Saturday, March 20, 2004

"Happiness doesn't depend on outward things,
but on the way we see them." Leo Tolstoy

Sharing "Art;" read Ray and Reid at JimFormation · I've been thinking ...

The two articles about photos on the web and personal blogs hit close to home. I have more than 5,000 amateur photographs and I have shared many of them here. I suppose none of them is worthy of hanging on a gallery wall, but they make me happy. They recall a moment or a feeling that was good. Certainly none of my pet pictures or cute kids in the park photos are Art, but I think for my family and a few friends posting them on the web makes it fun to stay in touch.

Caution: Naked Truth Ahead
Here is one of those insights or realizations that will make my mother say, with a knowing grin: "Ah, payback." My children have learned everything I did not know I was teaching them, and they have learned it well enough to play it back for me. So for every meltdown and temper tantrum I have ever had they have given me more. For every time I raised my voice (read: screamed with eyes bursting in crazed rage) they have yelled and hollered and raged. They learned how to cry in frustration and despair in the face of setbacks great and minor. No matter how much praise and poetry I have sung to their precious ears, they still detect, like sharks to blood, the infrequent "shit!" or "damn it!" They are as messy as me. They make excuses, like me. They roll their eyes and stomp up and down the stairs. They deny my brilliant suggestions. They are certain that somewhere there is an easier, better, kinder, more just, cleaner and beautiful wait, that's my hang-up... Damn, this job is tougher than shit.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Good morning!

Geoff is walking to the office. Max has the television remote control, and he's living out a recurring fantasy: Master and Commander. William is reading in bed. Alex is stretched out, waiting to see what Max settles on. I am enjoying my breakfast: Hot tea, no sweetener. Mmmm, so filling!

Only one certainty for this weekend, which is a surprise party for our friend Yanina. She announced it at MNO a few months ago. She's turning forty and has left it to her husband and daughters to host a surprising event. At this point I don't know how much of it is unknown to her, but from what I know it promises to be a fun evening.

Note to self: Find sitter. Shave legs (first sign of spring.)

Geoff and I may be tuning in to a master plan for our future. Trick! But seriously, we are trying to figure everything out, like; where to live, where to work, why work, what to wear etc...It's not easy. Mostly we have come to the conclusion that we aren't ready to decide yet.

The other night we were checking out a gym class for Alex and Max, when the boys were approached by a friendly and curious boy. The ten year old boy asked Alex and Max their names, and ages, and then he asked the same of Geoff.

Geoff replied, "I'm 38."
Boy: "Whoa!"
Geoff: "Does that seem young or really old?"
Boy: "No, you're young. Really young. My dad's 65. He's old."

Three women overhearing this, including the boy's mother, interjected in tones of political correctness and societal politeness: "He's not old." "65 isn't old." They carried on in this vein, and I thought: "Ya. He's old. 65 is old."

"Old" has so many negative implications, I guess, that they had to fend the description off with a big stick. They didn't dare let the word "old" land on the guy's character. But on a scale of 1 to 90, 65 certainly comes out on the far side of "new." 65 is not ancient, decrepit, senile or fading fast, but are we really so insistent on worshipping youth that we can't honor aging?

Baby Boomers beware: You are getting old. Stay fit and active, enjoy good food and good music, travel, play, make babies if you want, live fully, but what you do and how you rationalize cannot change chronology. Why not assume a posture of pride? Claim your age and declare: "I am old and old looks this good and has this much to offer and I am prepared to get older still." We are all getting old. Getting old is the optimal outcome.