Lives Of A Cell Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Lives Of A Cell. Here they are! All 100 of them:

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.
Dr. Seuss
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.
Dr. Seuss
We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.
John Muir (My First Summer in the Sierra)
I crush her against me. I want to be part of her. Not just inside her but all around her. I want our rib cages to crack open and our hearts to migrate and merge. I want our cells to braid together like living thread.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
Everything you'll ever need to know is within you; the secrets of the universe are imprinted on the cells of your body.
Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives)
With all the money my uncle embezzled over the years, it's no surprise he lives in a gated community. But what is amazing, however, is that he somehow managed to get his own cell.
Jarod Kintz (It Occurred to Me)
Sometimes you want to say, “I love you, but…” Yet the “but” takes away the ‘I love you’. In love their are no ‘buts’ or ‘if’s’ or ‘when’. It’s just there, and always. No beginning, no end. It’s the condition-less state of the heart. Not a feeling that comes and goes at the whim of the emotions. It is there in our heart, a part of our heart…eventually grafting itself into each limb and cell of our bodies. Love changes our brain, the way we move and talk. Love lives in our spirit and graces us with its presence each day, until death. To say “I love you, but….” is to say, “I did not love you at all”. I say this to you now: I love you, with no beginning, no end. I love you as you have become an extra necessary organ in my body. I love you as only a girl could love a boy. Without fear. Without expectations. Wanting nothing in return, except that you allow me to keep you here in my heart, that I may always know your strength, your eyes, and your spirit that gave me freedom and let me fly.
Coco J. Ginger
Life is a question of nerves, and fibres, and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams. You may fancy yourself safe and think yourself strong. But a chance tone of colour in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play... I tell you, that it is on things like these that our lives depend.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
He pulls up outside my duplex. I belatedly realize he’s not asked me where I live - yet he knows. But then he sent the books, of course he knows where I live. What able, cell-phone-tracking, helicopter owning, stalker wouldn’t.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1))
Oh my gosh, is that an iPhone?!" Laurel asked, her voice unconsciously rising in pitch and volume. Tamani looked up at her, his expression blank."Yeah?" "He has an iPhone," Laurel said to David. "My faerie sentry who generally lives without running water has an iPhone. That's. Just. Great. Everyone in the whole world has a cell phone except me. That's awesome.
Aprilynne Pike (Illusions (Wings, #3))
Your best friend is the person who not only knows all the important stories and events in your life, but has lived through them with you. Your best friend isn't the person you call when you are in jail; mostly likely, she is sitting in the cell beside you.
Irene S. Levine (Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend)
The capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of DNA. Without this special attribute, we would still be anaerobic bacteria and there would be no music.
Lewis Thomas (The Lives of a Cell)
I wish someone had just told me the truth right up front, as soon as I was old enough to understand it. I wish someone had just said: “Here’s the deal, Wade. You’re something called a ‘human being.’ That’s a really smart kind of animal. Like every other animal on this planet, we’re descended from a single-celled organism that lived millions of years ago. This happened by a process called evolution, and you’ll learn more about it But trust me, that’s really how we all got here. There’s proof of it everywhere, buried in the rocks. That story you heard? About how we were all created by a super-powerful dude named God who lives up in the sky? Total bullshit. The whole God thing is actually an ancient fairy tale that people have been telling one another for thousands of years. We made it all up. Like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. “Oh, and by the way … there’s no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny. Also bullshit. Sorry, kid Deal with it.
Ernest Cline (Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1))
Your reality, isn’t restricted by this cell we live in. If you read something, if you study something, you transcend any cell you’re inside of
Manuel Puig
The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle.
Michael Denton (Evolution: A Theory In Crisis)
Disassemble the cells of a sponge (by passing them through a sieve, for instance), then dump them into a solution, and they will find their way back together and build themselves into a sponge again. You can do this to them over and over, and they will doggedly reassemble because, like you and me and every other living thing, they have one overwhelming impulse: to continue to be.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
What is Insulin? Insulin is a hormone that allows the glucose (also called blood sugar) in your blood to get out of your bloodstream and into your cells for energy for whatever your current activity or inactivity is. If you have more glucose in your bloodstream than your current energy need, the excess is stored in your liver (called glycogen in its storage form). If your liver is full and you still have excess glucose in your bloodstream, the rest is stored as body fat around your butt, thighs, belly—and generally every place you don’t want it to be. 
Rick Mystrom (Glucose Control Eating: Lose Weight Stay Slimmer Live Healthier Live Longer)
I know what cancer was. How is it like humankind?" Sek Hardeen's perfectly modulated, softly accented tones showed a hint of agitation. "We have spread out through the galaxy like cancer cells through a living body, Duré. We multiply without thought to the countless life forms that must die or be pushed aside so that we may breed and flourish. We eradicate competing forms of intelligent life.
Dan Simmons (The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #2))
Man was born for society. However little He may be attached to the World, He never can wholly forget it, or bear to be wholly forgotten by it. Disgusted at the guilt or absurdity of Mankind, the Misanthrope flies from it: He resolves to become an Hermit, and buries himself in the Cavern of some gloomy Rock. While Hate inflames his bosom, possibly He may feel contented with his situation: But when his passions begin to cool; when Time has mellowed his sorrows, and healed those wounds which He bore with him to his solitude, think you that Content becomes his Companion? Ah! no, Rosario. No longer sustained by the violence of his passions, He feels all the monotony of his way of living, and his heart becomes the prey of Ennui and weariness. He looks round, and finds himself alone in the Universe: The love of society revives in his bosom, and He pants to return to that world which He has abandoned. Nature loses all her charms in his eyes: No one is near him to point out her beauties, or share in his admiration of her excellence and variety. Propped upon the fragment of some Rock, He gazes upon the tumbling waterfall with a vacant eye, He views without emotion the glory of the setting Sun. Slowly He returns to his Cell at Evening, for no one there is anxious for his arrival; He has no comfort in his solitary unsavoury meal: He throws himself upon his couch of Moss despondent and dissatisfied, and wakes only to pass a day as joyless, as monotonous as the former.
Matthew Gregory Lewis (The Monk)
If you passed me walking home from school, you probably wouldn't even notice me. That's because I'm just a kid like you. I go to school like you. I get bullied like you. Unlike you, I live in Idaho. Don't ask me what state Idaho is in––news flash––Idaho IS a state. ~Michael Vey
Richard Paul Evans (The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey, #1))
I have lived that life already, in the mud, in the shadows, in a cell, in a silk dress. I will never submit again. I will never stop fighting.
Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen (Red Queen, #1))
You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity. Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There's been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away -- all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in Arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. It might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety. Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears the earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It's powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. Do you think this is the first time that's happened? Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive glass, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park / Congo)
You were already in a prison. You've been in a prison all your life. Happiness is a prison, Evey. Happiness is the most insidious prison of all. Your lover lived in the penitentiary that we are all born into, and was forced to rake the dregs of that world for his living. He knew affection and tenderness but only briefly. Eventually, one of the other inmates stabbed him with a cutlass and he drowned upon his own blood. Is that it, Evey? Is that the happiness worth more than freedom? It's not an uncommon story, Evey. Many convicts meet with miserable ends. Your mother. Your father. Your lover. One by one, taken out behind the chemical sheds... and shot. All convicts, hunched and deformed by the smallness of their cells, the weight of their chains, the unfairness of their sentences. I didn't put you in a prison, Evey. I just showed you the bars.' 'You're wrong! It's just life, that's all! It's just how life is. It's what we've got to put up with. It's all we've got. What gives you the right to decide it's not good enough?' 'You're in a prison, Evey. You were born in a prison. You've been in a prison so long, you no longer believe there's a world outside. That's because you're afraid, Evey. You're afraid because you can feel freedom closing in upon you. You're afraid because freedom is terrifying. Don't back away from it, Evey. Part of you understands the truth even as part pretends not to. You were in a cell, Evey. They offered you a choice between the death of your principles and the death of your body. You said you'd rather die. You faced the fear of your own death and you were calm and still. The door of the cage is open, Evey. All that you feel is the wind from outside.
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
I actually plan to mess up my life and start over every seven years. That way, I’ll never get in a rut. I read somewhere that most of your cells only live about seven years anyway, so in theory you literally are a new person; I figure that’s the best time to start over.
Jody Gehrman (Babe in Boyland)
Imagine for a moment that we are nothing but the product of billions of years of molecules coming together and ratcheting up through natural selection, that we are composed only of highways of fluids and chemicals sliding along roadways within billions of dancing cells, that trillions of synaptic conversations hum in parallel, that this vast egglike fabric of micron-thin circuitry runs algorithms undreamt of in modern science, and that these neural programs give rise to our decision making, loves, desires, fears, and aspirations. To me, that understanding would be a numinous experience, better than anything ever proposed in anyone's holy text.
David Eagleman (Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain)
To live is to be vulnerable. A thin membrane of a soap bubble separates one from impenetrable hell. Ice on the road. The unlucky division of an aging cell. A child picks up a pill from the floor. Words stick to each other, line up, obedient to the great harmony of speech...
Marina Dyachenko (Vita Nostra (Метаморфозы, #1))
It's not a loup cage, you know,' I told her. 'It's a holding cell. Or safe room. or secure room. I don't think Jim ever settled on a term he could live with.' 'Aha. It's a loup cage.' Andrea cleared her throat. 'I touched it with my finger and it hurt. Is that in case of marital problems?
