A World Without Borders Quotes

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Marginalia Sometimes the notes are ferocious, skirmishes against the author raging along the borders of every page in tiny black script. If I could just get my hands on you, Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien, they seem to say, I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head. Other comments are more offhand, dismissive - Nonsense." "Please!" "HA!!" - that kind of thing. I remember once looking up from my reading, my thumb as a bookmark, trying to imagine what the person must look like who wrote "Don't be a ninny" alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson. Students are more modest needing to leave only their splayed footprints along the shore of the page. One scrawls "Metaphor" next to a stanza of Eliot's. Another notes the presence of "Irony" fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal. Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers, Hands cupped around their mouths. Absolutely," they shout to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin. Yes." "Bull's-eye." "My man!" Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points rain down along the sidelines. And if you have managed to graduate from college without ever having written "Man vs. Nature" in a margin, perhaps now is the time to take one step forward. We have all seized the white perimeter as our own and reached for a pen if only to show we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages; we pressed a thought into the wayside, planted an impression along the verge. Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria jotted along the borders of the Gospels brief asides about the pains of copying, a bird singing near their window, or the sunlight that illuminated their page- anonymous men catching a ride into the future on a vessel more lasting than themselves. And you have not read Joshua Reynolds, they say, until you have read him enwreathed with Blake's furious scribbling. Yet the one I think of most often, the one that dangles from me like a locket, was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye I borrowed from the local library one slow, hot summer. I was just beginning high school then, reading books on a davenport in my parents' living room, and I cannot tell you how vastly my loneliness was deepened, how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed, when I found on one page A few greasy looking smears and next to them, written in soft pencil- by a beautiful girl, I could tell, whom I would never meet- Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love.
Billy Collins (Picnic, Lightning)
The worst thing is not that the world is unfree, but that people have unlearned their liberty. The more indifferent people are to politics, to the interests of others, the more obsessed they become with their own faces. The individualism of our time. Not being able to fall asleep and not allowing oneself to move: the marital bed. If high culture is coming to an end, it is also the end of you and your paradoxical ideas, because paradox as such belongs to high culture and not to childish prattle. You remind me of the young men who supported the Nazis or communists not out of cowardice or out of opportunism but out of an excess of intelligence. For nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought… You are the brilliant ally of your own gravediggers. In the world of highways, a beautiful landscape means: an island of beauty connected by a long line with other islands of beauty. How to live in a world with which you disagree? How to live with people when you neither share their suffering nor their joys? When you know that you don’t belong among them?... our century refuses to acknowledge anyone’s right to disagree with the world…All that remains of such a place is the memory, the ideal of a cloister, the dream of a cloister… Humor can only exist when people are still capable of recognizing some border between the important and the unimportant. And nowadays this border has become unrecognizable. The majority of people lead their existence within a small idyllic circle bounded by their family, their home, and their work... They live in a secure realm somewhere between good and evil. They are sincerely horrified by the sight of a killer. And yet all you have to do is remove them from this peaceful circle and they, too, turn into murderers, without quite knowing how it happened. The longing for order is at the same time a longing for death, because life is an incessant disruption of order. Or to put it the other way around: the desire for order is a virtuous pretext, an excuse for virulent misanthropy. A long time a go a certain Cynic philosopher proudly paraded around Athens in a moth-eaten coat, hoping that everyone would admire his contempt for convention. When Socrates met him, he said: Through the hole in your coat I see your vanity. Your dirt, too, dear sir, is self-indulgent and your self-indulgence is dirty. You are always living below the level of true existence, you bitter weed, you anthropomorphized vat of vinegar! You’re full of acid, which bubbles inside you like an alchemist’s brew. Your highest wish is to be able to see all around you the same ugliness as you carry inside yourself. That’s the only way you can feel for a few moments some kind of peace between yourself and the world. That’s because the world, which is beautiful, seems horrible to you, torments you and excludes you. If the novel is successful, it must necessarily be wiser than its author. This is why many excellent French intellectuals write mediocre novels. They are always more intelligent than their books. By a certain age, coincidences lose their magic, no longer surprise, become run-of-the-mill. Any new possibility that existence acquires, even the least likely, transforms everything about existence.
