DISCOVERING OUR NARRATIVE, A PROCESS WE CALL LIFE

ON THINGS WE DISCOVER AS WE AGE

Old Man Contemplating


Life receives too many adjectives, but life it’s a verb, that it unfolds as we live, uncertainty a first, in childhood, and at our youth undecided, and shy, as we mature during our third decade we choose this, or that, hoping it will work out to reveal what we think we are, on the beginning of the fourth decade we tune, and correct course if in need of, asserting, and throwing out, what we believe of no use, friends, relationships, jobs, locations, and whatnot.

Geting Rid From Old Things

By the course when we arrive to the last years, we can see with clarity, the result from our work, and we can correct, and straighten certain things out, not all of them, since in life you cannot go back, only try again for new routes, different tactics to our general strategy, now hard to change into something else, since we start reaping the result from our past decisions, fortune or our luck, brings to our feet, what is in store for us, the assets, and our mistakes, good, and bad, realizing we need to work a lot on our shortcomings, since we are beginning to see with some clarity, that our fourth decade, will be on us soon, and with more difficulty will be too late to change course, and achieve gain.

Turning Gray

It’s said that at Forty Two, we have reached finally full maturity, sort like be able to take stock from our situation, and make a balance, and see with some clarity what it’s ahead of us, like the famous opening words from Dante’s first chant:

“Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura ché la diritta via era smarrita…”

“Midway upon the journey of our life

I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.
Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say
What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
Which in the very thought renews the fear.

So bitter is it, death is little more;

But of the good to treat, which there I found,

Speak will I of the other things I saw there.

Dark Forest

The dark forest–selva oscura–in which Dante finds himself at the beginning of the poem (Inf. 1.2) is described in vague terms, perhaps as an indication of the protagonist’s own disorientation. The precise nature of this disorientation–spiritual, physical, psychological, moral, political–is itself difficult to determine at this point and thus underscores two very important ideas for reading this poem: first, we are encouraged to identify with Dante (the character) and understand knowledge to be a learning process; second, the poem is carefully structured so that we must sometimes read “backwards” from later events to gain a fuller understanding of what happened earlier.

Early Beautiful Morning

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About theburningheart

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62 Responses to DISCOVERING OUR NARRATIVE, A PROCESS WE CALL LIFE

  1. To my mind, this should be the natural course of human maturity and self-knowledge as we age. Sadly and tragically, some of us appear incapable of or unwilling to learn from our errors and go down fighting till our last breath to have our way.

    • theburningheart says:

      We live in a World with a plethora of different characters, behaviors, and stories, so variety it’s the spice of life as they said, it’s to each individual, to choose his destiny, wisely, foolishly, or somewhat in between, with peaks, and valleys, but at the end we all return to the dust, where we came from.
      We can only live day to day, and do the best, if we care in such thing…
      Thank you Rosaliene we appreciate your thoughts.

  2. Getting older, I’ve come to the realization that it’s the accumulated attachments that hold us down. I made a big move when I was 29, dropping everything and heading out blindly. I remember a conversation with someone at my work, that they couldn’t understand how I could just drop everything and bail out. But somehow, I knew everything would turn out okay. It all seemed easy until my mid thirties, when I started to “settle down” and accumulate the stuff in life again. I can’t say I’m as unhappy as at 29; I’ve been a little more careful about the accumulations. But in moments of detachment, there’s certainly a recognition of the truth in the saying, “Don’t grow up! It’s a scam!”

