“There are two things you must remember…”

by Swinn / Monday, 28 February 2011 / Published in Quotations

“There are two things you must remember. First, our names shape us and we shape our names in turn.”

He stopped his pacing and looked out at us. “Second, even the simplest name is so complex that your mind could never begin to feel the boundaries of it, let alone understand it well enough for you to speak it.”… He reached into his pocket and pulled out a river stone, smooth and dark. “Describe the precise shape of this. Tell me the weight and pressure that forged it from sand and sediment. Tell me how the light reflects from it. Tell me how the world pulls at the mass of it, how the wind cups it as it moves through the air. Tell me how the traces of its iron will feel the calling of a loden-stone. All of these things and a hundred thousand more make up the name of this stone.” He held it out to us at arm’s length. “This simple, simple stone.”

…”My point is this. In each of us there is a mind we use for all our waking deeds. But there is another mind as well. A sleeping mind. Is is so powerful that the sleeping mind of an eight-year-old can accomplish in one second what the waking minds of seven members of the Arcanum could not in fifteen minutes.” He made a sweeping gesture. “Your sleeping mind is wide and wild enough to hold the name of things.”

– Patrick Rothfuss The Wise Man’s Fear