At Sixty

14 November 2008

Sixty is no eschatological age,
but a breathing pause
after a good run.
Sixty is no end and no beginning,
but a hyperbolic notwithstanding,
a parable of sowing and reaping,
a metaphor of memories.
Too early for farewells,
too late for apprehensions,
less heroic than at twenty.
No, ya no me malogro,
ni nadie me quita lo bailado.
Twice thirty is twice lived
and somehow doubly young,
full of projects still and appetite,
free of many certainties,
while cherishing a few illusions,
hopes of peace and justice —
mellowed in my judgment,
knowing that one knows so little,
reconciled with this realization,
eager for adventures new,
without quite grasping at the stars,
but with enduring awe of all Creation.
Or, il faut servir l’Eternel avec joie!*
Grateful for the senses —
for the gentle touch of a caressing hand,
for the myriad tastes and smells,
the miracle of flowers
tulips, daffodils and hyacinths,
the mysteries of flavours
cinnamon and salt,
the sounds of strings and trumpets,
Schubert, Brahms, Beethoven
singing in the choir —
hearing Carla play the piano —
just for me.
Enjoying the magic of a smile
and the release of laughter.
No longer trying to understand love,
happy enough to let it happen,
cultivating it through words
and body language –
Birdsongs in the garden!
sunsets on the Jura!
Bless the splendour of the eye,
kaleidoscope of colours!
Ihr gl?cklichen Augen,
Was je ihr gesehn,
Es sei, wie es wolle,
Es war doch so sch?n!*"
Thankful for true friendships,
ready to forgive and be forgiven:
Et dimitte nobis debita nostra
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.
The cosmic quest for truth continues,
with Faustian perseverance
and a striving for redemption,
even if by grace and undeserved –
for, indeed:
Wer immer strebend sich bem?ht,
den k?nnen wir erl?sen!** "
Lord, I’ve had a good run
jolly good,
and I’m ready for more—
Fe y adelante!

* Psalm 100, vers 5
** Goethe, Faust zweiter Teil, Akt V, Tiefe Nacht, Vers 11300-03
*** Vers 11936-37.

(c) Alfred de Zayas
Bourgogne in June 2007