Why can't I believe? she asked the darkness. Behind her eyelids she saw an animal. It was golden colour, with gentle green eyes and canine teeth, and curly wool instead of fur. It opened its mouth, but it did not speak. Instead, it yawned.It gazed at her. She gazed at it. "You are the effect of a carefully calibrated blend of plant toxins," she told it.Then she fell asleep.
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We're facing growing climate change, more floods, more droughts, more crisis on a planetary level, and the systems we put in place in the twentieth century are just not going to work. We've run out of stuff. Our big problems are going to be energy supplies and food supplies. This is not a right-left issue. It's a people issue, and it cuts across all our categories.
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This has been her problem all her life: picturing other people's responses. She's too good at it. She can picture the response of anyone--other people's reactions, their emotions, their criticisms, their demands--but somehow they don't reciprocate. Maybe they can't. Maybe they lack the gift, if it is one.
Money as such is, as Oscar Wilde said, perfectly useless. You can't eat it, drink it, shelter yourself from the cold with it, wear it, or make love with it unless deeply disturbed. In and of itself, it has no emotions, no mind, and no conscience. It doesn't put out flowers or have children, and it makes a lousy pet. It has meaning only when it circulates, and is exchanged for other things; and money doesn't do that for itself. People do that, using money as a symbolic token.
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When faced with the inevitable, you always have a choice.... As I learned during my liberal arts education, any symbol can have, in the imaginative context, two versions, a positive and a negative. If you spill your milk, you're left with a glass which is either half empty or half full.... You may not be able to alter reality, but you can alter your attitude towards it, and this, paradoxically, alters reality. Try it and see.
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It's a critical fallacy of our times ... that a writer should 'grow,' 'change,' or 'develop.' This fallacy causes us to expect from children or radishes: 'grow,' or there's something wrong with you. But writers are not radishes. If you look at what most writers actually do, it resembles a theme with variations more than it does the popular notion of growth.
But I keep going on with this sad and hungry and sordid, this limping and mutilated story, because after all I want you to hear it, as I will hear yours too if I ever get the chance, if I meet you or if you escape, in the future or in heaven or in prison or underground, some other place. What they have in common is that they're not here. By telling you anything at all I'm at least believing in you, I believe you're there, I believe you into being. Because I'm telling you this story I will your existence. I tell, therefore you are.
In Heaven, there are no debts - all have been paid, one way or another - but in Hell there's nothing but debts, and a great deal of payment is exacted, though you can't ever get all paid up. You have to pay, and pay, and keep on paying. So Hell is like an infernal maxed-out credit card that multiplies the charges endlessly.
I think the main thing is: Just do it. Plunge in! Being Canadian, I go swimming in icy cold lakes, and there is always that dithering moment. "Am I really going to do this? Won't it hurt?" And at some point you just have to flop in there and scream. Once you're in, keep going. You may have to crumple and toss, but we all do that. Courage! I think that is what's most required.
Whatever the scientists may come up with, writers and artists will continue to portray altered mental states, simply because few aspects of our nature fascinate people so much. The so-called mad person will always represent a possible future for every member of the audience - who knows when such a malady may strike?
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I myself discovered many authors through school reading lists and through school anthologies. The positives are: young readers can find the world opening up to them through books they study. The negatives may include bad experiences kids have - if they don't like the book or the teacher, or the way the book is taught.
It's impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because of what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too many parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances; too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many shapes which can never be fully described, too many flavors, in the air or on the tongue, half-colors, too many.
Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.
Either I'm alive or I'm dying, she said to Daniel. Please don't feel you can't tell me. Which is it? Which does it feel like? said Daniel. He patted her hand. You're not dead yet. You're a lot more alive than many people. This isn't good enough for Rennie. She wants something definite, the real truth, one way or the other. Then she will know what she should do next. It's this suspension, hanging in a void, this half-life she can't bear. She can't bear not knowing. She doesn't want to know.
Communications technology changes possibilities for communication, but that doesn't mean it changes the inherited structure of the brain. So you may think that you're addicted to online reading, but as soon as it isn't available anymore, your brain will pretty immediately adjust to other forms of reading. It's a habit like all habits.
As all historians know, the past is a great darkness, and filled with echoes. Voices may reach us from it; but what they say to us is imbued with the obscurity of the matrix out of which they come; and try as we may, we cannot always decipher them precisely in the clearer light of our day.
Anything that suffers and dies instead of us is Christ; if they didn't kill birds and fish they would have killed us. The animals die that we may live, they are substitute people, hunters in the fall killing the deer, that is Christ also. And we eat them, out of cans or otherwise; we are eaters of death, dead Christ-flesh resurrecting inside us, granting us life. Canned Spam, canned Jesus, even the plants must be Christ.
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All Creatures know that some must die That all the rest may take and eat; Sooner or later, all transform Their blood to wine, their flesh to meat. But Man alone seeks Vengefulness, And writes his abstract Laws on stone; For this false Justice he has made, He tortures limb and crushes bone. Is this the image of a god? My tooth for yours, your eye for mine? Oh, if Revenge did move the stars Instead of Love, they would not shine.
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