Milan Kundera
Some say I loved her to the point of madness, bordering on obsession. She said I put her on a pedestal that her real self couldn’t attain. Perhaps they’re all right. Perhaps I am mad. And if that’s the case, to be frank, I don’t give a damn. What I know is that she sets me on fire, and if you were to perform an intradermal test on me, you’d know when she was in it because you’d see the trails of blaze she left behind. Because that’s what I feel at the mere thought of her, and I’d rather live my life in flames than be numb without her.” He paused, and I let out a breath, but then he said one last thing. “Come back to me, my little Road Runner, my world is cold and boring without you.
Claire Contreras (Paper Hearts (Hearts, #2))
The world of our fathers resides within us. Ten thousand generations and more. A form without a history has no power to perpetuate itself. What has no past can have no future.
Cormac McCarthy (Cities of the Plain (The Border Trilogy, #3))
Sir, people never wanted me to make it to squire. They won't like it any better if I become a knight. I doubt I'll ever get to command a force larger than, well, just me.' Raoul shook his head. 'You're wrong.' As she started to protest, he raised a hand. 'Hear me out. I have some idea of what you've had to bear to get this far, and it won't get easier. But there are larger issues than your fitness for knighthood, issues that involve lives and livelihoods. Attend,' he said, so much like Yayin, one of her Mithran teachers, that Kel had to smile. 'At our level, there are four kids of warrior,' he told Kel. He raised a fist and held up one large finger. 'Heroes, like Alanna the Lioness. Warriors who find dark places and fight in them alone. This is wonderful, but we live in the real world. There aren't many places without any hope or light.' He raised a second finger. 'We have knights- plain, everyday knights, like your brothers. They patrol their borders and protect their tenants, or they go into troubled areas at the king's command and sort them out. They fight in battles, usually against other knights. A hero will work like an everyday knight for a time- it's expected. And most knights must be clever enough to manage alone.' Kel nodded. 'We have soldiers,' Raoul continued, raising a third finger. 'Those warriors, including knights, who can manage so long as they're told what to do. These are more common, thank Mithros, and you'll find them in charge of companies in the army, under the eye of a general. Without people who can take orders, we'd be in real trouble. 'Commanders.' He raised his little finger. 'Good ones, people with a knack for it, like, say, the queen, or Buri, or young Dom, they're as rare as heroes. Commanders have an eye not just for what they do, but for what those around them do. Commanders size up people's strengths and weaknesses. They know where someone will shine and where they will collapse. Other warriors will obey a true commander because they can tell that the commander knows what he- or she- is doing.' Raoul picked up a quill and toyed with it. 'You've shown flashes of being a commander. I've seen it. So has Qasim, your friend Neal, even Wyldon, though it would be like pulling teeth to get him to admit it. My job is to see if you will do more than flash, with the right training. The realm needs commanders. Tortall is big. We have too many still-untamed pockets, too curse many hideyholes for rogues, and plenty of hungry enemies to nibble at our borders and our seafaring trade. If you have what it takes, the Crown will use you. We're too desperate for good commanders to let one slip away, even a female one. Now, finish that'- he pointed to the slate- 'and you can stop for tonight.
Tamora Pierce (Squire (Protector of the Small, #3))
A nation with a thousand awakened citizens and a corrupt leader, is much more alive than a nation with an awakened leader and a thousand corrupt citizens.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
We could have made it to the Arizona border in a few more hours if we hadn't been distracting each other with stupid little arguments. Don't get me wrong; I liked J.Lo fine. I've made that bed. But I'm not sure there's a person in the world I could be with twenty-four hours a day for three weeks without getting a little snippy. If I ever meet such a person, I'm marrying them.
Adam Rex (The True Meaning of Smekday)
Puszcza, an old Polish word, means “forest primeval.” Straddling the border between Poland and Belarus, the half-million acres of the Białowieża Puszcza contain Europe’s last remaining fragment of old-growth, lowland wilderness.
