Bottomless Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 47 quotes )
Alexei Alexandrovich stood face to face with life, confronting the possibility of his wife loving someone else besides him, and it was this that seemed so senseless and incomprehensible to him, because it was life itself. All his lief Alexei Alexandrovich had lived and worked in spheres of services that dealt with reflections of life. And each time he had encountered life itself, he had drawn back from it. Now he experienced a feeling similar to what a man would feel who was calmly walking across a bridge over an abyss and suddenly saw that the bridge had been taken down and below him was the bottomless deep. This bottomless deep was life itself, the bridge the artificial life that Alexei Alexandrovich had lived.
I look down past the stars to a terrifying darkness. I seem to recognize the place, but it's impossible. "Accident," I whisper. I will fall. I seem to desire the fall, and though I fight it with all my will I know in advance I can't win. Standing baffled, quaking with fear, three feet from the edge of a nightmare cliff, I find myself, incredibly, moving towards it. I look down, down, into bottomless blackness, feeling the dark power moving in me like an ocean current, some monster inside me, deep sea wonder, dread night monarch astir in his cave, moving me slowly to my voluntary tumble into death.
Within minutes my 115-mile walk through the desert hills becomes a thing apart, a disjunct reality on the far side of a bottomless abyss, immediately beyond physical recollection. But it’s all still there in my heart and soul. The walk, the hills, the sky, the solitary pain and pleasure—they will grow larger, sweeter, lovelier in the days to come, like a treasure found and then, voluntarily, surrendered. Returned to the mountains with my blessing. It leaves a golden glowing on the mind.
Something, most certainly, happens to a diver’s emotions underwater. It is not merely a side effect of the pleasing, vaguely erotic sensation of water pressure on the body. Nor is it alone the peculiar sense of weightlessness, which permits a diver to hang motionless in open water, observing sea life large as whales around him; not the ability of a diver, descending in that condition, to slowly tumble and rotate in all three spatial planes. It is not the exhilaration from disorientation that comes when one’s point of view starts to lose its “lefts” and “down” and gains instead something else, a unique perception that grows out of the ease of movement in three dimensions. It is not from the diminishment of gravity to a force little more emphatic than a suggestion. It is not solely exposure to an unfamiliar intensity of life. It is not a state of rapture with the bottomless blue world beneath one’s feet…it is some complicated mix of these emotions, together with the constant proximity of real terror.
You are so terribly nimble, so clever. I distrust your cleverness. You make a wonderful pattern, everything is in its place, it looks convincingly clear, too clear. And meanwhile, where are you? Not on the clear surface of your ideas, but you have already sunk deeper, into darker regions, so that one only thinks one has been given all your thoughts, one only imagines you have emptied yourself in that clarity. But there are layers and layers -- you're bottomless, unfathomable. Your clearness is deceptive. You are the thinker who arouses most confusion in me, most doubt, most disturbance.
We have been led to imagine all sorts of things infinitely more marvelous than the imagining of poets and dreamers of the past. It shows that the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man. For instance, how much more remarkable it is for us all to be stuck-half of us upside down-by a mysterious attraction, to a spinning ball that has been swinging in space for billions of years, than to be carried on the back of an elephant supported on a tortoise swimming in a bottomless sea.
When I had that idea about the gaslights in the street, I glanced at the sky. It was very dark, but I could make out torn clouds and bottomless black gaps between them. Suddenly I noticed a little star in one of those gaps. I looked at it intently. That star reminded me that I wanted to kill myself. I decided I would go through with it that very night.
wisdom is like a bottomless pond. You throw stones in and they sink into darkness and dissolve. Her eyes looking back do not reflect anything. I think this to myself even though I love my daughter. She and I have shared the same body. There is a part of her mind that is a part of mine. But when she was born she sprang from me like a slippery fish, and has been swimming away ever since. All her life, I have watched her as though from another shore.
Night poured over the desert. It came suddenly, in purple. In the clear air, the stars drilled down out of the sky, reminding any thoughtful watcher that it is in the deserts and high places that religions are generated. When men see nothing but bottomless infinity over their heads they have always had a driving and desperate urge to find someone to put in the way.
The Taylors have this gift for imperturbable presence. They are not nervous talkers. The Harrises, on the other hand, have always been constant talkers, not so much for the sake of entertainment or information but because if a silence caught and held for too long they might have fallen into a bottomless sullen discord, a frozen mutual quietude that could never be broken because there never had been and never would be a shared topic of sufficient reviving urgency (not at least one either of his parents could bear to broach), and so they needed to hydroplane forward together on an ever-replenished slick of remark and opinion...
The idea of a Supreme Being who creates a world in which one creature is designed to eat another in order to subsist, and then pass a law saying, "Thou shalt not kill," is so monstrously, immeasurably, bottomlessly absurd that I am at a loss to understand how mankind has entertained or given it house room all this long.
In school I ended up writing three different papers on "The Castaway" section of Moby-Dick, the chapter where the cabin boy Pip falls overboard and is driven mad by the empty immensity of what he finds himself floating in. And when I teach school now I always teach Crane's horrific "The Open Boat," and get all bent out of shape when the kids find the story dull or jaunty-adventurish: I want them to feel the same marrow-level dread of the oceanic I've always felt, the intuition of the sea as primordial nada, bottomless, depths inhabited by cackling tooth-studded things rising toward you at the rate a feather falls.
God has no needs. Human love, as Plato teaches us, is the child of Poverty? of want or lack; it is caused by a real or supposed goal in its beloved which the lover needs and desires. But God's love, far from being caused by goodness in the object, causes all the goodness which the object has, loving it first into existence, and then into real, though derivative, lovability. God is Goodness. He can give good, but cannot need or get it. In that sense , His love is, as it were, bottomlessly selfless by very definition; it has everything to give, and nothing to receive.
I learned to make things not matter, to put a seal on my hopes and place them on a high shelf, out of reach. And by telling myself that there was nothing inside those hopes anyway, I avoided the wounds of deep disappointment. The pain was no worse than the quick sting of a booster shot. And yet thinking about this makes me ache again. How is it that as a child I knew I should have been loved more? Is everyone born with a bottomless emotional resevoir?
I do not deny, but strongly affirm, the right of the State to interfere to cure a great evil. I say that in this case it would interfere to create a great evil; and I am not going to be turned from the discussion of that direct issue to bottomless botherations about Socialism and Individualism, or the relative advantages of always turning to the right and always turning to the left.
I am talking about ultimate deceit. I am talking about unparalleled treachery. Bottomless lies. Depths that are seen that are previously unimaginable. Darkness and shattering despair that could break bones. Paranoia and horror that could stop the heart cold. All inflicted on one's self by one's self. The soul turns schizophrenic and goes hopelessly insane.
Every work of art is one half of a secret handshake, a challenge that seeks the password, a heliograph flashed from a tower window, an act of hopeless optimism in the service of bottomless longing. Every great record or novel or comic book convenes the first meeting of a fan club whose membership stands forever at one but which maintains chapters in every city -- in every cranium -- in the world. Art, like fandom, asserts the possibility of fellowship in a world built entirely from the materials of solitude. The novelist, the cartoonist, the songwriter, knows the gesture is doomed from the beginning but makes it anyway, flashes his or her bit of mirror, not on the chance that the signal will be seen or understood but as if such a chance existed.
We are never done with conscience. Choose your course by it, Brutus; Choose your course by it, Cato. It is bottomless, being God. We cast in to this pit the labor of our whole lives, we cast in our liberty or our country, we cast in our well-being, we cast in our repose, we cast in our happiness. More! more! more! Empty the vase! turn out the urn! We must at last cast in our heart.