Growing old can be expressed musically as a diminuendo of life expectancy. Actually it’s more (or possibly less) than that: it’s a list of things one can no longer do. Poignant and ever-growing.
I can no longer: ski, do distance swimming, find solutions to quite simple DIY tasks, resist draughts, read omnivorously rather than specifically (with a tendency towards re-reading), find much pleasure in buying expensive wine, take VR to art classes because she has had to give up art, visit Christmas markets in Germany, find a French teacher who can meet my exacting standards, attend music recitals in Birmingham, face shopping at Tesco with a cheerful mien, tolerate the dreadful treadmill of laundering and drying clothes, feel inclined to wash the car, sleep continuously every night, regard the vacuum cleaner with anything other than loathing, accurately remember time-spans of various periods in my life, usefully vary the inevitably simple meals I prepare for VR.
I could go on.
But let’s be brief. My life has become limited as has my expectation of anything new. And this affects my writing as I have discovered when I read my posts of the earlier oughties. Understand, I don’t aim to record newness (a very limited objective), I look for newness to trigger my imagination, send me off down untravelled byways.
Singing lessons are the exception; for me that is, but not for others. It’s a discipline (which I welcome) but the experience is private, gradual and, more or less, unconvertible.
I do chat en route to Tesco but the common bonds tend to be familiar rather than unexpected.
Imagination is at the heart of writing but she’s flirtatious. She comes and goes. I must learn to make myself more inviting. Got my hair cut recently. There’s new.