Alan Weisman (The World Without Us)
Nakata let his body relax, switched off his mind, allowing things to flow through him. This was natural for him, something he'd done ever since he was a child, without a second thought. Before long the borders of his consciousness fluttered around, just like the butterflies. Beyond these borders lay a dark abyss. Occasionally his consciousness would fly over the border and hover over that dizzying black crevasse. But Nakata wasn't afraid of the darkness or how deep it was. And why should he be? That bottomless world of darkness, that weighty silence and chaos, was an old friend, a part of him already. Nakata understood this well. In that world there was no writing, no days of the week, no scary Governor, no opera, no BMWs. No scissors, no tall hats. On the other hand, there was also no delicious eel, no tasty bean-jam buns. Everything is there, but there are no parts. Since there are no parts, there's no need to replace one thing with another. No need to remove anything, or add anything. You don't have to think about difficult things, just let yourself soak it all in. For Nakata, nothing could be better.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
The ambition to secure an education was most praiseworthy and encouraging. The idea, however, was too prevalent that, as soon as one secured a little education, in some unexplainable way he would be free from most of the hardships of the world, and, at any rate, could live without manual labour. There was a further feeling that a knowledge, however little, of the Greek and Latin languages would make one a very superior human being, something bordering almost on the supernatural.
Booker T. Washington (Up from Slavery)
Mothers and fathers are born everywhere. What the world needs are leaders.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
A little help with a little smile gives meaning to human life.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
Suffering is the nature of this world. It is the golden standard by which all things are measured. It is not happiness that sets the bar, but agony. Even happiness cannot be fully recognized without the right measure of misery to contrast its borders. Suffering magnifies hunger-exhaustion-prods you to move when prosperity is just a dream out of reach. It is the mortal twin of eternal hope. How you respond to its touch molds you, shapes your future as it rains down oppression like fire over your shoulders. Deception. It laid over my world like a bruise. Covered it so completely I bought the lie that the shadow offered and found comfort nestled in its thorny arms. I walked the trail it dusted with breadcrumb, walked in the slip noose it had skillfully wove and dove off the cliff without realizing- willingly, with vigor. Heartbreak. There is no bigger void, no darker shade of soot- no ache more unstoppable than that of a broken heart. A heart in pieces can very much kill you-without love’s healing touch, you will surely die. They say time heals all wounds. They lied.
Addison Moore (Expel (Celestra, #6))
The king was silent. "Ents!" he said at length. "Out of the shadows of legend I begin a little to understand the marvel of the trees, I think. I have lived to see strange days. Long we have tended our beasts and our fields, built our houses, wrought our tools, or ridden away to help in the wars of Minas Tirith. And that we called the life of Men, the way of the world. We cared little for what lay beyond the borders of our land. Songs we have that tell of these things, but we are forgetting them, teaching them only to children, as a careless custom. And now the songs have come down among us out of the strange places, and walk visible under the Sun." "You should be glad," Théoden King," said Gandalf. "For not only the little life of Men is now endangered, but the life also of those thing which you have deemed the matter of legend. You are not without allies, even if you know them not." "Yet also I should be sad," said Théoden. "For however the fortune of war shall go, may it not so end that much that was fair and wonderful shall pass for ever out of Middle-earth?
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2))
Birds teach us that borders are just lines drawn on a map— a lesson we can all take to heart.
Noah Strycker (Birding Without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World)
The highest truth in the world is love.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
This isolation has left Americans quite unaware of the world beyong their borders. Americans speak few languages, know little about foreign cultures, and remain unconvinced that they need to rectify this. Americans rarely benchmark to global standards because they are sure that their way must be the best and most advanced. There is a growing gap between America's worldly business elite and cosmopolitan class, on the one hand and the majority of the American people on the other. Without real efforts to bridge it, this divide could destroy America's competitive edge and its political future.
Fareed Zakaria (The Post-American World 2.0)
Highly creative people have a gift for connecting supposedly unrelated elements and ideas. They cross borders without regard for customs posts or No Trespassing signs. They throw suspension bridges across great distances. These elegant and unexpected combinations flow together beautifully in the twilight zone, where metaphor and resemblance rules in place of logic and classification.
Robert Moss (Dreamgates: An Explorer's Guide to the Worlds of Soul, Imagination, and Life Beyond Death)
Today humanitarianism is in search of an identity, especially after the war in Iraq. In a perfect world, humanitarianism would not exist. People wouldn't die of thirst or starvation. So humanitarian activity is in itself an admission of failure.
Marc Vachon (Rebel Without Borders: Frontline Missions in Africa and the Gulf)
A UN passport is the most beautiful thing that humanity has ever conceived. No colour, no affiliation, no religion, one planet, one world...In the document, only my name, date of birth and job appeared. Nothing else. Not the colour of my hair, or my country of origin. From now on my country was called Earth. I was a citizen of the world.
