As to straws upon the sea

Thanks to The Wife, I have found an ideal description of the modern condition, which appeared in Jane Gardam’s novel Bilgewater, originally published in 1977.

“There are times when my environment appears to me as very much less than educative and the rational element in man to be so miniscule that you wonder what creation is all about and turn to chess or cats or mathematics as to straws upon the sea.” — Jane Gardam, Bilgewater, 70.

And she didn’t even have to cope with social media.

It strikes me that there is something of a shared thread connecting between Gardam’s quote and Orwell’s “Some thoughts on the common toad” (1946), which I commented upon not all that long ago.

For myself: I find, increasingly, that cultivating interests that have little — or, preferably, nothing — to do with the ebb and flow of present-day politics is becoming ever more important to me.

Glad to find that I’m not alone in that.

Whatever the era.