All Sicilian expression, even the most violent, is really wish fulfilment: our sensuality is a hankering for oblivion, our shooting and knifing a hankering for death; our laziness, our spiced and drugged sherbets, a hankering for voluptuous immobility, that is, for death again; our meditative air is that of a void wanting to scrutinize the enigmas of nirvana.
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard
If all contemplative elements are driven out of life, it ends in a deadly hyper-activity. The human being suffocates among its own doings. What is necessary is a revitalization of the vita contemplativa, because it opens up spaces for breathing. Perhaps the mind itself owes its emergence to an excess of time, an otium, even to a slowness of breath.
Byung-Chul Han, The Scent of Time: A Philosophical Essay on the Art of Lingering