Ilona Andrews (Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5))
I’d come to see my rig for what it was: an elaborate contraption for deceiving my senses, to allow me to live in a world that didn’t exist. Each component of my rig was a bar in the cell where I had willingly imprisoned myself.
Ernest Cline (Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1))
Brightlord Adolin insisted. So long as you were in here, he wouldn't leave. We tried to stop him, but the man’s a prince. We can’t storming make him do anything, not even leave. He locked himself away in the cell and we just had to live with it.
Brandon Sanderson (Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2))
Just like a single cell, the character of our lives is determined not by our genes but by our responses to the environmental signals that
Bruce H. Lipton (The Biology of Belief: Unleasing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles)
The drug of love was no escape, for in its coils lie latent dreams of greatness which awaken when men and women fecundate each other deeply. Something is always born of man and woman lying together and exchanging the essences of their lives. Some seed is always carried and opened in the soil of passion. The fumes of desire are the womb of man's birth and often in the drunkeness of caresses history is made, and science, and philosophy. For a woman, as she sews, cooks, embraces, covers, warms, also dreams that the man taking her will be more than a man, will be the mythological figure of her dreams, the hero, the discoverer, the builder....Unless she is the anonymous whore, no man enters woman with impunity, for where the seed of man and woman mingle, within the drops of blood exchanged, the changes that take place are the same as those of great flowing rivers of inheritance, which carry traits of character from father to son to grandson, traits of character as well as physical traits. Memories of experience are transmitted by the same cells which repeated the design of a nose, a hand, the tone of a voice, the color of an eye. These great flowing rivers of inheritance transmitted traits and carried dreams from port to port until fulfillment, and gave birth to selves never born before....No man and woman know what will be born in the darkness of their intermingling; so much besides children, so many invisible births, exchanges of soul and character, blossoming of unknown selves, liberation of hidden treasures, buried fantasies...
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
Black scientists and technicians, many of them women, used cells from a black woman to help save the lives of millions of Americans, most of them white. And they did so on the same campus—and at the very same time—that state officials were conducting the infamous Tuskegee syphilis studies.
Rebecca Skloot (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks)
Breathing in, I see all my ancestors in me: my mineral ancestors, plant ancestors, mammal ancestors, and human ancestors. My ancestors are always present, alive in every cell of my body, and I play a part in their immortality.
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Art Of Living)
Life is not governed by will or intention. Life is a question of nerves, and fibres, and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams. You may fancy yourself safe, and think yourself strong. But a chance tone of colour in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings sublte memories with it, a line from a piece of music that you had ceased to play--I tell you Dorian, that it is on things like these that our lives depend.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Writings)
Choose your favorite spade and dig a small, deep hole, located deep in the forest or a desolate area of the desert or tundra. Bury your cell phone and then find a hobby.
Nick Offerman (Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living)
There are moments, psychologists tell us, when the passion for sin, or what the world calls sin, so dominates a nature, that every fibre of the body, as every cell of the brain, seems to be instinct with fearful impulses. Men and women at such moments lose the freedom of their will. They move to their terrible end as automatons move. Choice is taken from them, and conscience is either killed, or, if it lives at all, lives but to give rebellion its fascination, and disobedience its charm.
Oscar Wilde
Each moment, breath is nourishing millions and millions of cells in our body.Listen to its language, interpret its words and enter into the mystery of life.
Amit Ray (Mindfulness Living in the Moment - Living in the Breath)
We are familiar with people who seek out solitude: penitents, failures, saints, or prophets. They retreat to deserts, preferably, where they live on locusts and honey. Others, however, live in caves or cells on remote islands; some-more spectacularly-squat in cages mounted high atop poles swaying in the breeze. They do this to be nearer God. Their solitude is a self-moritification by which they do penance. They act in the belief that they are living a life pleasing to God. Or they wait months, years, for their solitude to be broken by some divine message that they hope then speedily to broadcast among mankind. Grenouille's case was nothing of the sort. There was not the least notion of God in his head. He was not doing penance or wating for some supernatural inspiration. He had withdrawn solely for his own pleasure, only to be near to himself. No longer distracted by anything external, he basked in his own existence and found it splendid. He lay in his stony crypt like his own corpse, hardly breathing, his heart hardly beating-and yet lived as intensively and dissolutely as ever a rake lived in the wide world outside.
Patrick Süskind (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)
We've all been everybody and we'll all be everybody. The same life-force energy that animated the first single-celled organism, pumps through you and me. In an unbroken chain. All life is connected and one.
Todd Perelmuter (Spiritual Words to Live by : 81 Daily Wisdoms and Meditations to Transform Your Life)
As I exclaimed 'Jane! Jane! Jane!' a voice- I cannot tell whence the voice came, but I know whose voice it was- replied, 'I am coming: wait for me;' and a moment after, went whispering on the wind the words- 'Where are you?' "I'll tell you, if I can, the idea, the picture these words opened to my mind: yet it is difficult to express what I want to express. Ferndean is buried, as you see, in a heavy wood, where sound falls dull, and dies unreverberating. 'Where are you?' seemed spoken amongst mountains; for I heard a hill-sent echo repeat the words. Cooler and fresher at the moment the gale seemed to visit my brow: I could have deemed that in some wild, lone scene, I and Jane were meeting. In spirit, I believe we must have met. You no doubt were, at that hour, in unconscious sleep, Jane: perhaps your soul wandered from its cell to comfort mine; for those were your accents- as certain as I live- they were yours!" Reader, it was on Monday night- near midnight- that I too had received the mysterious summons: those were the very words by which I replied to it. (Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre)
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
The politicized sponsors of this pseudoscientific nonsense should be ashamed to live, let alone die. If you want to take part in the “war” against cancer, and other terrible maladies, too, then join the battle against their lethal stupidity.
Christopher Hitchens (Mortality)
There would never be a way for me to live comfortably with people. Maybe I'd become a monk. I'd pretend to believe in God and live in a cubicle, play an organ and stay drunk on wine. Nobody would fuck with me. I could go into a cell for months of meditation where I wouldn't have to look at anybody and they could just send in the wine.
Charles Bukowski (Ham on Rye)
A Book “Now” - said a good book unto me - “Open my pages and you shall see Jewels of wisdom and treasures fine, Gold and silver in every line, And you may claim them if you but will Open my pages and take your fill. “Open my pages and run them o’er, Take what you choose of my golden store. Be you greedy, I shall not care - All that you seize I shall gladly spare; There is never a lock on my treasure doors, Come - here are my jewels, make them yours! “I am just a book on your mantel shelf, But I can be part of your living self; If only you’ll travel my pages through, Then I will travel the world with you. As two wines blended make better wine, Blend your mind with these truths of mine. “I’ll make you fitter to talk with men, I’ll touch with silver the lines you pen, I’ll lead you nearer the truth you seek, I’ll strengthen you when your faith grows weak - This place on your shelf is a prison cell, Let me come into your mind to dwell!
Edgar A. Guest (Collected Verse)
In a fractal conception, I am a cell-sized unit of the human organism, and I have to use my life to leverage a shift in the system by how I am, as much as with the things I do. This means actually being in my life, and it means bringing my values into my daily decision making. Each day should be lived on purpose.
Adrienne Maree Brown (Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds (Emergent Strategy, #0))
People always say it's harder to heal a wounded heart than a wounded body. Bullshit. It's exactly the opposite—a wounded body takes much longer to heal. A wounded heart is nothing but ashes of memories. But the body is everything. The body is blood and veins and cells and nerves. A wounded body is when, after leaving a man you’ve lived with for three years, you curl up on your side of the bed as if there’s still somebody beside you. That is a wounded body: a body that feels connected to someone who is no longer there.
Xiaolu Guo (Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth)
You have known, O Gilgamesh, What interests me, To drink from the Well of Immortality. Which means to make the dead Rise from their graves And the prisoners from their cells The sinners from their sins. I think love's kiss kills our heart of flesh. It is the only way to eternal life, Which should be unbearable if lived Among the dying flowers And the shrieking farewells Of the overstretched arms of our spoiled hopes.
Herbert Mason (The Epic of Gilgamesh)
Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful because we're too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.
