Speed Quotes

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

Basically, I have two speeds.... Hostile or smart-aleck. Your choice.
James Patterson (Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride, #3))
If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character...Would you slow down? Or speed up?
Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.
Douglas Adams (Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #5))
Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.
Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2))
It is a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
I just got out of the hospital. I was in a speed reading accident. I hit a book mark and flew across the room.
Steven Wright
Your mind is working at its best when you're being paranoid. You explore every avenue and possibility of your situation at high speed with total clarity.
Banksy (Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall)
Sometimes I wonder how normal normal people are, and I wonder that most in the grocery store.
Elizabeth Moon (The Speed of Dark)
There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.
Mahatma Gandhi
And indeed it was, the arrow still protruding from its wet, grayish skin, humping its body along with incredible speed. A flick of its tail caught the edge of a statue, sending it flying into the dry ornamental pool, where it shattered into dust. “By the Angel, it just crushed Sophocles,” noted Will. “Has no one respect for the classics these days?
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.
Clive James
Just remember, when you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed.
Charles M. Schulz
I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.
Woody Allen
I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.
Roald Dahl (My Uncle Oswald)
Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be... a prudent insurance policy.
Elizabeth Gilbert
Time is what stops history happening at once; time is the speed at which the past disappears.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
When you're young, you think everything you do is disposable. You move from now to now, crumpling time up in your hands, tossing it away. You're your own speeding car. You think you can get rid of things, and people too—leave them behind. You don't yet know about the habit they have, of coming back. Time in dreams is frozen. You can never get away from where you've been.
Margaret Atwood (The Blind Assassin)
I am the most tired woman in the world. I am tired when I get up. Life requires an effort I cannot make. Please give me that heavy book. I need to put something heavy like that on top of my head. I have to place my feet under the pillows always, so as to be able to stay on earth. Otherwise I feel myself going away, going away at a tremendous speed, on account of my lightness. I know that I am dead. As soon as I utter a phrase my sincerity dies, becomes a lie whose coldness chills me. Don't say anything, because I see that you understand me, and I am afraid of your understanding. I have such a fear of finding another like myself, and such a desire to find one! I am so utterly lonely, but I also have such a fear that my isolation be broken through, and I no longer be the head and ruler of my universe. I am in great terror of your understanding by which you penetrate into my world; and then I stand revealed and I have to share my kingdom with you.
Anaïs Nin
You loved ferris wheels more than roller coasters because life shouldn’t be lived at full speed, but in anticipation and appreciation.
Amy Harmon (Making Faces)
Garcia wondered why people with JESUS stickers on their bumper always drove twenty miles per hour under the speed limit. If God was my co-pilot, he thought, I'd be doing a hundred and twenty.
Carl Hiaasen (Strip Tease)
I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander.
Isaac Asimov
I wish my horse had the speed of your tongue.
William Shakespeare (Much Ado About Nothing)
When Adam kissed him, it was every mile per hour Ronan had ever gone over the speed limit. It was every window-down, goose-bumps-on-skin, teeth-chattering-cold night drive. It was Adam’s ribs under Ronan’s hands and Adam’s mouth on his mouth, again and again and again. It was stubble on his lips and Ronan having to stop, to get his breath, to restart his heart. They were both hungry animals, but Adam had been starving for far longer.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch. Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark.
Elizabeth Gilbert
Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just like people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, and most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is just like an old time rail journey ... delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.
Jenkin Lloyd Jones
Sometimes you're the one speeding along in a panic, doing too much, not paying attention, wrecking things you don't mean to. And sometimes life just happens to you, and you can't dodge it. It crashes into you because it wants to see what you're made of.
Alexandra Bracken (Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2))
Faster, Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.
Hunter S. Thompson
I thought about all of the things that everyone ever says to each other, and how everyone is going to die, whether it's in a millisecond, or days, or months, or 76.5 years, if you were just born. Everything that's born has to die, which means our lives are like skyscrapers. The smoke rises at different speeds, but they're all on fire, and we're all trapped.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Daemon followed me home after school. Literally. He tailed me in his new Infiniti SUV. My old Camry, with its leaky exhaust and loud muffler, was no match for the speed he wanted to go. I’d brake-checked him several times. He’d blown his horn. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Obsidian (Lux, #1))
He looked at the box with interest. 'Well, well. Five speeds. Heat and massage. Deep, penetrating action. Sure this isn't yours?
Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1))
You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed. You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. Except when you don't. Because, sometimes, you won't.
Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You'll Go!)
In small towns, news travels at the speed of boredom.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Try to find pleasure in the speed that you're not used to. Changing the way you do routine things allows a new person to grow inside of you. But when all is said and done, you're the one who must decide how you handle it.
Paulo Coelho
Humanity, like armies in the field, advances at the speed of the slowest.
Gabriel García Márquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)
Moving on, as a concept, is for stupid people, because any sensible person knows grief is a long-term project. I refuse to rush. The pain that is thrust upon us let no man slow or speed or fix.
Max Porter (Grief is the Thing with Feathers)
The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.
John Bingham (No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running)
Another morning comes. It always does. Time always moves at the same rate, only feelings have different speeds. Every day can mark a whole lifetime or a single heartbeat, depending on who you spend it with. *
Fredrik Backman (Beartown (Beartown, #1))
Speed eliminates all doubt. Am I smart enough? Will people like me? Do I really look all right in this plastic jumpsuit?
David Sedaris
Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary, that's what gets you.
Jeremy Clarkson
Pain reaches the heart with electrical speed, but truth moves to the heart as slowly as a glacier.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal Dreams)
If I had a shiny gun I could have a world of fun Speeding bullets through the brains Of the folks that cause me pains :)
Dorothy Parker
You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn’t flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn’t have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there.
Richard Bach (Jonathan Livingston Seagull)
There are times when friendship feels like running down a hill together as fast as you can, jumping over things, spinning around, and you don't care where you're going, and you don't care where you've come from, because all that matters is speed, and the hands holding your hands.
M.T. Anderson (Whales on Stilts: M. T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales (Pals in Peril, #1))
It had never occurred to me that our lives, which had been so closely interwoven, could unravel with such speed.
Kazuo Ishiguro
There's a reason we refer to "leaps of faith" - because the decision to consent to any notion of divinity is a mighty jump from the rational over to the unknowable, and I don't care how diligently scholars of every religion will try to sit you down with their stacks of books and prove to you through scripture that their faith is indeed rational; it isn't. If faith were rational, it wouldn't be - by definition - faith. Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch. Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be... a prudent insurance policy.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Kira knew that his tounge felt like a vibrator set to the speed of Oh Hell Yeah
Jeaniene Frost (Eternal Kiss of Darkness (Night Huntress World, #2))
driving at the speed limit--hideous thought.
Stephenie Meyer
And why is it that time speeds and slows depending on your attendance? I’d like a steady clock, a reliable clock, isolated from the progressive beating of my heart.
Coco J. Ginger
If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough.
Mario Andretti
I travel light. But not at the same speed.

Jarod Kintz (The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They're Over.)
Everybody seems to think I'm lazy I don't mind, I think they're crazy. Running everywhere at such a speed Till they find there's no need.
John Lennon
We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behaviour.
Stephen M.R. Covey (The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything)
Unless you stop him. Perhaps next we meet." "You'll be just as annoying?" I guessed. He fixed my with those warm brown eyes. "Or perhaps you could bring me up to speed on those modern courtship rituals." I sat there stunned until he gave me a glimpse of a smile-just enough to let me know he was teasing. Then he disappeared. "Oh, very funny!" I yelled.
Rick Riordan (The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, #1))
I wonder if any of them can tell from just looking at me that all I am is the sum total of my pain, a raw woundedness so extreme that it might be terminal. It might be terminal velocity, the speed of the sound of a girl falling down to a place from where she can't be retrieved. What if I am stuck down here for good?
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
Not too fast," called Raoul. "Let's not scare anyone." "His majesty said with all deliberate speed!" chirped the courier. He flinched under Lerant's glare. "That's how we're doing it," Raoul told him. "Deliberately.
Tamora Pierce (Squire (Protector of the Small, #3))
A kiss about apple pie a la mode with the vanilla creaminess melting in the pie heat. A kiss about chocolate, when you haven't eaten chocolate in a year. A kiss about palm trees speeding by, trailing pink clouds when you drive down the Strip sizzling with champagne. A kiss about spotlights fanning the sky and the swollen sea spilling like tears all over your legs.
Francesca Lia Block
We’ve bought into the idea that education is about training and “success”, defined monetarily, rather than learning to think critically and to challenge. We should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers. A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death.
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
Falling in love or just plain falling : they were both terrifying at any speed
Abigail Roux (Fish & Chips (Cut & Run, #3))
He moved in a way that suggested he was attempting the world speed record for the nonchalant walk.
Terry Pratchett (The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2; Rincewind #2))
Why is time like that? Why does it slow down in the places you don’t want it to, but it speeds away when you’re happy?
Robin Roe (A List of Cages)
Will,” she whispered against his mouth. She wanted him closer to her so badly, it was like an ache, a painful hot ache that spread from her stomach to speed her heart and knot her hands in his hair and set her skin burning. “Will, you need not be so careful. I will not break.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
Whoa. He had ghouls on speed dial. My lawyer kicks so much ass.
Kevin Hearne (Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1))
Time travels at different speeds for different people. I can tell you who time strolls for, who it trots for, who it gallops for, and who it stops cold for.
William Shakespeare (As You Like It)
We live in time - it holds us and molds us - but I never felt I understood it very well. And I'm not referring to theories about how it bends and doubles back, or may exist elsewhere in parallel versions. No, I mean ordinary, everyday time, which clocks and watches assure us passes regularly: tick-tock, click-clock. Is there anything more plausible than a second hand? And yet it takes only the smallest pleasure or pain to teach us time's malleability. Some emotions speed it up, others slow it down; occasionally, it seems to go missing - until the eventual point when it really does go missing, never to return.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
You just have to keep driving down the road. It's going to bend and curve and you'll speed up and slow down, but the road keeps going.
