10 days ago i turned 49. that is right in the heart of middle-age. i'm not ashamed of it. considering where i come from, and how i lived, i am grateful to get this far. still, i think of growing old, all the time. i was old when i was young. i remember at the age of 25, when i met anna, thinking i'm getting on in years i better get my shit together. so i enrolled in college and earned two degrees by the time i was 33. again, i felt i was the old man in the class. i might have been. but perspectives change. i am growing older. my appearance countenances this fact. indeed, last week as i was walking home from work i passed a gym. my friend was just emerging from that gym. he gives me this look that says, gee that old guy seems familiar. only when i got closer to him did he recognize me. and yet still i feel pretty damn young. or youngish. my mental age is stuck at 25. i thought the old would hate loud, dissonant rock&roll. but this dude loves it. i have work to do still. poems to read and write. reviews to draft. movies to watch. plus i have the loves of my life: nick and anna. nick is 11, while anna and i have been together for 24 years. it feels like we are still absolute beginners. i thought the old was supposed to be wise. instead, i discovered that we continue to learn, and that getting old means you realize how much you don't know. becoming older means you discover how much there is left to learn. it would take many lifetimes, but you have only one, so you take your life, all of it, its frustrations, disappointments, failures, triumphs and your sheer dumb luck, and i don't know, i have no set answers, but i do know living is our greatest gift. at my age, from my perspective, that gift is even more precious. don't take shit for granted. love when you can. call bullshit when you can. don't be stingy with hugs and kisses. for they are emblems of your being here, right now, on our planet.
peace, brothers and sisters, out