One of the many unexpected blessing from Sunday’s Civil Conversations event was being reintroduced to Adam Gopnik. What stood out to the organizers was his term “stretching the fabric of tolerance,” which apparently helped form the theme they brought to the evening. What stirs me, reintroduced to his discussion with Krista, are his thoughts in people over & under 35. Maybe roiled & riled is more on point than stirs.
To Adam, everyone under 35 is still growing, still discovering, still finding themselves, while those who are over are “merely aging rather than actually growing,” “getting a little tubbier, a little grayer, a little balder, a little flatter.” “The under-35s are approaching the mature point. Us mature ones are approaching our mortal point.”
It might seem weird that I utterly LOVE those comments, yet I do. Would love Adam to do a deep dive into what he means by what he shares, because it’s impossible for me to wrap my head around him actually believing that growth stops in our mid thirties. What I am wildly thankful for in his words, his description, is that it so perfectly captures what many people DO think about aging after a certain age – that it’s flatter than all that came before.
While Adam is right about bodies getting more prone to tubbiness, grey hair & hair loss as we grow into our forties, he goes off track – in my experience – when he addresses the impact on our spiritual intellectual emotional dimensions. Totally off the rails, in my experience, although it does capture a common misconception.
Here’s what I will share with Adam as we share a cuppa somewhere down the road ~ ~ mid-thirtysomethings are like a newly bottled wine, with all the components of a great glass of delectable delight BUT a truly great, complex vintage needs years of aging before its full glory. Some need just a few years to come into their own, others need many; some turn to vinegar with too many years, while others turn the years into a spectacular savor.
Am WOWed that my original shock at the organizers of Sunday’s Civil Conversations selecting tolerate as the evening’s theme drove me to find the full transcript of Adam’s interview with Krista, to experience his words on aging which so match the misnomers held by so many about a great & glorious experience & time. A beyond-the-beyond unexpected blessing.