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Archive for 2011|Yearly archive page

Little Things

In Inspiration, Quotes on February 18, 2011 at 8 am

The effect of all this upon the mood and temper of the age is unmistakable. To compensate for the loss of personal significance we have unwillingly submitted to the idea of quantity. Unless our accomplishments are materially great we feel that we have failed. While the philosophers are redefining “the quest for certainty,” the practical men are exhausting their energies in the struggle for the market; and the only recreation that seems adequate after such an intense struggle is usually as violent and exhausting as the struggle itself.

There is, certainly, no easy formula for the revitalization of a corroded faith. The cozy security and the confident stride of our ancestors cannot be recaptured by a simple act of will. We must accommodate to the new world we have discovered, and if the old values are no longer adequate to give significance to our lives, we must—and, across the centuries, we surely will—evolve a new credo.

But meanwhile we must live in the world we have created, a world of acceleration, conflicts, and mass production. In this world, somehow, we must cushion, in whatever degree possible, the maddening vigor of the quantitative fallacy. Not by turning the clock back to the days of the individual artisan, nor by following the misty-eyed Utopians back to the soil. While we respond to the exacting demands of the environment, we must attempt to rediscover, during what leisure time we can wrest from the struggle, the value and the quality in little things.

-Angelo Pellegrini

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Love Story

In Love, Non-fiction, Writing on February 13, 2011 at 12 am

A lady in a nursing facility passed away recently. Her name was Janet. She’d lived there for eight years and for the entire eight was in a complete vegetative state. She was one of the few residents of the nursing facility that visitors felt uncomfortable looking at.

It was the look on her face that did it. Janet’s mouth was always half-open and in her eyes was terror, pure terror.

She lived mostly paralyzed with exception to her hands, which were aways shaking. She often held those shaking hands up near her face. This shaking, in proximity to her terrified eyes, made it appear as though she believed she was being attacked and was fearfully defending herself. It is a terrible thing, the face of someone who is being attacked from within. 

When visitors to the nursing facility saw her they looked away and would think that life can be cruel, to leave some of us so ravaged yet alive, unable to rest in peace.

We’ve nothing to lose but boredom and despair.

In Food, Inspiration, Quotes on February 12, 2011 at 9 pm

Angelo Pelligrini‘s speech to the University of Washington Medical Alumni Association, spring 1979. A bottle of wine and a loaf of bread are on the podium.
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Table Therapy

In Food, Non-fiction, Writing on February 6, 2011 at 1 am

Extraordinarily full and fully contented, we sat before two empty plates, two empty wine glasses, one small bowl lined with congealed butter, and one large bowl containing the shell remains of our Dungeness crab dinner.

Satisfaction is generally inherent in eating and the quality of the meal is often reciprocal to the level of satisfaction: the better the dish, the deeper the satisfaction. But this meal went beyond mere lip-licking fulfillment. The joy it provided was not confined to the belly; our smiles were not simply lingered tastes on the gums and teeth, coaxing the cheeks upward. Though aided by the convergence of good weather, good tastes and good company, the crab—rather, the process of cooking and eating it piece by piece—stirred in us a large happiness.

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Loose Stiffs

In Non-fiction, Writing on February 6, 2011 at 1 am

They gave us all similarly marketable skills and a lesser number of jobs requiring those skills and in the resulting donnybrook those with wild confidence and bravado won out.

In the selling of self, color me the shy eyed hooker, losing the John to a multiplicity of brave catcalls and kissy faces.

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Later I Awoke

In Non-fiction, Writing on February 6, 2011 at 12 am

The odds were favorable. Still, a gun to the head is a gun to the head.

The gun was removed from its holster quickly. The man, as he put it against my head, explained, “This gun holds one-hundred bullets. It is loaded with only three.” He spoke with a casual confidence about my favorable odds.

But at that moment the odds didn’t matter at all: I was terrified of that gun. It was holding bullets and the trigger would be pulled.

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