“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes,” Mark Twain is supposed to have said.
He was right, but he wasn’t saying anything new, as anyone familiar with the Bible can attest.
In Ecclesiastes you will find, as ancient precursor to Twain’s observation, this axiom from King Solomon:
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
It was Solomon’s words that surfaced in my mind on New Year's Eve as the last hours of 2018 bled away. I stared glumly into the bathroom mirror at yet another volcanic eruption studding my 51-year-old mug, echoes of my pimply-faced adolescence ping-ponging in my brain. Zits don’t ordinarily occupy the same territory as hard-won wrinkles - nor should one ever need reading glasses to properly inspect them.
I have my oncologist to thank for this acned absurdity. One year ago, as 2018 rose unsteadily from the ashes of 2017, the stubborn beast of a cancer in my head reincarnated itself alongside the new year, thumbing its nose at all previous efforts to slay it. I wasn’t keen to risk another craniotomy after four mighty kicks at that can; I’m all for being “open-minded”, but preferably not surgically. So, after lengthy discussion with my cancer specialist, I took a flyer on a novel drug, armed with lotions and potions to keep the inevitable side effects at bay. Read the rest of this entry »