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what I couldn’t do then and what I can’t do now, and the wisdom to know the difference: a bit of a manifesto and a bit of beating of old drums

October 2, 2021

don’t tell me life is short
life is unfathomably long
I’ve been an adult for a little over 30 years now
and there’s every likelihood I’ve still got 30 ahead of me

life isn’t short
youth is short

and in recent years there’s been a lot of
graciously giving away the things of youth
and all that jazz
and for sure it’s been long yards since I blushed
with the actual colours of youth
but still
in these dank days
I’m feeling a new welling embrace of the benefits
of adding all those days that turn into years

okay, so some days bits of me hurt that didn’t hurt before,
and then a month later it’s other things
but it seems a worthwhile exchange
overall

steps tend to be surer
even if the legs and feet are less reliable

said goodbye to a good head of hair a long time ago
and now the barber on the corner is always pleased to see me

I warm to different stories now
and when revisiting old ones I am often astonished by them
from this new vantage
even though I see no significant change in my values
or what you might call goals –
writing, making music and fellowship
are still the things that make it all worthwhile

I am blessed to no longer ever spend time trapped in discussions about
real estate
furniture
cars
clothes
shopping
reality TV

I wonder at things I have hard-learned and now rejoice in

I have given up trying to be competent at stuff
only to find that
the competency has showed up anyway;
in the more practical cases it most certainly hasn’t 
but I’m buggered if I’m going to bother with those ones anyway

the nothing-new-under-the-sun principle is more clear now
and the  younger generations go through
the same grinding motions as we did,
even though they’re smarter than we were

we know the lines that they’re making up as they go along
we just still don’t know the lines we’re making up as we go along

funny how it doesn’t work so well in reverse and that
the lessons of maturity only reach us when we’re ready for them

this old cat is still up for learning some new tricks
but he asserts his right to pick and choose

walking placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remembering
what peace there is in silence
and in holding one’s tongue

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