Speed Sayings Quotes

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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
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)
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))
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
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)
Next time you hit a speed bump otherwise known as the age-old question “Why are you still single?” look ’em in the eye and say: “Because I’m too fabulous to settle.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
The problem is that most people spend their lives looking but not truly seeing, or, as Sherlock Holmes, the meticulous English detective, declared to his partner, Dr. Watson, “You see, but you do not observe.
Joe Navarro (What Every Body is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People)
the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
Joe Navarro (What Every Body is Saying: An FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People)
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, #1))
Customer: Do you have any crime books involving speeding fines?
Jen Campbell (Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops)
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)
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))
Can I just say that I don't care if two planes or trains or whatever take off from different locations at different times and travel at different speeds. I am not traffic control, so why the hell would I care what time they'd pass each other?
Devon Ashley (Falling in Between (Falling, #1))
Because we are social animals, we not only lie for our own benefit, but we lie for the benefit of each other (Vrij, 2003, 3–11).
Joe Navarro (What Every Body is Saying: An FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People)
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
Nothing in the universe can travel at the speed of light, they say, forgetful of the shadow`s speed.
Howard Nemerov
Everything in my life that I value has been gained at the cost of not saying what I really think and saying what they want me to say.
Elizabeth Moon (The Speed of Dark)
In a high-trust relationship, you can say the wrong thing, and people will still get your meaning. In a low-trust relationship, you can be very measured, even precise, and they’ll still misinterpret you.
Stephen M.R. Covey (The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything)
To stutter through it with you or even stop stuttering and say nothing, was so lucky and soft, better talk than mile-a-minute with anyone. After a few minutes we’d stop rattling, we’d adjust, we’d settle in, and the conversation would speed into the night.
Daniel Handler (Why We Broke Up)
The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it.
Edward R. Murrow
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)
For instance, when people press their lips together in a manner that seems to make them disappear, it is a clear and common sign that they are troubled and something is wrong.
Joe Navarro (What Every Body is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People)
Research tells us liars tend to gesture less, touch less, and move their arms and legs less than honest people (Vrij, 2003, 65).
Joe Navarro (What Every Body is Saying: An FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People)
So I guess what I am trying to say is life is fast. And it keeps speeding up. Sometimes I lose track of the season -- or even the year. And we just have to make the best of it all. Our choices. Our fleeting moments together.
Emily Giffin (Where We Belong)
The Master Speed No speed of wind or water rushing by but you have speed far greater. You can climb back up a stream of radiance to the sky, and back through history up the stream of time. And you were given this swiftness, not for haste nor chiefly that you may go where you will, but in the rush of everything to waste, that you may have the power of standing still-- off any still or moving thing you say. Two such as you with such a master speed From one another once you are agreed that life is only life forevermore together wing to wing and oar to oar.
Robert Frost
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
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)
Some people say they have 20 years experience, when in reality, they have 1 year's experience repeated 20 times. (Stephen M R Covey to Richie Norton when Norton asked if he was too young to train older executives for Covey.)
Richie Norton
Be brave,” she says. “Be bold. Be loud. Never change for anyone but yourself. Any soul worth their star-stuff will take the whole package as is and however it grows. Don’t waste your time on anyone who doesn’t believe you when you tell them how you feel. On that Tuesday in September when you think you have no one to talk to you call me, okay? I’ll be waiting by the phone. And drive the speed limit around Buffalo.
Erin Morgenstern (The Starless Sea)
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))
Humanity, let us say, is like people packed in an automobile which is traveling downhill without lights at terrific speed and driven by a four-year-old child. The signposts along the way are all marked 'Progress.
Lord Dunsany
As they walked home hand in hand, Ian said, “I feel like taking a nap. And by nap I mean move in and out of your naked body at whatever speed you prefer.” “And they say men don’t know how to communicate.” “Well, that’s where they’re wrong. I was crystal clear.
Tracey Garvis Graves (Heart-Shaped Hack (Kate and Ian, #1))
Saying gun control hurts our freedom is a false argument amounting to propaganda. Gun laws don't curtail freedom any more than speed limits or seat belts. You still get to drive your car and have guns, we're just trying to save lives as you do.
DaShanne Stokes
Excuse me. Nine hours ago, I broke off the single most pointlessly agonizing one-way relationship of my young life. It was a thin slice of hell, and now it is over.. He's not mine. He never will be mine, and I've thrown away three years of my life pining and hoping. Well, not anymore, and I need to get him out of my system. I've given the matter serious thought, and all I want right now is for some total stranger to nail me to a mattress for the next fourteen hours. I will almost certainly cry all over you and call you by his name, but I assure you that my sexual frustration has built to such a fever peak that I will fuck you dry. What do you say?" "whine
Carla Speed McNeil (Finder: Mystery Date)
Death is liberating only if one has planned for it. But I think no one truly does, except for a few people with suicidal inclinations, or perhaps, deeply content wandering ascetics. For most of us mortals, life insurance is the one thing that gives us the reassurance of planning well for the event of our death.
Abhaidev (The Influencer: Speed Must Have a Limit)
The best thing about knitting is its slowness," says Murphy. "It is so slow that we see the beauty inherent in every tiny act that makes up a sweater. So slow that we know the project is not going to get finished today--it may not get finished for many months or longer--and that allows us to make our peace with the unresolved nature of life. We slow down as we knit.
Carl Honoré (In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed)
I'm in love with her,” I announced at double speed, hoping that saying it quickly might lessen the weight of its impact. He looked at me with doom in his eyes and goes, “Jesus Christ, Paul.” I said, “I mean it. Like deep crazy soul love.” Michael almost choked. “Deep WHAT?” I laid it all out for him: Eliza believes in me, she moves me, and she's moved BY me. She makes me happy, she makes me sad, she makes me try harder, she makes me laugh, and she makes me feel like I can fly. Isn't that the goddamn definition of love?
Tiffanie DeBartolo (How to Kill a Rock Star)
Sooner or later, you will have to decide. Whether you want to drift with the current or whether you want to lay down your own path. Trust me, nobody in this world really knows where he is headed. Yes, of course, you will find people who say that they know how to live their lives. But even they can’t answer where their lives would lead. So, decide! What is more important to you? How? Where? Or why?
Abhaidev (The Influencer: Speed Must Have a Limit)
They say you can't stop time, that it is a constant and waits for no one. The're wrong. Time slows when you want it to speed up. It goes too Fast when you're having fun. And it stops. It stops dead in its tracks, when the unthinkable occurs. Time is not neutral, it makes no sence, and it bears no logic. It has nothing to do with nature or fairness or physics. Time is cruel. And its as simple as that.
Heather Killough-Walden
I do not think God makes bad things happen just so that people can grow spiritually. Bad parents do that, my mother said. Bad parents make things hard and painful for their children and then say it was to help them grow. Growing and living are hard enough already; children do not need things to be harder. I think this is true even for normal children. I have watched little children learning to walk; they all struggle and fall down many times. Their faces show that it is not easy. It would be stupid to tie bricks on them to make it harder. If that is true for learning to walk, then I think it is true for other growing and learning as well. God is suppose to be the good parent, the Father. So I think God would not make things harder than they are. I do not think I am autistic because God thought my parents needed a challenge or I needed a challenge. I think it is like if I were a baby and a rock fell on me and broke my leg. Whatever caused it was an accident. God did not prevent the accident, but He did not cause it, either.... I think my autism is an accident, but what I do with it is me.
Elizabeth Moon (The Speed of Dark)
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
It seems like such a paradox to me that human beings are both great adapters to change and terrified by it at the same time. So often we drift through life bound by the poor decisions we've made in the past, too afraid of the uncertainty that comes with challenging our status quo. We find ourselves stuck on a ship that is headed full speed to a place we're pretty sure we don't want to go, but we also don't want to deal with the discomfort of jumping. So we say nothing, watching helplessly as we sail toward our doom like silent prisoners of our own past.
Simu Liu (We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story)
R is a velocity of measure, defined as a reasonable speed of travel that is consistent with health, mental well-being, and not being more than, say, five minutes late. It is therefore clearly as almost infinite variable figure according to circumstances, since the first two factors vary not only with speed as an absolute, but also with awareness of the third factor. Unless handled with tranquility, this equation can result in considerable stress, ulcers, and even death.
Douglas Adams
You will speed up your growth by being selfish. So imagine that the people you’re looking at can actually take care of themselves. And if you ask for what you want and trust that the other person will say yes or no powerfully, it will make things very interesting.
