Somewhere Not Quite Here, Not Quite There

[Video: clip from Seinfeld episode #118. “The Pool Guy”]

From whiskey river:

Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to was never there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it. Where is there a place for you to be? No place. Nothing outside you can give you any place. In yourself right now is all the place you’ve got.

You needn’t look at the sky because it’s not going to open up and show no place behind it. You needn’t search for any hole in the ground to look through into somewhere else. You can’t go neither forwards nor backwards into your daddy’s time nor your children’s if you have them. In yourself right now is all the place you’ve got. If there was any Fall, look there, if there was any Redemption, look there, and if you expect any Judgment, look there, because they all three will have to be in your time and your body and where in your time and your body can they be?

(Flannery O’Connor)


A Valley Like This

Sometimes you look at an empty valley like this,
and suddenly the air is filled with snow.
That is the way the whole world happened —
there was nothing, and then . . .
But maybe some time you will look out and even
the mountains are gone, the world become nothing
again. What can a person do to help
bring back the world?
We have to watch it and then look at each other.
Together we hold it close and carefully
save it, like a bubble that can disappear
if we don’t watch out.
Please think about this as you go on. Breathe on the world.
Hold out your hands to it. When mornings and evenings
roll along, watch how they open and close, how they
invite you to the long party that your life is.

(William Stafford)

Not from whiskey river:

A Real-Life Drama

This dog standing in the middle of the street,
tail stiff, fur bushy with fear, and a pedigree rabbit,
its neck broken and bleeding beneath his paws,
might have been forgiven or simply taken away

and shot under different circumstances
and no one would have said much, except his owner
who’d gone out into the yard at the start
of the commotion, having been involved

at other times with the dog’s truancies, and yelled,
“Bosco, Bosco, goddamnit!” but unavailing,
and everyone understanding that once more Bosco
had been taken over by the dark corner of his nature.

But this other sentiment we shared as well: the man
Who’d raised the rabbit shouldn’t husband something
so rare and beautiful he couldn’t keep it
from the likes of Bosco.

(Michael Collier [source])



There is the sudden silence of the crowd
above a player not moving on the field,
and the silence of the orchid.

The silence of the falling vase
before it strikes the ?oor,
the silence of the belt when it is not striking the child.

The stillness of the cup and the water in it,
the silence of the moon
and the quiet of the day far from the roar of the sun.

The silence when I hold you to my chest,
the silence of the window above us,
and the silence when you rise and turn away.

And there is the silence of this morning
which I have broken with my pen,
a silence that had piled up all night

like snow falling in the darkness of the house—
the silence before I wrote a word
and the poorer silence now.

(Billy Collins [source])


The contention that time is unreal and that the world of sense is illusory must, I think, be regarded as based upon fallacious reasoning. Nevertheless, there is some sense — easier to feel than to describe — in which time is an unimportant and superficial character of reality. Past and future must be acknowledged to be as real as the present, and a certain emancipation from slavery to time is essential to philosophical thought. The importance of time is practical rather than theoretical, rather in relation to our desires than in relation to the truth. A truer image of the world, I think, is obtained by picturing things as entering into the stream of time from an eternal world outside than from a view which regards time as the devouring tyrant of all that is. Both in thought and in feeling, to realize the unimportance of time is the gate of wisdom. But unimportance is not unreality.

(Bertrand Russell [source])

Re: Michael Collier’s poem… It’s hard for many people of my generation and tastes to hear the word “Bosco” without thinking of— what? the drink? are you kidding me? Heck no. The Seinfeld episode:

Which, also of course, suggested the video which opened this post. I just love circular posts (especially on whiskey river Fridays).


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