“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Do you LOVE language? YOU KNOW THAT YOU DO!
Language—and what it represents in full bloom—is one capacity (an important one) differentiating us from much of the animal kingdom, so it’s only natural that the great turn of a phrase or twist on a word might intuitively prick our ears, tickle our tongue, or tingle our nose like Tabitha's twitch.
Every now and then, I (like each of us) stumble across something that I find lyrical, or deep, or winsome, or refreshing, or timely, or heck, just flat-out bust-a-gut funny. (Milk-spewing gigglesnorts, repartee, inside jokes, and hashtags are always welcome in a weary world.)
But most beautiful and exciting of all is when a word, phrase, or sentence arises extemporaneously, crystallizing in the mind as the only appropriate language for the moment at hand: the single, STAGGERINGLY PERFECT comment that stops us dead in our tracks.
That’s pretty much what happened to me on May 23, 2016.
I had retired for the evening—TV, jammies, smoking jacket on and pipe in hand—and this rather nondescript guest appears on PBS’s Charlie Rose. At midnight. Otherwise ordinary citizen, Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, sat and listened graciously while Charlie read her words back to her from the epilogue of the book she had just published posthumously on behalf of her late surgeon-husband, Stanford's Dr. Paul Kalanithi. As Charlie completed reading her epilogue aloud, I lay in bed weeping and, compelled to act, thought to myself, “I must do my part to honor that language, and to push it from this tiny eddy on my telly to the stream outside my room.” The next day, Language Hound was loosed from his chains and began prowling the earth and scouring the universe for great snippets, snide remarks, and poetry and prose of all kind that warrant inclusion on our microsite.
The genre matters not; great language is great language, whatever its source, from a survivor at a funeral to a Max Headroom on TV to the ol' Bard of Avon himself. I've often heard the most striking comments in the least expected places.
I share these findings, whatever they are and whatever their origin sporadically, as moved. Sometimes they are a torrent; sometimes they are a dry riverbed.
It’s also fun to read and relish the ones sent to email@example.com, so do keep 'em comin': things you hear in line at the grocery store, on trains and planes, or scrawled by stick in the sand at a beach, for all I care.
HERE WE GO! To the #languagehound in each of us: ears to the wind, snout to the ground, always on the hunt for great sentiments, lines, blurbs and blasts of any kind.
Welcome to the human race, my fellow person.
Viva la words!
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
"Much of this testimony reveals that while technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies."
"In places like Abilene, Kansas, the big sins, left unchallenged, would have had very practical and disastrous effects. Sloth could lead to the failure of a family farm; gluttony and inebriation to the destruction of a family; lust to the ruination of a young man or woman; vanity to excessive spending, debt, and bankruptcy.
In places like that, people had an awareness not only of sin but of the different kinds of sins and the different remedies for each. Some sins, such as anger and lust, are like wild beasts. They have to be fought through habits of restraint. Other sins, such as mockery and disrespect, are like stains. They can be expunged only by absolution, by apology, remorse, restitution, and cleansing. Still others, such as stealing, are like a debt. They can be rectified only by repaying what you owe to society. Sins such as adultery, bribery, and betrayal are more like treason than like crime; they damage the social order. Social harmony can be rewoven only by slowly recommitting to relationship and rebuilding trust. The sins of arrogance and pride arise from a perverse desire for status and superiority. They only remedy for them is to humble oneself before others.
In other words, people in earlier times inherited a vast moral vocabulary and set of moral tools, developed over centuries and handed down from generation to generation. This was a practical inheritance, like learning how to speak a certain language, which people could use to engage their own moral struggles."
"We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances...to choose one's own way."
“We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.
The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity—in all this vastness—there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It’s been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
“Now, I’m nobody, but I think I was able to meet the challenge. I did what I had to—when I had to—and I was lucky to be able to do it.”
“How do we get ahead of crazy if we don’t know how crazy thinks?“
"The privately educated Englishman is the greatest dissembler on earth… Was, is now, and ever shall be, for as long as our disgraceful school system remains intact. Nobody will charm you so glibly, disguise his feelings from you better, cover his tracks more skillfully, or find it harder to confess to you that he's been a damn fool. Nobody acts braver when he's frightened stiff, or happier when he's miserable; nobody can flatter you better when he hates you than your extrovert Englishman or woman."
