"Perhaps she wasn’t even pretty, but she had the glow that makes men follow a woman in the hope of reflecting a little of it." (p. 387)
East of Eden Project (“Abra” drawing #6)
“We all have that heritage, no matter what old land our fathers left. All colors and blends of Americans have somewhat the same tendencies. It’s a breed— selected out by accident. And so we’re overbrave and overfearful— we’re kind and cruel as children. We’re overfriendly and at the same time frightened of strangers. We boast and are impressed. We’re oversentimental and realistic. We are mundane and materialistic— and do you know of any other nation that acts for ideals? We eat too much. We have no taste, no sense of proportion. We throw our energy about like waste. In the old lands they say of us that we go from barbarism to decadence without an intervening culture. Can it be that our critics have not the key or the language of our culture? That’s what we are, Cal— all of us.”
East of Eden Project ( “Cal” drawing#5 )
I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one, that has frightened and inspired us, so that we live in a Pearl White serial of continuing thought and wonder. Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice andcruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on field and river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is not other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?
East of Eden project (drawing #4 Carousel Rain)
When a child first catches adults out—when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just—his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone…. And the child’s world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing. (pg. 19-20)
“In human affairs of danger and delicacy successful conclusion is sharply limited by hurry. So often, men trip by being in a rush. If one were properly to perform a difficult and subtle act, he should first inspect the end to be achieved and then, once he had accepted the end as desirable, he should forget it completely and concentrate solely on the means. By this method he would not be moved by false action by anxiety or hurry or fear. Very few people learn this.” East of Eden p.307
"All great and precious things are lonely."
— John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
When my birthday approaches I think of something spiritually worthwhile. There was nothing as meaningful to me last year as East of Eden by Steinbeck. So drawing the scenes is my new project for getting older. I’ll post them out of order, but with a quote from each page I draw. I hope you enjoy.