Quiet Thoughts - Quotes
One of the comforts of having children is knowing one's youth has not fled, but merely been passed down to a new generation. They say when a parent dies, a child feels his own mortality. But when a child dies, it's immortality that a parent loses.
American Horror Story: Murder House
The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.
Perhaps when one has come over a long mountainpass, and is hungry, happy, beaten, and sad, and finally humbled, and lonely, perhaps then sunshine is enough.
... or as if a pendulum had swung violently to one side and were now carrying outthe complementary movement in the opposite direction. (!) No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.
Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self
It gets easier. Every day it gets a little easier. But you have to do it every day. That's the hard part. But it does get easier.
I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them.
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
The Call of Cthulhu
Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude.
I guess I could swim for days in the salty sea
But in the end the waves will discolor me
ALAN: Something's happening.
DENNY: What do you mean?
ALAN: I mean it's getting close, Denny. I can just feel this Roe v. Wade being chipped away at this parental consent law, the judicial by-pass hoops. The wall's coming down, I can feel it.
DENNY: May I say something? Friend to friend? You pro-choice people, you need Roe v. Wade. You're desperate for it. Not because you're sure of your opinion but because you're not. You need to cling to that ruling as moral validation for a position you're not entirely comfortable with deep down.Boston Legal, Roe
Some day soon, perhaps in forty years, there will be no one alive who has ever known me. That's when I will be truly dead - when I exist in no one's memory. I thought a lot about how someone very old is the last living individual to have known some person or cluster of people. When that person dies, the whole cluster dies,too, vanishes from the living memory. I wonder who that person will be for me. Whose death will make me truly dead?
Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy
Everyone who terrifies you is sixty-five percent water. And everyone you love is made of stardust, and I know sometimes you cannot even breathe deeply, and the night sky is no home, and you have cried yourself to sleep enough times that you are down to your last two percent, but nothing is infinite, not even loss. You are made of the sea and the stars, and one day you are going to find yourself again.
I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking. The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.
It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It's called living.
Take death for example. A great deal of our effort goes into avoiding it. We make extraordinary efforts to delay it, and often consider its intrusion a tragic event. Yet we’d find it hard to live without it. Death gives meaning to our lives. It gives importance and value to time. Time would become meaningless if there were too much of it.
A spider lives inside my head
Who weaves a strange and wondrous web
Of silken threads and silver strings
To catch all sorts of flying things,
Like crumbs of thoughts and bits of smiles
And specks of dried-up tears,
And dust of dreams that catch and cling
For years and years and years...
The world is full of fathers, but there are very few men worthy of being called "Daddy" by their child.
When I was a child at sixteen, I was just a child. All sixteen year-olds are just children. As much as we like them to be adults, they are just children. And like all children, they need their mother, and they need their father. All children need their mother and their father. All children are entitled to their mother and their father.
sonder - n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.
We each owe a death - there are no exceptions. The Green Mile
I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.
The biggest difference I have found when working photochemically versus digitally on motion pictures is the length of time the takes can last. Broadly, a 1,000ft roll of 35mm film lasts around nine-and-a-half minutes before running out, while a digital tape or recording card or hard drive can last from 40 minutes to over an hour and a half. This translates to a very different rhythm on the floor; the pressure to "cut" to save film is alleviated.
Archiving digital images is a technological dilemma. The idea of that discovered shoebox of pictures, or wedding album, will not exist digitally in your camera or on your computer or in a "cloud": you should print them. I often feel a photochemical image contains the mass of the subject and dimension; a digital image often feels as if it is mass-less. This could be nostalgia or simply how I learned to see. Others will not have this learning: they will probably never experience a photochemical image. Is this loss a tragedy, a revolution, an evolution? What have we lost, and what have we gained?
I will miss walking on to a photochemical film set. It has a magic to me. When the director says: "Action", and the film is rolling, it feels like something is at stake. It feels important and intense. In a way, death is present in the rolling of that film – we live, right now – and the director says: "Cut". And that moment in time is captured on film, really.
Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.
The best thing for being sad is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.
The Once and Future King
The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever. When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in bad condition in the particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is "So it goes."
I no longer needed a reason for my existence, just a reason to live. And imagination, free will, love, humor, fun, music, sports, beer, and pizza are all good enough reasons for living. But living an honest life - for that you need the truth.
Why I’m an Atheist
We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?
Unweaving the Rainbow
If your philosophy is not unsettled daily then you are blind to all the universe has to offer.
