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In England if something goes wrong–say, if one finds a skunk in the garden–he writes to the family solicitor, who proceeds to take the proper measures; whereas in America, you telephone the fire department. Each satisfies a characteristic need; in the English, love of order and legalistic procedure; and here in America, what you like is something vivid, and red, and swift.
Uneasily the leaves fall at this season, forgetting what to do or where to go; the red amnesiacs of autumn drifting thru the graveyard forest. What they have forgotten they have forgotten: what they meant to do instead of fall is not in earth or time recoverable the fossils of intention, the shapes of rot.
When rowan leaves are dank and rusting And rowan berries red as blood, When in my palm the hangman’s thrusting The final nail with bony thud, When, over the foul flooding river, Upon the wet grey height, I toss Before my land’s grim looks, and shiver As I swing here upon the cross, Then, through the blood and weeping, stretches My dying sight to space remote; I see upon the river’s reaches Christ sailing to me in a boat.
Brent Berlin and Paul Kay in Basic Color Terms demonstrate exhaustively and empirically, the very simple thesis that anywhere in the world, as a language develops and acquires names for color, the colors always enter in the same order. The most primitive are black and white. Then red. Then either green or yellow.
The United States is an illegitimate country, just like Israel. It has no right to exist. That country belongs to the Red man, the American Indian… It’s actually a shame to be a so-called American, because everybody living there is a usurper, an invader taking part in this crime, which is to rob the land, rob the country and kill all the American Indians.
International correspondents with their long dictaphones, and dirty jeans, and five hundred words before whiskey, are slouched over the red velvet chairs, in the VIP section in the front, looking for the Story: the Most Macheteing Deathest, Most Treasury Corruptest, Most Entrail-Eating Civil Warest, Most Crocodile-Grinning Dictatorest, MOst Heart-Wrenching and Genociding Pulitzerest, Most Black Big-Eyed Oxfam Child Starvingest, Most Wild African Savages Having AIDS-Ridden Sexest with Genetically Mutilatedest Girls…The Most Authentic Real Black Africanest story they can find.
As we’re leaving the King’s Arms Hotel after Sunday lunch, I watch a beautiful white dove walking down the wet road. A car approaches and the bird accidentally turns into the wheel rather than away from it. A gentle crunch. The car passes. A shape like a discarded napkin left in the road. Still perfectly white, no red stains, but bearing no relation anymore to the shape of a bird. A trail of white feathers flutter down the road after the car. The suddeness is very upsetting. That gentle crunch.
Let’s think of reverence as awe, as presence in and openness to the world…Try walking around with a child who’s going, ‘Wow, wow! Look at that dirty dog! Look at that burned-down house! Look at that red sky!’ And the child points, and you look, and you see, and you start going, ‘Wow! Look at that huge crazy hedge! Look at that teeny little baby! Look at the scary dark cloud!’ I think this is how we are supposed to be in the world – present and in awe.
I’m frightened of eggs, worse than frightened; they revolt me. That round white thing without any holes, and when you break it, inside there’s that yellow thing, round, without any holes… Brrr! Have you ever seen anything more revolting than an egg yolk breaking and spilling its yellow liquid? Blood is jolly, red. But egg yolk is yellow, revolting. I’ve never tasted it.