On the Cusp

01/18/2019 6 By BuddyCushman

I am filled with questions, here, on the cusp of my 70th birthday. A day before the first day of my eighth decade on the planet. Still up here, above ground. Still upright, no white chalk outline around my body. Not yet. And I wonder – will I get another decade?

Out on a walk the other day I suddenly had a clear vision of myself out for a run on my 80th birthday. As I haven’t run for at least five or six years, nor practically, in terms of being a consistent runner, much longer than that, my vision indicates an improvement in health the next 10 years, a time and space where my knees don’t hurt, and my lungs are full with the necessary oxygen, as I move over the tar. That would be cool. Oh, in this vision I was running with shorts and a t-shirt, and what with me being a January Capricorn and all, I’d like to think we have moved to a place warmer than endless wintry rainy Portland. San Diego would be nice.

I wonder if I will ever have a San Diego address, the Camry I am driving at that point sporting California plates? It’s good to have goals. Warm ones.

Then I wonder for however many minutes, days, weeks, months, years – even decades – I have left – will I devote each of these precious moments to wonder? To amazement? Will I live in a state of gratitude, conscious of every blessing, aware within each shining second of the abundance all around? Here – on the cusp – I think for me to live otherwise is to live small.

I wonder, just here – at 69 years and 364 days – will I move forward with courage as my guide in any day I am given? To be not afraid? To find the place in which I always search for the next right thing? So as to speak and live for fairness. That feels big, for me, after all these days – fairness. As I have often, looking backward, considered myself a habitual “whiner”, all the “poor me’s”, the half jokes about tattooing “No fair” on my forehead, that smaller life. I’d like to think I have grown, aged perhaps to be better, here on the cusp, somewhere beyond “no fair”. Instead, to seek fairness for all.

That sounds right, kind of my definition of justice. I wonder if chasing after justice will light whatever path I am on, say, if I make it to this February, or if I’m on a run in the Golden Hills neighborhood in San Diego January 19, 2029, or, maybe, drinking coffee in a to go cup in the Whole Foods just off Lake Merritt in Oakland – now it’s 2034 – still here, as old as my mom was when she left us, it’s a sweet afternoon, sun pouring through the picture windows in the food court, maybe talking about the Red Sox or the Oakland A’s with a friend, it could be my wife, people from the entire spectrum of color at the small tables around me – awash in the races?

And we are all still there. And we are all okay.

Will it be like that, I wonder, sitting in the basement here on the 18th of January 2019, writing my Morning Pages, in from an early backyard journey before the dawn, staring up at Venus and Jupiter, the sky kind enough to clear this winter morning, allowing me to see them shine, down here on me, on the cusp.