John Muir quotes

One of the best ways to see tree flowers is to climb one of the tallest trees and to get into close tingling touch with them, and then look broad

Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world

The mountains are calling and I must go

As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.

The power of imagination makes us infinite

Sheep, like people, are ungovernable when hungry

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks

Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another

I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news.

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity

I’d rather be in the mountains thinking of god, than in church thinking about the mountains

Keep close to nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.

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Foreign fish in a different pond

You’re a bit unfamiliar. It’s a bit exciting, but a hell of a lot more frightening. You have only a few fishes there that somewhat look and behave like you, and a huge number of other fishes that look and behave differently.

You try to eat the algae in this pond like the other fish, but it just doesn’t suit you as well as the food that you were used to eating. You try flipping your fins the way they do, but it just flips awkwardly and you stand out. You give up and then try to just be yourself, but then you get excluded and they’ve eaten all the algae in large masses. You have no choice but to assimilate with them and to acclimate to this new pond.

It’s a major struggle initially, but you eventually start assimilating. However, among the schools of fish that thrive and have been swimming in this pond for generations, you still tend to be a bit slower and awkward when you swim with them. You keep trying, but you’re just never as good as them in synchronizing. Although you’re a bit more accustomed now, you will always stand out here.

You think about previous life in your pond, and think of it as days of yore. Flipping the fins the way you did, eating the type of algae that you ate. How you were a fast swimmer among your school of fish, but out here, you’re the last.

You hide behind a rock and feel miserable from time to time.

You seek a friend, and you begin associating mostly with a fish that’s probably a slow weirdo fish among the pack. You were a star swimmer in your pond, but out here, you have to hang out with a slow fish. You say screw it, give in, and because your weirdo fish friend was of a different sex and a variant of the same species as you; you produce a few more variant fishes. They’re colorful and inquisitive, and they swim in the pond better than you can. Among the school of fish, they stand out a bit too, but they manage to swim better and eat better than you do. In fact, they swim even better than the rest of the fishes in the school due to their genetic diversity and ability to adapt. You start worrying about them and give most of your attention to them. You slowly manage to learn to make the best out of this pond that you’re in. They grow up, make more fish, and now you’re a grand fish and you have no reason to go back to your old pond.

If you went back to your old pond, you’re the foreign fish now.

The offspring of your offspring thrive even better in the current pond, and you die and become embossed in a historic fossil.

A scientist pulls it from the dried pond centuries later, and is astonished by an unlike fish amid the fossils of like-fish. Scientists go to their labs, conduct experiments, and theorize that you were the founder of the weird gene in the present day species of fish that swim sideways. They label you as “caveman fish,” and you get written down in history and get romanticized all over media. You become the founder of all the fishes in the world, and in fact, the founder of the human species itself and get called god.

They make a fish statue out of you and someone gives a speech and everybody cries. People chant songs and get all emotional, looking at your confused dead face fossil.

A comet hits the planet and everyone dies. Your fossil gets broken into pieces, and when the world burns down, it gets smoked and evaporated into the sky and seeps into the deep dark universe. You travel with particles and the solar dust, and get rained into a far off planet. You sit as a dust there for centuries, but that planet starts moving closer to its sun inch by inch overtime. It gets warmer and warmer and it becomes a planet with perfect climate. Germs start to sprout, and a few more germs come out of you. Centuries and centuries later the germs branch off into different species, and then branch off into grubs, and then branch off into animals. Now you’re a dog, and you stare at the diving sunset from a living room. You don’t bark much, but you feel that you’re a part of everything in your ecosystem, and that everything and everyone has a root that ties to you, your planet, and the universe.

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