They have left the first stage of romance-the rhapsody of us. Where everything is you-me or me-you or a giddily tentative we. Now him and her are asserting themselves, each given a private, pensive depth. Within the rhapsody of us, Elijah could think, I don't really know you, but I will. Now he is not so sure.
When I go beyond a certain range it's outside of my direct horizon therefore I've got to rely on the writings and personal communications given to me by other people that I know.... I've got to try to piece together some tentative information picture of what the whole thing is like, but I'm aware that it becomes more and more speculative as it becomes more and more second, third, fourth hand. And this applies to absolutely everyone.
R. D. Laing
I think now that maybe true sweetness can only happen in limbo. I don't know why. Is it because we are so unsure, so tentative and waiting? Like it needs that much room, that much space to expand. The not knowing anything really, the hoping, the aching transience: This is not real, not really, and so we let it alone, let it unfold lightly. Those times that can fly.
I've seen people spend days, if not months, researching and gathering data, but only at the end did they finally figure out what they were really looking for; then they have to redo a lot of stuff. If after a day or so you force yourself to put together your tentative conclusions, then you'll have guidance for the rest of your research.
My father was an aspiring country singer and songwriter. He just didn't get that off that ground. I was afraid, very tentative to do anything with music for years. I didn't tell him I was playing in bands when I was away from home, because it had been such an unpleasant experience and a letdown for him.
It seems to me that the evidence ... is opposed to the view that the spirals are individual galaxies comparable with our own. In fact, there appears as yet no reason for modifying the tentative hypothesis that the spirals are not composed of typical stars at all, but are truly nebulous objects.
She hugs me. It's tentative at first, a little scared, and yes, a little repulsed, but then she melts into it. She rests her head against my cold neck and embraces me. Unable to believer what's happening, I put my arm around her and just hold her. I almost swear I can feel my heart thumping. But it must just be hers, pressed tightly against my chest.
Whenever I allow anything but tenderness and compassion to dictate my response to life--be it self-righteous anger, moralizing, defensiveness, the pressing need to change others...I am alienated from my true self. My identity as Abba's child [a child of God] becomes ambiguous, tentative and confused
The process of tracing regularity in any complicated, and at first sight confused, set of appearances, is necessarily tentative; we begin by making any supposition, even a false one, to see what consequences will follow from it ; and by observing how these differ from the real phenomena, we learn what corrections to make in our assumption.
John Stuart Mill
James Watt patented his steam engine on the eve of the American Revolution, consummating a relationship between coal and the new Promethean spirit of the age, and humanity made its first tentative steps into an industrial way of life that would, over the next two centuries, forever change the world.
How do we know, then, when a code's been cracked?when we are right?when do we know if we have even received a message? Why, naturally, when, upon one set of substitutions, sense emerges like the outline under a rubbing; when a single tentative construal leads to several; when all the sullen letters of the code cry TEAM! after YEA! has been, by several hands, uncovered.
William H. Gass
How scientists go about their job: and it's a process, it's a question of asking questions, respecting observation, respecting experiment, having tentative explanations and then testing them.... There is a problem sometimes with how we teach science at schools. Because we sometimes teach it as if it has been chiseled in stone.
I had kissed my share of men, particularly during the war years, when flirtation and instant romance were the light-minded companions of death and uncertainty. Jamie, thought, was something different. His extreme gentleness was in no way tentative; rather it was a promise of power known and held in leash; a challenge and a provocation the more remarkable for its lack of demand. I am yours, it said. And if you will have me, then..
I had kissed my share of men, particularly during the war years, when flirtation and instant romance were the light-minded companions of death and uncertainty. Jamie, thought, was something different. His extreme gentleness was in no way tentative; rather it was a promise of power known and held in leash; a challenge and a provocation the more remarkable for its lack of demand. I am yours, it said. And if you will have me, then...
I think we came out the last couple of game and have been able to get it going. The first couple we were tentative a little bit, that energy, maybe excite. I saw in the last couple of games we've been able to channel that and use it in a positive way to go, be aggressive, physical and skate. When we're skating and physical we're at our best and put a lot of pressure on the other team that way.
