Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.
Constrained optimization is the art of compromise between conflicting objectives. This is what design is all about. To find fault with biological design - as Stephen Jay Gould regularly does - because it misses some idealized optimum is therefore gratuitous. Not knowing the objectives of the designer, Gould is in no position to say whether the designer has proposed a faulty compromise among those objectives.
Nick stands up and offers his hand to me. I have no idea what he wants, but what the hell, I take his hand anyway, and he pulls me up on my feet then presses against me for a slow dance and it's like we're in a dream where he's Christopher Plummer and I'm Julie Andrews and we're dancing on the marble floor of an Austrian terrace garden. Somehow my head presses Nick's t-shirt and in this moment I am forgetting about time and Tal because maybe my life isn't over. Maybe it's only beginning.
Modern romance, like Greek tragedy, celebrates the mystery of dismemberment, which is life in time. The happy ending is justly scorned as a misrepresentation; for the world, as we know it, as we have seen it, yields but one ending: death, disintegration, dismemberment, and the crucifixion of our heart with the passing of the forms that we have loved.
In the streets and in society I am almost invariablycheap and dissipated, my life is unspeakably mean.No amount of gold or respectability would in the leastredeem it,-- dining with the Governor or a member of Congress!!But alone in the distant woods or fields,in unpretending sprout-lands or pastures tracked by rabbits,even in a bleak and, to most, cheerless day, like this,when a villager would be thinking of his inn,I come to myself, I once more feel myself grandly related,and that cold and solitude are friends of mine.I suppose that this value, in my case, is equivalentto what others get by churchgoing and prayer.I come home to my solitary woodland walk as the homesick go home.I thus dispose of the superfluous and see things as they are,grand and beautiful. I have told many that I walk every dayabout half the daylight, but I think they do not believe it.I wish to get the Concord, the Massachusetts, the America,out of my head and be sane a part of every day.
Instead he felt only love. And that was the miracle. The surge in hatred since the war began had created more love around it. It was indomitable, mad, and everlasting, scattered through the rich and the poor, deep and calm in the Quakers, hot and fierce in the mothers, faithful in the warriors, wistful in the pets, seeping its way into mercy and atrocity, destroying things, rebuilding them.