Saturday, December 30, 2006


See you next year

I'm outta here until 2007. Holy mackerel, 2007! I've only got one more year as a thirtysomething! Damn the Torpedoes! Don't Give Up the Ship! Time to get cracking on my resolutions! To wit: I gritted my teeth and finished reading The Iliad last night. It was so crushing, so shattering, that I don't want to discuss it, other than to say how torrid the Fagles translation is - the blood and gore, the pure poetry of it all, even (particularly?) the brutality - and above all the living speed of the narrative - I feel like I flew through it. On to The Odyssey. But first, I took refuge in more of Rural Rides this morning. More words of wisdom from Cobbett:

"It is odd enough how differently one is affected by the same sight, under different circumstances. At the 'Holly Bush' (inn) at Headley there was a room full of fellows in white smock frocks, drinking and smoking and talking, and I, who was then dry and warm, moralised within myself on their folly in spending their time in such a way. But when I got down from Hindhead to the public-house at Road Lane, with my skin soaking and my teeth chattering, I thought just such another group, whom I saw through the window sitting round a good fire with pipes in their mouths, the wisest assembly I had ever set my eyes on. A real Collective Wisdom." (p.143)

Are we fools and knaves or a wise assembly? Both? Happy New Year, particularly to my friend Brian, who enlivened my day to no end with a holiday gift of rare perfection and elegance. What was it? A book, of course.

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