My birthday is today.
I have the strangest sensation,
I don’t care,
and I care too much.
I’m turning 40, a decade.
When I was in my teens I thought I wanted to die at this age.
“There is no life after your thirties”, thought a naive teenager.
When I reached my twenties this milestone moved to my fifties. There was no life worth living after 50.
When I reached my thirties I realized that this game would continue be played, and that it was not worth setting an expiry date on my life.
As I come into the noon of life, I realize: It is good to think that one’s life is going to end in twenty years. Death’s humid breath is felt on the side of the neck, and you springs into natural action, doing what is necessary at the time.
“What is life after the chase for women and success?”, thought the teenager. I’m grateful to him, because he built the foundation of my professional career and gave me my first experiences of love.
“What is life after I reach my full potential?”, thought the twenty something. I’m grateful to him, because he provided me with a great skillset that has accompanied me during my career.
“What is life?”, this question begun in my thirties and I’m grateful to him, because he, Mark of 2014-2019 throughly explored this question. All those roads walked, all the paths taken, all that tremendous solitude that I lived in Madrid. The discovery of one’s soul and one’s spirit takes time. It was all worth it.
I don’t know what questions I will ask to myself in my forties, but as I step into this new book I already perceive the direction: stop trying to accomplish anything. Stop trying to be good. Stop telling yourself stories about yourself. Reduce your existential footprint to make way for creative expressions of the soul.
What I realize is: There are no questions left to answer. All idle thought is a waste of life. And yet, this essay itself is idle thought. Should I be liberated, I wouldn’t be writing this (at least not in this way). But the creative expression (of writing, of creating design games, of painting, of building a table, of tending for a garden) expands in such a way that no space is left for idle thought.
In psychological matters it never pays off to wage a war against any aspect of the self, and this includes idle thought. Should I try to banish idle thought, idle thought simply becomes the shadow. It is necessary to expand something so that idle thought reduces its grasp on existence.
But now I’m wanting to expand something in order to contract something. This is not the way. I look inside and observe: if every stage of my life has provided what I needed at that moment, it follows that idle thought is also needed at this moment. Expending effort in inward matters is folly.
I’m twelve hours into my forties and I’m already trying to resolve the problem of the decade. Patience.