Sunday, November 24, 2013

the tantrums of experience

There's no fool like an old fool and I qualify on both counts.

Age has its wisdoms, but it also has its tantrums ... why isn't anyone listening?! The question, when translated, simply means, why isn't anyone seeing things my way?

No matter how much evidence accrues, still there is the tantrum -- writhing, wrathful, and riven by helplessness: Experience is important, but the only one to whom it is important is the one who experienced it. How bloody unfair! How galling! How lonely!

This morning, for example, I was forwarded a letter from a man who was abused by priests in a Catholic high school setting. His testimony rose up off the page and ravaged this reader's heart. It was horrific and heinous and begged for redress and ... the experience was his... and the Vatican would get away with it ... again ... bury and blur its very direct responsibilities ... again ... and life would go on without ever looking back. Things would be OK because OK is easier than not-OK and others have very busy and sometimes difficult lives. OK is nicer ... and finding fault with such a proposition is to retreat from looking in the bathroom mirror.

More specifically, a couple of events in the last couple of days brought me up short in my own life -- incidents I haven't got the energy to recount, but making me realize that no one wants to listen to an old fool, experienced or otherwise. Or rather, perhaps others would like to listen and digest ... on their own terms.

The good thing about tantrums is that they rise up and fall away. However fiery and consuming, still they have no where to go. Bit by bit, they subside and burn out because ... well, OK is easier than not-OK. And if life does not look back in awe or horror or helplessness -- the attendants of tantrums -- then there is something to be learned from life's suggestions. It's not simply laziness or self-aggrandizement ... it's just seems to be the way things happen.

Which is not to say the tantrums of experience can't put on a hell of a show.

1 comment:

  1. Get outa the way, observe, chuckle as they repeat your mistakes.