Monday, January 31, 2011

Geezers and Memoirs

    Geezers often tend to focus on memories of the past.   Conversations among a group of geezers frequently consists of recollections of childhood events, past accomplishments, and other personal or historical recollections.   Recently I have been focusing on living in the now so I have become sensitive to avoiding always dwelling on past events and accomplishments.    I honor the past and relish good memories but by living in the now I find more pleasure in my immediate activities.   Today was an especially delightful day on the slopes with exceptional snow, bright blue sky and comforting sunlight.   The cold weather minimized the number of skiers so it was a beautiful and mostly wind free and silent day of joy.   The two photos below show the difference between the weekend activity and today's activity in the instructional area.
Quiet Weekday - Magic Carpet
    A further comment on memories.    Today I read a commentary from the New York Times entitled The Problem With Memoirs by Neil Genzlinger.   It was a fascinating analysis of the shortcomings of memoirs.   His main criticism is that unless you have had some unique and notable accomplishments,  keep your thoughts and writings to yourself.   In other words, all of us geezers have had many similar experiences, losses, gains, divorces, illnesses etc.   There is no need to publicly air your personal story unless there is some redeeming discovery in that process.   Here is his concluding paragraph about whether one should publish a memoir.
Magic Carpet Crowd - Weekend

" If you didn’t feel you were discovering something as you wrote your memoir, don’t publish it. Instead hit the delete key, and then go congratulate yourself for having lived a perfectly good, undistinguished life. There’s no shame in that."
   I am writing a personal history.   Not necessarily a memoir but a narrative of my life to be passed on to my children and grandchildren if they care to know a bit more about me.   Meanwhile I will keep on living a perfectly good, undistinguished life.   Hopefully living in the now, enjoying my associations and relishing for now the ability to slide on the snow.   No shame at all in being a goof off geezer.

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