Ellen DeGeneres (Seriously... I'm Kidding)
You're a lunatic!" Travis chuckled, leaning his bike onto its kickstand before dismounting. "I went the speed limit." "Yeah, if we were on the Autobahn!
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
Depression is a painfully slow, crashing death. Mania is the other extreme, a wild roller coaster run off its tracks, an eight ball of coke cut with speed. It's fun and it's frightening as hell. Some patients - bipolar type I - experience both extremes; other - bipolar type II - suffer depression almost exclusively. But the "mixed state," the mercurial churning of both high and low, is the most dangerous, the most deadly. Suicide too often results from the impulsive nature and physical speed of psychotic mania coupled with depression's paranoid self-loathing.
David Lovelace (Scattershot: My Bipolar Family)
Speed and efficiency do not always increase the quality of life.
Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)
The degree of slowness is directionally proportional to the intensity of memory. The degree of speed is directionally proportional to the intensity of forgetting.
Milan Kundera (Slowness)
Turn," Liz said, trying not to hide her impatience at being forced to read at non-speed-of-light pace.
Ally Carter (Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4))
What is the speed of dark?
Steven Wright
Heaven is not a place, and it is not a time. Heaven is being perfect. -And that isn't flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn't have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there.
Richard Bach (Jonathan Livingston Seagull)
If one day the speed kills me, don't cry. Because I was smiling.
Paul Walker
The second Amazon they met wasn't so friendly. She was dressed in full armor, blocking the throne-room entrance. She spun her spear with lightning speed, but this time Percy was ready. He drew Riptide and stepped into battle. As the Amazon jabbed at him, he sidestepped, cut her spear shaft in half, and slammed the hilt of his sword against her helmet. The guard crumpled. "Mars Almighty," Frank said. "How did you - that wasn't any Roman technique!" Percy grinned. "The graecus has some moves, my friend.
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
One ought not to judge her: all children are Heartless. They have not grown a heart yet, which is why they can climb high trees and say shocking things and leap so very high grown-up hearts flutter in terror. Hearts weigh quite a lot. That is why it takes so long to grow one. But, as in their reading and arithmetic and drawing, different children proceed at different speeds. (It is well known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else.) Some small ones are terrible and fey, Utterly Heartless. Some are dear and sweet and Hardly Heartless At All. September stood very generally in the middle on the day the Green Wind took her, Somewhat Heartless, and Somewhat Grown.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
Recycling and speed limits are bullshit. They're like someone who quits smoking on his deathbed.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
I am almost a hundred years old; waiting for the end, and thinking about the beginning. There are things I need to tell you, but would you listen if I told you how quickly time passes? I know you are unable to imagine this. Nevertheless, I can tell you that you will awake someday to find that your life has rushed by at a speed at once impossible and cruel. The most intense moments will seem to have occurred only yesterday and nothing will have erased the pain and pleasure, the impossible intensity of love and its dog-leaping happiness, the bleak blackness of passions unrequited, or unexpressed, or unresolved.
Meg Rosoff (What I Was)
It had never occurred to me that our lives, which had been so closely interwoven, could unravel with such speed. If I’d known, maybe I’d have kept tighter hold of them, and not let unseen tides pull us apart.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
Run!” Piper said. “We are running!” Jason picked up the speed. “Run better!” Leo shouted.
Rick Riordan (The Demigod Diaries (The Heroes of Olympus))
Do you know how fast you were going?" Fang looked at the speedometer..."No," he said truthfully. I tagged you at seventy miles per hour,"she said, pulling out a clipboard. I let out an impressed whistle. "Excellent! I never thought we'd be that fast." Fang shot me a look and I put my hand over my mouth.
James Patterson (School's Out—Forever (Maximum Ride, #2))
I saw the sky and sea and sand and the flickering flames of the bonfire through my tears. All at once, it rushed into my head with tremendous speed, and made me feel dizzy. It was beautiful. Everything that happened was shockingly beautiful, enough to make you crazy.
Banana Yoshimoto (N.P)
A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, and fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death.
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
We live in a world defined by its boundaries: You cannot travel faster than the speed of light. You must and will die. You cannot escape these boundaries. But the miracle and hope of human consciousness is that we can still conceive of boundlessness.
Esther Earl (This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl)
Goddammit, Bobby, break the speed limit!
Lili St. Crow (Betrayals (Strange Angels, #2))
One day I was speeding along at the typewriter, and my daughter - who was a child at the time - asked me, "Daddy, why are you writing so fast?" And I replied, "Because I want to see how the story turns out!
Louis L'Amour
Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one." ... It is when two such persons discover one another, when, whether with immense difficulties and semi-articulate fumblings or with what would seem to us amazing and elliptical speed, they share their vision - it is then that Friendship is born. And instantly they stand together in an immense solitude.
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
The speed of your success is limited only by your dedication and what you're willing to sacrifice
Nathan W. Morris
We will not conquer our obstacles by running away from them. Speed does not matter, just that we do not stop.
Pittacus Lore (The Rise of Nine (Lorien Legacies, #3))
The charms of a passing woman are usually in direct relation to the speed of her passing.
Marcel Proust
Everything that's born has to die, which means our lives are like skyscrapers. The smoke rises at different speeds, but they're all on fire, and we're all trapped.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
There are some good things to be said about walking. Not many, but some. Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who's always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated. … To be everywhere at once is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me.
Edward Abbey
Life is just like an old time rail journey ... delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.
Jenkin Lloyd Jones
The world is moving at the speed of light. Why you should remain stuck on the same place? Everyone should look at life with hope.
Pratibha Malav (A Kind Of Commitment)
Somewhere someone is traveling furiously toward you, At incredible speed, traveling day and night, Through blizzards and desert heat, across torrents, through narrow passes. But will he know where to find you, Recognize you when he sees you, Give you the thing he has for you?
John Ashbery
Nuri Bilge Ceylan is an ocean who is becoming deeper with incredible speed and amazingly clearer by passing the time. He makes ices familiar with sea by showing “Winter Sleep”. Thanks for his existence. “All who love are relatives.
Professor Pezhman Mosleh
I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!
Charlie Chaplin
America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.
Will Ferrell
I am unable to believe in a God susceptible to prayer. I simply haven't the nerve to imagine a being, a force, a cause which keeps the planets revolving in their orbits, and then suddenly stops in order to give me a bicycle with three speeds.
Quentin Crisp
Creation never ceased on the sixth evening, it occurs to the young man. Creation unfolds around us, despite us and through us at the speed of days and nights. And we call it love.
David Mitchell (The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet)
Two Core Abilities for Thriving in the New Economy 1. The ability to quickly master hard things. 2. The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed.
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at commensurate speed.
Maya Angelou
All the speed he took, all the turns he'd taken and the corners he'd cut in Night City, and still he'd see the matrix in his sleep, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colorless void...
William Gibson (Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1))
Historical fact: People stopped being people in 1913. That was the year Henry Ford put his cars on rollers and made his workers adopt the speed of the assembly line. At first, workers rebelled. They quit in droves, unable to accustom their bodies to the new pace of the age. Since then, however, the adaptation has been passed down: we've all inherited it to some degree, so that we plug right into joy-sticks and remotes, to repetitive motions of a hundred kinds.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
Progress is measured by the speed at which we destroy the conditions that sustain life.
George Monbiot
Tell me what it's like. The race." "What it's like is a battle. A mess of horses and men and blood. The fastest and strongest of what is left from two weeks of preparation on the sand. It's the surf in your face, the deadly magic of November on your skin, the Scorpio drums in the place of your heartbeat. It's speed, if you're lucky. It's life and it's death or it's both, and there's nothing like it.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
But already my desire and my will were being turned like a wheel, all at one speed, by the Love which moves the sun and the other stars
Dante Alighieri
[08:31] JPL: Good, keep us posted on any mechanical or electronic problems. By the way, the name of the probe we’re sending is Iris. Named after the Greek goddess who traveled the heavens with the speed of wind. She’s also the goddess of rainbows. [08:47] WATNEY: Gay probe coming to save me. Got it.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
people had been working for so many years to make the world a safe, organized place. nobody realized how boring it would become. with the whole world property-lined and speed-limited and zoned and taxed and regulated, with everyone tested and registered and addressed and recorded. nobody had left much room for adventure, except maybe the kind you could buy. on a roller coaster. at a movie. still, it would always be that kind of faux excitement. you know the dinosaurs aren't going to eat the kids. the test audiences have outvoted any chance of even a major faux disaster. and because there's no possibility of real disaster, real risk, we're left with no chance for real salvation. real elation. real excitement. Joy. Discovery. Invention. the laws that keep us safe, these same laws condemn us to boredom. without access to true chaos, we'll never have true peace.
Chuck Palahniuk (Asfixia)
[A]lways get to the dialogue as soon as possible. I always feel the thing to go for is speed. Nothing puts the reader off more than a big slab of prose at the start." (Interview, The Paris Review, Issue 64, Winter 1975)
P.G. Wodehouse
I've been in love with you since you helped me bury that spider in my garden, and you sang with me like we were singing “Amazing Grace” instead of “The Itsy, Bitsy Spider.” I've loved you since you quoted Hamlet like you understood him, since you said you loved ferris wheels more than roller coasters because life shouldn't be lived at full speed, but in anticipation and appreciation. I read and re-read your letters to Rita because I felt like you'd opened up a little window into your soul, and the light was pouring out with every word. They weren't even for me, but it didn't matter. I loved every word, every thought, and I loved you . . . so much.
Amy Harmon (Making Faces)
All of us, whether or not we are warriors, have a cubic centimeter of chance that pops out in front of our eyes from time to time. The difference between an average man and a warrior is that the warrior is aware of this, and one of his tasks is to be alert, deliberately waiting, so that when his cubic centimeter pops out he has the necessary speed, the prowess, to pick it up.
