Alert Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 111 quotes )
The incessant anxiety and strain of some is a well-nigh incurable form of disease. We are made to exaggerate the importance of what work we do...How vigilant we are! determined not live by faith if we can avoid it; all the day long on the alert, at night we unwillingly say our prayers and commit ourselves to uncertainties.
Always this same morbid interest in other people and their doings, their privacies, their dirty linen, always this air of alertness for personal happenings, personalities, personalities, personalities. Always this subtle criticism and appraisal of other people, this analysis of other people’s motives. If anatomy presupposes a corpse, then psychology presupposes a world of corpses. Personalities, which means personal criticism and analysis, presuppose a whole world laboratory of human psyches waiting to be vivisected. If you cut a thing up, of course it will smell. Hence, nothing raises such an infernal stink, at last, as human psychology.
When the voice of your friend or the page of your book sinks into democratic equality with the pattern of the wallpaper, the feel of your clothes, your memory of last night, and the noises from the road, you are falling asleep. The highly selective consciousness enjoyed by fully alert men, with all its builded sentiments and consecrated ideals, has as much to be called real as the drowsy chaos, and more.
Novelty. Security. Novelty wouldn't be a bad title. It had the grandness of abstraction, alerting the reader that large and thoughtful things were to be bodied forth. As yet he had no inkling of any incidents or characters that might occupy his theme; perhaps he never would. He could see though the book itself, he could feel its closed heft and see it opened, white pages comfortably large and shadowed gray by print; dense, numbered, full of meat. He sensed a narrative voice, speaking calmly and precisely, with immense assurance building, building; a voice too far off for him to hear, but speaking. ("Novelty")
Most of life is so dull that there is nothing to be said about it, and the books and talk that would describe it as interesting are obligated to exaggerate, in the hope of justifying their own existence. Inside its cocoon of work or social obligation, the human spirit slumbers for the most part, registering the distinction between pleasure and pain, but not nearly as alertly as we pretend
From now on I hope always to stay alert, to educate myself as best I can. But lacking this, in Future I will relaxedly turn back to my secret mind to see what it has observed when I thought I was sitting this one out. We never sit anything out. We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
All of us, whether or not we are warriors, have a cubic centimeter of chance that pops out in front of our eyes from time to time. The difference between an average man and a warrior is that the warrior is aware of this, and one of his tasks is to be alert, deliberately waiting, so that when his cubic centimeter pops out he has the necessary speed, the prowess, to pick it up.
The trouble with him was that he was without imagination. He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances. Fifty degrees below zero meant eighty-odd degrees of frost. Such fact impressed him as being cold and uncomfortable, and that was all. It did not lead him to meditate upon his frailty as a creature of temperature, and upon man's frailty in general, able only to live within certain narrow limits of heat and cold; and from there on it did not lead him to the conjectural field of immortality and man's place in the universe.
I lay in my bed a few minutes later, resigned as the pain finally made its appearance. It was a crippling thing, this sensation that a huge hole had been pushed through my chest, excising my most vital organs and leaving ragged, unhealed gashes around the edges that continued to throb and bleed despite the passage of time. Rationally, I knew my lungs must still be intact, yet I gasped for air and my head spun like my efforts yielded me nothing. My heart must have been beating, too, but I couldn't hear the sound of my pulse in my ears; my hands felt blue with cold. I curled inward, hugging my ribs to hold myself together. I scrambled for my numbness, my denial, but it evaded me. And yet, I found I could survive. I was alert, I felt the pain--the aching loss that radiated out from my chest, sending wracking waves of hurt through my limbs and head--but it was managable. I could live through it. It didn't feel like the pain had weakened over time, rather that I'd grown strong enough to bear it.
We say, "Well, the only answer is...." or, "If you would just. . . ." Whatever follows these two statements narrows the choices right there. It gets the vision right down close to the ground so that you don't see anything happening outside. Humans tend not to see over a long range. Now we are required, in these generations, to have a longer range view of what we inflict on the world around us. This is where, I think, science fiction is helping. I don't think that the mere writing of such a book as Brave New World or 1984 prevents those things which are portrayed in those books from happening. But I do think they alert us to that possibility and make that possibility less likely. They make us aware that we may be going in that direction.
How grateful are you?" he whispered, his mouth hovering over mine. His eyes were very alert now, and his gaze was boring into mine."That kind of ruins it, when you say something like that," I said, trying to keep my voice gentle. "You shouldn't want me to have sex with you just because I owe you.""I don't really care why you have sex with me, as long as you do it," he said, equally gently.
