I keep forgetting that I’m not 25 years old anymore. I’m not even twice that age anymore. It’s one of those mornings where I feel like I’ve overextended myself. There seems to be an endless need to work outside in preparation for the oncoming winter. I had unexpected company yesterday. Pleasant enough company, yet I really wanted to just sit. I had spent the entire afternoon raking elm leaves from the yard. I was pleasantly tired and just wanted to curl up with a great read from Mark Twain. After my guest departed, I had just enough energy to crawl into bed but not enough to read even one sentence.
My love of the works of Samuel Langhorne Clemens goes back to my grade school days. Like most of my contemporaries, I read *The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn* and was transported back in time to a strangely familiar yet foriegn place. Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer represented an adventurous childhood of which my friends and I could only dream. Indeed, my best friend during Junior High, Bruce, and I traded various paperbacks the way our peers traded baseball cards. We both treasured anything by Mark Twain.
“You should never do anything wicked and lay it on your brother, when it is just as convenient to lay it on some other boy.”–Advice for Good Little Boys–MT
I thought about Bruce when I stumbled across the last paperback that Bruce had ever given to me. I have kept this well-worn copy of *Life On The Mississippi* inside an old shoebox of memorabilia. I had been searching for something else when I spotted the book. Right then, I knew a re-read was in order.
“Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion — several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven….The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste.”–MT 1897
What better way to ease back from a state of overextendedness than to lean back in your easy chair sipping your favorite beverage while enjoying the works of one’s favorite author?
“It’s noble to be good. It’s nobler to teach others to be good, and less trouble.”–MT
I wonder what previously overlooked tidbit of Twain’s humorous wisdom I’ll discover today?
The Blue Jay of Happiness like this little nugget: “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”–MT