Ballast Quotes

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Ballast Quotes

The cigars are ballast, sweetheart. Sheer ballast. If he didnt have a cigar to hold on to, his feet would leave the ground. Wed never see our Zooey again.
— J.D. Salinger —

Unless he actually had a lit gasper going, Calvin Thrust always has this way of being only technically wherever he was. There was always this air of imminent departure about him, like a man whose beeper was about to sound. It's like a lit gasper was psychic ballast for him or something. Everything he said to Gately seemed like it was going to be the last thing he said right before he looked at his watch and slapped his forehead and left.

— David Foster Wallace

But the aeronaut, still greatly discomposed, and having apparently no farther business to detain him in Rotterdam, began at this moment to make busy preparations for departure; and it being necessary to discharge a portion of ballast to enable him to reascend, the half dozen bags which he threw out, one after another, without taking the trouble to empty their contents, tumbled, every one of them, most unfortunately upon the back of the burgomaster, and rolled him over and over no less than one-and-twenty times, in the face of every man in Rotterdam.

— Edgar Allan Poe

For him to have understood me would have meant reorganizing his thinking ... giving up his intellectual ballast, and few people are willing to risk such a radical move.

— Edward T. Hall

'Beauty Queen' is the weirdest, strangest, and most perfect play to do before 'Hedda Gabler', because there are so many similar issues for Maureen and Hedda. I had played leading ladies before but couldn't really hook into them. After 'An American Daughter' and 'Beauty Queen', I had all the ballast.

— Kate Burton

Her purse was a weight, ballast; it tethered her to the earth as her mind floated away.

— Anne Lamott

And yet, just as our body would burst asunder if the pressure of the atmosphere were removed from it, so would the arrogance of men expand, if not to the point of bursting then to that of the most unbridled folly, indeed madness, if the pressure of want, toil, calamity and frustration were removed from their life. One can even say that we require at all times a certain quantity of care or sorrow or want, as a ship requires ballast, in order to keep on a straight course.

— Arthur Schopenhauer

Somehow this literary genre, which most people condemned, acted as a sort of counterbalance to Charles's soul; it was the ballast that prevented him from lurching into the serious or melancholy, unlike Andrew, who had been unable to adopt his cousin's casual attitude to life, and to whom everything seemed so achingly profound, imbed with that absurd solemnity that the transience of of existence conferred upon even the smallest act.

— Félix J. Palma

A hot air balloon requires a great deal of fuel to keep it aloft, so that you can't fly it even for one day. A gas balloon, which usually uses helium, has the problem that the helium cools at night when the sun is not on it, and you have to throw ballast overboard to keep it from going to the surface.

— Steve Fossett

He talks and talks and talks. And if he isn't talking, he's smoking his smelly cigars all over the house. I'm so sick of the smell of cigar smoke I could just roll over and die."
"The cigars are ballast, sweetheart. Sheer ballast. If he didn't hold on to a cigar, his feet would leave the ground. We'd never see our Zooey again."
There were several experienced verbal stunt pilots in the Glass family, but this last little remark perhaps Zooey alone was coordinated well enough to bring in safely over a telephone. Or so this narrator suggests. And Franny may have felt so, too. In any case, she suddenly knew that it was Zooey at the other end of the phone.

— J.D. Salinger

In Ukraine's cities-Kharkiv, Kiev, Stalino, Dnipropetrovsk-hundreds of thousands of people waited each day for a simple loaf of bread. In Kharkiv, the republic's capital, Jones saw a new sort of misery. People appeared at two o'clock in the morning to queue in front of shops that did not open until seven. On an average day forty thousand people would wait for bread. Those in line were so desperate to keep their places that they would cling to the belts of those immediately in front of them. Some were so weak from hunger that they could not stand without the ballast of strangers. The waiting lasted all day, and sometimes for two. Pregnant women and maimed war veterans had lost their right to buy out of turn, and had to wait in line with the rest if they wanted to eat. Somewhere in line a woman would wail, and the moaning would echo up and down the line, so that the whole group of thousands sounded like a single animal with an elemental fear.

— Timothy Snyder

Habit is the ballast that chains the dog to his vomit.

— Samuel Beckett

Less judgment than wit is more sail than ballast.

— William Penn

Just looking at them I grow greedy, as if they were freshly baked loaves waiting on their shelves to be broken open
that one and that
and I make my choice in a mood of exalted luck, browsing among them like a cow in sweetest pasture. For life is continuous as long as they wait to be read
these inked paths opening into the future, page after page, every book its own receding horizon. And I hold them, one in each hand, a curious ballast weighing me here to earth.

— Linda Pastan

Hatred is the ballast of the rock which lies upon our necks and underfoot.

— Maya Angelou

If the lives of men were relieved of all need, hardship and adversity; if everything they took in hand were successful, they would be so swollen with arrogance that, though they might not burst, they would present the spectacle of unbridled folly-nay, they would go mad. And I may say, further, that a certain amount of care or pain or trouble is necessary for every man at all times. A ship without ballast is unstable and will not go straight.

— Arthur Schopenhauer

The mind must have for ballast the clear conception of duty, if it is not to fluctuate between levity and despair.

— Henri Frederic Amiel

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