I have been preoccupied with chores such, as restoring order to my home office after spending a couple of weeks on the stories of mine that ran in The Inquirer Sunday. Also, I had to get my patio garden ready for winter -- which I pretty much finished yesterday, feeling absolutely wonderful doing pure manual labor (wondering all the while why I ever wanted to write -- not that I was any better at carpentry). Then I noticed I was feeling a bit stiff throughout my body (I noticed this especially while walking a few blocks to a favorite fish store and back). I went to Benediction last night, that stiffening continuing all the while. Then I took a hot bath and, after reading a bit, retired for the night -- right until 8 this morning.
I mention this in detail because there was a time in my life when I earned my living getting up day after day around 6 AM and working like that from 8 AM until about 4:30 PM (a half-hour off for lunch). Sleeping until 8 wouldn't have done back then. Could I have got up today, as I had those many years ago? Well, I was awake this morning at 6 -- and grateful I could back to bed. I believe that, if I had had to, I could have done the same this morning. But this time I would have been an old man pushing it.
The foregoing has been the first installment in what I hope will prove an interesting account of my increasing decrepitude, that time of life when one understands what Keats was getting at:
|The weariness, the fever, and the fret|
|Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;|
|Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,||25|
|Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;|
|Where but to think is to be full of sorrow|
|And leaden-eyed despairs,|
|Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,|
|Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.|