In the woods about my garden and familiar precincts lurk the fears of life; all threaten me, some I may escape, of others I am the destined and devoted victim. Sooner or later—and yet in any case how soon!—I shall fall, as I have seen others fall, touched by an unseen hand.

But I do not think of these Terrors often, though I seem to hear them sometimes moving in the thickets. It is the little transitory worries that bite and annoy me, querulous insects, born of the moment, and perishing with the day.

— Logan Pearsall Smith, All Trivia: A Collection of Reflections & Aphorisms


April 9 — “If only something would happen?” Something being the revelation that transfigures existence; works a miraculous presto-chango upon the mundane mortal world — turning the toads and cockroaches back into handsome fairy princes, the Clark Kents into Superman — that calls unexpectedly up on the phone and says: “Your name has just been picked from a hat, like a rabbit, and we are giving you a million dollars,” — or that announces in a sudden telegram: “Congratulations! Lady Rockefeller has just died and left you several estates and an enchanted source of continual private income.” But instead, day after day, there are hardboiled eggs instead of frog legs for breakfast, and doubts and worries buzz and sting like the evils in Pandora’s box.

— Sylvia Plath, The Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962


Our imaginations are captivated by fears and fantasies, monsters and superheroes, agonies and ecstasies, but our day-to-day living mostly presents us with gnats and houseflies. How patiently do we put up with them?