Auld Lang Syne… Just Move On

During my long car ride to the eastern seaboard a few days ago, I was able to wile away many hours by scribbling.  Among other things, I ground out a poem answering an invitation to attend my high school class’s forty-fifth reunion.  I’ve posted the whole poem under a pseudonym on another site.  None of my quondam classmates will read it there… and none will read the final fragment here.  (When I notified the whole group of a book I’d published through Smashwords two summers ago, four said that they had bought or would buy a copy, not knowing that I’m automatically informed of sales.  There was one purchase.)  The poem’s first part represents the invitation, full of “school spirit” and almost clad in a letter-jacket.  This brief portion is my answer:

Appreciate the thought

(If no more deep it went

Than matching roster spots

With invitations sent).

 

Someone of your name once

Knew someone who had mine.

Their boyhood, by a chance,

Shared common place and time.

 

They went their separate ways…

Or one stayed, one left town.

With him, he took my name—

But ditched his cap and gown.

 

And how he sought his god,

And what truth found him bare

And dressed him for the road—

That’s nothing I will share.

 

The boy I was is dead—

The one you thought you knew.

Your kindly card was read

To something in a tomb.

 

Me, I remain alive—

But not where beads are pearls.

Appreciate your time.

Right name, but not right world.

 

 

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Author: nilnoviblog

I hold a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (Latin/Greek) but have not navigated academe very successfully for the past thirty years. This is owed partly to my non-PC place of origin (Texas), but probably more to my conviction--along with the ancients--that human nature is immutable, and my further conviction--along with Stoics and true Christians-- that we have a natural calling to surmount our nature. Or maybe I just don't play office politics well. I'm much looking forward to impending retirement, when I can tend to my orchards and perhaps market the secrets of Dead Ball hitting that I've excavated. No, there's nothing new (nil novi) under the sun... but what a huge amount has been forgotten, in baseball and elsewhere!

4 thoughts on “Auld Lang Syne… Just Move On”

  1. “None of my quondam classmates will read it there… and none will read the final fragment here. ” Hate to say it, but you are wrong this time. I traveled to your blog from the link on the “other site” and enjoy reading your rambles.

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    1. So how do YOU feel about the occasional bid to round everyone up again after a coon’s age… and then the guys, especially, start to vie with each other to see who can recover that sixteen-year-old form most convincingly? I can understand old buddies wanting to see each othwr again–but why try to fill a room full of ppl that you haven’t spoken to in almost half a century? What’s the objective there?
      Thanks for keeping an eye on me. I wouldn’t have sent a flare in your direction if I were thinking of you as part of “the bunch”.

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      1. That’s OK. I couldn’t resist the urge to surface on this one. I always thought of myself as kind of an associate member of “the bunch” anyway.

        The occasional roundup is, of course, at least partly at the school’s prompting at the magic 5 year multiples, so it’s an admittedly artificial social occasion. I have never liked parties, but have come to realize that my expectations of people in those settings have tended to be unrealistic. Maybe because I don’t really care about looking my age (or worse, maybe), what you describe doesn’t bother me much at all. Everyone looks old, mostly because they are. There is a certain human interest in finding out what the lives of people whom I only knew as teenagers (and with rare exceptions haven’t kept up with) turned out to be now that we are all AARP-eligible, and letting them in on what has happened to me as well. And we had a more or less shared set of experiences, for what that is worth. Although there are certainly significant limitations on what benefits can be expected from such an occasion, every 5 or 10 years it is interesting enough to be arguably worthwhile. And life is funny – you never know when you might cross paths with somebody again farther down the road.

        As long ago as those experiences were, I do feel connected to the person I was back then. Granted, that version was Me 1.7 and now that I’m Me 6.1, the resemblance is murky at best, and there have been a lot of life-defining events since then that change a person’s perspective for good. But I think both of those people are Me, and revisiting that earlier version sometimes reminds me of things that are still true about myself.

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      2. Your sentiments are entirely reasonable, really… which leaves me wondering why I don’t share them. The truth is that I’ve lived at least four distinct lives, and the first–my childhood–is most distant and impervious to memory. I NEVER think about those days. It’s kind of pathological, I suppose; and to say something like, “My previous lives are all unconnected,” also resembles the declaration of some twisted immoralist who has changed his values like a chameleon changing colors. My principles are probably the ONLY vein that I see running consistently thru my years… and I find that ppl from those other worlds never recognize that side of me, but instead remember some act or remark of mine that I find completely random and usually suspect of being made up. I hate that–I really hate it. “You claim to have known me, but you bring up this stupid joke I’m supposed to have made and pin that to my old face now–while you never had any idea what was going on inside of me, and didn’t ask? And aren’t really asking, even now?” I hate that. I’d run from it like the plague.

        Follow my blog at https://nilnoviblog.wordpress.com/

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