Well, it’s been awhile, but here is fresh batch of pictures from a recent trip to Springfield, IL. Enjoy!
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque is a heartbreaking and bleak novel that conveys the horrors of WWI, and indeed, war in general, to the modern reader. There are many beautifully written passages, some of which I will reproduce here now.
QUOTES FROM CHAPTER FIVE
We are two men, two minute sparks of life; outside is the night and the circle of death. We sit on the edge of it crouching in danger, the grease drips from our hands, in our hearts we are close to one another, and the hour is like the room: flecked over with the lights and shadows of our feelings cast by a quiet fire. What does he know of me or I of him? Formerly we should not have had a single thought in common—now we sit with a goose between us and feel in unison, are so intimate that we do not even speak.
Kropp feels it too: “It will go pretty hard with us all. But nobody at home seems to worry much about it. Two years of shells and bombs—a man won’t peel that off as easy as a sock.”
Albert expresses it: “The war has ruined us for everything.”
NOTE: If anyone wants to get a sense of what it must be like to return to normal life from war should read this book. Again:
We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces. The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts. We are cut off from activity, from striving, from progress. We believe in such things no longer, we believe in the war.
Well, I was unable to take any pictures last weekend. Sunday was sunny and a perfect day for pictures, and I had brought my camera, but forgot the memory card. Foiled! So, in lieu of content that you might actually find interesting, I present pictures of my cats! Enjoy!
Saturday was a beautiful day! Sunny and warm. I took my bike out for a spin for the first time this year and took some pictures. Here are the results of my exploits. Enjoy!
Currently, I’m reading All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. It’s a really great novel. It’s heartbreaking and bleak, and it conveys the horrors of WWI, and indeed, war in general, to the modern reader. There are many beautifully written passages, some of which I will reproduce here in my blog.
At any rate, at one point during the story, two German recruits beat up their boot camp sergeant, who was an unfair mean bastard, before heading off to the front. One of the recruits exclaims savagely after the beating, “Revenge is black pudding.”
The other recruit doesn’t know what that means. Black pudding is another name for blood sausage, which is made by cooking blood and filler long enough so that it congeals when cooled. What he meant by that was that revenge tastes good. There was no turning the other cheek in this character’s heart, that’s for sure.
I like the phrase.
And now for some quotes:
Outside the door I am aware of the darkness and the wind as a deliverance. I breathe as deep as I can, and feel the breeze in my face, warm and soft as never before. Thoughts of girls, of flowery meadows, of white clouds suddenly come into my head. My feet begin to move forward in my boots, I go quicker, I run. Soldiers pass by me, I hear their voices without understanding. The earth is streaming with forces which pour into me through the soles of my feet. The night crackles electrically, the front thunders like a concert of drums. My limbs move supplely, I feel my joints strong, I breathe the air deeply. The night lives, I live. I feel a hunger, greater than comes from the belly alone.
We march up, moody or good-tempered soldiers–we reach the zone where the front begins and become on the instant human animals.
Hello, dear readers! Despite a glorious weekend weather-wise, and plenty of opportunities for picture taking, I simply came up a bit short. Consequently, I pulled out a few pics from the bin to fill out the week. Enjoy!
Thomas Campbell (b. July 27th, 1777 d. June 15, 1844) was a Scottish poet. A line from his poem, The Turkish Lady, is quoted in Jane Eyre (Chapter 8 of Book Two). I rather like the poem, so I thought I’d reproduce it here.
‘Twas the hour when rites unholy
Called each Paynim voice to prayer,
And the star that faded slowly
Left to dews the freshened air.
Day her sultry fires had wasted,
Calm and sweet the moonlight rose;
Ev’n a captive spirit tasted
Half oblivion of his woes.
Then ’twas from an Emir’s palace
Came an Eastern lady bright:
She, in spite of tyrants jealous,
Saw and loved an English knight.
“Tell me, captive, why in anguish
Foes have dragged thee here to dwell,
Where poor Christians as they languish
Hear no sound of Sabbath bell ?”—
“’Twas on Transylvania’s Bannat,
When the Crescent shone afar,
Like a pale disastrous planet
O’er the purple tide of war—
In that day of desolation,
Lady, I was captive made;
Bleeding for my Christian nation
By the walls of high Belgrade.”
“Captive! could the brightest jewel
From my turban set thee free?”
“Lady, no!—the gift were cruel,
Ransomed, yet if reft of thee.
Say, fair princess! would it grieve thee
Christian climes should we behold?”—
“Nay, bold knight! I would not leave thee
Were thy ransom paid in gold!”
Now in Heaven’s blue expansion
Rose the midnight star to view,
When to quit her father’s mansion
Thrice she wept, and bade adieu!
“Fly we then, while none discover!
Tyrant barks, in vain ye ride!”—
Soon at Rhodes the British lover
Clasped his blooming Eastern bride.
Hello, dear readers! Well, Spring is truly underway, is it not? Warm weather and sunshine abound! O the joy. Here are some random shots for your viewing pleasure.
Hello, dear readers. Despite it being officially spring, the weather hasn’t followed suit. As a result, I haven’t been able to get out much. Nevertheless, I was able to manage a few shots. Enjoy!