Steven Spielberg
with the night falling we are saying thank you we are stopping on the bridge to bow from the railings we are running out of the glass rooms with our mouths full of food to look at the sky and say thank you we are standing by the water looking out in different directions back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging after funerals we are saying thank you after the news of the dead whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you in a culture up to its chin in shame living in the stench it has chosen we are saying thank you over telephones we are saying thank you in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators remembering wars and the police at the back door and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you in the banks that use us we are saying thank you with the crooks in office with the rich and fashionable unchanged we go on saying thank you thank you with the animals dying around us our lost feelings we are saying thank you with the forests falling faster than the minutes of our lives we are saying thank you with the words going out like cells of a brain with the cities growing over us like the earth we are saying thank you faster and faster with nobody listening we are saying thank you we are saying thank you and waving dark though it is
W.S. Merwin
So. Yes. We're all dying. We're all crumbling into the void, one cell at a time. We are disintegrating like sugar cubes in champagne. But only women have to pretend it isn't happening. Fifty-something men wander around with their guts flopped over their waistbands and their faces looking like a busted tramp's mattress in an underpass. They sprout nasal hair and chasm-like wrinkles, and go 'Ooof!' whenever they stand up or sit down. men visibly age, every day -- but women are supposed to stop the decline at around 37, 38, and live out the next 30 or 40 years in some magical bubble where their hair is still shiny and chestnut, their face unlined, their lips puffy, and their tits up on the top third of the ribcage.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
The monk assumes a robe, changes his name, shaves his head, enters a cell and takes a vow of poverty and chastity; in the East he has one loin cloth, one robe, one meal a day - and we all respect such poverty. But those men who have assumed the robe of poverty are still inwardly, psychologically, rich with the things of society because they are still seeking position and prestige; they belong to this order or that order, this religion or that religion; they still live in the divisions of a culture, a tradition. That is not poverty. poverty is to be completely free of society, though one may have a few more clothes, a few more meals - good God, who cares? But unfortunately in most people there is this urge for exhibitionism.
J. Krishnamurti (Freedom from the Known)
I look down at myself, but I don't need to. I can feel it. My hot blood is pounding through my body, flooding capillaries and lighting up cells like Fourth of July fireworks. I can feel the elation of every atom in my flesh, brimming with gratitude for the second chance they never expected to get. The chance to start over, to live right, to love right, to burn up in a fiery cloud and never again be buried in the mud. I kiss Julie to hide the fact that I'm blushing. My face is bright red and hot enough to melt steel. Okay, corpse, a voice in my head says, and I feel a twitch in my belly, more like a gentle nudge than a kick. I'm going now. I'm sorry I couldn't be here for your battle; I was fighting my own. But we won, right? I can feel it. There's a shiver in our legs, a tremor like the Earth speeding up, spinning off into uncharted orbits. Scary, isn't it? But what wonderful thing didn't start out scary? I don't know what the next page is for you, but whatever it is for me I swear I'm not going to fuck it up. I'm not going to yawn off in the middle of a sentence and hide it in a drawer. Not this time. Peel off these dusty wool blankets of apathy and antipathy and cynical desiccation. I want life in all its stupid sticky rawness. Okay. Okay, R. Here it comes.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
When my husband had an affair with someone else I watched his eyes glaze over when we ate dinner together and I heard him singing to himself without me, and when he tended the garden it was not for me. He was courteous and polite; he enjoyed being at home, but in the fantasy of his home I was not the one who sat opposite him and laughed at his jokes. He didn't want to change anything; he liked his life. The only thing he wanted to change was me. It would have been better if he had hated me, or if he had abused me, or if he had packed his new suitcases and left. As it was he continued to put his arm round me and talk about being a new wall to replace the rotten fence that divided our garden from his vegetable patch. I knew he would never leave our house. He had worked for it. Day by day I felt myself disappearing. For my husband I was no longer a reality, I was one of the things around him. I was the fence which needed to be replaced. I watched myself in the mirror and saw that I was mo longer vivid and exciting. I was worn and gray like an old sweater you can't throw out but won't put on. He admitted he was in love with her, but he said he loved me. Translated, that means, I want everything. Translated, that means, I don't want to hurt you yet. Translated, that means, I don't know what to do, give me time. Why, why should I give you time? What time are you giving me? I am in a cell waiting to be called for execution. I loved him and I was in love with him. I didn't use language to make a war-zone of my heart. 'You're so simple and good,' he said, brushing the hair from my face. He meant, Your emotions are not complex like mine. My dilemma is poetic. But there was no dilemma. He no longer wanted me, but he wanted our life Eventually, when he had been away with her for a few days and returned restless and conciliatory, I decided not to wait in my cell any longer. I went to where he was sleeping in another room and I asked him to leave. Very patiently he asked me to remember that the house was his home, that he couldn't be expected to make himself homeless because he was in love. 'Medea did,' I said, 'and Romeo and Juliet and Cressida, and Ruth in the Bible.' He asked me to shut up. He wasn't a hero. 'Then why should I be a heroine?' He didn't answer, he plucked at the blanket. I considered my choices. I could stay and be unhappy and humiliated. I could leave and be unhappy and dignified. I could Beg him to touch me again. I could live in hope and die of bitterness. I took some things and left. It wasn't easy, it was my home too. I hear he's replaced the back fence.
Jeanette Winterson (Sexing the Cherry)
When her doctor took her bandages off and led her into the garden, the girl who was no longer blind saw “the tree with the lights in it.” It was for this tree I searched through the peach orchards of summer, in the forests of fall and down winter and spring for years. Then one day I was walking along Tinker creek and thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing that like being for the first time see, knocked breathless by a powerful glance. The flood of fire abated, but I’m still spending the power. Gradually the lights went out in the cedar, the colors died, the cells un-flamed and disappeared. I was still ringing. I had been my whole life a bell and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck. I have since only very rarely seen the tree with the lights in it. The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack, and the mountains slam.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
Today, your cell phone has more computer power than all of NASA back in 1969, when it placed two astronauts on the moon. Video games, which consume enormous amounts of computer power to simulate 3-D situations, use more computer power than mainframe computers of the previous decade. The Sony PlayStation of today, which costs $300, has the power of a military supercomputer of 1997, which cost millions of dollars.
Michio Kaku (Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100)
In seven years, thought Laurie, every cell in one's body has been replaced, even our memories live in a new brain. That is not the face I saw, and these are not the eyes I saw with. Even our selves are not the same, but only a consequence of the selves we had then. Yet I was there and I am here; and this man, who is sometimes what I remember and sometimes a stranger I met at a party the other day, is also to himself the I who was there: his mind in its different skull has travelled back to a place his living feet never visited; and the pain he felt then he can feel again.
Mary Renault (The Charioteer)
We are here because over billions of years, countless variables fell into place, any of which could have taken another path. We are essentially a beautiful fluke, as are the millions of other species with which we share this planet. Our cells are composed of atoms and dust particles from distant galaxies, and from the billions of living organisms that inhabited this planet before us.
Wendy Mass (Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life)
Our bodies are ecosystems, and they shed and replace and repair until we die. And when we die, our bodies feed the hungry earth, our cells becoming part of other cells, and in the world of the living, where. we used to be, people kiss and hold hands and fall in love and fuck and laugh and cry and hurt others and nurse broken hearts and start wars and pull sleeping children out of car seats and shout at each other. If you could harness that energy – that constant, roving hunger – you could do wonders with it. You could push the earth inch by inch through the cosmos until it collided heart first with the sun.
Carmen Maria Machado (In the Dream House)
How can you come to understand your life when even the beginning is so complicated: a single cell imprinted with the color of your eyes and the shape of your face the pattern on your palm and the moods that will shadow you through your life. How can you be alive when every choice you make breaks the world into a thousand filaments each careless step branching into long tributaries of alternate lives shuddering outward and outward like sheet lightning.
Dan Chaon (You Remind Me of Me)
Names crowded into his thoughts. Staski. Kiril. Kirigan. Anton. Eryk. An avalanche of memories. He’d been all of them, but who should be become now? He’d had plenty of time to consider such things in the isolation of his glass cell, but now that he was free, truly free to choose, he found that only one name suited. The oldest of them: Aleksander. He had no reason to hide his strangeness anymore. Saints were meant to live forever.
Leigh Bardugo (Rule of Wolves (King of Scars, #2))
When cells are no longer needed, they die with what can only be called great dignity. They take down all the struts and buttresses that hold them together and quietly devour their component parts. The process is known as apoptosis or programmed cell death. Every day billions of your cells die for your benefit and billions of others clean up the mess. Cells can also die violently- for instance, when infected- but mostly they die because they are told to. Indeed, if not told to live- if not given some kind of active instruction from another cell- cells automatically kill themselves. Cells need a lot of reassurance. When, as occasionally happens, a cell fails to expire in the prescribed manner, but rather begins to divide and proliferate wildly, we call the result cancer. Cancer cells are really just confused cells. Cells make this mistake fairly regularly, but the body has elaborate mechanisms for dealing with it. It is only very rarely that the process spirals out of control. On average, humans suffer one fatal malignancy for each 100 million billion cell divisions. Cancer is bad luck in every possible sense of the term.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Today, Creator of the Universe, we ask that you open our heart and openour eyes so we can enjoy all of your creations and live in eternal lovewith you. Help us to see you in everything we perceive with our eyes,with our ears, with our heart, with all our senses. Let us perceivewith eyes of love so that we find you wherever we go and see you ineverything you create. Let us see you in every cell of our body, inevery emotion of our mind, in every dream, in every flower, in everyperson we meet. You cannot hide from us because you are everywhere, andwe are one with you. Let us be aware of this truth. Let us be aware ofour power to create a dream of heaven where everything is possible.Help us to use our imagination to guide the dream of our life, themagic of our creation, so we can live without fear, without anger,without jealousy, without envy. Give us a light to follow, and lettoday be the day that our search for love and happiness is over. Todaylet something extraordinary happen that will change our life forever:Let everything we do and say be an expression of the beauty in ourheart, always based on love. Help us to be the way you are, to love the way you love, to share the way you share, to create a masterpiece ofbeauty and love, the same way that all of your creations aremasterpieces of beauty and love. Beginning today and gradually overtime, help us to increase the power of our love so that we may create amasterpiece of art - our own life. Today, Creator, we give you all ofour gratitude and love because you have given us Life. Amen.
