Monday, October 25, 2010

Violet Cow

Our weekends are usually cut from the same pattern: sleep indulgence once free from the tyranny of the alarm clock, a few requisite errands to maintain order, a movie from the Film List, leisurely conversations over beers,  etc.  This is how we recharge and we are very fortunate as a couple in that, even though he is a total extrovert and I am an introvert, we naturally fall into the same daily rhythm for our free time: sleep + music/film/literature + booze + conversation.  That commonality is not a requirement for a happy couple, but it sure is pleasant.  This weekend was especially great, not because we did anything out of the ordinary, but because the awareness of our good fortunate was heightened.  It's funny how something like the drudgery of work can be thrown over perception like a wet blanket.  For whatever reason, all those distractions were brushed away and we could just experience how happy we are.  Things are of course far from perfect, as they always will be, but it's amazing how different your life can look from two different angles: focus on money struggles, job less than perfect, friends and family far away, missed opportunity in your career, a plan falling through, buttons missing from your coat versus being newlywed to your soul mate, employed in a difficult economy, living in a pretty apartment, having two great families, blessed with wonderful friends, inspiration.  It's amazing how much that can change your perception.
I browsed through my blog from five years ago and found this Chesterton quote from the William Blake biography that is just perfect:

Impressionism is skepticism. It means believing one's immediate
impressions at the expense of one's more permanent and positive
generalisations. It puts what one notices above what one knows. It
means the montrous heresy that seeing is believing. A white cow at one
particular instant of the evening light may be gold on one side and violet on
the other. The whole point of Impressionism is to say that she really is a
gold and violet cow. The whole point of Impressionism is to say that there
is no white cow at all. What can we tell, it cries, beyond what we can
see? But the essence of Mysticism is to insist that there is a white cow
however veiled with shadows or painted with sunset gold. Blessed are they
who have seen the violet cow and who yet believe in the white one.

~William Blake by G.K. Chesteton 


Natalie said...

A beautiful post, Megs! I very much enjoyed it, I needed a little inspiration for my day!

Angelie said...

*sniff* I miss both of you and the weekend routine!!! Beer, conversation (maybe shots on a Friday night), movies, Sequence, Scrabble, and other games...It's been a long time.

Lyda said...

I love this post. It was really a refreshing read to come to after my trip. I love your place and all those books!

Black Mona said...

SO needed, Megs. But I still miss you terribly and I'm afraid nothing can change that perception. lol. This was wonderful.....thanks for the quote!

Meghan McNally said...

Natalie, thanks! I need inspiration too, so you should call me. :)

Angel, I know!! I want to have you over for an evening.

Lyda, thank you! Our marriage is a union of love and two extensive libraries. :)

Mona, it is true. The violet cow does not alter reality in the slightest.