Monday, September 20, 2010

America the beautiful

East or West.  Which do you love best?
I always found in myself a dread of west and a love of east.  Where I ever got such an idea I cannot say, unless it could be that the morning came over the peaks of the Gabilans and the night drifted back from the ridges of the Santa Lucias.  It may be that the birth and death of the day had some part in my feeling about the two ranges of mountains.     John Steinbeck, East of Eden
When I go out of the house for a walk, uncertain as yet whither I will bend my steps, and submit myself to my instinct to decide for me, I find, strange and whimsical as it may seem, that I finally and inevitably settle south-west, toward some particular wood or meadow or deserted pasture or hill in that direction... The future lies that way to me, and the earth seems more unexhausted and richer on that side... I turn round and round irresolute sometimes for a quarter of an hour, until I decide for the thousandth time, that I will walk into the south-west or west. Eastward I go only by force; but westward I go free.     Henry David Thoreau, Walking
For say what I will about the West -- Missouri, and Illinois with its enchanted rivers, Indiana and Ohio, and New York State & New England, & all the South...represent the soft, sweet East of this world, as distinguished from the wild and arid west -- and to make a choice between the two is like tearing out & examining the foundations of one's heart, where all ideas about life are stored.  Shall it be the soft, sweet life of the Idyl? ... or the wild & thirsty life?  The life enclosed by horizons, the life of the sweet trees -- or the life of vast, yearning plains.     Jack Kerouac, Journals
I'm still trying to figure this one out myself.  The question is up for debate.

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