Saturday, September 03, 2011

There's a ton of weeping in The Odyssey, and almost no laughter. At every greeting, every parting, every safe landing, every escape: weeping, weeping, weeping. And I realized: Weeping is the emotion of middle age. Once you get to your forties, no joy fails to remind you of it's opposite, or it's cost, or those not present to share it; no sorrow fails to get it's due. To weep is to be human, to be alive, to have grown up.

From No-Man's Lands
by Scott Huler

4 comments:

History will absolve Mike said...

Have you ever read The Unquiet Grave by Palinurus? Palinurus is the nom de plume of Cyril Connelly.
It is one of my favorite books.
I picked my copy up at the late, great Hibberd's Books on Chestnut Street, a slim hardback copy with exquisite but sparse illustrations.
It is nothing short of magnificent, a literary masterpiece and very appropriate to your current line of research.
Some of my favorite lines of all time are contained within the covers of this book. One is entitled April Message:

"Pack up. Your situation is untenable, your loss irretrievable y no hay remedio. CHANGE YOUR BEDDING!"
Note: Lamas do not die, but on reincarnation, are said to "change their bedding."

and:

"And as with so many of those who resign from the struggle, who quit because they do no not want to succeed, because they find something vulgar and even unlucky in success itself-immediately he feels remorse and misery at his abdication, and wishes he had remained where he was. Doing is overrated and success unbearable, but the bitterness of Failure even more so. Palinurus, in fact though he despises the emptiness of achievement, the applause of the multitude, and the rewards of fame, comes in his long exile to hate himself for despising them, and so he jumps childishly at the chance to be perpetuated as an obscure cape."

If it wasn't written by Cyril Connelly, this could be an excerpt from my autobiography, the long-threatened memoir South To Go North.

You can borrow my copy if you pick it up and promise to get it back to me intact and in a timely manner.

ZS said...

I must get my own copy. I can not be trusted to return books. And I haven't read it. But I need that one quote, contained in it's proper book form, in my house.

And I'd like to reserve a copy of South To Go North.

History will absolve Mike said...

You really should have a copy. I didn't lead you astray on Leon Uris' Ireland, did I? The Unquiet Grave is a much more important (but obscure) book than that.

ZS said...

No, did not lead me astray on Ireland. You lead me right to the source, my friend.