Where are we going? It's not an issue of here or there. And if you ever feel you can't take another step, imagine how you might feel to arrive, if not wiser, a little more aware how to inhabit the middle ground between misery and joy. Trudge on. In the higher regions, where the footing is unsure, to trudge is to survive.
White in the moon the long road lies, The moon stands blank above; White in the moon the long road lies That leads me from my love. Still hangs the hedge without a gust, Still, still the shadows stay: My feet upon the moonlit dust Pursue the ceaseless way. The world is round, so travellers tell, And straight through reach the track, Trudge on, trudge on, 'twill all be well, The way will guide one back. But ere the circle homeward hies Far, far must it remove: White in the moon the long road lies That leads me from my love.
I don't see big subjects as separate from little ones. Yes, you could trudge through life with great human tragedies played out before your eyes without ever taking notice. Or you could see a universe in the smallest thing. The way a person takes their coffee, for example, might say something profound and important about that person, about all humanity, about existence itself.
During those snowy New England winters, besides learning to rise at five to study calculus and trudge two miles through the drifts for breakfast down the road, he had suppressed some tremendous element in himself that took form in a prudish virginity. While his life was impeccable on the surface, he felt he was behind glass: moving through the world in a separate compartment, touching no one else.
As we trudge back through the woods, we reach a boulder, and both Gale and I turn our heads in the same direction, like a pair of dogs catching a scent on the wind. Cressida notices and asks what lies that way. We admit, without acknowledging each other, it's our old hunting rendez-vous place. She wants to see it, even after we tell her it's nothing really. Nothing but a place where I was happy, I think.
In people's eyes, in the swing, tramp, and trudge; in the bellow and uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging; brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jingle and the strange high singing of some aeroplane overhead was what she loved; life; London; this moment in June.
One day I was watching these construction workers go back to work. I was watching them kind of trudging down the street. It was like a revelation to me. I realized these guys don't want to go back to work after lunch. But they're going. That's their job. If they can exhibit that level of dedication for that job I should be able to do the same. Trudge your ass in.
Maybe dream chasing is like climbing a mountain. You know, finding the trail, stepping onto it. At first you're energetic and it's easy. Then you trip over a root, face a huge boulder, or a steep incline. So you stand up after the fall, find your way around the boulder, and trudge up the vertical. Eventually, you're on top of the mountain with an expansive view of the world." ~ Michael Stlis in "A Stop in the Park
Peggy Morehouse Strack
Golf is a terrible, hopeless addiction, it seems: it makes its devotees willing to trudge miles in any manner of weather, lugging a huge, incommodious and appallingly heavy bag with them, in pursuit of a tiny and fantastically expensive ball, in a fanatical attempt to direct it into a hole the size of a beer glass half a mile away. If anything could be better calculated to convince one of the essential lunacy of the human race, I haven't found it.
Golf cannot be played in anger, or in any mood of emotiional excess. Half the golf balls struck by amateurs are hit if not in rage surely in bewilderment, or gloom, or in cynicism, or even hysterically - all of those emotional excesses must be contained by the professional. Which is why balance is one of the essential ingredients of golf. Professionals invariably trudge phlegmatically around the course - whatever emotions are seething within - with the grim yet placid and bored look of cowpokes, slack-bodied in their saddles, who have been tending the same herd for two months.
For, after all, every one who wishes to gain true knowledge must climb the Hill Difficulty alone, and since there is no royal road to the summit, I must zigzag it in my own way. I slip back many times, I fall, I stand still, I run against the edge of hidden obstacles, I lose my temper and find it again and keep it better, I trudge on, I gain a little, I feel encouraged, I get more eager and climb higher and begin to see the widening horizon. Every struggle is a victory. One more effort and I reach the luminous cloud, the blue depths of the sky, the uplands of my desire.
Life is like invading Russia. A blitz start, massed shakos, plumes dancing like a flustered henhouse; a period of svelte progress recorded in ebullient despatches as the enemy falls back; then the beginning of a long, morale-sapping trudge with rations getting shorter and the first snowflakes upon your face. The enemy burns Moscow and you yield to General January, whose fingernails are very icicles. Bitter retreat. Harrying Cossacks. Eventually you fall beneath a boy-gunner's grapeshot while crossing some Polish river not even marked on your general's map.
