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Ray Bradbury

From Ray Bradbury

Imagine that you have been dead for a year, ten years, one hundred years, a thousand years. The grave and night have taken and kept you in that silence and dark which says nothing and so reveals absolutely zero.

In the middle of all this darkness and being alone and bereft of sense, let us imagine that God comes to your still soul and lonely body and says:

I will give you one minute of ife. I will restore you to your body and senses for sixty seconds. Out of all the minutes in your life, choose one, I will put you in that minute, and you will be alive again after a hundred, a thousand years of darkness. Which is it?

Think. Speak. Which do you choose?

And the answer is:

Any minute. Any minute at all! Oh, God, Sweet Christ, oh mystery, give me any minute in all my life.

And the further answer is:

When I lived I didn't know that every minute was special, precious a gift, a miracle, an incredible thing, an impossible work, an amazing dream.

But not, Like Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Morn, with snow in the air and the promise of rebirth given, I know what I should have known in my dumb shambles:

That all is a lark, and it is a beauty beyond tears, and also a terror. But I dance about, I become a child, I am the boy who runs for the great bird in the window and I am the man who sends the boy running for that bird, and I am the life that blows in the snowing wind along that street, and the bells that sound and say: live, love, for too soon will your name which is shaped in the snow melt, of your soul which is inscribed like a breath of vapor on a cold glass pane fade.

Run, run, lad, run, down the middle of Christmas at the center of life.”
Ray Bradbury

Ursula K. Le Guin
“He thought he had learned pain, but he would learn it again and again, all his life, and forget none of it.”
Ursula K. Le Guin

Carl Safina
“Pause to ponder the metaphysics: an elk running for its life is converted to wolf flesh and wolf bone and wolf nerve whose dedication becomes chasing elk who run for their lives to avoid the fate that is pursing them, a fate built entirely from creatures just like themselves. Predator presages Borg. Overhead the sky livens with playful croaks also made of elk. Later, predator falls, freeing all former elk made wolf, made raven, made bear, to resume a brief stint as grass. Grass's predator, elk, grazes. Grass again becomes elk, and one of Forever's many pinwheels clicks one full turn.”
Carl Safina, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel

Carl Safina
“What would it be like to be joy-stricken? To labor through the days inconsolably shadowed by delight; pierced by overwhelming, paralyzing beauty; immobilized with wonder; felled by curiosity; unable to get past appreciation; unable to function except to ask over and over, giddily, "Why me? Why such luck?”
Carl Safina, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel

Hanya Yanagihara
“I have never been one of those people—I know you aren’t, either—who feels that the love one has for a child is somehow a superior love, one more meaningful, more significant, and grander than any other. I didn’t feel that before Jacob, and I didn’t feel that after. But it is a singular love, because it is a love whose foundation is not physical attraction, or pleasure, or intellect, but fear. You have never known fear until you have a child, and maybe that is what tricks us into thinking that it is more magnificent, because the fear itself is more magnificent. Every day, your first thought is not “I love him” but “How is he?” The world, overnight, rearranges itself into an obstacle course of terrors. I would hold him in my arms and wait to cross the street and would think how absurd it was that my child, that any child, could expect to survive this life. It seemed as improbable as the survival of one of those late-spring butterflies—you know, those little white ones—I sometimes saw wobbling through the air, always just millimeters away from smacking itself against a windshield.”
Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life

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