kids marked by the special thinness that one has only once, the transparent thinness of early maturity, when, without knowing it, you are immortal. And completely permeable. When you can walk indifferently down the street with a lover because you have become that lover. Two small people without dislike of suspicion.
I've lived so little that I tend to imagine I'm not going to die; it seems improbable that human existence can be reduced to so little; one imagines, in spite of oneself, that sooner or later something is bound to happen. A big mistake. A life can just as well be both empty and short. The days slip by indifferently, leaving neither trace nor memory; and then all of a sudden they stop.
Both as to high and low indifferently, men are prepossessed, charmed, fascinated by success; successful crimes are praised very much like virtue itself, and good fortune is not far from occupying the place of the whole cycle of virtues. It must be an atrocious act, a base and hateful deed, which success would not be able to justify.
Jean de la Bruyere
By consequence, or train of thoughts, I understand that succession of one thought to another which is called, to distinguish it from discourse in words, mental discourse. When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to every thought succeeds indifferently.
I Have often thought if the minds of men were laid open, we should see but little difference between that of the wise man and that of the fool. There are infinite reveries, numberless extravagances, and a perpetual train of vanities which pass through both. The great difference is, that the first knows how to pick and cull his thoughts for conversation, by suppressing some, and communicating others; whereas the other lets them all indifferently fly out in words.
Very few men can speak of Nature, for instance, with any truth. They overstep her modesty, somehow or other, and confer no favor.They do not speak a good word for her. Most cry better than they speak, and you can get more nature out of them by pinching than by addressing them. The surliness with which the woodchopper speaks of his woods, handling them as indifferently as his axe, is better than the mealy-mouthed enthusiasm of the lover of nature. Better that the primrose by the river's brim be a yellow primrose, and nothing more, than that it be something less.
Henry David Thoreau
Has your work become very easy? Do you find you can do it with little effort? Has it ceased to impose any strain or fatigue upon you? Do you no longer feel loss of vitality after a long spell of it? Can you now do it as easy as water rolls off a duck's back? If so, look out! Do some stock-taking. Examine your output.... Work done with little effort is likely to yield little result. Every job can be done excellently or indifferently. Excellence necessitates effort-hard, sustained, concentrated effort.
B. C. Forbes
The leaves did not stir on the trees, grasshoppers chirruped, and the monotonous hollow sound of the sea rising up from below, spoke of the peace, of the eternal sleep awaiting us. So it must have sounded when there was no Yalta, no Oreanda here; so it sounds now, and it will sound as indifferently and monotonously when we are all no more. And in this constancy, in this complete indifference to the life and death of each of us, there lies hid, perhaps, a pledge of our eternal salvation, of the unceasing movement of life upon earth, of unceasing progress towards perfection.
It is true that water will flow indifferently to east and west, but will it flow equally well up and down? Human nature is disposed toward goodness, just as water tends to flow downwards. There is no water but flows downwards, and no man but shows his tendency to be good. Now, by striking water hard, you may splash it higher than your forehead, and by damming it, you may make it go uphill. But, is that the nature of water? It is external force that causes it to do so. Likewise, if a man is made to do what is not good, his nature is being similarly forced.
I remember that life in that room seemed to be occurring beneath the sea, time flowed past indifferently above us, hours and days had no meaning. In the beginning our life held a joy and amazement which was newborn every day. Beneath the joy, of course, was anguish and beneath the amazement was fear; but they did not work themselves to the beginning until our high beginning was aloes on our tongues. By then anguish and fear had become the surface on which we slipped and slid, losing balance, dignity, and pride.
I have seen it over and over, the same sea, the same, slightly, indifferently swinging above the stones, icily free above the stones, above the stones and then the world. If you should dip your hand in, your wrist would ache immediately, your bones would begin to ache and your hand would burn as if the water were a transmutation of fire that feeds on stones and burns with a dark gray flame. If you tasted it, it would first taste bitter, then briny, then surely burn your tongue. It is like what we imagine knowledge to be: dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free, drawn form the cold hard mouth of the world, derived from the rocky breasts forever, flowing and drawn, and since our knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.
I hope each of us owns the facts of her or his own life, " Hughes wrote in a letter to the Independent in April, 1989, when he had been goaded by a particularly intrusive article. But, of course, as everyone knows who has ever heard a piece of gossip, we do not "own" the facts of our lives at all. This ownership passes out of our hands at birth, at the moment we are first observed. The organs of publicity that have proliferated in our time are only an extension and a magnification of society's fundamental and incorrigible nosiness. Our business is everybody's business, should anybody wish to make it so. The concept of privacy is a sort of screen to hide the fact that almost none is possible in a social universe. In any struggle between the public's inviolable right to be diverted and an individual's wish to be left alone, the public almost always prevails. After we are dead, the pretense that we may somehow be protected against the world's careless malice is abandoned. The branch of the law that putatively protects our good name against libel and slander withdraws from us indifferently. The dead cannot be libelled or slandered. They are without legal recourse.
It was heart-shaking. Glorious. Torches, dizziness, singing. Wolves howling around us and a bull bellowing in the dark. The river ran white. It was like a film in fast motion, the moon waxing and waning, clouds rushing across the sky. Vines grew from the ground so fast they twined up the trees like snakes; seasons passing in the wink of an eye, entire years for all I know... Mean we think of phenomenal change as being the very essence of time, when it's not at all. Time is something which defies spring and water, birth and decay, the good and the bad, indifferently. Something changeless and joyous and absolutely indestructible. Duality ceases to exist; there is no ego, no 'I, ' and yet it's not at all like those horrid comparisons one sometimes hears in Eastern religions, the self being a drop of water swallowed by the ocean of the universe. It's more as if the universe expands to fill the boundaries of the self. You have no idea how pallid the workday boundaries of ordinary existence seem, after such an ecstasy.
I want you, Hank. I'm much more of an animal than you think. I wanted you from the first moment I saw you - and the only thing I'm ashamed of is that I did not know it. I did not know why, for two years, the brightest moments I found were the ones in your office, where I could lift my head to look up at you. I did not know the nature of what I felt in your presence, nor the reason. I know it now. That is all I want, Hank. I want you in my bed - and you are free of me for all the rest of your time. There's nothing you'll have to pretend - don't think of me, don't feel; don't care - I do not want your mind, your will, your being or your soul, so long as it's to me you will come for that lowest one of your desires. I am an animal who wants nothing but the sensation of pleasure which you despise - but I want it from you. You'd give up amy height of virtue for it , while I - I haven't any to give up. There's none I seek or wish to reach. I am so low that I would exchange the greatest sight of beauty in the world for the sight of your figure in the cab of a railroad engine. Amd seeing it, I would not be able to see it indifferently. You don't have to fear that you're now dependent on me. It's I who will depend on any whim of yours. You'll have me anytime you wish, anywhere, on any terms. Did you call it the obscenity of my talent? It's such that it gives you a safer hold on me than on any other property you own. You may dispose of me as you please - I'm not afraid to admit it - I have nothing to protect from you and nothing to reserve. You think that this is a threat to your achievement, but it is not to mine. I will sit at my desk, and work, and when the things around me get hard to bear, I will think that for my reward I will be in your bed that night. Did you call it depravity? I am much more depraved than you are: you hold it as your guilt, and I - as my pride. I'm more proud of it than anything I've done, more proud than of building the Line. If I'm asked to name my proudest attainment, I will say: I have slept with Hank Rearden. I had earned it.