I recently read Timequake, Kurt Vonnegut’s final novel.
It’s an interesting book – part memoir, part scrapbook, and (like everything Vonnegut) part brilliant nonsense. In many ways, it’s an excellent recipe for a blog.
Far and away my favourite part of the book was this, originally delivered by Abraham Lincoln in February 1861 as he departed Springfield, Illinois for his inauguration in Washington, DC and the beginning of the Civil War:
Perhaps we have come home to the dreadful day of awakening, and the dream is ended. If so, I am afraid it must be ended forever. I cannot believe that ever again will men have the opportunity we have had. Perhaps we should admit that, and concede that our ideals of liberty and equality are decadent and doomed. I have heard of an eastern monarch who once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence which would be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words, ‘And this too shall pass away.’
That is a comforting thought in time of affliction – ‘And this too shall pass away.’ And yet – let us believe that it is not true! Let us live to prove that we can cultivate the natural world that is about us, and the intellectual and moral world that is within us, so that we may secure an individual, social and political prosperity, whose course shall be forward, and which, while the earth endures, shall not pass away…
Beautiful. Certainly puts our current politicians to shame.
Anyway, I plan for this blog to function as a bit of a personal Timequake – part memoir, part scrapbook, part nonsense.
I hope you enjoy it.