|From "Letters to a Young Poet," by Rainer Maria Rilke. Translated by Joan M. Burnham. New World Library: 2000.|
Yes, "completely baked" as spoken by Benjamin in THE GRADUATE would qualify as fervent. Definitely feverish.
Fervent is never half-baked, never tepid, never neither-this-nor-that. It is passionate, fiery hot, may appear obsessive. Heartfelt.
What is the point of showing up with indifference? Let them talk. "She seemed, well, awfully intense. I'm not sure that is considered good manners." Probably not. This is life we're talking about. As Mary Oliver says, "your one wild and precious life." Be a shame to get over-excited about that and all the wonders it contains. Perhaps I need to sit back down with a cool cloth to my forehead.
As I write this, we are having oddly balmy winds, none of the chance of showers forecast as late as this morning, and the neighborhood Amazon parrots are shrieking through the skies as though warning us of something. They do a lot of jabbering so we don't take them seriously. The point is that I sit at my table on the second floor, amid the trees where I can see no cars nor dwellings. An hour ago a crow with a wingspan of several feet found delicacies in the palm tree just beyond my window. His departure sounded like an old window shade that had been yanked down, then let go to flap and shudder.
Rilke knew that our ordinary moments are filled with texture, brilliance, joy, sorrow, sights and events to make our hearts leap or thud. Best to take nothing for granted, to see it all as miraculous for the everyday is our most intimate universe, the room in which we spend the most time, the place it all happens. Even peak events are cushioned by the everyday. It is that with which we most surely need to fall in love, if we have not. I had a stamp made that says, "Fall in love with everything," then I realized there are some situations in which that is difficult, many in fact, but as a goal, an aspiration, it seems a not bad fit. I use the word love more and more, realizing that I do love so much. I do, in loud and giddy and probably unladylike ways. The list is longer every day.
I occasionally visit the Jet Pens website, perhaps to look at bottled inks. Some of the colors, with names like Apache Sunset, Heart of Darkness or Dragon Catfish Pink, make me think of fervent correspondence. Is there really any other kind?