By Larry Feinstein
It’s a Tuesday night and I am sitting on my favorite perch in my simple, living space. I’ve got on a truly ugly, white hotel robe and I don’t even remember where it came from. I just finished inhaling a wonderful turkey burger, dressed in rich mushroom gravy.
I can’t cook to save my life, and have somehow miraculously survived all these years. I used to do things like scramble eggs and I even made lasagna once. At the moment, I text my entree order for the week to a lovely lady, who delivers my delicious rations each Monday morning. I leave the money in the fridge and the food miraculously appears
Why in God’s name I shared my culinary crusades, I have no idea, because it has nothing to do with what I want to share. As some of you know, 2018 will be drawing to a close shortly and only an ostrich would consider it fake news. Very tempting to step over into politics, but I am a bigger person.
I started writing fairly late this evening, after the turkey burger and some wine. I had this never before feeling that what I had to share couldn’t wait, fearing it would become stale quickly. I just got off the phone after a long conversation with a friend and it would have been easy to nuke the burger and punch up Netflix, but it felt like cheating myself a whole different kind of nurturance.
A few mornings ago, I was doing my daily zen sit at around 6 a.m. It is still black as blind at that hour, a totally introspective kind of light and perfect for my practice, absent any distractions. I realized what I wanted to write about and gently folded it away in my consciousness. When I don’t disappear into my breath, I free my mind to travel inside, without a map of predictability.
Endings seem to breed reflection, at least they do for me. This thought was prompted when I realized there was only one more sheet left on my over-sized desk calendar, the continued use of which is another sign of my Neanderthal tendencies when it comes to technology.
Now, when I look over my shoulder at years passed, there is quite a landscape behind me. At the beginning of my journey, everything was in front and there was no reason to look back. As a kid, I was in a hurry to climb life’s mountain, like most of us. I wanted to rocket into my future and time was running fast. In a way, it was always like becoming and never arriving, something the Buddha told me several thousand years after his passing.
I leveled off briefly in my mid-20s, newly married, living large in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, thinking I would eventually be a successful executive in the broadcast advertising business. It didn’t take long for my rocket to hit life’s inevitable turbulence, causing me to be way more reflective than I had ever been before. However, I was still in a hurry, way too young to understand how quickly time goes by.
As a guy, I can only speak about my changing relationship with my body and can’t possibly imagine how you ladies do what you do. When i started thinking about approaching forty, which would put us in the mid-Eighties on the calendar, there was no getting around my body slowing down and showing it, too. It scared me enough to seriously begin thinking about the rest of my life and how I wanted to live it.
In the arc of my life, I know that becoming increasingly forgiving of my body’s transformation to its looming geriatrichood has generously provided the opportunity for my mind and spirit to get the attention they deserve. I look under the December 2018 page of my disheveled pile of months past and there is nothing there, just the cardboard backing.
At this point in my life, I am in no particular hurry to rush into the future and I will patiently wait for it to arrive. I never imagined my life would possibly take me to this moment. I have loved getting here.
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