At 68 what did I know?
Well, at that moment I knew instinctively that the world I lived in was big, beautiful, diverse, foreign, awesome and always ready for me to explore and experience it. And I now knew in my mid-European peasant bones that I’m a die-hard optimist with an increasing love of learning, to find out about everything. Also passionate about history, other cultures and in a perpetual quest for knowingness, as well as accepting my complexities — emotional, sexual, intellectual.
I also knew that OUR country seemed ever-more cynical and hostile, tilting from a middle class land to one of extreme poverty and obscene wealth with political, racial, class and environmental ills that likely wouldn’t be solved in my lifetime, maybe ever.
And black-white was the most confused, complicated subject in the universe, with nearly as many takes on it as there were inhabitants on the planet. But personally I had a soul-deep need for the emotion that reached me from African-American love, touch, sensuality. And I was often able to live in the moment, to just be moi.
Then there was music, to me as necessary as food, water, sex – bringing me deep into emotion, enhancing good feelings, transporting me to the possible, the inevitable, and canceling whatever might otherwise seem impossible.
When I turned 68 quite a few years ago, I was surprised that I knew all this and a little sad that I never knew any of it before.