Sunday, September 1, 2013

TIME WILL NEVER RUN OUT


A lily hangs on to its glory.

“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”
— Virginia Woolf

Ouch. Probably very deeply true. But I imagine sometimes this lack of personal transparency is not due any particular perfidy as much as being lost somewhere in that dark wood and not seeing a path to telling the truth about yourself. 

Meanwhile, not worrying about telling truths or much of anything else on this grey Labor Day Sunday. Not that there aren't things to worry about, but Tuesday is soon enough to head back into the mental/existential fray.

Not that I think this is reason for me to go back to daily red wine consumption, (as no matter what it does for your mental state, it is a lot of calories that might be better spent in other ways), I found this article on the salutary effects of drinking a spot of wine.

There's a nice review by James Wood in this week's New Yorker (September 2, 2013) of a new book by Caleb Crain, Necessary Errors. 

The friends convene and reconvene, party and argue, eat and smoke, dance and make love, conscious that their time together is precious, brief, and eccentric. Prague makes it eccentric, because the city is a peculiar utopia for them, a place where “real life” can be suspended. After graduating from college, Jacob worked, in America, in an office, and dreads going back: “To be here was something more than a holiday; it was a kind of rift in the net, so new that it was not yet clear how it would be rewoven into the systems of money and responsibility.” The novel captures this sense of golden interruption, when to be young is to feel that time will never run out, that you can “talk for hours over lunch about the purpose of life, without embarrassment.” Prague functions as a university should have—as a place where error and accomplishment are close kin, and waywardly explored.


The "time never running out" feeling is a bit here in Schroon Lake this evening. It has been a slow, quiet couple of days. This morning Ms. Liz and I had a lovely extended conversation which pleased us both greatly. The rest of the day has been spent reading, napping, and cooking. 

And so at 10:33 at the end of the summer season, these hard-working folks are kicking back. There is a party in starting in about 90 minutes and continuing into the wee-er hours of the morning. Inasmuch as I think it would be fun and I know lots of the folks, there is such an expansive indulgence to doing nothing more than trotting up and down the long hallway for a chocolate almond cookie and a cup of coffee or having another small cup of wine when I feel like it. Liz and Larry are both down at the Timberwolf being good townspeople. There's an artist there who is a big enough deal to open for Ani deFranco ... Hammel or Hammil or something along those lines. But I know if I go down there, I will just drink a gin and tonic I don't really need and talk to people I am not in the mood for. I would rather revel in the simple moment-to-moment of softly pleasing myself with what can be obtained up and down this long hallway. I mean, the dishwasher just stopped and all I can hear is a fan and the crickets. Why interrupt this sweet music with the addition of voices and egos?

The French writer Maurice Blanchot, in an eloquent essay entitled “Friendship,” suggests that great friendships are grounded only superficially in proximity. Their real element, he argues, is distance, a kind of separation that “becomes relation.” He calls this separation “discretion,” a discretion that foreshadows “the final discretion,” which is death. Blanchot seems to mean that true friendship, true love, encompasses, comprehends, and anticipates loss.The French writer Maurice Blanchot, in an eloquent essay entitled “Friendship,” suggests that great friendships are grounded only superficially in proximity. Their real element, he argues, is distance, a kind of separation that “becomes relation.” He calls this separation “discretion,” a discretion that foreshadows “the final discretion,” which is death. Blanchot seems to mean that true friendship, true love, encompasses, comprehends, and anticipates loss.











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