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Thursday, May 1, 2014

When old people rant...


There is us, and the structures we build to keep things and people in place. There is nature too, reminding us that we are vulnerable at every season, even if our mortgage is paid, and our utilities are up to date, and the life we are constructing feels as good as we can afford to make it. We used to consult our priests, our neighborhood banker, our parents. Now, we believe what we can glean the truth by doing "research" on the internet, reading the first article in the top listing that comes straight from the admirably-cheating-enabler Wikipedia.

In my days, (I know, pre-historical) we had no insurance, no mortgages, and no credit cards. What we had was the food we grew; and the ability to trade our extra food for clothes and other necessities. Life was laid out simply and visibly all the time.

Yet, with all the modern conveniences and automatic searches for knowledge I have had a deep feeling that truth is hidden deeper than it ever was. And I, in my little corner of the world, have had no impact whatsoever in creating more transparency.


I have never been able to put my finger on the status of my soul until just now, after a lifetime of work, after burying a son, after facing challenges I didn't expect to face,  trained and prepared as a model mother, worker, wife, citizen...

I have begun to rant.

But how could I have been any braver when  all day long, decades after decades, all I heard were a litany of lies from individuals and from institutions. Even simple exchanges are manufactured cliches, all empty shells:  "How is your day?" "Terrific!"

In most encounters, when we need to sign on the bottom line because we need that mortgage, that loan, that job, our lives are not our own.  Someone else is inventing ways to take advantage of the situation and rigging up the exchange so they, not you, are protected in that encounter.

We realize early in life that lying, painting a rosy picture works to bring us more joy or satisfaction. Our wounds might be festering; our souls raped and assaulted by our work place back stabbing, but our attitude is stellar, satisfying the needs of all around us.

So, late in life we begin to see the whole scheme we tacitly engulfed ourselves in. Heavy debts like student loans were never portrayed in their ramifications; they were displayed as a pittance in the big scheme of things, the big money we were going to make once that degree got us into the door.

The trouble at this time is that nobody out there wants to hear the bad news.
Nobody out there wants to consider the consequences of a life without many choices.
Nobody out there wants to listen to old people ranting.

Remember those old seers in ancient times telling Achilles or Priam the truth?
They were classified as crazy old people ranting to the wind...







12 comments:

the walking man said...

Rant away Rosaria; better a crazy old truth teller as I know truth to be, than just another lost bleat in the herd.

It's funny, I may lie to you and vice versa,

"how are you"

"fine"

"that's great"

Hard as it is though I can't lie to myself, why lie to you so you can lie to me as if you really want to hear me whine?

No thanks if it's rough I'll tell you I feel like the south end of a north bound dog.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I have to admit to loving the computer and the internet BUT, I had much more spare time when I did things the long way with no mobiles, no computers and no modern implements. It does not really make sense, perhaps it is old age catching up with me and I have slowed down but I don't think so. We used to write letters to each and every person, now we type one to all. We used to talk, now we face a computer screen for too many hours of the day. For all that I would be lost without it!
I would like to try going back 50 odd years though to compare it all properly! Keep well Diane

My Maine Blog said...

Dear Rosaria...as always I relate so deeply and clearly with your written words today. I have not been blogging for a few weeks now as I have been very sick and today I got up enough strength to come in and sit at my computer for a few minutes and I just had to respond and send you a comment. I love how you write, how you think, how your words resonate so many of the same exact things I think about most everyday. Thank you for sharing your rant and you are ABSOLUTELY right...no ifs, ands, or buts. Love and Hugs...Kathy

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I'm listening. I'm listening.

One day I'd asked a fellow teacher how she was - just like we all do. She first said - good. Then she said, "No, I'm not good. In fact things are really crappy right now and I'm tired of saying they're good."

I turned in my seat and let her go on. So glad she did that. So glad I was there to listen. Now when we ask how each other are, we mean it.

Brian Miller said...

ah i agree that truth is hidden deeper than it ever was....i def would rather the truth...and you know if we really started being honest...maybe it would catch on....smiles.

Becky Jerdee said...

Lies, lies, lies...I can remember doing the "Meredith Corporation smile"...for years, I put on a smiling face no matter what horrible things were happening because no one wanted to see the truth behind "how are things going?"... I'm less apt to do the smile anymore but I'm sad about becoming such a cynic. Next door to me is Carmen, who, at 86, has ranting down to the 9s. My 30-year-old walking friend across the street is very upset about it...because Carmen won't leave her alone and she doesn't like what she's saying (asks me what to do about it) I dunno. And so it goes.

ellen abbott said...

I think being older frees us from having to 'play the game' in order to assure our survival. but, the world is full of crap and terrible things all around us. is it so terrible to engage in the little lies? do we really want to hear what we already see and know, especially when there is no way we can change anything? when we engage in social pleasantries with strangers or acquaintances, it may be a false or pat answer but at the same time it's also an assurance that there is still good out there. of course, good friends should be able to be truthful.

Maggie May said...

Life was less complicated at one time but in England people tended to put on that stiff British upper lip and hide their feelings.Today I think people are more honest.
But the mystery of life persists!
Computers have their good sides and their bad, I think.
We can't go backwards though.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

A Cuban In London said...

I tell you what. It's nice to have a rant every now and then. It makes for some lovely letting-off-steam moment. :-) You feel more invigorated after!

Greetings from London.

Linda Myers said...

Just yesterday I ranted to the chiropractor's front desk person. Can't even remember what it was about!

Tom Sightings said...

Funny ... I just came off a post called "Do You Moan and Groan?" [http://mysocalledmidlife.net/do-you-moan-and-groan/]

And as I suggested in my comment on that post, I think it's therapeutic to bitch and complain now and then -- for first we suffer and then we die. But there are a few nice things that happen in between.

Patrica Ball Morrison said...

I find myself ruminating and ranting at times too. Sometimes just to the air...I suppose we have earned the right to do so...years along our life lines.