Be Good to Your Enemies, He said!

 The following is an excerpt from John Knowles novel, A Separate Peace. It was made into a movie some years ago by Paramount, directed by Larry Peerce and was on the bestsellar list for over a DECADE! Mr. Knowles didn’t write much else- Morning in Antibes and Double Vision. I consider A Separate Peace his life’s masterpiece. This is the end of the book and is profoundly disturbing.
    Only Phineas never was afraid, only Phineas never hated anyone. Other people experience this fearful shock somewhere, this sighting of the enemy, and so began an obsessive labor of defense, began to parry the menace they saw facing them by developing a particular frame of mind, "You see," their behavior toward everything and everyone proclaimed, " I am a humble ant; I am nothing, I am not worthy of this menace ," or else, like Mr. Ludsbury, "How dare this threaten me, I am much too good for this sort of handling. I shall rise above this," or else, like Quackenbush, strike out at it always and everywhere, or else, like Brinker, develop a careless general resentment against it,  or else, like Leper, emerge from a protective cloud of vagueness only to meet it, the horror, face to face, just as he had always feared, and so give up the struggle absolutely.
     All of them, all except Phineas, constructed at infinite cost to themselves these Maginot Lines against this enemy they thought they saw across the frontier, this enemy who never attacked that way- if he EVER attacked at all; if he was indeed the enemy.
Do I need to tell you The Castle Lady hates war? 
There is only one thing rarer in this world than finding a real love
and that is  finding a true friendship. Don’t be a traitor to your own heart.
Find  friendship first, because it will last longer. 
      – Evelyn M. Wallace December 12, 2006     

About Evelyn

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