9 10 2009

I am 61.

I recently ran into a woman I went to high school with whom I hadn’t seen in 40 years. She wasn’t an old girlfriend, or one of the people who were my really close friends, but I always liked her. Back when I was in high school, though, I also looked down on her, for some reason I can’t now define. I liked her, but I didn’t value her as much as she deserved for her sweetness of temperament, which even I could perceive even back then, and which she still has. That was a bad  mistake, since that is one of the greatest virtues a person can have — and I could  really have used a wife like that over the last 40 years!

I’m becoming one of the uncountable multitudes of folks who have begun to grow old and upon doing so have noticed that they had really poor judgment about lots of things for most of their lives.

Still, it’s an interesting and pleasant process. Many a stubborn person must have had this experience before me and also said, “Hey, the world’s way bigger than I thought!”

Some of you boomers may remember the song “Clouds” by Judy Collins, which was popular around 1968. It ended with the refrain:

“I’ve looked at life from both sides now, from win and lose, and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall. I really don’t know life at all.”

Now I understand that song.