Morning Trip (275)

“How do we know that God isn’t in Hell, and Satan in Heaven, where he started out? Whose word do we have to go on? Dante? Milton? Literature is literature, my esteemed geniuses, but those poems of yours are just grand guesses. What if God simply couldn’t take Lucifer’s complaining and posturing and Sturming and Dranging day after day, night after night, and decided to pack his bags, get out of there, and go straight to Hell, to put as much distance as possible between himself and that irritating cocky bastard. And once that happened, let’s say that Lucifer calmed down and remained in Heaven among his fellow angels, who never gave a shit about him anyway, happy that the pious asshole was out of his sight, yet sulking that he had no enemy in his weight class worthy of railing against, or usurping. And let’s say that these two impressive personages have lived in both locations all along, from the start. So we have Lucifer out of place among the vanilla goody-goodies, and God sitting around with the fire and brimstone, and a bunch of cackling junior devils. Wouldn’t those newly dead people assigned to one place or the other be in for the surprise of their lost lives when they got there. Good would be mixed in with evil, evil in with good. And God would exist in eternal confusion. And Lucifer, too. Just like the rest of us….”
–Roger Rosenblatt, Thomas Murphy

Morning Trip (274)

“There are two kinds of silence, it seems to me. One is that place where we tuck out thoughts and feelings. You can betray in silence, brood in silence, envy, pity, plot, year, admire, condemn, lie to yourself, lie to your conscience, forgive yourself, forgive others, all in silence. Love. You can love in silence. You usually do.

Which leads to the second kind of silence, where you find yourself from time to time, surrounded by, engulfed in–that greater silence, to which all other silences run, when you realize that we are all part of the same poem, the same vast poem that began in the first cosmic spark and will end at the last amalgamation of the stars–a limerick, a sonnet, a fucking epic to which surrender becomes a kind of understanding. It’s as if sound, all sound, constituted an intrusion of people invented because they could not stand the overwhelming power of that silence.”
–Roger Rosenblatt, Thomas Murphy

Morning Trip (239)

“Advice to those about to acquire a Vermeer: Always look at it as it might appear in its average moments–not as it might glow in the light-dance of the fireplace, or burn from within on a fall Sunday morning when the amalgamation of the sun’s rays blasts red upon those fat dutch cheeks, or as you would make it glow when you return home flushed with the one victory or another, or with wine. None of that.

Rather think: What will this masterpiece look like at 2:45 on a February afternoon when you have run out of toilet paper and the roof leaks and a horse has just kicked in your kitchen door for the fun of it. And a dead badger is wedged high in the chimney, stinking up the house. Consider such moments as these, when you are about to acquire your Vermeer. But yes. She is as lovely as a Vermeer.”
–Roger Rosenblatt, The Book of Love