Friday, February 28

Age Gets Heavy

“Forty," Victor Hugo wrote, "is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age.” To which Arthur Schopenhauer added,  “A man finds himself, to his great astonishment, suddenly existing, after thousands and thousands of years of non-existence: he lives for a little while; and then, again, comes an equally long period when he must exist no more. The heart rebels against this, and feels that it cannot be true.” 

Point is, that somewhere between 55 and 65: life's climb gets heavy. But we can't just stop... Well the thought's unbearable. And too often, home's up there somewhere, from where we came down so easily. You know, maybe we waddled down to idle on some beach? So what now? Just getting anywhere nowadays means climbing. Rats...

Forget Thomas Wolfe, you can go home again - but only if you can stumble back up those f'king stairs. Uh-huh, at some moment it's become obvious to everyone... Everywhere you gotta' go is... UP!

Well now my boots are weighted down with age and the next landing's... Damn, I'm only halfway! And since men don't whine, I can only wonder when I stumbled through maturity into shuffling? 

How many steps from where I am now... until I become a member of Generation Dodder? Schopy was right... my heart's in rebellion. "Ka-Thump!" it says as each step gets a little heavier. Okay... the one-way doors to God's Waiting Room aren't anywhere in my sight... yet. But I'll tell ya'. After a jostling this month riding a bus for days through Morocco... well - my tourings are over.

From here on, from point A to point Zed,  it's either helicopters or cruise lines. This month, the vast continental interiors slammed closed. Bye-bye Heart of Darkest Mongolia, I'll YouTube you.


Cedric said...

I don't know about age getting heavy but for me it is certainly getting stiff. And not in the good way :)
Sorry to hear your African adventures have come to an end but I understand where you're coming from in that respect. My wife is ever keen to travel overseas which, from Australia, always involves crowded, tireome airports and long, draining flights. Personally, I'd rather visit places in Australia. It's not like I'd have so many years left that there'd be a risk of running out of places to see.
Where was the photo taken? I like the makeshift ramp up the stairs. It would make shuffling far easier.

Ted said...

Hiya, glad to hear from you Cedric. Is all well on the fiery continent? Tragic stuff. Terrible way for Australia to make our daily Lancaster news. But was away and failed to hear of the cessation of the infernos - have they?

Australia's adversity is that is so far away from the rest of us. Australia's advantage is that it is so far away from the rest of us. Often I'd choose the advantage thingee. Odd how virtual channels make it clear that Australia, New Zealand, North America, and to a lesser extent (heh-heh) the British Isles: share such a common culture. And since I'm a cultural determinist - it is as if we awake as part of a common conversation of shared hopes, fears, wants, needs, and desires only a pesky plane-seat distance (PSD) away.

But that PSD is so, well, shitty. I've turned down a number of business trips to your part of the world, fearing even when my internal stuff was younger, that the cost/benefit ratio was some multiple of 1. Now I fear its hit triple digits. Sigh! And I'm a healthy guy for my age, doing gym stuff three days a week with no important chronic stuff eating at my innards. But this last tour was just too tedious with endless bus hours bracket within endless air-hours. We spent 12 days actually in Morocco, then four more in Paris (first time in France). And the C/B ratio coupled with the PSD was, well enough.

My wife's lobbied for trips where our hotel rooms followed us about... meaning cruises and/or extended train rides - or the renting of a villa with friends to allow us day trips into the surroundings. Our Patagonian adventure together with European river cruising reinforced her arguments. Soooooo.....

The photo above was grabbed at the bottom of a stairwell ascending from the Roman ruins of Volubilis in Morocco. I've become fascinated with Rome's use of Northern Africa as their breadbasket and Volubilis was the Western anchor of that vast agricultural accomplishment with perhaps Memphis at its eastern edge. The remnants of the vast irrigation engineering is such an awesome achievement not yet re-accomplished in the dark-age and war-torn areas between Morocco and Egypt. Pity.

Cedric said...

The idea of a hotel room following you around could definitely be the way to go. No packing and unpacking and always close enough to catch a breather. Your Patagonian trip did look good and it didn't look like one of those cruise ships that's the size of a small city with an entire amusement park on top of it. I doubt very much I'd like to be on that kind of ship with 6000 other guests. In any case, my wife has an immutable distaste for any kind of cruise so it's not something we would be doing on any ship any time soon. Or perhaps ever since my wife heard of what happened to the Diamond Princess in Japan.
As for the fires, yes they are out. Another season of bushfires to go into the annals of Australian history along with all the others. Hopefully they will be recorded factually and not as the media portrayed it with fires reported to be burning in the desert and a koala death count that completely outnumbers the total population. In any case, the summer rains finally came which put out the flames and cleared the smoke and now, with news of a virus on everyone's mind, all but the most fire-affected have moved on. No time to mourn our losses, that media behemoth keeps churning out new stuff for us to wrap our fears around. I'm being facetious but you know what I'm talking about.
While on the topic of news, I posted on Plop recently, probably while you were away.
Anyway, I hope you still find yourself on adventures in the future. Don't let that health and vigour go to waste ;)