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Retrospective at 53

For a long time I've been silent. There have been many reasons, which can generally be categorized by the tiresome category of aging. I am older, past fifty, and while I never particularly wanted to stay young - my youth was incredibly happy, especially by comparison with the lives of so many others - I do miss having energy and focus. But largely my growing-up years were punctuated by small miseries of emptiness and frustration, miseries which largely dissipated with the freedom that comes from being an adult. I am grateful for youth: I am happy to let it pass down the stream, having gone through it and seen it pass by. I don't really wish it to return. But it is worthwhile to take a look back. Unlike so many Gen Xers, as a youth, I became aware of the major sins of the age without participating in any of them. I never smoked a joint, sneaked a drink, or tried to figure out how much I could "get away with" without crossing "the line," as Catholics used to s

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