autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.


Tomorrow is my birthday. I find that I am increasingly ambivalent in relation to keeping track of it; once upon a time (as is likely common for children), I impatiently awaited the next milestone. I did so as much for “getting closer to adulthood” as for the various attentions that the annual celebration would once bring. After about 25, I largely forget about it until nearing 30. From there, 35 and then 40 were slightly bumps that brought the quasi-morose thought that, yes, actually, I am going to grow old and eventually die, just like everyone else.

I’ll spare you the various spasms of railing against the reality of mortality and simply say I am not yet come to terms with it. This, an unfortunate reality, is largely pushed into the mental attic; appearing only during certain insomniac nights or times of hormonal high tide to shake its chains and make scary noises.

For the most part, I am thankful to see another year; the recent spate of health issues with diabetes was too immediately motivating to be frightening but, in the time since, has arisen more than once to remind me just how close a call it was and that the days when fearless living without mindfulness of physiological realities of age and health is, at best, unwise. (I’ve a long road to go yet until I find enjoyment of the annual physical or the quarterly blood work.)

Interestingly, the feeling of compulsion to “do something worthwhile” returns with a vengeance. I say it is interesting because it largely vanished from 23 to 40; being all wrapped around life’s axle raising my daughter, making it through the dot com bust, and rebuilding sent it to the background. But all the above and a slow look around this poor dirtball brings it roaring back to the fore like a maddened thing.

I contemplate what exists in the proximity and reach of me, and I think about old plans that sit dusty in the mental attic. I consider activism but generally find I am unchanged of perspective in relation to it (alas); the old 90/10 ratio still exists and it is, I think, highly unlikely that “I” will be much more than a very small blip on the radar of human history. Of course, I comfort myself with the thought that proximity renders scale and there are likely many who would cheerfully debate this…. ah, ego, you insatiable thing. (wry grin)

All in all, tomorrow will likely be a calm, quiet, and usual day; this is very likely as it should be and though the eight-year old in my mind is pouting, I do not think it something worth more than a chuckle… a bow and a smile to survival, a wondering look at the unknown future, and a slight shrug for the neutrality of “the now”; thus does my brief contemplation find its end.

(Aside: Palladium is atomic number 46.)