Going gentle

I subscribe to many blogs in my Feedly aggregator, but as I ripen, my taste for two in particular is heightened.

One is Garrison Keillor’s, which arrives weekly on Tuesdays. Like his tales of Lake Woebegone, it is unfailingly gently of spirit. Take today’s, for instance.

The second is David Warren’s Essays in Idleness, which arrives virtually daily. Today’s was unusually good, concluding:

The more I think of it, the more I am convinced that politics exist merely to give us something to talk about. It is a form of theatre. Those who become impassioned on the subject may forget that it is a play, or movie. All the world’s a stage, as a playwright once observed. Perhaps it is a kind of Aztec play, in which the human sacrifices are real enough, but still, the sets will be cleared off. We mount the next play as if the first had never been performed. New victims wait patiently in the wings.

I wish that instead we could get back to the more fundamental questions, such as why is ice slippery? The more one looks into it, the more humble one becomes, in the face of a world that we did not create, and where we are passing spectators.

Both Keillor and Warren are in my general ripeness bracket — old enough for Social Security Retirement benefits (or the Canadian equivalent), but still generally alert & oriented x 3, as they say on hospital patient charts. Maybe they both were always placid, even sanguine, but I know I was not.

God no doubt created testosterone-crazed young men for a reason (which I suspect is mostly making babies), but I think that only old fools could long to return to that stage of life.

Wisdom too often never comes, and so one ought not to reject it merely because it comes late.

Felix Frankfurter, quoted by Judge Don Willett, quoted by Jonathan Adler.

* * * * *

Sailing on the sea of this present life, I think of the ocean of my many offenses; and not having a pilot for my thoughts, I call to Thee with the cry of Peter, save me, O Christ! Save me, O God! For Thou art the lover of mankind.

(From A Psalter for Prayer)

You can read most of my more impromptu stuff at here. It should work in your RSS aggregator, like Feedly, should you want to make a habit of it.