You know those days, let’s make that weeks – okay months – when everything you’re working on is a whirlwind, a spin cycle at warp speed, a Great Race without Tony Curtis to make you chuckle and you’re running-working-thinking-appeasing-initiating-generating as fast you can?
Don’t you wonder why all the best one-liners derive from Latin, and stick around in illustrious form even if only to be found on our mugs and t-shirts? Hey, they’re some of my faves, and they offer smarts I live by: carpe diem (seize the day), caveat emptor (buyer beware), qui tacet consentit (he who remains silent, consents), and I must add one in French that I just adore: marche ou crève, which literally means “march or die.”
What better ways to remind ourselves to live fully but with our eyes open, speak up for ourselves with conviction, and whatever we’ve got going, even when it gets tough, to just keep on truckin’?
Of Hair and Philosophy
I must say, this little gem tickles my feminine fancy and elicits a girly grin: barba non facit philosophum. Yep, you guessed it. The beard doesn’t make the philosopher.
Now how exactly am I to interpret that on this day which finds me rushing from the moment I wake, lecturing myself for jamming too much into a 24-hour period (again), and woefully missing my usual dosage of Java Joe, though content I don’t require taking a razor to a bearded chin but only the occasional tweezers (sigh) when no one is peeking?
Hmmm. The beard doesn’t make the philosopher. Might that mean that age doesn’t necessarily make us wiser? Or the male of the species is not the only observer or orator of note?
I’ll smirk at any combo I care to create of this one, and rue the digital and analog reminders around the room of the lateness of my hour, moving on to the checklist of dizzying duties for the day which include assorted drafts for a variety of kind folk, a sink of dirty dishes to dispense with-(deus ex dishwasher machina?) and loads of laundry (installation art?).
May I add the unexpected but now-I-must-clean-the-house-and-grocery-shop-dammit mobile missive that College Kid Number Two is winging his way home for Spring Break, to whit I lament: Does anyone know the Latin for Empty Fridge Syndrome?
A dull moment? Does your life contain any of those I ask, breathlessly hurrying through this unruly thicket of thoughts as I press on into the afternoon?
Ah… Boredom. (Not.)
Frankly, I could do with a little boredom of the bountiful beautiful Miami Beach variety with fashion mag on lap and tropical drink in hand, and Latin rhythms in the background, as I happily bone up on fab phrases to stretch my cerebellum and populate my prose.
If not that, I could go for a few months in France – ad infinitum? – sufficient sensory succor cum luxuriant leisure as I pop into my most beloved galleries in the City of Lights, browse at Beaubourg and people-watch in their chic, cave-like café, and then, well… you know.
I would board that train to the South and say bonjour to friends and friends of friends and new friends I would love to meet in person, then journey on to the Mediterranean coast and the piquant kiss of sun on my shoulders as I stroll the La Promenae des Anglais – there where I fell in love with language, there where jutting rocks and endless blue is interrupted only by creamy coral and orange painted walls, there where I learned to taste life’s possibilities to which I cling – bona fide proof that as long as we breathe and dream, it ain’t over til it’s over.
And that holds true even on the days when the clock ticks faster and the heart pounds and we scurry with the scattered determination of Alice’s Bestie, the Little White Rabbit, descensus in cuniculi cavum – into our own tunnels of tumult with places to go and people to see, joyously if hurriedly, setting aside the premise of boredom or anything like it because, after all, more than any midlife manifesto this is our reality at every age: a solid dose of carpe diem and the wisdom, with or without a beard, to understand – tempus fugit.
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