Hey, it’s the hermit here. With almost a full first draft of the new book. I can conceive of the day three or four months from now when I’ll dare to call it a final draft and send it off to my editor, then cower in terror as I wait for her response. And hide my terror my blogging regularly again.
I’ve been such a good kid. I’ve resisted the blogging impulse more times than I can count, and I have the manuscript pages to show for it. But hey again, it’s the New Year, and since two kind-of-irresistible quotes just came my way, it seems churlish not to pass them on. The first is appealingly inscrutable:
“Joy is that kind of happiness that does not depend on what happens.”
Of course being me, I couldn’t leave well enough alone, and went and checked the source. Turns out it’s from David Steindl-Rast, who’s a Benedictine monk deep into Buddhism, and part of the Lindisfarne movement. Which means, I suspect, that his idea of joy is far more solemn than mine. Regardless, I like the Sufi-like play of it, since the word ‘happiness’ comes from ‘hap’, meaning chance, so I will happily de-solemnize it. Not least by giving you the second quote, which a friend emailed me this morning. It’s from E.B.White. Yes, he of The New Yorker:
“Every morning I awake torn between the desire to save the world and an inclination to savor it. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
This is particularly well-timed for me since like a fool I agreed to speak about why we advocate for social justice at a Seattle University book-festival breakfast next month. My “interlocutor” (“can’t we just banter instead of interlocuting?” I whined) is a Jesuit priest. No comment on what kind of idiot agnostic agrees to take on a Jesuit at all, let alone for breakfast. But at least I now have my opening sally. Thank you, Mr White.