"Water, earth, air, fire, and the other parts of this structure of mine are no more instruments of your life than instruments of your death. Why do you fear your last day? It contributes no more to your death than each of the others. The last step does not cause the fatigue, but reveals it. All days travel toward death, the last one reaches it."
"I had got away. That was my victory. The real quarrel with Ireland began to burgeon in me then; I thought of how it had warped me,and those around me, and their parents before them, all stooped by a variety of fears--fear of church, fear of gombeenism, fear of phantoms, fear of ridicule, fear of hunger, fear of annihilation, and fear of their own deeply ingrained aggression that can only strike a blow at each other, not having the innate authority to strike at those who are higher. Pity arose too, pity for a land so often denuded, pity for a people reluctant to admit that there is anything wrong. That is why we leave. Because we beg to differ. Because we dread the psychological choke. But leaving is only conditional. The person you are is anathema to the person you would like to be."
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched seabeams glitter in the dark near the Tennhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die."
"I exacted the most sacred oaths, that under no circumstances they would bury me until decomposition had so materially advanced asto render farther preservation impossible. And, even then, my mortal terrors would listen to no reason--would accept no consolation. I entered into a series of elaborate precautions."
"When you grow up you realize that there isn't really any Santa but the monsters are still around. If only they were big and hairy;now they're just dark and amorphous, and they're no longer afraid of the light. Sometimes they're the guy who climbs in the window and takes your television. And sometimes they're the guy who walks out the front door with your heart in his hand and never comes back. And sometimes they're the job or the bank or the wife or the boss or just that sort of dark heavy feeling that sits between your shoulder blades like a backpack. There are always terrible things waiting to grab you by the ankle, to pull you under, to get you with their long horrible arms. And you lie in bed and look at the shadows on the ceiling and feel, under the covers, just for a moment, like you're safe. One more day alive."
"Now I know that much of parenthood is watching and waiting for the chick to fall into harm's way, watching and waiting for the cats and the cold nights. The joyous enterprise has an undercurrent of terror."