Saturday, July 27, 2013

Life in the Slow Lane

I cannot honestly say I have ever truly lived life in the fast lane, but I can say truly that I now live life in the slow lane. This is partly a function of age, partly a function of where I live, partly because virtually all of my friends are no longer alive or compos mentis, partly a result of loss of motivation, and partly a result of cynicism grown so profound as to result in a loss of interest. I have found that I no longer have much interest in what may be going on in the world that I don’t hear about, and even less interest in what I do hear about, incessantly, day after day. Of course I am outraged at the Zimmerman fiasco but my outrage doesn’t grow stronger the more I hear about it. And of course I think it is wonderful that England has a new heir to the throne, but ho hum after the first few days of infantomania. Frankly, I don’t give a damn about Carlos Danger and his penis. I cannot get excited about the claim that Israel and the Palestinians are going to have new peace discussions when I know they will inevitably go nowhere. And yes, the Middle East is in turmoil, but all we hear about it is not much and probably not true, ditto Manning and Snowdon, ditto the spying, and yes, the House is controlled by mental midgets and will no doubt continue to be so for the foreseeable future as most everyone seems to have lost interest in governing some time ago. The Supine Court has succumbed to political activism, the President talks but no one listens, global warming is about to destroy us leaving billionaires without a pot to piss in but they don’t care, but nip slips and wardrobe malfunctions are a genuine concern. It’s the American way.

My concerns are more personal and more serious, at least to me. My wonderful wife of thirty years has been dead now for almost a year. I am still going through her things, saving some but destroying most. This is a terrible experience. Today I could not overcome the feeling that I was throwing away her life, things that were of such importance to her she saved them for years, dutifully filing them carefully, refusing to let them go, treasuring them, only to have them now go to the dump or the thrift stores. It was a painful experience, made even more depressing by the realization that it was part of my life as well. The journey to the west is at times most unpleasant. You cannot just throw things away will-nilly, without looking at them, and many times the glimpses of the past are loaded with emotions and memories that may have been temporarily forgotten. There are her notes and memories of Oaxaca, Paris, Stuttgart, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Costa Rica, and other places we visited together, all with photos to bring it all back as the wondrous experiences they were, experiences gone now forever except in memory growing more (perhaps mercifully) dim with each passing day.

But things are not all bad. I have my marvelous grandson, now nine months old, who amuses and amazes me every day as he matures, crawls, sits up, stands, and babbles sometimes with what must be to him meaningful sounds and phrases, a language of his own we cannot as yet fathom. My son and daughter-in-law love him passionately, as do I. What a wonderful experience! One of those facts of life you must savor while you have the opportunity, knowing that nothing in life lasts forever (nor, I guess, should it). Indeed, if it were to last forever it would not be the incredible experience it is.

Do I enjoy my life in the slow lane, of course I do. I enjoy it even more knowing that it is fleeting, another milestone on my inevitable bumpy journey to the west. This evening I spoke with two of the remaining four friends from my youth and young manhood still alive. They, too, in their dotage, have a new grandchild, a beautiful daughter, who, like my grandson, are now embarked on their own journeys to the west with a long and difficult adventure before them. Bless all the children and wish them well.

Morialekafa has now passed the 9th year of life!

“Nothing goes to waste on the journey of life. Both good and bad experiences shape your mind and heart for what is to come.”     

 Leon Brown

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