Getting Older

We are all getting older of course, but I’m now in my mid-60s, and my surviving old friends from way back are now in their 70s. Even newer friends from the last 20 years of my life are mainly in their 60s or 70s.

I find that my interests have changed as I get older, and that many things simply don’t have the attraction they once did. I guess it’s a case of ‘been there, done that, got the t-shirt’. I’ve traveled most places I want to visit, in fact visited many places several times. I’m not very interested in material things – I certainly don’t want all the latest gadgets such as mobile phones which can take photos, act as game consoles, mini-computers, TV sets and Ipods. I can drive, but don’t want a car (I got rid of mine about 30 years ago), and even if I had the money wouldn’t want to own my flat or any other property, just too much hassle and worry.

I go to music gigs occasionally, but my rock’n’roll records at home never really get played. I do listen to Country music and some rock’n’roll Jerry Lee tracks when on a journey or sunbathing, and watch similar music DVDs or MP3s on my computer at home. I’m not a Christian, but lately I’ve discovered some great Jimmy Swaggart music on YouTube which I’ve downloaded on to DVD along with music by his cousins Mickey Gilley, Jerry Lee and Linda Gail (Jerry’s sister). Jimmy Swaggart is homophobic, anti-Communist, rightwing, a millionaire and some would say a hypocrite because of the sex scandal when he was caught with a prostitute. I still like his music – it is deeply relaxing and spiritual, and I love his voice and piano playing. Indeed the three male cousins and Jerry’s sister (plus her two daughters MaryAnn and Annie, and Jerry’s daughter Phoebe) all have amazing talents, which I have downloaded on to various DVDs as ‘The Lewis Family’.

I’ve been interested in the paranormal and Spiritualism/Survivalism for many decades, but even more so now. This is natural as we get older, and more and more of our relatives, friends and perhaps our partners pass over to the Other Side. If I don’t have more people over there than on this side of life, I soon will have. The list grows all the time, my partner who I shared 21 wonderful years with on Earth being the one I miss most, though he still keeps in touch. Only last week he told me, in writing, that I was doing the right thing regarding some old friends of ours when I asked him what his views were.

I keep abreast of afterlife matters as there is now so much research in various fields which is turning up more and more evidence, and I’m very interested in how all this ties in with the latest quantum physics theories.

I listened tonight to a DVD of the Lewis Family I’d compiled, and the last song was Jimmy Swaggart singing a beautiful version of ‘Leaving On My Mind’. It is about not being interested in the things of this world, because of getting ready to leave for the next. I don’t find this depressing at all, it is very natural. That doesn’t mean we’re going to commit suicide, or that we’re expecting to die tomorrow. I still have people who need me here, and may have a lot more years ahead of me, maybe as much as 20, 30, 40 or even more, who knows?

However long I have to live, I just can’t get up the enthusiasm I once had for many things here. The gay scene, the rockin’ scene, even Jerry Lee Lewis (my favorite singer who’s now in his 70s) though I’ll still buy his records. He’s still recording great albums, the last one got a gold record and hit 4 Billboard charts, his biggest selling album ever, and a new one is out soon. I’d go and see him if he was doing a show in or near London. But I wouldn’t follow him round the country as I once did, because he is getting older and doesn’t perform the kind of shows he used to, each one being different. Now they are much more predictable, though there are still a few surprises.

Then there are all my dreams and hopes for a better world, which have been dashed. I’ve worked for peace and Socialism much of my life in the peace movement, the Labour Party and the Communist Party. Yet we still have wars, we still have nuclear weapons, and Socialism is further away than ever. All people seem interested in nowadays is easy money/credit, buying houses, cars and the latest gadgets. It all seems so shallow. Council housing has almost disappeared, and council housing estates like the one I live on are becoming ethnic ghettoes.

Society is becoming more and more divided. In fact where I live, in Battersea, it is almost like apartheid South Africa or the Deep South in the USA in the days of segregation. Today I took my mother for a walk in her wheelchair, and on my way from my street to hers (5 minutes’ walk) I saw only ethnic people, we then walked thru a square where we are nearly always the only white people there, and sat in a little park, again the only white people there. All the State schools round here are over 90% ethnic. We are a minority in our own community, in our own country. Yet about half a mile away, across that little park and a main road, is millionaires’ row – the expensive luxury flats all along the River Thames. We walked along the riverside walk and had drinks in an upmarket bar, and barely saw any ethnic people.

