I was going through my daily business of cleaning the crap spam out of my comments when I happened to think “how long have I been doing this”—blogging I mean. I guess my unconscious was at work because as far as I am able to tell from the blog itself, January 31—two days from this now moment–will mark the end of my second year of keeping this blog.
Looking back, by January 31, 2006 (two years ago by my calculations) my brothers and I were getting really up to our necks in dealing with the health and living situations of Joan and WB. That was a lot; there were all sorts of emotional currents running this way and that—at a time moreover when I had just turned 60. I hadn’t realized turning 60 would be such a big deal and maybe it wouldn’t have been without having to deal also with the illness and then death of WB in February 2006.
But I think it would have been, I am now concluding, a pretty big deal in any case. In fact, turning 60 may precipitate an identity crisis nearly as powerful as that of adolescence. Part of that crisis, why it is so intense, has to do with the changing bodies, with raging hormones and so forth. Who is or where is one in all those hormones and body changes. But body changes occur or start to occur or have already begun to occur (depending on the person) also with age. Hormones that once raged have, well, quieted down quite a bit. One’s estrogen level (if one is a male) drops and with that so does muscle mass, and with that drop so does one’s strength drop off. I really hate it when I find myself struggling to get the lid of some bottle or other or when I have to grab the banister going down the stairs when one of my knees start to ache.
And this is not even to mention—much—the changes that are occurring in the mirror. At adolescence as I recollect I had pimples. Powerful red blemishes that at the same time were a portent of things still to come. Now I have relatively few blemishes of that kind but plenty of another: many, many wrinkles and a face that actually sags downward when I bend over the sink to brush my yellow teeth. These changes also portent things to come, but quite different things than those adolescent blemishes portended. Quite, quite different things indeed.
Another big shift too occurs. While the flaming blemishes of the adolescent point towards the future, towards adulthood and goals to be achieve, and places to go and people to meet, the lines and wrinkles and sag in one’s face point one back towards the past. I think. Not towards the unknown future and what will be with all its attendant anxiety and expectation, but towards what has been and how that fits with who one is or isn’t and trying to locate some meaning it in all—with all the anxiety upon that.
That’s what I think I was starting to do back in January of 2006 on the blog. Sorting through things and trying to make some livable sense of it all.