"I smell like sleep. I need to take a shower at your place. Worst case, I need to wash my bangs in the sink."
"You're a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond."
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
"Carve every word before you let it fall."
"I feel excited and lucky to be working on this project for Netflix. Here's what I have learned, if you retire to spend more time with your family, check with your family first. Thanks for watching, drive safely."
“Don’t look too long at the door that closes, or you won’t see the door that opens. The ancient Egyptian myth claims that every 500 years the phoenix bird would fly into a fire of its own origin and burn to ashes, only to rise again full of vigor.”
“I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
I aim with my eye.
I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
I shoot with my mind.
I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
I kill with my heart.”
"I still have faith, but I don't know why. Maybe it's the fire in my little girl's eyes."
"Walked out this morning, I don't believe what I saw—
A hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore.
Seems I'm not alone in being alone,
A hundred billion castaways... looking for a home.”
"I thought it would last my time—
The sense that, beyond the town,
There would always be fields and farms,
Where the village louts could climb
Such trees as were not cut down;
I knew there’d be false alarms
In the papers about old streets
And split level shopping, but some
Have always been left so far;
And when the old part retreats
As the bleak high-risers come
We can always escape in the car.
Things are tougher than we are, just
As earth will always respond
However we mess it about;
Chuck filth in the sea, if you must:
The tides will be clean beyond.
—But what do I feel now? Doubt?
Or age, simply? The crowd
Is young in the M1 cafe;
Their kids are screaming for more—
More houses, more parking allowed,
More caravan sites, more pay.
On the Business Page, a score
Of spectacled grins approve
Some takeover bid that entails
Five per cent profit (and ten
Per cent more in the estuaries): move
Your works to the unspoilt dales
(Grey area grants)! And when
You try to get near the sea
In summer . . .
It seems, just now,
To be happening so very fast;
Despite all the land left free
For the first time I feel somehow
That it isn’t going to last,
That before I snuff it, the whole
Boiling will be bricked in
Except for the tourist parts—
First slum of Europe: a role
It won’t be hard to win,
With a cast of crooks and tarts.
And that will be England gone,
The shadows, the meadows, the lanes,
The guildhalls, the carved choirs.
There’ll be books; it will linger on
In galleries; but all that remains
For us will be concrete and tyres.
Most things are never meant.
This won’t be, most likely; but greeds
And garbage are too thick-strewn
To be swept up now, or invent
Excuses that make them all needs.
I just think it will happen, soon."
"I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.
Crowned with lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.
The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses.
Elegant and curled is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave.
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned."
"The book I wrote, The Outpost, remains the professional work I am proudest of. It is not what has resulted in the most Twitter memes, but it is the most meaningful. It was the one least about me; and it may be one professional achievement, maybe, perhaps, that has a chance of outlasting me. That which you end up doing in the service of something greater than you—even if it means that you feel lesser, humbler, even worthless by comparison—by honoring the humanity of others, that will allow you to get in closer touch with your own."
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
“He is a man so sui generis, that I do not wonder at his not being apprehended till he is seen. His influence is of a curious sort. There is a vague nobleness and thorough sweetness about him, which move people to their very depths, without their being able to explain why. The logicians have an incessant triumph over him, but their triumph is of no avail. He conquers minds, as well as hearts, wherever he goes; and without convincing anybody’s reason of any one thing, exalts their reason, and makes their minds worth more than they ever were before.”
"If I've learned one thing above all else, know what it is? What you put out into the world will always come back to you, but never how you predict."
"It is that laser beam of self-reflection that makes you the perfect partner. You are the key to me beating Doris."
"She's the Cobra Kai to my Daniel-san, and I swear on Earnest's clogged-up dead heart that that witch will not take our title!"
"It's real simple: we playin' by Grandma's rules...you eat, you talk."
"There's a new ambition: to get on disability. Or, if you look at data on unemployed young males, it's amazing (A) How many live at home, (B) How much time they spend playing video games, and (C) How few have a driver's license. The sense of urgency of, say, fifty to sixty years ago, is gone. And when you look at information technology, our most dynamic sector, what do people use it to do? To have Amazon ship them packages, and to watch Netflix at home. Again, it's just all very comfortable, and not at all dynamic from a macro point of view."
