I told someone not long ago that my two favorite decades were the 60s – the 1960s and my sixties. That was probably more distilled memories and wishful thinking than the truth (and, in fact, my actual favorite times were when my children were young and still willing to play with me). But I do think of the 1960s as a time when hope and altruism drove young people to try to change the world. As for my current decade, sixty, whatever it may seem, is actuarially no longer old. But as the years pile on, I have become oddly aware of a sense of anticipation for the future, even of the optimism I was supposed to feel when I was young. For there seems little use in worrying about all my separate failings when my entire body is sending me a message of, well, inadequacy. Like it or not, this is who I am. Recently, a friend urged me to see “Quartet.” It is a wonderful film about people who learn – because it doesn’t come naturally – to grow old with joy. They are musicians, and they may no longer be able to hit the high notes, but they can still sing. And they do.
I leave later today for Burma, daunted by the hours of flying but excited to see a completely new place. I am told that, for reasons of time management, Internet access and personal well-being, I must take a break from my blog. So I will take notes and give you a vacation. See you in March. Rejuvenated.