Marginalia, no.147

I can see the hair on your head turning grey already.  Your beard looks to me like a map of the world with its mixture of greys and whites, of reds and blacks.  Look here.  See, this is Asia; here are the Tigris and Euphrates.  Here are the mountains of the Moon.  Do you see the Nile marshes?

~ Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book III

Today I cross the thirty-seventh parallel and time’s geography lessons feel a little tedious.  Somewhere in Anthony Powell’s Music of Time Nick Jenkins says that a man never feels so old as he does in his middle thirties.  I hope that’s true.  It’s a pleasant thought to someday find myself contented in child-like antiquity, white-haired and bent, standing ankle-deep in the Nile marshes.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Marginalia, no.147

  1. Happy birthday! (The same day as my wife, by coincidence) I’ll try not to laugh at your concern…and Powell’s. It may be downhill from there, but it *can* be a wonderful glide.

    Of course, it makes all the difference what time of year you view yourself in those marshes…

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