Long before Johannes Gutenberg and his printing press, and 1,000 years before cloistered monks and their illuminated manuscripts, the principal storage facility for history, poetry, and folktales was the human head. And the chief means of transmitting that cultural wealth, from generation to generation, was the human voice.
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I’ve been around that trashy behavior all my life, I’m gettin’ tired of puttin’ up with it.
And kid, remember, do not swing at the pitcher’s pitch. Make sure you swing at your pitch.
In its gathered, visible form in the granary, seed is useless. To serve the purpose for which it exists, it must be scattered. It disappears into the soil and literally dies. When seed is doing the work for which it was intended, it is invisible.
You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
When one person kills another there is immediate revulsion at the nature of the crime. But in time so short as to seem indecent to the members of the personal family, the dead person ceases to exist as an identifiable figure. To those individuals in the community of good will and empathy, warmth, and compassion, only one of the key actors in the drama remains with whom to commiserate— and that is always the criminal. The dead person ceases to be a part of everyday reality, ceases to exist. She is only a figure in a historic event. We inevitably turn away from the past, toward the ongoing reality. And the ongoing reality is the criminal; trapped, anxious, now helpless, isolated, often badgered and bewildered. He usurps the compassion that is justly his victim’s due. He will steal his victim’s moral constituency along with her life.
We’re all just walking each other home.
There are three things we cry for in life: things that are lost, things that are found, and things that are magnificent.
At fourteen I wanted to play guitar very badly. By fifteen I did.
Art makes visible what is invisible.
Nothing kills credibility like excessive enthusiasm. Nothing poisons truth so quickly as an assurance that one has found it. ‘The impeded stream is the one that sings.’
Prosperity breeds amnesia.
It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral…
Because it is politically expedient to sacrifice the future — which does not vote — to the consumption of government services by those who do, America is eating its seed corn.
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.