1) Wakeful in the night - I mean exceptionally wakeful - and chose to start my day just before 5 AM. Parlor coffee and devotional: much of John 12 from Mother’s Lamsa Bible, C.S. Lewis (first time since April 19 - I have not been good about having devotional the last couple weeks), The Art of Worldly Wisdom #26, quite a bit of It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be (which I picked up in New York in January), and the entry on Shostakovich in Daily Rituals.
1a) From John 12: verse 31: “Now is the judgment of this world; now the leader of this world will be cast out.” And verse 43: “For they loved the honor of men more than the glory of God.”
1b) I’ve said it before, and it’s still true: I love the dark, quiet hour before sunrise.
2) “Murder is relaxing at times of stress,” I always say, but only when it’s fictional. I’m still slogging through Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, and I must say it’s depressing - but not easy to put down. I’ve just started the bit where Molotov’s Jewish wife Polina is about to be arrested as part of a postwar anti-Semitic pogrom. About 98% of this book is entirely new information for me; obviously I’d be much more interested in the Romanovs and the Ballets Russes. Reading this biography is like reading all Orwell’s original source material.
3) What can we all cultivate today that is beautiful? A thought, a task, a handshake, a child’s imagination?