There, in the tin factory, in the first moment of the atomic age, a human being was crushed by books.
--John Hersey, Hiroshima
Peace. It is a providence, and no great change; we are only what we always were, but naked now.
--Arthur Miller, The Crucible
And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn’t crying for him at all, but for the things he did. I cried because he would never do them again, he would never carve another piece of wood or help us raise doves and pigeons in the backyard or play the violin the way he did, or tell us jokes the way he did. He was part of us and when he died, all the actions stopped dead and there was no one to do them the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. I’ve never gotten over his death. Often I think what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died. How many jokes are missing from the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands? He shaped the world. He did things to the world. The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on.
--Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.
--Toni Morrison, Song Of Solomon
I wondered if the fire had been out to get me. I wondered if all fire was related, like Dad said all humans were related, if the fire that had burned me that day while I cooked hot dogs was somehow connected o the fire I had flushed down the toilet and the fire burning at the hotel. I didn't have the answers to those questions, but what I did know was that I lived in a world that at any moment could erupt into fire. It was the sort of knowledge that kept you on your toes.
--Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle
Have you ever felt like you could cry because you know you just heard the most important thing anybody in the world could have spoke at that second?
--Kaye Gibbons, Ellen Foster