I came across this on the way to work this week and made a quick record with my phone. The contrast between the permanence and coldness of the bronze statue and the temporary but colourful balloons is a classic juxtaposition.
There was more to this though. While Adam Lindsay Gordon was a celebrated poet, his life story included a number of failures that he worked through and overcame. He managed to pack a lot of life into just 37 years, in some ways perhaps he was more like the balloons and yet he managed to leave a mark.
There have been other things on my mind this week. A good friend lost her father to cancer a few days ago. Like Gordon, he managed to fit a lot into life, even travelling just a few weeks ago while seriously ill. Thinking about his spirit while reading Gordon’s poetry I came across this stanza from “The sick stockrider” that I want to share.
I’ve had my share of pastime, and I’ve done my share of toil,
And life is short—the longest life a span;
I care not now to tarry for the corn or for the oil,
Or for the wine that maketh glad the heart of man.
For good undone and gifts misspent and resolutions vain,
‘Tis somewhat late to trouble. This I know—
I should live the same life over, if I had to live again;
And the chances are I go where most men go.
For John, thank you for all the good times we shared and letting me be part of your life.