life as “walking to meet ourselves”

I’m on vacation—travelled through the Baltic capitals of Vilnius, Riga andTalinn, now in Helsinki, and on to St. Petersburg—and came across a flyer for a performance piece called Memories for Life about “the past and the present, the old and the young.” It quotes Imants Ziedonis (1933-2013) , a Latvian poet who rose to fame during the Soviet occupation of Latvia, who wrote, “We do not walk towards death. We do not walk towards getting old. We walk to meet ourselves. We walk to meet our Other Me. Life is like two persons walking towards each other. My old age meets my youth.” (unofficial translation)

That old/young binary makes me a little uneasy, as so much ageism is based in the illusion that Old = Other and distinct from Me. I don’t think that’s what Ziedonis is saying, though, and I think his conception of life as “walk[ing] to meet ourselves” is wonderful.

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