Marc Vachon (Rebel Without Borders: Frontline Missions in Africa and the Gulf)
What is an obsession? It is a form of programming that has gotten completely out of hand. Religious fanatics are a prime example, as are those people who become enveloped in a political concept. Most of man’s progress has come about as a result of obsessions. The Wright brothers were not just tinkerers with an idea; their idea swallowed them up. Most leaders are obsessed with power or possessed by egos so large their only concern is their place in history. I have known writers obsessed with a single subject. Like Bobby Fischer and chess, anything and everything outside their subject seems meaningless. Any art form—music, painting, dance—is done best by those who are completely possessed by it. Such possession often borders on madness. This world would be a sorry place without such madmen.
John A. Keel (THE EIGHTH TOWER: On Ultraterrestrials and the Superspectrum)
One bridge of acceptance trumps a hundred walls of discrimination.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
If everyone had the madness for doing good, there wouldn't be any misery in the world.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
One who stops a war before it starts, is the real victor.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
in Japan, buying a lot of stuff for your children is considered indulgent. Wastefulness was frowned upon. Shopping bags should be saved to reuse many times, not recycled after one purchase.
Christine Gross-Loh (Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us)
Self is an illusory by-product of the brain's response to the environment, with the purpose of survival of life. However, within the subjective realm of the human mind, due to higher brain capacities, the self is capable of creating its own illusory purpose, in an attempt to provide meaning in life.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
No organization can stay uncorrupt for long, be it a political party, a religious institution or a charity foundation - sooner or later the instinctual evils of greed and cruelty overwhelm the organization, fueled by its authoritative control over people.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
Men speak of blind destiny, a thing without scheme or purpose. But what sort of destiny is that? Each act in this world from which there can be no turning back has before it another, and it another yet. In a vast and endless net. Men imagine that the choices before them are theirs to make. But we are free to act only upon what is given. Choice is lost in the maze of generations and each act in that maze is itself an enslavement for it voids every alternative and binds one ever more tightly into the constraints that make a life.
Cormac McCarthy (Cities of the Plain (The Border Trilogy, #3))
Men speak of blind destiny, a thing without scheme or purpose. But what sort of destiny is that? Each act in this world from which there can be no turning back has before it another, and it another yet. In a vast and endless net. Men imagine that the choices before them are theirs to make. But we are free to act only upon what is given. Choice is lost in the maze of generations and each act in that maze is itself an enslavement for it voids every alternative and binds one ever more tightly into the constraints that make a life. If the dead man could have forgiven his enemy for whatever wrong was done to him all would have been otherwise. Did the son set out to avenge his father? Did the dead man sacrifice his son? Our plans are predicated upon a future unknown to us. The world takes its form hourly by a weighing of things at hand, and while we may seek to puzzle out that form we have no way to do so. We have only God's law, and the wisdom to follow it if we will.
Cormac McCarthy (The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, #2))
The misery is what should concern us: the death, rage and distress of others always comes back to haunt us. Especially when the tragedies are partially due to our own actions, policies and erroneous vision of the planet. September 11 happens and we are surprised to learn that there are people who hate us. Even then ,we mourn the 3,000 deaths without a thought for the victims our government has left all over the world because of our evil and immoral politics.
Marc Vachon (Rebel Without Borders: Frontline Missions in Africa and the Gulf)
Our hearts and minds desire clarity. We like to have a clear picture of a situation, a clear view of how things fit together, and clear insight into our own and the world’s problems. But just as in nature colors and shapes mingle without clear-cut distinctions, human life doesn’t offer the clarity we are looking for. The borders between love and hate, evil and good, beauty and ugliness, heroism and cowardice, care and neglect, guilt and blamelessness are mostly vague, ambiguous, and hard to discern.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith)
What if living my entire life in the buckle of the Bible Belt had given me not only a narrow view of the world but also a narrow view of my faith?
Chad Gibbs (Jesus without Borders: What Planes, Trains, and Rickshaws Taught Me about Jesus)
Humans without borders, that's what the world needs - beings of conscience and courage, with no rigidity of religion, gender, nationality, or any other.
