Because it is now the holiday season and important to be a little cheesy but not so very much cheesy, and because there are poetry-like things in things that aren’t really poems, and because a lot of us have been in other places these days, some thoughts from a guy named William Saroyan:
Places make us—let’s not imagine that once we’re here anything else does. First genes, then places—after that it’s every man for himself, god help us, and good luck to one and all.
The fascinating thing most likely though is how the same place—a miserable school, for instance, with rotten teachers—bores one man into art, and drives another into crime—the only two arenas we really have: art, making: crime, taking. (The genes, the genes, cries the man who believes inheritance, not environment, does it. But does it? Alone? I have never seen poor people in the slums who were not equal to being instantly clean and refined in a mansion with a million dollars. And take away the millionaire’s money and put him in the slums and how elegant will he be fighting mice and cockroaches?
Yes all well and good perhaps you are saying, but doesn’t that mean that people make me? Of course, but people are places.
(P.S. If you’re looking for a good place to be, one thought: Sycamore.)