The Autumn of Our Lives


Eva Cassidy - "Songbird"
Eva Cassidy – “Songbird”
"Autumn Leaves" - the song.
“Autumn Leaves” – the song.
Autumn Leaves
Autumn Leaves
Autumn Leaves fallen on the forest floor.
Autumn Leaves fallen on the forest floor.
"Amazon.com" office in Seattle, U.S.A.
“Amazon.com” office in Seattle, U.S.A.
Travelogue
Travelogue
The "Northern Lights" - Aurora Borealis.
The “Northern Lights” – Aurora Borealis.
Fjord Norway
Fjord Norway
Hot Springs in New Zealand.
Hot Springs in New Zealand.
The Essence of True Friendship
The Essence of True Friendship
A Wire and Metal Bridge Over A Deep Ravine - the tenuous thread that ties two friends together forever.
A Wire and Metal Bridge Over A Deep Ravine – the tenuous thread that ties two friends together forever.
The Autumn of Our Lives
The Autumn of Our Lives
The Winter of Our Lives.
The Winter of Our Lives.
Nelson Mandela's Vision for Changing The World.
Nelson Mandela’s Vision for Changing The World.
Unity in Diversity - let's help each other to make this Earth a better place to live in!
Unity in Diversity – let’s help each other to make this Earth a better place to live in!

“Autumn Leaves” – Eva Cassidy

The falling leaves drift by my window

The falling leaves of red and gold
I see your lips the summer kisses
The sunburned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall.

A couple of months ago, my Ma told me, ” Sherna, try not to make your blogs so serious. I don’t know if a lot of people would like to read them.”

Then, some time back, another friend mentioned to me – “Sherna, you comment on a lot of obscure music and artists, especially when you write  your reviews on http://www.amazon.com (the worldwide, online shopping store.)”

Let me explain the reasons to you why. At the end of the explanation, I”m sure that most of you will agree with my line of thought.

I’ll start with the latter first, i.e. my reviews on Amazon. Do you think that it would make a lot of sense if I were to write copiously on well-known artists, musicians and authors, when almost the entire population of the world knows about them? So, if I were to comment on Abba, BoneyM, The Bee Gees, Cliff Richard, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Pet Shop Boys, Rihanna, Shakira, Britney Spears, Agatha Christie, James Hadley Chase, Perry Mason, Sidney Sheldon, Harold Robbins, etc.,  do you honestly believe that a lot of readers would ever take the time to read my reviews? If you’ve gained much joy from something (be it an audio CD  a DVD, a novel, etc.) that you took the time out and cash to purchase, don’t you think it would be right to show that you care, by sharing your views with the world, so that others might benefit from your choices too? These reviews aim to help customers make a good choice, worthy of their money. If I were not to do so, I am rather inclined to imagine that a lot of the world’s audience would seriously start questioning my sanity and THAT would definitely not be a good idea at all….! I don’t intend gaining ‘red carpet’ treatment in any lunatic asylum, now or later, thank you very much!

Now, let’s go on to the question of the particular choice of my blogs…..Let us suppose that I were to write blogs that served as Travelogues. Well, I love travelling and I could write some beautifully worded blogs on how it is essential for you to visit some of the most exciting and awesome places in the world before you die – places like the Alaska, The Canadian Rockies, The Alps, The Caribbean Islands, The Islands in the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii, The Scandinavian countries that will offer you a view of the spectacular Northern Lights (the “Aurora Borealis”) and breathtaking fjords or I could write about the unique hot-springs in New Zealand……and so on and so forth. I am certainly not stating that I never intend to write about “Travel” at some time in the future, but frankly it really is not Top Priority for me, as your author. You don’t need me for such information – there is no dearth of information available in the market today – in the form of the media, books, novels and magazines, newspapers, journals, CD-roms, movies and the Internet. These sources of information are invariably beautifully archived and offer extensive information of “absolutely anything under the Sun” that intrigues and interests you.

The sources, presentation, wording and photography displayed in each book on Travel are bound to differ but the ESSENCE AND CONTENT of it will remain essentially the same, without exception, don’t you think so? The extent of the genius, the  expertise,  the nationality and  the knowledge of the author &/or his/her sources of information don’t really matter so much in such a circumstance, do they? This sort of literature tends to have no lasting impact on its audience – these travelogues are really meant for ‘short-term memory’ and they might even convince you to undertake expensive journeys abroad – holiday trips that might please you or may not please you at all!