After a lifetime in this subject, I have concluded that the extraterrestrial hypothesis is one reasonable tentative approach to putting the best-documented and most puzzling UFO reports into a scientifically defensible conceptual framework. By such reports I mean those with credible multiple or independent witnesses, instrumented observations, and physical evidence.
You simply can't be tentative in a startup. You have to go for it at every chance you get. And if the leader of the organization is anxious, his or her fear pervades the organization. Everything comes from the top in a company. So if you are starting a company or building one, face your fears and move past them. It's critically important to your company.
Love Is a curious thing. Sometimes it barrels into you, leaves you breathless. Other times, it comes in- to your life, a tentative beam of morning sun sneaking through the blinds, and you think this light isn't possible. The shutters are drawn. Night should linger on. I don't feel like waking. Yet the room comes slowly lit. Sleep slithers away, and at last you can no longer deny the dawning.
All interpretations made by a scientist are hypotheses, and all hypotheses are tentative. They must forever be tested and they must be revised if found to be unsatisfactory. Hence, a change of mind in a scientist, and particularly in a great scientist, is not only not a sign of weakness but rather evidence for continuing attention to the respective problem and an ability to test the hypothesis again and again.
I'm much better at working out ideas in action than I am in theorizing about it and then transferring my thinking to action. I don't work that way. I work with tentative ideas and I experiment and then with that experimentation in action, I finally come to the conclusions about what I think is the right way to do it.
Summer explodes into Portland. In early June the heat was there but not the color--the green were still pale and tentative, the morning had a biting coolness--but by the last week of school everything is Technicolor and splash, outrageous blue skies and purple thunderstorms and ink-black night skies and red flowers as brights as spots of blood.
The precision of hisskill places his work beyond the tentative and the experimental stage. He is continually searching and exploring both himself and his surroundings. and in this exploration of the realm of places, people and things, contrasts and relationships, Callahan is no respecter of conventional technical formula or code. His delicate sense of pattern is an integral part of his photography and not a thing by itself.
It is clear that the building of models is not a purely mechanical process but requires skill of a high order - not merely mathematical skill but a sensitivity to the relative importance of different factors and a critical, almost an artistic, faculty in the selection of behaviour equations which are reasonable, tentative hypotheses in explaining the behaviour of actual economies.
Kenneth E. Boulding
So, is it too young for you?" He leaned over, lips coming to mine, arms pulling me into a kiss, soft at first, tentative, then... wow. The guy could kiss. I finally had to pull back to catch my breath. "Good answer?" he said. "Yep. You like them young." He flushed. "That was not the message." "Are you sure? Because it certainly seems-" He cut me off with another oxygen-depriving kiss.
But this first clumsy attempt showed her that the imagination itself was a source of secrets: once she had begun a story, no one could be told. Pretending in words was too tentative, too vulnerable, too embarrassing to let anyone know. Even writing out the she saids, the and thens, made her wince, and she felt foolish, appearing to know about the emotions of an imaginary being. Self-exposure was inevitable the moment she described a character's weakness; the reader was bound to speculate that she was describing herself. What other authority could she have?
The psychological dangers through which earlier generations were guided by the symbols and spiritual exercises of their mythological and religious inheritance, we today (in so far as we are unbelievers, or, if believers, in so far as our inherited beliefs fail to represent the real problems of contemporary life) must face alone, or, at best with only tentative, impromptu, and not often very effective guidance. This is our problem as modern, "enlightened" individuals, for whom all gods and devils have been rationalized out of existence.
Throughout our lives friends enclose us like pairs of parentheses. They shift our boundaries; crater our terrain. They fume through the cracks of our tentative houses and parts of them always remain. Friendship asks the truth and wants the truth, hollows and fills, ages with us, and we through it. It cradles us like family. It is ecology and mystery and language - all three. Our grown-up friendships - especially the really meaningful ones- model for our children what we want them to have throughout their lives.
I am a cautious pilgrim of the night, a tentative wanderer among the stars. My awareness of my home in the universe is fleeting and incomplete. Into the homeless home of the sun-faced buddha I have stepped but briefly. My quest, such as it is, is rewarded with faint lights and scrawny cries, a trait here and trait there, a hint of the infinite and a tingle in the spine. Of "minute particulars" I will make my way.
