Walker Percy Wednesday 87


What was my (your, our) discovery? That I could act. I was free to act. Is this something everyone knows or thinks he knows or, if he knows, knows in the wrong way? With gold-tinted corneas everything looks like gold but it’s fool’s gold.

Here was the kind of gold-tinted corneas I had: Dr. Duk told me many times I should be free to act for myself. I believed him. Just as I believed him when he suggested I take up bird-watching. So, clever straight-A student that I was, I set forth to act for myself. Which, of course, is not doing so at all. I was following instructions. Then how does one ever make the discovery that one can actually be free to act for oneself? I don’t know. I don’t even know how many people, if any, do it.


Perhaps the secret of talking was to have something to say.


He had come to see it as an emblem of his life, a small failure at living, a minor deceit, perhaps even a sin.


Was there an unspoken understanding between all of them that what they were doing, knocking little balls around a mountain meadow while the fitful wind bustled about high above them, was after all preposterous but that they had all assented to it and were doing it nevertheless and because, after all, why not? One might as well do one thing as another.