Lake Erie, September 2014
Wistful, that’s how I felt when I looked at this beautiful photograph a friend sent me just before the first day of fall. The feeling wasn’t so much a longing for the summer that’s just ended as it was a longing for those carefree days of summer when we were children. And maybe, just a little, a longing for our long-gone youth. It’s a photo of that time near sundown and I can’t help but think of the metaphors.
It’s the autumn of our lives for those of us in the Baby Boomer generation, with so much life behind us. We may still have a lot of life yet to go, but the sun has begun to set and there are many more years behind us than ahead. They were some of the most significant years of the 20th century. And for all of the imperfections and the social change –that was necessary and that began then– that world was still what we knew as young people. And these modern years just don’t have the same zing for me.
“I’m kind of bored living in the suburbs,” I said to M. the other day and that’s kind of how I feel about this century. I’m bored. Overall, it seems so self-centered and self-indulgent. The quest for wealth- for bigger and better-seems to have overtaken so many. Some of the younger generation just don’t seem motivated to make their own way, content to live at home and remain under-employed. Yes, yes, the economy, I know, but that doesn’t explain it to my satisfaction. There’s always a way for young people to make it on their own in a tough economy.
Ennui, that’s what I feel in this 21st century. Ennui: a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.
I don’t want to be one of those old people living in the past, but I’m afraid that’s just what I’m becoming.
That’s what came to mind early one morning as I looked at this photograph.
So I wonder–what comes to mind when YOU look at it?