“Something has spoken to me in the night, burning the tapers of the waning year; something has spoken in the night, and told me I shall die, I know not where. Saying:
“To lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth–
“–Whereon the pillars of this earth are founded, toward which the conscience of the world is tending–a wind is rising, and the rivers flow.”
–Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again
While it was certainly much more applicable in 2000, I always like to share this selection from my fellow Ashevillan Thomas Wolfe‘s O Lost (the original, longer version of Look Homeward Angel) during election season:
“Oliver Gant had cast his first vote in Baltimore. It was for Ulysses Grant. Now he rode southward under the threatening mutter of a new civil war. Two men named Hayes and Tilden had contested the Presidency with a spirited exchange of vitriol. Mr. Tilden had been given the most votes, but Mr. Hayes had been given the Presidency. And the rabble whose large intelligence had ordained this miracle now stood shirtily around with opened mouths, or went bawling through the streets by torch light in pursuit of the lucid simplicities of democratic government.” (O Lost, p27)
O Lost: A Story of the Buried Life – Google Book Search.
Look Homward Angel