The other day I was lying in the woods, on a hammock on a mountaintop, reading aloud to young people, and wondered, for a second, why there was no professional job market for reading aloud on hammocks to young people, why there isn’t a real market demand for just such a role and why imagined salaries for such work wouldn’t rival those of morally questionable military contractors or knee-breaking thugmasters. And of course, what happened next was obvious: my bliss at the hammock and the mountain and the good book and the eager young people were corrupted, and for a split second I was Don Jenaro, an unbeliever and a nasty harridanny crank. Here’s the quote I came back to when we climbed down the hill:
There had been times in his youth, in the ardor of young manhood, when he had cherished ambitions to be somebody great and important. He had not succeeded in surpassing a decent mediocrity. But in this assured, deep-rooted, indestructible mediocrity he had the satisfaction of thinking about those who struggled, those who had a faith, an ideal, a political, social, or artistic belief for which they strove, for which they suffered privations and anxieties – and which perhaps they never saw realized.
I mean, it’s enough to force even the likes of to shut the valve off and get back to reading affectionately to the children.
On a mostly unrelated note, one of the top authors in Miette’s Preferred Podcasted Authors Network here, Bart Midwood, has a new project in the works that I can’t help but pass along. Do add word of The Francophile to your Myface Twitty Bookmarks Feeds and if you’re in the area we’ll go see it together on opening night.