Monday, March 7, 2016


With a 76th birthday creeping up, there is a sense that where some things grow narrow, others grow more broad. Narrower, from the current vantage point, is the possibility of becoming a cowboy or astronaut or anything other than what has somehow come to pass. Broader is the way that leads to "joining the majority."

I wonder: Do others, as it seems I have, wake up one day vaguely surprised to find that habits and capacities have set themselves in a fairly simple array. Two or three things claim a focal presence and the rest is pretty much cotton candy. And there's no changing it now.

For example, my two or three things seem to be family, writing and what might vaguely be referred to as religion. It's not something I am especially proud or ashamed of, it's just what seems to have happened and now I'm stuck with a farm of my own devising. It's perfectly understandable, in one sense, but in another, it's sort of weird: How the hell did that happen? Those who attempt to answer this question with cause-and-effect or some other knee-jerk explanation give me the creeps. "Take your need to control someplace else," I am inclined to snap. Weird is weird and like most weird things, it's not really all that weird in the end.

And it is within this context that I suck on the hard-candy of the word "bequest." What is it that I will bequeath when I do in fact join the majority? Obituaries are laced with hobbies and jobs and good deeds (when, let's admit it, it is the naughty ones that make better reading) litter obituary paragraphs. Obituaries are for those left behind. But what of the one bequeathing -- what would s/he say or hope for the two or three things that have taken the helm?

How would I bequeath family or writing or religion? How would that be possible? And yet these are the items I count as central to this life. Something central ... and yet the first thing I notice is that there is no possibility of grasping such things. Grasping is the precursor to giving something away -- to bequeathing.

The important stuff cannot be grasped and hence cannot be bequeathed and yet what else do I have to offer from this broad way that points me to the world of the "majority?" I feel like a footprint in the wet beach sand as the tide advances and erasure is assured.

"Assured" is almost as weird as "bequest." Sure enough, things go away. That's on the one hand. But on the other hand, where could they possibly go?

Sure ... right ... OK -- there is the Butterfly Effect, the notion that a fart in Tierra del Fuego will inevitably alter the Great Wall of China. But does that make a bequest any less weird? A Ph.D. might say so, but I wouldn't.

The important two or three things -- the ones anyone might be curious as to the outcome or benevolence or unintended consequences or gifting ... maybe some things are just bound to be weird and not weird at all. Tough titty.


  1. Please shift over to dry sand, Adam. We are not ready to miss you.

  2. You do what you can until you can't. Then you do something else or nothing. I expect folks will continue to scramble after their lives as i scrambled after mine. I didn't bring anything to the party that wasn't already here. Whatever space i took up will become available to whoever's in a position to use it.