Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Moving on...

In my younger days the electric bicycle was not something I would have considered buying.  It seemed to defeat the entire project of exercise. However now that I have entered the seventh decade of life the drubbing allure is not so offensive. This evening thanks to some friends I have tried the device for the first time and I am impressed.

Today has in fact been a day of more than one admission of the triumph of age. Like so many other natural phenomena, aging I have discovered is a spectacle best managed without misguided philosophic resistance. This is so not only because its transformation is inevitable but more importantly because submission makes its nutrients considerably more digestible - simple accommodations like exercising but without the extraordinary commitment of an Olympic athlete. When I first began bicycling with passion I was encouraged by an aficionado to buy a Garlatti 21-speed racing bike with Campagnolo derailleur. Though the bicycle is now called a "classic or vintage road bike" at the time it was unquestionably high-end. But over time as a device the model required adjustments, among them larger tires (to avoid unnecessary punctures on less than perfect roadways), broader seat (for the broader butt), fewer gears (for less hill climbing) and higher handlebars (for cruising not racing). The metaphors for my own physical declension are uncanny!

The modification extends to other functions as well. The attraction of the cocktail party - or group socializing - is decidedly passé for me. I have abandoned cigarettes and booze; and I derive vastly more inspiration from private conversation than having to shout bromides over a crashing background of garbled prattle and echo. As much as I am wont to prevent complete descent into a world of exclusivity, the adoption of the commercial lubrication of marketing and promotion is for someone my age far beyond anything either healthy or stimulating.

Acquittance of the imperative of principle has also evolved. As we grow older the critical value of doctrine and belief starts to assume an impertinence to the more profitable preference for tolerance and generosity - all of which is likely little more than calculated incentive for biting one's lip when perturbed by others. Like exercise, some things are just not worth the effort.

It seems to be a pattern - at least for some - that as one ages there is an increased inclination to lapse into the vernacular, specifically so-called vulgar language. I am here to say that in my opinion the proper use of profanity - especially by those from whom it isn't normally expected - is highly entertaining and even picturesque. Let there be no mistake, it is not just anyone who can pull off execration with effect. One is reminded of the likes of Sir John Falstaff (Shakespeare) and "Ratso" Rizzo (Midnight Cowboy).

The degeneration of one's preferred indulgences is also not without its moment. I am not addressing anything lascivious or otherwise morally egregious, rather derivation of pleasure from mundane or common material absorption. It may for example be a sinful delight in automobiles, millefiori, Oriental rugs or mechanical clocks. Select jewelry is another benign venue for sybaritism. Who is to say that bird watching is inconsequential?

The direction one derives from these trifling enterprises is sufficient to promote the enlargement of purity to embrace almost anything we find palatable. Gone is the weight of assessment and position. It is not a licence to be offensive; it is the poetry of simplicity.  The complications of youth and advancement may at last take a back seat to the unqualified sonority of the present. And maybe a new e-bike!

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