    Good cheer, and good wishes to you! And stay young! 😉

    • theburningheart says:

      Thank you for sharing your insight, well you are young, myself no doubt on the last stage of my life, something we have run out, it’s time, and cannot acquire it even with gold, not that i wan to, will be happy with whatever comes my way, I am a few months from seventy, will se if we make it, or not!
      But you grow more aware as Sinatra put it on his song; “And now the end is near, and face the final curtain.”
      What else I can I tell you? Age became a physical presence, you cannot deny, your body it’s a constant reminder through deterioration, I used to have an old lady friend, who used to tell me she will fight it to the end, by walking straight, unfortunately the last time I saw her she couldn’t even walk, she was on wheelchair, and was manual, someone had to move her around.
      Old age it’s just a fact of life, we may not like it, but there’s nothing you can do, maybe the lucky ones die young, but whatever life it’s precious, but it ends…
      Take care dear.😉

      • I hope this was not a last post. There is a place filled by every idea, every message into the ether. Ego is at once a burden to the individual, but a gift to a Universe that finds meaning in itself. I sincerely wish you well.

      • theburningheart says:

        My problem it’s simple, my old computer crash, and lost my Live Writter , Try to install it on my new computer, and I need some kind of smart kid with computer abilities to help me, I already contacted a computer shop, but I got to take the computer inn, and I am a procastinator, and a pefectionist, WordPress edit program sucks, need my Live Writter back, as simple as that.
        Yes I am old, and on my last years of life, we will be here untill my time comes, just the normal cycle of life.
        Hopefully see you soon.

      • The joy of technology. 😉
        I understand completely. The laptop I’m on right now is a cheap replacement for one that died last month. I only use my better desktop for “business”, or for editing music or video.
        I usually write and edit offline on a copy of Open Office Writer (quick and functional free software). Then copy and paste into WP’s “classic” editor (their old one that’s now secretly hidden in the “advanced features”).

        I wish you good luck on your technical journey… I look forward to your next post!

      • theburningheart says:

        Well, I do the same, copy and paste, into wordpress, using Live Writter, a system I have used for years.
        The reason I need to get it back, otherwise my post will lack the looks I like to give them, playing and adjusting them at will.
        Thank you for your words, we appreciate them.

  3. ptero9 says:

    Brígido,
    This idea of reading life backwards is appealing to me, especially the older I get. Even in my writing, an odd sense that what I’ve written 5, 10 years ago, has ripened into meanings unimaginable at the time I wrote them. And even though the body brings fresh reminders of my mortality, aging brings its own rewards, mostly in the form distance from the constant striving of youthfulness whose anticipation denies one the preciousness of the present. Perhaps too, things matter less when the future shrinks, while the present becomes like an old welcomed friend. It says, “be well, be at peace my friend.”

    • theburningheart says:

      Well, old age has it’s advantages, as well as detriments, we welcome the advantages, and we deplore the disadvantages, its a sort of life game, of give, and take.
      All I can say we hope death to be a sweet finale from our individual experience.
      We hope…
      Thank you Debra, and my best wishes to you.

  4. I would certainly never have imagined at 40 how much nature would have forced me to change life at 75! Let’s hope, Brogido,as you said here above, that death will be a sweet finale.
    Stay well Martina

    • theburningheart says:

      We can live in hope, from a sweet finale, if anything else, God only knows, at least I will try to live as well as we be allowed to do.
      We did not choose coming , or we did, to this Valley of Tears, but here we are, approaching to the end to our term allotted, we can only wish for…
      Thank you for your comment and best regards to you dear Martina.

      • As I sometimes think of you, Brigido, and miss your wisdom, I came back to this post, to reread and enjoy it:) I hope, of course that you are putting into practise your plans! Very best regards Martina

      • theburningheart says:

        I have not posted not for lack of inspiration, but for lack from my Livewritter aplication, my old computer crashed, and have to buy a new one, and need to install the application.
        Being an old fool without computer skills need someone to help me, I already know from someone who can help me but he does not do house calls, need to take the computer to his shop.
        And I am procastinating, as simple as that!🤷‍♂️
        I use my computer for many other stuff, like sending emails, shopping, watching Youtube, Netflix, etc.
        And basically retired I read books, and be on my computer, taking my computer away will be very dull, and reluctant to be without it, plus his shop, it’s nowhere near me, I miss Los Angeles, at work I had a kid who was a computer whizard , he used to help me with computer trouble, well, he is not here!
        As simple as that.
        I amglad to know you remember me, thank you Martina.
        Best wishes to you,

      • Oh, I’m very sorry for your computer problems! Maybe through our conversation here somebody nearby will offer to help you. Anyway, you managed to write this comment, which means that certain functions work. Don’t worry, I’m getting older too, and much slower but with more patience. And, by the way, I am also convinced that your readers will be happy anyway to have you back, one day.
        I keep my fingers crossed.

