Jazz Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Jazz. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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Jazz isn't dead. It just smells funny.
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Frank Zappa
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Don't ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn't fall in love, I rose in it.
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Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
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Hey--jazz hands!" Kenji barks. "Get your ass back over here." He makes it a point to look as irritated as possible. "Back to work. And this time, focus. You're not an ape. Don't just throw your shit everywhere.
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Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
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Youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tales of the Jazz Age)
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If Music is a Place -- then Jazz is the City, Folk is the Wilderness, Rock is the Road, Classical is a Temple.
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Vera Nazarian
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I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes. After that I liked jazz music. Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way. I used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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I feel myself trying to be charming, and then I realize I’m obviously trying to be charming, and then I try to be even more charming to make up for the fake charm, and then I’ve basically turned into Liza Minnelli: I’m dancing in tights and sequins, begging you to love me. There’s a bowler and jazz hands and lots of teeth.
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Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
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Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and all that jazz. Anna use to be the abstinence poster girl, but post-Shaw you could write a comic book about the many adventures of her vagina. It could wear a cape.
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Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1))
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Shut up and let me see your jazz hands
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Gerard Way
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They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Either you have the feeling or you don't. Hawk Davies
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Daniel Handler (Why We Broke Up)
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I will say, too, that lovemaking, if sincere, is one of the best ideas Satan put in the apple she gave to the serpent to give to Eve. The best idea in that apple, though, is making jazz.
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Timequake)
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Believing in God is as much like falling in love as it is making a decision. Love is both something that happens to you and something you decide upon.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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I once listened to an Indian on television say that God was in the wind and the water, and I wondered at how beautiful that was because it meant you could swim in Him or have Him brush your face in a breeze.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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...sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself...
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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The English language is like London: proudly barbaric yet deeply civilised, too, common yet royal, vulgar yet processional, sacred yet profane. Each sentence we produce, whether we know it or not, is a mongrel mouthful of Chaucerian, Shakespearean, Miltonic, Johnsonian, Dickensian and American. Military, naval, legal, corporate, criminal, jazz, rap and ghetto discourses are mingled at every turn. The French language, like Paris, has attempted, through its Academy, to retain its purity, to fight the advancing tides of Franglais and international prefabrication. English, by comparison, is a shameless whore.
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Stephen Fry (The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within)
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Dying for something is easy because it is associated with glory. Living for something is the hard thing. Living for something extends beyond fashion, glory, or recognition. We live for what we believe.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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If you have to ask what jazz is, you'll never know.
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Louis Armstrong
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There is something beautiful about a billion stars held steady by a God who knows what He is doing. (They hang there, the stars, like notes on a page of music, free-form verse, silent mysteries swirling in the blue like jazz.) And as I lay there, it occurred to me that God is up there somewhere. Of course, I had always known He was, but this time I felt it, I realized it, the way a person realizes they are hungry or thirsty. The knowledge of God seeped out of my brain and into my heart. I imagined Him looking down on this earth, half angry because His beloved mankind had cheated on Him, had committed adultery, and yet hopelessly in love with her, drunk with love for her.
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Donald Miller
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I can no more understand the totality of God than the pancake I made for breakfast understands the complexity of me
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Donald Miller
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Amy [Winehouse] changed pop music forever, I remember knowing there was hope, and feeling not alone because of her. She lived jazz, she lived the blues.
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Lady Gaga
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Anyone who's just driven 90 yards against huge men trying to kill them has earned the right to do Jazz hands.
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Craig Ferguson
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At any rate, let us love for a while, for a year or so, you and me. That's a form of divine drunkenness that we can all try. There are only diamonds in the whole world, diamonds and perhaps the shabby gift of disillusion.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald
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There are only two things: love, all sorts of love, with pretty girls, and the music of New Orleans or Duke Ellington. Everything else ought to go, because everything else is ugly.
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Boris Vian
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Pain. I seem to have an affection, a kind of sweettooth for it. Bolts of lightning, little rivulets of thunder. And I the eye of the storm.
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Toni Morrison (Jazz)
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I always thought the Bible was more of a salad thing, you know, but it isn't. It's a chocolate thing.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul and all that jazz.
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Leah Raeder (Unteachable)
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The most difficult lie I have ever contended with is this: life is a story about me.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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I am something of a recluse by nature. I am that cordless screwdriver that has to charge for twenty hours to earn ten minutes use. I need that much downtime.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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Reading was like an addiction; I read while I ate, on the train, in bed until late at night, in school, where I'd keep the book hidden so I could read during class. Before long I bought a small stereo and spent all my time in my room, listening to jazz records. But I had almost no desire to talk to anyone about the experience I gained through books and music. I felt happy just being me and no one else. In that sense I could be called a stack-up loner.
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Haruki Murakami (South of the Border, West of the Sun)
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We real cool. We Left school. We Lurk late. We Strike straight. We Sing sin. We Thin gin. We Jazz June. We Die soon.
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Gwendolyn Brooks (Selected Poems)
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What is my definition of jazz? 'Safe sex of the highest order.
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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Poetry, like jazz, is one of those dazzling diamonds of creative industry that help human beings make sense out of the comedies and tragedies that contextualize our lives.
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Aberjhani (Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry)
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The piano ain't got no wrong notes.
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Thelonious Monk
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There is something beautiful about a billion stars held steady by a God who knows what He is doing.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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...to be in a relationship with God is to be loved purely and furiously. And a person who thinks himself unlovable cannot be in a relationship with God because he can't accept who God is; a Being that is love. We learn that we are lovable or unlovable from other people...That is why God tells us so many times to love each other.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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...I want my spirituality to rid me of hate, not give me reason for it.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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I am the twentieth century. I am the ragtime and the tango; sans-serif, clean geometry. I am the virgin's-hair whip and the cunningly detailed shackles of decadent passion. I am every lonely railway station in every capital of Europe. I am the Street, the fanciless buildings of government. the cafe-dansant, the clockwork figure, the jazz saxophone, the tourist-lady's hairpiece, the fairy's rubber breasts, the travelling clock which always tells the wrong time and chimes in different keys. I am the dead palm tree, the Negro's dancing pumps, the dried fountain after tourist season. I am all the appurtenances of night.
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Thomas Pynchon (V.)
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What's the world for you if you can't make it up the way you want it?
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Toni Morrison (Jazz)
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Life is a lot like jazz - it's best when you improvise.
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George Gershwin
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I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night, who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz, who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated, who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,
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Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
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If we are not willing to wake up in the morning and die to ourselves, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether or not we are really following Jesus.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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Don't we look suspicious, the three of us just sitting here in the car?" Borden asked. We'd look a lot more suspicious if we were all three making out in the car," Jazz said. "What?" she added, when Borden turned and gave her a wide-eyed look. You have no idea what kind of happy place you just took me to." Shut up.
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Rachel Caine
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But the picking out, the choosing. Don't ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn't fall in love, I rose in it. I saw you and made up my mind. My mind.
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Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
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Gansey appeared beside Blue in the doorway. He shook his empty bottle at her. "Fair trade," he told her in a way that indicated he had selected a fair-trade coffee beverage entirely so that he could tell Blue that he had selected a fair-trade coffee beverage so that she could tell him well done with your carbon footprint and all that jazz. Blue said, "Better recycle that bottle.
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Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
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the hopelessness that comes from knowing too little and feeling too much (so brittle, so dry he is in danger of the reverse: feeling nothing and knowing everything)
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Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
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Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you that music has boundaries. But, man, there's no boundary line to art.
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Charlie Parker
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All is as if the world did cease to exist. The city's monuments go unseen, its past unheard, and its culture slowly fading in the dismal sea.
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Nathan Reese Maher
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I think if you like somebody you have to tell them. It might be embarrassing to say it, but you will never regret stepping up. I know from personal experience, however, that you should not keep telling a girl that you like her after she tells you she isn't into it. You should not keep riding your bike by her house either.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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People know what they want because they know what other people want.
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Theodor W. Adorno
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Writers don't make any money at all. We make about a dollar. It is terrible. But then again we don't work either. We sit around in our underwear until noon then go downstairs and make coffee, fry some eggs, read the paper, read part of a book, smell the book, wonder if perhaps we ourselves should work on our book, smell the book again, throw the book across the room because we are quite jealous that any other person wrote a book, feel terribly guilty about throwing the schmuck's book across the room because we secretly wonder if God in heaven noticed our evil jealousy, or worse, our laziness. We then lie across the couch facedown and mumble to God to forgive us because we are secretly afraid He is going to dry up all our words because we envied another man's stupid words. And for this, as I said, we are paid a dollar. We are worth so much more.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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I think the things we want most in life, the things we think will set us free, are not the thing we need.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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Sabine gestured to him with the half-eaten crust. "I like him. Not sure why he's wasting his time with the pole dancer, though." Tod laughed out loud and I groaned. "Sophie takes ballet and jazz. She's not a pole dancer." "There's more money in pole dancing," Sabine insisted.
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Rachel Vincent (Before I Wake (Soul Screamers, #6))
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... I ask, 'Do you think Dylan's telling the truth?' Daisy checks her face in a little mirror, then hands it to Jazz. 'You want me to find out?' 'Let's not ruin it by calling them liars.' '...I won't ruin it. I've got this special way of getting the truth out of Dylan.' 'How?' I ask. 'I kick him in the balls.' 'That's pretty special.
