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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

End of August: Reading and Re-Reading

Each of us is inevitable,
Each of us is limitless—each of us with his or her right upon the earth,
Eacdh of us allow’d the eternal purports of the earth,
Each of us here as divinely as any is here.

...

Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons,
It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.

- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass


Whitman. I'm reveling in this reading. And then there's this newer delight--

What if the wind could blow away everything we know, all our words, all our theories and arguments and superstitions and prejudices, all our fears and bravado, all our politics and ethics, everything our education has taught us, leaving us scoured and empty, clear and clear-headed, and able, at last, to see the world, not as a screen upon which we project ourselves, but as it is? What would such a world look like? Would we know it? Would we be at home in it? How would we make our way through it?

- Jerry Dennis, “Winter Comes to the Keewanaw,” in Michigan Quarterly Review special issue, The Great Lakes: Love Song and Lament, Summer 2011

Finally, I'm indulging myself with reading for the third time a Michigan novel that continues to teach me lessons:

Her earlier fury seemed far away, and tiny, ike something that had happened at the opposite end of a very long tunnel.

...

Madeline looked woeful. “Nothing’s the way I expected it, now.”

“Ha,” Mary said. She didn’t mean to laugh at the girl but if that wasn’t the story of life, nothing was.

- Ellen Airgood, South of Superior


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