Archive for April, 2013

If by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son.

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An Irish Blessing

May you be buried in a casket made from the wood of a hundred year old oak that I shall plant tomorrow. 

Jorge Luis Borges

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.

Idlewild by Nick Sagan

Traditional monsters play on three fears.

First, they echo the predators who chased our ancestors. You fear the fangs of a vampire the way you fear the fangs of a wolf. That’s an external fear, a fear of the Beast.

Second, they evoke human aggression and human perversion. A vampire looks like a man and yet it is an eater of men – here’s a hint of cannibalism, our oldest taboo. That’s an internal fear, a fear of the Beast Within.

Third, we fear transformation into the Beast – a chance bite from a wolf can turn you into a bloodthirsty monster, Dr. Frankenstein can reanimate your corpse with a bolt of lightning, the right combination of chemicals can turn good Dr. Jekyll into evil Mr. Hyde. We fear the monster’s capacity for evil because we can recognize it in human hearts.

Sagan, Nick. Idlewild. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2003. 120-21.