Neil Strauss (The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book about Relationships)
There is another physical law that teases me, too: the Doppler Effect. The sound of anything coming at you- a train, say, or the future- has a higher pitch than the sound of the same thing going away. If you have perfect pitch and a head for mathematics you can compute the speed of the object by the interval between its arriving and departing sounds. I have neither perfect pitch nor a head for mathematics, and anyway who wants to compute the speed of history? Like all falling bodies, it constantly accelerates. But I would like to hear your life as you heard it, coming at you, instead of hearing it as I do, a somber sound of expectations reduced, desires blunted, hopes deferred or abandoned, chances lost, defeats accepted, griefs borne.
Wallace Stegner (Angle of Repose)
Did any of you ever see Doctor Tetrazzini perform? I say perform advisedly because his operations were performances. He would start by throwing a scalpel across the room into the patient and then make his entrance as a ballet dancer. His speed was incredible: "I don't give them time to die", he would say. Tumors put him in a frenzy of rage. "Fucking undisciplined cells!" he would snarl, advancing on the tumor like a knife-fighter.
William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch: The Restored Text)
It might seem to you that living in the woods on a riverbank would remove you from the modern world. But not if the river is navigable, as ours is. On pretty weekends in the summer, this riverbank is the very verge of the modern world. It is a seat in the front row, you might say. On those weekends, the river is disquieted from morning to night by people resting from their work. This resting involves traveling at great speed, first on the road and then on the river. The people are in an emergency to relax. They long for the peace and quiet of the great outdoors. Their eyes are hungry for the scenes of nature. They go very fast in their boats. They stir the river like a spoon in a cup of coffee. They play their radios loud enough to hear above the noise of their motors. They look neither left nor right. They don't slow down for - or maybe even see - an old man in a rowboat raising his lines... I watch and I wonder and I think. I think of the old slavery, and of the way The Economy has now improved upon it. The new slavery has improved upon the old by giving the new slaves the illusion that they are free. The Economy does not take people's freedom by force, which would be against its principles, for it is very humane. It buys their freedom, pays for it, and then persuades its money back again with shoddy goods and the promise of freedom.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
Because, what does it mean, to say that things aren't going well? Compared to what? You can say: compared to how things were going a couple of hours ago, or a couple of years ago. But that's not the point. If two cars are speeding towards a brick wall with no brakes, and one car hits the wall moments before the other, you can't spend those moments saying that the second car is much better off than the first. Death and disaster are at our shoulders every second of our lives, trying to get at us. Missing, a lot of the time. A lot of miles on the motorway without a front wheel blow-out. A lot of viruses that slither through our bodies without snagging. A lot of pianos that fall a minute after we've passed. Or a month, it makes no difference. So unless we're going to get down on our knees and give thanks every time disaster misses, it makes no sense to moan when it strikes. Us, or anyone else. Because we're not comparing it with anything.
Hugh Laurie (The Gun Seller)
In one horrible moment the last piece of the prophecy became clear. So bid him take care, bid him look where he leaps, As life may be death and death life again reaps. He had to leap, and by his death, the others would live. That was it. That was what Sandwich had been trying to say all along, and by now he believed in Sandwich. He put on a final burst of speed, just like the coach taught him in track. He gave everything he had. In the last few steps before the canyon he felt a sharp pain in the back of his leg, and then the ground gave way under his feet. Gregor the Overlander leaped.
Suzanne Collins (Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles, #1))
Oh, it’s our pleasure,” Maryse told her son. She advanced on Alec, her hands out. She reminded Magnus of a bird of prey, talons outstretched, overcome by hunger. “What do you say,” she said in an alarmingly sweet voice, “you let me hold the baby? I’m the one in the room with the most experience with babies, after all.” “That’s not true, Alec,” said Robert. “That is not true! I was very involved with all of you when you were young. I’m excellent with babies.” Alec blinked at his father, who had appeared by Alec’s side with Shadowhunter speed. “As I recall,” Maryse said, “you bounce them.” “Babies love that,” Robert claimed. “Babies love bouncing.
Cassandra Clare (Born to Endless Night (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #9))
I try to catch my breath and calm myself down, but it isn't easy. I was dead. I was dead, and then i wasn't, and why? Because of Peter? Peter? I stare at him. He still looks so innocent, despite all that he has done to prove that he is not. His hair lies smooth against his head, shiny and dark, like we didn't just run for a mile at full speed. His round eyes scan the stairwell and then rest on my face. "What?" he says. "Why are you looking at me like that?" " How did you do it?" I say.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
What I want to say is, you are unhappy because you think too much. I strongly believe that someone who is truly mature can never be happy. It takes a lot of effort to turn into a pessimist. Lots of books, and of course, a lot of contemplation. A thinking man, therefore, can never be cheerful. The overly developed faculty of thinking comes at a price―happiness. So, try not to overthink. Try not to use your mind unduly. Especially when it’s not needed. And when using it won’t serve any purpose.
Abhaidev (The Influencer: Speed Must Have a Limit)
I try so hard, and it is still not working. I wear the same clothes as the others. I say the same words at the same times: good morning, hi, how are you, I'm fine, good night, please, thank you, you're welcome, no thank you, not right now. I obey the traffic laws; I obey the rules. I have ordinary furniture in my apartment, and I play my unusual music very softly or use headphones. But it is not enough. Even as hard as I try, the real people still want me to change, to be like them.
Elizabeth Moon (The Speed of Dark)
Devotion is diligence without assurance. Faith is a way of saying, 'Yes, I pre-accept the terms of the universe and I am voicing in advance what I am presently incapable of understanding.' There is a reason that 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 that their faith is rational; it isn't. If they 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.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
What could I say? Maybe this: the man hunched over his motorcycle can focus only on the present instant of his flight; he is caught in a fragment of time cut off from both the past and the future; he is wrenched from the continuity of time; he is outside time; in other words, he is in a state of ecstasy; in that state he is unaware of his age, his wife, his children, his worries, and so he has no fear, because the source of fear is in the future, and a person freed of the future has nothing to fear.
Milan Kundera (Slowness)
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)
As a technology, the book is like a hammer. That is to say, it is perfect: a tool ideally suited to its task. Hammers can be tweaked and varied but will never go obsolete. Even when builders pound nails by the thousand with pneumatic nail guns, every household needs a hammer. Likewise, the bicycle is alive and well. It was invented in a world without automobiles, and for speed and range it was quickly surpassed by motorcycles and all kinds of powered scooters. But there is nothing quaint about bicycles. They outsell cars.
James Gleick
Centuries ago human knowledge increased slowly, so politics and economics changed at a leisurely pace too. Today our knowledge is increasing at breakneck speed, and theoretically we should understand the world better and better. But the very opposite is happening. Our new-found knowledge leads to faster economic, social and political changes; in an attempt to understand what is happening, we accelerate the accumulation of knowledge, which leads only to faster and greater upheavals. Consequently we are less and less able to make sense of the present or forecast the future. In 1016 it was relatively easy to predict how Europe would look in 1050. Sure, dynasties might fall, unknown raiders might invade, and natural disasters might strike; yet it was clear that in 1050 Europe would still be ruled by kings and priests, that it would be an agricultural society, that most of its inhabitants would be peasants, and that it would continue to suffer greatly from famines, plagues and wars. In contrast, in 2016 we have no idea how Europe will look in 2050. We cannot say what kind of political system it will have, how its job market will be structured, or even what kind of bodies its inhabitants will possess.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: ‘An intoxicating brew of science, philosophy and futurism’ Mail on Sunday)
When you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. But other strategies with dead horses [include] the following: buying a stronger whip; changing riders; saying things like 'this is the way we've always ridden this horse'; ... and, finally, harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed." Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson
Mark Rippetoe (Strong Enough? Thoughts from Thirty Years of Barbell Training)
Our television signals leave this planet and go out into space...the signals spread out from the earth in spherical waves, a little like ripples in a pond. They travel at the speed of light, 186,000 miles a second, and essentially go on forever. The better some other civilizations receivers are, the farther away they could be and still pick up our tv signals. Even we could detect a strong tv transmission from a planet going around the nearest star.' President: 'You mean everything? You mean to say all that crap on television - the car crashes, wrestling, the porno channels, the evening news?
Carl Sagan (Contact)
It is magnificent. At the moment of impact, the king's eyes are open, his body braced for the atteint; he takes the blow perfectly, its force absorbed by a body securely armoured, moving in the right direction, moving at the right speed. His colour does not alter. His voice does not shake. "Healthy?" he says. "Then I thank God for his favour to us. As I thank you, my lords, for this comfortable intelligence." He thinks, Henry has been rehearsing. I suppose we all have. The king walks away towards his own rooms. Says over his shoulder, "Call her Elizabeth. Cancel the jousts.
Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1))
. . . people use tricks to get you to think the way they do or take away something you have that they want. One way they do that is to interrupt your normal way of thinking and take you by the hand and guide you down the path they want you to take. Father says they make you take a teeny-weeny step in their direction, and then they start to nudge you a little further down the path and before you know it, you're running full speed with them in a direction that you probably wouldn't have gone alone.
Christopher Paul Curtis (The Mighty Miss Malone)
Encounters between people, it often seems to me, are like trains passing at breakneck speed in the night. We cast fleeting looks at the passengers sitting behind dull glass in dim light, who disappear from our field of vision almost before we perceive them. Was it really a man and a woman who flashed past like phantoms, who came out of nothing into the empty dark, without meaning or purpose? Did they know each other? Did they talk? Laugh? Cry? People will say: That's how it is when strangers pass one another in rain and wind and there might be something in the comparison. But we sit opposite people for longer, we eat and work together, lie next to each other, live under the same roof. Where is the haste? Yet everything that gives the illusion of permanence, familiarity, and intimate knowledge: isn't it a deception invented to reassure, with which we try to conceal and ward off the flickering, disturbing haste because it could be impossible to live with all the time. Isn't every exchange of looks between people like the ghostly brief meeting of eyes between travellers passing one another, intoxicated by the inhuman speed and the shock of air pressure that makes everything shudder and clatter? Don't our looks bounce off others, as in the hasty encounter of the night, and leave us with nothing but conjectures, slivers of thoughts and imagined qualities? Isn't it true that it's not people who meet, but rather the shadows cast by their imaginations?
Pascal Mercier (Night Train to Lisbon)
Selethen was names Hawk. Alyss had been given the title of Tsuru, or Crane. . .Evanlynn was Kitsune, the Nihon-Jan word for Fox . . .Halt strangly enough had been known only as Halto-san. . . But Will had been taken aback in his confrotation with Arisaka to discover that his name - Chocho - meant "butterfly". It seemed a highly unwarlike name to him- not at all glamorous.And he was puzzled to know why they had selected it. His friends,of course, were delighted in helping him guess the reason. "I assume its because you're such a snazzy dresser," Evanlynn said. "You Rangers are like a riot of color after all." Will glared at her and was mortified to hear Alyss snigger at the princess's sally. He'd thought Alyss, at least, might stick up for him. "I think it might be more to do with the way he raced around the the training ground, darting here and there to correct the way a man might be holding his sheidl then dashing off to show someone how to put theri body weight into their javelin cast," said Horace, a little more sympathetically. Then he ruined the effect by adding thoughtlessly, "I must say, your cloak did flutter around like a butterfly's wings." "It was neither of those things," Halt said finally, and they all turned to look at him. "I asked Shigeru," he explained. "He said that they had all noticed how Will's mind and imagination darts from one idea to another at such high speed," . . Will looked mollified. "Isuppose it's not too bad it you put it that way. It's just it does seem a bit . . girly." .... " I like my name Horace said a little smugly. "Black Bear. It describes my prodigous strength and my mighty prowess in battle." Alyss might have let him get away with it if it hadn't been for his tactless remark about Will's cloak flapping like a butterfly's wings. "Not quite," she said. "I asked Mikeru where the name came from. He said it described your prdogious appetite and your mighty prowess at the dinner table. It seems that when you were escaping through the mountains, Shigeru and his followers were worried you'd eat the supplies all by yourself." There was a general round of laughter. After a few seconds, Horace joined in.
John Flanagan (The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10))
We lie with our faces because that’s what we’ve been taught to do since early childhood. “Don’t make that face,” our parents growl when we honestly react to the food placed in front of us. “At least look happy when your cousins stop by,” they instruct, and you learn to force a smile. Our parents—and society—are, in essence, telling us to hide, deceive, and lie with our faces for the sake of social harmony. So it is no surprise that we tend to get pretty good at it, so good, in fact, that when we put on a happy face at a family gathering, we might look as if we love our in-laws when, in reality, we are fantasizing about how to hasten their departure.
Joe Navarro (What Every Body is Saying: An FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People)
For suddenly above him far and faint his song was taken up, and a voice answering called to him. Maedhros it was that sang amid his torment. But Fingon climbed to the foot of the precipice where his kinsman hung; and then he could go no farther, and he wept when he saw the cruel device of Morgoth. Maedhros therefore, being in anguish without hope, begged Fingon to shoot him with his bow; and Fingon strung an arrow, and bent his bow. And seeing no better hope he cried to Manwe, saying: 'O King to whom birds are dear, speed now this feathered shaft, and recall some pity for the Noldor in their need!'....Now, even as Fingon bent his bow, there flew down from the high airs Thorondor, King of Eagles, mightiest of all birds that have ever been, whose outstretched wings spanned thirty fathoms; and staying Fingon's hand he took him up, and bore him to the face of the rock where Maethros hung.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Silmarillion)
She took care of me and my brothers, I’m sure that was really hard for her.’ ‘That was her job.’ I feel interrogated, like I can’t say the right thing. I speed up, trying to explain myself. ‘Well, but I mean this was different from most parents.’ Shit. I hated how that came out. ‘How so?’ I pause to compose myself. Laura won’t rattle me. I speak in an even, measured tone. ‘She sacrificed everything for me. She constantly went without so she could take care of me. She put me first, ahead of herself.’ ‘Hmm. And do you think that’s healthy?’ What kind of fresh hell is this? What is this impossible-to-ace quiz? I have no idea how I’m supposed to be answering to make Mom look good.
Jennette McCurdy (I'm Glad My Mom Died)
[...] and as I walked, I tried to see the funny side. It wasn't easy, and I'm still not sure that I managed it properly, but it's just something I like to do when things aren't going well. Because what does it mean, to say that things aren't going well? Compared to what? You can say: compared to how things were going a couple of hours ago, or a couple of years ago. But that's not the point. If two cars are speeding towards a brick wall with no brakes, and one car hits the wall moments before the other, you can't spend those moments saying that the second car is much better off than the first.
Hugh Laurie (The Gun Seller)
How can it be described? How can any of it be described? The trip and the story of the trip are two different things. The narrator is the one who has stayed home, but then, afterward, presses her mouth upon the traveler’s mouth, in order to make the mouth work, to make the mouth say, say, say. One cannot go to a place and speak of it; one cannot both see and say, not really. One can go, and upon returning make a lot of hand motions and indications with the arms. The mouth itself, working at the speed of light, at the eye’s instructions, is necessarily struck still; so fast, so much to report, it hangs open and dumb as a gutted bell. All that unsayable life! That’s where the narrator comes in. The narrator comes with her kisses and mimicry and tidying up. The narrator comes and makes a slow, fake song of the mouth’s eager devastation.
Lorrie Moore (Birds of America: Stories)
I am sitting down to write in a state of some confusion; I have been reading a lot of different things that are merging into one another, and if one hopes to find a solution for oneself by this kind of reading, one is mistaken; one comes up against a wall, and cannot proceed. Your life is so very different, dearest. Except in relation to your fellow men, have you ever known uncertainty? Have you ever observed how, within yourself and independent of other people, diverse possibilities open up in several directions, thereby actually creating a ban on your every movement? Have you ever, without giving the slightest thought to anyone else, been in despair simply about yourself? Desperate enough to throw yourself on the ground and remain there beyond the Day of Judgment? How devout are you? You go to the synagogue; but I dare say you have not been recently. And what is it that sustains you, the idea of Judaism or of God? Are you aware, and this is the most important thing, of a continuous relationship between yourself and a reassuringly distant, if possibly infinite height or depth? He who feels this continuously has no need to roam about like a lost dog, mutely gazing around with imploring eyes; he never need yearn to slip into a grave as if it were a warm sleeping bag and life a cold winter night; and when climbing the stairs to his office he never need imagine that he is careering down the well of the staircase, flickering in the uncertain light, twisting from the speed of his fall, shaking his head with impatience. There are times, dearest, when I am convinced I am unfit for any human relationship.
Franz Kafka (Letters to Felice)
I've sequenced the questions for maximum speed of elimination,’ I explained. ‘I believe I can eliminate most women in less than forty seconds. Then you can choose the topic of discussion for the remaining time.’ ‘But then it won’t matter,’ said Frances. ‘I’ll have been eliminated.’ ‘Only as a potential partner. We may still be able to have an interesting discussion.’ ‘But I’ll have been eliminated.’ I nodded. ‘Do you smoke?’ ‘Occasionally,’ she said. I put the questionnaire away. ‘Excellent.’ I was pleased that my question sequencing was working so well. We could have wasted time talking about ice-cream flavours and make-up only to find that she smoked. Needless to say, smoking was not negotiable. ‘No more questions. What would you like to discuss?
