I Wish I Had Written This Post

Setting Out, Leaving Home, Journey, Crooked Road

If you could do it, I suppose, it would be a good idea to live your life in a straight line — starting, say, in the Dark Wood of Error, and proceeding by logical steps through Hell and Purgatory and into Heaven. Or you could take the King’s Highway past the appropriately named dangers, toils, and snares, and finally cross the River of Death and enter the Celestial City.

But that is not the way I have done it, so far.

I am a pilgrim, but my pilgrimage has been wandering and unmarked. Often what has looked like a straight line to me has been a circling or a doubling back. I have been in the Dark Wood of Error any number of times. I have known something of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, but not always in that order. The names of many snares and dangers have been made known to me, but I have seen them only in looking back. Often I have not known where I was going until I was already there.

I have had my share of desires and goals, but my life has come to me or I have gone to it mainly by way of mistakes and surprises. Often I have received better than I deserved. Often my fairest hopes have rested on bad mistakes. I am an ignorant pilgrim, crossing a dark valley.

And yet for a long time, looking back, I have been unable to shake off the feeling that I have been led.

Make of that what you will.

— Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow: A Novel

Recent

Ensamples

Among the worst things about The Slap is how it has fed self-righteousness in all but the two participants, and they already had it or it wldn’t have happened. But there is Solzhenitsyn, again, with the line between good and evil that cuts through every human heart, and there is Dostoevsky, always, reminding us via

Read More »

Lipstick

Pig is revelation. Revealing is when what’s here is hidden then seen. It’s really many individual ones, though widely considered they’re the same, and all the individuals are related, perhaps only proximately at first, but also in ways they themselves don’t initially see. + Key is it’s here. Problem is we don’t see it. Action

Read More »

Not For Teacher

There’s an unfortunate instructor-y thing where the guy on stage [I’ve found it’s usually a male doing this] asks a question he already knows the answer to, one of the people in the audience … err, classroom … is the target, the answer given is wrong, and the stagehand just goes and gives the answer

Read More »

Diminishing Me

You’d think a guy’d remember if it was the first time he’d seen a body but I didn’t not at first. [Hadda chance to graduate from college into one of our acceptable wars but didn’t, into the war that is, and no shot at a medical profession: left HS Chem as it had only 28

Read More »

Random

Duo

… More then says because he’s in prison and only has a coal with which to write he can’t respond fully to the view that one ought harm an evil man lest he cause even greater harm to such as are innocent and good. But He counsels us that even if it be our formal office to punish an evil

Read More »

An Epic For Our Time

Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” is like cram, the bread the dwarves eat for weeks as they explore The Lonely Mountain — and for much longer as men and elves lay them siege. It sustains but does not nourish, providing energy but no taste. But let Tolkien tell it: “I don’t know the recipe, but it

Read More »

Cursing With God

More battle scenes please Once teaching a high school American Literature class — and let me tell you, once is enough —a student he says, “I don’t understand The Red Badge of Courage.  It’s a war book, but there are hardly any battle scenes.  I don’t get it.” So we did a little Socratic dialogue, and

Read More »

The Fat Guy And Food

The Fat Guy does not particularly like food. There are gourmands, who also are likely to be massively obese — think Mario Batali, who can be easily envisioned in one of those old “Faces of Death” videos, hammering the monkey trapped in the middle of the dining table and scooping brains out of the not-yet-dead

Read More »

Related

Animal Planet

We’re watching Planet of the Apes. No, not the Charlton Heston one — this one. Only it’s supposed to be this one, from last year. So we’re on the middle one, the “first remake” (excluding the 17 sequels to the Charlton Heston one) and it’s by Tim Burton, with all that that entails, from Helena

Read More »

People of Costco

We got some of our Christmas presents at Costco and I’m not sorry. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of volume discounting, for it is the confidence of 30 rolls of absorbent toilet paper and the power of barrels of mayonnaise unto certain kinds of satiation, and two items not unrelated in the

Read More »

Whispers and Words

My dad died in my sleep. 2:35 AM in an upstate New York hospice; 11:35 PM in a Southern California house. A text saying to call and two voice mails I still haven’t listened to and speaking was as a sunrise. New but not unexpected. * Who’s the dust in this scenario? Remember, O Man, that thou art but

Read More »

Are You Jackin’ With Me?

The one thing I know about The Dark Knight Rises is that it’s the most boring action movie I’ve seen in years, and yes, I saw The Expendables. But it might not be an action movie. So apart from the surety there, my thoughts remain roundaboutly, which is just, considering the movie itself. And the

Read More »