“There’s nothing in the house But a loaf-end of rye, And a harp with a woman’s head Nobody will buy,” And she began to cry.

The Ballad Of The Harp-Weaver

Edna St. Vincent Millay

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“My music teacher offered twittering madrigals and something about how, in Italy, in Italy, the oranges hang on the tree. He treated me – the humiliation of it – as a soprano.

These, by contrast, are the six elements of a Sacred Harp alto: rage, darkness, motherhood, earth, malice, and sex. Once you feel it, you can always do it. You know where to go for it, though it will cost you.”

― Mary Rose O’Reilley, The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd

It’s the reason we say “pork” and “beef” instead of “pig” and “cow.” Dissection and surgical instruction, like meat-eating, require a carefully maintained set of illusions and denial.”

― Mary Roach, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

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The Pig

In England once there lived a big
And wonderfully clever pig.
To everybody it was plain
That Piggy had a massive brain.
He worked out sums inside his head,
There was no book he hadn’t read.
He knew what made an airplane fly,
He knew how engines worked and why.
He knew all this, but in the end
One question drove him round the bend:
He simply couldn’t puzzle out
What LIFE was really all about.
What was the reason for his birth?
Why was he placed upon this earth?
His giant brain went round and round.
Alas, no answer could be found.
Till suddenly one wondrous night.
All in a flash he saw the light.
He jumped up like a ballet dancer
And yelled, “By gum, I’ve got the answer!”
“They want my bacon slice by slice
“To sell at a tremendous price!
“They want my tender juicy chops
“To put in all the butcher’s shops!
“They want my pork to make a roast
“And that’s the part’ll cost the most!
“They want my sausages in strings!
“They even want my chitterlings!
“The butcher’s shop! The carving knife!
“That is the reason for my life!”
Such thoughts as these are not designed
To give a pig great piece of mind.
Next morning, in comes Farmer Bland,
A pail of pigswill in his hand,
And piggy with a mighty roar,
Bashes the farmer to the floor…
Now comes the rather grizzly bit
So let’s not make too much of it,
Except that you must understand
That Piggy did eat Farmer Bland,
He ate him up from head to toe,
Chewing the pieces nice and slow.
It took an hour to reach the feet,
Because there was so much to eat,
And when he finished, Pig, of course,
Felt absolutely no remorse.
Slowly he scratched his brainy head
And with a little smile he said,
“I had a fairly powerful hunch
“That he might have me for his lunch.
“And so, because I feared the worst,
“I thought I’d better eat him first.”

Roald Dahl

Maybe strength wasn’t decided by what you could do but, by what you could do without.”

― Lindy Zart, Take Care, Sara

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“Our character…is an omen of our destiny, and the more integrity we have and keep, the simpler and nobler that destiny is likely to be.”

George Santayana (1863-1952);

Taking one’s chances is like taking a bath, because sometimes you end up feeling comfortable and warm, and sometimes there is something terrible lurking around that you cannot see until it is too late and you can do nothing else but scream and cling to a plastic duck.”

― Lemony Snicket

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On Home Beaches

Back, in my fifties, fatter than I was then,
I step on the sand, belch down slight horror to walk
a wincing pit edge, waiting for the pistol shot
laughter. Long greening waves cash themselves, foam change
sliding into Ocean’s pocket. She turns: ridicule looks down,
strappy, with faces averted, or is glare and families.
The great hawk of the beach is outstretched, point to point,
quivering and hunting. Cars are the stuff at its back.
You peer, at this age, but it’s still there, ridicule,
the pistol that kills women, that gets them killed, crippling men
on the towel-spattered sand. Equality is dressed, neatly,
with mouth still shut. Bared body is not equal ever.
Some are smiled to each other. Many surf, swim, play ball:
like that red boy, holding his wet T shirt off his breasts.

LES MURRAY
from
Subhuman Redneck Poems, 1996

http://www.lesmurray.org/pm_ohb.htm

Life is but a memory Happened long ago. Theatre full of sadness For a long forgotten show.”

― Nick Drake

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”We need a type of theatre which not only releases the feelings, insights and impulses possible within the particular historical field of human relations in which the action takes place, but employs and encourages those thoughts and feelings which help transform the field itself.”

Bertolt Brecht

But don’t hunt for dissonance: There is no such thing; People dance to all tunes.”

― Antonio Machado

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but the corset had the odd power of making her seem somehow more naked; it turned her into a forbidden, armored creature with a soft side inside he had to hunt for.”

― Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex