Thursday, May 5, 2011

Second thoughts about second thoughts

In 1981 I wrote in the Preface to my book Second Thoughts: "I talk to people. I talk to God. I talk to myself.  Sometimes the conversation with myself isn't very long, deep or even mannerly. Usually it is about something that bothers me. Then, after I've had time for reflection and study, I put my second thoughts about the subject of that conversation on paper." 

In this book I attempted to articulate for readers the puzzlements, joys and concerns we all share about life.  The writings,  most of which had been published previously in some form, represented a cross section of my searching for truth, changes in my thinking, and my affirmations  about Christ and the church.  I offered them at the time with the hope they would cause  the readers to have second thoughts about them.

As an octogenarian I am having second thoughts about aspects of life I have written copiously about earlier when I was looking ahead, not backwards.   Not always did I have answers, but I had questions. Even now I don't have a lot of answers, only a lot more questions.

I have often said that too many people  write about aging before they are old, based on  what they have gleaned from research -- about  the "normal" face of aging, about the "average" old person.    Many of these so-called experts haven't actually lived even sixty or more years.  What is it like to be over  eighty and  to know that the number of years ahead is probably a fraction of what I have already enjoyed? That is a subject I want to explore in these second thoughts.  Join me in the discussion.

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