I have, a few years ago, acquiesced to the declination of my once 20/20 vision and began carrying reading glasses. It seemed to have happened over a weekend.
And so the progress, or regress goes.
Since my need for them is almost constant, I spend a great deal of time reading and writing, I find myself now like the sailor in the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. My albatross consisting of glasses around my neck. In some ways, I have become a caricature.
Hearing is another thing in decline. My wife and daughter, in anticipation of our planned thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, want me to adopt the trail name “Miracle”, as in the hearing aid. I prefer to think of it as my hearing has become more discerning. Like the line in the Jimmy Buffett song, “He Went to Paris”
“He’s writing his memoirs and losing his hearing,
But he don’t care what most people say.”
My life long quest to avoid planned Doctor’s visits has also failed. My personal philosophy, with the exception of Emergency room visits, was to avoid them. They always give you bad news. But again, an aspect has gone into declination and I have joined the club of people who can quote from their Cardiograms and Blood screenings. Now, taking medications instead of embracing blissful ignorance.
To those friends of mine that read these words. This is not a subtle message that I have received a “Notice of Impending Termination to My Mortality” or, in simpler words, that I am dying.
It is an unsubtle statement. I am.
As are you all.
One day closer to going from being alive for a generation or so, to a name on a granite slab and memory for another generation or so, to an occasional Google© search results.
There are some things that continue on the path of inclination.
My desire to learn, investigate, understand, and discover continues to thrive.
I now take the time to notice things, think about them, write about them, rather than just letting them whoosh by. There is much in the world to understand.
Some of it comes from my exploration into the basis of the many beliefs that were involuntarily imposed on me. All done with the best of intentions, but not with the best foundation in fact and reality. Some benign, some pernicious. All requiring a more in depth analysis to uncover the truth, and exorcise (pun intended) the fallacies.
I am struck by how things once hardly noticed, are now precious and important. The things formerly deemed so necessary, recognized as frivolous time thieves.
On an almost daily basis I pass by a place, introduced to me a long time ago, called Spooky Mountain. It is neither Spooky nor a Mountain, but it carries a significance in my life.
Conversations and experiences related to that time, and others, still impact me to this day.
My understanding of these experiences, and the way it may have altered various aspects of my life, continues to grow.
So the struggle between those aspects of life that are rising, and those declining continue. I will continue to see signs of once vibrant aspects of life lose their shine, perhaps with new ones, or an appreciation of the opportunities, to replace them.
I see much ahead to look forward to. But I no longer look so far ahead as to miss what is right in front of me.
Perhaps in finding balance, neither rising nor falling, we come to understand our existence.