Sunday, December 18, 2011

The way some people die

 The thing about Macdonald is that he writes elegantly and simply. Chandler will freak you out with his twists. Hammett will leave you in awe but Macdonald is the tops for noir.

This is from a Ross Macdonald novel. When this book was first published in 1951, I doubt if anyone realised the horrors of heroin. Here we have an addict describe to Archer the feeling of cold turkey and it sent a chill down my neck.

'How do you know, have you had it?'
'No'
'Then you don't know what you're talking about. It turns you inside out. I was down on the beach last night and every time a wave slapped the sand it hit me like an earthquake, the end of the world. I lay back and looked straight up and there wasn't any sky. Nothing but yellow specks in my eyes, and the black. It's funny, it felt as if I was falling into myself, I was hollow like a well and falling down me. She touched her stomach. 'It's funny I'm still alive. It was like dying.'

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Held within the love of God

This quote comes from an article discussing the essence of spirituality. Religion should not be seen as a 'tranquilizer' true religion offers a continual quest, a striving, a struggle:

"Yet it would be wrong to view the struggle as our struggle, our work, and wrong to view prayer in this way. All prayer is the work of the spirit, and the struggle is a sharing in his struggle. It is in fact the false tranquility which exhausts the spirit, for it involves a failure to accept the depths in us, and is a covering up of the cracks. True spirituality must begin by an acceptance of the self, but acceptance of the self as held within the love of God, within an active and powerful love which heals.
To be held is not to become passive and return to the womb, but to be torn apart and renewed. To be held is to remain within darkness and doubt, but no longer to see them as the enemies of faith, but as opportunities for faith to grow. The wilderness is the abode of snakes and demons, the place of faithlessness and fornication, the point at which doubt may become black despair. Yet it is in the wilderness that God reveals himself, and men begin to trun towards freedom."

From a letter to 'The Times' by Kenneth Leech, Chaplain of St Augustine's College, Canterbury. 3 August 1974

Read the entire letter here