Alas! How Easily Things Go Wrong!

Alas! how easily things go wrong!
A sigh too deep or a kiss too long,
And then comes a mist and a weeping rain,
And life is never the same again.

The lines are from George MacDonald’s Phantastes.  My brush with thievery (see the last post) the other night has reminded me that we all live behind panes of glass that we take actually to protect us, to be barriers against a sometimes dark and often cold and constantly encroaching world.  Then the world smashes the glass: we realize that we were all-but-exposed all along:  our immunity was sheer ignorance.  I don’t mean to suggest that my life will never be the same again. Nothing so melodramatic.  Eventually, I am sure, I will slip back behind ignorance and take myself to be armored again against the world.  But for now I am aware of how easily things go wrong.

As my son sagely said as he drove us home, making himself heard above the whipping roar of the ducktaped garbage bag.  “You know, the whole thing was humbling.”

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