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The Whips And Scorns Of Time

RonPrice

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Watching a television documentary on Jimmy Carter's presidency("Jimmy Carter: Part 2,"ABC TV, 5:00-6:00 p.m., 23/7/06) and reading Abigail Trafford's article at an internet site from the Washington Post("Presidents Set a Fast Pace," February 9th 1999), I learned of Carter's jogging and walking enthusiasms. This information caused me to reflect on the many presidents, prime ministers and leaders in various fields who enjoy varying regimens of exercise to keep fit and healthy, to overcome illness and different medical and physical problems. I could list here, by category: the walkers, the joggers, the weight-lifters and body-builders, tai-chi and the martial arts, the sports players, the games players, the swimmers, the exercise-treatment-fitness program enthusiasts, the afternoon-sleepers, the special dieters, the supplements and vitamins hopefuls, the home exercise-equipment people, aerobics, bike-riding, the yoga and meditation folk-and there are others. I could also list my own exercise activities and health programs over the years and they would include all of the above at different times going right back to the years of early childhood. -Ron Price, Pioneering Over Four Epochs, July 24th 2006.


I was never a glutton for physical
punishment, exercise and activity,
although I think the daily walk
may prove to possess longevity
along with the daily sleep in the
afternoon or the evening----and,
oh yes, prayer and meditation---

The rest never made the category:
signature of my life, but suffered
the slings & arrows of outrageous
fortune, here today, gone tomorrow,
like that erotic act, as fleeting as wind,
without that longevity, alas and alack,
slipping into a quiet niche with little
role to play in my health on any level.

Those walks & sleeps, though,
that prayer & meditation,
they stood at the centre of my days
as a voice of moderation countering
the excesses, the illnesses, the work,
fatigue, anxiety, the chronic problems
and the thousand natural shocks that
flesh is heir to before the sleep of death
when I will have shuffled off this mortal coil,
bearing the whips & scorns of time no more.1

1 Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1, lines 63-70
Ron Price July 24th 2006.
 

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