‘. . . still be asking the hopeless eternal questions’

“To-night, as ages hence, people would say this, or shut their doors on them, turn in bereaved agony from them, or toward them with love saying: ‘That is our star up there, yours and mine;’ steer by them above the clouds or lost at sea, or standing in the spray on the forecastle head, watch them, suddenly, careen; put their faith or lack of it in them; train, in a thousand observatories, feeble telescopes upon them, across whose lenses swam mysterious swarms of stars and clouds of dead dark stars, catastrophes of exploding suns, or giant Antares raging to its end – a smoldering ember yet five hundred times greater than the earth’s sun. And the earth itself still turning on its axis and revolving around that sun, the sun revolving around the luminous wheel of this galaxy, the countless unmeasured jewelled wheel of countless unmeasured galaxies, turning, turning, majestically, into infinity, into eternity, through all of which all life ran on — all this, long after she herself was dead, men would still be reading in the night sky, and as the earth turned through those distant seasons, and they watched the constellations still rising, culminating, setting, to rise again – Aries, Taurus, Gemini, the Crab, Leo, Virgo, the Scales and the Scorpion, Capricorn the Sea-goat and Aquarius the Water Bearer, Pisces, and once more triumphantly, Aries! – would they not, too, still be asking the hopeless eternal questions: to what end? What force drives this sublime celestial machinery?”

— “Under the Volcano” by Malcolm Lowry

Just give us opportunity, effort and ability

“So, a personal prayer developed for me. I prayed first for the opportunity, then the effort to try whatever the challenge was, and finally for the ability to do it. A three-part internal prayer/mantra evolved for me over the years and I still summon it often – opportunity, effort, ability.”

  • Crazy Wolf: A Half-Breed Story by John Spence (a former rugby teammate)

A return to Rattigan Glumphoboo’s regimen

I am back in the mood of Rattigan Glumphoboo from “Orlando” by Virginia Woolf where “whenever anything popped violently into her head, she went straight to the nearest telegraph office and wired” it. Take my blog post as a telegraph office and find whatever I am reading or hearing as whatever popped into my head recently. Here’s another one:

“Competition is life’s religion.”

  • Written by Frank Peters when he signed Will’s book roughly titled “A Bartenders Guide to Portland”

“He who robs us of our dreams robs us of our life”

Virginia Woolf

“Illusions are to the soul what atmosphere is to the earth. Roll up that tender air and the plant dies, the color fades. The earth we walk on is a parched cinder. It is marl we tread and fiery cobbles scorch our feet. By the truth we are undone. Life is a dream. ‘Tis waking that kills us. He who robs us of our dreams robs us of our life.”

  • Orlando by Virginia Woolf

Generational wealth starting from zero = never catching up

Isabel Wilkerson

“. . . colored people, having received next to nothing in material assets from their slave foreparents, had to labor with the knowledge that they were now being underpaid by more than half, that they were so behind it would be all but impossible to accumulate the assets their white counterparts could, and that they would, by definition, have less to leave succeeding generations than similar white families. Multiplied over the generations, it would mean a wealth deficit between the races that would require a miracle windfall or near asceticism on the part of colored families if they were to have any chance of catching up or amassing anything of value. Otherwise, the chasm would continue, as it did for blacks as a group even into the succeeding century. The layers of accumulated assets built up by the better-paid dominant caste, generation after generation, would factor into a wealth disparity of white Americans having an average net worth ten times that of black Americans by the turn of the twenty-first century, dampening the economic prospects of the children and grandchildren of both Jim Crow and the Great Migration before they were even born.”

“The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” by Isabel Wilkerson

“. . . what nature is death and of what nature life?”

“. . . if sleep it was, of what nature, we can scarcely refrain from asking, are such sleeps as these? Are they remedial measures – trances in which the most galling memories, events that seem likely to cripple life for ever, are brushed with a dark wing which rubs their harshness off and gilds them, even the ugliest, and basest, with a lustre, an incandescence? Has the finger of death to be laid on the tumult of life from time to time lest it rend us asunder? Are we so made that we have to take death in small doses daily or we could not go on with the business of living? And then what strange powers are these that penetrate our most secret ways and change our most treasured possessions without our willing it? Had Orlando, worn out by the extremity of his suffering, died for a week. And then come to life again? And if so, of what nature is death and of what nature life? Having waited well over half an hour for an answer to these questions, and none coming, let us get on with the story.”

  • Orlando by Virginia Woolf

What humans do: Hoping to find a better spot in the sun

“They did what humans have done for centuries when life became unbearable — what the pilgrims did under the tyranny of British rule, what the Scots-Irish did in Oklahoma when the land turned to dust, what the Irish did when there was nothing to eat, what the European Jews did during the spread of Nazism, what the landless in Russia, Italy, China, and elsewhere did when something better across the ocean called to them. What binds these stories together was the back-against-the-wall, reluctant yet hopeful search for something better, any place but where they were. They did what human beings looking for freedom, throughout history, have often done.

They left.”

“The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” by Isabel Wilkerson

https://madcapschemes.com/2019/09/