Yesterday, as I was spinning once again on my crossroad of options as I near the middle-distance of my life (this is mostly what I do these days), one of the fables startled awake in a far corner of my brain.
It involved a little boy with his hand in a jar of filberts. I had no idea what a filbert was when I was a kid and I never bothered to look it up like my dad encouraged me to, and in all honesty I don't think I could tell you today what a filbert is. (A nut maybe?)
The story played out something like this: the little boy wanted some filberts. He REALLY liked filberts, so he grabbed just as many as his hand could hold.
One problem: the neck of the jar was too tight, and he couldn't get his hand free, so he couldn't get those goddamn filberts out.
He fussed and fumed for awhile, generally feeling sorry for himself, until some wiser person who was a bit more in control of her passions happened by, witnessed the scene, and offered him some advice: "Take fewer filberts, you knucklehead."
He let about half of his filberts go, his hand came free, and he was at last able to enjoy his filberts. Whatever the hell a filbert is.
I hated that story when I was a kid -- I mourned for those lost filberts.
It took me just this long to finally figure out what was going on.
 Thank god for Bulfinch, which gave me a richer sense of how the sun-baked thyme on the hillsides carries through the air in Greece and made me want to go there. Or maybe it was Henry Miller. Different sun-baked scent.
(Queuing this up somewhere over the Rockies on Flight 451 inbound to SFO, so you'll have to forgive me for not looking up filberts -- wireless is off.)