My brother sent me a cryptic email for my 60th birthday; all it said was:
"Arrival On Earth"
and my immediate response was:
"I Have Landed"
For a moment I felt other-worldly, like an alien who'd
stumbled off a spacecraft from a distant planet.
Scientists say we originated from stardust and share a common
set of elements. If this is true, are we merely accidents gaining
momentum (like snowflakes), picking up hydrocarbons while tumbling
wide-eyed through reams and reams of exploding dark matter?
Ahem. Earth to Monica.
Or are we human beings created with a clearly focused Intention (see
Genesis...dust!), totally unique to billions of others in this giant
human swimming pool of a planet?
Given the short time we are blessed with life, I've thought
about the conundrums of death and aging, not because they
are morbid subjects or I'm cloaked in any sort of depressive
state, but because they are wholly fascinating subjects to
ponder, and the latter (because I haven't personally lived
through the former...haha) is odd and really is somewhat
"other-worldly" to observe.
I now view the world as an entirely different place as I did
in young adulthood, not because science, technology and
the Internet have expanded my perspective, but because
I'm old enough to perceive changes in perspective on
an extended timeline. When you're a fish in water, you don't notice the
water; history is happening day to day, moment to moment, but
not entirely digested until later when there is an accumulation
of time stacked behind you, like water behind a dam.
There is an acute awareness now of taking stock of events, big and
small, personal and impersonal. With all this accelerated to the nth
degree of change going on, the question remains: do things ever
really change? Are we still talking about sustainability ( a repeat
of the 1970's...remember our holy bible, The Mother Earth News?),
or how to end wars or prevent them from starting (power and resource
duels, nothing new).
At 60, you can see the world from a distance and view differences and
similarities that have accumulated over time. Splendidly interesting.
D. Di Zio
The body. Oh yes, lest we talk about the body. My mom summed
it up like this: "Picture an old car; parts just start rusting and
fall off." She told me this when I was 40 (watching her own body
changing) and I had no idea what she was talking about. Pretty
grim. Too abstract.
But now I get it. Concrete as hell.
It's bizarre to look in the mirror and say, who is that? Is that the
16-year-old ground me for the rest of my life, I don't care, it was worth
it - hellion you were 44 years ago? Or the glowing, enchanted and
electrified woman holding and kissing her first born for the first time
a mere 31 years ago? Or the highly irritable menopausal hellion-repeat
I won't go into details, a short 10 years ago?
At 60, not only do you realize a relatively long experience of life, but the
lives of others, too. Grandparents gradually shrink and fade from view
while children enlarge and ignite the entire landscape. When our
neighbor kids burst through the door (we installed a doorbell to
accomodate their height), the whole house lights up with laughter
and beautiful non-stop chatter.
Please: Don't put me in a home when I'm old; put me where I can
hear the laughter of children.
And finally, by 60 you realize nothing lasts. You rust out or you burn out,
but out you go. The bad times will pass (and so will the good) and as my friend Kathy Drue, says, life consists of moments arising, one after
another after another, that we have no control over and can only respond to as intelligently as possible. All the masks we wear, the roles
we play, the mistakes made, triumphs experienced...all of it comprises
the outer shell of our existence while the inner mystery remains intact,
indestructible and infinite...an energy that pulses through the universe,
(call it god, the source, the life force)...picking up particles on
its flight through space, creating black holes, big bangs, planets,
stardust and real honest-to-goodness people.
Thank you brother, for the succinct off-kilter birthday wish.
Got me thinking.