The need to make a living tends to interfere significantly with the living of the life that it's supposed to make more comfortable, an observation which has struck many people before me, and was probably not original when Ugg the caveman was moaning about how having to go out hunting interfered with the jolly lunch he was planning. It's still true, though, and Hickory, who among other things, writes books about Spanish education law (yes, it's as fun as it sounds), has just been commisioned to do another one, which will pay for the beer but makes ranting a bit trickier. And, so, instead of what would probably be a rather tedious over-analysis of that much-noticed fact, and in place of anything a bit meatier, I offer the reader a few things that have flitted through my mind in the last few days.
That great Southern poet, Tom T. Hall, the Storyteller, observed that "ain't but three things in this world that's worth a solitary dime, old dogs and children, and watermelon wine".
I dare say he knows what he's talking about, but I would add one, or more, or none, or remove them all, or not understand the question, depending on the moment. One thing, however, I have found to be worth more than anything else, worth doing, that is, worth spending part of your life on- and it is the contemplation of beauty.
There is beauty in the natural world, and in the creations of man, and in many an abstract concept, there is beauty in ideas, in words, in sounds, in the chance disposition of objects on a surface, in the night sky, in the feel of a wind on the skin, in patterns of numbers and how they interact, and an unquantifiable number of other things we perceive.
There is always time to notice beauty in what is around us, and it makes all the other things we have to do a little more purposeful.
And now, can anyone tell me how to make watermelon wine...?