If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.
Monday 31 December 2012
Read gnomica 1-200 here!
Sometimes it takes years to really grasp what has happened to your life.
Wilma Rudolph (23 Jun 1940 – 12 Nov1994)
Like, yes, where did it go?
A famous Olympian with three gold medals as a sprinter in the 1960 Games in Rome, this distinguished athlete here makes a point well worth toying with, especially, I think, as the years flash by with ever increasing celerity.
What indeed has happened to one’s life?
You were born.
And, depending on your beliefs about such matters, you preëxisted in the womb as a person, or even before that you preëxisted as some ethereal ‘something’ – a soul? – awaiting reincarnation in an animate vessel of some kind, perhaps human this time, and there you are. It is an ancient notion, laid out by Plato in the fourth century BCE (whether or not he himself actually believed it), and it is also a feature of Hindu belief, which predates Plato by millennia. When the husk shrivels in decay and dies, that ethereal essentialness simply transmigrates into some other waiting husk.
Or, maybe you believe that there simply was no preëxistence of any kind, that the ‘you’ that now is here never preëxisted at all. Perhaps, like Roman Lucretius, you believe ’you’ are nothing more than a soul-less and random collection of atoms that will, upon your cessation, revert into their constituent atoms to be used for other purposes (I guess that might be conceived of as a kind of reincarnation too, but of a vastly different order).
So now here you are, regardless of where you might have been or not been, of where you actually came from. I assume that when she spoke of ‘your life’, Rudolph was more concerned with the factual concretes of your current ‘here-ness’ and not so much with the fuzzy problematics of the pre-natal and pre-gestational ‘you’. And the fault for my discursive sidebar is in no way to be laid at her door.
Just worrying the passage of time in the here and now as a dog does a favorite bone is sufficient unto the day for me. And when that brief duration of the cognizant ‘me’ is measured against the preceding eons – not to mention a succeeding eternity – what else remains but the elegiac mood of this final day of yet one more year decaying into rebirth. It adds one more year to moving us closer, perhaps, to some sort of — if not full grasp on – at least acceptance of what has happened and is still happening to our lives.
Sincere thanks for reading my blog in 2012 –
hope to see you for a great 2013!