Another 90 degree day awaits, but cooler days are coming. Autumn can be a solemn season for some, with the fall of every Freddie the Leaf. But we don’t really begin to feel it here ’til around Halloween.
My Peanuts page-a-day has been playing with the solemnity of Fall. Linus and Charlie Brown gleaned this lesson: “Don’t be a leaf. Be a tree.” There are figurative ways to do that, but even the oldest trees must eventually fall. Maybe better to be a root, better still to be the soil.
But this is a birthday for Peanuts (originally “L’l Folks”), in 1950. Charles Schulz said “winning is great, but it isn’t funny.” Detractors say Peanuts isn’t that funny either, but I think it’s often profoundly wise and humane and compassionate. Better than funny.
Also, today’s Wallace Stevens’ birthday. He walked two miles to work at the Insurance Company every day, composing great poems in transit. For him, poetry was god and the whole human race was a poem.
Speaking of god: what a terrific job our reporters in section 13 did yesterday, with their version of “This I Believe.” John gave us his version of Paley’s watch analogy (which still doesn’t impress) and his conviction that some huge intelligence must exist to have created a “ball” big enough to bang out a universe, and to insure ultimate justice (“accountability”). Then in turn we heard Savannah’s agnosticism, Carolyn’s atheism, and McKayla’s scientism. There followed a brief but equally thoughtful class discussion. One of those days that make me grateful for my profession.
And since I cadge from them so much, I should also profess my gratitude for the Almanac. Yesterday they ran a Mark Strand poem I wish I’d written.
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