      • theburningheart says:

        As I mention I will solve the problem, so do not worry Martina, thank you for being in touch.

  5. Guestspeaker says:

    Reblogged this on From guestwriters and commented:
    In the midst of the journey of our life we may find ouself in a dark forest, for the straight path was lost, and still there in that jungle we may find so many tracks to follow that after so many years we still are not yeat sure which path or which direction to take.

    Step by step in our lives, we have to explore the world and experience things that may or may not appeal to us, bother us, or seem reprehensible to us. Even if we would like to turn back the clock, we are not allowed to do so and have to keep moving forward.

    It looks like we are always in a learning process, but by reading “backwards” in our memory we will be able to gain a fuller understanding of what happened earlier and if we get to know the tricks of the trade, we shall be able to have some idea of what may happen next..

    • theburningheart says:

      Life it’s many things, to different people, but to all no doubt it’s a process of learning who we really are, years and experience, and our particular happenstance daily occurrences, form our experience, and character, united to our particular unique circumstances we build a life fit for ourselves, that time, and our actions take care of the rest, to deliver us where we are today, wherever that may be.
      For those ignorant, it may look like chance, to the wise, they know we get what we deserve, and are what we strived for, time, or place it’s just particular to the individual in question.

      Thank you for you response, we appreciate it.

  6. Don Ostertag says:

    In a few days I will turn 84. I find that reflecting on mistakes in the past, although inevitable, is distressing. I try to dream on the future…and carpe diem.
    Fine post.

    • theburningheart says:

      Congratulations on your birthday Don, I am glad you keep a good attitude, and you keep bad memories behind, not an easy task for me..

  7. lampmagician says:

    Carl Gustav Jung once said: Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research.
    Excellent post, with great Dante.

  8. foodinbooks says:

    Lovely post. Definitely thought provoking. Aging is not for the faint of heart, that’s for certain. Trying to let go of the mistakes we made and keep our light shining is an ongoing challenge. As always, you have expressed it in your own wonderful way. And I love the Dante analogy! I had never quite thought of aging from that perspective, but the beauty of Dante is that his work can be applied to most every situation in life.

    • theburningheart says:

      Thank you dear, we are getting in age, but as we like to say in Mexico; “The heart, never grows old.”
      Today looking at a picture, I was like a teenager, in love at an instant!🥰

  9. selizabryangmailcom says:

    Regrets have been plaguing me lately and I’m trying very hard to let them come, to identify, accept, and then let them go. I think it takes more mental discipline than I have most of the time, tho. But I’m annoyed with myself, because regrets are a form of self-pity…which gets one nowhere. If I can’t go back in time…I have to go forward and make amends and maybe even adjust and do better.

    • theburningheart says:

      Well, life it’s as broad in experiences, that is impossible not to have regrets, at one point.
      The sad part they are some we can no longer have the chance to readdress, for life circumstances, may make it impossible, like distance, time, and mortality…

  10. selizabryangmailcom says:

    Yeah. Exactly.

