ok. so don miller is stealing my heart one page at a time. i’ve always loved blue like jazz (how many times have i read that one…) and i kinda know him through a friend of mine in oregon, though we’ve never met… [insert sigh here]. i’m currently reading (among a long list of others) through painted deserts. its freakin amazing!. if you know anything about me, my journey, or my soul, you’ll understand why mr. miller is wooing me so [fear not, grant!].
“I want to change because it’s God’s way… I want to keep my soul fertile for the changes, so things keep getting born in me, so things keep dying when it is time for things to die. I want to keep walking away from the person I was a moment ago, because a mind was made to figure things out, not to read the same page recurrently… And the closest thing I can liken life to is a book, they way it stretches out on paper, page after page, as if to trick the mind into thinking it isn’t all happening at once.”
“This is from where the story stems, the stuff of its construction lying at our feet like cut strips of philosophy. I sometimes look into the endless heavens, the cosmos of which we can’t find the edge, and ask God what it means. Did You really do all of this to dazzle us? Do You really keep it shifting, rolling round the pinions to stave off boredom? God forbid Your glory would be our distraction. And God forbid we would ignore Your glory.”
“I started wondering if life was something different than I thought it was, if there was some kind of raging beauty a person could find, that he could get caught up in the why of life. And I needed to believe beauty meant something, and I needed God to step off His self-help soap-box and be willing to say something eternally significant and intelligent and meaningful… I needed God to larger than our free-market economy, larger than our two-for-one coupons, larger than our religious ideas.”
“I wonder, though, if the good feeling will last. I do this with good things; I think joy into its coffin; I analyze too much. I don’t want to think about life anymore; I just want to live life.”
“I guess what I mean is, he isn’t one of the millions of us who are always looking for an escape, for distraction. He [paul, a character in the book] doesn’t need to be talked to, but he isn’t a recluse, and he doesn’t need to hear music all the time, but he likes music…I guess you could say he is healthy or something.”
“I guess I’m looking for what any guy is looking for. I want a companion, you know. Just someone to share life with. I want her to be my biggest fan and I want to be her biggest fan too. I want us to raise kids in a home where they know their parents are in love with each other and with them. I guess that’s all I want.”
“The way I figure, every girl is beautiful, you know. It’s our arrogance that makes us think one is better than the other.”
“Maybe when a person doesn’t buy the lies anymore, when a human stops long enough to realize the stuff people say to get us to part with our money often isn’t true, we can finally see the sunrise, smell the wetness in a Gulf-breeze, stand in awe at a downpour no less magnificent than a twenty-thousand-foot waterfall, ten square miles wide, wonder at the physics of a duck paddling itself across the surface of a pond, enjoy the reflection of the sun of the face of the moon, and know, THIS IS WHAT I WAS MADE TO DO. THIS IS WHO I WAS MADE TO BE, THAT LIFE IS BEING GIVEN TO ME AS A GIFT, THAT LIGHT IS A METAPHOR, AND GOD IS DOING THESE THINGS TO DAZZLE US.”
“Matter and thought are a canvas on which God paints, a painting with tragedy and delivery, with sin and redemption. LIFE IS A DANCE TOWARD GOD, I begin to think. And the dance is not so graceful as we might want. We learn to dance with the One who made us. And it is a difficult dance to learn, because its steps are foreign… and I think to myself, I HAVE EVERYTHING I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE TO EXPERIENCE THE MAGNITUDE OF THIS STORY, TO DANCE WITH GOD.”
need i say more… i mean, wow. i’m only about a day into it and will finish it tmrw, only to read it several more times over the next week. don makes me think, and most contemporary prose writers don’t. anyway, just food for thought. i’m eating it up.