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Quiet Thoughts - Quotes

You know the world must be flat, because when people leave town they never come back.

Hal Ketchum
Small Town Saturday Night

(contributed by Jayal)

Rolling with only the destination in mind leaves the journey behind you.

Bruce Northam
Globetrotter Dogma

(contributed by Jennifer Parker)

A fellow will remember a lot of things you wouldn't think he'd remember. You take me. One day, back in 1896, I was crossing over to Jersey on the ferry, and as we pulled out, there was another ferry pulling in, and on it there was a girl waiting to get off. A white dress she had on. She was carrying a white parasol. I only saw her for one second. She didn't see me at all, but I'll bet a month hasn't gone by since that I haven't thought of that girl.

Mr. Bernstein, Citizen Kane

His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly's wings. At one time he understood it not more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Later he became conscious of his damaged wings and of their construction and he learned to think and could not fly any more because the love of flight was gone and he could only remember when it had been effortless.

Earnest Hemmingway
A Moveable Feast

(contributed by Asswipe)

The most merciful thing in the world is the inability of the human mind to correlate its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance, in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.

H.P. Lovecraft
Call of Cthulhu

(contributed by Adam)

He wondered how he could ever have thought of the planets, even of the Earth, as islands of life and reality floating in a deadly void. Now with a certainty which never after deserted him, he saw the planets - as mere holes or gaps in the living heaven - excluded and rejected wastes of heavy matter and murky air, formed not by addition to, but by subtraction from, the surrounding brightness.

C.S. Lewis
Out of the Silent Planet

Perhaps if human desire is said out loud, the urban planes, the prisons, the architectural mirrors will take off, as airplanes do. The black planes will take off into the night air and the night winds, sliding past and behind each other, zooming, turning and turning in the redness of the winds, living, never to return.

Kathy Acker
Empire of the Senseless

(contributed by Space Oddity)

I closed my eyes and listened carefully for the descendants of Sputnik, even now circling the Earth, gravity their only tie to the planet. Lonely metal souls in the unimpeded darkness of space, they meet, pass each other, and part, never to meet again.

Haruki Murakami
Sputnik Sweetheart

(contributed by Space Oddity)

I wander though China. Without ever having boarded a plane. My travels take place here in the Tokoyo subways, in the backseat of a taxi... all of a sudden this city will start to go. In a flash, the buildings will crumble. Over the Tokyo streets will fall my China, like ash, leaching into everything it touches. Slowly, gradually, until nothing remains. No, this isn't a place for me.

Haruki Murakami
Slow Boat to China

(contributed by Space Oddity)

We are changed souls; we don't look at things the same way anymore. For there was once a time when we expected the worst. But then the worst happened, did it not? And so we will never be surprised again.

Douglas Coupland
Life After God

(contributed by Space Oddity)

Pain. I seem to have an affection, a kind of sweettooth for it. Bolts of lightning, little rivuets of thunder. And I the eye of the storm.

Toni Morrison

(contributed by Space Oddity)

When I arise in the morning I am torn by the twin desires to reform the world, and enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.

E.B. White

(contributed by bob)

If our lives are the sum total of the choices we've made, then we can not change who we are. But with each new decision, we can determine who we're going to be.

The Outer Limits

(contributed by ervin sterling)

A novel is not an allegory. I said as the period was about to come to an end. It is a sensual experience of another world. If you don't enter that world, hold your breath with the characters and become involved in their destiny, you won't be able to empathize, and empathy is at the heart of the novel. This is how you read a novel: you inhale the experience. So start breathing. I just want you to remember this. That is all; class dismissed.

Azar Nafisi
Reading Lolita in Tehran

Art is no longer snobbish or cowardly. It teaches peasants to use tractors, gives lyrics to young soldiers, designs textiles for factory women's dresses, writes burlesque for factory theatres, does a hundred other useful tasks. Art is as usueful as bread.

Azar Nafisi
Reading Lolita in Tehran

The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them - words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revalations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear.

Stephen King
The Body

(contributed by Jessica)

Abstract design is all right- for wall paper or linoleum. But art is the process of evoking pity and terror. What modern artists do is pseudo- intelectual masturbation. Creative art is intercourse, in which the artist renders emotional his audience... Mmm, one does have to learn to look at art. But it's up to the artist to use language that can be understood. Most of these jokers don't want to use a language you and I can learn; they would rather sneer because we 'fail' to see what they are driving at. If anything. Obscurity is the refuge of incompetence.

