O night, O sweetest time, though black of hue,
with peace you force all the restless work to end;
those who exalt you see and understand,
and he is sound of mind who honours you.
You cut the thread of tired thoughts, for so
you offer calm in your moist shade; you send
to this low sphere the dreams where we ascend
up to the highest, where I long to go.
Shadow of death that brings to quiet close
all miseries that plague the heart and soul,
for those in pain the last and best of cures;
you heal the flesh of its infirmities,
dry and our tears and shut away our toil,
and free the good from wrath and fretting cares.
―Michelangelo, Complete Poems and Selected Letters
On the journey of spiritual transformation you want to lose your baggage. In fact, you want to make sure all of it is lost, so that, when you reach the end of this road, you have nothing left to cover your Self up with.
We’re going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we’re doing, you can say, We’re remembering. That’s where we’ll win out in the long run. And someday we’ll remember so much that we’ll build the biggest goddamn steamshovel in history and dig the biggest grave of all time and shove war in it and cover it up.
Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end.
Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind… War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.
The catalogue of forms is endless: until every shape has found its city, new cities will continue to be born. When the forms exhaust their variety and come apart, the end of cities begins.
—Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities