Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Vanitas, vanitas

Another what's-it-all-for day, made to order. I painted this morning, in the resounding silence of a nearly customerless shop, and the results were lackluster at best. So naturally, I ask myself what, exactly, do I think I'm doing here. January is always struggle-month, at the shop and otherwise, and this year seems to be no different, thus far. Does Montaigne have any answers or consolation, or is he merely reinforcing my sense of the futility of the struggle? Let's see (p.249):

"To how much vanity are we driven by the high opinion we have of ourselves! The best-regulated soul in the world has only too much to do to stay on its feet and keep itself from collapsing to the ground through its own weakness. Out of a thousand souls, there is not one that is straight and composed for a single moment in a lifetime; and it may be questioned, given the soul's natural condition, whether it can ever be so."

Well, not exactly good news, but at least I know it's not just me! We're all more or less adrift! My powers of deduction and reasoning are muddled today because I seem to be coming down with a cold, but I still find this passage funny (cosmic-funny, not funny ha-ha) and rather heartening, and therefore shall continue to keep my chin up and not take things too seriously. That, and some more chicken soup, should do the trick.

Keep the 'internal light' shining. It's the difference, you know, "between planetary light and the combustion of stars."

I just read 'Ring of Time' by E.B White. What a great essay! Observations on a dreary winter day under the big tent.

Yes, be the light. Isn't E.B. White tremendous...

No blog post today, headed home early to take care of this cold. Back next week. I'm sure I'll have lots to talk about, because I plan on doing nothing but read all weekend long.
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