Carlos Castaneda
Life needed a fast forward button. Because there were days you just don't want to live through, not again, but they kept coming around and you were powerless to stop time or speed it up or do anything to keep from having to face it.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been up linked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond! I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive. Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, ridin the wave, dodgin the bullet and pushin the envelope. I’m on-point, on-task, on-message and off drugs. I’ve got no need for coke and speed. I've got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top and under-the-radar. A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary. A street-wise smart bomb. A top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps and run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing big-foot, slam-dunk, rainmaker with a pro-active outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rageaholic. Out of rehab and in denial! I’ve got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up. You can’t dumb me down because I’m tireless and I’m wireless, I’m an alpha male on beta-blockers. I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever, laid-back but fashion-forward. Up-front, down-home, low-rent, high-maintenance. Super-sized, long-lasting, high-definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built-to-last! I’m a hands-on, foot-loose, knee-jerk head case pretty maturely post-traumatic and I’ve got a love-child that sends me hate mail. But, I’m feeling, I’m caring, I’m healing, I’m sharing-- a supportive, bonding, nurturing primary care-giver. My output is down, but my income is up. I took a short position on the long bond and my revenue stream has its own cash-flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds and I watch trash sports! I’m gender specific, capital intensive, user-friendly and lactose intolerant. I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the “F” word in my emails and the software on my hard-drive is hardcore--no soft porn. I bought a microwave at a mini-mall; I bought a mini-van at a mega-store. I eat fast-food in the slow lane. I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear and I come in all sizes. A fully-equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically-proven, scientifically- formulated medical miracle. I’ve been pre-wash, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed and, I have an unlimited broadband capacity. I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal. Lean and mean! Cocked, locked and ready-to-rock. Rough, tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide. I’ve got glide in my stride. Drivin and movin, sailin and spinin, jiving and groovin, wailin and winnin. I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hearty and lunch time is crunch time. I’m hangin in, there ain’t no doubt and I’m hangin tough, over and out!
George Carlin
We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.
Rachel Carson (Silent Spring)
…in that moment, as he saw and smelled how irresistible its effect was and how with lightning speed it spread and made captives of the people all around him—in that moment his whole disgust for humankind rose up again within him and completely soured his triumph, so that he felt not only no joy, but not even the least bit of satisfaction. What he had always longed for—that other people should love him—became at the moment of his achievement unbearable, because he did not love them himself, he hated them. And suddenly he knew that he had never found gratification in love, but always only in hatred—in hating and in being hated.
Patrick Süskind (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)
The car picked up speed, and the sound seemed to lull me.I could relax, I thought as I felt the tingling of circulation in my limbs. I was in Trent’s car, wrapped in a blanket, and held in his arms. He wouldn’t let anything hurt me. He wasn’t singing, though,I mused.Shouldn’t he be singing?
Kim Harrison (Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows, #3))
There is a secret bond between slowness and memory, between speed and forgetting. A man is walking down the street. At a certain moment, he tries to recall something, but the recollection escapes him. Automatically, he slows down. Meanwhile, a person who wants to forget a disagreeable incident he has just lived through starts unconsciously to speed up his pace, as if he were trying to distance himself from a thing still too close to him in time. In existential mathematics that experience takes the form of two basic equations: The degree of slowness is directly proportional to the intensity of memory; the degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting.
Milan Kundera (Slowness)
The truth is you already know what it's like. You already know the difference between the size and speed of everything that flashes through you and the tiny inadequate bit of it all you can ever let anyone know. As though inside you is this enormous room full of what seems like everything in the whole universe at one time or another and yet the only parts that get out have to somehow squeeze out through one of those tiny keyholes you see under the knob in older doors. As if we are all trying to see each other through these tiny keyholes. But it does have a knob, the door can open. But not in the way you think...The truth is you've already heard this. That this is what it's like. That it's what makes room for the universes inside you, all the endless inbent fractals of connection and symphonies of different voices, the infinities you can never show another soul. And you think it makes you a fraud, the tiny fraction anyone else ever sees? Of course you're a fraud, of course what people see is never you. And of course you know this, and of course you try to manage what part they see if you know it's only a part. Who wouldn't? It's called free will, Sherlock. But at the same time it's why it feels so good to break down and cry in front of others, or to laugh, or speak in tongues, or chant in Bengali--it's not English anymore, it's not getting squeezed through any hole. So cry all you want, I won't tell anybody.
David Foster Wallace (Oblivion: Stories)
Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to just be people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey…delays…sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling burst of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.
Jenkin Lloyd Jones
Jason turned to Leo. “Do you think you can fly this thing?” “Um…” Leo put his hand on the side of the helicopter, concentrating hard, as if listening to the machine. “Bell 412HP utility helicopter,” Leo said. “Composite four-blade main rotor, cruising speed twenty-two knots, service ceiling twenty-thousand feet. The tank is near full. Sure, I can fly it.” Piper smiled at the ranger again. “You din’t have a problem with an under-aged unlicensed kid borrowing your copter, do you? We’ll return it.” “I-“ The pilot nearly choked on the words, but she got them out: “I don’t have a problem with that.” Leo grinned. “Hop in kids, Uncle Leo’s gonna take you for a ride.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
We’re not the Faster-than-the-Speed-of-Light Generation anymore. We’re not even the Next-New-Thing Generation. We’re the Soon-to-Be-Obsolete Kids, and we’ve crowded in here to hide from the future and the past. We know what’s up – the future looms straight ahead like a black wrought-iron gate and the past is charging after us like a badass Doberman, only this one doesn’t have any letup in him.
Tim Tharp (The Spectacular Now)
Harry was speeding toward the ground when the crowd saw him clap his hand to his mouth as though he was going to be sick-he hit the field on all fours-coughed-and something gold fell into his hand. 'I've got the snitch!' he shouted, waving it above his head, and the game ended in complete confusion. 'He didn't catch it, he nearly swalloed it,' Flint was still howling twenty minutes later, but it made no difference-Harry hadn't broken any rules and Lee Jordan was still happily shouting the results-Gryffindor had won by 170 points to 60.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
I like it that order exists somewhere even if it shatters near me.
Elizabeth Moon (The Speed of Dark)
The genius of the current caste system, and what most distinguishes it from its predecessors, is that it appears voluntary. People choose to commit crimes, and that's why they are locked up or locked out, we are told. This feature makes the politics of responsibility particularly tempting, as it appears the system can be avoided with good behavior. But herein lies the trap. All people make mistakes. All of us are sinners. All of us are criminals. All of us violate the law at some point in our lives. In fact, if the worst thing you have ever done is speed ten miles over the speed limit on the freeway, you have put yourself and others at more risk of harm than someone smoking marijuana in the privacy of his or her living room. Yet there are people in the United States serving life sentences for first-time drug offenses, something virtually unheard of anywhere else in the world.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
What do I advise? Forget it all. Don't be afraid. Do what you get the most pleasure from. Is it to build a cloud chamber? Then go on doing things like that. Develop your talents wherever they may lead. Damn the torpedoes - full speed ahead! If you have any talent,or any occupation that delights you,do it, and do it to the hilt
Richard P. Feynman
Each thing I do, I rush through so I can do something else. In such a way do the days pass---a blend of stock car racing and the never ending building of a gothic cathedral. Through the windows of my speeding car I see all that I love falling away: books unread, jokes untold, landscapes unvisited...
Stephen Dobyns
Why Dream? Life is a difficult assignment. We are fragile creatures, expected to function at high rates of speed, and asked to accomplish great and small things each day. These daily activities take enormous amounts of energy. Most things are out of our control. We are surrounded by danger, frustration, grief, and insanity as well as love, hope, ecstasy, and wonder. Being fully human is an exercise in humility, suffering, grace, and great humor. Things and people all around us die, get broken, or are lost. There is no safety or guarantees. The way to accomplish the assignment of truly living is to engage fully, richly, and deeply in the living of your dreams. We are made to dream and to live those dreams.
S.A.R.K. (Make Your Creative Dreams Real: A Plan for Procrastinators, Perfectionists, Busy People, and People Who Would Really Rather Sleep All Day)
Jem drew the bow back and let the arrow fly; it struck the creature in the side. The massive demon worm writhed in agony, undulating as it swept its great, blind head from side to side, uprooting shrubbery with its thrashings. Leaves filled the air and the boys choked on dust, Gideon backing up with his seraph blade in his hand, trying to see by its light. “It’s coming toward us,” he said in a low voice. And indeed it was, the arrow still protruding from its wet, grayish skin, humping its body along with incredible speed. A flick of its tail caught the edge of a statue, sending it flying into the dry ornamental pool, where it shattered into dust. “By the Angel, it just crushed Sophocles,” noted Will. “Has no one respect for the classics these days?
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
We gallop through our lives like circus performers balancing on two speeding side-by-side horses--one foot is on the horse called "fate," the other on the horse called "free will." And the question you have to ask every day is--which horse is which? Which horse do I need to stop worrying about because it's not under my control, and which do I need to steer with concentrated effort?
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
You are everything that's ever been my favourite thing," she wanted to tell him. "You're my love song, my birthday cake, the sound of ocean waves and French words and a baby's laugh. You're a snow angel, crème brulée, a kaleidoscope filled with glitter. I love you and you'll never catch up, because I've gotten a head start and my heart is racing at light speed.
Lisa Kleypas (Dream Lake (Friday Harbor, #3))
This way,” he murmurs and abruptly is inside me once more, but he doesn’t start his usual punishing rhythm straight away. He leans over, releases my hands, and pulls me upright so I am practically sitting on him. His hands move up to my breasts, and he palms them both, tugging gently on my nipples. I groan, tossing my head back against his shoulder. He nuzzles my neck, biting down, as he flexes his hips, deliciously slowly, filling me again and again. “Do you know how much you mean to me?” he breathes against my ear. “No,” I gasp. He smiles against my neck, and his fingers curl around my jaw and throat, holding me fast for a moment. “Yes, you do. I’m not going to let you go.” I groan as he picks up speed. “You are mine, Anastasia.” “Yes, yours,” I pant. “I take care of what’s mine,” he hisses and bites my ear.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2))
People whose history and future were threatened each day by extinction considered that it was only by divine intervention that they were able to live at all. I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at a commensurate speed.
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of herd life, the military system, which I abhor... This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately I hate them!
Albert Einstein
It soared, a bird, it held its flight, a swift pure cry, soar silver orb it leaped serene, speeding, sustained, to come, don't spin it out too long long breath he breath long life, soaring high, high resplendent, aflame, crowned, high in the effulgence symbolistic, high, of the ethereal bosom, high, of the high vast irradiation everywhere all soaring all around about the all, the endlessnessnessness...
