I think that if you love someone, you don’t get to choose how they love you back.–N. K. Jemisin, The Stone Sky
I think of wild animals in our imaginations. And how they are disappearing—not just from the wild, but from people’s everyday lives, replaced by images of themselves in print and on screen. The rarer they get, the fewer meanings animals can have. Eventually, rarity is all they are made of. The condor is an icon of extinction. There is little else to it now but being the last of its kind. And in this lies the diminution of the world. How can you love something, how can you fight to protect it, if all it means is loss?—Helen MacDonald, H Is for Hawk
These were choice documents to me. I read them over and over again with unabated interest. They gave tongue to interesting thoughts of my own soul, which had frequently flashed through my mind, and died away for want of utterance.–Frederick Douglass, The Narrative of the Life of…
To live is to war with trolls.Henrik Ibsen
Every society contains its monsters: people damaged or disturbed enough, or misdirected enough, to inflict cruelty on others. A central purpose of society—its families, its schools, its civic and faith organizations, its official and unofficial political leadership—is precisely to encourage the good, and buffer and limit the bad, in what is always the wide range of human possibility.
Thus the harshest condemnation of leaders and organizations is for those who do the reverse: revving up and cheering on the worst in human instincts, which often come out as abuse of the weak and the other.—James Fallows
A little time with you is all that I get.—Daft Punk
Vita sine litteris mors es. (Life without study is death.)–San Felipe Neri, San Miguel de Allende
I stare about me, trying to etch into this journal the sense of Shey that is so precious, aware that all such effort is in vain; the beauty of this place must be cheerfully abandoned, like the wild rocks in the bright water of its streams. Frustration at the paltriness of words drives me to write, but there is more of Shey in a single sheep hair, in one withered sprig of everlasting, than in all these notes; to strive for permanence in what I think I have perceived is to miss the point.
—Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard
This is at bottom the only courage that is demanded of us: to have courage for the most strange, the most singular and the most inexplicable that we may encounter. That mankind has in this sense been cowardly has done life endless harm; the experiences that are called “visions,” the whole so-called “spirit-world,” death, all those things that are so closely akin to us, have by daily parrying been so crowded out of life that the senses with which we could have grasped them are atrophied.
—Rainer Maria Rilke, quoted by Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard
Bread may not always nourish us; but it always does us good, it even takes stiffness out of our joints, and makes us supple and bouyant, when we knew not what ailed us, to recognize any generosity in man or Nature, to share any unmixed and heroic joy.
—Henry David Thoreau, Walden, “The Bean-field”