I was happy to finish with December as the second best month — 149.5 miles. I went for 367 walks this year and walked for a total of 376 hours and 50 minutes. My goal for next year is 30 miles per week for a total of 1,560 miles.
My third quarter project in history asks students to do something like this extraordinary mural. Here you have two panels: one in Iraq, the other from a nearby park. How do you reconcile the two? How do these lives intersect? How do they connect? Can one exist without the other? Can we deny one and not the other?
I was thinking a lot about this article as I was walking.
But the truth is that the longer I have lived, and the shorter my future, the less pursuing I have done. Some of this may come from a peculiarly Irish positive pessimism — be happy, things will get worse — more of it from the history of disappointment all artists know and the rest from a remnant Catholic guilt that says you don’t deserve happiness anyway. The point is, in my case, happiness seemed a thing that could not be pursued, only realized and chosen.
This is the ending of the article:
“I mean, what do you do to be happy?”
The question was a novelty to him and he considered it from all sides before answering.
“When I want a holiday,” he said at last, “I go over the road as far as the meadow. I go in there, take off my jacket, and lay down on it. I watch the world turning for a bit, with me still in it.”
He smiled then, and held me in his blue Atlantic eyes, full of the ordinary wisdom of a well-lived life, a wisdom that saw the many failings of the world but our still breathing and dreaming in it, and with a conclusive nod that defeated all arguments said, “That’s happiness.”
Photos coming — had camera with me in walk to Esposito’s
Thirty-four mile week. Not bad.