Lord, you have been our refuge
from one generation to another.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or the land and the earth were born,
from age to age you are God.
You turn us back to the dust and say,
"Go back, O child of earth."
For a thousand years in your sight
are like yesterday when it is past
and like a watch in the night.
You sweep us away like a dream;
we fade away suddenly like the grass.
In the morning it is green and flourishes;
in the evening it is dried up and withered . . .
all our days are gone;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
The span of our life is seventy years,
perhaps in strength even eighty;
yet the sum of them is but labor and sorrow,
for they pass away quickly and we are gone. . . .
So teach us to number our days
that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
of the above Psalm is this tender yet cynical passage
from Super Sad True Love Story
by Gary Shteyngart:
But what are our children? Lovely and fresh in their youth; blind to mortality; rolling around . . . in the tall grass with their alabaster legs; fawns, sweet fawns, all of them, gleaming in their dreamy plasticity, at one with the outwardly simple nature of their world.
And then, a brief almost - century later: drooling on some poor Mexican Nursemaid in an Arizona hospice.