A song begins playing in the car. It is a somewhat familiar song that streams through my phone from a playlist I had created for driving. I won’t tell you the song. I don’t want you to try to extrapolate or analyze it over the course of the next few minutes as you read my brain splattering.
I am getting old. Things begin to change. The leaves of my life are turning into vivid colors of Autumn. And what comes next is inevitable for all souls. Part of the aging process and change is this new, random nostalgic feeling. I am going to do my best to explain it here, if for no other reason than to better understand it myself.
The song begins to play and I notice it. I don’t sing along, but I hear it. But mind begins to touch parts of the sonic textures and place them back into moments of my past. Please understand, this isn’t like hearing the song Elvira and remembering the skating rink. No, this is far more esoteric. It is literally the texture and fabric of the sounds in the song unfolding into moments of textures from my past that I was not able to feel, understand or experience back then.
As these textures unfold, I see life moments in the colors of the 1970’s… in the scents of the 1970’s… and in the carelessness of childhood. I am not remembering a specific event, rather I am feeling a sense of childlike carefreeness and experiencing the colors, scents and sounds of the textures in the moments.
It is as though all of the life experience that has formed my current perceptions of how modern life is colored, scented and heard has been stripped away to the the bare, simple and innocence of a child. This childlikeness, for me, is manifested in the 1970’s, when I was a helpless, but carefree child.
These ‘events’ come on with more frequency as I grow older. I find them to be pleasant in the moment, but they leave me feeling empty afterwards. I really dislike the empty feeling. It is the logical end of everything earth and life have to offer. The only real guarantee in life is that you will die and leave as you came… empty. This is the logic of Solomon. His conclusion was to fear God and keep His commandments. This is the only chance at anything meaningful.
Meaningful… Purpose… A reason… I am guessing that these are things that amplify with age. At least they are for me. I notice things more now than I did when I was younger. I see the colors and textures mentioned above and I wonder about my place in them. How do I interlock with the modern colors of life and what is the purpose? When you live long enough, everything repeats. There is truly nothing new under the sun.
But we get up in the morning and try again. And sometimes we make it through. Other times we collapse a little like an old building. Lately, I have been collapsing.
However, from time to time, we are reminded by those around us that we matter to them… that we are more than just colored, textured sensations in their lives. I have had my share of troubles lately… collapsed sewer lateral, a bullet that traveled through my entire house, a hail storm that destroyed my roof, a “significant tear” in my rotator cuff, a herniated disk and the decision to move to a safer neighborhood.
It is all quite overwhelming. I have had to lean on friends and family for support and guidance through these times thus far. So the sewer is fixed, the roof is next as are the bullet holes, the deposit is paid on the new rental house and surgery will be scheduled soon.
I am in the hook for a decent amount of cost for the sewer still. My current house (that I supposedly had equity in around 2008) is not worth half of what I owe on it now. We haven’t even started on the roof. The rehab after surgery is about ten months. And.. I am moving November 3rd. Somehow, someway I need to offload my current house. I have a lot of anxiety.
Despite this stress, fear and anxiety I am grateful for the people that God has sent to help me. David Ruecker, Lisa Scheer, Rob Jones and my mom, Pat Mester. As Bono said, “sometimes you can’t make it on your own.”
I hope that I am writing a follow up to this blog entry next month that describes just how everything worked out for the good. If so, it will be to the glory of God.