Have you ever noticed how as we age, our emotions become dulled? A few years ago, we made a family trip to Spain. Among other places, we visited this little town called Ronda down near the Mediterranean. I remember standing at the edge of a mountain looking over a huge rocky valley, dissected by a sharp line between shadow and coolness on one side, and rays of sun on the other – I remember standing there and thinking, this should be taking my breath away. It really should, and I know it here (points to head) but not here (points to heart).
What happened to my ability to feel that shaky feeling in the pit of the belly, that odd combination of joy, happiness, anticipation, and awe? I pondered for a while, and decided, that the acuity of such feelings fades and blunts with age. Remember, when you were a kid and you’d run towards something as fast as you can and the absolute JOY you’d feel when you got there? Or the unabashed happiness you’d experience when you get the present you want? I think that goes away with age.
I got that feeling back a little every time I had an ultrasound that showed a little foot and a flopping little tadpole, or a Doppler that reveals a rapid sonar beat of a new heart.
But mostly, in the last few years, I find myself saying things like, “It was nice.” or “It wasn’t that nice.” And I wondered how dull my emotions were exactly? Or was I just dead inside?
Well, I’m happy to report that I’m not dead inside just yet.
I was so tired from our tour of the Colosseum the day before, and the trip from Rome to Florence, and I was having trouble following the guide, a lovely but very soft spoken woman, and I was looking at her as we walked through the archway, so I was really not expecting to see him there. But I turned my head, and there he was.
And I literally LITERALLY felt the wind knocked out of me. I didn’t not expect that. I was actually kind of expecting to be disappointed, like when I saw the Mona Lisa, packed into a tiny room with hundreds of people tight as sardines, and trying to get a peek at her, and her looking so small and yet so smug…
And THEN, the tour guide started pointing things out to us about, as she called him,”our big boy-a,” like his worried gaze and furrowed brow:
(look at that brow!)
And his veins bulging with adreline-laden blood flow:
(that palmar arch is very accurate. Michelangelo used to steal bodies from the graveyard to dissect them so he could learn anatomy. This was illegal.)
And that ready for action but also defensive stance:
And also, she reminded us that he was the future King of Israel, who stood no chance against the giant physically and in terms of force, and had to use his intelligence, bravery, and chutzpah to conquer him, and survived, and that he even though ahead and brought five rocks in case the giant’s brothers decide to attack him seeking him revenge… This meant something to me.
Well then, my heart just couldn’t take it.
Proof that I’m not dead inside.
one tiny question: how come the future King of Israel isn’t circumcised? Was it not a thing yet? Asking for a friend.