We all wear many hats in this life. In the present act of this life’s long dramatic performance, I simultaneously wear chef’s hat, the father hat, and the son hat. I live with my son and father in an all-male household. Luckily my feminine side gets an airing: washing clothes, ironing, cleaning the dishes, breakfasts, school lunches, dinners, shopping. You know it well, ladies.
I lead a pretty mad, frenetic life. The last few days have been “sans blog”, since I have been wearing my ‘Hare Krishna hat’. Two auspicious days have passed happily. Friday was Sri Krishna Janmastami, the birthday of Sri Krishna, which I celebrated at the North Sydney Hare Krishna Temple along with many thousands of others. I chanted my heart out all day and night, and never went near a kitchen.
And yesterday, as well as being the holy day of Nandotsava (the festival celebrating the various birth festivities of Krishna in Vrindavan), it was also the birthday of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder/Acharya of the Hare Krishna Movement, who was born 113 years ago in 1896. More fasting, feasting, joyous rememberances and chants.
This is always a time to contemplate the passing of time. Each year I muse how the years rotate from one Janmastami to another. This was my 39th.
Also, as yesterday’s sun began it’s journey over the horizon, I received news that the ailing father of a friend had quietly slipped away from his uninhabitable body. All the more reason to think carefully about the amazing journey that is life and death.
I recalled the words of Jaques in William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It“.
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.
And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow.
Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth.
And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part.
The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound.
Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”