Taking Stock

I believe it was back in November when I shifted around my retirement portfolio. The stock market was way down and I figured things had to get better. So I changed some existing funds and dedicated new contributions almost exclusively to buying stocks. So far it hasn't worked out too well. I'm taking stocks and the market is taking my money. So maybe instead of stocks it's stock I need to take. Yet, maybe not: there's some resistance to falling into cliches. The other day I was talking to a friend and turning fifty came up, accompanied by the notion that it's a time when people feel anxiety about maybe not having accomplished goals, about having gotten off track, etc. And I wonder, did I ever set any goals, did I ever have a path? I'm skeptical. On the one hand, I'm pretty given to making it up as we go along. On the other, we are constantly revising and reinterpreting. It is true, nonetheless, that as the use of reason began to take root in my pea-sized brain, I absorbed into my identity the desire to learn something of the why of things. What's this all about, anyway? I knew I wanted to read lots of books and to have a sufficient enough variety of experiences to make some progress in this regard. Maybe that's a path. And I believe I share an almost universal desire to experience love. I suppose, in my fortunate case, to amplify, expand, relive, etc. the love received as a child within the family. The cliches are at the door... I don't know if I can hold them back; tomorrow is just another day... This is why we have poets: there are a handful of miraculous ones out there, those whose gift of language so moves us, so expresses  what we ourselves are unable to... that it's all ok. I can't say it, but others have already done the work for me. Well, not just poets, but painters, musicians, dancers... they work, I feel spoken for. There you go: I realized rather early in life that doing hard work was not how I wanted to spend my days. So far, splendid! (In the photo, a detail from "The Philospher", a painting attributed to Ribera, in the National Palace, in Sintra, Portugal.)