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UK Farming Crisis
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from Authors new and old
Selected by Gavin Duley
No culture has yet solved the dilemma each has faced with the growth of a concious mind:
how to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood,
the horror inherrent in all life, when one find darkness not only in ones culture but
within oneself. If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult,
it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts the responsibility
for a life lived in the middle of such paradox. One must live in the middle of
contradiction, for if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse.
There are simply no answers to some of the great questions. You continue to live them
out, making your life a worthy expression of a leaning into the light.
"The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff
and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails.
You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at
night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love,
you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your
honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for
it then -- to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is
the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be
tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning
is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn."
"Wisest is he who knows he does not
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
"As for human life,
"Lux et Umbra vicissim, sed semper Amor"
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of
fear - not absence of fear"
"All works of art that are purely imaginative
- poems, novels, stories - are pulled out of the future
as you may pluck a roasted chestnut out of the fire,
scorching your hand in the process. But in this cruel and
meaningless epoch, behind the bars of which I now write,
neither past nor future seems to have any existence; only
the present which contains the dead ashes of the past.
Since the whole of life and its background is being
dissolved to chaos before our eyes, it is impossible -
because our balance from day to day remains too
precarious - to wrest a book from the future."
"I found myself reading a good deal about
deserts while I was in the south, and at that time I was
engrossed in Thesiger's Arabian
Sands. Like Antarctica, the heart of
the desert was a blank in time, devoid of human history.
Both places could be percieved as a gigantic reflection
of all you had known of emptiness and loss, if you were
minded to internalise the landscape in that way. I felt
the reverse. Even sitting in a base which resembled a
small Alaskan mining town, I had similar intimations
about the cold southern desert to which Thesiger had in
the hot sands of Arabia. 'Here in the desert,' he wrote,
'I had found all that I had asked; I knew that I should
never find it again.'"
"Law stands mute in the midst of arms"
"So much rain, so much life like the swollen
Everything goes to hell; the mountains
She's in her room, fondling old things,
she does not come out.
to love the dark days, the steaming
so that when you emerge, my sister,
all will not be as it was, but it
will be true
I would have learnt to love black
days like bright ones,
"In the presence of O'Keeffe paintings, I
cannot claim to fully understand them; I accept their
power and dignity and the assurance that there is a
tremendous reserve of beauty that fine artists, in all
media, can give us. They may deny it voiciferously, but
artists burn with a need to convey by implication their
personal conception of life and potential beauty,
transcending all the laws, dogmas, practical aspirations,
and the instincts of self-preservation. They, along with
the scientists, poets and phillosophers, illuminate the
world rather than exploit it. Anyone who has viewed a
Stieglitz, a Moore, a Strand or an O'Keeffe must be
excited by such vision and execution; their messages
stand as beacons.
- from Ch.10 Stieglitz and O'Keeffe, Ansel Adams An Autobiography
"And some time make the time to drive out
- Postscript, from The Spirit Level by Seamus Heaney.
"Suttree went out through the kitchen and through the ruined garden to the old road. Reprobate scion of doomed Saxon clans, out of the rainy day surmised. Old paint on an old sign said dimly to keep out. Someone must have turned it around because it posted the outer world. He went on anyway. He said he was only passing through."
- from Suttree by Cormac McCarthy
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This page last updated Tuesday 25 July 2017