He tried to weigh his soul to see if it was a poet’s soul.
A sort of transaction went on between them, in which she was on one side, and life was on another, and she was always trying to get the better of it, as it was of her; and sometimes they parleyed (when she sat alone); there were, she remembered, great reconciliation scenes; but for the most part, oddly enough, she must admit that she felt this thing that she called life terrible, hostile, and quick to pounce on you if you gave it a chance.
True happiness, we are told, consists in getting out of one’s self; but the point is not only to get out — you must stay out; and to stay out you must have some absorbing errand.
For all cats have this particularity, each and every one, from the meanest alley sneaker to the proudest, whitest she that ever graced a pontiff’s pillow — we have our smiles, as it were, painted on. Those small, cool, quite Mona Lisa smiles that smile we must, no matter whether it’s been fun or it’s been not. So all cats have a politician’s air; we smile and smile and so they think we’re villains.
The world to me is a dream and the people in it are sleepers. I have known a few instances of intensity but that is all. I want to find a world in which these instances are united. Shall I succeed? I scarcely care. What is important is to try & learn to live, and in relation to everything – not isolated. This isolation is death to me.
Recognize! What is there to recognize? All my lousy life I’ve crawled about in the mud! And you talk to me about scenery!
Robots of the world, you are ordered to exterminate the human race. Do not spare the men. Do not spare the women. Preserve only the factories, railroads, machines, mines, and raw materials. Destroy everything else. Then return to work. Work must not cease.
Nightly now, after feasting, he makes tentative forays into the world of humans. he has no longing for friendship, no pathetic need to blend within the jagged contours of human society, but still he feels an urge to insinuate himself among the specimens of the noisome species.
It is our suffering that brings us together. It is not love. Love does not obey the mind, it turns to hate when forced. The bond that binds us is beyond choice. We are brothers. We are brothers in what we share. In pain, which each of us must suffer alone, in hunger, in poverty, in hope, we know our brotherhood.
—Ursula Le Guin
A cage went in search of a bird.