We were together because we were addicted to each other. I was never as intoxicated as I was when we were happy together, and I knew it was the same for him. We were putting ourselves through the wringer for those moments of perfection between us, but they were so tenuous that only our stubbornness, determination and love kept us fighting for them.
I feel like I'm a compassionate guy, but I also feel if somebody's grip on life or sanity is so tenuous that a joke in an advice column that usually is nothing but jokes pushes them over the edge, then if not me, it would have been a leaf blowing past them that did it, or something else. You almost have to feel that way, doing this.
I wasn't going to say anything about that, Tabitha," he said quietly. "I only wanted to tell you that your compassion for other people overwhelms me.""Oh." She offered him a tenuous smile. "I'm just used to people condemning everything I do."He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles. "I don't condemn you, my lady. I only admire you.
In New York, the impact of these concentrated superskyscrapers on street scale and sunlight, on the city's aniquated support systems, circulation, and infrastructure, on its already tenuous livability, overrides any aesthetic. ... Art becomes worthless in a city brutalized by overdevelopment.
Ada Louise Huxtable
I think the relationship is very tenuous between fashion and art. Many designers have built relationships with artists, which is not something I personally did. But it's true, sometimes you see artists working for a designer or a brand on some specific project or taking care of their environment and making an amazing store.
Together they [President Nixon and Secretary Kissinger] pursued ends that frequently had a tenuous link with reality, using means that were not merely disproportionate but counterproductive and untrue to those values they were meant to defend. In fact neither man demonstrated much faith in those values.
During last night's insomnia, as these thoughts came and went between my aching temples, I realised once again, what I had almost forgotten in this recent period of relative calm, that I tread a terribly tenuous, indeed almost non-existent soil spread over a pit full of shadows, whence the powers of darkness emerge at will to destroy my life...
To say that a writer's hold on reality is tenuous is an understatement-it's like saying the Titanic had a rough crossing. Writer's build their own realities, move into them and occasionally send letters home. The only difference between a writer and a crazy person is that a writer gets paid for it.
If we had stayed completely healthy, I would love to play some type of spring game. But Saturday we had a couple of guys (get hurt). I don't know if they will practice. ... When you add that, and if you have any more, it's pretty tenuous. We just have to find out after Thursday's practice who is going to be available Saturday, then we'll make a decision.
The UN stopped using Chalabi's information as a basis for conducting inspections once the tenuous nature of his sources and his dubious motivations became clear. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the mainstream US media, which give prominent coverage to sources of information that, had they not been related to Hussein's Iraq, would normally be immediately dismissed.
We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a 'higher answer'- but none exists
Stephen Jay Gould
We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a 'higher answer'"" but none exists
Stephen Jay Gould
When you get down to the bottom of it, only about half of what we remember really happened. We tend to modify things to make ourselves look better in our own eyes and in the eyes of others. Then, if what we did wasn't really very admirable, we tend to forget that it ever happened. A normal human being's grasp on reality is very tenuous at best. Our imaginary lives are usually much nicer.
These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections-sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent-that happened after I was gone. And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it. The events that my death wrought were merely the bones of a body that would become whole at some unpredictable time in the future. The price of what I came to see as this miraculous body had been my life.
Vividly imagined, beautifully written, at times almost unbearably suspenseful-the stories in Kristiana Kahakauwila's debut collection, This Is Paradise, are boldly inventive in their exploration of the tenuous nature of human relations. These are poignant stories of 'paradise'-Hawai'i-with all that 'paradise' entails of the transience of sensuous beauty.
Joyce Carol Oates
Not darkness, for that implies an understanding of light. Not silence, for that suggests a familiarity with sound. Not loneliness, for that requires knowledge of others. But still, faintly, so tenuous that if it were any less it wouldn't exist at all: awareness. Nothing more than that. Just awareness-a vague, ethereal sense of being. Being... but not becoming. No marking of time, no past or future-only an endless, featureless now, and, just barely there in that boundless moment, inchoate and raw, the dawning of perception...
Robert J. Sawyer
In the aftermath of the attacks on the United States - that included chaotic overall of airline security - and the exploding tensions in Nepal, friends thought it ill-advised for me to board a flight to Kathmandu. Yet my existence at home felt so tenuous and unpredictable that political unrest in Asia barely registered. Also, it seemed more important than ever for me to keep going, not only overseas but also in the direction of a more satisfying life. Somehow the two felt connected.
