Friday, October 19, 2007

Half Price

Sometimes I think of life as a kind of large-scale flower arranging, a conscious selection and manipulation of elements for maximum aesthetic pleasure. This morning, for example, a friend and I, after lengthy discussion, purchased the following books between us at a library clearance sale:

Bel Canto
Cloud Atlas
Mao Tse Tung: Profile for Children
Science Experiments You Can Eat
Lust: The Other Side of Love

I'm especially pleased with Lust: The Other Side of Love, in which Mel White (married, two children) combines stern proscription ("When you are tempted, God's word can help you. Feed on it! Control your thoughts!") with vivid biblical exegesis:

David lowered the harp to the ground and leaned against the cool rock wall. A movement on a rooftop just below the palace caught David's eye. His thoughts of praise were interrupted by a scene of indescribable beauty. A woman bathed naked in the moonlight. Apparently, she, too, had found it impossible to sleep and now, innocent and unsuspecting, she poured water over her breasts and thighs. David watched it run in rivulets down her flesh and desired to hold that warm, wet body in his arms.

Hypocrisy, guilt, purple prose, Marxism, and edible empirical effort! Show me a more captivating arrangement.

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