Trust not the coming day


Ask not how long you or I will live. Those answers are beyond us. And trust not those who imagine the future by divining entrails or dousing wax. 

Instead, walk with me into the future, full uncertain whether this winter will be our last. By all means, regard the winds of time screaming into the void but hold reality closer: for life is short. Spend no effort in vain imaginings. While we ponder, the present crumbles into nothingness. 

Seize the present; tomorrow will come in its own time. 

Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi finem di dederint, Leuconoe, nec Babylonios temptaris numeros. ut melius, quidquid erit, pati. seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam, quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare Tyrrhenum: sapias, vina liques et spatio brevi spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida aetas: carpe diem quam minimum credula postero. Horace


The medieval celebrations for mid-Summers Eve would be better celebrated this time of year in Southern latitudes. While picking another field clear of St John's Wort (an evil weed here, once thought a door to divining the future, touching it inculcates mild hallucinatory side effects), my mind turned to other ways of imagining the future such as Lampadomancy (divination by candles and lamps - from Saxon times those seeking knowledge of their fortunes sent candles in tiny floating boats across farm ponds - fire is wet) and the druidic Carromancy (divination by the coagulation of dripping hot wax in water). Of course there are a multitude of 'mancies including the relatively harmless art of Oinomancy (divination by wine instead of wort) and the more risky Sciomancy (divination by shadows).

Horace's answer to such nonsense came to mind while thus thinking of the new year, and recalling the solution to the old pagan riddle in Exeter 72: 

I was a young woman and an old woman and a solitary warrior at the same time. I flew with birds, swam in the water, went below the waves and was dead with the fish. I stepped on land and had a living soul.


Rodri said…
Thank you Peter Quinton. Fotographer, roman and poetry. Artist. Your fan Francis from Barcelona, Catalonia, Europe.

Popular Posts