Elsewhere, I wrote "I am far, far happier than I was when I was younger. Probably people who had happier childhoods, youths, and young adulthoods find it harder to leave them behind: mine were full of death and dismay and a great deal of pain. So I come out on to this clear sunny sunlit water with a feeling of extreme gratitude and relief. I can't see or hear as well as I could, my mind is a bit duller for cutting a mathematical equation or learning a new language, but there's a constant upwelling of happiness in me, which either was not there, or that I was too anxious to feel, until I was well into my forties. I'm steering towards sixty now, with not a whisper of regret for temps perdu."
I thought perhaps I should say that here, since I do so much mining in the vein of "carefully caught regrets," here; I do so not because I am filled with regret, but because I, like all writers, am a shameless opportunist. I dig where I see something glitter. But my primary, overriding emotion is joy, a sense of the extraordinary abundance that surrounds me, the luck that has haunted me almost all my life. I have a knack, a talent, for happiness, that exceeds that of pretty much anyone I know: and I have been handed extraordinary materials to put that talent to work on. And so I wander out at first light and look at the sky, the perpetually astonishing sky, and it is the first morning that ever was, and I am the first person ever to look at a sky, and it is open, open all the way up to the stars, and past them. And I hear the morning birds as well as I ever did.