Reminiscences of an aged Person

Solitary Tree by Caspar David Friedrich

Solitary Tree by Caspar David Friedrich

I’m an aged person. I say this deliberately, as I do not consider myself an old person. In a couple of months, I’ll hit eighty. One would think a person of my age would know where he or she, comes from. I’m not so sure this applies to me. I’m still trying to find my way in an uncertain world. It is the journey that counts and the way we behave on that journey.

The other day on the radio (yes, I’m that old fashioned) I heard someone say she had to disappear for a year, to find herself. It struck me then, that I had never done this. My life always depended on others. Everything I ever did was with someone else in mind.

If I disappear for a year now, my loved ones will say, I’m selfish or even stupid. What would I achieve? Find myself? More likely I will lose myself. It is myself whom I stare at, every morning, in the mirror. Warts and all, as the saying goes.

With having made only a few real decisions I was formed, mainly, by circumstances and became the person I am today Still, I am happy with my life as it turned out to be.

More drifting than steering, and like an old boat, I have collected a few barnacles of personal history I can’t get rid off. Neither should I. Those barnacles are part of me now, they are part of my skin. So to speak.

With my eightieth birthday comes the seventieth anniversary of the end of WW II. Anybody who lived through that catastrophe is a marked person. I can’t see any “free will” at work anywhere. Kurt Vonnegut wrote in his novel “Slaughterhouse Five” that the universe is structured such, that every moment is a “structured moment”. Meaning of course that nothing could have been done to alter a certain outcome. We act, or do not act, as we must.

Buddhist urge us to be more accepting, but some of us are structured that way, that we can’t be accepting. The struggle against fate is stressful. Leaders try to change fate and sometimes seem to be successful. But I want to suggest, that they are better in coming to grips with the underlying structure. They see light, where we see only shadows.

When I turn eighty, I will publish a post about my tenth birthday, That day is more vivid in my mind than what happened to me last week.

In the meantime, I will do a bit more aging. Luckily, my wife and I are able to age together.



10 thoughts on “Reminiscences of an aged Person

  1. Hi peter you and wife sharing a journey that started some fifty years ago and still together,that is the best part of all this wonderful aging process called life right 🙂

    • Thank you for commenting. I was wondering where you were. You are right it is a great privilege to have a lifelong partner. We were meant for each other – the universe is structured that way.

  2. The meaning is the journey, which is what makes it so special. If we are governed by unseen wires of circumstance, life is still the wildest carnival ride of all.

  3. ‘Drifting not steering’…Vonnegut….we cant all be Buddist. Ageing is a strange thing our life experiences are such determiners of who we are. Loved this post and looking forward to your birthday (10 years old) post….blog on!

    • Thank you, “sedwith”, for visiting my blog and subscribing to it.
      I know, we can’t all be Buddist, be can get a bit closer. All people have something that is attractive. The bad thing about ourselves is, we often overlook what is attractive in others.

      • I do try to take on some Buddist philosophies …never get to nirvana status though. My favourite would be the saying of the Greek Hericlitus who said the only thing certain in life is change. How true and yet so much about humans remains the same thus history repeats…..ah well all food for thought. We are an interesting species.

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