Of course we’re not as young as we once were! In the next five seconds, ,even, we will be five seconds older, never to return to the innocence of how we felt five seconds prior to now.
Our innocence is constantly being lost. Time may heal everything, but it also leaves a lot of stuff in the dust. We are never – and i do mean never – what we once were. To wish it so does not make it so. Time passes. And one of the things it passes is us: we are history, from one moment to the next.
And that is life:
The passing of time. The accrual of lessons learned, the rumble of our moments training ahead like a speeding locomotive, going through various tunnels, coming out on the other side of naiveté and filling in the holes of our being. WE grow by going…. through one moment to the next.
One of the purposes of writing, as i experience it, is to gather the moments, gather the experiences, bring together the countless threads of story that fill each second we breathe and shape them into some coherent whole narrative. The piecing of an infinite quilt. Why do we do this?
To keep ourselves warm.What else?
To make our marks on the wall of our cave, for people who come after us to discover and interpret . To join hands across aeons, around the largest campfire possible in the Universe, and share stories that help us feel we are not alone.
I am currently re-reading all of the works of Charles Dickens that i first read in college and grad school.
One recent evening, around our Christmas tree, my husband and i listened to Hugh Grant reading the entirety of A Christmas Carol, and by the end, we both wept as if it was a story we had never heard before. Yes, it is a timeless theme – joy in redemption – but also Charles Dickens used language in a way that caught us gently yet insistently in its web: a web that sparkles with the diamonds of life and mouth-watering resurgence. If God is in the details, then Dickens is sitting right next to God somewhere in writers’ Heaven.
So, as cute and appealing as new babies are, as all of us were before too many of the seconds of our lives had passed, there is also strong appeal in not being as young as we used to be, because our personal planetary bodies yearn to rotate around that Universal campfire, and share the adventure of living, and we can only do that if we let ourselves not be as young as we used to be.
Fine silver has its patina, and we have the passing of the moments of our lives. Each leaves its mark.
I sound like the opening of a television soap opera, but…well…soap keeps us clean, and opera is the grandest form of story telling possible, as it gentles us along on the wings of its musical beauty. Opera: the grand scheme of things on a world-wide stage , the aging of a human life, the passing from one phase of growth to the next. There is nothing else but to willingly enter the flames of the future.
A cozy den, lit by a warm fire, dry and fragrant from the tea brewing in the pot next to me, and Little Dorrit resting companionably in my eager hands: i understand fine writing better than i used to when i was younger, and that alone is reason enough to be glad i am not as young as i once was.
As i sit and write this, the sun is breaking through the rain clouds yet there is deep thunder in the air.
Lights! Camera! Action!