by Sarah Vowell (b. 1969)
American historian, humorist, journalist
from her essay, "the End is Near, Nearer, Nearest,"
in her book Take the Cannoli
"While I'm hardly the most optimistic American, I [do not share a] wholly cynical picture of current events. Heaven, such as it is, is right here on earth.* Behold my revelation: I stand at the door in the morning, and lo, there is a newspaper, in sight like unto an emerald. And holy, holy, holy, is the coffee, which was, and is, and is to come. And hark, I hear the voice of an angel round about the radio, saying, 'Since my baby left me I found a new place to dwell.' And lo, after this I behold a great multitude, which no man could number, of shoes. And after these things I will hasten unto a taxicab and to a theater, where a ticket will be given unto me, and lo, it will be a matinee, and a film that doeth great wonders. And when it is finished, the heavens will open, and out will come a rain fragrant as myrrh, and Yea, I have an umbrella" (p 52).
read more about Sarah Vowell's books on KITTI'S LIST
See "My Favorite American Historians" (July 2009)
*Similarly, Walt Whitman has written:
I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk
of the beginning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.
There was never any more inception than there is now.
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now.
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.
from Song of Myself