Wednesday, July 10, 2024


Glittering leaves: high summer: sheets rigged to keep the sun off the windows: watering the trees. In this tender semi-rainforest we stand a heat wave as if it was a seige of nomads: surely they’ll go home soon? They can’t live here.

I mostly keep my counsel. My thoughts are deep undersea, moving in the guck of the sea bottom. I had thought I must review God’s resume and curriculum vitae before doing anything so outlandish as praying: but of course that’s backwards, stupid evangelical stuff. Why would I accept him without knowing him, and how could I know him but by listening to him? So I try from time to time to listen to him. Or “pray,” in the queer Christian terminology. I don’t particularly want anything from him, at the moment. I want to know what this thing is, that I am part of – liegeman of – perhaps the ears and eyes of. Asking favors strikes me as presumptuous and premature. And if I were to ask, it would only be that I learn better to how to listen; and I doubt there’s an reply other than “listen more carefully; listen more often.”

So. It’s been a long time, longer even than it seems.

An old man – a man my age, I mean – stopped by my table at Tom’s, and laid a hand on my arm. “I just wanted to tell you how happy it makes me,” he said, “to see you praying and studying your Bible in the morning.”

I do say a brief prayer over my breakfast when it comes, but it’s a Buddhist prayer, because those are the only ones I know. I suppose he thinks that any Greek must be the Bible; actually the passage I was working on was a dumbed down paragraph from Herodotus. But he had gone off again before I had really come all the way up from my study-trance. And anyway, correcting him seemed idle, or even churlish. Do I know that he was wrong?

Last night, Ellowyn having become fretful, I picked her up and danced with her under the enthralling ceiling fan, and sang The Owl and the Pussycat to an improvised tune:

They sailed away for a year and a day
To the land where the bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a piggie-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose!

She always likes the advent of the piggie-wig.