The Teacher Lives

On the Eve of a New Year, the blogosphere is predictably lit up with all sorts of sunni-o-sity. Reformed evangelicalism, just as predictably, joins in the fray (is glorified resolving finally any different regular resolving?). But I prefer the sort of reflecting that thinks after the thoughts of Ecclesiastes, that epistle of straw.

My fire and I, we are both of us dying. For to live is to be dying; to live is to consume life, to use it up; to live is to kill oneself. It may be that the world can be carved up into what lives and what doesn’t, but tonight in the woods, far from the warmth and noise and joy, I doubt this easy taxonomy. It seems to me there is only death and dying–dying and, after it, death. In the house the children are running and laughing; the women are passing a baby and discussing bargains. Uncles are tickling rosy-cheeked kindergarteners, and bubbles are rising to the brims of champagne glasses. If the house throbs with life, it throbs with dying also.

I tug at my pipe. The smoke vanishes. As for me, my days are as grass.

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