It saddens me to see areas of my home city, and other cities, becoming ghettoes. It is not multiculturalism, it is ghettoes, let’s be honest about it. And with the ghettoes comes crime, which is increasing and making people feel unsafe. Gang warfare is rife on the streets of our cities, and police on foot nowhere to be seen. These ghettoes, and the crime which come with them, create racism. In a truly Socialist society ghettoes wouldn’t exist – you wouldn’t have white millionaires living separately from deprived ethnics and a few whites on council estates.  In a truly Socialist society everyone would be given a council home on reaching adulthood, and there’d be no millionaires. Black and white, all races, would be genuinely mixed in the population, and ghettoes would not be permitted to arise.

In the Civil Rights Movement in the Deep South during the 1960s they bussed schoolchildren to various schools so there was a mixture of black and white. Action needs to be taken now, not just with schools, but with whole areas, and certainly with council housing, so there is a genuine multicultural environment everywhere, not predominantly white and predominantly black areas. That is a recipe for crime, violence and racist strife.

Is it any wonder I’m tired of this world, and disillusioned? Nobody is striving for Socialism – it’s a dirty word. And the police can’t even keep law and order on our streets. Now alien cultures are taking over whole neighborhoods, creating these ghettoes. I am amazed whenever I leave London for towns outside or on the coast. I wonder what’s strange, and then suddenly realize – most of the people are white! I seldom see groups of white teenagers in London, certainly not in my area. Only when you get outside London do you realize white youths now dress as scally boys, and punks, Goths, Teddy boys, and all the other former white teenage tribes have disappeared.

So robbed of any hopes, in the near future, of building a Socialist utopia, and seeing whole areas of the London I knew being turned into little Jamaica or little India/Pakistan/China or whatever, at least I cling on to the hope that Barack Obama will kick-start the road to nuclear disarmament, the dream which I spent so much of my youth pursuing. At the very least I’d like to see nuclear weapons abolished before I die.

But what really excites me now is what I will discover once I have passed over to the Other Side. I know my partner and many other friends and relatives will be waiting for me. I hope I don’t have to come back here again, and that I can move on permanently to better things, better environments. Where people are not materialistic, but have learnt that we are all connected and must progress to higher and higher levels of spiritual development and unity.

What I hope for here is that internationalism wins over what we used to call petty bourgeois nationalism, so I’m all for a federal United States of Europe, which I hope the EU will become one day, and ultimately a world confederation with the UN General Assembly commanding an international police/peacekeeping force. I also hope for a revival of Socialism with pluralism in both the economic and political arenas, which to my mind means a Yugoslav-style Socialist economy and a multi-party democracy under a Socialist constitution. This seems a long way off, but it has to come about because capitalism depends on endless wars to survive.

People can accuse me of settling for ‘pie in the sky’ but that’s not really the case. We can’t have ‘pie’ here or on the Other Side until we’ve earnt it, and we have to build a fairer, peaceful world here, or at least try to, before we can hope to create one on the Other Side. Because all environments, here and in the next world, are created by us and by our actions here and now.

I’ve learnt many lessons during this lifetime, and now realize that the Soviet one-party model was not the way to achieve Socialism. It is now up to others to work out how to create a better, fairer world in the 21st Century. I have given my views extensively on this and my other website, and people are free to discuss and adopt any ideas which may be useful. I just hope I’ve done and learnt enough to be able to move on to more advanced worlds, as this one seems far too shallow and materialistic, and steeped in violence, for me to ever to want to come back here.

As Jimmy sung, I’ve got ‘Leaving On My Mind’, and leaving and not coming back. But not quite yet awhile I guess, though each of us should always live each day as though it is out last, because one day it will be, and nobody can foresee when that will be.

Perhaps I’m getting all misty eyed and sentimental, thinking about these things, because this week, 18 years ago, my partner was lying ill in this flat dying. The actual anniversary of his passing is next Tuesday, the 29th (Jerry Lee’s birthday). Also my aunt died recently, a friend who was only 51 also died earlier this year, and another friend has just gone into care, aged 75. There comes a time when so many friends and loved ones are on the Other Side, there really is nothing at all to keep us here. But as long as my mother is alive, bless her, this is not the case with me yet.

I just hope I will be permitted the time to continue to look after her for the rest of her life. She’s determined to make 100 (she’s 95 now), and a lady in her block is 106 next month and still going strong. If I live that long, that would be an incredible 42 years away, well over 41 years anyway as I’m 64 now. Quite honestly, I dread to think what the world will be like then. That thought is far more scary than passing over to the Other Side.

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