Memory is a tenuous thing. . . . flickering glimpses, blue and white, like ancient, decomposing 16mm film. Happiness escapes me there, where faces are vague and yesterday seems to come tied up in ribbons of pain. Happiness? I look for it intead in today, where memory is something I can still touch, still rely on. I find it in the smiles of new friends, the hope blossoming inside. My happiest memories have no place in the past; they are those I have yet to create.
Scattered among these things are reminders that sound once existed: a metronome, a drumming pad, a guitar pick, a trumpet mouthpiece, a music stand, a tuning fork, a block of rosin... The older instruments bear the marks of those who have already played them, the scuffs and bites and dents that are the mysterious scars of sound. In their midst the house hangs, tenuous and enveloping, a sounding board waiting to be struck.
Henceforth the cosmos, once a swarm of blazing galaxies, each a swarm of stars, was composed wholly of star-corpses. These dark grains drifted through the dark void, like an infinitely tenuous smoke rising from an extinguished fire. Upon these motes, these gigantic worlds, the ultimate populations had created here and there with their artificial lighting a pale glow, invisible even from the innermost ring of lifeless planets.
At first I protested and rebelled against poetry. I was about to deny my poetic worlds. I was doing violence to my illusions with analysis, science, and learning Henry's language, entering Henry's world. I wanted to destroy by violence and animalism my tenuous fantasies and illusions and my hypersensitivity. A kind of suicide. The ignominy awakened me. Then June came and answered the cravings of my imagination and saved me. Or perhaps she killed me, for now I am started on a course of madness.
The 'I' character in journalism is almost pure invention. Unlike the 'I' of autobiography, who is meant to be seen as a representation of the writer, the 'I' of journalism is connected to the writer only in a tenuous way""the way, say, that Superman is connected to Clark Kent. The journalistic 'I' is an overreliable narrator, a functionary to whom crucial tasks of narration and argument and tone have been entrusted, an ad hoc creation, like the chorus of Greek tragedy. He is an emblematic figure, an embodiment of the idea of the dispassionate observer of life.
Later, I would realize that the position of most black students in predominantly white colleges was already too tenuous, our identities too scrambled, to admit to ourselves that our black pride remained incomplete. And to admit our doubt and confusion to whites, to open up our psyches to general examination by those who had caused so much of the damage in the first place, seemed ludicrous, itself an expression of self-hatred - for there seemed no reason to expect that whites would look at our private struggles as a mirror into their own souls, rather than yet more evidence of black pathology.
A society without the authentic and vibrant influence of women is a society that is not fully alive. A culture lacking the vital creativity of women is disadvantaged. Without the bearing of women on world affairs, humanity's already tenuous grip on peace is made even less sure. When women are barred, whether by law, cultural prejudice, or political ideology, from developing their full potential and offering their unique gifts, it is an injustice to women themselves and to humanity as a whole.
Since the first human eye saw a leaf in Devonian sandstone and a puzzled finger reached to touch it, sadness has lain over the heart of man. By this tenuous thread of living protoplasm, stretching backward into time, we are linked forever to lost beaches whose sands have long since hardened into stone. The stars that caught our blind amphibian stare have shifted far or vanished in their courses, but still that naked, glistening thread winds onward. No one knows the secret of its beginning or its end. Its forms are phantoms. The thread alone is real; the thread is life.
The people who survive avoid snowball scenarios in which bad trades cause them to become emotionally destabilized and make more bad trades. They are also able to feel the pain of losing. If you don't feel the pain of a loss, then you're in the same position as those unfortunate people who have no pain sensors. If they leave their hand on a hot stove, it will burn off. There is no way to survive in the world without pain. Similarly, in the markets, if the losses don't hurt, your financial survival is tenuous.
Anagram of Seeking by Susan Laughter Meyers Sit, unplanted, with your back to a tree, or sink to your knees. If sorrow drowns the hour, let yourself keen, each hurt recalled, the heart a siege of old wounds. If startled by joy, let yourself sing. Light dims, the air cools your skin. Unclear , what it is you're seeing- each monotone hoot of the owl, a sign- less clear what can't be seen: the soul, a spirit, the king of kings? This density of leaves and skein of tenuous moss, yours. here and now, seine life's good fish. Child, singe the night, boldly. O lost see, catch fire and seek.
