Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Mini musings on turning 64

A strange expression turning 64. If I keep turning the same way I'll get older. But what if I turned the other way? Would I regain my youth? Do I want to? I can think of one or two reasons.

I was a teenager at school when the Beatles recorded When I'm 64. I remember working out what year it would be when I became that great age. Now 2010 has come and soon it will be gone.

This is the second birthday I've spent in India. The first, three years ago was in the Coorg rainforests. This time I'm in the Himalayas, the mountain range that arguably sustains our Earth. They are troubled mountains, struggling with hotter summers, less snowfall and therefore less water. The water that creates the great rivers sustaining a huge percentage of the world's population and countless flora and fauna, is reducing. Glaciers are melting and the likelihood of uncontrolled flooding from the monsoons is growing.

We are in an unprecedented time of change. My generation in the West has had a full, bountiful life fuelled by oil. A time of plenty, technological advances that change and develop leaving us breathless, wondering how we could ever have done without this and that. But how much do we really need? One thing for certain is that constant growth isn't sustainable and we have yet to discover the price to pay. Nothing goes on forever.

I'm glad I've reached 64 and know I have to get off the path that carries on regardless. But which way do I go next? Maybe there's still time to sit and wait and muse before choosing. Maybe.

That song was good. Still is. But now I know the answer to the questions it asks. It's YES.

Thank you, one and all.


  1. You're welcome! We like to celebrate you, you're very celebratable and inspiring. Keep on searching, Simonico, and you'll find.

    Age is a number, and, since it can't be said without cliché, I'll quote Saint-Exupéry in the Little Prince, 'L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux'.

    Good luck to you, and to all of us in our crying planet. Let's get off that path, without passing through hand-wringing or maudlin, and onto better ones... I'm sure we can find them if we care enough. But do we? Let's hope so.

    In the meantime, just one human being, you, deserves to have a magical birthday in the mountains, feel real and enjoy the tangible pleasures of that reality.

    Love you. x

  2. Barbara Marx Hubbard, on turning 80 said that she realised that we are in fact timeless. That being so then our being caught up in linear time is a necessity of experiencing the material world and creativity. We who are privalaged enough to have reached middle age enjoying the bountys of capitalism have much to offer and much to learn. We need the space to muse in order for emergence, without which there is no true creativity :)
    I cannot think of a better place to turn 64 and muse and re-purpose than in the foothills of the Himlayas. In the Toltec Dreaming Symbols mountains stand for "hope"

  3. Hmm. How about giving "Let it Be" a go? (Certainly if the back 4's performance on Monday is anything to go by.)

    Sweet dreams, birthday boy

  4. When I get older losing my hair,
    Many years from now,
    Will you still be sending me a valentine
    Birthday greetings bottle of wine?

    If I'd been out till quarter to three
    Would you lock the door,
    Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
    When I'm sixty-four?

    oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oooo
    You'll be older too, (ah ah ah ah ah)
    And if you say the word,
    I could stay with you.

    I could be handy mending a fuse
    When your lights have gone.
    You can knit a sweater by the fireside
    Sunday mornings go for a ride.

    Doing the garden, digging the weeds,
    Who could ask for more?
    Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
    When I'm sixty-four?

    Every summer we can rent a cottage
    In the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear
    We shall scrimp and save
    Grandchildren on your knee
    Vera, Chuck, and Dave

    Send me a postcard, drop me a line,
    Stating point of view.
    Indicate precisely what you mean to say
    Yours sincerely, Wasting Away.

    Give me your answer, fill in a form
    Mine for evermore
    Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
    When I'm sixty-four?