From 0 to 60 in the Blink of an Eye





Life is a remarkable thing.

The next time ICUJP meets, I shall have turned 60. I find the thought of it extremely perplexing. It is only a little time ago that I remember my 6 th birthday with almost as much clarity and with a similar perplexity. What, I wondered, was so special about this day, and why was I receiving a new toy?

To me, now, as I contemplate all this, the experience is not just remarkable but equally it is beautiful. If there is any major difference between my 6th and 60 th birthdays it is, perhaps, that I am beginning to understand this mystery of life, if only by the minutest of fractions.

For it is, by this smallest of fractions, that I have managed to learn in the intervening few years how utterly breath-taking, spell-binding, and miraculous this experience truly is; and I would like to think that this is at least part of the purpose and value of aging.

I suppose I should take and accept it as a gift that I am having this kind of experience and discovery, because as I look around I find, or at least it would appear, that not everyone feels the same way. Clearly, life for many people aged 60 and older is far from a hill of beans; although this is not to say that mine has always been either, but the unfolding of life’s experiences has led me to this conclusion and realization.

And it is to this extent that I question and wonder why more people who are over the brow of life’s hill do not share this same deep sense of joy and marvel as to what this experience is really all about: Why age does not make us kinder, gentler, more free and generous spirits; even to the extent that the concept of wisdom can be applied.

Surely, anything that makes us more removed from society with a colder, more angry face as we age is tantamount to something having gone awry along the way.

Imagine a world populated by our elderly generations having found – even if spontaneously – the ability simply and merely to “let-go”; to become increasingly free, unattached to almost every aspect of human life save the connection to Life itself, and the ease to fall into an obedience to a higher calling: the miracle of It; the Eternal Silence of It; and perhaps most especially, the gesture of It.

So this is how I stand and sit at this present juncture of my life. I cannot say or even pretend that it shall continue to be this way; but I would like at least to think that it is the general trend.

With my thanks and appreciation for you all at ICUJP who have shared much if not quite all of the past 10 years of my experience of life in which we all equally share and participate.

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