  11. ReMiXtuReaL says:

    Well said! I may still have a long way to go before reaching 40 years old but at least I am now experiencing Life as it is and learning a lot to change as a better person. Thank you for your great writing! 😇

  12. Dalo 2013 says:

    I’m not sure if there has been a post written where the opening line caught me, such as you did with this post “Life receives too many adjectives, but life it’s a verb…” and all the activities we undertake comes back full circle if we are lucky enough to live so long, and we deal with it. So many different paths to take, and an infinite number of destinies await, so what we need to do (again, if we are lucky and thoughtful enough) is do our best. And doing our best, as is often said, is usually a more challenging route. This is an amazingly brilliant piece, and during my last breath, I wonder what my final thoughts will be? Did I have the power to make changes, or was this where I was meant to be, and it was all pre-ordained? Regardless, life is a precious gift, and while getting older is not for the faint of heart, it is precisely the heart that brings us here. Cheers to your transition from summer to fall 🙂 Take care ~

  13. theburningheart says:

    Well, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying:
    “Life is what happens to us, while we make other plans”
    I am an old man, now in a few months I turn 70, and every day is precious, but I have been lucky, or it was destiny, with an Angel or Genie guiding my path and me following the Path of Knowledge and Beauty, harmonizing and carving rough edges, here, and there, at my own pace.
    Arriving where we are, right now, no surprise on it, but of course there where bumps on the road, as well, it’s all part of life, and a good attitude our best help.
    Thank you for your nice comment.
    And my best wishes to you Randall.😉

  14. Great thoughts about life as such. I believe we could give hundreds of definitions to the same subject, and, yet, our life is pretty much what we have made of it and continue doing so.
    I don’t think most of us are very happy with what we’ve created since there are so many contributing aspects, as well as obstacles to our plans. It’s like a huge lottery and who knows what you get. Our intentions get crashed quite frequently, and the ones still standing can test how much storms they can withstand.
    It’s great to hear you are satisfied with your life.
    Well, I love what is my life, too, but I wish I could steer it still upwards to some bigger heights. I don’t feel old, while many people would call such age old.
    It’s interesting that after a long absence, I just published a post, too, and I could say it’s about the same, – life.
    Nice reading your articles again!

  15. theburningheart says:

    Well, most people always want, what they do not have, and dream one day of getting it, despite, the unlikely odds, because their own limitations, lack of resources, being these, economical, or aspiring at things that require, not only luck, but skills, and knowledge beyond their capabilities to execute them.
    We all can dream, but achieving dreams is a totally different matter, I could see it from my childhood, as friends, and members of my family will talk about their dreams, mostly naive illusions, based on nothing, but desire, and fantasy.

    Luckily for me, since a young age I read the stoics, like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus, Cato, and Zeno.
    And my head was firmly on my shoulders, not on fanciful dreams, and very aware, from the things I could do, and those who I could not.
    So wasted little time on fantasies, and even if modest on that department, I will put into practice the one I was able to, nothing too out of my reach, I lived on a sea port, so I will go frequently to the beach, and will do snorkeling on the rocks, and near islands, also I will climb hills near my town, and travel with my father (He traveled as salesman representative to many cities and towns, and when on vacations, I will join him)
    And I read a lot, and that kept me anchored on firm ground. Books can be a wonderful escape to fantasy land, but with no risk to find you in trouble, unless as Cervantes famous Don Quijote wanted to enact them, and we know how that went. 😉
    Thank you for your nice response Inese.😊

  16. Thank you for this great and very accurate reflection about the life stages. I like especially the ending; that we have to read our lives backwards when we are older to understant our past better and that makes us understand our arrival in the present better. We can see how decsisions and choices gave us learning and growth experiences and how that made us who we are today.

    I’ve not been very active on my blog as I’m working on another essay that follows from the last one I wrote, so I missed it when you published this, but here I am and really enjoyed reading this, Mr Anaya.

    Currently I’m also battling with a big question; to travel (again), or not to (?). It would be very difficult not to – I’m not sure I will be able to break the cycle 😉 .

    • theburningheart says:

      Well, I am sure that question, it’s up to you, to do, or not.
      But there is nothing wrong with traveling, myself very likely will travel if shortly, by the endo of the year, I hope…
      In any case I travel always with my imagination.
      Whateve it’s best for you.

