Modern classics

Though anyone knows the past is done and over, its texture nonetheless insinuates the present – and by extrapolation, the future. It is however otherwise largely unimportant – possibly barring a criminal theme. To dissect the past from the present is about as easy as removing the salt from a culinary dish. The damage is done so to speak. Or the flavour is there if you prefer a more generous rendition. Either way we’re stuck with what we’ve got.

This may sound a less than spirited way to look at the present. That was not my intention. Indeed my thesis is quite the contrary – namely, I rejoice in what exists and the fortuitous manner in which I appear to have arrived here. Frankly – to start at the beginning – I thank my parents for whatever they did for me (whether I know it or not). I am grateful for a loving and caring sister, a terrific brother-in-law and two gorgeous, talented nieces. I am likewise indebted to innumerable friends and parents of friends who extended incalculable generosity and opportunity to me. Most importantly I thank the heavens for my traveling companion in this ongoing galactic voyage which is similarly reputed for its stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust and dark matter. In essence the present is confounded by immeasurable circumstances, events, people, coincidences, communications and sensibilities which I delight in saying are nothing short of heartening. Now I must sound over-enthused, and perhaps I am, but the current flow of things is clearly in the right direction as far as I can tell.

I fashion my present state as a modern classic. The modern element is nothing more exotic than having the temporal alignment with the clock on the wall. Modernity – however one chooses to identify it (whether as impressionist or as minimalist for example) is like the fax machine and smart phones, more about currency than peculiarity. We eventually adjust to whatever is the popular way of doing or saying things. Besides they ultimately stop making phone booths so we have to change even if we resist. Parenthetically I confess I am a big fan of technology.

This seeming appetite for freshness does not however diminish one’s native classicism. It is harmony, restraint and adherence to recognized standards which lingers in us all whether by evolution or mere habit. Nor does it substitute arid classism for personal taste and character which is a persistent wild card that effectively defines us in the end.

Today by the pool was a congregation primarily of elderly people my age or beyond. There was however one unusual visitor – a child of eight years of age. The little boy was swimming in the pool. His mere presence attracted the attention of us all. His was not the magnetism of youthful beauty but rather the instinctive recognition of the hope and ambition which attaches to a child of humanity. I wondered whether he would recall this visit to his grandparents when he is older; would he laugh at a picture of himself splashing about in the pool; would he be thankful for the opportunity unwittingly afforded him?