Musings of Navigating The Finite remainder of life from Porchville, with the hope of a glimpse of The Infinite

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Favorite Quote...Too Hefty For The Side Bar

I finished Truck and was entering the book at Good Reads when I spotted my favorite quotes.  I may have quoted this in a very early post here, I am not sure, and I am too lazy to go back and check.  If so the quote is good enough to stand repeating,  It is a bit too large for the side bar.

“That evening, as I watched the sunset’s pinwheels of apricot and mauve slowly explode into red ribbons, I thought: The sensory misers will inherit the earth, but first they will make it not worth living on.  When you consider something like death, after which (there being no news flash to the contrary) we may well go out like a candle flame, then it probably doesn’t matter if we try too hard, are awkward sometimes, care for one another too deeply, are excessively curious about nature, are too open to experience, enjoy a nonstop expense of the senses in an effort to know life intimately and lovingly.  It probably doesn’t matter if, while trying to be modest and eager watchers of life’s many spectacles, we sometimes look clumsy or get dirty or ask stupid questions or reveal our ignorance or say the wrong thing or light up with wonder like the children we all are.  It probably doesn’t matter if a passerby sees us dipping a finger into the moist pouches of dozens of lady’s slippers to find out what bugs tend to fall into them, and thinks us a bit eccentric.  Or a neighbor, fetching her mail, sees us standing in the cold with our own letters in one hand and a seismically red autumn leaf in the other its color hitting our sense like a blow from a stun gun, as we stand with a huge grin, too paralyzed by the intricately veined gaudiness of the leaf to move.” A Natural History of The Senses, Diane Ackerman  pg  256.

It seems especially appropriate in light of VW Busman's comment:

It is my fondest wish that others like you will share my interest in exploring the everyday ordinary and marvel in it. Everyday that we can wake up and put our feet on the ground, is a good day. A day to relish.
No worries. 

Emphasis mine.  Like reading a letter from a dear old friend indeed!

In moments of doubt, when I doubt my doubts about the universe not being created by God, when I doubt my doubts that we don't have a Soul, then I find Ackerman's quote to be very melancholy.  To think that the wonder that each of us possess and experience "may well go out like a candle flame" is just too much to bear.  Surely we are more than a complex collection of hydro-carbons that learned to feel!  I think there is something to these synchronicities...that serendipity is guided by an unseen hand. I doubt that we evolved joy, I believe we were meant to feel it.


  1. The bumper sticker, T-shirt cat intrigues. He/she/it appears to have the same owner, but both the car and owner seem to enjoy bilocation.
    Has the time come to explore what it means to have nine lives? Great post, Sextant, with a lot of great words that should send us scurrying to dictionaries. Now, this comment does not belong with THIS post. What having a computer with heart failure can do. Yes, pun was intended. Don't everyone groan all at once.

  2. I believe you wanted this under The Persistence of a Word post. I will copy and past it to the correct post. Thanks for your kind comments as always.