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Today's quote:

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Padma's BYO Lifeguard


Another morning at the pool! Just one more swim on Friday and it's Christmas! How did we get here so fast? Where has the year gone? Every year seems to be moving more quickly than the one before and catching us completely unawares.

As we get older we like to think about the accumulated experiences of our lives; we search for a thread in our lives, something that holds them together. Tying our experiences together in a personal history is a way in which we find meaning in our lives, cherry-picking from our memories, carefully choosing only those that give some semblance of a neat narrative line to show some cause and effect of our personal growth.

Picking and choosing scenes from our lives, we are trying to give it coherene, even - heaven help us - meaning. But, of course, there is that other nasty problem, which Mark Twain noted so well: "When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not; but I am getting old, and soon I shall remember only the latter."


Click on "Watch on YouTube" to watch "Wild Strawberries"


I am reminded ot Ingmar Bergman's classic film "Wild Strawberries" which traces a single day of travel, memories, dreams, presentiments, and encounters with family members and strangers in the life of a retired Swedish doctor and bacteriologist, Dr Isak Borg, who, in the company of his daughter-in-law drives to Lund University, where he is to receive a medal for fifty years of dedication to his profession. At the beginning of the journey, he is an embittered old man, isolated and cynical in the extreme about the consolations of religion and the possibility that his life could have some transcendent meaning. By day's end Borg achieves a redemption of sorts. He accepts his life, regrets and all, as his own - a human life, connected to the people around him.

When I first saw this movie many years ago, I could not even begin to imagine what it would be like to be an old man looking back on my life. I've just watched it again, and it makes a lot more sense to me now.

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