Wild & Precious Life

a collection of beautiful words…..

Category: Excerpts

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!

Excerpt from Annie Hall by Woody Allen

It reminds me of that old joke- you know, a guy walks into a psychiatrist’s office and says, hey doc, my brother’s crazy! He thinks he’s a chicken. Then the doc says, why don’t you turn him in? Then the guy says, I would but I need the eggs. I guess that’s how I feel about relationships. They’re totally crazy, irrational, and absurd, but we keep going through it because we need the eggs.

Excerpt from Life of Pi by Yann Martel

I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.

Excerpt from The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

And after a long time the boy came back again.
“I am sorry, Boy,” said the tree, “but I have nothing left to give you-
My apples are gone.”
“My teeth are too weak for apples,” said the boy.
“My branches are gone,” said the tree.
“You cannot swing on them-”
“I am too old to swing on branches,” said the boy.
“My trunk is gone,” said the tree.
“You cannot climb-”
“I am too tired to climb,” said the boy.
“I am sorry,” sighed the tree.
“I wish that I could give you something… but I have nothing left. I am an old stump. I am sorry…”
“I don’t need very much now,” said the boy, “just a quiet pleace to sit and rest. I am very tired.”
“Well,” said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could,
“well, an old stump is a good for sitting and resting. Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.”
And the boy did.
And the tree was happy.

Excerpt from Annie Hall by Woody Allen

There’s an old joke. Uh, two elderly women are at a Catskills mountain resort, and one of ’em says: “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know, and such … small portions.” Well, that’s essentially how I feel about life. Full of loneliness and misery and suffering and unhappiness, and it’s all over much too quickly.