I have no idea what beauty is or how it might be defined. But I am intrigued by what St. Augustine said about it: “Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked.”
What gives pleasure and exalts the mind and spirit, then, is nature in all its varied moods. As a painter I strive to capture scenes where light is focused in a particularly moody way: a sunset, a cloudy Northwest day on Rattlesnake Ridge, a turbulent sea.
I never know what the hour will be when I emerge out of the deep recesses of my mind and return to the ‘real’ world. Sometimes only an hour has passed and I have composed a thousand words; other times I emerge to find myself in the mid-afternoon with three or four thousand words on the page.
I was lying peacefully in bed this morning, in love with the world, and this life. A feeling of gentle peace had swept over me, even though I heard the rain beginning to fall outside. More rain? Kate says the climate has changed, we now live in a newly tropical rainfall region, and I should just get used to it.
As a poet, I’ve always loved to read, write and translate the love poem, especially the love poem of mixed tone: the one both certain of the attraction and uncertain of the commitment, or uncertain of mutual commitment; the one both fierce and forgiving, or, if not exactly forgiving, wonderfully dismissive when the brave move of separation becomes inevitable.