Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley
“I had stopped going to confession right after my mother died. Even as a young boy I had performed it grudgingly and with no payoff I was ever aware of. But in writing those words I felt at least an intuition of gracious release. To strip yourself of pretense is to overthrow a hard master, the fear of giving yourself away, and in that one sentence I gave myself away beyond all recall. Now there was nothing to do but go on.”
Thomas Wolff, Old School, 2003
“I mean that you are making things to be more difficult than they are, or need to be. The facts of life are very simple. In the beginning we feared everything – animals, the weather, the trees, the night sky – everything except each other. Now we fear each other, and almost nothing else. No one knows why anyone does anything. No one tells the truth. No one is happy. No one is safe. In the face of all that is so wrong with the world, the very worst thing you can do is survive. And yet you must survive. It is the dilemma that makes us believe and cling to the lie that we have a soul, and that there is a God who cares about its fate. “
“Civilization, after all, is defined by what we forbid, more than what we permit.” P 52
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