life

the archivist August 10, 2013

And all the time—such is the tragi-comedy of our situation—we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more ‘drive’, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity’. In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the […]

the archivist July 24, 2013

      “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders […]

the archivist July 18, 2013

Infirmity Theodore Roethke In purest song one plays the constant fool As changes shimmer in the inner eye. I stare and stare into a deepening pool And tell myself my image cannot die. I love myself: that’s my one constancy. Oh, to be something else, yet still to be! Sweet Christ, rejoice in my infirmity; […]

the archivist May 24, 2013

“The buying of more books than one can perchance read is nothing less than the soul reaching toward infinity, and this passion is the only thing that raises us above the beasts that perish.” — A. Edward Newton (1863-1940)

the archivist May 15, 2013

Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth. – George Orwell, Ninety Eighty-Four, ch.7. Til the End of Days by Javier de la Torre

the archivist May 9, 2013

“Twenty-nine’s Fell Shadow! O, inhospitably final year of any Pretense to Youth, its Dreams now, how wither’d away … tho’ styl’d a Prime, yet bid’st thou Adieu to the Prime of Life! … There,— there, in the Stygian Mists of Futurity, loometh the dread Thirty,— Transition unspeakable! Prime so soon fallen, thy Virtue so easily […]

the archivist April 18, 2013

Now the standard cure for one who is sunk is to consider those in actual destitution or physical suffering — this is an all-weather beatitude for gloom in general and fairly salutary daytime advice for everyone. But at three o’clock in the morning, a forgotten package has the same tragic importance as a death sentence, […]

the archivist December 17, 2012

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are […]

the archivist December 11, 2012

Advice to My Son Peter Meinke (For Tim) The trick is, to live your days as if each one may be your last (for they go fast, and young men lose their lives in strange and unimaginable ways) but at the same time, plan long range (for they go slow; if you survive the shattered […]

the archivist November 30, 2012

That’s my Middle West—not the wheat or the prairies or the lost Swede towns, but the thrilling returning trains of my youth, and the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark and the shadows of holly wreaths thrown by lighted windows on the snow. –F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby