Revisiting the earlier poem “Aging” I thought I’d try to write a little more about this idea; the idea that there is a different kind of aging, a kind of psychological wearing-down and fatigue that comes through spending our time in the shoes of our thinking, traipsing thousands of thought-miles, living thousands of thought-lives, in search of a deeper reservoir of meaning which we insist must exist behind the uncommunicative immediate presentation of things. I suppose this might have been what Krishnamurti was referring to in his idea of “psychological time” and the fragmentary nature/fragmenting effect of thought and thinking.
When contrasted with the ticking of the clock and circling of its hands, thought-time seems to be of a different order offering a different life, apparently without beginning nor end yet malleable to our purpose and direction, infinite in its ability to self-propagate and grow. In this lies thought’s attractiveness as a plane upon which to live and a route for escape and safety.
However, thought ages us. It tempts us away from the obvious. It distracts us and relentlessly reminds us of the terror of meaning, so that we may spend no time at all in the fresh simplicity of the every-day. And it is the every-day that is actually what we have most in common with. The repetitive yet timeless occurrences like the changing light from dawn to dusk, the sounds of birdsong, the shapes of clouds, the sheen of rain on a road at night. These things seem to speak to our own sense of self that doesn’t age, our own inner alertness to life no matter the age of our bodies.
For while there will inevitably be an endlessly changing content of our thoughts over the years as we grow older and re-position ourselves in relation to life, a bare tree in winter is a bare tree in winter, a bird just coming down to land in a branch is a bird just coming down to land in a branch. A new moon in blue-violet sky is a new moon in blue-violet sky. These things don’t age, life doesn’t age…and so, in an important way, neither do we.