Choice Words

Apr 25

“…our society has chosen a path of death in which we have reduced everything to a commodity. We believe that there are technical solutions to everything, so it doesn’t matter whether you talk about the over-reliance on technology, the mad pursuit of commodity goods, our passion for violence now expressed as our war policies. All of those are interrelated to each other and none of us, very few of us, really want to have that exposed as an inadequate and dehumanizing way to live.” — Walter Brueggemann on the Prophetic Imagination, interview with Krista Tippett on On Being


Apr 23

“One of the important first uses is where Moses goes out and sees the pain of his brothers, so that’s a kind of seeing, it’s an empathic seeing. And when God says out of the burning bush that ‘I have really seen’ — rahora itseh, it’s an emphatic, double use of the word — ‘I’ve really seen the pain of the people, and I’ve heard their cry.’ And it’s at that point where again, there’s a sense as if, on God’s level as well, in His dimension a barrier has been removed and what God is now sensitive to is pain. So to be able to see pain, I think, is a very important dimension of what makes redemption possible. Even seeing one’s own pain without an awareness of how wrong things are, nothing will ever change. So I think that is an extremely transformative moment.” — Dr Aviva Zornberg, interview on OnBeing with Krista Tippett


Apr 20

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” — Alice Walker (via colour-365)

Apr 09

“Night and day all through winter huddling naked
They have to listen to pitiless lessons
Of the freezing constellations
And the rain. If it were not for the sun
Who visits them daily, briefly,
To pray with them, they would lose hope
And give up. With him
They recite the Lord’s prayer
And sing a psalm. And sometimes at night
When the moon haunts their field and stares down
Into their beds
They sing a psalm softly together
To keep up their courage.” — Ted Hughes, “Barley,” Season Songs

Apr 07

“il n’a jamais été bon pour le quotidien
(mais n’est-ce pas là le propre du héros…)” — Sylvie Kandé, La Quête infinie de l’autre rive

Apr 06

“(Mais qu’est-ce qu’un voyage
sinon l’union du mirage à l’impatience…)” — Sylvie Kandé, La Quête infinie de l’autre rive

“Car l’histoire est une marâtre quand la mémoire
est orpheline” — Sylvie Kandé, La Quête infinie de l’autre rive


Mar 27

“They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars—on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.” — Robert Frost, from “Desert Places” (via invisibleforeigner)

Mar 26

“The lines on a map prove themselves to be artists of transformation: they criss-cross in cool mathematical patterns of meridians and parallel circles regardless of land or water mass, or appear as organic contour lines depicting mountains, valleys and ocean depths. Along with the shading used to create shadow, they ensure that the earth retains its physicality.” — Judith Schalansky, Atlas of Remote Islands (via everydaymfa)

(Source: starberth)

Mar 20

Whenever I set off on any sort of journey I fall off the radar. No one knows where I am. At the point I departed from? Or at the point I’m headed to? Can there be an in-between? Am I like that lost day when you fly east, and that regained night that comes from going west? Am I subject to that much-lauded law of quantum physics that states that a particle may exist in two places at once? Or to a different law that hasn’t been demonstrated and that we haven’t even thought of yet that says that you can doubly not exist in the same place?

I think there are a lot of people like me. Who aren’t around, who’ve disappeared. They show up all of a sudden in the arrivals terminal and start to exist when the immigrations officers stamp their passport, or when the polite receptionist at whatever hotel hands over their key. By now they must have become aware of their own instability and dependence upon places, times of day, on language or on a city and its atmosphere.

” — Olga Tokarczuk, excerpt from Bieguni (Runners), trans. by Jennifer Croft


Mar 19

“Le présent est une prison sans barreaux, un filet invisible, sans odeur et sans masse, qui nous enveloppe de partout. Il n’a ni apparence ni existence, et nous n’en sortons jamais. Aucun corps, jamais, n’a vécu ailleurs que dans le présent, aucun esprit, jamais, n’a rien pensé qu’au présent. C’est dans le présent que nous nous souvenons du passé, c’est dans le présent que nous nous projetons dans l’avenir. Le présent change tout le temps et il ne cesse jamais d’être là. Et nous en sommes prisonniers.” — Jean d’Ormesson, C’est une chose étrange à la fin que le monde

Mar 18

“Ce qu’il y a de mieux dans ce monde, de plus beau, de plus excitant, ce sont les commencements. L’enfance et les matins ont la splendeur des choses neuves. L’existence est souvent terne. Naître est toujours un bonheur.” — Jean d’Ormesson, C’est une chose étrange à la fin que le monde

Mar 17

“La science d’aujourd’hui détruit l’ignorance d’hier et elle fera figure d’ignorance au regard de la science de demain. Dans le cœur des hommes il y a un élan vers autre chose qu’un savoir qui ne suffira jamais à expliquer un monde dont la clé secrète est ailleurs.” — Jean d’Ormesson, C’est une chose étrange à la fin que le monde

Mar 16

“Tout est né d’un presque rien qui était déjà le tout et le temps a changé ce presque rien en notre tout ou en notre presque tout avant de changer à nouveau, dans un avenir plus ou moins lointain, notre tout ou notre presque tout en presque rien ou en rien. Nous sommes tous des singes, des éponges, des algues, des étoiles. Nous sortons tous du même presque rien. Nous retournerons à presque rien. Et entre rien et rien, nous sommes tous des fragments et séparés d’un tout auquel nous appartenons et auquel nous sommes attachés par les liens innombrables.” — Jean d’Ormesson, C’est une chose étrange à la fin que le monde

Mar 10

“Reading is sometimes thought of as a form of escapism, and it’s a common turn of phrase to speak of getting lost in a book. But a book can also be where one finds oneself; and when a reader is grasped and held by a book, reading does not feel like an escape from life so much as it feels like an urgent, crucial dimension of life itself. There are books that seem to comprehend us just as much as we understand them, or even more. There are books that grow with the reader as the reader grows, like a graft to a tree.” — Rebecca Mead, My Life in Middlemarch (via invisibleforeigner)