I don’t know how this happened.
Age, I mean.
Or better yet, this thing called maturity
where’d this come from?
I’m not sure when or where this began.
At least, not really.
I suppose one day, I started speaking in complete sentences
and just like that, I started to grow.
I know the reason why we grow older.
At least I can say I know this from an intellectual side of things yet,
emotionally, I differ – or should I say defer
as in the way we procrastinate or push off the truth
or how we deny that time is moving fast
and we know this is happening but
we act as if everything’s fine.
We act as if life will never happen to us until it does because
time absolutely happens.
Time runs out more times than we’ve figured
and right now, this moment
is more important than we realize – all the time
I go back to the time when youth was on my side
and tomorrow was just another thing;
in fact, I had a countless supply of tomorrows.
We all did
I had thousands of them and, of course,
the idea of waste to someone in their youth
is wasted on the idea that tomorrow is an endless supply.
Until its not.
I remember when my body healed.
I could get by on hardly any sleep
and still have enough in me
to climb mountains during the day
and go out to dance later that night.
I remember the days:
my waistline was not as offensive as it is to me as it is now;
and just like me, my metabolism was in a hurry.
Everything was fast and
on the go, on the move, and moving in any direction
at any time, in whichever way I choose
or saw fit. I remember this.
I go back to when I was able to believe or be resilient.
I could get up and go and, in other ways,
I am more resilient now than ever before.
I wish I had this in me then; an understanding,
a passion, a direction, a know-how and a plan.
All I had then was a pack of smokes
or maybe a stamp on my wrist
placed there by a promoter at a club from the night before.
Maybe we can call this experience.
I can see more of what comes along the horizon.
Maybe I know more about what to look for
or what to avoid.
Maybe I’ve learned to differentiate between pipe dreams
and real dreams; or as it seems,
maybe I learned how to materialize things
by replacing thoughts with actions
by making moves rather than
making gestures and swearing about how good things will be.
In which case,
I mean that maybe I realized talking is not the same as doing
and, in fact, talking is often the antithesis of doing.
Sometimes talking is counterproductive
which means doing
is the only productive move that constitutes change.
Change . . .
Let’s see, now where have I heard this word before
Sure, I have seen different sides of the world.
I have been part of its upside and downside
and I have survived myself, in spite of myself,
and here I am – no different from you
or anyone else in this place.
I am sharper now.
I’m on my game so-to-speak,
and although I can see where age has set in,
I can see more of my youthful dreams
which fell to the list of being deferred,
shoved off or forgotten.
I am better now than ever before
and though I am not younger,
and though my physical body is not as resilient;
I am not like I used to be
or though I cannot heal as quickly
or move as fast and metabolize the same way –
I have come to the understanding
that if I do nothing then nothing will happen.
I’ve learned this too many times to forget this lesson.
If all I do is talk about coming forward
or if I only talk about making my way to the center stage,
and though I talk about this and do nothing;
then once more in my life,
I will have allowed my dreams to be deferred.
Once more, I will have allowed my hopes
to be silenced by the apprehension
of pipe-dreams and doubt
and long-term disbelief.
I’m well aware of you, Father Time.
Thanks for your patience
and thank you for the warning signs.
I suppose it takes maturity to notice you –
and it’s not that I’m immature
or it’s not the fact that I still laugh at bad humor
or pull my finger jokes
or that I find old cartoons more educational than say,
Mr. Goldin’s fifth grade classroom
or that I don’t want to grow up.
It’s none of this
I see that now –
It’s the failure to launch
or to leave the nest
which is consecutive and chronic
and how it is with most of us here on Project Earth.
Some people go their entire lives
without knowing who they are
or what they want to do.
Some live their entire existence
afraid to take the next step
or shoot for the basket
Some equate failures and missed shots
with rejection or the assumption
that this means they have failed in life,
at home, in the world or on the job.
Some people never listen to you until it’s too late
And, sometimes I wonder if it’s too late.
Have I missed it?
Is life like a case of a long road trip whereas
we allow ourselves to grow so tired or weary
and either we pass our exit and have to turn around –
or, we’re constantly on the lookout
and missing the benefits of beautiful scenery
I guess what I’m trying to say is
I don’t mind turning around.
It’s just . . .
I don’t want to miss out on anymore
of this beautiful scenery.