The Hare's dream

What a day it has been.
How well deserved the rest!
The Hare will dream so sweetly now
By summer moonlight blest.

Images of beauty,
Inebriating bliss.
One can travel far-a-meadow
But there's nought as fine
As this.

Quelle journée on a eu
Quel repos bien mérité!
 Le Lièvre fera de beaux rêves
Au clair de la lune d'été.

Images de beauté,
Enchantement grisant.
On peut voyager des prés
Mais rien ne le vaut autant.

The Hare's dream. The relief after having accomplished a demanding project. Or that of having come through reasonably well an experience that one had qualms about. The merited, much needed repose, at least until another ordeal looms up on the horizon.

An alternative dream could be the mirage of retirement. That at last it will bring the freedom and opportunities required to realise all the things hitherto postponed that one had always planned to do.

But others (fortunate enough?) never even imagine that Edenic oasis. They never even retire at all. They work all the more frantically, fully aware that precious time is running out..!

Recently I was sent a chart regarding retirement. It was from the Economist, entitled 'Fun with Pensions'. 'The burden of increased longevity in the rich world'.

It first refers to the plans of the new French President, François Hollande, to revert to the retirement age of 60, instead of respecting the modest age increase planned by his predecessor to an official retirement age of 62.
It states that in 1970 the average Frenchmen entering retirement could expect to live for just over ten years. Now he could expect to live for another 23 years.

Assuming, without any conviction whatsoever, that it's economically feasible, and that the average Frenchman would be content to stop work at 60 and to do virtually nothing for an average of 23 years, how would one intelligently contend with this?

It's a tragic illusion to believe that retirement will bring the rewards that one is deprived of by actually working. In fact it follows that if one feels deprived by working, one would feel deprived by living. Retirement won't bring any relief or contentment to those who have never bothered to try to accomplish anything worthwhile, or have never been satisfied in life.

The following allusions may already have been made elsewhere in Viewfinder, but I once asked a woman of a certain age (certainly well over Holland's irresponsible choice of retirement age) what the secret was of her enduring blossom and youth. She immediately replied, "Work." In her case she was also referring to menial work.
For everything is relative. Whatever one does, one should do it well, therefore with pride, personal engagement, and whenever possible, also with love. Without such commitment, there's no life, so retirement won't change anything other than prolong the dull, self-inflicted misery.

I also referred to a mason who started work at the age of 14. He is now almost ninety and still has the hands of an artist. He's still capable of squaring stone perfectly, and building beautiful walls with the same confidence, love and dedication. To watch him work is a joy and a privilege.

To pander to the frustrated, adding to their delusions, treating them as an unfortunate, exploited mass of miserable moutons, instead of encouraging them to lift up their heads and give the best of themselves as individuals for as long as they can, is pushing them further down into the abysmal mire of deception.

But for those who still call themselves socialists, (which today is totally meaningless) perpetuating the caricature of imagined misery of those who 'profess' to painfully work whilst being oppressed, exploited and even 'bled dry' by the 'cruel, tyrannical directorate', also perpetuates their political reason of being. As such their political survival seems to depend directly on the imagined misery of others. A myth that they consciously perpetuate. It's a mild form of totalitarianism. They thrive on feigning to care for those foolish enough to believe in them. As long as they can pretend to be altruistic, (the essential part of the disease they constantly nurture) the noble heart of their noble cause will continue to nobly throb.

We digress, but such are the times, whilst the Hare is miles away enjoying the most perfect, peaceful and well deserved repose in sublime surroundings.
A moonlit scene of satisfaction. Having accomplished his duty, his engagements or his works of merit, and having celebrated the achievement fittingly.

The knowledge that one has nothing to prove to anyone but oneself, and that if one were 'Hare' today and gone tomorrow, it wouldn't essentially matter.
The knowledge that what one continues to try to accomplish with the same love and dedication for the rest of one's life, are extra gifts from the Gods, fabulous bonuses and surprises, certainly for the creator.

Perhaps like the contented Hare, one would never have previously thought it possible. Blest with the secret of eternal youth, to be able to carry on with the same confidence and ability, even to the extent of actually continuing to progress and evolve, and this for as long as one is accorded the precious gift of life.!

Doggerel, text and illustration © Mirino. June, 2012

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