Reub's journey

08 March 2011

An excellent question

We had house guests last weekend, a young couple from the UK, towards the end of their months-long trip across this continent, from Toronto to Vancouver, via the US. They are on an epic journey, to be sure, but I would have loved for them to stay with us much longer than the two days that they could spare. I can't get enough of people younger than myself, smarter than myself. I like their energy, the feeling of being on the cusp, the fact that they aren't on anybody's payroll just yet. Life has not been a straight path for them, yet they must wonder whose payroll should they one day, perhaps, be on.

They went to a dinner party with us one night, and after we departed (rather early) one of them remarked, "What is it with old people, that they can only talk about politics, and will I be this way when I am 50?"

An excellent question.

Oh honey, I know what you mean, but I don't know how to answer it. I don't know what you will be like in 30 years.  I only know myself, remarkably immature for my 61 years, loving my proximity to 12-year-olds on a daily basis, cleaving to art and literature, animals, weather, oceans and mountains.  What will the key be for you? Only you can know that.


  1. Wow! Interesting designs! Intricate and unusual! You sound so exhilerated about your time with these young people! There should be more generation connections!

  2. We only talk about politics? I don't think so! Maybe you just took them to the wrong dinner party--the Tea Party party, perhaps?

  3. I do think the older we get the more we are able to follow political news and the more we are able to tie it to what impacts our lives and those who follow us. We do talk about it more...just not always. What is it about young people that they get so bored with politics?

  4. And I thought old people always talked about their ailments!

  5. Hmmm. I enjoy talking about politics. :) But not JUST politics. :)) So what did the twenty-somethings talk about? Now I'm very, very curious.

  6. Politics? I never discuss them or religion. I will however, discuss tattoo's and those are both quite nice, although the skull is a bit 'frilly' for my likings.

  7. gasp! what a striking photo of the from the 40's crowd, we mostly talk about kids and food, how to grow it, slaughter it, make it, ferment it. and then we eat it. with or without a discussion about politics.

    great to have a reason to connect with people of another generation (besides your school kids!).

  8. the tats are beautiful
    I'm surprised that they don't always talk about politics, it will affect them more than is elders
    I've been political since the womb ;)

  9. Beautiful tatts, interesting thoughts.

    "Old." I've been thinking about it a lot. There's a great article in this week's New Yorker about aging. One of the ideas presented is that old age catches everyone by surprise because it's the one phase of life we can not live through or reflect upon later.

    I agree with Snowbrush - I talk about a lot of different things, and in fact one thing I love about getting older is the liberating realization that I don't have to do anything I don't want to any longer.

    In youth, the payroll is ambitions, hopes, intentions. Now I can let go of all that. I like it!

    Thanks for making me think.

  10. Emma: One thing that seems to happen in our society is that when we age, we tend to lose connections between the generations, at least those connections outside our families. This is an unhealthy gap.

    Snow: Well, it wasn't a Tea Party, that's for sure, but it was a party where people didn't know each other too well and therefore stuck to safe assumptions when speaking. That can stultify a conversation. So actually, it would have been energizing to have a Tea Party voice in there...where is my loud, right-wing brother when I need him?

    Tabor: I am hoping that the events in my home state of Wisconsin will stir up some interest in politics for people of all ages.

    Rebecca: Ha! Thank god nobody rattled on about their ailments! *Yawn* Although politics have become so painful maybe they are the same thing as ailments.

    EG: You know, we had some great conversations over the 2 days they spent w/, music, fusty old vans, couture, Spanish gypsies, Italian and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings...

    Woody: Normally I don't engage in politics and religion too much b/c no matter how much I might know about these things I always feel I don't know enough. I like to listen though.

    Slim: I was surprised at the quality of these tat photos. How did that even happen when I snapped them on a whim? I like that key so much, especially against the delicate skin.

    I wish I had a little more control over how my photos come out; as it is they seem to be purely a matter of luck.

    Dianne: Political since the womb? I am always impressed when I see kids who are already political at age 11. I wonder if it is the influence at home, or are they equipped with this gene from the start.

    Reya: You know there is a lot I like about aging. It is rather liberating, isn't it? I am fortunate-knock on wood- to be free of difficult physical problems. I might think differently if I were in pain, or sick with a chronic disease.

  11. I know what you mean. I often wish we had a theist or two--or at least some agnostics--in my atheist group, not to convert, but to offer a different perspective.

  12. I hope they got here (Vancouver) for all our sunshine.

  13. Those black lamb , are they really black or they had been in the muddly river (Though your river is so clean)?

    I love looking out for black sheep.

  14. Wouldn't it be wonderful if that initial meeting atmosphere could be eradicated? I feel that entire meetings and connections would be so much more diverse and ageless in some respects.

    It would also minimise the 'safe' conversation topics we have. But perhaps that is a good trait, safety and tactfulness that we gain through age and experience. Perhaps I don't hold that key yet!

  15. On second thought, nobody really holds a key most of the time.


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