Miguel Ruiz (The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship: A Toltec Wisdom Book)
She said, “Do you see how I’m wearing this apron? It means I’m working. For a living.” The unconcerned expression didn’t flag. He said, “I’ll take care of it.” She echoed, “Take care of it?” “Yeah. How much do you make in an hour? I’ll take care of it. And I’ll talk to your manager.” For a moment, Blue was actually lost for words. She had never believed people who claimed to be speechless, but she was. She opened her mouth, and at first, all that came out was air. Then something like the beginning of a laugh. Then finally, she managed to sputter, “I am not a prostitute.” The Aglionby boy appeared puzzled for a long moment, and then realization dawned. “Oh, that was not how I meant it. That is not what I said.” “That is what you said! You think you can just pay me to talk to your friend? Clearly you pay most of your female companions by the hour and don’t know how it works with the real world, but . . . but . . .” Blue remembered that she was working to a point, but now what that point was. Indignation had eliminated all higher functions and all that remained was the desire to slap him. The boy opened his mouth to protest, and her thought came back to her all in a rush. “Most girls, when they’re interested in a guy, will sit with them for free.” To his credit, the Aglionby boy didn’t speak right away. Instead, he thought for a moment and then he said, without heat, “You said you were working for living. I thought it’d be rude to not take that into account. I’m sorry you’re insulted. I see where you’re coming from, but I feel it’s a little unair that you’re not doing the same for me.” “I feel you’re being condescending,” Blue said. In the background, she caught a glimpse of Soldier Boy making a plane of his hand. It was crashing and weaving toward the table surface while Smudgy Boy gulped laughter down. The elegant boy held his palm over his face in exaggerated horror, fingers spread just enough that she could see him wince. “Dear God,” remarked Cell Phone boy. “I don’t know what else to say.” “Sorry,” she recommended. “I said that already.” Blue considered. “Then ‘bye.’” He made a little gesture at his chest that she thought was supposed to mean he was curtsying or bowing or something sarcastically gentleman-like.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
Molecular biology has shown that even the simplest of all living systems on the earth today, bacterial cells, are exceedingly complex objects. Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, weighing less than 10-12 gms, each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the nonliving world.
Michael Denton (Evolution: A Theory In Crisis)
Something that had been a single cell, a cluster of cells, a little sac of tissue, a kind of worm, a potential fish with gills, stirred in her womb and would one day become a man--a grown man, suffering and enjoying, loving and hating, thinking, remembering, imagining. And what had been a blob of jelly within her body would invent a god and worship; what had been a kind of fish would create, and, having created, would become the battleground of disputing good and evil; what had blindly lived in her as a parasitic worm would look at the stars, would listen to music, would read poetry.
Aldous Huxley (Point Counter Point)
You wondered, when she came along, if this was what most people got to experience in their lives: a straight line from want to satisfaction; desire manifested and satisfied in reasonable succession. This had never been the case before; it had always been fraught. How many times had you said, 'If I just looked a little different, I'd be drowning in love'? Now you got to drown without needing to change a single cell. Lucky you.
Carmen Maria Machado (In the Dream House)
Say the planet is born at midnight and it runs for one day. First there is nothing. Two hours are lost to lava and meteors. Life doesn’t show up until three or four a.m. Even then, it’s just the barest self-copying bits and pieces. From dawn to late morning—a million million years of branching—nothing more exists than lean and simple cells. Then there is everything. Something wild happens, not long after noon. One kind of simple cell enslaves a couple of others. Nuclei get membranes. Cells evolve organelles. What was once a solo campsite grows into a town. The day is two-thirds done when animals and plants part ways. And still life is only single cells. Dusk falls before compound life takes hold. Every large living thing is a latecomer, showing up after dark. Nine p.m. brings jellyfish and worms. Later that hour comes the breakout—backbones, cartilage, an explosion of body forms. From one instant to the next, countless new stems and twigs in the spreading crown burst open and run. Plants make it up on land just before ten. Then insects, who instantly take to the air. Moments later, tetrapods crawl up from the tidal muck, carrying around on their skin and in their guts whole worlds of earlier creatures. By eleven, dinosaurs have shot their bolt, leaving the mammals and birds in charge for an hour. Somewhere in that last sixty minutes, high up in the phylogenetic canopy, life grows aware. Creatures start to speculate. Animals start teaching their children about the past and the future. Animals learn to hold rituals. Anatomically modern man shows up four seconds before midnight. The first cave paintings appear three seconds later. And in a thousandth of a click of the second hand, life solves the mystery of DNA and starts to map the tree of life itself. By midnight, most of the globe is converted to row crops for the care and feeding of one species. And that’s when the tree of life becomes something else again. That’s when the giant trunk starts to teeter.
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
That dead-eyed anhedonia is but a remora on the ventral flank of the true predator, the Great White Shark of pain. Authorities term this condition clinical depression or involutional depression or unipolar dysphoria. Instead of just an incapacity for feeling, a deadening of soul, the predator-grade depression Kate Gompert always feels as she Withdraws from secret marijuana is itself a feeling. It goes by many names — anguish, despair, torment, or q.v. Burton's melancholia or Yevtuschenko's more authoritative psychotic depression — but Kate Gompert, down in the trenches with the thing itself, knows it simply as It. It is a level of psychic pain wholly incompatible with human life as we know it. It is a sense of radical and thoroughgoing evil not just as a feature but as the essence of conscious existence. It is a sense of poisoning that pervades the self at the self's most elementary levels. It is a nausea of the cells and soul. It is an unnumb intuition in which the world is fully rich and animate and un-map-like and also thoroughly painful and malignant and antagonistic to the self, which depressed self It billows on and coagulates around and wraps in Its black folds and absorbs into Itself, so that an almost mystical unity is achieved with a world every constituent of which means painful harm to the self. Its emotional character, the feeling Gompert describes It as, is probably mostly indescribable except as a sort of double bind in which any/all of the alternatives we associate with human agency — sitting or standing, doing or resting, speaking or keeping silent, living or dying — are not just unpleasant but literally horrible. It is also lonely on a level that cannot be conveyed. There is no way Kate Gompert could ever even begin to make someone else understand what clinical depression feels like, not even another person who is herself clinically depressed, because a person in such a state is incapable of empathy with any other living thing. This anhedonic Inability To Identify is also an integral part of It. If a person in physical pain has a hard time attending to anything except that pain, a clinically depressed person cannot even perceive any other person or thing as independent of the universal pain that is digesting her cell by cell. Everything is part of the problem, and there is no solution. It is a hell for one. The authoritative term psychotic depression makes Kate Gompert feel especially lonely. Specifically the psychotic part. Think of it this way. Two people are screaming in pain. One of them is being tortured with electric current. The other is not. The screamer who's being tortured with electric current is not psychotic: her screams are circumstantially appropriate. The screaming person who's not being tortured, however, is psychotic, since the outside parties making the diagnoses can see no electrodes or measurable amperage. One of the least pleasant things about being psychotically depressed on a ward full of psychotically depressed patients is coming to see that none of them is really psychotic, that their screams are entirely appropriate to certain circumstances part of whose special charm is that they are undetectable by any outside party. Thus the loneliness: it's a closed circuit: the current is both applied and received from within.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
You fight your superficiality, your shallowness, so as to try to come at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or hope or arrogance, as untanklike as you can be, sans cannon and machine guns and steel plating half a foot thick; you come at them unmenacingly on your own ten toes instead of tearing up the turf with your caterpillar treads, take them on with an open mind, as equals, man to man, as we used to say, and yet you never fail to get them wrong. You might as well have the "brain" of a tank. You get them wrong before you meet them, while you're anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you're with them; and then you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them all wrong again. Since the same generally goes for them with you, the whole thing is really a dazzling illusion empty of all perception, an astonishing farce of misperception. And yet what are we to do about this terribly significant business of "other people," which gets bled of the significance we think it has and takes on instead a significance that is ludicrous, so ill-equipped are we all to envision one another's interior workings and invisible aims? Is everyone to go off and lock the door and sit secluded like the lonely writers do, in a soundproof cell, summoning people out of words and then proposing that these word people are closer to the real thing than the real people that we mangle with our ignorance every day? The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It's getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That's how we know we're alive: we're wrong. Maybe the best thing would be to forget being right or wrong about people and just go along for the ride. But if you can do that--well, lucky you.
Philip Roth (American Pastoral)
We walked in the door, and I was stunned by the sterile emptiness of the place. Most of the tiny living room was taken up by one of those giant strength-building home gyms you see on TV. In addition to that, there was one metal folding chair, an old wooden end table (being used as a coffee table, in front of the one chair), and a TV sitting on a milk crate. And it was the cleanest bachelor pad I had ever seen. “Wow. Nice place. The prison cell motif is really working for you. Very feng shui.