Abhijit Naskar (Ain't Enough to Look Human)
China was the opposite world. If you want to know what Hong Kong would have looked like without the British, you only need to take a look across the border.
Bruce Gilley
Ten responsible and rational young citizens are sufficient to clean up the mess of a thousand old superstitious citizens.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
Government is the servant, not the master.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
Making love is not magical, if there is no love.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
A corrupt nation is born not from corrupt politicians, but from corrupt citizens.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
Only if the humans could realize the inexplicable happiness that comes from loving others, there would no longer be any trace of hatred and discrimination in the world.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
Success for me will be the day when all humans everywhere will stand up with a sense of unity and call themselves humans above everything else.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
Un puente de aceptación derrota a cien muros de discriminación.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
Religion is a language, if you can speak it, it's a bridge, if not, then it's a barrier.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
He was Babcock and he was forever. He was one of Twelve and also the Other, the one above and behind, the Zero. He was the night of nights and he had been Babcock before he became what he was. Before the great hunger that was like time itself inside him, a current in the blood, endless and needful, infinite and without border, a dark wing spreading over the world.
Justin Cronin
In this century wars will not be fought over oil, as in the past, but over water. The situation is becoming desperate. The world's water is strained by population growth. There is no more fresh water on earth than two thousand years ago when the population was three percent of its current size. Even without the inevitable droughts, like the current one, it will get worse as demand and pollution increase. Some countries will simply run out of water, sparking a global refugee crisis. Tens of millions of people will flood across international borders. It means the collapse of fisheries, environmental destruction, conflict, lower living standards." She paused for a moment. "As people who deal with the ocean you must see the irony. We are facing a shortage on a planet whose surface is covered two-thirds with water.
Clive Cussler (Blue Gold (NUMA Files, #2))
Glaring, Kai leaned back against the headrest. "I'm already uncomfortable with you piloting this ship and being in control of my life. Try not to make it worse." "Why does everyone think I'm such a bad pilot?" "Cinder told me as much." "Well, tell Cinder I'm perfectly capable of flying a blasted podship without killing anyone. My flight instructor at the Andromeda - which is a very prestigious military academy in the Republic, I will have you know-" "I know what Andromeda Academy is." "Yeah, well, my flight instructor said I was a natural." "Right," Kai drawled. "Was that the same flight instructor who wrote in you official report about your inattentiveness, refusal to take safety precautions seriously, and overconfident attitude that often bordered on ... what was the word she used>? 'Fool-hardy', I think?" "Oh, yeah. Commander Reid. She had a thing for me." The radar blinked, picking up a cruiser in the far distance, and Thorne deftly changed directions to keep them out of its course. "I didn't realize I had a royal stalker. I'm flattered, Your Majesty." "Even better - you had an entire government team assigned to digging up information on you. They reported twice daily for over a week. You did run off with the most-wanted criminal in the world, after all.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
It's in the nature of the humans and the entire animal kingdom to return blow for blow, cheating for cheating, lie for lie, to hit back with all our might. But what makes us true humans is the power to not hit back.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
Every injustice anywhere in the world is your business, every misery anywhere in the world is your business, every segregation anywhere in the world is your business. Human condition anywhere in the world is your business.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
Harlan that allowed them to reproduce in the New World the culture of honor they had created in the Old World. “To the first settlers, the American backcountry was a dangerous environment, just as the British borderlands had been,” the historian David Hackett Fischer writes in Albion’s Seed. Much of the southern highlands were “debatable lands” in the border sense of a contested territory without established government or the rule of law. The borderers were more at home
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
Maybe I had had an illusion, I thought. I stood there a long time, gazing at the rainswept streets. Once again, I was a twelve-year-old boy staring for hours at the rain. Look at the rain long enough, with no thoughts in your head, and you gradually feel your body falling loose, shaking free of the world of reality. Rain has the power to hypnotize. But this had been no illusion. When I went back into the bar, a glass and an ashtray remained where she had been. A couple of lightly crushed cigarette butts were lined up in the ashtray, a faint trace of lipstick on each. I sat down and closed my eyes. Echoes of music faded away, leaving me alone. In that gentle darkness, the rain continued to fall without a sound.
