probably given all that we can and that our presence on the earth may have made little real difference in the end.

If this is the direction that my mind will gradually settle into, maybe the entrophy of the aging process is finally boring its way into my being. If so, the glimpses of the future are not what I'd hoped for. Will there simply be less and less to celebrate and more to mourn as the days pile on?

Oh god, I hope not... .

(Wonder if I'll live long enough to be willing to type god with an uppercase "G"?)

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