Susan Laughter Meyers
Conceive a jelly-fish such as sails in our summer seas, bell-shaped and of enormous size - far larger, I should judge, than the dome of St. Paul's. It was of a light pink colour veined with a delicate green, but the whole huge fabric so tenuous that it was but a fairy outline against the dark blue sky. It pulsated with a delicate and regular rhythm. From it there depended two long drooping, green tentacles, which swayed slowly backwards and forwards. This gorgeous vision passed gently with noiseless dignity over my head, as light and fragile as a soap-bubble, and drifted upon its stately way.
Arthur Conan Doyle
One of the schools of Tle¶n goes so far as to negate time; it reasons that the present is indefinite, that the future has no reality other than as a present hope, that the past has no reality other than as a present memory. Another school declares that all time has already transpired and that our life is only the crepuscular and no doubt falsified an mutilated memory or reflection of an irrecoverable process. Another, that the history of the universe - and in it our lives and the most tenuous detail of our lives - is the scripture produced by a subordinate god in order to communicate with a demon. Another, that the universe is comparable to those cryptographs in which not all the symbols are valid and that only what happens every three hundred nights is true. Another, that while we sleep here, we are awake elsewhere and that in this way every man is two men.
Jorge Luis Borges
What can I do but stand with my mouth open, no sound emerging? My lips move and I wave my arms making gestures from the other side of the glass, which I can't penetrate... people can speak out of anything, though the struggle takes years. The problem is, whatever I say about the present feels false-nothing contains it all, or catches the depth of things, or their terrible one-dimensionality. What am I living on? Someone said the other day, 'that old irrepressible-impossible- hope.' And I thought no, this doesn't feel like hope. But maybe that's what hope is, no shining thing but a kind of sustenance, plain as bread, the ordinary thing that feeds us. How could we confuse this optimism, when it has nothing to do with expecting things to get better? Hope has to do with continuing, that's all... I can imagine now, where I couldn't before, this long erosion of faith, this steady drawing from one's strength, until what's left is tenuous, transparent.
It is true that almost everyone in the foothills farmed and hunted, so there were no breadlines, no men holding signs that begged for work and food, no children going door to door, as they did in Atlanta, asking for table scraps. Here, deep in the woods, was a different agony. Babies, the most tenuous, died from poor diet and simple things, like fevers and dehydration. In Georgia, one in seven babies died before their first birthday, and in Alabama it was worse. You could feed your family catfish and jack salmon, poke salad and possum, but medicine took cash money, and the poorest of the poor, blacks and whites, did not have it. Women, black and white, really did smother their babies to save them from slow death, to give a stronger, sounder child a little more, and stories of it swirled round and round until it became myth, because who can live with that much truth.
If I could sum up my poetry in a few well-chosen words, the result might be a poem. Several years ago, when I was asked to say something on this topic, I came up with the notion that for me the making of poems is both a commemoration (a moment captured) and an evocation (the archaeologist manque side of me digging into something buried and bringing it to light). But I also said that I find the processes that bring poems into being mysterious, and I wouldn't really wish to know them; the thread that links the first unwilled impulse to the object I acknowledge as the completed poem is a tenuous one, easily broken. If I knew the answers to these riddles, I would write more poems, and better ones. "Simple Poem" is as close as I can get to a credo': Simple Poem I shall make it simple so you understand. Making it simple will make it clear for me. When you have read it, take me by the hand As children do, loving simplicity. This is the simple poem I have made. Tell me you understand. But when you do Don't ask me in return if I have said All that I meant, or whether it is true.
You know better than anyone that nothing lasts. Nothing good. Nothing bad. Everything lives. Everything dies. Sometimes cities just fall into the sea. It's not a tragedy, that's just the way it is. People look around them and see the world and say this is how the world is supposed to be. Then they fight to keep it that way. They believe that this is what was intended - whether by design or cosmic accident - and that everything exists in a tenuous balance that must be preserved. But the balance is bullshit. The only thing constant in this world is the speed at which things change. Rain falls, waters rise, shorelines erode. What is one day magnificent seaside property in ancient Greece is the next resting thirty feet below the surface. Islands rise from the sea and continents crack and part ways forever. What was once a verdant forest teeming with life is now resting one thousand feet beneath a sheet of ice in Antarctica; what was once a glorious church now rests at the bottom of a dammed-up lake in Kansas. The job of nature is to march on and keep things going; ours is to look around, appreciate it, and wonder what's next?
