|I don't consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist
as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked
to the skin.
|I've always held the song in high regard because songs have
got me through so many sinks of dishes and so many humiliating
|The term clinical depression finds its way into too many conversations
these days. One has a sense that a catastrophe has occurred
in the psychic landscape.
|Israel, and you who call yourself Israel, the Church that
calls itself Israel, and the revolt that calls itself Israel,
and every nation chosen to be a nation-none of these lands is
yours, all of you are thieves of holiness, all of you at war
Book of Mercy
|To every people the land is given on condition. Perceived
or not, there is a Covenant, beyond the constitution, beyond
sovereign guarantee, beyond the nation's sweetest dreams of
Book of Mercy
|I have nothing against the Queen of England.
Even in my heart I never resented her for not being Jackie Kennedy.
She is, to my mind, a very gallant lady, victimized by whoever
it is who designs the tops of her uniforms.
|Prayer is translation. A man translates himself into a child
asking for all there is in a language he has barely mastered.
|I am an old scholar, better-looking now than when I was young.
That's what sitting on your ass does to your face.
|What is most original in a man's nature is often that which
is most desperate. Thus new systems are forced on the world
by men who simply cannot bear the pain of living with what is.
Creators care nothing for their systems except that they be
unique. If Hitler had been born in Nazi Germany he wouldn't
have been content to enjoy the atmosphere.
|What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a remote
human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility
is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love.
Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of
balance in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve
the chaos; if he did the world would have changed long ago.
I do not think that a saint dissolves the chaos even for himself,
for there is something arrogant and warlike in the notion of
a man setting the universe in order. It is a kind of balance
that is his glory. He rides the drifts like an escaped ski.
His course is the caress of the hill. His track is a drawing
of the snow in a moment of its particular arrangement with wind
and rock. Something in him so loves the world that he gives
himself to the laws of gravity and chance. Far from flying with
the angels, he traces with the fidelity of a seismograph needle
the state of the solid bloody landscape. His house is dangerous
and finite, but he is at home in the world. He can love the
shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart.
It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters