Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Dance of the Generations


During this final phase of my existence as an autonomous being on this earth, our only home, I would like to shift my focus to that somewhat intangible aspect of being I refer to as peace of mind.  I did refer to my time in life as a final phase not on account of any serious or debilitating illness but on account of the inescapable reality that the time ahead of me is far shorter than the time that has already elapsed.  Realistically, we are all dying in that as soon as we are born our trajectory is clear although the time allotted may vary.

I have included the following poem –

 Ode to the Elusive Peace of Mind

I wish to say farewell

to all trivial considerations,

all venal and self-serving dreams,

all of ego’s darlings

piled up like so many useless magazines

cluttering the thoroughfares of the mind.


I wish to terminate the leases

of all the shabby and unwanted tenants that

occupy the precious real estate within

my neuronal wonder.


I wish to finally release all the hostages

reminiscent of bygone desires and

missed opportunities,

they take far too much succor to retain.


I wish to welcome all of

life’s truly wondrous aspects,

of nature’s magnificent presence

and finally let all of existence consume me

within the grasp of perfect peace.


These series of wishes as outlined above, represent both individually and collectively a challenging set of goals.  Over my lifetime, I have accumulated a torturous array of tattered remnants that no longer serve any useful purpose and that, in fact, present serious obstacles to a fuller appreciation of the wondrous quality of being.

 All humanity is part of the “dance of the generations” where those living move about the Earth interacting with each other and the natural world that establishes place and time.  Encased with the recesses of our bony skull lies that remarkable organ that purveys the essence of ourselves, maintains our intricate library of memories, initiates of our thoughts and desires and that propels us forward.  Each of us expend our allotted time in our own unique ways.  This dance eventually propels us into the oblivion of death so as make way for the next generation.  This is the inescapable truth.  We may try to deny this reality, or obfuscate the implications, but that is no matter – the dance goes on.  It is far better to appreciate the dance and join in the revelry rather than bemoan this fundamental aspect of the reality principle.


To quote the master (William Shakespeare) -



All the world's a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,

Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.

Then, the whining school-boy with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,

Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad

Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then, a soldier,

Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,

Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,

Seeking the bubble reputation

Even in the cannon's mouth. And then, the justice,

In fair round belly, with a good capon lined,

With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,

Full of wise saws, and modern instances,

And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts

Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,

His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide

For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,

Turning again toward childish treble, pipes

And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion,

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.


As You Like It (Jaques, Act 2 Scene 7)

No comments: