“I have always seen a great similarity in the turn of our minds. — We are each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity with all the eclat of a proverb.”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice xviii.
There are days on which a juggler attempts to juggle seven torches, and burns the house down.
There are days on which the chef works to prepare a five-course dinner, and spoils all the courses.
There are days on which a writer labors to find just the right words — words that will amaze the whole room, words that’ll be handed down to posterity with the eclat of a proverb, words that will give to airy nothing a shape, a local habitation, and a name — and his words fall flatter than the paper he writes on.
This is one of those days.
Yesterday was one of those days, too. Ditto for the Saturday that immediately preceded yesterday.
It’s rather a nasty jar when two such days immediately precede, and one such day coincides with, a day on which you have the duty to post something witty and edifying in this space. To discover that you have not even sufficient fuel in the tank to spin your insufficiency into a halfway enlightening, or halfway entertaining, little ditty.
Apparently it’s a dangerous thing to pray C. S. Lewis’s old prayer: “O Thou, fair Silence, fall, and set me free.”(1) Like all prayers, it might be granted.
(1) From “The Apologist’s Evening Prayer.”