Rerun: On Aging (2)

But far and away the worst part of aging is the effect on the brain. Memory is the biggest problem. Too often I can’t remember a word or a name. I have trouble remembering the routes to various places I drive. I devise sneaky stratagems for finding the word I want (using thesauruses), recalling names (going through my personal directory), and finding my way around town—a Garmin Automotive GPS Navigation System.

But the odd aspect of aging is that as the brain slows, the incorporeal organ that uses the brain to think, the mind, becomes more expansive and resplendent. I can see, understand, process, and crystalize facets of being human far better than I ever could before. The enhanced facility in thinking addresses primarily the nonmaterial aspects of living—creativity, morality, the nature of love, the breath-taking beauty that surrounds us.

Most important to me is that what I care about most—writing—is flourishing as never before. My use of language is better than it has ever been. I’m more facile with words and write faster than I once did. The right words come to me like flashes of lightening. I grasp and express connections and relationships I was blind to when I was younger.

So I have no complaints. As long as the mind grows and flourishes, the aging of the body is more than tolerable.

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