Five Phases

First you are immortal.

Your life ahead seems infinite. You’ll join the battle and vanquish the fools in your own time.

Then you are invincible. You revel mightily in your victories. Your small defeats are nothing but setbacks. Tomorrow is another day, and you plot to prevail.Road

Then you are practical. You take what you can get, and you’re cautious to hold what you’ve won. You dream of a better life. You mock the fools behind their backs and you take vacations to beautiful places.

Then you are dependable. You do what is needed, as often as necessary, and you do it promptly and under budget. You long to be free, but there are no more beautiful places.

Eventually, no more is asked of you, and everyone likes you, or pities you. You haven’t vanquished anything. Some of the fools have become your friends, and some of your friends have become fools. You don’t know what you’ve become.

Then again, finally, you are immortal.

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13 Replies to “Five Phases”

  1. You’re right on target, Larry.

    What tickles me, even as it makes me sad, is that most of us don’t believe in the later of the five phases until we realize we’re square in the middle of one of them.

    At that point, the situation seems just fine — or at least, we endure it because we don’t have the energy it takes or the idealism to fight for every inch of ground anymore.

    I love the fact that in the end, when our hope and ideals are just about extinguished, we discover immortality once again.

    That’s just lovely. Thank you.

  2. I was waylaid (hmmm… yes. let’s stick with that) sometime early in the first stage, thus hampering my development through them there stages.

    Still, Pros and Cons to that, don’t ya know. One nice thing is that there are always Beautiful Places.

    Alas, and never…

  3. Can’t necessarily agree with all points, but, taken as a whole, it works. It’s a poem, it’s a prayer.

    Where do you find time to write all this stuff?

  4. Would you have preferred…

    deep?

    true?

    well-crafted?

    thought provoking?

    Yes?

    Then scratch that first comment and replace it with this:

    That was a really nice, deep, well-crafted, thought provoking post, Larry Jones.

    Loved it.

  5. Jennifer – Yeah, I guess it is a little unclear. Sorry — I’ll let you know if I ever sort it out.

    Kathleen – Like hair gel. I knew nothing about it until I spotted a bottle of it in someone’s bathroom. Turns out everybody had been using it for years. Who knew? Not me. But then all of a sudden, as you say, it was everywhere.

  6. I like this thoughtful, reflecting post, Larry.

    After just having a baby, I’ve been thinking about these things.

    I’m less likely to go skydiving now. But I would anyway.

    I used to think that I was immortal and invincible, which was a blessing and a curse. Now, I still know that I am immortal, but I know that I am not invincible.

    And I know that I will never settle. Fuck practicality. Risk brings reward. Life is an adventure; a game, and although I may not win, I will play one hell of a game. The people in the mountains will sing songs of me!

    Never settle. Never give in. Live forever.

    I think I’m going to put that on a t-shirt or bumper sticker.

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