"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Standing at the Edge of the Crazy Cliff

In this here 21st century, you can't stand athwart anything, and yelling "stop" is what you do just before they plow you under. What you can do is more like this.
"You know that song 'If a body catch a body comin' through the rye'? I'd like – "
"It's 'If a body meet a body coming through the rye'!" old Phoebe said. "It's a poem. By Robert Burns."
"I know it's a poem by Robert Burns."
She was right, though. It is "If a body meet a body coming through the rye." I didn't know it then, though. "I thought it was 'If a body catch a body,'" I said. "Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.
Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy."
It's crazy and thankless and mostly hopeless, but you catch as many as you can, one by one by one. This much you can do. You can be big.

2 comments:

Mrs. Webfoot said...

Yes. We do the best we can with the light we are given.

Others are there to push people into the abyss. They must be resisted. We need to make it harder for them.

People need to know there is a crazy cliff and they don’t have to be pushed over it if they don’t want to be. We are little catchers imitating the One who caught us. We try to be there when they hit bottom as well.

Walk in Love
Ephesians 5
1 - Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.
2 - And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Lord God,
open our hearts to your grace.
Let it go before us and be with us,
that we may always be intent upon doing your will.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Tom Van Dyke said...


Thank you for the Bible verses, Mrs. W. Apt.


We do the best we can with the light we are given.

Others are there to push people into the abyss. They must be resisted. We need to make it harder for them.


Oh, my. This is quite more challenging than Salinger [and your correspondent] here. That "others are there to push people into the abyss...and must be resisted" obliges us to courage, a courage that's noticeably in short supply these days, a courage that is declassé even among those who might still have some.

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.—Churchill

Welcome to The Reform Club, ma'am. You're just the sort of fellow to whom our doors are always swung wide.