“The immappable world of our journey. A pass in the mountains. A bloodstained stone. The marks of steel upon it. Names carved in the corrosible lime among stone fishes and ancient shells. Things dimmed and dimming. The dry sea floor. The tools of migrant hunters. The dreams encased upon the blades of them. The peregrine bones of a prophet. The silence. The gradual extinction of rain. The coming of night.”
― Cormac McCarthy, Cities of the Plain
“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”
― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”
― Abraham Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being
“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”
― Charles Bukowski, Factotum
When I went down to the Dallas Heritage Village and the Cedars Food Truck Park I took a little walk around the village. Back in the corner is a blacksmith’s shop. The master blacksmith was giving lessons to two students.
I stood and watched for a while. They had a coal fire going and would reach overhead and pump a huge pair of bellows to feed the fire and get the heat they needed. The students would pull their iron out of the fire and hammer it red-hot against an anvil.
This was really interesting. Maybe I’ll save some money up and buy myself a blacksmith lesson some time. It wouldn’t be very useful, but might be an interesting experience.
I was reminded of the blacksmith shop when, a couple weeks later, I was riding my bike around Fair Park. I was looking at and trying to photograph the series of amazing art deco murals on the six porticos along the Esplanade (I’m working on a blog entry… patience).
One of the murals shows a bare-chested smith hammering a piece of iron against a huge anvil. He is holding his hammer over his head, while next to him a helmeted welder is working away. A little more dramatic and artistic than the little blacksmith’s shop – but it’s the same general idea.