Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Standing on the shore

When my daughter graduated from high school I gave her this poem by TS Eliot.

At Graduation (1905)

Standing upon the shore
of all we know
We linger for a moment

Then with a song upon our lips,
Sail we across the harbour-bar.
No chart to show.
No light to warn of rocks
Which lie below.
But let us yet
Set forth courageously.

I think this is how I feel today. The reports are done. The good-byes are said. The promises are made that we will stay in touch. I am not so naive to believe that to be true.

And now?

And now.

There are campfires ahead. And knitting. Some poetry to publish. Perhaps a book to write. There are languages to learn. There are promises to keep. There is company to enjoy.

There is an endless ocean of time filled with joys and sorrows, births and deaths, friends and family, fights, and hopefully, reconciliations.

I used to say that I wanted to live to be ninety-five, and I wanted to die in my sleep, in my own bed. I am going to change that. I want to live until a hundred and five, and I want to die doing something brave.

So, perhaps this blog will take on a new tone as I begin the life of a retired person. There won't be much money, but there will be love. There will always be love.


  1. Tell me about the book you're going to write. I have one too.

  2. Puts me in mind of the tee-shirt I saw a few years ago:

    "I'd rather die screaming than live forever terrified."

    A little more... violent than what you've said, but I love the idea of "growing old and dying brave."


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