Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit. My three [great teachers] did not tell - they catalyzed a burning desire to know. Under their influence, the horizons sprung wide and fear went away and the unknown became knowable. But most important of all, the truth, that dangerous stuff, became beautiful and very precious.
teaching quotesgreatest quotesarts quotesmedium quoteshuman quotesmind quotesspirit quotesgreat quotesteachers quotescatalyzed quotesburning quotesdesire quotesinfluence quoteshorizons quotessprung quoteswide quotesfear quotesunknown quotesknowable quotesimportant quotestruth quotesdangerous quotesstuff quotesbeautiful quotesprecious quotes
When a child first catches adults out -- when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not always have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just -- his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone. And there is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck. It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine. And the child's world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing.
child quotescatches quotesadults quoteswalks quotesgrave quoteshead quotesdivine quotesintelligence quotesjudgments quoteswise quotesthinking quotestrue quotessentences quotesworld quotesfalls quotespanic quotesdesolation quotesgods quotesfallen quotessafety quotesthing quotesfall quotesgods quotescrash quotesshatter quotessink quotesdeeply quotesgreen quotesmuck quotestedious quotesjob quotesbuild quotesshine quoteschilds quotesaching quoteskind quotesgrowing quotes
A day, a livelong day, is not one thing but many. It changes not only in growing light toward zenith and decline again, but in texture and mood, in tone and meaning, warped by a thousand factors of season, of heat or cold, of still or multi winds, torqued by odors, tastes, and the fabrics of ice or grass, of bud or leaf or black-drawn naked limbs. And as a day changes so do its subjects, bugs and birds, cates, dogs, butterflies and people.
day quoteslivelong quotesthing quotesgrowing quoteslight quoteszenith quotesdecline quotestexture quotesmood quotestone quotesmeaning quoteswarped quotesthousand quotesfactors quotesseason quotesheat quotescold quotesmulti quoteswinds quotestorqued quotesodors quotestastes quotesfabrics quotesice quotesgrass quotesbud quotesleaf quotesblackdrawn quotesnaked quoteslimbs quotesday quotessubjects quotesbugs quotesbirds quotescates quotesdogs quotesbutterflies quotespeople quotes
Life cannot be cut off quickly. One cannot be dead until the things he changed are dead. His effect is the only evidence of his life. While there remains even a plaintive memory, a person cannot be cut off, dead. And he thought, "It's a long slow process for a human to die. We kill a cow, and it is dead as soon as the meat is eaten, but a man's life dies as a commotion in a still pool dies, in little waves, spreading and growing back toward stillness.
life quotescut quotesquickly quotesdead quotesthings quoteschanged quotesdead quoteseffect quotesevidence quoteslife quotesremains quotesplaintive quotesmemory quotesperson quotesthought quoteslong quotesslow quotesprocess quoteshuman quotesdie quoteskill quotescow quotesmeat quoteseaten quotesmans quoteslife quotesdies quotescommotion quotespool quotesdies quoteswaves quotesspreading quotesgrowing quotesback quotesstillness quotes
A town is a thing like a colonial animal. A town has a nervous system and a head and shoulders and feet. A town is a thing separate from all other towns alike. And a town has a whole emotion. How news travels through a town is a mystery not easily to be solved. News seems to move faster than small boys can scramble and dart to tell it, faster than women can call it over the fences.
town quotesthing quotescolonial quotesanimal quotesnervous quotessystem quoteshead quotesshoulders quotesfeet quotesseparate quotestowns quotesalike quotesemotion quotesnews quotestravels quotesmystery quoteseasily quotessolved quotesnews quotesmove quotesfaster quotessmall quotesboys quotesscramble quotesdart quoteswomen quotescall quotesfences quotes
Some days are born ugly. From the very first light they are no damn good what ever the weather, and everbody knows it. No one knows what causes this, but on such a day people resist getting out of bed and set their heels against the day. When they are finally forced out by hunger or job they find that the day is just as lousy as they knew it would be.
