Final days in Appalachia. A felicitous realization. So long as we live, each day will recur, varying only slightly from the last. We will work and rest, eat and sleep, think and speak. We will incline or be supine; sit down or get up; touch or be touched; be around others or be alone. As Plato knew and as Beckett showed us, sometimes the order of these basic human categories will change and sometimes the order will not change. When they do not change, rituals will spring forth. Mostly, though, each day will recur, until it does not, varying only slightly from the last or from our last.
Thus will some, cueing into the ceaseless repetition or lamenting the impermanence, speak of boredom while their brethren talk of nihilism. The felicitous realization. An activity exemplifying excellence, raised up to perfection in beauty is enough. The answer lies in the manner, chiefly yet not solely in the manner. In what manner do I do anything, in what style think anything I think, how elegantly do I rest? Yes, there is repetition–each, like compost, turning over onto the next–and yes there is impermanence–each particular thing ceasing to exist as this particular thing. Yet here the realization. When I cook, do I care for the thing and pay no attention to myself or to its consumption? When I sit down on the floor and am warmed by the earth and the bumblebees dart and collide, do I care for the activity, not for its ceasing and not for the next thing? Where goes, where is held, where unfolds my attention and in what sort of light does it cast the world beheld?
Radiance. Let us be graced once by excellence and once by beauty. And let us write as unhurriedly and as gently as we have lived.