A steady exposure to distant human need that is beyond our personal response can gradually inoculate us against particular action... Isolation from local need, and overexposure to overwhelming but distant need, make our responses to strangers uncertain and tentative at best. We need to find or create contemporary equivalents of the city gate, community rituals, and small group meetings in which we can build preliminary relations with strangers.
My loving friend, you see, my life was never given a foundation, no one was able to imagine what it would want to become. In Venice there stands the so-called Ca del Duca, a princely foundation, on which later the most wretched tenement came to be built. With me it's the opposite: the beautiful arched elevations of my spirit rest on the most tentative beginning; a wooden scaffolding, a few boards....Is that why I feel inhibited in raising the nave, the tower to which the weight of the great bells is to be hoisted (by angels, who else could do it)?
Rainer Maria Rilke
Here You always belonged here. You were theirs, certain as a rock. I'm the one who worries if I fit in with the furniture and the landscape. But I 'follow too much the devices and desires of my own heart.' Already the curves in the road are familiar to me, and the mountain in all kinds of light, treating all people the same. and when I come over the hill, I see the house, with its generous and firm proportions, smoke rising gaily from the chimney. I feel my life start up again, like a cutting when it grows the first pale and tentative root hair in a glass of water.
Still sitting, he reached out and pulled me toward him. We stayed there, looking at each other, his hand still wrapped in my shirt hem, my heart hammering so hard I was sure he could hear it. when I inched closer, not wanting to intrude, he tugged me in front of him and I stumbled, half falling onto his lap. I tried to scramble up, cheeks burning, but he pulled me down onto his knee, one army going around my waist, tentative, as if to say Is this okay? It was, even if my blood pounded in my ears so hard I couldn't think.
I mean to say, really, I am near to developing a neurosis - is there anyone around who doesn't want to study or kill me?" Floote raised a tentative hand. "Ah, yes, thank you, Floote." "There is also Mrs Tunstell, madam," he offered hopefully, is if Ivy were some kind of consolation prize. "I notice you don't mention my fair-weather husband." "I suspect, at this moment, madam, he probably wants to kill you." Alexia couldn't help smiling. "Good point.
I mean to say, really, I am near to developing a neurosis - is there anyone around who doesn't want to study or kill me?" Floote raised a tentative hand. "Ah, yes, thank you, Floote." "There is also Mrs Tunstell, madam, " he offered hopefully, is if Ivy were some kind of consolation prize. "I notice you don't mention my fair-weather husband." "I suspect, at this moment, madam, he probably wants to kill you." Alexia couldn't help smiling. "Good point.
When he first put his arms around me, it was tentative, like maybe he expected I'd pull away. When I didn't, he moved in closer, his hands smoothing over my shoulders, and in my mind I saw myself retreating a million times when people tried to do this same thing: my sister or my mother, pulling back and into myself, tucking everything out of sight, where only I knew where to find it. This time, though, I gave in. I let Wes pull me against him, pressing my head against his chest, where I could feel his heart beating, steady and true.
But it's Posy, Gale's five-year-old sister, who helps the most. She scoots along the bench to Octavia and touches her skin with a tentative finger. "You're green. Are you sick?" "It's a fashion thing, Posy. Like wearing lipstick," I say. "It's meant to be pretty," whispers Octavia, and I can see the tears threatening to spill over her lashes. Posy considers this and says matter-of-factly, "I think you'd be pretty in any color.
While its [Harvard's] undergraduate life was still controlled [in 1908-1912] by a select group of rich and fashionable families whose sons merely arrived when they were due to fill the places that had been waiting for them from the day they were born, it was, at the same time, opening its doors to a more cosmopolitan student population and beginning to take the first tentative steps toward mitigating the evils of a pyramidal social system that concentrated all its social honors upon the rich and the wellborn.
Doris Kearns Goodwin
The most flattering spin I can put on this phase of paradoxes and metaphysical tangles is that I was smart enough, at age fourteen, to destroy any fledgling hypothesis I came up with. A tentative explanation, theory, or formulation would pop up in my brain only to be attacked by what amounted to a kind of logical immune system, bent on eliminating all that was weak or defective. Which is to say that my mind had become a scene of furious predation, littered with the half-eaten corpses of vast theories and brilliant syntheses.
