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 –
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
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.
To quote the master (William Shakespeare) -
THE SEVEN AGES OF MAN
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)