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Sources of Inspiration: Aging

I’m getting all sorts of aches and pains, making me increasingly aware of my body. Increasingly unable to ignore it. I become stiff and sore after sitting for too long. Going up and down stairs is harder. I can no longer bend or even try to twist my body into certain shapes I used to attempt when I was younger. Those exercises are no longer possible. 

I’ve forgotten so much, yet certain memories come back to haunt me. I’ve learned far less than I wished to, yet I couldn’t help learning. 

There’s so much I still want to do yet I have less strength and time to do them. 

I’m not happy about what’s happening while I age, yet all of these things can be motivating forces. They get me to move, even if I’m moving slower and I ache while I shift. 

There’s story waiting to be shown in these experiences. In aging, in learning to carry on while aging. Perhaps in imagining ways to overcome age, even if I myself must grow old. 

Speculative fiction is an intriguing tool to explore such possibilities. To indulge my wish to reverse this. Maybe I’ll find a happy escape, even if it’s only in fiction. Maybe I’ll learn that there are far worse fates than aging as I uncover tragedy, horror (and unexpected humor) in trying to avoid this fate. Maybe I’ll figure out ways to cope with aging. 

Maybe I’ll learn that I’m not alone, letting others know they’re not alone as they go through this. 

I can almost see my Inner Editor, gloating within my imagination. Yes, she’s a proper hag, everything I don’t want to be when I get old. Or perhaps what I secretly wish I could be at times when I get tired of trying to be tactful, considerate, or polite. 

“You’re no longer young, scribbler. You’ve wasted half a century on what? Just what have you accomplished in all this time? Appallingly little.”

Perhaps, but I have learned some things being alive this long. I haven’t been able to help it, even when I’ve been trying to hide from what was happening, ignore what was going on in the world. Other people reminded me. I was still part of this world, no matter how deeply I tried to burrow myself in isolation. 

There’s story waiting to be uncovered in all the attempts to burrow myself as well. Plot potential awaits wherever there’s conflict. 

Aging is a major struggle. I’m involved in a conflict with my own body. I will my body to do something. It groans, creaks, and protests. It’s supposed to be natural. It doesn’t always feel natural, but what’s the alternative? 

Perhaps there will be alternatives. Perhaps I can explore these in my writing. Or perhaps I can express the process I’m going through, channel it into words. 

Either way there’s a story to be told. Even if I’m a lot slower at telling it. 

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