And how should a beautiful, ignorant stream of water know it heads for an early release "" out across the desert, running toward the Gulf, below sea level, to murmur its lullaby, and see the Imperial Valley rise out of burning sand with cotton blossoms, wheat, watermelons, roses, how should it know?
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A baby is God's opinion that life should go on. A book that does nothing to you is dead. A baby, whether it does anything to you, represents life. If a bad fire should break out in this house and I had my choice of saving the library or the babies, I would save what is alive. Never will a time come when the most marvelous recent invention is as marvelous as a newborn baby. The finest of our precision watches, the most super-colossal of our supercargo plants, don't compare with a newborn baby in the number and ingenuity of coils and springs, in the flow and change of chemical solutions, in timing devices and interrelated parts that are irreplaceable. A baby is very modern. Yet it is also the oldest of the ancients. A baby doesn't know he is a hoary and venerable antique - but he is. Before man learned how to make an alphabet, how to make a wheel, how to make a fire, he knew how to make a baby - with the great help of woman, and his God and Maker.
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I speak of new cities and new people I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes. I tell you yesterday is a wind gone down, a sun dropped in the west. I tell you there is nothing in the world only an ocean of tomorrows. a sky of tomorrows. I am a brother of the cornhuskers who say at sundown: Tomorrow is a day.' - Carl Sandburg, Cornhuskers
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Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo. Shovel them under and let me work- I am the grass; I cover all. And pile them high at Gettysburg And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun. Shovel them under and let me work. Two years, ten years, and the passengers ask the conductor: What place is this? Where are we now? I am the grass. Let me work.
So time passed on. And the two skyscrapers decided to have a child. And they decided when their child came it should be a free child. "It must be a free child, " they said to each other. "It must not be a child standing still all its life on a street corner. Yes, if we have a child she mist be free to run across the prairie, to the mountains, to the sea. Yes, it must be a free child." So time passed on. Their child came. It was a railroad train, the Golden Spike Limited, the fastest long distance train in the Rootabaga Country. It ran across the prairie, to the mountains, to the sea.
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One of the great Confederate combat leaders, General John B. Gordon, had sat at his horse and spoken farewell to his men. Some he had seen weeping as they folded burnt and shot-pierced battle flags and laid them on the stacked arms of surrender. As he told his troops his own grief he tried to give them hope to rebuild out of the poverty and ashes to which many would return. Gordon would never forget a Kentucky father who lost two sons, one dying for the North, the other for the South. Over the two graves of his soldier boys the father set up a joint monument inscribed "God knows which was right.
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A baby is God's opinion that life should go on. Never will a time come when the most marvelous recent invention is as marvelous as a newborn baby. The finest of our precision watches, the most super-colossal of our supercargo planes don't compare with a newborn baby in the number and ingenuity of coils and springs, in the flow and change of chemical solutions, in timing devises and interrelated parts that are irreplaceable.
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Passers-by Passers-by, Out of your many faces Flash memories to me Now at the day end Away from the sidewalks Where your shoe soles traveled And your voices rose and blent To form the city's afternoon roar Hindering an old silence. Passers-by, I remember lean ones among you, Throats in the clutch of a hope, Lips written over with strivings, Mouths that kiss only for love, Records of great wishes slept with, Held long And prayed and toiled for: Yes, Written on Your mouths And your throats I read them When you passed by.
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I want to do the right thing, but often I don't know just what the right thing is. Every day I know I have come short of what I would like to have done. Yet as the years pass and I see the very world itself, with its oceans and mountains and plains, as something unfinished, a peculiar little satisfaction hunts out the corners of my heart. Sunsets and evening shadows find me regretful at task's undone, but sleep and the dawn and the air of the morning touch me with freshening hopes. Strange things blow in through my window on the wings of the night wind and I don't worry about my destiny.
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His books were part of him. Each year of his life, it seemed, his books became more and more a part of him. This room, thirty by twenty feet, and the walls of shelves filled with books, had for him the murmuring of many voices. In the books of Herodotus, Tacitus, Rabelais, Thomas Browne, John Milton, and scores of others, he had found men of face and voice more real to him than many a man he had met for a smoke and a talk.
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Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo. Shovel them under and let me work- I am the grass; I cover all. And pile them high at Gettysburg. And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun. Shovel them under and let me work. Two years, ten years,and passengers ask the conductor- What place is this? Where are we now? I am the grass. Let me work.
Tell him solitude is creative if he is strong and the final decisions are made in silent rooms. Tell him to be different from other people if it comes natural and easy being different. Let him have lazy days seeking his deeper motives. Let him seek deep for where he is a born natural. Then he may understand Shakespeare and the Wright brothers, Pasteur, Pavlov, Michael Faraday and free imaginations Bringing changes into a world resenting change. He will be lonely enough to have time for the work he knows as his own.
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I asked the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell me what is happiness. And I went to famous executives who boss the work of thousands of men. They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though I was trying to fool with them. And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along the Desplaines river and I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with their women and children and a keg of beer and an accordion.
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What of the Wright boys in Dayton? Just around the corner they had a shop and did a bicycle business-and they wanted to fly for the sake of flying. They were Man the Seeker, Man on a Quest. Money was their last thought, their final absent-minded idea. They threw out a lot of old mistaken measurements and figured new ones that stood up when they took off and held the air and steered a course. They proved that "the faster you go the less power you need."
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I remember the Chillicothe ballplayers grappling the Long Island ball players in a sixteen-inning game ended by darkness. And the shoulders of the Chillicothe players were a red smoke against the sundown and the shoulders of the Rock Island players were a yellow smoke against the sundown. And the umpire's voice was hoarse calling balls and strikes and outs and the umpire's throat fought in the dust for a song.
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