We want to know who we are.
To know who we are,
we have to know who we used to be.
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts.
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in his nurse's arm,
And then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel,
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannons mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose well sav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
San teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
Can you find yourself on that list?
Things change, times change, people change, changes change. I don't like to think about some of the things I've been. But I know that my seven ages didn't particularly follow Shakespeare's plan. After infancy I became the soldier, fighting windmills and worried about my reputation. Then the judge, leveling my opinions right and left. In my 30s I was a crusty relic. One of my friends described me as sitting with a blanket around my shoulders, soaking my feet. That quickly changed in my mid 30' when I became the lover; passionate, jealous, suspicious and writing silly poems. I'm glad that age is over. Then I became the school boy, not unwillingly but zealously. Now I may be sans teeth, but I'm not sans everything. And one thing I know about myself is that I can no longer do some of the things old folks do. I'm not as old as I used to be.
I enjoy writing a lot these days. It must be a sin because I'm having too much fun.
DB - Vagabond Journeys