I’m going to go to a random floor, and grab a book from a particular aisle and section which I will ask somebody to give me numbers at random. Then I’m going to come open blindly to a page and section then point with my finger at a passage. (Think of when you were little and used to spin the globe and ask it: Where am I going to live when I grow up?) I play games of chance like this all the time when I’m bored. Who knows what I will find today, or even if it will make sense or not. Let’s try, we might make some new friends. Yes I call books friends don’t judge.
Here’s the winner for today:
Poems for Life: Quotable Verse from the Seers and Singers of Yesterday and Today Complied by Thomas Curtis Clark. Published in 1941.
I had a friend give me the numbers 4 and 8. I went to the third floor, down the fourth aisle and stopped at the 8th section. English Poetry. Ok I can work with this. I scanned the shelves and just grabbed the first title that popped out at me. Luckily at the University most of the books are old and don’t have eye-catching covers or anything that could make me biased. I just picked based upon the words in the title.
I flip through. Here’s our winning passage, pg. 195, under the heading “The way to god is by the road of men”, it’s a poem called Intolerance.
Across the way my neighbor’s windows shine,
His rooftree shield him from the storms that frown,
He toiled and saved to build it, staunch and brown,
And though my neighbor’s house is not like mine,
I would not pull it down!
With patient care my neighbor, too, had built
A house of faith where his soul might stay,
A haven from the winds that sweep life’s way.
It differed from my own- I felt no guilt-
I burned it yesterday!
-Molly Anderson Haley
Ouch, that’s pretty brutal. But I think it has to be to illuminate the point. So your neighbor builds a physical house, brick and stone, and you see wow, he did so much work. It doesn’t look like my house, but hey, it’s his, I respect it look there it is it exists (tangible). Then, you get to beliefs and belief systems (intangible). Her neighbor was like hey, this is my religion, my faith, the things I believe in to make it through this messed up world, but the narrator was like, nah, I respect your physical property but not your spiritual beliefs. Since you don’t think the way I do, I’m gonna trample and burn the faith that took you a lifetime of suffering and searching to find and just destroy it. Yeah, sounds about right people. In a way I think that our inner toils amount to more than some bricks and stone or any physical possessions we may acquire. It doesn’t have to have a religious connotation, switch god or faith with “beliefs” or “values” or “universe” or whatever resonates with you.