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What will reconcile us is what has always restored our sanity, and that is the plain pleasures of the physical world, our common love of coffee, the world of apples, the movements of birds, the lives of dogs, the touch of skin. Music. Dancing to music. Shooting baskets. Shooting conservatively, scoring liberally. Lacing up our skates, gliding through the dusk. Having worked ourselves into a fever over the future of Western civilization, we will now begin enjoying our oatmeal again, with raisins, chopped apricots and honey from bees that grazed in meadows of clover. The beauty of engagement is disengagement. You simply put on your jacket and walk out the door and find good health. There is no fever that a 10-mile hike can't cure.
Twenty years ago, I gave up TV, and now I am going to take a sabbatical from the news and live in the immediate world. The neighbors are expecting a baby girl. My daughter is taking up the cello. My mother is game for more Scrabble. There is wood to be cut in the family woodlot. I've been a prisoner of the New York Times and have read enough for a while and want to get loose. Next week I'm out of here. And maybe the President is too. Crawford, Texas, is a fine place. A man could never weary of the wonders to be found there.