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Today's quote:

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Nothing to be frightened of


In Richard Strauss's tender and sensuous opera "Der Rosenkavalier", the ageing Marschallin, who knows that her younger lover is destined to leave her, stops all the clocks in the palace so as not to be reminded of the passage of time.

Growing up in post-war Germany, with all the destruction and misery around me, with the knowledge that there were no great careers to be made, no glamorous possibilities of upward mobility or the seductive temptations of acquiring great wealth, I knew in my bones that life was a provisional condition and that it could be cut short arbitrarily.

'Birth, copulation and death' was T.S. Eliot's summary of human life. Paradoxically, it is in acknowledging the inescapable power of both Chronos and Thanatos, in accepting that life moves in only one direction, that each moment comes round just once, and that the number of such moments are finite, that we give meaning to our lives.


Read it online at www.archive.org


Julian Barnes begins his Grim Reaper book "Nothing to be frightened of" with the sentence "I don't believe in God, but I miss Him", and it gets better from there, for over 250 pages. Read it before it's too late! 😀

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