The Hebrew word, the word timshel - 'Thou mayest' - that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open...Why, that makes a man great...He can choose his course and fight it through and win...I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed - because 'Thou mayest'. ch 24
hebrew quotesword quotesword quotestimshel quotesthou quotesmayest quoteschoice quotesimportant quotesworld quotesopenwhy quotesmakes quotesman quotesgreathe quoteschoose quotesfight quoteswini quoteslove quotesglittering quotesinstrument quoteshuman quotessoul quoteslovely quotesunique quotesthing quotesuniverse quotesattacked quotesdestroyed quotesmayest quotesch quotes24 quotes
Men do change, and change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass. Change may be announced by a small ache, so that you think you're catching cold. Or you may feel a faint disgust for something you loved yesterday. It may even take the form of a hunger that peanuts won't satisfy. Isn't overeating said to be one of the strongest symptoms of discontent. And isn't discontent the lever of change?
men quoteschange quoteschange quoteswind quotesruffles quotescurtains quotesdawn quotesstealthy quotesperfume quoteswildflowers quoteshidden quotesgrass quoteschange quotesannounced quotessmall quotesache quotescatching quotescold quotesfeel quotesfaint quotesdisgust quotesloved quotesyesterday quotesform quoteshunger quotespeanuts quotessatisfy quotesovereating quotesstrongest quotessymptoms quotesdiscontent quotesdiscontent quoteslever quoteschange quotes
He had said, "I am a man," and that meant certain things to Juana. It meant that he was half insane and half god. It meant that Kino would drive his strength against a mountain and plunge his strength against the sea. Juana, in her woman's soul, knew that the mountain would stand while the man broke himself; that the sea would surge while the man drowned in it. And yet it was this thing that made him a man, half insane and half god, and Juana had need of a man; she could not live without a man.
man quotesmeant quotesthings quotesjuana quoteshalf quotesinsane quotesgod quoteskino quotesdrive quotesstrength quotesmountain quotesplunge quotessea quotesjuana quoteswomans quotessoul quotesknew quotesstand quotesman quotesbroke quotessea quotessurge quotesdrowned quotesthing quotesmade quotesman quotesgod quotesjuana quotesman quoteslive quotesman quotes
This you may say of man - when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic, grow and disintegrate, man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes. Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back.
man quotestheories quoteschange quotescrash quotesschools quotesphilosophies quotesnarrow quotesdark quotesalleys quotesthought quotesnational quotesreligious quoteseconomic quotesgrow quotesdisintegrate quotesreaches quotesstumbles quotesforward quotespainfully quotesmistakenly quotesstepped quotesslip quotesback quoteshalf quotesstep quotesfull quotesstep quotesback quotes
But I think that because they trusted themselves and respected themselves as individuals, because they knew beyond doubt that they were valuable and potentially moral units -- because of this they could give God their own courage and dignity and then receive it back. Such things have disappeared perhaps because men do not trust themselves anymore, and when that happens there is nothing left except perhaps to find some strong sure man, even though he may be wrong, and to dangle from his coattails.
trusted quotesrespected quotesindividuals quotesknew quotesdoubt quotesvaluable quotespotentially quotesmoral quotesunits quotesgive quotesgod quotescourage quotesdignity quotesreceive quotesback quotesthings quotesdisappeared quotesmen quotestrust quotesanymore quotesleft quotesfind quotesstrong quotesman quoteswrong quotesdangle quotescoattails quotes
It occurs to me that just as the Carthaginians hired mercenaries to do their fighting for them, we Americans being in mercenaries to do our hard and humble work. I hope we may not be overwhelmed one day by peoples not too proud or too lazy or too soft to bend to the earth and pick up the things we eat.
