Katie Lynn's Reviews > Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier

Scribbling the Cat by Alexandra Fuller
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Dec 21, 09

Read in December, 2009

Once again I learn that the human spirit is amazing despite human frailty and fault.

"It's a good thing the Almighty forgives all of us. It doesn't matter"--now he leaned forward and fresh tears sprung--"how much of a shit you are, how much you've destroyed.... The Almighty forgives us. He holds us all in His hands."

"We were all lost after the war," he told me. "I reckon those of us who stopped dopping and sucking cabbage, we started to feel...shit! I mean, we actually started to think about what had happened to us because--you know--we had sobered up. How come we aren't dead? Where are we? Why are we here? What are we doing? We went from this incredible structure, this incredible focus and sense of purpose... You were either in, or out. Alive or dead. And then it was over and... All of a sardine, we had to figure it out by ourselves and what we found is that nothing seemed to matter about the outside world. It was all pointless. How much can it matter what kind of car you drive? How can it matter what you eat, I mean as long as you have enough to eat? How much can it matter what you wear? When you get down to it, what can matter more than being alive? But then what? You're alive and then... what?"

"I don't think we have all the words in a single vocabulary to explain what we are or why we are. I don't think we have the range of emotion to fully feel what someone else is feeling. I don't think any of us can sit in judgment of another human being. We're incomplete creatures, barely scraping by. Is it possible--from the perspective of this quickly spinning Earth and our speedy journey from crib to coffin--to know the difference between right, wrong, good, and evil? I don't know if it's even useful to try."

"How you see a country depends on whether or not you can leave it, if you have to."

"What do you see when you look in the mirror?" K asked suddenly. "Do you see yourself?"
"Yes."
"But yourself isn't a thing. How can you see something that isn't there? You are just meat and bones. That's what you should see. Flesh and blood, that's all. And all flesh and blood is... Do you want to know what flesh and blood is?" K waited. "You and me and every other person on this earth--we're all just a bloody corpse waiting to happen. I don't care how good-looking you think you are. How successful you believe you are. Your body is still just a corpse-in-waiting."

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Quotes Katie Lynn Liked

Alexandra Fuller
“I don't think we have all the words in a single vocabulary to explain what we are or why we are. I don't think we have the range of emotion to fully feel what someone else is feeling. I don't think any of us can sit in judgment of another human being. We're incomplete creatures, barely scraping by. Is it possible--from the perspective of this quickly spinning Earth and our speedy journey from crib to coffin--to know the difference between right, wrong, good, and evil? I don't know if it's even useful to try.”
Alexandra Fuller, Scribbling the Cat


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