Momentary Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 92 quotes )
I'd seen this happen several times before, in different institutions, but it was no less remarkable on each occasion: the words were like the flow of water over coals, taking away crackling heat and leaving only a steaming whisper, a perhaps momentary but nonetheless effective remission from deep-burning fire.
From the corner of the divan of Persian saddle-bags on which he was lying, smoking, as was his custom, innumerable cigarettes, Lord Henry Wotton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-coloured blossoms of a laburnum, whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to bear the burden of a beauty so flamelike as theirs; and now and then the fantastic shadows of birds in flight flitted across the long tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in front of the huge window, producing a kind of momentary Japanese effect, and making him think of those pallid, jade-faced painters of Tokyo who, through the medium of an art that is necessarily immobile, seek to convey the sense of swiftness and motion. The sullen murmur of the bees shouldering their way through the long unmown grass, or circling with monotonous insistence round the dusty gilt horns of the straggling woodbine, seemed to make the stillness more oppressive. The dim roar of London was like the bourdon note of a distant organ.
My weakness consists in not having a discriminating eye for the incidental --- for the externals, --- no eye for the hod of the rag-picker or the fine linen of the next mean. Next man---that's it. I have met so many men." he pursued, with momentary sadness--- "met them too with a certain, certain impact, let us say; like this fellow, for instance--- and in each case all I could see was merely a human being. A confounded democratic quality of vision which may be better than total blindness, but has been of no advantage to me-- I can assure you. Men expect one to take into account their fine linen. But I never could get up any enthusiasm about these things. Oh! It's a failing; and then comes a soft evening; a lot of men too indolent for whist-- and a story...." [p.44]
Power dies, power goes under and gutters out, ungraspable. It is momentary, quick of flight and liable to deceive. As soon as you rely on the possession it is gone. Forget that it ever existed, and it returns. I never made the mistake of thinking that I owned my own strength, that was my secret. And so I never was alone in my failures. I was never to blame entirely when all was lost, when my desperate cures had no effect on the suffering of those I loved. For who can blame a man waiting, the doors open, the windows open, food offered, arms stretched wide? Who can blame him if the visitor does not arrive.
In the case of the creative mind, it seems to me, the intellect has withdrawn its watchers from the gates, and the ideas rush in pell-mell, and only then does it review and inspect the multitude. You worthy critics, or whatever you may call yourselves, are ashamed or afraid of the momentary and passing madness which is found in all real creators, the longer or shorter duration of which distinguishes the thinking artist from the dreamer. Hence your complaints of unfruitfulness, for you reject too soon and discriminate too severely.
The sun sliced through the windshield, sealing me in light. I closed my eyes and felt the warmth on my eyelids. Sunlight traveled a long distance to reach this planet; an infinitesimal portion of that sunlight was enough to warm my eyelids. I was moved. That something as insignificant as an eyelid had its place in the workings on the universe, that the cosmic order did not overlook this momentary fact.
Political freedom means the absence of coercion of a man by his fellow men. The fundamental threat to freedom is power to coerce, be it in the hands of a monarch, a dictator, an oligarchy, or a momentary majority. The preservation of freedom requires the elimination of such concentration of power to the fullest possible extent and the dispersal and distribution of whatever power cannot be eliminated? a system of checks and balances.
yet never once in his life had he experienced the unshakable certainty that he and he alone had arrived at a decision. He always had the sense that fate had forced him to decide things to suit its own convenience. On occasion, after the momentary satisfaction of having decided something of his own free will, he would see that things had been decided beforehand by an external power cleverly camouflaged as free will, mere bait thrown in his path to lure him into behaving as he was mean to. The only things that he had decided for himself with complete independence were the kind of trivial matters which, on closer inspection, revealed themselves to require no decision making at all.
All that profligate investment of energy to effect a splendid, momentary reversal of natural law. That such a reversal should demand so much and last such a short time was terrible; that people would go for it anyway was both terrible and wonderful....A game, or maybe even not that--maybe it was only practice for a game, the way that all the sweat and trembling exhaustion in the Wilshire loft that day had just been practice. Practice for a show that only a few people would probably care to attend and which would probably close quickly.
From a tale one expects a bit of wildness, of exaggeration and dramatic effect. The tale has no inherent concern with decorum, balance or harmony. ... A tale may not display a great deal of structural, psychological, or narrative sophistication, though it might possess all three, but it seldom takes its eye off its primary goal, the creation of a particular emotional state in its reader. Depending on the tale, that state could be wonder, amazement, shock, terror, anger, anxiety, melancholia, or the momentary frisson of horror.
These were the first moments of a new existence, a strange one in which she already glimpsed the element of timelessness that would surround her. The person who frantically has been counting the seconds on his way to catch a train, and arrives panting just as it disappears, knowing the next one is not due for many hours, feels something of the same sudden surfeit of time, the momentary sensation of drowning in an element become too rich and too plentiful to be consumed, and thereby made meaningless, non-existent.
But there was always a shortfall, wasn't there? Between the match that the Holy One, blessed be He, envisioned and the reality of the situation under the chuppah. Between commandment and observance, heaven and earth, husband and wife, Zion and Jew. They called that shortfall 'the world.' Only when Messiah came would the breach be closed, all separations, distinctions, and distances collapsed. Until then, thanks be unto His Name, sparks, bright sparks, might leap across the gap, as between electric poles. And we must be grateful for their momentary light.
To know that our Father in heaven has ordained our pain is not a comfoftable truth, but it is comforting. That our pain has a loving and wise and all-powerful purpose behind it is better than any other view--weak God, cruel God, bumbling God, no God. To know that in his hands "this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison" (2 Corinthians 4:17) is profoundly reassuring.