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project)
Hey, Zee,” I said. “I take it that you can fix it, but it’ll be miserable, and you’d rather haul it to the dump and start from scratch.” “Piece of junk,” groused Zee. “What’s not rusted to pieces is bent. If you took all the good parts and put them in a pile, you could carry them out in your pocket.” There was a little pause. “Even if you only had a small pocket.” I patted the car. “Don’t you listen to him,” I whispered to it. “You’ll be out of here and back on the road in no time.” Zee propelled himself all the way under the car so his head stuck out by my feet. “Don’t you promise something you can’t deliver,” he snarled. I raised my eyebrows, and said in dulcet tones, “Are you telling me you can’t fix it? I’m sorry. I distinctly remember you saying that there is nothing you can’t fix. I must have been mistaken, and it was someone else wearing your mouth.” He gave a growl that would have done Sam credit, and pushed himself back under again, muttering,“Deine Mutter war ein Cola-Automat!” “Her mama might have been a pop machine,” I said, responding to one of the remarks I understood even at full Zee-speed. “Your mama . . .” sounds the same in a number of languages. “But she was a beauty in her day.” I grinned at Gabriel. “We women have to stick together.
Patricia Briggs (Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, #5))
In the cage is the lion. She paces with her memories. Her body is a record of her past. As she moves back and forth, one may see it all: the lean frame, the muscular legs, the paw enclosing long sharp claws, the astonishing speed of her response. She was born in this garden. She has never in her life stretched those legs. Never darted farther than twenty yards at a time. Only once did she use her claws. Only once did she feel them sink into flesh. And it was her keeper's flesh. Her keeper whom she loves, who feeds her, who would never dream of harming her, who protects her. Who in his mercy forgave her mad attack, saying this was in her nature, to be cruel at a whim, to try to kill what she loves. He had come into her cage as he usually did early in the morning to change her water, always at the same time of day, in the same manner, speaking softly to her, careful to make no sudden movement, keeping his distance, when suddenly she sank down, deep down into herself, the way wild animals do before they spring, and then she had risen on all her strong legs, and swiped him in one long, powerful, graceful movement across the arm. How lucky for her he survived the blow. The keeper and his friends shot her with a gun to make her sleep. Through her half-open lids she knew they made movements around her. They fed her with tubes. They observed her. They wrote comments in notebooks. And finally they rendered a judgment. She was normal. She was a normal wild beast, whose power is dangerous, whose anger can kill, they had said. Be more careful of her, they advised. Allow her less excitement. Perhaps let her exercise more. She understood none of this. She understood only the look of fear in her keeper's eyes. And now she paces. Paces as if she were angry, as if she were on the edge of frenzy. The spectators imagine she is going through the movements of the hunt, or that she is readying her body for survival. But she knows no life outside the garden. She has no notion of anger over what she could have been, or might be. No idea of rebellion. It is only her body that knows of these things, moving her, daily, hourly, back and forth, back and forth, before the bars of her cage.
Susan Griffin (Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her)
Walking was not fast enough so we ran. Running was not fast enough, so we galloped. Galloping was not fast enough, so we sailed. Sailing was not fast enough, so we rolled merrily along on long metal tracks. Long metal tracks were not fast enough, so we drove. Driving was not fast enough, so we flew. Flying isn't fast enough, not fast enough for us. We want to get there faster. Get where? Wherever we are not. But a human soul can go only as fast as a man can walk, they used to say. In that case, where are all the souls? Left behind. They wander here and there, slowly, dim lights flickering in the marshes at night, looking for us. But they're not nearly fast enough, not for us, we're way ahead of them, they'll never catch up. That's why we can go so fast: our souls don't weigh us down.
Margaret Atwood (Bottle)
This has been a novel about some people who were punished entirely too much for what they did. They wanted to have a good time, but they were like children playing in the street; they could see one after another of them being killed--run over, maimed, destroyed--but they continued to play anyhow. We really all were very happy for a while, sitting around not toiling but just bullshitting and playing, but it was for such a terrible brief time, and then the punishment was beyond belief: even when we could see it, we could not believe it. For example, while I was writing this I learned that the person on whom the character Jerry Fabin is based killed himself. My friend on whom I based the character Ernie Luckman died before I began the novel. For a while I myself was one of these children playing in the street; I was, like the rest of them, trying to play instead of being grown up, and I was punished. I am on the list below, which is a list of those to whom this novel is dedicated, and what became of each. Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error in judgment. When a bunch of people begin to do it, it is a social error,a life-style. In this particular life-style the motto is "Be happy now because tomorrow you are dying," but the dying begins almost at once, and the happiness is a memory. It is, then, only a speeding up, an intensifying, of the ordinary human existence. It is not different from your life-style, it is only faster. It all takes place in days or weeks or months instead of years. "Take the cash and let the credit go," as Villon said in 1460. But that is a mistake if the cash is a penny and the credit a whole lifetime. There is no moral in this novel; it is not bourgeois; it does not say they were wrong to play when they should have toiled;it just tells what the consequences were. In Greek drama they were beginning, as a society, to discover science, which means causal law. Here in this novel there is Nemesis: not fate, because any one of us could have chosen to stop playing in the street, but, as I narrate from the deepest part of my life and heart, a dreadful Nemesis for those who kept on playing. I myself,I am not a character in this novel; I am the novel. So, though, was our entire nation at this time. This novel is about more people than I knew personally. Some we all read about in the newspapers. It was, this sitting around with our buddies and bullshitting while making tape recordings, the bad decision of the decade, the sixties, both in and out of the establishment. And nature cracked down on us. We were forced to stop by things dreadful. If there was any "sin," it was that these people wanted to keep on having a good time forever, and were punished for that, but, as I say, I feel that, if so, the punishment was far too great, and I prefer to think of it only in a Greek or morally neutral way, as mere science, as deterministic impartial cause-and-effect. I loved them all. Here is the list, to whom I dedicate my love: To Gaylene deceased To Ray deceased To Francy permanent psychosis To Kathy permanent brain damage To Jim deceased To Val massive permanent brain damage To Nancy permanent psychosis To Joanne permanent brain damage To Maren deceased To Nick deceased To Terry deceased To Dennis deceased To Phil permanent pancreatic damage To Sue permanent vascular damage To Jerri permanent psychosis and vascular damage . . . and so forth. In Memoriam. These were comrades whom I had; there are no better. They remain in my mind, and the enemy will never be forgiven. The "enemy" was their mistake in playing. Let them all play again, in some other way, and let them be happy.
Philip K. Dick (A Scanner Darkly)
If you wanted to predict how people would behave, Munger said, you only had to look at their incentives. FedEx couldn’t get its night shift to finish on time; they tried everything to speed it up but nothing worked—until they stopped paying night shift workers by the hour and started to pay them by the shift. Xerox created a new, better machine only to have it sell less well than the inferior older ones—until they figured out the salesmen got a bigger commission for selling the older one. “Well, you can say, ‘Everybody knows that,’ ” said Munger. “I think I’ve been in the top five percent of my age cohort all my life in understanding the power of incentives, and all my life I’ve underestimated it. And never a year passes but I get some surprise that pushes my limit a little
Michael Lewis (The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine)
She could have wept. It was bad, it was bad, it was infinitely bad! She could have done it differently of course; the colour could have been thinned and faded; the shapes etherealised; that was how Paunceforte would have seen it. But then she did not see it like that. She saw the colour burning on a framework of steel; the light of a butterfly’s wing lying upon the arches of a cathedral. Of all that only a few random marks scrawled upon the canvas remained. And it would never be seen; never be hung even, and there was Mr Tansley whispering in her ear, “Women can’t paint, women can’t write ...” She now remembered what she had been going to say about Mrs Ramsay. She did not know how she would have put it; but it would have been something critical. She had been annoyed the other night by some highhandedness. Looking along the level of Mr Bankes’s glance at her, she thought that no woman could worship another woman in the way he worshipped; they could only seek shelter under the shade which Mr Bankes extended over them both. Looking along his beam she added to it her different ray, thinking that she was unquestionably the loveliest of people (bowed over her book); the best perhaps; but also, different too from the perfect shape which one saw there. But why different, and how different? she asked herself, scraping her palette of all those mounds of blue and green which seemed to her like clods with no life in them now, yet she vowed, she would inspire them, force them to move, flow, do her bidding tomorrow. How did she differ? What was the spirit in her, the essential thing, by which, had you found a crumpled glove in the corner of a sofa, you would have known it, from its twisted finger, hers indisputably? She was like a bird for speed, an arrow for directness. She was willful; she was commanding (of course, Lily reminded herself, I am thinking of her relations with women, and I am much younger, an insignificant person, living off the Brompton Road). She opened bedroom windows. She shut doors. (So she tried to start the tune of Mrs Ramsay in her head.) Arriving late at night, with a light tap on one’s bedroom door, wrapped in an old fur coat (for the setting of her beauty was always that—hasty, but apt), she would enact again whatever it might be—Charles Tansley losing his umbrella; Mr Carmichael snuffling and sniffing; Mr Bankes saying, “The vegetable salts are lost.” All this she would adroitly shape; even maliciously twist; and, moving over to the window, in pretence that she must go,—it was dawn, she could see the sun rising,—half turn back, more intimately, but still always laughing, insist that she must, Minta must, they all must marry, since in the whole world whatever laurels might be tossed to her (but Mrs Ramsay cared not a fig for her painting), or triumphs won by her (probably Mrs Ramsay had had her share of those), and here she saddened, darkened, and came back to her chair, there could be no disputing this: an unmarried woman (she lightly took her hand for a moment), an unmarried woman has missed the best of life. The house seemed full of children sleeping and Mrs Ramsay listening; shaded lights and regular breathing.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
Our strength consists in our speed and in our brutality. Genghis Khan led millions of women and children to slaughter—with premeditation and a happy heart. History sees in him solely the founder of a state. It’s a matter of indifference to me what a weak western European civilization will say about me. I have issued the command—and I’ll have anybody who utters but one word of criticism executed by a firing squad—that our war aim does not consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formation in readiness—for the present only in the East—with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (Lebensraum) which we need. Who, after all, speaks to-day of the annihilation of the Armenians?
