Fifty – it’s sounds old. It sounds middle aged – middle aged? Like knights of old? Armor?

Well, I turned 50 today.   And I wonder as I look out with dimished eyes how this will change my outlook.  Will I have a different view of life?  How do you feel about life?



Yes,  I’m approaching 50 and the math overwhelms me.  Half-century sounds old – maybe by it’s nature, maybe by words.  We associate century with old things.   We speak of antigues in this manner. It’s a half-century old brings oohs and ahhs from a crowd.  But not from people.  A half-century person is just an old guy. Where’s the value in that piece of information?  Just like the mist ghosting around the river, it’s here and gone and who cares?  We might acknowledge it briefly, even walk its trails in wonder but then it passes.  Ho-hum, it’s gone. 

But as my birthday approaches (at approximately 8:48am my mother reminds me.)  I think about the last century.  The minutes clicking away and moments disappearing one thought comes to mind.  It’s the same thought I onced asked my boss.  I asked the so-what question.  What impact have I made?  Did you receive your money’s worth?   At work, it’s easy to answer (Or easier) because I can point to various documents, detachments, assessments, etc, that I’ve been privy to.  Never mind the scores of mindless minutes I’ve attended.  But here, here at the end of 50 years, what really do I have?   My daughter is grown. I’ve tried to impart the best to her.  What have I taught her?  Is she ready to be an adult?  Maybe a bigger question (Or better)  could I had really changed her.  She will have to discover her own path as I did.  I must make that way clear for her – some how.   Yes,  I have the same wish – that I had this wisdom at twenty. But what would be twenty without the will, the ability to make those mistakes.   That is what the age is all about- the exploring is what life is about – (I’m convincing myself at this point, aren’t I?)     So, there is one question left, right?

What does the next twenty or thirty years bring?  If I have that long.  There are no guarantees.  I could barely finish this missive and pass on.  Will I do better or will I continue waste time and act like an errant school boy on dirty dog summer days?   I still feel like that boy.  I really do.

As I sat for a trim,
I made excuses why an old guy
would change his gray hair
“A splendor of age”
When it’s a young man’s game
why my memory fails me
and I start into a room
and return empty
why I talk of decades
that grade or last,
70’s or 80’s.

But she smiled at me
and I knew what that meant
to a tweeny-
that I was fooling myself
(We’re on opposite sides of the curve)
and I know where down is.

4 Jan 09

My daughter

grown and sweet

asks a question-


are birthdays

as meaningful

at your age?


Her age

is 49.


I could answer.

Yes and no.



joy still arises

at this age,

a reshuffling of memories.



there is less forward

than back.



Dave Barber

19 Dec 08

Not falling,
but harnessed into the gold
great lands
a hollow place
where fruit is gone,

and a half century
spreads out on broken pines,
and spreading rivers.

Even the river looks over
its shoulder for the sun
falling from the sky
shining and fading
shining and fading

into dimness.

26 September 08