Hello, my dears. I hope…

Hello, my dears. I hope you're all doing well; I'm feeling content. Clothes are tumbling in the dryer, and on top of the dryer sits a bowl of rising bread (for Christmas stollen, recipe from Fannie Farmer). I've gone through my e-mail for the morning, responded to notes generally pleasant, had a nice breakfast, and am getting ready to make pumpkin pies. (I'm going perhaps a little overboard on the baking (two batches of cookies on Thursday, deep dish apple pie and Dutch apple cake on Friday, pumpkin pies and stollen and maybe a rum cake today) for this party, but it's fun, so who cares? I'll let my housemates handle the decorating). I finally Fed Ex'd that article to Jeff, and all here is calm.

I just added a lovely new poem that one of you sent me some time ago to the Yeats page, "When You Are Old". I'm not sure I understand the third stanza, but it's so lovely, that I don't mind. Especially the second stanza, last line.

Last night was odd. Jed came by and we watched Shadowlands. I don't know if you're familiar with that movie; it's about C.S. Lewis's life; a true story. That was all I had known about it beforehand; Jed had heard that it was about Lewis falling in love. Which it is, but more immediately, it is about pain and cancer and God and faith and doubt and joy. We talked for a long time afterwards, about some of the ideas the movie brought up. I recommend it highly.

If we take as a given that we can move through pain to strength, the question still remains of whether that is the only way. Is the sorrow necessary to the joy? Is true beauty only to be found in the ephemeral? I don't know. I find myself thinking of a scene in a Diane Duane Star Trek novel (I don't know if I've discussed this here before, so if I have forgive me, and if you haven't read _The Wounded Sky_ you may want to skip the rest of this paragraph), where they're in the process of basically awakening/creating a universe. McCoy asks K't'lk (the channel, I suppose would be the best word; the shaper), "Do we have to give them death?" And she answers that death is the only way that we know to potentially step out of the box, the game, to join with a larger Self. And then he asks, "Well, can we at least spare them pain?" He's a doctor, you know. Kirk is thinking at this moment that all McCoy wants is to know that some place in all the universes he'll be forever out of a job. And she shakes her crystal head sorrowfully, and says that she doesn't know that it's safe to meddle with that process either.

I find myself aching for McCoy (and yes, I know he's just a character in a book, but that's never stopped me before; I've wept buckets for characters in books, and fallen in love with them...), yet I know what she means. What would we replace it with, after all? What mechanism for learning would we put in? If it were all effortless, easy, joyous even -- would it still have such value? I don't know.

Heavy thoughts for a light and lovely morning. I think I'd best get back to my pies. Have a good weekend, everyone.

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