Numbness Quotes (displaying: 61 - 90 of 116 quotes )
I sometimes hold it half a sin To put in words the grief I feel For words, like nature, half reveal And half conceal the soul within. But, for the unquiet heart and brain A use measured language lie's The sad mechanic exercise Like dull narcotic's, numbing pain In words, like weeds, I'll wrap me o'er Like coarsest clothes against the cold But large grief which these enfold Is given in outline and no more.
I have never felt any rest in sleep. For a few seconds I am numbed, then a new life begins, freed from the conditions of time and space, and doubtless similar to that state which awaits us after death. Who knows if there is not some link between those two existences and if it is not possible for the soul to unite them now?
If man merely sat back and thought about his impending termination, and his terrifying insignificance and aloneness in the cosmos, he would surely go mad, or succumb to a numbing sense of futility. Why, he might ask himself, should he bother to write a great symphony, or strive to make a living, or even to love another, when he is no more than a momentary microbe on a dust mote whirling through the unimaginable immensity of space? Those of us who are forced by their own sensibilities to view their lives in this perspective? who recognize that there is no purpose they can comprehend and that amidst a countless myriad of stars their existence goes unknown and unchronicled? can fall prey all too easily to the ultimate anomie. The world's religions, for all their parochialism, did supply a kind of consolation for this great ache.
The thing about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the thing that was so profound to me that summer—and yet also, like most things, so very simple—was how few choices I had and how often I had to do the thing I least wanted to do. How there was no escape or denial. No numbing it down with a martini or covering it up with a roll in the hay. As I clung to the chaparral that day, attempting to patch up my bleeding finger, terrified by every sound that the bull was coming back, I considered my options. There were only two and they were essentially the same. I could go back in the direction I had come from, or I could go forward in the direction I intended to go.
In the beginning war looks and feels like love. But unlike love it gives nothing in return but an ever-deepening dependence, like all narcotics, on the road to self-destruction. It does not affirm but places upon us greater and greater demands. It destroys the outside world until it is hard to live outside war's grip. It takes a higher and higher dose to achieve any thrill. Finally, one ingests war only to remain numb.
Shaken from sleep, and numbed and scarce awake, Out in the trench with three hours' watch to take, I blunder through the splashing mirk; and then Hear the gruff muttering voices of the men Crouching in cabins candle-chinked with light. Hark! There's the big bombardment on our right Rumbling and bumping; and the dark's a glare Of flickering horror in the sectors where We raid the Boche; men waiting, stiff and chilled, Or crawling on their bellies through the wire. "What? Stretcher-bearers wanted? Some one killed?" Five minutes ago I heard a sniper fire: Why did he do it?... Starlight overhead-- Blank stars. I'm wide-awake; and some chap's dead.
The numbing mind-ream of knowing you're alone not because people won't accept you but because you find so little worth accepting. An imposed solitude is better than simply tolerating your company in waiting for something better. So loneliness is not such a terrible thing when you consider that the alternative to thought provoking solace is to be surrounded only by remindings of why that solitude is preferable.
The sky was so heartless and dark, and her body, her head, and particularly those damned thirsty trousers, felt clogged with Oceanus Nox, n, o, x. At every slap and splash of cold wild salt, she heaved with anise-flavored nausea and there was an increasing number, okay, or numbness in her neck and arms. As she began losing track of herself, she thought it proper to inform a series of receding Lucettes -- telling them to pass it on and on in a trick-crystal regression -- that what death amounted to was only a more complete assortment of the infinite fractions of solitude.
Kill her for me," she said in that whiny little-girl voice. Diego took a step toward me, wearing an expression that told me he was only too happy to oblige his lady love."Oh, what?" I said. I wasn't even scared. I didn't care anymore. The numbness in my heart had pretty much taken over my whole body. "You always do what she tells you? You know, we have a word for that now. It's called being whipped.
I was not allowed to think of him. That was something I tried to be very strict about. Of course I slipped; I was only human. But I was getting better, and so the pain was something I could avoid for days at a time now. The trade-off was the never-ending numbness. Between pain and nothing, I'd chosen nothing.