James Joyce (Ulysses)
People who claim to know jackrabbits will tell you they are primarily motivated by Fear, Stupidity, and Craziness. But I have spent enough time in jack rabbit country to know that most of them lead pretty dull lives; they are bored with their daily routines: eat, fuck, sleep, hop around a bush now and then....No wonder some of them drift over the line into cheap thrills once in a while; there has to be a powerful adrenalin rush in crouching by the side of a road, waiting for the next set of headlights to come along, then streaking out of the bushes with split-second timing and making it across to the other side just inches in front of the speeding front wheels
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72)
In 5 billion years, the expansion of the universe will have progressed to the point where all other galaxies will have receded beyond detection. Indeed, they will be receding faster than the speed of light, so detection will be impossible. Future civilizations will discover science and all its laws, and never know about other galaxies or the cosmic background radiation. They will inevitably come to the wrong conclusion about the universe......We live in a special time, the only time, where we can observationally verify that we live in a special time.
Lawrence M. Krauss (A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing)
In a vacuum all photons travel at the same speed. They slow down when travelling through air or water or glass. Photons of different energies are slowed down at different rates. If Tolstoy had known this, would he have recognised the terrible untruth at the beginning of Anna Karenina? 'All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own particular way.' In fact it's the other way around. Happiness is a specific. Misery is a generalisation. People usually know exactly why they are happy. They very rarely know why they are miserable.
Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body)
Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn't block traffic.
Dan Rather
A wager?" I repeated. "Yes," he said, and gave me a slow smile, bright with challenge. ... "Stake?" I asked cautiously. He was still smiling, an odd sort of smile, hard to define. "A kiss." My first reaction was outrage, but then I remembered that I was on my way to Court, and that had to be the kind of thing they did at Court. And if I win I don't have to collect. I hesitated only a moment longer, lured by the thought of open sky, and speed, and winning. "Done," I said.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court #1-2))
One of history’s fews iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and to spawn new obligations. Once people get used to a certain luxury, they take it for granted. Then they begin to count on it. Finally they reach a point where they can’t live without it. Over the few decades, we have invented countless time saving machines that are supposed to make like more relaxed - washing machines, vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, telephones, mobile phones, computers, email. We thought we were saving time; instead we revved up the treadmill of life to ten times its former speed and made our days more anxious and agitated.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
...I became aware of the world's tenderness, the profound beneficence of all that surrounded me, the blissful bond between me and all of creation, and I realized that the joy I sought in you was not only secreted within you, but breathed around me everywhere, in the speeding street sounds, in the hem of a comically lifted skirt, in the metallic yet tender drone of the wind, in the autumn clouds bloated with rain. I realized that the world does not represent a struggle at all, or a predaceous sequence of chance events, but the shimmering bliss, beneficent trepidation, a gift bestowed upon us and unappreciated.
Vladimir Nabokov
After another ten minutes, the gates of thievery would open just a crack, and Liesel Meminger would widen them a little further and squeeze through. ***TWO QUESTIONS*** Would the gates shut behind her? Or would they have the goodwill to let her back out? As Liesel would discover, a good thief requires many things. Stealth. Nerve. Speed. More important than any of those things, however, was one final requirement. Luck. Actually. Forget the ten minutes. The gates open now.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
I was raised the old-fashioned way, with a stern set of moral principles: Never lie, cheat, steal or knowingly spread a venereal disease. Never speed up to hit a pedestrian or, or course, stop to kick a pedestrian who has already been hit. From which it followed, of course, that one would never ever -- on pain of deletion from dozens of Christmas card lists across the country -- vote Republican.
Barbara Ehrenreich
It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run. The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination. We have a better chance of seeing where we are when we stop trying to get somewhere else. We can enjoy every moment of movement, as long as where we are is as good as where we'd like to be. That's not to say that you need to be satisfied forever with where you are today. But you need to honor what you've accomplished, rather than thinking of what's left to be done (p. 159).
John Bingham (No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running)
Now I am not ordering you to go. If you are successful, you will strike a blow to the confederacy. If you are caught, you will be hanged. If not killed outright. Do you still want to go?" "Yes sir".
Phillip Urlevich (The Georgia Express: A Tale of the Civil War)
People always want to know what it feels like, so I’ll tell you: there’s a sting when you first slice, and then your heart speeds up when you see the blood, because you know you’ve done something you shouldn’t have, and yet you’ve gotten away with it. Then you sort of go into a trance, because it’s truly dazzling—that bright red line, like a highway route on a map that you want to follow to see where it leads. And—God—the sweet release, that’s the best way I can describe it, kind of like a balloon that’s tied to a little kid’s hand, which somehow breaks free and floats into the sky. You just know that balloon is thinking, Ha, I don’t belong to you after all; and at the same time, Do they have any idea how beautiful the view is from up here? And then the balloon remembers, after the fact, that it has a wicked fear of heights. When reality kicks in, you grab some toilet paper or a paper towel (better than a washcloth, because the stains don’t ever come out 100 percent) and you press hard against the cut. You can feel your embarrassment; it’s a backbeat underneath your pulse. Whatever relief there was a minute ago congeals, like cold gravy, into a fist in the pit of your stomach. You literally make yourself sick, because you promised yourself last time would be the last time, and once again, you’ve let yourself down. So you hide the evidence of your weakness under layers of clothes long enough to cover the cuts, even if it’s summertime and no one is wearing jeans or long sleeves. You throw the bloody tissues into the toilet and watch the water go pink before you flush them into oblivion, and you wish it were really that easy.
Jodi Picoult (Handle with Care)
We are all wired into a survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled that 60's. That was the fatal flaw in Tim Leary's trip. He crashed around America selling "consciousness expansion" without ever giving a thought to the grim meat-hook realities that were lying in wait for all the people who took him seriously... All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy Peace and Understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole life-style that he helped create... a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody... or at least some force - is tending the light at the end of the tunnel.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
So you want to know all about me. Who I am. What chance meeting of brush and canvas painted the face you see? What made me despise the girl in the mirror enough to transform her,turn her to into a stranger, only not. So you want to hear the whole story. Why I swerved off the high road, hard left to nowhere, recklessly indifferent to those coughing my dust, picked up speed no limits,no top end, just a high velocity rush to madness.
Ellen Hopkins (Crank (Crank, #1))
And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
Martin Luther King Jr. (A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches)
If you’ve ever studied mortal age cartoons, you’ll remember this one. A coyote was always plotting the demise of a smirking long-necked bird. The coyote never succeeded; instead, his plans always backfired. He would blow up, or get shot, or splat from a ridiculous height. And it was funny. Because no matter how deadly his failure, he was always back in the next scene, as if there were a revival center just beyond the edge of the animation cell. I’ve seen human foibles that have resulted in temporary maiming or momentary loss of life. People stumble into manholes, are hit by falling objects, trip into the paths of speeding vehicles. And when it happens, people laugh, because no matter how gruesome the event, that person, just like the coyote, will be back in a day or two, as good as new, and no worse—or wiser—for the wear. Immortality has turned us all into cartoons.
Neal Shusterman (Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1))
If you imagine the 4,500-bilion-odd years of Earth's history compressed into a normal earthly day, then life begins very early, about 4 A.M., with the rise of the first simple, single-celled organisms, but then advances no further for the next sixteen hours. Not until almost 8:30 in the evening, with the day five-sixths over, has Earth anything to show the universe but a restless skin of microbes. Then, finally, the first sea plants appear, followed twenty minutes later by the first jellyfish and the enigmatic Ediacaran fauna first seen by Reginald Sprigg in Australia. At 9:04 P.M. trilobites swim onto the scene, followed more or less immediately by the shapely creatures of the Burgess Shale. Just before 10 P.M. plants begin to pop up on the land. Soon after, with less than two hours left in the day, the first land creatures follow. Thanks to ten minutes or so of balmy weather, by 10:24 the Earth is covered in the great carboniferous forests whose residues give us all our coal, and the first winged insects are evident. Dinosaurs plod onto the scene just before 11 P.M. and hold sway for about three-quarters of an hour. At twenty-one minutes to midnight they vanish and the age of mammals begins. Humans emerge one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight. The whole of our recorded history, on this scale, would be no more than a few seconds, a single human lifetime barely an instant. Throughout this greatly speeded-up day continents slide about and bang together at a clip that seems positively reckless. Mountains rise and melt away, ocean basins come and go, ice sheets advance and withdraw. And throughout the whole, about three times every minute, somewhere on the planet there is a flash-bulb pop of light marking the impact of a Manson-sized meteor or one even larger. It's a wonder that anything at all can survive in such a pummeled and unsettled environment. In fact, not many things do for long.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Whereas during those months of separation time had never gone quickly enough for their liking and they were wanting to speed its flight, now that they were in sight of the town they would have liked to slow it down and hold each moment in suspense, once the breaks went on and the train was entering the station. For the sensation, confused perhaps, but none the less poingant for that, of all those days and weeks and months of life lost to their love made them vaguely feel they were entitled to some compensation; this present hour of joy should run at half the speed of those long hours of waiting.
Albert Camus (The Plague)
It was like being in a car with the gas pedal slammed down to the floor and nothing to do but hold on and pretend to have some semblance of control. But control was something I'd lost a long time ago.
Nic Sheff
Roarke: “Our engines don't run at the same speed.” Eve: “What the hell does that mean?” Roarke: “Just that.” Eve: “It sounds like something that ought to piss me off. But I can't figure out exactly why. When I do, I might have to pop you one.” Roarke: “I'll look forward to it. If you don't sleep, eat. You need something in your stomach. And what are you grinning at?” Eve: “You. You're such a wife.” Roarke: “Now, I'm pissed off.
J.D. Robb (Witness in Death (In Death, #10))
It was like the classic scene in the movies where one lover is on the train and one is on the platform and the train starts to pull away, and the lover on the platform begins to trot along and then jog and then sprint and then gives up altogether as the train speeds irrevocably off. Except in this case I was all the parts: I was the lover on the platform, I was the lover on the train. And I was also the train.
