... and old men shall dream dreams ...

"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions"

I am coming up on the big seven-aught in a very few days.  I don't know how many productive years I have left, but there aren't many left.  It is odd how I will make plans for 20 or 30 years down the road, forgetting that I will not be around to enjoy them.

The pressure is on me to re-invent myself.  To embrace the change.  But whether I will or no, the change will befall me.  The question for me is how to embrace it.  My usual reaction to things I cannot control is to retreat in a snarly corner, and snap at people.  I don't do martyr with any sort of grace.

The experts talk of old age as a state of mind. I would like to get those experts over and have them push the oak entertainment center around while snookums spring cleans, and coach them from the sidelines. "Don't act old now! You are really 20 years old under those liver spots! Get your back into it! You can rest this evening!"  I would enjoy counseling these experts as well into learning to drive while wearing welding goggles and earmuffs.  "You are holding up traffic! Find a hole in the traffic cones, and push your way through!  The speed limit is 40, fer crissake!"

I am not afraid of death.  The sages tell me that death is a gift from God, and I believe them.  There is nothing that I am doing that I can't put off for eternity, whether it be into the void, or into glorious romping in the upper heavens.  I don't get to choose my reality.  Heaven is, or it isn't, and soon enough, I will either know, or I will be not.

What I am afraid of is the process of dying, and the ignominy of it all.  No matter how you look at it, the process of dying is not a pretty thing, and you find very little poetry lauding those last struggles.  I had a hospice nurse tell me once that the person is unaware at that time, but I have also read accounts of people who were dying and something interrupted the process, and they tell me quite a different story.  I have my own experience with dying.  It was not a pleasant time for me.  I distinctly remember the regret and the humiliation, and I was aware of my surroundings. 

I am a man of hope in the hereafter.  But please understand, that is a mere hope.  In spite of all the religious tracts and positive affirmatives by my well scrubbed and beaming brethren, the truth is I do know if life continues or not.  Ancient scribblings in Greek and Hebrew treat it as a given, but few people have returned to testify to its certainty.  Certainly no one in this generation has.

So I am thinking of becoming a hermit.  I will sit in my $49 "Executive Chair" with the loose arms, and crank out one-way missives and obscure treatises into the æther.  I have few projects to complete, and I will not take on any more.  There is no point in planting trees that will not mature in my lifetime, only to be enjoyed by people I do not even know nor care about.

All my labor, all my successes, all my failures have been in vain.  I do not leave the world a better place.  I leave it to a people who have forgotten history, and deserve all the benefits that an all-encompassing government is going to give them.  As a patriot once said: "May the yoke of their bondage be light on their shoulders."

There may be some of you who may feel the urge to console me, or to admonish me, telling me to buck up.  Please don't.  I am tired of it, and need to learn to let it go.  And in the fullness of time, will it really matter?



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