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, And Mourners to and fro. Kept treading? treading? till it seemed. That Sense was breaking through? And when they all were seated, A Service, like a Drum? Kept beating? beating? till I thought. My Mind was going numb? And then I heard them lift a Box. And creak across my Soul. With those same Boots of Lead, again, Then Space? began to toll, As all the Heavens were a Bell, And Being, but an Ear, And I, and Silence, some strange Race. Wrecked, solitary, here? And then a Plank in Reason, broke, And I dropped down, and down? And hit a World, at every plunge, And Finished knowing? then?
To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream. A bad dream. I remembered everything. I remembered the cadavers and Doreen and the story of the fig tree and Marco's diamond and the sailor on the Common and Doctor Gordon's wall-eyed nurse and the broken thermometer and the Negro with his two kinds of beans and the twenty pounds I gained on insulin and the rock that bulged between sky and sea like a gray skull. Maybe forgetfulness, like a kind snow, should numb and cover them. But they were a part of me. They were my landscape.
Taking a hypersensitive approach to life had come to seem so much more pure and honest then joining the ranks of the numb masses who could let it all slide by. What I stopped realizing was that if you feel everything intensely, ultimately you feel nothing at all. Everything registers at the same decibel...
Can you remember, Acte...how much easier our belief in Nero made life for us in the old days? And can you remember the paralysis, the numbness that seized the whole world when Nero died? Didn't you feel as if the world had grown bare and colorless all of a sudden? Those people on the Palatine have tried to steal our Nero from us, from you and me. Isn't splendid to think that we can show them they haven't succeeded? They have smashed his statues into splinters, erased his name from all the inscriptions, they even replaced his head on that huge statue in Rome with the peasant head of old Vespasian. Isn't it fine to teach them that all that hasn't been of the slightest use? Granted that they have been successful for a few years. For a few years they have actually managed to banish all imagination from the world, all enthusiasm, extravagance, everything that makes life worth living. But now, with our Nero, all these things are back again.
Lucy was frightened, frightened near to death. Her voice choked, she could not breath, her limbs went numb. "This is not happening", she said to herself as the men forced her down; "it is just a dream, a nightmare". While the men, for their part, drank up her fear, revelled in it, did all they could to hurt her, to menace her, to heighten her terror. "Call your dogs!" they said to her. "Go on, call your dogs! No dogs? Then let us show you dogs!
It was a lone tree burning on the desert. A heraldic tree that the passing storm had left afire. The solitary pilgrim drawn up before it had traveled far to be here and he knelt in the hot sand and held his numbed hands out while all about in that circle attended companies of lesser auxiliaries routed forth into the inordinate day, small owls that crouched silently and stood from foot to foot and tarantulas and solpugas and vinegarroons and the vicious mygale spiders and beaded lizards with mouths black as a chowdog's, deadly to man, and the little desert basilisks that jet blood from their eyes and the small sandvipers like seemly gods, silent and the same, in Jeda, in Babylon. A constellation of ignited eyes that edged the ring of light all bound in a precarious truce before this torch whose brightness had set back the stars in their sockets.
Why, oh why must one grow up, why must one inherit this heavy, numbing responsibility of living an undiscovered life? Out of the nothingness and the undifferentiated mass, to make something of herself! But what? In the obscurity and pathlessness to take a direction! But whither? How take even one step? And yet, how stand still? This was torment indeed, to inherit the responsibility of one’s own life.
Metaphor isn't just decorative language. If it were, it wouldn't scare us so much. . . . Colorful language threatens some people, who associate it, I think, with a kind of eroticism (playing with language in public = playing with yourself), and with extra expense (having to sense or feel more). I don't share that opinion. Why reduce life to a monotone? Is that truer to the experience of being alive? I don't think so. It robs us of life's many textures. Language provides an abundance of words to keep us company on our travels. But we're losing words at a reckless pace, the national vocabulary is shrinking. Most Americans use only several hundred words or so. Frugality has its place, but not in the larder of language. We rely on words to help us detail how we feel, what we once felt, what we can feel. When the blood drains out of language, one's experience of life weakens and grows pale. It's not simply a dumbing down, but a numbing.