It's scary. This love thing. The sweet vulnerability of extension. The naked of 'here I am'. The tentative reaching of outstretched arms. The wide open of hope... Teach me how to be loved. Let me show you how to love me well. School me in the workings of your heart, in the language of your bones. Let my open palm memorize the shape of your face. Tell me the stories of your scars so I can trace them with the honor of understanding. I have been loved by those who didn't care to discover all that I am. Will you be the one to see me whole?
Philosophy arises from an unusually obstinate attempt to arrive at real knowledge. What passes for knowledge in ordinary life suffers from three defects: it is cocksure, vague and self-contradictory. The first step towards philosophy consists in becoming aware of these defects, not in order to rest content with a lazy scepticism, but in order to substitute an amended kind of knowledge which shall be tentative, precise and self-consistent.
It is just dawn, daylight: that gray and lonely suspension filled with the peaceful and tentative waking of birds. The air, inbreathed, is like spring water. He breathes deep and slow, feeling with each breath himself diffuse in the natural grayness, becoming one with loneliness and quiet that has never known fury or despair. "That was all I wanted, " he thinks, in a quiet and slow amazement. "That was all, for thirty years. That didn't seem to be a whole lot to ask in thirty years.
It is just dawn, daylight: that gray and lonely suspension filled with the peaceful and tentative waking of birds. The air, inbreathed, is like spring water. He breathes deep and slow, feeling with each breath himself diffuse in the natural grayness, becoming one with loneliness and quiet that has never known fury or despair. "That was all I wanted," he thinks, in a quiet and slow amazement. "That was all, for thirty years. That didn't seem to be a whole lot to ask in thirty years.
The patter of tentative footfalls reached my ears. I flipped on my side to face the door and saw Ansel wander by. I rolled onto my back, rubbing sleep from my eyes. I'd crashed on my bed as soons as I'd gotten back from school, collapsing under the weight of the day. The floorboards squeaked as Ansel passed by my door again. I caught his nervous glance in my direction before he hurried down the hall. 'Ansel, I'm not the sun; stop orbiting and get in here, ' I called.
There are, broadly speaking, two types of drinkers. There is the man whom we all know, stupid, unimaginative, whose brain is bitten numbly by numb maggots; who walks generously with wide-spread, tentative legs, falls frequently in the gutter, and who sees, in the extremity of his ecstasy, blue mice and pink elephants.... The other type of drinker has imagination, vision. Even when most pleasantly jingled he walks straight and naturally, never staggers nor falls, and knows just where he is and what he is doing. It is not his body but his brain that is drunken.
The pioneer, the creator, the explorer is generally a single, lonely person rather than a group, struggling all alone with his inner conflicts, fears, defenses against arrogance and pride, even against paranoia. He has to be a courageous man, not afraid to stick his neck out, not afraid even to make mistakes, well aware that he is, as Polanyi has stressed, a kind of gambler who comes to tentative conclusions in the absence of facts and then spends some years trying to figure out if his hunch was correct. If he has any sense at all, he is of course scared of his own ideas, of his temerity, and is well aware that he is affirming what he cannot prove.
Early on a difficult climb, especially a solo climb, you're hyper-aware of the abyss pulling at your back, constantly feeling its call, its immense hunger. To resist takes tremendous conscious effort, you don't dare let your guard down for an instant. The void puts you on edge, makes your movements tentative and clumsy. But as the climb continues, you grow accustomed to the exposure, you get used to rubbing shoulders with doom, you come to believe in the reliability of your hands and feet and head. You learn to trust your self-control.
Despite popular opinion, there are no important parallels between Madonna and Monroe, who was a virtuoso comedienne but who was in secure, depressive, passive-aggressive, and infuriatingly obstructionist in her career habits. Madonna is manic, perfectionist, workaholic. Monroe abused alcohol and drugs, while Madonna shuns them. Monroe had a tentative, melting, dreamy solipsism; Madonna has Judy Holliday's wisecracking smart mouth and Joan Crawford's steel will and bossy, circus master managerial competence.