Jubal Harshaw in Stranger in a Strange Land

(contributed by Kate C)

Indecision brings delays -- lost days lamenting lost days.

Ryouga Hibiki
Ranma 1/2

(contributed by Nick)

There's nothing terribly wrong with feeling lost, so long as that feeling precedes some plan on your part to actually do something about it. Too often a person grows complacent with their disillusionment, perpetually wearing their "discomfort" like a favorite shirt. I can't say I'm very pleased with where my life is just now... but I can't help but look forward to where it's going.

Jhonen Vasquez
Johnny The Homicidal Maniac

(contributed by Chris L.)

The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.

Kate Chopin
The Awakening

(contributed by Timmi)

In every life, no matter how full or empty ones purse, there is tragedy. It is the one promise life always fulfills. Thus, happiness is a gift, and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes, and to add to other peoples store of it.

Charles Dickens
Nicholas Nickleby

(contributed by Timmi)

The popularity of an individual in life often only manifests itself in death.

Jeffrey Archer
Sons of Fortune

It is often spur-of-the-moment decisions, sometimes made by others, that can change our whole lives.

Jeffrey Archer
Sons of Fortune

One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make it worth watching.

(contributed by Owen Newman)

I guess it's hard for people who are so used to things the way they are - even if they're bad - to change. ’Cause they kind of give up. And when they do, everybody kind of loses.

Pay It Forward

(contributed by allie)

I look up to an empty sky, not filled with clouds but filled with sky. Amazing then how it can be, full yet empty, like me.

L.W. Smith
My Trip Unplanned

(contributed by L.W. Smith)

Some of us are darkness lovers. We do not dislike the early and late daylight of June, but we cherish the increasing dark of November, which we wrap around ourselves in the prosperous warmth of wood stove, oil and electric blanket. Inside our warmth we fold ourselves, partly tuber, partly bear, in the dark and its cold - around us, outside us, safely away from us. We tuck ourselves up in the comfort of cold's opposite, warming ourslves by thought of the cold, lighting ourselves by darkness's idea.

Donald Hall
Seasons at Eagle Pond

I am a part of all that I have met, yet all experience is an arch wherethrough gleams that untravelled world, whose horizon fades forever and forever as I move. How dull it is to pause, to make an end. To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

There's a widespread notion that children are open, that the truth about their inner selves just seeps out of them. That's all wrong. No one is more covert than a child, and no one has a greater need to be that way. It's a response to a world that's always using a can opener to open them up to see what's inside, wondering whether it ought to be replaced with a more useful sort of preserves.

Peter Hoeg
Smilla's Sense of Snow

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the differences between what things are and what they ought to be.

William Hazlitt

But at times I wondered if I had not come a long way to find that what I really sought was something I had left behind.

Thomas Hornbein
book from Outward Bound New Zealand

(contributed by Nickie)

Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

And so we stayed out in the garden of the old house until we couldn't kick a ball, laughing in the gathering twilight, making the most of the good weather and all the days that were left, our little game watched only by next door's cat, and every star in the heavens.

Tony Parsons
Man and Wife

Words often spoil a moment of judgment or excitement; in all great puzzles and wars and movements, there is a moment to speak and a moment to accept with silent dignity.

John Gallagher

(contributed by Quill)

Character cannot be summoned at the moment of crisis if it has been squandered by years of compromise and rationalisation. The only testing ground for the heroic is the mundane. The only preparation for that one profound decision which can change a life, or even a nation, is those hundreds of half-conscious, self-defining, seemingly insignificant decisions made in private. Habit is the daily battleground of character.

Dan Coats

The conditions of a solitary bird are five: The first, that it flies to the highest point; The Second, that it does not suffer for company, not even of its own kind; The Third, that it aims its beak to the skies; The Fourth, that it does not have a definite color; The Fifth, that it sings very softly.

San Juan de la Cruz
Dichos de Luz y Amor

(contributed by Marshall)

Life isn't about keeping score. It's not about how many people call you and it's not about who you've dated, are dating, or haven't dated at all. It isn't about who you've kissed, what sport you play, or which guy or girl likes you. It's not about your shoes or your hair or the color of your skin or where you live or go to school. In fact, it's not about grades, money, clothes, or colleges that accept you or not. Life isn't about if you have lots of friends, or if you are alone, and it's not about how accepted or unaccepted you are. Life just isn't about that. But life is about who you love and who you hurt. It's about how you feel about yourself. It's about trust, happiness, and compassion. It's about sticking up for your friends and replacing inner hate with love. Life is about avoiding jealousy, overcoming ignorance, and building confidence. It's about what you say and what you mean. It's about seeing people for who they are and not what they have. Most of all, it is about choosing to use your life to touch someone else's in a way that could never have been achieved otherwise. These choices are what life's about.


