Get QuoteDark Inspirational Quotes App
" We have more and more ways to communicate, as Thoreau noted, but less and less to say. "
" 'Globalization' has become the great tag phrase, but when we talk about it, it's nearly always in terms of the global marketplace or communications technology - either data or goods that are whizzing around. We forget that people are whizzing around more and more. On them, it takes a toll. "
" I've yet to use a cellphone, and I've never tweeted or entered Facebook. I try not to go online till my day's writing is finished, and I moved from Manhattan to rural Japan in part so I could more easily survive for long stretches entirely on foot, and every trip to the movies would be an event. "
" There are literally Internet rescue camps in China and Korea to deal with children that are addicted. Internet disorder is maybe going to count as a psychiatric disorder in a couple of years. "
" We all know how we can be turned around by a magic place; that's why we travel, often. And yet we all know, too, that the change cannot be guaranteed. Travel is a fool's paradise, Emerson reminded us, if we think that we can find anything far off that we could not find at home. "
" It takes 25 minutes to recover from a phone call or an e-mail, researchers have found, and yet the average person receives such an interruption every 11 minutes. Which means that we're never caught up; we're always out of breath, running behind. "
" A book doesn't have to be a literary classic, of course, to change us forever. "
" I've never meditated in my life. I don't practice yoga nor any religion. I'm a tourist on the realm of stillness. "
" Something in us is telling us we're moving too fast, at a pace dictated by machines rather than by anything human, and that unless we take conscious measures, we'll permanently be out of breath. "
" It's no coincidence that the word 'holiday' suggests a holy day, or that the longest book in the Torah concerns the Sabbath. If you wish to advance in any sphere, the best way is to take a retreat. "
" In many a piece of music, it's the pause or the rest that gives the piece its beauty and its shape. And I know I, as a writer, will often try to include a lot of empty space on the page so that the reader can complete my thoughts and sentences and so that her imagination has room to breathe. "
" I think one reason, obviously, that I spend so much time in one place is that I've been lucky enough to travel a lot, and now there are other different, invisible trains that are more interesting to me. "
" I can still remember the afternoon, on my 15th birthday, when I opened up 'The Virgin and the Gypsy,' D.H. Lawrence's novella, in my tiny cell in boarding school, and whole worlds of possibility opened out that I had never guessed existed. The language was on fire and sang of liberation. "
" In the past, I've visited remote places - North Korea, Ethiopia, Easter Island - partly as a way to visit remote states of mind: remote parts of myself that I wouldn't ordinarily explore. "
" All of us are feeling scattered and distracted as we try to keep up with an accelerating world. But nearly all of us have an answer in our hands, in simply choosing to do nothing and go nowhere for a while. "
" My Christmas present to myself each year is to see how much air travel can open up the world and take me to places as far from sheltered California and Japan as possible. "
" Almost everybody I know has this sense of overdosing on information and getting dizzy living at post-human speeds. "
" Alas, those six unfortunate souls who have made their way through my books know that every one of them is about Emerson and Thoreau and their dark counters, Melville and Emily Dickinson. Try as I might, I can't get their inspirations, their challenges and sentences and wisdom and questions out of my head. "
" More and more of us feel like emergency-room physicians, permanently on call, required to heal ourselves but unable to find the prescription for all the clutter on our desk. "
" In Japan, I live in a little neighborhood in the middle of nowhere. I don't have a bicycle or a car or anything, so my only movement is within the boundaries of my feet. I feel there's a need for that kind of conscientious objection to the momentum of the world. "
" Older boys were allowed to beat younger ones at my 15th-century English boarding school, and every boy had to run a five-mile annual steeplechase through the sludge and rain of an October day, as horses do. We wrote poems in dead languages and recited the Lord's Prayer in Latin every Sunday night. "
" One of the happier ironies of recent history is that even as Tibet is being wiped off the map in Tibet itself, here it is in California, in Switzerland, in Japan. All over the world, Tibetan Buddhism is now part of the neighborhood. In 1968, there were two Tibetan Buddhist centers in the West. By 2000, there were 40 in New York alone. "
" A holy day, after all, is a day for considering everything you otherwise think too little about. "
" Writing reminds you of how much there is in your life that stands outside your explanations. In that way, it's almost a journey into faith and doubt at once. "
" I'm very happy to be a foreigner in Japan, and I can't think of a more wonderful place to live, but at the same time, I would never want to be Japanese, because they are subject to stresses that I am not. "
" Contractions, 'U' for 'you' and the like are wonderful to make communication brief and efficient - but we wouldn't want all our talk to be only brief and efficient. Taking pauses out of language would be like taking the net away from a tennis game. Where would all the fun go? "
" Japan functions on the basis of everyone sharing certain assumptions, where each person knows his part in a larger whole. The foreigner sits outside and is threatening. If he comes in, that's the most threatening of all. "
" I think at this point I only write books about questions I really want to figure out. They're indulgences, essentially. I think, 'What would I like to spend five years really thinking about? What could I gain from thinking about for five years?' "
" If we want to talk about Gross Natural Product, we have to talk about the King of Bhutan's index of Gross National Happiness, too. Certainly I have found, as many travellers before me, that people in the poorest places are often the readiest to shower me, from an affluent country, with hospitality and kindness. "
" The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug. "
" I would never call Jerusalem beautiful or comfortable or consoling. But there's something about it that you can't turn away from. "