Yeah, a big Seven Five. Amazed I’ve survived so long, considering much of the stress and upheaval earlier.
The achievement comes with a burden of feeling I’ve failed to accomplish so much of what was expected of me – even without appropriate resources or support – as well as an amazement at the twists my life has taken along the way.
Perhaps that’s a generational issue many of my peers feel. Please weigh in.
Meanwhile, the serious political crisis in America’s future leaves me feeling utterly terrified. Quite simply, we failed to preserve the republic, with the assault coming not from a Commie left but rather by the know-nothing, no-saying, me-first, destroy-it-all right – those who would conserve nothing, despite the label they cling to. Along with their superrich allies.
Let me admit that at one point in my development I would have claimed to have been a Goldwater Republican. These folks are way to the right of that, like the hoards that destroyed Rome. Yes, ready to sack and ravage. Could they be the dreaded zombie hoards awaiting in the ultra-wacko wing?
I was amused recently by a Project Runway Junior’s challenge that had the teens trying to define themselves (blame my beloved elder stepdaughter for my even watching the streamed series). How would I have seen my core at age 14 or even 17? Quite simply, I’d say we were all so confused.
So here I am, once again pondering how we ever wound up in this state.
Personally, it’s been what I’ve seen as a zig-zag journey, building from what I heard in a poetry reading by John Logan in the very early ‘70s.
Much of what evolved in my encounters can now be found in my novels and poems, though my last third – and most fulfilling – years are yet to be expressed, apart from flashes here at the Red Barn.
In short, I’ve moved far beyond my expectations of things like Paris Review and the haute literary scene or some upper middle-class comfort.
There were 25 years in my native Ohio, most of them early but with two returns to other corners, one in my 20s and another a decade later. But they ended in ashes.
To my surprise, there are 42 years in the Northeast, 36 of them in New England. Well, technically Maryland isn’t quite Northeast but as Eastern Seaboard, I’ll include it.
Throw in four years in the interior Pacific Northwest, four in southern Indiana, and a season in eastern Iowa.
Plus a childhood I’m finally admitting was dutiful, not “happy.”
Many people my age find themselves living more and more in the past. I, in contrast, want to live more and more in the present – having dug out through so much of what has guided me here, to the easternmost sliver of the continental U.S.
When I’m 80, I will have lived half of my life in the Northeast.
Unless another twist pops up before then.
4 thoughts on “A few diamond jubilee reflections”
I think many of our generation reflect on paths not taken and choices not made. We could have done/been so much more. Yet, as you are well aware, God is not asking us to do things but rather to live in relationship, first with Him then with others. From what I read here, you are fulfilling that calling.
I do lament for America (and my native Canada). But the assault has come not only from the right, but also from the left. Gerrymandering and earmarks in the USA are not exclusive to one party. If they were the problem could be fixed by the other when it takes office.
As society has changed during our lifetimes, it seems people, especially those with influence, are not listening to the real concerns of the other side. Demonizing your opponent, rejecting his/her ideas because they are theirs, only makes things worse.
Instead of looking for common ground, the things that can unite us, or at least help bridge some of the gap, we look at ways to destroy. As Sting reminded us during the Cold War, “even Russians love their children too.” You don’t see much of that sentiment in North American politics or social discourse.
Thank you very much, Lorne. I hope I’m not demonizing here, but do feel the frustration of
feeling bullied and disrespected.
Even so, keep the faith, as you remind me.
I wasn’t thinking of you when I referred to demonization. Working in the political realm I see so much of it. Too often there is no discussion of competing policy ideas. It is so much easier to make the personalities of our opponents the issue.