Food and Drink and Magic Spells
I spent some time in the first month of 2018 wandering around in Portugal, and a memorable evening in Lisbon sampling port with some of my co-workers. Within a week of sipping this port I was no longer working at the company that paid for my trip to Portugal. I have no regrets about my departure. Eleven months later I rarely think about the company, but I often think of Portugal.
Life is a dance, and libations have a way of liberating the timid from their restraints. Our dance with life is all too brief, so best to celebrate the stuff of it in every moment. Indeed, as Marcus Aurelius wrote, “... with food and drink and magic spells. [We’re all] Seeking some novel way to frustrate death.”
I write about death more than I figured I would when I started this blog, and not because I’m particularly obsessed with it, but rather because I’ve grown to accept stoicism as a guiding force in my life. I’ve been reading and re-reading Meditations in 2018, and I expect I’ll come back to it again in whatever time I have left ahead of me. I was a stoic before I really understood what that meant, living in the moment, accepting fate (for the most part), and knowing as the Scots do what lies ahead of us:
“Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time deid” – Scottish Proverb
Raising a glass of port is different from wine or beer. It’s a spirit that demands savoring, and I willingly rose to the occasion with my co-worker Jim, splitting a flight of port with him on a memorable evening in Lisbon. Having a few drinks in faraway places isn’t exactly unique, nor is savoring good and drink and magic spells, as the Bible too points out:
“Let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die.” – Isaiah 22:13
Food and drink are only part of the story, of course. Good health and a sound mind are larger factors in the year ahead and serve to temper the desire to live in the moment. 2018 has been a little too moment-focused and not enough fitness-focused. Burpees and step counts are good indicators of a commitment to progress. Consistency must follow the act of committing.
“Our minds are bodies are meant to be allied in the quest for a better relationship with life.” – Don Miquel Ruiz
As we wrap up 2018 and look to the year ahead, I’m struck by just how challenging the year was in so many ways. And yet it was a very good year. Looking ahead to 2019, it’s clear that America and the world will face more challenges still. And so it shall be. Embracing a little more stoicism helps bring the New Year in focus.
“Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now take what’s left and live it properly.” – Marcus Aerulius
I’ll take that advice and run with it. Live properly with a commitment to career, fitness, strengthening the mind and of course savoring the moments along the way. Every moment is magic, and if this blog has documented anything it’s my commitment to finding it in the past and present in every place I go. Cheers.