Adolf Hitler
It is worse, much worse, than you think. The slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says it isn’t happening at all, and comes to us bundled with several others in an anthology of comforting delusions: that global warming is an Arctic saga, unfolding remotely; that it is strictly a matter of sea level and coastlines, not an enveloping crisis sparing no place and leaving no life undeformed; that it is a crisis of the “natural” world, not the human one; that those two are distinct, and that we live today somehow outside or beyond or at the very least defended against nature, not inescapably within and literally overwhelmed by it; that wealth can be a shield against the ravages of warming; that the burning of fossil fuels is the price of continued economic growth; that growth, and the technology it produces, will allow us to engineer our way out of environmental disaster; that there is any analogue to the scale or scope of this threat, in the long span of human history, that might give us confidence in staring it down. None of this is true. But let’s begin with the speed of change. The earth has experienced five mass extinctions before the one we are living through now, each so complete a wiping of the fossil record that it functioned as an evolutionary reset, the planet’s phylogenetic tree first expanding, then collapsing, at intervals, like a lung: 86 percent of all species dead, 450 million years ago; 70 million years later, 75 percent; 125 million years later, 96 percent; 50 million years later, 80 percent; 135 million years after that, 75 percent again. Unless you are a teenager, you probably read in your high school textbooks that these extinctions were the result of asteroids. In fact, all but the one that killed the dinosaurs involved climate change produced by greenhouse gas. The most notorious was 250 million years ago; it began when carbon dioxide warmed the planet by five degrees Celsius, accelerated when that warming triggered the release of methane, another greenhouse gas, and ended with all but a sliver of life on Earth dead. We are currently adding carbon to the atmosphere at a considerably faster rate; by most estimates, at least ten times faster. The rate is one hundred times faster than at any point in human history before the beginning of industrialization. And there is already, right now, fully a third more carbon in the atmosphere than at any point in the last 800,000 years—perhaps in as long as 15 million years. There were no humans then. The oceans were more than a hundred feet higher.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
If Henry Adams, whom you knew slightly, could make a theory of history by applying the second law of thermodynamics to human affairs, I ought to be entitled to base one on the angle of repose, and may yet. There is another physical law that teases me, too: the Doppler Effect. The sound of anything coming at you -- a train, say, or the future -- has a higher pitch than the sound of the same thing going away. If you have perfect pitch and a head for mathematics you can compute the speed of the object by the interval between its arriving and departing sounds. I have neither perfect pitch nor a head for mathematics, and anyway who wants to compute the speed of history? Like all falling bodies, it constantly accelerates. But I would like to hear your life as you heard it, coming at you, instead of hearing it as I do, a sober sound of expectations reduced, desires blunted, hopes deferred or abandoned, chances lost, defeats accepted, griefs borne. I don't find your life uninteresting, as Rodman does. I would like to hear it as it sounded while it was passing. Having no future of my own, why shouldn't I look forward to yours.
Wallace Stegner
A person has all sorts of lags built into him, Kesey is saying. One, the most basic, is the sensory lag, the lag between the time your senses receive something and you are able to react. One-thirtieth of a second is the time it takes, if you are the most alert person alive, and most people are a lot slower than that. Now Cassady is right up against that 1/30th of a second barrier. He is going as fast as a human can go, but even he can't overcome it. He is a living example of how close you can come, but it can't be done. You can't go any faster than that. You can't through sheer speed overcome the lag. We are all of us doomed to spend the rest of our lives watching a movie of our lives - we are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we are in the present, but we aren't. The present we know is only a movie of the past, and we will really never be able to control the present through ordinary means. That lag has to be overcome some other way, through some kind of total breakthrough.
Tom Wolfe (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test)
Nicotine, in fact, is an unusual drug because it does very little except trigger compulsive use. According to researcher Roland R. Griffiths, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “When you give people nicotine for the first time, most people don’t like it. It’s different from many other addictive drugs, for which most people say they enjoy the first experience and would try it again.” Nicotine doesn’t make you high like marijuana or intoxicated like alcohol or wired up like speed. Some people say it makes them feel more relaxed or more alert, but really, the main thing it does is relieve cravings for itself. It’s the perfect circle. The only point of smoking cigarettes is to get addicted so one can experience the pleasure of relieving the unpleasant feeling of craving, like a man who carries around a rock all day because it feels so good when he puts it down.
Daniel Z. Lieberman (The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity―and Will Determine the Fate of the Human Race)
People hate thinking systematically about how to optimize their relationships. It is normal to hear someone say: “I will just wait for something to happen naturally” when talking about one of the most important aspects of their life while genuinely believing that this approach has reasonable odds of success. Imagine if people said the same thing about their careers. It would sound truly bizarre for someone to expect a successful career to “just happen naturally” and yet it is entirely normalized to expect that good relationships will. People pay tens of thousands of dollars to receive degrees in computer science, marketing, and neuroscience. They make tough sacrifices with the understanding that the skills and knowledge they build in these domains will dramatically affect their quality of life. Ironically, people spend very little time systematically examining mating strategies—despite the fact that a robust understanding of the subject can dramatically affect quality of life. We will happily argue that your sexual and relationship skills matter more than your career skills. If you want to be wealthy, the fastest way to become so is to marry rich. Nothing makes happiness easier than a loving, supportive relationship, while one of the best ways to ensure you are never happy is to enter or fail to recognize and escape toxic relationships. If you want to change the world, a great partner can serve as a force multiplier. A draft horse can pull 8000 pounds, while two working together can pull 24,000 pounds. When you have a partner with whom you can synergize, you gain reach and speed that neither you nor your partner could muster individually. Heck, even if you are the type of person to judge your self-worth by the number of people with whom you have slept, a solid grasp of mating strategies will help you more than a lifetime of hitting the gym (and we say this with full acknowledgment that hitting the gym absolutely helps). A great romantic relationship will even positively impact your health (a 2018 paper in Psychophysiology found that the presence of a partner in a room lowered participants’ blood pressure) and increase your lifespan (a 2019 paper in the journal Health Psychology showed individuals in happy marriages died young at a 20% lower rate). 
Malcolm Collins
TIL KINGDOM COME you'll be the one. FOR YOU theres NO MORE KEEPING MY FEET ON THE GROUND. My head is in the clouds NOW MY FEET WONT TOUCH THE GROUND. LIFE IS FOR LIVING and i cant live until i have stolen a spot in your heart. HURTS LIKE HEAVEN and feels like hell to know your in ANOTHERS ARMS. This is no PARADISE. DONT LET IT BREAK YOU HEART i tell my self. Your BEAUTIFUL WORDS always IN MY HEAD i cant stop my self. THINGS I DONT UNDERSTAND would be you and me. LOST in your X&Y. I feel like i was SWALLOWED IN THE SEA, LOST and unseen, not a WISPER or a weep. I cry in my sleep, EVERY TEARDROP IS A WATERFALL. Should have seen the WARNING SIGNS, they were always there like a WISPER in my ear. Every time you say hello were back at SQUARE ONE, a smile my face. SUCH A RUSH i get when i talk to you. My heart beats as fast as a HIGH SPEED race. Every second i wait for your reply like CLOCK ticking by. DAYLIGHT nears as the SLEEPING SUN is UP IN FLAMES. What if its US AGAINST THE WORLD? What if HOW YOU SEE THE WORLD is how i see it too? WHAT IF?