"One person standing on the word of God is a majority."
"I think he [Christopher Hitchens] would be very active in the resistance. He would have more or less ignored Trump himself. He thought Bill Clinton was a titanic vulgarian. He would have jumped out of his shoes to see Trump in his pomp. I think he would have gone for Steve Bannon. He would have honed in on Steve Bannon, who revealed himself yesterday as a semi-literate neurotic when he said, 'Every morning, President Trump tells Reince and I....' He means Reince and me. I mean, that's a gross illiteracy. The idea of him being an intellectual is laughable. He's another neurotic windbag."
"Christopher would have said, 'Look to the language.' First, with Trump, the incredible poverty and paucity of his language. We remember 'the nattering nabobs of negativity,' well that's what's coming out of Bannon's and Trump's mouths now. The idea that Bannon is the intellectual heavyweight and ideologue of this kind of supranationalist wing of the Republican Party is, like, laughable."
"It's like Swiss cheese, just full of holes. Hitchens was deeply well read and an interpreter of modern life, and Bannon is sort of a Goldman Sachs/hack/wannabe producer in Hollywood who kind of stumbled on, after 9/11, this philosophy of raw American nationalism, kind of thoughtless. I do think he [Hitchens] would have aimed for Bannon, this sort of intellectual poser, but there's no way Christopher Hitchens would have voted for Hillary Clinton."
"I have become so accustomed to unpleasant thoughts and hardships 'til that has become my new normal. Pain is my constant companion."
"We've killed God. We've eliminated hierarchy. The only remaining altar is man's ambition, to feel superior to other men."
"There is no cure. The solution is disease, because once diseased, there is hope for a cure."
“After many months of looking around, we happened to meet and she just blew me away. She has this sort of energy that makes every problem seem surmountable.”
"Let us neither express, nor cherish, any harsh feeling toward any citizen who, by his vote, has differed with us. Let us at all times remember that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in the bonds of fraternal feeling."
"Now, at 86, I've seen a lot of people get older, and I've never seen anyone who felt good about their children but felt bad about their life. I've seen plenty of people with lots of money, where it hasn't worked out well for the family (either they didn't feel good about their children, or their children didn't feel good about them). Either way, they failed. At the most important teaching job they had. Sometimes it happens for extraneous reasons, but I've really never met anybody, regardless their economic circumstances, who felt their life was a failure who felt good about their children...whom they brought into the world. Success in business—but failure in the home—is failure in life."
"Davos is where billionaires tell millionaires how the middle class feels."
"What that mean to me? 'Bonnie working.' I don’t care if she working! Go ask her for the ten dollars if she working. Talking about 'Bonnie working.' Why ain’t you working?"
"Shakespeare was so ahead of his time that people still don't talk that way."
"You should let me take your picture sometime."
"No thanks. I'm with the Cherokee on this one: the fewer photographs out there of me, the better."
"Watch out for this one; he's rat tricky."
"Think before you bark!"
"Is you is or is you ain't got gas money?"
"To Mom for showing me I could, to Dad for insisting I must, and to Frank, Shun, and Tom for showing me how."
"So here's what we know: it's definitely 'Chicken on a Stick.' And your play is going to be a triumph."
"Hope is essential to life. Just as the body cannot live without dreams, the soul cannot live without hope."
“I'm back, I'm back
Prouder than ever baby
Louder than ever maybe
One more pill, just one more beer
One less star in the atmosphere for us
So I just kept breathing my friends
Waiting for the man to choose
Saying this ain't the day that it ends
'Cause there's no white light and I'm not through
I'm alive, I'm alive...
And I've got so much more that I want to do with the music
Was it music that saved me?
Or the way that you prayed for me?
Guess either way, I thank you I'm alive
And tomorrow is mine, I said tomorrow is mine
Said I just got to keep on breathing
I said no, don't let go breathing, breathing...
Got to keep on, got to keep on, got to keep on
I just got to keep on breathing
I'm alive, I'm alive...
And I've got so much more that I want to give
Was it music?
Was it science that saved me?
Or the way that you prayed and prayed for me?
Well I thank you I'm alive.”
