Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Decade Arc

I have no idea if this phenomenon has a name or if it is shared with anyone else, but I see a very specific pattern in my life that goes along the cycle of a decade. It makes no matter if it is at age 20 or 40 or 30 or whatever.

New decades open with a mix of promise and uncertainty. A year or two into them something something cataclysmic -- be it personal or global (anyone remember 2001? Those articles in the Times about a mysterious new disease in the summer of 1981? The first Gulf War in 1991?) -- happens. There is a period of hopelessness, followed by the final three to five years of that decade where
cynicism melts and merges into a dutifulness and a slow, hopeful awakening to being a different person or at least having a different perspective that borders on an optimism for the next decade about to be born.

Having articulated that, or to be more accurate, babbled it, I think it sounds more jumble-headed than when it was in my head.

That being the case, I find myself returning to two favorite late 1990s mantras that seem to say it better than I can. One is from an obscure movie; one from a Keith Jarrett album (hey I'm a Junk Thief, I even get my philosophical and spiritual dogma from the ash heap):

- - -

I am --
lost -- but not frantic
incomplete -- but not lacking
alone -- but not unloved
pensive -- but not sad

- - -

Touch is only possible at the edge of spaces.

Light is only precious during dark intervals.

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At 11:19 PM, Blogger Eva the Deadbeat said...

those are really pretty mantras. if my brain weren't so full of holes, i would memorize them...2 more weeks till i am in san fran sissy! yippeees!


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