Aging (3)

It’s true. As my body and my brain slow down with age, my mind functions better than it ever has.

What is the mind? It’s the incorporeal entity which Webster defines as “that which reasons,” the doer of intellectual tasks. It depends on the brain to do its work, but it is not the brain. To my way of thinking, it is close to synonymous with spirit or soul.

As my mind grows, the depth of my understand continues to expand. Concepts once alien to me are for the first time clear. I see connections I was once blind to. I am able to reason through ideas that used to confound me. All my life I have heard that wisdom comes with age. Wisdom is not knowledge but understanding. I understand better than I have at any time in my life.

Most of all, I’m better able to write. Since that is my life calling, my growing facility is the greatest blessing I could ask for. I have a new proficiency at finding exactly the right word or stream of words to express precisely the meaning, flavor, and context I seek. My prose is sleeker, more efficient.

Of greatest value, I am able for the first time to understand, cultivate, and express the palpitations of the human soul at a level never before possible. My characters emerge not just as credible human beings but as sharply individual and profound. They exhibit quirks that reflect their individual spirits. They act at a new level of subtlety. The way they see their world and other people underscores their individual humanity.

If a failing body and brain are the price of aging, the new acumen of the mind—wisdom—is its reward. I’m more than willing to pay the price in exchange for the reward.

More tomorrow.

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