The header above kind of reflects how I feel at the moment. I think the horse represents Raymond getting ready to do still another show with more wear and tear on his system. He has not really had a steady job which must feel rather scarey. I am thinking that eventually he might want to return to Phoenix for the winter months, a city he knows well, as his health problems might worsen and he will need to find jobs he can do until he is to the age of retirement or is disabled, whichever comes first. These were my circumstances when I was in my late forties. I have been talking to some of these younger guys living here who had to seek disability. My neighbor is 49 and back problems plagued him until it was suggested he try for disability. He just moved in here a few months ago. Until then he drove a cab, did whatever jobs he could find between being down with his back.
There are hard times to be struggling with health problems, but life goes on, and things happen no matter whether the economy is good or bad. My neighbor lives in a one room apartment and is happy to have that. Some of these apartments are quite small, which male residents find quite adequate. I had so many books and manuscripts I requested a one bedroom.
I think everyone past fifty has to think about what they might have to do if their overall health does not last until retirement age. For many I know it is panic city. At first. But it is not an uncommon thing to have health problems before sixty. I would say the fifties can be quite precarious. Some workers might feel they are barely making it with what they are contending with. But once problems are faced and dealt with, there can be a measure of relief. The important thing is to recognize that this too will pass, as depression can be just as crippling as anything else.
I do think we have to deal with the cards that have been dealt us and take an optimistic attitude about what lies ahead. We will get through it!
I have told Raymond should he get to that point he can always come and live at the Westward Ho with me! This is where disabled guys his age and younger want to live. It is in the heart of the city, a place with ambience and a rich history.
I know he is still raring to go now, but I also know he cannot carry the heavy load that full time teachers get to shoulder regardless of age. That got to be too much, so he has to be careful now about staying within his limitations. Once you have had health problems, that becomes very important. You can go on quite a while, if you work using moderation!
So I am hoping that insomnia and panic attacks will not plague him during this two week run in San Francisco. I am sending up a prayer for him to prevail with a show that will touch people and help them to face the uncertainties of old age. Raymond's dad, the subject of this show, hit panic city I am sure when he disappeared into the desert nearly four years ago and has not been seen since. He had gotten his truck stuck, all four wheels, and having known him so well, I think he would have gone into a dreadful mental state over a relatively minor crisis. His reaction to crisis could become a bigger problem than what had originally gone wrong. Raymond cannot help but have inherited some of his characteristics as well as some of my own. If his dad got upset enough he would go into kind of a fugue state and just start walking. If he headed out into the desert, he could have walked miles before he came out of it.
Of course Raymond doesn't have fugue states! He stops short.
But anyway his show is very realistic about how a man can just disappear if he decides he can't solve his problems. We don't want that! There is a lesson to be learned here about keeping calm, talking, staying connected, and never ever thinking you have become too much of a burden and just as well end it all!
So I am offering up a prayer for calm here and moderation, and faith in the art of theater which Raymond has studied so many years. Experience will help him to find the excitement and the power once more in a play. He is good.
- ► 2010 (422)
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