“The old order changeth, yielding place to new..” wrote Alfred, Lord Tennyson in the “The Passing of Arthur” from his “Idylls of the King”.
There comes a time in life when you realise things cannot go on the way they have been, and it is time to make a stand … Well a stand of some sort at least – because careful consideration makes you realise what you would like to do actually is not physically and logistically feasible, leave alone the moral and ethical considerations.
Sometime Saturday (July 3, 2011) I was dwelling on my situation and I realised it was precisely like one the good Inspector Salvo Montalbano found himself in… I have shared this before, but do again because it is quite illuminating….
~~There comes a moment, he thought when you realise your life has changed. But when did it happen, you ask yourself. And you have no answer. Unnoticed events kept accumulating until, one day, a transformation occurred – or perhaps they were perfectly visible events, whose importance and consequences, however, you never took into account. You ask yourself over and over, but the answer ‘when’ never comes. As if it mattered!……
(The Snack Thief, pg 247 – Picador edition)
So like him, I will not dwell on the temporal aspects but on the wider issues of change….
As I was saying, there is a time when the inevitable realisation sinks in that the old way of life has long gone and any attempts to continue it are not only futile, but even potentially hazardous.
I look around and only see the now evasive and recalcitrant ways of almost all companions of the bygone days – save one or two honourable exceptions, the habit of forming restrictive cliques, the almost criminal and unforgivable indifference by those who would have reason to be more forthcoming…. but why should I occupy myself in reciting this litany of grave misdemeanours and lese-majeste? It will suffice to say that it is time all this is left behind in the dark periods left in the wake of time’s inexorable march.
What did I do? Well, the Book of Job (29:15) (Old Testament, King James Version) offers a good explantion but let it go. I like to think that my services were a combination of a counsellor, a confessor (of the Jesuit order, I like to think), a supplier (don’t even ask what all), the Warden of the Marches – well a border guard, more likely….. and all by default. I, on my own, thought I was a mixture of a pathfinder and a pontifex (what the word actually means…. not the meaning it has now acquired).
But, as I saw to my chagrin, it was all futile – as most human endeavours turn out to be. My intention was not recompense or renown – or even recognition of the efforts but a certain reciprocity, even though asymetrical. That was never forthcoming even when I sought as a favour, not as a due. Well, they say gratitude is ephemeral and they are definitely right….
That was all what had happened and I – as this year began – thought it was the time when all this should be consigned to the oblivion of the past and a new start made. On reflection, I thought that it was wiser to wait and watch for some time in case there are any changes…… It is more equitable and suits my maxim of not condemning anyone unheard or without a chance to make amends.
And so I waited…. all through the winter, the spring, the summer – both the tolerable hot and dry season and now into the infernal hot and humid – certainly too long – variant, the monsoon…..
To be continued…..