Tuesday, December 9, 2014

extraordinary decency and love

“If you can think of times in your life that you've treated people with extraordinary decency and love, and pure uninterested concern, just because they were valuable as human beings. The ability to do that with ourselves. To treat ourselves the way we would treat a really good, precious friend. Or a tiny child of ours that we absolutely loved more than life itself. And I think it's probably possible to achieve that. I think part of the job we're here for is to learn how to do it. I know that sounds a little pious."

- David Foster Wallace

"One of the saddest realities is most people never know when their lives have reached the summit. Only after it is over and we have some kind of perspective do we realize how good we had it a day, a month, five years ago. The walk together in the December snow, the phone call that changed everything, that lovely evening in the bar by the Aegean. Back then you thought "this is so nice." Only later did you realize it was the rarest bliss."

- Jonathan Carroll

via Whiskey Rivers Commonplace Book

I agree with DFW: part of the reason we're here is to learn how to be decent to ourselves. Tender, even. And Jonathan Carroll: to understand that we're experiencing the 'rarest bliss.'

I'm guilty of getting caught up in my worries, so that some days I miss the bliss. My nerves are frayed and I'm unhappy with how little writing I seem to be doing, or then, I'm writing, but it's never quite good enough. I'm exhausted. Tired of the perpetual state of precariousness that a writer and artist will live with. We have learned to live with it, but still, we are frayed. And so it's hard to be extraordinarily decent to yourself when you're feeling brittle and breakable.

But as DFW says, "it's probably possible." We must learn to do it ourselves, this is part of the task, I think. And it's quite imperative that we do learn this no matter whatever else is swirling around us. Or, especially because of all that is swirling around us.

Well. I thought after so many posts of winter, snow, cold, it was time to warm up with hot chocolate. And these lovely macarons made by my daughter. I have to admit, I was completely impressed with her.

And this. A dog who knows how to relax and take a nap. A lot to be learned from dogs, yes?


  1. oh my goodness, SO much to be learned from dogs, well from animals in general, who find no qualms, no inadequacies about their being what they are and by being what they are, they do what they are meant to do. Like nap. I like that.

    your daughter's skills in the kitchen are completely impressive! The colour is perfect, too. Yum.

  2. Yes, that Chloe is a wonder. I love that she is embracing pink. Love the post, and Mallard Bliss featuring Ace, the Wonder Dog.


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