Friday, October 7, 2016

I may not be equipped

I may be too old, too weak, too smart, too dumb, too ignorant.  I may not be smart enough to live this life.  I may be too poor, too rich, too simple, too complicated.  I may be too insensitive or too sensitive, too pampered or too deprived or somehow, both.  I am confident that my ancestors never faced the waves of electronic, paper and other kinds of information, challenges and confusion I face.  

On the other hand, when I think of leaving a part of England or France or Holland or Denmark and embarking on a wooden vessel driven by sails across the wild Atlantic, they may have faced greater confusion, darkness and fright than anything I have known.  They didn't have electricity or cellphones or paved roads or antibiotics.  They had candles and mail by horseback and alcohol.  I imagine most of them could read but I don't know why I think that.  

Sometimes, I think that humans have not evolved to be able to handle instantaneous information and even pictures of riots, murders, botched investigations and operations and so are not physically and neurologically built to handle the situations they are in just now.  But most of that is a rather intellectual worry, not based on the actualities of my real life as it is going on now.

I try to stay aware of the fact that I am in the latter years of life.  I have read confusing information about the history of human longevity.  I read that for most periods, the early years of life were the most difficult to survive and that if you did live to, maybe 50, you had a good chance of living to 70. But just now, I see an article from the Atlantic that 33% more people are living to 70 than were in 1990.  

I think of a moment in the movie "True Lies" when the actor Tom Arnold plays a character who has just run through a hail of bullets.  He stops and feels himself all over, trying to find out if he has been hit.  I guess that is I what I need to do: check each morning to see if I am awake and alive and more or less whole.  If so, proceed full steam ahead or as full as I can manage.

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