Marie Sexton (Promises (Coda, #1))
when you allow that man. to walk through your children. plant his feet. in their veins. hold their voices. necks. bodies. inside his violence. you are no longer a mother. when you give him the key to that door. because you need to be loved by someone. you have seasoned them for the wolf. burned their childhood into a fantasy. it’s going to take a third of their lives. all the courage. from their cells to their hair. to learn the alchemetic formula that turns that kind of betrayal. a demothering. soft. liveable. – before you get that key made
Nayyirah Waheed (Salt)
Is everyone to go off and lock the door and sit secluded like the lonely writers do, in a soundproof cell, summoning people out of words and then proposing that these word people are closer to the real thing than the real people that we mangle with our ignorance every day? The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It's getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful consideration, getting them wrong again.
Philip Roth (American Pastoral)
People walk the paths of the gardens below, and the wind sings anthems in the hedges, and the big old cedars at the entrance to the maze creak. Marie-Laure imagines the electromagnetic waves traveling into and out of Michel’s machine, bending around them, just as Etienne used to describe, except now a thousand times more crisscross the air than when he lived - maybe a million times more. Torrents of text conversations, tides of cell conversations, of televisions programs, of e-mails, vast networks of fiber and wire interlaced above and beneath the city, passing through buildings, arcing between transmitters in Metro tunnels, between antennas atop buildings, from lampposts with cellular transmitters in them, commercials for Carrefour and Evian and prebaked toaster pastries flashing into space and back to earth again, I am going to be late and Maybe we should get reservations? and Pick up avocados and What did he say? and ten thousand I miss yous, fifty thousand I love yous, hate mail and appointment reminders and market updates, jewelry ads, coffee ads, furniture ads flying invisibly over the warrens of Paris, over the battlefields and tombs, over the Ardennes, over the Rhine, over Belgium and Denmark, over the scarred and ever-shifting landscape we call nations. And is it so hard to believe that souls might also travel those paths? That her father and Etienne and Madame Manec and the German boy named Werner Pfennig might harry the sky in flocks, like egrets, like terns, like starlings? That great shuttles of souls might fly about, faded but audible if you listen closely enough? They flow above the chimneys, ride the sidewalks, slip through your jacket and shirt and breastbone and lungs, and pass out through the other side, the air a library and the record of every life lived, every sentence spoken, every word transmitted still reverberating within it. Every hour, she thinks, someone for whom the war was memory falls out of the world. We rise again in the grass. In the flowers. In songs.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
I think the best life would be one that's lived off the grid. No bills, your name in no government databases. No real proof you're even who you say you are, aside from, you know, being who you say you are. I don't mean living in a mountain hut with solar power and drinking well water. I think nature's beautiful and all, but I don't have any desire to live in it. I need to live in a city. I need pay as you go cell phones in fake names, wireless access stolen or borrowed from coffee shops and people using old or no encryption on their home networks. Taking knife fighting classes on the weekend! Learning Cantonese and Hindi and how to pick locks. Getting all sorts of skills so that when your mind starts going, and you're a crazy raving bum, at least you're picking their pockets while raving in a foreign language at smug college kids on the street. At least you're always gonna be able to eat.
Joey Comeau
An Urban Indian belongs to the city, and cities belong to the earth. Everything here is formed in relation to every other living and nonliving thing from the earth. All our relations. The process that brings anything to its current form—chemical, synthetic, technological, or otherwise—doesn’t make the product not a product of the living earth. Buildings, freeways, cars—are these not of the earth? Were they shipped in from Mars, the moon? Is it because they’re processed, manufactured, or that we handle them? Are we so different? Were we at one time not something else entirely, Homo sapiens, single-celled organisms, space dust, unidentifiable pre-bang quantum theory? Cities form in the same way as galaxies.
Tommy Orange (There There)
Who can tell? Your living is an organized hell. The mansion of your mind just an oversized cell. The pressure, everything is done to a measure. In the sea of competition sunk like a treasure. Like a feather falling slow spiraling to the floor. Strung up like a broken violin to your course. Opportunity is knocking at your door, But you never left a welcome mat (It doesn't matter anymore.). Or anyhow, but you're too late to turn back. Fate pushing you into the wall like a thumbtack. Ain't no comebacks in this game of life. Roll the dice again, Roll it once, never twice. Keep on going, and taste the stars. Keep on growing, and raise the bar. You're living life for the As down to the Zs, After one drop you got a fountain to seize. Wanna break from the world, but the world wanna break you, The weight makes your backbone curl up and make you.
Tablo
In the City Market is the Meet Café. Followers of obsolete, unthinkable trades doodling in Etruscan, addicts of drugs not yet synthesized, pushers of souped-up harmine, junk reduced to pure habit offering precarious vegetable serenity, liquids to induce Latah, Tithonian longevity serums, black marketeers of World War III, excusers of telepathic sensitivity, osteopaths of the spirit, investigators of infractions denounced by bland paranoid chess players, servers of fragmentary warrants taken down in hebephrenic shorthand charging unspeakable mutilations of the spirit, bureaucrats of spectral departments, officials of unconstituted police states, a Lesbian dwarf who has perfected operation Bang-utot, the lung erection that strangles a sleeping enemy, sellers of orgone tanks and relaxing machines, brokers of exquisite dreams and memories tested on the sensitized cells of junk sickness and bartered for raw materials of the will, doctors skilled in the treatment of diseases dormant in the black dust of ruined cities, gathering virulence in the white blood of eyeless worms feeling slowly to the surface and the human host, maladies of the ocean floor and the stratosphere, maladies of the laboratory and atomic war... A place where the unknown past and the emergent future meet in a vibrating soundless hum... Larval entities waiting for a Live One...
William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch)
The transpersonal experiences revealing the Earth as an intelligent, conscious entity are corroborated by scientific evidence. Gregory Bateson, who created a brilliant synthesis of cybernetics, information and systems theory, the theory of evolution, anthropology, and psychology came to the conclusion that it was logically inevitable to assume that mental processes occurred at all levels in any system or natural phenomenon of sufficient complexity. He believed that mental processes are present in cells, organs, tissues, organisms, animal and human groups, eco-systems, and even the earth and universe as a whole.
Stanislav Grof (The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives)
Some people spend their whole lives looking for themselves, yet our self is the one thing we surely cannot lose (how like a cheap philosopher I am become, staying in this benighted place). From the moment we are conceived it is the pattern in our blood and our bones are printed through with it like sticks of seaside rock. Nora, on the other hand, says that she’s surprised anyone knows who they are, considering that every cell and molecule in our bodies has been replaced many times over since we were born.
Kate Atkinson (Emotionally Weird)
FEMALE VOICE: 'The truth is people are pushed around by two men who move all the bodies on earth into patterns that please them.' MALE VOICE: 'I love my mind when it is fucking the cracks of events.' MALE VOICE: 'What I give to all the people who do not want to live with me is arithmetic.' FEMALE VOICE: 'Everyday, I do nothing important because I am scared blank and lazy. But then the men come. I put my mouth on them. I spit and write with the wet.' MALE VOICE: 'I was not born live. This body grew but I did not feel cells split.
Jenny Holzer
We're living among infinite possibilities. And the prevalent philosophies of post-modernist pessimism that come out of the universities are really a major tragedy. The opportunities for progress and change… are absolutely tremendous. Anybody who tells you that we're running out of resources or in a terrible mess--they are idiots. We can't run out of resources. Resources exist when the human mind sees how to use something. To say we are running out of resources is like saying we are running out of brain cells.
Robert Anton Wilson
Adolf Eichmann went to the gallows with great dignity. He had asked for a bottle of red wine and had drunk half of it. He refused the help of the Protestant minister the Reverend William Hull who offered to read the Bible with him: he had only two more hours to live and therefore no “time to waste.” He walked the fifty yards from his cell to the execution chamber calm and erect with his hands bound behind him. When the guards tied his ankles and knees he asked them to loosen the bonds so that he could stand straight. “I don’t need that ” he said when the black hood was offered him. He was in complete command of himself nay he was more: he was completely himself. Nothing could have demonstrated this more convincingly than the grotesque silliness of his last words. He began by stating emphatically that he was a Gottgläubiger to express in common Nazi fashion that he was no Christian and did not believe in life after death. He then proceeded: “After a short while gentlemen we shall all meet again. Such is the fate of all men. Long live Germany long live Argentina long live Austria. I shall not forget them.” In the face of death he had found the cliché used in funeral oratory. Under the gallows his memory played him the last trick he was “elated” and he forgot that this was his own funeral. It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us-the lesson of the fearsome word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.
Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil)
Had I ever chosen anything? Had I made some kind of choice that led me here? Thinking it over, I stared at the cell phone in my hands. The job that I was doing, the place where I was living, the fact that I was all alone and had no one to talk to. Could these have been the result of some decision that I'd made? I heard a crow crying somewhere in the distance and turned to the window. It occurred to me that maybe I was where I was today because I hadn't chosen anything. I applied to whatever colleges my teacher suggested and fell into a job after graduation, which I'd left only because I had to escape. I was only able to go freelance because of all the leg-work that Hijiri did for me. Had I ever chosen anything on my own, made something happen? Not once. And that's why I was here now, all alone.
