Sometimes the day is so full of many and disparate ideas and events, whether solid and material or simply numerical, that it’s difficult to get hold of them before they have slipped away, but it is fitting that on the very day when I have chosen to devote thought to this big subject, that I hear That Billy Graham, all unknowing, the latest explicater of the Unimille theory, at age 92, is quite sick in the hospital with pneumonia. In fact I find myself wanting to talk about Billy Graham instead because Unimille is so hard that I had already decided to call today’s examination short after the briefest of descriptions. Suffice it to say that on a May afternoon when you might be standing in the best twilight you may see the agents, whom you have already met as THEY dance in the Ring, still dancing as it does. For that is the primary mystery, the absence of gender or number distinctions. It is one as they dance in the circle touching hands at all times; It seems still one when a chair is pulled away from the outer ring and he or she falls down. .
All things from one.. And as I began to say, on a day like today, when it feels as if the earth is in flux, when the movement of the seasons seems to give a kind of counter motion to our earth I cannot possibly relate the meetings, the confluences, the brushings both near and far that I would have to record if I were to give, or try to give, a complete understanding of unimille and his minions, the ones who make things happen, THOSE with the silly sense of humor who play tricks, like when someone says, You must have been behind the door when the brains were passed out. All true, all stemming from that single force. THEY, who ………….
STOP THE PRESSES. Jim let out the chickens. They need their freedom, he says. He says you can’t expect them to remain cooped up in the same dreary surroundings. But I like to answer that the reason they live in such dismal circumstances is their own miserable sense of order and cleanliness. When I looked out the window just now they were already scratching their hearts out in the bed at the bottom of the terrace. Dirt flew; the chickens pecked and nibbled; a worm hung twisting languidly in chicken A’s beak. Her comb jiggled, and every move on the parts of both chickens A and B indicated a homey satisfaction in a job well done. They gave off an aura of proud housewifery. I’ve known quite a few housewives (smelling of fresh bread and furniture polish) who led similar lives. Such lives unroll in a predictable manner during which there is successful training in the duties and skills of housewifery, followed by a willing acquiescence in using them, and finally giving off the impression that they have learned everything that is worth knowing. There is comfort in being around a woman like that. Her womanly virtues keep you safe, well fed, free of random yearnings for different scenery.
But then, like chickens A and B, they have managed to separate themselves from less fortunate hens or women. They have, and, I believe, with purpose, managed to avoid serious connection with different examples of lives filled with disquieting events of all kinds. The chickens cooped up and over fed on a big chicken farm for instance, where, as an owner once told me, an occasional bird stands, leaps up in the midst of her sisters, twirls madly for a minute or so and drops dead. That poor chicken never even guessed there was such a thing as an airy coop , a yard with a little grass and some dirt to bathe in, an accommodating rooster who saw to it that there was more to life than an empty egg.
Jim finished the tilling and put the chickens back where they belong. They don’t seem either more or less happy behind their fence, so aptly called chicken wire. This afternoon, when Betsy comes home, she is going to plant the begonias. I was going to have lunch with Bunny, but Bunny is sick with a sore throat, and I am broken from yesterday’s garden struggles. I think I’ll read an article in the Atlantic called “The Tragedy of Sarah Palin,” and then go to Annutto’s to get some fruit. Oh yes and check to see how the lettuce is doing.