At eight of a hot morning,

the cicada speaks his first piece. He says of the world: heat. At eleven of the same day, still singing, he has not changed his note but has enlarged his theme. He says of the morning: love. In the sultry middle of the afternoon, when the sadness of love and of heat has shaken him, his symphonic soul goes into the great movement and he says: death. But the thing isn’t over. After supper he weaves heat, love, death into a final stanza, subtler and less brassy than the others. He has one last heroic monosyllable at his command. Life, he says, reminiscing. Life.

— E.B. White, “Life,” in E.B. White: Writings from the New Yorker, 1925-1976, ed. Rebecca M. Dale (New York: HarperCollins, 1990), 3.

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It is especially difficult

to look another human in the eye for any period of time at all without beginning to fall in love. That is why people look away from each other so quickly. They don’t dare look each other right in the eye for very long. The love that will follow will overwhelm them. Yet it is because they don’t know what to do with that love that they are overwhelmed.

— Neil Donald Walsch

The truth is, when the period at which

a man of talent is condemned to live is dull and stupid, the artist is, unconsciously to himself, haunted by a sensation of morbid yearning for another century… In some cases, it is a return to past ages, to vanished civilizations, to dead centuries; in others, it is an impulse towards the fantastic, the land of dreams, it is a vision more or less vivid of a time to come whose images reproduce, without his being aware, as a result of atavism, that of by-gone epochs.

(…or, in these days, yearning for a future history that never will be, save in dreaming…)

— J. K. Huysmans, “Against the Grain” (1926)

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