‘a disconcerting mixture of nostalgia, regret, claustrophobia, emptiness and fear.’ 1.
The best thing was remembering feeling exactly that–perhaps when I was in my forties too– but not now feeling it anymore.
For me it was a years of ill-health and disappointment. My heart stopped in 2011, though happily they managed to re-start and fix it. Then in 2013 I spent a month in a coma and the following couple of years in and out of wheelchairs.
At work, from 2008 onwards I had ten years of painful transition from a publishing contract to a self-publishing life. 2 I sell fewer books but now I write and teach things that refresh and renew my spirit (occasionally, they help other people too).
In that desert time I think I found three things that really mattered: worship, relationships, and vocation. Add in a couple of others (recovered health, financial security, kids doing great) and I have been able to make the following Bible text my screensaver:
In my distress I cried out to the Lord
The Lord answered me and put me in a wide open place
Worship, relationship, vocation; not claustrophobia, a wide open space.
It feels like a discovery.
- Kieran Setiya ‘Midlife: A Philosophical Guide’ reviewed in the Economist, 11/11/2017
- Two comic novels, Paradise and The Wheels of the World, with a third, The Sump of Lost Dreams out shortly. One book of testimony and apologetic, More than Bananas: How the Christian faith works for me and the whole Universe – with a sequel being planned.