"The white helmets respond to an average of 35 attacks a day, fighting for life in a vicious war. They were nominated this year for a Nobel Peace Prize. Syria has descended into murder on an industrial scale, but on the outer limits of cruelty, humanity begins."
"Danny had this great, really interesting idea: to explore the happiness people anticipate from some experience, compared to the happiness they actually experience in the moment, compared to the happiness they remember from the experience. These are different forms of what [behavioral] economists would call 'utility'—expected, experienced, and remembered. This is [just one example of] work that didn't get done."
"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd."
"Zero G, and I feel fine."
"I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces. Perhaps not surprisingly, I am also a man of two minds, able to see any issue from both sides. Sometimes I flatter myself that this is a talent, but I wonder if what I have should even be called talent. After all, a talent is something you use, not something that uses you. The talent you cannot not use, the talent that possesses you—that is a hazard.”
"What we're currently seeing is an adhocracy...telephone diplomacy. Not yet a coherent strategy. The President-Elect said one of America's weaknesses is its predictability [so we're starting to see the alternative in action]."
"Oh! The theme I've been waiting for all my life. Listen to this sentence: 'A Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time.' Poetry. Sheer poetry, Ralph! An A++++++++!"
"What is success? To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. That is to have succeeded."
"I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams."
"I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government, for that government is best which governs not at all, and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have."
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not—when I came to die—discover that I had not lived."
"I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society."
"Beware all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes."
"How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book?"
"My greatest skill has been to want but little."
"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone."
"Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new."
"I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company—even with the best—is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude."
"I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
"A written word is the choicest of relics. It is something at once more intimate with us and more universal than any other work of art. It is the work of art nearest to life itself. It may be translated into every language, and not only be read but actually breathed from all human lips...not be represented on canvas or in marble only, but be carved out of the breath of life itself."
"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away."
"Remember, no man is a failure who has friends."
"I pay the School Master, but 'tis the school boys that educate my son."
"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."
"When we quarrel, how we wish we had been blameless."
“Yet in opinions look not always back—
Your wake is nothing, mind the coming track;
Leave what you've done for what you have to do;
Don't be ‘consistent,’ but be simply true."
“I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.”
“Life moves forward. The old leaves wither, die and fall away, and the new growth extends forward into the light.”
“A man's delight in looking forward to and hoping for some particular satisfaction is a part of the pleasure flowing out of it, enjoyed in advance. But this is afterward deducted, for the more we look forward to anything the less we enjoy it when it comes.”
"Behold, a new commandment I give you: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are to love one another."
"I love you, America! I love your process in all its beauty and tragedy."7
* * *
"I think [this is important to say]…because they’re marching up the street as we speak [anti-Trump protesters]. A few weeks ago, I went to the White House for a party. It was the first time I had been there in many years and it was very exciting, and BET had sponsored the party...and I thought about how happy everybody was, these people who had been historically disenfranchised. And it made me feel hopeful, and it made me feel proud to be an American, and it made me very happy about the prospects of our country. So—in that spirit—I’m wishing Donald Trump luck, and I’m going to give him a chance, and we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one too. Thank you very much.”6
* * *
"I'm not giving up, and neither should you."5
* * *
"We don't know whether our next president is Nebuchadnezzar (Chaldean king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, who reigned from 605-562 BC; identified by Daniel and Jeremiah as an agent of God used to curse faithless followers of Yahweh; responsible for the destruction of the Jewish temple and perpetrator of the Babylonian Exile) or Cyrus (the pagan king who, ironically, served as patron and deliverer of the Jews, allowing them to return to Israel after seventy years’ captivity, and who ultimately rebuilt their temple in Jerusalem using funds from his royal treasury), but we do know that we are to neither be fearful nor prideful; we are commanded to pray for our leaders."4
* * *
“Last night I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans.
I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.
Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power. We don't just respect that. We cherish it. It also enshrines the rule of law; the principle we are all equal in rights and dignity; freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them.
Let me add: Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let's do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear. I count my blessings every single day that I am an American, and I still believe, as deeply as I ever have, that if we stand together and work together with respect for our differences, strengthen our convictions, and love for this nation, our best days are still ahead of us. Because, you know, I believe we are stronger together and we will go forward together. And you should never, ever regret fighting for that.
