Troubling Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 65 quotes )
It's basically the same in all periods of societies. If you belong to the majority, you can avoid thinking about lots of troubling things.''And those troubling things are all you /can/ think about when you're one of the few.''That's about the size of it,' she said mournfully. 'But maybe, if you're in a situation like that, you learn to think for yourself.''Yes, but maybe what you end up thinking for yourself /about/ is all those troubling things.
Americans. They came right out with things. Hitchens family lore related the tale of how once, when I was but a toddler, my parents were passing with me through an airport and ran into some Yanks. 'Real cute kid,' said these big and brash people without troubling to make a formal introduction. They insisted on photographing me and, before breaking off to resume their American lives, pressed into my dimpled fist a signed dollar bill in token of my cuteness. This story was often told (I expect that Yvonne and the Commander had been to an airport together perhaps three times in their lives) and always with a note of condescension. That was Americans for you: wanting to be friendly all right, but so loud, and inclined to flash the cash.
She looked down again and I was stymied. I sat. Oh, this was enough to make me love her, because I was right with her, understanding every second and longing to step in. I didn’t even need to know the specific that was troubling her, because to me her halting voice easily stood for the general woe that hangs in the air, even on life’s happiest days.
I am a man, and men are animals who tell stories. This is a gift from God, who spoke our species into being, but left the end of our story untold. That mystery is troubling to us. How could it be otherwise? Without the final part, we think, how are we to make sense of all that went before: which is to say, our lives? So we make stories of our own, in fevered and envious imitation of our Maker, hoping that we'll tell, by chance, what God left untold. And finishing our tale, come to understand why we were born.
There is something sad about people going to bed. You can see they don’t give a damn whether they’re getting what they want out of life or not, you can see they don’t ever try to understand what we’re here for. They just don’t care. Americans or not, they sleep no matter what, they’re bloated mollusks, no sensibility, no trouble with their conscience. I’d seen too many troubling things to be easy in my mind. I knew too much and not enough. I’d better go out, I said to myself, I’d better go out again. Maybe I’ll meet Robinson. Naturally that was an idiotic idea, but I dreamed it up as an excuse for going out again, because no matter how I tossed and turned on my narrow bed, I couldn’t snatch the tiniest scrap of sleep. Even masturbation, at times like that, provides neither comfort nor entertainment. Then you're really in despair.
The perfume that her body exhaled was of the quality of that earth-flesh, fungi, which smells of captured dampness and yet is so dry, overcast with the odour of oil of amber, which is an inner malady of the sea, making her seem as if she had invaded a sleep incautious and entire. Her flesh was the texture of plant life, and beneath it one sensed a frame, broad, porous and sleep-worn, as if sleep were a decay fishing her beneath the visible surface. About her head there was an effulgence as of phosphorous glowing about the circumference of a body of water - as if her life lay through her in ungainly luminous deteriorations - the troubling structure of the born somnambule.
Tunnelling through the night, the trains pass in a splendour of power, with a sound like thunder shaking the orchards, waking the young from a dream, scattering like glass the old mens' sleep, laying a black trail over the still bloom of the orchards; the trains go north with guns. Strange primitive piece of flesh, the heart laid quiet hearing their cry pierce through its thin-walled cave recalls the forgotten tiger, and leaps awake in its old panic riot; and how shall mind be sober, since blood's red thread still binds us fast in history? Tiger, you walk through all our past and future, troubling the children's sleep'; laying a reeking trail across our dreams of orchards. Racing on iron errands, the trains go by, and over the white acres of our orchards hurl their wild summoning cry, their animal cry…. the trains go north with guns.
Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention aand innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared. Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people's minds, imagine themselves into other people's places. And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know.
What is most troubling, and sad, about industrial eating is how thoroughly it obscures all these relationships and connections. To go from the chicken (Gallus gallus) to the Chicken McNugget is to leave this world in a journey of forgetting that could hardly be more costly, not only in terms of the animal's pain but in our pleasure, too. But forgetting, or not knowing in the first place, is what the industrial food chain is all about, the principal reason it is so opaque, for if we could see what lies on the far side of the increasingly high walls of our industrial agriculture, we would surely change the way we eat.
And if Amsterdam was hell, and if hell was a memory, then he realized that perhaps there was some purpose to his being lost. Cut off from everything that was familiar to him, unable to discover even a single point of reference, he saw that his steps, by taking him nowhere, were taking him him nowhere but into himself. He was wandering inside himself, and he was lost. Far from troubling him, this state of being lost because a source of happiness, of exhilaration. He breathed it into his very bones. As if on the brink of some previously hidden knowledge, he breathed it into his very bones and said to himself, almost triumphantly: I am lost.
The colonel dwelt in a vortex of specialists who were still specializing in trying to determine what was troubling him. They hurled lights in his eyes to see if he could see, rammed needles into nerves to hear if he could feel. There was a urologist for his urine, a lymphologist for his lymph, an endocrinologist for his endocrines, a psychologist for his psyche, a dermatologist for his derma; there was a pathologist for his pathos, a cystologist for his cysts, and a bald and pendantic cetologist from the zoology department at Harvard who had been shanghaied ruthlessly into the Medical Corps by a faulty anode in an I.B.M. machine and spent his sessions with the dying colonel trying to discuss Moby Dick with him.
Whenever the devil harasses you, seek the company of men or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles. We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you: do not drink, answer him: I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to.
What to do if you find yourself stuck in a crack in the ground underneath a giant boulder you can't move, with no hope of rescue. Consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your current circumstances seems more likely, consider how lucky you are that it won't be troubling you much longer.
No, my dog used to gaze at me, paying me the attention I need, the attention required to make a vain person like me understand that, being a dog, he was wasting time, but, with those eyes so much purer than mine, he’d keep on gazing at me with a look that reserved for me alone all his sweet and shaggy life, always near me, never troubling me, and asking nothing.
I know that as a very young child, I was afraid of death. Many children become aware of the notion of death early and it can be a very troubling thing. We're all in this continuum: I'm this age now, and if I live long enough I'll be that age. I was 20 once, I was 10, I was 4. People who are 20 now will be 50 one day. They don't know that! They know it in the abstract, but they don't know it. I'd like them to know it, because I think it gives you compassion.
Human life--that appeared to him the one thing worth investigating. Compared to it there was nothing else of any value. It was true that as one watched life in its curious crucible of pain and pleasure, one could not wear over one's face a mask of glass, nor keep the sulphurous fumes from troubling the brain and making the imagination turbid with monstrous fancies and misshapen dreams.
Venus, I’m sorry that you’ve gone on minding that I didn’t let you drive me to O’Hare. “That’s what we do,” you said: “We drive each other to and from the airport.” Do you realize how rare that is? No one does it anymore, not even newlyweds. All right – it was selfish of me to decline. I said it was because I didn’t want to say goodbye to you in a public place. But I think it was the asymmetry of it that was really troubling me. You and I, we drive each other to and from the airport. And I didn’t want a to when I knew there wouldn’t be a from.