Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes in the brain and whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then — the glory — so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished. And I guess a man’s importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his glories. It is a lonely thing but it relates us to the world. It is the mother of all creativeness, and it sets each man separate from all other men.
– John Steinbeck, East of Eden
Posts Tagged ‘quotations’
For a week that’s speeding by, a concise little gem from my favourite Canadian author:
“There are some stories you can never hear enough. They are the same every time you hear them — but you are not. That’s one reliable way of understanding time.”
– Ann-Marie MacDonald, The Way the Crow Flies
We haven’t selected any poetry so far, so with summer arriving, I thought I’d quote a poem I love to read (parts of ) lying on the grass in the summer. Here’s the very end of “Song of Myself,” which is a passage I love so much, I’d like it to be my epitaph (Morbid? Surprisingly, I don’t find it is. But maybe that’s just because it seems so perfect to me).
I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.
– Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”