This topic came into my mind like a bolt out of the blue as I was doing some simple yoga exercises. Most appropriate of course for a person of my years, but perhaps of some interest to everybody who has some years behind him, let's say ten at least.
After tennis Ellie and I were drinking coffee with one of our oldest tennis friends (I mean seniority, not age). He's a lonely man, and a thoughtful one; as Ellie said, "he has lots of conversations with himself". When we drink coffee together, he usually has come primed with a suggestion for a topic to discuss. A pleasant hour, then to home we go, and he goes?
What have you missed most? Probably not as pressing to people in the age group represented by Thomas Cole in his Voyage of Life, but as the years go by one becomes reflective (the Hindus really major on this, I'm told).
We had enjoyed the few minutes of serious conversation with Dennis, and it came to me that that's what I've missed the most: serious conversation, like sharing spiritual autobios with someone; even politics can be a serious subject if there's not too much contamination in either person.
My life spread out before me: brought up in a series of rural, dirt poor, economically and socially backward villages all over LA, moving back to N.O. was truly liberation, for all of us.
The vocation I chose at 30 took me away, back to those isolated, backward communities. We fled to NC (If you had large experience in both of those states, you would know what a great jump ahead that was).
But Winston-Salem became stale (not enough serious conversation was available). I uprooted wife and three children in school to venture up to the metropolis-- in this case D.C. That was the most exciting place we have lived, with many wonderful,exciting, spirit filled friends.
Of course one needs less excitement after a certain point, so now we're back in a backwater of Middle America, lazy, fat and happy.
A moment comes back to me from 1957. Dr. St. Amant taught our preaching class, I believe. He made this comment once:
"Riding the street car he was appalled at the trivial nature of the things people had to say to each other" Me too. (Dr. St. Amant became pres of the Louisville seminary, and the last I heard of him he had the same position in Geneva-- quite a way from N.O. that was.)
Dear friends, life is short; have fun, but make the most of it, and tell us what you have missed; it may lead to some serious conversation; that is indeed the beauty of blogging.