The Last Post

You may heave a collective sigh of relief, this is the last Post on Fifty Free & Single.

The reasons why, the most obvious reason I am now fifty-one. I had a party to prove it, for reasons too complicated and long-winded to go into I invited far too many women and too few men. I no doubt need to look at that, but I digress, the blog has served it’s purpose, it has seen me through a year of challenge, it has been the vent for thoughts in my head, for stuff I wanted to share and didnt quite know how or who to tell, it’s given me an avenue to begin writing, it has been a start to expressing myself, after what is probably a lifetime of not doing so very well, in that it has served it’s purpose well.

In a way this last year has been a combination of a mourning and an exploration, one linked to the other, mourning for loss, exploring out of it and trying to fathom what I am doing and where I am heading.

I am not in any way a religious man, but the old religions have practices and rituals that have been incorporated into their ideology as a way of dealing with those common stages of life we go through, the rituals around birth, coming of age, marriage, childbirth, and ultimately death. In the Jewish faith there is a practice for mourning a parent, it lasts a year, I lost no parent, but I lost soembody important to me and I lost my way at the same time. In a way this last year has been a mourning process. A year is enough, I still struggle to reconcile my emotions, perhaps I am just unwilling to accept, but enough is enough. Life must go on, I must just move. I feel stuck, still lost, but it is just in my mind, I am free, it is my thoughts that hold me back.
I lost, I mourned I am free, now I decide where I take the story next.

I have read a lot of Charles Bukowski latetly, he was a boozy, disturbed soul, but he wrote fantastically and with great understanding on the human condition. I have become hooked on one of his poems and for me it is firmly fixed in my mind as a blueprint for life.

Go All the Way, by Charles Bukowski

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”

Until now I have constructed my life in a manner that I felt was ” the right way”, the way it should be, don’t rock the boat, do the right thing, don’t push for yourself, fit in.
It wanst such a bad way of living, but times change, circumstances change, people change. At one point I guess I thought I knew where I was, that the future held a gradual maturing into late middle age and “normality” in a nuclear family.

Perhaps I used those ideas as a way of not striving, of not taking risks, of keeping to the safe. Now I am free, no reasons to stay safe, no responsibilities to anyone, other than myself, my mistakes are my own, my successes, my dreams, they are mine and no one elses. I know now that I cannot, I will not go quietly towards dotage.

This is the last of Fifty Free and Single, but not the end of the story, I will go all the way.

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