Don't mace him!" I shouted over the din. "You'll get us all too. Greatness is more than potential. It is the execution of that potential. Beyond the raw talent. You need the appropriate training. You need the discipline. You need the inspiration. You need the drive. What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on? Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it's just an illusion, that people are going to bring their own stuff into it. There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness. It's a dangerous business going out your front door. Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousand of miles and all the years you have lived.
Vigorous writing is concise. Life engenders life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich. As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death. There is an alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmuted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness. After the last of 16 mounting screws has been removed from an access cover, it will be discovered that the wrong access cover has been removed. There are always survivors at a massacre. Among the victors, if nowhere else. A tactical retreat is not a bad response to a surprise assault, you know. First you survive. Then you choose your own ground. Then you counterattack.
The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive. Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. I guess we'd be living in a boring, perfect world if everybody wished everybody else well. Be honorable yourself if you wish to associate with honorable people. Vigorous writing is concise. Is there life before death? He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave.
What children take from us, they give?We become people who feel more deeply, question more deeply, hurt more deeply, and love more deeply. It is not enough to aim; you must hit. Van's sweater was soaked in blood. Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path of joy. Never eat more than you can lift. Whatever you do, do it to the purpose; do it thoroughly, not superficially. Go to the bottom of things. Any thing half done, or half known, is in my mind, neither done nor known at all. Nay, worse, for it often misleads. Good soldiers never pass up a chance to eat or sleep. They never know how much they'll be called on to do before the next chance.
It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction. Many people weigh the guilt they will feel against the pleasure of the forbidden action they want to take. Talking with you is sort of the conversational equivalent of an out of body experience. I went up the stairs cautiously, not able to use my hands. It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them. I never met anybody who said when they were a kid, "I wanna grow up and be a critic." Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack.
I said to myself, I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me - shapes and ideas so near to me - so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn't occurred to me to put them down. I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught. Sorrow was like the wind. It came in gusts. What can you say about a society that says that God is dead and Elvis is alive? The man who has nothing to boast of but his illustrious ancestry is like the potato - the best part under ground. Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint on it you can. Never let the demands of tomorrow interfere with the pleasures and excitement of today. Howard Hughes was able to afford the luxury of madness, like a man who not only thinks he is Napoleon but hires an army to prove it.
Lawyers spend a great deal of their time shoveling smoke. You can learn as much - or more - from one glance at a private space as you can from hours of exposure to a public face. It is not enough to aim; you must hit. You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. I love my past. I love my present. I'm not ashamed of what I've had, and I'm not sad because I have it no longer. I daresay one profits more by the mistakes one makes off one's own bat than by doing the right thing on somebody's else advice. Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half the time.
Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist. We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language. At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely. There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness. What's the earth With all its art, verse, music, worth - Compared with love, found, gained, and kept? Late to bed and late to wake will keep you long on money and short on mistakes. There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?
Everybody likes a kidder, but nobody lends him money. Never feel self-pity, the most destructive emotion there is. How awful to be caught up in the terrible squirrel cage of self. In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office. Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far. If you would thoroughly know anything, teach it to others. I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.
You can't have a light without a dark to stick it in. When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice. Intimacy is being seen and known as the person you truly are. You should not live one way in private, another in public. History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives. The faceless, eyeless armed man above me kept his gun very level. The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive.
You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom. It is impossible to walk rapidly and be unhappy. Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do. Go often to the house of thy friend; for weeds soon choke up the unused path. No one gossips about other people's secret virtues. Any transition serious enough to alter your definition of self will require not just small adjustments in your way of living and thinking but a full-on metamorphosis. It's important to begin a search on a full stomach.
We are made to persist. That's how we find out who we are. There is an alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmuted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness. Because we don't think about future generations, they will never forget us. I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education. Ask a deeply religious Christian if he?d rather live next to a bearded Muslim that may or may not be plotting a terror attack, or an atheist that may or may not show him how to set up a wireless network in his house. On the scale of prejudice, atheists don?t seem so bad lately. Looks are part of business. A businessman should never stand out more than his customers. His mannerisms, his clothes, everything about him... Moderation is the key. Neither did the cop car that went past, nor the firetruck, nor the next three cop-cars.
There is still a difference between something and nothing, but it is purely geometrical and there is nothing behind the geometry. Lawyers spend a great deal of their time shoveling smoke. Money doesn't always bring happiness. People with ten million dollars are no happier than people with nine million dollars. A sympathetic Scot summed it all up very neatly in the remark, "You should make a point of trying every experience once, excepting incest and folk dancing." Nothing is as certain as that the vices of leisure are gotten rid of by being busy. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I guess we'd be living in a boring, perfect world if everybody wished everybody else well.
Nothing inspires forgiveness quite like revenge. We need anything politically important rationed out like Pez: small, sweet, and coming out of a funny, plastic head. It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare. Terrorists killed a lot fewer people than bathroom falls and accidental electrocutions. We require from buildings two kinds of goodness: first, the doing their practical duty well: then that they be graceful and pleasing in doing it. Be sincere; be brief; be seated. Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.
There is nothing more dreadful than imagination without taste. The perfect bureaucrat everywhere is the man who manages to make no decisions and escape all responsibility. Music is essentially useless, as life is. Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. A man can do all things if he but wills them. The most beautiful adventures are not those we go to seek. Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.