Sunday, January 1, 2017

Yesterday the three of us walked downtown to get library cards. Then we went to the Portland Museum and wandered around looking at Matisse's book art and a variety of pieces inspired by Moby Dick (Rockwell Kent, Frank Stella, and others). In the evening I made roasted fingerlings and a big seaweed salad, and we watched old clips of Soul Train and a Parliament show in Houston. Outside our bedroom window someone was intermittently letting off Roman candles. There were a few drunken hoots, here and there, but mostly the neighborhood was sedate.

Now, on the first morning of a new year, the streets are vacant. Even the dog walkers are invisible. A single car mutters past. Beside me, the cat hunts a long piece of red and white string. I consider the tedium of resolutions and resolve not to make any. What happens will happen. I will read and write and cook and haplessly love people and play music and slip on the ice and fret about world troubles and feel ignorant and miss my land and do many things I don't want to do and second-guess my intentions and be curious and awkward. The same old story goes on and on.

I wonder if you have a similar sense of consistent self. I feel like I am the exactly same person I was when I was six and twelve and sixteen and twenty-five and thirty-three and on and on till now. Even the shifting, circular obsessions stay the same--animals, lovers, children, books. Only the carapace changes.


Ruth said...

" Only the carapace changes."
You seem to be describing what it means to be human. If you ask many old people if they feel old or are old, they will tell you only on the outside.

Welcome to 2017

Carlene said...

I saw an interview this morning with a lovely woman who was turning 110 today. She said it doesn't feel any different than 99 did. "The years roll by, and I roll on with them" was how she put it. Her secret to longevity was to believe in something--anything--with a true, fierce passion.

I liked her. I liked her scarlet lipstick and her singing as she walked, gently supported, jaunty and full of life.

I think you are right; we are the same, deep inside. Maybe a little wiser, perhaps a little sadder sometimes, but the joys are the same. And yes, the "carapace" does indeed change. I want to be the lovely lady on the news today. I need to learn to "roll with the years," and, if I have any sort of New Year resolution, it may as well be that: learn to roll with things.

Thanks for being "here" almost every day. Thanks for being my friend. =)

David (n of 49) said...

Ditto to both the above--they're beautifully and perfectly said. My wife's aunt, who lived to 94 and was active and lived on her own in her own apartment to the end, said she always felt about 34.