Pathos and Charm

Mark Twain said, in one of his lectures,  “As soon as a man recognizes that he has drifted into age, he gets reminiscent. He wants to talk and talk; and not about the present or the future, but about his old times. For there is where the pathos of his life lies — and the charm of it. The pathos of it is there because it was opulent with treasures that are gone, and the charm of it is in casting them up from the musty ledgers and remembering how rich and gracious they were.”

Two separate but connected events this afternoon has left me in a pensive mood.

The first was a telephone conversation with an old friend from Ohio. She’s older than me (I’m 70) and was talking about things that she called “golden moments of our lives”. She became upset when I said I didn’t believe there was one thing golden about growing old.

I savor being alive, but only tolerate growing older. I don’t care for the alternative, but find nothing to treasure, no warmth or wisdom, simply about my added years.

The second event was a newspaper article announcing that singer David Cassidy, one-time member of the Partridge Family, has been hospitalized, in serious condition. Earlier this year, Cassidy, who, at 67, still draws crowds to hear him sing, said 2017 would be his last year touring. He blamed a failing memory and severe arthritis that made traveling difficult.

Golden years, indeed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s