Christmas turns things tail-end foremost. The day and the spirit of Christmas rearrange the world parade. As the world arranges it, usually there come first in importance -- leading the parade with a big blare of a band -- the Big Shots. Frequently they are also the Stuffed Shirts. That's the first of the parade. Then at the tail end, as of little importance, trudge the weary, the poor, the lame, the halt, and the blind. But in the Christmas spirit, the procession is turned around. Those at the tail end are put first in the arrangement of the Child of Christmas.
When he came home early, he was dreary. There, he'd sit by the fireplace, his worn hands gripping the newspaper a bit too tight, his eyes held to it, unseeing, towards the words, the meaningless grouping of letters on that newspaper. The fire would cackle, sizzle, full of life, so opposite to this man, whose face was crossed with the burdens of the world, and lips pressed thing under that bushy mustache. His grief sat on him like a cloud, sending him into a dimension that left his eyes two empty coals, his chest an impossible storm. He spoke to no one, and hardly did anyone speak to him, because words were never something he was good at. Then, when the sky darkened, he's stand, and trudge to his room, where his bed waited, cold and hungry, just as he'd always known it to be.
The truth is that she was always much more forgiving of animals than people... Her sympathy for the underdog-or the underwasp, underrat, undercat, undersnail, underbird, underspider, undermouse, undergecko, undercentipede-was limitless. In the depths of a gloomy London winter she would trudge to the park with a bag of snacks-stale bread specially sauteed in drippings-for the poor freezing seagulls and ducks. At the height of a Provencal summer she would fill a shallow bowl with water, put it on the terrace, and watch, transfixed, as the poor thirsty wasps hovered just above the surface to take a restorative sip or two. Dogs and cats slept in her bed, baby birds were fed warm milk with eyedroppers, spiders were fished out of baths, and a colony or red ants, which feasted on honey and scurried around inside a special box with a glass lid, lived on the kitchen table in London for many years.
I watch Ethan try to connect the dots in his head, And suddenly his face falls into a sad smile. "Oh, " he says. And that's all. I walk over to him, my bare feet sinking into the sand as I trudge along. He's grinning at me now, but it's not the usual plastered-on smile he usually has. This one is somehow more authentic. When I'm within a few feet of him, he holds his arms out. "You're going to be such a good leader, " he says. "I'm so proud of you, Five." I embrace Ethan. His arms fold around me as he pats me on the back. He lets out a long, slow sigh and then starts to say something. I cut him off before he can get the words out. I can't stand to hear him say another thing. "Ethan, I'm really sorry about this. But it's for the best." I can feel his body clench as the blade slips out of my forearm sheath and into his back. It slides between his ribs-a lucky shot- then retracts back into my hoodie sleeve. It's over in an instant. I step away from him. He stands frozen, probably in shock. There's a deep spot of read blooming across the right side of his chest where the blade must have broken the skin. Blood drops down from the hidden wrist sheath, running over my right hand before falling from my fingertips to the sand. "It's over, " I murmur, more to myself than to Ethan. He's probably not paying much attention to what I have to say. Tears are welling in his good eye, but I don't know if they're for me or for himself. He blinks once and then falls to the beach with a soft thud.
HlI watch Ethan try to connect the dots in his head, And suddenly his face falls into a sad smile. "Oh, " he says. And that's all. I walk over to him, my bare feet sinking into the sand as I trudge along. He's grinning at me now, but it's not the usual plastered-on smile he usually has. This one is somehow more authentic. When I'm within a few feet of him, he holds his arms out. "You're going to be such a good leader, " he says. "I'm so proud of you, Five." I embrace Ethan. His arms fold around me as he pats me on the back. He lets out a long, slow sigh and then starts to say something. I cut him off before he can get the words out. I can't stand to hear him say another thing. "Ethan, I'm really sorry about this. But it's for the best." I can feel his body clench as the blade slips out of my forearm sheath and into his back. It slides between his ribs-a lucky shot- then retracts back into my hoodie sleeve. It's over in an instant. I step away from him. He stands frozen, probably in shock. There's a deep spot of read blooming across the right side of his chest where the blade must have broken the skin. Blood drops down from the hidden wrist sheath, running over my right hand before falling from my fingertips to the sand. "It's over, " I murmur, more to myself than to Ethan. He's probably not paying much attention to what I have to say. Tears are welling in his good eye, but I don't know if they're for me or for himself. He blinks once and then falls to the beach with a soft thud.
