The Mirror of Life

Submitted by Charles Knighton
Contemplation is a solitary pursuit

Contemplation is a solitary pursuit – Il Cantone

The Advocate’s editorial of August 2, Barbadians among world’s fattest raises an intriguing possibility. Is the purported rise in sea level threatening Barbados the result of global warming, or is it just possible Barbados is sinking under its own weight?

On the Editor’s Page of the same issue, Mr. Nigel Wallace’s musings on the passage of time struck a resonant chord, though from someone probably twice Mr. Wallace’s age, as his perspective on various issues leads me to believe he is probably in his early thirties.

Contemplation being the solitary pursuit it is, I can never be sure if others share similar thoughts, though the universality we all share as human beings leads me to believe we do, even though each of us may express these thoughts differently.

Our youth evaporates in our early 40s when we look in the mirror. And then it becomes a full-time job pretending you’re not going to die, and then you accept that you will die. Then in your 50s everything seems very thin. And then suddenly you’ve got this huge new territory inside you, which is the past, which wasn’t there before. A new source of strength. Then that may not be so gratifying to you as the 60s begin, but then I find that in your 60s, everything begins to look sort of slightly magical again, and it’s imbued with a kind of leave-taking resonance, that it’s not going to be around very long, this world, so it begins to look poignant and fascinating.

16 comments

  • Quite enjoyed this submission. It deeply resonated and is enormous food for thought.

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  • NO STRUCTURE
    NO SEQUENCE
    NO SUBSTANCE

    NO MARKS!

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  • @GP

    Why don’t you leave Charles alone. You are not in a classroom. The man has shared an observation/insight.

    On 3 August 2013 15:29, Barbados Underground

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  • and i have shared my opinion
    this is still allowed on BU, right?

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  • Of course GP, in true Professor style why not markup the paper for the benefit of onlookers?…lol

    On 3 August 2013 15:42, Barbados Underground

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  • While petcoke is useful in the energy-creation market, it also creates high amounts of pollution when used. When burned and released into the air, petroleum coke releases mercury, lead, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and general soot particles that inhibit breathing, especially in people with health conditions that leave them sensitive to the pollution. There are laws designed to reduce the amount of air pollution released and make it safer for people living in areas where petroleum coke is used.
    sorry to interject but on topic of health 8n st lucy near arawk plant i thought people should see this.
    pet coke is being used as fuel by arawak

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  • Possibly the worst submission of all time
    Agree with GP (as much as I dislike to)

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  • the structure is life
    the substance is time
    the sequence is how do we join both life and time together learning from the past and applying it to the present in meaningful ways as we approached the end of life”s journey, .

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  • Perhaps we need to secure life for the generations to come…perhaps we should not be thinking only of ourselves as we approach the end of life’s journey…perhaps we should sign this petition in the hopes that our aging government can see their way to help in the final solution so that at least, as we pass on, we can do so in the knowledge that we leave behind an amazing legacy – a clean Barbados with health reigning supreme with our soil, our water, our seas and mostly our people.

    “We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice or kindness in general. Action is always specific, concrete, individualized, unique.” Benjamin Jowett

    http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/CLEAN_UP_BARBADOS_NO_TO_MONSANTO_YES_TO_ORGANIC/?fcAByeb&pv=2

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  • there is something intriguing about this article, it makes one want to reflect on life’s journey .the pluses and the minuses. how ones day to day activity would leaving a lasting legacy and a rejuvenation of mind body and spirit to new generations for years come.
    it makes one not want only to be a silent partner but a vessel that is laden with all the positive things in life that would make the world a better place for all.
    it makes one comes to terms that life indeed is fragile and seemingly complex but within these complexities there still room for simplicity
    this article deserves FULL MARKS

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  • This is a road that many of us must travel whether or not we want acknowledge it. I am surprised at GP’s surliness and childish response.

    Just asking this article is beyond your intelligence and your sheepish response was expected.

    Interesting take Rosemary

    AC you have blown me away with this very insightful response.

