Sometimes I write down the fragments I remember from dreams and try to piece them together and sometimes I just put them upon paper.
I came across a few and looked upon things that crossed my mind at various times like “I remember June’s mouth” and “all we need is a little time SQ.”
Stared at those and pulled open the big green books that contain copies of the newspapers I once worked for and revisited columns and news stories I and others wrote.
Walked through the echoes of a time of life that sometimes feels impossibly far away and yet close enough to jump to. Because I can see it inside my head as if it were pillars that I could climb upon or use a rope swing to mount.
There are pathways carved into the mountainside and I recognize some of them as ones I traversed and others I thought about hiking through but never did visit.
Sometimes I consider whether it is the right time to do so and wonder if perhaps revisiting the old places would offer new sights due to eyes that see with a different vision than before.
The man asked me if everything is ok and I nodded my head in affirmation.
A week later he revisited the conversation and asked again. I told him sometimes we juggle chainsaws and bowling balls knowing that one or more will fall upon our heads.
“Doesn’t matter how good you are, the situation will not allow you to avoid taking a shot to your melon. The question isn’t will you get hit but when and how you respond.”
He wished me well and said he hoped things work out. I told him they work out because I make them work and wondered what he really saw.
I was certain that what was going on in the background was hidden from view. Wondered what he thought he was hearing or not hearing, seeing or not seeing that he expected from me.
Were my eyes or body language sharing more than I thought?
I know some people avoid in person meetings when they don’t want to give away their true intentions. It is easy to keep others at arms length when you don’t give them the opportunity to see you.
It is one of those interesting moments in life being seen. Some can spend countless hours with you and never see you for who you are and others always do.
All you need to do is spend some time together.
The upstairs toilet declared mutiny and so the younger Mr. Wilner came to find me to ask if I had any suggestions for the best way to clear it.
“Your grandfather would have had a few words for me. Should I impart them upon you.”
The look on his face made it clear he had no interest and I had little incentive. They weren’t going to help and he already knew.
So I shared the basic information he already knew and asked if he knew about dish soap, baking soda and vinegar. We followed that up with confirmation that we had a good plunger but no snake and a basic review of plumbing.
Opted for the dish soap and the plunger and held a minor celebration when the clog was cleared.
“Anything we can do for ourselves offers a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, but sometimes it is worth paying an expert to do the work.
Knowing when to do either is useful but so is knowing how the repair work is done even if you aren’t the one who does it.”
These teaching moments aren’t as frequent as they were when he was younger and now there are events and moments in which he teaches me about something.
It is always gratifying, especially when I see the satisfaction in his eyes. It is a look that I have seen from the time he was little through the present and is probably something every parent recognizes.
A group of far right Republicans recently released a plan which if passed would raise the age at which retirees can start collecting social security.
I shook my head at what I read about it along with their typical comments about trying to prevent socialism. The fear mongering gets old especially when very few can articulate why socialism is good or bad.
It reminds me about why I tell my children to educate themselves on many things so that you have a framework you can use to make educated decisions about what direction to move in.
But what really strikes me here is this idea about raising the age for retirement. It is because it is no longer something that is so far away I cannot conceive of it.
I already have some friends who have figured out not just how to do it, but they have done it. Very few of them have children and that makes a difference.
It is something I have been planning for and working on for a while and though it is getting closer there is still a big chunk of time before I can actually do so.
What I really want is to put myself in a position in which work is a choice I make because it is still of interest and not because I fear won’t have the funds to take care of myself and or afford healthcare.
And it is something I want to be able to do while I am able to appreciate it. The idea of only having a few years of being able to enjoy it because of health or other issues is troubling.
There are no guarantees for anything I suppose which is why I keep advocating living now, not recklessly but not so cautiously you miss out on opportunity.
On one of those fragments of paper it talked about looking at a reflection and saying “meet me in the kingdom and if not, I’ll find you elsewhere. There is time.”
I like the optimism of those three words, there is time, the only question is what do with it.