Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday commute cxxxii: The life to know about

There was food for suspicion,
perhaps, in the wandering
blankness that sat at moments
in his eyes .. but this dis-
couraging symptom was known,
among those who liked him, by
the indulgent name of dreami-
ness. He is the more welcome
to the benefit of such an in-
terpretation as there is al-
ways held to be something en-
gaging in the combination of
the muscular and the musing,
the mildness of strength.

                   "Do you mean that you have lost
                   the faculty of displeasure?"

                   "I haven't the least idea. I
                   never try it. My dear fellow,
                   we have only one life that we
                   know anything about: fancy tak-
                   ing it up with disagreeable im-
                   pressions! When, then, shall we
                   go in for the agreeable? .. The
                   happy moments of our conscious-
                   ness - the multiplication of
                   those moments. We must save as
                   many as possible from the dark

Henry James
The Tragic Muse
Penguin, 1978©

Dorothea Lange

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