Lorrie Moore (A Gate at the Stairs)
We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before us. Our details are important. Otherwise, if they are not, we can drop a bomb and it doesn't matter. . . Recording the details of our lives is a stance against bombs with their mass ability to kill, against too much speed and efficiency. A writer must say yes to life, to all of life: the water glasses, the Kemp's half-and-half, the ketchup on the counter. It is not a writer's task to say, "It is dumb to live in a small town or to eat in a café when you can eat macrobiotic at home." Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist – the real truth of who we are: several pounds overweight, the gray, cold street outside, the Christmas tinsel in the showcase, the Jewish writer in the orange booth across from her blond friend who has black children. We must become writers who accept things as they are, come to love the details, and step forward with a yes on our lips so there can be no more noes in the world, noes that invalidate life and stop these details from continuing.
Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within)
You are told from the moment you enter school that time is constant. It never changes. It is one of those set things in life that you can always rely on...much like death and taxes. There will always be sixty seconds in a minute. There will always be sixty minutes in an hour. And there will always be twenty-four hours in a day. Time was not fluctuating. It moved on at the same, constant pace at every moment in your life. And that was the biggest load of crap that I’d ever been taught in school. Truth was, time did fluctuate. It was easy to lose hours or even days in a blink of an eye. Other times, it was a struggle to get through a mere hour. It ebbed and flowed as relentlessly as the tides, and just as powerfully too. The moments that you wanted to last forever were the ones that were washed away all too soon. The moments that you wanted to speed up, were slowed down to a snail’s pace. That was the truth of the matter.
S.C. Stephens (Effortless (Thoughtless, #2))
What does it feel like to be alive? Living, you stand under a waterfall. You leave the sleeping shore deliberately; you shed your dusty clothes, pick your barefoot way over the high, slippery rocks, hold your breath, choose your footing, and step into the waterfall. The hard water pelts your skull, bangs in bits on your shoulders and arms. The strong water dashes down beside you and you feel it along your calves and thighs rising roughly backup, up to the roiling surface, full of bubbles that slide up your skin or break on you at full speed. Can you breathe here? Here where the force is the greatest and only the strength of your neck holds the river out of your face. Yes, you can breathe even here. You could learn to live like this. And you can, if you concentrate, even look out at the peaceful far bank where you try to raise your arms. What a racket in your ears, what a scattershot pummeling! It is time pounding at you, time. Knowing you are alive is watching on every side your generation's short time falling away as fast as rivers drop through air, and feeling it hit.
Annie Dillard (An American Childhood)
Many have marked the speed with which Muad'Dib learned the necessities of Arrakis. The Bene Gesserit, of course, know the basis of this speed. For the others, we can say that Muad'Dib learned rapidly because his first training was in how to learn. And the first lesson of all was the basic trust that he could learn. It is shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult. Muad'Dib knew that every experience carries its lesson.
Frank Herbert (Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1))
I am now 33 years old, and it feels like much time has passed and is passing faster and faster every day. Day to day I have to make all sorts of choices about what is good and important and fun, and then I have to live with the forfeiture of all the other options those choices foreclose. And I'm starting to see how as time gains momentum my choices will narrow and their foreclosures multiply exponentially until I arrive at some point on some branch of all life's sumptuous branching complexity at which I am finally locked in and stuck on one path and time speeds me through stages of stasis and atrophy and decay until I go down for the third time, all struggle for naught, drowned by time. It is dreadful. But since it's my own choices that'll lock me in, it seems unavoidable--if I want to be any kind of grownup, I have to make choices and regret foreclosures and try to live with them.
David Foster Wallace (A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments)
Nature may reach the same result in many ways. Like a wave in the physical world, in the infinite ocean of the medium which pervades all, so in the world of organisms, in life, an impulse started proceeds onward, at times, may be, with the speed of light, at times, again, so slowly that for ages and ages it seems to stay, passing through processes of a complexity inconceivable to men, but in all its forms, in all its stages, its energy ever and ever integrally present. A single ray of light from a distant star falling upon the eye of a tyrant in bygone times may have altered the course of his life, may have changed the destiny of nations, may have transformed the surface of the globe, so intricate, so inconceivably complex are the processes in Nature. In no way can we get such an overwhelming idea of the grandeur of Nature than when we consider, that in accordance with the law of the conservation of energy, throughout the Infinite, the forces are in a perfect balance, and hence the energy of a single thought may determine the motion of a universe.
Nikola Tesla
Listen to me. Love is a Yeti. It is bigger than you and frightening and terrible. It makes loud and vicious noises. It is hungry all the time. It has horns and teeth and the force of its fists is more than anyone can bear. It speeds up time and slows it down. And it has its own aims and missions that those who are lucky enough to see it cannot begin to guess. You might see a Yeti once in your life or never. You might live in a village of them. But in the end, not matter how fast you think you can go, the Yeti is always faster than you, and you can only choose how you say hello to it, and whether you shake its hand.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two (Fairyland, #3))
When you throw a rock into the water, it will speed on the fastest course to the bottom of the water. This is how it is when Siddhartha has a goal, a resolution. Siddhartha does nothing, he waits, he thinks, he fasts, but he passes through the things of the world like a rock through water, without doing anything, without stirring; he is drawn, he lets himself fall. His goal attracts him, because he doesn't let anything enter his soul which might oppose the goal. This is what Siddhartha has learned among the Samanas. This is what fools call magic and which they think is effected by demons. Nothing is effected by demons, there are no demons. Everyone can perform magic, everyone can reach his goals, if he is able to think, if he is able to wait, if he is able to fast.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
I know a man who drives 600 yards to work. I know a woman who gets in her car to go a quarter of a mile to a college gymnasium to walk on a treadmill, then complains passionately about the difficulty of finding a parking space. When I asked her once why she didn't walk to the gym and do five minutes less on the treadmill, she looked at me as if I were being willfully provocative. 'Because I have a program for the treadmill,' she explained. 'It records my distance and speed, and I can adjust it for degree of difficulty.' It hadn't occurred to me how thoughtlessly deficient nature is in this regard.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
Productiveness is your acceptance of morality, your recognition of the fact that you choose to live--that productive work is the process by which man's consciousness controls his existence, a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one's purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one's values--that all work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and no work is creative if done by a blank who repeats in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others--that your work is yours to choose, and the choice is as wide as your mind, that nothing more is possible to you and nothing less is human--that to cheat your way into a job bigger than your mind can handle is to become a fear-corroded ape on borrowed motions and borrowed time, and to settle down into a job that requires less than your mind's full capacity is to cut your motor and sentence yourself to another kind of motion: decay--that your work is the process of achieving your values, and to lose your ambition for values is to lose your ambition to live--that your body is a machine, but your mind is its driver, and you must drive as far as your mind will take you, with achievement as the goal of your road--that the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch, that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly going to rust, that the man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap, and the man who makes another man his goal is a hitchhiker no driver should ever pick up--that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed past any killer who assumes the right to stop you, that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
You know,” OreSeur muttered quietly, obviously counting on her tin to let Vin hear him, “it seems that these meetings would be more productive if someone forgot to invite those two.” Vin smiled. “They’re not that bad,” she whispered. OreSeur raised an eyebrow. “Okay,” Vin said. “They do distract us a little bit.” “I could always eat on of them, if you wish,” OreSeur said. “That might speed things up.” Vin paused. OreSeur, however had a strange little smile on his lips. “Kandra humor, Mistress. I apologize. We can be a bit grim.” Vin smiled. “They probably wouldn’t taste very good anyway. Ham’s far too stringy, and you don’t want to know the kinds of things that Breeze spends his time eating….” “I’m not sure,” OreSeur said. “One is, after all, named ‘Ham.’ As for the other…” He nodded to the cup of wine in Breeze’s hand. “He does seem quite fond of marinating himself.
Brandon Sanderson (The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2))
No cop was ever born who isn't a sucker for a finely-executed hi-speed Controlled Drift all the way around one of those clover-leaf freeway interchanges. Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. Your normal speeder will panic and immediately pull over to the side when he sees the big red light behind him... and then we will start apologizing begging for mercy. This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop-heart. The thing to dowhen you're running along about a hundred or so and you suddenly find a red-flashing CHP-tracker on your trail what you want to do then is accelerate.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
To ride a bicycle is in itself some protection against superstitious fears, since the bicycle is the product of pure reason applied to motion. Geometry at the service of man! Give me two spheres and a straight line and I will show you how far I can take them. Voltaire himself might have invented the bicycle, since it contributes so much to man’s welfare and nothing at all to his bane. Beneficial to the health, it emits no harmful fumes and permits only the most decorous speeds. How can a bicycle ever be an implement of harm?
Angela Carter
Finally, I sat up. "So, I suppose you should do something, wolfie. Hunt maybe?" A grunt, the tone saying no. "Run? Get some exercise?" Another grunt, less decisive, more like a maybe. He pushed to his feet, wobbly, still adjusting to his new center of gravity. He gingerly moved one fore paw, then the next, one rear paw, then the other. He picked up the pace, but still slow as he circled the clearing. A snort, like he'd figured it out, and broke into a lope, stumbled and plowed muzzle first into the undergrowth. I stifled a laugh, but not very well, and he glowered at me. "Forget running, a nice, leisurely stroll might be more your speed." He snorted and turned fast. When I fell back, he gave a growling chuckle. "Still cant resist throwing your weight around, can you?
Kelley Armstrong
Most photographers have some kind of verbal patter going on when they shoot: "Great. Turn to me. Big smile. Less shark eyes. Have fun with it. Not like that." Some photographers are compulsively effusive. "Beautiful. Amazing. Gorgeous! Ugh, so gorgeous!" they yell at shutter speed. If you are anything less than insane, you will realize this is not sincere. It's hard to take because it's more positive feedback than you've received in your entire life thrown at you in fifteen seconds. It would be like going jogging while someone rode next to you in a slow-moving car, yelling, "Yes! You are Carl Lewis! You're breaking a world record right now. Amazing! You are fast. You're going very fast, yes!
