I wonder sometimes how many of us forget how transient the various stages of life actually are. The scriptural book of Ecclesiastises has a recurring theme: “all is vanity”. I’ve often reflected on that translation and my investigations led me to The New Jerome Biblical Commentary in which I discovered that the original hebrew word was in fact hebel which, literally translated, means breath or vapor. It has occurred to me that replacing the word vanity with transience brings new meaning to the wisdom words contained in that book. I drew my inspiration from that book to create this poem:”life in a nutshell transitions seven stages infancy complete” It also links into Erikson’s theory relating to the stages of psychosocial development, although Erikson identified 8 stages not seven. In my poem I am referring to infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adult, middle adult, late adult and finally old age. Every age brings new perspectives on life and on living. Inevitably however life involves living through those stages, experiencing the transience of each, from birth to death. There is no escaping the inevitability of today’s realities becoming tomorrow’s memories.

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