|“HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS,”
SAID EMILY DICKINSON.
I have at this late stage of the game discovered Charles Dickens.
“Martin [Chuzzlewit] knew nothing about America, or he would have known perfectly well that if its individual citizens, to a man, are to be believed, it always IS depressed, and always IS stagnated, and always IS at an alarming crisis, and never was otherwise; though as a body they are ready to make oath upon the Evangelists at any hour of the day or night, that it is the most thriving and prosperous of all countries on the habitable globe.” (published 1843-44).
I was going to post that on FB but since “America” also lacks all sense of humor about itself I realized people would miss the satire and devolve into some vitriolic boring political argument. Instead of checking out Charles Dickens, if they haven’t already, and losing themselves in one of his genius, complex, entertaining, instructive, tragicomic moral tales.
I am reading The Pain of Christ by Gerald Vann, O.P. Then Volume II of Martin Chuzzlewit. Then, if I have the strength, Bleak House.
I watched In the Heat of the Night this week. Wonderful Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier. Steiger despaired near the end of his life, thinking he had no talent. Rod Steiger! I thanked him this morning as I was watering my parched garden. (I save my water from the shower so that helps at least a bit). (And I think of the army of gardeners who care for LA’s lawns and yards, the men and women who are out in this inferno eight, ten, twelve hours a day).
Southern California has been baking, shattering heat records right and left, for weeks on end. Apparently this is what we’re to expect, and worse, from hereon in.
We have now, in our blindness, rapacity and greed wrecked the planet so badly that is is rearing up in protest and I don’t blame it one bit.
God will not be mocked.
God is also beyond merciful, and the earth still showers one and all with blessings.
Sunday I read in the paper of a property that is for sale in Beverly Hills for a billion dollars. Not even a house, just a gigantic lot that is bigger than Disneyland and some other humongous place combined. It overlooks the city and maybe you can even see the ocean.
I thought, Whoever buys that place could not possibly enjoy the view more than I enjoy the view from my bedroom window.
When the rattan blind is down, there is maybe a foot-high sliver through which, while reclining on my cozy single bed, I can see the orange tree beyond and in spring camellias and at different parts of the day, different qualities of light. I often lie there, simply pulsing with the mystery and weirdness and beauty and profound sorrow of life.
O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.
For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.
On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.
|ONE OF MY $1350 A MONTH, BUT ACTUALLY PRICELESS, VIEWS