Some Quotes to Share and Communicate...

My favorite quotes to share with as many people as I can, for many reasons.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

" '... only as you gasp your drying breath shall you understand, your life amounted to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean!' Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?"  - Adam Ewing in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"My recent adventures have made me quite the philosopher, especially at night, when I hear naught but the stream grinding boulders into pebbles through an unhurried eternity. My thoughts flow thus. Scholars discern motions in history and formulate these motions into rules that govern the rises and falls of civilizations. My belief runs contrary, however. To wit: history admits no rules; only outcomes. What precipitates outcomes? Vicious acts and virtuous acts. What precipitates acts? Belief. Belief is both prize and battlefield, within the mind and in the mind's mirror, the world. If we believe humanity is a ladder of tribes, a colosseum of confrontation, exploitation and bestiality, such a humanity is surely brought into being and history's Horrozes, Boerhaaves and Gooses shall prevail. You and I, the moneyed, the privileged, the fortunate, shall not fare so badly in this world, provided our luck holds. What of it if our consciences itch? Why undermine the dominance of our race, our gunships, our heritage and our legacy? Why fight the 'natural' (oh, weaselly word!) order of things? Why? Because of this: - one fine day, a purely predatory world shall consume itself. Yes, the Devil shall take the hindmost until the foremost is the hindmost. In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction. Is this the doom written without our nature? If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth and claw, if we believe divers races and creeds can share this world as peaceably as the orphans share their candlenut tree, if we believe leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable and the riches of the Earth and its Oceans shared equitably, such a world will come to pass. I am not deceived. It is the hardest of worlds to make real. Torturous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president's pen or a vainglorious general's sword." - Adam Ewing in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"My head is a Roman candle of invention. Lifetime's music, arriving all at once. Boundaries between noise and sound are conventions, I see now. All boundaries are conventions, national ones too. One may transcend any convention, if only one can first conceive of doing so." - Robert Frobisher in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Because she makes me think about something other than myself... Because I, only I, see her smile a fraction before it reaches her face." - Robert Frobisher in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Took in view from other side, trying to wind in all unraveled strings of myself." - Robert Frobisher in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
" 'When a man aspires to power, I ask one simple question: Does he think like a businessman?' Luisa rolls her napkin into a compact ball. 'I ask three simple questions. How did he get that power? How is he using it? And how can it be taken off the sonofabitch?'" - Luisa Rey in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Funny, thinks Milton. Power, time, gravity, love. The forces that really kick ass are all invisible." - Milton in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Exposition: the workings of the actual past + the virtual past may be illustrated by an event well known to collective history, such as the sinking of the Titanic. The disaster as it actually occurred descends into obscurity as its eyewitnesses die off, documents perish + the wreck of the ship dissolves in its Atlantic grave. Yet a virtual sinking of the Titanic, created from reworked memories, papers, hearsay, fiction - in short, belief - grows ever 'truer.' The actual past is brittle, ever-dimming + ever more problematic to access + reconstruct: in contrast, the virtual past is malleable, ever-brightening + ever more difficult to circumvent / expose as fraudulent.

The present presses the virtual past into its own service, to lend credence to its mythologies + legitimacy to the imposition of free will. Power seeks + is the right to 'landscape' the virtual past. (He who pays the historian calls the tune.)

Symmetry demands an actual + virtual future, too. We imagine how next week, next year, or 2225 will shape up - a virtual future, constructed by wishes, prophecies + daydreams. This virtual future may influence the actual future, as in a self-fulfilling prophecy, but the actual future will eclipse our virtual one as surely as tomorrow eclipses today. Like Utopia, the actual future + the actual past exist only in the hazy distance, where they are no good to anyone.

Q: Is there a meaningful distinction between one simulacraum of smoke, mirrors + shadows - the actual past - from another such simulacrum - the actual future?>

