The strain of constant adaptation to so many fearful events and discoveries is already too much to bear with sanity; one has to keep pretending to slip successfully into the new mould; a time will come when the tailored and camouflaged mind breaks beneath the burden; the stick insect in our brains no longer cares to resemble a twig on the same habitual human tree in the mere hope that it may survive extinction.
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It is my trade, " he said. "I work for the bean family, and every day there are deaths among the beans, mostly from thirst. They shrivel and die, they go blind in their one black eye, and I put them in one of these tiny coffins. Beans, you know, are beautifully shaped, like a new church, like modern architecture, like a planned city
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I have always disliked the morning, it is too responsible a time, with the daylight demanding that it be 'faced' and (usually when I wake for I wake late) with the sun already up and in charge of the world, with little hope of anyone usurping or challenging its authority. A shot of light in the face of a poor waking human being and another slave limps wounded into the light-occupied territory.
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They all seemed hungry, happy, and healthy enough in their buzzing-oh the days were hot, and the noise of bees filled the air that was dusty with pollen and sun haze, and there were tiny black flies stuck to one another crowded by the creek and a creek stink rising from the deep pool under the willow tree where a wheat sack of new kittens had been drowned, and their tiny terrible struggling had shot like an electric current through the confusion of muddy water and up the arm of the person who had tied the stone around the mouth of the sack and thrust it into the water; and the culprit had not been able to brush away the current; it penetrated her body and made her heart beat with fear and pity. I was the culprit.
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People dread silence because it is transparent; like clear water, which reveals every obstacle-the used, the dead, the drowned, silence reveals the cast-off words and thoughts dropped in to obscure its clear stream. And when people stare too close to silence they sometimes face their own reflections, their magnified shadows in the depths, and that frightens them. I know; I know.
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I had a cousin once who lived in your dictionary, inside the binding, and there was a tiny hole which he used for a door, and it led out between trichotomy and trick. Now what do you think of that? It was only a few minutes walk to trigger, then over the page to trinity, trinket and trional, and there my cousin used to fall asleep.
I inhabited a territory of loneliness which resembles the place where the dying spend their time before death, and from where those who do return, living, to the world bring, inevitably, a unique point of view that is a nightmare, a treasure, and a lifelong possession.[It is] equal in its rapture and chilling exposure [to] the neighbourhood of the ancient gods and goddesses.
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...When our thoughts revolve we are so often deceived into supposing that their violent movement is an indication of their vigorous originality, the upheaval of prejudice and fixed ideas, when all the time it is more likely that the machine which contains them is only an elaborate cement-mixer, and when the thinking is finished, those whirling thoughts are smoothed into the unchanged conventional mould and seeing them set solid enough to dance, to build, to travel upon, we would never dream of their first deceit, of the hope once roused by their apparently violent reorganisation...
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The idea was to have a basin inverted on his head and his hair cut to the shape of it. Skill and money were not needed. Then the idea grew that it was more convenient to leave the basin on his head. Stray thoughts were trimmed along with stray hair; brain-vines, tentacles of thought, were not encouraged to wander. Then, in the interests of human economy, the head of adaptable man became a basin of uniform shape""a basin, a crash helmet. Safe at last; no more thought-cuts.
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time past is not time gone, it is time accumulated with the host resembling the character in the fairytale who was joined along the route by more and more characters none of whom could be separated from one another or from the host, with some stuck so fast that their presence caused physical pain.
[...] a morass of despair violence death with a thin layer of glass spread upon the surface where Love, a tiny crab with pincers and rainbow shell, walked delicately ever sideways but getting nowhere, while the sun [...] rose higher in the sky its tassels dropping with flame threatening every moment to melt the precarious highway of glass. And the people: giant pathworks of colour with limbs missing and parts of their mind snipped off to fit them into the outline of the free pattern.
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Every morning I woke in dread, waiting for the day nurse to go on her rounds and announce from the list of names in her hand whether or not I was for shock treatment, the new and fashionable means of quieting people and of making them realize that orders are to be obeyed and floors are to be polished without anyone protesting and faces are to be made to be fixed into smiles and weeping is a crime.
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Listening to her, one experienced a deep uneasiness as of having avoided an urgent responsibility, like someone who, walking at night along the banks of a stream, catches a glimpse in the water of a white face or a moving limb and turns quickly away, refusing to help or to search for help. We all see the faces in the water. We smother our memory of them, even our belief in their reality, and become calm people of the world; or we can neither forget or help them. Sometimes by a trick of circumstances or dream or a hostile neighborhood of light we see our own face.
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