In the aftermath of these lovely travelogues supposedly posted by this author, do you know what I would have to face? Well, initially,  I imagine that it would be the euphoria of much praise from the airlines and cruise-liners of the world, since I would be unwittingly be providing them free, marvelous, convincing advertisements for travel abroad – inspiring millions of ‘unsuspecting souls’ to travel the length and breath of the Earth, to exotic and remote locations, with their huge families. I suppose that I’d be relishing every moment of  this euphoria concerning the boosting of the sales and business interests of the flagging travel & tourism industry, in the face of an alarming rise in inflation. I’m sure that I would then be rudely brought to my senses by “a hard kick to the butt” from an alarmingly long queue of disgruntled passengers having returned home from their trips abroad – passengers from those very same airlines and cruise-liners – passengers who would be sadistically bent on screaming incessantly at top volume and impinging permanent damage to my ear-drums. These travelers are very likely to consider this author as being ‘guilty’ in the eyes of the law for ‘aiding and abetting’ a drastic fall in their personal bank balances and financial portfolios. In case you’re not aware of this fact, my blogs are published on the Internet for all the world to peruse and read. That would be rather an awful lot of hard kicks to my butt, don’t you think? How sore and wounded my “‘seat’ of infinite wisdom” would be in such a circumstance…..poor thing! I dread to think of it. I don’t quite fancy a battered, bruised and painful butt – let me state it, to the world, once and for all!!! Hence, no travelogues for you – so there!!!!!

On a more serious note – I don’t think that I am either idealistic or exaggerating when I state that the majority of us hope for a brighter tomorrow and a better future for us all.  We eagerly await the time when the Dark Ages that we are living in will end. We earnestly hope that it paves the way for the Age of Benevolence to start its sway over all humanity. There’s, however, one very big issue at stake here – YOU CAN’T HOPE TO CHANGE THE WORLD UNLESS YOU MAKE A VALIANT AND CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER YOURSELF FIRST. THIS AUTHOR IS NOT SPEAKING TO YOU OF THINGS THAT YOU ARE TOTALLY UNAWARE OF……SHE AIMS TO HELP YOU CHANGE FOR THE BETTER BY PUTTING MATTERS IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE FOR YOU SO THAT YOU WILL UNDERSTAND AND ACCEPT THE NECESSITY OF THE CHANGES THAT YOU NEED TO MAKE IN YOUR LIVES – STARTING NOW. NOT TOMORROW; NOT DAY AFTER; NOT A FORTNIGHT HENCE; NOT SIX MONTHS LATER OR A YEAR DOWN THE LINE. CHANGE FOR THE BETTER STARTS HERE AND NOW – AND THAT’S FINAL.

So when you read these blogs, you need to have the intuition and judgement of a far-sighted visionary because it is our present and future lives that are at stake here. These blogs are not meant for idle enjoyment – though I’m glad to know that they are enjoyable for many of you. They are meant for ‘long-term memory’ – the essence and message of these blogs need to be stored safely at the back of your mind – ready for quick retrieval, as the case and circumstances dictate. Re-read the blogs if you have to….I’ve been told that I’m a good teacher. 

Do keep in mind what I’ve just stated – not just for now but always. It will help you to understand why this author considers it a “boon” to have the lioness that has taken refuge at the bottom of her soul; I’d like you to understand why I stress so much that certain changes are  long overdue; it will help you understand why I feel it is THE ABSOLUTE NEED OF THE MOMENT AND OUR TIMES that you start changing for the better NOW.

I don’t know how seriously a lot of people in this world take note of the fact that I am about to mention below.

ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFTS THAT GOD HAS BESTOWED ON US ALL IS THE UNPARALLELED GIFT OF LOVE, FAMILY AND TRUE FRIENDSHIP. YOU WOULD DO VERY WELL INDEED NOT TO TAKE SUCH BOUNTEOUS GIFTS LIGHTLY – LEARN TO APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE; MILLIONS IN THE WORLD HAVEN’T HAD THE PLEASURE OF SEEING EVEN HALF OF IT.

You must be wondering why I state, “TRUE FRIEND.” Let’s take a moment to understand the nature of people who touch our lives – the majority are just colleagues &/or acquaintances. Such people never leave  a lasting impact on our lives. While many might be pleasant – they remain strangers to us, for the most part. People who stick around as a “matter of convenience” – who like the pleasures that loud music, partying and ‘boozing’ afford – pleasures that  tons of money can buy, are not likely to be around when the “going gets tough.” If things don’t go in the way that such people have planned, they will not hesitate to show their hypocrisy and insincerity by lowering the mask of  ‘so-called sincerity’ that they hope no one will see through. People who you imagined as being your “friend” after many years of acquaintance and togetherness, will prove to be merely, “passing ships in the night” – ships that are visible on the horizon of our lives for the briefest moment before they disappear from our sight and lives forever. If you imagine that such people feel guilty about leaving you in the lurch – think again. They are the scum of the earth – shameless, callous and indifferent people, without a soul or a conscience. Do you honestly need such “blood-sucking leeches” to be your “friends?” Honestly, just think about it. Do you???