      Best regards Jean-Jacques. 😉

      • Yes, this question always comes up for me after a while in one place and it’s never an easy decision, even after all these years of changing locations and returning to the home base. Let’s see what will be the answer this time, but just as you I’m always travelling 🙂

        All the best to you too, Mr Anaya.

  17. theburningheart says:

    Likewise Jean-Jacques, just remember Lao Tzu:”A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
    Best of luck!😉

  18. Haha, I wish I had the clarity that supposedly comes with age, but I feel like I’m still a newborn trying to navigate the uncertainties of life.

    • theburningheart says:

      Well, what can I say?
      Life it’s a cornucopia of experiences, and events who come into our life, some welcome, others not!
      And a few things, or many may never turn the way we wish, and some may remain unsolved, or not clear, and some as we like to say here, will have to dance with the ugly one!
      Regardless of what we do!😜🤷‍♂️

  19. Belladonna says:

    I feel like 42 is about right. We are wise enough to know what matters and strong enough let goof things that no longer fit into our story. Great post!

    • theburningheart says:

      Usually the midway from our life, that is if we live past eighty four years, not all we reach that ripe age, and that depends on many factors, of course, in the US the average span, it’s only 77 years of age, Japan the country with longest average, the average is 83.7, not quite 84, but on the other hand my last boss lived to the ripe age of 104 years of age. And he was pretty active untill around 99, the last five years he had to hire a person, to take care of him full time.
      The fact it’s our life span varies according to how well we did, on taking care of ourselves. As a child I remember to have a GreatGrandmother who was over a hundred according to the lore of the family she was 109 years of age, I barely remember seeing her laying inside a crib, if we used to get close to her, she will take our toys away from our hands! 🤷‍♂️

      • Belladonna says:

        🤣🤣 she took the toys!!! That would’ve been startling as a child.
        My husbands grandfather lives until he was 96 and could drive, travel and lives happily alone until the day he passed. He would travel to visit us every Thanksgiving and stay for a week. He would play outside with
        Our kids and everything. If I can be like him then my prayers would’ve been answered!
        He took great care of hisself.

      • theburningheart says:

        My last boss, did it better he lived to the ripe age of 104 years old, and he was in great shape, on his 90’s he still played racquetball, and beat many youngsters! And sailed on his own boat by himself.
        He was fine untill the end, he had only about a day of agony, and that was it.

      • Belladonna says:

        He lived well!!!! I bet he still felt like it wasn’t long enough.

  20. theburningheart says:

    Well, the way I see it, if you reach over 70, you are alright, more, it’s just plain luck, combined with good genetics, and possibly good habits. According to statistics:
    “Both Sexes. 73.2 years. (life expectancy at birth, both sexes combined) Females. 75.6”
    Let just say if I make it to 2025 I will be in the average! 😜🤷‍♂️

  21. macalder02 says:

    Creo que la parte difícil de llegar a viejo es reconocer que lo somos. Imaginate, tú llegas a los 70 y yo hace rato que tengo 75 y lo llevo lo mejor que puedo sin perder las perspectiva. A tu edad fue que empeze a escribir poemas a pesar que nunca se me había pasado por mi mente hacerlo. Creo que has escrito una pieza maravillosa para la reflexión descarnada de nuestra realidad. Estoy de regreso después de una larga pausa y fue para recargar energías y seguir bregando con la poesía. Un grab abrazo y un feliz domingo para ti.

  22. theburningheart says:

    Lo bueno y lo malo de la vejez es que es buena para hacernos reflexionar. ¡Lo malo es que es poco lo que podemos hacer para cambiarla! 🤷‍♂️
    Saludos y un abrazo, Manuel! 😊

  23. Happy New Year!
    I hope seeing you back online in 2023!

  24. Life, like love, is indeed a verb. The most we can do is to go moment by moment appreciating all that we are given and helping each other get through the difficulties. Wishing you a very happy new year.

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