Tuesday, May 20, 2014

we must risk delight

“We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure, 
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have 
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless 
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.” 

- Jack Gilbert

{from "A Brief For the Defense" which you can read here}

Last year's growth must make way for this year's green and flowering. 

Speaking of flowering, you'll notice the new blog header this morning - which was created by my daughter Chloe. Rather proud of her :)

I'm taking delight in the arrival of spring to my neck of the woods/suburbs....still waiting for the blossoms, both Rob and I are anxious to photograph them. 

Have you had the chance to read Thoreau's essay, "Walking"? 

If not, you can find it online here. It begins:

"I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks, who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering; which word is beautifully derived "from idle people who roved about the country, in the middle ages, and asked charity, under pretence of going à la sainte terre" — to the holy land, till the children exclaimed, "There goes a sainte-terrer", a saunterer — a holy-lander. They who never go to the holy land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds, but they who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre, without land or a home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of successful sauntering. He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all, but the Saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea. But I prefer the first, which indeed is the most probable derivation. For every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us, to go forth and reconquer this holy land from the hands of the Infidels."

Perhaps there is no better time of year to saunter than spring. 

Around every corner, some new scrap of hope, some small sign of new life. The world, somehow, seems less ruthless, when one allows one's eye to flit from fresh leaf to bud to greening grass. When one is allowed to lose oneself in this task: the noticing of spring. The fond welcoming of it, however tremulous its arrival.


  1. oh! first ... the header.
    i should have known chloe has talent. and i noticed that beautiful branch before i even read that she had done it! it's perfect for .... noticing spring.

    our spring lasted exactly 15 minutes. it is crowding 90 degrees as i write this.
    not the sauntering kind of spring for me.
    but i will find pockets of coolness in which to saunter like the monk that i am.
    our very early mornings are still cool enough. but soon even they will be too hot.
    that's when i'll be sauntering vicariously through your neighborhood!
    i have read all of thoreau... but not in a long time.
    and... especially enjoyed re reading this today.
    you always give me little gifts.

    and... this comment is getting too long. as usual.
    but... had to tell you. was aghast when i finished 'calm things' the other day and lived through the gashing and damages of the paintings. it was strange. my mouth fell open.
    it was as if i had just read that someone i knew had been murdered.
    you must write a novel.

  2. Tammy - I love your reading of CT....thank you. It was quite the ending :) xo


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