The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Great War Art #4

1 comment :

Vanwall said...

Any of you folks out there ever use one of those plows? It's goddam hard work - I never could get a straight row that hot spring day in the unforgiving Arizona desert soil, and I was sure glad they discontinued it as a history lesson adjunct later that year at my old grade-school. They bought a nice gas-powered tiller that kept the Memorial Garden much better looking, but it lost that kids-gone-wild look, that was actually kind of endearing. I transferred to another school and a kind of hell the next year, and I never saw that garden again, but I remember it fondly - it was ours.

Never did get a nice looking girl in a pinafore to help me, tho - I was paired with a tall, horse-faced girl named Gretchen, who more resembled the plow than any specimen of pulchritude. She didn't like me much, either, so we were both pretty muley for at least that lesson, if not for the balance of our acquaintance. Can't say she would've inspired me to join a War Garden effort, unless she was pulling in harness and I had a bullwhip handy.

I left Gretchen as as soon as my shift pushing was over - she could do her own damn spotting - and highed on over to a couple of young things next to us that were partnered up in that class, giggling all the while, who didn't seem to be getting anywhere. Teacher had waved me over and decided I was to help 'em as a sort of punishment for leaving my mule, er Gretchen, but she failed to see this was a perfect briar patch for me.

A willowy blonde and a freckled redhead, were cute as buttons, either one of whom I might've signed up to be with in a War Plowing Situation - the leather harness and bullwhip would've been optional - and due to this farmer's introduction, later on in school that year I was able to get my first ever kiss in with one of 'em. (Redheads have held a fascination for me ever since, and it was nice to find out later in life just how far down freckles can go, and how you can tell if she's a real redhead) I have to say that even tho I couldn't really hoe a straight row for love or money, that day's plowing was worth it. ;-)