Nomadic Life Quotes

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

Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.
Isabelle Eberhardt (The Nomad: Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt)
There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Life goes on, unmindful of beginning, end…crisis or catharsis, moving forward like a slow, dusty caravan of kochis (nomads).
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
The struggles we endure today will be the ‘good old days’ we laugh about tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
I'd like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. And so, Ron, in short, get out of Salton City and hit the Road. I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. You think that I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life. But for some reason incomprehensible to me you wanted nothing but to bolt for home as quickly as possible, right back to the same situation which you see day after day after day. I fear you will follow this same inclination in the future and thus fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover. Don't settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience. You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
It's in those quiet little towns, at the edge of the world, that you will find the salt of the earth people who make you feel right at home.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Life's trials will test you, and shape you, but don’t let them change who you are.” ~ Aaron Lauritsen, ‘100 Days Drive
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
A nomad I will remain for life, in love with distant and uncharted places.
Isabelle Eberhardt
I was in the winter of my life- and the men I met along the road were my only summer. At night I fell sleep with visions of myself dancing and laughing and crying with them. Three years down the line of being on an endless world tour and memories of them were the only things that sustained me, and my only real happy times. I was a singer, not a very popular one, who once had dreams of becoming a beautiful poet- but upon an unfortunate series of events saw those dreams dashed and divided like a million stars in the night sky that I wished on over and over again- sparkling and broken. But I really didn’t mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted and then losing it to know what true freedom is. When the people I used to know found out what I had been doing, how I had been living- they asked me why. But there’s no use in talking to people who have a home, they have no idea what its like to seek safety in other people, for home to be wherever you lay your head. I was always an unusual girl, my mother told me that I had a chameleon soul. No moral compass pointing me due north, no fixed personality. Just an inner indecisiveness that was as wide as wavering as the ocean. And if I said that I didn't plan for it to turn out this way I’d be lying- because I was born to be the other woman. I belonged to no one- who belonged to everyone, who had nothing- who wanted everything with a fire for every experience and an obsession for freedom that terrified me to the point that I couldn’t even talk about- and pushed me to a nomadic point of madness that both dazzled and dizzied me. Every night I used to pray that I’d find my people- and finally I did- on the open road. We have nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore- except to make our lives into a work of art.
Lana Del Rey
True friends don't come with conditions.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Without struggle, success has no value.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
From this point forward, you don’t even know how to quit in life.” ~ Aaron Lauritsen, ‘100 Days Drive
Aaron Lauritsen
Those who achieve the extraordinary are usually the most ordinary because they have nothing to prove to anybody. Be Humble.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
At some point, you just gotta forgive the past, your happiness hinges on it.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Explore, Experience, Then Push Beyond.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
The freedom of the open road is seductive, serendipitous and absolutely liberating.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
There's more to a person than flesh. Judge others by the sum of their soul and you'll see that beauty is a force of light that radiates from the inside out.
Aaron Lauritsen
If you didn't earn something, it's not worth flaunting.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
It’s the ‘everyday’ experiences we encounter along the journey to who we wanna be that will define who we are when we get there.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
The Cosmos extends, for all practical purposes, forever. After a brief sedentary hiatus, we are resuming our ancient nomadic way of life. Our remote descendants, safely arrayed on many worlds throughout the Solar System and beyond, will be unified by their common heritage, by their regard for their home planet, and by the knowledge that, whatever other life may be, the only humans in all the Universe come from Earth. They will gaze up and strain to find the blue dot in their skies. They will love it no less for its obscurity and fragility. They will marvel at how vulnerable the repository of all our potential once was, how perilous our infancy, how humble our beginnings, how many rivers we had to cross before we found our way.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
It is easy to be disgruntled if you are denied rights and freedoms to which you feel entitled. But if you are not coherent, if you cannot put into words what it is that displeases you and why it is unfair and should change, then you are dismissed as an unreasonable whiner. You may be lectured about perseverance and patience, life as a test, the need to accept the higher wisdom of others.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations)
Building bridges is the best defence against ignorance.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Tweet others the way you want to be tweeted.
Germany Kent (You Are What You Tweet: Harness the Power of Twitter to Create a Happier, Healthier Life)
I was in the winter of my life- and the men I met along the road were my only summer. At night I fell sleep with vision of myself dancing and laughing and crying with them. Three year down the line of being on an endless world tour and memories of them were the only things that sustained me, and my only real happy times. I was a singer, not very popular one, who once has dreams of becoming a beautiful poet- but upon an unfortunate series of events saw those dreams dashed and divided like million stars in the night sky that I wished on over and over again- sparkling and broken. But I really didn’t mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted and then losing it to know what true freedom is. When the people I used to know found out what I had been doing, how I had been living- they asked me why. But there’s no use in talking to people who have a home, they have no idea what its like to seek safety in other people, for home to be wherever you lied you head. I was always an unusual girl, my mother told me that I had a chameleon soul. No moral compass pointing me due north, no fixed personality. Just an inner indecisiviness that was as wide as wavering as the ocean. And if I said that I didn’t plan for it to turn out this way I’d be lying- because I was born to be the other woman. I belonged to no one- who belonged to everyone, who had nothing- who wanted everything with a fire for every experience and an obssesion for freedom that terrified me to the point that I couldn’t even talk about- and pushed me to a nomadic point of madness that both dazzled and dizzied me. Every night I used to pray that I’d find my people- and finally I did- on the open road. We have nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore- except to make our lives into a work of art. LIVE FAST. DIE YOUNG. BE WILD. AND HAVE FUN. I believe in the country America used to be. I belive in the person I want to become, I believe in the freedom of the open road. And my motto is the same as ever- *I believe in the kindness of strangers. And when I’m at war with myself- I Ride. I Just Ride.* Who are you? Are you in touch with all your darkest fantasies? Have you created a life for yourself where you’re free to experience them? I Have. I Am Fucking Crazy. But I Am Free.