You know, scripture tells us, let us not grow weary of doing good, for in good season we shall reap. My friends, let us have faith in each other; let us not grow weary and lose heart, for there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do.
I am incredibly honored and grateful to have had this chance to represent all of you in this consequential election. May God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.”3
* * *
“We all want what’s best for this country. That’s what I heard when I spoke to him directly. And I was heartened by that. I hope that he maintains that spirit throughout this transition, and I certainly hope that’s how his presidency has a chance to begin.
It is no secret that the president-elect and I have some pretty significant differences. Now, everybody is sad when their side loses an election, but the day after we have to remember that we’re actually all on one team. We’re not Democrats first. We’re not Republicans first. We are Americans first. Because we are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country. The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy. And over the next few months, we are going to show that to the world.
Keep your heads up, because your work has left the next president with a stronger, better country than the one that existed eight years ago.”2
* * *
“Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division. We have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.
I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, I'm reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.
As I've said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign but rather an incredible and great movement, made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their family.
It is a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs, who want and expect our government to serve the people, and serve the people it will.
Working together we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream. I've spent my entire life in business, looking at the untapped potential in projects and in people all over the world.
That is now what I want to do for our country. Tremendous potential. I've gotten to know our country so well. Tremendous potential. It is going to be a beautiful thing. Every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”1
“If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
If you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.”
"Better than honor and glory, and History's iron pen,
Was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow men."
"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
“I don't consider myself a pessimist at all. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel completely soaked to the skin.”
* * *
"I always wanted to be paid for my work, but I didn't want to work for pay."
* * *
"I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah."
"Sometimes you just have to sit back and process. I'm gonna need a minute."
“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
“Lord, help me get one more. One more.”
“You’ll remember that on Election Night 2012, I told you ‘the Republican Party is Mad Men living in a Modern Family world.’ On Tuesday, November 8th, the American people will perform the Party's autopsy, and on Wednesday the Democrats will have to find a way to govern in a nation not so divided since the Civil War."
"Slake, canticle, avuncular, super attenuated, elegy. There, I said it."
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
“Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that people who have the most live the longest.”
“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”
“If an election was called, she’d win by North Korean landslide.”
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them—words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
“I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.”
“Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold.”
“There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch.”
"Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story."
“Today, of course, our paranoia about child safety has reached this fabulous zenith whereby kids are only allowed to trick-or-treat accompanied by an adult…but back in the blithe, porno-soaked, latch-key seventies, the idea of trick-or-treating with a parent in tow was unthinkable—like publicly disclosing a preference for Barry Manilow. And yes, we heard plenty of tales about creepy old men sinking razors into caramel apples. But this only added an allure of risk to the endeavor.”
“Never let your kids buy an off-the-shelf Halloween costume. Forbid it, no matter how close you may be to the witching hour. Instead, help them make their own. Encourage them to use their imagination and their ingenuity. Show them that what can be created is often better than what can be bought. And besides, don't the darkest, most frightening things live inside us anyway?”
“I'm a great lover of visual art and I will happily discuss the color and texture of Van Gogh's Starry Night…but I can think of nothing on earth so beautiful as the final haul on Halloween night, which, for me, was ten to fifteen pounds of candy, a riot of colored wrappers and hopeful fonts, snub-nosed chocolate bars and SweeTARTS, the seductive rattle of Jujyfruits and Good & Plenty and lollipop sticks all akimbo, the foil ends of mini LifeSavers packs twinkling like dimes, and a thick sugary perfume rising up from the pillowcase.
And more so, the pleasure of pouring out the contents onto the rug in the TV room, of cataloging the take according to a strict Freak Hierarchy, calling for all chocolate products to be immediately quarantined, sorted, and closely guarded, with higher-quality fruit chews and caramels next, then hard candies, and last of all anything organic (the loathsome raisins). A brief period of barter with my brothers might ensue. For the most part, I simply lay amid my trove and occasionally massed the candy into a pile which I could sort of dive into, à la Scrooge McDuck and his gold ducats.”
“The rhythms of freak are ruled by the holiday calendar, and specifically by Halloween, which as we all know, can be traced back to All Hallows' Eve, an ancient religious rite in which priests raced around the streets of Dublin throwing snack-size Snickers bars at impoverished children.”
