Friday, September 2, 2011

Quips and Quotations (Spiritual Enlightenment Edition)

So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter - and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote:

Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send. Huck Finn.

I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking - thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and suchlike times; and would always call me honey, and pet me, and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had smallpox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the only one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper.

It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself:


"All right, then, I'll go to hell" - and tore it up.

--Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain










11 comments:

  1. What a great story teller. Thanks for posting this Kirk. Maybe it's time to re-read Huck Finn. It's probably been 40 years since the last time.Enjoy the weekend.

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  2. You enjoy the weekend, too, Mike.

    Um, it's past, huh? Enjoy the next weekend.

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  3. OH, Kirk, it does please me to see you appearing in my sidebar again. I am so busy trying to maintain a bit fuller life, I can use ringing bells and visual reminders. What a great snippet of Twain and Huck Finn to select. Mike's right. I need to return there soon. One summer (likely 10 or 11 years ago now) Amber and I both read through the entire Little House series. Not great literature, but good reading. I believe it meant more to me at 48 or 49 than it did to her at 10 or 11. I own the books!

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  4. I put the post immediately preceding this one--Nick Ashford's obituary--back into "draft". I figured anyone who's going to read it has read it by now. That did the trick. As you said, this particular post finally popped up on the blogrolls. I shouldn't HAVE to do that, mind you, but I couldn't wait forever for Blogger to solve the problem, or even acknowledge there IS a problem.

    Strange thing, though. Even though it's dated September 2, four days ago, it popped up at the TOP of your blogroll. I'm not complaining, of course, but it shows you how fucked up things are with Blogger.

    My sisters used to read the Little House books. Every now and then I'd pop open one of their books and see what was going on with Laura and co. Trivia note: Garth Williams, who illustrated Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, also illustrated the Little House books, though in a slightly different style. William's Papa Ingalls looked nothing like Michael Landon. He was a bald and had a beard!

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  5. Williams also illustrated The Cricket on Times Square.

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  6. i think he went to heaven, if such a place exists.
    thanks for this.
    oh yeah, blogger is definitely screwed. may as well roll with it.

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  7. Well, it will be hard to imagine, but I even fixed a Blogger hiccup on my own blog. I did something totally unlike myself: kept my cool, investigated, tried, tried again. It worked. But they do have some junk in their trunk. 6 weeks ago, I'd have sought you out. Now I'm just time jammed and a little distracted, so I like the knock on the door in the sidebar. But never, ever be afraid to knock loudly at me and say "Where the hell ARE you? I have spoken and you should answer!"

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  8. I want to comment but... I dislike Huck Finn so much I don't know what to say.
    Everyone else has said how much they loved the book so I must have missed something ?
    Blogger seems to be mixing stuff up quite a bit lately.

    cheers, parsnip

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  9. "TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;"

    I think that's the road to hell and what the hell! Or as AC/DC said, "I'm on the highway to hell!" See you there.

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  10. @rraine--I'll think you'll go to Heaven, rraine, if such a place exists. When you do, see if you can get Twain's autograph for me.

    As for myself, I'm probably headed to the other place. In fact, I may ALREADY be in the other place!

    @Leslie Morgon--I know you're a Bob Dylan fan, so are you telling me to knock, knock on Heaven's door?

    @parsnip--Different strokes for different folks. Thanks for commenting.

    @Badger--Robert Frost. I always liked that poem. I also like the AC/DC song.

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  11. Mama, take this badge off of me
    I can't use it anymore.
    It's gettin' dark, too dark for me to see
    I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door.

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