(contributed by jc)

If I hadn't had children, I probably would have had more money and material things. I probably would have gone more places, gotten more sleep, pampered myself more. My life would have been much more boring and predictable.

As a result of being a parent, I have laughed harder, cried more often. I have worried more and hurried more. I've had less sleep, but somehow I've had more fun. I've learned more, grown more. My heart has ached harder, and I've loved to a capacity beyond my imagination.

I've given more of myself, but I've derived more meaning from life.

Marianne Neifert

A journal is more than a memory goad. It's therapeutic. The simple act of opening a notebook to put words down stills the crosscurrents of worry, drawing to focus the essential though patterms that best defines us, intersecting those thoughts with the condition of our life at that exact moment. A journal is one of the few anchors the human condition allows us.

Randy Wayne White

You don't look back along time but down though it, like water. Sometimes this comes to the surface; sometimes that; sometimes nothing.

Margaret Atwood
Cat's Eye

The rhythm of the water, the sunset over the horizon, and the freedom of the ocean reminds me of how simply beautiful life can be. When you move too fast you can miss the things that mean the most. My love for th ocean reminds me of my love for the snow, and my love for life. So enjoy all that life has to offer.

Tara Dakides
Billabong Surf Issue Volume 1

(contributed by Anthony)

To try to explain something as "I love it" and "It's fun" would be like describing the sunset over the middle of the ocean as "bright and pretty." It's just not that simple.

Tara Dakides
Billabong Surf Issue Volume 1

(contributed by Anthony)

Many people don't realize that shells are what sand is made from. Broken shells thousands upon thousands.

Billabong Surf Issue Volume 1

(contributed by Anthony)

It's a beautiful life. One of safe skyline blues, deep shaded greens, and sunsets the hue of orange soda pop. To these colors, add a texture - maybe the soft clay feel of wet sand underfoot. Throw in a harmony of sound - the advance and retreat of a rising tide, and rustling breeze combing a lonely palm. Beauty abounds in hte lanscapes around us. Art lives in the these moments of action. Art lives in these moments of accomplishment of awareness. Live out loud in bright, bold color. Reflect in silence in soft subtle tones. Art is living. Taste, feel, bleed. When life imitates art, every morning is a blank canvas. A chance to paint with broad strokes - all over again. Go out, look around, say nothing and be heard.

Billabong Surf Issue Volume 1

(contributed by Anthony)

My feet have been around the world. My Feet have stood on solid ground. My feet have swam through ocean blue. My feet have danced beneath the moon. Although cut scared and bruised my feet continue to push on through in the snow sand and rain getting through the aches and pains longing for another day. My feet would have it no other way.

Billabong Surf Issue

(contributed by Anthony)

The division of one day from the next must be one of the most profound peculiarities of life on this planet. It is, on the whole, a merciful arrangement. We are not condemned to sustained flights of being, but are constantly refreshed by little holidays from ourselves. We are intermittent creatures, always falling to little ends and rising to little new beginnings. Our soon-tired consciousness is meted out in chapters, and that the world will look quite different tomorrow is, for both our comfort and our discomfort, usually true. How marvelously too night matches sleep, sweet image of it, so neatly apportioned to our need. Angels must wonder at these beings who fall so regularly out of awareness into a fantasm-invested dark. How our frail identities survive these chasms no philosopher has ever been able to explain.

Iris Murdoch
The Black Prince

(contributed by stef)

There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win.

Elie Wiesel

I didn't realise then that so much of being adult is reconciling ourselves with the awkwardness and strangeness of our own feelings. Youth is the time of life lived for some imaginary audience.

Douglas Coupland
Girlfriend in a Coma

(contributed by candice)

There is in truth no past, only a memory of the past. Blink your eyes, and the world you see next did not exist when you closed them. Therefore the only appropriate state of the mind is surprise. The only appropriate state of the heart is joy. The sky you see now, you have never seen before. The perfect moment is now. Be glad of it.

Terry Pratchett
Thief of Time

(contributed by Rob Heeley)

The way of life can be beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls -- has barricaded the world with hate -- has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

Charles Chaplin
"The Great Dictator" 1940

(contributed by Neil Ferguson)