Monday, April 9, 2012

Perfect Days

Last fall I had a drink one evening with a new DePauw friend. I told her that I had just had a perfect day, which I had. Since then, whenever I see her, she asks me if I have had any more perfect days, in a tone that is part affectionately teasing, and part wistful. Usually, I have.

It seems so easy to have perfect days here. All the ingredients for them are present. Right now I have had four perfect days in a row.

Thursday was perfect because it began with breakfast at the Prindle with Nicki and Linda. The morning was cloudy, so I turned on the gas fireplace in the Great Hall and read for class while lying on a comfy couch. Class was lively, thanks to an enthusiastic student discussion leader. After office hours I headed out to the Prindle for the rededication of a large public sculpture called "Reach," which had been relocated from the main campus out to the Nature Park, the first of a series of sculptures to be located along a proposed Sculpture Walk leading from the Prindle Institute back to campus. The rededication ceremony featured a speech about the artwork by a DePauw art professor, a ceremonial poem for the occasion by wonderful DePauw poet Prof. Joe Heithaus, a performance of a John Cage composition by a dynamic percussion ensemble, and then - as if this weren't a perfect enough day - a gathering by the fire circle up above the Prindle where we toasted marshmallows to make s'mores.

Wouldn't you call that a perfect day?

Friday: another Prindle breakfast with Linda and Nicki; long happy hours working on the edited manuscript for my forthcoming novel No Exceptions; lunch with Linda and Nicki at Chief's just off the courthouse square followed by a long walk with Nicki and her little dog, Henry; a productive afternoon back at my office; and then seeing The Hunger Games at the one little Greencastle cinema just across the street from my house.

Wouldn't you call that a perfect day, too?

Saturday: breakfast at the Blue Door; long walk with Nicki and Henry through some of Greencastle's loveliest neighborhoods with every tree bedecked with spring flowers; an afternoon at the Prindle getting a huge amount of work done in the peace and quiet there, finishing my toil on my manuscript AND finishing the review of twenty submissions for CU's Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress coming up this summer; dinner with Keith and Meryl and Meryl's dear friend Debbie, visiting from Oxford.

Sunday: Easter! - plus tea and New York Times with Keith - plus another long walk with Nicki and Henry - plus an evening curled up in bed reading A. J. Jacobs's wise, insightful, and hilarious memoir, The Year of Living Biblically, in which he tries to follow the Bible literally in every regard, from refusing to wear mixed fibers, to stoning adulterers, to loving his neighbor as himself.

Four perfect days in a row. This might be a record. But I learned a long time ago that all I need for a perfect day is my four pillars of happiness: writing, reading, walking, friends, in any combination. If I can have those four plus the Blue Door Cafe, or plus Easter Sunday, or plus s'mores - what more could I ask for, really?


  1. I loved this post, Claudia and I love you. The world would be a better place (closer to perfect, you might say) if there were more Claudias in it.

  2. Long Distance Dedication "Perfect Day" by Lou Reed:

    to Claudia and Keith and more perfect days together!

  3. Thank you, Pat, for loving me - I love you!
    Thank you, Scott, for this song - I had never heard it before and now I've listened to it ten times already today!