Wild & Precious Life

a collection of beautiful words…..

Category: Excerpts

Excerpt from The Opinions Of A New Yorker by CGS

New York is noisy.
New York is overcrowded.
New York is ugly.
New York is unhealthy.
New York is outrageously expensive.
New York is bitterly cold in winter.
New York is steaming hot in summer.
I wouldn’t live outside New York for anything in the world.

Excerpt from the lyrics to Anthem by Leonard Cohen

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

Excerpt from a letter by Jack Kerouac

…The world you see is just a movie in your mind.
Rocks dont see it.
Bless and sit down.
Forgive and forget.
Practice kindness all day to everybody
and you will realize you’re already
in heaven now.
That’s the story.
That’s the message.
Nobody understands it,
nobody listens, they’re
all running around like chickens with heads cut
off. I will try to teach it but it will
be in vain, s’why I’ll
end up in a shack
praying and being
cool and singing
by my woodstove
making pancakes.

*sent to his first wife a decade after their marriage had been annulled

Excerpt from Walden by Henry David Thoreau

We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.

Excerpt from High Tide in Tucson by Barbara Kingsolver

Every one of us is called upon, perhaps many times, to start a new life….And onward full-tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another–that is surely the basic instinct…Crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is.

Excerpt from Sand and Foam by Kahlil Gibran

There must be something strangely sacred in salt. It is in our tears and in the sea.

Essay by Oliver Sacks

I have been increasingly conscious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.

I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers.

Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.

Excerpt from Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare

When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.

Excerpt from Wild Ones by Jon Mooallem

Like a lot of people, I think I felt this pang. I knew that all around us beautiful parts of the world are expiring. And I also knew that people in the future, they might not even notice. For them a world without whales or wilderness might feel normal. I wanted to counteract that forgetting that’s bound to take hold over time. This forgetting has a name. Scientists call it ‘shifting baseline syndrome.’ It means that all of us accept the version of the world we inherit as normal. Over the years we watch forests get logged or animals disappear but when the next generation comes along they accept that depleted version of nature as their normal. It’s hard to zoom out and really feel the changes that are stacking up across the generations…

Maybe all any one of us can do is push against the baseline as it shifts. We can be a tiny counterweight. We weigh almost nothing. But generation after generation that weight adds up and some times in some places the baseline starts to shift in the other direction. In the direction of more beauty, not less.

Excerpt from August Osage County by Tracy Letts

Thank God, we can’t tell the future. We’d never get out of bed!