At 70, I sometimes feel like a doofus when something comes along that honestly interests or moves me. Usually the sense of foolishness arises in contrast to other, more socially recognizable interests.
I am interested, mildly, in the news of the day. I am interested, mildly, in social solemnities or leanings. But generally these matters run out of pep in my mind. I am intellectually engaged ... for a while, but that 'while' seems to grow shorter with age. Been-there-done-that is a whisper in the back of my mind. Sometimes I think I am reverting to toddler-dom -- a time when one point of interest fades with the snap of the fingers and the pretty balloons are replaced by a passing dog which is replaced by a pile of swirling autumn leaves which is replaced by....
But then, all of a sudden, something that really grabs my attention comes along.
Yesterday, I went to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned. Going to the dentist is not something I like particularly, but I can do it -- been there, done that. But when the dentist came in to check to work of the woman who had cleaned my teeth, we chatted a little and she said she had had a baby boy three months ago and my heart became fully engaged. And for a few bright, conversational moments ... what a lot of fun!
What a lot of fun.
Earlier today, I read a spiritual-endeavor question on an internet bulletin board. The writer had had an experience in the past which blew him away... away from Christianity and towards Taoism or perhaps Buddhism, he wasn't sure which. He was still, after all these years, trying to digest it. What should he do? He was wrestling and fidgeting with the experience. And his words really got to me, made me remember and want to lend a hand. I seldom have that feeling with the delicate and filigreed difficulties of someone further along in their spiritual practice. This was fresh and touching to me. The ones who have begun and continue ... well, begin and continue. But how to touch what touches the heart and is full of uncertainty? I'm all ears.
And yesterday, I was working on a maple staff I want to shape. I was sanding and whittling and smoothing and wondering if I still had the lamb bone I had added to the tool box so long ago -- a bone with which to smooth the sanded project. I was up to my ears in attention when suddenly I stepped back and wondered for a moment who else would give a hoot about the project. And the answer was, few if any. But I was somehow surprised to find that I was bedrock content to create something others might take to the dump. I am a sucker for what I think is beautiful and happy to have a role in its creation ... even when it's not anyone else's vision of what is beautiful.
Does any of this mean much? I suppose not. A second childhood is not so bad, though I do wonder at all the time I have expended while trying not to be that child... being serious and loving and spiritual and whatever all else in accordance with someone else's adult outlook.
Hell, chocolate is delicious. Do I need any 'supporting' evidence?
What a doofus.