It doesn’t get any better!

Rolling out of town late this morning in my 2024 Cadillac XT4 along the Appleton Side Road was an inexpressibly cultivated experience, civilized and discerning though not urbane and cosmopolitan. We are in the country; and, like a well bred Country Mouse I proclaim the bucolic advantage. I simply cannot imagine anything better. Now this thesis is both endearing and somewhat weird. The endearing part is that the conclusion comes conveniently late in life (suggesting a heartfelt gusto for the here and now when perhaps most suitably proportioned).  The weird part is that it marks the peak of enterprise, the culmination of it all, the polite dismissal of further attendance. The finality however does nothing but encourage me. At last I have rounded the corners; the matter is squared; there are no open holes or disturbing permutations outstanding. In a word, the picture is complete.

What it is that elevates this noteworthy vista is little more distinguished than blue sky and an array of disjointed white clouds promising nothing but ambivalence, an assured as any prospect.

This feeling of completeness – because that’s what it is, a refection on the status quo – is especially heartening because it succinctly summarizes what has been a devotion to detail and its picayune accomplishment, standards which, while clearly meaningful, have as quickly vaporized leaving but a trace of mundane achievement and satisfaction which gently covers and mutes the entirety. Gratification like love is best celebrated for its marvels than its specificity.  Well being is a general inducement only having equally unrestrained boundaries.This may obscure the particulars but it invests the whole with subdued pathogens if any. The victory is a defeat of yearning and application. The moment assembles quite properly for a chilled espresso and an afternoon snack; these are the mechanics of indolence and satisfaction.

And what apart from this rarity persists? Does one simply fold upon the horizon of perfection? Is life thus complete? If the truth be told, it probably is. Constantly I am receiving notifications from the local funeral home that someone else whom I knew has died. Now is the time to ponder what remains, the vestiges of the past that have thus coloured and refined what stays. Certainly one may loosely abandon necessity and imperatives for casualness and indolence, translating aged wisdom for youthful happenstance. But mine is not a retrograde activity.  Instead I welcome what is to come when the nutrition of the present is fulfilled, when the cup is drunk empty, when the plate is licked clean, when the adorning sweets and fruit are consumed. It is merely acknowledgement of utility and capacity.  When the two have outrun their course, the path within the distant view is clear and oddly inviting. Perhaps it is true that energy can be neither created nor destroyed.

Ancient philosophers as far back as Thales of Miletus c. 550 BCE had inklings of the conservation of some underlying substance of which everything is made. However, there is no particular reason to identify their theories with what we know today as “mass-energy” (for example, Thales thought it was water). Empedocles (490–430 BCE) wrote that in his universal system, composed of four roots (earth, air, water, fire), “nothing comes to be or perishes”;[4] instead, these elements suffer continual rearrangement. Epicurus (c. 350 BCE) on the other hand believed everything in the universe to be composed of indivisible units of matter—the ancient precursor to ‘atoms’—and he too had some idea of the necessity of conservation, stating that “the sum total of things was always such as it is now, and such it will ever remain.”