Category Archives: MADNESS

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls. George Carlin

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The Wolves

Five wolves went hiding in the corners of the island,
each with stripes across their spines just like the newly-
arrived men’s, who also wore faces darkened with the
desire to kill and devour whatever might present itself
as an indication that life

had come before them, and would go on long after they
had gone. The wolves: they made homes for themselves
in the ridges of the mountains or the entanglements of
trees, or roamed from rainforest to altiplano snapping
their teeth and howling out

the hard words the visitors refused to learn. The hunting
parties set out from Hobart Town. And the governor may
have put up posters warning that the bushrangers were
fleet-footed and flash and on the loose, but no-one seemed
to have the foresight to

anticipate what would be lost if those scared men so longed
to wage war against whatever anomaly would swell from
the slender form of what they wished reality was. They were
homesick, and they would strike every gum and every ghost,
every wolf and every tongue

from the land, if they only had a musket and some shot. So
that’s what they got. They formed a long line across the island,
a cord to strangle out the voice that held the words of so many
thousand years of wisdom; they put a broad, pale curtain over
the colours that cannot help

but spring up from the earth; they chased down those five wolves
that wandered, self-willed amidst the wilderness, and pulled their
teeth out, stuffed their throats with cloth, stripped them of their skins
and left them die, of exposure to the cold; and though the island
still throws up the dark and fatal

shadows of a beauty that could break through the walls of paradise,
and though our men are still afraid of the forests that loom everywhere
over us, let’s give these blokes their credit – they had made an impact.
Some things, you see, are replaceable. Others, though, such as languages,
species, and races, are not.

You call it madness, but I call it love.

Don Byas


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“Destiny is usually just around the corner. Like a thief, a hooker, or a lottery vendor: its three most common personifications. But what destiny does not do is home visits. You have to go for it.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

If I were looking for a white rabbit, I’d ask the Mad Hatter.


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“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Logic, like whiskey, loses its beneficial effect when taken in too large quantities.

Lord Dunsany

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whiskey makes the heart beat faster
but it sure doesn’t help the
mind and isn’t it funny how you can ache just
from the deadly drone of

― Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers at Last

Safety is as simple as ABC – Always Be Careful.

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“I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.”

― Kahlil Gibran, The Madman

It is music and dancing that make me at peace with the world.”

― Nelson Mandela.

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“We dance for laughter,

we dance for tears,

we dance for madness,

we dance for fears,

we dance for hopes,

we dance for screams,

we are the dancers,

we create the dreams.”

Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don’t stop to think, don’t interrupt the scream, exhale, release life’s rapture.”

― Vladimir Nabokov

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“He who cannot howl, will not find his pack.”

The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing – and then marry him.” ― Cher

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Marriage a book of which the first chapter is written in poetry and the remaining chapters written in prose.
– Beverly Nichols

Of course, in an age of madness, to expect to be untouched by madness is a form of madness. But the pursuit of sanity can be a form of madness, too.

– Saul Bellow   Henderson The Rain King, ch.3.

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“Time and again the sun sets like a bedimming curtain before my eyes, taking with it all illumination, warmth, and colour.  I am overwhelmed by night and the monsters that lurk in shadows of despair.  But alas, stars twinkle from afar, shedding the tiniest rays of lighted hope.  I am reminded that the sun also rises, and that morning’s glory shall restore beauty to my world.  The realization of this dream is only a matter of waiting out the dreary night.  So, I shall persevere.”

― Richelle E. Goodrich

No one wants to get too close to a madwoman. Or men who have monkeys for pets.

― Victoria Alexander, The Perfect Mistress

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“Oh, dear God, you don’t actually have a brain, do you, it’s more a filigreed spiderweb, with little chambers in it where trained monkeys play the pipe organ.”
― Glen David Gold

Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun.”

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“And now my old dog is dead, and another I had after him, and my parents are dead, and that first world, that old house, is sold and lost, and the books I gathered there lost, or sold- but more books bought, and in another place, board by board and stone by stone, like a house, a true life built, and all because I was steadfast about one or two things: loving foxes, and poems, the blank piece of paper, and my own energy- and mostly the shimmering shoulders of the world that shrug carelessly over the fate of any individual that they may, the better, keep the Niles and Amazons flowing.”
― Mary Oliver, Blue Pastures

I tell her all the time,’whiskey is risky and it makes girls frisky.”

― Laura Anderson Kurk, Glass Girl

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“As adults we try to relax from the never-ending quest for reason and order by drinking a little whiskey or smoking whatever works for us, but the wisdom isn’t in the whiskey or the smoke. The wisdom is in the moments when the madness slips away and we remember the basics.”

― Willie Nelson, The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart

Time will show as the Lobster said when they assured him he would become red if he fell into the boiler.

Edward Lear, English artist, writer (1812-1888) ‘literary nonsense’

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“I prefer sinners and madmen, who can learn, who can change, who can teach- or people like myself, if I may say so, who are not afraid to eat a lobster alone as they take on their shoulders the monumental weight of thirty years”

― James Baldwin, Just Above My Head

To Quarrel With a Drunk Is To Wrong a Man Who Is Not There

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“Once upon a time, powerful wizard, who wanted to destroy an entire kingdom, placed a magic potion in the well from which the inhabitants drank. Whoever drank that water would go mad.

The following morning, the whole population drank from the well and they all went mad, apart from the king and his family, who had a well set aside for them alone, which the magician had not managed to poison. The king was worried and tried to control the population by issuing a series of edicts governing security and public health. The policemen and the inspectors, however, had also drunk the poisoned water, and they thought the king’s decisions were absurd and resolved to take notice of them.

When the inhabitants of the kingdom heard these decrees, they became convinced that the king had gone mad and was now giving nonsensical orders. The marched on the castle and called for his abdication.

In despair the king prepared to step down from the throne, but the queen stopped him, saying: ‘Let us go and drink from the communal well. Then we will be the same as them.’

And that was what they did: The king and queen drank the water of madness and immediately began talking nonsense. Their subjects repented at once; now that the king was displaying such ‘wisdom’, why not allow him to rule the country?

The country continued to live in peace, although its inhabitants behaved very differently from those of its neighbors. And the king was able to govern until the end of his days.”

― Paulo Coelho, Veronika Decides to Die

“The difference between mad people and sane people . . . is that sane people have variety when they talk-story. Mad people have only one story that they talk over and over.”

― Maxine Hong Kingston, The Fifth Book of Peace

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“Meditation begins now, right here. It can’t begin someplace else or at some other time. To paraphrase the great Zen master Dogen, “If you want to practice awareness, then practice awareness without delay.” If you wish to know a mind that is tranquil and clear, sane and peaceful, you must take it up now. If you wish to free yourself from the frantic television mind that runs our lives, begin with the intention to be present now.

Nobody can bring awareness to your life but you.

Meditation is not a self-help program–a way to better ourselves so we can get what we want. Nor is it a way to relax before jumping back into busyness. It’s not something to do once in awhile, either, whenever you happen to feel like it.

Instead, meditation is a practice that saturates your life and in time can be brought into every activity. It is the transformation of mind from bondage to freedom.

In practicing meditation, we go nowhere other than right here where we now stand, where we now sit, where we now live and breathe. In meditation we return to where we already are–this shifting, changing ever-present now.

― Steve Hagen, Meditation Now or Never

“Everyone has to scratch on walls somewhere or they go crazy”

― Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion

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“And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

“There were opium-dens, where one could buy oblivion, dens of horror where the memory of old sins could be destroyed by the madness of sins that were new.”

― Oscar Wilde

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“I stood checked for a moment – awe, not fear, fell upon me – and whist I stood, a solemn wind began to blow, the most mournful that ever ear heard. Mournful! That is saying nothing. It was a wind that had swept the fields of mortality for a hundred centuries.”

― Thomas de Quincey, Suspira de Profundis, Being a Sequel to the Confessions of an English Opium-eater

There were opium-dens, where one could buy oblivion, dens of horror where the memory of old sins could be destroyed by the madness of sins that were new.

― Oscar Wilde


“It seemed to her as if her body were altogether too heavy for her; she had the feeling so well known to opium- smokers, which they call "clou’e ‘a terre." It is as if the body clung desperately to the earth, by its own weight, and yet in the same way as a tired child nestles to its mother’s breast. In this sensation there is a perfect lassitude mingled with a perfect longing. It may be that it is the counterpart of the freedom of the soul of which it is the herald and companion.”

― Aleister Crowley, Moonchild

He knew that Hop-Frog was not fond of wine; for it excited the poor cripple almost to madness; and madness is no comfortable feeling.

― Edgar Allan Poe, Complete Stories and Poems


Frogs in chorus

by Andrew Barton Paterson.

The soaring spirits that fain would fly
On wings of hope to the starry sky
Must face the snarls of the jealous dogs,
For the world is ruled by its chorus frogs.