I feel the need to reaffirm all of it, the whole unhappy territory and all the things loved and unloveable in it, for it is all part of me.
The world is a possibility if only you'll discover it.
I felt that even when they were polite they hardly saw me, that they would have begged the pardon of Jack the Bear, never glancing his way if the bear happened to be walking along minding his business. It was confusing. I did not know if it was desirable or undesirable...
What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?
I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest. Or when, even as just now I've tried to articulate exactly what I felt to be the truth. No one was satisfied
Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?
I was pulled this way and that for longer than I can remember. And my problem was that I always tried to go in everyone's way but my own. I have also been called one thing and then another while no one really wished to hear what I called myself. So after years of trying to adopt the opinions of others I finally rebelled. I am an invisible man.
I'd been so fascinated by the notion, that I'd forgotten to measure what it was bringing forth. I'd been asleep, dreaming.
Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination-indeed, everything and anything except me.
Man's hope can paint a purple picture, can transform a soaring vulture into a noble eagle or moaning dove.
And my problem was that I always tried to go in everyone's way but my own.
Perhaps everyone loved someone; I didn't now, I couldn't give much thought to love; in order to travel far you had to be detached, and I had the long road back to the campus before me.
And the mind that has conceived a plan of living must never lose sight of the chaos against which that pattern was conceived. That goes for societies as well as for individuals.
Perhaps to lose a sense of where you are implies the danger of losing a sense of who you are.
And while the ice was melting to form a flood in which I threatened to drown I awoke one afternoon to find that my first northern winter had set.
The clock ticked with empty urgency, as though trying to catch up with the time. In the street a siren howled.
I do not know if all cops are poets, but I know that all cops carry guns with triggers.
The truth is the light and the light is the truth.
More Ralph Ellison Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - Truth - World - Life - Art - Writing - Business & Commerce - Mind - Sense & Perception - America - Honesty & Integrity - Power - Failure - People - Dreaming - Music - Love - Time - Criticism - View All Ralph Ellison Quotations
More Ralph Ellison Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Invisible Man
Malcolm Gladwell - Leo Buscaglia - Zig Ziglar - Victor Hugo - H. G. Wells - Nora Roberts - Lu Yu - Joseph Campbell - John Gray - Jane Roberts