Lilies of the field
Business. A man steps out and plants his boot on the face of the world.
The malleable world, the world that you alter for your own ends: it's a new idea. I got so used to the world as the stone cliff you dash your head against, the lead suit you have to wear. That's the sullen modern reading of Romanticism for you: Lukács on the fatal mismatch between the size of the world and the size of your soul, or Benet's Inspiration and Style, as I was just reading:
No barrier can prevail against style, insofar as it encompasses the writer's power to break a far sterner, far more rigorous and far more permanent siege: that imposed by the dictates of reality. It is a strange power, for the reality that surrounds him is infinite in its extension and depth. This reality confronts the writer under a double aspect: as persecution and as field of action. So long as the writer has no recourse to an instrument for dominating it, he finds himself persecuted; but one day its siege is broken, and all its immense and compact host goes over to form a part of the artist's ranks, like that dubious army of mercenaries always ready to fight for whoever pays most. So that the enemy - that indefinable and infinite reality - becomes his ally.
Something like that has been my horizon. But when you finally climb into Procrustes' bed, and push on it, and discover that it too changes size?
J. passed her oral exam triumphantly; it was like watching a cheerful morality play about virtue finally being rewarded. We get a few years in Palo Alto, I hope quiet ones. The rainy season has finally started down here, a gentle affair, fine droplets from a silver sky and a faint general warmth, the tactful sun shutting its eyes in heaven.