Rolling in Ecstasy
My 20s were all about sensation, diving into everything I did headfirst without a whole lot of thought beforehand. I made art and heard bands and took drugs and ran around with boys and read everything I could get my hands on and stayed up all night drinking and talking, and then abruptly flipped all that over halfway through the decade and had a baby. Which was every bit as intense and immersive, just without the bands and drugs and boys.
My 30s were about synthesis, figuring out how to take all that raw input and reconcile it with who I was – and figuring out who that might, in fact, be. A little slower, a little more thoughtful, although not a whole lot.
My 40s are turning out to be about scholarship. I think I’m as much myself as I’m going to be, but at some point I noticed how much there is in the world I don’t know, and fell a little in love with the idea of trying to learn some of it. Part of that is just the realization that I don’t have all the time I used to, and in fact it seems to be contracting on me, speeding up in direct proportion to how much I want to do. Which is a lot. Lately I’ve been waking up in the morning dazzled by the sheer potential, every day, for putting something new in my head, or making something, or connecting with someone. Not to say that I’m necessarily more productive. Just that the universe lately is oddly bright and shiny. Maybe it’s just latent ADD, unmedicated and coming back to bite me on the ass. Maybe I’m moving in on the age my father was when he had the first of his mini-strokes, and I’m getting all Use It Or Lose It.
Whatever the case, these days I’m feeling some kind of imperative to take those hours when I’m not at work, or on the train, or walking the dog, or cooking dinner, or sleeping, and own the hell out of them. Even if I don’t end up with something to show for it. Even if that involves sitting at my table and listening. I want the world to roll in ecstasy at my feet. (I already have cats doing that.)
(I already have cats doing that.)