Tuesday, July 29, 2008

47xVenezia

Today I turned fortyseven (or 74?) so it's party time with Hillary and Dub-ya in Oxford (click on the picture)! What else is one to do given the overall global "funk" that we all seem to be in? This is a tough age for me and mankind, but it also feels transformative and regenerative. There may indeed be "more years behind me than ahead (so I say: "what the hell"... let's rock!)". I'll have to die at the ripe old age of 94 if today were indeed the halfway point of my life... Whether I like it or not, I am officially middle-aged (and have been so for a while), and looking back twenty years to the start of the VPC adventure and then looking the other way, twenty years into the future to my Venice 3.0 dreams only deepens my existential introspection. I am in the middle of a 20-20 hindsight/foresight exercise that is salutary, but also painful. I just went through boxes of old papers from the early days of the VPC. Some things I had completely forgotten re-emerged. A lifetime of doings... a lading-list.
Reminds me of the poem by Philip Larkin, which Richard Rorty splendidly dissects in the"contingency of selfhood" chapter of his Contingency, Irony and Solidarity (a classic of relativistic existentialism), part of which goes like this:

[...]
And once you have walked the length of your mind, what
You command is clear as a lading-list
Anything else must not, for you, be thought
To exist.
And what's the profit? Only that, in time,
We half-identify the blind impress
All our behavings bear, may trace it home.
[...]

Continuing to Live is the title of the poem and it's also a good motto for moving forward. I only have 3 more years before I'm out of the quaranta range.
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