Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wide and Shallow

"I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day". Actually the fell of a mosquito buzzing about, so by the time I had fumbled for repellent, gone to the loo, put on the dishwasher I was in a more positive state of mind than Hopkins, which is the comfort of the mundane. "Under a comfort serves in a whirlwind", and standing a moment to admire my increased collection of shiny appliances is, on a different level, a satisfaction which serves its small purpose.

Of course I Googled those two lines, plus Carrion Comfort, and wondered if Hopkins ever got up and made cocoa and felt a little better, even some warmth at the distillation of his woes into poetry. The blessed simplicity of waking, with at least the night over and the early morning air fresh.

I was discussing friendship with Nom, who maintains that we are best served by wide and shallow, not the chimera deep and meaningful. It is not just starting with wide and shallow either, but preferring it. I agree, deep and meaningful is an elephant trap and you can't know it until you are already in it. Also, the trouble with deep and meaningful is that you are leaving it all the time, or it leaves you, and it can't be replaced, and trying to replace it only dooms us to failure. Better to sojourn in wide and shallow where we have a fighting chance.

The remedies for angst: fellow-feeling, creativity, simple pleasures, simple communications. Strange that I have left out faith, but I have. I have also overlooked altruism which I do believe in, simple kindness, no matter which end of it we are at.


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