Even now as I am only a couple weeks from my 70th birthday I wonder when I will ever grow up. Or perhaps it’s a matter of wondering when I will see the world as an adult is supposed too and what that will entail. This is probably related to having inaccurate expectations around what comes with aging and adulthood. Looking back on my adult years this view on its surface seems patently absurd; I was a head nurse for years after all. Perhaps I am confusing being an adult with what the Buddhists would call “enlightenment”. Whatever that does entail I can say with some certainty that there are very few enlightened adults roaming the earth as we speak.
I was a nurse for 42 years and 21 of those were spent being the nursing manager of the AIDS clinic at Denver Health from 1989 until 2010 and that encompassed the worst of the epidemic at least here in Denver. Even now when I ponder whether I was being an adult or not during those years how did I weather that without going insane.
Though even now I wonder how really sane I am. Perhaps all that hallucinogenic drug use in the late 1960’s and throughout most of the 1970’s permanently warped or worse fried the adult circuits in my brain. If I were to try and rationalize it perhaps it elevated me out of adolescence, sped me through an adult worldview to a higher more enlightened plane. I do though think that any of my several Buddhist teachers over the years would all say: “who are you kidding buster-back to the cushion with your butt!”
Even now I hold out little hope for the long-term survival of humanity. We will really most likely prove to be a very unsuccessful evolutionary dead end that managed to soil our own beautiful nest making it unlivable in a few short years. We will have been around only a tiny fraction of the time the dinosaurs were.
There was a time I thought maybe queers would be in the vanguard leading the way to a much saner and sustainable world. That would have been back in late 1970’s when I was in the thrall of Harry Hay and several other Radical Fairie mentors. That hope was severely dented when I witnessed a food fight, yes salad was literally thrown, involving several Fairie heavy weights including Hay at a rural Oregon Fairie sanctuary in early 1981. The flying vegetables were sent airborne over a disagreement about something I have long forgotten but no doubt was petty in the big picture. Just for the historical record Harry did not throw any salad but was the recipient of the lettuce giving me a new meaning for “tossed salad”. Even now I am able to be sorely disappointed when my heroes are shown to be all too human. I do though admit to taking some solace for my own many failures when I see heroes and heroines with mud on their shoes too.
The most incredulous “even now” these days involves waking up everyday for the past two years and sadly realizing that yes even now Donald Trump is still the President. We surely are paying some heavy karmic dues for this sad state of affairs.
So this piece seems to be in desperate need for a happy ending or at least an upbeat sentence or two holding out the slightest shred of hope for humankind. I could just be a bit lazy and say I’ve got nothin’ here folks, sorry but we will surely turn out the lights when we leave. However as I slip into my dotage I do appreciate everyday how amazingly lucky, against unfathomable astronomical odds, it is, that I have been the recipient of 70 years of a pretty darn good human life.
Even now I still find respite in humor and the more satirical the better. Surely a sense of humor is one of our most evolved traits as humans. That is of course not to say that dolphins and whales don’t joke around. Here are a couple little jokes I have recently gleaned, from Facebook of course, that are timely for the season:
An elderly woman speaking into a camera
I was run over by reindeer. I called Frank Azar and he got me $200,000
(H/T to Facebook Page: You Know You Are in Denver)
Me talking to Santa:
Me: I want a magical Unicorn
Santa: Be realistic!
Me: OK, I want to loose 15lbs, sleep through the night and for people to say please and thank you.
Santa: What color unicorn do you want?
(H/T Facebook Page: Women Over 50)