"But I don’t want comfort. I want poetry. I want danger. I want freedom. I want goodness. I want sin."

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World  

"As for life? Well, that is a hard matter. But it was always a hard matter for those of us born with a sense of the transiency of these borrowed atoms that make up our corporeal being."

Gore Vidal, “Some Memories of the Glorious Old Bird”

"And it was smashed to atoms — his fun, for it was half made up, as he knew very well; invented, this escapade with the girl; made up, as one makes up the better part of life, he thought — making oneself up; making her up; creating an exquisite amusement, and something more. But odd it was, and quite true; all this one could never share — it smashed to atoms."

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

"Much rather would she have been one of those people like Richard who did things for themselves, whereas, she thought, waiting to cross, half the time she did things not simply, not for themselves; but to make people think this or that; perfect idiocy she knew (and now the policeman held up his hand) for no one was ever for a second taken in."

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

"She felt very young; at the same time unspeakably aged. She sliced like a knife through everything; at the same time was outside, looking on. She had a perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, out, fat out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day."

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

"If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her to gift each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life."

Rachel Carson

"Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don’t stop to think, don’t interrupt the scream, exhale, release life’s rapture."

Vladimir Nabokov 

"[Experience] is the very atmosphere of the mind; and when the mind is imaginative – much more when it happens to be that of a man of genius – it takes to itself the faintest hints of life, it converts the very pulses of the air into revelations."

Henry James, The Art of Fiction

"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

Howard Thurman