I got an email from one of the elders, not quite as elder as I, but still, long in the tooth and possessed of that glassy-eyed “1000 yard stare” of one who’s been there and done that. He wrote that he just wanted to vent because he had just been in a thread where someone with bright eyes and an undeserved swagger had lectured him on some subject that he had just read about on a web page somewhere… boils down to Satanism 101… and that the youngun had told my friend that “you old people just don’t get it.”
Prefaced with a “LOL,” the old timer assured the kid that not only did he understand it, but he had indeed written the paragraph that had fired the youngun up. I explained to him that it has happened to me as well, and that I understood how he felt. Quite often, when it happens, oldsters like us can be tempted to snap back with something like, “Looky here sonny or missy, I’ve forgotten more about that subject than you are likely to learn in a lifetime.” Most of what people write on the web is something that has been written and plagiarized over and over before, but to someone, somewhere, out there, it’s all new.
In his song “A Pirate Looks At Forty,” Jimmy Buffett sings:
“Yes I am a pirate, two hundred years too late
The cannons don’t thunder, there’s nothing to plunder
I’m an over-forty victim of fate
Arriving too late.”
For my magician friend and I, we’re looking at seventy, and I can understand how those who are relatively new on the Left Hand Path can possibly get the idea that maybe we just don’t “get it,” but get it we do, and probably have for a long, long time, so forgive us if we sometimes seem less enthusiastic than those sitting there with their pdfs or even their fresh, new paperbacks of books we bought in hard back decades ago… books now worn with age and use, with dog-eared pages and pages tinged yellow with age. It’s not that we don’t appreciate your enthusiasm, even if we might have a little doubt at your presumed expertise in your advanced age. We’re willing to give you the enthusiasm of youth, because you know, at one time, we had it too. But do us a favor and realize that just because we are so much older, we’re most probably not the doddering old farts you imagine, sitting there behind your screen.
I’ll give a shout out here to a well respected musician, humorist and master magician, Lon Milo DuQuette and refer you to his song, Don’t Write Me Off. Those with ears to hear and minds to understand might find wisdom in his little ditty…