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Cath Crowley (Graffiti Moon)
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Jazz hadn't given her many details of exactly what life in the Dent house had been like, but he'd told her enough that she knew it wasn't hearts and flowers. Well, except for the occasional heart cut from a chest. And the kind of flowers you send to funerals.
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Barry Lyga (I Hunt Killers (I Hunt Killers, #1))
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Now I am old-fashioned. A woman, I consider, should be womanly. I have no patience with the modern neurotic girl who jazzes from morning to night, smokes like a chimney, and uses language which would make a billingsgate fishwoman blush!
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Agatha Christie (The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2))
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What I believe is not what I say I believe; what I believe is what I do.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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Emma Forest?" Jazz asks. "His ex is the girl with the big...?" "That's the one," Daisy tells her. Jazz looks at her chest. I pat her shoulder. "Guys care about personality too." "Girls like me started that rumor.
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Cath Crowley (Graffiti Moon)
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and will I like being called a jazz baby? --You will love it.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
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You know the rules. No jazz before a rumble.
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S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders)
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Apalah yang bisa pasti dari perasaan manusia?
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Seno Gumira Ajidarma (Jazz, Parfum, dan Insiden)
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Apollo's lips spread into a smile. "Sorry. I'll try to come after dinner next time." The bowl disappeared from his hands, and I wondered where it went. "Well, it's good to see the Scooby gang all in one piece. Warms my heart and all that jazz, but let's get to the point.
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Jennifer L. Armentrout (Apollyon (Covenant, #4))
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When you live on your own for a long time, however, your personality changes because you go so much into yourself you lose the ability to be social, to understand what is and isn't normal behavior. There is an entire world inside yourself, and if you let yourself, you can get so deep inside it you will forget the way to the surface. Other people keep our souls alive, just like food and water does with our body.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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Everybody wants to be somebody fancy. Even if they're shy.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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My other friends are in music relaxation class, which I do not attend, because smooth jazz makes me angry sometimes.
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Matthew Quick (The Silver Linings Playbook)
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At the edge of madness you howl diamonds and pearls.
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Aberjhani (Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry)
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There are only three things that America will be remembered for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: The Constitution, Jazz music, and Baseball. These are the 3 most beautiful things this culture's ever created.
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Gerald Early
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Comedians and jazz musicians have been more comforting and enlightening to me than preachers or politicians or philosophers or poets or painters or novelists of my time. Historians in the future, in my opinion, will congratulate us on very little other than our clowning and our jazz.
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage)
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My eyes hunger to read more books then time allows me to devour.
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Jazz Feylynn
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That’s the thing about jazz: it’s free flowing, it comes from your soul.
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Billy Crystal
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I loved the fact that it wasn't my responsibility to change somebody, that it was God's, that my part was just to communicate love and approval.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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It's the new me," I explained, waving my hands jazz-style in greeting. "Matthew Swift, Midnight fucking Mayor - I've got multicoloured highlighters and everything.
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Kate Griffin (The Neon Court (Matthew Swift, #3))
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Sans le jazz, la vie serait une erreur
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Boris Vian
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Are you stalking me, Mr. Fulton?" The idea both amused and horrified Jazz.
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Barry Lyga (I Hunt Killers (I Hunt Killers, #1))
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To most white people, jazz means black and jazz means dirt, and that's not what I play. I play black classical music.
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Nina Simone
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Jazz spent a chunk of the day fantasizing about ways to kill his grandmother, plotting them and planning them in the most excruciating, gruesome detail his imagination would allow. It turned out his imagination allowed quite a bit. He spent the rest of the day convincing himself--over and over--not to do it.
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Barry Lyga (I Hunt Killers (I Hunt Killers, #1))
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Do we not each dream of dreams? Do we not dance on the notes of lost memories? Then are we not each dreamers of tomorrow and yesterday, since dreams play when time is askew? Are we not all adrift in the constant sea of trial and when all is done, do we not all yearn for ships to carry us home?
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Nathan Reese Maher
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The other night we talked about literature's elimination of the unessential, so that we are given a concentrated "dose" of life. I said, almost indignantly, "That's the danger of it, it prepares you to live, but at the same time, it exposes you to disappointments because it gives a heightened concept of living, it leaves out the dull or stagnant moments. You, in your books, also have a heightened rhythm, and a sequence of events so packed with excitement that I expected all your life to be delirious, intoxicated." Literature is an exaggeration, a dramatization, and those who are nourished on it (as I was) are in great danger of trying to approximate an impossible rhythm. Trying to live up to Dostoevskian scenes every day. And between writers there is a straining after extravagance. We incite each other to jazz-up our rhythm.
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AnaΓ―s Nin (The Diary of AnaΓ―s Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
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I will give you this, my love, and I will not bargain or barter any longer. I will love you, as sure as He has loved me. I will discover what I can discover and though you remain a mystery, save God's own knowledge, what I disclose of you I will keep in the warmest chamber of my heart, the very chamber where God has stowed Himself in me. And I will do this to my death, and to death it may bring me. I will love you like God, because of God, mighted by the power of God. I will stop expecting your love, demanding you love, trading for your love, gaming for your love. I will simply love. I am giving myself to you, and tomorrow I will do it again. I suppose the clock itself will wear thin its time before I am ended at this altar of dying and dying again. God risked Himself on me. I will risk myself on you. And together, we will learn to love, and perhaps then, and only then, understand this gravity that drew Him, unto us.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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And so I have come to understand that strength, inner strength, comes from receiving love as much as it comes from giving it.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.
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Thelonious Monk
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I'm very much aware in the writing of dialogue, or even in the narrative too, of a rhythm. There has to be a rhythm with it … Interviewers have said, you like jazz, don’t you? Because we can hear it in your writing. And I thought that was a compliment.
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Elmore Leonard
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Introvert conversations are like jazz, where each player gets to solo for a nice stretch before the other player comes in and does his solo. And like jazz, once we get going, we can play all night. Extrovert conversations are more like tennis matches, where thoughts are batted back and forth, and players need to be ready to respond. Introverts get winded pretty quickly.
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Laurie A. Helgoe (Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength)
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Any conversation is a unique jazz performance. Some are more pleasing to the ears, but that is not necessarily a measurement of their importance
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Frank Herbert (Whipping Star (ConSentiency Universe, #1))
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Where’s jazz going? I don’t know. Maybe it’s going to hell. You can’t make anything go anywhere. It just happens.
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Thelonious Monk
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Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life.
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Art Blakey
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It was a haunting feeling, the sort of sensation you get when you wonder whether you are two people, the other of which does things you can't explain, bad and terrible things.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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Say make me, remake me. You are free to do it and I am free to let you because look, look. Look where your hands are. Now.
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Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
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When a relationship is right, it is no more possible to wake up and want out of the marriage than it is to wake up and stop believing in God. What is, is what is.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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the grace is being able to like rock music, symphony music, jazz … anything that contains the original energy of joy.
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Charles Bukowski
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Everybody wants to be fancy and new. Nobody wants to be themselves. I mean, maybe people want to be themselves, but they want to be different, with different clothes or shorter hair or less fat. It's a fact. If there was a guy who just liked being himself and didn't want to be anybody else, that guy would be the most different guy in the world and everybody would want to be him.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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There's something beautifully friendly and elevating about a bunch of guys playing music together. This wonderful little world that is unassailable. It's really teamwork, one guy supporting the others, and it's all for one purpose, and there's no flies in the ointment, for a while. And nobody conducting, it's all up to you. It's really jazz__that's the big secret. Rock and roll ain't nothing but jazz with a hard backbeat.
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Keith Richards (Life)
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Call me crazy, but there is something terribly wrong with this city.
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Nathan Reese Maher
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I need for there to be something bigger than me. I need someone to put awe inside me; I need to come second to someone who has everything figured out.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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Summer here comes on like a zaftig hippie chick, jazzed on chlorophyll and flinging fistfuls of butterflies to the sun.
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Michael Perry (Population: 485 : Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time)
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She was coolβ€” the whole world seemed to spin around her in smooth jazz.
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Atticus Poetry (Love Her Wild)
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Do not enjoy yourself. Enjoy dances and theaters and joy-rides and champagne and oysters; enjoy jazz and cocktails and night-clubs if you can enjoy nothing better; enjoy bigamy and burglary and any crime in the calendar, in preference to the other alternative; but never learn to enjoy yourself.
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G.K. Chesterton
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you're @ home?"She could hear him moving around..."I'll let you go then." "What if I dont want you to?"he said. She heard the music as he walked toward his room, some sort of jazz.her heart sped up, thinking of him stretched out on his bed too, "Good night, Seth." "So ur running again, then? One of his boots thudded on the floor."I'm not running.".. "Really?" "Really.Its just--"She stopped. "Maybe you should slow down, so i can catch you."He paused, waiting.He seemed to do that more & more lately, make statements that invited her to admit something dangerous to their friendship.When she didnt answer he added, "Sweet dreams, Ash.