Calmly, slowly, she reached behind with her left hand and came up against - yes, fabric. Fine linen, to be precise. So far, so good: she was inside a wardrobe, after all. The only problem was that this linen was oddly warm. Body warm. Beneath the tentative pressure of her palm, it seemed to be moving... With terrifying suddenness, an ungloved hand clamped roughly over her nose and mouth. A long arm pinned her arms against her sides. She was held tightly against a hard, warm surface. "Hush, " whispered a pair of lips pressed to her left ear. "If you scream, we are both lost.
Truthfulness, honor, is not something which springs ablaze of itself; it has to be created between people. This is true in political situations. The quality and depth of the politics evolving from a group depends in large part on their understanding of honor. Much of what is narrowly termed "politics" seems to rest on a longing for certainty even at the cost of honesty, for an analysis which, once given, need not be re-examined... It isn't that to have an honorable relationship with you, I have to understand everything, or tell you everything at once, or that I can know, beforehand, everything I need to tell you. It means that most of the time I am eager, longing for the possibility of telling you. That these possibilities may seem frightening, but not destructive to me. That I feel strong enough to hear your tentative and groping words. That we both know we are trying, all the time, to extend the possibilities of truth between us.
If she answered, he could not hear it, and he certainly couldn't see her, so he went. First he crawled the rocks one by one, one by one, till his hands touched shore and the nursing sound of the sea was behind him. He felt around, crawled off and then stood up. Breathing heavily with his mouth open he took a few tentative steps. The pebbles made him stumble and so did the roots of trees. He threw out his hands to guide and steady his going. By and by he walked steadier, now steadier. The mist lifted and the trees stepped back a bit as if to make the way easier for a certain kind of man. Then he ran. Lickety-split. Lickety-split. Looking neither to the left nor to the right. Lickety-split. Lickety-split. Lickety-lickety-lickety-split.
And yet here he was, looking at Jem Carstairs, a boy so fragile-looking that he appeared to be made out of glass, with the hardness of his expression slowly dissolving into tentative uncertainty. "You are not really dying, " he said, the oddest tone to his voice, "are you?" Jem nodded. "So they tell me." "I am sorry, " Will said. "No", Jem said softly. He drew his jacket aside and took a knife from the belt at his waist. "Don't be ordinary like that. Don't say you're sorry. Say you'll train with me." He held the knife to Will, hilt first. Charlotte held her breath, afraid to move. She felt as if she were watching something very important happen, though she could not have said what. Will reached out and took the knife, his eyes never leaving Jem's face. His fingers brushed the other boy's as he took the weapon from him. It was the first time, Charlotte thought that she had ever seen him touch any other person willingly. "I'll train with you, " he said.
I slept and I woke. She gave me a ring made from a leaf, a cluster of golden berries, a flower that opened and closed at the stroking of a finger... And once, when I startled awake with my face wet and my chest aching, she reached out to lay her hand on top of mine. The gesture was so tentative, her expression so anxious, you would think she had never touched a man before. As if she was worried I might break or burn or bite. Her cool hand lay on mine for a moment, gentle as a moth. She squeezed my hand softly, waited, then pulled away. It struck me as odd at the time. But I was too clouded with confusion and grief to think clearly. Only now, looking back, do I realize the truth of things. With all the awkwardness of a young lover, she was trying to comfort me, and she didn't have the slightest idea how.
Reading Aloud to My Father I chose the book haphazard from the shelf, but with Nabokov's first sentence I knew it wasn't the thing to read to a dying man: The cradle rocks above an abyss, it began, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness. The words disturbed both of us immediately, and I stopped. With music it was the same - Chopin's Piano Concerto - he asked me to turn it off. He ceased eating, and drank little, while the tumors briskly appropriated what was left of him. But to return to the cradle rocking. I think Nabokov had it wrong. This is the abyss. That's why babies howl at birth, and why the dying so often reach for something only they can apprehend. At the end they don't want their hands to be under the covers, and if you should put your hand on theirs in a tentative gesture of solidarity, they'll pull the hand free; and you must honor that desire, and let them pull it free.
