Bless your heart! No indeed. What is there to interfere with? All we have is life, and this is part of it.
I like to sit under these trees. It makes me think of the Old Testament.
That’s interesting. How?
Well, maybe I’m wrong, but whenever I think of the Old Testament I see an old man under a tree—
A man who has lived it all through, you know, and found out something real about it; and he sits there calm and strong, something like a tree himself; and every once in a while somebody comes along—a boy, you know,—and the boy talks to him all about himself, just as we imagine we’d like to with our fathers, if they weren’t so busy, or our teachers, if they didn’t depend so much upon books, or our ministers, if we thought they would really understand,—and the old man doesn’t say much maybe, but the boy goes away much stronger and happier....
Yes, yes, I understand. The Old Testament.... They did get hold of things, didn’t they?
What I can’t understand is how nowadays people seem more grown up and competent than those men were, in a way, and we do such wonderful things—skyscrapers and aeroplanes—and yet we aren’t half so wonderful as they were in the Old Testament with their jugs and their wooden plows. I mean, we aren’t near so big as the things we do, while those old fellows were so much bigger. We smile at them, but if some day one of our machines fell over on us what would we do about it?
I went through a big factory just last week. One of my friends’ father is the manager, and all I could think of was what could a fellow do who didn’t like it, who didn’t fit in.... Nowadays most everybody seems competent about factories or business or something like that—you know—and they’ve got hold of everything, so a fellow’s got to do the same thing or where is he?
That’s the first question, certainly: where is he? But where is he if he does do the same thing?
Why, he’s with the rest. And they don’t ask that question....