Haruki Murakami (South of the Border, West of the Sun)
U.S. foreign policy should be designed to make the United States safer and more prosperous; it’s foolish to think that Americans can safeguard their interests and promote prosperity without accepting some costs and risks far beyond our borders.
Ian Bremmer (Superpower: Three Choices for America's Role in the World)
Suffering is the nature of this world. It is the golden standard by which all things are measured. It is not happiness that sets the bar, but agony. Even happiness cannot be fully recognized without the right measure of misery to contrast its borders. Suffering magnifies hunger—exhaustion—prods you to move when prosperity is just a dream out of reach. It is the mortal twin of eternal hope. How you respond to its touch molds you, shapes your future as it rains down oppression like fire over your shoulders.
Addison Moore (Expel (Celestra, #6))
Someone said to me the other day 'you should have some fun in life, instead of just working all the time'. I replied to the person 'you may have the luxury to have fun, but I can't even dream of having fun while my own humanity is tormented with countless forms of misery.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
The cultural and political backgrounds of the two sides diverge in important aspects. The American approach to policy is pragmatic; China’s is conceptual. America has never had a powerful threatening neighbor; China has never been without a powerful adversary on its borders. Americans hold that every problem has a solution; Chinese think that each solution is an admission ticket to a new set of problems. Americans seek an outcome responding to immediate circumstances; Chinese concentrate on evolutionary change. Americans outline an agenda of practical “deliverable” items; Chinese set out general principles and analyze where they will lead. Chinese thinking is shaped in part by Communism but embraces a traditionally Chinese way of thought to an increasing extent; neither is intuitively familiar to Americans. China
Henry Kissinger (World Order)
Imagine this: A world where the quality of your life is not determined by how much money you have. You do not have to sell your labour to survive. Labour is not tied to capitalism, profit or wage. Borders do not exist; we are free to move without consequence. The nuclear family does not exist; children are raised collectively; reproduction takes on new meanings. In this world, the way we carry out dull domestic labour is transformed and nobody is forced to rely on their partner economically to survive. The principles of transformative justice are used to rectify harm. Critical and comprehensive sex education exists for all from an early age. We are liberated from the gender binary’s strangling grip and the demands it places on our bodies. Sex work does not exist because work does not exist. Education and transport are free, from cradle to grave. We are forced to reckon with and rectify histories of imperialism, colonial exploitation, and warfare collectively. We have freedom to, not just freedom from. Specialist mental health services and community care are integral to our societies. There is no “state” as we know it; nobody dies in “suspicious circumstances” at its hands; no person has to navigate sexism, racism, ableism or homophobia to survive. Detention centres do not exist. Prisons do not exist, nor do the police. The military and their weapons are disbanded across nations. Resources are reorganised to adequately address climate catastrophe. No person is without a home or loving community. We love one another, without possession or exploitation or extraction. We all have enough to eat well due to redistribution of wealth and resource. We all have the means and the environment to make art, if we so wish. All cultural gatekeepers are destroyed. Now imagine this vision not as utopian, but as something well within our reach.
Lola Olufemi (Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power)
Dear New Orleans, What a big, beautiful mess you are. A giant flashing yellow light—proceed with caution, but proceed. Not overly ambitious, you have a strong identity, and don’t look outside yourself for intrigue, evolution, or monikers of progress. Proud of who you are, you know your flavor, it’s your very own, and if people want to come taste it, you welcome them without solicitation. Your hours trickle by, Tuesdays and Saturdays more similar than anywhere else. Your seasons slide into one another. You’re the Big Easy…home of the shortest hangover on the planet, where a libation greets you on a Monday morning with the same smile as it did on Saturday night. Home of the front porch, not the back. This engineering feat provides so much of your sense of community and fellowship as you relax facing the street and your neighbors across it. Rather than retreating into the seclusion of the backyard, you engage with the goings-on of the world around you, on your front porch. Private properties hospitably trespass on each other and lend across borders where a 9:00 A.M. alarm clock is church bells, sirens, and a slow-moving eight-buck-an-hour carpenter nailing a windowpane two doors down. You don’t sweat details or misdemeanors, and since everybody’s getting away with something anyway, the rest just wanna be on the winning side. And if you can swing the swindle, good for you, because you love to gamble and rules are made to be broken, so don’t preach about them, abide. Peddlin worship and litigation, where else do the dead rest eye to eye with the livin? You’re a right-brain city. Don’t show up wearing your morals on your sleeve ’less you wanna get your arm burned. The humidity suppresses most reason so if you’re crossing a one-way street, it’s best to look both ways. Mother Nature rules, the natural law capital “Q” Queen reigns supreme, a science to the animals, an overbearing and inconsiderate bitch to us bipeds. But you forgive her, and quickly, cus you know any disdain with her wrath will reap more: bad luck, voodoo, karma. So you roll with it, meander rather, slowly forward, takin it all in stride, never sweating the details. Your art is in your overgrowth. Mother Nature wears the crown around here, her royalty rules, and unlike in England, she has both influence and power. You don’t use vacuum cleaners, no, you use brooms and rakes to manicure. Where it falls is where it lays, the swerve around the pothole, the duck beneath the branch, the poverty and the murder rate, all of it, just how it is and how it turned out. Like a gumbo, your medley’s in the mix. —June 7, 2013, New Orleans, La.