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Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1))
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who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the brilliant Spaniard to converse about America and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship to Africa
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Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
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Well, I’ve been a musician my whole life. When I was two, I would sing the theme from Star Wars in my crib; my mom taped it for proof. Then, when I was five, I asked for a violin. No one knew why I would want one, but my wish was granted and I ended up a classically trained fiddler by age 12. The only problem with that was, when you’re a classical violinist, everybody expects you to be satisfied with playing Tchaikovsky for the rest of your life, and saying you want to play jazz, rock, write songs, sing your songs, hook up your fiddle to a guitar amp, sleep with your 4-track recorder, mess around with synths, dress like Tinkerbell in combat boots, AND play Tchaikovsky is equivalent to spitting on the Pope.
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Emilie Autumn
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I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up in the morning and see the light.
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Miles Davis
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Sometimes the things we want most in life are the things that will kill us.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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Rock and roll ain't nothing but jazz with a hard backbeat.
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Keith Richards (Life)
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If you have to ask what jazz is you will never know." Louis Armstrong
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Louis Armstrong
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As of this afternoon, you are a Defense Agent for the THIRDS.” The man grew quiet and Dex couldn’t help but wait for him to throw his arms out and shout β€œTa-da!” with a show of jazz hands.
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Charlie Cochet (Hell & High Water (THIRDS, #1))
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The Angel Gabriel disappeared once for sixty years and they found him on earth hiding in the body of a man named Miles Davis.
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Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal)
β€œ
The blues is an impulse to keep the painful details and episodes of a brutal experience alive in one's aching consciousness, to finger its jagged grain, and to transcend it, not by the consolation of philosophy but by squeezing from it a near-tragic, near-comic lyricism. As a form, the blues is an autobiographical chronicle of personal catastrophe expressed lyrically.
”
”
Ralph Ellison (Living with Music: Jazz Writings)
β€œ
I can’t help but ask, β€œDo you know where you are?” She turns to me with a foreboding glare. β€œDo you?
”
”
Nathan Reese Maher
β€œ
Truth grew in my mind like a fungus, and though I tried to sleep it out, there was no resisting the epiphanies.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
Self-discipline will never make us feel righteous or clean; accepting God's love will.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
Christian spirituality was not a children's story. It wasn't cute or neat. It was mystical and odd and clean, and it was reaching into dirty. There was wonder in it and enchantment.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
When her muzzle grew more white than brown, the chipmunk forgot that she and the squirrel had had nothing to talk about. She forgot the definition of "jazz" as well and came to think of it as every beautiful thing she had ever failed to appreciate: the taste of warm rain; the smell of a baby; the din of a swollen river, rushing past her tree and onward to infinity.
”
”
David Sedaris (Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk)
β€œ
There are things you cannot understand, and you must learn to live with this. Not only must you learn to live with this, you must learn to enjoy this.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
Real women don't love the richest guy in the world they love the guy who can make their world the richest.
”
”
Jazz Feylynn
β€œ
Unfortunately I am a completely impractical person, caught up in endless trains of thought. All of us are fantasists, ill-equipped for life, the children as much as myself. It seems to me sometimes that we never get used to being on this earth and life is just one great, ongoing, incomprehensible blunder.
”
”
W.G. Sebald (The Rings of Saturn)
β€œ
Nobody gave you to me. Nobody said that’s the one for you. I picked you out. Wrong time, yep, and doing wrong by my wife. But the picking out, the choosing. Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it. I saw you and made up my mind. My mind. And I made up my mind to follow you too.” Joe Trace
”
”
Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
β€œ
As Duke Ellington once said, β€œThere are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind.” In that sense, jazz and classical music are fundamentally the same. The pure joy one experiences listening to β€œgood” music transcends questions of genre.
”
”
Haruki Murakami (Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa)
β€œ
Sometimes in life confusion tends to arise and only dialogue of dance seems to make sense.
”
”
Shah Asad Rizvi
β€œ
Nobody will listen to you unless they sense that you like them.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
They are lonely. I'm not talking about lonely for a lover or a friend. I mean lonely in the universal sense, lonely inside the understanding that we are tiny people on a tiny little earth suspended in an endless void that echoes past stars and stars of stars.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
I believe in nature, in science, in jazz, in dancing. And I believe in people. In their resilience, in their goodness. This is my credo; this is my hymn. Maybe it's not enough for heaven, and maybe I'm even wrong. But if I can walk through the fire and, with blistered skin, still have faith in better days? I have to believe that's good enough.
”
”
Emery Lord (The Names They Gave Us)
β€œ
There is a stillness between us, a period of restlessness that ties my stomach in a hangman’s noose. It is this same lack in noise that lives, there! in the darkness of the grave, how it frightens me beyond all things.
”
”
Nathan Reese Maher
β€œ
...she wanted God to make sense. He doesn't. He will make no more sense to me than I will make sense to an ant.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
In those days it was either live with music or die with noise, and we chose rather desperately to live.
”
”
Ralph Ellison (Living with Music: Jazz Writings)
β€œ
To be a jazz freedom fighter is to attempt to galvanize and energize world-weary people into forms of organization with accountable leadership that promote critical exchange and broad reflection. The interplay of individuality and unity is not one of uniformity and unanimity imposed from above but rather of conflict among diverse groupings that reach a dynamic consensus subject to questioning and criticism. As with a soloist in a jazz quartet, quintet or band, individuality is promoted in order to sustain and increase the creative tension with the group--a tension that yields higher levels of performance to achieve the aim of the collective project. This kind of critical and democratic sensibility flies in the face of any policing of borders and boundaries of "blackness", "maleness", "femaleness", or "whiteness".
”
”
Cornel West (Race Matters)
β€œ
We don't need as much as we have. Hardly any of us need as much money as we have. It's true what they say about the best things in life being free.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
Dance as the narration of a magical story; that recites on lips, illuminates imaginations and embraces the most sacred depths of souls.
”
”
Shah Asad Rizvi
β€œ
I'm a bluesman moving through a blues-soaked America, a blues-soaked world, a planet where catastrophe and celebration- joy and pain sit side by side. The blues started off in some field, some plantation, in some mind, in some imagination, in some heart. The blues blew over to the next plantation, and then the next state. The blues went south to north, got electrified and even sanctified. The blues got mixed up with jazz and gospel and rock and roll.
”
”
Cornel West (Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir)
β€œ
When they fall in love with a city, it is for forever and it is like forever.
”
”
Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
β€œ
It’s not the note you play that’s the wrong note – it’s the note you play afterwards that makes it right or wrong.
”
”
Miles Davis
β€œ
I can't believe you're still mad at me," Ed says. "You grabbed my arse." "You broke my nose." "You broke his nose?" Jazz asks. "You grabbed her arse?" "It was two years ago-" "Two years, four months, and eight days," I tell him. "-and I was fifteen, and I slipped and she broke my nose." "Wait a minute. How do you slip onto someone's arse?" Jazz asks. "I meant slipped up. I slipped up and she broke my nose." "You're lucky that's all I broke," I say. "You're lucky I didn't call the police." Leo, Dylan, and Daisy slid into the booth. "Did you guys know that Lucy broke Ed's nose? Jazz asks. Ed closes his eyes silently and bangs his head on the wall.
”
”
Cath Crowley (Graffiti Moon)
β€œ
Whatever happens, whether you get rich or stay poor, ruin your health or live to old age, you always end up back where you started: hungry for the one thing everybody loses - young loving.
”
”
Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
β€œ
If spirit is the seed, dance is the water of its evolution.
”
”
Shah Asad Rizvi
β€œ
Kamu sering bertanya: Apakah kegembiraan hidup? Sebuah pesta? Sebotol bir? Sepotong musik jazz? Semangkok bakso? Sebait puisi? Sebatang rokok? Seorang istri? Ah ya, apakah kebahagiaan hidup? Selembar ijazah? Sebuah rumah? Sebuah mobil? Walkman? Ganja? Orgasme? Pacar? Kamu selalu bertanya bagaimana caranya menikmati hidup.
”
”
Seno Gumira Ajidarma (Matinya Seorang Penari Telanjang)
β€œ
Country music was the most segregated kind of music in America, where even whites played jazz and even blacks sang in the opera. Something like country music was what lynch mobs must have enjoyed while stringing up their black victims. Country music was not necessarily lynching music, but no other music could be imagined as lynching’s accompaniment. Beethoven’s Ninth was the opus for Nazis, concentration camp commanders, and possibly President Truman as he contemplated atomizing Hiroshima, classical music the refined score for the high-minded extermination of brutish hordes. Country music was set to the more humble beat of the red-blooded, bloodthirsty American heartland.
”
”
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer)
β€œ
A son ain't what a woman say. A son is what a man do.
”
”
Toni Morrison (Jazz)
β€œ
And that's the soulful thing about playing: you offer something to somebody. You don't know if they'll like it, but you offer it.
