MaturityA stationary sense . . . as, I suppose,I shall have, till my single body grows Inaccurate, tired;Then I shall start to feel the backward pullTake over, sickening and masterful — Some say, desired.And this must be the prime of life . . . I blink,As if at pain; for it is pain, to think This pantomimeOf compensating act and counter-act,Defeat and counterfeit, makes up, in fact, My ablest time.
I would prefer," Pat said, his voice a little stiff, as if he expected resistance, "that I be the cosigner on the loan, if you go through with this. I know I'm not a famous billionaire, but I think my credit's just as good."No, you're wrong about that," Tess said, shaking her head.What?"As far as I'm concerned, it's better. I'd much rather do business with you."They shook on it. It was a deal, after all, not a time for hugging.Favors, Arnie Vasso had once said. Your father knows all about favors. He had meant it as an insult, a sly reference to the corners the Monaghans and Weinsteins cut here and there. Now Tess saw it for the simple truth it was: Her father understood favors. How to do them, how to accept them, how to walk away when the price was too steep. It was a lesson she wouldn't mind learning someday.Maybe this was the place to start.
What was to be the value of the long looked forward to,Long hoped for calm, the autumnal serenityAnd the wisdom of age? Had they deceived usOr deceived themselves, the quiet-voiced elders,Bequeathing us merely a receipt for deceit?The serenity only a deliberate hebetude,The wisdom only the knowledge of dead secretsUseless in the darkness into which they peeredOr from which they turned their eyes. There is, it seems to us,At best, only a limited valueIn the knowledge derived from experience.The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies,For the pattern is new in every momentAnd every moment is a new and shockingValuation of all we have been. We are only undeceivedOf that which, deceiving, could no longer harm.