Friday, April 13, 2007

Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.

"A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved." - Sirens of Titan

"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies — 'God damn it, you've got to be kind.' " - God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

One of my literary heroes and a fellow Hoosier, Kurt Vonnegut, has died at age 84.

Of Mark Twain, Vonnegut said:

"Mark Twain finally stopped laughing at his own agony and that of those around him. He denounced life on this planet as a crock. He died."

And so it goes...

From Vonnegut's Syracuse University Commencement address, Sunday, May 8th, 1994:

A neighbor of mine, I hired him - he was a handyman - to build and ''L'' on my house where I could write. He did the whole damn thing - he built the foundation, and then the side walls and the roof. He did it all by himself. And when it was all done, he stood back and he aid, "How the hell did I ever do that?" How the hell did we ever do this? We did it! And if this isn't nice, what is?

I got a letter from a sappy woman a while back - she knew I was sappy too, which is to say a lifelong Democrat. She was pregnant, and she wanted to know if I thought it was a mistake to bring a little baby into a world as troubled as this one is. And I replied, what made being alive almost worthwhile for me was the saints I met. They could be almost anywhere. By saints I meant people who behaved decently and honorably in societies which were so often obscene. Perhaps many of us here, regardless of our ages or power or wealth, can be saints for her child to meet.

There was one thing I forgot to say, and I promised I would say, and that is,

''We love you. We really do.''


No comments: