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Certainty

  • Certainty always produces questions, uncertainty statements. It is a balancing law of nature.

    • Djuna Barnes,
    • "A Visit to the Favored Haunt of the I.W.W.'s," in New York Press ()
  • The minute one utters a certainty, the opposite comes to mind.

  • There was a time / only certainty gave me / any joy. Imagine — / certainty, a dead thing.

  • Everything you're sure is right can be wrong in another place.

  • ... I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for the truth; and truth rewarded me.

  • People like definite decisions, / Tidy answers, all the little ravelings / Snipped off, the lint removed, they / Hop happily among their roughs / Calling what they can't clutch insanity / Or saintliness.

  • You believe it's cold, but if you build yourself a snowhouse it's warm. You think it's white, but at times it looks pink, and another time it's blue. It can be softer than anything, and then again harder than stone. Nothing is certain.

  • It is wise to be sure, but otherwise to be too sure.

  • Nothing is absolute. / There's no need, nevertheless, / to be very sure about things. / It seems enough to know how to name them / or somehow babble them into existence.

  • ... in this curious world there are certain beings to whom it is given to say of all things with naïve faith, not 'I shall seek,' but 'I shall find.'