I’ve been delighted to discover that the topic of goodness is far more popular than I expected in our supposedly cynical society. I’ve now taken to carrying an audio recorder with me because whenever I tell someone what I’m doing, they immediately start talking about their take on goodness. I’ll begin posting these tiny conversations as soon as I get transcriptions completed.
Meanwhile, I’m in the process of negotiating times and dates to interview a Zen master and senior Zen teacher and a poet laureate on the topic of goodness.
Finally, a delightful exchange on Facebook prompted my good friend Mary Beth Cavert to post a quote from The book The Solitary Summer by British novelist Elizabeth von Arnim. Beth is an expert on Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery, best known for Anne of Green Gables, and she came across this quote while researching a new paper on Montgomery. This quote was published in 1899. Think about that for a minute. That’s 111 years ago, and yet the sentiments seem very 21st century, even if the wording isn’t.
If one believed in angels one would feel that they must love us best when we are asleep and cannot hurt each other; and what a mercy it is that once every twenty four hours we are too utterly weary to go on being unkind. The doors shut, and the lights go out, and the sharpest tongue is silent, and all … See Moreof us, scolder and scolded, happy and unhappy, master and slave, judge and culprit, are children again, tired, and hushed, and helpless, and forgiven. And see the blessedness of sleep, that sends us back for a space to our early innocence. Are not our first impulses on waking always good? Do we not all know how in times of wretchedness our first thoughts after the night’s sleep are happy? We have been dreaming that we are happy, and we wake with a smile, and stare still smiling for a moment at our stoney griefs before with a stab we recognize them.