DUDDY-FUDDY

“Look at me, I’m running like the wind.”

“You sure are, Aussie. I begin a retreat this evening till Sunday afternoon.”

“What do you do?”

“Sit all day.”

“Who wants to sit all day? Does all this practice teach you to run like the wind?”

“No.”

“Chase deer?”

“No.”

“Jump out an open car window?”

“No.”

“Squeeze out through the fence and then run like the wind?”

“No.”

“I’m running out of the important things in life. Is there anything it does teach you?”

“It teaches me to get old, Aussie.”

“Most normal people do that naturally!”

“You’d be surprised, Aussie, how many people don’t get to get old.”

“You know why? Because getting old has no value. It’s the biggest waste of time.”

“There I disagree, Aussie.”

“I’m 6 years old and you’re 74. I’m in my prime and I’m stuck with an old duddy-fuddy like you.”

“What’s duddy-fuddy?”

“Henry, just because you’re an illegal Mexican chihuahua doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least try to learn English. Duddy-fuddy is a person who can’t run like the wind. Duddy-fuddy is old-fashioned, unable to deal with new things, and generally useless.”

“I think, Henry, that the term is fuddy-duddy. And what do you mean, Auss, that I can’t deal with new things?”

“You messed up the Amazon list of Christmas gifts for all Henry’s friends.”

“Actually, there was a bug in the Amazon system, Auss, but I took care of it. I think there’s a real value in being old. I settle back into myself precisely because I can’t run like the wind. Can’t run anywhere, escape anything, rush from one marriage to another, one project to another.  Alone as I am, I’m not into taking cruises or joining travel junkets. Instead, finally, I sit still—and not just in retreat.”

“What’s the fun in that?”

“I’ve joined a stream, Aussie.”

“The sitting stream? Doesn’t sound particularly fast to me.?”

“The stream of all those who get old. Yesterday, my friend Jeff Bridges called to wish me happy birthday. ’You’re old, Eve,’ he said. ‘We’re both old!’”

“(Groan.) Why didn’t he talk to me? I LOVE the Dude. Doesn’t he want a dog?”

“He has one, Auss. And Aussie, he’s old, just one day older than I am. He’s who he is, I am who I am; it’s easy to think we’re individuals—don’t we always think that? Now I’m more aware that I’m like everyone else who’s lucky to get old, and that gives a different perspective on things. I’m with Jeff and others, all part of a stream. I always loved to be part of the stream of spiritually-based activists, and now I’m part of another stream as well, the stream of life, Aussie. What do you think of that?”

“Does Jeff like to run on the beach? I like to run on the beach. Or walk on the beach. His stream is my stream.””

Dear Readers, Thank you for buying Christmas gifts for the children of immigrant families. We started with almost 90 gifts and only about a dozen are left, including 7 $25 gift cards which mistakenly showed up as $50 cards earlier. That has been rectified. Please consider buying the rest so that everyone gets something for the holidays. Here is the List again. Thank you. And–the blog will be silent till next Monday.

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