Words I find to have some meaning to me.
Childhood's End - Pink Floyd ©1972
You shout in your sleep.
Perhaps the price is just too steep.
Is your conscience at rest
if once put to the test?
You awake with a start
to just the beating of your heart.
Just one man beneath the sky,
Just two ears, just two eyes.
You set sail across the sea
of longpast thoughts and memories.
Childhood’s end, your fantasies
merge with harsh realities.
And then as the sail is hoist,
You find your eyes are growing moist
All the fears never voiced
Say you have to make your final choice.
Who are you and who am I
to say we know the reason why?
Some are born;
Some men die
beneath one infinite sky.
There’ll be war, there’ll be peace
But everything one day will cease.
All the iron turned to rust;
All the proud men turned to dust.
And so all things, time will mend.
So this song will end.
Adrienne Rich - The Loser ©1958
A man thinks of the women he once loved:
First, after her wedding, and then nearly a decade later.
I kissed you, bride and lost, and went
home from that bourgeois sacrament,
your cheek still tasting cold upon
my lips that gave you benison
with all the swagger that they knew–
as losers somehow learn to do.
Your wedding made my eyes ache; soon
the world would be worse off for one
more golden apple dropped to ground
without the least protesting sound,
and you would windfall lie, and we
forget your shimmer on the tree.
Beauty is always wasted: if
not Mignon’s song sung to the deaf,
at all events to the unmoved.
A face like yours cannot be loved
long or seriously enough.
Almost, we seem to hold it off.
Well, you are tougher than I thought.
Now when the wash with ice hangs taut
this morning of St. Valentine,
I see you strip the squeaking line,
your body weighed against the load,
and all my groans can do no good.
Because you still are beautiful,
though squared and stiffened by the pull
of what nine windy years have done.
You have three daughters, lost a son.
I see all your intelligence
flung into that unwearied stance.
My envy is of no avail.
I turn my head and wish him well
who chafed your beauty into use
and lives forever in a house
lit by the friction of your mind.
You stagger in against the wind.
When I am competing against the watch and against other competitors, the feeling of expectation, of getting it done and doing the best and being the best, gives me a kind of power that, some moments when I am driving, actually detaches me completely from anything else as I am doing it - corner after corner, lap after lap. I can give you a true example I experienced and can relate it.
Monte Carlo ‘88, the last qualifying session. I was already on pole and I was going faster and faster. One lap after the other, quicker and quicker and quicker. I was at one stage just on pole, then by half a second and then one second and I kept going. Suddenly I was nearly two seconds faster than anybody else, including my teammate with the same car. And I suddenly realized I was no longer driving the car consciously.
I was kind of driving it by instinct, only I was in a different dimension. It was like I was in a tunnel. Not only the tunnel under the hotel but the whole circuit was a tunnel.
I was just going and going, more and more and more and more. I was way over the limit but still able to find even more. Then suddenly something just kicked me. I kind of woke up and realized that I was in a different atmosphere than you normally are. My immediate reaction was to back off, slow down. I drove back slowly to the pits and I didn’t want to go out any more that day. It frightened me because I realized I was well beyond my conscious understanding. It happens rarely but I keep these experiences very much alive in me because it is something that is important for self-preservation.
“For a long time I let problems and sour relationships rule over me instead of letting the water roll off my back,” says Staley. “I thought it was cool that I could write such dark, depressing music. But then instead of being therapeutic, it was starting to drag on and keep hurting. This time I just felt, ‘Fuck it. I can write good music, and if I feel easy and I feel like laughing, I can laugh.’ There’s no huge, deep message in any of the songs. It was just what was going on in my head right then. We had good times, and we had bad times. We recorded a few months of being human.”
The Hero - Siegfried Sassoon
‘Jack fell as he’d have wished,’ the mother said,
And folded up the letter that she’d read.
‘The Colonel writes so nicely.’ Something broke
In the tired voice that quavered to a choke.
She half looked up. ‘We mothers are so proud
Of our dead soldiers.’ Then her face was bowed.
Quietly the Brother Officer went out.
He’d told the poor old dear some gallant lies
That she would nourish all her days, no doubt
For while he coughed and mumbled, her weak eyes
Had shone with gentle triumph, brimmed with joy,
Because he’d been so brave, her glorious boy.
He thought how ‘Jack’, cold-footed, useless swine,
Had panicked down the trench that night the mine
Went up at Wicked Corner; how he’d tried
To get sent home, and how, at last, he died,
Blown to small bits. And no one seemed to care
Except that lonely woman with white hair.
Gustave Gilbert and Hermann Göring
“Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”
“There is one difference,” I pointed out. “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.”
“Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”