Rhyan Roads
The thing about being barren is that you’re not allowed to get away from it. Not when you’re in your thirties. My friends were having children, friends of friends were having children, pregnancy and birth and first birthday parties were everywhere. I was asked about it all the time. My mother, our friends, colleagues at work. When was it going to be my turn? At some point our childlessness became an acceptable topic of Sunday-lunch conversation, not just between Tom and me, but more generally. What we were trying, what we should be doing, do you really think you should be having a second glass of wine? I was still young, there was still plenty of time, but failure cloaked me like a mantle, it overwhelmed me, dragged me under, and I gave up hope. At the time, I resented the fact that it was always seen as my fault, that I was the one letting the side down. But as the speed with which he managed to impregnate Anna demonstrates, there was never any problem with Tom’s virility. I was wrong to suggest that we should share the blame; it was all down to me. Lara, my best friend since university, had two children in two years: a boy first and then a girl. I didn’t like them. I didn’t want to hear anything about them. I didn’t want to be near them. Lara stopped speaking to me after a while. There was a girl at work who told me—casually, as though she were talking about an appendectomy or a wisdom-tooth extraction—that she’d recently had an abortion, a medical one, and it was so much less traumatic than the surgical one she’d had when she was at university. I couldn’t speak to her after that, I could barely look at her. Things became awkward in the office; people noticed. Tom didn’t feel the way I did. It wasn’t his failure, for starters, and in any case, he didn’t need a child like I did. He wanted to be a dad, he really did—I’m sure he daydreamed about kicking a football around in the garden with his son, or carrying his daughter on his shoulders in the park. But he thought our lives could be great without children, too. “We’re happy,” he used to say to me. “Why can’t we just go on being happy?” He became frustrated with me. He never understood that it’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
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)
Hi, I’m Adele Czerny. I don’t really have a long speech. I mean, I sat through these things when I was your age, and they’re boring. I’m just going to say a few things about Noah and Raven Day. Did any of you guys know him?” In unison, Gansey and Adam started to lift their hands and just as quickly dropped them. Yes, they knew him. No, they had not known him. Noah, alive, had been before their time here. Noah, dead, was a phenomenon, not an acquaintance. “Well, you were missing out,” she said. “My mom always said he was a firecracker, which just meant he was always getting speeding tickets and jumping on tables at family reunions and stuff. He always had so many ideas. He was so hyper.” Adam and Gansey looked at each other. They had always had the sense that the Noah they knew was not the true Noah. It was just disconcerting to hear how much Noahness death had stripped. It was impossible to not wonder what Noah would have done with himself if he had lived. “Anyway, I’m here because I was actually the first one he told about his idea for Raven Day. He called me one evening, I guess it would’ve been when he was fourteen, and he told me he’d had this dream about ravens fighting and battling. He said they were all different colours and sizes and shapes, and he was inside them, and they were, like, swirling around him.” She motioned around herself in a whirlwind; she had Noah’s hands, Noah’s elbows. “And he told me, ‘I think it would be a cool art project.’ And I told him, ‘I’ll bet if everybody at the school made one, I bet you’d have enough.’ ” Gansey was aware that his arm hairs were standing up. “So they’re swooping and careening and there’s nothing but ravens, nothing but dreams all around you,” Adele said, only Gansey wasn’t sure if she had actually said it, or if he’d heard her wrong and he was just half-remembering something she’d already said. “Anyway, I know he’d like what it is like nowadays. So, um, thanks for remembering one of his crazy dreams.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
The idea of humanity becomes more and more of a power in the civilized world, and, owing to the expansion and increasing speed of means of communication, and also owing to the influence, still more material than moral, of civilization upon barbarous peoples, this idea of humanity begins to take hold even of the minds of uncivilized nations. This idea is the invisible power of our century, with which the present powers — the States — must reckon. They cannot submit to it of their own free will because such submission on their part would be equivalent to suicide, since the triumph of humanity can be realized only through the destruction of the States. But the States can no longer deny this idea nor openly rebel against it, for having now grown too strong, it may finally destroy them. In the face of this fainful alternative there remains only one way out: and that is hypocrisy. The States pay their outward respects to this idea of humanity; they speak and apparently act only in the name of it, but they violate it every day. This, however, should not be held against the States. They cannot act otherwise, their position having become such that they can hold their own only by lying. Diplomacy has no other mission. Therefore what do we see? Every time a State wants to declare war upon another State, it starts off by launching a manifesto addressed not only to its own subjects but to the whole world. In this manifesto it declares that right and justice are on its side, and it endeavors to prove that it is actuated only by love of peace and humanity and that, imbued with generous and peaceful sentiments, it suffered for a long time in silence until the mounting iniquity of its enemy forced it to bare its sword. At the same time it vows that, disdainful of all material conquest and not seeking any increase in territory, it will put and end to this war as soon as justice is reestablished. And its antagonist answers with a similar manifesto, in which naturally right, justice, humanity, and all the generous sentiments are to be found respectively on its side. Those mutually opposed manifestos are written with the same eloquence, they breathe the same virtuous indignation, and one is just as sincere as the other; that is to say both of them are equally brazen in their lies, and it is only fools who are deceived by them. Sensible persons, all those who have had some political experience, do not even take the trouble of reading such manifestos. On the contrary, they seek ways to uncover the interests driving both adversaries into this war, and to weigh the respective power of each of them in order to guess the outcome of the struggle. Which only goes to prove that moral issues are not at stake in such wars.
Mikhail Bakunin
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 an 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 has seams 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. The drinks, people. That was me on the staircase to Chicago-Over-Chicago. Yes, I was standing on nothing but congealed starlight. Yes, I was walking up through a savage storm, the wind threatening to tear me off and throw me into the freezing waters of Lake Michigan far below. Yes, I was using a legendary and enchanted means of travel to transcend the border between one dimension and the next, and on my way to an epic struggle between ancient and elemental forces. But all I could think to say, between panting breaths, was, 'Yeah. Sure. They couldn’t possibly have made this an escalator.
Jim Butcher (Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4))
More profoundly, Nihilist "simplification" may be seen in the universal prestige today accorded the lowest order of knowledge, the scientific, as well as the simplistic ideas of men like Marx, Freud, and Darwin, which underlie virtually the whole of contemporary thought and life. We say "life," for it is important to see that the Nihilist history of our century has not been something imposed from without or above, or at least has not been predominantly this; it has rather presupposed, and drawn its nourishment from, a Nihilist soil that has long been preparing in the hearts of the people. It is precisely from the Nihilism of the commonplace, from the everyday Nihilism revealed in the life and thought and aspiration of the people, that all the terrible events of our century have sprung. The world-view of Hitler is very instructive in this regard, for in him the most extreme and monstrous Nihilism rested upon the foundation of a quite unexceptional and even typical Realism. He shared the common faith in "science," "progress," and "enlightenment" (though not, of course, in "democracy"), together with a practical materialism that scorned all theology, metaphysics, and any thought or action concerned with any other world than the "here and now," priding himself on the fact that he had "the gift of reducing all problems to their simplest foundations." He had a crude worship of efficiency and utility that freely tolerated "birth control", laughed at the institution of marriage as a mere legalization of a sexual impulse that should be "free", welcomed sterilization of the unfit, despised "unproductive elements" such as monks, saw nothing in the cremation of the dead but a "practical" question and did not even hesitate to put the ashes, or the skin and fat, of the dead to "productive use." He possessed the quasi-anarchist distrust of sacred and venerable institutions, in particular the Church with its "superstitions" and all its "outmoded" laws and ceremonies. He had a naive trust in the "natural mom, the "healthy animal" who scorns the Christian virtues--virginity in particular--that impede the "natural functioning" of the body. He took a simple-minded delight in modern conveniences and machines, and especially in the automobile and the sense of speed and "freedom" it affords. There is very little of this crude Weltanschauung that is not shared, to some degree, by the multitudes today, especially among the young, who feel themselves "enlightened" and "liberated," very little that is not typically "modern.
