“It is the part of wisdom never to revisit a wilderness, for the more golden the lily, the more certain that someone has gilded it. To return not only spoils a trip, but tarnishes a memory. It is only in the mind that shining adventure remains forever bright.”—from A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold
“When I call to mind my earliest impressions, I wonder whether the process ordinarily referred to as growing up is not actually a process of growing down; whether experiences, so much touted among adults as the thing children lack, is not actually a progressive dilution of the essentials by the trivialities of living.”—from A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold
“Growth is, in fact, almost synonymous with the market economy that prevails today. That fact finds its clearest expression in the marketplace maxim, “Grow or die.” We live in a competitive world in which rivalry is a law of economic life; profit, a social as well as personal desideratum; limit or restraint, an archaism; and the commodity, a substitute for the traditional medium for establishing economic relationships—namely, the gift.”—
“The same shows were always playing when we made love. They were stupid shows, Saturday-night shows. But I was afraid to make love to her without the conversations and laughter from that false universe playing in our ears, because I didn’t want to get to know her very well, and didn’t want to be bridging any silences with our eyes.”—
“This is important for me to point out— that sometimes when I think that I’m right, it can be a real source of contention between me and people who I’m close to. And the reason it’s a source of contention, is that I’m right.”—Mike Birbiglia
This episode is so good, didn’t even care it was a rerun. (via oprahisgay)
...the present crisis will not disappear with a switch of channels.
"On a single day, June 23, 1989, three major spills—off Newport, Rhode Island, in the Delaware River, and on the Texas Gulf Coast—dumped a total of well over one million gallons of oil into U.S. waters.
Many find it difficult to see these incidents as part of a continuum that has a common source. To trace a chain of events from its cause to its consequence is an unfamiliar task for people who have been conditioned to see life as a television sit-com or talk show composed of discrete self-contained, anecdotal segments. We live, in effect, on a diet of short takes, devoid of logic or long-range effect. Our problems to the extent that we recognize them as problems at all-are episodic rather than systemic; the scene dissolves, the camera moves on.”
“To catch the bus home each day I walked through a vacant lot, and sometimes I’d run right up on one—one small orange flower that looked as if it had fallen down here from Andromeda, surrounded by a part of the world cast mainly in eleven hundred shades of brown, under a sky whose blueness seemed to get lost in its own distances.”—
“Govinda had become a monk and thousands of monks were his brothers, wore the same gown, shared his beliefs and spoke his language. But he, Siddhartha, where did he belong? Whose life would he share? Whose language would he speak? At that moment, when the world around him melted away, when he stood alone like a star in the heavens, he was overwhelmed by a feeling of icy despair, but he was more firmly himself than ever. That was the last shudder of his awakening, the last pains of birth. Immediately he moved on again and began to walk quickly and impatiently, no longer homewards, no longer to his father, no longer looking backwards.”—Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse
“I was a whimpering dog inside, nothing more than that. I looked for work because people seemed to believe I should look for work, and when I found a job I believed I was happy about it because these same people—counselors and Narcotics Anonymous members and such—seemed to think a job was a happy thing.”—From Denis Johnson’s “Beverly Home,” Jesus’ Son
“I am too alone in the world, and not alone enough
to make every minute holy.
I am too tiny in this world, and not tiny enough
just to lie before you like a thing,
shrewd and secretive.
I want my own will, and I want simply to be with my will,
as it goes toward action,
and in the silent, sometimes hardly moving times
when something is coming near,
I want to be with those who know secret things
or else alone.
I want to be a mirror for your whole body,
and I never want to be blind, or to be too old
to hold up your heavy and swaying picture.
I want to unfold.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere,
because where I am folded, there I am a lie.
And I want my grasp of things
true before you. I want to describe myself
like a painting that I looked at
closely for a long time,
like a saying that I finally understood,
like the pitcher I use every day,
like the face of my mother,
like a ship
that took me safely
through the wildest storm of all.”—Rainer Maria Rilke
“I waited at the other end of the porch, leaning against the rail, and didn’t listen. I don’t know what they said to one another. She walked down the steps, and Wayne followed. He stood hugging himself and talking down at the earth. The wind lifted and dropped her long red hair. She was about forty, with a bloodless, waterlogged beauty. I guessed Wayne was the storm that had stranded her there.”—"Work" by Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son
“I loathe, I spurn your festivals,
I am not appeased by your solemn assemblies.
If you offer Me burnt offerings—or your meal
I will not accept them;
I will pay no heed to your gifts of fatlings.
Spare Me the sound of your hymns,
And let Me not hear the music of your lutes.
But let justice well up like water,
Righteousness like an unfailing stream.”—Amos 5:21-24
“Hey, wasn’t I shooting pool in here with you yesterday?"
“No, I don’t think so.”
“And you said if I’d rack you’d get change in a minute and pay me back?”
“I wasn’t here yesterday. I wasn’t in town.”
“And then you never paid me the quarter? You owe me a quarter, man.”
“I gave you that quarter. I put the quarter right by your hand. Two dimes and a nickel.”
“Somebody’s gonna get fucked up over this.”—from Denis Johnson’s “Happy Hour,” Jesus’ Son
“First I put my lips to her upper lip, then to the bottom of her pout, and then I kissed her fully, my mouth on her open mouth, and we met inside. It was there. It was. The long walk down the hall. The door opening. The beautiful stranger. The torn moon mended. Our fingers touching away the tears. It was there.”—from Denis Johnson’s “The Other Man,” Jesus’ Son
“Reasons always came with a purpose, to give the appearance of struggle between principle and desire. But there’d been no struggle. Principle had power only until you found what you had to have.”—"Two Boys and a Girl" by Tobias Wolff
“Everything down there but the curtain was red. It was like a movie of something that was actually happening. Black pimps in fur coats. The women were blank, shining areas with photographs of sad girls floating in them. ‘I’ll just take your money and go upstairs,’ somebody said to me.”—from Denis Johnson’s “Dirty Wedding,” Jesus’ Son
“What if there was just snow? Snow everywhere, cold and white, filling every distance? And I just follow my sense of things through this winter until I reach a grove of white trees. And she takes me in.”—from Denis Johnson’s “Dirty Wedding,” Jesus’ Son
“Think of being curled up and floating in a darkness. Even if you could think, even if you had an imagination, would you ever imagine its opposite, this miraculous world the Asian Taoists call the ‘Ten Thousand Things’? And if the darkness just got darker? And then you were dead? What would you care? How would you even know the difference?”—
“And then came one of those moments. I remember living through one when I was eighteen and spending the afternoon in bed with my first wife, before we were married. Our naked bodies started glowing, and the air turned such a strange color I thought my life must be leaving me, and with every young fiber and cell I wanted to hold on to it for another breath. A clattering sound was tearing up my head as I staggered upright and opened the door on a vision I will never see again: Where are my women now, with their sweet wet words and ways, and the miraculous balls of hail popping in a green translucence in the yards?”—