The way orthodoxy synthesizes the New Testament’s complexities has forced churchgoers of every prejudice and persuasion to confront a side of Jesus that cuts against their own assumptions. A rationalist has to confront the supernatural Christ, and a pure mystic the worldly, eat-drink-and-be-merry Jesus, with his wedding feasts and fish fries. A Reaganite conservative has to confront the Jesus who railed against the rich; a post–sexual revolution liberal, the Jesus who forbade divorce. There is something to please almost everyone in the orthodox approach to the gospels, but something to challenge them as well. A choose-your-own Jesus mentality, by contrast, encourages spiritual seekers to screen out discomfiting parts of the New Testament and focus only on whichever Christ they find most congenial.From Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden
There was a fundamental difference, in his view, between prisoners who arrived from the outside and those who were born in the camp: many outsiders, shattered by the contrast between a comfortable past and a punishing present, could not find or maintain the will to survive. A perverse benefit of birth in the camp was a complete absence of expectations. And so Shin’s misery never skidded into complete hopelessness.From Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella
The cornstalks are now toast brown in the orangeade sunshine of October; the ballpark smells of burning leaves and frost. The ever-listening corn rustles like crumpling paper in the Indian-summer breeze.From In Defense of Sanity by
I’ll tell him of the warm-ups, of the home team in their white uniforms doing calisthenics and wind sprints like fast-flying sailboats on a green sea.
But my compulsion is stronger than my guilt.
Chesterton:Therefore there is in them a mere dead identity, never that soft play of slight variation which exists in things produced everywhere out of the soil, in the milk of the kine, or the fruits of the orchard. You can get a whisky and soda at every outpost of the Empire: that is why so many Empire-builders go mad. But you are not tasting or touching any environment, as in the cider of Devonshire or the grapes of the Rhine. You are not approaching Nature in one of her myriad tints of mood, as in the holy act of eating cheese.From Lynch's Truth Like the Sun:
“Let cats and lizards rejoice in basking in everlasting sunshine,” he says of London’s and Seattle’s similar weather, “but mists and drizzles and even occasional light rains make sunshine all the more welcome and constitute the proper environment of man, wouldn’t you say?”