There are presumably thousands of metaphors and analogies for aging; some gentle and sweet with others cold and clinical. But no matter the side your own – they all point to a common end. There is duality in all life and through all life; and that includes aging. There is much to revile; so much loss seemingly compounded daily. But there is truth, clarity, understanding, and wisdom that replaces the physical losses that balances the equation.
And speaking of balance, the real duality of balance become infinitely clearer as you age. When I was younger, balance was short and simple; hot or cold, day or night, wet or dry – very digital, binary – on or off. The fulcrum was shallow and the lever was short, the two ends very close to each other. But as I’ve aged, I’ve learned that the fulcrum is actually quite high and deep, and the lever so very long, all of which creates almost infinite possibilities between one side and the other. Black and white becomes 50 shades of gray; hot or cold becomes thousands of incremental temperatures; day or night blends the magic of the high noon sun and the midnight moon into the mysterious crepuscular light of sunrise and sunset. And when the world becomes so wide and varied between the opposites, so analog, so conditional – it affords one a whole different perspective on every situation.
Seeing life with greater variance provides an odd sort of calm to one’s life. There is a broader tolerance for that which was formerly much more binary. A greater acceptance due to the bands between the widened ends of the balance.
That particular aspect of life has a much shortened balance than ever before. Are drivers dumber or I am just less tolerant? Don’t know, don’t care! I have no patience for a myriad of discourtesies seen daily on the roadways. Turn signals – 85% don’t use them. I assume I am playing some nature of 20 questions with those drivers? Expected to ask questions to pare down the possible maneuvers they may be planning in their vehicle. And the other 15% that do use them, do so as early man used a lever as a tool; to pry their way where there is neither space nor time for their vehicle to enter. Turn signal is on – look out ‘cause here I come! Best get out of my way ‘cause I am moving over – make room! Maddening.
And traffic lights? Chaos. Anarchy. Apocalyptic rules of survival. Yellow means speed up. Red is a suggestion that there’s probably only time for 3 or 4 more cars to speed through the intersection. There was a time, in my life, as a driver, that when the N-S light turned red, the E-W light turned green. Simultaneously. Instantaneously. At the same time even (LOL). But seriously – there was no delay between the change of lights of opposite lanes of travel. Take a look now. N-S goes red and E-W stays red also. For up to 2 or 3 seconds at some intersections. Why? Because today’s drivers won’t slow down at yellow and won’t stop at red. Traffic engineers are being forced to compensate for the run the light syndrome that is now rampant in our society. And even at that – I have sat at a light with green in my face and two cars, opposite directions, still zipping through the intersection long after the suggestion of the red first shone their way. Insanity!!
Turn lanes, speed limits, no right on red, turning arrows……my lack of patience for poor driving skills is endless. Perhaps this too is balance; cosmically compensating for the increased understanding and acceptance in the other parts of my life? Merely moving the fulcrum to offset and driving is now the short end? Who knows?
What I do know is that age brings great changes; the physical body wans and the spiritual being waxes. Another majesty of life’s wonder.