From Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth, 1605. Act V, Scene 8.
... I bear a charmed life, which must not yield, To one of woman born.
My brother breezed into town last week for a couple of days. We only got to spend a few hours together, but my time with him always leaves me very thoughtful because of the various places we go in conversation. One of the things he said to me this time is that he views our childhood as charmed. "You know, we lived a charmed life," he told me with astonishing authority.
Hey wait. I was there, too. Our lives were far from "charmed." Indeed. He pointed to the fact that we never really lived in any way that could be considered impoverished, in a financial sense. And this part may be true, but I wonder what either one of our parents would say to this "charmed life" theory of his. Our father is no longer living. He was disabled for many years and we lived on my mother's salary as well as on whatever disability payments came in as a result of Dad's illness. Quite frankly, I have many depressing memories of those days. But I kind of get his point, that we never really lacked any material thing we needed. But charmed?
Something about that idea really sticks in my craw. I think of a charmed life as being one in which things have been more or less handed to you, with very little of your own effort involved. A silver spoon kind of existence. Is that a charmed life?
What do you think. What exactly is a charmed life?