Friday, February 7, 2014

I'm 37! I'm not old!

Van Gogh died at 37. I don't know why that intrigues me so much, but it does. Van Gogh died when he was exactly my age. It's a meaningless coincidence. But it intrigues me.

Partially because I adore everything about Van Gogh. But mostly it's something else.

These years are odd ones. These are the work years, the family raising years. These are the times in which we settle down, we focus on practical things, and we summon whatever pragmatism lives deep inside of the most insane of us and get to work. And I've done that. By and large- my job still consists of wrangling kids and talking about magic.

(Today a student informed me that she didn't get money for her lost tooth because 'The Tooth Fairy is broke!' And if that isn't a confluence of magical and pragmatic I don't know what is)

But largely I've tried to be practical, working, raising kids, bedtimes, etc. I spend my evenings writing and creating, I'm eccentric enough, but I'm normal. For a given value of normal.

But 37 is where that focus on normalcy is not only most important to your life but also most challenging. It's harder to be normal at 37 than 20, because you don't truly get normal yet at 20. It's harder to be normal at 37 than at 70, because at 70 you're past concern with shallow ideological conceptions are either just live- ideally- or just stop.

37 is the end of "I'm just doing this til my big break." It's the start of being creative and delusional as a state of existence rather than a young person's hobby. 37 was Van Gogh painting through madness in Arles.

I think this is more profound to me now than it will be at 40. Though it's speculation- I've never been 40, maybe it'll awaken new levels of maddening introspection! I can only wonder and dread!

I can't help but think, though, writing my newest huge rambling work, reviewing everything I've created, love or hate it... How odd it is to be 37.

1 comment:

barker blog said...

Can you Imagine us years from today?Sharing a park bench quietly,how terribly strange to be seventy.Long ago it must be,I have a photograph.Preserve your memories,they're all thats left you.