Saturday, May 12, 2012

Forever and forever

My friend Betty's lovely blog:


Take care with whom you break bread

Last batch of All The Pretty Horses. The very best part of the book is the senorita's speech. Stick around for that.

Poverty leads to a man's judging of readiness to kill for the money.
Underpinning all of it like the fiscal standard in commercial societies lay a bedrock of depravity and violence where in an egalitarian absolute every man was judged by a single standard and that was his readiness to kill.
Definitely quoting this in the future. Just spit out that poison.
My daddy used to tell me not to chew on something that was eatin you.
LOVE it: a person of value must not run from misfortune, despite anything. This quality must be a "form of constancy." Anyone who abandons first becomes a coward, and abandoning this value makes anything else redundant.
I wanted very much to be a person of value and I had to ask myself how this could be possible if there were not something like a soul or like a spirit that is in the life of a person and which could endure any misfortune or disfigurement and yet be no less for it. If one were to be a person of value that value could not be a condition subject to hazards of fortune. It had to be a quality that could not change. No matter what. Long before morning I knew that what I was seeking to discover was a thing I'd always known. That all courage was a form of constancy. That it was always himself that the coward abandoned first. After this all other betrayals came easily.
Speaks to my childhood:
It was good that God kept the truths of life from the young as they were starting out or else they'd have no heart to start at all.
Like a blank of mind:
...and for a moment he held out his hands as if to steady himself or as if to bless the ground there or perhaps as if to slow the world that was rushing away and seemed to care nothing for the old or the young or rich or poor or dark or pale or he or she. Nothing for their struggles, nothing for their names. Nothing for the living or the dead.
Blood's blood. It dont know where it come from.
Good 'slogan.' Sacred money = religious money? Money that doesn't exist? Money with fate predetermined by God? Most thought-provoking bit of the quote. A worried man can't love... reminds me of Woolf's "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."
Scared money can’t win and a worried man can’t love.
Eternity of life before its end and the evil of it:
He saw very clearly how all his life led only to this moment and all after led to nowhere at all. He felt something cold and soulless enter him like another being and he imagined that it smiled malignly and he had no reason to believe that it would ever leave.
This is just a beautiful quote, no analysis needed, really. It's lovely.
She looked up at him and her face was pale and austere in the uplight and her eyes lost in their darkly shadowed hollows save only for the glint of them and he could see her throat move in the light and he saw in her face and in her figure something he'd not seen before and the name of that thing was sorrow.
A refusal to choose a destiny does not mean the fates will not.
The world is quite ruthless in selecting between the dream and the reality, even where we will not.
Last quote... what shape in lives? What pattern after fact? The repetition of history, of failure? Do we see its forming from birth? Or does it develop from all our dumb choices? If it isn't set out before us, how do we walk that path? If there is no shape at all are we even something? We are not.
Otherwise, we are nothing.
Otherwise, we are nothing.
Because the question for me was always whether that shape we see in our lives was there from the beginning or whether these random events are only called a pattern after the fact. Because otherwise we are nothing.

Dying aint in people's plans, is it?

More quotes:

