Letters of Life

Once More, With Feeling

There’s been a lot on my mind lately: Some sparkling conversation over a lively lo-hei dinner on Friday. I laughed in a way that I’d forgotten I was capable of, among an age group I’d forgotten how to have fun with. I should get out more. Have I regressed? ‘Course not.

Another conversation Saturday, during vocal lessons. About relinquishing the self, about learning to feel, *truly feeling* at a deepseated level, where the passions lie. To learn to dance in the spirit so that the body becomes one with the song. To let go.

It’s hard. As Churchill put it: A “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” This much is true. It’s going to get harder before it gets any easier.

I don’t remember it being this baffling with writing. Maybe I worked it out back then–I had the time–with dictionaries, a thesaurus, good magazines, books, likeminded friends, editors, deadlines, learning the discipline of the art.

I find my solace in the thing I love the most: Words— well chosen, evocative of another time and place, expressing what, at times like this, I cannot.

He got up and walked across the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries gardens to the Louvre. She had once told him that she often went there, and he had a fancy to spend the intervening time in a place where he could think of her as perhaps having lately been.

For an hour or more he wandered from gallery to gallery through the dazzle of afternoon light, and one by one the pictures burst on him in their half-forgotten splendour, filling his soul with the long echoes of beauty. — Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence, 1920

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