We say we are earthlings, not waterlings. Our blood is closer to seawater than our bones to soil, but thats no matter. The sea is the cradle we all rocked out of, but its to dust that we go. From the time that water invented us, we began to seek out dirt. The further we separate ourselves from the dirt, the further we separate ourselves from ourselves. Alienation is a disease of the unsoiled.
Leisure, itself the creation of wealth, is incessantly engaged in transmuting wealth into beauty by secreting the surplus energy which flowers in great architecture, great painting and great literature. Only in the atmosphere thus engendered floats that impalpable dust of ideas which is the real culture. A colony of ants or bees will never create a parthenon.
I am the dust in the sunlight, i am the ball of the sun . . . I am the mist of morning, the breath of evening . . . . I am the spark in the stone, the gleam of gold in the metal . . . . The rose and the nightingale drunk with its fragrance. I am the chain of being, the circle of the spheres, the scale of creation, the rise and the fall. I am what is and is not . . . I am the soul in all.
My last vestige of 'hands off religion' respect disappeared in the smoke and choking dust of september 11, 2001, followed by the 'national day of prayer,' when prelates and pastors did their tremulous martin luther king impersonations and urged people of mutually incompatible faiths to hold hands, united in homage to the very force that caused the problem in the first place.
At that instant he knew that all his doubts, even the impossibility of believing with his reason, of which he was aware in himself, did not in the least hinder his turning to god. All of that now floated out of his soul like dust. To whom was he to turn if not to him in whose hands he felt himself, his soul, and his love?
Howard was almost as fond of this hall as he was of his own shop. The brownies used it on tuesdays, and the women's institute on wednesdays. It had hosted jumble sales and jubilee celebrations, wedding receptions and wakes, and it smelled of all of these things: of stale clothes and coffee urns, and the ghosts of home-baked cakes and meat salads; of dust and human bodies; but primarily of aged wood and stone.
Eating, sleeping, cleaning - the years no longer rise up toward heaven, they lie spread out ahead, gray and identical. The battle against dust and dirt is never won. Washing, ironing, sweeping, ferreting out rolls of lint from under wardrobes - all this halting of decay is also the denial of life; for time simultaneously creates and destroys, and only its negative aspect concerns the housekeeper.
Nature is no sentimentalist, - does not cosset or pamper us. We must see that the world is rough and surly, and will not mind drowning a man or a woman; but swallows your ship like a grain of dust. The cold, inconsiderate of persons, tingles your blood, benumbs your feet, freezes a man like an apple. The diseases, the elements, fortune, gravity, lightning, respect no persons.
An autobiography is the truest of all books; for while it inevitably consists mainly of extinctions of the truth, shirkings of the truth, partial revealments of the truth, with hardly an instance of plain straight truth, the remorseless truth is there, between the lines, where the author-cat is raking dust upon it which hides from the disinterested spectator neither it nor its smell... The result being that the reader knows the author in spite of his wily diligences.