Quotes


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… the Rivers let me sail downstream where I pleased
more absorbed than the minds of children, I ran!
Sweeter than the flesh of sour apples to children,
the green water penetrated my pinewood hull
and washed me clean of the bluish wine-stains
and the splashes of vomit, carrying away both rudder and anchor….

…Resembling an island, tossing on my sides the brawls
and droppings of pale-eyed, clamouring birds.
And I was scudding along when across my frayed ropes
drowned men sank backwards into sleep!…

from Rimbaud’s Drunken Boat

All humans are linked in pilgrimage, journeying to the same place. Like the Seven Dwarfs in the parade at Disney World, three steps forward, two steps back, arms swinging in perfect, absurd rhythm. Then in comic choreography, piling into each other, back to belly, drawing to a halt, …and forward again.

Paraphrased from “Aama in America”


Thoreau

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and to be able to give a true account of it.

Henry David Thoreau

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

W. B. Yeats

Theories abound as to why cold or temperate climes produce happier people than warm, tropical ones. My favorite theory is one I call the Get-Along-or-Die Theory. In warm places, this theory states, life is too easy; your next meal simply falls from a coconut tree. Cooperation with others is optional. In colder places, though, cooperation is mandatory. Everyone must work together to ensure a good harvest or a hearty haul of cod. Or everyone dies. Together.

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but interdependence is the mother of affection. We humans need one another, so we cooperate — for purely selfish reasons at first. At some point, though, the needing fades and all that remains is the cooperation. We help other people because we can, or because it makes us feel good, not because we’re counting on some future payback. There is a word for this: love.

Excerpted from The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. Reprinted without permission from Hachette Book Group, USA.

El Dia 

“On the plains of hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who at the dawn of victory lay down to rest, and in resting died.”

Adlai E. Stevenson