What, really, is wanted from a neighborhood? Convenience, certainly, an absence of major aggravation, to be sure. But perhaps most of all, ideally, what is wanted is a comfortable background, a breathing space of intermission between the intensities of private life and the calculations of public life.
(Joseph Epstein (b. 1937), U.S. writer. Familiar Territory, "Boutique America," Oxford University Press (1979).)
Old age cannot be cured. An epoch or a civilization cannot be prevented from breathing its last. A natural process that happens to all flesh and all human manifestations cannot be arrested. You can only wring your hands and utter a beautiful swan song.
(Renee Winegarten (b. 1922), British author, critic. "The Idea of Decadence," Commentary (New York, Sept. 1974).)
No oneman or womancan have it all without support from the workplace and genuine help at home. Women, regardless of how they have chosen to lead their lives, can now breathe a collective sigh of relief that superwoman is dead.
(Deborah J. Swiss (20th century), U.S. education consultant, and Judith P. Walker (20th century), U.S. education consultant. Women and the Work Family Dilemma, introduction (1993).)
Men are like plants; the goodness and flavor of the fruit proceeds from the peculiar soil and exposition in which they grow. We are nothing but what we derive from the air we breathe, the climate we inhabit, the government we obey, the system of religion we profess, and the nature of our employment.
(Michel Guillaume Jean De Crevecoeur (1735-1813), French-born U.S. author, agriculturist. Letters from an American Farmer, letter 3, "What Is an American?" (1782).)
The hatred of the youth culture for adult society is not a disinterested judgment but a terror-ridden refusal to be hooked into the, if you will, ecological chain of breathing, growing, and dying. It is the demand, in other words, to remain children.
(Midge Decter (b. 1927), U.S. author, editor, social critic. The New Chastity and Other Arguments Against Women's Liberation, ch. 1 (1972).)
The cayote is a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry. He is always poor, out of luck and friendless. The meanest creatures despise him, and even the fleas would desert him for a velocipede.
(Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Roughing It, ch. 5, American Publishing Company (1871).)
Success and failure on the public level never mattered much to me, in fact I feel more at home with the latter, having breathed deep of its vivifying air all my writing life up to the last couple of years.
(Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. "Beckett's Letters on Endgame," p. 183, The Village Voice Reader, Doubleday (1962).
From a letter to Alan Schneider dated January 11, 1956.)
I can no more think of my own life without thinking of wine and wines and where they grew for me and why I drank them when I did and why I picked the grapes and where I opened the oldest procurable bottles, and all that, than I can remember living before I breathed.
(M.F.K. Fisher (1908-1992), U.S. culinary writer and autobiographer. The Book of California Wine, Preface (1984).)