After the bare requisites to living and reproducing, man wants most to leave some record of himself, a proof, perhaps, that he has really existed. He leaves his proof on wood, on stone or on the lives of other people. This deep desire exists in everyone, from the boy who writes dirty words in a public toilet to the Buddha who etches his image in the race mind. Life is so unreal. I think that we seriously doubt that we exist and go about trying to prove that we do.
bare quotesrequisites quotesliving quotesreproducing quotesman quotesleave quotesrecord quotesproof quotesexisted quotesleaves quotesproof quoteswood quotesstone quoteslives quotespeople quotesdeep quotesdesire quotesexists quotesboy quoteswrites quotesdirty quoteswords quotespublic quotestoilet quotesbuddha quotesetches quotesimage quotesrace quotesmind quoteslife quotesunreal quotesdoubt quotesexist quotesprove quotes
Look at them. There are your true philosophers. I think that Mack and the boys know everything that has ever happened in the world and possibly everything that will happen. I think they survive in this particular world better than other people. In a time when people tear themselves to pieces with ambition and nervousness and covetousness, they are relaxed. All of our so-called successful men are sick men, with bad stomachs, and bad souls, but Mack and the boys are healthy and curiously clean. They can do what they want. They can satisfy their appetites without calling them something else.
true quotesphilosophers quotesmack quotesboys quoteshappened quotesworld quotespossibly quoteshappen quotessurvive quotespeople quotestime quotespeople quotestear quotespieces quotesambition quotesnervousness quotescovetousness quotesrelaxed quotessocalled quotessuccessful quotesmen quotessick quotesmen quotesbad quotesstomachs quotessouls quoteshealthy quotescuriously quotesclean quotessatisfy quotesappetites quotescalling quotes
A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then-the glory-so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished.
man quoteslived quoteslife quotesgray quotesland quotestrees quotesdark quotessomber quotesevents quotesimportant quotestrooped quotesfaceless quotespale quotesthenthe quotesgloryso quotescricket quotessong quotessweetens quotesears quotessmell quotesearth quotesrises quoteschanting quotesnose quotesdappling quoteslight quotestree quotesblesses quoteseyes quotespours quotesoutward quotestorrent quotesdiminished quotes
Her total intellectual association was the Bible, except the talk of Samuel and her children, and to them she did not listen. In that one book she had her history and her poetry, her knowledge of peoples and things, her ethics, her morals, and her salvation. She never studied the Bible or inspected it; she just read it. The many places where it seems to refute itself did not confuse her in the least. And finally she came to a point where she knew it so well that she went right on reading it without listening.
total quotesintellectual quotesassociation quotesbible quotestalk quotessamuel quoteschildren quoteslisten quotesbook quoteshistory quotespoetry quotesknowledge quotespeoples quotesthings quotesethics quotesmorals quotessalvation quotesstudied quotesbible quotesinspected quotesread quotesplaces quotesrefute quotesconfuse quotesfinally quotespoint quotesknew quotesreading quoteslistening quotes
I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study, and the passionate possession of all Texans.
texas quotesstate quotesmind quotesmystique quotesclosely quotesapproximating quotesreligion quotestrue quotesextent quotespeople quotespassionately quoteslove quoteshate quotesreligions quotesdare quotesinspect quotesfear quoteslosing quotesbearings quotesmystery quotesparadox quotesquarrel quotesfeeling quotesthing quotesenormous quotesrange quotesspace quotesclimate quotesphysical quotesappearance quotesinternal quotessquabbles quotescontentions quotesstrivings quotestight quotescohesiveness quotesstronger quotessection quotesamerica quotesrich quotespoor quotespanhandle quotesgulf quotescity quotescountry quotesobsession quotesproper quotesstudy quotespassionate quotespossession quotestexans quotes
On the black earth on which the ice plants bloomed, hundreds of black stink bugs crawled. And many of them stuck their tails up in the air. "Look at all them stink bugs, " Hazel remarked, grateful to the bugs for being there. "They're interesting, " said Doc. "Well, what they got their asses up in the air for?" Doc rolled up his wool socks and put them in the rubber boots and from his pocket he brought out dry socks and a pair of thin moccasins. "I don't know why, " he said. "I looked them up recently-they're very common animals and one of the commonest things they do is put their tails up in the air. And in all the books there isn't one mention of the fact that they put their tails up in the air or why." Hazel turned one of the stink bugs over with the toe of his wet tennis shoe and the shining black beetle strove madly with floundering legs to get upright again. "Well, why do you think they do it?" "I think they're praying, " said Doc. "What!" Hazel was shocked. "The remarkable thing, " said Doc, "isn't that they put their tails up in the air-the really incredibly remarkable thing is that we find it remarkable. We can only use ourselves as yardsticks. If we did something as inexplicable and strange we'd probably be praying-so maybe they're praying." "Let's get the hell out of here, " said Hazel.