“Where there is no imagination there is no horror.”
"It's hard to believe. [The honor is] amazing, incredible. Whoever dreams about something like that? The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless. I appreciate the honor so much."
Will he attend the Stockholm ceremony on December 10th to accept his award?
"Absolutely, if it's at all possible."
"You talk too much, and then, not at all."
“Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things—a chance word, a tap on the shoulder, or a penny dropped on a newsstand—I am tempted to think there are no little things.”
"A fertile mind makes the garden ever green."
“Live in such a way that if anyone should speak poorly of you, no one would believe it.”
"I think that the Republican Party can survive a Donald Trump candidacy. I have a really hard time believing that the Republican Party can withstand a Donald Trump presidency."
“In everything, set others an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, ”
“Preacher was a-talkin’, there’s a sermon he gave / He said every man’s conscience is vile and depraved / You cannot depend on it to be your guide / When it’s you who must keep it satisfied.” (Man in the Long Black Coat, 1989)
“I try my best / To be just like I am / But everybody wants you / To be just like them / They sing while you slave / And I just get bored.” (Maggie's Farm, 1965)
“The kerosene is brought down from the castles / By insurance men who go / Check to see that nobody is escaping / To Desolation Row.” (Desolation Row, 1965)
“I’ve been down on the bottom of a world full of lies / I ain’t lookin' for nothin' in anyone’s eyes.” (Not Dark Yet, 1997)
“Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth / You’re an idiot, babe / It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.” (Idiot Wind, 1975)
“How can the life of such a man / Be in the palm of some fool’s hand? / To see him obviously framed / Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed / To live in a land / Where justice is a game.” (Hurricane, 1975)
“Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’ / Up the road, around the bend / Heart burnin’, still yearnin’ / In the last outback at the world’s end.” (Ain't Talkin', 2006)
“I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes / You’d know what a drag it is to see you.” (Positively 4th Street, 1965)
"It ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
"The cinema is truth twenty-four frames per second."
"I spark him, then he sparks me, or, as George Furth said, 'I collaborate him, then he collaborates me.'"
"One play, you're on top of the world. Next play, the world is on top of you."
"Sharks gotta swim and bats gotta fly. These people are who they are."
Woods: "The only regret I have in life is not spending another year at Stanford, and I wish I would've had one more year."
Rose: "That's the only regret?"
Woods: "That's the only regret. I wish I had [graduated]."
Rose: "Of all the things that've happened to you?"
Woods: "All the things and that's all...."
Woods: "All the things I’ve been through are tough, yes. They’ve been tough, but they’ve been great for me, but I wish I would’ve gone one more year at Stanford."
Rose: “And your children? Have you told them your regrets?”
Woods: "No. No. I don’t. I haven’t said that. I said everybody makes mistakes, and the reason why Mommy’s living in her house and Daddy’s living in his house is because Daddy made mistakes, and it’s okay."
“What went through my head, really, was, ‘Uh, I got one of those too.’ [I really think the kid] could choose another career path, ‘cause that sucks, the one that he picked.”
"Do you want a snack?"
"No, it'll spoil my hunger."
“Giddy on up.”
“The day after my girlfriend threw away my favorite shirt, I started working on Marine Layer. I was prolly crazy to quit my job and spend a year trying to make the perfect fabric. But you know what they say, one man’s crazy is another man’s favorite new shirt? Well, they should say that.”
“It took me over a year to make the first shirt, so I convinced my best friend Adam to help me out. Once we got these lovely ladies, Xiao Ling and Fei, to help us with the cut and sew we were off and running. We opened up our first store about a year later and then bought this old bus to move our shirts from Xiao’s to the store. Since then we’ve gotten a bunch of friends to quit their real jobs and help us make some more shirts and open up a few more stores in some places we like to visit. Except for Burlingame. We opened a shop there and closed that s**t down fast. In fact, the only good thing about that store was the opening party we had at Shabu Shabu. I think I’m getting off track here though. Stop by one of the good stores some time and say hello. And buy some shirts please.”
“In the old days, our general strategy for expansion was to open stores in cool places our 1969 VW bus would take us. Then we opened up a store in Chicago and the bus broke down halfway across the Bay Bridge, so we had to reevaluate. Now we just open stores in fun towns that we need an excuse to visit.”
