Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Quote for the day

"Wonder is my second favorite condition to be in, after love--and I sometimes wonder whether there's even a difference: maybe love is just wonder aimed at a beloved. Wonder is like grace, in that it's not a condition we grasp: wonder grasps us. We do have the freedom to elude wonder's grasp. We have the freedom to do all sorts of stupid things. By deploying cynicism, rationalism, fear, arrogance, judgmentalism, we can evade wonder nonstop, all our lives."

David James Duncan, from the essay "Wonder; Yogi; Gladly", in God Laughs and Plays

I hadn't run across any writing lately that really blew me away, until I started reading this book. And this is just the first chapter.


Lynne said...

You've found an amazing quote. I hope you'll share more.

pablo said...

I've read at least one of Duncan's books that I can recall. He certainly gives very close attention to whatever interests him.

captcha word: figyfukc

greg said...

That is a truly wonderful quote. :) How is Duncan so damn good? I really need to pick up a copy of that book.

Reminds me of two lines from Cloud Cult songs that I've had running through my head lately (and I largely post because I'm working on a Cloud Cult blog post.... stop by later today :) ):

"Here comes the storyline about the usual struggle between fear and love. This is the lifelong song that we're all singing."

"Put out fear and they'll feel fear (it's a chain reaction).
Put out love and they'll feel love (it's a chain reaction). "

Cheers to wonder and love.

Deb said...

lynne- I'll try to share more as I come across it (in my usual snail's pace reading, of course!)

pablo- He's not as prolific as I would like, but he's one of my favorite writers. The River Why, The Brothers K, River Teeth, My Story As Told By Water...definitely a river theme going.

Word verification always makes me chuckle.

greg- I had a feeling you'd chime in on this. Duncan has a way of speaking to my heart.

I must check out Cloud Cult. I dunno, the name just sounds too young and hip for me. ;)

Cheers to wonder and love, indeed!

Todd said...

I got "God Laughs and Plays" for Christmas and really enjoyed it, even though I'm not religious. The wonder quote reminds me of a short essay by David Orr: http://www.ecoliteracy.org/pdf/wonder.pdf

I stumbled on your blog while trying to find an online source for the lyrics to Greg Brown's "Eugene". No such luck, but I really enjoy your blog. Keep up the fine work.

Deb said...

Thanks Todd! I will read that essay; I admire David Orr's work.

If you find the lyrics, let me know! I'm a big Greg Brown fan, and "Eugene" really speaks to me.

Todd said...

I had to transcribe it myself.
The "roads are super crowded" line sounds more like "stupid crowded" on the CD, but that can't be right.

By Greg Brown
From his CD “The Evening Call”

I think I’ll drive back to Eugene
Get a slide-in camper for my truck
Pack a bamboo rod and hip boots
A book of flies from a Missoula pawn shop
Rub mink oil into the cracked leather
Wonder about the old guy
who tied these trout-chewed flies.
They work good.
Take along my Gibson J-45
made by women during World War II
Coffee-stained stack of maps
A little propane stove
A pile of old quilts
Can opener
Kipper snacks
Smoked oysters
Gunpowder tea
Copper tea pot
and a good sharp knife
Sometimes you have to go look for your life

And I’ll park by some rivers
Cook up some rice and beans
Read Ferlinghetti out loud
Talk to the moon
Tell her all my love tales
She’s heard them, many times
I’ll make up some new juicer parts
Drink cold whiskey from a tin cup
Sit in a lawn chair
Fiddle with my memories
Close my eyes and see
Sometimes you got to go not look for nothing.

The Northwest is good
once you get off I-5
And wander up and down the Willamette, damn-it
On the back, back roads
I know a few people that’d let me park in their drive
Plug in for a night or two
Stay up late and talk about these crazy times
The blandification of our whole situation
And then back to the woods
The dog is bound to find me sooner or later
Sometimes you got to not look too hard
Just let the dog find you

And then head south and east
Maybe through Nevada
The moonscapes of Utah
Stay in some weird campground
where Rodney and Marge keep an eye on things
Everybody’s got a story
Everybody’s got a family
And a lot of ‘em have RVs

I’m on my way to the Ozarks,
to the White River and the Current.
Those smallmouth are great on a flyrod;
they’re not all finicky like trout.
Trout are English, and bass are Polish,
And if I wasn’t born in central Europe
I shoulda been.
Maybe it’s not too late
Sometimes you have to dream deep to find your real life at all

I might go on over through Memphis
I played a wedding at the Peabody Hotel once
twenty odd years ago
And everybody danced
Usually they just set there and stare.
A few at least sway
But the roads are super crowded everywhere
Kids coming along are used to it
All wired up and ready,
or wireless, I guess, and even readier
World peace is surely on the horizon
once us old f___ers die.
I’ll do my part

But first I want to go across Tennessee into North Carolina
Fish some of those little mountain streams
Catch some brook trout,
which are God’s reminder that creation is a good idea
The world we’ve made
scares the hell out of me
There’s still a little bit of heaven in there
and I want to show it due respect
This looks like a good spot up here.
You can try me on the cell,
but most places I want to be
it doesn’t work.
Sometime you got to listen hard to the sounds
Old Mother Earth still makes
all on her own.

Deb said...

Todd- thank you! I've been meaning to do that myself, just never got around to it. What powerful words. Brook trout are God's reminder that creation is a good idea. :)