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Thursday, 1 December 2011

Shedding Leaves with Marcus Aurelius

Excuse me, have you dropped something? 

Look beneath the surface: never let a thing's intrinsic quality or worth escape you.
     I have a thing about Marcus Aurelius. I was introduced to his meditations when I was a charming adolescent at the rocky heights of wisdom and humility. Something of his voice must've penetrated my thick skull because I still have his book and he turns up now when I most require his Soundness.
     Men exist for each other, he says. Then either improve them or put up with them. These are fine thoughts to hold on to when things get irritating on public transport.
     Marcus Aurelius understands the Immediate. He appreciates transformation and our tiny role in the greater cycle. Only a little while, he says, and Nature, the universal disposer, will change everything you see, and out of their substance will make fresh things, and yet again others from theirs, to the perpetual renewing of the world's youthfulness.
     The ground beneath our feet is covered with a scattering of gold and copper. Autumn's alchemy. Swirled in the cold breath of approaching winter. Beautiful.
     So it is to Marcus Aurelius that I turn when I see a man out with a turbocharged leaf-blower. What a piece of equipment. The noise! The futility! Why, Marcus? WHY??

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