I wish I could do that – seize the time and place no trust in tomorrow. Difficult, though, when that stubborn illusion of personal immortality that gets one through childhood and youth finally yields to a sense of timespan and fragility.

And yet, between the jumping-at-shadows bouts of vulnerability when a sudden awareness of the body’s incapacities against the vitality of the consciousness bring gloom, I can still take heart. Yes, I keep forgetting names (and I understand that this is where the mental dereliction begins), but I can think and feel as passionately as ever. Age appears not to have significantly diminished what my headmaster described in the 17-year-old me as ‘an overbalanced sense of justice’. And a powerful sense of a spiritual dimension remains firmly in place alongside a quiet certainty that there is no God. I take great pleasure in the company of my friends; I laugh a lot; I read constantly; I’m writing steadily again; music, in the playing and the listening, continues to excite and move me in equal measure; and I am aware each day that I have much loved family immediately about me or close enough to see and/or hear whose years cover the spectrum from the horizon right up to a shoreline not so very far away from where I stand.

I am old enough to see how little I have done in so much time, and how much I have to do in so little.
Sheila Kaye-Smith.

[We] get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.
Paul Bowles

“t’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.
George Harrison

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:34

There is only one day left, always starting over: It is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk.
Jean-Paul Sartre

The word “now” is like a bomb through the window, and it ticks.
Arthur Miller ‘After the Fall’)

It is never too late to be what you might have been.
George Eliot

About Dick Jones

I'm a post-retirement Drama teacher, currently working part-time. I have a grown-up son and daughter, three grandchildren and three young children from my second marriage. I write - principally poetry but prose too, both fitfully published. My poetry collection Ancient Lights is published by Phoenicia Publishing ( and my translation of Blaise Cendrars' 'Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France' (illustrated by my friend, the artist, writer and long-time blogger Natalie d'Arbeloff) is published by Old Stile Press ( I play bass guitar & bouzouki in the song-based acoustic/electric trio Moorby Jones, playing entirely original material. spotify:artist:07MDD5MK9MnRGSEZwbsas9 I have a dormant blog with posts going back to 2004 at Dick Jones' Patteran Pages - - and I'm a radio ham. My callsign is G0EUV
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  1. sackerson says:

    Your headmaster reminds me of someone I once worked with who said I had “a naive sense of honesty that would get me into all sorts of trouble” – an oddly disturbing statement, I’ve always thought since.

  2. Dick Jones says:

    So he saw you as a kind of Candide figure in a wicked world! That comes across as preferable to “he’s a stroppy sod”!

    • sackerson says:

      That’s quite an insight, I think. It’s one of three books I had to read in French at school. I must say I enjoyed it. It made quite an impression on me. However. until you mentioned it it never occurred to me that I might have been (and might still be) “a kind of Candide,” I have a horrible feeling that the thought will keep me awake tonight…

  3. sackerson says:

    And that George Eliot quote rocks.

  4. Dick says:

    I hope not. I’d hate to be the instigator of another’s insomnia!

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