“We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.”
“Stop worrying about missed opportunities and start looking for new ones.”
“In his face there came to be a brooding peace that is seen most often in the faces of the very sorrowful or the very wise. But still he wandered through the streets of the town, always silent and alone.”
“Gratitude looks to the Past and love to the Present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
“Glad to hear it.” Slothrop is smiling. You’re on my list too, pal. This
smile asks from him more grace than anything in his languid American
life ever has, up till now. Grace he always imagined himself short on. But
it’s working. He’s surprised, and so grateful that he almost starts crying
then. The best part of all is not that Bounce appears fooled by the smile,
but that Slothrop knows now that it will work for him again….
—-Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow
“Hark, now hear the sailors cry,
Smell the sea, and feel the sky,
Let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic.”
― Van Morrison, Into the Mystic
“He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbors.”
― Robert Frost, The Poetry of Robert Frost
“It’s creepy, but here we are, the Pilgrims, the crackpots of our time, trying to establish our own alternate reality. To build a world out of rocks and chaos.
What it’s going to be, I don’t know.
Even after all that rushing around, where we’ve ended up is the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.
And maybe knowing isn’t the point.
Where we’re standing right now, in the ruins in the dark, what we build could be anything.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Choke
“That which is dreamed can never be lost, can never be undreamed.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Wake
Today, after a lot of hard work doing nothing at all useful, I felt the need for a nap.
I dreamed of a house, one that is very familiar to me. It is a classic old wooden Victorian – getting long in the tooth. Like thousands and thousands throughout the center of the continent, the place I am so familiar.
It is larger than most, four stories including a dormered top floor with ceiling slanted to match the steep snow-shedding roof. There is an apartment addition over the double garage, reachable from the second floor. The main floor is completely encircled by a porch, with an old metal glider facing the road. There is an old-fashioned sleeping porch extending off the back portion of the second floor – a refuge from the hot summers, a peaceful relic from before air conditioning.
Walking the halls, I realized that I knew every square inch of this large-rambling house and remember all the repairs and improvements done over the decades. I even remembered how it used to be – I remember standing over an opening that led down to the floor furnace, the crisp white winter smell, the warm air convectioning up, the blue gas flame hissing away far below, how my feet felt on the hot metal grating.
Of course, once I ended my nap, stood up and entered the wasted day fully I realized that the house that I knew in such detail and remembered for so long does not exist. Has never existed. Could not even possibly exist.
Yet it feels more real than my actual home – or any dwelling I have lived in before.
“Rumour is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures
And of so easy and so plain a stop
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant wavering multitude,
Can play upon it.”
― William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2
Where do these pipes go to? What do they convey? What comes pouring out of them when they decide it’s time to go to work? What happens if you are on the sidewalk beneath?