Great Minds

Yossarian (Joseph Heller Catch-22)
“He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt”

“From now on I’m thinking only of me.”
Major Danby replied indulgently with a superior smile: “But, Yossarian, suppose everyone felt that way.”
“Then,” said Yossarian, “I’d certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way, wouldn’t I?”

“I’m not running away from my responsibilities. I’m running to them. There’s nothing negative about running away to save my life.”

Rincewind (Terry Pratchett Interesting Times)
“‘But there are causes worth dying for’ said Butterfly
‘No, there aren’t. Because you’ve only got one life but you can pick up another five causes on any street corner!’
‘Good grief, how can you live with a philosophy like that?’
Rincewind took a deep breath.
‘Continuously!'”

“‘ Should we not resist them with every drop of our life’s blood?’ said Butterfly.
Rincewind looked blank ‘No. Run away’.
‘Ah, yes’ said Twoflower. ‘And live to fight another day. That is an Ankh-Morpork saying.’
Rincewind had always assumed that the purpose of running away was to live to run away another day.”

The colour of Pratchett

Readers surprised by my post “Books do furnish a (hospital) room” where I list Shakespeare, Dickens, Conan Doyle, Wodehouse and Pratchett, as authors to take with me for an extended hospital stay, are obviously unfamiliar with Terry Pratchett.

Pratchett is an author who can write thoughts like this – “No one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away, until the clock he wound up winds down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment, until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone’s life, they say, is only the core of their actual existence.”

He is an author of books in which almost every sentence jumps up, hits you on the head, and demands to be read a second time, and a third, and …….

He belongs in the company of the other four authors, and me, and you.

Bus stop

Sometimes an idea for a blog post comes to me quickly and disappears just as quickly. It is as if I am standing at the bus stop, waiting to board the bus, ticket held between my fingers. Suddenly a gust of wind blows the ticket out of my hand and down the street. I take off after it, only to discover the wind has stirred up thousands, nay tens of thousands of pieces of paper of every size and shape and every colour of the rainbow. The street cleaners, it seems, are on strike. My small ticket, coloured dull blue (or was it shocking pink, or emerald green, or madder red, or …..) disappears into the chaos and is lost to sight forever. As I turn back, disconsolate, the bus has pulled out from the curb and I have missed it.