Monday, March 18, 2013

Like sand through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives, or Thoughts On My Seventy-second Birthday

1, 2, 3, 4, 5...

...14, 15, 16, 17...

...25, 26, 27, 28, 29...

...38, 39, 40, 41, 42...


...59, 60, 61, 62, 63...

...71, 72.



It can’t be!

Where did the time go?

It seems like just yesterday I graduated from high school.

It seems like just yesterday I got married.

It seems like just yesterday I watched my children playing.

It seems like just yesterday I became a grandfather.

My oldest grandson is now six feet, two inches tall and 17 years old.

Where did the time go?

It went where it always goes. It marches on.

And there’s not one blessed thing we can do about it.

Shakespeare talked about the seven ages of man in As You Like It, Act Two, scene seven. You know, the infant mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms and so forth all the way to second childishness and mere oblivion, sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything. I know the drill; I figure I’m at about stage six out of the seven, which I’ll let you look up for yourself, and it’s no comfort, let me tell you.

Dylan Thomas told us, “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

That is definitely one approach. But I think F. Scott Fitzgerald said it best at the end of The Great Gatsby:

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

It’s not that I’m raging against the dying of the light or that I enjoy being borne back ceaselessly into the past particularly, it’s just that I can’t believe how soon this life is all over. I may live another 20 or 30 years, but still:

The doctor is IN. I recommend reading Psalm 103 every single day.

I also like to read Neil Theasby’s poem over there in my sidebar occasionally of an evening.

[Editor’s aside to Neil: You definitely now owe me. I have included you in an auspicious group that includes William Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. --RWP]


  1. Happy 72nd! Just remember that in unverified research, blogging has been proven to make you younger. :)
    An Arkies Musings

  2. Happy Birthday, RWP! I enjoyed the lovely sidebar poem. Thanks for sharing. I have a few years on you, yet, but I'm still ticking and kicking. although the latter has become a bit more difficult. :)

  3. A very, very HAPPY BIRTHDAY, lovely Bob. Have a great day. xxx

  4. Happy Birthday! I've got a few years on you - I was 77 on 16 March. Our grand"babies" range from 30 to 24.

  5. Oi, we're both Pisceans--that explains everything, and I do mean everything--how how you and I relate; the existence and characteristics of a deity, the creation of the universe; the opening price of Bechtel Steel this morning. It all hinges on you and me being born under the sign of the fish.

    Anyway, happy birthday to you!

  6. A very big "thank you!" to richies and Pat - Arkansas and Elizabeth and Mary Z. and Snowbrush for your birthday greetings. So far, computer greetings are running ahead of physical world greetings. Not that anybody is keeping count.

  7. "So far, computer greetings are running ahead of physical world greetings."

    Maybe we're the only ones who give a rip, or maybe it's because you're not quite a boy anymore.

  8. Greetings my friend,

    Hearty well wishes on your birthday. We wont go into those old tired expressions such as you're as young as you feel. Or age is only a number. Nope, wont say that.

    Of course, these days, we keep getting told that 72 is the new 62 and 40 is the new 30. Kinda' makes me wonder what that makes a ten year old.

    Be well and smile :)

  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY (slightly belated)!!!! And may you have many more of them. Seventy two! Lordy! Lordy! That really is "mature". And thanks for swelling my ego by putting me in the same post as Shakespeare and Dylan Thomas whose grave I have visited several times... I'm just saying!

  10. I’m pleased to be here for your birthday – so Happy Birthday to you! You beat me by 8 days. My birthday is March 26. Thanks for coming to my blog and telling me the name of that splendid tree. I went back to my post and wrote its name. I was reading a blog from Ohio where he said it was 39 degree high and not a bud in sight. Living in the South is great! Well, at least for the temperature….

  11. Happy birthday, my far-away friend! Although, it occurs to me, your birthday is very nearly over by now, it being quite late on your coast. Hope the coming year is one of laughter and adventures. Thanks for educating, edifying and inspiring!