The Author To Her Book Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain, Who after birth did'st by my side remain, Till snatcht from thence by friends, less wise than true, Who thee abroad exposed to public view, Made thee in rags, halting to th' press to trudge, Where errors were not lessened (all may judge). At thy return my blushing was not small, My rambling brat (in print) should mother call. I cast thee by as one unfit for light, The visage was so irksome in my sight, Yet being mine own, at length affection would Thy blemishes amend, if so I could. I washed thy face, but more defects I saw, And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw. I stretcht thy joints to make thee even feet, Yet still thou run'st more hobbling than is meet. In better dress to trim thee was my mind, But nought save home-spun cloth, i' th' house I find. In this array, 'mongst vulgars may'st thou roam. In critic's hands, beware thou dost not come, And take thy way where yet thou art not known. If for thy father askt, say, thou hadst none; And for thy mother, she alas is poor, Which caused her thus to send thee out of door.
Prison Moon Four a.m. work duty and I begin my solitary trudge from outer compound to main building. A shivering guard, chilled in his lonely outpost, strip searches me until content that my inconsequential nudity. poses no threat and then whispers the secret code that allows me admittance into the open quarter-mile walkway. I chuff my way into another day as ice glints on the razor wire and the rifles note my numbed passage, silent but for my huffs and scuffle on the cracked, slippery sidewalk A new moon, veiled in wispy fog and beringed in glory, hangs over the prison, its gaudy glow taunting the halogen spotlights. The moon's creamy pull upsets some liquid equilibrium within me and like tides, wolves and all manner of madmen, I surrender disturbed by the certainty that under the bony luminescence of a grinning moon The lunar deliriums grip me and I howl-once, then again, and surely somewhere an unbound sleeper stirs, penitence is dying a giddy death. I shake myself sane and as the echoes hang in the frigid air I explain to the wild-eyed guard that convicts, like all animals under the leash, must bay at the beauty beyond them.
Jorge Antonio Renaud
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of disappointed shells that dropped behind. GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!- An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And floundering like a man in fire or lime.- Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, - My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.
Dulce Et Decorum Est Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of disappointed shells that dropped behind. GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!- An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And floundering like a man in fire or lime.- Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, - My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.
Think about it: If you have saved just enough to have your own house, your own car, a modicum of income to pay for food, clothes, and a few conveniences, and your everyday responsibilities start and end only with yourself... You can afford not to do anything outside of breathing, eating, and sleeping. Time would be an endless, white blanket. Without folds and pleats or sudden rips. Monday would look like Sunday, going sans adrenaline, slow, so slow and so unnoticed. Flowing, flowing, time is flowing in phrases, in sentences, in talk exchanges of people that come as pictures and videos, appearing, disappearing, in the safe, distant walls of Facebook. Dial fast food for a pizza, pasta, a burger or a salad. Cooking is for those with entire families to feed. The sala is well appointed. A day-maid comes to clean. Quietly, quietly she dusts a glass figurine here, the flat TV there. No words, just a ho-hum and then she leaves as silently as she came. Press the shower knob and water comes as rain. A TV remote conjures news and movies and soaps. And always, always, there's the internet for uncomplaining company. Outside, little boys and girls trudge along barefoot. Their tinny, whiny voices climb up your windowsill asking for food. You see them. They don't see you. The same way the vote-hungry politicians, the power-mad rich, the hey-did-you-know people from newsrooms, and the perpetually angry activists don't see you. Safely ensconced in your tower of concrete, you retreat. Uncaring and old./HOW EASY IT IS NOT TO CARE
