I was of a mind to begin this post with an apostrophe to human folly. But then I went for an afternoon walk in a blustery mist above the waters (grey and white-capped) of Puget Sound. The wind roared (what else?) in the intricate and empty branches of a row of trees. I realized that the folly was all mine. Who among us is not enmeshed and implicated? Better to think of the days.
'When you stop to consider
The days spent dreaming of a future
And say then, that was my life.'
For the days are long --
From the first milk van
To the last shout in the night,
An eternity. But the weeks go by
Like birds; and the years, the years
Fly past anti-clockwise
Like clock hands in a bar mirror.
Derek Mahon, Selected Poems (Viking/The Gallery Press 1991).
What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?
Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields.
Philip Larkin, The Whitsun Weddings (Faber and Faber 1964).