Friday, October 7, 2011

Fight The Good Fight

He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill.

Edmund Burke
Hello Val
Every time I step into the ring the warrior who faces me bears a striking resemblance to myself. He has the same gray hair and beard, but there is scorn in his eye and a snarl on his lip. He begins the fight by taunting me with everything he can think of that's wrong with me, hoping I will give up the fight before it starts.

"Look at you, you're a wreck. You stagger down the street with a cane. Your hip is so bad it's painful for you to walk. Stay home."

So I take the cane and walk the 4 long blocks to the store, stopping to rest at the only pocket park on my way. Sometimes it rains on me. I like the rain. It's Nature's christening, giving me a new name of hero to myself. When I return home with the package of good things for myself I climb the 3 flights to my chamber of hope and rest.

"Remember, Winter is coming. You're going to slip and fall and break your neck or worse. You'll be in the hospital before you know what happened."

Yes, I remember last Winter when I slipped and fell once, on the icy sidewalk. So I don my L L Bean winter boots and walk in the street which is plowed. I see the cars and they see me. The winter wind blows through my hair and gives me energy and spirit.

"You're eyesight is so bad you can't see anything. Stop reading. You're going to give yourself a splitting headache."

So I take my magnifying glass and read for hours, philosophy, history, biography, religion, psychology and science. I read with pleasure.

"You're so dense you never got a college education. You don't know anything. Stop trying to be a writer. You just can't do it."

So I sit here at the keyboard for hours and the words flow: 2 novels, a bunch of short stories, 3 published essays and over 1,300 entries on my journal. Having seen into the minds of great thinkers of the past and present, I humbly and gratefully offer my own words, in my native language and in my own uneducated way.

"You're an old man. Go fold up and let younger men take the field."

Men of any age are welcome to take the field but when they do they will find me there, standing as a banner for honest heroes.

"You're 72. You don't have any life left in you. You're heading for the grave."

I'm 72 and very much alive. What's 7 decades to an eternity? It's barely a beginning. I love my life.

Dana Bate - The Vagabond
Never Give Up


What event over the past year changed your life, a lot or a little?

Only 3 answers so far.

I await your answers.


Jon said...

Most of the people I know with big college degrees are just a hog's hair short of being idiots. I only studied music in college because it gave me ample opportunities to perform.
Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't publish her first book until she was 74. Grandma Moses was - what? - something like 82 before she started painting.
Hell, there's hope for all of us!
Keep going, and God bless you for it!!!

Valerie said...

Hello Dana! I love my life, too. I love who I am - more and more each day as I discover who I am and where I am going and what I enjoy. This post made me smile, thanks! Have a good weekend and a good rest of your eternity =)

pacifica62 said...

It doesn't seem fair that after some certain age we have to start proving our usefulness to the world and have to justify our very existance. At what point in my life will I be considered a doddering old fool. That is not who I am. The outside of the package might be a little worse off for wear but the inside is still fresh, alive and vibrant. Pity that some in the world cannot see this.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

You have had a remarkable life and I am glad you are sharing it through this forum.