Friday, March 7, 2008

getting older can be better?

i mean, isn't it possible to come into sympathy with people you used to see as below you?

like the person down in the pit, changing your oil.

or the barista serving a hot chai with non-fat milk?

today, as i sat in barnes & noble with that very drink, i watched the district manager talking with the three store managers. true, i thought he might be a hatchet-man. at the same time, i thought about all it takes to keep a store like this going, and i felt a moment of terror. what if they shut it down? where would i go for my out-of-the-country experiences? where else could i watch the displanted people from all over the world, sipping their expressos as if they were too good for me?

a friend told me about an aunt who'd been hell on wheels all of her life. then she got altzheimer's and became the sweetest person in the world. maybe there's hope for me yet.

i've lost my first tooth, my heart has some kind of electrical short-circuit (minor, they tell me. huh!), and i'm starting to develop cataracts. great. this is actually making me more humane?

for example, for the past two weeks i've been going to lectures by teachers applying for posts in the university art history program. and i've enjoyed all the great information. at the same time i have been critical of teaching styles, etc. unfortunately, i've also been able to see how nerve-wracking applying for the jobs is. especially if you're a big-city person trying to get out of a small town in the middle of nowhere.

no, it's not easy to choose, even if you feel you know who's best.

am i going soft in my old age? where's the super-competitive spirit that's kept me going (secretly) my whole life? am i becoming unbearably maudlin and soft?

perhaps i'm going too far in the opposite direction. what about holding people up to a high standard? if i don't expect much, will i get much, and will they be motivated to deliver? caught between a rock and a hard place, wouldn't you say?

so, i've posted a few more pictures from recent rambles, a number from the park easing into spring: the past, desperate cynicism has to be evident somewhere. after all, the dali lama said, "if you have compassion, you don't need religion." i suspect i'm as needy as they get.