Plough Lines

Upcoming Thunderstorm While Plowing

“For sale: baby shoes” is a classified ad.

“For sale: baby shoes; never worn” is a story.

It’s Hemingway’s, in fact.

*

“The king is dead” is a news bulletin.

“The king died, and the queen died of grief” is a story.

Better yet, “The king died, and the queen and her lover died in each other’s arms.”

Or, “The king died, and the queen and his brother are being sought for questioning by the son.”

Now that’s a story.

*

Why?

*

Stories ought to be terrible, in the best senses of the word.

Not “This traffic is terrible” but “Ivan the Terrible.”

Not “This broth is terrible” but “This chocolate is terrible.”

Because who in the hell cares about broth?

*

But they aren’t just terrible.

Or rather, they’re terrible because of some things.

Why the second entry beats tar out of the first in each and (usually) every case is they harrow our souls. A little bit anyway. And they do that because first, we can connect with them; so then, we can feel and think about them; and finally, we may even change. A little bit anyway.

We want to know what it’s about, how it went down, and — crucially — what will happen. We will be there when it does. Now we’re paying attention. Finally. That’s all he needs.

*

“All hat, no cattle” is a too-well-known saying.

Making “All wretch, no vomit” so much better.

*

The allotted function of art is not, as is often assumed, to put across ideas, to propagate thought, to serve as an example. The aim of art is to prepare a person for death, to plough and harrow his soul, rendering it capable of turning to good. Andrei Tarkovsky

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent

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

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

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

Read More »

One Day One

The birds start by 0315 here, which is when I awoke this morning. They didn’t do it, make me wake-up, they’re not roosters after all,

Read More »

Random

Lapsed Pray-er

When I pray in the morning I often lapse into The Jesus Prayer. The link notes the Eastern Orthodox connection and its basic form —

Read More »

He Built That

They say of Jim Brown — When he got to the end zone he acted like he’d been there before. They don’t say this of

Read More »

Total Recall

Don’t stop me if you’ve heard this one … There was a woman who claimed to talk with God — not to Him, but with

Read More »

Related

Jesus FAIL

They killed him yesterday and it was awful, as you might expect. Crucifixion, like a common criminal — but he wasn’t common, though now he’s

Read More »

Of Love

We like lists. Here’s one. Love is a song Love is the greatest song Love is integral Love is alive Love is gospel Love is

Read More »