On Age and Feeling

Age has a way of dulling passion.  You can say “tempering” instead of dulling if you prefer, but it all adds up to less:  less feeling, less expression, less certainty.

Rage doesn’t happen.  The white hot uncontrollable, flinging, spewing, guitar-smashing fire ebbs away.  Its space is taken up by tutting sarcasm, stealth sniping, detached cynicism that just can’t be bothered.

The acquisition of wisdom means self-containment.  My life becomes a mask of calm politeness and you can only wonder whether or not it reflects the truth.

Age makes hypocrites of us all.

When you were twelve, you said any old stupid thing and the people you didn’t scare off are probably still your friends now that you’re fifty.

When you were twenty, you knew everything and you shared your knowledge with everyone.  The people you didn’t alienate are now your family.

Note:  This is a writing exercise from a book called Writing Life Stories.  I’m feeling pretty good right now, so don’t worry too much about the weirdness.  


12 thoughts on “On Age and Feeling

  1. learninglife203 says:

    Have any more of those masks of calm politeness up for grabs? Everyone who knows me would thank you for sharing one with a needy gal such as me.

    I love the ugly truth that you have told here today. You’re all up in my head with this stuff.

  2. anitvan says:

    You know, my son Brent Lee went to anger management counselling. He needed it, and he’s a different person for it.

    I asked him once, what was the most valuable insight he got out of his counselling and this is what he told me: Think of anger as an escalator going up – it only goes one way and once you get on it, it doesn’t reverse on itself, it only goes up. If you don’t want things to escalate, DON’T GET ON THE ESCALATOR. Find a different way to get where you’re going.

    When it comes down to it, we always have a choice. He still feels anger, he just chooses not to act destructively on it.

    Took me about 25 years longer than him to figure that one out. *shrugs* What can I say? I’m dense.

  3. learninglife203 says:

    I know my anxiety and depression tend to make me more prone to snap and say and do things I always regret. I also have a hearing problem that contributes. I need to remember that escalator part. I wish my parents would have put me in anger management when I was young. I always had a destructive tendency when angered. I would really just trash everything and be red faced and screaming at people. I try more now that I’m older and know better. I still look out for any pieces of anger management advice I see floating around. The upside is, it has made more understanding of others who seem to have an anger management issue. So that’s my silver lining I guess.

  4. Julie says:

    Age = dropping the filters.


    Working on the wisdom part, and praying that sometimes Jesus puts one arm around my shoulders and the other hand over my mouth.

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