Saturday, September 23, 2006

Age, Alienation and the Sense of Not Belonging - 1

This series of posts is dedicated to David Anderson for his help in clarifying something important in my own thinking. Those who read my blogs will know that David's Italian's Insight to Travel Italy is one of my favourite blogs.

David Anderson wrote:

I was preparing my articles on Italian shoes and accessories for the Fall/Winter Fashion Season and I received a Video Clip from Italy. It was an MTV clip of an Italian rapper. As I watched, thoroughly enjoying this twenty-something artist go through his routine, I was saddened. I suddenly realized that while in Italy I relate and interact with all age groups, here at home (the USA) I feel old.

David is a fair bit younger than me, and this comment and the discussion suddenly crystallised something, for this year I, too, have felt old for the first time. At first I just accepted this. But when I looked at it it had to be more than that, for me to transit suddenly from not old to feeling old. It also had to be more than stress associated tiredness, even recognising that this has been one of the most stressful years of my life.

Quite a bit of my writing this year including especially the continuing migration series has been an indirect response to this feeling, a way of exploring issues. In writing, I have slowly formed a view on certain things, a view now crystallised by David's comment. It is this view that I want to share with you.

I had been going to do it one post, but once this reached seven A4 pages and counting I decided that this was plain silly. So this post just sets the scene.


Anonymous said...

This is interesting, as while I am not so sure I feel any more alienated, I certainly have felt older this past year or two; I am 63 after all! And yes, I do have a doze now and again much more than I used to... You'll have noticed my embracing the term "grumpy old man".

Travel Italy said...

I look forward to reading your thoughts. I have received numerous responses from readers around the world both on the blog and in private emails. It seems that the disconnect you describe is prevalent across nationalities and is not limited just to those who have lived in other countries.

Jim Belshaw said...

Neil and david, thanks for your comments.

Neil, by the time I have finished you will (I hope) reject the term grumpy old man.

David, I found your comment, especially the reference to across nationalities, very interesting. As part of the dialogue I would be very interested in finding out more in due course.

I must to bed. I am so tired I can barely stand up because of the party I mnetioned in my next post.