Lana Del Rey
The high road of grace will get you somewhere a whole lot faster then the freeway of spite.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Hiking is not escapism; it's realism. The people who choose to spend time outdoors are not running away from anything; we are returning to where we belong.
Jennifer Pharr Davis (The Pursuit of Endurance: Harnessing the Record-Breaking Power of Strength and Resilience)
We love our partners for who they are, not for who they are not.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Horses are of a breed unique to Fantasyland. They are capable of galloping full-tilt all day without a rest. Sometimes they do not require food or water. They never cast shoes, go lame or put their hooves down holes, except when the Management deems it necessary, as when the forces of the Dark Lord are only half an hour behind. They never otherwise stumble. Nor do they ever make life difficult for Tourists by biting or kicking their riders or one another. They never resist being mounted or blow out so that their girths slip, or do any of the other things that make horses so chancy in this world. For instance, they never shy and seldom whinny or demand sugar at inopportune moments. But for some reason you cannot hold a conversation while riding them. If you want to say anything to another Tourist (or vice versa), both of you will have to rein to a stop and stand staring out over a valley while you talk. Apart from this inexplicable quirk, horses can be used just like bicycles, and usually are. Much research into how these exemplary animals come to exist has resulted in the following: no mare ever comes into season on the Tour and no stallion ever shows an interest in a mare; and few horses are described as geldings. It therefore seems probable that they breed by pollination. This theory seems to account for everything, since it is clear that the creatures do behave more like vegetables than mammals. Nomads appears to have a monopoly on horse-breeding. They alone possess the secret of how to pollinate them.
Diana Wynne Jones (The Tough Guide to Fantasyland)
I had some terrific experiences in the wilderness since I wrote you last - overpowering, overwhelming," he gushed to his friend Cornel Tengel. "But since then I am always being overwhelmed. I require it to sustain life. Everett Ruess
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
While I thus cogitate in disquiet and perplexity, half submerged in dark waters of a well in an Arabian oasis, I suddenly hear a voice from the background of my memory, the voice of an old Kurdish nomad: If water stands motionless in a pool it grows stale and muddy, but when it moves and flows it becomes clear: so, too, man in his wanderings. Whereupon, as if by magic, all disquiet leaves me. I begin to look upon myself with distant eyes, as you might look at the pages of a book to read a story from them; and I begin to understand that my life could not have taken a different course. For when I ask myself, 'What is the sum total of my life?' somthing in me seems to answer, 'You have set out to exchange one world for another-to gain a new world for yourself in exchange for an old one which you never really possessed.' And I know with startling clarity that such an undertaking might indeed take an entire lifetime.
Muhammad Asad
Sometimes I think I live in a gap between two worlds, one world that I have to wake up to, be adherent of the rules and live in a place that is dictated by others. A place I sometimes feel the fear of aging and dying before I have figured out what it is I am here to do. That other world is sweet, fresh and misty, inviting adventure into the unknown, melding ancient wisdom with new discovery; the sunlight turning into moonlight and the spell of eternal life is never broken. Perhaps in that gap I should repair the forgotten bridge from one side to the other, but truth be told, I don't want to. I don't want to because I don't have the energy to fix what is broken within. I am a wild, wandering nomad, I belong everywhere and nowhere all at the same time, and in that gap between worlds, I am free.
Riitta Klint
Here's what I love: when a great writer turns me into a Jew from Chicago, a lesbian out of South Carolina, or a black woman moving into a subway entrance in Harlem. Turn me into something else, writers of the world. Make me Muslim, heretic, hermaphrodite. Put me into a crusader's armor, a cardinal's vestments. Let me feel the pygmy's heartbeat, the queen's breast, the torturer's pleasure, the Nile's taste, or the nomad's thirst. Tell me everything that I must know. Hold nothing back.
Pat Conroy (My Reading Life)
The situations we Army wives have to deal with are not normal ones at all. The nomadic life we lead, moving from station to station, being separated from our husbands for long stretches of time, and the constant fear that we live with if our husbands are anywhere near the sensitive areas in the country . . .
Aditi Mathur Kumar (Soldier and Spice - An Army Wife's Life)
You think that I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life. But for some reason incomprehensible to me you wanted nothing but to bolt for home as quickly as possible, right back to the same situation which you see day after day after day. I fear you will follow this same inclination in the future and thus fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover. Don't settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon.
Christopher McCandless
I was running and deliberately lost my way. The world far off and nothing but my breath and the very next step and it’s like hypnosis. The feeling of conquering my own aliveness with no task but to keep going, making every way the right away and that’s a metaphor for everything.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
Travel is costly yes, but it pays dividends too.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Well, at least this is what I told myself every day as I fell asleep with the fire still burning and the moon shining high up in the sky and my head spinning comforting from two bottles of wine, and I smiled with tears in my eyes because it was beautiful and so god damn sad and I did not know how to be one of those without the other.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
I don’t think the homesickness of a perpetual wanderer can ever be quenched.
