coffee talk, feb 2012

 It was the best of times, the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in sort, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. – A Tale of Two Cities

A sophisticated wordsmith, distant at times but charmingly reliable, popular with older women, a lover of expensive liquor that could not be afforded, and a leader of philosophical social justice; he would’ve embraced independence and at times isolation, chose to have a few real friends than a big circle of acquaintances, and had eyes that perhaps immediately portrayed loneliness and compassion.   True or not, this is how I picture him, the great Charles Dickens.  He may not have had the writing style everybody instantly fell in love with but behind every theme, plot, novel, or short story he wrote, Dickens had a way of communicating profound insights about life and art to all types of people.  He was a romantic and poetic writer but he was probably living a different kind of life outside of his penmanship.  However his life panned out to be, he unknowingly left an undying legacy that inspired people across the world.  And whatever kind of life he had in mind, the pieces of it still lives through us.  Happy two hundredth birthday, Charles!