We all have bad days (or weeks, or months, or years!) in the course of which things rankle, a little or a lot. Ruskin had his share. (In truth, he had more than his share–but that’s another story.) Of course, clever soul that he was, it was not long before he hit upon a particularly fine, not to say unique, way of coping, as he explained to an American friend, Harvard Professor Charles Eliot Norton in a letter of 1860, in which, before writing the following, he had complained at some length about the desultory state of the world, ending such remarks by noting that, however bad things are or seem,
one simply cannot be angry when one looks at a penguin!
I’ve tried it. It’s true. Once you’ve been penguined, things get lighter and brighter. See if you don’t agree.
Until next time!