February 5, 2023

By Arthur H. Gunther III


     James Joyce, the writer who had to leave Dublin to narrate its soul, is remembered for more than classic works like “Dubliner” and Ulysses.” His story and character quotes are almost unbelievable pull-outs from the recesses of our minds.

     “Shut your eyes and see.” How many of us, tripping over our words so fast they spill from overworked mouths never close our eyes to see truth?

     “Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.” Life is a circle, my friend, not always a merry-go-round, and the roundabout journey surely can bring you home again.

     “History,” Stephen said, “is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” The past – our own, the world’s – is forever ours, the bad dreams too.

     “He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.” Writing is rhythm, sometimes a tune, sometimes an opera, Broadway musical, hip hop, Detroit, cultural definition. And then there is music in our own voice.

     “Life is too short to read a bad book.” Not only a book, but an article, a social media post. Twitter.

     “Mr. Duffy lived a short distance from his body.” Don’t we all at times?

     “I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.” Life is the sum of it all, and before its end, the way stops also define.

     “But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires.” No existence should be without romance.

     The writer is a retired newspaperman reachable at ahgunther@yahoo.com