When all else fails…

The hole we’re digging throughout this pandemic deepens by the day.  Increasingly I lose track of the day and the hour. I have yet to forget what month or year it is but no doubt that transgression is in the wings. The predominant obstruction is not only social immobility but also life’s uncertainty in general. When one is fastened to the past the evaporation of the relieving element of planning threatens to poison the future. Evidently it is this disruptive calendar which has until recently blocked my interest in recovering my erstwhile gusto.  Now however I have hardened myself to the reality that nothing much will alter the current landscape. I am therefore wise to figure out a way to overcome the anxiety other than vodka martinis. We’ve already experimented with Oreo cookies and butter tarts. The results are palpable!

Examining life through the binary lenses of hope and sugar, while a regular antidote to boredom, is known to be only mildly less punitive than alcohol. This doesn’t entirely contaminate the argument aroused by the adage, “If you don’t drink and smoke life won’t be any longer it will just feel longer!” The precept is even more persuasive as one ages, often punctuated by the related caution, “Don’t save it for the funeral!

I have unwittingly reminded myself of the virtue of patience. After a lifetime of dedication to immediate pleasure and gratification – and a mistaken belief that the level of caffeine accelerates intelligence – it requires more than mere philosophy to cure the abuse. Indeed the only tolerable remedy is the unfathomable accident of living. Nature has strangely readjusted me to this penetrating truth. The pretence of urgency or hurry is entirely unfounded. Instead it is the casual insinuation of life’s profundities which now prevails. The former conflict between matters of agenda has all but evaporated.

At 5:30 am this morning I arose swiftly from my lair and commenced the regular ablutions in preparation for my journey to the car dealership in Ottawa to have my vehicle’s wheel lugs torqued following a recent oil change and tire rotation. Built into that enthusiasm for accomplishment was the anticipation of delivery of a less than poetic creation of mine to John H. Kerry who today celebrates his 91st birthday.

Happy Birthday, JHK!

I can’t believe you’re 91!
When we met you were only 47.
It only proves how fast things go
On the winding road to Heaven!

I can’t believe you’re 91!
So much has since transpired.
You ran a business for the longest time
Surpassing any entrepreneur not expired.

I can’t believe you’re 91!
You’re still incredibly suave.
Clearly a life of health and virtue
Has preserved your path thus long.

I can’t believe you’re 91!
You’re as spry as you always were.
You’ve never lost that shining gusto
That makes you and others stir.

So hoist a jar and drink your fill!
You deserve this honour and praise.
You’re still the best to family and friends;
Many happy returns of these very precious days!

Affectionately yours,
Bill (Chapman) and Denis (Arial)
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

While fulfilling my morning bicycling exercise on the former railway right-of-way through town I received a telephone call from Mrs. Gladys Currie who is a longtime friend of John H. Kerry and mine. Hours later after I completed my ride and had returned to visit John H. Kerry we were accompanied by Gladys Currie. It was painfully clear that the renewal of these erstwhile social connections was much appreciated on all sides. The transition from isolation to immediate congress was clearly appreciated by all – but not without some manifest emotion.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
by T. S. Eliot