I have been blogging regularly and at great length for ten years, with the occasional break for a safari or a trip to Paris. I began in a bad mood. Let me quote a paragraph from my post of October 4, 2009:
“The truth is that at seventy-five, I am simply weary of being constantly, gut-wrenchingly angry all the time. I started getting angry in the late Fall and early Spring of 1960-61, over the impending invasion of Cuba. I worked myself into a permanent frenzy over the threat of nuclear war. I got angrier about Civil Rights and the Viet Nam War. I exploded in rage at the outrageously discriminatory professional treatment of my first wife, which triggered my successful effort to get the American Philosophical Association to establish a standing committee on the status of women in the profession. I was livid about Nixon, furious about Reagan, contemptuous of the first Bush, appalled by the second Bush. As Lily von Shtupp [Madeline Kahn] sings in Mel Brooks' immortal movie, BLAZING SADDLES, I'm tired!”
And here I am, ten years later, beside myself at eighty-five, as I was at seventy-five, sixty-five, fifty-five, forty-five, thirty-five, and thirty [I was pretty laid back when I was twenty-five.] Now, I am not a low energy guy, but it takes it out of you being mad for more than half a century. When I was a boy, “late capitalism” was an analytic category. Now it is a sad in-joke. Bad as things were then [and they really were godawful if you were Black or female or gay or poor], I honestly thought they could get permanently better. Seventy years later, I am not so sure.
It is well understood here in the retirement community where I live that it takes old folks longer to recover from injuries. Usually, that is a reference to breaking a shoulder or a hip, but it is true for injuries to the spirit as well.
So I am going to take a little time off to heal. I have already explained that I will be unable to blog for about a month, due to plumbing work in my building combined with a two week trip to Paris. I am going to add a bit more time, and bid you all adieu until July 5th, when I shall be back from Paris and, I hope, an Eeyore no more but a Tigger reborn.
Before I go, I have one brief comment on a recent event. Two days ago, Doris Day died. The stories said she was ninety-seven. My first reaction, when I read that, was “Wow! How old she was. Extraordinary!” But then I reflected, the lady who lives across the hall and the lady who lives in the apartment under us are both ninety-six, and they are chipper, very witty, a bit slowed down to be sure. I don’t see either of them leaving us any time soon, and next year they will both be ninety-seven. That is old, but it is not that old. Good lord, I may be blogging for another ten years.
See you after the Fourth.