One thing is certain, and I have always known it - the joys of my life have nothing to do with age. They do not change. Flowers, the morning and evening light, music, poetry, silence, the goldfinches darting about
Sometimes goldfinches one by one will drop From low hung branches; little space they stop; But sip, and twitter, and their feathers sleek; Then off at once, as in a wanton freak: Or perhaps, to show their black, and golden wings Pausing upon their yellow flutterings.
I stood tip-toe upon a little hill, The air was cooling, and so very still, That the sweet buds which with a modest pride Pull droopingly, in slanting curve aside, Their scantly leaved, and finely tapering stems, Had not yet lost those starry diadems Caught from the early sobbing of the morn.
Fortunately, however, birds don't understand pep talks. Not even St. Francis'. Just imagine, he went on, preaching sermons to perfectly good thrushes and goldfinches and chiff-chaffs! What presumption! Why couldn't he have kept his mouth shut and let the birds preach to him?
They ought to put out the eyes of painters as they do goldfinches in order that they can sing better.
My wife, the actress Megan Mullally, was an English major at Northwestern University and loves fiction. Like so many things in my life, she curates things for me. For example, I have the daunting prospect of Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch" waiting for me when I get through my current reading pile.
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