Saturday, December 04, 2010

On the persistence of adolescence

Most of us. . . are young when we make our mark. And then we live and live, with our canes and blood tests and toilet seats flattened like orthopedic shoes.
-- John Updike, Self-Consciousness

Hmmm...I'm well into middle age, and I don't believe I've yet made all the mark I'm gonna. It's strange: I'm a settled family man, firmly ensconced in a career which I'm unlikely to leave, reasonably content, not one to make lots of new friends apart from the ones my children's activities bring my way. And yet I often have the same feeling I did when I was young: a feeling that I was just a few turns down the road away from some final apotheosis. I have lived long enough to know to look for happiness along the way, rather than waiting to arrive at it.

We must laugh before we are happy ; lest we should die before we have laughed.
-- La Bruyere

And my life is much the richer for it. Still, I can't help but sense that I'm still a work in progress, sometimes.