Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Memorial Day week-end and everything is beautiful here. The sun is out early but it is not too hot—just right for lolling out on the sand. Though not quite June, it is a rare day in May. So many people are away on holiday trips that the free and open roadway is not as crowded here as it might otherwise be on such a day, providing clear easy paths for the cyclists and strollers in bright beach togs. As this day unwinds it’s leisurely hours each one appears better than the last and seems, in it’s own way, perfect for all God’s Memorial Day children—but there is a rift in the lute!

Like the fellow who keeps making silly blunders said, “I am not at all well”. Confined to quarters on this beautiful Military Remembrance Day with an undefined and so far unnamable ailment for three days now, my undisciplined creative bent has brought vividly to my mind many incurable and interminable ailments, some quite unknown to medical science, and all sure to result in great pain and suffering. Which, by the way, I already have some of, and since my sanest guess is that I harbor a strange kind of food poisoning I eat only packets of oatmeal cooked with water. For three days. I would describe my symptoms but they so far elude description; when I think of the task of telling a doctor what they are I realize immediately that I am probably beyond help, because I have never heard of some of those vague, ill defined aches and pains either.

But I have still wanted to somehow make use of that venerable phrase “a rift in the lute’ for no other reason than because I am fond of older English words and expressions. This one roughly means that one false or omitted note may ruin the whole cantata, and dates at least from the Sixteenth century—(Alfred Lord Tennyson also used it in a longish verse called Vivien’s Song). So just here, amidst my moaning and groaning comes, quite appropriately, the flash-back that a wiser one than I wrote one of those “Hee Hoo” adages, as I choose to call them, to wit: “He who is not grateful for the good things he has would not be satisfied with what he wishes he had.” And there you have the “rift”; before your very gaze I have spoiled the beauty of this day the Lord has made, and have yet to be really glad in it. Do you out there think that Forgiveness is too much to ask?

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