There are lots of songs and poems that talk about how melancholia can crash suddenly the world on top of your head and crush you to bed, but only a few remind us that joy too can do the like, arrive for nothing and as the cobra strikes. Here's a little bit of Yeats from his Vacillation, about which I have regaled you before.
My fiftieth year had come and gone,
I sat, a solitary man,
In a crowded London shop,
An open book and empty cup
On the marble table-top.
While on the shop and street I gazed
My body of a sudden blazed;
And twenty minutes more or less
It seemed, so great my happiness,
That I was blessed and could bless.
We don't know what will make us blaze but we can find clues
here: solitary but in a crowd, looking for nothing, lingering over a beverage.
Failing the arrow-falls of random bliss, consider this bear in the city
I caught only as he had passed.
I haven't been posting over on Dear Fonzie in recent months, but recently revived, on dapple. Here's another photo dose of dapple, also from Halloween last Sunday. That's Mario and Luigi racing off between a riot of shadow and leaves.
Late Weds night I got an email asking me to fill in for Christopher Hitchens at an event at the Jewish Center on 86th street, about The Relevancy of the Ten Commandments. A flattering request. I don't go on about the Commandments in my books (Doubt: A History, for instance) but found I had lots to say about it and much enjoyed the conversation. I, somewhat comically given the location, argued against their relevance. "If you want to put something religious on the courthouse at least say something interesting," said I, having not planned to. "Cite Ecclesiastes instead, 'The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but time and chance happen to them all.'" It was a special experience, I just really liked the people. It's funny how an autumn city night can harbor a little wonder. The event was arranged by David Hazony who has a new book on the subject.
Well, I just wanted to drop in and light a little candle in the pumpkin of your heart. Don't kill yourself and I shall return to encourage you yet again.