Pit Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 178 quotes )
This morning, thanks to a controlled near-death experience, I was lucky enough to meet, at the far end of the blue tunnel, a man named Salvatore Biagini. Last July 8th, Mr. Biagini, a retired construction worker, age seventy, suffered a fatal heart attack while rescuing his beloved schnauzer, Teddy, from an assault by an unrestrained pit bull named Chele, in Queens. The pit bull, with no previous record of violence against man or beast, jumped a four-foot fence in order to have at Teddy. Mr. Biagini, an unarmed man with a history of heart trouble, grabbed him, allowing the schnauzer to run away. So the pit bull bit Mr. Biagini in several places and then Mr. Biagini's heart quit beating, never to beat again. I asked this heroic pet lover how it felt to have died for a schnauzer named Teddy. Salvador Biagini was philosophical. He said it sure as heck beat dying for absolutely nothing in the Viet Nam War.
In later life I have been sometimes praised, sometimes mocked, for my way of pointing out the mythical elements that seem to me to underlie our apparently ordinary lives. Certainly that cast of mind had some of its origin in our pit, which had much the character of a Protestant Hell. I was probably the most entranced listener to a sermon the Reverend Andrew Bowyer preached about Gehenna, the hateful valley outside the walls of Jerusalem, where outcasts lived, and where their flickering fires, seen from the city walls, may have given rise to the idea of a hell of perpetual burning. He liked to make his hearers jump, now and then, and he said that our gravel pit was much the same sort of place as Gehenna. My elders thought this far-fetched, but I saw no reason then why hell should not have, so to speak, visible branch establishments throughout the earth, and I have visited quite a few of them since.
No sight so sad as that of a naughty child," he began, "especially a naughty little girl. Do you know where the wicked go after death?"They go to hell," was my ready and orthodox answer."And what is hell? Can you tell me that?"A pit full of fire."And should you like to fall into that pit, and to be burning there for ever?"No, sir."What must you do to avoid it?"I deliberated a moment: my answer, when it did come was objectionable: "I must keep in good health and not die.
They believed us and perished for it. Our statecraft, our learning. Delivered them bound to the Pit and alive to the burning. Whither they mirthfully hastened as jostling for honour -Not since her birth has our Earth seen such worth loosed upon her. Nor was their agony brief, or once only imposed on them. The wounded, the war-spent, the sick received no exemption: Being cured they returned and endured and achieved our redemption, Hopeless themselves of relief, till Death, marvelling, closed on them. That flesh we had nursed from the first in all cleanness was given. To corruption unveiled and assailed by the malice of Heaven -By the heart-shaking jests of Decay where it lolled on the wires -To be blanched or gay-painted by fumes - to be cindered by fires -To be senselessly tossed and retossed in stale mutilation. From crater to crater. For this we shall take expiation. But who shall return us the children?
The biggest defeat in every department of life is to forget, especially the things that have done you in, and to die without realizing how far people can go in the way of crumminess. When the grave lies open before us, let’s not try to be witty, but on the other hand, let’s not forget, but make it our business to record the worst of the human viciousness we’ve seen without changing one word. When that’s done, we can curl up our toes and sink into the pit. That’s work enough for a lifetime.
World-class cereal-eating is a dance of fine compromises. The giant heaping bowl of sodden cereal, awash in milk, is the mark of the novice. Ideally one wants the bone-dry cereal nuggets and the cryogenic milk to enter the mouth with minimal contact and for the entire reaction between them to take place in the mouth. Randy has worked out a set of mental blueprints for a special cereal-eating spoon that will have a tube running down the handle and a little pump for the milk, so that you can spoon dry cereal up out of a bowl, hit a button with your thumb, and squirt milk into the bowl of the spoon even as you are introducing it into your mouth. The next best thing is to work in small increments, putting only a small amount of Cap’n Crunch in your bowl at a time and eating it all up before it becomes a pit of loathsome slime, which, in the case of Cap’n Crunch, takes about thirty seconds.
Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth -- more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid ... Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
I am quite glad you are at home; for these hurries and forebodings by which I have been surrounded all day long, have made me nervous without reason. You are not going out, I hope?' No; I am going to play backgammon with you, if you like,' said the Doctor. I don't think I do like, if I may speak my mind. I am not fit to be pitted against you to-night. Is the tea-board still there Lucie? I can't see.
I will not debate with you Dark Elf. By the swords of the Noldor alone are your sunless woods defended. Your freedom to wander there wild you owe to my kin and but for them long since you would have laboured in thraldom in the pits of Angband. And here I am King and whether you will it or will it not my doom is law. This choice is given to you: abide here or to die here and so also for your son.
Dwarfs were not a naturally religious species, but in a world where pit props could crack without warning and pockets of fire damp could suddenly explode they'd seen the need for gods as the sort of supernatural equivalent of a hard hat. Besides, when you hit your thumb with an eight-pound hammer it's nice to be able to blaspheme. It takes a very special and strong-minded kind of atheist to jump up and down with their hand clasped under their other armpit and shout, "Oh, random-fluctuations-in-the-space-time-continuum!" or "Aaargh, primitive-and-outmoded-concept on a crutch!
Because I'll tell everything to you alone, because it's necessary, because you're necessary, because tomorrow I'll fall from the clouds, because tomorrow life will end and begin. Have you ever felt, have you ever dreamed that you were falling off a mountain into a deep pit? Well, I'm falling now, and not in a dream. And I'm not afraid, and don't you be afraid either. That is, I am afraid, but I'm delighted! That is, not delighted, but ecstatic...Oh, to hell with it, it's all the same, whatever it is. Strong spirit, weak spirit, woman's spirit--whatever it is!
The house lights go off and the footlights come on. Even the chattiest stop chattering as they wait in darkness for the curtain to rise. In the orchestra pit, the violin bows are poised. The conductor has raised his baton. In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You walk up the steps to the front door. The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. For a second you catch a whiff of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you’ve never been and a time you have no words for. You are aware of the beating of your heart…The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment.
It's not politically correct to say that you love one child more than you love your others. I love all of my kids, period, and they're all your favorites in different ways. But ask any parent who's been through some kind of crisis surrounding a child--a health scare, an academic snarl, an emotional problem--and we will tell you the truth. When something upends the equilibrium--when one child needs you more than the others--that imbalance becomes a black hole. You may never admit it out loud, but the one you love the most is the one who needs you more desperately than his siblings. What we really hope is that each child gets a turn. That we have deep enough reserves to be there for each of them, at different times. All this goes to hell when two of your children are pitted against each other, and both of them want you on their side.