This was a tangled day, one of those turns around the sun that feels like a week though I can’t put your finger on exactly why. I spoke to a student who believes in human rights and wants to research the ways and means for intellectually disabled people to live with self-determination.
i attended a largely depressing meeting but accomplished a small good as a result. I made a lonesome foreign student happy by letting him pet my guide dog. I walked home uphill in the bitter cold of February. And the day went by without glory. I’m a day older. As the poet Robert Bly once wrote: “so this is how my life passes before the grave.”
Early, before morning got started I thought of my mother who as a little girl believed she could step out of a row boat and walk on the water lilies. She stepped right out and sank straight away. I often think how beauty is best when untested. An abstract beauty, unpronounced, enacted only in the mind is often superior to our actions. This is the kind of knowledge that makes one smile instead of laugh; whisper instead of shout. Sometimes it feels like a defeat knowing the loveliest imaginings are best when they’re not enacted.
Such thoughts come close to an achievement concerning envy—that foregoing a bolder beauty one might be gently happy, as when lying in a field of yellow, flowering weeds.