black quotesearth quotesice quotesplants quotesbloomed quoteshundreds quotesstink quotesbugs quotescrawled quotesstuck quotestails quotesair quotesbugs quoteshazel quotesremarked quotesgrateful quotesinteresting quotesdoc quotesasses quotesair quotesdoc quotesrolled quoteswool quotessocks quotesput quotesrubber quotesboots quotespocket quotesbrought quotesdry quotespair quotesthin quotesmoccasins quoteslooked quotesrecentlytheyre quotescommon quotesanimals quotescommonest quotesthings quotesbooks quotesmention quotesfact quotesturned quotestoe quoteswet quotestennis quotesshoe quotesshining quotesbeetle quotesstrove quotesmadly quotesfloundering quoteslegs quotesupright quotespraying quotesshocked quotesremarkable quotesthing quotesdoc quotesairthe quotesincredibly quotesthing quotesfind quotesremarkable quotesyardsticks quotesinexplicable quotesstrange quotesprayingso quotespraying quoteshell quoteshazel quotes
Let's say that when I was a little baby, and all my bones soft and malleable, I was put in a small Episcopal cruciform box and so took my shape. Then, when I broke out of the box, the way a baby chick escapes an egg, is it strange that I had the shape of a cross? Have you ever noticed that chickens are roughly egg-shaped?
A new country seems to follow a pattern. First come the openers, strong and brave and rather childlike. They can take care of themselves in a wilderness, but they are naive and helpless against men, and perhaps that is why they went out in the first place. When the rough edges are worn off the new land, businessmen and lawyers come in to help with the development-to solve problems of ownership, usually by removing the temptations to themselves. And finally comes culture, which is entertainment, relaxation, transport out of the pain of living. And culture can be on any level, and is. The Church and the whorehouse arrived in the Far West simultaneously.
country quotesfollow quotespattern quotesopeners quotesstrong quotesbrave quoteschildlike quotescare quoteswilderness quotesnaive quoteshelpless quotesmen quotesplace quotesrough quotesedges quotesworn quotesland quotesbusinessmen quoteslawyers quotesdevelopmentto quotessolve quotesproblems quotesownership quotesremoving quotestemptations quotesfinally quotesculture quotesentertainment quotesrelaxation quotestransport quotespain quotesliving quotesculture quoteslevel quoteschurch quoteswhorehouse quotesarrived quoteswest quotessimultaneously quotes
And I feel that I am a man. And I feel that a man is a very important thing - maybe more important than a star. This is not theology. I have no bent toward gods. But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed - because 'thou mayest'.
The church and the whorehouse arrived in the Far West simultaneously. And each would have been horrified to think it was a different facet of the same thing. But surely they were both intended to accomplish the same thing: the singing, the devotion, the poetry of the churches took a man out of his bleakness for a time, and so did the brothels.
I live alone, " he said simply. "I live in the open. I hear the waves at night and see the black patterns of the pine boughs against the sky. With sound and silence and color and solitude, of course I see visions. Anyone would." "But you don't believe in them?" Doc asked hopefully. "I don't find it a matter for belief or disbelief, " the seer said. "You've seen the sun flatten and take strange shapes just before it sinks into the ocean. Do you have to tell yourself everytime that it's an illusion caused by atmospheric dust and light distorted by the sea, or do you simply enjoy the beauty of it? Don't you see visions?" "No, " said Doc.
live quotessimply quotesopen quoteshear quoteswaves quotesnight quotesblack quotespatterns quotespine quotesboughs quotessky quotessound quotessilence quotescolor quotessolitude quotesvisions quotesdoc quotesasked quotesfind quotesmatter quotesbelief quotesdisbelief quotesseer quotessun quotesflatten quotesstrange quotesshapes quotessinks quotesocean quoteseverytime quotesillusion quotescaused quotesatmospheric quotesdust quoteslight quotesdistorted quotessea quotessimply quotesenjoy quotesbeauty quotesvisions quotesdoc quotes
I seen hundreds of men come by on the road an' on the ranches, with their bindles on their back an' that same damn thing in their heads... every damn one of 'em's got a little piece of land in his head. An' never a God damn one of 'em ever gets it. Just like heaven. Ever'body wants a little piece of lan'. I read plenty of books out here. Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land.
