Playfulness

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September 2, 2021- The rambunctious teen ran, full tilt, into a locker. He winced, just a little, and momentarily looked puzzled: “Wow, that hurt!” My response: “Ya think?” He walked towards the classroom door, as I sized up both him and the locker for any indicators of damage. As there was none, I had him take his seat and thirty-two of us slowly, but earnestly, started class.

High School freshmen can be a lot like toddlers in pre-school, trying out several advanced roles, whilst not entirely wanting to give up their immature selves. College freshmen often mimic the same behaviours. For many, this doesn’t last very long, especially as the reality that being able to participate in sports or other interests depends on keeping grades up or that love interests may well have the expectation of a higher level of maturity.

There are always the goofs, though, and walking them through the transitional phase is often dependent on near magic. I have met some of these same types, a few years down the road. Those whose next encounter with me didn’t involve them being a corpse at a funeral, or an inmate at the State Prison, had found their footing-and even if they still had their rowdy side-jumping out of airplanes or bungee jumping, they also had a sense of responsibility.

Playfulness hasn’t entirely left me. Snarky bantering happens all the time. So does lively dancing or just being silly around younger children. Somehow, though, I don’t quite see myself testing a metal locker’s tensile strength as part of my journey of exploration.

What It Usually Means

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April 3, 32021-

Most times, a hug is a hug-and nothing more. A handshake is a handshake, no more and no less. A warm smile is not especially an invitation, but more an expression of appreciation. A gentle touch is a reassurance of caring. Eye contact, likewise, means “I see you. You matter to me”.

Interest in your day means there is a connection. It is not an invitation to anything more. Expressing interest in doing things together is not an open door to doing just anything at all.

A friendship between mature adults is devoid of assumptions, of unilateral expectations and wishful thinking. It is full of plans made together, of honest conversation, of trusting disclosures, knowing that what is shared is respected, and kept in confidence.

These facets of my friendships, with woman and man alike steer me gently into that good night and its subsequent bright day.

What is Cherished?

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May 18, 2020-

This post is inspired by Eugenia’s series of prompts: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/60360547/posts/2711101856

I cherish the actions of the heart, above all.

Those efforts that do not seek to elevate one above all others,

but which seek to raise all boats.

I cherish family,

both near biological.

and far extended,

the family of the bloodline

and that of the heart.

I cherish childhood,

that which is given us,

in the first two decades,

or so, of life,

and that which is retained

in spirit, even as the body

and mind take on the

trappings of age and maturity.

I cherish the beauty that

surrounds us,

both the glimmerings

of nature, by day and by night,

and the images conjured

by the mind.

Let all be adored,

which keeps us

and propels us forward.

Being 64

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November 28, 2014, San Diego-  I woke today, looked in the mirror and lo & behold:  There was a face that looked every bit of sixty-four.  I’ve always regarded looking one’s age as a sign of a life well-lived.  Acting one’s age, that’s another matter.  After all, men old enough to be my father have made no bones about going after young women.  That’s not my style, though.  I had a fine marriage, have a son who is contemporary with the aforementioned ladies and besides, I enjoy the company of people of all ages, as friends, at this stage of my life.  Maturity, for sixty-somethings and older, is a choice.

I’ve thought a fair amount about privilege.  In some ways, I enjoy it;  I don’t have to worry about being pulled over by police, just because of the type of vehicle I’m driving.  I can go anywhere I can afford to go. I am not followed around by store security, even when I’m “dressed down”.  No one asks me my business, when I’m in a public place. I could, conceivably, be hassled by people, when in some parts of Hawai’i , or Mexico or any number of Native American communities.  So far, though, that hasn’t happened.  I was treated just fine in the Honolulu area, have visited Yaqui, Tohono O’Odham, Navajo and Hopi communities, with no unpleasant events and drove  a friend to Mexico a few years ago, without any sense of imminent danger.

What I don’t enjoy, though, is seeing people who are just trying to get from A to B, being hassled.  I also don’t like seeing miscreants try to poke holes through civility, by creating a scenario of “racism”.  Every person should obey the law, not take what isn’t his/hers and refrain from bullying people who are trying to make an honest living.  Every person is also entitled to enjoy the fruits of their labours, earn a decent living wage and not have to sneak across borders to do so.  There is a lot, an immense amount of work to be done in that regard.

I got a lot done this past year, and will get more accomplished in the year ahead. (Details in next post).  For today, though, I am content to head up to La Jolla, hopefully see some marine mammals, hike a bit at Torrey Pines and kick back this evening with a Netflix film at my son’s apartment.  Sixty-four is a fine age to be.