503. Their Presence

She was the first “nice” girl he had ever known. In various unrevealed capacities he had come in contact with such people but always with indiscernible barbed wire between. He found her excitingly desirable. He went to her house, at first with other officers from Camp Taylor, then alone. It amazed him—he had never been in such a beautiful house before.Read more

495. What Returns At Night

About dreams. It is usually taken for granted that you dream of something that has made a particularly strong impression on you during the day, but it seems to me it’s just the contrary. Often it’s something you paid no attention to at the time — a vague thought that you didn’t bother to think out to the end, words spoken without feeling and which passed unnoticed — these are the things that return at night, clothed in flesh and blood, and they become the subjects of dreams, as if to make up for having been ignored during waking hours.Read more

487. Time To Go Home

When we pulled out into the winter night and the real snow, our snow, began to stretch out beside us and twinkle against the windows, and the dim lights of small Wisconsin stations moved by, a sharp wild brace came suddenly into the air. We drew in deep breaths of it as we walked back from dinner through the cold vestibules, unutterably aware of our identity with this country for one strange hour before we melted indistinguishably into it again.Read more

476. Rebaptized

If you try to avoid or remove the awkward quality, it will pursue you. The only effective way to still its unease is to transfigure it, to let it become something creative and positive that contributes to who you are.
Nietzsche said that one of the best days in his life was the day when he rebaptized all his negative qualities as his best qualities.

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472. Waking

Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed? Can the writer isolate and vivify all in experience that most deeply engages our intellects and our hearts? Can the writer renew our hope for literary forms? Why are we reading if not in hope that the writer will magnify and dramatize our days, will illuminate and inspire us with wisdom, courage, and the possibility of meaningfulness, and will press upon our minds the deepest mysteries, so that we may feel again their majesty and power?Read more

470. What Major Tom Sees

Standing there alone, the ship is waiting
All systems are go, are you sure?
Control is not convinced
But the computer has the evidence
No need to abort
The countdown starts
Watching in a trance, the crew is certain
Nothing left to chance, all is working
Trying to relax, up in the capsule
“Send me up a drink”, jokes Major Tom
The count goes on
4, 3, 2, 1
Earth below us
Drifting falling
Floating weightless
Calling calling home
Second stage is cut, we’re now in orbit
Stabilizers up, running perfect
Starting to collect, requested data
What will it effect, when all is done
Thinks Major Tom
Back at ground control, there is a problem
Go to rockets full, not responding
Hello Major Tom, are you receiving
Turn the thrusters on, we’re standing by
There’s no reply
4, 3, 2, 1
Earth below us
Drifting, falling
Floating, weightless
Calling, calling, home
Across the stratosphere
A final message, “Give my wife my love”
Then nothing more
Far beneath the ship, the world is mourning
They don’t realize, he’s alive
No one understands but Major Tom sees
Now the light commands, this is my home
I’m coming home
Earth below us
Drifting falling
Floating weightless
Coming home
Earth below us
Drifting falling
Floating weightless
Coming home
Earth below us
Drifting falling
Floating weightless
Coming coming home
Home
Home
Home
Home
Home
Home
Home
Home
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469. You Can’t Take The Afternoon With You

Thomas Merton wrote, “there is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.” There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It is so self-conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage.Read more

468. Waterfall

What does it feel like to be alive? Living, you stand under a waterfall. You leave the sleeping shore deliberately; you shed your dusty clothes, pick your barefoot way over the high, slippery rocks, hold your breath, choose your footing, and step into the waterfall. The hard water pelts your skull, bangs in bits on your shoulders and arms.Read more