You know: in a foolish, undiscriminating way, I've been happy these last few months. I don't know why. I just am. I love my friends; I love my pupils; I love what I read; I -- dammit -- love my thoughts. I love the taste of oranges.
Thornton Wilder in a letter to Gertrude Stein, Aug 14, 1936

Saturday, April 24, 2010


When we arrived at Thebes, our sailors were drumming their darabukehs, the mate was playing his flute, Khalil was dancing with his castanets; they broke off to land.

It was then, as I was enjoying these things, and just as I was watching three wave-crests bending under the wind behind us, that I felt a surge of solemn happiness that reached out towards what I was seeing, and I thanked God in my heart for having made me capable of such joy. I felt fortunate at the thought, and yet it seemed to me that I was thinking of nothing; it was a sensuous pleasure that pervaded my entire being.

in Gustave Flaubert's travel notes from Egypt
4 March, 1850

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