Nineteen years ago, back when it was still just the two of us, we lived out on the Davidson-Cheatham county line on River Road. Turn right out of the driveway to head back into (relative) civilization, or left to go deeper into the rustic rural hinterlands. It was a pretty place to be, but (we thought) no place to live with small children. So when Older Daughter arrived a couple years into our marriage we moved to town. No regrets, and yet…
We decided to head back that way last night for our anniversary dinner. Riverview may not look or sound like a romantic destination, but it was. So was the journey. And the catfish and hushpuppies were, as expected, superlative.
And also as predicted, the fish inspired interesting dreams: in one I encountered my old professor of Greek & classics. Frisbees (Olympian disks?) were being hurled. I overheard Professor T. tell someone that I “looked like Pindar in the dugout.”
Pindar? I don’t know Pindar. So I looked him up. Some said he was the greatest Greek lyric poet of antiquity,
in virtue of his inspired magnificence, the beauty of his thoughts and figures, the rich exuberance of his language and matter, and his rolling flood of eloquence, characteristics which, as Horace rightly held, make him inimitable.”His poems however can also seem difficult and even peculiar… much admired though largely unread…
Hmmm. But what’s the dugout got to do with it?
Well, way ahead of Nietzsche Pindar said: “Become what you are.” Achieve your potential. Give 110%.
And he said: forget about immortality, “but enjoy to the full the resources that are within thy reach.” Stay within yourself. I’m trying, I’m trying! [More baseball cliches]
And especially fitting last night, out on the scenic deck at Riverview:
Youth is a blossom whose fruit is love, happy is he who plucks it after watching it slowly ripen.
He’s right about that. As Spinoza tweeted, love means “enjoyment of a thing and union therewith.” Heading into the twentieth year of a union that’s ripened nicely, I’d have to say we’re happy. Happy not in a merely Sisyphean way, but genuinely happy for the harvest of youthfulness reclaimed. Our trip down memory lane, aka River Road, was clarifying. And as noted, the fish was as good as it gets.