MAY 10, 1938
HYDE PARK, Monday—When up here, I sleep out on a sleeping porch surrounded on all sides by trees. These last few days I have waked to a great variety of mornings. Being on the west side, I see only the reflection of the sunrise. The first day it was deep red and shone down into the waters of our little lake. This morning, in contrast, everything was shrouded in a heavy fog. I could not see the birds even though they they could occasionally be heard chirping as the sun was struggling through the fog.
Ordinarily, I can see them busily flying from tree to tree in the early morning. I always wonder if they are getting their breakfast or building their nests, or just working up an appetite with early morning exercises. It is a good lesson for us all, for most of us do not stir around so swiftly when we first awake and that is probably why so many people will tell you that they do not care much for breakfast as a meal.
We were up fairly early this morning to see a guest off by train, but not so early as our neighbors who had to send off a guest at 6:00 o'clock.
I am not trying to plan how I may accomplish the most this summer, but how I may arrange to spend two and half months as lazily as possible. Most of the year we plan for activity but I find it takes even more planning if you want to vegetate in one place for a while. So many people think that it would only take a couple of days to go here, or a week to go there, and few people realize that, if you add up these days, a month is soon at an end.
Yesterday I finished reading "Elysian Fields; A Dialogue," written by Salvador de Madariaga. Each of de Madariaga's imaginary personalities, whether of times past or of today, has retained his most striking characteristics and added some sides which may have been more or less unnoticed on earth but which were always there.
Goethe is always the wise and tolerant character. One thing which de Madariaga has Goethe say about the theatre is very interesting. Goethe is comparing the movie to the theatre and says:
"In the theatre, action is always prepared by a carefully developed situation which the audience see evolving under their eyes. The theatre may be, and often is, a lesson in the art of waiting, which is a good part of the art of living. While the film, which is a story in action, a show in which the proportions of action—physical action—to thought or moral action—is reversed."
This is an interesting comparison and one to set us thinking. I particularly like the suggestion that waiting is a good part of living. Somewhere else, not long ago, I read that in life it was wise to act according to one's own convictions but never to come to these with haste, for haste mars judgment.