I take weekend walks when the city workers are gone and visitors only tour the main attractions. There is time then to stop and look up, to dive down alleys and round corners in the maze of the square mile that never fails to fascinate. And there, lurking in the midst of a mad muddle of architecture and glinting high-rise, the old citadeled church is greyed out but standing its ground.
The ancient stone and mullion caught my eye with a sense of simpatico perhaps because the cold air stiffened my gait somewhat so that I paused to take a longer look and reflect upon ageing. For, whether spelt with, or without, that middle ‘e’, the process is more or less the same for all of us. There is the constant challenge of wear and tear but worse still is that time warp feeling of belonging to a different epoch.
To various degrees, physical decrepitude bugbears the process of maturation even though the media exhorts us to grow old artfully, with an array of implants and facial ironing that I imagined only belonged in science fiction fantasy films such as Brazil. Displacement of elasticity however, is as nothing compared to the loss of similitude and identity with the current context so that I often feel compelled to cry out: “Beam me up Scottie!”. It’s not that keeping up with change is difficult but after the tuning in fails to turn me on, there’s a strong urge for this flower-power child of the 60s, reaching their sixties, to drop out.
Make no bones about it though, whilst I’m waiting for Godot I plod on regardless, honing cognitive skills and making the most of ambulatory faculties because for now I’m still standing. The hard part is not to stand still.