BOOKS: THE GOLDFINCH by DONNA TARTT

“That life – whatever else it is – is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch.”
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

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apr/may2014. From Orlando, FL. to Kobe, Japan.

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BOOKS: YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN by THOMAS WOLFE

Especially poignant for me at this time as I recently did ‘return home’ to internalize some things. It’s not what it was before.

“Child, child, have patience and belief, for life is many days, and each present hour will pass away. Son, son, you have been mad and drunken, furious and wild, filled with hatred and despair, and all the dark confusions of the soul – but so have we. You found the earth too great for your one life, you found your brain and sinew smaller than the hunger and desire that fed on them – but it has been this way with all men. You have stumbled on in darkness, you have been pulled in opposite directions, you have faltered, you have missed the way, but, child, this is the chronicle of the earth. And now, because you have known madness and despair, and because you will grow desperate again before you come to evening, we who have stormed the ramparts of the furious earth and been hurled back, we who have been maddened by the unknowable and bitter mystery of love, we who have hungered after fame and savored all of life, the tumult, pain, and frenzy, and now sit quietly by our windows watching all that henceforth never more shall touch us – we call upon you to take heart, for we can swear to you that these things pass.”
Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again

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JUN/JUL13. Atlanta, GA – NYC – MD – Beirut, Lebanon

BOOKS: BONFIRE – THE SIEGE AND BURNING OF ATLANTA by MARC WORTMAN

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William Tecumseh Sherman

The epic story of Sherman’s assault on Atlanta described intimately here.

I always try to read a nonfiction account of each place I’m visiting. I believe it helps me understand a place better than just by superficially browsing a travel guide. It was surreal to read this while in Atlanta, and even at one point, reading about a march on Howell Mill road, while I was walking on Howell Mill Road reading the book on my iPOD!

Read JUN/JUL13.