Saturday, February 26, 2011

All things of grace and beauty


One of the Things to think about:
No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes. --Cormac McCarthy
This passage occurs at the end of McCarthy's novel, The Road, as the chief protagonist, the Man, comes to terms with his own death.  McCarthy's casual mastery creates a beautiful sense of solace and peaceful resignation.  Is it not so?  "No list of things to be done.  The day providential to itself.  The hour."

Anyone (which is to say, everyone) who has anguished at the short life of a timeless sunset; anyone (which is to say, everyone) who has endured the agony of watching something beloved move forever beyond one's reach, watched it migrate from life to memory --he will understand.  "There is no later.  This is later."

The circumstances surrounding the end of the Man's life are bleak, seemingly hopeless.  And yet, McCarthy plants a subtle seed.  "All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes."

Everything comes at a price, right?  When we can live every day of our lives with this knowledge, we will have paid it.

Update:  ¡Perdóname, hermanita! ¡Casi se me olvida! ¡Feliz cumpleaños a Chae!

2 comments:

Dan Binmore said...

I don't think that nothing comes without a price. I find that to be a very miserable way of looking at things. If you just stop, be in the moment, and notice what is around you the wonderful place you are in will be apparent, without cost.

futile_crush said...

Hello... in my version, this quote does not come at the end of the book or anywhere near. It comes on Page 56 when the man and the boy are still a long way from the coast, just before he reveals how his wife committed suicide. Have you got a radically different version? Otherwise you may want to update that. Thanks.