“Heyo! Free shipping and returns!”
“Bam. We’ve got your order. Now grab a taco, relax, and we’ll let you know when it’s on the way.”
“Oh hey! Thanks for your order!”
“Boom. Your order has shipped.”
“The eagle has landed.”
"Behold. Your order has arrived."
"Yes...you look very good."
"Good, great, grand, wonderful? Ok, now you can recycle this and move on with your life."
"Handle this tag with care. It's attached to your new favorite shirt (or jacket or pants or scarf). You get it."
"Like my Little League coach told me, 'Lay off the high head.'"
"Responsibly Made, in China, by adults."
“Oh hey Blake, we are so sorry your order didn’t work out. Let’s make things right.”
“Need a one-way pen pal? Join the fam and sign-up for our emails.”
"If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear."
* * *
"I'm not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost."
* * *
"I don’t feel very much like Pooh today," said Pooh.
"There there," said Piglet, "I’ll bring you tea and honey until you do."
* * *
"Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude."
* * *
"When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen."
* * *
"It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?"
* * *
"What I like doing best is Nothing."
"How do you do Nothing," asked Pooh after he had wondered for a long time.
"Well, it's when people call out at you just as you're going off to do it, 'What are you going to do, Christopher Robin?' and you say, 'Oh, Nothing,' and then you go and do it.
It means just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering."
"Oh!" said Pooh."
* * *
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called."
"I used to pray for this or that, but now I pray, 'Lord, change my heart.'"
"If there's one guy who's not changing, it's a seventy-year-old billionaire."
"Fame is a sarcophagus."
"Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!
When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?"
"So shines a good deed in a weary world."
"I've heard some people—many people's advice—who've said the candidates need to be themselves. I think they need to not be themselves. These are two candidates who are disliked and mistrusted by the majority of the country. Donald Trump has to figure out a way to be less visceral and more cerebral, and Hillary Clinton has to figure out how to be less cerebral and much more connected at a heart level. It's a little bit like The Wizard of Oz, with the tin man and the scarecrow: one has to show his brain and the other needs to show her heart."
"We're talking about Gennifer Flowers and Mark Cuban getting invited to the debate and not Gary Johnson?"
"No, George, come on...can't we have a little humor once in a while? And that is long term. I mean, plate tectonics. Long term, Africa and South America were at one time separated—and I'm talking now about the earth and the fact that we have existed for billions of years and will continue to going forward. Look, what it points to, also, is the fact that we do have to inhabit other planets. The future of the human race is space exploration."
"This next song is about a man in love. To a crazy woman. Whom he thought he could make well by marrying her."
"She wore combat boots on holy ground."
"Much has changed in Ireland, now that we've got the neighbors out of our garden."
"They’ll build a wall / a thousand miles long and a hundred miles tall / and for it, we shall pay its builders nothing at all."
"We are more than our latitude and longitude. Where we're from shouldn't define who we become."
"I have been in Sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and sword in my hands."
"I hope that one of the beauties of this museum being here will be an understanding and appreciation of the depth, of the pain, agony, and tragedy of slavery. I hope that the suffering from decade to decade to decade to decade will be understood in a very real and tangible way. I hope that the weight of the past will slow your gait and bow your head...and as you walk out of here that the sense of freedom, the sense of expectations will overwhelm you, and that you will feel responsible for making America the most amazing country for every single citizen in our land."
"If you ever want to get off track looking for solutions, speak with great emotion during an emotional time."
"Even though I'm angry, I'm not going to speak in anger."
“When I heard it, it sounded like a line from Despicable Me, something Gru might say to his minions: ‘Get me my ray gun, and a basket of deplorables!’ It’s never a good idea for a candidate to attack the voters.”
"What you have is a lot of people looking at two dumpster fires and trying to figure out which one is burning just a little less brightly."
“The creator of Spanx is a billionaire. Of course she is, because bacon and doughnuts are delicious!”
“I’ll be honest. I have a muffin top. By the way, that’s a stupid name for it. Muffin tops are moist and delicious, not jiggly. I blame my mother for my body issues. She once told me, ‘It looks like you have yeast in your butt and it’s still rising.’ I thank you, Mom, and my therapist thanks you.”
