I wish I could fade obliviously into the aesthetic life. Not because it would bring me anything; I have nothing to acquire with it, am no wizard, simply one in search of shelter. I want it so I can have it to myself. People give themselves to it still, and to the meagreness and richess of it. And yet we cannot be happy in private interests, with no demands beyond ourselves. And people know that. I suppose the thing attempted is to limit those demands.
Looking at a Sisley painting I realize that overripe summer is a season I miss. Not the overripe jungle which is rotting as it grows. I do not want it because it is what I can easily have. No, what I want is the modest, overgrown summer of deciduous trees, a luxury of innocence before the decay which winter always forestalls and cleans away. Not the capitulation of false rest, but the fulness of contradictions harmonized in a serene and greater synthesis.
And so with colors and with water I am endeavoring to suggest, to represent what cannot be caught or caged. I have simple people in the congregation and I am not sure of getting through to them. I wonder how much confidence I ought to have in what I do. Are they like people who ‘like’ Beethoven, or am I a fraudulent pretender? It is not a shock to me to realize that there is no absolute standard for preachers, but it is like a shock. Here in the dimness of this great house I would run into the servants and just notice they were servants, and I come to find there is a correspondence between the servant and his portion of this vast and windy, sprawling house.