At no point in this did Frank think he was dreaming, probably because he seldom remembered dreams, or paid attention to them even if he did. And though this all had the alert immediacy of daytime Mexico in its ongoing dispute with its history, it would someday be relegated as well to the register of experiences he had been unable to find any use for.
Call to mind a person you've lost that you will miss to the end of your days, and then imagine happening upon that person out in public. . . . You wouldn't question your sanity, because you couldn't bear to think this wasn't real. And you certainly wouldn't demand explanations, or alert anybody nearby, or reach out to touch this person, not even if you'd been feeling that one touch was worth giving everything up for. You would hold your breath. You would keep as still as possible. You would will your loved one not to go away again.
He wondered if he would live to see the blossom on his apple trees and felt an answering pop inside himself. Ah, so it would not be long now. It began to snow lightly, the last flakes to fall before the spring. He put on his wedding finery, the clothes he had worn so long ago when he married his beloved Pamposh, and which he had kept all this time wrapped in tissue paper in a trunk. As a bridegroom he went outdoors and the snowflakes caressed his grizzled cheeks. His mind was alert, he was ambulatory and nobody was waiting for him with a club. He had his body and his mind and it seemed he was to be spared a brutal end. That at least was kind. He went into his apple orchard, seated himself cross-legged beneath a tree, closed his eyes, heard the verses of the Rig-Veda fill the world with beauty and ceased upon the midnight with no pain.
Valor consists in the power of self-recovery, so that a man cannot have his flank turned, cannot be out-generalled, but put him where you will, he stands. This can only be by his preferring truth to his past apprehension of truth; and his alert acceptance of it, from whatever quarter; the intrepid conviction that his laws, his relations to society, his Christianity, his world may at any time be superseded and decease.
When she shut her eyes, her mind grew alert. Her senses opened. All around her, she felt how quickly things formed and were consumed. How there was so much blind feeling. It was going on beyond the wall of her sight, out of her control. Unheard, unnoticed, the blood dropped into her hands and feet, so that she was anchored. Which she was glad for, because the light was so feeble and the blackness so strong that she felt as though she could drift away like a boat of skin, never to return, leaving only her crumpled dress.
Keep that red-haired girl of yours in the open air all summer and don't let her read books until she gets more spring into her step." This message frightened Marilla wholesomely. She read Anne's death warrant by consumption in it unless it was scrupulously obeyed. As a result, Anne had the golden summer of her life as far as freedom and frolic went. She walked, rowed, berried, and dreamed to her heart's content; and when September came she was bright-eyed and alert, with a step that would have satisfied the Spencervale doctor and a heart full of ambition and zest once more. "I just feel like studying with might and main," she declared as she brought her books down from the attic. "Oh, you good old friends, I'm glad to see your honest face once more - yes, even you, geometry.
THE UNICORN: The saintly hermit, midway through his prayersstopped suddenly, and raised his eyes to witnessthe unbelievable: for there before him stoodthe legendary creature, startling white, thathad approached, soundlessly, pleading with his eyes. The legs, so delicately shaped, balanced abody wrought of finest ivory. And ashe moved, his coat shone like reflected moonlight. High on his forehead rose the magic horn, the signof his uniqueness: a tower held upright by his alert, yet gentle, timid gait. The mouth of softest tints of rose and grey, whenopened slightly, revealed his gleaming teeth, whiter than snow. The nostrils quivered faintly: he sought to quench his thirst, to rest and find repose. His eyes looked far beyond the saint's enclosure, reflecting vistas and events long vanished, and closed the circle of this ancient mystic legend.
Sadly, the signals that allow men and women to find the partners who most please them are scrambled by the sexual insecurity initiated by beauty thinking. A woman who is self-conscious can't relax to let her sensuality come into play. If she is hungry she will be tense. If she is "done up" she will be on the alert for her reflection in his eyes. If she is ashamed of her body, its movement will be stilled. If she does not feel entitled to claim attention, she will not demand that airspace to shine in. If his field of vision has been boxed in by "beauty"--a box continually shrinking--he simply will not see her, his real love, standing right before him.
Just because things happen slow doesn't mean you'll be ready for them. If they happened fast, you'd be alert for all kinds of suddenness, aware that speed was trump. "Slow" works in an altogether different principle, on the deceptive impression that there's plenty of time to prepare, which conceals the central fact, that no matter how slow things go, you'll always be slower.