Vital Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 541 quotes )
Someone knocked me down; I pushed Brinker over a small slope; someone was trying to tackle me from behind. Everywhere there was the smell of vitality in clothes, the vital something in wool and flannel and corduroy which spring releases. I had forgotten that this existed, this smell which instead of the first robin, or the first bud or leaf, means to me that spring has come. I had always welcomed vitality and energy and warmth radiating from thick and sturdy winter clothes. It made me happy, but I kept wondering about next spring, about whether khaki, or suntans or whatever the uniform of the season was, had this aura of promise in it. I felt fairly sure it didn't.
You must be life for me to the very end," so he writes. "That is the only way in which to sustain my idea of you. Because you have gotten, as you see, tied up with something so vital to me, I do not think I shall ever shake you off. Nor do I wish to. I want you to live more vitally every day, as I am dead. That is why, when I speak of you to others, I am just a bit ashamed. It's hard to talk of one's self so intimately
To make someone an icon is to make him an abstraction, and abstractions are incapable of vital communication with living people.1010 One has only to spend a term trying to teach college literature to realize that the quickest way to kill an author's vitality for potential readers is to present that author ahead of his time as "great" or "classic." Because then the author becomes for the students like medicine or vegetables, something the authorities have declared "good for them" that they "ought to like," at which point the students' nictitating membranes come down, and everyone just goes through the requisite motions of criticism and paper-writing without feeling one real or relevant thing. It's like removing all oxygen from the room before trying to start a fire.
What happens when an animal or person dies? Something seems to have departed--something like a vital spark that makes the difference between life and death. In the nineteenth century, philosophers believed that there really was such a thing and called it the lan vital, or vital spirit. But when twentieth century science began to unravel the mysteries of how living things work and reproduce, the idea was abandoned and people now accept that there is nothing more to being alive than complex, interrelated, biological functions.
Therefore, as always, make of this voice what you choose to make of it. Make of me what you choose to make of me, but recognize within yourselves the vitality of your being. And look to no man or no idea or no woman or no dogma, but the vitality of your own being, and trust it. And that which offends your soul, turn away from, but trust yourself.
Unspoiled by education, frank and unsuspecting as young an8imals, they came up to school from their meadows, their games, and their dreams. The simple law of life was alone valid for them; the most vital, the most forceful among them was leader; the rest followed him. But little by little, with the weekly portions of tuition, another, artificial set of values was foisted upon them: he who knew his lesson best was termed excellent and ranked foremost, and the rest must emulate him. Little wonder, indeed, if the more vital of them resist it! But they have to knuckle under, for the ideal of the school is the good scholar.--But what an ideal! What ever came of the good scholars in the world?--In the hothouse of the school they do enjoy a short semblance of life, but only the more surely to sink back afterward into mediocrity and insignificance. The world has been bettered only by the bad scholars.
I'm told my father cemented a number of profitable deals in this room." Alan eased down beside her. Shelby opened her eyes to slits. "I imagine he did. By the time he was through, he could've reduced most normally built men to puddbles." Idly the trailed a fingertip down Alan's thigh. "Do you ever use saunas for vital government intrigue, Senator?"I'm inclined to think of other things in small hot rooms." Bending, he brushed his lips over her bare shoudler-the touch of a tongue, the quick pressure of teeth. "Vital, certainly, but more personal."Mmm." Shelby tilted her head as he trailed his lips closer to her throat. "How personal?"Highly confidential.
He mused on this village of his, which had sprung up in this place, amid the stones, like the gnarled undergrowth of the valley. All Artaud's inhabitants were inter-related, all bearing the same surname to such an extent that they used double-barrelled names from the cradle up, to distinguish one from another. At some antecedent date an ancestral Artaud had come like an outcast, to establish himself in this waste land. His family had grown with the savage vitality of the vegetation, drawing nourishment from this stone till it had become a tribe, then the tribe turned to a community, till they could not sort out their cousinage, going back for generations. They inter-married with unblushing promiscuity.
Still I can't get it out of my mind what a discrepancy there is between ideas and living. A permanent dislocation, though we try to cover the two with a bright awning. And it won't go. Ideas have to be wedded to action; if there is no sex, no vitality in them, there is no action. Ideas cannot exist alone in the vacuum of the mind. Ideas are related to living: liver ideas, kidney ideas, interstitial ideas, etc. If it were only for the sake of an idea Copernicus would have smashed the existent macrocosm and Columbus would have foundered in the Sargasso Sea. The aesthetics of the idea breeds flowerpots and flowerpots you put on the window sill. But if there be no rain or sun of what use putting flowerpots outside the window?
What good does it do me, after all, if an ever-watchful authority keeps an eye out to ensure that my pleasures will be tranquil and races ahead of me to ward off all danger, sparing me the need even to think about such things, if that authority, even as it removes the smallest thorns from my path, is also absolute master of my liberty and my life; if it monopolizes vitality and existence to such a degree that when it languishes, everything around it must also languish; when it sleeps, everything must also sleep; and when it dies, everything must also perish?
He saw Kathleen sitting in the middle of a long white table alone. Immediately things changed. As he walked toward her the people shrank back against the walls till they were only murals; the white table lengthened and became an altar where the priestess sat alone. Vitality welled up in him and he could have stood a long time across the table from her, looking and smiling.
Life goes on. It doesn't go on. Yes, yes, I know, all we want in the end, we living, breathing creatures (am I still one of them?) is life. All we want to believe in is the persistence and vitality of life. Faced with the choice between death and the merest hint of life, what scrap, what token wouldn't we cling to in order to keep that belief? A leaf? A single moist, green leaf? That will do, that will be enough.
September has come, it is hers. Whose vitality leaps in the autumn, Whose nature prefers. Trees without leaves and a fire in the fireplace. So I give her this month and the next. Though the whole of my year should be hers who has rendered already. So many of its days intolerable or perplexed. But so many more so happy. Who has left a scent on my life, and left my walls. Dancing over and over with her shadow. Whose hair is twined in all my waterfalls. And all of London littered with remembered kisses.
For it is the fate of every myth to creep by degrees into the narrow limits of some alleged historical reality, and to be treated by some later generation as a unique fact with historical claims...this is the way in which religions are wont to die out: under the stern, intelligent eyes of an orthodox dogmatism, the mythical premises of a religion are systematized as a sum total of historical events; one begins apprehensively to defend the credibility of the myths, while at the same time one opposes any continuation of their vitality and growth; the feeling for myth perishes, and its place is taken by the claim of religion to historical foundations.
Then I heard footsteps on a stairs, and in a moment the thickish figure of a woman blocked out the light from the office door. She was in the middle thirties, and faintly stout, but she carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some women can. Her face, above a spotted dress of dark blue crepe-de-chine, contained no facet or gleam of beauty, but there was an immediately perceptible vitality about her as if the nerves of her body were continually smouldering. She smiled slowly and, walking through her husband as if he were a ghost, shook hands with Tom, looking him flush in the eye. Then she wet her lips, and without turning around spoke to her husband in a soft, coarse voice: “Get some chairs, why dont you, so somebody can sit down.