Distance changes utterly when you take the world on foot. A mile becomes a long way, two miles literally considerable, ten miles whopping, fifty miles at the very limits of conception. The world, you realize, is enormous in a way that only you and a small community of fellow hikers know. Planetary scale is your little secret. Life takes on a neat simplicity, too. Time ceases to have any meaning. When it is dark, you go to bed, and when it is light again you get up, and everything in between is just in between. It's quite wonderful, really. You have no engagements, commitments, obligations, or duties; no special ambitions and only the smallest, least complicated of wants; you exist in a tranquil tedium, serenely beyond the reach of exasperation, 'far removed from the seats of strife, ' as the early explorer and botanist William Bartram put it. All that is required of you is a willingness to trudge. There is no point in hurrying because you are not actually going anywhere. However far or long you plod, you are always in the same place: in the woods. It's where you were yesterday, where you will be tomorrow. The woods is one boundless singularity. Every bend in the path presents a prospect indistinguishable from every other, every glimpse into the trees the same tangled mass. For all you know, your route could describe a very large, pointless circle. In a way, it would hardly matter. At times, you become almost certain that you slabbed this hillside three days ago, crossed this stream yesterday, clambered over this fallen tree at least twice today already. But most of the time you don't think. No point. Instead, you exist in a kind of mobile Zen mode, your brain like a balloon tethered with string, accompanying but not actually part of the body below. Walking for hours and miles becomes as automatic, as unremarkable, as breathing. At the end of the day you don't think, 'Hey, I did sixteen miles today, ' any more than you think, 'Hey, I took eight-thousand breaths today.' It's just what you do.
I'll tell you what, ' she said, prepared to make a deal. 'Let's see how your 'diplomacy' would profit us. If you can give me a decent solution to a pretend situation, I'll agree to have you accompany me instead of Shanks. Although, I don't know how wise it is to leave a Viidun captain on the Kemeniroc in your absence.' Derian agreed to the test. 'Okay, what's your question?' She thought hard for a moment; her eyes scrunching in concentration, lips pulled down to one side. Then, as a crooked grin spread across her lips, she set up an imagined scenario. 'Pretend we're down on the planet with this King Wennergren when he graciously offers to walk us through his cherished garden. While we're there he begs me to touch his favorite, award-winning flower, hoping my powers will make it thrive and blossom. But for some strange reason it doesn't respond to me the way plants do on our world. Instead of thriving, the flower withers and dies right before his shocked and furious eyes. Now pretend he's easily offended and has a horrible temper... ' Derian cut it. 'You have no idea what his temperament is like.' 'I know. That's not the point.' Her eyes scolded him for interrupting. 'Just pretend that he becomes outraged by my actions, assuming that I purposefully destroyed his prized plant. The angry king orders both of us to be seized and thrown into his deep, dark, inescapable dungeon. But, somehow we manage to dodge his line of soldiers and run into a nearby congested jungle, hiding beneath the foliage from our determined pursuers. 'Finally, pretend that we trudge along for hours, so deep within the trees that we begin to hear howling in the distance from dangerous, hungry beasts. They seem to sound off all around us. Every now and then we hear weapon's fire as King Wennergren's men fend off these wild animals. This only reminds us that the soldiers are still in pursuit. Far, far buried within the dark jungle we spot a clearing and head for it. Unfortunately, once we reach it we come across an entire pack of ferocious animals who begin to stalk us. So we turn around, only to face a line of soldiers from behind, pointing their weapons our direction. We're surrounded by danger on both sides, Derian! Now, what do you do?' She looked at him, wide-eyed and expectant. 'Eena, you have a terribly overactive imagination, ' he said flatly. She rolled her eyes, then impatiently asked him again, 'Well? What would you do?' 'I'd stop pretending." She fell back in her chair, groaning. 'You're still not going.' 'Try and stop me, ' he dared. 'You know I can, ' she reminded him. He glared at her. 'When the time comes, we'll see.
Richelle E. Goodrich