A Thousand Goodbyes

Three Dog Night is singing An Old Fashioned Love Song and I am seated again, breathing a little bit harder than I want to.

Been pushing myself to find a handle that none have ever located, the one that opens the door to the locomotive that pulls time.

Three more sets of push ups and I am that much closer to getting back to the 800 I once could do each night.

Three more sets and we’ll see how long it takes for a body that hasn’t done that with regularity in 20 some years to recover.

Some years ago, more than a few and less than an eon the people that built Stonehenge might have engaged in their own rituals and ceremonies to do something similar.

Since I wasn’t there and am not a modern day Indiana Jones I can’t tell you if there is any truth in that.

Never took an anthropology class or studied it so all I have is intuition, gut instinct and my experiences as a person.

Those experiences should be enough, people don’t change or evolve that much…do we.

A Thousand Goodbyes

The push to stop time or at least slow it down is a mix of vanity and curiosity.

I am not ready to be old.

Not ready to have a body that doesn’t respond as I want or need it to. Not ready to admit that I can’t do all that I used to.

It is easier to think of things in different terms, easier to think I let the body hibernate and when I wake it from its slumber it will go return to where it once was.

Easier to believe that if I put the work in I can do better than get back to where I was.

It is not the first time I have made this push, not the first time I have started to rock the boulder back and forth so that I could push it back up the hill.

Sometimes my hands have slipped and it rolled back down the hill and sometimes circumstances forced me to focus elsewhere.

There have been a thousand goodbyes, but no GOODBYE.

rivertime

A certain teenager wants to know if I have always been relentless and unforgiving.

I tell him that I have become what life requires of me and explain I cannot stomach the failure to try. Try and fail is ok with me, but fail to try sets me off.

We go back and forth about a variety of things and I try to remember, to really remember who I once was to see if that helps me relate better.

And somewhere in the distant recesses of memory I find that kid and bells go off inside.

I hear myself tell my own father that I don’t have to be him and I don’t care if I ever am.

Stirring up the ashes reminds me to consider whose expectations are most important here and to remember that not everything has to be done with the same breakneck pace I have tried to adapt.

When you are almost 16 time feels very different.

The years stretch endlessly.

But at my age time has a different feel, I hear a metronome inside my head that pushes me to run harder and faster.

So I take a deep breath and remind myself to stop trying to push the river. You can only old water in the palm of your hand, you cannot squeeze it.

The Meaning Of Stonehenge

I remember being 20 or so and talking with some of the guys about how funny it would be to stack rocks in various places around the world.

The point and purpose was to create fake monuments that would be studied by the people who came after us.

It stemmed from a conversation about whether we really knew anything about what happened in the ancient world.

It came from wondering what would happen if we discovered that we had mistranslated the hieroglyphics in the pyramids and misinterpreted ancient texts.

Because people are fallible and it is/was possible that we had been/were wrong.

People used to think the earth was flat. Maybe the people who built Stonehenge didn’t move the rocks around for any purpose at all.

Maybe they were just bored.

It wouldn’t be the first time a group of guys engaged in some silly act for no reason than just because.

We knew this because we had moved heavy stuff around for no reason than to satisfy our curiosity about whether we could lift it.

Note To Self

Try to be more like a river.

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2 Comments

  1. Danny Brown April 11, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Hey there mate,

    This reminds me of some of the updates I’ve been seeing recently on Facebook around mortality and living a good life. How both sets of updates cancel each other out.

    On the one side, you have the healthy living brigade – no alcohol, no smoking, no junk food. And how one of their healthy friends just died at 42, despite living a life healthier than the majority of us could probably ever know.

    On the other side, a heavy drinking, meat-eating beast of a man, who just celebrated his 96th birthday. How’d he celebrate? Steak and beer.

    Life’s funny. It makes us think of things we feel we should be, as opposed to letting us live the way we need to be. Does healthy living guarantee a longer life? No – but it doesn’t mean everyone is going to die at 42.

    Does unhealthy living mean a century’s worth of memories? No – but it doesn’t mean we can’t live until then, either.

    Point being, life is short, regardless of the decades we do or do not live.
    What we do in that time is far more important than the body we do it in.

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