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" Every book has an intrinsic impossibility, which its writer discovers as soon as his first excitement dwindles. "
" There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. "
" I woke in bits, like all children, piecemeal over the years. I discovered myself and the world, and forgot them, and discovered them again. "
" Just think: in all the clean, beautiful reaches of the solar system, our planet alone is a blot; our planet alone has death. "
" How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. "
" Your work is to keep cranking the flywheel that turns the gears that spin the belt in the engine of belief that keeps you and your desk in midair. "
" I would like to learn, or remember, how to live. "
" As soon as beauty is sought not from religion and love, but for pleasure, it degrades the seeker. "
" Appealing workplaces are to be avoided. One wants a room with no view, so imagination can meet memory in the dark. "
" Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon? What could you say to a dying person that would not enrage by its triviality? "
" You can't test courage cautiously. "
" Matters of taste are not, it turns out, moral issues. "
" The notion of the infinite variety of detail and the multiplicity of forms is a pleasing one; in complexity are the fringes of beauty, and in variety are generosity and exuberance. "
" As a life's work, I would remember everything - everything, against loss. I would go through life like a plankton net. "
" Eskimo: 'If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?' Priest: 'No, not if you did not know.' Eskimo: 'Then why did you tell me?' "
" Aim for the chopping block. If you aim for the wood, you will have nothing. Aim past the wood, aim through the wood; aim for the chopping block. "
" The sensation of writing a book is the sensation of spinning, blinded by love and daring. It is the sensation of a stunt pilot's turning barrel rolls, or an inchworm's blind rearing from a stem in search of a route. At its worst, it feels like alligator wrestling, at the level of the sentence. "
" There is a muscular energy in sunlight corresponding to the spiritual energy of wind. "
" The surest sign of age is loneliness. "
" There is no such thing as an artist - only the world, lit or unlit, as the world allows. "
" Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you. "
" Crystals grew inside rock like arithmetic flowers. They lengthened and spread, added plane to plane in an awed and perfect obedience to an absolute geometry that even stones - maybe only the stones - understood. "
" A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. "
" The dedicated life is worth living. You must give with your whole heart. "
" I'm a housewife: I spend far more time on housework than anything else. "