603. False Ground

“You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.”

― John O’Donohue

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587. Abuse

“For I have heard that most of that which bears the name of learning, and which has abused such quantities of ink and paper, and continually employs so many ignorant unhappy souls for ten, twelve, twenty years in the university (who yet, poor wretches, think they are doing something all the while ) – as logic, etc., and several other things (that shall be nameless lest I should misspell them) – are much more absolutely nothing than the errantest play that e’er was writ.”

– Aphra Behn

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582. Never Underestimate

“I believe you!’ the artiste exclaimed finally and extinguishes his gaze. ‘I do! These eyes are not lying! How many times have I told you that your basic error consists in underestimating the significance of the human eye. Understand that the tongue can conceal the truth, but the eyes – never! A sudden question is put to you, you don’t even flinch, in one second you get hold of yourself and know what you must say to conceal the truth, and you speak quite convincingly, and not a wrinkle on your face moves, but – alas – the truth which the question stirs up from the bottom of your soul leaps momentarily into your eyes, and it’s all over! They see it, and you’re caught!”

― Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita

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538. All Or Nothing

“I say no wealth is worth my life! Not all they claim
was stored in the depths of Troy, that city built on riches,
in the old days of peace before the sons of Achaea came-
not all the gold held fast in the Archer’s rocky vaults,
in Phoebus Apollo’s house on Pytho’s sheer cliffs!
Cattle and fat sheep can all be had for the raiding,
tripods all for the trading, and tawny-headed stallions.
But a man’s life breath cannot come back again-
no raiders in force, no trading brings it back,
once it slips through a man’s clenched teeth.
Mother tells me,
the immortal goddess Thetis with her glistening feet,
that two fates bear me on to the day of death.
If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy,
my journey home is gone, but my glory never dies.
If I voyage back to the fatherland I love,
my pride, my glory dies…
true, but the life that’s left me will be long,
the stroke of death will not come on me quickly.”
― Homer, The Iliad

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533. Like A Dream And Flies Away

“But it is only what happens, when they die, to all mortals.
The sinews no longer hold the flesh and the bones together,
and once the spirit has let the white bones, all the rest
of the body is made subject to the fire’s strong fury,
but the soul flitters out like a dream and flies away.”
― Homer, The Odyssey

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