none of us can bear too much reality

Thinking about swifts has made me think more carefully about the ways in which I’ve dealt with difficulty. When I was small I comforted myself with thoughts of layers of rising air; later I hid myself among the whispers of recorded works of fiction. We all have our defences. Some of them are self-defeating, but others are occasions for joy: the absorption of a hobby, the writing of a poem, speeding on a Harley, the slow assembly of a collection of records or seaside shells. ‘The best thing for being sad,’ said T. H. White’s Merlin, ‘is to learn something.’ All of us have to live our lives most of the time inside the protective structures that we have built; none of us can bear too much reality. We need our books, our craft projects, our dogs and knitting, our movies, gardens and gigs. It’s who we are. We’re held together by our lives, our interests, and all our chosen comforts. But we can’t have only those things, because then we can’t work out where we should be headed.

—  Helen Macdonald, Vesper Flights (Grove Press, August 25, 2020)


Photo Salvi Danes, (Barcelona) (via Your Eyes Blaze Out)

Comments

  1. all about balance in everything

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I needed this voice this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 1. I’m going to make a list of all my defences! Long list.

    2. “But we can’t have only those things, because then we can’t work out where we should be headed.” Yes, Beatrice Woods agreed to that. She said we’re liquid, we’re all soul, and we need something to hold it together. So our soul doesn’t spill over.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    WISE WORDS … all of them!! … “We’re held together by our lives, our interests, and all our chosen comforts. But we can’t have only those things, because then we can’t work out where we should be headed. – Helen Macdonald, Vesper Flights (Grove Press, August 25, 2020)n Macdonald, Vesper Flights (Grove Press, August 25, 2020).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love morning visits that stir my soul.

    Thanks for the awakening!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “None of us can bear too much reality.” Boy does THAT resonate at the moment….

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Too much reality stops us from being us, I think.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I nodded throughout – until the end, when candidly I have no idea where I’m going, where we are going as a nation…I feel the ground unsteady under my feet..

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Regarding your convo with our Sawson…The familiarity of man from BC ” truck load of paper from Weyerhaeuser” Wouldn’t paper from pulp plantation in the Southern USA be ecologically a better choice since it is closer to her locale?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. If I was more on top of this I could have tied in something from the movie “A Man from Snowy River” though I’ve forgotten where you went fishing when you we a mere lad…

    Liked by 1 person

    • British Columbia!

      Like

      • I know where you grew u grew up that is why I said “The familiarity of man from BC” I just like the Australian sweeping saga of Man from Snowy River (out in the Outback and your part of BC near that Continental Divide is an Outback area)and thought I might get a bit witty…perhaps another time I can try to be witty…having grown up in the Land of Boise Cascade, Georgia Pacific and the Giant “Weyerhaeuser” I was just a hoping to encourage the paper business & the need of an order to another area of the USA…

        Liked by 1 person

  11. What Dale, said “Too much reality stops us from being us, I think.” I look at it differently…I see it as bringing out in us the full force of Strength…in a person…as reality is always with us…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ‘The best thing for being sad,’ said T. H. White’s Merlin, ‘is to learn something.’ That statement brought me up short. Reading can usually fulfill this directive. How wise this author is in so many ways.
    Think I’ve done this once! decided to join a small informal class to learn Chinese when I was going through a divorce. It was for 12 weeks and we went on for 3 years. Among the motley group of 8 of us, two were elderly Swiss ladies who were wonderful. Mme Bopp could never get any of the accents right. Our teacher was a lovely young (Chinese) music student at Westminster Choir College.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I’m in a strange place at the moment. Not sure where I’m headed. Sort of floating. The desire to de-clutter is increasing in strength. I guess that’s why I spend so much time looking at the sky — moon, stars, clouds, birds, bats — contemplating and wondering… I honestly think the whole pandemic thing has turned me weird!

    Liked by 1 person

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