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|Quotations by Diane Ackerman|
|When I go biking - When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization.|
I don't want to get to the end - I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.
IQ tests favor memory - Because IQ tests favor memory skills and logic, overlooking artistic creativity, insight, resiliency, emotional reserves, sensory gifts, and life experience, they can't really predict success, let alone satisfaction.
The purpose of ritual - The purpose of ritual for men is to learn the rules of power and competition. Watching sports together, for example, they see the formal enactment of ritual, become loyal to a team, learn to conceal their vulnerability. The purpose of ritual for women (going to lunch together, sharing a favorite salon, etc.) is to learn how to make human connections. They are often more intimate and vulnerable with one another than they are with their men, and taking care of other women teaches them to take care of themselves.
In these formal ways, men and women domesticate their emotional lives. But their strategies are different, their biological itineraries are different. His sperm needs to travel, her egg needs to settle down. It's astonishing that they survive happily at all.
We tend to think of memories as monuments - We tend to think of memories as monuments we once forged and may find intact beneath the weedy growth of years. But, in a real sense, memories are tied to and describe the present. Formed in an idiosyncratic way when they happened, they're also true to the moment of recall, including how you feel, all you've experienced, and new values, passions, and vulnerability. One never steps into the same stream of consciousness twice.
Animals are always off on some errand - One of the things I like best about animals in the wild is that they're always off on some errand. They have appointments to keep. It's only we humans who wonder what we're here for.
Handling newborn animals - I like handling newborn animals. Fallen into life from an unmappable world, they are the ultimate immigrants, full of wonder and confusion.
Length versus breadth of life - I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.
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