Sasha Martin (Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness)
Some call them "homeless." The new nomads reject that label. Equipped with both shelter and transportation, they've adopted a new word. They refer to themselves, quite simply, as "houseless
Jessica Bruder (Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century)
Changing the question 'free from what?' into 'free for what?'; this change that occurs when freedom has been achieved has accompanied me on my migrations like a basso continuo. This is what we are like, those of us who are nomads, who come out of the collapse of a settled way of life.
Vilém Flusser
don’t move from place to place on purpose. It’s not a conscious choice to be a nomad. Although I can see that each move is my own decision, predicated on nothing but my ever-growing sense that I don’t belong where I am, fueled by the hope that maybe there is, in fact, a place I do belong, a place just off in the future.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Maybe in Another Life)
There was a story etched in each wrinkle on his forehead-the stories any long life can amass but that only a lonely life locks forever.
Ashay Abbhi (Chronicles of Urban Nomads)
I have always thought that people are, by nature, nomadic, but they’ve built up anti-human constructs to keep them in place and then they pop pills to mask their misery and look for ways to distract from their emptiness.
Jackie Haze (Borderless)
Freedom can choke you if you don't know how to handle it.
Charlotte Eriksson
To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and to be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present in the Life You Have)
Be a team player, not a bandwagon jumper.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
No man can live this life and emerge unchanged. He will carry, however faint, the imprint of the desert, the brand which marks the nomad; and he will have within him the yearning to return, weak or insistent according to his nature. For this cruel land can cast a spell which no temperate clime can match.
Wilfred Thesiger
Am I making something worth while? I’m not sure. I write and I sing and I hear words from time to time about my life and choices making ways, into other lives, other hearts, but am I making something worth while? I’m not sure. There was a boy last night who I never spoke to because I was too drunk and still shy, but mostly lonely, and I couldn’t find anything lightly to say, so I simply walked away but still wondered what he did with his life because he didn’t even speak to me or look at me but still made me wonder who he was and I walked away asking Am I making something worth while? I am not sure. I am a complicated person with a simple life and I am the reason for everything that ever happened to me.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
Far from being writers—founders of their own place, heirs of the peasants of earlier ages now working on the soil of language, diggers of wells and builders of houses—readers are travellers; they move across lands belonging to someone else, like nomads poaching their way across fields they did not write, despoiling the wealth of Egypt to enjoy it themselves.
Michel de Certeau (The Practice of Everyday Life)
I'm packing my life in a bag again, saying goodbye and writing the last letters. It's been a long journey, back and forth, hide and seek, but this time it's different. This time I am different. I'm not sure where I want to end up but I know how to get there, or at least the first direction, the first turn, the first sunset. I'm longing for peace. I'm longing for borrowed guitars and detachment. Horizons, cheap whiskey straight from the bottle and your hands in mine.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
The Knowing Afterwards, when we have slept, paradise- comaed and woken, we lie a long time looking at each other. I do not know what he sees, but I see eyes of surpassing tenderness and calm, a calm like the dignity of matter. I love the open ocean blue-grey-green of his iris, I love the curve of it against the white, that curve the sight of what has caused me to come, when he’s quite still, deep inside me. I have never seen a curve like that, except the earth from outer space. I don’t know where he got his kindness without self-regard, almost without self, and yet he chose one woman, instead of the others. By knowing him, I get to know the purity of the animal which mates for life. Sometimes he is slightly smiling, but mostly he just gazes at me gazing, his entire face lit. I love to see it change if I cry–there is no worry, no pity, no graver radiance. If we are on our backs, side by side, with our faces turned fully to face each other, I can hear a tear from my lower eye hit the sheet, as if it is an early day on earth, and then the upper eye’s tears braid and sluice down through the lower eyebrow like the invention of farmimg, irrigation, a non-nomadic people. I am so lucky that I can know him. This is the only way to know him. I am the only one who knows him. When I wake again, he is still looking at me, as if he is eternal. For an hour we wake and doze, and slowly I know that though we are sated, though we are hardly touching, this is the coming the other coming brought us to the edge of–we are entering, deeper and deeper, gaze by gaze, this place beyond the other places, beyond the body itself, we are making love.
Sharon Olds
The Cosmos extends, for all practical purposes, forever. After a brief and sedentary hiatus we are resuming our ancient nomadic way of life. Our remote descendants, safely arrayed on many worlds though through the Solar System and beyond, will be unified by their common heritage, by their regard for their home planet, and by knowledge that, whatever other life may be, the only humans in all the Universe come from Earth.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
In the tribe of Tuareg, men instead of women cover their faces with a blue veil. The tourists who come there call them the ‘Blue Men of the Sahara’.
Waheed Ibne Musa (Johnny Fracture)
Perhaps it is true that at base we readers are dissatisfied people, yearning to be elsewhere, to live vicariously through words in a way we cannot live directly through life. Perhaps we are the world's great nomads, if only in our minds...I am the sort of person who prefers to stay at home, surrounded by family, friends, familiarity, books...It turns out that when my younger self thought of taking wing, she wanted only to let her spirit soar. Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.
Anna Quindlen (How Reading Changed My Life)
Actually in history when you look at life of true nomads who are always on the move and in open space, they never engage in the kind of depressive introspection and questioning of life that you only see in settled and civilized peoples.
Bronze Age Pervert (Bronze Age Mindset)
People keep asking what I do for a living and I keep saying that I don’t believe in making a living. That it’s a concept that has been twisted. I tell them I believe in making a life and money is a distracting object if there’s anything left at the end of the day and I just want to go on well. Make it through the day. So I smile and raise my glass and they laugh and take my hand, saying ”here’s to the youth”, pointing at me. And I might just be young and naive for I still believe in the freedom of choice of how to spend your life. So they toast to the youth, who still think she’s free, and that’s all fine by me.
Charlotte Eriksson
This is not to say there are not Chicagoans. But I would suggest that they are a nomadic people, whose lost home exists only in their minds, and in the glowing crystal memory cells they all carry in the palms of their hands: a great idea of a second city, lit with life and love, reasonable drink prices at cool bars, and, of course, blocks and blocks of bright and devastating fire.
John Hodgman (The Areas of My Expertise: An Almanac of Complete World Knowledge Compiled with Instructive Annotation and Arranged in Useful Order)
THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ITINERANTS, drifters, hobos, restless souls. But now, in the second millennium, a new kind of wandering tribe is emerging. People who never imagined being nomads are hitting the road. They’re giving up traditional houses and apartments to live in what some call “wheel estate”—vans, secondhand RVs, school buses, pickup campers, travel trailers, and plain old sedans. They are driving away from the impossible choices that face what used to be the middle class. Decisions like: Would you rather have food or dental work? Pay your mortgage or your electric bill? Make a car payment or buy medicine? Cover rent or student loans? Purchase warm clothes or gas for your commute? For many the answer seemed radical at first. You can’t give yourself a raise, but what about cutting your biggest expense? Trading a stick-and-brick domicile for life on wheels?
Jessica Bruder (Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century)
The over-ripe, golden autumn which had taken hold of the town tugged at our heartstrings. The nomadic life makes you sensitive to the seasons: you rely on them, even become part of the season itself, and each time they change, it seems to have to tear yourself away from a place where you have learned to live.
Nicolas Bouvier (The Way of the World)
There is no such thing as loving a child too much.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
This may or may not appeal to you—this moving, this nomadic existence, and this nonattached life. I am not suggesting we all leave our relationships and homes and children. Not at all. I am proposing that we reconceive the dream. That we consider what would happen if security were not the point of our existence. That we find freedom, aliveness, and power not from what contains, locates, or protects us but from what dissolves, reveals, and expands us.
V (formerly Eve Ensler) (Insecure at Last: Losing it in Our Security-Obsessed World)
The times on the open road with all the unknown ahead were the times I was happiest and most secure, with people who knew our core and lived solely for the purpose of unmediated experiences and love, from which purpose itself is born. Not the distant idea of life, love and purpose dirtied by constructs.
Jackie Haze (Borderless)
The Wrong Planet tribe are the pranksters, the court jesters, the comedians, the Bohemians, the flower children, the nomads and vagrants, the free spirits. Without these the world would be full of humans who are little more than robots.
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
The highway of grace will get you somewhere a whole lot faster then the freeway of spite.
Aaron Lauritsen
Since time is no longer cyclical but one-way and irreversible, personal history is now possible and an individual life can have value.
Thomas Cahill (The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels (Hinges of History Book 2))
Butterfly Kisses Aged imperfections stitched upon my face years and years of wisdom earned by His holy grace. Quiet solitude in a humble home all the family scattered now like nomads do they roam. Then a gift sent from above a memory pure and tangible wrapped in innocence and unquestioning love. A butterfly kiss lands gently upon my cheek from an unseen child a kiss most sweet. Heaven grants grace and tears follow as youth revisits this empty hollow.
Muse (Enigmatic Evolution)
Almost every day, life gives me a little hint of where I need to go next—“Hey, try going that way!” And more and more, I’ve learned to keep my ears open to that whispered hint, and to stop protesting, “But my plans!
Matthew Kepnes (Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler's Journey Home)
Wandering aimlessly, I love the thrill of unknown paths. I am a nomad. I am a wanderer. I am a drifter. Why do I keep on drifting? Yes, I wish I knew why? I am not aware of the reason myself. Why do I keep on drifting?
