Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sunrise, Sunset and the In-Between (Midlife Crisis Blues)

And so a new time frame begins. Seems like only a couple of years ago that everyone was talking about the problems of things not being Y2K compatible but all that's ten years down the line already. Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset, and in between those two eternals, our lives are seamlessly spun out.

The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.

Much as I usually try not to think or sound negative, I feel incredibly aged this year. The immortal lines of Eliot's Prufrock, learnt a long lifetime ago when the world was still sunny and warm and bright with promise, speak for me.

No, I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think they will sing to me.


  1. Prufock! That is one of my favourite poems :)

    PS. I'm two days late but oh, what the hell. Happy new year, J.

  2. Lol anne, is that typo deliberate or what? And a very happy new year to you too.

  3. Crumbs, definitely a typo. I meant to write P-r-u-f-r-o-c-k, I swear :)

  4. I don't know much about poetry, but one thing I can say confidently - growing old sure is no fun.

  5. Eliot also wrote:
    For last year's words belong to last year's language
    And next year's words await another voice.
    And to make an end is to make a beginning.
    So let's pretend this post was written on the last day of the year and belong to last year :) Otherwise, its too sad to begin the new year.
    Happy New Year to you and yours, J.

  6. Well, ambs, this isn't so much about ageing per se as about looking back in mid-life and feeling somewhat let down with myself. Since sometime last year I've felt like I've missed the boat in oh so many ways, that I haven't really achieved anything of note, haven't really made my mark in anything significant, nothing that would make people remember me by. Sobering thought.

    plats, yes, I know it's kind of sad but that's the way it is. Happy new year to you too.

  7. I know exactly what you're feeling. I think I too am afflicted with midlife crisis, doing the same thing everyday and at the end of the year I have nothing to show for it. I think I ought to dump everything and start afresh, do something new.

  8. Well, happy New year Calliopia. You seem to be starting it on a really profound note. I'm trying to be pretty jolly about it, but I am also plagued by decisions. To do or not to do, that is the question, and when I try to get some soundbytes, I almost get my head bitten off :) So that's my New year thought. Let's hope it turns out better for us all than we expect though.

  9. Thanks, diary. It will, trust me. The year ahead will have some highs and lows, some ups, some downs. That's how it goes with most everything in life. And that's being practical.

    ambs, so go ahead and do it.

  10. lol. i've been thinking about rolled up pants too! do i see a new(?) toy though?

  11. You're more observant than most! New post up shortly. Wait and watch.

  12. brush the blues away, you have such beautiful poetry and friends to keep you company. also, the lovely place you stay at will keep you young.