Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sugar Mountain

Over this weekend, I've had a larger than normal slice of life, and glad I was using a spoon since I needed it to get every morsel. Our hometown baseball team (we're in the NY-Penn League, you know, without having to be in either state) is battling for the top slot as their season dwindles down. I got to spend part of Saturday afternoon watching young children storm the local mall for back to school shoes and shirts and bookbags and backpacks, more in love with the allure of the unknown adventure than chastened by the return of the routine. 


Speaking of the unknown adventure I had an acquaintance (more of an ally of convenience) needing to attend the funeral of a friend's parent. I didn't know the person whose parent died nor do I know the cause, but the grief and the loss are something to which I can relate. And while I can hear the ringing of John Donne's bell, I don't listen to each individual note within the peal, as after a while they all blend together.

As one story ended, another continued, of sorts, as another and different acquaintance celebrated a birthday, marking a quarter of a century here on the Big Blue Marble. Our children, Patrick and Michelle, have been on this orb for about the same number (approximately, one a little more and one a little less) of sunrises and sunsets, admittedly seen for years from a different horizon so I smiled when reading about hitting the (first) quarter-century mark. 


Was that a somewhat rueful grin on my own face as I realized at that age then I didn't know anyone my age now? Yeah, a little-hand on my heart I'm not sure I was even aware there were people my current age still roaming the earth, fan of Pete T and Roger D that I am. And now it's your generation singing and living the song written about mine. I guess it underscores the triumph and transcendence of art-and I'd feel better if I knew what that meant or was worth (the latter, I fear, I can guess).

Youth, suggested George Bernard Shaw, is wasted on the young, but having once been that spendthrift, I respectfully disagree. When else but when one is young, should every moment be as vivid as it is, the universe of possibilities as vast as the sky overhead, the promise of tomorrows going on forever? The trouble with growing old is that you're old enough to know better but still don't and that won't do, ever. Ain't it funny how you feel, when you're finding out it's real?
-bill kenny

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