The Inner Struggle

Our Revels Now Are Ended

Leonard Cohen, 1984

Our Revels now are ended: These our actors,
(As I foretold you) were all Spirits, and
Are melted into Ayre, into thin Ayre,
And like the baselesse fabricke of this vision
The Clowd-capt Towres, the gorgeous Palaces,
The solemne Temples, the great Globe it selfe,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And like this insubstantiall Pageant faded
Leave not a racke behinde: we are such stuffe
As dreames are made on …Rounded with a sleepeThe Tempest Act 4, scene 1, 148–158

A year ago my mother died.  Whatever she may have made of her life she had decided that it was time to depart – at 92 – with all her things in order, no more lingering, just told the doctors to take out the tubes and stop trying to prolong her misery – “I’m done!  I’m ready to go!  Just let me go!”  A stubborn woman but also a very forgiving woman. A widow for over 30 years.  92 years is about as much as almost anyone gets and then what?

If this life is all there is then it is really pretty pathetic. If this life IS in fact just a training exercise, then eternity to think on how one conducted oneself. If this is all there is, then what is the point? If this is all there is then we live on as cowards because we lack the courage to end this pointless coil of excreting and breathing and destroying everything around us. The triumph of the banal. Unless this is just a training exercise, in which case there is much to hope for.  Right or wrong I find it a comfort.

She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
— To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.  — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)




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