Avijeet Das
All those summer drives, no matter where I was going, to a person, a project, an adventure, or home, alone in the car with my social life all before and behind me, I was suspended in the beautiful solitude of the open road, in a kind of introspection that only outdoor space generates, for inside and outside are more intertwined than the usual distinctions allow. The emotion stirred by the landscape is piercing, a joy close to pain when the blue is deepest on the horizon or the clouds are doing those spectacular fleeting things so much easier to recall than to describe. Sometimes I thought of my apartment in San Francisco as only a winter camp and home as the whole circuit around the West I travel a few times a year and myself as something of a nomad (nomads, contrary to current popular imagination, have fixed circuits and stable relationships to places; they are far from beign the drifters and dharma bums that the word nomad often connotes nowadays). This meant that it was all home, and certainly the intense emotion that, for example, the sequence of mesas alongside the highway for perhaps fifty miles west of Gallup, N.M., and a hundred miles east has the power even as I write to move me deeply, as do dozens of other places, and I have come to long not to see new places but to return and know the old ones more deeply, to see them again. But if this was home, then I was both possessor of an enchanted vastness and profoundly alienated.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
Being a Pilgrim To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and to be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim. We all start out as pilgrims, wanting to journey and hoping to be transformed by the journey. But, just as it is impossible when listening to an orchestra to hear the whole of the symphony for very long before we are drawn to hear only the piano or the violin, in just this way, our attention to life slips and we experience people and places without being affected by their wholeness. And sometimes, feeling isolated and unsure, we change or hide what lives within in order to please or avoid others. The value of this insight is not to use it to judge or berate ourselves, but to help one another see that integrity is an unending process of letting our inner experience and our outer experience complete each other, in spite of our very human lapses. I understand these things so well, because I violate them so often. Yet I, as you, consider myself a pilgrim of the deepest kind, journeying beyond any one creed or tradition, into the compelling, recurring space in which we know the moment and are changed by it. Mysteriously, as elusive as it is, this moment—where the eye is what it sees, where the heart is what it feels—this moment shows us that what is real is sacred.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
The foregoing circumstances, physical and moral, may give an idea of the causes which maintained the Arabs for ages in an unchanged condition. While their isolated position and their vast deserts protected them from conquest, their internal feuds, and their want of a common tie, political or religious, kept them from being formidable as conquerors. They were a vast aggregation of distinct parts ; full of individual vigor, but wanting coherent strength. Although their nomadic life rendered them hardy and active ; although the greater part of them were warriors from their infancy, yet their arms were only wielded against each other, excepting some of the frontier tribes, which occasionally engaged as mercenaries in external wars. While, therefore, the other nomadic races of Central Asia, possessing no greater aptness for warfare, had, during a course of ages, successively overrun and conquered the civilized world, this warrior race, unconscious of its power, remained disjointed and harmless in the depths of its native deserts. The time at length arrived when its discordant tribes were to be united in one creed, and animated by one common cause ; when a mighty genius was to arise, who should bring together these scattered limbs, animate them with his own enthusiastic and daring spirit, and lead them forth, a giant of the desert, to shake and overturn the empires of the earth.
Washington Irving (Mahomet and His Successors)
I spent my youth like this, observing other people. Trying to learn how to live and trying to figure out how to be someone. But I never really found a way to fit in or stand out and I lost myself in the crowd and people's expectations.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
The will of little girls is stifled by Islam. By the time they menstruate they are rendered voiceless. They are reared to become submissive robots who serve in the house as cleaners and cooks. They are required to comply with their father's choice of a mate, and after the wedding their lives are devoted to the sexual pleasures of their husband and to a life of childbearing.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations)
It is not as if farming brought a great improvement in living standards either. A typical hunter-gatherer enjoyed a more varied diet and consumed more protein and calories than settled people, and took in five times as much vitamin C as the average person today. Even in the bitterest depths of the ice ages, we now know, nomadic people ate surprisingly well—and surprisingly healthily. Settled people, by contrast, became reliant on a much smaller range of foods, which all but ensured dietary insufficiencies.
Bill Bryson (At Home: A Short History of Private Life)
The greatest threat of all to their identity, and to the very idea of a nomadic hunter in North America, appeared on the plains in the late 1860s. These were the buffalo men. Between 1868 and 1881 they would kill thirty-one million buffalo, stripping the plains almost entirely of the huge, lumbering creatures and destroying any last small hope that any horse tribe could ever be restored to its traditional life. There was no such thing as a horse Indian without a buffalo herd. Such an Indian had no identity at all.
S.C. Gwynne (Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History)
[…] I began to see Algiers as one of the most fascinating and dramatic places on earth. In the small space of this beautiful but congested city intersected two great conflicts of the contemporary world. The first was the one between Christianity and Islam (expressed here in the clash between colonizing France and colonized Algeria). The second, which acquired a sharpness of focus immediately after the independence and departure of the French, was a conflict at the very heart of Islam, between its open, dialectical — I would even say “Mediterranean” — current and its other, inward-looking one, born of a sense of uncertainty and confusion vis-à-vis the contemporary world, guided by fundamentalists who take advantage of modern technology and organizational principles yet at the same time deem the defense of faith and custom against modernity as the condition of their own existence, their sole identity. […] In Algiers one speaks simply of the existence of two varieties of Islam — one, which is called the Islam of the desert, and a second, which is defined as the Islam of the river (or of the sea). The first is the religion practiced by warlike nomadic tribes struggling to survive in one of the world's most hostile environments, the Sahara. The second Islam is the faith of merchants, itinerant peddlers, people of the road and of the bazaar, for whom openness, compromise, and exchange are not only beneficial to trade, but necessary to life itself.
Ryszard Kapuściński (Travels with Herodotus)
Life is a nomadic journey. A road without trees to shelter us from the rain, without shoulders on which to rest, without lighthouses to show us the way when we are lost. I can’t waste the life I’ve been given by standing still and lamenting the past until my days run out. I must get up and fight; I must keep providing for my family. I must keep moving forward, not just for myself, but also for my daughter and for all those who are no longer with us. Because in the end, that’s why we’re here, right? The only reason we are given life is to live it.
Miquel Reina (Lights on the Sea)
Good teaching is an act of hospitality toward the young, and hospitality is always an act that benefits the host even more than the guest. The concept of hospitality arose in ancient times when this reciprocity was easier to see: in nomadic cultures, the food and shelter one gave to a stranger yesterday is the food and shelter one hopes to receive from a stranger tomorrow. By offering hospitality, one participates in the endless reweaving of a social fabric on which all can depend—thus the gift of sustenance for the guest becomes a gift of hope for the host. It is that way in teaching as well: the teacher’s hospitality to the student results in a world more hospitable to the teacher.
