There is no such thing as a time machine and yet I feel as if aging acts as one in its own way. As children we have so little frame of reference for life, so few experiences behind us on which to base expectation of our future and as adults we have so much frame of reference and so little expectation of future on which to build a base! No, I am not feeling sad, down in the dumps or blue, just being who I am always am…that perpetual motion thinker. I have heard people say the progression of life is backwards and that we should grow young rather than old, however, the only way it could work is if we grew young in body and old in spirit, otherwise it would all be the same, only in reverse. We come into this life helpless and many of us go out of it nearly the same condition.
I have often heard it said there is no good way to die. I beg to differ…live a good life, love many people, leave your heart on the paths you traveled and your smile on many door steps, make the earth better for having had you a part of it! What is so great about this recipe is absolutely anyone can follow it. It has nothing to do with wealth, talent, intelligence, strength or anything other than heart and a willingness to share it. Even if a person just shares it within a family unit and is really kind and loving to their children, those children learn to be kind and loving. I like to look at life as if we are all little islands and we are connected by the ripples of each others waves. There are those in life who create tidal waves and drown others with their overwhelming needs and swallow them completely until they feel they no longer exist and then there are those who just touch the shore and recede, leaving tiny particles of sand that enrich what was already a beautiful beach.
I did something I have not done in a very long time and made a trip to the doughnut shop. I saw Richard Gibson and Larry Shivener and as we sat for a moment talking my mind thought of who was not at the table. My heart thought of dear Howard Ruddick and my adorable Louis Crump and the many mornings we all sat laughing, eyes crinkled with the sheer joy of sharing something funny. I didn’t stay very long and not even long enough to see, "Sunshine", Eddie Campbell, but smiled on the way to my car feeling sure my visit with him would have felt wonderfully familiar, Eeyore -like and not at all disappointing! By the way, Sunshine is my nickname for Eddie. I once stopped him in the middle of one of his rants and asked him if he liked anyone and he looked at me and said…"I tolerate you."
For me, it is exactly memories such as those, small as they seem, that are enormous. Maybe for those of you who have always had this it is difficult to understand but if you have lived in a place where neighbor meant closed and locked doors, closed and locked hearts and meaningless nods should paths happen to cross…San Saba means so much to this writer. I suppose that is what I meant when I said there are actually good ways to die.
I have been struggling of late because I really need to get a real job and that is not an easy thing to do here. I have toyed with the idea of moving, getting an apartment on my own for awhile and going where the jobs and money are but then I go and do something like visit the doughnut shop and I see clearly why I moved away from jobs and the money in the first place. I walk in that door and I know why I love you all with all my heart, love this town with all that is my soul, write this column for the absolute fun of it…because you guys are the best and San Saba is the home of my heart and my very own time machine!