Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Now we are sixty - not

My good friend Catherine has challenged me around some of my blogging about being 60 and she is probably right. It goes like this being 60 is now different to being 50, 40 or 30 and yet it is. Like I look older than I did 10 years ago and people ignore me more than ever!

But in myself I feel more or less ageless. Skiing last week my instructor said Level 4 next year - I have been stuck at level 3 these last 3 years and wondered if I would ever progress.(And of course my daughter is now level 6 with merit and telling me so!)

So I can continue to act as if I will live forever and that my body will allow me to do what I want and my mind will still work etc but I know this is not all true. I am certainly going to 'wake up dead' one of these days - whatever that actually means and my body and mind might well wear out a bit or a lot.

However actually being 60 does not change any of this. I have thought a lot about retirement recently but it it not 'retirement' I want. It's freedom. And its freedom to do the things I want to do. So 'retirement' could be the means for being freer. I hope so and hope that when I cease to work full time for an insitution and I am getting closer to that I will be well enough to enjoy the freedom I desire.

But who knows?

And meanwhile how can I make this day, this hour, this minute, this moment, alive to the truest me I can be?



Wednesday, 3 February 2010

WI, bombs and William James

[creative writing]

There was an explosion on the tube that day - nothing unusual in that - bombs were frequent, nearly as frequent as bomb scares - but it frightened him for longer than usual. It was if his personal elasticity was wearing thinner and thinner - he was already half deaf with tinnitus from being too close to an explosion in the 3rd Afghan War - wasn't one war enough?

As part of their developing role in supporting civil society, indeed in maintaining any attempt at being 'civil' and any attempt at being a 'society' the Women's Institute had established a volunteer group from all 5 sexes known as WISPERS - W.I. Special PERSons. This group was hugely popular because they were reliably fed which was less than secure event in i2020 but also because they often distributed food and clothes to others. And after their role in the Glasburgh famine of i2019 the popularity exclipsed all.

Nobody knew or troubled about who planted the bomb - there were just too many groups possibly responsible and too many outrages. It could have been a splinter group from almost any of the group of Nineteen or any of a host of other groups. Groups were formed, split, mutated, reformed on almost a daily basis - rather like governments. Indeed it was increasingly difficult to distinguish groups of any kind from the government and vice versa.

The old anarchist notion of replacing the government of people by the administration of things had all but happened. It was not necessarily a good thing - indeed how would 'good' be defined in these i-times - the best for the most number of people, or the least bad for most, or to parody William James the good was that which worked. If that was the case then the world wide web was arguably the best good we had but did that make it true?