Parker J. Palmer (The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life)
In the age of instant information man ends his job of fragmented specializing and assumes the role of information-gathering. Today information-gathering resumes the inclusive concept of “culture” exactly as the primitive food-gatherer worked in complete equilibrium with his entire environment. Our quarry now, in this new nomadic and “workless” world, is knowledge and insight into the creative processes of life and society.
Marshall McLuhan (Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man)
But I'm not running away. I'm running toward... toward adventure, toward discovery, toward diversity. And while I was in Mexico I discovered something intruiging: Once I leave the U.S., I am not bound by the rules of my culture. And when I am a foreigner in another country, I am exempt from the local rules. This extraordinary situation means that there are no rules in my life. I am free to live by the standards and ideals and rules I create for myself.
Rita Golden Gelman (Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World)
The feudal ownership of land did bring dignity, whereas the modern ownership of movables is reducing us again to a nomadic horde. We are reverting to the civilisation of luggage, and historians of the future will note how the middle classes accreted possessions without taking root in the earth, and may find in this the secret of their imaginative poverty. The Schlegels were certainly the poorer for the loss of Wickham Place. It had helped to balance their lives, and almost to counsel them. Nor is their ground-landlord spiritually the richer. He has built flats on its site, his motor-cars grow swifter, his exposures of Socialism more trenchant. But he has spilt the precious distillation of the years, and no chemistry of his can give it back to society again.
E.M. Forster (Howards End)
As an observer, I am particularly interested in watching women, married, divorced, single. So many of them trapped in lives they think they must live, in roles they have come to resent, with little job and no laughter. They've "settled." They've compromised. They've learned to adjust. Among the divorced, many are bitter, coloring their lives with resentment; others live only to meet the man who will complete them. I have no intentions of adjusting, and I am not looking to define myself by the man I am with. The new me is feeling rebellious, looking for excitement, bursting with energy to explore. There is no way that I am going to sit around feeling sorry for myself, thinking that the only way I can enjoy life is with a man. With no possessions, no home, and no precedent, I am free to design a life that fits me. Best of all, I have tasted the life I want. My Mexican adventure opened me up. I want more. During my four months away, I met interesting people, I was never bored, and I laughed more than I had in years. I resolve to continue exploring the world, ignoring the THEY who define how people should live.
Rita Golden Gelman (Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World)
Our life was so extraordinary and passionate, so intense if you like, because we were around each other all the time. We socialised together, and we worked together, and we loved together. When we all set off for our first season on the South coast of England - what we were really searching for was our tribe. Something about those years was the bringing together of ‘our tribe.’ These are the people who shaped me. We’re the pranksters, the misfits, the bohemians, the court jesters, the comedians, the crackpots, the Carefree Scamps, the nomads and free spirits. Without people like us the world would be full of humans who are little more than robots I love chaotic human beings, people who don’t follow the rules, who can’t be categorised, but whose loyalty is stronger than blood, and whose integrity is hard as nails.
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
I pondered on this desert hospitality and, compared it with our own. I remembered other encampments where I had slept, small tents on which I had happened in the Syrian desert and where I had spent the night. Gaunt men in rags and hungry-looking children had greeted me, and bade me welcome with the sonorous phrases of the desert. Later they had set a great dish before me, rice heaped round a sheep which they had slaughtered, over which my host poured liquid golden butter until it flowed down on to the sand; and when I protested, saying 'Enough! Enough!', had answered that I was a hundred times welcome. Their lavish hospitality had always made me uncomfortable, for I had known that as a result of it they would go hungry for days. Yet when I left them they had almost convinced me that I had done them a kindness by staying with them
Wilfred Thesiger (Arabian Sands)
The travel writer Bruce Chatwin wrote that our nomadic past lives on in our “need for distraction, our mania for the new.”1 In many languages, even the word for human being is “one who goes on migrations.” Progress itself is a word rooted in a seasonal journey. Perhaps our need to escape into media is a misplaced desire for the journey.
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
Vast civilizations lay within the mosaic of dirt: hymenopteran labyrinths, rodential panic rooms, life-giving airways sculpted by the traffic of worms, hopeful spiders’ hunting cabins, crash pads for nomadic beetles, trees shyly locking toes with one another. It was here that you’d find the resourcefulness of rot, the wholeness of fungi.
Becky Chambers (A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot, #1))
I knew that I had made my last journey in the Empty Quarter and that a phase in my life was ended. Here in the desert I found all that I asked; I knew that I should never find it again. But it was not only this personal sorrow that distressed me. I realized that the Bedu with whom I had lived and traveled, and in whose company I had found contentment, were doomed. Some people maintain that they will be better off when they have exchanged the hardship and poverty of the desert for the security of a materialistic world. This I do not believe. I shall always remember how often I was humbled by those illiterate herdsmen who possessed, in so much greater measure than I, generosity and courage, endurance, patience and lighthearted gallantry. Among no other people have I ever felt the same sense of personal inferiority.
Wilfred Thesiger
As he left Yata’s home that morning, he knew that a part of his life was complete and that whatever path he chose, he would experience the ache of unfulfilled dreams. For a moment he allowed himself to feel regret at the thought of never building a cottage by the river with Trevanion. Or living the life of a simple farmer connected to the earth. Or traveling his kingdom, satisfying the nomad he had become. To be Finnikin of the Rock and the Monts and the River and the Flatlands and the Forest. To be none of those at all. Yet he also knew that to lose her to another man would be a slow torture every day for the rest of his life.
