Saturday, November 9, 2013


I remember in high school I would most often read in the library during lunch. A way to keep from being bullied for an artsy quiet kid.

Then I discovered the room. No one went there that I ever saw. There was a stereo in there, and a cabinet full of LP albums. Most were not popular artists. Most were world music, classical music, and just weird stuff. I got the librarian to let me in there to listen to it all.

I'd put on some music from some foreign land, maybe Chinese or Indonesian or West African or Native American or Latin American. I'd put on those old big headphones, turn off the light, and travel in the dark to far away places. Or I'd listen to some classical music from Beethoven or Mozart or Bach or some Gregorian chants. And for an hour, I'd travel in the dark, to someplace else.

A wise woman once said, "Midlife: when you realize your fantasies aren't going to happen and instead you're going to die."

Another wise woman said, "Yeah. I look around my house and I see lots of books on my shelves that I've never read, thinking I'll get to them some day. And more and more often I think I may never get to them at all, nor all the books on my list of books to read, nor will I probably ever see most of the movies on my movie list. There are lots of places I will never get a chance to go and see."

Midlife. A real chance to embrace reality or run from it. It's an interesting place to come to, isn't it?  If it just takes you into self-pity or depression, it was a waste to get here. If it carves away the excess, if it makes you leaner and cleaner in your thinking, and more compassionate…THAT's it, that's where to be.

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