Quote for the commonplace book 008: Michael Innes, ‘Appleby and Honeybath’

Thought was an activity which, steadily over the years, he
had been addressing himself with some success to doing

—Michael Innes, ‘Appleby and Honeybath’
I love the passive-reflexive verb, “he had been addressing himself to
doing.” Michael Innes has the gift of turning a sentence which would
really sound better in French into a sprightly English bon mot.

 On second thought, it’s not that easy to translate. La pensée lui
était depuis quelques années quelque chose qu’il a à peu près reussi a
s’adresser à se manquer?
Not exactly.

My afternoon’s little moment of transcendence

Just as I finished up my second lap, going clockwise today because the
wind was from the south and thus finding myself about 100 meters west
of the hazwaste clamshell, the clarity for which I strive on every
ride (and everywhere else, frankly, but the riding is the easiest path
thereto) settled over my mind and I could see, limned with little
black rectangles like in a Family
cartoon, the way home, the way forward, the way to live.


The line in my mind stretched through the southside, past the barrels,
down along the perimeter road past the checkpoint outside the fuel
farm, down the hill, back to the lodging here, then with all my bags
in tow onto an airplane, down to another secret-city, then home by a
succession of steps, winding up probably with a wobbly subway ride
through the mosaic-decorated IRT system and lugging a duffel bag back
through the areaway to my building’s elevator.


This was the mile-500 ride, so part of that feeling was realizing that
all I had to do was dawdle down the hill and I would reach my goal
for January
. Yesterday I
hit the 2000-mile mark since October 1st, when I started keeping
track. It was a good ride, too: one of the best even though I thought
the breeze would slow me down. I did both laps (14 miles total) in
42:56, or more than nineteen-and-a-half mph.