Same noisy, crowded, sweaty local bar. Some people think the place is too sleazy to even step foot into. It\'s been a biker hangout for at least 50 years and well known in the San Francisco bay area.
Of course the bikers themselves aren\'t always the stereotyped bad ass, hard drinking hard riding gang. One of the bikes at the curb out front is so clean and exquisitly painted that it most likely arrived on a trailer. But bikers isn\'t the point here.
The real attraction is the THUGZ: Tribal Hippie UnderGround Zone and that is a well chosen descriptive name for this band. The two lead musicians are retired school teachers but more about those people later. Of late, the drummer has been someone new almost on a set by set basis. The latest is probably five or ten years my senior and he really keeps a hot rythm going no matter how strange the melody noodles gets.
As for me, the attraction is dancing to old rock \'n\' roll from the 60s and 70s. The music is so familiar to me and the beat of the rock is so motivating that I just cut loose and dance my legs off continuously for about three hours. But what\'s the big deal about that?
The big deal is that I couldn\'t have done this even two years ago. The secret is aging and with that comes giving myself the permission to completely let go of what I think I\'m supposed to do and how I think I should appear in the eyes of others. That freedom comes with maturity.
Freedom to do anything I want to on the dance floor also means I\'m allowing myself the freedom to have desires and find pleasure just in the movement of my body by myself. In the past, I thought that bodily pleasure was completely limited to the standard entertainments such as sex, contemplative walks on beaches and back packing. But why should I limit myself to just those or just some other arbitrary list of activities? Why should I limit myself to thinking I"m dancing in a sleazy bar to a senior citizen band? Or why should I limit myself at all? Is it just because thats how I lived in the past? Growing up is not only taking responsibility for my actions but also taking responsibility for reviewing my life style and making decisions that are not based on what I did in the past.
So the lesson is that aging can be getting free from the past, becoming childlike again and being excited about growing up again to get more strength physically, emotionally and intellectually.
If we can honestly answer the poll about when does aging start as "never", then we also must accept that the question of when does youth end as also the same: