I'm 34 years old now. At once I feel incredibly powerful and incredibly weak. I feel powerful in that my lifetime persona, the odd combination of flaws and virtues that animate me, is fully formed. I know my role and it has depth. I am deeply enmeshed in fascinating casts of characters in my career, in the running world and in my family. I am treated as a valuable player in all of those realms, an equal among peers, a person with something definite to contribute.
But at the same time I feel the loss underneath it all that is constantly occurring- I see my oldest graduating from Kindergarten, I see the generation that taught me everything I know growing thinner and wrinklier even as I see the youth that will forever run through them flowing just as it always has, and I try to bury its beauty inside of me.
Everything that I have always striven for and at some level now attained is painfully obviously fleeting. This must be the feeling of mid-life-- a time when you are at the top of the bell curve, full of precisely the same amount of potential and kinetic energy, feeling collapsed into the same moment all of the past and future- like you are the Little Prince treading constantly against the spin of a tiny globe- forever keeping pace only to the precise moment in which you are, every moment, present.