The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.
To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is itself to succumb to the violence of our times. Frenzy destroys our inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.
In everything, almost in everything, I wrote I was guided by the need of collecting ideas which, linked together, would be the expression of myself, though each individual idea, expressed separately in words, loses its meaning, is horribly debased when only one of the links, of which it forms a part, is taken by itself. But the interlinking of these ideas is not, I think, an intellectual process, but something else, and it is impossible to express the source of this interlinking directly in words; it can only be done indirectly by describing images, actions, and situations in words.
I do not accept any absolute formulas for living. No preconceived code can see ahead to everything that can happen in a man's life. As we live, we grow and our beliefs change. They must change. So I think we should live with this constant discovery. We should be open to this adventure in heightened awareness of living. We should stake our whole existence on our willingness to explore and experience.
Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.
In the fields and woods more than anything else all things come to those who wait, because all things are on the move, and are sure sooner or later to come your way. To absorb a thing is better than to learn it, and we absorb what we enjoy. We learn things at school; we absorb them in the fields and woods. When we look upon Nature with fondness and appreciation, she meets us halfway and takes a deeper hold on us than when studiously conned. Hence I say the way of knowledge of Nature is the way of love and enjoyment, and is more surely found in the open air than in the school room or the laboratory.
here's the sick, twisted thing: part of me thinks i deserve this. that maybe if i wasn't such an asshole, issac would have been real. if i wasn't such a lame excuse for a person, something right might happen to me. it's not fair, because i didn't ask for dad to leave, and i didn't ask to be depressed, and i didn't ask for us to have no money, and i didn't ask to want to fuck boys, and i didn't ask to be so stupid, and i didn't ask to have no real friends, and i didn't ask to have half the shit that comes out of my mouth come out of my mouth. all i wanted was one fucking break, one idiotic good thing, that was clearly too much to ask for, too much to want.
A source of bad conscience, however, is the knowledge that my way of life, austere though it may appear to the richer folk, is still ruinously exploitive of nature -- not in my backyard, where I practice harmlessness toward even the wasps, but in the atmosphere, where my fossil fuel combustion's carbon dioxide is helping change the climate; in all those mountainous places where the metals and minerals that structure and drive my American life are torn from the earth; and in the flesh of fish and birds, mammals, and reptiles, where the chemicals that made the paper and plastic I use bioaccumulate, deforming reproduction. That guilty knowledge is another argument for material simplicity. The less I consume, the less harm I do to that which I love. In a consumer society, harmless living may be simple, but it is not easy. I make no claim to exemplary harmlessness or simplicity.
Every life has a soundtrack.There is a tune that makes me think of the summer I spent rubbing baby oil on my stomach in pursuit of the perfect tan. There's another that reminds me of tagging along with my father on Sunday morning to pick up the There's the song that reminds me of using fake ID to get into a nightclub; and the one that brings back my cousin Isobel's sweet sixteen, where I played Seven Minutes in Heaven with a boy whose breath smelled like tomato soup. If you ask me, music is the language of memory.