Tag Archive | quotes

On Longing (Or: My Sentiments Exactly)

Fatima went back to her tent, and, when daylight came, she went out to do the chores she had done for years. But everything had changed. The boy was no longer at the oasis, and the oasis would never again have the same meaning it had only yesterday. It would no longer be a place with fifty thousand palm trees and three hundred wells, where the pilgrims arrived, relieved at the end of their long journeys. From that day on, the oasis would be an empty place for her.From that day on, it was the desert that would be important…. From that day on, the desert would represent only one thing to her: the hope of his return.

Paolo Coelho in The Alchemist


On moonlight

We are not conscious of daylight as that which displaces darkness…. We take daylight for granted. But moonlight is another matter. It is inconstant…. It transforms. It falls upon the banks and the grass, separating one long blade from another; turning a drift of brown, frosted leaves from a single heap into innumerable, flashing fragments; or glimmering lengthways along wet twigs as though light itself were ductile. Its long beams pour, white and sharp, between the trunks of trees, their clarity fading as they recede into the powdery, misty distance of beech woods at night…. We do not take moonlight for granted. It is like snow, or the dew on a July morning. It does not reveal but changes what it covers. And its low intensity – so much lower than that of daylight, makes us conscious that it is something added to the down, to give it, only for a little time, a singular and marvellous quality that we should admire while we can, for soon it will be gone again.

Richard Adams in Watership Down


On magic

If there’s any kind of magic in this world, it must be in the attempt of understanding someone, sharing something…. I know, it’s almost impossible to succeed, but who cares, really? The answer must be in the attempt.

– Celine in Before Sunrise


In defense of joy

…We have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid….This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else.

Ursula K. Le Guin in The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas (The Wind’s Twelve Quarters)