Melina Marchetta (Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1))
She is learning toward me, animatedly asking questions, and he is a half step back. It happens three more times that night and many times over the next years. Usually it's the women who identify with me and ask the questions. It isn't the details of my travels that intrigue them; it's the fact that I am living a rich, fulfilling life. And I'm doing it without a man. For many women, my story awakens buried dreams or stimulates new ones.
Rita Golden Gelman (Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World)
The thing about groupthink or social media bubbles is that they aggressively feed and amplify repetition. And repetition, however familiar and comforting, will never challenge us mentally, emotionally or behaviorally. Echoes simply reiterate what has already been said at some point in time, long gone. Like dead stars, they might seem to have a presence from a distance, but in truth, they are completely devoid of life and light. Echo chambers, therefore, severely limit the breadth and depth of the views we subject ourselves to, they ration knowledge. And, at the same time, they limit wisdom: wisdom which connects the mind and the heart, activates emotional intelligence, expands empathy and understanding, allows us to reach beyond the lonely confines of our own minds and engage with the rest of humanity, to listen to them and learn from them. To leave one echo chamber for another is not a solution either. We must strive to become intellectual nomads, keep moving, keep learning, resist confining ourselves in any cultural or mental ghetto, and spend more time not in select centers but at the margins, which is where real change always comes from.
Elif Shafak (How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division)
a nomad’s existence. Like every busy person, I keep a fantasy future in my mind; I have purchased cooking pots and a double bass for the leisure I imagine but do not possess. Instead, I fill the gaps in my schedule with my other vocation: speaking engagements and board meetings, traveling the country like a twenty-first-century Saint Paul, preaching the truth about reproductive rights, because I have come to see that I’m the one, as the old saying goes, that I’ve been waiting for.
Willie Parker (Life's Work: A Moral Argument for Choice)
For the mentally disturbed, Marie knew these sandwich visits might be the only dependable moments in their lives. She also knew she delivered the sandwiches for her own sanity. Something would crumble inside of her if she ever walked by a homeless person and pretended not to notice. Or simply didn't care. In a way, she believed that homeless people were treated as Indians had always been treated. Badly. The homeless were like an Indian tribe, nomadic and powerless, just filled with more than any tribe's share of crazy people and cripples. So, a homeless Indian belonged to two tribes, and was the lowest form of life in the city. The powerful white men of Seattle had created a law that made it illegal to sit on the sidewalk. That ordinance was crazier and much more evil than any homeless person. Sometimes Marie wondered if she worked so hard at anything only because she hated powerful white men. She wondered if she went to college and received good grades just because she was looking for revenge.
Sherman Alexie (Indian Killer)
...if we are to be such nomads with the truth, why do we not make the story more premium than life? It seems to me that we are making the story even inferior. We often make ourselves appear as though we are foolish people, and we make our voyage, which was an ennobled voyage, appear very normal and second rate. We could give your grandfather two arms, and could make him high-fidelity. We could give Brod what she deserves in the stead of what she gets. We could even find Augustine, Jonathan, and you could thank her, and Grandfather and I could embrace, and it could be perfect and beautiful, and funny, and usefully sad, as you say. We could even write your grandmother into your story. This is what you desire, yes? Which makes me think that perhaps we could write Grandfather into the story. Perhaps, and I am only uttering this, we could have him save your grandfather. He could be Augustine. August, perhaps. Or just Alex, if that is satisfactory to you. I do not think that there are any limits to how excellent we could make life seem.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything is Illuminated)
Man is a beast of prey. Acute thinkers, like Montaigne and Nietzsche, have always known this. The old fairy-tales and the proverbs of peasant and nomad folk the world over, with their lively cunning: the half-smiling penetration characteristic of the great connoisseur of men, whether statesman or general, merchant or judge, at the maturity of his rich life: the despair of the world-improver who has failed: the invective of the angered priest — in none of these is denial or even concealment of the fact as much as attempted. Only the ceremonious solemnity of idealist philosophers and other . . . theologians has wanted the courage to be open about what in their hearts they knew perfectly well. Ideals are cowardice. Yet, even from the works of these one could cull a pretty anthology of opinions that they have from time to time let slip concerning the beast in man.
Oswald Spengler (Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life)
Refusing to let God enter into all aspects of human life amounts to condemning man to solitude. He is no longer anything but an isolated individual, without origin or destiny. He finds himself condemned to wander through the world like a nomadic barbarian, without knowing that he is the son and heir of a Father who created him through love and calls him to share his eternal happiness. It is a profound error to think that God came to limit and frustrate our freedom. On the contrary, God comes to free us from solitude and to give meaning to our freedom. Modern man has made himself the prisoner of reason that is so autonomous that it has become solitary and autistic.
