Am I the only one fascinated by #palindromes? Actually, I’m not that fascinated by them but they always seemed intriguing to me. A palindrome is a word, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backward as forward. From the most simple – DAD – to the more complex – Murder for a jar of red rum – palindromes are simply fun. My go-to palindrome is LEVEL and I don’t really know why.
In a recent psychotherapy session with a patient talking about the process of getting older, the phrase “Life is a palindrome” popped into my head and I even said it out loud. What occurred to me is the phases of life we all travel through should we pass through this life all the way in to senescence ( condition or process of deterioration with age ). The birth, life, and death process is like a palindrome. We are born helpless, needing lots of guidance and assistance in the growth and maturation process. We reach a plateau of “adulthood” (whatever that is). Then we follow a path of returning, in a sense, into needing more and more help and assistance in daily life, followed by complete helplessness until we die.
Life, therefore, is a sort of lived palindrome. We live it the same way forward as we do backward. As a loose association to this fun thought and writing experiment, I’m reminded of George Carlin’s description of aging we go through in life. “Kids and old folks have a lot in common.” Hilarious!