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I felt the taste of mortality in my mouth, and at that moment I understood that I was not going to live forever. It takes a long time to learn that, but when you finally do, everything changes inside you, you can never be the same again. I was seventeen years old, and all of a sudden, without the slightest flicker of a doubt, I understood that my life was my own, that it belonged to me and no one else.
I’m talking about freedom, Fogg. A sense of despair that becomes so great, so crushing, so catastrophic, that you have no choice but to be liberated by it. That’s the only choice, or else you crawl into a corner and die.
Paul Auster - Moon Palace
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It's been a prevalent notion. Fallen sparks. Fragments of vessels broken at the Creation. And someday, somehow, before the end, a gathering back to home. A messenger from the Kingdom, arriving at the last moment. But I tell you there is no such message, no such home -- only the millions of last moments . . . nothing more. Our history is an aggregate of last moments.
Thomas Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow: Great Books Edition
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Gains for all our losses

There are gains for all our losses
There are balms for all our pains
But when youth the dream departs
It takes some thing from our hearts
And never comes again

We are stronger and are better
Under manhood’s sterner reign
Still we feel that some thing sweet
Followed youth with flying feet
And will never come again.

Some thing beautiful has vanished
And we sigh for it in vain
We behold it every where----
On the earth and in the air----
But it never comes again.
R.H. Stoddard
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Author of the Day
Robert A. Bradley
Robert A. Bradley