Plank Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 42 quotes )
People need wild places. Whether or not we think we do, we do. We need to be able to taste grace and know again that we desire it. We need to experience a landscape that is timeless, whose agenda moves at the pace of speciation and glaciers. To be surrounded by a singing, mating, howling commotion of other species, all of which love their lives as much as we do ours, and none of which could possibly care less about us in our place. It reminds us that our plans are small and somewhat absurd. It reminds us why, in those cases in which our plans might influence many future generations, we ought to choose carefully. Looking out on a clean plank of planet earth, we can get shaken right down to the bone by the bronze-eyed possibility of lives that are not our own.
What precipices are sloth and pleasure! To do nothing is a sorry resolve to take; are you aware of that? To live in indolence on the goods of others, to be useless, that is to say, injurious! This leads straight to the depths of misery. Woe to the man who would be a parasite! He will become vermin! Ah, it does not please you to work! Ah, you have but one thought--to drink well, to eat well, and sleep well. You will drink water; you will eat black bread; you will sleep on a plank, with fetters riveted to your limbs, and you will feel their cold touch at night on your flesh!
His stories were what frightened people worst of all. Dreadful stories they were--about hanging, and walking the plank, and storms at sea, and the Dry Tortugas, and wild deeds and places on the Spanish Main. By his own account he must have lived his life among some of the wickedest men that God ever allowed upon the sea, and the language in which he told these stories shocked our plain country people almost as much as the crimes that he described. My father was always saying the inn would be ruined, for people would soon cease coming there to be tyrannized over and put down, and sent shivering to their beds; but I really believe his presence did us good. People were frightened at the time, but on looking back they rather liked it; it was a fine excitement in a quiet country life, and there was even a party of the younger men who pretended to admire him, calling him a "true sea-dog" and a "real old salt" and such like names, and saying there was the sort of man that made England terrible at sea.
That immense framework and planking of concepts to which the needy man clings his whole life long in order to preserve himself is nothing but a scaffolding and toy for the most audacious feats of the liberated intellect. And when it smashes this framework to pieces, throws it into confusion, and puts it back together in an ironic fashion, pairing the most alien things and separating the closest, it is demonstrating that it has no need of these makeshifts of indigence and that it will now be guided by intuitions rather than by concepts. There is no regular path which leads from these intuitions into the land of ghostly schemata, the land of abstractions. There exists no word for these intuitions; when man sees them he grows dumb, or else he speaks only in forbidden metaphors and in unheard? of combinations of concepts. He does this so that by shattering and mocking the old conceptual barriers he may at least correspond creatively to the impression of the powerful present intuition.
He matters to me, too."I know he does."He didn't." Phillip pulled out his hammer to nail the laps. "Not as much as he did to you. Not enough. It's different now."I know that, too." For the next few minutes they worked in tandem, without words. "You stood up for him anyway," Cam added when the plank was in place. "Even when he didn't matter enough."I did it for Dad."We all did it for Dad. Now we're doing it for Seth.
Long enough have you dream'd contemptible dreams,Now I wash the gum from your eyes,You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life. Long have you timidly waded holding a plank by the shore,Now I will you to be a bold swimmer,To jump off in the midst of the sea, rise again, nod to me, shout, and laughingly dash with your hair.
I will admit that I wanted to shout for standing on the top of a scaffold in front of a good new wall always goes to my head. It is a sensation something between that of an angel let out of his cage into a new sky and a drunkard turned loose in a royal cellar. And after all, what nobler elevation could you find in this world than the scaffold of a wall painter? No admiral on the bridge of a new battleship designed by the old navy, could feel more pleased with himself than Gulley, on two planks, forty feet above dirt level, with his palette table beside him, his brush in his hand, and the draught blowing up his trousers; cleared for action.
I wish the boy was here,' he said aloud and settled himself against the rounded planks of the bow and felt the strength of the great fish through the line he held across his shoulders moving steadily toward whatever he had chosen. When once, through my treachery, it had been necessary to him to make a choice, the old man thought. His choice had been to stay in the deep dark water far out beyond all snares and traps and treacheries. My choice was to go there to find him beyond all people. Beyond all people in the world. Now we are joined together and have been since noon. And no one to help either one of us.
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear, Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong, The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam, The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work, The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck, The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands, The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown, The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing, Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else, The day what belongs to the day — at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly, Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.
Oiled, with tube bones cut from bronze and sunk in gelatin, the robots lay. In coffins for the not dead and not alive, in planked boxes, the metronomes waited to be set in motion. There was a smell of lubrication and lathed brass. There was a silence of the tomb yard. Sexed but sexless, the robots. Named but unnamed, and borrowing from humans everything but humanity, the robots stared at the nailed lids of their labeled F.O.B. boxes, in a death that was not even a death, for there had never been a life.
And for just a moment I had reached the point of ecstasy that I always wanted to reach and which was the complete step across chronological time into timeless shadows, and wonderment in the bleakness of the mortal realm, and the sensation of death kicking at my heels to move on, with a phantom dogging its own heels, and myself hurrying to a plank where all the Angels dove off and flew into infinity.
The free intellect copies human life, but it considers this life to be something good and seems to be quite satisfied with it. That immense framework and planking of concepts to which the needy man clings his whole life long in order to preserve himself is nothing but a scaffolding and toy for the most audacious feats of the liberated intellect. And when it smashes this framework to pieces, throws it into confusion, and puts it back together in an ironic fashion, pairing the most alien things and separating the closest, it is demonstrating that it has no need of these makeshifts of indigence and that it will now be guided by intuitions rather than by concepts.
The dragonets found the carpenters to be even more fascinating than the furniture, and followed the poor men from pen to pen, crowding around to watch, tasting the wooden planks, trying to steal the tools. It made for an interesting day for everyone, as the boys tried to keep the dragonets away from the carpenters, and the dragonets tried to get at the carpenters, and the carpenters worked probably a great deal faster than they ever had in their lives, sure that the dragonets would go from tasting the wood to tasting them.
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?
The tenth plank in Karl Marx's Manifesto for destroying our kind of civilization advocated the establishment of "free education for all children in public schools." There were several reasons why Marx wanted government to run the schools.…one of them [was that] ‘It is capable of exact demonstration that if every party in the State has the right of excluding from public schools whatever he does not believe to be true, then he that believes most must give way to him that believes least, and then he that believes least must give way to him that believes absolutely nothing, no matter in how small a minority the atheists or agnostics may be.’ It is self-evident that on this scheme, if it is consistently and persistently carried out in all parts of the country, the United States system of national popular education will be the most efficient and widespread instrument for the propagation of atheism which the world has ever seen.
He was changed as completely as Amory Blaine could ever be changed. Amory plus Beatrice plus two years in Minneapolis - these had been his ingredients when he entered St. Regis'. But the Minneapolis years were not a thick enough overlay to conceal the "Amory plus Beatrice" from the ferreting eyes of a boarding school, so St. Regis' had very painfully drilled Beatrice out of him and begun to lay down new and more conventional planking on the fundamental Amory. But both St. Regis' and Amory were unconscious of the fact that this fundamental Amory had not in himself changed. Those qualities for which he had suffered: his moodiness, his tendency to pose, his laziness, and his love of playing the fool, were now taken as a matter of course, recognized eccentricities in a star quarter-back, a clever actor, and the editor of the "St. Regis' Tattler"; it puzzled him to see impressionable small boys imitating the very vanities that had not long ago been contemptible weaknesses.