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Thursday, November 21, 2002

Thursday November 21, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:11 PM

Hope of Heaven

This title is taken from a John O’Hara novel I like very much. It seems appropriate because today is the birthday of three admirable public figures:

“No one can top Eleanor Powell – not even Fred Astaire.” — A fellow professional.  Reportedly, “Astaire himself said she was better than him.” 

That’s as good as it gets.

Let us hope that Powell, Hawkins, and Q are enjoying a place that Q, quoting Plato’s Phaedrus, described as follows:

“a fair resting-place, full of summer sounds and scents!”

This is a rather different, and more pleasant, approach to the Phaedrus than the one most familiar to later generations — that of Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance.  Both approaches, however, display what Pirsig calls “Quality.”

One of my own generation’s closest approaches to Quality is found in the 25th Anniversary Report of the Harvard Class of 1964.  Charles Small remarks,

“A lot of other stuff has gone down the drain since 1964, of course, besides my giving up being a mathematician and settling into my first retirement.  My love-hate relationship with the language has intensified, and my despair with words as instruments of communion is often near total.  I read a little, but not systematically. I’ve always been enthralled by the notion that Time is an illusion, a trick our minds play in an attempt to keep things separate, without any reality of its own. My experience suggests that this is literally true, but not the kind of truth that can be acted upon….

I’m always sad and always happy. As someone says in Diane Keaton’s film ‘Heaven,’ ‘It’s kind of a lost cause, but it’s a great experience.'”

I agree.  Here are two links to some work of what is apparently this same Charles Small:

1 Comment

  1. humn.  When I think of Fred Astaire, I think of Ginger Rogers.

    She did everything he did, but backwards and in high heels.

    (sorry, I couldn’t resist . . . )

    Comment by oOMisfitOo — Thursday, November 21, 2002 @ 2:29 PM

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