Friday, December 2, 2011

Geezer Here

Old age is the most unexpected of all things that happen to a man.

Leon Trotsky
Hello George
I'm a senior citizen.

"No, you're an old coot, a geezer." "Don't get around much any more?" "Old rocking chair's gotcha?" "To old to cut the mustard?"

No, I'm a senior citizen.

"Nah, it's all down hill for you. You're past your prime. You're over the hill, rusted out. Why, you're on overtime. Give it up."


"Look at yourself, you're nothing but a bag of bones. You stagger around with a cane. You can't remember people's names. You probably forgot where you left your wallet Look at you, hanging on by a thread. Why don't you just die and rid the world of a parasite?"

I am a senior citizen and proud of it. And if you don't shut up I will do something which will probably send us both to the hospital.

As well as putting up with prejudice, underestimation and tacit or direct verbal abuse, one of the other tasks of being an older person is learning how to process what you know.

One cannot put in many years of life without knowing something, more than your youngers, about the world, human behavior and human misbehavior. Indissolubly linked with that understanding is what you know about yourself.

Life is unfinished business. As an old geezer I am still astonished to find out certain things about myself, and that tells me that my business isn't done. That knowledge comes upon me in unexpected ways. It's almost as if nature is saying "It's almost time to be tested for an advanced degree in selfknowledge, Better do some studying." And the understanding I learn about myself is also linked to what I know about the human race in general.

There's a proverb that says "When an old person dies a library burns down." I can't teach anyone what I know by sitting on my front porch. No one comes by to hear it. If I had a faithful old dog sitting at my feet I could tell him. But he probably knows it all already. So instead I write.

There are three levels of communication for a writer with senior years wrapped around his shoulders: the exoteric, the esoteric and the secret. The exoteric is knowledge that is proven. The esoteric is knowledge that can be proven if anyone cares to do it. The secret is manna of the heart that cannot be written except in parables, and then only with a silent pen.

Children screaming
With delight
There is no night there
All equations have been reduced
There is no right there
Only better

Dana Bate - Senior Vagabond
Never Give Up


pacifica62 said...

From a fellow geezerette, I like this entry. We seniors know far more than we are given credit for and I kind of like to keep that knowlege to myself sometimes. Watch the younger ones make total fools out of themselves with their know-it-all attitude. Many cultures revere and respect elders. Ours gave up on that a long time ago.

Geo. said...

Hello DB. My friend and frequent blog commenter, Willie (who is 74), has preferred the shamanic term "elder" since we met in 1965. I think I do too. But we have called each other many other things since then, some of them nice --it's the adjectives that really make the difference.