Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy, Happy, Birthday Baby

For all my complaining and melancholy, not to say melodramatic ruminations, I cannot help but observe at the same time that turning 55 (almost) is just about the best thing that has ever happened to me. Given a choice, I’d just as soon stay this age for the rest of my life.

I remember feeling the same way when I was 12. It was not that the number was somehow magic, nor that 12 was the same for anyone else; it is simply that at 12, and now at 55, things seemed to fall in place, become aligned, like the meshing of gears. My life proceeds almost without effort on my own part.

I think less and less of the past, less and less of the future, more of today, this minute and hour.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

And it is. We need not compound it with admixing the sand of the past with the mercurial future. It is what it is, as the popular saying goes. Experience has in many ways been the schoolmaster of hope for long enough now, that hope, at last, has comprehended the face of its Christ, which is faith, dividing want from assurance, dream from vision.

One of the great ironies of self knowledge lies in the recession of self and the raising to preeminence of all that is other. If one would live, he must first of all die. And not only once, but over and over. I die daily, St. Paul said. And so do we all. It is willingness that finally differentiates growth from a sense of persecution and victimization.

Take up you your cross. And enjoy it. In heaven it is what they do for shits and giggles.

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