It rained every day for three months, from late fall till spring… it was dank and cold, and the sky was low, like the ceiling of a coal mine, the clouds the color of asphalt. By March the low places ran with muddy water and washed whole lifetimes away, and storms tore up some parts of the South like they were held together with shoeboxes and glue. Things rusted that never had, doors swelled and jammed, and the roots of hundred-year-old trees lost their grip in the liquid soil and fell under their own weight. It even caused a kind of moldering in the mind, an absence of optimism, like we had tracked the red mud into our finer nature.
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Good news in today’s world is like a fugitive, treated like a hoodlum and put on the run. Castigated. All we see is good-for-nothing news…
The most beautiful people we have known, are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
Inevitably, when I can’t harm the people who harmed me, I just end up harming the people who love me.
“…darkness almost always harbors some bit of goodness tucked out of sight, waiting for an unexpected light to shine, to reveal it in its deepest hiding place.”
Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.
Long before Johannes Gutenberg and his printing press, and 1,000 years before cloistered monks and their illuminated manuscripts, the principal storage facility for history, poetry, and folktales was the human head. And the chief means of transmitting that cultural wealth, from generation to generation, was the human voice.
I’ve been around that trashy behavior all my life, I’m gettin’ tired of puttin’ up with it.
And kid, remember, do not swing at the pitcher’s pitch. Make sure you swing at your pitch.
In its gathered, visible form in the granary, seed is useless. To serve the purpose for which it exists, it must be scattered. It disappears into the soil and literally dies. When seed is doing the work for which it was intended, it is invisible.
You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
When one person kills another there is immediate revulsion at the nature of the crime. But in time so short as to seem indecent to the members of the personal family, the dead person ceases to exist as an identifiable figure. To those individuals in the community of good will and empathy, warmth, and compassion, only one of the key actors in the drama remains with whom to commiserate— and that is always the criminal. The dead person ceases to be a part of everyday reality, ceases to exist. She is only a figure in a historic event. We inevitably turn away from the past, toward the ongoing reality. And the ongoing reality is the criminal; trapped, anxious, now helpless, isolated, often badgered and bewildered. He usurps the compassion that is justly his victim’s due. He will steal his victim’s moral constituency along with her life.
We’re all just walking each other home.
There are three things we cry for in life: things that are lost, things that are found, and things that are magnificent.
At fourteen I wanted to play guitar very badly. By fifteen I did.