Privilege Blog

Life Is Just A Bowl But Not Cherries, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:12am

I’m prone to unprovoked swells of joy. Have been all my life. Probably a side effect of a nervous system that makes me anxious, and has over time caused me to erupt when I might have wished to keep my own counsel. A booby prize.

The thing is, these swells had always been brought on by novelty, or at least complete immersion in my surroundings until recently. Now I find that just remembering events of my life can do the same. Is this weird? Huge swells of joy.

I mean, it applies even to the painful. The sheer fact that I have lived through it, that this time has passed through my experience, that these moments have been and are now mine, seems to do the trick. Feels like digging through a bowl of pearls, running their shiny roundnesses through my fingers. Barely perceptible grit.

Getting older can be kind of a pain. Let us list the ways. No, let us not. But if I were writing Aging, The Series, my elevator pitch would involve the effects of general water loss in our bodies–on joints, on eyes, on neurons firing in the mind, on a new porosity–but let us not.

I expected at 65 to know stuff I didn’t know when I was 20, and to call it wisdom. I do and I do. I have gotten used to calming down a bit over the decades. Very nice. I already understood that exploring our past can illuminate the present. But if the present can essentially reset the past, that would be new. To my way of thinking.

Time in our beings is fluid. At least in summertime, at least when all manner of things are well.

Have a wonderful weekend.

13 Responses

  1. « At least in summertime, at least when all manner of things are well. » I’m finding at my age that is true and that each day is a gift is also true. Pondering the past has made me realize we can hold on to the good, be grateful we survived the bad and forget the rest.

    Enjoy your weekend !

  2. Right behind you at 64 with similar ideas. One thing I notice and recall of my father as he aged: profound delight in the smallest of wonders. I seem to be experiencing that now. To wit: I quite unexpectedly gasped out loud at seeing the first firefly of summer last week.

    1. M, how very, very lovely. My father even to his last months would stop everything for a hummingbird.

  3. I really think you should be a therapist, so much kindness and insight. Always. I appreicate it. :)

    1. GK, what an exceptionally kind thing to say. There is nothing I like more than being able to care for people, whether in person or via words on the Internet. xox.

  4. “Swells of joy” — yes, I’m so grateful that I’m prone to these as well, balance to the dips that aren’t so welcome.. . Not feeling as much of that joy as you this morning, at least about Aging, but I recognize the perspective on memory you write of. . . Perhaps I just need more summer (we’re very stuck in a cool, rainy Spring here — and I know you’ll envy the rain where you are, but oh, it’s grey ;-) Although I have swollen with joy at the Green and Blooms recently (repeating my ;-) Are two winky smiles just two too many? (So tempted to go for three now! xoxo

    1. Oh, Frances, hello! I have been thinking of you so much. I must do a better job of commenting on your posts. I read them all. Just so often I feel inadequate in my ability to respond, both from tendons and respect for the thought you put into them. I am happy to share this perspective on memory. All the winky smiles and some xoxoxoxox.

  5. No need at all for any “better job of commenting” — I appreciate the ones you do leave — and I haven’t been keeping up well at that myself, but I read all your posts and think of/towards you often. xoxoxo

  6. I’m not sure I really understand this post – turning 80 has given me no special wisdom at all – but if you can feel personal joy after several years of really tough experiences, and find yourself regarding those experiences in a more positive light, well, then, more power to you!

    Since I knew, loved, and admired both your parents, their deaths less than three years apart really hit me hard. But my memories of them give me great joy, as I hope your own do you.

    You deserve joy. Shine on!

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