There's a dream I keep having,' Sheridan whispered into the telephone. 'The dream has always been the same-until tonight.' 'And what happened tonight?' asked Lil' John. Sheridan hesitated, his words stumbling out in tentative phrases: 'The man in my dream... he spoke to me for the first time... he told me of a sacred gift that had been lost... a gift that could save the world.' 'Your dream,' John urged gently. 'Is the gods conspiring to give you freedom, just like the elders sang that night in the Sundance ceremony:' When worlds collide There sounds a tolling A call to rise And seize the moment The gods conspire To give us freedom When worlds collide The journey has begun Sheridan pulled at the collar of his t-shirt, Lil' John's words suffocating him. Pushing back from the precipice of dread, Sheridan strained to speak, his husky words weak and staggering: 'What are you saying?' 'Your search for the sacred gift has already begun...
Phillip R. White
Ecology is beginning to slowly shift focus with tentative explorations of what the world would look like if process, rather than matter were the basis for reality What if we defined a species in terms of its life processes? We might seriously doubt whether the California condor or the tall grass prairie can be 'saved' or even 'restored.' Perhaps we can re-create some local conditions that foster a few nests of condors or a few acres of prairie. But the life process of the condor ended with the urbanization of the California foothills and the living ebb and flow of the tall grass prairies died with the plowing of the Great Plains. What if we suggested that a thing is what it does? In this light, the Rocky Mountain locust was a immense aperiodic energy flow that linked life processes on a continental scale. This notion of life-as-process might seem unusual in a society in which material existence is primary. But such a perception informs our deepest understanding of life. Indeed, life-as-process underlies our notion of euthanasia. When loved ones are simply bodies, devoid of the capacity to care, respond, or relate again a away that we can recognize as being "them, " we understand that they are gone even before they are dead.
Jeffrey A. Lockwood
In Anton Chekhov's play the Three Sisters, sister Masha refuses 'to live and not know why the cranes fly, why children are born, why the stars are in the sky. Either you know and you're alive or it's all nonsense, all dust in the wind.' Why? Why? The striving to know is what frees us from the bonds of self, said Einstein. It's the striving to know, rather than our knowledge-which is always tentative and partial- that is important. Instead of putting computers in our elementary schools, we should take the children out into nature, away from those virtual worlds in which they spend unconscionable hours, and let them see an eclipsed Moon rising in the east, a pink pearl. Let them stand in a morning dawn and watch a slip of a comet fling its trail around the Sun... Let the children know. Let them know that nothing, nothing will find in the virtual world of e-games, television, or the Internet matters half as much as a glitter of strs on an inky sky, drawing our attention into the incomprehensible mystery of why the universe is here at all, and why we are here to observe it. The winter Milky Way rises in the east, one trillion individually invisible points of light, one trillion revelations of the Ultimate Mystery, conferring on the watcher a dignity, a blessedness, that confounds the dull humdrum of the commonplace and opens a window to infinity.
Thus, by science I mean, first of all, a worldview giving primacy to reason and observation and a methodology aimed at acquiring accurate knowledge of the natural and social world. This methodology is characterized, above all else, by the critical spirit: namely, the commitment to the incessant testing of assertions through observations and/or experiments - the more stringent the tests, the better - and to revising or discarding those theories that fail the test. One corollary of the critical spirit is fallibilism: namely, the understanding that all our empirical knowledge is tentative, incomplete and open to revision in the light of new evidence or cogent new arguments (though, of course, the most well-established aspects of scientific knowledge are unlikely to be discarded entirely)... I stress that my use of the term 'science' is not limited to the natural sciences, but includes investigations aimed at acquiring accurate knowledge of factual matters relating to any aspect of the world by using rational empirical methods analogous to those employed in the natural sciences. (Please note the limitation to questions of fact. I intentionally exclude from my purview questions of ethics, aesthetics, ultimate purpose, and so forth.) Thus, 'science' (as I use the term) is routinely practiced not only by physicists, chemists and biologists, but also by historians, detectives, plumbers and indeed all human beings in (some aspects of) our daily lives. (Of course, the fact that we all practice science from time to time does not mean that we all practice it equally well, or that we practice it equally well in all areas of our lives.)