What was it meant to feel like at my age (54)?

No one ever told me.

As a young boy, everyone seemed so much older than me but never talked about ageing nor their age. That’s not quite true: “Inside, I still feel like I’m 18”.

But I’m here.

In the thick of it.

And much like or similar to my teenage years, the questions keep tumbling out:

why are we here?
what’s the meaning of meaning?
why was I born?
did my parents really want a second child?
why did work take up so much of my time? …

Bliss, happiness or contentment.

A heady brew if ever there was one.


Why those?

I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s because we’ve a taste for them or we’ve been indoctrinated to believe that they will amount, brick by brick, to a life well lived.

As for something more grounded — real, if you like — well, as long as it doesn’t induce a sharp attack of nihilsim, pessimism or dark, brooding gloom, then you’re let off the meathook of life’s-not-worth-living or any other label that fits the mould of: ‘you’re not trying hard enough to make yourself happy’.

If this…

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“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

It’s a question that heaves up regularly.

Why are we here?

To continue our squalid destruction of the Earth?

I hope note; I really do.

What if our evolutionary trajectory had run its course with the great apes. What then? Well, nature and all sentient creatures would have breathed a huge sigh of relief.

But it’s too late.

We’re here, and despite, in some cases, a falling birth rate, if the statisticians…

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“If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?” Dogen

It doesn’t get any easier: trying to understand what’s really in play.

…a moving, shifting, universal flow of energy.

Possibly or more than likely but we’ve still to make sense of our earth-bound, angst-ridden days, haven’t we?

I’d be the first to accept that if you’re not careful you can succumb to being an endless seeker. If not of the metaphysical kind at least one where you don’t (daily) feel torn apart by the vicissitudes of life.


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“I do nothing, granted. But I see the hours pass — which is better than trying to fill them.” — E. M. Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born

If we really understood the import of the title to this post, I wonder then how we’d live out our lives?

Perhaps we don’t see the ending of our days; I mean, everyone else is going to die but not us.

Perhaps we think we’ve got to run scared for fear of not being all we can be; but who are we, and where do we come from and where do we…

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“To enter a wood is to pass into a different world in which we ourselves are transformed.”
Roger Deakin, Wildwood: A Journey through Trees

Work — the legal type — has been quiet.

I know it’s likely to pick up but it’s given me plenty of time to contemplate my future. Too much, some would say.

And no, I’m not about to lay down another vacuous, less still benevolent trail of life-ending exhortations, but rather to reflect on the fact that as I move into the Third Act of my life, I’ve begun to sense a different pace to…

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“I think you can be anything you wanna be.
Maybe in your world, Robert.
Doesn't happen that way in mine.
Change your world.” — The Equalizer

I’m back from a short break.

Nothing too fancy but, sadly, I’ve not come back rested, nor relaxed or feeling a great deal different to when I left a week ago.

Never mind.

Life rolls on.

The above quote is one I’ve brought back from my break; namely, it’s circling around my introspective mind.

It’s taken from the screenplay to the film, The Equalizer, starring Denzil Washington (who plays Robert McCall) and Chloë Grace…

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The presence of the elder is of great consequence. The presence of the elder forsaken by growth can prompt this deepening, this skill of being slight, in the witnesses. Rather than “old growth,” you might say “old, grown.” Elderhood is the antidote to personal growth and the fret of personal inadequacy that drags it along. It trades salvation for sorrow and sanity and a late-coming chance to get it right. — Stephen Jenkinson, Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble (p. 56)

If you’ve followed me on Twitter, you’ll have seen me pick up steam…

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

The rubric to this post is oft-quoted or, certainly, it comes up in certain mythic and/or spiritual and/or ‘be-all-you-can-be’ circles.

But think about it.

Have you laid next to or been close to a dying person in their final days and hours?

And not to make a ghoulish, slightly nihilistic, less still, insensitive point but they’re rarely at their best. In fact, it’s a gargantuan struggle for many and so often family members would rather it was at an end.

Perhaps this isn’t what the “live every day…” message is supposed to mean.

What then?

I know. It’s the peak…

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

“Forgetting oneself is opening oneself”

I’ve this dream that I own a time-travelling machine.

I can go anywhere I want — the beginning or end of time especially seize my attention.

How did all begin and/or will it end?

And then I ask myself what I’d do, once I arrived at the chosen moment? Fix something, take the information back to the current moment or…nothing?

Like all of us, I’m sure there are a few things in the past that I’d have done differently. As to the future, I’m desperate to know how bad it’s going to be…

Julian Summerhayes

Spiritual and cultural activist

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