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I'm in no hurry, I'd rather watch the children scurry across the lawn chasing their toys and the neighbor's dog. I'm in no hurry sitting, on the porch, giving pause then yawn as dusk signals end of day.

The joy of lounging here in a kind of random order (I'm retired anyway) so what does it matter if I enjoy life's simple pleasures -- coffee with my wife, eggs and ham, working in the garden, building with my hands, making travel plans to nowhere special -- I've earned it that's for sure -- to be in no particular hurry to do any one thing. If I choose I can sing at the piano in the morning, jog at mid-day, read the evening paper, before bed pray.

Yeah, it sounds like alot of stuff for a retired old goat, except the difference is that it's my way, on my time. Since I've stopped rushing, I stop and see --- I smell, breathe, and even hear differently. My grown children bring me joy, not the horror of embarrassment in public places-- food smeared on their faces, their diapers were full of brawn.

When all I did was work (I was an architect), I created strong buildings all sinew and bone. Plans and projects occupied my space but now there's even more to do -- to caress my wife's face, pet my dog, and feed the cat. "Is the cat pregnant ?", I ask my wife. "No, of course not, she's long past that, she's just a little fat."

Now I've discovered writing in this old ferment. I enjoy writing stories about my Father as a kid in Philly with Donny and his gang or Mom in Jersey, her Dad a lawyer and vacations in Atlantic City. Even the memories of my sister (tiny child) stuck on the roof of that shingled house in Longport, big brother playing tennis, me building a fort of mud in the backyard.

Some mates died a long way back -- John, Karen, Carlos, Sam, Antonio -- I remember their faces (some I knew better than others) their smiles emblazoned on my mind. I've carried the baton from start to finish for these souls gone but hardly forgotten in the persistence of memory.

In college, I studied diligently, nose to stone -- I could number each brick in Jefferson's home, tell you about each book on the shelf -- but none of that matters. It's the fond memories of friends and moments, not grades or accomplishments that enables me to go on. Yes, this is satisfaction to me in old age -- to uncork my mind and let it wander free, hand to paper.

If I somehow forget all these activities from my life before my time, I can always remember that it's about love. Love doesn't require memory. All that needs remain is the feeling of my friends, lover, and the world at large so in a sense this is an elegy and epitaph to my life well-spent in pursuit of the higher things.

Rob Levit


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