Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Growing Old



My thoughts are elsewhere, moving faster than I, with more grace and determination. The thoughts move in the past where a young man lingers and laughs at the body I now carry. I can move quietly in the market and remain unnoticed and anonymous to fresh thoughts of style and frivolity. I am unknown but to myself. Only I know what it is to live and grow old and even I am surprised at every turn. Those before me made efforts to explain and forewarn but they had only their own guide to suggest what might come of ageing. Like life, ageing must be experienced. It also must be understood. It is, ultimately the beginning of the end, at least one we can recognise. The reality of ageing is that we must eventually face the inevitable as it grows closer, knowing that what follows is as it was before: nothing.

As the bones creek and the joints ache, as the body processes falter and the brain loses its way, it is necessary to look back more than looking forward. Living brings us surprises. We cannot see into the future and even the present is uncomfortably brief. It is that past which we draw upon to give us hope. Reflection will provide purpose to what we have done. Disappointment will come from what we should have or could have done. Purpose and disappointment may be unnecessary in knowing that living is as it is and only our will to live provides us with motivation to do what we do, whatever that might have been. We cannot undo or relive. All we can do is to see the small wake we leave behind and know that we have made a difference no matter how minute and insignificant it might seem.

As I walk this way I know that I am one step closer to where I am going. I will not be surprised when it comes. I am content with what I have done.

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