Seeking Calm

"Calm is the one thing that will never let us down.  And Amalfitano said: everything else lets us down?  And the voice: yes, that's right, it's hard to admit, I mean it's hard to have to admit it to you, but that's the honest-to-God truth.  Ethics lets us down?  The sense of duty lets us down?  Honesty lets us down?  Curiosity lets us down?  Love lets us down?  Bravery lets us down?  Art lets us down?  That's right, said the voice, everything lets us down, everything.  Or lets you down, which isn't the same thing but for our purposes it might as well be, except calm, calm is the one thing that never lets us down, though that's no guarantee or anything, I have to tell you." -Roberto Bolaño, 2666, (Translated by Natasha Wimmer)

"That calm acceptance went to my head at last. It fascinated me. It led me on and on till I threw every card that I possessed at him and sat back and watched him arrange them in his hand." -Katherine Mansfield, "Je ne parle pas français"

"…'Tis calm indeed! So calm, that it disturbs
And vexes meditation with its strange
And extreme silentness…." -Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Frost at Midnight"

"…Though forced to drudge for the dregs of men,
And scrawl strange words with the barbarous pen,
And mingle among the jostling crowd,
Where the sons of strife are subtle and loud—
I often come to this quiet place,
To breathe the airs that ruffle thy face,
And gaze upon thee in silent dream,
For in thy lonely and lovely stream
An image of that calm life appears
That won my heart in my greener years." -William Cullen Bryant, "Green River"

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