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Thread: Memorable Passages

  1. #411
    Thailand Lifer
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    “Without realizing it, we fill important places in each other’s lives. It’s that way with the guy at the corner grocery, the mechanic at the local garage, the family doctor, teachers, neighbors, coworkers.

    Good people who are always “there,” who can be relied upon in small, important ways. People who teach us, bless us, encourage us, support us, uplift us in the dailiness of life. We never tell them. I don’t know why, but we don’t.

    And, of course, we fill that role ourselves. There are those who depend in us, watch us, learn from us, take from us. And we never know.
    You may never have proof of your importance, but you are more important than you think. There are always those who couldn’t do without you. The rub is that you don’t always know who.”

    ― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

  2. #412
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    “All men live enveloped in whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realize the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life.

    And if you be a philosopher, though seated in the whale-boat, you would not at heart feel one whit more of terror, than though seated before your evening fire with a poker, and not a harpoon, by your side.”

    ― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

  3. #413
    Canto III

    I sat on the Dogana’s steps
    For the gondolas cost too much, that year,
    And there were not “those girls”, there was one face,
    And the Buccentoro twenty yards off, howling, “Stretti”,
    And the lit cross-beams, that year, in the Morosini,
    And peacocks in Koré’s house, or there may have been.
    Gods float in the azure air,
    Bright gods and Tuscan, back before dew was shed.
    Light: and the first light, before ever dew was fallen.
    Panisks, and from the oak, dryas,
    And from the apple, mælid,
    Through all the wood, and the leaves are full of voices,
    A-whisper, and the clouds bowe over the lake,
    And there are gods upon them,
    And in the water, the almond-white swimmers,
    The silvery water glazes the upturned nipple,
    As Poggio has remarked.
    Green veins in the turquoise,
    Or, the gray steps lead up under the cedars.

    My Cid rode up to Burgos,
    Up to the studded gate between two towers,
    Beat with his lance butt, and the child came out,
    Una niña de nueve años,
    To the little gallery over the gate, between the towers,
    Reading the writ, voce tinnula:
    That no man speak to, feed, help Ruy Diaz,
    On pain to have his heart out, set on a pike spike
    And both his eyes torn out, and all his goods sequestered,
    “And here, Myo Cid, are the seals,
    The big seal and the writing.”
    And he came down from Bivar, Myo Cid,
    With no hawks left there on their perches,
    And no clothes there in the presses,
    And left his trunk with Raquel and Vidas,
    That big box of sand, with the pawn-brokers,
    To get pay for his menie;
    Breaking his way to Valencia.
    Ignez de Castro murdered, and a wall
    Here stripped, here made to stand.
    Drear waste, the pigment flakes from the stone,
    Or plaster flakes, Mantegna painted the wall.
    Silk tatters, “Nec Spe Nec Metu.”

    Ezra Pound

  4. #414
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    “Oh, Starbuck! it is a mild, mild wind, and a mild looking sky. On such a day - very much such a sweetness as this - I struck my first whale - a boy-harpooneer of eighteen! Forty - forty - forty years ago! - ago! Forty years of continual whaling! forty years of privation, and peril, and storm-time! forty years on the pitiless sea! for forty years has Ahab forsaken the peaceful land, for forty years to make war on the horrors of the deep!

    Aye and yes, Starbuck, out of those forty years I have not spent three ashore. When I think of this life I have led; the desolation of solitude it has been; the masoned, walled-town of a Captain's exclusiveness, which admits but small entrance to any sympathy from the green country without - oh, weariness! heaviness! Guinea-coast slavery of solitary command! - when I think of all this; only half-suspected, not so keenly known to me before - and how for forty years I have fed upon dry salted fare - fit emblem of the dry nourishment of my soul - when the poorest landsman has had fresh fruit to his daily hand, and broken the world's fresh bread to my mouldy crusts - away, whole oceans away, from that young girl-wife I wedded past fifty, and sailed for Cape Horn the next day, leaving but one dent in my marriage pillow - wife? wife? - rather a widow with her husband alive!

