This morning when I sat, I meditated on my time here on this planet. I do not ordinarily have a subject for meditation, I prefer to watch my thoughts do their absurd dance. But today I celebrate 65 years with 65 breaths and each takes me to places I’ve been and people I’ve loved, lost, left, and dreamed of. I do not feel old, nor do I feel young. I’m perfectly happy to be where I am in the context of time.
When I was growing up, 65 was when you got a ceremonial watch at work, retired, and maybe moved to Florida. That seems such a death in life sentence to me now. I’m as busy as I’ve ever been, though in different ways. I spent the majority of my life working towards being a writer and today I write a lot. When I started writing books for money, it always seemed fake to me, that I was not a pro. Now I accept that I am but also know how much there is to learn. No retirement here!
I understand the temptation to look back but it honestly does not interest me. Right now everyone on this planet is staring at the face of death, perhaps not our own but very likely someone we know. Contrary to early beliefs, no one is exempt, but then you never were. When I was younger I was a fan of the Carlos Castenada books about his supposed apprenticeship with a Sonoran Indian shaman, don Juan, who was a big joker. Though the books have been questioned these days as works of fiction, they had a big impact. The core message was ‘live as though death is on your left and may tap you on the shoulder at any time’. Very Buddhist of him.
It is shaping up to be a lovely sunny mild spring day, a gift. I’m heading out for a walk and it will be unnaturally quiet with our shelter in place rules. A pedestrian and cyclist paradise. These circumstances illustrate why contemplating your future is a futile thing- anything can happen, good and bad. If I look back, I look only a few months ago when I took a long train trip that felt like an odd, somewhat painful but beautiful rebirth. That seems to be as far back as I need to look.
This morning I am unconcerned about the future. I didn’t choose this day to come here, or maybe I did and don’t remember. But it is a beautiful place. We can’t forget that. I’m here, present and accounted for.