OK, I complain a lot. I criticize. I tend to notice what’s wrong—with movies, books, ideas, with plans, structures, phones, bicycles, sentences (at least other people’s), computers, people, businesses; with automobiles and umbrellas, concepts and methods, speeches and retorts, and certainly with myself. I see these flaws, or believe I do, and I become annoyed. And I express my annoyance. “Why did they do it that way?” It may be that I’m just a grump, a curmudgeonly, know-it-all grump. Even if my criticisms are valid, which of course they are, some people apparently find this pedantic grumpery unattractive. It is with all of this in mind, that I’ve decided to make an incomplete list of the things I believe are right, good, not terribly screwed up. Things that bring me joy.
The bicycle is right: It is an efficient machine that’s easy and enjoyable to ride and to maintain. I like the idea of bicycles almost as much as I like bicycles. I also enjoy riding them when I can. Thank you.
Mathematics: Constant and reliable to the point of perfection, and yet, in some ways, mysterious and virtually incomprehensible. Cool!
Counter-steering: Counter-steering on a bicycle or motorcycle is like a superpower, a mysterious force that just seems to intuit where you want to go and delivers you swiftly but safely there. Wheeeeeee!
Reading is right: There are so many wonderful, informative, evocative, provocative books; so much to be learned, experienced, felt, understood; so many opportunities to become more because someone invested the time and thought and all of the intangibles involved in arranging words on a page. Reading has made my life fuller. Thank you.
Mechanical Watches: I can’t quite explain why, but I see beauty in the conception, design, and artistry, the intricacy and the detail. I think, How the hell did they do that?
Music is right (except when it’s not): Oh, yes, much of what some describe and/or market as music is, I believe, unfit for human consumption. There is plenty to complain about, but when music is good, truly felt, created and performed with integrity, honesty, and heart, it enriches life. It makes one better. Thank you, Music.
When it comes to things that are right, The Night Sky is certainly up there: It just works. It reveals so much more than that which is visible to our eyes, so much about who and what we are, and yet it poses an infinity of questions, questions we may never answer but the contemplation of which enriches and enlightens us and sparks our curiosity nonetheless. Without effort or intention, without design or purpose, it works.
The Ocean: Full of life and wonder. Well designed and very deep. Also quite wet.
The Senses: Our personal couriers, indicators of the best and the worst of life, delivering pain, joy, and urgent warnings, saving lives and helping us communicate, bringing us closer to ourselves and the world we inhabit.
Sex is right: (If my long-term memory can be trusted)
The Sphere: It’s a great shape to have around.
Words: So strong, virile, flexible, caring, killing, palliative, cold, enrapturing, enraging, stimulating, destructive, hopeful, demoralizing, erotic, stabbing, sweet, drenching, enveloping, appetizing, sustaining, satisfying, encumbering, haunting, tickling, desolating, parching, humiliating, ennobling, threatening, empowering, limitless, potent, debilitating, so full of possibility and promise. Freely available for your personal use.
And a few that probably require no explanation:
The Right pillow.
That First Glass of Wine.
The second Glass of Wine
Sometime the third glass Off wine
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