I have been having a wonderful time communicating with people lately. I feel emotionally closer and more physically intimate with people than ever before in all my life. That has to be considered strange, because I am now in my count-down to my eightieth birthday – sixty-seven days to go, but who’s counting? … I am. It seems so implausible that I am so old. Some people tell me I act like a high school kid, but I usually make some smart-ass comment like, I’m heading out to high school next year.
Part of what makes my present life work well is that no one has much expectation of me to perform in any particular way, and I just spontaneously do whatever comes to mind. Life for me has become sort of an ongoing improv event. No one seems to mind me being different than everyone else. I don’t make any particular effort to hide what I believe to curry the favor of whomever I happen to be talking to, so I must give people the appearance of complete transparency.
People know what I think, and that gives them a certain security. When in a group I try to state my ideas as clearly as possible, and hone my ideas to be meaningful. It seems people respond to that in a positive way, because there seems to be a strong trend toward conformity to local society’s mores, and that can feel invisibly confining, but I flow freely without constraint. The several groups I hang out with praise open conversation, but the atheists are different from the spiritualists, and both of those are different from the philosophy group, and they differ greatly from the dog-lovers I hang out with at the park who are closer to ordinary people. That list gives a taste of only some of the diversity I encounter weekly, and I love them all.
Being eighty is wonderfully liberating, if one has cultivated comfortable habits.