“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

In the last two days, two icons of my youth passed away – James Brown and Gerald Ford.

My childhood spanned the early years of Soul and the entirety of the Vietnam war.  My earliest political memories were of the Nixon-McGovern campaign and I vividly remember watching the newscasts of Nixon’s resignation and Gerald Ford’s public announcement of his pardon.  The music of James Brown, and the other superstars of Soul music, were the backdrop for the turbulent social changes that marked my years growing up and my budding political awareness.  I credit this with the wide political differences between my Reagan-era brothers and myself.

I am among the last of the Baby Boomers, the last to enter middle age and see the living memories of my youth pass away.  It’s as if I am watching the passage of a whole generation, a whole chapter of shared history.  The world I live in now is at once far better, and worse, than the one I grew up in.  But it is increasingly a world of younger faces, different values, different memories.

Middle age is a strange place.  You find yourself reaching tenuously backward to hold on to the things that root you, that shaped the person you have become.  At the same time, you try to keep up with the world’s relentless march into a place more technologically wonderful, but less socially familiar.  

I feel the passage of time less in my body than I do in my morning news.

December 28th, 2006 at 9:53 am
3 Responses to “Time’s passage”
  1. 1

    Nodding knowingly.

  2. 2
    Kat Says:

    There can’t be that much difference in our ages. My first presidential memory is of President Ford striking his head on the door of Air Force One and falling down the steps… he was a decent man in strange times.

  3. 3
    Robbin Says:

    Actually, there is almost a decade between us (as we determined).

    I am just well-preserved.