Friday, January 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Joe!

Joe is the optimist on the left.

My brother Joe turned 31 today (or rather, yesterday, depending on the time zone). As I set out thinking about how best to commemorate his birthday, literary artifacts that reminded me of him for one reason or another kept popping into my head. Under a heavy dose of nostalgia, I had started collecting quotes and lyrics for a big brother birthday montage when it occurred to me that to truly honor a fellow who has been deeper in the Grand Canyon than anyone I know, I ought to make a contest of it. What’s more I ought to tip the scales in his favor so that he wouldn’t have to cheat in order maintain the supremacy of the first born. So while I invite all to compete in this game of “Who wrote it?” be forewarned that you are not only up against one of the greatest name droppers of his generation but the birthday boy muse himself. Now, the rules: no googling or checking the comments in advance and only one guess per quote. Note that there are a number of freebies, so Eva can play too.

1) Upon the hearth the fire is red, Beneath the roof there is a bed, But not yet weary are our feet, Still round the corner we may meet: A sudden tree or standing stone That none have seen but we alone.

2) All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

3) If my life is of no value to my friends it is of none to myself.

4) . . . . [W]hen I fall into the abyss, I go straight into it, head down and heels up, and I’m even pleased that I’m falling in such a humiliating position, and for me I find it beautiful. And so in that very shame I suddenly begin a hymn. Let me be cursed, let me be base and vile, but let me also kiss the hem of that garment in which my God is clothed; let me be following the devil at the same time, but still I am also your son, Lord, and I love you, and I feel a joy without which the world cannot stand and be.

5) No Christian and, indeed, no historian could accept the epigram which defines religion as 'what a man does with his solitude.

6) Kicking and a' gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer.

7) Sail on silvergirl,Sail on by.

8) How I do love to hear the wolves howl!

9) Look at that sea, girls--all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn't enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds.

10) Riu, riu, chiu.

11) ….[S]ometimes two hale young men, with big pipes blazing, no overcoats and wind blown scarfs, would trudge, unspeaking, down to the forlorn sea, to work up an appetite, to blow away the fumes, who knows, to walk into the waves until nothing of them was left but the two furling smoke clouds of their inextinguishable briars

12) And I feel fine anytime she's around me now, she's around me now almost about all the time.

13) So do all who live to face such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

14) There was never any more inception than there is now, Nor any more youth or age than there is now, And will never be any more perfection than there is now, Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.

15) Even David will be forsaken at the end, for in death, we are all cut off from God’s care. What purpose then in serving Him. He wrestles with man for the nighttime of his life, but at daybreak, He is gone.

16) Every day's an endless dream of cigarettes and magazines

17) Eggs and toast … tsts..ts…tsts..ts

18) Farm out. Right arm. Out of state.

19) And for a bonus point, name the witch in the following picture:

Happy Birthday, Joe!