C. Robert Cargill
A word about my personal philosophy. It is anchored in optimism. It must be, for optimism brings with it hope, a future with a purpose, and therefore, a will to fight for a better world. Without this optimism, there is no reason to carry on. If we think of the struggle as aclimb up a mountain, then we must visualize a mountain with no top. We see a top, but when we finall yreach it, the overcast rises and we find ourselves merely on a bluff. The mountain continues on up. Now we see the "real" top ahead of us, and strive for it, only to find we've reached another bluff, the top still above us. And so it goes on, interminably. Knowing that the mountain has no top, that it is a perpetual quest from plateau to plateau, the question arises, "Why the struggle, the conflict, the heartbreak, the danger, the sacrifice. Why the constant climb?" Our answer is the same as that which a real mountain climber gives when he is asked why he does what he does. "Because it's there." Because life is there ahead of you and either one tests oneself in its challenges or huddles in the valleys of a dreamless day-to-day existence whose only purpose is the preservation of a illusory security and safety. The latter is what the vast majority of people choose to do, fearing the adventure into the known. Paradocically, they give up the dream of what may lie ahead on the heighs of tomorrow for a perpetual nightmare - an endless succession of days fearing the loss of a tenuous security.
Saul D. Alinsky
It might be useful here to say a word about Beckett, as a link between the two stages, and as illustrating the shift towards schism. He wrote for transition, an apocalyptic magazine (renovation out of decadence, a Joachite indication in the title), and has often shown a flair for apocalyptic variations, the funniest of which is the frustrated millennialism of the Lynch family in Watt, and the most telling, perhaps, the conclusion of Comment c'est. He is the perverse theologian of a world which has suffered a Fall, experienced an Incarnation which changes all relations of past, present, and future, but which will not be redeemed. Time is an endless transition from one condition of misery to another, 'a passion without form or stations, ' to be ended by no parousia. It is a world crying out for forms and stations, and for apocalypse; all it gets is vain temporality, mad, multiform antithetical influx. It would be wrong to think that the negatives of Beckett are a denial of the paradigm in favour of reality in all its poverty. In Proust, whom Beckett so admires, the order, the forms of the passion, all derive from the last book; they are positive. In Beckett, the signs of order and form are more or less continuously presented, but always with a sign of cancellation; they are resources not to be believed in, cheques which will bounce. Order, the Christian paradigm, he suggests, is no longer usable except as an irony; that is why the Rooneys collapse in laughter when they read on the Wayside Pulpit that the Lord will uphold all that fall. But of course it is this order, however ironized, this continuously transmitted idea of order, that makes Beckett's point, and provides his books with the structural and linguistic features which enable us to make sense of them. In his progress he has presumed upon our familiarity with his habits of language and structure to make the relation between the occulted forms and the narrative surface more and more tenuous; in Comment c'est he mimes a virtually schismatic breakdown of this relation, and of his language. This is perfectly possible to reach a point along this line where nothing whatever is communicated, but of course Beckett has not reached it by a long way; and whatever preserves intelligibility is what prevents schism. This is, I think, a point to be remembered whenever one considers extremely novel, avant-garde writing. Schism is meaningless without reference to some prior condition; the absolutely New is simply unintelligible, even as novelty. It may, of course, be asked: unintelligible to whom? -the inference being that a minority public, perhaps very small-members of a circle in a square world-do understand the terms in which the new thing speaks. And certainly the minority public is a recognized feature of modern literature, and certainly conditions are such that there may be many small minorities instead of one large one; and certainly this is in itself schismatic. The history of European literature, from the time the imagination's Latin first made an accommodation with the lingua franca, is in part the history of the education of a public-cultivated but not necessarily learned, as Auerbach says, made up of what he calls la cour et la ville. That this public should break up into specialized schools, and their language grow scholastic, would only be surprising if one thought that the existence of excellent mechanical means of communication implied excellent communications, and we know it does not, McLuhan's 'the medium is the message' notwithstanding. But it is still true that novelty of itself implies the existence of what is not novel, a past. The smaller the circle, and the more ambitious its schemes of renovation, the less useful, on the whole, its past will be. And the shorter. I will return to these points in a moment.