“They take a time-honored event and repeat it, repeat it, repeat it, until something new enters the world.” (4) This sentence was transcribed onto a tiny purple piece of paper by me, a long time ago and I found it on the floor of the moving van when we moved. I don’t know the source, page 4 of something.
“I thought that watching the amputation could be the final step in accepting the totality of the danger I posed to myself: my willingness to be completely absorbed by the natural world.”—Kyle Dempster, about a year and half prior to disappearing with Scott Adamson on the Ogre II in the Karakoram, as reported to Alpinist.
“Rabbit Hendricks––a compact man with an ill-fitting set of dentures—was finishing a sketch on the back of a postcard of Damascus that was to serve as a replacement for a disintegrating photograph of Lizard Brancusi’s wife, Maisie.”—from Richard Flanagan’s, Booker-winning, The Narrow Road to the Deep North.
“Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.”—Werner Herzog in A Guide to for the Perplexed, which I returned to this week after seeing his new film, Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World.
“I had a great day climbing today, and I was excited to post on social media about it, and then I remembered, oh yeah, fucking cops just shot an unarmed black man with his hands up—after he was already tazed.”—the writer/climber Chris Kalman on Facebook September 21, 2016.
“A woman from the State Medical Examiner’s Office first removed the dog from the incinerated plane, wrapping it in a white cloth she carried in both hands.” --Devin Kelly in the Alaska Dispatch News, September 11, 2016. This plane went down about a mile from our house and we saw the scene, all yellow-taped and charred trees on our way up the mountain the next morning.
This isn’t the ending we want and the new statistics [on date rape] won’t serve up an Everything’s Gonna be Alright resolution either, but I have been as precisely afraid as the world still requires a woman to be” –the brilliant Debra Monroe, from “Trouble in Mind,” The Rumpus, September 11, 2016
“There comes a time when you realize that everything is dream, and only those things preserved in writing have any possibility of being real.” –the epigraph of James Salter’s last novel, All That Is.
“Continue up the airy wall, moving slightly right to gain a shallow groove leading to the top.”-- sentence from Murray Toft’s description of Le Solier, a climb I did with John McInerney on Tunnel Mountain in Banff earlier this month. (Alert: this is an older guidebook and the ratings are not to be taken literally!)
“I shall always think of you and feel about you the way it was that Fourth of July three years ago when you met me at the boat, and we went out on the café on the river and had a drink and later went ton top of a tall building, and all the strangeness and glory and the power of life and of the city was below.”—Thomas Wolfe in a letter to Max Perkins, written just before he died at the age of 37. This sentence came up twice in one week: first, in the movie Genius about Wolfe and Perkins (see this movie!) and second, cited by James Salter in The Art of Fiction.
* Sentences listed alphabetically by author, first one is "anonymous," for now.