    Aye, I widowed that poor girl when I married her, Starbuck; and then, the madness, the frenzy, the boiling blood and the smoking brow, with which, for a thousand lowerings old Ahab has furiously, foamingly chased his prey - more a demon than a man! - aye, aye! what a forty years' fool - fool - old fool, has old Ahab been! Why this strife of the chase? why weary, and palsy the arm at the oar, and the iron, and the lance? how the richer or better is Ahab now?

    Behold. Oh, Starbuck! is it not hard, that with this weary load I bear, one poor leg should have been snatched from under me? Here, brush this old hair aside; it blinds me, that I seem to weep. Locks so grey did never grow but from out some ashes! But do I look very old, so very, very old, Starbuck? I feel deadly faint, bowed, and humped, as though I were Adam, staggering beneath the piled centuries since Paradise. God! God! God! - crack my heart! - stave my brain! - mockery! mockery! bitter, biting mockery of grey hairs, have I lived enough joy to wear ye; and seem and feel thus intolerably old?

    Close! stand close to me, Starbuck; let me look into a human eye; it is better than to gaze into sea or sky; better than to gaze upon God. By the green land; by the bright hearth-stone! this is the magic glass, man; I see my wife and my child in thine eye.

    No, no; stay on board, on board! - lower not when I do; when branded Ahab gives chase to Moby Dick. That hazard shall not be thine. No, no! not with the far away home I see in that eye!”

    ― Herman Melville

  5. #415
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    “For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous desert, in this marvelous time. I want to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.”

    ― Carlos Castaneda, Journey to Ixtlan

  6. #416
    Thailand Guru RadioChaser's Avatar
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    This, from a man I knew less than 30 minutes and whose name I had forgotten by the next day. What he told me, changed my life from that of a homeless Vietnam Veteran to what it is today.

    Even though I have forgotten his name. I will never forget the effect of his words on my life.

    "Every man is responsible for his own life!"
    I used to chase radios. Now I don't.

  7. #417
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    “If the thing they were fighting for was important enough to die for then it was also important enough for them to be thinking about it in the last minutes of their lives. That stood to reason.

    Life is awfully important so if you've given it away you'd ought to think with all your mind in the last moments of your life about the thing you traded it for. So did all those kids die thinking of democracy and freedom and liberty and honor and the safety of the home and the stars and stripes forever?

    You're goddamn right they didn't.

    They died crying in their minds like little babies. They forgot the thing they were fighting for, the things they were dying for. They thought about things a man can understand. They died yearning for the face of a friend. They died whimpering for the voice of a mother a father a wife a child. They died with their hearts sick for one more look at the place where they were born please god just one more look.

    They died moaning and sighing for life. They knew what was important. They knew that life was everything and they died with screams and sobs. They died with only one thought in their minds and that was I want to live I want to live I want to live."

    ― Dalton Trumbo, Johnny Got His Gun

  8. #418
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    “If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.”

    ― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

  9. #419
    Thailand Guru RadioChaser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaitongBoy View Post
    “If the thing they were fighting for was important enough to die for then it was also important enough for them to be thinking about it in the last minutes of their lives. That stood to reason.

    Life is awfully important so if you've given it away you'd ought to think with all your mind in the last moments of your life about the thing you traded it for. So did all those kids die thinking of democracy and freedom and liberty and honor and the safety of the home and the stars and stripes forever?

    You're goddamn right they didn't.

    They died crying in their minds like little babies. They forgot the thing they were fighting for, the things they were dying for. They thought about things a man can understand. They died yearning for the face of a friend. They died whimpering for the voice of a mother a father a wife a child. They died with their hearts sick for one more look at the place where they were born please god just one more look.

    They died moaning and sighing for life. They knew what was important. They knew that life was everything and they died with screams and sobs. They died with only one thought in their minds and that was I want to live I want to live I want to live."

    ― Dalton Trumbo, Johnny Got His Gun

    I don't know about Johnny.

    But when I believed I was about to die, all I was thinking of was, killing as many of them as I could, before I was the next guy that died!
    Last edited by RadioChaser; 02-12-2019 at 02:56 PM.
    I used to chase radios. Now I don't.

  10. #420
    Thailand Lifer
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    “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?

    No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end.

    I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality.

    If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”

    ― Muhammad Ali

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