The other day I found myself giving not much of a damn when some political fella was saying something on the radio that I objected to.
Just the kind of fella spouting the kind of guff that would have got me fairly worked up before.
Oh, I gave out to him right enough.
But I was only going through the emotions, and I didn’t care, not really.
Yeah, he was a clown, but so what?
I just stopped listening to him and pottered off to do something else.
But being an older dude, I think I forgot what I was about to do when I was halfway up the stairs.
And didn’t worry too much about that either.
Maybe worried a bit that I should have been worried, but not really that worried about not worrying …
Should I be worried about this not worrying?
I just came back down, put the kettle on and presently sat down with a cup of Lavazza coffee, and had a little cuddle with Lily the dog.
And I was grand.
And grand was just … grand.
Better than that, it was perfect.
As in I couldn’t at that moment think of anything nicer to be doing.
What the otherwise despicable Eagles described as a peaceful, easy feeling.
I woke up the other morning, and was thinking if I was 35, I’d have years of commuting, and working and all that carry on to do.
And I was glad I don’t have to face into that.
Even though I am still doing more or less the same editing work, and still have plenty of vigour and enthusiasm about it, it’s just I thought, lying there in my gorgeously comfortable bed, I wouldn’t want to have lots more years of doing it.
Do you know what I mean?
Do I know what I mean?
But maybe people of my vintage might know what I’m trying to get at.
Even though I’d be 35 and the various body parts would all be working better, no aches, less wheezing, I’d have a bit more hair and I wouldn’t be able to hear myself breathe.
Maybe this is all some big rationalising thing I’m doing …
I don’t have the energy to fret and frazzle about too many things anymore, so I’m trying to tell myself that’s just the way I like it?
We all know the Dylan Thomas poem, telling old age it should rage against the dying of the light?
But who was he to be telling older folk like us how to go about our demise — sure he himself was only 39 when a turbulent life came to an end when his comatose body, laced with whiskey, morphine and fevered regret, was taken from the Chelsea hotel and he finally expired in St Vincent’s hospital on the border of Chelsea and Greenwich Village?
Sure I wasn’t even married at that age … had done a few daft things and maybe lived to forget them, but on I carried, into these, my senior years.
And am surprisingly unworried about it all.
Right now anyway …
Look it, I know about the horrific events in Ukraine, and I’m aware of the stuff that’s going on out there, I mean the bad stuff, homelessness, hospital queues, and the randomness of serious illness, death and human rights abuses and inequities of all sorts ..
Listen, I too have lived through Trump and finally caught Covid just weeks ago.
So I don’t think I’m callous, but really, there’s good and there’s bad, and everything in between.
And just let this world keep spinning, with me on it for a while longer, anyways.
Now maybe I’m kind of done with both white-knuckled rage and starry-eyed romanticism, and just want to keep on keeping on,
Engaged and ultimately optimistic.
Is this wrong?
Sure I know my time is limited, and all that, but also, I’ve got, as Kris Kristofferson put it, ‘lots of pretty thought that I ain’t thought, oh yeah’
Sure isn’t that what I’m kind of doing right know, musing and pottering around on paper, and making my own sense of this best of all possible worlds?
Or at last not getting too worried about it all.
Like Mr Dire Straits himself, Mark Knopfler said:
There should be laughter after pain
There should be sunshine after rain
These things have always been the same
So why worry now
Why worry now?
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