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Placid [Jul. 10th, 2016|08:15 pm]
The weather could hardly have been better today. Not only did the chilly night bring a welcome coolness to the house, but I was able to leave the windows open all day to admit the fresh, mild air, and it never got above seventy degrees. I won't even need the fan tonight, which will leave the house delightfully quiet for the first time in over a week. While tomorrow will be warmer, it could be almost as good as today was. It's like spring has come back to make up for the hot days we endured in early June.

Plus I have pie.

For some reason the stores were nearly empty this afternoon, and I managed to get done with the shopping faster than usual. This has provided me with a more relaxed evening than I can usually expect on Sunday, and I'll have some time to do a bit of watering in the yard before I have to fix dinner. And while the jasmine in the back yard is all but gone, there are still some blossoms on the gardenia bush in the front yard, so the evening remains pleasantly scented.

The sun is very close to setting right now, with a few bright rays making their way through the pines. By the time I get outside they will be gone, and the crescent moon will be emerging in twilight. The air is cool and quite still, bespeaking an almost languorous dusk. There should be crickets to keep me company as I water the plants. Probably no birds, though. They have already fallen still. I don't even hear the woodpeckers who usually chatter goodbye to the day. Perhaps they have been overcome by the languor. I'm going to go see if I can be, too.

Sunday Verse

A Brief For the Defense

by Jack Gilbert

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that's what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.