Horses and men in All The Pretty Horses: not only understanding the horse when going to war, but understanding war and man itself.
the souls of horses mirror the souls of men more closely than men suppose and that horses also love war. Men say they only learn this but he said that no creature can learn that which his heart has no shape to hold. His own father said that no man who has not gone to war horseback can ever truly understand the horse and he said that he supposed he wished that this were not so but that it was so.
 Everything leads to something.
Ever dumb thing I ever done in my life there was a decision I made before that got me into it. It was never the dumb thing. It was always some choice I'd made before it.
 The recovery from grief, the strength it may give:
Those who have endured some misfortune will always be set apart but that it is just that misfortune which is their gift and which is their strength and that they must make their way back into the common enterprise of man for without they do so it cannot go forward and they themselves will wither in bitterness.
 This is lovely... world is so beautiful so he wishes his heart were stone to feel less of its beauty because you "dont know what's going to happen" and what point is the beauty of the earth when there's "wars and ruination and hell." Like a breath, "trembling and brief." You do never know what's going to happen.
Way the world is. Somebody can wake up and sneeze somewhere in Arkansas or some damn place and before you're done there's wars and ruination and all hell. You dont know what's goin to happen. I'd say He's just about got to. I dont believe we'd make it a day otherwise listening to the water drip in the woods. Bedrock, this. The cold and the silence. The ashes of the late world carried on the bleak and temporal winds to and fro in the void. Carried forth and scattered and carried forth again. Everything uncoupled from its shoring. Unsupported in the ashen air. Sustained by a breath, trembling and brief. If only my heart were stone.
A pretty paragraph: the warming of a body.
By midmorning eight of the horses stood tied and the other eight were wilder than deer, scattering along the fence and bunching and running in a rising sea of dust as the day warmed, coming to reckon slowly with the remorselessness of this rendering of their fluid and collective selves into that condition of separate and helpless paralysis which seemed to be among them like a creeping plague.
Loved this in the book. The two quotes show man's purposefulness over a horse, man as "some god come to inhabit them" but man is not the god, the spirit of a horse's journey is.
My old daddy always said that the purpose of breakin a horse was to ride it and if you got one to break you just as well to saddle up and climb aboard and get on with it.
They looked like animals trussed up by children for fun and they stood waiting for they knew not what with the voice of the breaker still running in their brains like the voice of some god come to inhabit them.
SUCH a beautiful quotes below, especially in the book when I read it... truly shows the love for horses. Their independence, their durable heart and their courage needs no heaven, and such a majestic creature would never be removed from the earth.
Finally he said that among men there was no such communion as among horses and the notion that men can be understood at all was probably an illusion. Rawlins asked him in his bad Spanish if there was a heaven for horses but he shook his head and said that a horse had no need of heaven. Finally John Grady asked him if it were not true that should all horses vanish from the face of the earth the soul of the horse would not also perish for there would be nothing out of which to replenish it but the old man only said that it was pointless to speak of there being no horses in the world for God would not permit such a thing. 
"...and in his sleep he dreamt of horses and the horses in his dream moved gravely among the tilted stones like horses come upon an antique site where some ordering of the world had failed and if anything had been written on the stones the weathers had taken it away again and the horses were wary and moved with great circumspection carrying in their blood as they did the recollection of this and other places where horses once had been and would be again. Finally what he saw in his dream was that the order in the horse's heart was more durable for it was written in a place where no rain could erase it.
An Ayn Rand thing to say? Below:
If she does not come to value what is true above what is useful it will make little difference whether she lives at all.
To not be blamed:
If fate is the law then is fate also subject to that law? At some point we cannot escape naming responsibility. It's in our nature.
Palpable power of the planet:
The fire had burned to coals and he lay looking up at the stars in their places and the hot belt of matter that ran the chord of the dark vault overhead and he put his hands on the ground at either side of him and pressed them against the earth and in that coldly burning canopy of black he slowly turned dead center to the world, all of it taut and trembling and moving enormous and alive under his hands.
Weakness should not affect authority:
The names of the entities that have power to constrain us change with time. Convention and authority are replaced by infirmity. But my attitude toward them has not changed.
Just love this:
Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.
Un idée français? Why won't reason improve a character? Does reason only stimulate more wariness?
People of my generation are more cautious. I think we don’t believe that people can be improved in their character by reason. That seems a very french idea.
Pain for the old was no longer a surprise.
Underpinning all of it like the fiscal standard in commercial societies lay a bedrock of depravity and violence where in an egalitarian absolute every man was judged by a single standard and that was his readiness to kill.
Take care with whom you break bread.
My daddy used to tell me not to chew on something that was eatin you.
Waiting for your toil:
Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.

As if the rain were electric, had grounded circuits that the electric might be


Quotes from All The Pretty Horses, continued:

Firstly, I love this quote, for an obvious reasons.

The comparison - mice and humans. Experiments and reality. Clever point made beautifully. He is right, of course: there is no "might have been" and reality is the only absolute. Knowing is scrap because "green and foolishness and a love of blood" cannot escape a man and has never escaped a man.
When I was in school I studied biology. I learned that in making their experiments scientists will take some group--bacteria, mice, people--and subject that group to certain conditions. They compare the results with a second group which has not been disturbed. This second group is called the control group. It is the control group which enables the scientist gauge the effect of his experiment. To judge the significance of what has occurred. In history there are no control groups. There is no one to tell us what might have been. We weep over the might have been, but there is no might have been. There never was. It is supposed to be true that those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it. I don't believe knowing can save us. What is constant in history is greed and foolishness and a love of blood and this is a thing that even God--who knows all that can be known--seems powerless to change.
Sort of sad to acknowledge the quote below but I've seen it to be true.
The closest bonds we will ever know are bonds of grief. The deepest community one of sorrow.
The two quotes below speaks to me, it is what has been expected of me, and why? I used think so too, yet I think empathy can never reach out to somehow who attempts to create a bond of grief as compensation.
I'd of thought maybe the disappointments of your own life might of made you more sympathetic to other people.
You would have thought wrongly. I guess so. It is not my experience that life's difficulties make people more charitable. I guess it depends on the people.
True: death cures all.
Those whom life does not cure death will . . . In the end we all come to be cured of our sentiments.
 This is beautiful... all the trouble of the world to produce a flower? All unity?
He thought that in the beauty of the world were hid a secret. He thought that the world’s heart beat at some terrible cost and that the world’s pain and its beauty moved in a relationship of diverging equity and that in this headlong deficit the blood of multitudes might ultimately be exacted for the vision of a single flower.
And last but not least... this is witty:
The trouble with a liar is he cant remember what he said.