All these miracles. I did a good thing the other day. I’m not sure I often do good things. I was with an old friend; he is in his 80s, fit and spry as a bird, but inwardly he wasn’t doing well. Every day looked the same, the sure sign of depression, along with the inset of the monochromatic. I said to him, ‘Look, in every day there may be something entirely new; it’s all a question of perspective’. I’m not sure why I said it; in a sense, I’m not sure whether I said it – was something else speaking through me? At any event, it performed a magic trick. The sharp bird’s eye opened more fully. Will it last? I don’t know. It is also true that each day can also bring its own harvest of disappointment. I can only repeat to myself my mantra, a travesty of Buddhist sagacity: ‘The secret of being happy is being happy’. It may not do us much good, down there on the terminal beach, or outside the perpetually closed Western gate, or amid the ruin of favour and hope, but it is something to cling to, a raft on which to resist, for a short while, the inexorable, growing power of the swell …

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