It’s a difficult time. I’m not one to whine, or to moan. I don’t want readers to have to contend with anything other than some combination of the sex I have, the sex I want to have, or my thoughts about sex and sexuality, writ large. Sometimes, sure, politics or some other topic rises to a level that I feel unable not to write about it, but, generally, when I do that, my hope and expectation is that, even if it’s not explicitly hot, it can be hot for you to be exposed to my innermost thoughts. Hot for me. Hot for you.
Lately, I’ve been in a funk, though. The funk has lots of contributing factors. There’s the waning of my relationship with Sofia, the difficulties faced by some of those I love. But, more than anything, there’s my own frailty.
Over the last four years – yes, it’s been just over four years since I started this blog – I’ve inhabited my body more fully, more joyfully, than ever before. If you’ve read from the start, you’ve seen as I’ve grown more confident in myself, more sure about who I am, about what I have to offer, and a big part of that has had to do with my changing relationship to the part of “me” that is my body, my physicality. I’ve moved from the stance of being a victim of my body, someone for whom the body is sort of an alien, omnipresent thing, but ultimately separate from any sense of self, to an integral aspect of my own self-concept.
This has been, by and large, a good thing.
I’ve lost weight, gained strength, and my body has felt more and more like me, less and less like something other than me, in some essential way.
It is, therefore, especially distressing that, today, my body is ailing. I’m not dying (any more than we all are, always, dying). But my body isn’t a source of pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, joy, nearly as often, or as much, as it has been for most of the time since I started writing here. Lately, my body is, primarily, a locus of pain, of discomfort, of fear.
The details aren’t interesting, or the point. But the fact is that, for nearly a year now, my body has provided increasing distress, and all signs point to the likelihood that it will continue to do so for nearly a year more. And, of course, that’s how aging goes. I’m now at the stage of life when my body is increasingly likely to fail in ways large and small.
I’m not old. I’m not frail. But I’m solidly in my middle years, in the portion of my natural lifespan in which simply maintaining becomes a growing challenge.
Mostly, this is fine. I go to the gym. (I could go more.) I eat well. (I could eat better.) For the most part, I take care of myself.
Yet and still, parts of my body are telling me, in no uncertain terms, that death is nearer than birth.
Intellectually, I’m fine with that. I have a clear purpose in living (family gives me that), and it’s not, honestly, in any way inconsistent with gradual physical decline, at whatever rate fate decrees. I’m here for others, not for myself. And I will double down on that proposition over and over, I hope, over the next few decades.
But in the mean time, I’m in physical pain, and facing considerably greater such pain, before I can hope for much, if any, improvement.