During the annual Black Friday shopping event, Americans spend money they don’t have on things they don’t need and that don’t make them happy or at least happier, just poorer and more unsatisfied. Then, like Charlie Brown, they wonder what happened to the spirit of Christmas.
I passed some time in Poets Corner, which occupies an end of one of the transepts or cross aisles of the abbey. The monuments are generally simple; for the lives of literary men afford no striking themes for the sculptor. Shakespeare and Addison have statues erected to their memories; but the greater part have busts, medallions, and sometimes mere inscriptions. Notwithstanding the simplicity of these memorials, I have always observed that the visitors to the abbey remained longest about them. A kinder and fonder feeling takes place of that cold curiosity or vague admiration with which they gaze on the splendid monuments of the great and the heroic. They linger about these as about the tombs of friends and companions; for indeed there is something of companionship between the author and the reader. Other men are known to posterity only through the medium of history, which is continually growing faint and obscure: but the intercourse between the author and his fellow-men is ever new, active, and immediate. He has lived for them more than for himself; he has sacrificed surrounding enjoyments, and shut himself up from the delights of social life, that he might the more intimately commune with distant minds and distant ages. Well may the world cherish his renown; for it has been purchased, not by deeds of violence and blood, but by the diligent dispensation of pleasure. Well may posterity be grateful to his memory; for he has left it an inheritance, not of empty names and sounding actions, but whole treasures of wisdom, bright gems of thought, and golden veins of language.
Washington Irving, “Westminster Abbey”
Two women discussing a friend:
She’s living in a place where you take the Obama sticker off your car.
Desk attendant at the Flamingo:
Every now and then I used to get a resident come down and ask for a [phone] book, but not anymore.
A young man passing by said to me, “Enjoy it while you can. Only two days left!” At first I thought he meant the pool, which may remain open as long as the weather holds out. Then I thought he … Continue reading →
From John Adams by David McCullough, in a passage about a possible Adams candidacy for US president:
When [Abigail] reminded [John] that he was sixty years old, he replied, “If I were near I would soon convince you that I am not above forty.”
Capitalists in the making College female 1: . . . a concept for class. That’s how Jamba Juice was created. College female 2: Oh, wow. When reviewers need editors From a book review: This is a book that every single … Continue reading →
As far as people go, my heart is quite broken. As far as people go, I don’t want any more. I can’t stand any more. What heart I ever had for it — for life with people — is quite broken. I want to be alone, mother: with you here, and Phoenix perhaps to look after horses and drive a car. But I want to be by myself, really.
I’m convinced that ever since men and women were men and women, people who took things seriously, and had time for it, got their hearts broken. Haven’t I had mine broken? It’s as sure as having your virginity broken: and it amounts to about as much. It’s a beginning rather than an end.
I’ve got to live for something that matters, way down in me. And I think sex would matter to my very soul, if it was really sacred. But cheap sex kills me . . . I dislike [men] because they’re not men enough: babies, and playboys, and poor things showing off all the time, even to themselves. I don’t say I’m any better. I only wish, with all my soul, that some men were bigger and stronger and deeper than I am . . . No, mother, of this I am convinced: either my taking a man shall have a meaning and a mystery that penetrates my very soul, or I will keep to myself . . . And to [the spirit that is wild], my sex is deep and sacred, deeper than I am, with a deep nature aware deep down of my sex.
from St. Mawr by D. H. Lawrence
He understood that shivering better now. He was the conduit, the open window, by which, on rare occasions, she felt the ventus Dei. In the center of her sensuality, she was God’s plaything. — “Love Song, for a Moog Synthesizer” … Continue reading →
In the winter 2007 edition of A Feather in the Wind, the newsletter of Last Chance Forever, Director John Karger writes: “We must always keep our brains tame, otherwise we are just wild animals out of control — and we … Continue reading →