Thursday, April 12, 2007

and the heavens danced

Knowing that the universe is a large place and Earth is a speck, the astral heavens flowed as silk linens through a breeze. In other words, they moved to the music, and their music was the wind.

I can't remember which one of my university friends mentioned it to me first, Adam or Dayton. But I was given Galapagos, and my life would forever be the better for it. As the years went on, I digested his words, his beautiful regurgitation of anger into humour. When I read the news today "Author Kurt Vonnegut dead at 84", oh boy. I thought "wow, he's gone, this sucks." I then went through some of his quotes, smiling through each and every one. Wikiquote is what i used, and i feel it is a good resource.

As I write this I am finding hard to keep my composure. It's cold, grey and damp outside. So it goes.

Of all the beautiful things he has written or said, I have chosen the following. The first I use myself now when people ask me of my religious affiliation. The rest just make me smile.

"I am a humanist. Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead."

"Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before," Bokonon tells us. "He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way."

"A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved."

"The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever."

"I am, incidentally, Honorary President of the American Humanist Association, having succeeded the late, great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov in that totally functionless capacity. We had a memorial service for Isaac a few years back, and I spoke and said at one point, "Isaac is up in heaven now." It was the funniest thing I could have said to an audience of humanists. I rolled them in the aisles. It was several minutes before order could be restored. And if I should ever die, God forbid, I hope you will say, "Kurt is up in heaven now." That's my favorite joke."

Thank you Kurt Vonnegut Jr. You're up in heaven now.

Kurt Vonnegut 11/11/22-04/11/07

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