”
”
Wynton Marsalis (To a Young Jazz Musician: Letters from the Road)
β€œ
I am human because God made me. I experience suffering and temptation because mankind chose to follow Satan. God is reaching out to me to rescue me. I am learning to trust Him, learning to live by His precepts that I might be preserved.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
I want to be able to listen to recording of piano sonatas and know who's playing. I want to go to classical concerts and know when you're meant to clap. I want to be able to 'get' modern jazz without it all sounding like this terrible mistake, and I want to know who the Velvet Underground are exactly. I want to be fully engaged in the World of Ideas, I want to understand complex economics, and what people see in Bob Dylan. I want to possess radical but humane and well-informed political ideals, and I want to hold passionate but reasoned debates round wooden kitchen tables, saying things like 'define your terms!' and 'your premise is patently specious!' and then suddenly to discover that the sun's come up and we've been talking all night. I want to use words like 'eponymous' and 'solipsistic' and 'utilitarian' with confidence. I want to learn to appreciate fine wines, and exotic liquers, and fine single malts, and learn how to drink them without turning into a complete div, and to eat strange and exotic foods, plovers' eggs and lobster thermidor, things that sound barely edible, or that I can't pronounce...Most of all I want to read books; books thick as brick, leather-bound books with incredibly thin paper and those purple ribbons to mark where you left off; cheap, dusty, second-hand books of collected verse, incredibly expensive, imported books of incomprehensible essays from foregin universities. At some point I'd like to have an original idea...And all of these are the things that a university education's going to give me.
”
”
David Nicholls (Starter for Ten)
β€œ
If movements were a spark every dancer would desire to light up in flames.
”
”
Shah Asad Rizvi
β€œ
Dance is the timeless interpretation of life.
”
”
Shah Asad Rizvi
β€œ
As a human, I am flawed in that it is difficult for me to consider others before myself. It feels like I have to fight against this force, this current within me that, more often than not, wants to avoid serious issues and please myself, buy things for myself, feed myself, entertain myself, and all of that.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
Individuals often turn to poetry, not only to glean strength and perspective from the words of others, but to give birth to their own poetic voices and to hold history accountable for the catastrophes rearranging their lives.
”
”
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
β€œ
Welcome to Book-a-holic Anonymous. Hi, I'm Jazz and I am addicted to the written word. I love the smell of the blackest ink sliding across texture paper. My eyes squint against the loss of time within the pages of story. I don't think there's a cure for my compulsion to lose myself within life and times of those characters bound between the covers.
”
”
Jazz Feylynn
β€œ
Jazz music itself is an example of changing poison into medicine. African Americans created jazz, a great medicine for people’s hearts, out of the poisonous experience of slavery. Jazz developed from African culture, gospel music, and blues to lift up the spirits of oppressed people, and now it brings joy to people the world over.
”
”
Tina Turner (Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good (Kindle edition))
β€œ
And Jazz snapped. He didn't snap the way a normal person might snap. A normal person would fling his arms around and stomp his feet and rant at the top of his lungs, bellowing to the sky. There might be tears, from a normal person. Jazz went quiet. He darted out one hand and grabbed the wrist of the paramedic who had been trying to cuff him and pulled the man close, holding his gaze. In a moment, he channeled every last drop of (his father). "Who am I? I'll tell you. I'm the local psychopath, and if you don't save my best friend's life, I will hunt down everyone you've ever cared about in your life and make you watch while I do things to them that will have you begging me to kill them. That's who I am.
”
”
Barry Lyga (I Hunt Killers (I Hunt Killers, #1))
β€œ
Did Bach ever eat pancakes at midnight?
”
”
Nathan Reese Maher
β€œ
Tell me anything. Tell me everything. Revoke our time apart. Love me fierce in danger.
”
”
James Ellroy (White Jazz (L.A. Quartet, #4))
β€œ
I was so sure it would happen. That the past was an abused record with no choice but to repeat itself at the crack and no power on earth could lift the arm that held the needle.
”
”
Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
β€œ
Caution not spirit, let it roam wild; for in that natural state dance embraces divine frequency.
”
”
Shah Asad Rizvi
β€œ
At the end of the day, when I am lying in bed and I know the chances of any of our theology being exactly right are a million to one, I need to know that God has things figured out, that if my math is wrong we are still going to be okay. And wonder is that feeling we get when we let go of our silly answers, our mapped out rules that we want God to follow. I don't think there is any better worship than wonder.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
...if I do not introduce people to Jesus, then I don't believe Jesus is an important person. It doesn't matter what I say.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
If you opened the dictionary and searched for the meaning of a Goddess, you would find the reflection of a dancing lady.
”
”
Shah Asad Rizvi
β€œ
Show me a person who found love in his life and did not celebrate it with a dance.
”
”
Shah Asad Rizvi
β€œ
Passion about nothing is like pouring gasoline in a car without wheels. It isn't going to lead anybody anywhere.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
I used to get really ticked about preachers who talked too much about grace, because they tempted me to not be disciplined. I figured what people needed was a kick in the butt, and if I failed at godliness it was because those around me weren’t trying hard enough.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
It comforts me to think that if we are created beings the thing that created us would have to be greater than us, so much greater, in fact, that we would not be able to understand it. It would have to be greater than the facts of our reality and so it would seem to us, looking out from within our reality that it would contradict reason. But reason itself would suggest it would have to be greater than reality or it would not be reasonable.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
When I was in love there was somebody in the world who was more important than me, and that, given all that happened at the fall of man, is a miracle, like something God forgot to curse.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
Somehow I had come to believe that because a person is in need, they are candidates for sympathy, not just charity. It was not that I wanted to buy her groceries, the government was already doing that. I wanted to buy her dignity. And yet, by judging her, I was the one taking her dignity away.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
And I found Jesus very disturbing, very straightforward. He wasn't diplomatic, and yet I felt like if I met Him, He would really like me. Don, I can't explain how freeing that was, to realize that if I met Jesus, He would like me. I never felt like that about some of the Christians on the radio. I always thought if I met those people they would yell at me. But it wasn't like that with Jesus.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
They laughed too, even Rose Dear shook her head and smiled, and suddenly the world was right side up. Violet learned then what she had forgotten until this moment: that laughter is serious. More complicated, more serious than tears.
”
”
Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
β€œ
My Sunday school teachers had turned Bible narrative into children's fables. They talked about Noah and the ark because the story had animals in it. They failed to mention that this was when God massacred all of humanity.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night, who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz
”
”
Allen Ginsberg (Howl)
β€œ
Not according to this," Jazz said, taking the report. "No evidence of sexual activity or anything like it." "Well, there's that," Howie said, sounding relieved. Jazz wondered at that - was it really so much better to be unmolested, but still murdered in a horrible fashion? To die in pain and terror, stripped, left in a field, your fingers cut off? But as long as you weren't raped, well, that was alright, then? Did it really matter at that point?
”
”
Barry Lyga (I Hunt Killers (I Hunt Killers, #1))
β€œ
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night, who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
”
”
Allen Ginsberg (Howl)
β€œ
I will love you like God, because of God, mighted by the power of God. I will stop expecting your love, demanding your love, trading for your love, gaming for your love. I will simply love. I am giving myself to you, and tomorrow I will do it again. I suppose the clock itself will wear thin its time before I am ended at this altar of dying and dying again. God risked Himself on me. I will risk myself on you. And together, we will learn to love, and perhaps then, and only then, understand this gravity that drew Him, unto us.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
If we hear, in our inner ear, a voice saying we are failures, we are losers, we will never amount to anything, this is the voice of Satan trying to convince the bride that the groom does not love her. This is not the voice of God. God woos us with kindness. He changes out of character with the passion of his love.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
The other night we talked about literature's elimination of the unessential, so that we are given a concentrated "dose" of life. I said, almost indignantly, "That's the danger of it, it prepares you to live, but at the same time, it exposes you to disappointments because it gives a heightened concept of living, it leaves out the dull or stagnant moments. You, in your books, also have a heightened rhythm, and a sequence of events so packed with excitement that i expected all your life to be delirious, intoxicated." Literature is an exaggeration, a dramatization, and those who are nourished on it (as I was) are in great danger of trying to approximate an impossible rhythm. Trying to live up to dostoevskian scenes every day. And between writers there is a straining after extravagance. We incite each other to jazz-up our rhythm. It is amusing that, when Henry, Fred, and I talked together, we fell back into a deep naturalness. Perhaps none of us is a sensational character. Or perhaps we have no need of condiments. Henry is, in reality, mild not temperamental; gentle not eager for scenes. We may all write about sadism, masochism, the grand quignol, bubu de montparnasse (in which the highest proof of love is for a pimp to embrace his woman's syphilis as fervently as herself, a noblesse-oblige of the apache world), cocteau, drugs, insane asylums, house of the dead, because we love strong colors; and yet when we sit in the cafe de la place clichy, we talk about henry's last pages, and a chapter which was too long, and richard's madness. "One of his greatest worries," said Henry, "was to have introduced us. He thinks you are wonderful and that you may be in danger from the 'gangster author.
”
”
AnaΓ―s Nin
β€œ
No. Look, the mutual tug paid extra.” Dante mimed jerking and squirting without looking embarrassed, which only made Griff more embarrassed. β€œAnd the stuff you did at the end bumped our fee even—” β€œI know, man. Sorry about—” β€œβ€”more. Bullshit, sorry! Blowing your jazz on me got us a three hundred dollar bonus. Didja know that?” Dante rolled his eyes and waved away the worry. β€œDude, if I could get a fee every time you squirted on me, I’d camp under your bed and have you doing it three times a day.” Help me, Jesus. Griff’s eyes honest-to-God bugged at that.
”
”
Damon Suede (Hot Head (Head #1))
β€œ
The thing about new things is you feel new when you buy them, you feel as though you are somebody different because you own something different. We are our possessions, you know. There are people who get addicted to buying new stuff. Things. Piles and piles of things. But the new things become old things so quickly. We need new things to replace the old things.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
Setiap hari ada senja, tapi tidak setiap senja adalah senja keemasan, dan setiap senja keemasan itu tidaklah selalu sama…. Aku selalu membayangkan ada sebuah Negeri Senja, dimana langit selalu merah keemas-emasan dan setiap orang di negeri itu lalu lalang dalam siluet. Dalam bayanganku Negeri Senja itu tak pernah mengalami malam, tak pernah mengalami pagi dan tak pernah mengalami siang. Senja adalah abadi di Negeri Senja, matahari selalu dalam keadaan merah membara dan siap terbenam tapi tak pernah terbenam, sehingga seluruh dinding gedung, tembok gang, dan kaca-kaca jendela berkilat selalu kemerah-merahan. Orang-orang bisa terus-menerus berada di pantai selama-lamanya, dan orang-orang bisa terus-menerus minum kopi sambil memandang langit semburat yang keemas-emasan. Kebahagiaan terus-menerus bertebaran di Negeri Senja seolah-olah tidak akan pernah berubah lagi….
”
”
Seno Gumira Ajidarma (Jazz, Parfum, dan Insiden)
β€œ
Ultraviolence" He used to call me DN That stood for deadly nightshade Cause I was filled with poison But blessed with beauty and rage Jim told me that He hit me and it felt like a kiss Jim brought me back Reminded me of when we were kids With his ultraviolence Ultraviolence Ultraviolence Ultraviolence I can hear sirens, sirens He hit me and it felt like a kiss I can hear violins, violins Give me all of that ultraviolence He used to call me poison Like I was poison ivy I could have died right there Cause he was right beside me Jim raised me up He hurt me but it felt like true love Jim taught me that Loving him was never enough With his ultraviolence Ultraviolence Ultraviolence Ultraviolence I can hear sirens, sirens He hit me and it felt like a kiss I can hear violins, violins Give me all of that ultraviolence We could go back to New York Loving you was really hard We could go back to Woodstock Where they don't know who we are Heaven is on earth I will do anything for you, babe Blessed is this, this union Crying tears of gold, like lemonade I love you the first time I love you the last time Yo soy la princesa, comprende mis white lines Cause I'm your jazz singer And you're my cult leader I love you forever, I love you forever With his ultraviolence (lay me down tonight) Ultraviolence (in my linen and curls) Ultraviolence (lay me down tonight) Ultraviolence (Riviera girls) I can hear sirens, sirens He hit me and it felt like a kiss I can hear violins, violins Give me all of that ultraviolence
”
”
Lana Del Rey
β€œ
Hospitality is gold in this City; you have to be clever to figure out how to be welcoming and defensive at the same time. When to love something and when to quit. If you don't know how, you can end up out of control or controlled by some outside thing like that hard case last winter.
”
”
Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
β€œ
For the Age has itself become vulgar, and most people have no idea to what extent they are themselves tainted. The bad manners of all parliaments, the general tendency to connive at a rather shady business transaction if it promises to bring in money without work, jazz and Negro dances as the spiritual outlet in all circles of society, women painted like prostitutes, the efforts of writers to win popularity by ridiculing in their novels and plays the correctness of well-bred people, and the bad taste shown even by the nobility and old princely families in throwing off every kind of social restraint and time-honoured custom: all of these go to prove that it is now the vulgar mob that gives the tone.
”
”
Oswald Spengler
β€œ
The trouble with deep belief is that it costs something And there is something inside me, some selfish beast of a subtle thing that doesn't like the truth at all because it carries responsibility, and if I actually believe these things I have to do something about them. It is so, so cumbersome to believe anything. And it isn't cool.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
I laughed but before I could agree with the hairdressers that she was crazy, she said, 'What's the world for if you can't make it up the way you want it?' " 'The way I want it?' " 'Yeah. The way you want it. Don't you want it to be something more than what it is?' " 'What'st eh point? I can't change it.' " 'That's the point. If you don't, it will change you and it'll be your fault cause you let it. I let it. And messed up my life.' " 'Mess it up how?' " 'Forgot it.' " 'Forgot?' " 'Forgot it was mine. My life. I just ran up and down the streets wishing I was somebody else.
”
”
Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
β€œ
I’m crazy about this City. Daylight slants like a razor cutting the buildings in half. In the top half I see looking faces and it’s not easy to tell which are people, which the work of stonemasons. Below is shadow where any blasΓ© thing takes place: clarinets and lovemaking, fists and the voices of sorrowful women. A city like this one makes me dream tall and feel in on things. Hep. It’s the bright steel rocking above the shade below that does it. When I look over strips of green grass lining the river, at church steeples and into the cream-and-copper halls of apartment buildings, I’m strong. Alone, yes, but top-notch and indestructible-like the City in 1926 when all the wars are over and there will never be another one. The people down there in the shadow are happy about that. At last, at last, everything’s ahead. The smart ones say so and people listening to them and reading what they write down agree: Here comes the new. Look out.
”
”
Toni Morrison (Jazz)
β€œ
As the floods of God Wash away sin city They say it was written In the page of the Lord But I was looking For that great jazz note That destroyed The walls of Jericho The winds of fear Whip away the sickness The messages on the tablet Was valium As the planets form That golden cross Lord I'll see you on The holy cross roads After all this time To believe in Jesus After all those drugs I thought I was Him After all my lying And a-crying And my suffering I ain't good enough I ain't clean enough To be Him The tribal wars Burning up the homeland The fuel of evil Is raining from the sky The sea of lava Flowing down the mountain The time will sleep Us sinners by Holy rollers roll Give generously now Pass the hubcap please Thank you Lord
”
”
Joe Strummer
β€œ
I know our culture will sometimes understand a love for Jesus as weakness. There is this lie floating around that says I am supposed to be able to do life alone, without any help, without stopping to worship something bigger than myself. But I actually believe there is something bigger than me, and I need for there to be something bigger than me. I need someone to put awe inside me; I need to come second to someone who has everything figured out.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
As early as 1930 Schoenberg wrote: "Radio is an enemy, a ruthless enemy marching irresistibly forward, and any resistance is hopeless"; it "force-feeds us music . . . regardless of whether we want to hear it, or whether we can grasp it," with the result that music becomes just noise, a noise among other noises. Radio was the tiny stream it all began with. Then came other technical means for reproducing, proliferating, amplifying sound, and the stream became an enormous river. If in the past people would listen to music out of love for music, nowadays it roars everywhere and all the time, "regardless whether we want to hear it," it roars from loudspeakers, in cars, in restaurants, in elevators, in the streets, in waiting rooms, in gyms, in the earpieces of Walkmans, music rewritten, reorchestrated, abridged, and stretched out, fragments of rock, of jazz, of opera, a flood of everything jumbled together so that we don't know who composed it (music become noise is anonymous), so that we can't tell beginning from end (music become noise has no form): sewage-water music in which music is dying.
”
”
Milan Kundera (Ignorance)
β€œ
After a noticeable silence, he'd recently published a book of technically baffling poems, with line breaks so arbitrary and frequent as to be useless, arrhythmic. On the page they look like some of Charles Bukowski's skinny, chatty, muttering-stuttering antiverses. Impossibly, Mark's words make music, the faraway strains of an irresistible jazz. It's plain to any reader, within a few linesβ€”well, go read the poems and see, Marcus Ahearn traffics with the ineffable. He makes the mind of the speaker present, in that here-and-now where the reader actually readsβ€”that place. Such a rare thing. Samuel Beckett. Jean Follain, Ionescoβ€”the composer Billy Strayhorn. Mark calls his process "psychic improvisation" and referred me to the painter Paul Klee; the term was Klee's. "You just get out a pen and a notebook and let your mind go long," he told me.
