Thursday, September 20, 2007
AGE, A COMEDY OF ERAS
When two more generations of my cells have been born and died I will have been alive as long as my father when he died, and I’m at least as much older now than any age I ever conceived of living beyond. When we’re born, we have all we need to live in the same natural world which nurtured our genetic memory, with a loving launch from our parents. Unfortunately, such memory serves little purpose in comprehending the artificial world into which we are born and held prisoner until we obey parents, teachers, police or bosses without question and begin passing on obedience to the prison without bars by our complience.
When we’re 7 and completing our first regeneration of our entire material being, we have comprehended that there are bigger people that get to do more things than we are able or allowed. We still have the freedom to fly beneath the radar of permission for anything worth risking parental ire. The apron strings begin to fray.
When we’re 14 we have grown into bodies with all the urgy, itchy extras the bigger folks have but still we’re called freshmen, four notches below the seniors, just never enough responsibility but just the right slack in expectations for radical experimentation with this genetic time bomb of harmonal rage that will partially blind us for the rest of our lives.
At 21 society expects us to become answerable for our actions both in the present and on down that career path were supposed to have laid out for inspection. Ignorance of the rules that outlaw knowledge of nature is no excuse, unless we are born wealthy or have become super-criminals, both beyond society’s ken.
At 28 there seems to have been something akin to a species split that is more apparent in the individual than society as a whole. There are those who burned their books upon graduation from high school or college, convinced they’d learned all they needed or could stand, and were out to mark up the world with their made up minds. We can leave that large group of folks back at 21 developmentally, though their cells will keep on regenerating anyway. The rest of us are a spectrum from loyal, obedient believers, having never left the class room still seeking teachers, willing to follow truths from the mouths of anyone who sounds like they know what they’re talking about, hiring “life coaches” to cross the street, at one end and indigenous tribes of hunter gatherers and successful expatriates of civilization at the other. In the bell curve between the extremes a threshold may be detected wherein the confidence of certainty in foregone life choices and reality tunnels begins feeling threatened by serious questions about daily contradiction in events.
By 35 another portion of the population has experienced the loss of their grip on the concrete conclusions required of them in the naive gullibility of their youth by the artificial authority of classrooms, parade grounds, pews and cubicles from the constant hammering of natural confrontations within and without their white knuckled clutch.
At 42 the conundrum of nature of mother earth vs nurture of mother culture has found a balance within individuals from CEOs of polluting industry to martyrs camping out in a tree to keep it from being cleared with the rest of the surrounding forest. For all the cultural influence supposedly due such maturity, the behavior is obviously going with the money for the people who have the greed to gobble it and against the planet for the “benefit” of the overwhelming number of other people who don’t have money, they just make it for other people
Seven sevens, an octave in the tune of ones life occurs at 49 … you’ve been the route, might be retiring with thirty years — ooops, I forgot that and gold watches have faded into folk lore like every other tradition bulldozed into the valley with an expediency that has me filled with pre nostalgia sadness at every thing I have the pleasure of being fool enough to love. The rate of change in the daily lives of modern civilized people is like watching a time lapse reproduction of geologic time winding tighter. It no longer requires your great-great-grand-pappy for genuine folk tales about where things didn't used to be, your ten year old has seen at least ninty-five percent of the changes the old man has experienced in a hundred years of living.
If the lessons of being emersed within civilization haven’t begun cracking the walls of the prison without bars like garlic husks on replanted cloves by this time, I have no idea what the rest of life for such certain believers must be. Plagued by diseases brought on by retentivness, I would suppose.
Here it is damned Near three sevens past an octave of 'em and I’m elbow deep in the compost of my memories and garden experiencing now and feeling green shoots preceding a lotus blossom sprout from the top of my head. Tomorrow I may wake as a butterfly. It could happen. It has before.
As my beloved wizard friend, Peter Bretz, has said many times, “You are what you don’t shit.”