Hermione and Her Little Group of Serious Thinkers/The Japanese are Wonderful, If You Get What I Mean
THE JAPANESE ARE WONDERFUL; IF YOU GET WHAT I MEAN
DON'T you just dote on the Japanese? They're so esoteric—and subtle and all that sort of thing, aren't they?
Just look at Buddhism and Shintoism, for instance. Could anything be more subtle and esoteric?
We've been taking them up—our Little Group of Serious Thinkers, you know—and they're wonderful, simply wonderful!
Not, of course, that one would be a Buddhist or a Shintoist—but it's broadening to the mind, don't you think, to come into contact with the great thought of—of—well, really of people like Shinto, you know, and those other sages?
And how wonderfully artistic they are—the Japanese!
The new parasols are quite Japanese, you know. Haven't you seen them?
I have three, for different costumes. One is covered with embroidered Japanese crêpe, and another with martine silk.
But the one, I think, that expresses me the most accurately—the one that represents my individuality, really—is made with gold spokes covered with black Chantilly lace. Japanese shape, you know, and French workmanship.
And one must strive to represent one's self if one is to be honest.
One must put one's soul into one's environment.
Although Environment isn't what it used to be. You don't hear Environment spoken of nearly as often as you did.
Environment is going out.
But besides being so esoteric and exotic and artistic, and all that sort of thing, the Japanese are wonderfully up to date, too.
Do you know, they actually have a battleship named The Tango!
Have you thought deeply on Interstellar Communication?
It promises to be one of the great new problems.
The loveliest man talked to us about it the other evening. "Interstellar Communication in Its Relation to Recent Psychic Hypotheses"—that's the title; I wrote it down. I always take notes of a title like that. It helps one to get at the heart of the matter.
Interstellar Communication is wonderful—simply wonderful!
We're going to take up Mars soon.
Mamma said to me only yesterday: "Hermione, you simply must drop some of your serious subjects during the hot weather."
"Mamma," I told her, "that was all very well in your day—to take things up and drop them at will. But people didn't have a Social Conscience in those times. We advanced thinkers owe a duty to the race. We must grapple with things. We are not content to frivol, I will take up Mars!"
And, you know, I don't have the temperament to remain idle. My mind must be active. Sometimes when I think how active my mind is, I wonder my forehead isn't wrinkled.
And of course that would be a loss—anything is a loss that destroys Beauty.
For, after all, Beauty is what the world needs more than anything else. It's a serious thought—how far Use should be sacrificed to Beauty, and Beauty to Use, isn't it?
You know that's why I can't join the suffragists. I am one, of course, but that suffragist yellow is such a horrid color I simply cannot wear it.