In 1968 I ran into Steve Lacy on the street in Rome. I took out my pocket tape recorder and asked him to describe in fifteen seconds the difference between composition and improvisation. He answered: "In fifteen seconds the difference between composition and improvisation is that in composition you have all the time you want to decide what to say in fifteen seconds, while in improvisation you have fifteen seconds." His answer lasted exactly fifteen seconds.
Israel is doing what any other country would do, and certainly the U.S. would do. If 80 percent of your population were under fire and you had 60 seconds or 90 seconds to get into bomb shelters, if terror tunnels were dug underneath your border in order to come in and explode your kindergartens and massacre your people and kidnap American citizens.
Sometimes you walk past a pretty girl on the street there's something beyond beauty in her face, something warm and smart and inviting, and in the three seconds you have to look at her, you actually fall in love, and in those moments, you can actually know the taste of her kiss, the feel of her skin against yours, the sound of her laugh, how she'll look at you and make you whole. And then she's gone, and in the five seconds afterwards, you mourn her loss with more sadness than you'll ever admit to.
The trouble with aggressive nonsmokers is that they feel they are doing you a favor by not allowing you to smoke. They seem to think that one day you'll look back and thank them for those precious fifteen seconds they just added to your life. What they don't understand is that those are just fifteen more seconds you can spend hating their guts and plotting revenge.
I saw a commercial for an above-ground pool, it was 30 seconds long. Because that's the maximum amount of time you can picture yourself having fun in an above-ground pool. If it was 31 seconds, the actor would say "The water is only up to here? What do I do now? Throw the ball back to Jimmy? Or put some goggles on and look at his feet?"
It's kind of funny...the moments on which life hinges. I think growing up you always imagine your life--your success--depends on your family and how much money they have, where you go to college, what sort of job you can pin down, starting salary...But it doesn't, you know. You wouldn't believe this, but life hinges on a couple of seconds you never see coming. And what you decide in those few seconds determines everything from then on... And you have no idea what you'll do until you're there...
To no man does the earth mean so much as to the soldier. When he presses himself down upon her long and powerfully, when he buries his face and his limbs deep in her from the fear of death by shell-fire, then she is his only friend, his brother, his mother; he stifles his terror and his cries in her silence and her security; she shelters him and releases him for ten seconds to live, to run, ten seconds of life; receives him again and again and often forever.
It seems mutants have something in their lives called gravy. They know truth, but it is buried under thickening and spices of convenience, materialism, insecurity, and fear. They also have something called frosting. It seems to represent how they spend almost all the seconds of their existence in doing superficial, artificial, temporary, pleasant-tasting, nice appearing projects and spend very few actual seconds of their lives developing their eternal beingness.
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