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be, whether a long string of perfectly blue days that begin and end in golden dimness, the most seemingly chaotic political acts, the rise of a great city, the crystalline structure of a gem that has never seen the light, the distributions of fortune, what time the milkman gets up, the position of the electron, or the occurrence of one astonishing frigid winter after another. Even electrons, supposedly the paragons of unpredictability, are tame and obsequious little creatures that rush around at the speed of light, going precisely where they are supposed to go. They make faint whistling sounds that when apprehended in varying combinations are as pleasant as the wind flying through a forest, and they do exactly as they are told. Of this, one is certain. And yet, there is a wonderful anarchy, in that the milkman chooses when to arise, the rat picks the tunnel into which he will dive when the subway comes rushing down the track from Borough Hall, and the snowflake will fall as it will. How can this be? If nothing is random, and everything is predetermined, how can there be free will? The answer to that is simple. Nothing is predetermined, it is determined, or was determined, or will be determined. No matter, it all happened at once, in less than an instant, and time was invented because we cannot comprehend in one glance the enormous and detailed canvas that we have been given - so we track it, in linear fashion piece by piece. Time however can be easily overcome; not by chasing the light, but by standing back far enough to see it all at once. The universe is still and complete. Everything that ever was is; everything that ever will be is - and so on, in all possible combinations. Though in perceiving it we image that it is in motion, and unfinished, it is quite finished and quite astonishingly beautiful. In the end, or rather, as things really are, any event, no matter how small, is intimately and sensibly tied to all others. All rivers run full to the sea; those who are apart are brought together; the lost ones are redeemed; the dead come back to life; the perfectly blue days that have begun and ended in golden dimness continue, immobile and accessible; and, when all is perceived in such a way as to obviate time, justice becomes apparent not as something that will be, but something that is.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
Sometimes the most remarkable things seem commonplace. I mean when you think about it jet travel is pretty freaking remarkable. You get in a plane it defies the gravity of a entire planet by exploiting a loophole with air pressure and it flies across distances that would take months or years to cross by any means of travel that has been significant for more than a century or three. You hurtle above the earth at enough speed to kill you instantly should you bump into something and you can only breathe because someone built you a really good tin can that seems tight enough to hold in a decent amount of air. Hundreds of millions of man-hours of work and struggle and research blood sweat tears and lives have gone into the history of air travel and it has totally revolutionized the face of our planet and societies. But get on any flight in the country and I absolutely promise you that you will find someone who in the face of all that incredible achievement will be willing to complain about the drinks.
Jim Butcher (Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4))
It took me years to learn to sit at my desk for more than two minutes at a time, to put up with the solitude and the terror of failure, and the godawful silence and the white paper. And now that I can take it . . . now that I can finally do it . . . I'm really raring to go. I was in my study writing. I was learning how to go down into myself and salvage bits and pieces of the past. I was learning how to sneak up on the unconscious and how to catch my seemingly random thoughts and fantasies. By closing me out of his world, Bennett had opened all sorts of worlds inside my own head. Gradually I began to realize that none of the subjects I wrote poems about engaged my deepest feelings, that there was a great chasm between what I cared about and what I wrote about. Why? What was I afraid of? Myself, most of all, it seemed. "Freedom is an illusion," Bennett would have said and, in a way, I too would have agreed. Sanity, moderation, hard work, stability . . . I believed in them too. But what was that other voice inside of me which kept urging me on toward zipless fucks, and speeding cars and endless wet kisses and guts full of danger? What was that other voice which kept calling me coward! and egging me on to burn my bridges, to swallow the poison in one gulp instead of drop by drop, to go down into the bottom of my fear and see if I could pull myself up? Was it a voice? Or was it a thump? Something even more primitive than speech. A kind of pounding in my gut which I had nicknamed my "hunger-thump." It was as if my stomach thought of itself as a heart. And no matter how I filled it—with men, with books, with food—it refused to be still. Unfillable—that's what I was. Nymphomania of the brain. Starvation of the heart.
Erica Jong (Fear of Flying)
When the farthest corner of the globe has been conquered technologically and can be exploited economically; when any incident you like, in any place you like, at any time you like, becomes accessible as fast as you like; when you can simultaneously "experience" an assassination attempt against a king in France and a symphony concert in Tokyo; when time is nothing but speed, instantaneity, and simultaneity, and time as history has vanished from all Being of all peoples; when a boxer counts as the great man of a people; when the tallies of millions at mass meetings are a triumph; then, yes then, there still looms like a specter over all this uproar the question: what for? — where to? — and what then?
Martin Heidegger (Introduction to Metaphysics)
Ron seems to be enjoying the celebrations.” said Hermione. “Don’t pretend you didn’t see him. He wasn’t exactly hiding it, was — ?” The door behind them burst open. To Harry’s horror, Ron came in, laughing, pulling Lavender by the hand. “Oh,” he said, drawing up short at the sight of Harry and Hermione. “Oops!” said Lavender, and she backed out of the room, giggling. There was a horrible, swelling, billowing silence. Hermione was staring at Ron, who refused to look at her. She walked very slowly and erectly toward the door. Harry glanced at Ron, who was looking relieved that nothing worse had happened. “Oppugno!” came a shriek from the doorway. Harry spun around [...] The little flock of birds was speeding like a hail of fat golden bullets toward Ron, pecking and clawing at every bit of flesh they could reach. “Gerremoffme!” he yelled, but with one last look of vindictive fury, Hermione wrenched open the door and disappeared through it. Harry thought he heard a sob before it slammed.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
Graham had a lot of trouble with taste. Often his thoughts were not tasty. There were no effective partitions in his mind. What he saw and learned touched everything else he knew. Some of the combinations were hard to live with. But he could not anticipate them, could not block and repress. His learned values of decency and propriety tagged along, shocked at his associations, appalled at his dreams; sorry that in the bone arena of his skull there were no forts for what he loved. His associations came at the speed of light. His value judgments were at the pace of a responsive reading. They could never keep up and direct his thinking. He viewed his own mentality as grotesque but useful, like a chair made of antlers. There was nothing he could do about it.
Thomas Harris (Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter, #1))
What else? I also believe that if someone comes up behind you on the freeway and flashes their lights to get you to move into the slow lane, they deserve whatever punishment you dole out to them. I promptly slow down and drive at the same speed as the car beside me so that I can punish Speed Racer for his impertinence. Actually, it’s not the impertinence I’m punishing him for, it’s that he let other people know what he wanted. Speed Racer, my friend, never ever let people know what you want. Because if you do, you might as well send them engraved invitations saying, “Hi, this is what I want you to prevent me from ever having.
Douglas Coupland (The Gum Thief)
Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha" (2 Kings 6:16-17). In the gospel of Jesus Christ you have help from both sides of the veil, and you must never forget that. When disappointment and discouragement strike--and they will--you remember and never forget that if our eyes could be opened we would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see riding at reckless speed to come to our protection. They will always be there, these armies of heaven, in defense of Abraham's seed.
Jeffrey R. Holland (Created for Greater Things)
Alec cleared his throat. He felt dizzy, but he also felt alive — blood rushing through his veins like traffic at top speed, everything seemingly almost too brightly colored. As he stepped through the door, he turned and looked at Magnus, who was watching him bemusedly. He reached forward and took hold of the front of Magnus’ t-shirt and dragged the warlock toward him. Magnus stumbled against him, and Alec kissed him, hard and fast and messy and unpracticed, but with everything he had. He pulled Magnus against him, his own hand between them, and felt Magnus’ heart stutter in his chest. He broke off the kiss, and drew back. “Friday,” he said, and let Magnus go. He backed away, down the landing, Magnus looking after him. The warlock crossed his arms over his shirt — wrinkled where Alec had grabbed it — and shook his head, grinning.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Stages As every flower fades and as all youth Departs, so life at every stage, So every virtue, so our grasp of truth, Blooms in its day and may not last forever. Since life may summon us at every age Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor, Be ready bravely and without remorse To find new light that old ties cannot give. In all beginnings dwells a magic force For guarding us and helping us to live. Serenely let us move to distant places And let no sentiments of home detain us. The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces. If we accept a home of our own making, Familiar habit makes for indolence. We must prepare for parting and leave-taking Or else remain the slaves of permanence. Even the hour of our death may send Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces, And life may summon us to newer races. So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.
Hermann Hesse (The Glass Bead Game)
I cannot describe Or explain the speed of light Or what makes thunder roll across the sky And I could never theorize about the universe’s size Or explain why some men live and some men die I can’t even guess I would never profess To know why you are here with me And I cannot comprehend How numbers have no end The things you understand, I can’t conceive Infinity + One Is still infinity. And no matter how I try I’m bound by gravity. But the things I thought I knew Changed the minute I met you. It seems I’m weightless And I’m endless after all. Weightless and endless. Timeless and restless. So light that I’ll never fall. Weightless and endless. Hopelessly breathless. I guess I knew nothing at all.
Amy Harmon (Infinity + One)
We clutter the earth with our inventions, never dreaming that possibly they are unnecessary — or disadvantageous. We devise astounding means of communication, but do we communicate with one another? We move our bodies to and fro and incredible speeds, but do we really leave the spot we started from? Mentally, morally, spiritually, we are fettered. What have we achieved in mowing down mountain ranges, harnessing the energy of mighty rivers, or moving whole populations about like chess pieces, if we ourselves remain the same restless, miserable, frustrated creatures we were before? To call such activity progress is utter delusion. We may succeed in altering the face of the earth until it is unrecognizable even to the Creator, but if we are unaffected wherein lies the meaning?
Henry Miller (The World Of Sex)
All of us have access to a higher form of intelligence, one that can allow us to see more of the world, to anticipate trends, to respond with speed and accuracy to any circumstance. This intelligence is cultivated by deply immersing ourselves in a field of study and staying true to our inclinations, no matter how unconventional our approach might seem to other. Through such intense immersion over many years we come to internalize and gain an intuitive feel with the rational processes, we expand our minds to the outer limits of our potential and are able to see into the secret core of life itself. We then come to have powers that approximate the instinctive force and speed of animals, but with the added reach that our human consciousness brings us. This power is what our brains are designed to attain, and we will naturally led to this type of intelligence if we follow our inclinations to their ultimate ends.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy the tea. Only in the awareness of the present, can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup. Only in the present, can you savor the aroma, taste the sweetness, appreciate the delicacy. If you are ruminating about the past, or worrying about the future, you will completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of tea. You will look down at the cup, and the tea will be gone. Life is like that. If you are not fully present, you will look around and it will be gone. You will have missed the feel, the aroma, the delicacy and beauty of life. It will seem to be speeding past you. The past is finished. Learn from it and let it go. The future is not even here yet. Plan for it, but do not waste your time worrying about it. Worrying is worthless. When you stop ruminating about what has already happened, when you stop worrying about what might never happen, then you will be in the present moment. Then you will begin to experience joy in life.
