Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Weight of Years

Today I woke to the morning sun and for the first time in my life, I felt the weight of years upon me.

To say that there's been a lot of changes going on recently is, to be honest, the understatement of the year. All around me it seems as if there's an undercurrent in the tide of life.

One of my best friends and his wife just had a baby. It's been a long, rough road to get there, but they had a son and everyone's doing fine. I can't begin to describe how happy I am for them because I know they've wanted this for so long. And quoting the Bible, and Lorenzo Carcaterra, and my brother Doug's speech at my wedding... what happens to the least of my brothers happens to me.

Their joy and happiness is mine.

Another of my best friends... she's finding happiness among chaos. Her life is a mixture of thunderstorms and sunny days, but it seems as if she's finally finding herself at a time of calm and peace... the springtime of her life.

Her happiness is mine in so many ways.

My children are healthy. My son is changing and developing... to have him alone with me at times, I feel as if he's already a young man filled with a great sense of humor and a healthy respect for things that he should be respecting, though he's still young and just registered for school this week.

My daughter... well... my daughter continues along her path amidst my constant amazement. She's sensitive and silly and simply amazing. She continues to reveal her creative talents with art and writing. Her current story is for a contest and if I do say so myself, is pretty damn good. She's been published twice this year in the local newspaper and we share a wink each time she gets in. I'm proud of her.

And amidst it all, I feel the weight of years.

It's not age. Age - physical age - has never bothered me. I've never understood why people get their knickers in a twist over physical age. The big 30. The big 40. The big 50. So fucking what?

I've always felt you're as old as you feel. Most days I feel around 13.

But lately, the weight of years has been feeling heavy on my shoulders.

They say wisdom comes with years, but I don't know. I've seen some pretty dumb-ass old people too, so I'm not sure that theory holds water. I think wisdom comes from recognizing when you or others around you fuck up. You can try to roll that knowledge off at times... but only if it's accepted. If not, it only comes off as being preachy and giving a sermon.

Thing is... people have to learn from their own mistakes. Hell, I never used to think so, but I think now, it's almost the only way to truly learn. And no matter your age... mental, physical... you never stop. Only thing you can do is recognize... accept... and try to correct whatever you see. Sometimes... even against the most heartfelt advice... you have to pack things away. It's the only way to survive... the only way to feel lighter, though you still carry that burden deep inside.

And that burden becomes the weight of your own years. The weight we all carry over time. Some days I just wonder why it has to feel so heavy.

Recent Reads: The Indifference of Heaven, Gary Braunbeck.
If I'm to be honest here, I have to say that I liked it... I didn't love it. I'd heard so much about this book and Gary's writing but it didn't affect me like it has many others. There were a few passages in it that I absolutely LOVED. But overall... eh.

Current Read: Heart Shaped Box, Joe Hill.
Oh... it's got a hook, all right. I'll keep ya posted.

Recent Movie: Eastern Promises. Yep. Cronenberg directs a great flick here... very well written script and the direction carries it well. Viggo kicks ass in it.

Current Music: The Zutons, Tired of Hanging Around. Two tracks: Valerie and I know I'll Never Leave have got me listening to the whole cd.

And NIN: Ghosts. Ohhhh Trent. Quite a little mindfuck here and some superb stuff to listen to while I'm writing. Thanks...

Current Infatuation:
Springtime and what that fever does to people.

Current Frustration: (edited by author) No... I don't think I'm going into that here.

Had a bit of a derailment lately with writing because of several large work projects, but am back on Samson and Denial... you'll get a peek soon.

always yours,


Blogger Kelli Owen said...

The past is the past. You cannot change it. You can drag it around like the dead weight it is and let it hang over you like a cartoon raincloud, or you can deal with it. Accept it or reject it, doesn't matter which you choose, so long as you do choose... and move on. The only thing it will do hanging around you like the 'burden of weight' you describe is trip you up... and we're getting to old to trip [don't want to break a hip now, do you?!].

Now then, stop your whining and go write something! Use the weight, rather than leaning on it =))

7:29 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Very true... and no whining.. just sort of a reluctant acceptance. I've never been much for regretting choices in the past... the past makes you who you are.

I've always been a fan of that Asian Zen shit.. you know.. the sound of one hand clapping and all that.

There's one that talks about two monks returning from a trip back to their temple. They come upon a very muddy river bed.. water raging all around. And standing at the edge is a stunningly beautiful geisha in her dress robes. One of the monks offers to pick her up on his back and carry her across. On the other side, he sets her down, and they all go on their way.

The other monk was pissed... He walked on in quiet for a while, stewing with rage, until he finally turned to the other and yelled. "What's wrong with you? We're not supposed to touch women. What were you thinking?"

The other monk just smiled and replied. "I set the geisha down back at the river. Why are you still carrying her around?"

And believe me... use it to write something? My pages are so bloody I've run out of towels to soak it up.


10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weight is complaining about the rain. Weight is gripping the steering wheel a little bit too hard. Weight is duck taping some explosives to your chest and walking into a crowded market.
Why does it have to be so complicated? Why can't we be on this planet just to survive and reproduce? We are lucky and cursed by evolution for that mess in our skull. We need to keep trying to train it to reduce and simplify. Once we lose that effort, things get heavy real fast. You feel me?

8:23 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Ohhh, I feel ya.

Sounds like you're talking a bit about Keene's fear of gravity.


...feeling that odd lump in your balls or breast when you're taking a shower.

...seeing smoke in the sky and hearing sirens while you're just a mile away from your house.

...getting a phone call at three in the morning when your husband or wife still isn't home.

...feeling that small tickle at the back of your neck late night in the parking garage when no one else is around.

And wondering how in the hell time slips by so very quickly.

Why does it have to be so complicated? I don't know man, but I agree with you. In many ways, it would be easier just to revert back to our basic instincts as animals... just to exist, reproduce, live and die. For all our advances in technology to become more efficient, to communicate easier, to get here or there faster... we've lost so much as well in the process and I think society as a whole has painted ourselves into a corner because of it. What's next and is it possible anymore to simplify anymore without turning into some cabin-dwelling Ted Kaczynski in the outback of some lost woods somewhere? Maybe to a degree. But I think we're on a sliding scale at this point and every increment we inch toward simplification just as quickly pushes us away again.

And that mess in our skull... sometimes it can set you free, other times it's a prison with no bars.

Fucked up thing is, we hold the key too... it's just either too damn dark or too blinding bright to find it.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That response just earned you a trip to warm and sunny weekend trip to Tampa. Lets do it. I have plenty more where that came from.

10:49 PM  

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