“Knowing what he was up against with our House family, he did not scowl to scare or threaten, he did something worse: he disarmed me with a wink, a reckless confidential wink that made my righteous indignation feel downright foolish, made everything he’d told this crowd a joke, made all our hopes and struggles in this world simply ridiculous for the fundamental reason that our precious human life, for all its joys, was blood-soaked, cruel, and empty, with only sorrow, fear, disease at its dark end, fading to nothingness. Staring back at him, I thought, Was this a society of human beings or some purgatory where folks was condemned to live their lives with a laughing killer loose amongst them like a wolf?”—from Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen
It seemed I was a mite of sediment That waited for the bottom to ferment So I could catch a bubble in ascent. I rode up on one till the bubble burst, And when that left me to sink back reversed I was no worse off than I was at first. I’d catch another bubble if I waited. The thing was to get now and then elated.