Monday, February 18, 2013
Defining a Saint
Après yesterday's interlude of gainful employment, old age and physical exhaustion prevented the mind from doing very much more than staring at a wall, occasionally at a ceiling and sometimes at its own remarkably unattractive feet. Not necessarily a bad thing, because such a torpor does grant a haphazardness, or senility, to mental process that permits doting upon strands of thought that otherwise might be rounded up, put in boxes and then shipped off to the knackers yard, or consumer of last resort. And thank goodness the subject matter was an heroic figure, not some encrusted barnacle of ignoble motive, stuck to a rock, a Limpet, hands on his hips, waiting for his mail order crystallized ginger, wrinkle remover, and assorted scented candles. Otherwise today might have deteriorated toward rampage and ennui.
The distinction made by the category material and idea, is wholly fabricated. It begins at the cocktail party, wanders into the university quarrel, carries through to the pages of books, or bibles, and then you see the man in the short pants and bow tie contemplating the question of reward. In short, feed him a peanut and he'll tell you what you want to hear. Then to go all high and mighty, refuse the peanut, so the invisible might benefit, becomes the beginning of any definition of Saint. And I have to say that something like a Nobel Prize, or a Pulitzer, or an Emmy, or second place for Marmalade at the County Fair or poetry recital, just doesn't substitute for Saint. Pictures today are from E. Shand, who has been hiking in Paris.