Listening to Proust

I’m listening this morning to the lovely overdue pitter-pat of a drenching rain on the tin roof of my Little House porch.

It really doesn’t hurt to listen. I like listening, for instance, to Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. It’s a perpetual fount of inspiration, positive and negative. Today’s a good example, with positive Proust and negative Calvin. Make a wish, boys.

MP: I wish I could return to the innocence of childhood, and my little madeleine cookie.

JC: I wish I might be among the arbitrarily-“elect.” To hell with the rest.

Proust’s cookie conjures the epiphanic power of memory, and reminds us of the magic of childhood.

Calvin’s poison TULIP, on the other hand desecrates childhood with its claim of “total depravity” etc. He wouldn’t know what to do with a madeleine, or a happy memory. If there were a hell, it would surely be reserved for party-spoilers like JC.

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