Mariners’ Metaphors

Wheels within wheels is self-evidently the structure of the heavens, as this time-lapse of the planet Mars shows

Wheels within wheels is self-evidently the structure of the heavens, as this time-lapse of the planet Mars shows

We human beings have to come to terms with our life, singular, at some point, full stop.

We all die, as has already been said.

“Youth calms down into a river in maturity and goes slipping by still and deep, its body hugely slow, all depth without noise. It swells, spacious and grave, fertilizes the fields, fortifies cities, enriches provinces, and is useful in every way.

“Man comes finally to rest in the ocean of gouty old age, [the] abysm of ailments. There all rivers lose their strength and names and sweetness. By now he is a rotted vessel, taking on water in a hundred places, tossed about by the storms that pull him apart, until he is dashed painfully into the depths of a grave, on the shore of eternal oblivion.”

Baltasar Gracián, A Pocket Mirror for Heroes, ed & trans Christopher Maurer, A Currency Book Published by Doubleday a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, New York, 1996, p. 68.

It is to be admitted, that it is a mixed metaphor, in one form the immortal water cycle and in the next, more penetrant image, a vessel on the shore of eternal oblivion.

Now, there’s all the more reason, straight from a firm believer in the seventeenth-century version of the Papal Superstition [as the Gentle Reader may recall David Hume using to denote Roman Catholicism], to frame an arc to one’s span.

I’m the vessel, set out from Marblehead, Massachusetts on the bark Garibaldi, taking on water from a hundred leaks, battered by storms in every sense of the word.

Filliucius [1566 – 1622], casuist employed by the so-called Holy Office of said Curia of Papal Superstition, cited at the beginning of the Fifth Provincial Letter by another seventeenth century philosopher, the Parisian B. Pascal,

. . . ce trait de Filliucius, qui est de ces vingt-quatre Jésuites : Celui qui s’est fatigué à quelque chose, comme à poursuivre une fille, est obligé de jeûner . . .

So you see (well, those of you who read French will see) the circumstances. Of course that means you compare political protest with pursuit of a woman.

Update 4 January 2015 : Seth Woolley agreed to act as executor of my will. We shook on it.

About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
This entry was posted in Astronomy, Barbara Ellis, Education, Fascism, Friendship, Global, John Schweibert, Pacific Green Party, Permaculture, Police, Seidel, Spiritual life, Uncategorized, Vali Balint, War. Bookmark the permalink.

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