Montaigne’s essay this time around is “Of Moderation.” I thought initially that it would nicely follow the story about the drunk Japanese guy, but surprisingly he only mentions alcohol once, tangentially. Instead he is more concerned with—I guess this shouldn’t be surprising considering who we’re dealing with—moderation of the philosophical pursuit of wisdom. For him, moderation should be applied in all aspects of life. “As if we had an infectious touch, we, by our manner of handling, corrupt things that in themselves are laudable and good: we may grasp virtue so that it becomes vicious, if we embrace it too stringently and with too violent a desire.”
Be it said then that my less frequent postings on my blog are simply an effort at moderation, that I am moderate in order to prevent my blog from becoming vicious and vile. Let it not be said that I am lazy or negligent.
Being back in the swing of things in Coulommiers is kind of nice. It’s not that my immoderate indulgence in spending time in Paris made it vicious, it’s just that it was exhausting trying to milk as much out of my visitors’ time as possible. In order to avoid immoderacy to the other extreme—lethargy, sedentarism—I have spent this afternoon looking into a trip to Italy while listening to Pink Floyd at a deafening volume. It’s pretty time-consuming trying to find deals and make dollars stretch. Yet another reason to just have lots of money. I’m looking forward to this vacation; I might even be able to persuade others to come with me, although they might balk at the expense of a ten-day trip. Unfortunately if I want others to come with me, or even just to afford it myself, I may have to pick and choose between Florence, Venice, and Rome instead of going to all three since it’s the extra travel costs that add up quickly.
I will field suggestions or recommendations of those who have been to any or all of these places. Let me know what you think.
“The archer that shoots over, misses as much as he that falls short, and ‘tis equally troublesome to my sight, to look up at a great light, and to look down into a dark abyss.”