My mother used to say, "a good deed in a naughty world"––she thought "naughty world" was a funny way of putting it.
I always thought she was quoting the Bible. All these years later, this morning I looked it up.
It's Portia's speech in Merchant of Venice, Act V, Scene 1, as she returns to her house, victorious:
"How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world."
There ya go--when in doubt, guess the Bible or Shakespeare.
The quote reminds me of ... the girlettes. They are little affirming flames, and also sometimes naughty, in the jelly-baby sense of the word. (Well, not Penny Cooper, she is never naughty or in any way jellylike.)
I figured Shakespeare didn't mean "naughty" in the mild sense, as we'd say of a child.
Etymology: naughty (adj.): late 14c., nowghty, noughti "needy, having nothing," also "evil, immoral, corrupt, unclean," from nought, naught "evil, an evil act; nothingness; a trifle; insignificant person; the number zero"The mitigated sense of "disobedient, bad in conduct or speech, improper, mischievous" (especially of the delinquencies of children) is attested from 1630s.
[After Shakespeare (1564 –1616).]
So we could say, A good deed in a needy world.
But that's not as fun.
I should blog every day because when I take a break, it's hard to start up again. It's not that I don't want to write, but things pile up and I feel overwhelmed––where to start?––and don't.
Here, to get started again, I'll list a couple few things:
1. I'm going house sitting for SIX weeks, starting in a week (Friday June 25–).
Not, alas, the big, beautiful house with two cats I've sat the last two summers, but still a nice, little house to myself, with a patio. No pets, but a garden to water every day.
Most importantly, the house has central air.
We've had a hot June so far, and while it's cooling off now for a bit, July is sure to be a stinker too.
2. June 4 was my third anniversary of becoming Book Lady at the thrift store. (I'd volunteered in housewares a few months before, too.)
I continue to be soooo much happier at work since resigning from social media. Free from the political mire there, I just do the little things. I'm better at those and enjoy them more, even when they're hard.
3. I'm over the moon that Marz is moving back across the river in July and taking up a new job--a promotion!--at the co-op (the one she'd left for the New Mexico goat farm last fall).
4. Ten years ago, tomorrow, Marz, bink, and I walked into Santiago, Spain, the end point of the Camino.
There we met up with blog friends Annika & Eeva, and walked on to Finisterre, as far west as you can go. I got back home on July 3.
Speaking of little things, on June 18, 2011, I wrote that thoughts on Camino are mostly about food! And kind actions too.
"Spiritual things?And why not? Food is one of the easiest ways to be kind.
Here´s the scoop:
You can find the fruits of the Spirit in the roadside cherries a non-English speaking pilgrim picked, washed, and plunked on the table in front of us at an albergue, and then walked away.
This sort of kindness happens all the time on the road."
Speaking of food & Camino:
Marz (right) and I playing catch with an orange outside an albergue on the way to Finisterre (photo by Eeva):
I loved it. It was sometimes hard to write instead of using a photo, which was the point:
I want to post pictures, but not as replacements for writing the thing itself.
Huh--I'd written about that when I returned from Camino:
"I miss blogging but haven't been able to get traction to really get started again. I came out to Bob's [coffee shop] today at noon intending to blog then did everything but for six hours.6. I'm going to give strength-training classes a try after next week.
Including posting some Camino pics--which, while fun, doesn't count as blogging for me."
I'd worried about giving up my weekly private class with Gym Teacher, which was like talk therapy through Covid winter;
but since Covid vaccine spring, I'm seeing so many people again I don't need that.
Over the past six months, I've gained confidence that I'm strong enough to work to get a bit stronger.
To be able to walk to the toilet and wipe my own butt for as long as humanly possible.
Also, in the meantime... I'd promised myself I wouldn't walk the Camino again when I turned sixty (I'd walked it at forty and fifty)because it is painful and boring. And I didn't--because of Covid.
But... I had a dream about walking it and woke up with longing to do it.
Maybe at sixty-one...?
Even if I don't, I want to be strong enough to know I could walk 500 miles. (I am now, I think, as long as I went slower.)
Also, thinking about helping one another, it helps if you're strong enough to do the deed.
Deliver the cherries, throw the orange.
Light the little candle.
Ten years ago, I wrote:
Not to worry. The Camino never really ends.