To Every Thing There is a Season

Someone found this blog today by searching for a specific quote from Thom McGuane. I forget how much I love this passage. It’s been at least four years since I last posted it, so I give it to you again. One of the greatest soliloquies ever written, in my opinion. YMMV.

From “The Bushwhacked Piano” by Thomas McGuane copyright 1971.

“What I believe in? I believe in happiness, birth control, generosity, fast cars, environmental sanity, Coor’s beer, Merle Haggard, upland game birds, expensive optics, helmets for prizefighters, canoes, skiffs and sloops, horses that will not allow themselves to be ridden, speeches made under duress; I believe in metal fatigue and the immortality of the bristlecone pine. I believe in the Virgin Mary and others of that ilk. Even her son whom civilization accuses of sleeping at the switch.”

Missus Fitzgerald was seen to leave the room, Ann to gaze into her lap.

“I believe that I am a molecular swerve not to be put off by the zippy diversions of the cheap-minded. I believe in the ultimate rule of men who are sleeping. I believe in the cargo of torpor which is the historically registered bequest of politics. I believe in Kate Smith and Hammond Home Organs. I believe in ramps and drop-offs.”

Fitzgerald got out too, leaving only Payne and Ann; she, in the banishing of her agony and feeling she was possibly close to Something, raised adoring eyes to the madman.

“I believe in spare tires and emergency repairs. I believe in the final possum. I believe in little eggs of light falling from outer space and the bombardment of the poles by free electrons. I believe in tintypes, rotogravures and parked cars, all in their places. I believe in roast spring lamb with boiled potatoes. I believe in spinach with bacon and onion. I believe in canyons lost under the feet of waterskiers. I believe that we are necessary and will rise agian. I believe in words on paper, pictures on rock, intergalactic hellos. I believe in fraud. I believe that in pretending to be something you aren’t you have your only crack at release from the bondage of time. I believe in my own dead more than I do in yours. What’s more, credo in unum deum, I believe in one God. He’s up there. He’s mine. And he’s smart as a whip.”

“Anyway,” he said melifluously and with a shabbily urbane gesture, “you get the drift. I hate to flop the old philosophy on the table like so much pig’s guts. And I left out a lot. But, well, there she is.” And it was too. Now and again, you have to check the bread in the oven.”

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/19 at 02:48 PM in Random Crap

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