Saturday, November 08, 2008


from "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Jose Arcadio Buendia was completely ignorant of the geography of the region. He knew that to the east there lay in impenetrable mountain chain.... To the south lay the swamps, covered with an eternal vegetable scum, and the whole vast universe of the great swamp, which, according to what the gypsies said, had no limits. The great swamp in the west mingled with a boundless extension of water where there were soft skinned cetaceans.... According to Jose Arcadio Buendia's calculations, the only possibility of contact with civilization lay along the northern route....

He threw his directional instruments and his maps into a knapsack, and he undertook the reckless adventure.


I peer in my knapsack to see what maps and instruments I am relying on. Because I am largely ignorant of the geography of my life, and yet something compells me, calls me, into the adventure. A sense of purpose, of impending discovery, beckons to me, and yet sometimes I feel like I lack the recklessness to step forth.

"I wanted to be sure to reach you;
though my ship was on the way it got caught
in some moorings..."
--from The Harbormaster, by Frank O'Hara

from another book:

"The life of the spirit is not an assumption. It is a struggle. And the proof of its existence is not faith, but longing."

--Patricia Hampl

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