It has occurred to me that as I grow older and use my life experiences more, everything means more than it did before. One hundred percent is now greater than it used to be. So, here I am, another year older and soliloquizing about myself, studying my life's reflection in a tarnished mirror, and realizing that, considering the alternative, old age is not the worst thing that can happen to a person.
What does it mean to be old? Seventy plus years of a life lived largely in fits and starts has brought me to the conclusion that a man truly starts to be old when regrets start to take the place of dreams. Fortunately, that hasn't happened to me, yet.
Interestingly, to me at least, my life has spanned most of one century and part of another, and has even spilled over into a new millennium. In addition to having the virtual weight of ages upon my shoulders, I can see now that growing older has accomplished for me three things: it has effectively cleared the acne of adolescent atheism; thinned the hair of middle-aged skepticism; and brought me to a semi-firm belief that there just may be, after all, a mysterious order to the universe. In another quarter century or so, I may reach another conclusion: there just may be a "divine entity", or god, if you prefer, who has a personal, if lukewarm-at-best, interest in my welfare. I'd like to believe that my life has been more than merely an amateurish and accidental exercise in futility. I do believe that until I die my life will be on the mend. It's impractical to expect a man to be good at everything, but he should be good at something. I can only be what I'm here to be. Now, in this last quarter mile, I'll do my best to take the talent I do have, work hard to make the most of it, and hope, with fingers crossed, that if I keep writing long enough I'll eventually say something interesting. And I'll try to be truthful, although, while truth has a tendency to be remarkably and at times tediously tenacious, in the long run it isn't really all that important, and oftentimes is merely a matter of circumstance. Truisms, on the other hand, are something else altogether. Universal truths such as: life is too short for oatmeal; a life is like a story; no story is a straight line; memory tends to glorify a place; no one can be a tribe of one; and hope doesn't work on wrinkles.
Realistically, I suppose I must acknowledge that as the end of this life of rhyme approaches, I can only hope I'll have the grace and courage not to be bitter because it's over, but be glad because it happened, and that I was what I was here to be. How much longer will it last? How much more is expected of me? How far do I still have to roam? All I can say at this stage of the game, dear friends, is I'm finally over the hump and happily headed for home.