Angell, Apples, Augustine, Boethius

It’s Augustine and Boethius in CoPhi today, and peripatetic thoughts on solitude and silence. 

First, happy birthday to the great New Yorker editor and writer Roger Angell. He made himself a place in Cooperstown, saying baseball is “a great game for writers because it’s just the right pace. You can watch the game and keep score and look around and take notes. Now and then you even have time to have an idea, which in many sports you don’t have room for.”

Young Augustine had ideas, some not half bad, but he was also stuffed with a sense of his and our sinfulness. He prayed hard for deliverance in due course but first dallied with delight and the dark-and-light Manichean struggle that seemed to suit his temperament. Unlike the Greeks he was sure that space and time are ex nihilo. Bertrand Russell thinks his philosophy of time, unlike the core of his theology, is worthy of consideration. The idea that Adam freely bit an apple and corrupted the rest of us for all time, though, infants and John Calvin included, was not so brilliant. He might have said more, we may say in hindsight, to address the impending darkness of medieval time.


Boethius, on the other hand, impresses Russell greatly despite his Platonism. Finding his greatest consolation in the philosophy of the Stoics, he didn’t whine over his appalling imprisonment or weep for his sins. 

Frederic Gros says you can’t ever really walk alone. I agree, as did Charles Schulz. One thing to be said for canines (and maybe this is what the Cynics really admired most): they don’t wear you down with too much chatter. Sometimes I do think I too could turn and live with them.
Image result for you''ll never walk alone if you're lucky you'll have a dog snoopy

Weekend update. Highlight of parents’ weekend in Illinois: the annual Apple Festival in Murphysboro where we met an old woman who said she’d been at the very first one, 65 years ago. We came home with apples, apple butter, apple cider, apple pie… but without apple-induced anxiety for our eternal souls. Life is still good.

6 am/6:35, 71/87/61, 6:47

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