Matthew McConaughey (Greenlights)
How humbling, overwhelming, exciting to realize what an infinite plain the world is, to touch that infinity without boundaries or borders. You cannot help but explore the land from this impossible prospect and wonder...” That if the land is this limitless, we could be, too. Our journeys never end, and that’s distressing as much as a comfort.
Natalia Jaster (Kiss the Fae (Vicious Faeries, #1))
You don't take a traveler for a partner if you hope that the world will always stay the same. You do it because you can't quite break away, yourself, but you can't live without the promise of change hanging over you every day. That's what the border means, for a lot of people. The promise of change they'd never be able to make any other way.
Greg Egan (Schild's Ladder)
The place to start is with a true history of capitalism and globalization, which I examine in the next two chapters (chapters 1 and 2). In these chapters, I will show how many things that the reader may have accepted as ‘historical facts’ are either wrong or partial truths. Britain and the US are not the homes of free trade; in fact, for a long time they were the most protectionist countries in the world. Not all countries have succeeded through protection and subsidies, but few have done so without them. For developing countries, free trade has rarely been a matter of choice; it was often an imposition from outside, sometimes even through military power. Most of them did very poorly under free trade; they did much better when they used protection and subsidies. The best-performing economies have been those that opened up their economies selectively and gradually. Neo-liberal free-trade free-market policy claims to sacrifice equity for growth, but in fact it achieves neither; growth has slowed down in the past two and a half decades when markets were freed and borders opened.
Ha-Joon Chang (Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism)
...as the Covid-19 pandemic burns through us, our world is passing through a portal. We have journeyed to a place from which it looks unlikely that we can return, at least not without some kind of serious rupture from the past - social, political, economic and ideological.... Coronavirus has brought with it another, more terrible understanding of Azadi: the Free virus that has made nonsense of international borders, incarcerated whole populations and brought the modern world to a halt like nothing else ever could. It casts a different light on the lives we have lived so far. It forces us to question the values we have built modern societies on - what we have chosen to worship and what to cast aside. As we pass through this portal into another kind of world, we will have to ask ourselves what we want to take with us and what we will leave behind. We may not always have a choice - but not thinking about it will not be an option. And in order to think about it, we need an even deeper understanding of the world gone by, of the devastation we have caused to our planet and the deep injustice between fellow human beings that we have come to accept.
Arundhati Roy (Azadi)
Sherman issued Special Field Orders No. 15, “reserv[ing] and set[ting] apart for the settlement of the negroes . . . the islands from Charleston south, the abandoned rice-fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. John’s River, Florida,” to be subdivided “so that each family shall have a plot of not more than forty acres of tillable ground.
Steven Hahn (A Nation Without Borders: The United States and Its World in an Age of Civil Wars, 1830-1910 (The Penguin History of the United States))
The politicians were in full bay, particularly those of his own party who had been urging, without success, his support of antislavery legislation which he feared would lose him the border states, held to the Union so far by his promise that no such laws would be passed. It also seemed to these Republicans that entirely too many Democrats were seated in high places, specifically in the cabinet and the army; and now their anger was increased by apprehension. About to open their campaigns for reëlection in November, they had counted on battlefield victories to increase their prospects for victory at the polls. Instead, the main eastern army, under the Democrat McClellan—“McNapoleon,” they called him—had held back, as if on purpose, and then retreated to the James, complaining within hearing of the voters that the Administration was to blame. Privately, many of the Jacobins agreed with the charge, though for different reasons, the main one being that Lincoln, irresolute by nature, had surrounded himself with weak-spined members of the opposition party. Fessenden of Maine put it plainest: “The simple truth is, there was never such a shambling half-and-half set of incapables collected in one government since the world began.