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Denis Johnson (The Largesse of the Sea Maiden)
β€œ
History is ending because the dominator culture has led the human species into a blind alley, and as the inevitable chaostrophie approaches, people look for metaphors and answers. Every time a culture gets into trouble it casts itself back into the past looking for the last sane moment it ever knew. And the last sane moment we ever knew was on the plains of Africa 15,000 years ago rocked in the cradle of the Great Horned Mushroom Goddess before history, before standing armies, before slavery and property, before warfare and phonetic alphabets and monotheism, before, before, before. And this is where the future is taking us because the secret faith of the twentieth century is not modernism, the secret faith of the twentieth century is nostalgia for the archaic, nostalgia for the paleolithic, and that gives us body piercing, abstract expressionism, surrealism, jazz, rock-n-roll and catastrophe theory. The 20th century mind is nostalgic for the paradise that once existed on the mushroom dotted plains of Africa where the plant-human symbiosis occurred that pulled us out of the animal body and into the tool-using, culture-making, imagination-exploring creature that we are. And why does this matter? It matters because it shows that the way out is back and that the future is a forward escape into the past. This is what the psychedelic experience means. Its a doorway out of history and into the wiring under the board in eternity. And I tell you this because if the community understands what it is that holds it together the community will be better able to streamline itself for flight into hyperspace because what we need is a new myth, what we need is a new true story that tells us where we're going in the universe and that true story is that the ego is a product of pathology, and when psilocybin is regularly part of the human experience the ego is supressed and the supression of the ego means the defeat of the dominators, the materialists, the product peddlers. Psychedelics return us to the inner worth of the self, to the importance of the feeling of immediate experience - and nobody can sell that to you and nobody can buy it from you, so the dominator culture is not interested in the felt presence of immediate experience, but that's what holds the community together. And as we break out of the silly myths of science, and the infantile obsessions of the marketplace what we discover through the psychedelic experience is that in the body, IN THE BODY, there are Niagaras of beauty, alien beauty, alien dimensions that are part of the self, the richest part of life. I think of going to the grave without having a psychedelic experience like going to the grave without ever having sex. It means that you never figured out what it is all about. The mystery is in the body and the way the body works itself into nature. What the Archaic Revival means is shamanism, ecstacy, orgiastic sexuality, and the defeat of the three enemies of the people. And the three enemies of the people are hegemony, monogamy and monotony! And if you get them on the run you have the dominators sweating folks, because that means your getting it all reconnected, and getting it all reconnected means putting aside the idea of separateness and self-definition through thing-fetish. Getting it all connected means tapping into the Gaian mind, and the Gaian mind is what we're calling the psychedelic experience. Its an experience of the living fact of the entelechy of the planet. And without that experience we wander in a desert of bogus ideologies. But with that experience the compass of the self can be set, and that's the idea; figuring out how to reset the compass of the self through community, through ecstatic dance, through psychedelics, sexuality, intelligence, INTELLIGENCE. This is what we have to have to make the forward escape into hyperspace.
”
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Terence McKenna
β€œ
He looked around for the most trustworthy person, for someone to be on his team. He took a gamble and dumped Bat into Lily's arms. "Watch him for me, will you?" he asked. "Make sure he gets out all right?" "Put that werewolf down immediately, Lily," Raphael ordered. "It really hurts that you would say that," Bat muttered, and shut his eyes. Lily considered Bat's head, pillowed on her lavender bosom. "I don't want to put him down," she announced. "The Shadowhunter gave this DJ to me." Bat opened one eye. "Do you like music?" "I do," said Lily. "I like jazz." "Cool," said Bat. Raphael threw up his hands. "This is ridiculous! Fine," he snapped. "Fine. Let's just vacate the collapsing mansion, shall we? Can we all agree on that one fun, non-suicidal activity.
”
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Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
β€œ
A few minutes after discovering we had a goal but no plan, Brent was laughing heartily at a pathetic joke I had made. It reminded me of the first day on campus when I had thought his laughter sounded like a melody. It did now, even more so. It was music, beautiful, in a manly way, like a sensual, slow jazz. I loved jazz. β€œJazz, huh?” Brent asked, his voice suddenly husky. β€œUh . . . what?” β€œMy laugh reminds you of jazz? Is there anything about me you don’t find attractive?” He rubbed his hand over his lips trying to cover his smirk. β€œSo tell me, how much do you love jazz?” I’m sure my face was pinker than the inside of a watermelon. β€œI didn’t say any of that.” β€œYou didn’t have to say it, Yara, I could hear it.” Brent tapped the side of his head. β€œI can hear your thoughts.” β€œYou’re not serious.” β€œOh, but I am,” he said, completely straight-faced.
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Lani Woodland (Intrinsical (The Yara Silva Trilogy, #1))
β€œ
You both love Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, Hawthorne and Melville, Flaubert and Stendahl, but at that stage of your life you cannot stomach Henry James, while Gwyn argues that he is the giant of giants, the colossus who makes all other novelists look like pygmies. You are in complete harmony about the greatness of Kafka and Beckett, but when you tell her that Celine belongs in their company, she laughs at you and calls him a fascist maniac. Wallace Stevens yes, but next in line for you is William Carlos Williams, not T.S. Eliot, whose work Gwyn can recite from memory. You defend Keaton, she defends Chaplin, and while you both howl at the sight of the Marx Brothers, your much-adored W.C. Fields cannot coax a single smile from her. Truffaut at his best touches you both, but Gwyn finds Godard pretentious and you don't, and while she lauds Bergman and Antonioni as twin masters of the universe, you reluctantly tell her that you are bored by their films. No conflicts about classical music, with J.S. Bach at the top of the list, but you are becoming increasingly interested in jazz, while Gwyn still clings to the frenzy of rock and roll, which has stopped saying much of anything to you. She likes to dance, and you don't. She laughs more than you do and smokes less. She is a freer, happier person than you are, and whenever you are with her, the world seems brighter and more welcoming, a place where your sullen, introverted self can almost begin to feel at home.
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Paul Auster (Invisible)
β€œ
There are quiet places also in the mind,” he said, meditatively. β€œBut we build bandstand and factories on them. Deliberatelyβ€”to put a stop to the quietness. We don’t like the quietness. All the thoughts, all the preoccupation in my headβ€”round and round continually.” He made a circular motion with his hands. β€œAnd the jazz bands, the music hall songs, the boys shouting the news. What’s it all for? To put an end to the quiet, to break it up and disperse it, to pretend at any cost it isn’t there. Ah, but it is, it is there, in spite of everything, at the back of everything. Lying awake at night, sometimesβ€”not restlessly, but serenely, waiting for sleepβ€”the quiet re-establishes itself, piece by piece; all the broken bits, all the fragments of it we’ve been so busily dispersing all day long. It re-establishes itself, an inward quiet, like this outward quiet of grass and trees. It fills one, it grows –a crystal quiet, a growing expanding crystal. It grows, it becomes more perfect; it is beautiful and terrifying, yes, terrifying, as well as beautiful. For one’s alone in the crystal and there’s no support from outside, there’s nothing external and important, nothing external and trivial to pull oneself up by or to stand up, superiorly, contemptuously, so that one can look down. There’s nothing to laugh at or feel enthusiastic about. But the quiet grows and grows. Beautifully and unbearably. And at last you are conscious of something approaching; it is almost a faint sound of footsteps. Something inexpressibly lovely and wonderful advances through the crystal, nearer, nearer. And oh, inexpressibly terrifying. For if it were to touch you, if it were to seize and engulf you, you’d die; all the regular habitual, daily part of you would die. There would be and end of bandstands and whizzing factories, and one would have to begin living arduously in the quiet, arduously n some strange unheard-of manner. Nearer, nearer come the steps; but one can’t face the advancing thing. One daren’t. It’s too terrifying; it’s too painful to die. Quickly, before it is too late, start the factory wheels, bang the drum, blow up the saxophone. Think of the women you’d like to sleep with, the schemes for making money, the gossip about your friends, the last outrage of the politicians. Anything for a diversion. Break the silence, smash the crystal to pieces. There, it lies in bits; it is easily broken, hard to build up and easy to break. And the steps? Ah, those have taken themselves off, double quick. Double quick, they were gone at the flawing of the crystal. And by this time the lovely and terrifying thing is three infinities away, at least. And you lie tranquilly on your bed, thinking of what you’d do if you had ten thousand pounds and of all the fornications you’ll never commit.
”
”
Aldous Huxley
β€œ
When they fall in love with a city it is for forever. As though there never was a time when they didn't love it. The minute they arrive at the train station or get off the ferry and glimpse the wide streets and the wasteful lamps lighting them, they know they are born for it. There, in a city, they are not so much new as themselves, their stronger, riskier selves. And in the beginning when they first arrive, and twenty years later when they and the city have grown up, they love that part of themselvers so much they forget what loving other people was like - if they ever knew, that is.
