“But (the Marquis de) Lafayette, belonging to neither North nor South, to no political party or faction, was a walking, talking reminder of the sacrifices and bravery of the Revolutionary generation and what they wanted this country to be. His return was not just a reunion with his beloved Americans. It was a reunion for Americans with their own atonishing, singular past.
On New Year’s Day, 1825, Congress threw him yet another of his nightly banquets, and Speaker of the House Henry Clay toasted Lafayette as a ‘great apostle of liberty.’
In reply, Lafayette toasted back with a prophecy: ‘To the perpetual union of the United States. It has always served us in times of storm. One day, it will save the world.’
And he was right, every so often America has saved the world. Of course, we muck it up every now and then as well.
But in 1917, after American expeditionary forces crossed the Atlantic to aid France in World War I, Gen. (John J.) Pershing marched his troops to Lafayette’s Paris grave, where the old soldier had been buried under dirt from Bunker Hill. They placed an American flag into that American dirt.
‘Lafayette,’ one of them said, ‘We are here.’”—Sarah Vowell, “French Kiss,” From “This American Life” № 291, “Reunited.” (via bderw)
“If I depend on you, if I am attached to you, that dependence and attachment have a cause. It is because I am lonely, or I am unhappy, or I want companionship; I want your love, your affection, your care, and so I am attached to you. From that attachment there is great sorrow, there is pain. Because you do not love me, or you only tolerate me, or give me a little of your affection and turn to somebody else, there is jealousy, antagonism, hate, and all the rest that follows. Where there is a cause, then action, morality, must be relative.”—J. Krishnamurti (Saanen - July 18, 1974) (via predatorywaspobserver)
“The change that is taking place across the region is being driven by the people of the region. This change doesn’t represent the work of the United States or any foreign power. It represents the aspirations of people who are seeking a better life.”—President Obama (via motherjones)
“From childhood’s hour I have not been As others were; I have not seen As others saw; I could not bring My passions from a common spring. From the same source I have not taken My sorrow; I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone; And all I loved, I loved alone. “
“When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me-it still sometimes happens-and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don’t ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous-not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance… That pure chance could be so generous and so kind… That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time… That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful… The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don’t think I’ll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.”—Ann Druyan, talking about her dead husband Carl Sagan (via vdmmchld) (via parrotworm, drinkthe-koolaid) (via britta-perry) (via obliviated) (via hearthehorses) (via missingsun) (via kawaiimon)
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a…
n. fear that your connections with people are ultimately shallow, that although your relationships feel congenial at the time, an audit of your life would produce an emotional safety deposit box of low-interest holdings and uninvested windfall profits, which will indicate you were never really at risk of joy, sacrifice or loss.