Life Is Like Billiards Quotes

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Life is either a collision of random events, like billiard balls during a break careening off and into one another, or if you are so inclined to believe, our predetermined fate—what my mother took such great comfort in calling God’s will.
Robert Dugoni (The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell)
It seemed to work at first. I tried hard to forget, but there remained inside me a vague knot-of-air kind of thing. And as time went by, the knot began to take on a clear and simple form, a form that I am able to put into words, like this: Death exists, not as the opposite but as a part of life. Translate into words, it's a cliche, but at the time I felt it not as words but as that knot of air inside me. Death exists - in a paperweight, in four red and white balls on a billiard table - and we go on living and breathing it into our lungs like fine dust. Until that time, I had understood death as something entirely separate from and independent of life. The hand of death is bound to take us, I had felt, but until the day it reaches out for us, it leaves us alone. This had seemed to me the simple, logical truth. Life is here, death is over there. I am here, not over there. The night Kizuki died, however, I lost the ability to see death (and life) in such simple terms. Death was not the opposite of life. It was already here, within my being, it had always been here, and no struggle would permit me to forget that... I lived through the following spring...with that kind knot of air in my chest, but I struggled all the while against becoming serious. Becoming serious was not the same thing as approaching truth, I sensed, however vaguely. But death was a fact, a serious fact, no matter how you looked at it. stuck inside this suffocating contradiction, I went on endlessly spinning in circles...In the midst of life, everything revolved around death.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
I had concluded that I no longer shared her faith in a God who controlled the universe like a puppet master pulling and tugging strings and making us all dance. Our lives, I believed, were more like billiard balls on a pool table, ricocheting randomly with the impact of the cue ball. To believe otherwise was to believe that a God to whom my mother had devoted her life had responded by striking down her husband and causing her so much pain. I couldn’t accept that.
Robert Dugoni (The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell)
Death exists, not as the opposite but as a part of life. Translated into words, it’s a cliché, but at the time I felt it not as words but as that knot of air inside me. Death exists—in a paperweight, in four red and white balls on a billiard table—and we go on living and breathing it into our lungs like fine dust.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Her continued devotion in the face of all that had happened amazed me, but at this point I had concluded that I no longer shared her faith in a God who controlled the universe like a puppet master pulling and tugging strings and making us all dance. Our lives, I believed, were more like billiard balls on a pool table, ricocheting randomly with the impact of the cue ball.
Robert Dugoni (The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell)
Death exists, not as the opposite but as a part of life. Translate into words, it's a cliche, but at the time I felt it not as words but as that knot of air inside me. Death exists - in a paperweight, in four red and white balls on a billiard table - and we go on living and breathing it into our lungs like fine dust.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
It happened overnight—the evolution of an atomic identity towards a manifestation of life. There it was, polymers shrinking, disintegrating like Phenol without its Benzene. It was simply there, haphazard and hazardous as a series of exploding celluloid billiard balls. And there it was, until the sudden surge. And there was silence.
Dew Platt (If I were a Guy)
Death exists -- in a paperweight, in four red and white balls on a billiard table -- and we go on living and breathing it into our lungs like fine dust. Until that time, I had understood death as something entirely separate from and independent life. The hand of death is bound to take us, I had felt, but until it reaches out for us, it leaves us alone. This had seemed to be the simple, logical truth. Life is here, death is there. I am here, not over there. The night Kizuki died, however, I lost the ability to see death (and life) in such simple terms. Death was not the opposite of life. It was already here, in my being, it had always been here, and no struggle would permit me to forget that. When it took the seventeen-year-old Kizuki that night in May, death took me as well.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Death exists -- in a paperweight, in four red and white balls on a billiard table -- and we go on living and breathing it into our lungs like fine dust. Until that time, I had understood death as something entirely separate from and independent of life. The hand of death is bound to take us, I had felt, but until the day it reaches out for us, it leaves us alone. This had seemed to be the simple, logical truth. Life is here, death is there. I am here, not over there. The night Kizuki died, however, I lost the ability to see death (and life) in such simple terms. Death was not the opposite of life. It was already here, in my being, it had always been here, and no struggle would permit me to forget that. When it took the seventeen-year-old Kizuki that night in May, death took me as well.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Speaking to a foreigner was the dream of every student, and my opportunity came at last. When I got back from my trip down the Yangtze, I learned that my year was being sent in October to a port in the south called Zhanjiang to practice our English with foreign sailors. I was thrilled. Zhanjiang was about 75 miles from Chengdu, a journey of two days and two nights by rail. It was the southernmost large port in China, and quite near the Vietnamese border. It felt like a foreign country, with turn-of-the-century colonial-style buildings, pastiche Romanesque arches, rose windows, and large verandas with colorful parasols. The local people spoke Cantonese, which was almost a foreign language. The air smelled of the unfamiliar sea, exotic tropical vegetation, and an altogether bigger world. But my excitement at being there was constantly doused by frustration. We were accompanied by a political supervisor and three lecturers, who decided that, although we were staying only a mile from the sea, we were not to be allowed anywhere near it. The harbor itself was closed to outsiders, for fear of 'sabotage' or defection. We were told that a student from Guangzhou had managed to stow away once in a cargo steamer, not realizing that the hold would be sealed for weeks, by which time he had perished. We had to restrict our movements to a clearly defined area of a few blocks around our residence. Regulations like these were part of our daily life, but they