Another gorgeous day here in the Insurance Capital of the World. I'm heading off to the Beantown 'Burbs this afternoon, rather than tomorrow morning, as I've got a major presentation tomorrow morning to the client (note to self: refrain from scheduling presentations on Monday mornings). However, I'm back here this week as I have a job interview with another consulting firm.
I've been with my current company over three years now and it's starting to be that time. The longest I've ever worked for one company (other than my own) was five years, but the average tends to be around three. As Bob said...
The plethora of sport on this weekend -- Phelps' gold, Gunners rampant (well, 1-0 over West Brom :eek:), both Chelsea and ManU today -- reminded me that tomorrow is the sixth anniversary of the death of Sunday Silence....Everytime they were sure
they had you caught
You were quicker than they thought
You'd just turn your back and walk
You always said
The cards would never do you wrong
The trick you said
was never play the game too long
Sunday Silence finally lost his battle with laminitis today, suffering a fatal heart attack. The 16-year-old had been ill since May with an infection in his right leg which brought on laminitis in his left leg recently. His owners had been discussing whether to euthanize him or not for days, but finally on Monday he lay down in his stall, could not get back up, and eventually died of heart failure. He had been in a lot of pain which required strong pain killers to be administered.
To me, Sunday Silence embodied courage, will and resolve and I remember crying when he died. Always the underdog, he was sold at auction as a two year old for $32,000 and soon bought back by his original owner for $15,000. In transport, he was almost killed when his trailer overturned. He went into the '89 Kentucky Derby as a strong underdog against Easy Goer who had Pat Day aboard. Yet, in the mud, down the stretch, he overtook Easy Goer to take the roses.
And then came the best of all. I was at the Preakness that year and, again, Easy Goer with Pat Day was favored, despite finishing second at the Derby. And, for most of the race, it looked as if the oddsmakers were right, as Easy Goer seemed to be having an easy go of it; Sunday Silence lagged towards the back for most of the race. But, coming up to the final turn, he began making up ground. Pimlico is a small track with sharp turns and as they came around the final one, Sunday Silence was forced a bit wide, but kept gaining ground, amazingly charging from next to last to next to first. In the stretch, he caught Easy Goer and took the Black Eyed Susans by a nose.
For reasons that I still don't fathom, it was at that point I decided that life was too short to live it amongst the 30 year fixed set. At that very point, the courage of that big black throughbred inspired me to abandon everything I had worked and lived for in a quest for I still don't know what. Oh yes, the stirrings had always been there, haunted as I was by Prufrock's words, but watching Sunday Silence take that race crystalized them to action.
Which, as you knew it would, leads me to the...
TOTD: Have you ever made a life-changing decision based upon something completely external and unrelated to the decision? If so what? And what linkage do you now see, looking back, between the event and your decision?
So every year around this time, I think of Sunday Silence, out of Wishing Well by Halo, and smile a bit at the irony of life. Easy Goer went on to soundly beat him in the Belmont, denying Sunday Silence the Triple Crown. However, he did come back to win the Breeders Cup and was named Horse of the Year. Retired to stud (not a bad life), he set records for the worth of his progeny.
As for me, my decision led to The Wasteland where, according to Joseph Campbell, the hero must wander before achieving his life's desire. In my case, the wasteland was physical as well as spiritual...
And, in one of the ironies of life, the framed photo of Sunday Silence taking the Preakness (a better one than that above) that I took with me, was lost, along with several other important treasures (including a set of Fawlty Towers) when I left the Moroccan. Once again, illustrating the transitory nature of material things and, perhaps, providing a pattern to the workings of the universe.
I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach