Seize the day

Saul Bellow

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He was smoking a cigar, and when a man is smoking a cigar, wearing a hat, he has an advantage: it is harder to find out how he feels.

'Oh, you think I'm trying to amuse you,' said Tamkin. 'That's because you aren't familiar with my outlook. I deal in facts. Facts are always sensational. I'll say that a second time. Facts always! are sensational.'

People forget how sensational the things are that they do. They don't see it on themselves. It blends into the background of their daily life.

Bringing people in the here-and-now. The real universe. That's the present moment. The past is no good to us. The future is full of anxiety. Only the present is real — the here-and-now. Sieze the day.

Every other man spoke a language entirely his own, which he had figured out by private thinking; he had his own ideas and peculiar ways. If you wanted to talk about a glass of water, you had to start back with God creating the heavens and earth; the apple; Abraham; Moses and Jesus; Rome; the Middle Ages; gunpowder; the Revolution; back to Newton; up to Einstein; then war and Lenin and Hitler. After reviewing this and getting it all straight again you could proceed to talk about a glass of water. "I'm fainting, please get me a little water." You were lucky even then to make yourself understood. And this happened over and over and over with everyone you met. You had to translate and translate, explain and explain, back and forth, and it was the punishment of hell itself not to understand or be understood.

Nature only knows one thing, and that’s the present. Present, present, eternal present, like a big, huge, giant wave – colossal, bright and beautiful, full of life and death, climbing into the sky, standing in the seas. You must go along with the actual, the Here-and-Now, the glory -