How We Spend Our Days

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living.

– from The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

Thursday afternoon miscellany

A few things I have been enjoying:

-Richard Thompson’s Cul de Sac is a comic strip that gets compared with Calvin and Hobbes, partly because it centers on children, but partly because it is freshly funny, with drawings to match. Read the Cul de Sac blog here, and read Thompson’s poetic collage of George W. quotes here.

-Annie Dillard made a found poem of a different kind when she made a collage of actual deathbed utterances. The poem is included in her book Mornings Like These,  and  I set it to music in my song cycle Holy the Firm (scroll down). (While the poem I set, Deathbeds, is (pardon the expression) deadly serious, Mornings Like These includes some of the funniest texts you will ever read, poor innocent paragraphs that turn out to be hysterical when taken out of context and presented as poetry.) I was interested to read a few more final words, these from famous writers, in a list that appears on the Guardian website.

– Cathy Berberian’s recordings of Stravinsky songs – Three Little Songs, Pribaoutki, Cat’s Cradle Songs – just ooze with character and charisma. Find them as part of this set.

– Barbara at Barefoot Toward the Light has posted an excerpt from a book by James Martin S.J. that is worth pondering.