In the time of your life — live! That time is short and it doesn’t return again. It is slipping away while I write this and while you read it, the monosyllable of the clock is Loss, loss, loss, unless you devote your heart to its opposition.”
— Tennessee Williams
Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of the passing of Roger Ebert. (Our own Blog Correspondent Pete Harrison pointed it out to the gang on Facebook.)
I still miss reading Ebert’s reviews. He was such an intelligent man, yet so lacking in pretense or pedanticism. His had an unassuming, straightforward, everyman’s voice that the average reader could trust and relate to. His talent for that remains inimitable.
The quote below is one I discovered just today. It’s a good one.
“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
— Charles Bukowski
“I have learnt through bitter experience the one supreme lesson — to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmuted into a power which can move the world.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”
― George Orwell
‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
— Juliet, in William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”
Photo: Ignacio P. Camarlench: “Una Rosa,” 1894
“Without waiting for his father’s questions he ran across the road and began to walk at breakneck speed down the hill. He hardly knew where he was walking. Pride and hope and desire like crushed herbs in his heart sent up vapours of maddening incense before the eyes of his mind. He strode down the hill amid the tumult of sudden risen vapours of wounded pride and fallen hope and baffled desire. They streamed upwards before his anguished eyes in dense and maddening fumes and passed away above him till at last the air was clear and cold again.”
— possibly my favorite quote from James Joyce’s “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.” I wanted to feature an Irish writer today, and Yeats’ “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” is already always plastered all over my social media.
“If I had had any sense, I’d have quit and taken a working job. The only trouble with that would be that I wouldn’t have been working for the Old Man any longer. That made the difference.
“Not that he was a soft boss. He was quite capable of saying, ‘Boys, we need to fertilize this oak tree. Just jump in that hole at its base and I’ll cover you up.’ We’d have done it. Any of us would. And the Old Man would bury us alive, too, if he thought that there was as much as a 53 percent probability that it was the Tree of Liberty he was nourishing.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, “The Puppet Masters”
This is just a quick word of thanks to the police and military professionals who’ve kept us safe this holiday season. If it’s anything that recent events have shown us, it’s that your bravery and professionalism are needed now more than ever.
Godspeed, and thank you for your service.