The Bottleneck

“I am infinitely strange to myself.”

It is always there life and death death and life and the earth and it is never anything to be remembered or even talked about.

—Gertrude Stein, Paris France (1940)

"I think that here lies the sense of literary creation: to portray ordinary objects as they will be reflected in the kindly mirrors of future times; to find in the objects around us the fragrant tenderness that only posterity will discern and appreciate in the far-off times when every trifle of our plain everyday life will become exquisite and festive in its own right: the times when a man who might put on the most ordinary jacket of today will be dressed up for an elegant masquerade."

- Vladimir Nabokov, A Guide to Berlin

"Read from a distant star, perhaps the capitalized script of our existence on earth would lead to the mistaken conclusion that the earth is the distinctively ascetic star, a corner full of unhappy, arrogant, and repulsive creatures who are completely incapable of casting off a profound dissatisfaction with themselves, with the earth, with life as a whole, and who cause themselves as much pain as possible, from pleasure in causing pain— probably their sole pleasure."

- Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals

the world is all round and everybody knows all about it, but even if they do, there it still is the ground, it is still there

—Gertrude Stein, Paris France

"What a phantasmagoria the mind is and meeting-place of dissemblables. At one moment we deplore our birth and state and aspire to an ascetic exaltation; the next we are overcome by the smell of some old garden path and weep to hear the thrushes sing." 

- Virginia Woolf, Orlando

To occasionally swelter or freeze, to suffer hunger and thirst, and especially to wear overalls and get the hands dirty, is good for the soul.

—Aldo Leopold, lecture, “A Man’s Leisure Time”



Hoop life may have crushed my glasses, but not my spirit.

Hoop life may have crushed my glasses, but not my spirit.