Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Just when I think the Buddhists
are wrong and life is not mostly suffering,
I find a dead finch near the feeder.
How sullen, how free of regret, this death
that sinks worlds. I bury her near
the bicycle shed and return to care for
my aged mother, whose suffering
is such oxygen we do not consider it,
meaning life at any point exceeds
the price. A little more. A little more.

- Tess Gallagher, 'Not a Sparrow' from Dear Ghosts,

It was more complicated than that. Lives were changed and moved by much smaller cues, chance meetings, overheard conversations, the trips and stumbles which constantly alter and readjust the course of things, history made by a million fractional moments too numerous to calibrate or observe or record. The real story, he knew, was more complicated than anything he could gather together in a pair of photo albums and a scrapbook and drive across the country to lay on a table somewhere. The whole story would take a lifetime to tell. But what he had would be a start, he thought, a way to begin. What he had would be enough to at least say, here, these are a few of the things which have happened to me, while you weren't there. This is a small part of how it's been. You don't need to guess any longer, you don't need to imagine or wonder or dream. This is a small part of the truth.

- Jon McGregor, so many ways to begin

The bullets inch forward. The spray of arterial crimson descends gradually - a slow, hideous dew...The gap between us narrows. Ten metres. Nine metres. The bullets are moving faster now. Seven metres. Screaming like a slowed-down audio-tape, a woman falls backwards in stop-motion. Four. Three. Zero. The dead woman is screaming.

- from The Ballad of Halo Jones script by Alan Moore, graphics by Ian Gibson.

Don't you just love reading multiple things at the same time?

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