Sarah Hoeck > Sarah's Quotes

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  • #1
    Kurt Vonnegut
    “I have been a writer since 1949. I am self-taught. I have no theories about writing that might help others. When I write, I simply become what I seemingly must become. I am six feet two and weigh nearly two hundred pounds and am badly coordinated, except when I swim. All that borrowed meat does the writing.
    In the water I am beautiful. ”
    Kurt Vonnegut, Welcome to the Monkey House

  • #2
    Rebecca Solnit
    “They are all beasts of burden in a sense, ' Thoreau once remarked of animals, 'made to carry some portion of our thoughts.' Animals are the old language of the imagination; one of the ten thousand tragedies of their disappearance would be a silencing of this speech.”
    Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

  • #3
    Rebecca Solnit
    “The art is not one of forgetting but letting go. And when everything else is gone, you can be rich in loss.”
    Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

  • #4
    Rebecca Solnit
    “For me, childhood roaming was what developed self-reliance, a sense of direction and adventure, imagination, a will to explore, to be able to get a little lost and then figure out the way back.”
    Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

  • #5
    Rebecca Solnit
    “I grew up with landscape as a recourse, with the possibility of exiting the horizontal realm of social relations for a vertical alignment with earth and sky, matter and spirit. Vast open spaces speak best to this craving, the spaces I myself first found in the desert and then in the western grasslands.”
    Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

  • #6
    Rebecca Solnit
    “Reading these stories, it's tempting to think that
    the arts to be learned are those of tracking, hunting,
    navigating, skills of survival and escape. Even in the
    everyday world of the present, an anxiety to survive
    manifests itself in cars and clothes for far more rugged
    occasions than those at hand, as though to express some
    sense of the toughness of things and of readiness to face
    them. But the real difficulties, the real arts of survival,
    seem to lie in more subtle realms. There, what's called
    for is a kind of resilience of the psyche, a readiness to
    deal with what comes next. These captives lay out in a
    stark and dramatic way what goes on in every life: the
    transitions whereby you cease to be who you were. Seldom
    is it as dramatic, but nevertheless, something of
    this journey between the near and the far goes on in
    every life. Sometimes an old photograph, an old friend,
    an old letter will remind you that you are not who you
    once were, for the person who dwelt among them, valued
    this, chose that, wrote thus, no longer exists. Without
    noticing it you have traversed a great distance; the
    strange has become familiar and the familiar if not
    strange at least awkward or uncomfortable, an outgrown
    garment. And some people travel far more than
    others. There are those who receive as birthright an adequate
    or at least unquestioned sense of self and those
    who set out to reinvent themselves, for survival or for
    satisfaction, and travel far. Some people inherit values
    and practices as a house they inhabit; some of us have to
    burn down that house, find our own ground, build from scratch, even as a psychological metamorphosis.”
    Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

  • #7
    Rebecca Solnit
    “Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark. That’s where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from, and where you will go.”
    Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

  • #8
    Rebecca Solnit
    “To lose yourself: a voluptuous surrender, lost in your arms, lost to the world, utterly immersed in what is present so that its surroundings fade away. In Benjamin’s terms, to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery.”
    Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

  • #9
    Rebecca Solnit
    “That thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you is usually what you need to find, and finding it is a matter of getting lost. The word ‘lost’ comes from the old Norse ‘los’ meaning the disbanding of an army…I worry now that people never disband their armies, never go beyond what they know.

    Advertising, alarmist news, technology, incessant busyness, and the design of public and private life conspire to make it so. A recent article about the return of wildlife to suburbia described snow-covered yards in which the footprints of animals are abundant and those of children are entirely absent. Children seldom roam, even in the safest places… I wonder what will come of placing this generation under house arrest.”
    Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

  • #10
    Walt Whitman
    “Battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.”
    Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
    tags: war

  • #11
    Walt Whitman
    “I am satisfied ... I see, dance, laugh, sing.”
    Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

  • #12
    Walt Whitman
    “If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.”
    Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

  • #13
    Walt Whitman
    “I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
    I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”
    Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

  • #14
    Walt Whitman
    “I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
    And what I assume you shall assume,
    For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”
    Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

  • #15
    Walt Whitman
    “Your very flesh shall be a great poem...”
    Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

  • #16
    Walt Whitman
    “If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles.
    You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
    But I shall be good help to you nevertheless
    And filter and fiber your blood.
    Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
    Missing me one place search another,
    I stop some where waiting for you”
    Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

  • #17
    Walt Whitman
    “Touch me, touch the palm of your hand to my body as I pass,
    Be not afraid of my body.”
    Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