Thich Nhat Hanh
The whole idea of it makes me feel like I'm coming down with something, something worse than any stomach ache or the headaches I get from reading in bad light-- a kind of measles of the spirit, a mumps of the psyche, a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul. You tell me it is too early to be looking back, but that is because you have forgotten the perfect simplicity of being one and the beautiful complexity introduced by two. But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit. At four I was an Arabian wizard. I could make myself invisible by drinking a glass of milk a certain way. At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince. But now I am mostly at the window watching the late afternoon light. Back then it never fell so solemnly against the side of my tree house, and my bicycle never leaned against the garage as it does today, all the dark blue speed drained out of it. This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself, as I walk through the universe in my sneakers. It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends, time to turn the first big number. It seems only yesterday I used to believe there was nothing under my skin but light. If you cut me I could shine. But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life, I skin my knees. I bleed.
Billy Collins
Once there was a boy,” said Jace. Clary interrupted immediately. “A Shadowhunter boy?” “Of course.” For a moment a bleak amusement colored his voice. Then it was gone. “When the boy was six years old, his father gave him a falcon to train. Falcons are raptors – killing birds, his father told him, the Shadowhunters of the sky. “The falcon didn’t like the boy, and the boy didn’t like it, either. Its sharp beak made him nervous, and its bright eyes always seemed to be watching him. It would slash at him with beak and talons when he came near: For weeks his wrists and hands were always bleeding. He didn’t know it, but his father had selected a falcon that had lived in the wild for over a year, and thus was nearly impossible to tame. But the boy tried, because his father told him to make the falcon obedient, and he wanted to please his father. “He stayed with the falcon constantly, keeping it awake by talking to it and even playing music to it, because a tired bird was meant to be easier to tame. He learned the equipment: the jesses, the hood, the brail, the leash that bound the bird to his wrist. He was meant to keep the falcon blind, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it – instead he tried to sit where the bird could see him as he touched and stroked its wings, willing it to trust him. Hee fed it from his hand, and at first it would not eat. Later it ate so savagely that its beak cut the skin of his palm. But the boy was glad, because it was progress, and because he wanted the bird to know him, even if the bird had to consume his blood to make that happen. “He began to see that the falcon was beautiful, that its slim wings were built for the speed of flight, that it was strong and swift, fierce and gentle. When it dived to the ground, it moved like likght. When it learned to circle and come to his wrist, he neary shouted with delight Sometimes the bird would hope to his shoulder and put its beak in his hair. He knew his falcon loved him, and when he was certain it was not just tamed but perfectly tamed, he went to his father and showed him what he had done, expecting him to be proud. “Instead his father took the bird, now tame and trusting, in his hands and broke its neck. ‘I told you to make it obedient,’ his father said, and dropped the falcon’s lifeless body to the ground. ‘Instead, you taught it to love you. Falcons are not meant to be loving pets: They are fierce and wild, savage and cruel. This bird was not tamed; it was broken.’ “Later, when his father left him, the boy cried over his pet, until eventually his father sent a servant to take the body of the bird away and bury it. The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
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))
Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself. This leaf has jagged edges. This rock looks loose. From this place the snow is less visible, even though closer. These are things you should notice anyway. To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow. But of course, without the top you can’t have any sides. It’s the top that defines the sides. So on we go—we have a long way—no hurry—just one step after the next—with a little Chautauqua for entertainment -- .Mental reflection is so much more interesting than TV it’s a shame more people don’t switch over to it. They probably think what they hear is unimportant but it never is.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1))
This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, "It's too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings." And then someone else on board says something like, "But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d'oeuvres." At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who'd been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can't get to him soon enough, or they don't even try, and the yacht's speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
But genius, and even great talent, springs less from seeds of intellect and social refinement superior to those of other people than from the faculty of transforming and transposing them. To heat a liquid with an electric lamp requires not the strongest lamp possible, but one of which the current can cease to illuminate, can be diverted so as to give heat instead of light. To mount the skies it is not necessary to have the most powerful of motors, one must have a motor which, instead of continuing to run along the earth's surface, intersecting with a vertical line the horizontal line which it began by following, is capable of converting its speed into lifting power. Similarly, the men who produce works of genius are not those who live in the most delicate atmosphere, whose conversation is the most brilliant or their culture the most extensive, but those who have had the power, ceasing suddenly to live only for themselves, to transform their personality into a sort of mirror, in such a way that their life, however mediocre it may be socially and even, in a sense, intellectually, is reflected by it, genius consisting in reflecting power and not int he intrinsic quality of the scene reflected.
Marcel Proust (Within a Budding Grove, Part 2)
Gulls wheel through spokes of sunlight over gracious roofs and dowdy thatch, snatching entrails at the marketplace and escaping over cloistered gardens, spike topped walls and treble-bolted doors. Gulls alight on whitewashed gables, creaking pagodas and dung-ripe stables; circle over towers and cavernous bells and over hidden squares where urns of urine sit by covered wells, watched by mule-drivers, mules and wolf-snouted dogs, ignored by hunch-backed makers of clogs; gather speed up the stoned-in Nakashima River and fly beneath the arches of its bridges, glimpsed form kitchen doors, watched by farmers walking high, stony ridges. Gulls fly through clouds of steam from laundries' vats; over kites unthreading corpses of cats; over scholars glimpsing truth in fragile patterns; over bath-house adulterers, heartbroken slatterns; fishwives dismembering lobsters and crabs; their husbands gutting mackerel on slabs; woodcutters' sons sharpening axes; candle-makers, rolling waxes; flint-eyed officials milking taxes; etiolated lacquerers; mottle-skinned dyers; imprecise soothsayers; unblinking liars; weavers of mats; cutters of rushes; ink-lipped calligraphers dipping brushes; booksellers ruined by unsold books; ladies-in-waiting; tasters; dressers; filching page-boys; runny-nosed cooks; sunless attic nooks where seamstresses prick calloused fingers; limping malingerers; swineherds; swindlers; lip-chewed debtors rich in excuses; heard-it-all creditors tightening nooses; prisoners haunted by happier lives and ageing rakes by other men's wives; skeletal tutors goaded to fits; firemen-turned-looters when occasion permits; tongue-tied witnesses; purchased judges; mothers-in-law nurturing briars and grudges; apothecaries grinding powders with mortars; palanquins carrying not-yet-wed daughters; silent nuns; nine-year-old whores; the once-were-beautiful gnawed by sores; statues of Jizo anointed with posies; syphilitics sneezing through rotted-off noses; potters; barbers; hawkers of oil; tanners; cutlers; carters of night-soil; gate-keepers; bee-keepers; blacksmiths and drapers; torturers; wet-nurses; perjurers; cut-purses; the newborn; the growing; the strong-willed and pliant; the ailing; the dying; the weak and defiant; over the roof of a painter withdrawn first from the world, then his family, and down into a masterpiece that has, in the end, withdrawn from its creator; and around again, where their flight began, over the balcony of the Room of Last Chrysanthemum, where a puddle from last night's rain is evaporating; a puddle in which Magistrate Shiroyama observes the blurred reflections of gulls wheeling through spokes of sunlight. This world, he thinks, contains just one masterpiece, and that is itself.
David Mitchell (The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet)
As your perspective of the world increases not only is the pain it inflicts on you less but also its meaning. Understanding the world requires you to take a certain distance from it. Things that are too small to see with the naked eye, such as molecules and atoms, we magnify. Things that are too large, such as cloud formations, river deltas, constellations, we reduce. At length we bring it within the scope of our senses and we stabilize it with fixer. When it has been fixed we call it knowledge. Throughout our childhood and teenage years, we strive to attain the correct distance to objects and phenomena. We read, we learn, we experience, we make adjustments. Then one day we reach the point where all the necessary distances have been set, all the necessary systems have been put in place. That is when time begins to pick up speed. It no longer meets any obstacles, everything is set, time races through our lives, the days pass by in a flash and before we know that is happening we are fort, fifty, sixty... Meaning requires content, content requires time, time requires resistance. Knowledge is distance, knowledge is stasis and the enemy of meaning. My picture of my father on that evening in 1976 is, in other words, twofold: on the one hand I see him as I saw him at that time, through the eyes of an eight-year-old: unpredictable and frightening; on the other hand, I see him as a peer through whose life time is blowing and unremittingly sweeping large chunks of meaning along with it.
Karl Ove Knausgård (Min kamp 1 (Min kamp #1))
This is the legend of Cassius Clay, The most beautiful fighter in the world today. He talks a great deal, and brags indeed-y, of a muscular punch that's incredibly speed-y. The fistic world was dull and weary, But with a champ like Liston, things had to be dreary. Then someone with color and someone with dash, Brought fight fans are runnin' with Cash. This brash young boxer is something to see And the heavyweight championship is his des-tin-y. This kid fights great; he’s got speed and endurance, But if you sign to fight him, increase your insurance. This kid's got a left; this kid's got a right, If he hit you once, you're asleep for the night. And as you lie on the floor while the ref counts ten, You’ll pray that you won’t have to fight me again. For I am the man this poem’s about, The next champ of the world, there isn’t a doubt. This I predict and I know the score, I’ll be champ of the world in ’64. When I say three, they’ll go in the third, 10 months ago So don’t bet against me, I’m a man of my word. He is the greatest! Yes! I am the man this poem’s about, I’ll be champ of the world, there isn’t a doubt. Here I predict Mr. Liston’s dismemberment, I’ll hit him so hard; he’ll wonder where October and November went. When I say two, there’s never a third, Standin against me is completely absurd. When Cassius says a mouse can outrun a horse, Don’t ask how; put your money where your mouse is! I AM THE GREATEST!