Mieko Kawakami (All the Lovers in the Night)
What is this thing called life? I believe That the earth and the stars too, and the whole glittering universe, and rocks on the mountains have life, Only we do not call it so--I speak of the life That oxidizes fats and proteins and carbo- Hydrates to live on, and from that chemical energy Makes pleasure and pain, wonder, love, adoration, hatred and terror: how do these things grow From a chemical reaction? I think they were here already, I think the rocks And the earth and the other planets, and the stars and the galaxies have their various consciousness, all things are conscious; But the nerves of an animal, the nerves and brain Bring it to focus; the nerves and brain are like a burning-glass To concentrate the heat and make it catch fire: It seems to us martyrs hotter than the blazing hearth From which it came. So we scream and laugh, clamorous animals Born howling to die groaning: the old stones in the dooryard Prefer silence; but those and all things have their own awareness, As the cells of a man have; they feel and feed and influence each other, each unto all, Like the cells of a man's body making one being, They make one being, one consciousness, one life, one God.
Robinson Jeffers (The Selected Poetry)
Perhaps the body has its own memory system, like the invisible meridian lines those Chinese acupuncturists always talk about. Perhaps the body is unforgiving, perhaps every cell, every muscle and fragment of bone remembers each and every assault and attack. Maybe the pain of memory is encoded into our bone marrow and each remembered grievance swims in our bloodstream like a hard, black pebble. After all, the body, like God, moves in mysterious ways. From the time she was in her teens, Sera has been fascinated by this paradox - how a body that we occupy, that we have worn like a coat from the moment of our birth - from before birth, even - is still a stranger to us. After all, almost everything we do in our lives is for the well-being of the body: we bathe daily, polish our teeth, groom our hair and fingernails; we work miserable jobs in order to feed and clothe it; we go to great lengths to protect it from pain and violence and harm. And yet the body remains a mystery, a book that we have never read. Sera plays with this irony, toys with it as if it were a puzzle: How, despite our lifelong preoccupation with our bodies, we have never met face-to-face with our kidneys, how we wouldn't recognize our own liver in a row of livers, how we have never seen our own heart or brain. We know more about the depths of the ocean, are more acquainted with the far corners of outer space than with our own organs and muscles and bones. So perhaps there are no phantom pains after all; perhaps all pain is real; perhaps each long ago blow lives on into eternity in some different permutation and shape; perhaps the body is this hypersensitive, revengeful entity, a ledger book, a warehouse of remembered slights and cruelties. But if this is true, surely the body also remembers each kindness, each kiss, each act of compassion? Surely this is our salvation, our only hope - that joy and love are also woven into the fabric of the body, into each sinewy muscle, into the core of each pulsating cell?
Thrity Umrigar (The Space Between Us)
Since natural selection “selects” or preserves functionally advantageous mutations or variations, it can explain the origin of systems that could have arisen through a series of incremental steps, each of which maintains or confers a functional advantage on a living organism. Nevertheless, by this same logic, selection and mutation face difficulty in explaining structures or systems that could not have been built through a close series of functional intermediates. Moreover, since selection operates only on what mutation first produces, mutation and selection do not readily explain appearances of design that require discrete jumps of complexity that exceed the reach of chance; that is to say, the available probabilistic resources.
Stephen C. Meyer (Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design)
The Brotherhood cannot be wiped out because it is not an organization in the ordinary sense. Nothing holds it together except an idea which is indestructible. You will get no comradeship and no encouragement. When finally you are caught, you will get no help. We never help our members. At most, when it is absolutely necessary that someone should be silenced, we are occassionally able to smuggle a razor into a prisoner's cell. You will have to get used to living without results and without hope. You will work for a while, you will be caught, you will confess and then you will die. Those are the only resuls you will ever see. There is no possibility that any perceptible change will happen within our lifetime. We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future.
George Orwell (1984)
Individual humans are not super, but the organism of which we are all tiny cellular parts is most certainly that. The life-form that's so big we forget it's there, that turns minerals on its planet into tools to touch the infinite black gap between stars or probe the obliterating pressures at the bottom of the oceans. We are already part of a superbeing, a monster, a god, a living process that is so all encompassing that it is to an individual life what water is to a fish. We are cells in the body of a three-billion-year-old life-form whose roots are in the Precambrian oceans and whose genetic wiring extends through the living structures of everything on the planet, connecting everything that has ever lived in one immense nervous system.
Grant Morrison (Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human)
Give Your Heart A Break lyrics The day I first met you You told me you'd never fall in love But now that I get you I know fear is what it really was Now here we are, so close Yet so far, haven't I passed the test? When will you realize Baby, I'm not like the rest Don't wanna break your heart I wanna give your heart a break I know you're scared it's wrong Like you might make a mistake There's just one life to live And there's no time to waste, to waste So let me give your heart a break Give your heart a break Let me give your heart a break Your heart a break Oh, yeah yeah On Sunday, you went home alone There were tears in your eyes I called your cell phone, my love But you did not reply The world is ours, if you want it We can take it, if you just take my hand There's no turning back now Baby, try to understand Don't wanna break your heart Wanna give your heart a break I know you're scared it's wrong Like you might make a mistake There's just one life to live And there's no time to waste, to waste So let me give your heart a break Give your heart a break Let me give your heart a break Your heart a break There's just so much you can take Give your heart a break Let me give your heart a break Your heart a break Oh, yeah yeah When your lips are on my lips And our hearts beat as one But you slip right out of my fingertips Every time you run, whoa Don't wanna break your heart Wanna give your heart a break I know you're scared it's wrong Like you might make a mistake There's just one life to live And there's no time to waste, to waste So let me give your heart a break Cuz you've been hurt before I can see it in your eyes You try to smile it away Some things, you can't disguise Don't wanna break your heart Baby, I can ease the ache, the ache So, let me give your heart a break Give your heart a break Let me give your heart a break Your heart a break There's just so much you can take Give your heart a break Let me give your heart a break Your heart a break Oh yeah,yeah The day I first met you You told me you'd never fall in love
Demi Lovato
Every generation confronts the task of choosing its past. Inheritances are chosen as much as they are passed on. The past depends less on 'what happened then' than on the desires and discontents of the present. Strivings and failures shape the stories we tell. What we recall has as much to do with the terrible things we hope to avoid as with the good life for which we yearn. But when does one decide to stop looking to the past and instead conceive of a new order? When is it time to dream of another country or to embrace other strangers as allies or to make an opening, an overture, where there is none? When is it clear that the old life is over, a new one has begun, and there is no looking back? From the holding cell was it possible to see beyond the end of the world and to imagine living and breathing again?
Saidiya Hartman
GONE TO STATIC it sounds better than it is, this business of surviving, making it through the wrong place at the wrong time and living to tell. when the talk shows and movie credits wear off, it's just me and my dumb luck. this morning I had that dream again: the one where I'm dead. I wake up and nothing's much different. everything's gone sepia, a dirty bourbon glass by the bed, you're still dead. I could stumble to the shower, scrub the luck of breath off my skin but it's futile. the killer always wins. it's just a matter of time. and I have time. I have grief and liquor to fill it. tonight, the liquor and I are talking to you. the liquor says, 'remember' and I fill in the rest, your hands, your smile. all those times. remember. tonight the liquor and I are telling you about our day. we made it out of bed. we miss you. we were surprised by the blood between our legs. we miss you. we made it to the video store, missing you. we stopped at the liquor store hoping the bourbon would stop the missing. there's always more bourbon, more missing tonight, when we got home, there was a stray cat at the door. she came in. she screams to be touched. she screams when I touch her. she's right at home. not me. the whisky is open the vcr is on. I'm running the film backwards and one by one you come back to me, all of you. your pulses stutter to a begin your eyes go from fixed to blink the knives come out of your chests, the chainsaws roar out from your legs your wounds seal over your t-cells multiply, your tumors shrink the maniac killer disappears it's just you and me and the bourbon and the movie flickering together and the air breathes us and I am home, I am lucky I am right before everything goes black
Daphne Gottlieb (Final Girl)
You think this is the first time such a thing has happened? Don’t you know about oxygen?” “I know it’s necessary for life.” “It is now,” Malcolm said. “But oxygen is actually a metabolic poison. It’s a corrosive gas, like fluorine, which is used to etch glass. And when oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells—say, around three billion years ago—it created a crisis for all other life on our planet. Those plant cells were polluting the environment with a deadly poison. They were exhaling a lethal gas, and building up its concentration. A planet like Venus has less than one percent oxygen. On earth, the concentration of oxygen was going up rapidly—five, ten, eventually twenty-one percent! Earth had an atmosphere of pure poison! Incompatible with life!” Hammond looked irritated. “So what is your point? That modern pollutants will be incorporated, too?” “No,” Malcolm said. “My point is that life on earth can take care of itself. In the thinking of a human being, a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago, we didn’t have cars and airplanes and computers and vaccines.… It was a whole different world. But to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can’t imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven’t got the humility to try. We have been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we are gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))
I think of all that is happening elsewhere, as I lie here. Nearby, I can hear the sounds of a road crew. Somewhere else, monkeys chatter in trees. A male seahorse becomes pregnant. A diamond forms, a bee dances out directions, a windshield shatters. Somewhere a mother spreads peanut butter for her son's lunch, a lover sighs, a knitter binds off the edge of a sleeve. Clouds gather to make rain, corn ripens on the stalk, a cancer cell divides, a little league team scores. Somewhere blossoms open, a man pushes a knife in deeper, a painter darkens her blue. A cashier pours new dimes into an outstretched hand, rainbows form and fade, plates in the earth shift and settle. A woman opens a velvet box, male spiders pluck gently on the females' webs, falcons fall from the sky. Abstracts are real and time is a lie, it cannot be measured when one moment can expand to hold everything. You can want to live and end up choosing death; and you can want to die and end up living. What keeps us here, really? A thread that breaks in a breeze. And yet a thread that cannot be broken
Elizabeth Berg (Never Change)
There are times the lies get to me, times I weary of battering myself against the obstacles of denial, hatred, fear-induced stupidity, and greed, times I want to curl up and fall into the problem, let it sweep me away as it so obviously sweeps away so many others. I remember a spring day a few years ago, a spring day much like this one, only a little more sun, and warmer. I sat on this same couch and looked out this same window at the same ponderosa pine. I was frightened, and lonely. Frightened of a future that looks dark, and darker with each passing species, and lonely because for every person actively trying to shut down the timber industry, stop abuse, or otherwise bring about a sustainable and sane way of living, there are thousands who are helping along this not-so-slow train to oblivion. I began to cry. The tears stopped soon enough. I realized we are not so outnumbered. We are not outnumbered at all. I looked closely, and saw one blade of wild grass, and another. I saw the sun reflecting bright off the needles of pine trees, and I heard the hum of flies. I saw ants walking single file through the dust, and a spider crawling toward the corner of the ceiling. I knew in that moment, as I've known ever since, that it is no longer possible to be lonely, that every creature on earth is pulling in the direction of life--every grasshopper, every struggling salmon, every unhatched chick, every cell of every blue whale--and it is only our own fear that sets us apart. All humans, too, are struggling to be sane, struggling to live in harmony with our surroundings, but it's really hard to let go. And so we lie, destroy, rape, murder, experiment, and extirpate, all to control this wildly uncontrollable symphony, and failing that, to destroy it.
