Old Age


The paraphernalia of old age are waiting beside me on the computer desk: glasses, hearing aid and (sorry) my denture who at the moment gives me some pain and my gums need a rest from time to time. But don’t worry, when I “Skype” with my friends I slip them back in again. And then, there is a cup of herbal tea (lemon balm) to pep me up.

In case you wonder what that thing is with the big, fat 22. It is, what the Germans call, an “Abreisskalender” ( a calendar were you tear of the previous date). There are always some useful informations on it, some quotes, important dates in history, sunrise and sunset for the town of Kassel  (the centre of Germany). I love those calendars and they show Sundays and public holidays in red.

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I’m getting old. At first I wanted to say, “Old age is catching up with me.” But on second thoughts  this is , strictly speaking, not true. It is rather the other way around, I’m catching up with old age. I’m entering a zone that was always there and was really waiting for me. “What took you?,” the zone seems asking me. Three score and ten was a long time ago.

As with the poor, the old will always be with us. People who die young usually become famous and are never forgotten; even by generations who have never seen them alive. Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy are good examples of that.

I’m neither of them and will never be famous. All my life I have been sliding into the “Old-Age-Zone”. Slowly at first and then lately faster and faster. The other day, at a funeral, someone mentioned that the Fridays are coming faster and faster around. What about Christmas and New Year? They seem monthly occurrences.

Apropos funerals. They are happening more often too. Friends and relatives, who mostly happen to be in the same age group, are taking their leave and, according to the priests, are turning to dust. And isn’t that the truth? Someone reminded me, that we are all made of star-dust. Just think of it, the star-dust could be 13 Billion years old. No wonder I feel tired sometimes. I have been around!  😉 Perhaps been part of another galaxy?

The eternal universe will claim us back when our Sun (Sol) expands in another 4.5 Billion years and swallows us up. A few million years after that the Sun will blow away and the atoms, that are me now, will return to the emptiness of outer space. What a future. 🙂

Meantime, here on Earth and in my time setting I’m ageing. I’m still running, about three times a week and I can just about make it back home. The worst are the shopping centres. I get tired very quickly and search out the places for a rest. And you have no idea how upset I’m getting when they remove a settee to make way for another stall in the mall.

Another sign of old-age is, when one takes note where the toilets are for a quick dash. I might not know where I parked the car, but by jolly I know where the toilets are in various shopping centres around the country. This knowledge is of paramount importance.

Food is another matter. I eat less and less and thereby deprive myself of nourishment. My darling wife, who is ageing too, tells me that she likes sugar less and less. My mother was the opposite, as her taste buds lost their sensitivity she told me, that sugar is the only food she can still taste and enjoy.

Funerals disrupt our own time-continuum and remind us that our own time is not really our own time. I had an appointment with my dentist and yesterday the receptionist rang to tell me, that he has to go to a funeral and my appointment has to be rescheduled. So, two days of my life will now happen in a complete different order than they had been  planned, just because a person passed away I have never met or even heard of. A train will run to Sydney without me and I will be deprived, at least till the new appointed time, of this beautiful view from my dentist’s chair.

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It is really like the old TV show “Day’s of our Lives”:
“Like sand through the hour-glass, so are the days of our lives”.

And one day we run out of sand and someone will write an epitaph for us.

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6 thoughts on “Old Age

  1. This post reminded me of something by Doris Lessing 🙂 She is one heck of a writer.
    Have said it before and will say it again….love your spirit and humour!

  2. Thanks, Munira but your spirit, in your circumstances, is nothing to sneer at either. We only have what the Germans call, “First World problems”.

    We, Uta and I, always think of you when we hear of what is happening in Lahore, Karachi or Islamabad. The Indian subcontinent is at a pivotal stage of history.

    • Thank you for commenting. Bryan. Old age is not so bad if body and soul hold together. What one can do for a deteriorating body, I don’t know, but for the soul the best remedy is becoming a stoic. Each day survived becomes a miracle to be celebrated. This joyous feeling might overcome the feeling of bodily weakness and all is all right.

      • I wished I could become more of a stoic. I agree with ‘Each day survived becomes a miracle to be celebrated.’
        We do slow down a lot, don’t we? Sometimes we forget things and then wonder why. Still, each day we live life to the full, sort of. Yes, and we are thankful for this.

  3. hey man i know what you feel but just enjoy the time.our world runs naturally it doesn’t care or wait or a persons daily needs.when tragedies happen something inside me says god made things to run on their own and we all have a choice and we will get the results accordingly 🙂 hardly can blame god but maybe he has a reason for why people die young or suffer at the old age.

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