“In human systems, we have confused the order of hierarchical function with status and power, as though a tree stem were less important than the leaves in total. . . What we should recognize is that each part needs the other, and that none functions without the others. . . Thus, we can see how rivers change their whole regime if we alter one aspect. We should also see that water is of the whole, not to be thought of in terms of its parts. Thus we refute the concept of status and assert that of function. . .We need each other, and it is a reciprocal need wherever we have a function in relation to each other.”
—Permaculture: A Designer’s Manuel
“Order is found in things working beneficially together. It is not the forced condition of neatness, tidiness, and straightness, all of which are, in design or energy terms, disordered. True order may lie in apparent confusion . .
“Thus the seemingly-wild and naturally-functioning garden of a New Guinea villager is beautifully ordered and in harmony, while the clipped lawns and pruned roses of the pseudo-aristocrat are nature in wild disarray.
“Neatness, tidiness, uniformity, and straightness signify an energy-maintained disorder in natural systems.”
—Permaculture: A Designer’s Manuel
Love is reckless; not reason.
Reason seeks a profit.
Love comes on strong, consuming herself, unabashed.
Yet, in the midst of suffering,
Love proceeds like a millstone,
hard-surfaced and straightforward.
Having died to self-interest,
she risks everything and asks for nothing.
Love gambles away every gift God bestows.
Without cause God gave us Being;
without cause, give it back again.
Gambling yourself away is beyond any religion.
Religion seeks grace and favor,
but those who gamble these away are God’s favorites,
for they neither put God to the test
nor knock at the door of gain and loss.
When Matty was real small and his brother used to sit on the pot and read comics to a peewee audience, neighbor kids ages four and five supposedly being minded by a grown-up somewhere near, with Matty in the doorway ready to shout out chickie, which was the warning word, and there’s Nick on the pot reading to them from Captain Marvel or the Targeteers, his pants hanging limp from his kneecaps, and he did lively dialogue, declaimed and gestured, developed a voice for villains and for women and an airy stabbing screech for gangster cars and cornering tightly in the night, scaring the kids at times with his intensity of manner, then pausing to loose a turd that would splattingly drop, that would plop into the water, the funniest sound in nature, sending a happy awe across the faces of his listeners–it was the creepiest delight of all, better than anything he might deliver from the paneled pages.
Don DeLillo, Underworld
It is senseless to claim that things exist in their instancing only. The template for the world and all in it was drawn long ago. Yet the story of the world, which is all the world we know, does not exist outside of the intruments of its execution. Nor can those intruments exist outside of their own history. And so on. This life of yours is not a picture of the world. It is the world itself and it is composed not of bone or dreams or time but of worship. Nothing else can contain it. Nothing else be by it contained.
–Cormac McCarthy, Cities of the Plain
Nothing occupies us, Sir,
save service to that cupbearer;
Saki! Another round, please-
& deliver us from Good & Evil.
God, Sir, has created no one
without a proper vocation;
as for us, He has appointed the job
of permanent unemployment:
by day dancing in the light
like motes of dust;
by night, like stars, circumambulating
the moon-visaged beloved.
If He wanted us to work, after all,
He would not have created this wine;
with a skin-full of this, Sir,
would you rush out to commit economics?
What job could a drunkard do
other than the work of the wine itself?
That sacred vintage, transported across
earth & heaven to the Everlasting Refuge.
Drink mere worldly wine, sleep
one night & it passes;
drink from the flagon of the One & your head
will follow you to the grave.
The source of all mercy, Sir,
pours it out for free;
& these sakis treat us as sweetly
as nursemaids their children.
Drink, my heart, & go drunk,
introduce others to this pleasure
& God will keep you well supplied.
Where you witness some beauty
sit & be a mirror;
where you see ugliness
slip the looking glass back in its bag.
Wander happily about the streets
mingling with the young &
reciting, “Nay, I swear
by this city. . .”
. . .ah, but my head,
my head is spinning from this wine;
I will dry up & be silent,
I will not sit here & count blessings
which mathematics cannot