Somewhere in between

There’s a difference betwixt saving it for the funeral and living the rest of your life like a firecracker. There has to be somewhere in between. Unfortunately the philosophic business of the “via media” or the popular dietary prescription of plant-based foods are not the complete answer either. Indeed the more compelling yet disturbing truth is that unlike fathomless youthful ambition there really isn’t any workable answer. In the result the only practical solution between these competing options is to undertake the immediate determination to capture what arises from the past, what distinguishes the present and what motivates the future. That seems the surest way to cover all the angles while avoiding the mistake of any one. While my happiest conviction is the present there are details from the past that survive to entertain me. I’m obviously less certain about the future but my innate rationality would no doubt have propelled me to say so at any age.

This thesis is not merely poetic. It is by design a scheme to straddle all possibilities without having to arrogate. To that degree it nicely recognizes the strength of all dynamics. The mandate is not as obtuse as the binary world of banking or accounting – with its debits and credits – where no one for example would choose to understand the esoteric world of agency or trusts.

Oh, the evaporations of the past! The schemes I have witnessed, many of which have succeeded but others dwindled and vanished. Friendships alike, into the foggy mist, some for reasons I’ll never pretend to understand. Just as incomprehensible how it all works out! Having escaped irreversible misfortune and criminality; having marvellous parents who both lived past their 90s with only limited debilitating health issues; having a loving sister, a kindly brother-in-law and beautiful nieces; having worthy relatives and close family friends; having a superb youth of travel and education; having had a fun career – one to which I was personally dedicated and from which I have amusing memories; and finally the much vaunted stuff, the real estate (houses, vacant land, condominium and office building), the two grand pianos, the precious Persians, the mahogany, the reclaimed pinewood floors, the Lalique and Waterford crystal, the custom-built pieces, the East India brass, the clocks, the Chelsea Ship’s Bell and barometer, the artwork, the endless sterling and the passions of white and yellow gold and platinum!

From this intoxicating dream the current delight of Longboat Key, bounded by Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, balmy breezes and writhing green palm trees against the vast dome of azure sky. We’ve landed here after almost a quarter-century of inexplicable uniformity. I can’t recall what first united us in our voyage, what subsequent stimulus there was for the reciprocity or the repeated recipe for the ceaseless perfection. There were clearly times I needed the help, the walks after being torn apart, the perpetual support, the unfailing contribution, the ingenuity in business, the daily bequests of generosity and management. We’ve sprung from martinis and cigarettes, By Ward Market living with roaring fireplace and sea bass for lunch, country garden and summer deck, Green Lake swimming in deep cold water, a loveable French bulldog, the Fraser Highlanders at the Ottawa Hunt Club, Upper East side Manhattan, Caribbean islands and the Mediterranean sea, a sudden revolt against municipal election, funerals for so many in our families to the acme of our purpose however it may be described. We’ve landed somewhere in between!