Moment is a word which most often refers to an ambiguously short length of time, but also signifies in mathematics a quantitative measure of the shape of a set of points, and in physics relates to the perpendicular distance from a point to a line or a surface. Most of the quotes on this page will likely refer primarily to moments in reference to time, but others are permissible, especially when there are ambiguities in their usage which are likely deliberate.
- There was no pain when I awoke,
No pain at all. Rest, like a goad,
Spurred my eyes open — and light broke
Upon them like a million swords:
And she was there. There are no words.
- Stephen Vincent Benét, in "The Quality of Courage", in Young Adventure (1918)
- No one's ever needed to do it, as much as you do. This is your moment. Believe in yourself.
- Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
- I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker...
- But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
Be remembered; involved with past and future.
- The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies,
For the pattern is new in every moment
And every moment is a new and shocking
Valuation of all we have been.
- For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.
- Look upon this moment. Savor it! Rejoice with great gladness! Great gladness! Remember it always, for you are joined by it. You are One, under the stars. Remember it well, then... this night, this great victory. So that in the years ahead, you can say, "I was there that night, with Arthur, the King!" For it is the doom of men that they forget.
- The Moment is coming. The Moment is me. You have to decide.
- Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments.
- Oh, if life were made of moments,
Even now and then a bad one!
But if life were only moments,
Then you'd never know you had one.
- The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.
- Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.
- It must be obvious... that there is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity.
- Alan Watts, in The Wisdom of Insecurity (1951)
- "Is," "is." "is" — the idiocy of the word haunts me. If it were abolished, human thought might begin to make sense. I don't know what anything "is"; I only know how it seems to me at this moment.
- Robert Anton Wilson inThe Historical Illuminatus Chronicles
- Life moved ever outward into infinite possibilities and yet all things were perfect and finished in every single moment, their end attained.
- David Zindell, in Neverness (1988)
- The elite of the universal religions have always substituted belief in the Infinite for the experience of it. We all need God — but only in small and measured doses. Who can look upon the burning bush and not be destroyed in its flames? Who can bear the heaven and hell of each moment blazing in time? Who can shine like a star?
- David Zindell, in War in Heaven (1998)