Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Begin Afresh, Afresh, Afresh

I got that feeling in my bones yesterday- that early springtime feeling- which goes (quoting Larkin) "Begin, afresh, afresh, afresh". It's nice to know it still comes to me- but hard to know what I'm supposed to be doing about it.

Once upon a time I used to go everywhere on foot. Now I'm very sedentary. But I'm trying to push the clock back by walking to the supermarket every couple of days. I don't want to turn into my grandmother- who spent her last decade, though still relatively fit, sitting in her Louis Quinze chair with her Daily Express and her cigarettes. Life is interesting, even with aching joints, and I don't ever want to get to the point where I no longer care.

Certain things have been taken away. I used to write poetry a lot. Now I rarely get the urge. I accept this. It's normal. Poetry is a young person's game. And I don't suppose I'll ever want to write fiction again. The novel is also for the young. Name me a great novel that was written by someone over 60. Bet you can't.  A novelist has to be in tune with the age- and the older person- however hard they try- no longer feels the pulse from the streets.

And that's partly because it's the work of old age to let go.  One builds up a presence in the world, one sits on one's heap, then one starts to divest. There's the art of holy living and there's the art of holy dying. Dying isn't something one only does at the end of one's life; it's something one should always be practising- and practising more assiduously as one ages. We come into the world....


Sorry, I had to get up there to answer the phone. It was some chap with an Indian accent assuring me he wasn't going to offer me a loan, but merely wanted to share some information about his company's government sponsored programme.  I cut him off there. But he'd done his job; he'd stopped me from becoming maudlin and sententious.

So where was I? Yes, life goes on. It goes on until it stops.

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