Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle curved tunnels of leaf miners on the face of a leaf. We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what's going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.
Yes, Dillard attempts to take a wider view. Instead of being a leaf miner, she gazes upward, outward, inward to try to understand the mysteries of the universe. Sometimes, she questions. Sometimes, she praises. Dillard doesn't always comprehend the whys. Instead, it's enough for her to simply touch the surface of mystery and know that it's good or beautiful or frightening. Then, she opens up her mouth and sings.
I have had a really good day. Nothing monumentally stupendous occurred. I didn't win a fellowship to write for a year in a villa in Rome. I wasn't given a full-time teaching job at the university because of my dedication and hard work. And a New York literary agent didn't discover this blog and offer to represent me. Nope. Nothing like that.
I went to work this morning. Worked my ass off all day. Had a meeting at the university about my online film class. And, in about an hour, I'm heading off to a friend's house for a book club meeting where we will barbecue bratwurst and eat noodle salad and talk about a Fannie Flagg novel. Like I said, nothing earth-shattering.
Yet, I'm in a really good mood. Looking forward to an evening of friendship and food. Talking about a good book with people I love. That's the definition of happiness. Yes, tomorrow I will have to get up for work. Yes, Donald Trump will probably say something idiotic tonight that will insult women, Hispanics, African Americans, Muslims, mothers, every member of the LGBT community, and Kermit the Frog. And, yes, I have grading to do and lecture notes to compose.
For tonight, though, these few hours, I am content with my life. Maybe it's because of my newfound focus on the positive. Maybe it's because I didn't encounter any assholes today. Or maybe I'm in a bubble of grace.
Whatever the reason, Saint Marty is going the choir the proper praise tonight.