Friday, July 26, 2013

I have been reading Phillips Brooks lately and really enjoy his practical approach and insightful observations of human nature. In the following piece he speaks to a subject which is very relevant to me and I have been in the situation he describes many times and when I read it certain people come directly to mind.  

The Glory of simplicity – Phillips Brooks

  There is no sign of ripening life, which is more gracious and more beautiful, than the capacity and disposition to find richness in the simplest and healthiest associations.
Have you never had a friend whom you have long known, in whom you found much to enjoy and to be grateful for, but whom at last you seemed to have exhausted and outgrown? You went abroad to natures which fascinated you more. You felt the power of someone in whom there was some sort of one-sided and fantastic power, in whom there was more violence of light and shade, in whom his very prominent defects were manifested such that they seemed peculiarly picturesque and attractive. You reveled in his strange unhealthy power. Something, it may be, almost weird came out in yourself to answer his romantic inspiration. But by and by he too failed you and did not satisfy. Some morning that which had been so dramatic looked only theatrical to you. Their high lights and great gulfs of darkness wearied you. And then have you never turned back to the simplicity of your first friendship, and found to your amazement how unexhausted, how inexhaustible it was? There stood the deep, quiet nature on whose surface you had scratched and fumbled, but where profoundness lay yet all untouched. His healthiness refreshed you and his calm “Yea, yea; nay, nay,” truthful and strong, swept all the frantic extravagances and overstrained exaggerations out of your soul, and you rejoiced in a great cleanness and freshness.”
Painting by Ayami Kojima