Seraphim Rose
Picture it. Nineteenth-century man with his horses, dogs, carts, slow motion. Then, in the twentieth century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests, Tabloids. Everything boils down to the gag, the snap ending.” “Snap ending.” Mildred nodded. “Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two-minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve-line dictionary resume. I exaggerate, of course. The dictionaries were for reference. But many were those whose sole knowledge of Hamlet (you know the title certainly, Montag; it is probably only a faint rumor of a title to you, Mrs. Montag), whose sole knowledge, as I say, of Hamlet was a one-page digest in a book that claimed: now at last you can read all the classics; keep up with your neighbors. Do you see? Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there’s your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more.” Mildred arose and began to move around the room, picking things up and putting them down. Beatty ignored her and continued: “Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click, Pic, Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest-digests, digest-digest-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, all vanishes! Whirl man’s mind around about so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought!” Mildred smoothed the bedclothes. Montag felt his heart jump and jump again as she patted his pillow. Right now she was pulling at his shoulder to try to get him to move so she could take the pillow out and fix it nicely and put it back. And perhaps cry out and stare or simply reach down her hand and say, “What’s this?” and hold up the hidden book with touching innocence. “School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
Well. Um. The thing is…” I inhale, then continue with rapid-fire speed. “Imnotahockeyfan.” A wrinkle appears in his forehead. “What?” I repeat myself, slowly this time, with actual pauses between each word. “I’m not a hockey fan.” Then I hold my breath and await his reaction. He blinks. Blinks again. And again. His expression is a mixture of shock and horror. “You don’t like hockey?” I regretfully shake my head. “Not even a little bit?” Now I shrug. “I don’t mind it as background noise—” “Background noise?” “—but I won’t pay attention to it if it’s on.” I bite my lip. I’m already in this deep—might as well deliver the final blow. “I come from a football family.” “Football,” he says dully. “Yeah, my dad and I are huge Pats fans. And my grandfather was an offensive lineman for the Bears back in the day.” “Football.” He grabs his water and takes a deep swig, as if he needs to rehydrate after that bombshell. I smother a laugh. “I think it’s awesome that you’re so good at it, though. And congrats on the Frozen Four win.” Logan stares at me. “You couldn’t have told me this before I asked you out? What are we even doing here, Grace? I can never marry you now—it would be blasphemous.” His twitching lips make it clear that he’s joking, and the laughter I’ve been fighting spills over. “Hey, don’t go canceling the wedding just yet. The success rate for inter-sport marriages is a lot higher than you think. We could be a Pats-Bruins family.” I pause. “But no Celtics. I hate basketball.” “Well, at least we have that in common.” He shuffles closer and presses a kiss to my cheek. “It’s all right. We’ll work through this, gorgeous. Might need couples counseling at some point, but once I teach you to love hockey, it’ll be smooth sailing for us.” “You won’t succeed,” I warn him. “Ramona spent years trying to force me to like it. Didn’t work.” “She gave up too easily then. I, on the other hand, never give up
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
Anyhow, I had found something out about an unknown privation, and I realized how a general love or craving, before it is explicit or before it sees its object, manifests itself as boredom or some other kind of suffering. And what did I think of myself in relation to the great occasions, the more sizable being of these books? Why, I saw them, first of all. So suppose I wasn't created to read a great declaration, or to boss a palatinate, or send off a message to Avignon, and so on, I could see, so there nevertheless was a share for me in all that had happened. How much of a share? Why, I knew there were things that would never, because they could never, come of my reading. But this knowledge was not so different from the remote but ever-present death that sits in the corner of the loving bedroom; though it doesn't budge from the corner, you wouldn't stop your loving. Then neither would I stop my reading. I sat and read. I had no eye, ear, or interest for anything else--that is, for usual, second-order, oatmeal, mere-phenomenal, snarled-shoelace-carfare-laundry-ticket plainness, unspecified dismalness, unknown captivities; the life of despair-harness or the life of organization-habits which is meant to supplant accidents with calm abiding. Well, now, who can really expect the daily facts to go, toil or prisons to go, oatmeal and laundry tickets and the rest, and insist that all moments be raised to the greatest importance, demand that everyone breathe the pointy, star-furnished air at its highest difficulty, abolish all brick, vaultlike rooms, all dreariness, and live like prophets or gods? Why, everybody knows this triumphant life can only be periodic. So there's a schism about it, some saying only this triumphant life is real and others that only the daily facts are. For me there was no debate, and I made speed into the former.
Saul Bellow (The Adventures of Augie March)
I am still vaguely haunted by our hitchhiker’s remark about how he’d “never rode in a convertible before.” Here’s this poor geek living in a world of convertibles zipping past him on the highways all the time, and he’s never even ridden in one. It made me feel like King Farouk. I was tempted to have my attorney pull into the next airport and arrange some kind of simple, common-law contract whereby we could just give the car to this unfortunate bastard. Just say: “Here, sign this and the car’s yours.” Give him the keys and then use the credit card to zap off on a jet to some place like Miami and rent another huge fireapple-red convertible for a drug-addled, top-speed run across the water all the way out to the last stop in Key West … and then trade the car off for a boat. Keep moving. But this manic notion passed quickly. There was no point in getting this harmless kid locked up—and, besides, I had plans for this car. I was looking forward to flashing around Las Vegas in the bugger. Maybe do a bit of serious drag-racing on the Strip: Pull up to that big stoplight in front of the Flamingo and start screaming at the traffic: “Alright, you chickenshit wimps! You pansies! When this goddamn light flips green, I’m gonna stomp down on this thing and blow every one of you gutless punks off the road!” Right. Challenge the bastards on their own turf. Come screeching up to the crosswalk, bucking and skidding with a bottle of rum in one hand and jamming the horn to drown out the music … glazed eyes insanely dilated behind tiny black, gold-rimmed greaser shades, screaming gibberish … a genuinely dangerous drunk, reeking of ether and terminal psychosis. Revving the engine up to a terrible high-pitched chattering whine, waiting for the light to change … How often does a chance like that come around? To jangle the bastards right down to the core of their spleens. Old elephants limp off to the hills to die; old Americans go out to the highway and drive themselves to death with huge cars.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Of course, I’ve only brought up two examples. Other universal laws of physics have been used as weapons as well, though we don’t know all of them. It’s very possible that every law of physics has been weaponized. It’s possible that in some parts of the universe, even … Forget it, I don’t even believe that.” “What were you going to say?” “The foundation of mathematics.” Cheng Xin tried to imagine it, but it was simply impossible. “That’s … madness.” Then she asked, “Will the universe turn into a war ruin? Or, maybe it’s more accurate to ask: Will the laws of physics turn into war ruins?” “Maybe they already are.… The physicists and cosmologists of the new world are focused on trying to recover the original appearance of the universe before the wars more than ten billion years ago. They’ve already constructed a fairly clear theoretical model describing the pre-war universe. That was a really lovely time, when the universe itself was a Garden of Eden. Of course, the beauty could only be described mathematically. We can’t picture it: Our brains don’t have enough dimensions.” Cheng Xin thought back to the conversation with the Ring again. Did you build this four-dimensional fragment? You told me that you came from the sea. Did you build the sea? “You are saying that the universe of the Edenic Age was four-dimensional, and that the speed of light was much higher?” “No, not at all. The universe of the Edenic Age was ten-dimensional. The speed of light back then wasn’t only much higher—rather, it was close to infinity. Light back then was capable of action at a distance, and could go from one end of the cosmos to the other within a Planck time.… If you had been to four-dimensional space, you would have some vague hint of how beautiful that ten-dimensional Garden must have been.” “You’re saying—” “I’m not saying anything.” Yifan seemed to have awakened from a dream. “We’ve only seen small hints; everything else is just guessing. You should treat it as a guess, just a dark myth we’ve made up.” But Cheng Xin continued to follow the course of the discussion taken so far. “—that during the wars after the Edenic Age, one dimension after another was imprisoned from the macroscopic into the microscopic, and the speed of light was reduced again and again.…” “As I said, I’m not saying anything, just guessing.” Yifan’s voice grew softer. “But no one knows if the truth is even darker than our guesses.… We are certain of only one thing: The universe is dying.” The
Liu Cixin (Death's End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #3))
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. But what if you could? Think for a second — what if all the infinitely dense and shifting worlds of stuff inside you every moment of your life turned out now to be somehow fully open and expressible afterward, after what you think of as you has died, because what if afterward now each moment itself is an infinite sea or span or passage of time in which to express it or convey it, and you don’t even need any organized English, you can as they say open the door and be in anyone else’s room in all your own multiform forms and ideas and facets? Because listen — we don’t have much time, here’s where Lily Cache slopes slightly down and the banks start getting steep, and you can just make out the outlines of the unlit sign for the farmstand that’s never open anymore, the last sign before the bridge — so listen: What exactly do you think you are? The millions and trillions of thoughts, memories, juxtapositions — even crazy ones like this, you’re thinking — that flash through your head and disappear? Some sum or remainder of these? Your history? Do you know how long it’s been since I told you I was a fraud? Do you remember you were looking at the respicem watch hanging from the rearview and seeing the time, 9:17? What are you looking at right now? Coincidence? What if no time has passed at all?* 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
