"The insane are always mere guests on earth, eternal strangers carrying around broken decalogues that they cannot read."
— F. Scott Fitzgerald
"We are accidents/Waiting to happen."
She could disappear here. The arch would lead to another, and that to yet another, and take her far beyond any hope of return to the human world. Eden again. Return to animal awareness; the eternal Now before the Fall armed humanity with consciousness and care. Beyond money, beyond power and telecom and tax bills, beyond mortgages and bank loans and pensions and insurance. Beyond the day-to-day drudge of pushing the boulder of living in a society up the asymptotic slope of Mt. Entropy. Freedom without a bar code. She did not wonder the Western industrials wanted it ring-fenced… But it is an insidious Eden where everything may be had by reaching out to take. It is the determination to push that boulder of hopes and dreams through the relentless material world that makes you human. If you were to get up from this place and walk in there and never come back, the [person] that you have made yourself become would evaporate.
"It’s beautiful, it’s awe inspiring, it’s the closest I’ve come to a religious experience, and it’s the end of everything it means to be human."
"Or a gate into new ways of being human," Jake said. "What the Chaga says to me is, now you don’t need to compete for resources, now all the rules of supply and demand are torn up: there is enough here for everyone, so now you can experiment with new ways of living, new ways of interacting, new societies and structures and sociologies, knowing that you have permission to fail. Screw it up and it won’t cost you and your children your lives. Like America was, back in the pioneer days when all the religious communities came over from Europe because there was space for them to follow their beliefs without interference. Continual experiment."
"What season are you?"
He was silent for the space of three sips of whiskey.
"Fall," he said. "Fall in Nebraska, which is all silver and gold; silver of frost, gold of Halloween pumpkins in backyards and yellow tomatoes on the vine and bare fields of corn stubble and a yellow edge to the horizon under the purple snow clouds that come down from the Dakotas. A fall that is the cold of evenings when you make a fire and your whiskey catches the light and the heat of it, that is just like the line in the song about when the wind comes whistlin’ down the plain, and gets into the eaves and you hear the roof shingles rattle, but you’re in no hurry to worry about them, not just yet."
My God, Gaby thought, I am about to have sex with a Frank Capra movie.