I have a fondness for technology. It's great to spend hours puttering around with mechanical things gotten from junkyards and visualizing what their use might be. Especially if you come across a gadget or tool and you don't know what it is and you try to figure it out. I'm fascinated by processes, whatever they might be.
I have always loved the gaps, the spaces between things, as much as the things. I love staring, pondering, mulling, puttering. I love the times when someone or something is late-there's that rich possibility of noticing more, in the meantimePoetry calls us to pause. There is so much we overlook, while the abundance around us continues to shimmer, on its own.
Naomi Shihab Nye
Owning your own home is America's unique recipe for avoiding revolution and promoting pseudo-equality at the same time. To keep citizens puttering in their yards instead of sputtering on the barricades, the government has gladly deprived itself of billions in tax revenues by letting home owners deduct mortgage interest payments.
If for a moment you are inclined to regard these taluses as mere draggled, chaotic dumps, climb to the top of one of them, and run down without any haggling, puttering hesitation, boldly jumping from boulder to boulder with even speed. You will then find your feet playing a tune, and quickly discover the music and poetry of these magnificent rock piles - a fine lesson; and all Nature's wildness tells the same story - the shocks and outbursts of earthquakes, volcanoes, geysers, roaring, thundering waves and floods, the silent uprush of sap in plants, storms of every sort - each and all are the orderly beauty-making love-beats of Nature's heart.
What reading does, ultimately, is keep alive the dangerous and exhilarating idea that a life is not a sequence of lived moments, but a destiny... the time of reading, the time defined by the author's language resonating in the self, is not the world's time, but the soul's. The energies that otherwise tend to stream outward through a thousand channels of distraction are marshaled by the cadences of the prose; they are brought into focus by the fact that it is an ulterior, and entirely new, world that the reader has entered. The free-floating self-the self we diffusely commune with while driving or walking or puttering in the kitchen-is enlisted in the work of bringing the narrative to life. In the process, we are able to shake off the habitual burden of insufficient meaning and flex our deeper natures.
I couldn't think of anything I wanted to do or any place I wanted to be more than home. Where I can walk around the yard, sweeping leaves off the slate paths to my heart's content. Where I can spend all day in my pajamas puttering around the house, or curled up in my favorite chair in the family room next to the big stone fireplace. The walls are papered deep red, hung with Madison's paintings and lined with our favorite books. The furniture is comfortable and inviting. Our house is made to be lived in; we use every inch of it and don't mind the signs of wear and tear. There's a deep dent in the floor next to the hearth... It's part of the story of this house, where a family has left its mark, and where it continues to grow and evolve.
But even in such works where the author is ideally unobtrusive, he remains diffused through the book so that his very absence becomes a kind of radiant presence. As the French say, il brille par son absence - "he shines by his absence." In connection with Bleak House we are concerned with one of those authors who are so to speak not supreme deities, diffuse and aloof, but puttering, amiable, sympathetic demigods, who descend into their books under various disguises or send therein various middlemen, representatives, agents, minions, spies, and stooges. [... ] Roughly speaking, there are three types of such representatives. Let us inspect them. First, the narrator insofar as he speaks in the first person, the capital I of the story, its moving pillar. [... ] Second, a type of author's representative, what I call the sifting agent. [... ] The third type is the so-called perry, possibly derived from periscope, despite the double r, or perhaps from parry in vague connection with foil as in fencing. But this does not matter much since anyway I invented the term myself many years ago.