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Turning 60

Robert Sward


"The first 40 years of life give us the text; the next 30 supply the commentary on it."

---Schopenhauer


1.
Homework

According to Webster, the word six derives from the Latin
"sex" [s-e-x] and the Greek "hex" [h-e-x].
Six units or members
as, an ice-hockey team;
a 6-cylinder engine;
sixfold, six-pack, sixpenny nail, six-
shooter, sixth sense.

"Zero" denotes the absence of all magnitude, the point of departure
in reckoning; the point from which the graduation of a scale
(as of a thermometer) begins;
zero hour,
zeroth,
as, "the zero power of a number."

Zero, the great "there's nothing there" number,
a blast off into a new decade.

2.
Grammar As Hymnal

Seeking solace in a review of grammar, I turned to Strunk & White's
Elements of Style. Standing at attention,
opening to the section on usage, I chanted and sang-
uniting my voice with the voices of others, the vast chorus
of the lovers of English.

We sing of verb tense, past, present and future.
We sing the harmony of simple tenses.
We lift our voice in praise of action words,
and the function of verb tense.

We sing of grammar which is our compass
providing, as it does, clues as to how
we might navigate the future,
at the same time it
illuminates the past.

As a teacher, I talk. That's present.
For 30 years as a teacher, I talked. The past.
It may only be part time, but I will talk. That's future.


3.
Living The Future Perfect

I will have invoked the muse.

I will have remembered to give thanks, knowing our origins
are in the invisible, and that we once possessed boundless energy,
but were formless, and that we are here to know 'the things of the heart
through touching.'*

I will have remembered, too, that there is only one thing
we all possess equally and that is our loneliness.

I will have loved.
You will have loved.
We will have loved.

*Seven Arrows



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