The glow lasted through the night, beyond the bar's closing, when there were no cabs on the street. And so Mathilde and Lotto decided to walk home, her arm in his, chatting about nothing, about everything, the unpleasant, hot breath of the subway belching up from the grates. 'Chthonic', he said, booze letting loose the pretension at his core, which she still found sweet, an allowance from the glory. It was so late, there were few other people out, and it felt, just for this moment, that they had the city to themselves. She thought of all the life just underfoot, the teem of it that they were passing over, unknowing. She said, 'Did you know that the total weight of all the ants on Earth is the same as the total weight of all the humans on Earth.' She, who drank to excess, was a little bit drunk, it was true, there was so much relief in the evening. When the curtains closed against the backdrop, an enormous bolder blocking their future had rolled away. 'They'll still be here when we're gone,' he said. He was drinking from a flask. By the time they were home, he'd be sozzeled. 'The ants and the jellyfish and the cockroaches, they will be the kings of the Earth.'... 'They deserve this place more than we do,' she said. 'We've been reckless with our gifts.' He smiled and looked up. There were no stars, there was too much smog for them. 'Did you know,' he said, 'they just found out just a while ago that there are billions of worlds that can support life in our galaxy alone.' ...She felt a sting behind here eyes, but couldn't say why this thought touched her. He saw clear through and understood. He knew her. The things he didn't know about her would sink an ocean liner. He knew her. 'We're lonely down here,' he said, 'it's true, but we're not alone.' In the hazy space after he died, when she lived in a sort of timeless underground grief, she saw on the internet a video about what would happen to our galaxy in billions of years. We are in an immensely slow tango with the Andromeda galaxy, both galaxies shaped like spirals with outstretched arms, and we are moving toward each other like spinning bodies. The galaxies will gain speed as they draw near, casting off blue sparks, new stars until they spin past each other, and then the long arms of both galaxies will reach longingly out and grasp hands at the last moment and they will come spinning back in the opposite direction, their legs entwined, never hitting, until the second swirl becomes a clutch, a dip, a kiss, and then at the very center of things, when they are at their closest, there will open a supermassive black hole.
Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies)
I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. That is, my feet are in it; the rest of me is on the draining-board, which I have padded with our dog's blanket and the tea-cosy. I can't say that I am really comfortable, and there is a depressing smell of carbolic soap, but this is the only part of the kitchen where there is any daylight left. And I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring - I wrote my very best poem while sitting on the hen-house. Though even that isn't a very good poem. I have decided my best poetry is so bad that I mustn't write any more of it. Drips from the roof are plopping into the water-butt by the back door. The view through the windows above the sink is excessively drear. Beyond the dank garden in the courtyard are the ruined walls on the edge of the moat. Beyond the moat, the boggy ploughed fields stretch to the leaden sky. I tell myself that all the rain we have had lately is good for nature, and that at any moment spring will surge on us. I try to see leaves on the trees and the courtyard filled with sunlight. Unfortunately, the more my mind's eye sees green and gold, the more drained of all colour does the twilight seem. It is comforting to look away from the windows and towards the kitchen fire, near which my sister Rose is ironing - though she obviously can't see properly, and it will be a pity if she scorches her only nightgown. (I have two, but one is minus its behind.) Rose looks particularly fetching by firelight because she is a pinkish person; her skin has a pink glow and her hair is pinkish gold, very light and feathery. Although I am rather used to her I know she is a beauty. She is nearly twenty-one and very bitter with life. I am seventeen, look younger, feel older. I am no beauty but I have a neatish face. I have just remarked to Rose that our situation is really rather romantic - two girls in this strange and lonely house. She replied that she saw nothing romantic about being shut up in a crumbling ruin surrounded by a sea of mud. I must admit that our home is an unreasonable place to live in. Yet I love it. The house itself was built in the time of Charles II, but it was grafted on to a fourteenth-century castle that had been damaged by Cromwell. The whole of our east wall was part of the castle; there are two round towers in it. The gatehouse is intact and a stretch of the old walls at their full height joins it to the house. And Belmotte Tower, all that remains of an even older castle, still stands on its mound close by. But I won't attempt to describe our peculiar home fully until I can see more time ahead of me than I do now. I am writing this journal partly to practise my newly acquired speed-writing and partly to teach myself how to write a novel - I intend to capture all our characters and put in conversations. It ought to be good for my style to dash along without much thought, as up to now my stories have been very stiff and self-conscious. The only time father obliged me by reading one of them, he said I combined stateliness with a desperate effort to be funny. He told me to relax and let the words flow out of me.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
Perspective - Use It or Lose It. If you turned to this page, you're forgetting that what is going on around you is not reality. Think about that. Remember where you came from, where you're going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place. You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them. Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, and teachers. Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a false messiah. Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully. The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in awhile, and watch your answers change. Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years. The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof. There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts. Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect. Then be sure of one thing: The Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have. The original sin is to limit the Is. Don't. A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed, it feels an impulsion....this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reason and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons. You are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however. Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours. If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats. The world is your exercise-book, the pages on which you do your sums. It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish. You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages. Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you. In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice. The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, "I've got responsibilities." The truth you speak has no past and no future. It is, and that's all it needs to be. Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't. Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. You're going to die a horrible death, remember. It's all good training, and you'll enjoy it more if you keep the facts in mind. Take your dying with some seriousness, however. Laughing on the way to your execution it not generally understood by less advanced lifeforms, and they'll call you crazy. Everything above may be wrong!
Richard Bach
An asteroid or comet traveling at cosmic velocities would enter the Earth’s atmosphere at such a speed that the air beneath it couldn’t get out of the way and would be compressed, as in a bicycle pump. As anyone who has used such a pump knows, compressed air grows swiftly hot, and the temperature below it would rise to some 60,000 Kelvin, or ten times the surface temperature of the Sun. In this instant of its arrival in our atmosphere, everything in the meteor’s path—people, houses, factories, cars—would crinkle and vanish like cellophane in a flame. One second after entering the atmosphere, the meteorite would slam into the Earth’s surface, where the people of Manson had a moment before been going about their business. The meteorite itself would vaporize instantly, but the blast would blow out a thousand cubic kilometers of rock, earth, and superheated gases. Every living thing within 150 miles that hadn’t been killed by the heat of entry would now be killed by the blast. Radiating outward at almost the speed of light would be the initial shock wave, sweeping everything before it. For those outside the zone of immediate devastation, the first inkling of catastrophe would be a flash of blinding light—the brightest ever seen by human eyes—followed an instant to a minute or two later by an apocalyptic sight of unimaginable grandeur: a roiling wall of darkness reaching high into the heavens, filling an entire field of view and traveling at thousands of miles an hour. Its approach would be eerily silent since it would be moving far beyond the speed of sound. Anyone in a tall building in Omaha or Des Moines, say, who chanced to look in the right direction would see a bewildering veil of turmoil followed by instantaneous oblivion. Within minutes, over an area stretching from Denver to Detroit and encompassing what had once been Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, the Twin Cities—the whole of the Midwest, in short—nearly every standing thing would be flattened or on fire, and nearly every living thing would be dead. People up to a thousand miles away would be knocked off their feet and sliced or clobbered by a blizzard of flying projectiles. Beyond a thousand miles the devastation from the blast would gradually diminish. But that’s just the initial shockwave. No one can do more than guess what the associated damage would be, other than that it would be brisk and global. The impact would almost certainly set off a chain of devastating earthquakes. Volcanoes across the globe would begin to rumble and spew. Tsunamis would rise up and head devastatingly for distant shores. Within an hour, a cloud of blackness would cover the planet, and burning rock and other debris would be pelting down everywhere, setting much of the planet ablaze. It has been estimated that at least a billion and a half people would be dead by the end of the first day. The massive disturbances to the ionosphere would knock out communications systems everywhere, so survivors would have no idea what was happening elsewhere or where to turn. It would hardly matter. As one commentator has put it, fleeing would mean “selecting a slow death over a quick one. The death toll would be very little affected by any plausible relocation effort, since Earth’s ability to support life would be universally diminished.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)