Air and Light and Time and Space

If it ain’t workin’, take a whiz on the world
An entire nation drinkin’ from a dirty cup
My best friend’s long gone, but I got runner ups

When it’s looking dark, punch the future in the face
Instead of standing, I’m running around
The sharpest tool in school don’t even know what’s up
My best friend’s long gone but I got runner ups


 One question that has always intrigued me is what happens to demonic beings when immigrants moved from their homelands. Irish-Americans remember the fairies, Norwegian-Americans the nisser, Greek-Americans the vrykolakas, but only in relation to events remembered in the Old Country. When I once asked why such demons are not seen in America, my informants giggled confusedly and said, “They’re scared to pass the ocean, it’s too far,” pointing out that Christ and the apostles never came to America.

— Richard Dorson (as quoted in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods)


Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you—even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition. Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world. So none of this is happening. Such things could not occur. Never a word of it is literally true.

— Neil Gaiman, American Gods


I once knew an Episcopalian lady in Newport, Rhode Island who asked me to design and build a doghouse for her Great Dane. The lady claimed to understand God and His Ways of Working perfectly. She could not understand why anyone should be puzzled about what had been or about what was going to be.
And yet, when I showed her a blueprint of the doghouse I proposed to build, she said to me, “I’m sorry, but I never could read one of those things.”
Give it to your husband or your minister to pass on to God,” I said, “and, when God finds a minute, I’m sure he’ll explain this doghouse of mine in a way that even YOU can understand.

— Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle 


The arts are not a way of making a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.

— Kurt Vonnegut (via sometimesitjustmakessense)


Then Leona looked across the table and smiled at him. His heart and his bowels shook; he remembered their violence and their tenderness together; and he thought, To hell with Vivaldo. He had something Vivaldo would never be able to touch.

— James Baldwin, Another Country