It is not possible to go forward while looking back.
[O]ne has to have endured a few decades before wanting, let alone needing, to embark on the project of recovering lost life. And I think it may be possible to review 'the chronicles of wasted time.' William Morris wrote in that men fight for things and then lose the battle, only to win it again in a shape and form that they had not expected, and then be compelled again to defend it under another name. We are all of us very good at self-persuasion and I strive to be alert to its traps, but a version of what Hegel called 'the cunning of history' is a parallel commentary that I fight to keep alive in my mind.
One legislator accused me of having a nineteenth-century attitude on law and order. That is a totally false charge. I have an eighteenth-century attitude. That is when the Founding Fathers made it clear that the safety of law-abiding citizens should be one of the government's primary concerns.
You young people can lend your bodies now, play with them, give them as we could not. But remember that you have paid a price: that of a world rich in mystery and delicate emotion. It is not only species of animal that die out. But whole species of feelings. And if you are wise, you will never pity the past for what it did not know. But pity yourself for what it did.
With rivers as with good friends, you always feel better for a few hours in their presence; you always want to review your dialogue, years later, with a particular pool or riffle or bend, and to live back through the layers of experience. We have been to this river before and together. We have much to relive.
Nick Lyons, from Bright Rivers
This is your war now.' I despised myself for the cheesy sentiment, but what else did I have?'Some war,' he said dismissively. 'What am I at war with? My cancer. And what is my cancer? My cancer is me. The tumors are made of me. They're made of me as surely as my brain and my heart are made of me. It is a civil war, Hazel Graze, with a predetermined winner.