Question #14 – What is a midlife observation that trips you out?

I need to develop this more at some point in the future (or maybe I don’t, I don’t know).

Here’s one peculiar thought that knocks me off balance on occasion. I sometimes have this sense that I’ve collected all of these things in my life–experiences, habits, defining characteristics, equipment, possessions–and that when I get a moment of stillness I can open up the toybox to play with them and do this thing that has been waiting for me since birth.


I have opened the toybox on occasion to find that I don’t recognize the toys. That they have lost their emotional resonance. That I am unsure how they all fit together and what is to be done with them. It’s as though I woke up in a stranger’s house, some shadow version of myself, and in the course of starting my day realized I was not in my own bedroom, but a bedroom that merely looks like my bedroom.

Do we live multiple cycles in singular bodies? Are we in charge of self-generated evolution? What happens when we miss the train stop and we end up not where we’re supposed to be, but where the train has taken us? Sure, there’s dismay when we know we have to walk back to where we’re supposed to be, but is the root of that despair a frustration because the walk sucks and it’s going to take us a while to get back to our original destination? Or is it something much worse? Is it that we know we missed our only operation to get off the train where we need to be and that the pace of the world and its inhabitants have all gone on in a way that we can’t comprehend or adjust to?

Fact is, your old pal Ben doesn’t know. But I often think about it. And if you’d told me I’d be thinking about that at age 44 when I was 34 or 24, I would have told you that it didn’t make sense. My concept of time is different now.

Commit Active Mercy,


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