Karl Marlantes on Meaning

He hid behind a blasted stump and he tried to think about meaning. He knew that there could be no meaning to someone who was dead. Meaning came out of living. Meaning could come only from his choices and actions. Meaning was made, not discovered. He saw that he alone could make Hawke’s death meaningful by choosing what Hawke had chosen, the company. The things he’d wanted before–power, prestige–now seemed empty, and their pursuit endless. What he did and thought in the present would give him the answer, so he would not look for answers in the past or future. Painful events would always be painful. The dead are dead, forever.

— from Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes

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Ernest K. Gann on Luck

Saddle near Chena Dome with Deets and Thor.

Who…what did this? What was luck? Were we, for some reason, more deserving of its mystic attention than others who encountered a series of circumstances–which culminated in their destruction? If we were favored, then I wanted to know why, and so perhaps manage to continue the relationship.

— Ernest K. Gann from Fate is the Hunter

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Youth

(“Youth” first appeared in Aqueous Magazine in December 2013)

Half Dome 1988

You have a face that does its best to

show emotion.

But you haven’t had your heart ripped

out of your chest.

You don’t really believe that there’s evil

in the world.

You still think that the lady screaming

unashamed

at her kid in the checkout line at Walmart

is just a bad parent and not actually the manifestation of something

much

much

worse.

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