It was yesterday that my
friend Alan told me casually
That his wife Lana had decided
Though Lana’s retirement has
been a conversation
Between us for the last few
Yesterday’s news gave me a pained
Its abruptness transmitting
a cool disturbance through the spine,
As deep within me I thought
she would not have liked to retire,
Unless confronted with
the absurdities of life.
But this logical supposition
may be exactly
What was not in her mind when
she decided to take the retirement.
Against life we are all bumbling
There is no definition of wisdom
as applied to the conduct of human life.
Every golden rule of life is
subject to debate.
What is life? - or, what
is valuable in it, has been
A question tossed to every generation
With varying answers and variable
Depending on whose interpretation
Why does anyone retire when
a lifetime has been invested
In the pursuit and development
of worldly work? -
When one does not know any other
way to live.
These questions remain unanswered,
As life fights its easy
Lana spent eighteen years in
N.J. school system,
Teaching rich kids languages
and other fine subjects.
She found a strong bond with
her work –
As she is inclined to
form with anything she does with good reason.
Years of teaching sowed in her
the seeds of seeing
The possibilities in the
Which lay inherently in their
Unexplored and underdeveloped.
Teaching also sometimes opens
In teachers’ minds, on a different
life, on a different world.
Replanting herself in Florida,
Lana is conjuring a different
calm, painting a different scene,
Which may engender a state of
Conducive to writing –
A fragile but surviving emotion
A subliminal ambition daring
to leap out now for fruition -
A veiled agenda well hidden
She thinks she can push to a
Her sprawling family and get
The torment of a
She wants to contemplate Florida’s
and her life’s horizon.
(While Alan will count the coins
And measure up Floridian
Though he will be unable to
stay in Florida too long,
Because of its philistine and
Apart from all the dreaming which
a retirement triggers,
Isn’t it after all an assiduous
planning of the ultimate retirement?
Isn’t compartmentalizing and
packaging of the last part of our lives the ultimate hypocrisy?
Why should we try to change
ourselves, change the way we know best to live?
Why don’t we accept the nature’s
And feel as a dancing
bubble of protoplasm destined to burst,
Feel the nature in us and cherish
But the conventional drama of
May hold the ultimate wisdom.
Human life can not be lived
by facts only,
It is very much dependant on
emotion and metaphor.
Man’s worldly life is a rattling
of a hollow tin can:
Confined, programmatic, materialistic.
Retirement creates an opportunity
to get away from these and more:
It gives a taste of freedom
though not necessarily freedom itself,
One can live in a cocoon and
confine oneself to things close to one’s heart,
Attempt to do things which were
frivolous on world’s watch,
Meditate on the mystery of human
Or feel the curve of water
below the sail-boat,
Write on the absurdities of
life one experienced
And unabashedly espouse
You can walk on a Floridian beach
and smooth step into a reverie
On the bending horizon afar,
Contemplate the surface tension
of water holding the sand below your feet,
Swim into your childhood,
Seeing new meaning in
the old unsophisticated notions,
Try catching a rainbow without
looking at your watch,
Put your head on a pillow of
Transcending into sleep,
More refreshing than a walk
through an aromatic, flowered meadow.
The possibility of reaching back
to your roots which the world blocked,
The chance to be yourself and
not become one of its programs,
The retirement does hold opportunities
to liberate oneself from the worldly cage,
To contemplate the universe,
to enjoy the beat of one’s heart.
Lana, you have done the right
You are attempting to arrive
at a liberation from the world.