OK, here it is.

We Boomers – among others – may be distracted by the continual question as to whether we are simply putting in the time, enduring the days, until there are no days left.

Is that the only job that is left to be done – to continue until the possibility of continuing is ended?  And is that such a bad thing?

Those who have achieved greatness are gone, as are those who have idled away their time and those who tragically died in a car wreck in infancy.  All are, eventually, gone.

But everyone wants more; to be more, to become more, even to have been more, long after they are gone.

How absurd is that?  To believe that a sliver of awareness containing how we have been seen by others will continue even after we are dust, that, somehow, we continue, perhaps as an element in the universal hum, the incessant OM of this or some other universe?  Yet, from the perspective of being gone – which, it would appear, is no perspective at all, is merely a hypothetical construct – one nonetheless craves more.

Sometimes we must choose between what we want to believe and what is true. In those moments positive affirmations are mere static, spasms of anxiety that we falsely believe protect us from the end, the final silence that gathers in its firm grasp us and all that we thought we knew and scatters it like random stars across a cosmic sea.

Now we Boomers are left with this last choice; whether and how to establish the meaning of these final days, our final days, after the kids are gone, the house is gone, the job is gone, even the sense of purpose we believed was so sacred is gone, the plans and hopes for the future that we insisted were possible are gone, all have faded into an ether, a phosphorescent waft of smoke that dissipates in a timeless wind.

Maybe the final question for us Boomers is whether to invest these final hours in looking ahead or looking back. The Dalai Lama, in his great book Becoming Enlightened, sternly instructs us to not take for granted the ten thousand incarnations that allowed us to have this very day, this very life.  The job left to us, he says, as we approach the end is to practice, to focus ever more fervently on clarifying our relationship with what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil. Even then, he bravely asserts, there is a consummation to be wished, a test to be passed or failed, resulting in the glow of eternal bliss or a plunge into the fearsome nightmare of struggle and karmetric repetition – and retribution.

Years ago, as I wandered around the mess that was Woodstock, and all that is now behind me was then still ahead, and all the foolish anxiety I felt about whether I would make anything of my chance at life was nonetheless made radiant by the necessary ambiguity of an unknown future, I privately dreamt that one day after a fulfilling life journey I would relax into the peace of acceptance, like Hemingway’s character at the bloody culmination of For Whom the Bell Tolls, who, grievously wounded, lays on the hillside with his rifle beside him and deeply understands what is very soon to be lost but also perceives that something, something very important, has been gained.

So much for that.  After a lifetime of whatever we Boomers are now, right now, faced with a final choice about defining what is and what has been.  What is it?  What does it mean?  Can we face the possible reality that its meaning is a mere game we have played with ourselves, according to rules made by some unknown other, with an outcome that, however we have tried to conceal it from ourselves, we have known from the beginning?

However we choose to define the end, more and more clearly we can hear the not so distant thunder.

Here we go; it began, they say, with a big bang; now it ends with a Big Boom.  What does it mean?