The fact of the matter is simply this – you don’t need more than a thousand ‘friends’ – how can you possibly state that you know the “ins and outs” of a thousand acquaintances, or even more? They are not your ‘friends’ – they are people who you like to associate with because you tend to imagine that it boosts your reputation in the eyes of the world and gives them an idea of how popular and well-known you are and vice versa. Does it really matter if you are famous or well-liked or not? You really don’t need to be seen or heard to be noticed – it is as simple as that. People will see, notice and respect you in their own good time – given the right set of circumstances.

So what exactly are the right set of circumstances? As I just stated, you don’t need more than a thousand ‘friends’ – EVEN  IF YOU HAVE JUST ONE GOOD AND SINCERE FRIEND WHO WILL STAND BY YOU THROUGH “THICK AND THIN” – WHO WILL BE THERE BY YOUR SIDE WHEN YOU REACH THE “AUTUMN” OF YOUR LIFE, IT IS ENOUGH. Any friendship has to cross many hurdles before its sincerity is proved as a given fact; sometimes, petty disagreements blow out of all proportion and become a matter of a huge, unyielding argument between the concerned parties. I’ll tell you what your true friend can and will do in such a circumstance – they will allow matters in their unique relationship with you to reach, ‘BREAKING POINT’ if need be. They will start MAINTAINING DISTANCE for long periods of time – if need be. It is so sad but true – some people just never realize that they ever had a genuine friend till they feel that they have lost them. Your friend will let you feel that the entire weight of your body is hanging from a precarious shoe-string, whilst below you is a deep and treacherous ravine. In this way, this friend will let you “stew a bit in your own juices” because he/she would like to show you how your life would be empty and bereft without his/her presence in it.

HOWEVER, I did say that such a person was your true friend………so, just when you feel your strength is failing; just when you feel that the frail shoe string that sustains you is about to snap, your friend will always be there to rescue you. Even after many days,  many months or even  many years of  seemingly unforgiving silence, you CAN still hope to reunite with your true friend because such is the nature of love, loyalty and forgiveness. Have faith in the ways of your true friend – he/she will never break the thread that ties you both together – however frail and fragile that thread might be. 

IT IS TO MAKE YOU REALIZE THAT YOU NEED SOMEBODY BY YOUR SIDE WHEN YOU REACH THE AUTUMN OF YOUR LIFE – never disabuse yourself of that notion. A true friend has the infinite ability to see perfection in the face of many imperfections because of the immense love that he/she has for you – such a person ought to be truly treasured but few people, sadly, realize this fact.

In the beautiful song sung by Eva Cassidy, the protagonist laments the loss of his/her true love &/or true friend. Autumn is a season that is notorious for bringing in with it, dreariness, gloom, dull and cloudy skies and cold, gusting winds – after all, autumn is the prequel to the intense, blistering cold of Winter, isn’t is? Autumn is used here as a synonym for troubles, worries and problems that spring up as hurdles and obstacles in our lives. It is also associated with middle-aged people who have reached retirement age. A stage when illnesses, frailties and joint aches and pains set in – a stage where you are likely to feel so lonely that you would love to sit down and cry your eyes and heart out. Your life that had seemed, till now, to follow a mission and a purpose, is now nothing more than aimless – a vast void. You no longer have your office job to occupy your mind because you are likely to be too tired out to work anymore. Your children are likely to be married and have “flown the coop.” You are likely to be left  feeling forlorn and alone. It is then that you will yearn for the company of your true friend(s). Waiting till the Winter of your Life, may turn out to be too late. The Winter of Your Life comes when you are old, bent and infirm with many health issues – don’t forget that your friend will be old and infirm too at such a time – some friends may even pass away before you die. So what is left of love and a friendship that ought to have been all-enduring and beautiful? I’ll tell you what’s left –  immense guilt, shame, intense regret, a deep sense of loss – akin to grief. Last but not least, there are the many memories – memories of a lost, beloved era; memories of a time that was blessed, pure and beautiful.

What is left to say? Nothing much….I’ve said it all – for the moment.

ABOUT YOUR AUTHOR: A lot of people tend to forget that this author is a fallible mortal just like all of you – she laughs, cries, lives, breathes, makes mistakes and learns, just as you all do. She falls ill just as you all do…..She can’t help wondering, at times, as to how many people – if any – will be by her side in the Autumn of her Life. This author promises to be by your side through all the stages in your life. Please don’t forget that she’s a human being just like any of you – if any of you consider this author to be your true friend, then she hopes to be reunited with you, in a bond of true friendship, when we have all reached the Autumn of our lives.

Really -what is left to say? Only this – “We are the World; We are the People” and our lives consist of CHOICES and PRIORITIES. Let’s UNITE and work together to make this world a better place to live in – is all I can truly say. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s