Goats, after all, are just as much part of this world as lemurs


I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the
Heart’s affections and the truth of the Imagination.
        — John Keats

Weighty flakes of wet snow are falling at five in the morning. They drop like damp rags past the saffron globe of street light. I appreciate them for their lack of presumption. They have no where else to go, aren’t looking to make anything more of themselves. “Unambitious.” Yes, you could say that. But say it without derision. There are enough of them out there to impress you with the ambition of their indifference. Goats, after all, are just as much part of this world as lemurs. Which would make an appropriate theme for a paper expounding upon our pluralistic world. Your professor would explain the hidden homogeneity of things within the intoxicating singular thingness of the universe. She would do this, of course, without detracting a micron of individuality from any microcosm, thereby burnishing further the unseen sheen of the entire cosmos. And at the candle of night in her leather chair with her glass of Aberfeldy and her cat draped over an arm she would weep into the fullness of life lived with such knowledge. Across the city an ordinary man, glimmered at by a shred of reflected yellow light coming in past the silhouette of a snow-thickened branch unaccountably sees himself through the distant eyelet of that slim light, sees the truth of his own tear-sized imagination and is grateful. And now the snow is thinning, as it does, when the temperature droop of dawn arrives and the stars go dark behind the clouds. The bursting ordinary clouds. The bountiful raggedy snow.


  1. the holiness of the heart’s affections….
    there’s a religious tradition that has trained me to think much differently about my “heart”….

  2. For some reason, the line about the goats reminded me of the play “Tooth and Claw” by Michael Hollinger. A group of researchers (all from wealthy developed nations) are lamenting the ecological damage done by goats on the Galapagos Islands – goats owned by the very poor trying to scrape together a living. The researchers want to save habitat for endemic species, but the poor question why they and the goats don’t have an equal right to resources and a better life. I have thought about this a lot in my own work.

  3. It is funny how one person’s words will spawn a completely different train of thought for someone else! But that is the joy of reading and sharing beautiful writing. “Tooth and Claw” is a wonderful play. but seldom produced.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *