This was once Mazama, I kept reminding myself. This was once a mountain that stood nearly 12, 000 feet tall and then had its heart removed. This was once a wasteland of lava and pumice and ash. This was once an empty bowl that took hundreds of years to fill. But hard as I tried, I couldn't see them in my mind's eye. Not the mountain or the wasteland or the empty bowl. They simply were not there anymore. There was only the stillness and the silence of that water: what a mountain and a wasteland and an empty bowl turned into after the healing process.
When I say that deciding to not kill myself was the worst part, I should clarify that I don't mean it in a retrospective sense. From where I am now, it seems like a solid enough decision. But at the time, it felt like I had been dragging myself through the most miserable, endless wasteland, and-far in the distance-I had seen the promising glimmer of a slightly less miserable wasteland.
He keeps going, going, going on; his people groan and fall one after the other, but he keeps on going, going and in the end, perishes himself, but still remains the despot and tsar of the desert because the cross over his grave is visible to caravans thirty-forty miles away and reigns over the wasteland.
As it happens, I have personally been something of an enthusiast for the London Olympic games, mainly on the grounds a) that a bit of wasteland will be made nice and b) that it tends to make everybody happy that their country should be the centre of world attention for a couple of weeks in their life.
There's more to me, more to the universe, than I suspected. Room for all the dreams I ever had, and all the nightmares...heroes in the gutters and in the mirror; saints in the frozen wasteland; fools and liars on the throne of wisdom, and hands reaching out in hunger that will never be filled.
Joan D. Vinge
Insofar as I think about postmodernism at all, and it doesn't exactly keep me awake at nights, I think of it as something that happens to one, not a style one affects. We're postmoderns because we're not modernists. The modernist writers —Pound, Eliot, Joyce, Stevens, Yeats, Woolf, Williams —spoke with a kind of vatic authority: they were really the last of the Romantics, for whom authorship itself was like being a solitary prophet in the wasteland.
I asked Raghav, as we were looking over the wasteland, if the Muslims they burnt would beg for their lives. "Yes they would say, Have mercy on us. But we were filled with such hate; we had Radhabi Chawl on our minds. And even if there was one who said, Let him go, there would be ten others saying, No kill him. And so we had to kill him. "But what if he was innocent?" Raghav looked at me. "His biggest crime was that he was Muslim.
It was the poem containing the lines: Not wasteland, but a great inverted forest with all foliage underground. As though it might be best to look immediately for shelter, Corinne had to put the book down. At any moment the apartment building seemed liable to lose its balance and topple across Fifth Avenue into Central Park. She waited. Gradually the deluge of truth and beauty abated.
When faced with unbridled wildness of reality, dinosaurs fall into fevered delusions of grandeur. In fits of madness, they recreate the world in their own overblown image, bull-dozing the wild and replacing it with a wasteland that reflects their own emptiness. Where there was once the incredibly complex diversity of nature, there is now the dead simplicity of asphalt and concrete.
Curious George Brigade
When I reflect that one man, armed only with his own physical and moral resources, was able to cause this land of Canaan to spring from the wasteland, I am convinced that in spite of everything, humanity is admirable. But when I compute the unfailing greatness of spirit and the tenacity of benevolence that it must have taken to achieve this result, I am taken with an immense respect for that old and unlearned peasant who was able to complete a work worthy of God.
We have created a manic world nauseous with the pursuit of material wealth. Many also bear their cross of imagined deprivation, while their fellow human beings remain paralyzed by real poverty. We drown in the thick sweetness of our sensual excess, and our shameless opulence, while our discontent souls suffocate in the arid wasteland of spiritual deprivation.
Anthon St. Maarten
The world without spirit is a wasteland. People have the notion of saving the world by shifting things around, changing the rules, and who's on top, and so forth. No, no! Any world is a valid world if it's alive. The thing to do is to bring life to it, and the only way to do that is to find in your own case where the life is and become alive yourself.
The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. In punishment for the uprising, each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate. The twenty-four tributes will be imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could hold anything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland. Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins.
The desert seems to be a brown wasteland of dry, prickly scrub whose only purpose is to serve as a setting for the majestic saguaros. Then, little by little, the plants of the desert begin to identify themselves: the porcupiny yucca, the beaver tail and prickly pear and barrel cacti, buckhorn and staghorn and devil's fingers, the tall, sky-reaching tendrils of the ocotillo.
Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend... when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present - love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure - the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth.
Sarah Ban Breathnach
As we were developing 'Umbral', and I was delving into the mythology and legends, I had a sudden realisation. 'Wasteland' is about people who fervently believe new myths and legends, but they turn out to be false; whereas 'Umbral' is about people who reject ancient myths and legends, but they turn out to be true!
As soon as I stepped onto the train, I knew why Shifters and Weres shunned the contraptions like E.coli avoided antibacterial agents on a petri dish. It smelled. Badly. A putrid mix of old man, sweaty socks, and cigarettes. My nose hairs didn't shrivel; they curled into the fetal position before they withered and died, leaving my nasal passage a dry, barren wasteland no longer capable of being harmed by the olfactory assault.
When television is good, nothing - not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers - nothing is better. But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there for a day without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.
Newton N. Minow
Even the wisest of mankind cannot live by reason alone; pure arrogant reason, denying the claims of prejudice (which commonly are also the claims of conscience), leads to a wasteland of withered hopes and crying loneliness, empty of God and man: the wilderness in which Satan tempted Christ was not more dreadful than the arid expanse of intellectual vanity deprived of tradition and intuition, where modern man is tempted by his own pride.
What's really going on here is, this is a media shift. It's comparable to what happened in the 1950s and the birth of electronic mass media back then.This is the birth of a new kind of personal media, where, instead of we're all watching one program, we're all watching each other. And the history of media makes it really clear. Whenever we have a big innovation, the first wave of stuff we do is pretty crummy. The printing press gave us pornography, cheap thrillers, and how-to books. Television gave us Newt Minow's vast wasteland.
DBT's catchphrase of developing a life worth living means you're not just surviving; rather, you have good reasons for living. I'm also getting better at keeping another dialectic in mind: On the one hand, the disorder decimates all relationships and social functions, so you're basically wandering in the wasteland of your own failure, and yet you have to keep walking through it, gathering the small bits of life that can eventually go into creating a life worth living. To be in the desolate badlands while envisioning the lush tropics without being totally triggered again isn't easy, especially when life seems so effortless for everyone else.
Kiera Van Gelder
But it's a pretense, it's artificial, ' Adelia protested. 'Love, honor, respect. When are they ever extended to everyday women? I doubt if that boy actually practices what he's singing. It's... it's a pleasant hypocrisy.' 'Oh, I have a high regard for hypocrisy, ' the little nun said. 'It pays lip service to an ideal which must, therefore, exist. It recognizes that there is a Good. In its own way, it is a token of civilization. You don't find hypocrisy among the beasts of the field.' 'What good does the Good do if it is not adhered to?' 'That is what I have been wondering, ' Mother Edyve said calmly. 'And I have come to the conclusion that perhaps the early Christians wondered it, too, and perhaps that Eleanor, in her fashion, has made a start by setting a brick in a foundation on which, with God's help, our daughters' daughters can begin to build a new and better Jerusalem.' 'Not in time for Emma, ' Adelia said. 'No.' Perhaps, Adelia thought drearily, it was only a very old woman who could look hopefully on a single brick laid in a wasteland.
Let's make no mistake about this: The American Dream starts with the neighborhoods. If we wish to rebuild our cities, we must first rebuild our neighborhoods. And to do that, we must understand that the quality of life is more important than the standard of living. To sit on the front steps-whether it's a veranda in a small town or a concrete stoop in a big city-and to talk to our neighborhoods is infinitely more important than to huddle on the living-room lounger and watch a make-believe world in not-quite living color... And I hardly need to tell you that in the 19- or 24-inch view of the world, cleanliness has long since eclipsed godliness. Soon we'll all smell, look, and actually be laboratory clean, as sterile on the inside as on the out. The perfect consumer, surrounded by the latest appliances. The perfect audience, with a ringside seat to almost any event in the world, without smell, without taste, without feel-alone and unhappy in the vast wasteland of our living rooms. I think that what we actually need, of course, is a little more dirt on the seat of our pants as we sit on the front stoop and talk to our neighbors once again, enjoying the type of summer day where the smell of garlic travels slightly faster than the speed of sound.
The North Korean capital, Pyongyang, is a city consecrated to the worship of a father-son dynasty. (I came to think of them, with their nuclear-family implications, as 'Fat Man and Little Boy.') And a river runs through it. And on this river, the Taedong River, is moored the only American naval vessel in captivity. It was in January 1968 that the U.S.S. Pueblo strayed into North Korean waters, and was boarded and captured. One sailor was killed; the rest were held for nearly a year before being released. I looked over the spy ship, its radio antennae and surveillance equipment still intact, and found photographs of the captain and crew with their hands on their heads in gestures of abject surrender. Copies of their groveling 'confessions, ' written in tremulous script, were also on show. So was a humiliating document from the United States government, admitting wrongdoing in the penetration of North Korean waters and petitioning the 'D.P.R.K.' (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) for 'lenience.' Kim Il Sung ('Fat Man') was eventually lenient about the men, but not about the ship. Madeleine Albright didn't ask to see the vessel on her visit last October, during which she described the gruesome, depopulated vistas of Pyongyang as 'beautiful.' As I got back onto the wharf, I noticed a refreshment cart, staffed by two women under a frayed umbrella. It didn't look like much-one of its three wheels was missing and a piece of brick was propping it up-but it was the only such cart I'd see. What toothsome local snacks might the ladies be offering? The choices turned out to be slices of dry bread and cups of warm water. Nor did Madeleine Albright visit the absurdly misnamed 'Demilitarized Zone, ' one of the most heavily militarized strips of land on earth. Across the waist of the Korean peninsula lies a wasteland, roughly following the 38th parallel, and packed with a titanic concentration of potential violence. It is four kilometers wide (I have now looked apprehensively at it from both sides) and very near to the capital cities of both North and South. On the day I spent on the northern side, I met a group of aging Chinese veterans, all from Szechuan, touring the old battlefields and reliving a war they helped North Korea nearly win (China sacrificed perhaps a million soldiers in that campaign, including Mao Anying, son of Mao himself). Across the frontier are 37, 000 United States soldiers. Their arsenal, which has included undeclared nuclear weapons, is the reason given by Washington for its refusal to sign the land-mines treaty. In August 1976, U.S. officers entered the neutral zone to trim a tree that was obscuring the view of an observation post. A posse of North Koreans came after them, and one, seizing the ax with which the trimming was to be done, hacked two U.S. servicemen to death with it. I visited the ax also; it's proudly displayed in a glass case on the North Korean side.