Here's my problem.
For seven years I have been drifting.
Its OK to drift - physically, but where have I come to within my thoughts?
Everytime the choice was only to apply myself to an inappropriate system, leading to nowhere, was thoroughly dissatisfying in direction, and did not motivate me.
I seem to belong to another group of people, those who are past the first promise of life and find that life is other than that earlier picture.
It must be that everyone has some solution of direction, a kind of transcending of regular life's affairs where they are able to carry on.
Carry on their bodily functions, providing for them, but the countenance can only be cheerful if they can see in their minds where they are going, whats coming up.
I see resigned expressions in aged people when I find them alone, apparantly without something to do. I find them most animated when they are with younger people, their own kin, their grandchildren. They are animated with interest in the questions the young ones ask and things they do.
But its time to return shortly to their own lives.
The old couple may walk home and the woman may occupy herself in some task. The man sits and reflects. When it isnt about affairs of their lives, the problems they may have, his mind may be seeing somewhere ahead. Whatever he sees is connected to his present life, his conception and sense of himself.
This is not different from what we have done all our lives, when we stopped and looked at where we were.
In those moments we had an accompanying feeling which projected our circumstances, and then as soon as we could, we applied ourselves to making things work out towards that picture, that end.
But now there is an acceptance of our circumstances, instead the question is more a mental one, we want to grasp something which itself is elusive. We know the feeling of when we grasp, it is satisfying. It takes away some helplessness, some confusion. What we grasp has more substance than ourselves, atleast in that little space we are exploring for answers.
We can see this happening with us as we live and move along through our experiences, but one thing seems to stick out, that life cannot go on as it is eternally. We know the world is dying, everything is dying and, we will. How to accept the abrupt ending to this almost harmonious movement of life.
The spectre of death serves a meaningful purpose though, creating a bound for our aspirations, but it feels so like something unfairly inflicted on us. Old age may prepare us, for old age is nothing more than realizing within our minds that the physical is dying, all ailments serve only in shielding us from the worlds inquisitiveness and demands. Something about ourselves, which is as it was when we were children, will be when we are in our old age. Except in the very last, as in the very beginning of our lives. A kind of coming to, an awakening to the present real circumstances and later, a taking leave of, a going away from them.
You've touched on a subject very close to the hearts of a lot of people these days. A lot of us find that, having reached a point in life where the days which remain are fewer in number than the days which came before, we see life differently. When I was young, I thought it was a little silly for people to worry about growing old. I failed to understand the inexorability of it--as you said, the way it is "unfairly inflicted on us" and that it is something which, once it begins happening, is not at all welcome. It is then that we must find some reason, some meaning, in the unwelcome changes which are happening to our bodies; we can, if we try, find an appreciation of our increased ability to understand the world, in ways we could not when we were younger.
It is my children and their friends who have made me realize how different the coming world is going to be. Where the children now growing up in lavish surroundings will seek out the impoverished and those who were deprived, and will try to understand and uplift them. Why, you may ask? Because no one really wishes to be an inheritor. Neither does he or she want to carry the burden of deeds of the past upon their conscience. But in the end really, because everyone wants to know what is life all about? The mystery and wonder, the infinite. Do not think even for an instance that any one nation has answers more than any other to these eternal questions.
Be patient, be peaceful, I know you are loving, and above all give of yourself to the world through your wonderful writing.