You Got Style
· Pointed Takes on Style Delineated ·
March 8, 2007
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· On Aging — De Facto and De Jure Style ·
So I have thought to trade up some today. Happily, my chance comes on my son Suave's birthday, his thirtieth. You may remember Suave from Standing Firm on Ceremony and A Lonerganian Précis — when he married Dr. Saavy — and from Valentine's Day Music and Space and Transcendence in Bach's Fantasia in G — when he was more musical. Nowadays Suave is a law student.
I'm the one aging now, and he wisely explaining — and agreeably so.
What I've in mind is Suave's LSAT essay, which I found last week on my desk. What luck, I thought — ready to reach for a bottle of Geritol, I have found much better "literary medicine." Though I've read thousands of such essays (but only at the pre-freshman level), to find one at the graduate level is welcome relief indeed.
Here's what Suave faced in a key moment of his twenty-somethingness. What do you think you'd write in reply?
Clear relief, acceptance, understanding, bald wit, and even stylish insight. Agreed?
So, to all you freshmen, Back to the Future!*Permalink
Now that it is established that "We must inevitably age," let us determine the meaning of the larger question — "What does it mean to age?"
The prosaic answer — intended here from the get-go — largely depends upon your "age."
From your question, I'd fancy you're now heading — though I don't mean to pry — with added velocity toward "sapped energy."
Inasmuch as I'm proctoring a freshman final here, others may well answer "increasing wisdom."
Yet as W. B. Yeats says, since "Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing / For every tatter in its mortal dress," I'm rooting for "clapping and singing."
"And time future contained in time past"?
Indeed, as Robert Frost once explained: "It is this backwards motion toward the source, / Against the stream, that most we see ourselves in."
(I'm sorry for my week's delay — I've just been visiting Charleston, the coastal city whose future is constantly secured by evoking its own storied past.)
I wish you would please take your medicine, step back up to the keyboard, and compose us an elixer of insightful words that will enable the transition of acting one's age . . . instead of acting like one's shoe size.
Do you have a perscription for removing one's foot from one's mouth?
I appreciate your sidelong praise, assuming I've an "elixer" to share, but orthographically, I've no real "perscription" handy. I'm on sabbatical.
(Suave and I just yesterday hot-footed it around my attic preparing to replace my aging roof this summer — a necessary project, one preoccupying my attention now. I'll be back in the fall.)
And so I am, celebrating another anniversary and marking yet another birthday, my 64th. (You maybe half-expected the step.)
I'm also announcing my retirement here — since my half-year sabbatical has put a lively new spring in my step, which I thought to simulate exponentially.
On Aging — De Facto and De Jure Style
Scholarly, Critical, Theoretical Academic Librarianship, Leon Howard Style
Figures & Tropes
Grammar & Syntax