Yes, it’s been busy today, so we can all be glad I keep a record of these passages as I find them. (And yes, that is a James Thurber drawing of a dog. That’s a particularly brilliant detail our old buddy Salinger adds.)
This is from “A Young Girl in 1941 With No Wast At All,” Salinger’s short story originally published in The New Yorker:
She was a beautifully, a perfectly, gray-haired woman in a long sleeved evening gown with Thurber dogs in the pattern. She was wearing a pear-shaped diamond ring and a diamond bracelet. Just on sight no one very sensible would have laid bets on her background. She might, years ago, have walked very erectly across a Broadway stage, with an ostrich fan, singing A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody, or something similarly ostrich fan-ish. She might have been an ambassador’s daughter or a fireman’s daughter. She might have been her husband’s secretary for years. As only second-class beauty can be identified, there was no way of telling.
I ran across a quote from the Upanishads yesterday which echoed one I found last Chirstmas from Makarios the Great, who was apparently an Egyptian monk. And the drawing’s by Leonardo. Pretty far-ranging blog, I’d say.
The little space within the heart is as great as the vast universe. The heavens and the earth are there, and the sun and the moon and the stars. Fire and lightning and winds are there, and all that now is and all that is not. –The Upanishads
The heart itself is only a small vessel,
yet dragons are there, and lions,
there are poisonous beasts,
and all the treasures of evil,
there are rough and uneven roads,
there are precipices;
but there too is God and the angels,
life is there, and the Kingdom,
there too is light, and there the apostles
and heavenly cities,
and treasures of grace.
All things lie within that little space.
–Makarios the Great
“Is it you or the long, compassionate wind
that whispers in my ear, ‘Alas, alas’?”
(The whole section is worth posting. Maybe tomorrow.)
Three words: Rocky Mountain Raceways. They are host to events such as the “Discount Tire Midnight Drag,” the “Jet Car Spring Nationals,” “Funny Car Fever,” and somthing called “Fuel and Fire,” which I can only imagine. Buy tickets here. Go, have a drink, watch jet cars, see the light on the mountains, and be happy where you are.
That feeling of being privy to a new and great truth just because you were lucky enough to pick up a particular book is a source of endless delight and amazement, yes, but in particular times and with certain literature (okay, poetry) it can almost be a source of blessedness, of certainty there is an order for good in the universe. I have to think, “Someone who could put this feeling into words exits in the universe, was lucky enough to have the words ready for the feeling, was lucky enough to be able to share these words, and I was lucky enough to discover them when I didn’t know I needed them.”
Or something along those lines. This is actually carved above the water feature that’s in the south end of the Gallivan Center. I found it in college and, indeed, thought I was lucky.
Visions of the end may secretly seduce
our thoughts like water sinking
into water, air drifting into air;
clouds may form, when least expected,
darkening the glass of self,
canceling resemblances to what we are.
Even here, while summer sunlight
falling through the golden
folds of afternoon
brightens up the air, we mark
our progress by how much
we leave behind. And yet,
this vanishing is burnished
by a slow, melodious light,
as if our passage here
were beautiful because
no turning back is possible.
It is our knowledge of the end
that speaks for us, that has us weave,
as slowly as we can, an elegy
to all our walks. It is our way
of bending to the world’s will
and giving thanks.
So I made a hair appointment Saturday, which reminded me of this (fairly long) passage from The Long Goodbye. “Kingpin racketeers”–long live Raymond Chandler.
There are blondes and blondes and it is almost a joke word nowadays. All blondes have their points, except perhaps the metallic ones who are as blonde as a Zulu under the bleach and as to disposition as soft as a sidewalk. There is the small cute blonde who cheeps and twitters, and the big statuesque blonde who straight-arms you with an ice-blue glare. There is the blonde who gives you the up-from-under look and smells lovely and shimmers and hangs on your arm and is always very very tired when you take her home…
There is the small perky blonde who is a little pal and wants to pay her own way and is full of sunshine and common sense and knows judo from the ground up and can toss a truck driver over her shoulder without missing more than one sentence out of the editorial in the Saturday Review. There is the pale, pale blonde with anemia of some non-fatal but incurable kind. She is very languid and very shadowy and speaks softly out of nowhere and you can’t lay a finger on her because in the first place you don’t want to and in the second place she is reading The Waste Land or Dante in the original, or Kafka or Kierkegaard or studying Provencal…
And lastly there is the gorgeous showpiece who will outlast three kingpin racketeers and then marry a couple of millionaires at a million a head and end up with a pale rose villa at Cap Antibes, an Alfa-Romeo town car complete with pilot and co-pilot, and a stable of shopworn aristocrats, all of whom she will treat with the affectionate absent-mindedness of an elderly duke saying goodnight to his butler.
Two more Potential Band Names Found in Everyday Conversation:
1. Crawl On Down The Wall
(From talking about “those gummy spiders you throw at the wall and they stick until they start to crawl on down.”)
2. Co-dependent Consumptive
(From when I’d had a sneezing attack and then put on powder prior to going out. I asked my roommate–since the powder was a little pale and my eyes were red and puffy–“Do I look consumptive?” And hilarity ensued, and we ended up deciding I should write a personal ad that starts out “co-dependent consumptive seeks same…” and see how many dates I got then.)
Other Band Stuff:
Neko Case is playing Suede in Park City on June 17th.
Even More Band Stuff:
If you’re looking for the archetypal bar experience, you can go to The Republican on Sunday nights and listen to the house band. And drink lots of beer.
Our Chris is an invited blogger for the AdTech conference in San Francisco, which means he gets to attend all the parties and write blog entries. (A shame they don’t have these conferences for literature, really.)
He’ll start posting tomorrow. Click on the blue BLOG navigation at the bottom left of this page:
In the ever-evolving search for good names for things, we’re moving from Potential Band Names Found In Everyday Conversation to Potential Titles of Award-Winning First Novels Found in Everyday Conversation (PTOAWFNFIEC, for short). We were telling Shea about Rio Grande (he’d never eaten there) and he asked, “They have a lady in a taco there, right?” Yes, they do.