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This is intensely poignant. It really hits home at my age. Striking that such a young man wrote it. But then apart from the reference to wrinkles it could refer to any time of life when one knows that the remainder is not so very long.

Well, that's about what I was going to say, but I'll add this.

At 67, it seems a bit amusing that a person would think that way at 35, but while I don't think it began that young for me--for one thing I was pregnant when I was 35, and so something was beginning--I was probably thinking that way 10 years later--15 at the most, and now that seems silly. I've had a whole different stage of my life since I was 50.


When I was in my late 20s I was depressed because Keats was already dead at my age. That kind of thinking is always in a sense applicable, but it sure gets a lot more so once you're past 60 or so, depending on what you wanted or expected to do with your life. I feel sorry for athletes and beauty queens and others whose physical attributes are so essential but which fade so soon.

I remember around 35 a friend of the same age saying that he was bothered by the fact that he couldn't expect to make many more fresh starts.

I'm going to say this, although it will sound pietistic.

We simply don't know what astonishing, beautiful thing or things we have accomplished or will accomplish in this brief, tempestuous life. And it is good for us that we don't know.

Keats was not me and did not achieve whatever it is that I've achieved. Maybe he is in a place to know what I have done and is saying, "Wow. Wow."

Of course, I often ask myself, "Why have I done so little good?" I'm in good company. Even St. Francis said to his brothers as he was dying, “Let us begin, brothers, to serve the Lord God, for up until now we have done little or nothing.”

Well said.

I certainly realize that my comparison of myself to Keats was foolish. Even now, though, I'm still not entirely free of the desire for some kind of worldly approval.

Me,too. Which is why I have to repeat this to myself.

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