Muhammad Ali
Young Castle called me "Scoop." "Good Morning, Scoop. What's new in the word game?" "I might ask the same of you," I replied. "I'm thinking of calling a general strike of all writers until mankind finally comes to its senses. Would you support it?" "Do writers have a right to strike? That would be like the police or the firemen walking out." "Or the college professors." "Or the college professors," I agreed. I shook my head. "No, I don't think my conscience would let me support a strike like that. When a man becomes a writer, I think he takes a sacred obligation to produce beauty and enlightenment and comfort at top speed." "I just can't help thinking what a real shake up it would give people if, all of a sudden, there were no new books, new plays, new histories, new poems..." "And how proud would you be when people started dying like flies?" I demanded. "They'd die more like mad dogs, I think--snarling & snapping at each other & biting their own tails." I turned to Castle the elder. "Sir, how does a man die when he's deprived of the consolation of literature?" "In one of two ways," he said, "petrescence of the heart or atrophy of the nervous system." "Neither one very pleasant, I expect," I suggested. "No," said Castle the elder. "For the love of God, both of you, please keep writing!
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Cat's Cradle)
He walked straight out of college into the waiting arms of the Navy. They gave him an intelligence test. The first question on the math part had to do with boats on a river: Port Smith is 100 miles upstream of Port Jones. The river flows at 5 miles per hour. The boat goes through water at 10 miles per hour. How long does it take to go from Port Smith to Port Jones? How long to come back? Lawrence immediately saw that it was a trick question. You would have to be some kind of idiot to make the facile assumption that the current would add or subtract 5 miles per hour to or from the speed of the boat. Clearly, 5 miles per hour was nothing more than the average speed. The current would be faster in the middle of the river and slower at the banks. More complicated variations could be expected at bends in the river. Basically it was a question of hydrodynamics, which could be tackled using certain well-known systems of differential equations. Lawrence dove into the problem, rapidly (or so he thought) covering both sides of ten sheets of paper with calculations. Along the way, he realized that one of his assumptions, in combination with the simplified Navier Stokes equations, had led him into an exploration of a particularly interesting family of partial differential equations. Before he knew it, he had proved a new theorem. If that didn't prove his intelligence, what would? Then the time bell rang and the papers were collected. Lawrence managed to hang onto his scratch paper. He took it back to his dorm, typed it up, and mailed it to one of the more approachable math professors at Princeton, who promptly arranged for it to be published in a Parisian mathematics journal. Lawrence received two free, freshly printed copies of the journal a few months later, in San Diego, California, during mail call on board a large ship called the U.S.S. Nevada. The ship had a band, and the Navy had given Lawrence the job of playing the glockenspiel in it, because their testing procedures had proven that he was not intelligent enough to do anything else.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
All the towering materialism which dominates the modern mind rests ultimately upon one assumption; a false assumption. It is supposed that if a thing goes on repeating itself it is probably dead; a piece of clockwork. People feel that if the universe was personal it would vary; if the sun were alive it would dance. This is a fallacy even in relation to known fact. For the variation in human affairs is generally brought into them, not by life, but by death; by the dying down or breaking off of their strength or desire. A man varies his movements because of some slight element of failure or fatigue. He gets into an omnibus because he is tired of walking; or he walks because he is tired of sitting still. But if his life and joy were so gigantic that he never tired of going to Islington, he might go to Islington as regularly as the Thames goes to Sheerness. The very speed and ecstacy of his life would have the stillness of death. The sun rises every morning. I do not rise every morning; but the variation is due not to my activity, but to my inaction. Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical ENCORE. Heaven may ENCORE the bird who laid an egg. If the human being conceives and brings forth a human child instead of bringing forth a fish, or a bat, or a griffin, the reason may not be that we are fixed in an animal fate without life or purpose. It may be that our little tragedy has touched the gods, that they admire it from their starry galleries, and that at the end of every human drama man is called again and again before the curtain. Repetition may go on for millions of years, by mere choice, and at any instant it may stop. Man may stand on the earth generation after generation, and yet each birth be his positively last appearance.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Winter’s head snapped around, away from Scarlet. Scarlet’s pace slowed, dread pulsing through her as she, too, heard the footsteps. Pounding footsteps, like someone was running at full speed toward them. She reached for the knife Jacin had given her. A man barrelled around the corner, heading straight for the princess. Winter tensed half a second before he reached her. Grabbing Winter’s elbow, he yanked back the red hood. Scarlet gasped. Her knees weakened. The man stared at Winter with a mixture of confusion and disappointment and maybe even anger, all locked up in eyes so vividly green that Scarlet could see them glowing from here. She was the one hallucinating now. She took a stumbling, uncertain step forward. Wanting to run toward him, but terrified it was a trick. Her hand tightened around the knife handle as Wolf, ignoring how Winter was trying to pull away, grabbed her arm and smelled the filthy red sleeve of Scarlet’s hoodie, streaked with dirt and blood. He growled, ready to tear the princess apart. “Where did you get this?” So desperate, so determined, so him. The knife slipped out of Scarlet’s hand. Wolf’s attention snapped to her. “Wolf?” she whispered. His eyes brightened, wild and hopeful. Releasing Winter, he strode forward. His tumultuous eyes scooped over her. Devoured her. When he was in arm’s reach, Scarlet almost collapsed into him, but at the last moment she had the presence of mind to step back. She planted a hand on his chest. Wolf froze, hurt flickering across his face. “I’m sorry,” said Scarlet, her voice teetering with exhaustion. “It’s just…I smell so awful, I can hardly stand to be around myself right now, so I can’t even imagine what it’s like for you with your sense of sm-“ Batting her hand away, Wolf dug his fingers into Scarlet’s hair and crushed his mouth against hers. Her protests died with a muffled gasp. This time, she did collapse, her legs unable to hold her a second longer. Wolf fell with her, dropping his knees to break Scarlet’s fall and cradling her body against his. He was here. He was here.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
Well, well, well,” Santa said once the elf had retreated. “Come and sit on my lap, little boy.” This Santa’s beard was real, and so was his hair. He wasn’t fucking around. “I’m not really a little boy,” I pointed out. “Get on my lap, then, big boy.” I walked up to him. There wasn’t much lap under his belly. And even though he tried to disguise it, as I went up there, I swear he adjusted his crotch. “Ho ho ho!” he chortled. I sat gingerly on his knee, like it was a subway seat with gum on it. “Have you been a good little boy this year?” he asked. I didn’t feel that I was the right person to determine my own goodness or badness, but in the interest of speeding along this encounter, I said yes. He actually wobbled with joy. “Good! Good! Then what can I bring you this Christmas?” I thought it was obvious. “A message from Lily,” I said. “That’s what I want for Christmas. But I want it right now.” “So impatient!” Santa lowered his voice and whispered in my ear. “But Santa does have a little something for you”—he shifted a little in his seat—“right under his coat. If you want to have your present, you’ll have to rub Santa’s belly.” “What?” I asked. He gestured with his eyes down to his stomach. “Go ahead.” I looked closely and saw the faint outline of an envelope beneath his red velvet coat. “You know you want it,” he whispered. The only way I could survive this was to think of it as the dare it was. Fuck off, Lily. You can’t intimidate me. I reached right under Santa’s coat. To my horror, I found he wasn’t wearing anything underneath. It was hot, sweaty, Geshy, hairy … and his belly was this massive obstacle, blocking me from the envelope. I had to lean over to angle my arm in order to reach it, the whole time having Santa laugh, “Oh ho ho, ho ho oh ho!” in my ear. I heard the elf scream, “What the hell!” and various parents start to shriek. Yes, I was feeling up Santa. And now the corner of the envelope was in my hand. He tried to jiggle it away from me, but I held tight and yanked it out, pulling some of his white belly hair with me. “OW ho ho!” he cried. I jumped o1 his lap. “Security’s here!” the elf proclaimed. The letter was in my hand, damp but intact. “He touched Santa!” a young child squealed.
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
The Trial By Existence Even the bravest that are slain Shall not dissemble their surprise On waking to find valor reign, Even as on earth, in paradise; And where they sought without the sword Wide fields of asphodel fore’er, To find that the utmost reward Of daring should be still to dare. The light of heaven falls whole and white And is not shattered into dyes, The light for ever is morning light; The hills are verdured pasture-wise; The angel hosts with freshness go, And seek with laughter what to brave;— And binding all is the hushed snow Of the far-distant breaking wave. And from a cliff-top is proclaimed The gathering of the souls for birth, The trial by existence named, The obscuration upon earth. And the slant spirits trooping by In streams and cross- and counter-streams Can but give ear to that sweet cry For its suggestion of what dreams! And the more loitering are turned To view once more the sacrifice Of those who for some good discerned Will gladly give up paradise. And a white shimmering concourse rolls Toward the throne to witness there The speeding of devoted souls Which God makes his especial care. And none are taken but who will, Having first heard the life read out That opens earthward, good and ill, Beyond the shadow of a doubt; And very beautifully God limns, And tenderly, life’s little dream, But naught extenuates or dims, Setting the thing that is supreme. Nor is there wanting in the press Some spirit to stand simply forth, Heroic in its nakedness, Against the uttermost of earth. The tale of earth’s unhonored things Sounds nobler there than ’neath the sun; And the mind whirls and the heart sings, And a shout greets the daring one. But always God speaks at the end: ’One thought in agony of strife The bravest would have by for friend, The memory that he chose the life; But the pure fate to which you go Admits no memory of choice, Or the woe were not earthly woe To which you give the assenting voice.’ And so the choice must be again, But the last choice is still the same; And the awe passes wonder then, And a hush falls for all acclaim. And God has taken a flower of gold And broken it, and used therefrom The mystic link to bind and hold Spirit to matter till death come. ‘Tis of the essence of life here, Though we choose greatly, still to lack The lasting memory at all clear, That life has for us on the wrack Nothing but what we somehow chose; Thus are we wholly stripped of pride In the pain that has but one close, Bearing it crushed and mystified.
Robert Frost