  • #18
    Walt Whitman
    “All beauty comes from beautiful blood and a beautiful brain. If the greatnesses are in conjunction in a man or woman it is enough...the fact will prevail through the universe...but the gaggery and gilt of a million years will not prevail. Who troubles himself about his ornaments or fluency is lost. This is what you shall so: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body...”
    Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

  • #19
    Bill Bryson
    “Tune your television to any channel it doesn't receive and about 1 percent of the dancing static you see is accounted for by this ancient remnant of the Big Bang. The next time you complain that there is nothing on, remember that you can always watch the birth of the universe.”
    Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • #20
    Bill Bryson
    “It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you.”
    Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • #21
    Bill Bryson
    “If you imagine the 4,500-bilion-odd years of Earth's history compressed into a normal earthly day, then life begins very early, about 4 A.M., with the rise of the first simple, single-celled organisms, but then advances no further for the next sixteen hours. Not until almost 8:30 in the evening, with the day five-sixths over, has Earth anything to show the universe but a restless skin of microbes. Then, finally, the first sea plants appear, followed twenty minutes later by the first jellyfish and the enigmatic Ediacaran fauna first seen by Reginald Sprigg in Australia. At 9:04 P.M. trilobites swim onto the scene, followed more or less immediately by the shapely creatures of the Burgess Shale. Just before 10 P.M. plants begin to pop up on the land. Soon after, with less than two hours left in the day, the first land creatures follow.

    Thanks to ten minutes or so of balmy weather, by 10:24 the Earth is covered in the great carboniferous forests whose residues give us all our coal, and the first winged insects are evident. Dinosaurs plod onto the scene just before 11 P.M. and hold sway for about three-quarters of an hour. At twenty-one minutes to midnight they vanish and the age of mammals begins. Humans emerge one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight. The whole of our recorded history, on this scale, would be no more than a few seconds, a single human lifetime barely an instant. Throughout this greatly speeded-up day continents slide about and bang together at a clip that seems positively reckless. Mountains rise and melt away, ocean basins come and go, ice sheets advance and withdraw. And throughout the whole, about three times every minute, somewhere on the planet there is a flash-bulb pop of light marking the impact of a Manson-sized meteor or one even larger. It's a wonder that anything at all can survive in such a pummeled and unsettled environment. In fact, not many things do for long.”
    Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • #22
    Bill Bryson
    “It is easy to overlook this thought that life just is. As humans we are inclined to feel that life must have a point. We have plans and aspirations and desires. We want to take constant advantage of the intoxicating existence we've been endowed with. But what's life to a lichen? Yet its impulse to exist, to be , is every bit as strong as ours-arguably even stronger. If I were told that I had to spend decades being a furry growth on a rock in the woods, I believe I would lose the will to go on. Lichens don't. Like virtually all living things, they will suffer any hardship, endure any insult, for a moment's additions existence. Life, in short just wants to be.”
    Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • #23
    Bill Bryson
    “There are three stages in scientific discovery. First, people deny that it is true, then they deny that it is important; finally they credit the wrong person.”
    Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • #24
    Bill Bryson
    “Protons give an atom its identity, electrons its personality.”
    Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • #25
    Bill Bryson
    “Consider the fact that for 3.8 billion years, a period of time older than the Earth's mountains and rivers and oceans, every one of your forebears on both sides has been attractive enough to find a mate, healthy enough to reproduce, and sufficiently blessed by fate and circumstances to live long enough to do so. Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from its life's quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result -- eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly -- in you.”
    Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • #26
    Bill Bryson
    “Physics is really nothing more than a search for ultimate simplicity, but so far all we have is a kind of elegant messiness.”
    Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • #27
    Bill Bryson
    “If this book has a lesson, it is that we are awfully lucky to be here-and by 'we' I mean every living thing. To attain any kind of life in this universe of ours appears to be quite an achievement. As humans we are doubly lucky, of course: We enjoy not only the privilege of existence but also the singular ability to appreciate it and even, in a multitude of ways, to make it better. It is a talent we have only barely begun to grasp.”
    Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • #28
    Bill Bryson
    “There seemed to be a mystifying universal conspiracy among textbook authors to make certain the material they dealt with never strayed too near the realm of the mildly interesting and was always at least a long-distance phone call from the frankly interesting.”
    Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything
    tags: humor

  • #29
    Bill Bryson
    “Life just wants to be; but it doesn't want to be much.”
    Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • #30
    Walt Whitman
    “Copulation is no more foul to me than death is.”
    Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition
    tags: death, sex



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