Books that have become classics -- books that have had their day and now get more praise than perusal -- always remind me of retired colonels and majors and captains who, having reached the age limit, find themselves retired on half pay.
Consider a man riding a bicycle. Whoever he is, we can say three things about him. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. Most important of all, we know that if at any point between the beginning and the end of his journey he stops moving and does not get off the bicycle he will fall off it. That is a metaphor for the journey through life of any living thing, and I think of any society of living things.
Let me be a little kinder, Let me be a little blinder To the faults about me; Let me praise a little more, Let me be, when I am weary; Just a little bit more cheery, Let me serve a little better Those that I am striving for. Let me be a little braver When temptation bids me waver, Let me strive a little harder To be all that I should be; Let me be a little meeker to the brother that is weaker; Let me think more of my neighbor and a little less of me.
Fewer and fewer Americans possess objects that have a patina, old furniture, grandparents pots and pans -- the used things, warm with generations of human touch, essential to a human landscape. Instead, we have our paper phantoms, transistorized landscapes. A featherweight portable museum.