…as she got dressed it was sad for him not because of him and the lady but because of all the millions like him and the lady as the lights blinked out there, everything so effortlessly false.

  • from You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense, by Charles Bukowski
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What does it feel like to be lonely? It feels like being hungry: like being hungry when everyone around you is readying for a feast.

  • The Lonely City, by Olivia Laing

It is not possible to verify the universality of gravitational forces directly; you would have to study all pairs of bodies in the entire universe, and find a way to remove the influence of the other bodies. But that’s now how science works. Instead, it employs a mixture of inference and observations. Universality is a hypothesis, capable of being falsified every time it is applied. Every time it survives falsification – a fancy way to say it gives good results – the justification for using it becomes a little stronger.

  • From In Pursuit of the Unknown, by Ian Stewart

Behind a mystique of adventure, toughness, footloose vagabondage—all much needed antidotes to our culture’s built-in comfort and convenience—may lie a kind of adolescent refusal to take seriously aging, the frailty of others, interpersonal responsibility, weakness of all kinds, the slow and unspectacular course of life itself.

  • From Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer

how could these makers of so many books that have given so much to my life—how could they possibly be strangers?

  • From Upstream, by Mary Oliver

Out-circling interest, sympathy, empathy, transference of focus from the self to all else; the merging of the lonely single self with the wondrous, never-lonely entirety. This is all. The rest is literature: words, words, words; example, metaphor, narrative, lyricism, sweetness, persuasion, the stress of rhetoric, the weight of catalog.

  • From Upstream, by Mary Oliver

The beauty and strangeness of the world may fill the eyes with its cordial refreshment. Equally it may offer the heart a dish of terror. On one side is radiance; on another is the abyss.

  • Upstream, by Mary Oliver