Robert Sarah (The Day Is Now Far Spent)
As a country, we take out loans and go to school. We take out loans and buy a car. We take out loans and buy a home. It's not always that we simply "want" these things. Rather, it's often the case that we use our obligations as confirmations that "We're doing something." If we have things to pay for, we need a job. If we have a job, we need a car. If we have such things, we have a life, albeit an ordinary and monotonous life, but a life no less. If we have debt, we have a goal-- we have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Debt narrows our options. It gives us a good reason to stick it out at a job, sink into sofas, and savor the comforts of the status quo. Debt is sought so we have a game to play, a battle to fight, a mythology to live out. It gives us a script to read, rules to abide by, instructions to follow. And when we see someone who doesn't play by our rules-- someone who's spurned the comforts of hearth and home-- we shift in our chairs and call him or her crazy. We feel a fury for the hobo and the hitchhiker, the hippie and gypsy, the vagrant and nomad-- not because we have any reason to believe these people will do us any harm, but because they make us feel uncomfortable.They remind us of the inner longings we've squelched, the hero or heroine we've buried beneath a houseful of junk, the spirit we've exorcised out of ourselves so we could remain with our feet on the ground, stable and secure.
Ken Ilgunas (Walden on Wheels: On The Open Road from Debt to Freedom)
I'd like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. And so, Ron, in short, get out of Salton City and hit the Road. I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. You think that I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life. But for some reason incomprehensible to me you wanted nothing but to bolt for home as quickly as possible, right back to the same situation which you see day after day after day. I fear you will follow this same inclination in the future and thus fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover. Don't settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience. You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
Alex here. (...) Ron, I really enjoy all the help you have given me and the times we spent together. I hope that you will not be too depressed by our parting. It may be a very long time before we see each other again. But providing that I get through the Alaskan Deal in one piece you will be hearing form me again in the future. I’d like to repeat the advice I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing or been to hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one piece of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. (...) Once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. (...) Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. (...) You are wrong if you think joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. Ron, I really hope that as soon as you can you will get out of Salton City, put a little camper on the back of your pickup, and start seeing some of the great work that God has done here in the American West. you will see things and meet people and there is much to learn from them. And you must do it economy style, no motels, do your own cooking, as a general rule spend as little as possible and you will enjoy it much more immensely. I hope that the next time I see you, you will be a new man with a vast array of new adventures and experiences behind you. Don’t hesitate or allow yourself to make excuses. Just get out and do it. Just get out and do it. You will be very, very glad that you did. Take care Ron, Alex
Jon Krakauer
There are days when I feel like I’ve seen enough, done enough, felt enough. When I call my wandering days over and slowly accept the quiet life from here on. When the dreams of making waves are a vague memory and the songs I meant to sing feel more like a finished painting, something to just observe and hang on the wall from now on, to those who wish to observe it. But then the night falls and the morning rise and horizons are calling once again and I’m on my way. Forests fresh and pastures new. And most of the time I’m fine with this. I’m learning to be fine with this. So maybe that’s what settling into this world means. To simply, and as hard as it is, just settle into your own way of living—your own pace, your own rhythm—and not think too much about it. Just wake up and let your legs wander where they need to wander no matter where that may lead and just simply trust your path. There is a difference between what you want and what you wish to want. What you’d like to do and what you wish you’d like to do. I’m learning to not wish, but just do.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
From east to west, in fact, her gaze swept slowly, without encountering a single obstacle, along a perfect curve. Beneath her, the blue-and-white terraces of the Arab town overlapped one another, splattered with the dark-red spots of the peppers drying in the sun. Not a soul could be seen, but from the inner courts, together with the aroma of roasting coffee, there rose laughing voices or incomprehensible stamping of feet. Father off, the palm grove, divided into uneven squares by clay walls, rustled its upper foliage in a wind that could not be felt up on the terace. Still farther off and all the way to the horizon extended the ocher-and-gray realm of stones, in which no life was visible. At some distance from the oasis, however, near the wadi that bordered the palm grove on the west could be seen broad black tents. All around them a flock of motionless dromedaries, tiny at the distance, formed against the gray ground the black signs of a strange handwriting, the meaning of which had to be deciphered. Above the desert, the silence was as vast as the space. Janine, leaning her whole body against the parapet, was speechless, unable to tear herself away from the void opening before her. Beside her, Marcel was getting restless. He was cold; he wanted to go back down. What was there to see here, after all? But she could not take her gaze from the horizon. Over yonder, still farther south, at that point where sky and earth met in a pure line - over yonder it suddenly seemed there was awaiting her something of which, though it had always been lacking, she had never been aware until now. In the advancing afternoon the light relaxed and softened; it was passing from the crystalline to the liquid. Simultaneously, in the heart of a woman brought there by pure chance a knot tightened by the years, habit, and boredom was slowly loosening. She was looking at the nomads' encampment. She had not even seen the men living in it' nothing was stirring among the black tents, and yet she could think only of them whose existence she had barely known until this day. Homeless, cut off from the world, they were a handful wandering over the vast territory she could see, which however was but a paltry part of an even greater expanse whose dizzying course stopped only thousands of miles farther south, where the first river finally waters the forest. Since the beginning of time, on the dry earth of this limitless land scraped to bone, a few men had been ceaselessly trudging, possessing nothing but serving no one, poverty-stricken but free lords of a strange kingdom. Janine did not know why this thought filled her with such a sweet, vast melancholy that it closed her eyes. She knew that this kingdom had been eternally promised her and yet that it would never be hers, never again, except in this fleeting moment perhaps when she opened her eyes again on the suddenly motionless sky and on its waves of steady light, while the voices rising from the Arab town suddenly fell silent. It seemed to her that the world's course had just stopped and that, from that moment on, no one would ever age any more or die. Everywhere, henceforth, life was suspended - except in her heart, where, at the same moment, someone was weeping with affliction and wonder.
Albert Camus