Having been traipsing around Dorset for some time with Thomas Hardy, I have to accept a central lesson from The Mayor of Casterbridge. That by the time we have acquired a gentle wisdom…or the wisdom of gentleness…we have generally lost the urgent drive to get much done. Or to reduce this glittering generality to a very prosaic fact of this morning’s life…. By the time we have acquired the wisdom of letting a cat occupy one’s lap while trying to write a blog, we have given up a high rate of literary output. We will make do with the cat and a few words.
And now a few words from the cat…if we are supremely lucky. For will may wane, but the antic sense doesn’t have to go anywhere. Lose your sense of humor, your sense of the absurd, or viewed more positively…your sense of the outrageously possible…and you have truly lost it all.
Thing is, Hardy does have a point. You never know what corner of which Dorset hovel maybe your final resting place. And yet dreams and dreaminess don’t have to go the way of the stepdaughter Elizabeth. I sober up enough. Just check out the Menlo Park Almanac.
No, don’t. I check it out all too often, being one of the suburban weekly’s current bloggers. Looking at the comments that issue from readers can get one down. The zeitgeist in its fullest flower. Which includes a general pessimism regarding the nation’s future. Not that I have any grand observations regarding the nation itself. No, this pops up around public expenditure. Building this, or investing in that. Most of the time, I don’t have the heart to argue. I scan the comments, think ‘whatever,’ and move on to something else.
Such as memories of Britain in the 1970s. State industries failing…hope failing. The ghost of Empire haunting the populace…then uncannily re-substantiated in the Falklands…only to die again. And yet, look at the place today. I need a fresh look every few months, it seems. Too bad about the long trip and the time zones.
In other words, it is strange to be 67. Loss of will, or more to the point, loss of challenge does threaten. As does loss of fun. My resolution for 2014: focus on the latter.