An explanation of the blog name.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord.


Push back against the age, as hard as it pushes against you.-Flannery O’Connor

The future always looks good in the golden land because no one remembers the past.-Joan Didion

If you want coherence, gentlemen, you’ve come to the wrong place.-Phil Lesh

Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey.-Orwell

Hey, hey, hey, hey now. Don’t be mean. We don’t have to be mean. ‘Cause, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.-Buckaroo Banzai

Art: “Samuel Beckett once said: ‘Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.’”
Pavel: “Yes.”
Art: “On the other hand, he SAID it.”
Pavel: “He was right. Maybe you can include it in your book.”-Art Spieglman, Maus

Here begins our tale. The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been. -The Three Kingdoms

Talk is cheap. -Traditional

The heater was working. It was warm in the Jaguar, and Kumiko was very tired now. She settled back against red leather and closed her eyes. Somehow, she thought, her meeting with 3Jane had freed her of her shame, and her father’s answer of her anger. 3Jane had been very cruel. Now she saw her mother’s cruelty as well. But all must be forgiven, one day, she thought, and fell asleep on the way to a place called Camden Town. -Gibson, Mona Lisa Overdrive.

Life is one big minefield, and the only place that isn’t a minefield is the place they make the mines.-Michael O’Donoghue

I think I know what military fame is: to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers.-William Tecumseh Sherman

I was learning from these mortal-farcical events about the eternal presence in human affairs of accident and contingency, as well as the fatuity of optimism at any time or place. All planning was not just likely to recoil ironically; it was almost certain to do so. Human beings were clearly not like machines. They were mysterious congeries of twisted will and error, misapprehension and misrepresentation, and the expected could not be expected of them.-Paul Fussell

I suppose the trouble is that one thinks one’s life instead of living it. Occasionally one enters into contact for a split second, when the wind blows across one’s face, or when the moon comes out from behind a cloud, or a wave breaks against the rocks in some particular way which it would be impossible to recognize or define. The one catches oneself being conscious of the contact and it is lost.-Paul Bowles

Not to know what happened before one was born is always to be a child. -Cicero

If you start counting up all the things in the world that are not lutefisk, you quickly run out of fingers.-Steven Brust

Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit
(Maybe one day we shall be glad to remember even these things)
-Virgil, Aeneid, 1:203

Et in arcadia ego.-traditional

Anyone who has ever studied the history of American diplomacy, especially military diplomacy, knows that you might start in a war with certain things on your mind as a purpose of what you are doing, but in the end you found yourself fighting for entirely different things that you had never thought of before. War has a momentum of its own, and it carries you away from all thoughtful intentions when you get into it. … War seldom ever leads to good results.-George F. Kennan

The older I get, the more I think that maybe the Grand Challenge of Modern Adulthood is using the perspective you’ve gained at the price of your youth to actually do the things whose value you now, finally, realize.-Paul Starr

Da Mayor: Doctor…

Mookie: C’mon, what. What?

Da Mayor: Always do the right thing.

Mookie: That’s it?

Da Mayor: That’s it.

Mookie: I got it, I’m gone.  -Spike Lee, Do The Right Thing

Coincidences can be frightening and dangerous things -Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful/
Everybody dies frustrated and sad and that is beautiful -They Might Be Giants

We’re more of the love, blood and rhetoric school. Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can’t give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They’re all blood, you see.-Tom Stoppard

The nicer the nice/The higher the price-Sly Stone

Overlaid with silver dish covers, various platters had been neatly positioned on the table cloth, and we sat down to eat. Assuredly, we were dealing with civilized people, and if it hadn’t been for this electric light flooding over us, I would have thought we were in the dining room of the Hotel Adelphi in Liverpool, or the Grand Hotel in Paris. However, I feel compelled to mention that bread and wine were totally absent. The water was fresh and clear, but it was still water—which wasn’t what Ned Land had in mind. Among the foods we were served, I was able to identify various daintily dressed fish; but I couldn’t make up my mind about certain otherwise excellent dishes, and I couldn’t even tell whether their contents belonged to the vegetable or the animal kingdom. As for the tableware, it was elegant and in perfect taste. Each utensil, spoon, fork, knife, and plate, bore on its reverse a letter encircled by a Latin motto, and here is its exact duplicate:



Moving within the moving element! It was a highly appropriate motto for this underwater machine, so long as the preposition in is translated as within and not upon. The letter “N” was no doubt the initial of the name of that mystifying individual in command beneath the seas!–Verne, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Time is the motion of the restless world and the passage of decaying things–Hraban Maur, De Computo

“No,” Turner said, “but she’s sick. It’ll be okay.” He drank off the black bitter coffee. It seemed to him, just for a second, that he could feel the whole Sprawl breathing, and its breath was old and sick and tired, all up and down the stations from Boston to Atlanta.–Gibson, Count Zero

If, indeed, I were a nightingale I should sing as a nightingale, if a swan, as a swan: but as I am a rational creature I must praise God. This is my task, and I do it: and I will not abandon this duty, so long as it is given me; and I invite you all to join in this same song.–Epictetus, Discourses

Like every other creature on the face of the earth, Godfrey was, by birthright, a stupendous badass, albeit in the somewhat narrow technical sense that he could trace his ancestry back up a long line of slightly less highly evolved stupendous badasses to that first self-replicating gizmo-which, given the number and variety of its descendants, might justifiably be described as the most stupendous badass of all time. Everyone and everything that wasn’t a stupendous badass was dead.–Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

I am human, I consider nothing human to be alien to me.–Terence, The Self-Tormentor

Learn about pines from the pines, study about bamboo with the bamboos.–Bashō

I told the Englishman that my alma mater was books, a good library. Every time I catch a plane, I have with me a book that I want to read—and that’s a lot of books these days. If I weren’t out here every day battling the white man, I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity—because you can hardly mention anything I’m not curious about.–Malcolm X

Yes, suddenly I saw it clearly: most people deceive themselves with a pair of faiths: they believe in eternal memory (of people, things, deeds, nations) and in redressibility (of deeds, mistakes, sins, wrongs). Both are false faiths. In reality the opposite is true: everything will be forgotten and nothing will be redressed.–Milan Kundera

The special quality of hell is to see everything clearly down to the last detail.–Yukio Mishima

“Seeing this, I experienced almost a physical shock. Turning to Van Tien Dung who was then standing next to me, I asked quietly, “Where are our divisions one, three, five, seven, and nine?” Dung stared at me a moment, then replied with equal deliberateness; “The army has already been unified”…“Since when?” I demanded; “There’s been no decision about anything like that.” Without answering, Dung slowly turned his eyes back to the street, unable to suppress his sardonic expression, although he must have known it was conveying too much. A feeling of distaste for this whole affair began to come over me—not to mention premonitions I did not want to entertain.”–Truong Nhu Tang

Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.–Nietzsche

[To Thoreau, on his deathbed]: Have you made your peace with God?
Thoreau: I did not know that we had ever quarreled.

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