Almost ten years ago, in early 2006, I started writing in blogs on the Internet. In some ways this was a mistake, as one’s writing changes when he knows it is being read by strangers. Also, the topics change as well. When keeping journals, I wrote a lot about my private problems, hopes and accomplishments, things that would not be interesting to strangers. So a lot of personal writing never happened. Most of my blog writing is utterly forgettable and irrelevant. In hindsight, it was a mistake.
I will be 71 years old next month, and that seems indeed quite old to me, and yet I don’t feel that old. I am retired, but still work occasionally. My major goal and focus at this stage of my life is to greatly enhance my skill and ability as a bassist for jazz. I have a fully carved string bass, as well as three bass guitars, and practice regularly with the Cats Swing Band of Los Gatos, a project of adult education there. In the past year I have learned to read notes and expand my knowledge of music theory. I am currently immersed in bass study, with the intent to bring myself up to a professional level as quickly as possible.
I am now in the last stage of life. Tess (my wife) has several physical illnesses, including a heart problems, diabetes and asthma. I suspect she will precede me into whatever comes after this life, and that will be hell for me. I have no desire to live without her.
I have no great fear of death, no remorse or sorrow at its approach. I see it as the inevitable way of all flesh, and rather than face it with dread, I am merely observing to see what happens.
Sundays are for band practice. I play bass and it is my main passion in life now that I’m over the hill. I want to play it well, at a professional level. Here I am playing at the annual Beatles Tribute at the V.A. Hospital in Palo Alto, California, on September 18, 2013.
Other creative endeavors include writing (hence this journal) and Photoshopping, or digital art. I love to create images, whether by drawing them outright or by combining and editing photos off the web.
I love fall, a time when the weather suddenly chills and the nights grow long, and I find myself contemplating my life and what it means.
Right now I feel an indefinable angst. I am in retirement and bored, looking to find new goals and purposes for my life. I am not satisfied with this existence, where every day is the same as the one before. I remember an old song from the late 1960’s, “Is That All There Is?” The singer describes various life experiences, noting that something seems to be missing, that the experience — be it a fire, a circus, or love — is ultimately unfulfilling. Life is therefore only a series of disappointments.
I don’t like the song. I don’t like its cynicism. It implies that life has an obligation to provide us with fulfillment and meaning without any effort on our part. To a large extent, life is what you make it. Life is a canvas, you are the artist. Paint something! Only you can provide meaning and purpose for your life. If you wait for some outside agency to provide it for you, you may end up singing “Is That All There Is?”:
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is
Today was my birthday. It was also Danny Devito’s, a man of similar stature and credibility.
I am now officially older than dirt. Dirt was esctatic to finally be younger than someone. He laughed and called me a “geezer,” whatever that is. I responded by hitting him over the head with my walker and throwing a bottle of Geritol at him. Being young and spry, he easily evaded the missile.
Considering my advanced age, I briefly considered going down to the funeral home and turning myself in. Why wait til the last minute? But no, the Grim Reaper will have to come and get me. I won’t go quietly. I intend to break his scythe over his head and give him a wedgie with his long black robe.
I am reminded of the saying, “I may be getting older, but I refuse to grow up.”
However, I can’t speak for DannyDevito.