El Loco Llegar

Thoughts

Aging

I thought it might be useful to me, and perhaps anyone who might read this, to express in written form the ideas, musings, questions, and thoughts I have about aging, and by projection, life in general.

 

The first thought is that perhaps aging is not the appropriate word for what I am undergoing.  For context and background, I should divulge that I am 78 years old, sometimes feel like 35, and other times perhaps 85, on up to 95.  (Every now and then I exceed the magic number of 100 years old, but what I see there is not yet ready for public consumption.)  I really don’t know, since I have no benchmarks or standards by which to measure what I am experiencing, so again it is all in the mind (a phrase that keeps me informed, humble, and pointed in the right direction, almost unerringly).

 

Secondly, I am increasingly finding that if I put my thoughts or ideas on the printed page (or pixelate them on my laptop) that they take on a certain solemnity and gravitas that mere whimsy does not, since others might read what I write and wonder what in the world is going on in that mind of mine.   I often wonder the same thing, but then I have always been given to meandering introspection, with varying and often very interesting results).

 

I first developed that ability (which we all have, but I seemingly dwelled in that domain more frequently that my friends did) when I was younger and attempting to figure out what was going on.  By “going on” I mean what was actually happening behind all the external and internal drama, actions, words, and interactions among the people in my life.  I figured that what they were doing was called “living life” that perhaps I had been born on the wrong planet, since it all seemed to be “pretended” and “play-like” sorts of twists on reality.   I occasionally have that recurring thought, and am wise enough to not openly express it any more, since that can lead to awkward and uncomfortable discussions.

 

Further, I was somewhat puzzled by their actions, as they made little sense to me, from my perspective, and my younger years certainly had enough drama and chaos to cause me to question why people acted that way.   They actually seemed a bit crazy to me, but they were the adults and parents and relatives and neighbors, and I figured they knew some things that I did not.   That turned out to be true, and what I found out explained a lot about why they acted so mysteriously and crazily, to my unformed, uninformed, wondering, and juvenile mind.

 

At some point I “grew up” and found out, or at least had the experience of thinking that I had found out (two different domains), that everyone was pretending, whether they actually realized it or not,   And the more they thought they were pretending, the firmer their views became.

 

Now, of course, this was all from my viewpoint (and what isn’t ?), but it came to me that no one actually knew anything, and that it was all a pretense, made-up, albeit a very firm and mostly validated pretense shared by others, which then was defined as “reality.”

 

And what else did I find out?   That they were simply different, saw things differently, perhaps because they were older, possibly smarter (although secretly I thought that I was smarter, but certainty counts a lot when imitating smart).   It’s in the same domain wherein those who talk loudly are thought to know more than the meeker folks.

 

And as I aged, I began to see that everyone was actually just making it all up, based on their experience, background, teaching, and viewpoint, and that the more one asserted one’s position, the more likely it was to be accepted.   I think that still is how it mostly works, unfortunately, at least in my view, which is of course the only one that is valid if one is to go forward into the rampant insanity called reality.

 

It is like the old parable of the emperor and his new clothes, which everyone knows is an allegory for delusion, and is demonstrated daily in our various news feeds, except we need to make a choice of whether or not the emperor in question actually has new clothes, since he or she obviously does not, at least to us.

 

There is a “process” or “game” that some people try which involves imagining the person who is speaking as not having any clothes on – meaning that he or she is actually naked, and merely thinks that they are clothed.  This accounts for much of what we read, see, and view in the various sensory inputs that come to us through the written, spoken, and visual media.

 

And so, where does that leave us?   Same place as before, but with a bit more humility, reality, appreciation, and insight, but only if one accepts that we really do not know what is going on.  And my assertion is from that place of “not knowing,” one can then actually begin to really “know.”

 

Meaningless poppycock?  Perhaps.  But it is intriguing to contemplate what our lives would be like should we accept that we do not know, and that it is in fact a game, and then decide that it is the only “game in town” worth playing, and we had better learn the rules and abide by them, or else we would become insane, or more accurately, realize we were insane all along.

 

And from that realization comes the concept of “reality,” while at the same time knowing that “reality” is not actually “real.”

 

And so it goes, forever, if we are lucky and aware.

 

I hope that clears things up.

 

El Loco

(November, 2021)

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