Doug McCleary: Celebrant, Officiant, Musician

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Sometimes I am Struck...

Posted by Doug McCleary on September 13, 2012 at 11:55 PM

by how the world keeps on going...more and more without me.

I picked up my 22 year old son at his work the other day...and as I was walking into "The Ford Building" in SE Portland, I noticed all young men and women in their mid-20's to mid-30's.  They were closing up shops, or coming in and out of offices of design firms, etc.  I couldn't help but notice the lack of anyone my age in the bunch...  So, there I was looking at the next generation of small business entrepeneurs, shop-owners, advertising execs, and what-have-you and wondering when I got old and lost my "hip-ness."  I mean, I still feel young and I still think I'm pretty hip, but...I can't hold a match to these folks.

And, through the market, they were creating culture.  They are defining today's and tomorrow's trends, fasions, ads and out of all of that, culture.  Culture--which Ernest Becker (Denial of Death) is "humanity's collective effort to erect a fortress against the inevitability of death."  These young business people...scattering in and out of shops and firms, the next wave of culture...leaving a legacy that might transcend mortality.

And I felt very "behind"...  I look at my own life and realize I quit keeping up with musical trends or video trends or other trends over a decade ago.  I dress like half the other men my age...shorts and hawaiian shirts--which is a far cry from Steam Punk.  I have no hair to arrange perfectly disheveled in that "I'm too emo and my life is too precious to be wasting time fixing my hair" look of the day.  I don't get some of the new music (and I'd rather listen to my old music) and I've been known to ask kids to turn their music down (this from a musician).  And it's clear that I am no longer part of  "the difference" in culture...I'm part of the aging past.

And in many ways that's OK.  The world can move forward.  I keep up a little through my kids, but it won't be long until they're the next left-behind generation.  I like the wisdom and clarity about life I have now.  I like the simplicity of my life...the way that I don't need constant stimulation to be happy or keep from being bored.  And my past still works for me...not all of it, mind you--there's plenty of past I'd like to forget--but my past has meaning to anchors my life.  The world can keep moving forward...and I'll just hang back here and watch it go...with gratitude that I got to ride along for a while.

Categories: Thoughts and Musings

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