The media transforms the great silence of things into its opposite.
Do not, on a rainy day, ask your child what he feels like doing, because I assure you that what he feels like doing, you won’t feel like watching.
What is always speaking silently is the body.
If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. That is why we put these stories in each other’s memory. This is how people care for themselves.
I was raised by . . . people who regard telling one story when two would do as a sign someone is not really trying.
What was once called the objective world is a sort of Rorschach ink blot, into which each culture, each system of science and religion, each type of personality, reads a meaning only remotely derived from the shape and color of the blot itself.
You can’t judge Hollywood by superficial impressions. After you get past the artificial tinsel you get down to the real tinsel.
Television, despite its enormous presence, turns out to have added pitifully few lines to the communal memory.
She claimed I had something she called Star Trek Amnesia. She said I would purposely forget having seen an episode until the last ten minutes of the show, then I’d say, “Oh yeah, I remember this,” but by then it was too late, I’d just go ahead and finish it.
The heroic hours of life do not announce their presence by drum and trumpet, challenging us to be true to ourselves. . . . Some little, unassuming, unobtrusive choice presents itself before us slyly and craftily, glib and insinuating, in the modest garb of innocence. To yield to its blandishments is so easy.
There are only two industries which refer to their customers as “users” — drugs and computers.
I’m for anything that gets you through the night, be it booze or religion.
Love and compassion predominate in the world. And this is why unpleasant events are “news”; compassionate activities are so much a part of daily life that they are taken for granted and, therefore, largely ignored.
The sky is not less blue because the blind man does not see it.
I use devotional objects to foster patience, just as the beads of a rosary are devotional tools to foster mindfulness. My tools to cultivate patience are fossils that friends have given me. I have a small trilobite, an ancient marine mammal, and another that may be an early form of the nautilus, and recently I received a tiny fish that’s six hundred million years old. I look at those and handle them, and that’s helpful to me.
We are all prisoners, but some of us are in cells with windows and some without.
He [novelist Sinclair Lewis] doted on names; he believed people became their names. He had a stack of telephone books from all over the world, so he could find an odd but apt name for a character. . . . When he had to name a new character, he would make a list of a dozen possibilities and . . . day after day he would pick up the list and cross off a name or two, until he had made his final choice by elimination. I would sometimes hear him at his desk calling out names, as if summoning lost souls.