Monday, December 8, 2008
Lazy Morning Thoughts
These wild turkeys have nothing to do with my morning thoughts, but I spied the flock wandering around Northport the day after Thanksgiving, too late to post them for the holiday, and they’ve been hanging out on my desktop ever since, waiting their turn on the blog.
Luxuriating beneath the covers for the second snowy morning in a row, my mind drifting from one thing to another until it reached Mackinac Island, I found myself asking, “How did I get here?” Then a reconstruction: I had begun by reminding myself of the new Bill Moyers book. This brought to mind a weekend philosophy conference (1994?) at the Aspen Institute, with Moyers scheduled as moderator. He could not attend, due to illness, a great disappointment to me, but the conference itself was a glimpse into another world for me. About a dozen graduate students, of whom I was one, had our expenses paid by the Institute. The only other female grad student was a young, beautiful, brilliant rabbi’s daughter. All the males were clean-scrubbed conservative Catholics, natural law adherents. “Law all the way down,” one of them affirmed. I couldn’t resist teasing him a little: “I thought it was turtles.” This memory brought in its train the wonderful turtle sculpture on Mackinac Island….
One of the young Catholic men, learning of my love for Bergson, loaned me Maritain’s book on Bergson. (It did not tempt me to transfer my allegiance.) This memory led me to reflect for the –nth time on Bergson’s treatment of Xeno’s paradoxes. Bergson’s basic insight was that the paradox is not in reality but in the intellect’s analysis of reality. (We know, after all, that the arrow does reach the target, whatever the paradox has to say about the impossibility of this result.) His second insight: intelligence leads us astray when we apply it outside its area of expertise, which is inherently practical. Thus the paradoxes and conundrums that result from metaphysical inquiry.
Oh, no, not more philosophy! Very well, then, how about chocolate? There is a wonderfully simple recipe on the Baker’s baking chocolate box for Chewy Chocolate Drops. I will not reproduce it here but will suggest an addition, one I have not yet tried: chopped dried cherries. Chewy Chocolate Cherry Drops! That may be the best idea I had in my morning musings.
P.S. forget the icing. The cookies don’t need it, cherries or no.