I don’t have anything special to say this morning, and I don’t like blogs where Every Post Is A Learning Opportunity, so I’m just going to write for a while and then I will stop. If you learn something, that is your problem.
I’m sitting on the couch in Nicole’s Kingston apartment, waiting for her to rouse herself after a late night. One of the side effects of our age difference is that she can sleep late in the way that only younger people can while I am usually up by 8. That’s life. We went to a Halloween party last night dressed as Spike and Drucilla from Buffy, complete with a blonde dye job for me. My hair is extremely yellow right now, I am not sure if I should cut it all off (as I usually would after dyeing it) or not. The party was fun, in a lovely home belonging to one of N’s fellow grad students. I enjoyed meeting and chatting with her classmates while discreetly devouring many cake balls.
I would rather have my eyes gouged out than go to see a new movie called Anonymous, which purports to explain how Shakespeare did not write his plays. This idea is idiotic and repugnant on many levels; this fellow explains it far better than I. I am particularly disappointed that one of my favourite critics, Roger Ebert, has given it 3 1/2 stars, apparently claiming that whatever one may feel about the material, it is a well made film with an “ingenious” script. It’s a shame that a man who has won Pulitzer prizes for film criticism should dignify this material with such an apology. If I were to make a film that denies the Holocaust, with a really ingenious script, I guess I can expect his support. After all, what does the truth matter when there are movie tickets to sell and column inches to fill?
On the other hand, I did just finish a fine young adult novel by Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials and the Sally Lockhart trilogy. Unlike many of his novels, The Broken Bridge is not an explicit adaptation of a fairy tale; though it does have some voodoo. The novel is about a mixed race teenaged girl who lives in Wales with her white father. She soon discovers that she has a half-brother and starts to investigate the other loose threads of her family history, especially the fate of her mother, a painter from Haiti. Like all of the best YA fiction, The Broken Bridge combines coming of age lessons with a discussion of the problems that stick with us well into adulthood.
Age has been on my mind lately, for a number of reasons, some private and relatively unique to me and others that I’m sure are pretty common for anyone at this time of life. The Middle Ages. :) I get teased sometimes by “friends” for being older. I try not to let it bother me, but sometimes it does. I am not really afraid of getting older, I think I can truthfully say that I am happier on the average day now than I have ever been. My age is only part of that; most of the positive facets of my current situation (Nicole, Jack, my job) could have come along at other times. I suppose one of the advantages of being older is having the wisdom (for lack of a better word) to know a good thing when you see it, to hang on to it and appreciate it. Like life itself, I suppose.
Enough of that, I don’t want to get maudlin on this cool autumn morning. A stunning young woman is sleeping it off in the next room. A contented cat dozes beside me on the couch, and I’m sure her sister holds a similar vigil over Nicole. A week from now I will be on the train again, missing my fiancee but excited to see Jack again. I will continue to fill my hours with the work I choose to do, to make the money that allows me to live this life; and the work I want or even need to do, be it writing, drawing, meditating, or whatever else I choose to help me understand my little corner of the world. Plus the occasional indulgence: a salted caramel hot chocolate from Starbuck’s, an expensive art or design magazine, an evening of gaming.
It sounds so simple as I write it. Of course it isn’t; I suffer from irrational fears and cravings and worries as much as the next person, and as a Buddhist I try to be aware of those things and keep them in their place. Maybe I feel good about life lately because I succeed at keeping that perspective more often than I used to. When I think about myself in the past, how I carried that chip on my shoulder and felt so angry so often… I don’t miss that guy.
I think that’s enough for today. To the guy who just drove by blasting Foreigner’s “I Want To Know What Love Is”, I can’t say that I agree with your choices but I respect your courage.