90 Years of Age – No Telling-Just Living!
by Percy Blakeney
I stumbled across Irwin Lengel’s latest contribution to RoL whilst eating breakfast earlier this morning, his articulate and thought-provoking lines prompted one or two psychotic essentials within my over- inquisitive psyche most definitely, particularly at the very moment when I was attempting to spread a portion of honey-infused orange marmalade equably onto a slice of brown-bread toast, bad move!
Such was the manner in which Irwin’s prose captivated my interest, one’s quest to place the afore-mentioned dollop of tasty conserve onto the charred bread slice resulted in disastrous consequence – I missed my intended destination - subsequently my rich and much cherished Woven Wilton carpet now bears testimony to the indisputable fact that one cannot successfully balance a wobbly foodie substance when juggling with solid intellectual matter.
That said, and with carpet now restored to pristine magnificence, I have dutifully pondered on the question raised, ergo; “What would your 90-year-old-self tell you about living life?”
First and foremost, there is little doubt in my own mind that I shall look back and confess that my own lengthy actuality was a damn fine experience, notwithstanding the reality that I too, just as everyone else of my generation, committed indeed some awful cock-ups en-route to one’s privileged state of antiquity.
If, with the benefit of historical hindsight, one was capable of telling their younger selves on how they should have conducted themselves when weaving their way through life’s rich tapestry, it may be best to place precisely our respective joys, highs, lows and transgressions into a logical order, thus, minor, major and Herculean, from which such an analysis may sprout some true understanding and ultimate reasoning as to who we specifically are and what exactly we achieved, or failed to a achieve throughout the years of our expansive and incredible actuality – and what we acutely determined from the entire, beautiful experience regarding the tumultuous splendour of life.
In truth, I do become undeniably frazzled with a number of younger people in my personal world, those who introduce a proportion of individual elitism and crass intellectualism into conversation when egoistically referring to their own milestones and goal-getting attainments, the central theme to their inane logic is that 90 years of age, should they be fortunate enough to reach this time of life, is simply too far away to even contemplate, living the ‘Now’ is all that matters.
Well, we were all 21 years of age five minutes ago and time is a thief, my mother used to frequently inform her brood, “There are no pockets in a Shroud”, meaning that we take out of this world precisely what we brought into it, a la, the square root of nothing. When I was but a lad, the term ‘Minor’ in the audible sense, referred to someone who worked down a coal-pit, and there existed many of them in my neighborhood - ‘Major’ became a rank I was accustomed to as a serving soldier, and as for ‘Herculean’ – this idiom had more to do with a sturdy Greek hero who undertook 12 arduous and life-threatening labours to establish himself as a god-like hero in eyes of the ancient people of ‘Graeci.
This deduction bears about as much significance as that of my silly analytical appreciation, we may think we are minor at times, especially when others consider their own lives more major than our own, yet, when at 90 years of age, we shall look back and reveal to ourselves that we were never minor or irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, we were major players who kept pace with Hercules and all others who figured they were better.
If and when I reach 90 years of age, I shall tell myself to be thankful for the good fortune to have basked in all that was good in my existence, always outweighing the bad, as I could have never secured such a long and exhilarating tenure on Earth should the negatives have undermined my sanity and physical continuance, and to give thanks to God above for those whose creation I assisted in, may they too share the same sentiment when they physically reach a mere decade short of a century. We learn and we grow, come 90, I shall hopefully still be learning on the magnificence of life and all that it provides.
In summary, Lord alone knows how much I have truly learnt? I must therefore and regretfully conclude my contribution this evening in very much the same manner of which I commenced it, I have just discovered an outbreak of tomato and garlic pasta on my lap, once again in a fruitless attempt to balance the wobbly consistency of culinary fare with the more solid issues connected to living, my carpet is enduring a floccus intolerance to all of this, should my wooly floor covering ever reach 90 years, it will be all down to a combination of sweet marmalade, Italian gastronomy and a literary need to convey that the prime feast in life is just that, LIFE, be it long and continually ongoing for us all. Bon appétit. x