One model of time: an infinite matryoshka doll of painted moments, each 'shell' (the present) encased inside a nest of 'shells' (previous presents) I call the actual past but which we perceive as the virtual past. The doll of 'now' likewise encases a nest of presents yet to be, which I call the actual future but which we perceive as the virtual future." - Isaac Sachs in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Three or four times only in my youth did I glimpse the Joyous Isles, before they were lost to fogs, depressions, cold fronts, ill winds, and contrary tides... I mistook them for adulthood. Assuming they were a fixed feature in my life's voyage, I neglected to record their latitude, their longitude, their approach. Young, ruddy fool. What wouldn't I give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constant ineffable? To possess, as it were, an atlas of clouds." - Timothy Cavendish in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Once any tyranny becomes accepted as ordinary, according to Veronica, its victory is assured." - Timothy Cavendish in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
" 'We - by whom I mean anyone over sixty - commit two offences just by existing. Once is Lack of Velocity. We drive too slowly, walk too slowly, talk too slowly. The world will do business with dictators, perverts, and drug barons of all stripes, but being slowed down it cannot abide. Our second offence is being Everyman's memento mori. The world can only get comfy in shiny-eyed denial if we are out of sight." - Veronica Costello in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Rights are susceptible to subervsion, as even granite is susceptible to erosion. My fifth Declaration posits how, in a cycle as old as tribalism, ignorance of the Other engenders fear; fear engenders hatred; hatred engenders violence; violence engenders further violence until the only 'rights,' the only law, are whatever is willed by the most powerful." - Sonmi-451 in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Well, their food came from the forest and gardens, water from the cataract. Scavenge trips to landfills yielded plastics and metals for tools. Their "school" sony was powered by a water turbine. Solar nitelamps recharged during daylite hours. Their entertainment was themselves; consumers cannot xist without 3-D and AdV, but humans once did and still can. Enforcement? Problems arose, no doubt, even crises from time to time. But no crisis is unsuperable if people cooperate." - Sonmi-451 in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
" 'Fantasy. Lunacy.' All revolutions are, until they happen, then they are historical inevitabilities." - Sonmi-451 in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"All rising suns set, Archivist. Our corpocracy now smells of senility." - Sonmi-451 in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Every conurb, my guide answered, has a chemical toilet where the city's unwanted human waste disintegrates quietly, but not quite invisibly. It motivates the downstrata: "Work, spend, work," say slums like Huamdonggil, "or you, too, will end your life here." Moreover, entrepreneurs take advantage of the legal vaccuum to erect ghoulish pleasurezones for upstrata bored with more respectable quarters." - Sonmi-451 in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies, an' tho' a cloud's shape nor hue nor size don't stay the same, it's still a cloud an' so is a soul. Who can say where the cloud's blowed from or who the soul'll be 'morrow? Only Sonmi the east an' the west an' the compass an' the atlas, yay, only the atlas o' clouds." - Zachry in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"I don't know why it is, but secrets jus' rot you like teeth if you don't yank 'em out." - Zachry in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Yay, I will, again, an' yay, we will, again." - Kolekole girl in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Times are you say a person's b'liefs ain't true, they think you're sayin' their lifes ain't true an' their truth ain't true." - Meronym  in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Yay, Old Uns' Smart mastered sicks, miles, seeds an' made miracles ord'nary, but it din't master one thing, nay, a hunger in the hearts o' humans, yay, a hunger for more... Oh, more gear, more food, faster speeds, longer lifes, easier lifes, more power, yay. Now the Hole World is big, but it weren't big 'nuff for that hunger what made Old Uns rip out the skies an' boil up the seas an' poison soil with crazed atoms an' donkey 'bout with rotted seeds so new plagues was borned an' babbits was freak-birthed. Fin'ly, bit'ly, then quicksharp, states busted into barb'bric tribes an' the Civ'lize Days ended, 'cept for a few folds'n'pockets here'n'there, where its last embers glimmer." - Meronym  in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"However, corpocracy was emerging and social strata was demarked, based on dollars and, curiously, the quantity of melanin in one's skin." - Sonmi-451 in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"So winners, Hae-Joo proposed, are the real losers because they learn nothing? What, then, are losers? Winners? I said, If losers can xploit what their adversaries teach them, yes, losers can become winners in the long term." - Sonmi-451 in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"What was knowledge for, I would ask myself, if I could not use it to better my xistence?... I said something about reading not being knowledge, about knowledge without xperience being food without sustenance." - Sonmi-451 in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
" 'Try this for deviancy: fabricants are mirrors held up to purebloods' consciences; what purebloods see reflected there sickens them. So they blame you for holding up the mirror.' " - Profession Mephi in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
" 'What is the differences between social strata stem not from genomics or inherent xcellence or even dollars, but merely differences in knowledge? Would this not mean the whole Pyramid is built on shifting sands?' " - Profession Mephi in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Their drunkenness had a recklessness that nite..." - Sonmi-451 in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Perhaps those deprived of beauty perceive it most instinctively." - Sonmi-451 in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Snow is bruised lilac in half-lite: such pure solace." - Sonmi-451 in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
" 'Do,' says Luisa finally, 'whatever you can't not do.' " - Luisa Rey in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
