I suppose you noticed that 2016 was weird. And perhaps, like me, you’re thinking that 2017 might be, um, weirder. So when I was walking down the street several weeks ago and saw this miniature marquee in homage to Bowie in the window of a chic-y chic-y clothing store, I thought:
Ah, yes, it no longer is life on Earth. It is life on Mars.
Because I mean, really—doesn’t it seem like we’ve been transposed to a different planet? It looks like ours, but it sure doesn’t feel like ours. When I’m not downright horrified, I’m curious. How will this play out? Matt Damon, in a recent address to the graduates of MIT, asked if perhaps we weren’t in someone else’s simulated game, as has been suggested by some very learned types. I suspect we aren’t. It’s just that things are so weird, one does grasp for an explanation. He sort of lamely tied things up by saying that whether we’re pawns in someone else’s game or not, it matters what we do, and he sure hoped those geniuses at MIT would sort everything out. Well done! Pat on the back! Ciao!
It’s odd too, to be exactly middle-aged when all this is going on. As if that particular passage weren’t jarring enough on its own, now the whole world is conspiring to make you aware that you are truly in the middle. 1. What was, is gone. 2. What lies ahead is a mystery. And 3. You are somewhere between 1 and 2, and by the way, your hair is doing that funny thing again.
The saving grace, once more, is that I’m curious about what will happen. In the world. In my life. Etc. Almost every day. And as unsettling as it is, it is also invigorating. A wake-up. A call to be alert, to be smart, to use all your tools, to NOT lose your head in the swamp of loudmouthed opinion and speculation, and, maybe most of all, to nurture those good loving relationships.
The other aspect of life that contributes to my feelings of being an alien are my two teenage daughters. Nothing like having youth erupting under your very eyes every day to remind you that you are not exactly young (at least not in that sense) any more. And the differences between our brains and how they approach life are sort of astonishing and comical. And yet, it is these two funny, irritating, brilliant, observant, quirky young ladies who are at the top of my list of people to love and nurture going forward. This is their world, by God, and I intend to make the most of it for all of us! And as horrific as so many things are, they are also golden opportunities to teach these two something about humans’ need to behave. Even to them, the need for civility and “how it’s done” are glaringly obvious.
The images in this post all relate to my daughters in some way. They see the world with clarity. They see beauty and curiosity where I often miss it. They remember to have fun. They are fascinated by themselves and what’s going on “in there.” They look out when I look in, and vice versa. No matter how weird 2017 gets, I’m sticking with them. We’re family. We’re in this together. We’re gonna get through it. No matter what planet we’re on.