Contact Ken gilbert | embodyment

Contact ken gilbert | EMBODYMENT

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Today, I am Sixty-Four

Ken Gilbert

When I was 16 (1967), I was getting a glimpse into my sense of existentialism; I could grasp Albert Camus’ “The Stranger” and talk about it; not knowing, then, that it would become the epicenter of my Master of Arts Thesis project at UC Davis – my one-man show – “This Sound of Being Alone: A Search and Portrait of Albert Camus’ ‘Absurd’ Man.”

At this same time, although not an avid Beatles fan, I occasionally listened to their music. But, when they changed their direction with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band I heard their existential twist on life. “With a Little Help from My Friends” and “Lovely Rita”– I could sing along, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” –the metaphor made me curious, “Within You Without You” – the sounds of the sitar intrigued me, “Good Morning Good Morning”, “A Day in the Life” and a few others – unsettled me in their stories of futility and subtle despair in everyday living, simply, it was strange. Suddenly, I was enamored by the sound and lyrics of the Beatles. From this entire album, only one song had not context for me other than making the statement of getting old, it seemed silly to me – “When I’m Sixty-Four” – a  time 48 years from my age of 16, until today . . .

This morning, I’m thinking back about where I was and where I have come, sure that I feel no older than I did then. Yet, as I look back at myself at 16, today . . . for me, these are good questions of current relevance:

“When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?

If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

You'll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with you

I could be handy mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings, go for a ride

Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage on the
Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck, and Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away

Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine forever more
Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

                       ~ John Lennon & Paul McCartney

Photo: Forte Fotos