“Let me tell you something, not only do my thighs rub against each other, if I run too fast I’ll catch on fire. You can ba-da-bump all you want. This is a fact for me. I never ever wear corduroy pants for fear campers would start lining up to toast their marshmallows. Believe me, I have a complex about my thighs. And my muffin top. And my arms. That’s just the top of the list. My body is a work in progress. I cannot hate it. I’ve been through so much with it. Yes, sometimes I navigate the stormy weather of my life with too much chocolate or pasta. I don’t work out as much as I’d like to. Every time I step in to a dressing room I see a lifetime of choices that have led to this body—some good, some less than good. But I have a life that is filled with great memories and so many of them involve food and drink: anchovy pizza with my dad, the fabulous chilaquiles my mom makes, drinking a hearty pint of Guinness at a Pub in Ireland with my husband, drinking a glass of Moscato with the late great Wine Diva, Chris Ward Blumer. So yeah, my thighs rub against each other, but I don’t let that rub me the wrong way. Ba-da-bump.”
"I've got litmuses, you guys!" the woman shouts to uproarious laughter: "First, men who wear diamond-studded wedding rings are GAMIN'. Two, women with more men friends than women friends are cray-cray. And three, adult women who call their dad 'Daddy' are Trouble with a capital T! Well, at least back home they were! Trust me on this!"
<the crowd goes wild>
A man on the back row is heard muttering to himself, "My litmus is women with litmuses."
“Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.”
“Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
“Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
“Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.”
“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly—they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”
“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
“It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.”
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
“The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”
“By the time I was fourteen, the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.”
“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”
“When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.”
“Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel s**t from a sitting position.”
“Can I be blunt on this subject? If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
“The more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself with your pen or word processor.”
“But it’s writing, damn it, not washing the car or putting on eyeliner. If you can take it seriously, we can do business. If you can’t or won’t, it’s time for you to close the book and do something else. Wash the car, maybe.”
“Let me say it again: You must not come lightly to the blank page.”
“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.”
“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”
“Optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure.”
“We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
We tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how.”
"I wonder what Terence Trent D'Arby is doing RIGHT NOW!?!"
"Nothing. He's Sananda Maitreya."
"I called it Mariah, from the theme from Paint Your Wagon—'They call the wind Mariah.' It resonated with me: the ocean has boundaries, the forest has boundaries...but the wind is free. It was very naive, because no one understood the name apart from me."
Q: "What was your reaction when you saw the battered vehicles?"
"Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."
"No man steps in the same river twice."
"Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad."
"We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems."
"Gossip looks ugly on you."
"Our strengths are our weaknesses."
“Pride is lining, not topcoat, a feeling best worn on the inside to keep oneself warm.”
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
“A tight fuze is a happy fuze.”
“It’s only going to get worse.”
"Let’s put a whiz bang on that ding dong."
“At the end of the day, it’s a movie. This is not curing cancer. This is not eradicating poverty. This is just making a movie.”
“I said to Hank Williams, ‘How lonely does it get?’ / Hank Williams hasn’t answered yet, / but I hear him coughing…all night long / a hundred floors above me / in the Tower of Song.”
"Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made."
"Cities force growth and make men talkative and entertaining, but they make them artificial. The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization."
"Five great enemies to peace inhabit us: avarice, ambition, envy, anger and pride. If those enemies were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace."
"Character is that which can do without success."
"Every man is a consumer and ought to be a producer."
“I am hearing all the secret whisperings of the world."
“Dreams is full of mystery and magic. Do not try to understand them.”
“Two days after Paul died, I wrote a journal entry addressed to Cady: ‘When someone dies, people tend to say great things about him. Please know that all the wonderful things people are saying now about your dad are true. He really was that good and that brave.’
Reflecting on his purpose, I often think of lyrics from the hymn derived from The Pilgrim’s Progress:
‘Who would true valour see,
Let him come hither…
Then fancies fly away,
He’ll fear not what men say,
He’ll labour night and day
To be a pilgrim.’
Paul’s decision to look death in the eye was a testament not just to who he was in the final hours of his life, but who he had always been. For much of life, Paul wondered about death—and whether he could face it with integrity. In the end, the answer was yes. I was his wife and a witness.”