Pic of the day: The mother and sister of the artist, by Berthe Morisot
In its broad sense, civilization means not only comfort in daily necessities but also the refining of knowledge and the cultivation of virtue so as to elevate human life to a higher plane… It refers to the attainment of both material well-being and the elevation of the human spirit, [but] since what produces man’s well-being and refinement is knowledge and virtue, civilization ultimately means the progress of man’s knowledge and virtue.
Fukuzawa Yukichi, An Outline of a Theory of Civilization (1875)
Fat, rested, and happy. I sit after a slow day in front of a computer, looking through the diffuse light of a single 60 watt bulb burning on the other side of the living room and the computer screen in front of me. A haze is created by the dirty glasses I wear, scratched and worn from years of everyday use, which gives the room and everything in it a slight misty feel to it.
The house is a mess. It’s not too bad it has been worse, but it’s been better too. A finer layer of cat hair rests upon the couch to my right, despite the regular cleaning it gets. One of the two cats who made the mess walks up to me and mews. I look at him, reach my hand down, and he responds by rubbing the left side of his head on my hand, and begins to purr loudly. I pick him up and hold him while sitting in front of the computer and scratch behind his ears. He likes this, but he likes the freedom of walking on his own more and jumps down and walks away.
I let him go, and turn an ear to the television before looking at it. I hear a man speaking. The voice is familiar but I can’t remember the name immediately. After a minute the name comes to me, Ossie Davis. It’s a documentary about Thomas Jefferson. With the usual Ken Burns style it weaves the story of the man in a way that only Mr. Burns could.
Tell the tale to the room for the moment, Mr. Burns. I decide to play the guitar for a few quick minutes, just to play, just to feel the steel under my fingers. I, sitting, play the beloved instrument. Weave a minute or two in B minor, then work E spanish for a little bit. I don’t have a set reff I want to play, though I could if I so chose.
But time is moving, and I feel that I should as well. I get up to clean things for a minute, but move to a different chair. Almost immediately I feel sleep fall on me. I tried to fight it, but to no avail. I was asleep before three minutes were gone.
That’s it from here, America. G’night.