I remember when my friend Wes died in the ‘80s, that I was surprised by the feeling that my life had been extended, not into the future but into the past. He left behind diaries and memorabilia, beginning in the ‘20s, that amplified what he’d already given me over the years. I was enriched.
Today’s blog, “Time Goes By,” quotes a New York Times essay by Oliver Sacks whose writing almost always does the same thing – enriches me. The essay, “The Joy of Old Age. (No Kidding.)” is about turning 80:
My father, who lived to 94, often said that the 80s had been one of the most enjoyable decades of his life. He felt, as I begin to feel, not a shrinking but an enlargement of mental life and perspective. One has had a long experience of life, not only one’s own life, but others’, too. …. At 80, one can take a long view and have a vivid, lived sense of history not possible at an earlier age. I can imagine, feel in my bones, what a century is like, which I could not do when I was 40 or 60….
Now, what I have to do is make sure that Ms. M in my Alex and Ms. Mulholland series, begins to experience that. She has a few years to go before she reaches 80, but she’s a thoughtful person and, since she works in a history museum, very conscious of time and events. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if she’s already thought of it.
Even more certainly, Lilly Quigley, although she’s a somewhat comic figure, should be beginning to understand life and time in the same way in the Aquacizer Murder series. In the first half of the book she daydreams about nuptials between herself and her partner.
Now, in the second book, at 70-odd, her dreamed of lesbian marriage will become legal. That casts a different light on her life. She’s part of history in a way she’d never dreamed possible. Something to think about!!!