Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I hate how easily I tire these days. I'm thoroughly pooped by working in the yard much of the day. I got the mulched pine needles scooped up from the end of the garden and desposited under the photinia hedge and around the new rose bush. Hauling that garden cart around is downright exhausting.

I'm just an animated and minuscule collection of cosmic debris that gathered around a run-of-the-mill star in a nondescript corner of this galaxy and finally, through the intricacies of evolution, led to an insignificant but self-aware creature I identify as me. I probably, in my unawareness, stepped on and dispatched a number of even more insignificant denizens of this life-filled celestial orb. I know I chopped a few weeds out of existence.

While I was taking a break, Phyllis brought the mail in and the AARP magazine was in the mix. They have some interesting articles, so I read a few pieces.

An article by Oliver Sacks on the joy of turning 80 caught my attention, since I'm only a few months from that milestone. He's a writer like me and has several works to his credit. I want to quote what he wrote about Francis Crick, the codiscoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule:

"When Crick was told that his colon cancer had returned, he looked silently into the distance for a minute and then resumed his previous train of thought. When pressed about his dagnosis a few weeks later, he said, 'Whatever has a beginning must have an ending.' When he died, at age 88, he was fully engaged in his most creative work."

That's sort of the way I look at the situation of my own life. It began. It's been one helluva ride, and I hope there are several years left, but there's no way of knowing. I'm just determined to keep on keeping on as long as possible and bow out as gracefully as possible, provided I have any choice in the matter.

Oliver went on to conclude his article with this statement: "At 80, one has a vivid, lived sense of history not possible at an earlier age. I can imagine, feel in my bones, what a century is like. I do not think of old age as an ever-grimmer time that one must somehow endure, but as a time of leisure, freed from the factitious urgencies of earlier days, free to explore whatever I wish, and to bind the thoughts and feelings of a lifetime together. I am enjoying being 80."

Thanks, Oliver Sacks. I feel much the same way.

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