Monday, April 11, 2011

Aging

Imagine it on a very slight incline in cool weather
The aging process. It's like a good-sized glob of honey at the top of a very slight incline. It will ever so slowly make its way downhill, and in the process cover up fixed points on the incline. The honey is the years of your life progressing every so slowly to the bottom. The incline is the slope of your life with all  those thousands of fixed points on it. These points are the things you know, the things you learned and learned so well they just became part of your mental environment. The stuff of everyday life. All that stuff you never had to remember before because it was just there.

To the title of this little squib: aging is something we're all doing. At the stage I'm at, I've got a fairly good idea of the process since I've been involved in it for a good collection of years at this point. And I have to say  I'm amazed at the stuff I have to struggle to remember or that I have to look up these days. Hell, let's start with vocabulary . . . sometimes I find myself mid-sentence with the word that's supposed to come up in the next phrase, and all of a sudden the word is not there. It's just gone. Like you never learned it all. I play this game in my mind all the time: "Come on, Tom, you know this. Think. Think. Think." Most of the time this process doesn't turn up what I'm groping for.

I cannot remember book titles and authors. Or the names of songs and bands that I've been listening to for 30-40 years. Or movie titles, actors, actresses. Or where I read something just a few days ago--even if I remember the something, vaguely. Between my dear wife and me, we probably remember about 80 percent of the stuff we have to. Even calendars don't necessarily help me remember appointments. The best calendar I have is Susan. She's more aware of stuff I have to do and go to than vice versa.

Forget about the special care I take to put something, whatever it is, in a special place because of my determination not to forget where I've put that something so I can find it again. That's almost a guarantee that it will be lost until it turns up by accident, sometimes months later. At some point when you may have even forgotten that you didn't want to forget where you put the damn thing or maybe even why it was important in the first place.

But you know what? Honey is sweet nonetheless even when it's spilled.
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