“There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.“ — George Santayana
Santayana was a Harvard professor who personally influenced a long list of people who in turn became influential themselves. People like Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, Walter Lippmann, Gertrude Stein, G. E. Moore, Wallace Stevens and others. So the way he spent his interval seemed pretty substantive and consequential. He demonstrated that we can enjoy our time while also making the most of it.
So sure, they say that life is what we make of it. But on the surface this feels somewhat simplistic, given the general indifference of the universe towards our feelings on the matter of our fragile egos. Through the fair and unfair, the rituals and routines, the obligations and distractions, the magical and the mundane, we all choose and have choices imposed on us. In the end, or rather, in the interval, it’s all in the way we play the game, despite everything thrown at us along the way.
Knowing we’ve hit this lottery of birth in our time and place, we ought to be fully aware of this moment and the opportunity it represents for us. I might have written a version of that phrase a hundred times now in this blog. Be assured it’s a reminder to myself more than a call to action for others. A reminder that, in the end, this interval is all we’ve got to work with.