Note: I read all comments and respond to most. --- New posts every 10 to 15 days...except when life decides to get in my way by dropping a log into my pond.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Age is a Funny Thing

Courtesy "Psychology Today"
Today, it seems, I haven't much to say about life. I've pretty much come to accept its ebbs and flows, its peaks and valleys, and...well, not so much its plateaus. But overall, it is what it is.

The earlier version of myself would never have agreed. I was constantly off on some new adventure, taking on some new challenge, and learning some new element of life. Ohhh...and could I be profound! Metaphoric essays erupted from my inner core, and poetry just oozed out of my pores!

Today appears to be a time, not so much of opinion, but of story-telling. As I came of the age I am now, I was rather convinced I would end up this elderly wise sage. Perhaps some of my more long-time friends may still see me that way. Did I know that all those adventures would lead to telling stories? I think not.

Ever see the 2003 movie Big Fish, starring Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney and Billy Crudup? The following excerpt is taken from Yahoo-Movies:
As an eight-year old confined to bed because of a preternatural growing spurt, Edward Bloom occupies himself by reading the entire World Book Encyclopedia. He is taken in particular with an article about goldfish, in which he learns that "if goldfish are kept in a small bowl, they will remain small. With more space, the fish can double, triple or quadruple its size." Ten years later, after becoming one of the most popular young men in Ashton, Alabama, he realizes that--like the goldfish--in order for him to grow he must leave home and explore the world.
And thus, an improbable and mythic journey begins. Many years and countless adventures later, Bloom is well known as a teller of tall tales about his colorful life as a less than ordinary young man, when his wanderlust took him around the world and back again. When Edward becomes ill,...Will [his disbelieving son] embarks on his own personal journey trying to separate the myth from the reality of his father's life and come to terms with the man's giant feats and great failings.
My own father was much like Edward Bloom in the "tales about his colorful life" department -- at least in the way it affected me. I'm not so sure I was ever able to sort it all out like Will did in the movie, but at an early age I decided that my colorful stories of life would simply need to be true. I honestly believe that is why I chose to be a writer of nonfiction.

Growing up in the midst of so many tall tales, the quest for truth filled the deep crevices of my heart and soul. In my early years I immersed myself in the Bible -- a book that Roman Catholics of that time weren't supposed to read without direction. HA!

Then, as a teen I searched the works of Kant, Camus, Tiehard de Chardin, Jung and even Kahlil Gibran. Many philosophies and religions later, I returned to the Bible as my final word on what is true...finally having been taught how to understand it. (And, for those who hold that Carpe Diem doesn't possibly fit with the Bible, it does -- perfectly.)

When I first sat down to write today, I thought that a head full of opinions may be a thing of youth - a trait that perhaps dissipates with age, because aging teaches us that everyone always has an opinion about something. 

And, I had the thought that the story-telling was an outgrowth of having lived many wildly colorful years. These thoughts may all harbor some truth, but I think my premise is false.

I believe my concepts about "being full of opinions" and "being full of story-telling" have nothing really to do with age. In fact, that is where my premise is in error.

Age is a funny thing. People vary far more than from Black to White, and a few shades in between -- far more than any rainbow. I believe that people are, refreshingly, as unique and varied as God. And yet, to consider that the foolishness of God still lies far above the greatest wisdom of all mankind combined -- oh my! So much for opinion.

It is not the chronological age of an individual that determines these tendencies. Rather, it is how one ages, how one assimilates the adventure of living life, that would have the greatest influence on what exudes from that life -- no matter the actual years lived.

Opinionator? Stories? Sage? Ah yes! Age is a funny thing.


Talli Roland said...

Well said! It's not about age at all but how one relates and absorbs their experiences. I love this thought.

M Kathy Brown said...

Talli ~
I'm so glad you like it. Thanks for stopping by!


Kari Marie said...

Isn't there an old saying about "You are only as old as you think you are?" Maybe not. Anyway. I love the sentiment you posted here.

M Kathy Brown said...

Hi Kari Marie!
Glad to see you stop by and leave a comment...even when it's been over 2 weeks since I've posted. The month of May has me way too busy with other time sensitive matters to be doing my usual blog. But, I'll be back :~)

My favorite on age is quite similar to the one you wrote...
"Old as the hills, but I feel twice as young!"


Monica Devine said...

Nice to connect with you again, Kathy. I've been thinking about age lately and frankly, for the first time in my life it has been quite disturbing. About a decade from 70...I think, what can one do in her 70's, and 80's? The thought of coming so close to non-existence is frightening and religion has never brought comfort. Now I simply think, enjoy all the wonderful people in your life, experience and create as long as possible, and then, HAVE COURAGE. I think it will take great courage.