Something Old, Something New

After supper tonight, my wife and daughter expelled me from the family room because i am not real fond of movies of this age and i landed in the “living room.”

This is akin to B’rer Rabbit being thrown into the briar patch by B’rer Fox and B’rer Bear.

i lit a fire, sat in the sitting chair (a good thing) next to the fire i just lit in the hearth, put my ear buds in, turned my iTunes on my music to listen to J.J. Cale, Mose Allison, Jimmy Smith, and Dvorak if i can stay awake that long.

i am in heaven. The world is good.

Yesterday, i began a series of posts about how i think about things with the intention of continuing along that line. But before i closed the books on last night, i went to a book i referenced to John Moriarty, a good man and one hell of an expert on whiskey which is intrinsically related to John being a wonderful Irish man. John had commented on a photo i posted of my aunt and infant me in a black and white photograph. i recommended to John a photographic book i acquired back in the late ’60’s because i was a devoted William Faulkner reader.

Before coming to what i should post next, i went back to that book, long after i should have gone to bed last night, because after all i had to get up before most humans to get to my tee time for golf in the rain. In the late night after everyone had gone to bed, i went through the book with incredible photo of the good and bad of how life was in my South.

Martin J. Dain’s Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County captures that good and bad of times past. The photos are pure art. Dain took quotes from Faulkner to consider on most of the pages.

As i read late into the night, i recognized something in me i had forgotten. i even wrote a poem (sort of) about my recognition of where many of my beliefs are based. But i had forgot until i read Willy’s quotes accompanying the photos.

Well folks, here are many of them, which are oh so wonderfully better than anything i could express:

What i perceived the Wilson County Courthouse to be on the Lebanon square before they tore in down and turned it into a parking lot and ruined the aura and history of the square:

…a Square, the courthouse in its grove the center, quadrangular around it, the stores… school and church and tavern and bank and jail in its ordered place… 

But above all, the courthouse: the center, the focus, the hub; sitting looming in the center of the county’s circumference like a single cloud…musing, brooding, symbolic and ponderable, tall as a cloud, solid as a rock, dominating all: protector of the weak, judiciate and curb of the passions and lusts, repository and guardian of the aspirations and hopes..

and

That was the danger, what a man had to watch against: once you laid flat on the ground, right away the earth started to draw you back down into it.

and

Father…said time is dead as long as it is being ticked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.

and

…I’d have wasted a lot of time and trouble before I learned that the best way to take all people, black or white, is to take them for what they think they are, then leave them alone. (i have great reservations about the rest of this quote because of the sensitivity of what we now perceive as politically correct, but folks, this is in my mind, is in no way a negative comment on race, but a confirmation of how we are all human; and i don’t think of the word as being confined to folks with a skin tone darker than mine; i think of it as a lazy abomination of the correct pronunciation and the word itself being applicable to people of all skin tones; and i am sad so many people regard the word as terrible when it is the thought, the meaning of the person invoking the word that should be despised or accepted based on the intended meaning of the word; no, not the word; and i am a minority in this sense; but i won’t use the word because folks will immediately and wrongfully label this boy from the South as a racist, which i am not but have had this kind of prejudice used against me more than once; and i am old, so deal with it) That is when i realized that a nigger is not a person so much as a form of behavior; a sort of reflection of the white people he lives among.

and

Man ain’t really evil, he jest aint got no sense.

and

Only a few of us know that only from homogeneity comes anything of a people or for a people do durable and lasting value — the literature, the art, the science, the minimum of government and police which is the meaning of freedom and liberty, and perhaps the most valuable of all a national character worth anything in a crisis — that crisis we shall face someday when we meet an enemy with as many men as we have and as much material as we have and — who knows? — who can even brag and boast as we brag and boast.

and

Years ago, we in the South made our women into ladies, Then the War came and made the ladies into ghosts. So what else can we do, being gentlemen, but listen to them being ghosts?

and

I think man tries to be better than he thinks he will be. I think that is immortality, that he wants to be better, he wants to be braver, he wants to be more honest than he thinks he will be and sometimes he’s not, but suddenly to his own astonishment he is.

and

Yes, the thought, between grief and nothing, i will take grief.

and, the last for tonight as i am into Dvorak now, but more later:

It is not man in the mass who can will save Man. It is Man himself, created in the image of God so that he shall have the power and the will to choose right from wrong and so be able to save himself because he is worth saving.

Thank you, Mister Faulkner.

it is the latter part of the evening and ai am too old and too cite the sources of Faulkner’s quotes. They are listed Dain’s book. 

But tonight, Anton and i are going to spend my last waking moments  together.

Have a good night.

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