Derrick Jensen
If our shallow, self-critical culture sometimes seems to lack a sense of the numinous or spiritual it’s only in the same way a fish lacks a sense of the ocean. Because the numinous is everywhere, we need to be reminded of it. We live among wonders. Superhuman cyborgs, we plug into cell phones connecting us to one another and to a constantly updated planetary database, an exo-memory that allows us to fit our complete cultural archive into a jacket pocket. We have camera eyes that speed up, slow down, and even reverse the flow of time, allowing us to see what no one prior to the twentieth century had ever seen — the thermodynamic miracle of broken shards and a puddle gathering themselves up from the floor to assemble a half-full wineglass. We are the hands and eyes and ears, the sensitive probing feelers through which the emergent, intelligent universe comes to know its own form and purpose. We bring the thunderbolt of meaning and significance to unconscious matter, blank paper, the night sky. We are already divine magicians, already supergods. Why shouldn’t we use all our brilliance to leap in as many single bounds as it takes to a world beyond ours, threatened by overpopulation, mass species extinction, environmental degradation, hunger, and exploitation? Superman and his pals would figure a way out of any stupid cul-de-sac we could find ourselves in — and we made Superman, after all.
Grant Morrison (Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human)
An imaginary circle of empathy is drawn by each person. It circumscribes the person at some distance, and corresponds to those things in the world that deserve empathy. I like the term "empathy" because it has spiritual overtones. A term like "sympathy" or "allegiance" might be more precise, but I want the chosen term to be slightly mystical, to suggest that we might not be able to fully understand what goes on between us and others, that we should leave open the possibility that the relationship can't be represented in a digital database. If someone falls within your circle of empathy, you wouldn't want to see him or her killed. Something that is clearly outside the circle is fair game. For instance, most people would place all other people within the circle, but most of us are willing to see bacteria killed when we brush our teeth, and certainly don't worry when we see an inanimate rock tossed aside to keep a trail clear. The tricky part is that some entities reside close to the edge of the circle. The deepest controversies often involve whether something or someone should lie just inside or just outside the circle. For instance, the idea of slavery depends on the placement of the slave outside the circle, to make some people nonhuman. Widening the circle to include all people and end slavery has been one of the epic strands of the human story - and it isn't quite over yet. A great many other controversies fit well in the model. The fight over abortion asks whether a fetus or embryo should be in the circle or not, and the animal rights debate asks the same about animals. When you change the contents of your circle, you change your conception of yourself. The center of the circle shifts as its perimeter is changed. The liberal impulse is to expand the circle, while conservatives tend to want to restrain or even contract the circle. Empathy Inflation and Metaphysical Ambiguity Are there any legitimate reasons not to expand the circle as much as possible? There are. To expand the circle indefinitely can lead to oppression, because the rights of potential entities (as perceived by only some people) can conflict with the rights of indisputably real people. An obvious example of this is found in the abortion debate. If outlawing abortions did not involve commandeering control of the bodies of other people (pregnant women, in this case), then there wouldn't be much controversy. We would find an easy accommodation. Empathy inflation can also lead to the lesser, but still substantial, evils of incompetence, trivialization, dishonesty, and narcissism. You cannot live, for example, without killing bacteria. Wouldn't you be projecting your own fantasies on single-cell organisms that would be indifferent to them at best? Doesn't it really become about you instead of the cause at that point?
Jaron Lanier (You Are Not a Gadget)
Ms. Lane.”Barrons’ voice is deep, touched with that strange Old World accent and mildly pissed off. Jericho Barrons is often mildly pissed off. I think he crawled from the swamp that way, chafed either by some condition in it, out of it, or maybe just the general mass incompetence he encountered in both places. He’s the most controlled, capable man I’ve ever known. After all we’ve been through together, he still calls me Ms. Lane, with one exception: When I’m in his bed. Or on the floor, or some other place where I’ve temporarily lost my mind and become convinced I can’t breathe without him inside me this very instant. Then the things he calls me are varied and nobody’s business but mine. I reply: “Barrons,” without inflection. I’ve learned a few things in our time together. Distance is frequently the only intimacy he’ll tolerate. Suits me. I’ve got my own demons. Besides I don’t believe good relationships come from living inside each other’s pockets. I believe divorce comes from that. I admire the animal grace with which he enters the room and moves toward me. He prefers dark colors, the better to slide in and out of the night, or a room, unnoticed except for whatever he’s left behind that you may or may not discover for some time, like, say a tattoo on the back of one’s skull. “What are you doing?” “Reading,” I say nonchalantly, rubbing the tattoo on the back of my skull. I angle the volume so he can’t see the cover. If he sees what I’m reading, he’ll know I’m looking for something. If he realizes how bad it’s gotten, and what I’m thinking about doing, he’ll try to stop me. He circles behind me, looks over my shoulder at the thick vellum of the ancient manuscript. “In the first tongue?” “Is that what it is?” I feign innocence. He knows precisely which cells in my body are innocent and which are thoroughly corrupted. He’s responsible for most of the corrupted ones. One corner of his mouth ticks up and I see the glint of beast behind his eyes, a feral crimson backlight, bloodstaining the whites. It turns me on. Barrons makes me feel violently, electrically sexual and alive. I’d march into hell beside him. But I will not let him march into hell beside me. And there’s no doubt that’s where I’m going. I thought I was strong, a heroine. I thought I was the victor. The enemy got inside my head and tried to seduce me with lies. It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing. Temptation isn’t a sin that you triumph over once, completely and then you’re free. Temptation slips into bed with you each night and helps you say your prayers. It wakes you in the morning with a friendly cup of coffee, and knows exactly how you take it. He skirts the Chesterfield sofa and stands over me. “Looking for something, Ms. Lane?” I’m eye level with his belt but that’s not where my gaze gets stuck and suddenly my mouth is so dry I can hardly swallow and I know I’m going to want to. I’m Pri-ya for this man. I hate it. I love it. I can’t escape it. I reach for his belt buckle. The manuscript slides from my lap, forgotten. Along with everything else but this moment, this man. “I just found it,” I tell him.
