A couple of months ago, on my sixty-first birthday, a comrade jocularly asked, “Do you see yourself growing more intolerant, or more tolerant?” It was a beguiling question, and a very human one, touching on many aspects of aging; and because it titillated me I have been thinking about it.

I truthfully believe I have grown more tolerant with time, and I will try to explain some of the reasons why. More than a year ago, almost coincidental with my turning sixty, something exceedingly strange and unexpected began to happen in my life. I had always been an easy and heavy sleeper, but suddenly I began to awaken regularly at the first light of dawn, whereupon my precipitously troubled consciousness would enter into a hazy reverie of years long past, a drowsing yet sleepless musing often lasting as long as three hours or more.

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