Today is my thirty-fifth birthday.
Now, even Psalm 90:10 acknowledges the possibility that they might "by reason of strength... be fourscore years". And, of course, the psalmist was writing before modern medicine. Yet even if one goes by Genesis 6:3 ("his days shall be an hundred and twenty years") -- as, for instance, Moses is said to have done; something which I certainly hope (kenina hara!) to achieve -- still one must admit that even so life "is soon cut off, and we fly away."
I suppose this is all just to say that I'm feeling a bit melancholy. Afraid that, like Dante,
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita
("I found myself within a shadowed forest,
for I had lost the path that does not stray")
-- and feeling also that
Io non so ben ridir com' i' v'intrai,
tant' era pien di sonno a quel punto
che la verace via abbandonai.
("I cannot clearly say how I had entered
the wood; I was so full of sleep just at
the point where I abandoned the true path.")
Perhaps such feelings are par for the course on "major" birthdays -- defined, due to our counting system, as those divisible by five.
And of course, at the end of the day, I know what the answer to such feelings are -- the only answer that there can be: the answer found in another, older poet (well, older than Dante: not the Psalmist), the odes of Horace: "carpe diem" -- "seize the day".
What else is there?
You say it's your birthday
Well it's my birthday too, yeah...
On a cheerier note, very happy returns to my fellow birthday celebrants: P. Z. Myers, Hayden Bock, Jason Bock (who shares my precise birthday, i.e. not just March 9 but 1971 as well) -- and, heck, all the famous ones too.