Often we feel time to be linear, inexorable, suffocating. At other moments we find it oceanic. We kind of swim in it. We expect physicists to come up with an explanation, but we don’t find one, and come back to our intuitive use of the concept. But there are also moments when time appears to be, to say it in one way, both vertical and horizontal, both “single-minded,” monotonous, unalterable, and multi-dimensional, infinite. When a few people come together, I often have wondered if each person’s amount of years was not being added to the amount of years of all the others, so that we were representing together much more than our single self. And if you add up the simultaneous ages of people, animals, plants, objects, the age of celestial bodies and so on, you realize that we are living in the unfolding of the infinite. But why bother? I think because we need to keep in mind the immensity of being, in spite of our fragility and mortality.
~ Etel Adnan
“What do you call yourself?” the Fawn said at last. Such a soft sweet voice it had!
“I wish I knew!” thought poor Alice. She answered, rather sadly, “Nothing, just now.”
“Think again,” it said: “that won’t do.”
Alice thought, but nothing came of it. “Please, would you tell me what you call yourself?” she said timidly, “I think that might help a little.”
“I’ll tell you, if you’ll come a little further on,” the Fawn said. “I can’t remember here.”
So they walked on together through the wood, Alice with her arms clasped lovingly round the soft neck of the Fawn, till they came out into another open field, and here the Fawn gave a sudden bound into the air, and shook itself free from Alice’s arms. “I’m a Fawn!” it cried out in a voice of delight. “And dear me, you’re a human child!” A sudden look of alarm came into its beautiful brown eyes, and in another moment it had darted away at full speed.”
~ Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
~ Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder
We do not understand the earth in terms either of what it offers us or of what it requires of us, and I think it is the rule that people inevitably destroy what they do not understand.
~ Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays
In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.
~ Rachel Carson
To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is itself to succumb to the violence of our times.
All our time disappears on us. This is an incredible fact. You are so knitted into a day. You are within it; the day is as close as your skin. It is around your eyes; it is inside your mind. The day moves you, often it can weigh you down; or again it can raise you up. Yet the amazing fact is, this day vanishes. When you look behind you, you do not see your past standing there in a series of day shapes. You cannot wander back through the gallery of your past. Your days have disappeared silently and forever. Your future time has not arrived yet. The only ground of time is the present moment.
In our culture, we place a great and worthy emphasis on the importance and sacredness of experience. In other words, what you think, believe, or feel remains a fantasy if it does not actually become part of the fabric of your experience. Experience is the touchstone of verification, credibility, and deep intimacy. Yet the future of every experience is its disappearance. This raises a fascinating question: Is there a place where our vanished days secretly gather?
~ John O’Donohue, Anam Cara
The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.
~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations