“I cannot promise very much.
I give you the images I know.
Lie still with me and watch.
A pheasant moves
by like a seal, pulled through the mulch
by his thick white collar. He’s on show
like a clown. He drags a beige feather that he removed,
one time, from an old lady’s hat.
We laugh and we touch.
I promise you love. Time will not take away that.”—The Fortress, Anne Sexton
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”—Elie Wiesel
“Energy simply flows through us, just as water and the other elements do. And an individual organism is just an eddy in this larger flow of energy. A living being, seen in this way, is a self-organizing vortex of energy and matter, not separate in any real way from the surrounding flow of the elements. Each of us, in terms of the Fire Element, is merely a tiny current in a vast torrent that begins in the heart of the sun and that ends as the random jostling of non-living matter. We do not own any of this energy. Neither do we create any of it. We merely borrow it for a while and then pass it on.”—Bodhipaksa, Living as a River
Poet Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) on
“I have no time now to be a pessimist.”
When a friend wrote to Brooke to tell him he was overcome by pessimism, Brooke, just twenty-three years old, replied: “I have a remedy. It is a dangerous one, but I think very good on the whole. The remedy consists in just looking at people and things as themselves—neither as useful nor moral nor ugly nor anything else; but just as being. In a flicker of sunlight on a blank wall, or a reach of muddy pavement, or smoke from an engine at night, there’s a sudden significance and importance and inspiration that makes the breath stop with a gulp of certainty and happiness. It’s not that the wall or the smoke seem important for anything, or suddenly reveal any general statement, or are rationally seen to be good or beautiful in themselves,—only that for you they’re perfect and unique. It’s like being in love with a person, one is extraordinarily excited that the person, exactly as he is, uniquely and splendidly just exists. It’s a feeling, not a belief. Only it’s a feeling that has amazing results. I suppose my occupation is being in love with the universe. With such superb work to do, and with the wild adventure of it all, and with the enchantment of being even for a moment alive in a world of real matter and actual people, - I have no time now to be a pessimist.”
”—Nicholas Humphrey, Soul Dust: The Magic of Consciousness