Ghost Within A Ghost

Last night I was working on a scene in my novel, inspired in part by a passage from Eugene O’Neill, from his play Long Day’s Journey Into Night. You can find scenes on YouTube.

Here’s my paragraph:

We turned off Main onto Graces Road, toward the orchard, and went on in silence. We drove on under a heavier band of rain, and I turned on the wipers again. We listened to them squeak back and forth. Bo looked out at the endless empty fields of grape stalks and I just drove. I kept both hands on the wheel because life felt terribly fragile. Soon, we had the house in sight. Every winter, Dad had the trees around it pruned strictly back to their bare branches and trunks, so that in summer they’d grow out full and green. When my pickup turned off the road, the shape of the house stood gray on gray against the dripping sky. It looked like the house was drowning in the rain.

And here’s a true master:

The fog was where I wanted to be. Halfway down the path you can’t see this house. You’d never know it was here. Or any of the other places down the avenue. I couldn’t see but a few feet ahead. I didn’t meet a soul. Everything looked and sounded unreal. Nothing was what it is. That’s what I wanted — to be alone with myself in another world where truth is untrue and life can hide from itself. Out beyond the harbor, where the road runs along the beach, I even lost the feeling of being on land. The fog and the sea seemed part of each other. It was like walking on the bottom of the sea. As if I had drowned along ago. As if I was a ghost belonging to the fog, and the fog was the ghost of the sea. It felt damned peaceful to be nothing more than a ghost within a ghost.

This version of the scene is a bit abridged. My favorite is the one with Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey, et. al. You can watch the play entirely here:

Wisdom for Week’s End

It’s not every day I get to share words of kindness and wisdom from the Dalai Lama. He doesn’t post every day. I checked.

We need the message of compassion as often as he – or anyone else – feels inclined to impart it, especially in the country where I live. Maybe also in yours?

Dalai Lama originally shared this post:

If each of us can learn to relate to each other more out of compassion, with a sense of connection to each other and a deep recognition of our common humanity, and more important, to teach this to our children, I believe that this can go a long way in reducing many of the conflicts and problems that we see today.

greater vision

You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a fine spirit of hope of achievement. You are here to enrich the world and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.
– Woodrow Wilson

the good

Only the good doubt their own goodness, which is what makes them good in the first place. The bad know they are good, but the good know nothing. They spend their lives forgiving others, but they can’t forgive themselves.

– Paul Auster

Blogger’s Back

Did you try to post to a blog and find that Blogger was down overnight and into this morning?  They took it down for maintenance. Interesting. You’d think a site of such enormity would be able to do maintenance without unplugging. But what do I know.

Here’s a deep thought for your Friday:

The price of freedom of religion or of speech or of the press is that we must put up with, and even pay for, a good deal of rubbish.

– Robert H. Jackson
US Supreme Court justice (1892-1954)

Quote of the Day

I’m letting a weekend post ferment between my ears.

You guys don’t want to read a rant about the insensate evil of chain letter emails, do you? Probably not. Perhaps later I’ll just post a couple of links.

How about another podcast, hmm? Maybe… In the mean time, ponder these:

It is impossible to discourage the real writers – they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write.  
  – Sinclair Lewis

"A writer and nothing else: a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right."
  – John K. Hutchens

Quote of the Day

"Memory is required for poetry, but memory of a very specific kind. Not the dimestore memories of reproducing what once happened to you, but rather syntactical memories, gathering the emotional weight of the poem as it accrues from line to line. Poetry is associative, not dissociative: it proceeds neither by fact, nor chronological sequence, nor strictly reasoned argument. It follows the inexorable logic of the way we think and feel and what we notice (which is where the poem’s camera focuses)."

Ira Sadoff, Poetic Memory, Poetic Design

via Poetry Daily – News

Men and Moose, Oh Deer

Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.
– Henry David Thoreau

I have never wrapped my mind around the concept of hunting. It seems like going into an art museum with a flamethrower.

I look forward

Though I have been trained as a soldier, and participated in many battles, there never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword. I look forward to an epoch when a court, recognized by all nations, will settle international differences.

– Ulysses S. Grant