When The World Is Too Much With Me

     I’m old: 71. The older I get, the less patience I have for a great many irritating and inconveniencing things. A barrage of those things will send me to one of my “escape hatches:” fiction; music; yard work; chess; weapons (this is a big one lately); cooking; or some other. Each of them possesses the power to divert me from my cares and restore me to calm. That’s a very good thing (cf. “weapons”).

     Music is an especially valued retreat. I can hide in the memories associated with it. It’s almost as good as a chronoscope that way. But as with all good things, there’s a price to be paid: I can remember too much.

     Memories of bad things, things that hurt badly or cost heavily, extract one sort of price. Yet most of those things have been more instructive than destructive. I unlearned many mistakes through the simple mechanism of suffering for having made them. I still wince at recalling them, of course, but I value the lessons they imparted.

     Remembering the good things can hurt a lot worse.

     I shan’t go into details. Rather, if you’re of a comparable age and feeling brave, listen to the song embedded below. I first heard and loved it in 1972. What memories does it bring back? Wince-able ones that remind you what a careless, thoughtless sort you were…and possibly still are from time to time? Or glorious ones that make you wish you could have frozen time right then and there, when you knew all the joy life could offer you…and hadn’t yet realized that the greater your joys, the worse it would hurt to have them slip away, as all joys must with the passage of time?

     Old friends: listen and remember. Young friends: if your time hasn’t come yet, consider dragging your feet a bit.

1 comment

    • Dave on August 24, 2023 at 1:56 PM

    Thank you. I’m only a year behind you.  A roller coaster has nothing on living a life, What A Ride.

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