”
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Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
β€œ
You have a picture of life within you, a faith, a challenge, and you were ready for deeds and sufferings and sacrifices, and then you became aware by degrees that the world asked no deeds and no sacrifices of you whatever, and that life is no poem of heroism with heroic parts to play and so on, but a comfortable room where people are quite content with eating and drinking, coffee and knitting, cards and wireless. And whoever wants more and has got it in him--the heroic and the beautiful, and the reverence for the great poets or for the saints--is a fool and a Don Quixote. Good. And it has been just the same for me, my friend. I was a gifted girl. I was meant to live up to a high standard, to expect much of myself and do great things. I could have played a great part. I could have been the wife of a king, the beloved of a revolutionary, the sister of a genius, the mother of a martyr. And life has allowed me just this, to be a courtesan of fairly good taste, and even that has been hard enough. That is how things have gone with me. For a while I was inconsolable and for a long time I put the blame on myself. Life, thought I, must in the end be in the right, and if life scorned my beautiful dreams, so I argued, it was my dreams that were stupid and wrong headed. But that did not help me at all. And as I had good eyes and ears and was a little inquisitive too, I took a good look at this so-called life and at my neighbors and acquaintances, fifty or so of them and their destinies, and then I saw you. And I knew that my dreams had been right a thousand times over, just as yours had been. It was life and reality that were wrong. It was as little right that a woman like me should have no other choice than to grow old in poverty and in a senseless way at a typewriter in the pay of a money-maker, or to marry such a man for his money's sake, or to become some kind of drudge, as for a man like you to be forced in his loneliness and despair to have recourse to a razor. Perhaps the trouble with me was more material and moral and with you more spiritual--but it was the same road. Do you think I can't understand your horror of the fox trot, your dislike of bars and dancing floors, your loathing of jazz and the rest of it? I understand it only too well, and your dislike of politics as well, your despondence over the chatter and irresponsible antics of the parties and the press, your despair over the war, the one that has been and the one that is to be, over all that people nowadays think, read and build, over the music they play, the celebrations they hold, the education they carry on. You are right, Steppenwolf, right a thousand times over, and yet you must go to the wall. You are much too exacting and hungry for this simple, easygoing and easily contented world of today. You have a dimension too many. Whoever wants to live and enjoy his life today must not be like you and me. Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours--
”
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Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
β€œ
Anti-Americanism is in the process of being consecrated into an ideology. The term 'anti-American' is usually used by the American establishment to discredit and, not falsely -- but shall we say inaccurately -- define its critics. Once someone is branded anti-American, the chances are that he or she will be judged before they're heard and the argument will be lost in the welter of bruised national pride. What does the term 'anti-American' mean? Does it mean you're anti-jazz? Or that you're opposed to free speech? That you don't delight in Toni Morrison or John Updike? That you have a quarrel with giant sequoias? Does it mean you don't admire the hundreds of thousands of American citizens who marched against nuclear weapons, or the thousands of war resisters who forced their government to withdraw from Vietnam? Does it mean that you hate all Americans? ..... To call someone 'anti-American', indeed, to be anti-American, (or for that matter anti-Indian, or anti- Timbuktuan) is not just racist, it's a failure of the imagination. An inability to see the world in terms other than those that the establishment has set out for you: If you're not a Bushie you're a Taliban. If you don't love us, you hate us. If you're not good you're evil. If you're not with us, you're with the terrorists.
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Arundhati Roy (War Talk)
β€œ
A qui Γ©cris-tu? -A toi. En fait, je ne t'Γ©cris pas vraiment, j'Γ©cris ce que j'ai envie de faire avec toi... Il y avait des feuilles partout. Autour d'elle, Γ  ses pieds, sur le lit. J'en ai pris une au hasard: "...Pique-niquer, faire la sieste au bord d'une riviΓ¨re, manger des pΓͺches, des crevettes, des croissants, du riz gluant, nager, danser, m'acheter des chaussures, de la lingerie, du parfum, lire le journal, lΓ©cher les vitrines, prendre le mΓ©tro, surveiller l'heure, te pousser quand tu prends toute la place, Γ©tendre le linge, aller Γ  l'OpΓ©ra, faire des barbecues, rΓ’ler parce que tu as oubliΓ© le charbon, me laver les dents en mΓͺme temps que toi, t'acheter des caleΓ§ons, tondre la pelouse, lire le journal par-dessus ton Γ©paule, t'empΓͺcher de manger trop de cacahuΓ¨tes, visiter les caves de la Loire, et celles de la Hunter Valley, faire l'idiote, jacasser, cueillir des mΓ»res, cuisiner, jardiner, te rΓ©veiller encore parce que tu ronfles, aller au zoo, aux puces, Γ  Paris, Γ  Londres, te chanter des chansons, arrΓͺter de fumer, te demander de me couper les ongles, acheter de la vaisselle, des bΓͺtises, des choses qui ne servent Γ  rien, manger des glaces, regarder les gens, te battre aux Γ©checs, Γ©couter du jazz, du reggae, danser le mambo et le cha-cha-cha, m'ennuyer, faire des caprices, bouder, rire, t'entortiller autour de mon petit doigt, chercher une maison avec vue sur les vaches, remplir d'indΓ©cents Caddie, repeindre un plafond, coudre des rideaux, rester des heures Γ  table Γ  discuter avec des gens intΓ©ressants, te tenir par la barbichette, te couper les cheveux, enlever les mauvaises herbes, laver la voiture, voir la mer, t'appeler encore, te dire des mots crus, apprendre Γ  tricoter, te tricoter une Γ©charpe, dΓ©faire cette horreur, recueillir des chats, des chiens, des perroquets, des Γ©lΓ©phants, louer des bicyclettes, ne pas s'en servir, rester dans un hamac, boire des margaritas Γ  l'ombre, tricher, apprendre Γ  me servir d'un fer Γ  repasser, jeter le fer Γ  repasser par la fenΓͺtre, chanter sous la pluie, fuire les touristes, m'enivrer, te dire toute la vΓ©ritΓ©, me souvenir que toute vΓ©ritΓ© n'est pas bonne Γ  dire, t'Γ©couter, te donner la main, rΓ©cupΓ©rer mon fer Γ  repasser, Γ©couter les paroles des chansons, mettre le rΓ©veil, oublier nos valises, m'arrΓͺter de courir, descendre les poubelles, te demander si tu m'aimes toujours, discuter avec la voisine, te raconter mon enfance, faire des mouillettes, des Γ©tiquettes pour les pots de confiture..." Et Γ§a continuais comme Γ§a pendant des pages et des pages...
”
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Anna Gavalda (Someone I Loved (Je l'aimais))
β€œ
It's nice when grown people whisper to each other under the covers. Their ecstasy is more a leaf-sigh than bray and the body is the vehicle, not the point. They reach, grown people, for something beyond, way beyond and way, way down underneath tissue. They are remembering while they whisper the carnival dolls they won and the Baltimore boats they never sailed on. The pears they let hang on the limb because if they plucked them, they would be gone from there and who else would see that ripeness if they took it away for themselves? How could anybody passing by see them and imagine for themselves what the flavour would be like? Breathing and murmuring under covers both of them have washed and hung out on the line, in a bed they chose together and kept together nevermind one leg was propped on a 1916 dictionary, and the mattress, curved like a preacher's palm asking for witnesses in His name's sake, enclosed them each and every night and muffled their whispering, old-time love. They are under the covers because they don't have to look at themselves anymore; there is no stud's eye, no chippie glance to undo them. They are inward toward the other, bound and joined by carnival dolls and the steamers that sailed from ports they never saw. That is what is beneath their undercover whispers.
”
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Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
β€œ
Still i knew because of my own feelings there was something wrong with me and i knew it wasnt only me. I knew it was everybody. It was like a bacteria or a cancer or a trance. It wasnt on the skin, it was in the soul. It showed itself in lonliness, lust, anger , jealousy and depression. It had people screwed up bad everywhere you went- at the store, at home, at church, it was ugly and deep. Lots of singers on the radio were singing about it and cops had jobs because of it. It was as if we were broken I thought, as if we were never supposed to feel these sticky emotions. It was as if we were cracked, coudlnt love right, couldnt feel good things for a long before screwing it all up. I am talking about the broken quality of life.
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
I need wonder. I know that death is coming. I smell it in the wind, read it in the paper, watch it on television, and see it on the faces of the old. I need wonder to explain what is going to happen to me, what is going to happen to us when this thing is done, when our shift is over and our kids' kids are still on the earth listening to their crazy rap music. I need something mysterious to happen after I die. I need to be somewhere else after I die, somewhere with God, somewhere that wouldn't make any sense if it were explained to me right now. At the end of the day, when I am lying in bed and I know the chances of any of our theology being exactly right are a million to one, I need to know that God has things figured out, that if my math is wrong we are still going to be okay. And wonder is that feeling we get when we let go of our silly answers, our mapped out rules that we want God to follow. I don't think there is any better worship than wonder.
”
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
β€œ
Jazz presumes that it would be nice if the four of us--simpatico dudes that we are--while playing this complicated song together, might somehow be free and autonomous as well. Tragically, this never quite works out. At best, we can only be free one or two at a time--while the other dudes hold onto the wire. Which is not to say that no one has tried to dispense with wires. Many have, and sometimes it works--but it doesn't feel like jazz when it does. The music simply drifts away into the stratosphere of formal dialectic, beyond our social concerns. Rock-and-roll, on the other hand, presumes that the four of us--as damaged and anti-social as we are--might possibly get it to-fucking-gether, man, and play this simple song. And play it right, okay? Just this once, in tune and on the beat. But we can't. The song's too simple, and we're too complicated and too excited. We try like hell, but the guitars distort, the intonation bends, and the beat just moves, imperceptibly, against our formal expectations, whetehr we want it to or not. Just because we're breathing, man. Thus, in the process of trying to play this very simple song together, we create this hurricane of noise, this infinitely complicated, fractal filigree of delicate distinctions. And you can thank the wanking eighties, if you wish, and digital sequencers, too, for proving to everyone that technologically "perfect" rock--like "free" jazz--sucks rockets. Because order sucks. I mean, look at the Stones. Keith Richards is always on top of the beat, and Bill Wyman, until he quit, was always behind it, because Richards is leading the band and Charlie Watts is listening to him and Wyman is listening to Watts. So the beat is sliding on those tiny neural lapses, not so you can tell, of course, but so you can feel it in your stomach. And the intonation is wavering, too, with the pulse in the finger on the amplified string. This is the delicacy of rock-and-roll, the bodily rhetoric of tiny increments, necessary imperfections, and contingent community. And it has its virtues, because jazz only works if we're trying to be free and are, in fact, together. Rock-and-roll works because we're all a bunch of flakes. That's something you can depend on, and a good thing too, because in the twentieth century, that's all there is: jazz and rock-and-roll. The rest is term papers and advertising.
