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Science, baseball/fugues/writing, stair encounter, the real kind of old

Sunday 10/10/21

* Science and spirituality are not mutually exclusive. Science and astrology are.

* Writing at the highest of levels is like a blend of fugato music and pitching. One changes the eye level, as a pitcher does, and phrases, words, syllables, are put in different octaves and keys and charged with different--and often evolving--meaning within the work. A line, a term, has one meaning coming in, and within the context of the story, and the lives of the characters--and how they might use the line or term--it can become something wholly different, transformed. The reader will never look at that line or phrase the same way again in their life.

* After I finished running my 5000 stairs the other day and had crossed over to Faneuil Hall, a man touched my arm--and my sweat-drenched shirt--to get my attention, as I was listening to Live/Dead at maximum volume. He asked me how many stairs I had just ran, and relayed that he was seventy-five and had been a longtime runner. He looked great. Someone who was going to be around for another twenty years at least. He couldn't run any more, he told me, after hitting a wall twice. The first time was when he was fifty-two, and he was running thirteen miles a day, before knee problems put a stop to that, and he ran seven miles a day until he was sixty-five, when he couldn't run again because his knee troubles became worse. He opined that stairs were the way to go, and he wished he had done that instead. I liked him and we wished each other good day.

* On Facebook I believe it was I saw a post from someone saying that they had decided to live as hard as they could right now, because they don't want to be old, and then asked the rhetorical question, "Have you ever seen old people? It's an awful way to have to live." So I guess their plan was to die sooner. What I know about this person is that they're an idiot, of course. They don't live richly or fully or in the moment. I am sure they waste most of their life, if not all of it. As I said to a person I know with whom I had shared a screenshot of the post, "Maybe just take care of yourself, look after your health, exercise, take care of your mind, too, and then just be fine when you're older and doing interesting things? How's that for a plan? Simple." This person I was talking to has correctly opined to me that people are always just looking for an excuse to stop, do nothing, and die, and that it comforts them. They just want to be done. Frankly, I know a number of older and elderly people--individuals in their eighties--who make no attempt to take care of themselves, who never exercised, and they're fine. They come and go as they please, they drive around, they have houses, and with some of them I can't think of a single instance when I can recall them doing a workout of any kind. As for the Facebook person: I also know they are a loser who makes excuses and that means at no point in their life is there substance, and their defeatist attitude keeps them away from anything of any value, no matter their age. Ironically, they are "old" themselves, even if they're thirty-two or whatever it was. They are "old" in the way they mean old, as in "all done."

* I stand outside of the space-time continuum in many ways, but I can't ever see myself being old in much of any sense. I see me always running thousands of stairs and having my energy which even the worst life there has ever been--which is what this has been thus far--has yet to rob me of; creating masterpieces every day, devouring ideas, surcharged with maximum passion. I can find no one of any age who can keep up with me in any way as it is right now. I only become stronger, too. There are ways beyond the body itself that also impact the body. Your mental energy will feed and repair and bolster your body and keep it strong. Your creative energy. Especially if you're pushing yourself in healthy ways mentally, intellectually, spiritually, physically. What age am I? I balk at the question. What age do I even look? I look healthier and fitter than I did ten years ago. What does that mean? None of it means anything. Bean-counting away your life means something in that it takes a toll that one does not wish for outrightly, but also wishes for in a real enough way, too. The people who do so are those who are perpetually or preemptively old, and they come to fit what they think are the descriptions of being thus so by the choices they make and the manner in which they live, which is a constant form of dwindle-living, as I think of it. And yes, that will catch up to you and make you old. But that can make you old at twenty-eight as readily as it can eighty-eight. I see it all around me. I see it when I go online and notice an insane, sad, depressing social media post by a broken ex who is already all done in this life and now faces decades of a form of death-in-life until its all over. I see it as the norm, not the exception. But I see none of it in myself, because I live as one who is born a thousand times over every day.

* I have been listening to works by Charles Ives as I write--The Unanswered Question, "Five Songs--Thoreau"--sourced from a record of American elegies, and now I will run stairs and afterwards catch the train to Concord to hike the woods. Off I go.


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