Recurrent Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 39 quotes )
Each night he must be carried through artificial tunnels and dream recurrent dreams. Just as the ties recur beneath his train, these underlie his rushing brain. He does not dare look out the window, for the third rail, the unbroken draught of poison, runs there beside him. He regards it as a disease he has inherited the susceptibility to. He has to keep his hands in his pockets, as others must wear mufflers.
When I first met him, he had a recurrent nightmare that Henry Kissinger was chasing him with a knife, and I said it was really his father, and he said it was really Henry Kissinger, and I said it was his father and he said it was Henry Kissinger, and this went on for months until he started going to the Central American shrinkette, who said Henry Kissinger was really his younger sister.
For we live with those retrievals from childhood that coalesce and echo throughout our lives, the way shattered pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope reappear in new forms and are songlike in their refrains and rhymes, making up a single monologue. We live permanently in the recurrence of our own stories, whatever story we tell.
It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God has never got tired of making them... The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore.
Despite the recurrence of events in which the debris-basin system fails in its struggle to contain the falling mountains, people who live on the front line are for the most part calm and complacent. It appears that no amount of front-page or prime-time attention will ever prevent such people from masking out the problem.
Millions of books written on every conceivable subject by all these great minds and in the end, none of them knows anything more about the big questions of life than I do … I read Socrates. This guy knocked off little Greek boys. What the Hell’s he got to teach me? And Nietzsche, with his theory of eternal recurrence. He said that the life we lived we’re gonna live over again the exact same way for eternity. Great. That means I’ll have to sit through the Ice Capades again. It’s not worth it. And Freud, another great pessimist. I was in analysis for years and nothing happened. My poor analyst got so frustrated, the guy finally put in a salad bar. Maybe the poets are right. Maybe love is the only answer.
Every thing was a friend, or bore her thoughts to a friend; and though there had been sometimes much of suffering to her- though her motives had been often misunderstood, her feelings disregarded, and her comprehension under-valued; though she had known the pains of tyranny, of ridicule, and neglect, yet almost every recurrence of either had led to something consolatory... and the whole was now so blended together, so harmonised by distance, that every former affliction had its charm.
She thought of the recurrent waves of pain that for some reason or other she and her husband had had to endure; of the invisible giants hurting her boy in some unimaginable fashion; of the incalculable amount of tenderness contained in the world; of the fate of this tenderness, which is either crushed or wasted, or transformed into madness; of neglected children humming to themselves in unswept corners; of beautiful weeds that cannot hide from the farmer.
... Surely the Board knows what democracy is. It is the line that forms on the right. It is the don’t in don’t shove. It is the hole in the stuffed shirt through which the sawdust slowly trickles; it is the dent in the high hat. Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half the people are right more than half the time. It is the feeling of privacy in the voting booths, the feeling of communion in the libraries, the feeling of vitality everywhere. Democracy is a letter to the editor. Democracy is the score at the beginning of the ninth. It is an idea which hasn’t been disproved yet, a song the words of which have not gone bad. It’s the mustard on the hot dog and the cream in the rationed coffee.
Getting over it so soon? But the words are ambiguous. To say the patient is getting over it after an operation for appendicitis is one thing; after h?s had his leg off is quite another. After that operation either the wounded stump heals or the man dies. If it heals, the fierce, continuous pain will stop. Presently h?ll get back his strength and be able to stump about on his wooden leg. He has?got over it? But he will probably have recurrent pains in the stump all his life, and perhaps pretty bad ones; and he will always be a one-legged man. There will be hardly any moment when he forgets it. Bathing, dressing, sitting down and getting up again, even lying in bed, will all be different. His whole way of life will be changed. All sorts of pleasures and activities that he once took for granted will have to be simply written off. Duties too. At present I am learning to get about on crutches. Perhaps I shall presently be given a wooden leg. But I shall never be a biped again.
Woe entreats: Go! Away, woe! But all that suffers wants to live, that it may become ripe and joyous and longing- longing for what is farther, higher, brighter. "I want heirs"- thus speaks all that suffers; "I want children; I do not want myself". Joy, however, does not want heirs, or children- joy wants itself, wants eternity, wants recurrence, wants everything eternally the same.
Lovers' reading of each other's bodies (of that concentrate of mind and body which lovers use to go to bed together) differs from the reading of written pages in that it is not linear. It starts at any point, skips, repeat itself, goes backward, insists, ramifies in simultaneous and divergent messages, converges again, has moments of irritation, turns the page, finds its place, gets lost. A direction can be recognized in it, a route to an end, since it tends toward a climax, and with this end in view it arranges rhythmic phases, metrical scansions, recurrence of motives. But is the climax really the end? Or is the race toward that end opposed by another drive which works in the opposite direction, swimming against moments, recovering time?
As I travel through life, I gather experiences that lie imprinted on the deepest strata of memory, and there they ferment, are transformed, and sometimes rise to the surface and sprout like strange plants from other worlds. What is the fertile humus of the subconscious composed of? Why are certain images converted into recurrent themes in nightmares or writing?
For years it seemed to me that this period had become a recurrent nightmare that I had almost every night, because I would wake in the morning feeling the same terror I had felt in the room with the saint. During my adolescence, when I was a student at an icy boarding school in the Andes, I would wake up crying in the middle of the night. I needed old age without remorse to understand that the misfortune of my grandparents in the house in Catasa was that they were always mired in their nostalgic memories, and the more they insisted on conjuring them, the deper they sank.
We are captivated by the feminine shadow of the self we might have been; in my case by that counterpart of the romantic writer who should have had the courage to reject society and to accept poverty for the sake of the development of his personality. Now when I see such beings I hope that I can somehow be freed from my shortcomings by union with them. Hence the recurrent longing to forsake external reality for a dream and to plunge into a ritual flight...I am attracted by those who mysteriously hold out a promise of the integrity which I have lost.
...I felt instinctively that toilets - as also telephones - happened to be for reasons unfathomable, the points where my destiny was liable to catch. We all have such fateful objects - it may be a recurrent landscape, a number in another - carefully chosen by the gods to attract events of special significance for us: here shall John always stumble; there shall Jane's heart always break.