But my best friend from college was silent for a long time. She, of all of my friends, had seen the parade of sad wrecks through my life, date after bad date after bad boyfriend. She was the one who'd picked up the pieces after the musician, the investment banker, the humanitarian who was human to everyone but me.When at last she spoke, she said, Oh, hell.And, after that: Hallelujah.
we need a mass of ancestors at our backs as ballast. Sometimes, we feel it's impossible to push into the future without such a weight behind us, without such heaviness to keep us steady, even if it is imaginary. And the more frightening the future is, the more complicated it seems to be, the more we steady ourselves with the past.
Abe, he says, it wasn't the country that was so beautiful about the whole Arcadian experiment, don't you see? It was the people, the interconnection, everyone relying on everyone else, the closeness. The villages are all dying now, small-town America is dying, and the only place where the same feeling exists now is here, in the city, millions of people all breathing the same air. This, here, now, is more utopia than utopia, more than your pretty little house out in the middle of the forest with only woodchucks for neighbors. Can't you see? All of we kids are here, almost all of the kids from Arcadia, are here in the city. We've gone urban because we're all looking for what we lost. This is the only place that approximates it. The closeness. The connection. Do you understand? It doesn't exist anymore anywhere else.
And this is what we felt: vertigo, an icicle through our strong hearts, our long-lost childhoods. Sunshine in a field and crickets and the sweet tealeaf stink of a new ball mitt and a rock glinting with mica and a chaw of bubblegum wrapping its sweet tendrils down our throats and the warm breeze up our shorts and the low vibrato of lake loons and the sun and the sun and the warm sun and this is what we felt; the sun.
The stories themselves aren't what moves him now...What moves him are the shadowy people behind the stories, the workers weary from their days, gathering at night in front of a comforting bit of fire...The world then was no less terrifying than it is now, with our nightmares of bombs and disease and technological warfare. Anything held the ability to set of fear...a nail dropped in a the hay, wolves circling at the edge of the woods...
Even still, we run. We have not reached our average of 57.92 years without knowing that you run through it, and it hurts and you run through it some more, and if it hurts worse, you run through it even more, and when you finish, you will have broken through. In the end, when you are done, and stretching, and your heartbeat slows, and your sweat dries, if you've run through the hard part, you will remember no pain.