ON THINGS WE DISCOVER AS WE AGE
Life receives too many adjectives, but life it’s a verb, that it unfolds as we live, uncertainty a first, in childhood, and at our youth undecided, and shy, as we mature during our third decade we choose this, or that, hoping it will work out to reveal what we think we are, on the beginning of the fourth decade we tune, and correct course if in need of, asserting, and throwing out, what we believe of no use, friends, relationships, jobs, locations, and whatnot.
By the course when we arrive to the last years, we can see with clarity, the result from our work, and we can correct, and straighten certain things out, not all of them, since in life you cannot go back, only try again for new routes, different tactics to our general strategy, now hard to change into something else, since we start reaping the result from our past decisions, fortune or our luck, brings to our feet, what is in store for us, the assets, and our mistakes, good, and bad, realizing we need to work a lot on our shortcomings, since we are beginning to see with some clarity, that our fourth decade, will be on us soon, and with more difficulty will be too late to change course, and achieve gain.
It’s said that at Forty Two, we have reached finally full maturity, sort like be able to take stock from our situation, and make a balance, and see with some clarity what it’s ahead of us, like the famous opening words from Dante’s first chant:
“Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura ché la diritta via era smarrita…”
“Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.
Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say
What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
Which in the very thought renews the fear.
So bitter is it, death is little more;
But of the good to treat, which there I found,
Speak will I of the other things I saw there.
The dark forest–selva oscura–in which Dante finds himself at the beginning of the poem (Inf. 1.2) is described in vague terms, perhaps as an indication of the protagonist’s own disorientation. The precise nature of this disorientation–spiritual, physical, psychological, moral, political–is itself difficult to determine at this point and thus underscores two very important ideas for reading this poem: first, we are encouraged to identify with Dante (the character) and understand knowledge to be a learning process; second, the poem is carefully structured so that we must sometimes read “backwards” from later events to gain a fuller understanding of what happened earlier.
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