The day grooved with the happy hour and Heat-Moon; the latter a find in my authentically-scented library (the smell of mouldering books excites). Called Roads to Quoz, it was just what the doctor ordered: a tranquil bit of armchair travel. Literary escapism on the cheap. He writes amusingly of churches ill-named (“Little Hope Baptist Church” and “Holy Ghost Disturbed Church”). He also wrote something that certainly hits close to home:
Quicker than was good for any man's mechanical self-esteem, she succeeded in stacking up a half-dozen fourpenny nails in a way I'd thought impossible ten minutes earlier. This is one of the very thing marriage counselors caution against, but men who wed a woman born a tomboy need either to sharpen their mechanical arts or to modify any notion of manly prowess based on contraptions.I've certainly chosen the latter prescription.
Early day found me lounging in the pleasant pair of pre-McDonald's hours sliding down some of Chesterton's Everlasting Man via the cool, smooth surface of the Kindle. Coffee played tunes in my head. Psalms leapt from my RSV-CE2. I read a couple issues of The Economist and learned things, mainly that The Economist speaks with authority and has answers to all the world's (economic) problems.
I miss ol' Buddy, that gentle, loving presence. That reverencer of ritual with calm, dog-ensouled eyes. At McDs the older blond lady noticed the change: “Where's your other dog?” I told her we'd lost him to cancer. A momentary pause. “At least he won't bark at you anymore!” I said, and she smiled, for he was a small bane of her existence. How Buddy loved to see her startle.
At noon-thirty, a walk. How simple and yet how nourishing was that simple mile walk in the sunshine and quiet! It felt meditative and steady, awash in the natural world. Early evening took a shower with beer at shower-side, atop the glass enclosure. One good thing about replacing curtains with glass was that now I can store the coffee thermos or beer up out of water's way and thus enjoy the decadent pleasures of beverage while under falling water.
Morning paper read about Marilyn of “Ask Marilyn” fame (she of the famously high IQ) about how she met her husband of going on thirty years. He wooed her by giving her his diary! Very bold move, but his transparent nature won her over. He said that their initial conversation on the phone wasn't going anywhere and he thought about just wrapping it up and calling it a day. But then magic happened and he later called that moment when he almost gave up as an 'inflection point" after which his existence was changed forever. I can so remember that inflection point for my wife and me.
It occurred to me today that hard-heartedness is always seen as hard-hearted towards one's neighbor, but it also includes being hard-hearted towards oneself and towards God. All three are intimately connected - there is a blatant inconsistency in our worldview if we're hard towards any human or God, since God is in and has identified Himself with humans.