I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws, but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations.
Always tell yourself that you are as good as anyone that breathes; that you have two hands and a brain, and a little time in which to use them. But they are enough, and no one has any more. And if you train and force them to serve you well, you can reach any height to which you aspire. But to waste any of them is to betray yourself.
Lethargy. It's a word I know, because it's in one of my father's favorite expressions. Lethargy breeds lethargy. It means the more you lie around doing nothing, the more you want to lie around doing nothing. Your limbs and your mind feel so heavy that it becomes a major effort just to lift your arm to channel surf.
The mind which is created quick to love, is responsive to everything that is pleasing, soon as by pleasure it is awakened into activity. Your apprehensive faculty draws an impression from a real object, and unfolds it within you, so that it makes the mind turn thereto. And if, being turned, it inclines towards it, that inclination is love; that is nature, which through pleasure is bound anew within you.
Imagine yourself in Harriet Tubman's shoes. Fighting to be freed from deplorable conditions. Placing one foot in front of the other, putting slavery behind you. If a petite, abused slave can rise up, fight for freedom, secure the freedom of others, and change her world, so can I. And so can you.
I sat up in the strange bed fearing it had been a dream, afraid I would never see her again. Not because I wanted anything from her, only her presence. The disappearance of the presence of beauty is the most despairing of events on this time-wheel of ours that rolls onward towards death.
There are, of course, inherent tendencies to repetition in music itself. Our poetry, our ballads, our songs are full of repetition; nursery rhymes and the little chants and songs we use to teach young children have choruses and refrains. We are attracted to repetition, even as adults; we want the stimulus and the reward again and again, and in music we get it. Perhaps, therefore, we should not be surprised, should not complain if the balance sometimes shifts too far and our musical sensitivity becomes a vulnerability.
One of my heroes, almost necessarily from what I'm saying, of course, is Borges, who is a supreme master of doing thing -- being a data bank -- and the beauty of this economy is that he could have written War and Peace in three or four pages; who knows, it might have been a better book.