" 'The conflict between corporations and activists is that of narcolepsy versus remembrance. The corporations have money, power, and influence. Our sole weapon is public outrage. Outrage blocked the Yuccan Dam, ousted Nixon, and in part, terminated the monstrosities in Vietnam. But outrage is unwieldy to manufacture and handle. First, you need scrutiny; second, widespread awareness; only when this reaches a critical mass does public outreach explode into bring. Any stage may be sabotaged. The world's Alberto Grimaldis can fight scrutiny by burying truth in committees, dullness, and misinformation, or by intimidating the scrutinizers. They can extinguish awareness by dumbing down education, owning TV stations, paying 'guest fees' to leader writers, or just buying the media up. The media - and not just The Washington Post - is where democracies conduct their civil wars." - Hester Van Zandt in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Anyway, got a gorgeous passage from the fire - percussion for crackling, alto bassoon for the wood, and a restless flute for the flames. Finished transcribing it this very minute. Air in the chateau clammy like laundry that won't dry. Door-banging drafts down the passageways. Autumn is leaving its mellowness behind for its spiky, rotted stage. Don't remember summer even saying good-bye." - Frobisher in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"Really, Sixsmith, you should try to enjoy lovemaking in total silence. All that ballyhooing transmutes into bliss if you'll only seal your lips." - Frobisher in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"If one will just be still, shut up, and listen - lo, behold, the world'll sift through one's ideas for one, esp. in a grimy London railway station." - Frobisher in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"As many truths as men. Occasionally, I glimpse a truer Truth, hiding in imperfect simulacrums of itself, but as I approach, it bestirs itself and moves deeper into the thorny swamp of dissent." - Adam Ewing in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
" 'Embrace your enemy,' the elders urged, 'to prevent him striking you.' " - Adam Ewing in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
"It always surprised me how few people I saw in front of the houses in the hills - as if wealth implied closed doors; in the flatlands there were always kids playing, students riding their bikes, people sitting on lawn chairs, walking dogs. Here it was much more quiet, even on a night when carved pumpkins leered from porches and bowls of candy were just inside the doors. There were hardly even any trick-or-treaters in sight." - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
"This was love without any attachment, therefore without any real risk." - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
"I loved language but not in moments like this when you couldn't use poetry to explain how you really felt." - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
"People usually change in small, incremental ways over time. You don't see it overnight, even after a trauma, not usually. People fall apart of fall in love or grow up or die slowly, most of the time. Children's brains take years to develop and diseases usually do, too... Change comes in the way you serve food and water, administer medications, clean up messes, do errands, read the words of masters - prophets and poets - listen to music, listen to each other. It comes in the way you say I love you over and over again, as if you won't be able to say it in the morning, and the way you say I'm sorry as soon as possible after you have hurt the person you love." - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
"Ghosts haunt every place we go whether we believe in them as apparitions or not, whether they are ghosts or memories." - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
"Blue kaleidoscope butterflies made a sound like shaken bits of glass and refracted beneath my eyelids." - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
" 'In order to have bliss you have to be able to accept all the parts of the other, all the wildness and the darkness. You have to be able to hold on.' He paused. 'I can hold on.' " - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
"He came back toward me and my heart beat faster with hope that he'd stay but he just kissed my forehead and said, 'Let me know if you need anything.' Then he was gone before I could him even one of the things I needed from him, let alone list every part of his body and whatever I could retrieve, even briefly, of his soul." - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
"I slid toward him and took his face in my fingers, brought his mouth to mine. He suddenly seemed to helpless. It scared and excited me; what was this I felt - power? I kiss him harder. He sighed like a girl and whispered my name." - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
"It seemed as if my organs were right beneath the surface of his hands, that he could almost touch them." - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
"I kept thinking. This is John Graves here with me. This is his body that contains his brain and his lungs and his heart. This is where his soul lives. This is not just sex; this is us going somewhere together. This is us finding each other. Again." - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
"In spite of the dream, in spite of everything, a warmth filled my center, like the sun pouring into the room, spreading out through my veins into my fingers and toes." - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
"Then John Graves pressed his lips to mine and the veils between this world and the others disintegrated in places, like ancient lace, so that I could glimpse through." - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
"We said good night and the click of the phone echoed down through my body as if I were hollow... Suddenly, as I was putting the last ones in water and sweeping up some stray leaves, I felt it. The crushing mass that I'd been carrying in my chest breaking up into shards. I put a hand to my heart and slumped down on the floor with my back against the bed." - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
"God damn it... there are nice things in the world - and I mean nice things. We're all such morons to get so sidetracked. Always, always, always referring every goddamn thing that happens right back to our lousy little egos." - Zooey Glass in Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger
"Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way." - Dr. Seuss
"I was changing. I was falling apart. Or maybe I was just discovering who I really was." - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
"It is hard to remember what you first fall in love with. Usually it is an expression in the eyes, an exchange, or a gesture or the sound of a voice, a word spoken. Those things can get blended with the atmosphere around you at the time - a fragrance in the air, a play of light, even music - so that they become almost one with each other and when you see or smell or hear the memories of a place you feel the love again, but as a pang of loss. Sometimes the feelings get connected so deeply to your body that even your own skin, your own eyes in the mirror remind you of what you no longer have." - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
"Add in the way college isolated you, left you feeling as if the rest of the world, including your past and your family, was just a dream compared to what you read in your books and on the faces of the other students, and anything could happen." - The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
"Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime; and every kindness we birth our future." - Sonmi-451 in Cloud Atlas (the movie)
"A half-finished book is, after all, a half finished love affair." - Robert Frobisher in Cloud Atlas (the movie)