When I speak of God, I mean that god who prevented man from putting forth his hand and taking also of the fruit of the tree of life that he might live forever; of that god who multiplied the agonies of woman, increased the weary toil of man, and in his anger drowned a world—of that god whose altars reeked with human blood, who butchered babes, violated maidens, enslaved men and filled the earth with cruelty and crime; of that god who made heaven for the few, hell for the many, and who will gloat forever and ever upon the writhings of the lost and damned.
Human beings are so destructive," Malcolm said. "I sometimes think we're a kind of plague, that will scrub the earth clean. We destroy things so well that I sometimes think, maybe that's our function. Maybe every few eons, some animal comes along that kills off the rest of the world, clears the decks, and lets evolution proceed to its next phase.
Before your reach your destination, you'll find yourself going through the wilderness. There's some survival skills that you'll need master through the wilderness journey. While in the wilderness, your faith will be tried and tested. You'll become humble. Your vision for your life will get clearer. You're in training for your purpose. You'll lose some friends, because there's some folks who are only with you because of where they think your journey will lead THEM. Don't worry, they're a little confused... but it was meant for them to get lost during this phase. Walk on. Continue on your journey. Soon, you'll be approaching the mountain. Get ready to climb!
Kessler depicts his developing intimacy with a handful of dairy goats and offers an enviable glimpse of the pastoral good life. Yet he also cautions, "Wherever the notion of paradise exists, so does the idea that it was lost. Paradise is always in the past." The title Goat Song is a literal rendering of the Greek word traghoudhia, tragedy. Reading it, I was reminded of Leo Marx's analysis of Thoreau's Walden. In The Machine in the Garden, Marx names Thoreau a tragic, if complex pastoralist. After failing to make an agrarian living raising beans for commercial trade (although his intent was always more allegorical than pecuniary), Thoreau ends Walden by replacing the pastoral idea where it originated: in literature. Paradise, Marx concludes, is not ultimately to be found at Walden Pond; it is to be found in the pages of Walden.