Waiting

Let me say this before rain becomes a utility that they can plan and distribute for money. By “they” I mean the people who cannot understand that rain is a festival, who do not appreciate its gratuity, who think that what has no price has no value, that what cannot be sold is not real, so that the only way to make something actual is to place it on the market. The time will come when they will sell you even your rain. At the moment it is still free, and I am in it. I celebrate its gratuity and its meaninglessness. The rain I am in is not like the rain of cities. It fills the wood with an immense and confused sound. It covers the flat roof of the cabin and its porch with insistent and controlled rhythms. And I listen, because it reminds me again and again that the whole world runs by rhythms I have not yet learned to recognize, rhythms that are not those of the engineer. I came up here from the monastery last night, sloshing through the cornfield, said Vespers, and put some oatmeal on the Coleman stove for supper. It boiled over while I was listening to the rain and toasting a piece of bread at the log fire. The night became very dark. The rain surrounded the whole cabin with its enormous virginal myth, a whole world of meaning, of secrecy, of silence, of rumor. Think of it: all that speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging nobody, drenching the thick mulch of dead leaves, soaking the trees, filling the gullies and crannies of the wood with water, washing out the places where men have stripped the hillside! What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone, in the forest, at night, cherished by this wonderful, unintelligible, perfectly innocent speech, the most comforting speech in the world, the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges, and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows! Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it. It will talk as long as it wants, this rain. As long as it talks I am going to listen.

Music is pleasing not only because of the sound but because of the silence that is in it: without the alternation of sound and silence there would be no rhythm.

We explain the fact that the Milky Way is there by the doctrine of
creation, but how do we explain the fact that the Bhagavad Gita is there?

You know the real world, this so-called real world, is just something you put up with. Like everybody else. I’m in my element when I am a little bit out of this world. Then I’m in the real world – I’m on the beam. Because when I’m falling, I’m doing all right. When I’m slipping, I say: he, this is interesting. It’s when I’m standing upright that bothers me..

But all they want to do Is tie the poem to a chair with rope And torture a confession out of it. They begin beating it with a hose To find out what it really means.

I have often said in answer to inquiries as to how I got away with kidding some of our public men, that it was because I liked all of them personally, and that if there was no malice in your heart there could be none in your Gags, and I have always said I never met a man I didn’t like.

The one that's out always looks the best.

This was the road over which Ántonia and I came on that night when we got off the train at Black Hawk and were bedded down in the straw, wondering children, being taken we knew not whither. I had only to close my eyes to hear the rumbling of the wagons in the dark, and to be again overcome by that obliterating strangeness. The feelings of that night were so near that I could reach out and touch them with my hand. I had the sense of coming home to myself, and of having found out what a little circle man’s experience is. For Ántonia and for me, this had been the road of Destiny; had taken us to those early accidents of fortune which predetermined for us all that we can ever be. Now I understood that the same road was to bring us together again. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.

The incomplete knowledge of a system must be an essential part of every formulation in quantum theory. Quantum theoretical laws must be of a statistical kind.Quantum theoretical laws must be of a statistical kind. To give an example: we know that the radium atom emits alpha-radiation. Quantum theory can give us an indication of the probability that the alpha-particle will leave the nucleus in unit time, but it cannot predict at what precise point in time the emission will occur, for this is uncertain in principle… This state of affairs is best described by saying that all particles are basically nothing but different stationary states of one and the same stuff. Thus even the three basic building-stones have become reduced to a single one. There is only one kind of matter but it can exist in different discrete stationary conditions.

First, O songs, for a prelude, lightly strike on the stretch'd tympanum, pride and joy in my city, how she led the rest to arms—how she gave the cue, how at once with lithe limbs, unwaiting a moment, she sprang; (O superb! O Manhattan, my own, my peerless! O strongest you in the hour of danger, in crisis! O truer than steel!) How you sprang! how you threw off the costumes of peace with indifferent hand; how your soft opera-music changed, and the drum and fife were heard in their stead; how you led to the war, (that shall serve for our prelude songs of soldiers,) How Manhattan drum-taps led.

In our sun-down perambulations, of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing "base", a certain game of ball...Let us go forth awhile, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our close rooms...the game of ball is glorious.

It is native personality, and that alone, that endows a man to stand before presidents or generals, or in any distinguished collection, with aplomb -and not culture, or any intellect whatever.

The shallow consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint. The wise man sees in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws, namely, the fusion and combination of the conscious will, or partial individual law, with those universal, eternal, unconscious ones which run through all Time, pervade history, prove immortality, give moral purpose to the entire objective world, and the last dignity to human life.

Your true soul and body appear before me. Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear, I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you. O I have been dilatory and dumb, I should have made my way straight to you long ago, I should have blabb'd nothing but you, I should have chanted nothing but you. I will leave all and come and make the hymns of you, none has understood you, but I understand you, none has done justice to you, you have not done justice to yourself, none but has found you imperfect, I only find no imperfection in you, none but would subordinate you, I only am he who will never consent to subordinate you, I only am he who places over you no master, owner, better, God, beyond what waits instrinsically in yourself. O I could sing such grandeurs and glories about you! You have not known what you are, you have slumber'd upon yourself all your life, your eyelids have been the same as closed most of the time. I pursue you where none else has pursued you. Conceal you from others or from yourself, they do not conceal you from me. I give nothing to anyone except I give the like carefully to you. These immense meadows, these interminable rivers, you are immense and interminable as they, these furies, elements, storms, motions of Nature, throes of apparent dissolution, you are he or she who is master or mistress over them, Master or mistress in your own right over Nature, elements, pain, passion, dissolution.

A very rich person should leave his kids enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing.

Stop your own blame trip as of right now.

Just look at the elated hype on the Nobel Prize by the Chinese government before and after the announcement. We could tell that this prize was awarded for the purpose of pleasing the communist regime and is thus not noteworthy.

An angel abroad, and a devil at home.

Better a wise lad than a foolish king.

I could die in peace, I think, if the world was beautiful. To know it's being ruined is hard.