I finished re-reading Moby Dick this week. Here’s something from Chapter 132: The Symphony:
There is no steady unretracing progress in this life; we do not advance through fixed gradations, and at the last one pause: â€” through infancy’s unconscious spell, boyhood’s thoughtless faith, adolescence’s doubt (the common doom), then scepticism, then disbelief, resting at last in manhood’s pondering repose of If. But once gone through, we trace the round again; and are infants, boys, and men, and Ifs eternally. Where lies the final harbor, whence we unmoor no more? In what rapt ether sails the world, of which the weariest never weary? Where is the foundling’s father hidden? Our souls are like those orphans whose unwedded mothers die in bearing thme: the secret of our paternity lies in their grave, and we must there to learn it.
This talk of life’s cycles reminds me that I should write about last weekend’s 20-year high school reunion. Problem is, I was coming down with this bounceback cold during that time, so my recollection’s a bit addled. I’m pretty sure I didn’t say anything embarrassing, but I likely made some remarks that sounded pompous. How could I not?
The first person I saw reminded me that I stabbed him in the hand with a pencil when we were 12. The second person told me he still remembers how I was cracking jokes after punching a hole in the base of my index finger with a glass tube in chemistry class when we were 16. (It was quite a scene; one of the girls in our class almost fainted from my blood loss.) I don’t recall any other stories of manual violence, but I did enjoy chatting with people I hadn’t seen since before the Berlin Wall fell.