Karen Marie Moning (Burned (Fever, #7))
This story takes place a half a billion years ago-an inconceivably long time ago, when this planet would be all but recognizable to you. Nothing at all stirred on the land except the wind and the dust. Not a single blade of grass waved in the wind, not a single cricket chirped, not a single bird soared in the sky. All these things were tens of millions of years away in the future. But of course there was an anthropologist on hand. What sort of world would it be without an anthropologist? He was, however a very depressed and disillusioned anthropologist, for he'd been everywhere on the planet looking for someone to interview, and every tape in his knapsack was as blank as the sky. But one day as he was moping alongside the ocean he saw what seemed to be a living creature in the shallows off shore. It was nothing to brag about, just sort of a squishy blob, but it was the only prospect he'd seen in all his journeys, so he waded out to where it was bobbing in the waves. He greeted the creature politely and was greeted in kind, and soon the two of them were good friends. The anthropologist explained as well as he could that he was a student of life-styles and customs, and begged his new friend for information of this sort, which was readily forthcoming. ‘And now’, he said at last, ‘I'd like to get on tape in your own words some of the stories you tell among yourselves.’ ‘Stories?’ the other asked. ‘You know, like your creation myth, if you have one.’ ‘What is a creation myth?’ the creature asked. ‘Oh, you know,’ the anthropologist replied, ‘the fanciful tale you tell your children about the origins of the world.’ Well, at this, the creature drew itself up indignantly- at least as well as a squishy blob can do- and replied that his people had no such fanciful tale. ‘You have no account of creation then?’ ‘Certainly we have an account of creation,’ the other snapped. ‘But its definitely not a myth.’ ‘Oh certainly not,’ the anthropologist said, remembering his training at last. ‘Ill be terribly grateful if you share it with me.’ ‘Very well,’ the creature said. ‘But I want you to understand that, like you, we are a strictly rational people, who accept nothing that is not based on observation, logic, and scientific method.’ ‘"Of course, of course,’ the anthropologist agreed. So at last the creature began its story. ‘The universe,’ it said, ‘was born a long, long time ago, perhaps ten or fifteen billion years ago. Our own solar system-this star, this planet, and all the others- seem to have come into being some two or three billion years ago. For a long time, nothing whatever lived here. But then, after a billion years or so, life appeared.’ ‘Excuse me,’ the anthropologist said. ‘You say that life appeared. Where did that happen, according to your myth- I mean, according to your scientific account.’ The creature seemed baffled by the question and turned a pale lavender. ‘Do you mean in what precise spot?’ ‘No. I mean, did this happen on land or in the sea?’ ‘Land?’ the other asked. ‘What is land?’ ‘Oh, you know,’ he said, waving toward the shore, ‘the expanse of dirt and rocks that begins over there.’ The creature turned a deeper shade of lavender and said, ‘I cant imagine what you're gibbering about. The dirt and rocks over there are simply the lip of the vast bowl that holds the sea.’ ‘Oh yes,’ the anthropologist said, ‘I see what you mean. Quite. Go on.’ ‘Very well,’ the other said. ‘For many millions of centuries the life of the world was merely microorganisms floating helplessly in a chemical broth. But little by little, more complex forms appeared: single-celled creatures, slimes, algae, polyps, and so on.’ ‘But finally,’ the creature said, turning quite pink with pride as he came to the climax of his story, ‘but finally jellyfish appeared!
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
He had not stopped looking into her eyes, and she showed no signs of faltering. He gave a deep sigh and recited: "O sweet treasures, discovered to my sorrow." She did not understand. "It is a verse by the grandfather of my great-great-grandmother," he explained. "He wrote three eclogues, two elegies, five songs, and forty sonnets. Most of them for a Portuguese lady of very ordinary charms who was never his, first because he was married, and then because she married another man and died before he did." "Was he a priest too?" "A soldier," he said. Something stirred in the heart of Sierva María, for she wanted to hear the verse again. He repeated it, and this time he continued, in an intense, well-articulated voice, until he had recited the last of the forty sonnets by the cavalier of amours and arms Don Garcilaso de la Vega, killed in his prime by a stone hurled in battle.When he had finished, Cayetano took Sierva María's hand and placed it over his heart. She felt the internal clamor of his suffering. "I am always in this state," he said. And without giving his panic an opportunity, he unburdened himself of the dark truth that did not permit him to live. He confessed that every moment was filled with thoughts of her, that everything he ate and drank tasted of her, that she was his life, always and everywhere, as only God had the right and power to be, and that the supreme joy of his heart would be to die with her. He continued to speak without looking at her, with the same fluidity and passion as when he recited poetry, until it seemed to him that Sierva María was sleeping. But she was awake, her eyes, like those of a startled deer, fixed on him. She almost did not dare to ask: "And now?" "And now nothing," he said. "It is enough for me that you know." He could not go on. Weeping in silence, he slipped his arm beneath her head to serve as a pillow, and she curled up at his side. And so they remained, not sleeping, not talking, until the roosters began to crow and he had to hurry to arrive in time for five-o'clock Mass. Before he left, Sierva María gave him the beautiful necklace of Oddúa: eighteen inches of mother-of-pearl and coral beads. Panic had been replaced by the yearning in his heart. Delaura knew no peace, he carried out his tasks in a haphazard way, he floated until the joyous hour when he escaped the hospital to see Sierva María. He would reach the cell gasping for breath, soaked by the perpetual rains, and she would wait for him with so much longing that only his smile allowed her to breathe again. One night she took the initiative with the verses she had learned after hearing them so often. 'When I stand and contemplate my fate and see the path along which you have led me," she recited. And asked with a certain slyness: "What's the rest of it?" "I reach my end, for artless I surrendered to one who is my undoing and my end," he said. She repeated the lines with the same tenderness, and so they continued until the end of the book, omitting verses, corrupting and twisting the sonnets to suit themselves, toying with them with the skill of masters. They fell asleep exhausted. At five the warder brought in breakfast, to the uproarious crowing of the roosters, and they awoke in alarm. Life stopped for them.
Gabriel García Márquez (Of Love and Other Demons)
The real problem here is that we’re all dying. All of us. Every day the cells weaken and the fibres stretch and the heart gets closer to its last beat. The real cost of living is dying, and we’re spending days like millionaires: a week here, a month there, casually spunked until all you have left are the two pennies on your eyes. Personally, I like the fact we’re going to die. There’s nothing more exhilarating than waking up every morning and going ‘WOW! THIS IS IT! THIS IS REALLY IT!’ It focuses the mind wonderfully. It makes you love vividly, work intensely, and realise that, in the scheme of things, you really don’t have time to sit on the sofa in your pants watching Homes Under the Hammer. Death is not a release, but an incentive. The more focused you are on your death, the more righteously you live your life. My traditional closing-time rant – after the one where I cry that they closed that amazing chippy on Tollington Road; the one that did the pickled eggs – is that humans still believe in an afterlife. I genuinely think it’s the biggest philosophical problem the earth faces. Even avowedly non-religious people think they’ll be meeting up with nana and their dead dog, Crackers, when they finally keel over. Everyone thinks they’re getting a harp. But believing in an afterlife totally negates your current existence. It’s like an insidious and destabilising mental illness. Underneath every day – every action, every word – you think it doesn’t really matter if you screw up this time around because you can just sort it all out in paradise. You make it up with your parents, and become a better person and lose that final stone in heaven. And learn how to speak French. You’ll have time, after all! It’s eternity! And you’ll have wings, and it’ll be sunny! So, really, who cares what you do now? This is really just some lacklustre waiting room you’re only going to be in for 20 minutes, during which you will have no wings at all, and are forced to walk around, on your feet, like pigs do. If we wonder why people are so apathetic and casual about every eminently avoidable horror in the world – famine, war, disease, the seas gradually turning piss-yellow and filling with ringpulls and shattered fax machines – it’s right there. Heaven. The biggest waste of our time we ever invented, outside of jigsaws. Only when the majority of the people on this planet believe – absolutely – that they are dying, minute by minute, will we actually start behaving like fully sentient, rational and compassionate beings. For whilst the appeal of ‘being good’ is strong, the terror of hurtling, unstoppably, into unending nullity is a lot more effective. I’m really holding out for us all to get The Fear. The Fear is my Second Coming. When everyone in the world admits they’re going to die, we’ll really start getting some stuff done.
Caitlin Moran
New Rule: America must stop bragging it's the greatest country on earth, and start acting like it. I know this is uncomfortable for the "faith over facts" crowd, but the greatness of a country can, to a large degree, be measured. Here are some numbers. Infant mortality rate: America ranks forty-eighth in the world. Overall health: seventy-second. Freedom of the press: forty-fourth. Literacy: fifty-fifth. Do you realize there are twelve-year old kids in this country who can't spell the name of the teacher they're having sex with? America has done many great things. Making the New World democratic. The Marshall Plan. Curing polio. Beating Hitler. The deep-fried Twinkie. But what have we done for us lately? We're not the freest country. That would be Holland, where you can smoke hash in church and Janet Jackson's nipple is on their flag. And sadly, we're no longer a country that can get things done. Not big things. Like building a tunnel under Boston, or running a war with competence. We had six years to fix the voting machines; couldn't get that done. The FBI is just now getting e-mail. Prop 87 out here in California is about lessening our dependence on oil by using alternative fuels, and Bill Clinton comes on at the end of the ad and says, "If Brazil can do it, America can, too!" Since when did America have to buck itself up by saying we could catch up to Brazil? We invented the airplane and the lightbulb, they invented the bikini wax, and now they're ahead? In most of the industrialized world, nearly everyone has health care and hardly anyone doubts evolution--and yes, having to live amid so many superstitious dimwits is also something that affects quality of life. It's why America isn't gonna be the country that gets the inevitable patents in stem cell cures, because Jesus thinks it's too close to cloning. Oh, and did I mention we owe China a trillion dollars? We owe everybody money. America is a debtor nation to Mexico. We're not a bridge to the twenty-first century, we're on a bus to Atlantic City with a roll of quarters. And this is why it bugs me that so many people talk like it's 1955 and we're still number one in everything. We're not, and I take no glee in saying that, because I love my country, and I wish we were, but when you're number fifty-five in this category, and ninety-two in that one, you look a little silly waving the big foam "number one" finger. As long as we believe being "the greatest country in the world" is a birthright, we'll keep coasting on the achievements of earlier generations, and we'll keep losing the moral high ground. Because we may not be the biggest, or the healthiest, or the best educated, but we always did have one thing no other place did: We knew soccer was bullshit. And also we had the Bill of Rights. A great nation doesn't torture people or make them disappear without a trial. Bush keeps saying the terrorist "hate us for our freedom,"" and he's working damn hard to see that pretty soon that won't be a problem.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)