August 30, 2010


I take my 94 year-old mother to lunch once a week. She likes to mix with people of different ages. The local Mall is a good place for that so we sometimes stop for a hot fudge sundae and to do a little people watching. Last week she was swirling her chocolate into her ice cream when she leaned across to me to confess she was troubled about the place where she lived. “You know,” she murmured in a confidential tone, “a lot of people there have old ideas.” 

As my mother lives in an eldercare facility, I tried not to smile or point out most of her fellow residents are well above 80. 

What the anecdotes shows and what I admire about my mother is her youthful attitude. She always looks toward the future and not the past which is why, as I mentioned in an earlier blog, she keeps reinventing herself. Her optimism makes her unrealistic at times, but as flaws go, hers isn’t a bad one.

I recognize that same gene in me. Not long ago, I completed a draft of my 4th novel and as I sat staring into my computer as if it were a crystal ball, I asked myself what I  intended to write next. I never questioned my ability to carry on even though writing takes a lot of energy. Composing these blogs takes energy, too. But I keep doing them. Fortunately, I never discourage myself by asking if anyone cares to read them. I just have fun.   

I suppose these thoughts about where I’m going and what the future holds has bubbled up because in September, I turn 74. I’ve done a lot of writing this year and hope next year will be as productive.  I have my mother’s optimism. One can get old but still have hopes for the future… not necessarily one’s own. 

Recently, Yahoo printed the results from one of those endless polls that bloat the internet. This one asked people about time travel. If one could travel backward or forward through time, which direction would a person chose? The majority chose to go back in time. That surprised me. I’d want to see the future. The machinations of the human race fascinate me. We’re so unpredictable and inventive and creative and yes, foolish. I’m curious to know how history will unfold once I’m not around.

Curiosity, I think, is one of life’s elixirs. I’m happy to have lived long enough to have read how Harry Potter defeats Voldemort. Now I wonder what next hero(ine) is waiting in the wings. I keep thinking about all the good books yet to be written, all the good films to be produced and who knows, maybe we’ll have a decade without war. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

Perhaps my next project should be a work of science fiction. That way, I can imagine a brave and wonderful new world. It would satisfy my curiosity about the future and might become my contribution too. After all, didn’t someone say, “Thinking makes it so?”