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Sep. 4th, 2008

Security isn't found in a house, only shelter from the elements.

Survival Count: A Personal Journey Towards Conservation, by Gwen Moffat.

Sep. 3rd, 2008

How long does it take to instil a sense of beauty? Does everyone carry a latent ability which starts with ethics and ends with appreciation of an elemental world where there can be no evil: no blame and only consequences?

Survival Count: A Personal Journey Towards Conservation, by Gwen Moffat.
"There was no getting rid of her. She was determined to hang around as long as the voices in her mind sung to her. She could hear their melodies be she awake or asleep. In her dreams she would dance across her make believe world and awake she would smile knowing that only she could hear their voices while those around her were deft to the truth that they sung about."

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

Sorry if this is too many quotes to put in one post; this is one of my favorite books, and it has so many good quotes in it, it's hard to choose just a few :].



"And right then I submitted.
I would go to the war--I would kill myself and maybe die--because I was embarrassed not to.
That was the sad thing. And so I sat in the bow of the boat and cried.
It was loud now. Loud, hard crying.
Elroy Berdahl remained quiet. He kept fishing. He worked his line with the tips of his fingers, patiently, squinting out at his red and white bobber on the Rainy River. His eyes were flat and impassive. He didn't speak. He was simply there, like the river and the late-summer sun. And yet by his presence, his mute watchfulness, he made it real. He was the true audience. He was a witness, like God, or like the gods, who look on in absolute silence as we live our lives, as we make our choices or fail to make them."

"At its core, perhaps, war is just another name for death, and yet any soldier will tell you, if he tells the truth, that proximity to death brings with it a corresponding proximity to life. After a firefight, there is always the immense pleasure of aliveness. The trees are alive. The grass, the soil--everything. All around you things are purely living, and you among them, and the aliveness makes you tremble."

"Though it's odd, you're never more alive than when you're almost dead. You recognize what's valuable. Freshly, as if for the first time, you love what's best in yourself and in the world, all that might be lost. At the hour of dusk you sit at your foxhole and look out on a wide river turning pinkish red, and at the mountains beyond, and although in the morning you must cross the river and go into the mountains and do terrible things and maybe die, even so, you find yourself studying the fine colors of the river, you feel wonder and awe at the setting of the sun, and you are filled with a hard, aching love for how the world could be and always should be, but now is not."

"And in the end, of course, a true war story is never about war. It's about sunlight. It's about the special way that dawn spreads out on a river when you know you must cross the river and march into the mountains and do things you are afraid to do. It's about love and memory. It's about sorrow. It's about sisters who never write back and people who never listen."

"He said he'd done his best. He'd tried to be a decent medic. Win some and lose some, he said, but he'd tried hard. Briefly then, rambling a little, he talked about a few of the guys who were gone now, Curt Lemon and Kiowa and Ted Lavender, and how crazy it was that people who were so incredibly alive could get so incredibly dead."

"I could read his mind. I was there with him. Together we understood what terror was: you're not human anymore. You're a shadow. You slip out of your own skin, like molting, shedding your own history and your own future, leaving behind everything you ever were or wanted or believed in. You know you're about to die. And it's not a movie and you aren't a hero and all you can do is whimper and wait."

"And then it becomes 1990. I'm forty-three years old, and a writer now, still dreaming Linda alive in exactly the same way. She's not the embodied Linda; she's mostly made up, with a new identity and a new name, like the man who never was. Her real name doesn't matter. She was nine years old. I loved her and then she died. And yet right here, in the spell of memory and imagination, I can still see her as if through ice, as if I'm gazing into some other world, a place where there are no brain tumors and no funeral homes, where there are no bodies at all. I can see Kiowa, too, and Ted Lavender and Curt Lemon, and sometimes I can even see Timmy skating with Linda under the yellow floodlights. I'm young and happy. I'll never die. I'm skimming across the surface of my own history, moving fast, riding the melt beneath the blades, doing loops and spins, and when I take a high leap into the dark and come down thirty years later, I realize it is as Tim trying to save Timmy's life with a story."

Jul. 11th, 2008

It seems that in the desire for sexual engagements there is an urge to connect deeply, to go to the bottom of everything, below the levels of words and social veneer, to the realm of smell, taste, touch, animal sensation. And beyond that, to enter into a kind of meditative process - an uncovering - that can only occur in the mirror of a relationship. It seems that a truly intimate relationship entails going through feelings of hatred, hopelessness, and otherness again and again, going through them and learning that they can pass.

pages 158-159, Bare-Bones Meditation: Waking Up from the Story of My Life by Joan Tollifson.
Whatever is accumulated will be lost, whatever is born will die, whatever is built will be destroyed. A view of the essence of life is a view that helps us through our suffering as we face it.

Novice to Master: An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of My Own Stupidity by Soko Morinaga Roshi.

Jun. 26th, 2008

Unconscious ideas are as much a force in people's daily existence as the conscious desires, thoughts and actions we put into practice.

page 87, Fat Is A Feminist Issue ... by Susie Orbach.

Jun. 15th, 2008

Question for you all... what do you think this quote means?

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.

--Chapter 58

Jun. 15th, 2008

When our reality is not culturally verified and we are made invisible, or made out to be crazy, we internalize this and discount our own feelings and insights. It seems to take years and years of work to begin to take one's own perceptions seriously again.


page 90, Bare-Bones Meditation: Waking Up from the Story of My Life by Joan Tollifson.

Jun. 14th, 2008

Writing is a way of listening, a way of changing perception. It seems there is something worthwhile in telling out stories, bringing to light and sharing what has been hidden or silenced, what has long existed in secrecy. It breaks down isolation and conditioning. This kind of sharing reveals how common our darkest secrets really are - and it also helps us understand other people's experiences, which may be different from our own.

page 62, Bare-Bones Meditation: Waking Up from the Story of My Life by Joan Tollifson.

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