Point of View: Raise a Glass

It was Peter Matthiessen, I think, who said that we should consider ourselves lucky if we were awake five minutes a day

    Is it possible that as we age, and become ever more aware of life’s horrors, that we are, perhaps in like manner, ever more stimulated by its beauties and wonders?

    I looked at the grass this morning, though it is not grass, it is an infinity of, to use Mary’s word, species (overlaid by crystallized snow this morning) that, even with Larry Penny at hand, would require endless study to catalog.

    It was Peter Matthiessen, I think, who said that we should consider ourselves lucky if we were awake five minutes a day. 

    “To see eternity in a grain of sand,” I said (in somewhat garbled fashion) to myself on the way to the compost heap.

    And then, of course, one must get ready for work.

    Though not without thinking how much joy remains to be had in loving, so much more than I, a typical American male I would say (and thus perfectly suited to sportswriting) would have expected.

    That I continue to be surprised by this — though not so much anymore by the seemingly limitless cruelty that lies within us — is a wonder to be cherished in my 70s, knowing that I’ve done nothing to merit it. It’s just dumb but marvelous luck.

    The secret, as Andy Neidnig said, is to keep moving. I was about to say that the more you move the less time you have to fret — about the future, about the past. About sins of commission and — perhaps more germane in my case — of omission.

    To reflect in that manner, then, would not be to be awake. I think the idea is to look at things whole for at least five minutes a day — to take it all in, calmly, the sorrow, the ugliness, the joy, and the beauty. For it’s not only beauty that is true, Mary said.

    And, keeping all that in mind, to raise a glass to what we know and to what we do not know, and to moving, and seeing, and feeling.