Our cautious ancestors, when yawning, blocked the way to the entrance of evil spirits by putting their hands before their mouths. We find a reason for the gesture in the delicacy of manner which forbids an indecent exposure.
If we examine our thoughts, we shall find them always occupied with the past and the future.
In these times, the hardest task for social or political activists is to find a way to get people to wonder again about what we all believe is true. The challenge is to sow doubt.
Love you will find only where you may show yourself weak without provoking strength.
Only the wise know just where predestination ends and free will begins. Meanwhile, you must keep on doing your best, according to your own clearest understanding. you must long for freedom as the drowning man longs for air. Without sincere longing, you will never find God.
Liberalism is an attitude rather than a set of dogmas – an attitude that insists upon questioning all plausible and self-evident propositions, seeking not to reject them but to find out what evidence there is to support them rather than their possible alternatives.
I know that my tendency is to be linear, and I’m trying to find ways to subvert that. And so in ‘Bellocq’s Ophelia’ my device for subverting it was to tell the story and then to tell it again; it always circles back to this one moment, and it’s not linear, but it’s round in that way, and much of ‘Native Guard’ is like that.
One way to find food for thought is to use the fork in the road, the bifurcation that marks the place of emergence in which a new line of development begins to branch off.
When I find myself in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a room full of dukes.
I find we are growing serious, and then we are in great danger of being dull.