Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Eighth Day


"Man is not an end, but a beginning. We are at the beginning of the second week. We are children of the eighth day."   ~ Thornton Wilder






Photograph by Harry Kerr
The title and quote is from a lesser-known book by Thornton Wilder, The Eighth Day.

20 comments:

  1. I'm not sure of the context of that quote, but it seems to me that "man" in the context of our planet's survival, is indeed "the end". Sigh...

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    1. I believe it's a matter of perspective. Fear is the biggest weapon we use against ourselves because it leads to feeling utterly powerless. I refuse to give in to fear. I see examples every day of how beautiful the world and its people are. The Great and Powerful Oz, the man behind the curtain, does not have power unless we give it to him in our thoughts and actions. IMO.

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  2. Teresa -- I'm afraid I agree with Ms Sparrow. Also, the use of the word "man" so dates Wilder, wrote during the time of male hubris. Not criticizing, just facing the reality that I see in the quote. Love the photo.-- barbara

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    1. If we stop reading literature that uses the word "man," we'd lose a lot of great literature.

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  3. Dear Teresa, your two responses to the first two comments caused me to pause and consider 1) the good I find in life each day and 2) the fact that we can't ask writers to write beyond their times. They reflect the times in which they live.

    Great writers bridge the gape between their times and ours by writing about the human condition, which is the same no matter what time. The language they use may be different, but their insights remain valid and helpful and quite often breathtaking. Peace.

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    1. Dee, Thank you. I so appreciate your always thoughtful comments. I really like your last sentence. The one just before "Peace."

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  4. Children of the eighth day suggests to me that it is our function to continue the process of creation. Not an easy task, given the forces working toward destruction, but it is ours and, as you point out, there are victories every day, even if they are only small ones sometimes.

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    1. Small victories, but they are meaningful and can make all the difference in a day. Day-building, in that way, is the process of creation. As you so beautifully put it: "it is our function to continue the process of creation." Thank you, Nancy.

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  5. No, like Wilder says it, man is at the beginning. I don't think he means the eighth day is the end. We are only like children at the beginning of thousands of years, maybe millions, we don't know how long this world will exist - but we have to go on. Children grow up.

    You refuse to give in to fear. This is so essential and courageous.

    Grethe ´)

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    1. I really appreciate your comment. "We are only like children at the beginning..."

      Thank you, Grethe.

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  6. I try to make a positive difference in the world around me. It helps diminish fear.

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    1. That's a powerful statement. Thank you, Linda.

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  7. I believe this with all my heart. I am confident that it is true. While I'm sure that we will stumble dramatically along the way, we are always at a new beginning, rather than an end. As Blissed-Out Grandma says (love the handle), we are participants in the ongoing process of creation. The best is yet to come...

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    1. Thank you for your response, Bill, and your life is a testament to it.

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  8. I haven't read that book, but I love the positive quote. I never have had any problem with reading words and phrases and ideas from different time periods. Which is why I think changing books like Tom Sawyer is ridiculous because you lose that knowledge of how things really were if you try to change them to fit now. Forgetting our past is what causes us to repeat our mistakes. Learning from our past is what gives us truly new beginnings. :):)

    Shoot! I am not a robot. :(

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    1. And, sometimes, it feels like we live in a society of collective amnesia. :)

      Thanks, Rita. Spam was getting so frequent I had to do something.

      I was kinda hoping you were. It might have explained how you get so much creativity done in a day. ;)

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  9. I read that book twice when I was in high school. I adored it.

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    1. All I've read about it certainly sounds intriguing. I'm checking with the local library to see if they have a copy, or can locate one. Thanks, Denise. Good to hear from someone who read and loved it.

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  10. I was unaware of this wonderful quote, thanks for bringing it our way. My hope is that the human race can start behaving with this message in their hearts.

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