Thicket Quotes (displaying: 1 - 25 of 25 quotes )
The best way to find out things, if you come to think of it, is not to ask questions at all. If you fire off a question, it is like firing off a gun; bang it goes, and everything takes flight and runs for shelter. But if you sit quite still and pretend not to be looking, all the little facts will come and peck round your feet, situations will venture forth from thickets and intentions will creep out and sun themselves on a stone; and if you are very patient, you will see and understand a great deal more than a man with a gun.
THE WILD ROSE” – BY WENDELL BERRY Sometimes, hidden from me in daily custom and in ritual I live by you unaware, as if by the beating of my heart. Suddenly you flare again in my sight A wild rose at the edge of the thicket where yesterday there was only shade And I am blessed and choose again, That which I chose before.
And he knew that he would never come again, and that lost magic would not come again. Lost now was all of it-the street, the heat, King's Highway, and Tom the Piper's son, all mixed in with the vast and drowsy murmur of the Fair, and with the sense of absence in the afternoon, and the house that waited, and the child that dreamed. And out of the enchanted wood, that thicket of man's memory, Eugene knew that the dark eye and the quiet face of his friend and brother-poor child, life's stranger, and life's exile, lost like all of us, a cipher in blind mazes, long ago-the lost boy was gone forever, and would not return.
I looked for it but I found no way out of this wild logical thicket. This was a tangle every bit as unknown and terrifying as that behind the Green Wall These were creatures just as extraordinary and incomprehensible, and they said as much with no words. I imagined that I saw through some kind of thick class the square root of minus one-infinitely huge and at the same time infinitely small, scorpion-shaped, with that hidden but always sensed sting of the minus sign... But maybe that is nothing except my "soul," like the legendary scorpion of the ancients, which would deliberately sting itself with everything that...
...They'd be amazed to hear that Chance has been toying with them now for years. Not quite ready yet To become their Destiny, it pushed them close, drove them apart, it barred their path, stifling a laugh, and then leaped aside. There were signs and signals, Even if they couldn't read them yet. Perhaps three years ago or just last Tuesday a certain leaf fluttered from one shoulder to another? Something was dropped and then picked up. Who knows, maybe the ball that vanished into childhood's thicket? There were doorknobs and doorbells where one touch had covered another beforehand. Suitcases checked and standing side by side. One night, perhaps, the same dream, grown hazy by morning. Every beginning Is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.
Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It'll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they'll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields... and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?
See the exquisite contrast of the types of mind! The pragmatist clings to facts and concreteness, observes truth at its work in particular cases, and generalises. Truth, for him, becomes a class-name for all sorts of definite working-values in experience. For the rationalist it remains a pure abstraction, to the bare name of which we must defer. When the pragmatist undertakes to show in detail just why we must defer, the rationalist is unable to recognise the concretes from which his own abstraction is taken. He accuses us of denying truth; whereas we have only sought to trace exactly why people follow it and always ought to follow it. Your typical ultra-abstractions fairly shudders at concreteness: other things equal, he positively prefers the pale and spectral. If the two universes were offered, he would always choose the skinny outline rather than the rich thicket of reality. It is so much purer, clearer, nobler.
In the greatest confusion there is still an open channel to the soul. It may be difficult to find because by midlife it is overgrown, and some of the wildest thickets that surround it grow out of what we describe as our education. But the channel is always there, and it is our business to keep it open, to have access to the deepest part of ourselves.
It was some time before I could summon resolution to go down through the trees and bushes upon the flank of the headland to the beach. At last I did it at a run; and as I emerged from the thicket upon the sand, I heard some other body come crashing after me. At that I completely lost my head with fear, and began running along the sand. Forthwith there came the swift patter of soft feet in pursuit. I gave a wild cry, and redoubled my pace. Some dim, black things about three or four times the size of rabbits went running or hopping up from the beach towards the bushes as I passed.
The air was cool and fresh and smelled of the kelp and salt that streamed in off the bay at the full of the tide. The sun was high in the tender vault of the sky, and the thunderheads that would sweep in late in the day were still only white marble puffs at the margins of the sky, solid and silver-lined. There was a blue clarity about the horizon and the distant hills that spoke of a weather change but not for another day or two. Along the meadows' edges, as we drove past, I saw pink clover and purple lupine, hawkweed and wild daylilies. Brilliant pink wild azaleas, called lambkill here, flickered like wildfire in the birch groves. Daisies, buttercups, wild columbine, and the purple flags of wild iris starred the roadside. Behind them all was the eternal dark of the pines and firs and spruce thickets and, between those, the glittering indigo of the bay.
Then, what is sacrelige [sic]? If it is nothing more than a rebellion against dogma, it is eventually as meaningless as the dogma it defies, and they are both become hounds ranting in the high grass, never see the boar in the thicket. Only a religious person can perpetrate sacrelige: and if its blasphemy reaches the heart of the question; if it investigates deeply enough to unfold, not the pattern, but the materials of the pattern, and the necessity of a pattern; if it questions so deeply that the doubt it arouses is frightening and cannot be dismissed; then it has done its true sacreligious [sic] work, in the service of its adversary: the only service that nihilism can ever perform.(unused 1949 prefatory note to The Recognitions)
When I saw them in Africa, I thought these birds were the greatest fliers of all. Hardly beating their wings, they fly for hours, swooping upwards on air currents with no sign of physical effort. But when they land, they pitch forward on their stubby legs without stopping. They skid along on their bellies, their necks straining to absorb the shock of the landing. Their beaks dig into the sand and they collide with anything in their path. Quite often they break their wings or beaks or spines and remain for the rest of their lives in the scrubby thickets not far from where they crash. The crippled birds sit there blind, paralyzed or in shock, and struggle slowly back and forth to their nests. Some hop on one leg, some drag their crippled wings behind them like broken umbrellas. I wonder whether they ever envy their brothers soaring in the air or if they're glad to be grounded and past their trial.
Faith precedes the miracle. It has ever been so and shall ever be. It was not raining when Noah was commanded to build an ark. There was no visible ram in the thicket when Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. Two heavenly personages were not yet seen when Joseph knelt and prayed. First came the test of faith–and then the miracle. Remember that faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other. Cast out doubt. Cultivate faith.
Let us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. Not indeed that we personally are needed. Others would meet the case equally well, if not better. To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late! Let us represent worthily for one the foul brood to which a cruel fate consigned us! What do you say? It is true that when with folded arms we weigh the pros and cons we are no less a credit to our species. The tiger bounds to the help of his congeners without the least reflexion, or else he slinks away into the depths of the thickets. But that is not the question. What are we doing here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in the immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come --