Sunday, May 21, 2023

Hilton Head Island: obscene and a joke, perhaps; vicarious

I wanted to see how the Cape Lookout videos looked on the bigger screen of our television.  When they ended YouTube went to this:

A few weeks ago I was around four young men for several days.  By young, they were at least two generations younger than I.  One of them commented on how good my memory is.  Perhaps it is, but it is not what it once was, nor am I.  So I forget some of my words which now number in the millions and certainly forget what is in the videos.  However, this one says some things that ring true.

I am 81, among the oldest one percent of our species on this planet.  I have written that life is only forty years long, that almost everything of value created by our species was done between roughly the ages of twenty and sixty.  It seems almost obscene that I am trying to stretch that into my eighties.

In that video you find a man, however old, still trying to understand what he ought to do.  Since then I have made my five year plan.  I am not giving the details because I don’t like to talk about what I might do, only about what I have done or am doing.  However that plan has brought me peace.  It is that if I am still alive and in good enough health, when I am 85 I will embark on a new endeavor.  That I don’t know that achieving it at that age is possible is, of course, one of the attractions for me.  In the meantime I will enjoy these intervening days.

As an aside, just before I started writing this I saw a video of Joan Baez singing, ‘Forever Young’.  I do not want to be forever young.  If some non-existent supernatural power offered me the opportunity to be twenty again, I would refuse in a millisecond.  I have known great joy and great despair.  Once was enough.  Once was almost more than enough.

Of my five year plan, Carol knows the details and I expect she hopes I will become just decrepit enough not to attempt it, which if I think I am, I won’t.

Not entirely unrelated, a friend emailed about the sail to Cape Lookout, “Indeed it did not make a speed record for GANNET, but you were able to appreciate a little the solicitude of some of your peers.”

I replied, “Who are my peers?”

He wrote, “The human race is your peer generally speaking.”

I replied, “I suppose I am human after all.  But I had wanted to be more.”

A joke.  Perhaps.  Perhaps on me.

From Jim comes a quote from Rajiv Joseph;

A pas­sion­ate in­ter­est in any col­lec­tive en­deavor we have no ac­tual part in can nev­er­the­less en­rich and en­large our lives, even if it also, para­dox­i­cally, can some­times leave us feeling di­min­ished. For many this in­ter­est is sports, but the same ex­pan­sion of the soul, if that isn’t stretching the idea, can oc­cur within those ad­dicted to an art form: opera or dance or paint­ing (or sailing.)”

I thank Jim for the quote and for adding the last two words.

1 comment:

Clark said...

Perhaps it's not about the age one is in life, but the life one has at any age?