Peter David

I love the toward-set sunspill, slipped past silver, leaning into gold.

Category: Pensees

That, yes, that.

Sloppy thinking is not, no, not as good as good thinking, so far as thinking goes, but it’s often the same as saying, “I love you more than I do this thought,” and that, yes, that is good.


Three Things

One. Driving Toward the Sunset.

I grew up in Pacifica, where watching the sunset meant going somewhere and stopping.  We had to.  The water starts a mile away, we weren’t into kayaks, and haven’t yet become holy enough for the whole walking-on-water stunt, waves or no. Now, I love going somewhere and stopping to see the sunset.  There’s quite a bit to see (that’s kind of the point), and the focus afforded by a fixed location is quite valuable.  But.  Two days ago I became consciously aware of the distinct and magnificent pleasure of watching the sunset while driving toward it.  (I’m vaguely ashamed that this is the first time I can recall noticing it after five years in L.A.  *Must pay more attention to everything.)  Bends and curves in the road became facilitators of that dependable intensification strategy: the hide-reveal-hide-reveal-hide-hide-slow reveal.  All the fun of strong contrast heightened by the use of negation itself as one of the binaries!  And when one gets to hilly bits, the ground starts to seem less secure than the emblazoned welkin (pardon my language) above’t.

Two. Paradigmatic Colors: Incarnate!

Yesterday, the color of the trees and sky here could have been taken out of a sheaf of construction paper or a basic box of crayons.  They were the colors of children’s drawings and of everyone’s ideas “tree” and “sky.”  What!?

Happy subsequent (re-)realization: the correspondence of real stuff and personal idea(l)s is one of our chief-est-er-est-er-li-est pleasures.  Hooplay!  Unhappy subsequent realization:  This correspondence was stand-out-ish-ly significant to me, so my visual paradigms must not correspond to reality very often or well.  Hm.

Three. Jazz is Yellow.

I know this because as I was driving back from work yesterday, I turned on the jazz station.  As soon as the music started and without my willful instigation, I was suddenly and powerfully more conscious of the color yellow everywhere.  In sprinklers.  On walls.  In trees.  In the speckles that show up on earlyish- or lateish-lit asphalt.  My conclusion: Jazz is yellow.  Except when it’s blue.  Rebecca reminded me while at work today that it’s very blue.  Rhapsodically blue.

Also, jazz may be characterized by boxy shapes with rounded edges, because that’s what I noticed this morning when I turned it on.  I’m suspicious, however, of the suggestion; I may have been trying to recreate yesterday’s revelation.  I think I was.  Hm.

Why DO I Like It?

This post led to questions about what I do with school uniforms, choir boy outfits, and pleasant uniformity generally.  I don’t want every street sign to receive individual typographic treatment, do I? & etc.

What I had said was, “I think that I don’t like the OC prettiness because it seems like it exists for the sake of an ordinance.  Houses become adorned in such and such a way not because a person likes the house, but because of some rule that tells them to,” and so on.  But (see the photo above) I do rather like some ordained stylings.  I like school uniforms and all that sort of thing.  So how to I systematize my dislike for some beautification systems and my love of others?

Here’s my best stab, so far.

Uniform stylings are suitable when the thing that is being adorned is a category.  A student wearing a uniform is not wearing their uniform insofar as they are an individual; they are wearing it insofar as they participate in “student.”  The problem I have with stock makeup or clothing and with uni-styled housing is that it takes something that ought to be eminently particular–a face, a home–and reduces it, visually, to a member of some category.  People who are students can take off their uniforms when it would be inappropriate to visually instantiate their role, but it’s nice that they can give that abstraction a form sometimes.  It’s almost mythic.

In sum, basically, as it were, it turns out that my distaste for over-ordained or inappropriately ordained styles comes down to their symbolic relationship to the things so styled.  It’s a concern that has more to do with truth than with beauty.

I Love…

I love the toward-set sun spill, slipped past silver, leaning into gold.

Why Don’t I Like It?

I’ve consistently felt a little guilty for not liking the prettiness of posh Orange County or of some made-up faces.  They’ve obviously been done up for the sake of something like beauty, and that’s the sort of thing I ought to like.

There’s always, of course, the Romantic avenue to be taken: I could insist that I like faces and buildings best when they exhibit a natural beauty.  But that route’s never felt quite satisfying to me.  What’s a natural building supposed to look like?  Man-made beautiful things aren’t inherently less beautiful than the non-man-made ones.

My next instinct is to say that those pretty things are less attractive to me because they’re less skillfully made.  This takes care of a good number of sloppy makeup jobs and unsuccessful outfits, but when you get to Orange County, it can’t be a lack of skill that makes it rather repugnant to me.  The things there are often made by some of the most talented artists and city planners anywhere.  They are pretty.

Then I want to say that it’s too pretty.  At that point, however, I think I’m talking nonsense.

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Torrey Academy Banquet Opening Prayer


You are the source, sustenance, and goal of all things.  You are the wellspring of life and the true light that enlightens men.

But Father, we live among shadows and have grown accustomed to shadows.  Dogged by fears and driven by desire, we often prefer the safety of a self-made world to the sharp, bright edges of reality.

And yet we pray, “Thy kingdom come.”  You who play in ten thousand places, play more perfectly in us.  Remake, oh Lord, your world that we have wrecked.  Maranatha.

This here now is a little picture of the day of the full establishment of your kingdom.  We are delighting in the relief of completion and marking a new stage with a feast.  How we long for your final feast!

Father, we thank you for the lights you have already lit for us, here among the shadows.  We thank you for godly men and women gone before us, for discussion and laughter, and for the present, pleasure-full food.  As we accept this good sustenance, help us to remember our debt to you, the needs of countless others, and help us delight in your joy.

Lord, we love you.  Help us to love you more.



Familiarity may just as easily breed contentment, thank you.

Possession of Objects and Perfection of Objects

The following propositions have become essential to my everyday deliberations:


There is no necessary connection between these ideas: “That is good, true, and beautiful,” and “That should be mine.”

There is no necessary connection between these ideas: “That is good, true, and beautiful and could be mine,” and “That should be mine.”

There is no necessary connection between these ideas: “This is bad, false, and ugly,” and “This should not be mine.”

There is no necessary connection between these ideas: “This is bad, false, and ugly and could be not-mine,” and “This should not be mine.”

Goodness, Truth, and Beauty


Goodness has to do with things in themselves,

Truth has to do with things and their images, and

Beauty has to do with the relationships between things.

Moving on

My next sentiments post is not getting anywhere currently, and in light of that, I’ve decided to begin posting again on other topics rather than waiting for a project that looks like it will take a little longer in the making than I had anticipated. Unless I hear cries of horror and petitions for a renewed effort in that direction, therefore, I shall consider this blog debogged from the mire of that series.

In the meantime, I offer you these succinct scrap paper scribblings I’ve unearthed from the miscellaneous writing I worked on over the past year or two. It’s interesting and somewhat humorous to see which thoughts I considered most worthy of being scrawled out. There’s no method to the madness, at least no intentional method, so don’t spend much time looking for connections. I simply picked out the shortest and most stylistically correct blurbs I could find. It’s like eating jelly beans… small, and you’re not sure which flavor is coming next. Enjoy!

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