After attending community college part-time for longer than I want to admit and finally finishing my degree, I have learned a couple things about getting old:
- I am now old…A.A.R.P wants me as a member! Jamie Lee Curtis wants me to eat Greek yogurt (and I am thinking about it)
- So what
When you take classes with kids often half your age, you do reach a point where you just have to get over yourself and get on with it or risk not making it to the end. No one really cares about age more than yourself…As long as you focus on what you have to do and not worry about anything else, you will be O.K. That is basically it. Age only knocks you out if you let it- you can not stop it but you can stare it down until the very end.
So here is my little Rock Opera on the 5 stages of aging according to the Cave
Act 1: Denial- Forever Young
“Look out you Rock n rollers, pretty soon you’re gonna get older”
I did not believe this wise oracle of rock the first time I heard this line. I thought I would stay young forever. David Bowie saw it coming and tried to warn us.
Act 2: Feel it slipping-try to get it back-Slight desperation-
Weezer.The Good Life
“And I don’t wanna be an old man anymore. It’s been a year or two since I was out on the floor.
Shaking booty, making sweet love all the night…It’s time I got back to the good life”
You sense it is fading but still don’t have a grasp on it
Act 3: Wallow in memories-it may be over
Rolling Stones.Memory Motel
When Keith Richards does his vocal bit-it just takes this to another level- this is my favorite Rolling Stones song and it may be a straight-ahead country music tune. It’s got memories and pick-up trucks in it. This is a drinking song!
Age does build up a reservoir of hurt feelings to go immerse yourself in. It might seem like nice warm water, but you only need a few inches to drown in- and tears and beer can make this get to a level that will break those levees around your heart in no time. …But having said that…Wow!-this is a great song!
Act 4: Acceptance- Oh no- this is real! And happening to a person near me…in fact me, myself!
Peter Gabriel. My Body is a Cage
‘My body is a cage, it keeps me from dancing with the one I love”
When I saw Peter Gabriel perform this live in 2011, I was knocked right on my ass. The intensity he brought to this Arcade Fire song was something to watch erupt on stage. What I took away was this guy trapped in his 63 year-old body but still giving everything he had. The spirit is strong but the vehicle it operates in is getting worn. You could see it happening, and like only genius artists can do…you could feel it happening. There was this transference of emotion from the stage to the audience.
Act 5: So what- it happens to the best of us and the worst of us-I still choose to rock n roll
Little Feat.Old Folks Boogie
“You know that you’re over the hill when your mind makes a promise that your body can’t fill”
So you’re old!!—-Enjoy yourself—it will happen to the best of us in the end if we are lucky enough to make it that far.
The passage of time and the relentless scourge of gravity will hunt us down like dogs. We will be history to future generations. So let us rock while we still can!