Slaughterhouse Five Quotes

When I read books, I always write my favorite quotes as I read. These are from the most recent book I read, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five.

If I am going to spend eternity visiting this moment and that, I’m so grateful that so many of those moments are nice.

That’s one thing Earthlings might learn to do, if they tried hard enough: Ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones.

There isn’t any particular relationship between all the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.

All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I’ve said before, bugs in amber.”

“Why me?”

“That is a very Earthling question to ask, Mr. Pilgrim. Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is. Well, here we are, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.”

Where have all the years gone?

All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist. See how permanent all the moments are, and look at any moment that interests you. It is just an illusion that we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.

So it goes.

But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human.

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. I feel my fate in what I cannot fear. I learn by going where I have to go.

And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.

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Undress the Stress: Day 15

I can’t say I felt very stressed today.  Actually, looking back I don’t think I felt stressed at all.  What a beautiful thought.

I started my day as usual–stretching and meditating.  It’s amazing how much this daily routine makes me so significantly less stressed than my collegemates.  I walk around campus and everyone is uncontrollably freaking out about exams and work and while I’m under the same pressures, I think I have a much calmer attitude.  There’s no denying that I have stress too.  (I mean, just look at this blog series…) The difference is that I don’t allow the little things to stress me anymore.  Hands down one of the best life choices I’ve ever made.

  • To be completely honest, the only time I felt stressed today was right before my Spanish class when I was having dinner with a friend and the line was taking FOREVER and I thought I was going to be late.  That was just about it.  To rid myself of this stress, I just upped my patience a little bit and before I knew it, I was done with my cheeseburger and happily on my way to class.

So, am I making progress?  I’d like to think so.  There wasn’t much stress to undress today, and I can’t say I’m disappointed.  This is how it should be on the daily and not just for me, but for everyone.  I just don’t believe that excessive worrying was part of the agenda when life was created.  Today (in my stress management class actually) I was thinking about how much less stressed Adam and Eve were back in the day.

Think about it.  There were no social institutions like government or school.  There wasn’t much of an economy–definitely not like ours today.  And there was no pop culture or capitalism.  Everything I just named are the major reasons that I believe we are stressed.  Do well in school.  Make a lot of money.  Be beautiful.  Change the world.  All are messages sent to us by the above.

Well, Adam and Eve didn’t have these stressors.  They didn’t carry the burdens of competition in the marketplace or the classroom.  Their lives were so simple compared to ours, and the argument I’m trying to make is that there is absolutely no reason that we should be more stressed than they were.  And my proposition is this: when you feel stressed, put yourself in Adam or Eve’s shoes (or probably lack of).  Think about whether or not you would feel this pressure if you were in Adam and Eve’s time.  Probably not right?

Life was not meant to stress you out.  It’s meant to be enjoyed and cherished, not destroyed and perished.  

In short, undress the stress.  Let it go.  And you are well on your way to immunization.

Every day, I read excerpts and lines from the book “8,789 Words of Wisdom” by Barbara Ann Kipfer.  Here’s what I liked today: