February 5, 2002
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
7:24pm. At sunset, I jogged out on the breakwater to Partridge Island looking for my wallet, which I haven't since I was out there last week. It had snowed, so there wasn't much chance of finding it, and I didn't. I love hiking across the breakwater; it's just like a long boulder field on a mountain, but with the ocean on both sides.
Walking back along the beach, I stopped into Cara's new house and had a cup of Chi Tea with her. We met in Junior high. She had a freaky style that I loved, wearing wacky combinations like long-johns with shirts. Cara wrote me a note that said I melted her brain like ice cream, and for graduation she gave me Desiderata, written by Max Ehrman, in 1927, copied below:
Go placidly amid the noise and haste
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly and listen to others,
even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is.
Many persons strive for high ideals
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disappointment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars.
You have a right to be here.
And whether it is clear to you or not,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive him to be,
and whatever your labours and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham and drudgery and broken dreams
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.