Thursday, June 4, 2015

Portrait of a Liberal Artist as an Old Man

I’’m quite old but considerably immature.
Worst of both worlds—but aim to make
virtue of it.  Don’t have to eat spinach or
make nice, pat puppies or smell the coffee,
postpone joy or be here now. I leave my
turn signal on or forget to use it—drive
below the speed limit; never look backwards
in reverse.  Spill. 

Nature has nothing to offer and rainy days
are better than sunshine.  Cozy indoors with
a quilt. smart-phone, lap top and a Facebook
account: trolling the virtual Hyde Park and
Groves of Academe: life of the mind. Ridiculous
to the savvy; offensive to  the  conscientious.
Joy to  the whirl, all  you boys and girls. One
must imagine me happy.


  1. Ecclesiastes 12:1-14 is the OT reading for today. Solomon nails it. By the "pitcher broken" I could cry, maybe because I have nothing to do with silver chords and golden bowls (he would have had). We see he also despises bookocracy.--I think once a real grief hits, we can taste all that. And still be happy. It all fits into one soul.

  2. When I was young, a camp, my dad came by to visit and took my down by the river told me the Solomon choice.: would you rather be wealthy and famous or wise.

  3. What did you say? "Wise"? I wonder what Solomon would say about being in a lectionary 3000 years, or something, later. Famous, after all, as well as rich.

  4. My Dad once took me aside to tell me life was about making a living, not eternal study. He was a starving refuge once, skin and bones.

  5. I ended up a philosophy major. Once, in college, bragging on Thoreau whom I admired, Dad's reply--that's just philosophy

  6. :) I have to go bake a cake. It's my son-law's birthday. "Man muss die Feste fleiern wie sie fallen". My dad's dad used to say. "You have to celebrate the festivals, as they fall." Meaning you don't have control but there is lots to enjoy. I.e. Enjoy now that we are together. Nowadays, they might call it mindfullness. No, mindfulness is more alone. It's a symptom of the asceticism that Thoreau favoured.