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.