Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A LESSON IN THE GENTLE ART OF LIVING


Obviously I'm alive! Should there be a state law banning relaxed pants? Stop worrying and start living! A good friend of mine recently reminded me of some advice I'd given her back in college:

"If a man were obliged to chronicle with brevity, the leading events of our terra incognita, I would advise him to reduce them to 'arrivals and departures.' As the door is never locked, the stream of visitors is incessant. Every man coming from 'the corners of the earth' drops in with a 'God save all here!' This is the Shibboleth of Ballycroy; the accredited letter of introduction, and, better for the traveller still, a full acquittance for meat, drink, and lodging."

We should be careful and discriminating in all the advice we give. We should be especially careful in giving advice that we would not think of following. Political rhetoric is hard enough to understand. Many folks are pure partisans, deeply associated with one party or another or one ideology. In one study 75% of women reported more satisfaction in their sex life after only three months of regular yoga practice.

If you haven't popped yet, don't worry! An assistant principal at King High School in Tampa was investigated for his practice of pulling on students' toes when their grades slipped. We sat down to dinner tête-à-tête, and although both myself and my kinsman made an exertion to banish unpleasant reminiscences, the evening was the most sombre that I had yet passed. The happy party who once tenanted our “merie home,” are never to meet again. The otter-killer “sleeps the sleep that knows no breaking”—the Colonel has retired to his winter quarters—the Priest’s confessions call him from us for a season—and some secret intelligence which reached the lodge over night, has caused Hennessey to disappear.

Even worse, he left behind a letter claiming he was a ghost so he wouldn't have to talk to me again:

"Dearest Mumkins, Mumphery, Ma, —

I got your post card the day after you went away, and I was awfully glad to get it. We went 'Upstairs' in school to-day, to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday, and Mrs.—somebody—read aloud that little book about Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg. She read it awfully well."

Nothing short of the landing of a French army, or a smuggler, could occasion such confusion. The chamber of state is invaded, rifles are uncased, shot exchanged for bullets, a basket with refreshments packed; all is hurry and preparation, and in an incalculably short time, we are ready for the fray, and in full march for the mountains. Shakespeare, or he is belied, was in his youth a deer fancier, and he would probably describe this busy scene by “loud alarum, exeunt omnes.”

The movie was a huge hit and if the spirits align, the show could become a smash in its own right. You smashed us, we smash you back!

This morning we have had an alliterative arrival—a piper, a pedlar, and a priest. Although I place them according to their order of approach, I need scarcely say, that the last, our respected friend, has given unexpected pleasure. For me, the visit is delightful, for I hope to obtain another lesson in the “gentle art.”

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