From p. 40 of Signet Edition of Thomas Wolfe’s – You Can’t Go Home Again (1940)

Some things will never change. Some things will always be the same. Lean down your ear upon the earth and listen.

The voice of forest water in the night, a woman’s laughter in the dark, the clean, hard rattle of raked gravel, the cricketing stitch of midday in hot meadows, the delicate web of children’s voices in bright air–these things will never change.

The glitter of sunlight on roughened water, the glory of the stars, the innocence of morning, the smell of the sea in harbors, the feathery blur and smoky buddings of young boughs, and something there that comes and goes and never can be captured, the thorn of spring, the sharp and tongueless cry–these things will always be the same.

All things belonging to the earth will never change–the leaf, the blade, the flower, the wind that cries and sleeps and wakes again, the trees whose stiff arms clash and tremble in the dark, and the dust of lovers long since buried in the earth–all things proceeding from the earth to seasons, all things that lapse and change and come again upon the earth–these things will always be the same, for they come up from the earth that never changes, they go back into the earth that lasts forever. Only the earth endures, but it endures forever.

The tarantula, the adder, and the asp will also never change. Pain and death will always be the same. But under the pavements trembling like a pulse, under the buildings trembling like a cry, under the waste of time, under the hoof of the beast above the broken bones of cities, there will be something growing like a flower, something bursting from the earth again, forever deathless, faithful, coming into life again like April.”
― Thomas WolfeYou Can’t Go Home Again


6 thoughts on “From p. 40 of Signet Edition of Thomas Wolfe’s – You Can’t Go Home Again (1940)

    1. Yes. Sadly the trip was not what I’d hoped it would be. People change, circumstances change, too many unexpected and disappointing changes. I’m still kind of gathering my thoughts before I write about it specifically because I don’t want to write from an emotional place and hurt anyone….so this post is “to be continued”

      1. True! I’ve changed too….which is probably why everything and everyone seemed so foreign on this trip…..thanks for pointing that out, Serv! 🙂

      2. As a veteran of multiple home leavings and comings back … I can definitely say that at least fifty percent of my feelings of alienation come from my own changes; three years is a long time, these days. Hope the processing of the trip goes well for you.

      3. I’m definitely adjusting my views/emotions on the trip and taking ownership of my own changes before writing about it….the other changes I had no control of but they still make me sad…

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