”
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Dave Hickey (Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy)
β€œ
And the City, in its own way, gets down for you, cooperates, smoothing its sidewalks, correcting its curbstones, offering you melons and green apples on the corner. Racks of yellow head scarves; strings of Egyptian beads. Kansas fried chicken and something with raisins call attention to an open window where the aroma seems to lurk. And if that's not enough, doors to speakeasies stand ajar and in that cool dark place a clarinet coughs and clears its throat waiting for the woman to decide on the key. She makes up her mind and as you pass by informs your back that she is daddy's little angel child. The City is smart at this: smelling and good and looking raunchy; sending secret messages disguised as public signs: this way, open here, danger to let colored only single men on sale woman wanted private room stop dog on premises absolutely no money down fresh chicken free delivery fast. And good at opening locks, dimming stairways. Covering your moans with its own.
”
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Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
β€œ
ALONE One of my new housemates, Stacy, wants to write a story about an astronaut. In his story the astronaut is wearing a suit that keeps him alive by recycling his fluids. In the story the astronaut is working on a space station when an accident takes place, and he is cast into space to orbit the earth, to spend the rest of his life circling the globe. Stacy says this story is how he imagines hell, a place where a person is completely alone, without others and without God. After Stacy told me about his story, I kept seeing it in my mind. I thought about it before I went to sleep at night. I imagined myself looking out my little bubble helmet at blue earth, reaching toward it, closing it between my puffy white space-suit fingers, wondering if my friends were still there. In my imagination I would call to them, yell for them, but the sound would only come back loud within my helmet. Through the years my hair would grow long in my helmet and gather around my forehead and fall across my eyes. Because of my helmet I would not be able to touch my face with my hands to move my hair out of my eyes, so my view of earth, slowly, over the first two years, would dim to only a thin light through a curtain of thatch and beard. I would lay there in bed thinking about Stacy's story, putting myself out there in the black. And there came a time, in space, when I could not tell whether I was awake or asleep. All my thoughts mingled together because I had no people to remind me what was real and what was not real. I would punch myself in the side to feel pain, and this way I could be relatively sure I was not dreaming. Within ten years I was beginning to breathe heavy through my hair and my beard as they were pressing tough against my face and had begun to curl into my mouth and up my nose. In space, I forgot that I was human. I did not know whether I was a ghost or an apparition or a demon thing. After I thought about Stacy's story, I lay there in bed and wanted to be touched, wanted to be talked to. I had the terrifying thought that something like that might happen to me. I thought it was just a terrible story, a painful and ugly story. Stacy had delivered as accurate a description of a hell as could be calculated. And what is sad, what is very sad, is that we are proud people, and because we have sensitive egos and so many of us live our lives in front of our televisions, not having to deal with real people who might hurt us or offend us, we float along on our couches like astronauts moving aimlessly through the Milky Way, hardly interacting with other human beings at all.
”
”
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
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We have gone sick by following a path of untrammelled rationalism, male dominance, attention to the visible surface of things, practicality, bottom-line-ism. We have gone very, very sick. And the body politic, like any body, when it feels itself to be sick, it begins to produce antibodies, or strategies for overcoming the condition of dis-ease. And the 20th century is an enormous effort at self-healing. Phenomena as diverse as surrealism, body piercing, psychedelic drug use, sexual permissiveness, jazz, experimental dance, rave culture, tattooing, the list is endless. What do all these things have in common? They represent various styles of rejection of linear values. The society is trying to cure itself by an archaic revival, by a reversion to archaic values. So when I see people manifesting sexual ambiguity, or scarifying themselves, or showing a lot of flesh, or dancing to syncopated music, or getting loaded, or violating ordinary canons of sexual behaviour, I applaud all of this; because it's an impulse to return to what is felt by the body -- what is authentic, what is archaic -- and when you tease apart these archaic impulses, at the very centre of all these impulses is the desire to return to a world of magical empowerment of feeling. And at the centre of that impulse is the shaman: stoned, intoxicated on plants, speaking with the spirit helpers, dancing in the moonlight, and vivifying and invoking a world of conscious, living mystery. That's what the world is. The world is not an unsolved problem for scientists or sociologists. The world is a living mystery: our birth, our death, our being in the moment -- these are mysteries. They are doorways opening on to unimaginable vistas of self-exploration, empowerment and hope for the human enterprise. And our culture has killed that, taken it away from us, made us consumers of shoddy products and shoddier ideals. We have to get away from that; and the way to get away from it is by a return to the authentic experience of the body -- and that means sexually empowering ourselves, and it means getting loaded, exploring the mind as a tool for personal and social transformation. The hour is late; the clock is ticking; we will be judged very harshly if we fumble the ball. We are the inheritors of millions and millions of years of successfully lived lives and successful adaptations to changing conditions in the natural world. Now the challenge passes to us, the living, that the yet-to-be-born may have a place to put their feet and a sky to walk under; and that's what the psychedelic experience is about, is caring for, empowering, and building a future that honours the past, honours the planet and honours the power of the human imagination. There is nothing as powerful, as capable of transforming itself and the planet, as the human imagination. Let's not sell it straight. Let's not whore ourselves to nitwit ideologies. Let's not give our control over to the least among us. Rather, you know, claim your place in the sun and go forward into the light. The tools are there; the path is known; you simply have to turn your back on a culture that has gone sterile and dead, and get with the programme of a living world and a re-empowerment of the imagination. Thank you very, very much.
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Terence McKenna (The Archaic Revival)
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I have sometimes thought that the mere hearing of those songs would do more to impress some minds with the horrible character of slavery, than the reading of whole volumes of philosophy on the subject could do. I did not, when a slave, understand the deep meaning of those rude and apparently incoherent songs. I was myself within the circle; so that I neither saw nor heard as those without might see and hear. They told a tale of woe which was then altogether beyond my feeble comprehension; they were tones loud, long, and deep; they breathed the prayer and complaint of souls boiling over with bitterest anguish. Every tone was a testimony against slavery, and a prayer to God for deliverance from chains. The hearing of those wild notes always depressed my spirit, and filled me with ineffable sadness. I have frequently found myself in tears while hearing them. The mere recurrence to those songs, even now, afflicts me; and while I am writing these lines, an expression of feeling has already found its way down my cheek. To those songs I trace my first glimmering conception of the dehumanizing character of slavery. I can never get rid of that conception. Those songs still follow me, to deepen my hatred of slavery, and quicken my sympathies for my brethren in bonds. If any one wishes to be impressed with the soul-killing effects of slavery, let him go to Colonel Lloyd's plantation, and, on allowance-day, place himself in the deep pine woods, and there let him, in silence, analyze the sounds that shall pass through the chambers of his soul, - and if he is not thus impressed, it will only be because "there is no flesh in his obdurate heart." I have often been utterly astonished, since I came to the north, to find persons who could speak of the singing, among slaves, as evidence of their contentment and happiness. It is impossible to conceive of a greater mistake. Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears. At least, such is my experience. I have often sung to drown my sorrow, but seldom to express my happiness. Crying for joy, and singing for joy, were alike uncommon to me while in the jaws of slavery. The singing of a man cast away upon a desolate island might be as appropriately considered as evidence of contentment and happiness, as the singing of a slave; the songs of the one and of the other are prompted by the same emotion.
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Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
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What great gravity is this that drew my soul towards yours? What great force, that though I went falsely, went kicking, went disguising myself to earn your love, also disguised, to earn your keeping, your resting, your staying, your will fleshed into mine, rasped by a slowly revealed truth, the barter of my soul, the soul that I fear, the soul that I loathe, the soul that: if you will love, I will love. I will redeem you, if you will redeem me? Is this our purpose, you and I together to pacify each other, to lead each other toward the lie that we are good, that we are noble, that we need not redemption, save the one that you and I invented of our own clay? I am not scared of you, my love, I am scared of me. I went looking, I wrote out a list, I drew an image, I bled a poem of you. You were pretty and my friends believed I was worthy of you. You were clever, but I was smarter, perhaps the only one smarter, the only one able to lead you. You see, love, I did not love you, I loved me. And you were only a tool that I used to fix myself, to fool myself, to redeem myself. And though I have taught you to lay your lily hand in mine, I walk alone, for I cannot talk to you, lest you talk it back to me, lest I believe that I am not worthy, not deserving, not redeemed. I want desperately for you to be my friend. But you are not my friend; you have slid up warmly to the man I wanted to be, the man I pretended to be, and I was your Jesus and, you were mine. Should I show you who I am, we may crumble. I am not scared of you my love, I am scared of me. I want to be known and loved anyway. Can you do this? I trust by your easy breathing that your are human like me, that you are fallen like me, that you are lonely, like me. My love, do I know you? What is this great gravity that pulls us so painfully toward each other? Why do we not connect? Will we be forever in fleshing this out? And how will we with words, narrow words, come into the knowing of each other?
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Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)