never failed to infuriate me. One day I was seized by an absolute compulsion to get out. I faked illness and got permission to go to a hospital in the middle of the city. I wandered the streets desperately trying to spot the sea, without success. The local people were unhelpful: they did not like non-Cantonese speakers, and refused to understand me. We stayed in the port for three weeks, and only once were we allowed, as a special treat, to go to an island to see the ocean. As the point of being there was to talk to the sailors, we were organized into small groups to take turns working in the two places they were allowed to frequent: the Friendship Store, which sold goods for hard currency, and the Sailors' Club, which had a bar, a restaurant, a billiards room, and a ping-pong room. There were strict rules about how we could talk to the sailors. We were not allowed to speak to them alone, except for brief exchanges over the counter of the Friendship Store. If we were asked our names and addresses, under no circumstances were we to give our real ones. We all prepared a false name and a nonexistent address. After every conversation, we had to write a detailed report of what had been said which was standard practice for anyone who had contact with foreigners. We were warned over and over again about the importance of observing 'discipline in foreign contacts' (she waifi-lu). Otherwise, we were told, not only would we get into serious trouble, other students would be banned from coming.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Forget about green-felt pool tables and red N-360s and white flowers on school desks; about smoke rising from tall crematorium smokestacks, and chunky paperweights in police interrogation rooms. Death exists, not as the opposite but as a part of life. Death exists - in a paperweight, in four red and white balls on a billiard table - and we go on living and breathing it into our lungs like fine dust. I had understood death as something entirely separate from and independent of life. This had seemed to me the simple, logical truth. Life is here, death is over there. I am here, not over there. But death was a fact, a serious fact, no matter how you looked at it. Stuck inside this suffocating contradiction, I went on endlessly spinning in circles.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
There was only one thing for me to do when I started my new life in the dorm: stop taking everything so seriously; establish a proper distance between myself and everything else. Forget about green-felt pool tables and red N-360s and white flowers on school desks; about smoke rising from tall crematorium smokestacks, and chunky paperweights in police interrogation rooms. It seemed to work at first. I tried hard to forget, but there remained inside me a vague knot-of-air kind of thing. And as time went by, the knot began to take on a clear and simple form, a form that I am able to put into words, like this: Death exists, not as the opposite but as a part of life. Translated into words, it’s a cliché, but at the time I felt it not as words but as that knot of air inside me. Death exists—in a paperweight, in four red and white balls on a billiard table—and we go on living and breathing it into our lungs like fine dust.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Only as a young man playing pool all night for money had he been able to find what he wanted in life, and then only briefly. People thought pool hustling was corrupt and sleazy, worse than boxing. But to win at pool, to be a professional at it, you had to deliver. In a business you could pretend that skill and determination had brought you along, when it had only been luck and muddle. A pool hustler did not have the freedom to believe that. There were well-paid incompetents everywhere living rich lives. They arrogated to themselves the plush hotel suites and Lear Jets that America provided for the guileful and lucky far more than it did for the wise. You could fake and bluff and luck your way into all of it. Hotel suites overlooking Caribbean private beaches. Bl*wj*bs from women of stunning beauty. Restaurant meals that it took four tuxedoed waiters to serve, with the sauces just right. The lamb or duck in tureen sliced with precise and elegant thinness, sitting just so on the plate, the plate facing you just so on the heavy white linen, the silver fork heavy gleaming in your manicured hand below the broad cloth cuff and mother of pearl buttons. You could get that from luck and deceit even while causing the business or the army or the government that supported you to do poorly at what it did. The world and all its enterprises could slide downhill through stupidity and bad faith. But the long gray limousines would still hum through the streets of New York, of Paris, of Moscow, of Tokyo. Though the men who sat against the soft leather in back with their glasses of 12-year-old scotch might be incapable of anything more than looking important, of wearing the clothes and the hair cuts and the gestures that the world, whether it liked to or not, paid for, and always had paid for. Eddie would lie in bed sometimes at night and think these things in anger, knowing that beneath the anger envy lay like a swamp. A pool hustler had to do what he claimed to be able to do. The risks he took were not underwritten. His skill on the arena of green cloth, cloth that was itself the color of money, could never be only pretense. Pool players were often cheats and liars, petty men whose lives were filled with pretensions, who ran out on their women and walked away from their debts. But on the table with the lights overhead beneath the cigarette smoke and the silent crowd around them in whatever dive of a billiard parlor at four in the morning, they had to find the wherewithal inside themselves to do more than promise excellence. Under whatever lies might fill the life, the excellence had to be there, it had to be delivered. It could not be faked. But Eddie did not make his living that way anymore.
Walter Tevis (The Color of Money (Eddie Felson, #2))
The problem with using gunk as the starting material for generating organized life is that the random thermodynamic forces that were available in the primordial earth—the billiard-ball-like molecular motions that we discussed in chapter 2—tend to destroy order rather than create it.
Johnjoe McFadden (Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology)
the principal reason why many scientists were (and many still are) very skeptical toward the notion that the avian compass could be governed by quantum mechanics. You may remember that, when discussing this issue in chapter 1, we described the quantum properties of matter as being “washed away” by the random arrangement of molecules in big objects. With our thermodynamic insight we can now see the source of that dissipation: it is the billiard-ball-like molecular jostling that Schrödinger identified as the source of the “order from disorder” statistical laws. Scattered particles can be realigned to reveal their hidden quantum depths, but only in special circumstances and usually only very briefly.
Johnjoe McFadden (Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology)