Saturday afternoon. It’s a little bit warm here on the deck. I’m sweating a bit but I like the out-of-door light. I’m tapping on the keyboard and sipping on the last of my strawberry kombucha. I have fallen a little out of love with my ferments. You know how it goes with loves. Maybe it goes with my August struggles. I’m struggling with most things this month. But I have to put one foot in front of the other. That’s the only way to get somewhere, anywhere.

I find that words begat words.  It’s how a conversation is started. First a word or two. Then a sentence. Then an idea. Soon there’s a flow, an exchange back and forth. Sometimes you can’t wait for the other person. Some people are not starters. They can’t or simply won’t. I don’t want to turn into a silent stone waiting. I talk to myself often in my head or on the page.  And myself talks back to me. It is often quite rewarding.

Funny that it is so toasty warm now. It was quite cool in the morning. And being Saturday morning, I was a little sad that there’s no more Saturday morning swims because of Covid-19. And a bit melancholy because it is the day of Sheba’s leaving. It is not a bad feeling. It is because I love her. I’m remembering and feeling her presence. It is a warm feeling. AND I have made Tuesday morning my new swim day. I’ve booked my time at the pool for the coming week.

I’m moving steadily if not speedily forward, taking things in stride. My people are well and healthy. My world is peaceful at the moment. The neighbourhood is quiet for the most part though Dxxxy behind and one over behind us was revving and roaring his motorcycle this morning. It was thunderous and heart pounding. It was something quite annoying when I wasn’t feeling on top of the world. But I am happy he is not next door to me. I’m not the one he called a bitch. I’m not the one he threatened to burn the house down with me in it. This on account of his neighbour’s tree doing damage to his shingles.

Well, it’s not all about trees and shingles. Dxxxy has/had a brain tumour. But he is still driving his truck and motorcycle. He is still at large in the world as is my neighbour. No, it would not be fair to lock them in jail because they have an illness. But then neither is it fair to us, their neighbours, to suffer their behaviour. Life is not fair. We all know that. I guess it is up to the strong to look out and give a helping hand to our weaker neighbours. We are each other’s keepers. We can’t just let them run amok, can we?

It’s good to remember the words of Desiderata.

GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

By Max Ehrmann © 1927
Original text