    Rubes you are not only RUDE you are way out of line.

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  • @ island gal I too was a bit surprised in GP dismissive response to the article. However it is telling that old age might have finally catch up with him meaning that his tolerance level might be the culprit of him giving such response.
    Yes island gal I do have a deep respect and regard for life and it complexies

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  • not too many people would want to reflect on life as what one sees would be a reflections of the things one perceived were right only now in old age to discover that we were wrong. what a rude awakening that would be, but also a high possibility being given of a second chance of righting the wrongs , What an advantage, life indeed is precious and forgiving with Time.

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  • @Caswell

    But Caswell simple logic indicates that the tenets of democracy are in sark contrast to the autocracies and theocracies found in that part of the world you compare. Don’t we allow people from that part of he world to coexist in our societies and at the same time practice their customs and indingenous behaviors? Again where is you logic we ask.

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  • Irrespective of where any two people stand in front of the same mirror (of life) they will see completely different things.

    So, Charles’ mirror seems to see a calm transition through these times and an acquisition (of wisdom???) as one moves up,through this band of life

    I however will bring a different perspective for his consideration

    Imagine me, working for 40 plus years in the subways of London or NT, absorbing all the crap doled out to us foreigners, to acquire pension, social security and all of that.

    Or wukking in the cane field at *** plantation, missing that cane cutter of the year award for 30 years and coming home to my pension computed on the best months salary to a house which after 30 years is now mine and which, because it it out of inferior pine from the Barbados Lumber company, now needs to be replaced using money i cannot have in these my twilight years

    That brings me to 55+, jaded by the real experience of life that (Charles and other ??) denizens in the heights, can never appreciate.

    Imagine that, 40 overseas wukking hard to sen home $$ or pounds to a contractor who sends me pictures of the progress on my palace, pictures that the thief has taken of other people’s homes, and when i com back at 60+ i come and see the robbery that i have been subjected to.

    Imagine the mental agony while spend the last 15 years of my life languishing through the incompetence of Justice Marston Gibson and his bank of merry men at the law courts, Marston the man that we are saddled with for a few years,,compliments of Fumble Stuart.

    Thank you Fumble

    Watch me at 70+, fighting with the piddling pension to pay the land taxes that Wayne Forde et al at the Land tax department increase every year, buying biscuits and sardines at any store other than Cost U More or Price mart.

    These be the stores that were to be “cheaper alternatives for us Bajans, oh yes this is truly an idylic existence that Charles references above

    And when, during those years of sagacity,get ill, watch as i go into the QEH to suffer at the hands of the doctors and nurse Hilda who, in intoning the Hippocratic oath, had their fingers crossed when saying “I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice”.

    Oh yes Georgie Porgie, i am inclined to agree with you on one of your points but for entirely different reasons as such relates to “disconnected” and “fanciful” content.

    As you get older, you start to realize that there is a class of people who, as one of the more reasoned men on this site, recently said are to be counted counted among those “who know not, and know they know not for they are fools, shun them”

    This article should not be titled “The Mirror of Life” but “A Tale of Two Cities” which fo underscore the pervasive disconnect between one section of this society of the haves and the other 70% for whom the prospects of living, and enjoying, the golden years in this my BIM, are decreasing each day.

    Thank you Fumble, Sinckliar and Seethru.

    Oh yes GP I will leave this with you this Ecclesiastes 12:4 “And the doors shall be shut in the streets (your eyes grow dim), when the sound of the grinding is low (your teeth fall out unless you get a teeth job like George Payne), and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird (your “hammer” does not respond to the ministrations of the females), and all the daughters of music shall be brought low (you can no longer hear due to failing otoliths)

    It would appear that you GP, with seeming Canute-like power, are invested with the power to say to Father Time, as Canute did with the sea, “come no further”

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  • But as time quickly approaches and we end this life,s journeythe haves cannot rejoice for with all that they have accumulated they must leave it all behind and even though the same cannot be said for the havenots. life does have a way making us all equal if only by death

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