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Katherine Anne Porter

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The road to death is a long march beset with all evils, and the heart fails little by little at each new terror, the bones rebel at each step, the mind sets up its own bitter resistance and to what end? The barriers sink one by one, and no covering of the eyes shuts out the landscape of disaster, nor the sight of crimes committed there.
--
"Pale Horse, Pale Rider" (1939)

 
Katherine Anne Porter

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"Yonder in the unknown vastness"—his long finger stabbed at the black silent jungle which brooded beyond the firelight—"yonder lies mystery and adventure and nameless terror. Once I dared the jungle—once she nearly claimed my bones. Something entered into my blood, something stole into my soul like a whisper of unnamed sin. The jungle! Dark and brooding—over leagues of the blue salt sea she has drawn me and with the dawn I go to seek the heart of her. Mayhap I shall find curious adventure—mayhap my doom awaits me. But better death than the ceaseless and everlasting urge, the fire that has burned my veins with bitter longing."

 
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Where refugees seek deliverance that never comes
And the heart consumes itself as if it would live,
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When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find that far more, and far more hideous, crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.

 
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Bearing bravely the evils that beset us, doing cheerfully the duties that are near, trusting in God, guided by Christ, fear shall not confound us in the way, and death shall find us ready.

 
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The moment is ripe: leave the heart and the mind behind you, go forward, take the third step.
Free yourself from the simple complacency of the mind that thinks to put all things in order and hopes to subdue phenomena. Free yourself from the terror of the heart that seeks and hopes to find the essence of things.
Conquer the last, the greatest temptation of all: Hope. This is the third duty.

 
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