first boredom then fear

Okay, here are two items I picked up in this morning's gleanings, and they are tough to deal with in a brief blog on a Friday morning in October.

I'm on a mailing list for Zoomer, the magazine and movement being promulgated (!) by Moses Znaimer, trying to persuade all women over the age of 60 to look like drag queens and the men to think they're like Christopher Plummer even if they can't look like him.  They do, anyway, think they are. So this morning I got a Zoomer pitch that starts with a stat and ends with a warning:

"The good news is we're living longer. The second fastest growing group of Canadians are centenarians, those over the age of 100...The bad news is that it comes at a cost."  The warning is that we're going to run out of money before we run out of breath.  So be prepared. Thanks. 

And then I was going over some of the notes I save for blogs and came across a reference to a poem by Philip Larkin (1922-1985) in a discussion (by a columnist in the New Yorker, James Wood - I have an admirable clipping file!).  Wood's concern is in the title of his essay - "Is That All There Is?" And that, of course, made me think of Peggy Lee (1920-2002) and her song, "Is That All There Is?" (1969)  With the wonders of the internet now I looked it up and listened to a video of her singing it, dealing with life, with 1) a fire, 2) a circus, 3) love ("He went away and I thought I'd die but I didn't") and finally, 4) the end.   Each time she asks, "Is that all there is?" And her antidote? solution?  No, antidote; there is no solution: "If that's all there is, then let's keep dancing." 

That brings me back to Larkin. In his poem, "Dockery and Son", the poet/narrator describes a meeting with a former school chum. I won't go into details.  But he concludes:

Life is first boredom, then fear. 

Whether or not we use it, it goes, 

And leaves what something hidden from us chose,   

And age, and then the only end of age.

Me again: So. I guess we should all just keep dancing. "Bring out the booze, and have a ball, if that's all."