I have no right, by anything I do or say, to demean a human being in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him; it is what he thinks of himself. To undermine a man's self-respect is a sin.
I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day, saying... "I will try again tomorrow."
If all of us acted in unison as I act individually there would be no wars and no poverty. I have made myself personally responsible for the fate of every human being who has come my way.
The feeling of awed wonder that science can give us is one of the highest experiences of which the human pysche is capable. It is a deep aesthetic passion to rank with the finest that music and poetry can deliver. It is truly one of the things that makes life worth living and it does so, if anything, more effectively if it convinces us that the time we have for living it is fragile.
Unweaving the Rainbow
I thought I was going to sneak away tonight. What a glorious night. Every face I see is a memory. It may not be a perfectly perfect memory. Sometimes we had our ups and downs. But we're all together and you're mine for a night. And I'm going to break precedent and tell you my one-candle wish: That you would have a life as lucky as mine, where you can wake up one morning and say, "I don't want anything more."
Sixty-five years. Don't they go by in a blink...
Meet Joe Black
A solitary, unused to speaking of what he sees and feels, has mental experiences which are at once more intense and less articulate than those of the gregarious man. They are sluggish, yet more wayward, and never without a melancholy tinge. Sights and impressions which others brush aside with a glance, a light comment, a smile, occupy him more than their due; they sink silently in, they take on meaning, they become experience, emotion, adventure. Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous - to poetry.
Death in Venice
(contributed by beccalita)
But the more I read... after awhile... I begin to find they were all writing about the same thing, this same dull old here-today-gone-tomorrow scene... Shakespeare, Milton, Matthew Arnold, even Baudelaire, even this cat whoever he was that wrote Beowulf... the same scene for the same reasons and to the same end, whether it was Dante with his pit or Baudelaire with his pot... the same dull old scene...
Sometimes A Great Notion
(contributed by Neil.H)
I feel so alone sometimes. The night is quiet for me. I'd love to be able to sleep. I'll probably not rest. I have no need for all this. Help me, Lord.
As long as you know I am waiting, take your time flowers of the spring.
I love the autumn for its sense of melancholy seems to strike my need for sadness. There is poetry in the dying of the year and mystery as well.
Very few people are capable of being independent; it is a privelege of the strong. And whoever tries it, however justified, without having to, proves that he is probably not only strong but bold to the point of complete recklessness. For he walks into a labyrinth; he increases a thousandfold the dangers which are inherent in life anyway. And not the smallest of his dangers is that no one can witness how or where he loses his way, falls into solitude, or is torn to pieces by some troglodytic minotaur of conscience. When such a man perishes, it happens so far from human understanding that other men have no feeling for it, no fellow feeling.
(contributed by beccalita)
I'm asked a lot what the best thing about cooking for a living is. And it's this: to be a part of a subculture. To be part of a historical continuum, a secret society with its own language and customs.
(contributed by Inga)
A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest- a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation, and a foundation for inner security.
The Full Catastrophe of Living
(contributed by Alyssa)
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
(contributed by Sissy :))
Strange is our situation here upon earth. However, there is one thing that we do know. That man is here for the sake of other men. Above all for those upon whose smile and well being our own happiness depends. And also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy.
(contributed by y lemire)
Walking the streets on winter nights kept him warm, despite the cold nocturnal passions of uprising winds. His footsteps led between trade-marked houses, two up and two down, with digital chimneys like pigs' tits on the rooftops sending up heat and smoke into the cold trough of a windy sky. Stars hid like snipers, taking aim now and again when clouds gave them a loophole. Winter was an easy time for him to hide his secrets, for each dark street patted his shoulder and became a friend, and the gaseous eye of each lamp glowed unwinking as he passed.
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
(contributed by Keenan)
A book no more contains reality than a clock contains time. A book may measure so-called reality as a clock measures so-called time; a book may create an illusion of reality as a clock creates an illusion of time; a book may be real, just as a clock is real (both more real, perhaps, than those ideas to which they allude); but let's not kid ourselves -- all a clock contains is wheels and springs and all a book contains is sentences.
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
(contributed by howitzer)
Our songs travel the earth. We sing to one another. Not a single note is ever lost and no song is original.
The Master Butchers Singing Club
(contributed by Amy Steidinger)
My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends It gives a lovely light!
A Fig From a Thistle
(contributed by cindy heffley)
Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move on. They move away. The moments that used to define them - a mother's approval, a father's nod - are covered by moments of their own accomplishments. It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives.
The Five People You Meet In Heaven
(contributed by Inga)
There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.