Our Father who art in nature, who has given the gift of survival to the coyote, the common brown rat, the English sparrow, the house fly and the moth, must have a great and overwhelming love for no-goods and blots-on-the-town and bums, and Mack and the boys. Virtues and graces and laziness and zest. Our Father who art in nature.
father quotesart quotesnature quotesgift quotessurvival quotescoyote quotescommon quotesbrown quotesrat quotesenglish quotessparrow quoteshouse quotesfly quotesmoth quotesgreat quotesoverwhelming quoteslove quotesnogoods quotesblotsonthetown quotesbums quotesmack quotesboys quotesvirtues quotesgraces quoteslaziness quoteszest quotesnature quotes
In our time mass or collective production has entered our economics, our politics, even our religion, so that some nations have substituted the idea collective for the idea God. This in my time is the danger. There is great tension in the world, tension toward a breaking point, and men are unhappy and confused. At such a time it seems natural and good to me to ask myself these questions. What do I believe in? What must I fight for and what must I fight against?
time quotesmass quotescollective quotesproduction quotesentered quoteseconomics quotespolitics quotesreligion quotesnations quotessubstituted quotesidea quotesgod quotesdanger quotesgreat quotestension quotesworld quotesbreaking quotespoint quotesmen quotesunhappy quotesconfused quotesnatural quotesgood quotesquestions quotesfight quotes
Death is a personal matter, arousing sorrow, despair, fervor, or dry-hearted philosophy. Funerals, on the other hand, are social functions. Imagine going to a funeral without first polishing the automobile. Imagine standing at a graveside not dressed in your best dark suit and your best black shoes, polished delightfully. Imagine sending flowers to a funeral with no attached card to prove you had done the correct thing. In no social institution is the codified ritual of behavior more rigid than in funerals. Imagine the indignation if the minister altered his sermon or experimented with facial expression. Consider the shock if, at the funeral parlors, any chairs were used but those little folding yellow torture chairs with the hard seats. No, dying, a man may be loved, hated, mourned, missed; but once dead he becomes the chief ornament of a complicated and formal social celebration.
death quotespersonal quotesmatter quotesarousing quotessorrow quotesdespair quotesfervor quotesdryhearted quotesphilosophy quotesfunerals quoteshand quotessocial quotesfunctions quotesimagine quotesfuneral quotespolishing quotesautomobile quotesstanding quotesgraveside quotesdressed quotesdark quotessuit quotesblack quotesshoes quotespolished quotesdelightfully quotessending quotesflowers quotesattached quotescard quotesprove quotescorrect quotesthing quotesinstitution quotescodified quotesritual quotesbehavior quotesrigid quotesfunerals quotesindignation quotesminister quotesaltered quotessermon quotesexperimented quotesfacial quotesexpression quotesshock quotesparlors quoteschairs quotesfolding quotesyellow quotestorture quoteshard quotesseats quotesdying quotesman quotesloved quoteshated quotesmourned quotesmissed quotesdead quoteschief quotesornament quotescomplicated quotesformal quotescelebration quotes
It has always seemed strange to me... The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.
strange quotesthings quotesadmire quotesmen quoteskindness quotesgenerosity quotesopenness quoteshonesty quotesunderstanding quotesfeeling quotesconcomitants quotesfailure quotessystem quotestraits quotesdetest quotessharpness quotesgreed quotesacquisitiveness quotesmeanness quotesegotism quotesselfinterest quotessuccess quotesmen quotesquality quoteslove quotesproduce quotes