79. The Rock

What would I like to get out of ‘middle-age’?

… supposing that it is even true that ME exists for me? (I could die tomorrow, you know.)

But what would I like to get out of it?

What would I like to be?

Until now, I have mostly thought of what I left behind for good.

Not just because I am to become a father … (Some people do that 20 years ago compared to me.)

Sure, it is natural to feel anxious and take your life up to revision when you become a father, no matter the age.

But it is nothing new or special.

I did revise my perspective of life very much so last year when my aunt died suddenly of a heart attack and the year before that when my father-in-law died from cancer, only 63 years old.

Or rather: my perspective got all jumbled up and I had to try to find it again and make some order …

Maybe this is what it is, only a bit stronger in some ways – becoming a parent for the first time.

It sure acts like a magnet – that jumble-up of your life. A magnet to think about All The Things You Lose.

And not so much about all the things you get.

I guess that’s the definition of fear.

But let me step outside of that for a moment … get back to the question:

What do I want to get out of becoming not just a father but more importantly – officially ‘middle-aged’?!

Even ‘ME’ is a construct?

Even if I could die tomorrow and nobody nows where the hell ‘the middle’ is … ?

What do I want?

I think …

… I want to be a rock.

Yeah …

Not just anybody’s rock but somebody’s rock.

That rock that is there always for somebody to lean on, hang on to … when everything else gets jumbled up.

I think I can do that.

Even if I get jumbled up still sometimes myself.

I can do that for my son, but also for many others.

I can do that because I am a rock in many instances.

I wasn’t 15 years ago, you know.

I was deeply depressed.

Then a few years later I was in hospital with rampant anxiety.

And then I got out and got unemployed, some family died, I got a job – but a lousy one.

And some people threatened to throw dynamite after me in Bolivia, by the way.

But I’m still here.

That’s got to count for something. Because I know many of those things won’t make me run and hide ever again now. (Except the dynamite.)

But many people both younger and older than me will run, for less than dynamite. Less than, but serious enough for them.

I’ve always wanted to be their rock. I have been in some instances, ad hoc.

But maybe I should think of this as the most important thing I am and do in this world.

It’s nice that everyone can do that. It’s one of the nice things about middle-age. About age in general – if it hasn’t killed you.

You can be the rock for someone else. In so many ways …

Who are you a rock for?

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