Posts with tag: quotes

For George Floyd,

How shall Integrity face Oppression? What shall Honesty do in the face of Deception, Decency in the face of Insult, Self-Defense before Blows? How shall Desert and Accomplishment meet Despising, Detraction, and Lies? What shall Virtue do to meet Brute Force? There are so many answers and so contradictory; and such differences for those on the one hand who meet questions similar to this once a year or once a decade, and those who face them hourly and daily.

∽ W.E.B. Du Bois

I don’t even have to do nothin’ to you. You’ll cause your own country to fall.

∽ Stevie Wonder, Big Brother, 1972

The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.

∽ G.K. Chesterton

The world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home. Teachers are everywhere. What is wanted is a learner.

∽ Wendell Berry

No domestic animal can be as still as a wild animal. The civilized people have lost the aptitude of stillness, and must take lessons in silence from the wild before they are accepted by it.

∽ Isak Dinesen

The true and durable path into and through experience involves being true to the actual givens of your lives. True to your own solitude, true to your own secret knowledge. Because oddly enough, it is that intimate, deeply personal knowledge that links us most vitally and keeps us most reliably connected to one another.

∽ Seamus Heaney,
University of North Carolina Commencement Address, 1996

There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song — but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny.

∽ Pablo Neruda, from his Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

It’s peculiar, as soon as I am in the midst of nature and by myself, everything that is base and trivial vanishes without trace. On such days nothing scares me; and this helps me again and again.

∽ Gustav Mahler

For the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

∽ George Eliot

No dictatorship can tolerate jazz. It is the first sign of a return to freedom.

∽ Dave Brubeck

Civilization has been thrust upon me and it has not added one whit to my love for truth, honesty, and generosity.

∽ Luther Standing Bear

I wish the world were ending tomorrow. Then I could take the next train, arrive at your doorstep in Vienna, and say: “Come with me, Milena. We are going to love each other without scruples or fear or restraint. Because the world is ending tomorrow.” Perhaps we don’t love unreasonably because we think we have time, or have to reckon with time. But what if we don’t have time? Or what if time, as we know it, is irrelevant? Ah, if only the world were ending tomorrow. We could help each other very much.

∽ Franz Kafka

Baseball is not life. It is a fiction, a metaphor. And a ballplayer is a man who agrees to uphold that metaphor as though lives were at stake.

∽ David James Duncan

What was the rock my gliding childhood struck, 
And what bright unreal path has led me here?

∽ Philip Larkin

One plot line that was left out of the New Testament was that Doubting Thomas just followed Jesus around saying “But who’s gonna pay for all that?” to whoever was within earshot.

∽ Owen Cunningham

No worthy problem is ever solved within the plane of its original conception.

∽ Albert Einstein

Via the Hammock Papers.

Problems which bear directly on the future of our civilization cannot be disposed of by general talk or vague formulae—by what Lincoln called “pernicious abstractions.” They require concrete solutions for definite and extremely complicated questions.

∽ General James Mattis

It is a frightful satire and an epigram on the modern age that the only use it knows for solitude is to make it a punishment, a jail sentence.

∽ Soren Kierkegaard

The year was rolling down, and a vital curve had been reached, the tilt that gives way to headlong rush. And when the monarch butterflies had passed and were gone, the skies were vacant, the air poised. The dark night into which the year was plunging was not a sleep but an awakening, a new and necessary austerity, the sparer climate for which I longed. The shed trees were brittle and still, the creek light and cold, and my spirit holding its breath.

∽ Annie Dillard