Wild & Precious Life

a collection of beautiful words…..

Category: Excerpts

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.

Excerpt from The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Now that mine is almost over, I can say that the one thing that struck me most about life is the capacity for change. One day you’re a person and the next day they tell you you’re a dog. At first it’s hard to bear, but after a while you learn not to look at it as a loss. There’s even a moment when it becomes exhilarating to realize just how little needs to stay the same for you to continue the effort they call, for lack of a better word, being human.

Excerpt from President Barack Obama Speech

Since I’ve been President, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by a mass shooting. The fourth time we’ve hugged survivors. The fourth time we’ve consoled the families of victims. And in between, there have been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victims, many of them children, in small towns and big cities all across America – victims whose – much of the time, their only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law – no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.

But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that – then surely we have an obligation to try.

In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens – from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators – in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. Because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?

Excerpt from The Wet Engine by Brian Doyle

Mammals and birds have hearts with four chambers. Reptiles and turtles have hearts with three chambers. Fish have hearts with two chambers. Insects and mollusks have hearts with one chamber. Worms have hearts with one chamber, although they may have as many as eleven single-chambered hearts. Unicellular bacteria have no hearts at all; but even they have fluid eternally in motion, washing from one side of the cell to the other, swirling and whirling. No living being is without interior liquid motion. We all churn inside.So much held in a heart in a lifetime. So much held in a heart in a day, an hour, a moment. We are utterly open with no one, in the end–not mother and father, not wife or husband, not lover, not child, not friend. We open windows to each but we live alone in the house of the heart. Perhaps we must. Perhaps we could not bear to be so naked, for fear of a constantly harrowed heart. When young we think there will come one person who will savor and sustain us always; when we are older we know this is the dream of a child, that all hearts finally are bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched by force of character, yet fragile and rickety forevermore, no matter how ferocious the defense and how many bricks you bring to the wall. You can brick up your heart as stout and tight and hard and cold and impregnable as you possibly can and down it comes in an instant, felled by a woman’s second glance, a child’s apple breath, the shatter of glass in the road, the words I have something to tell you, a cat with a broken spine dragging itself into the forest to die, the brush of your mother’s papery ancient hand in the thicket of your hair, the memory of your father’s voice early in the morning echoing from the kitchen where he is making pancakes for his children.

Excerpt from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Your pain is the breaking of the shell
that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break,that its
heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder
at the daily miracles of your life, your pain
would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your
heart, even as you have always accepted
the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity
through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the
physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink
his remedy in silence and tranquillity:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided
by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips,
has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter
has moistened with His own sacred tears.

Excerpt from the Foundations of Unity by Abdu’l-Baha

…in the world of humanity the greatest king and sovereign is love. If love were extinguished, the power of attraction dispelled, the affinity of human hearts destroyed, the phenomena of human life would disappear.

 

Excerpt from Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas

I could not live too far from the sea. Every morning when I woke up, I would go by my little balcony to look at the blue scintillating expanse reaching to infinity, at the lavishness of that extraordinary glittering water. I could not feel despair when facing such beauty and vitality. Sometimes I would get up at night to look at the sea. If the night was dark, the thundering of the surf would comfort me; it was the best company I ever had, then and always.

The Paradox of Time by Dr. Bob Moorehead

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter
tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less;
we buy more, but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses, but smaller families; more conveniences, but less time;
we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgement; more
experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much,
love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learnt how to make a living, but not a
life; we’ve added years to life, but not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street
to meet the new neighbor. We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space;
we’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we’ve split the atom, but not our
prejudice.

We have higher incomes, but lower morals; we’ve become long on quantity, but
short on quality. These are the times of tall men and short character; steep profits
and shallow relationships.

These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less
fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are the days of two incomes,
but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes. It is a time when there is
more in the show window and nothing in the stock room; a time when technology
can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose to make a difference
or to just hit delete.

Excerpt from American Beauty by Alan Ball

it’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst…

…and then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life…

You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry…
You will someday.

 

Excerpt from Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy

The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. Had you not seen it all from birth and thereby bled it of its strangeness it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream, a trance bepopulate with chimeras having neither analogue nor precedent, an itinerant carnival, a migratory tentshow whose ultimate destination after many a pitch in many a mudded field is unspeakable and calamitous beyond reckoning.