Thursday, March 04, 2010

more mori …

a half-life is the period of time it takes for a substance undergoing decay to decrease by half.

a half-life is a life half-lived.

there is a moment in everyone's life that, unbeknownst to them, marks the halfway post between their birth and their death. it is a moment that can occur, unluckily, all too early: the twenty-year old future road accident victim will have passed it by the age of ten. the majority will reach it some time after their thirty-fifty birthday. we will never know when we've reached it, but the probability of having done so gradually increases until, by the age of forty-five, it's within a whisker of a certainty that it has already passed.

it used to be an eager ascendancy - a hand-shielded peering squint up into the rising-sun-lit path of the brave bright future.

Things We Used to Wonder: who'll be the first to get a girlfriend … lose their virginity … learn to drive ... get a university place … land the dream job … get rich and famous …

now - a reluctant descendancy - a series of ever more cautious steps down an ever-steepening gradient towards oblivion, the disturbed detritus of our past clattering at our heels.

Things We Wonder now: who'll be the first to develop cancer … to succumb to Alzheimer's, or Parkinson's, or any other in that depressing list of surnames-turned-syndromes in the geriatric pages of the medical dictionary … and, l'ultimo degli ultimi, which of us will be the first to die?

there must have been a halfway plateau time, a time without either frantic future-fixated flapping or futile past-yearning furling - a moment, in this life trajectory, of transition, however fleeting, from upward to downward, a moment of free fall; but it was unremarkable, quite forgettable, forgotten.

the past is, notoriously, another country, one with irrevocably closed borders.

don't look back, Orpheus, don't look back.

just keep on singing.

and for godsake don't mention the Maenads.