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Posted by on Jan 28, 2012 in Passages, Society | 8 comments

Dimensions of Our Lives

For a while the other day, my life turned upside down—-literally. My computer screen inverted itself and would not return to normal no what matter what I did.

After numerous shutdowns, I adjusted to a world in which the cursor moved in the opposite direction from the mouse, managed to find a “restore point” and, clicking on it, brought the screen back to normal.

Curious about why the computer had turned on me, I Googled for an explanation and found it, but the experience has led me into wondering about other dimensions of life we take for granted and how much they change over time.

In the next week, two people dear to me have milestone birthdays—-one 85, the other 90—-and soon afterward, I will be 88. “Old age is a shipwreck,” a saying goes, and in many ways it is.

Even as friends and family gather to celebrate, the object of their love and warm feelings is, in many ways, physically and psychically, moving away from them. “We live in one universe,” Aldous Huxley wrote in a novel, “and die in another.”

We adjust in ways true to our nature. Most women I know are better than men at keeping up connections with one another in the real world. For someone who spent a working life as a writer and editor, transferring ideas and images from his head into those of unseen others, I spend much of my time now doing this, sending out notes in a bottle in the hope that other human beings will find them interesting enough to glance at occasionally.

In a sense, my blogging is an attempt to make connections between my own present and the past, when I was too busy coping with life to think about what it meant to me. Now I live in the past, because it keeps living in me.

All this is reinforced by release from the Kennedy Library of audio tapes that JFK had made, unknown to others, nobody knows why, of his last days on earth.

Listening to a fuzzy voice worrying aloud about his upcoming campaign for reelection would normally have led me to write a post connecting it to Barack Obama’s situation today, but instead it provokes a far different memory.


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