Laurelhurst Park, Oregon USA
by Corey Denis
Settings: 1/500ƒ/4.8ISO 160044 mm
because of this thing
Inauguration 2009, Staff Ball.
President Barack Obama addresses campaign staff at the Staff Inaugural Ball, with Jay-Z’s drum kit to his right and First Lady Michelle Obama to his left.
Photo by Corey Denis
Camera: Nikon D80
Less than 12 hours from this moment, I am 36 years.
Humans experience benchmarked developmental changes and growth in [relatively] “normal” circumstances – wherein Normal is defined as a healthy human without developmental disease. At 35, we hit a developmental milestone.
I’ve read we change at 35. I’ve read tales of science and dendrites; shifting synapse. I’ve read about emotional growth spurts at 35 which, at age 31, seemed a cruel rumor to ease women into their 30s. All of it, true.
I am on a boat. I am headed towards shore.
Relief for tailwind, I embark upon parallel 36, waves of changing tide beating on the beach ahead.
Kicked and screamed my whole way here:
31 was …confusing
32 was …sexy
33 was …the year I came to realize San Francisco would be home for many years
34 was …full of error
35 has …only 12 more hours on my back, a favorite tailored sweater slipping away with season.
35 was …a time to heal; a tornado of emotional retrograde and chaos slipping into a renaissance of growth and maturity. Eagerness to live well, keep balance, pursue perspective. Willingness to reach out, sit back, lean in to let the gray roll.
Experience is nature’s hero. I sit on the beach. Dust settles under my toes.
Epiphanies, growth, self acceptance, journeys & maps in hand, I’ve travelled from the confusion and unrest of my early 30s, I’ve moved from a dark place of fear & despair to a place of love and joy. I am sitting on the beach and it is simply quiet.
All I know is There are some things in this world, Captain Niobe, that will never change. Some things do change
Change today is a form of navigation that proved impossible before this developmental shift. Neuroscience behind developmental benchmarks wasn’t enough for me. I had to experience it to believe it.
Something shifted. I grew up.
Freedom. Relaxation. A sunny quiet cove of don’t give a fuck with gratitude for dark.
There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. -Leonard Cohen
Mid 30s are a beginning of contentment, without stasis. A hunger for perspective juxtaposed with a simple peace of mind. Not closer nor further from death, I am free from the chains of youth that are both necessary and binding.
I am sitting on the beach.
Celebrating 36: Carnivorous Peace
After 23 years of strict vegetarianism, often vegan, I am celebrating my natural carnivorous self. Proud of my animal being, I am ok with these carnivorous teeth and I will use them. I will admit to those who ask me if I’ve ever craved meat - yes, I have.
Tomorrow I will eat my first steak in 23 years. It will be rare.
The compulsive pessimist’s last defense - stay still enough and the blade of the scythe, somehow, will pass by - Sloth is our background radiation, our easy-listening station - it is everywhere, and no longer noticed.
Corey Denis, All Rights Reserved