My sister, who is an expert in geophysics, was talking today about the three stages of rock — igneous (when the rock is fresh out of the volcano), sedimentary (when time and pressure have started forming the rock into layers), and metamorphic (after so much time and pressure have accumulated that the rock is completely hardened). I found my mind wandering to three similar words that could be used to describe the ways we experience pleasure at different stages of our lives.
When we are young and hot headed, our pleasure is intense and immediate, because it comes from not knowing any better. This is our age of ignorant pleasures.
As time passes, and layer upon layer of obligation have begun to accumulate, we find ourselves settling down under the increasing weight of life. This is our age of sedentary pleasures.
Finally, after much more time has passed, we are able to achieve true permanence and solidity. Alas, by that time, all pleasure has become metaphoric.