Saturday, June 30, 2007

A day for quotes

Having just been to Madison County Iowa a few weeks ago, I've been thinking about the book that started all the hoopla over the bridges in Madison County.

I've read just about all of Robert James Waller's books...not so much because I really like the story itself but because I really enjoy the way he turns a phrase.

From "Old Songs in a New Cafe"...

(regarding the death of the last Duskie Seaside Sparrow)...
"But the day Orange Band died there was a faint sound out there in the universe. Hardly noticeable unless you were expecting it and listening. It was a small cry, the last one, that arched upward from a cage in Florida, ricocheted along galactic highways and skimmed past the scorched parts of an old moon rocket still in orbit. If you were listening closely, though, you could hear it...'I am zero'.
Extinct. The sound of the word is like the single blow of a hammer on cold steel."
--"I Am Orange Band"

"For me, I'm content with Waller's Second Conjecture: Existence takes on meaning only when you give it meaning by making it meaningful. And how do you make it meaningful? By listening to those almost-secret voices within you that, at certain critical times, whisper, "This is me".
In those moments, it's important to consciously note what you're doing and to do more of it, a lifetime of it, in fact."
--"The Turning Of Fifty"

"There are Yaqui drums in high plains arroyos and ship engines north of Cairo I have not yet heard. There are beaches where you can still run naked at dawn and visions within a yard of my house that I have not yet seen through the lens of my Nikon."
--"The Turning Of Fifty"

And, if it's all right with everyone else, I think I'll skip the midlife passage involving gold chains and Porsches and suntans.
Instead, I'm lacing up my twelve-year-old Red Wings, loading the cameras, putting new strings on the 1957 Martin flattop, getting ready to go where egrets fly. Like an old rider of the surf, I can already see the next wave coming. It looks fine and fair. It looks worth the effort."
--"The Turning Of Fifty"

"And Arabia came along. On Themari Street in Riyadh, the old ways endure. There is gold, and women with covered faces and men with covered intentions."
--"One Good Road Is Enough"