Shelby Foote (The Civil War, Vol. 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville)
It is interesting that the rhetoric and some state initiatives of multiculturalism in the West are accompanied by the gathering strength of right wing politics....Everywhere in the West 'immigration,' a euphemistic expression for racist labor and citizenship policies, has become a major election platform....The media and some members of the Canadian intelligentsia speak in terms of the end of 'Canadian culture,' displaying signs of feeling threatened by these 'others,' who are portrayed as an invasive force. In the meantime, Western capital roves in a world without borders, with trade agreements such as GATT and NAFTA ensuring their legal predations, while labour from third world countries is both locked in their national spaces and locked out from Western countries, marked by a discourse of illegality and alienness.
Himani Bannerji
American approach to policy is pragmatic; China’s is conceptual. America has never had a powerful threatening neighbor; China has never been without a powerful adversary on its borders. Americans hold that every problem has a solution; Chinese think that each solution is an admission ticket to a new set of problems. Americans seek an outcome responding to immediate circumstances; Chinese concentrate on evolutionary change.
Henry Kissinger (World Order)
Speaking to a foreigner was the dream of every student, and my opportunity came at last. When I got back from my trip down the Yangtze, I learned that my year was being sent in October to a port in the south called Zhanjiang to practice our English with foreign sailors. I was thrilled. Zhanjiang was about 75 miles from Chengdu, a journey of two days and two nights by rail. It was the southernmost large port in China, and quite near the Vietnamese border. It felt like a foreign country, with turn-of-the-century colonial-style buildings, pastiche Romanesque arches, rose windows, and large verandas with colorful parasols. The local people spoke Cantonese, which was almost a foreign language. The air smelled of the unfamiliar sea, exotic tropical vegetation, and an altogether bigger world. But my excitement at being there was constantly doused by frustration. We were accompanied by a political supervisor and three lecturers, who decided that, although we were staying only a mile from the sea, we were not to be allowed anywhere near it. The harbor itself was closed to outsiders, for fear of 'sabotage' or defection. We were told that a student from Guangzhou had managed to stow away once in a cargo steamer, not realizing that the hold would be sealed for weeks, by which time he had perished. We had to restrict our movements to a clearly defined area of a few blocks around our residence. Regulations like these were part of our daily life, but they never failed to infuriate me. One day I was seized by an absolute compulsion to get out. I faked illness and got permission to go to a hospital in the middle of the city. I wandered the streets desperately trying to spot the sea, without success. The local people were unhelpful: they did not like non-Cantonese speakers, and refused to understand me. We stayed in the port for three weeks, and only once were we allowed, as a special treat, to go to an island to see the ocean. As the point of being there was to talk to the sailors, we were organized into small groups to take turns working in the two places they were allowed to frequent: the Friendship Store, which sold goods for hard currency, and the Sailors' Club, which had a bar, a restaurant, a billiards room, and a ping-pong room. There were strict rules about how we could talk to the sailors. We were not allowed to speak to them alone, except for brief exchanges over the counter of the Friendship Store. If we were asked our names and addresses, under no circumstances were we to give our real ones. We all prepared a false name and a nonexistent address. After every conversation, we had to write a detailed report of what had been said which was standard practice for anyone who had contact with foreigners. We were warned over and over again about the importance of observing 'discipline in foreign contacts' (she waifi-lu). Otherwise, we were told, not only would we get into serious trouble, other students would be banned from coming.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Aside from what I feel to be the intrinsic interest of questions that are so fundamental and deep, I would, in this connection, call attention to the general problem of fragmentation of human consciousness, which is discussed in chapter 1. It is proposed there that the widespread and pervasive distinctions between people (race, nation, family, profession, etc., etc.), which are now preventing mankind from working together for the common good, and indeed, even for survival, have one of the key factors of their origin in a kind of thought that treats things as inherently divided, disconnected, and ‘broken up’ into yet smaller constituent parts. Each part is considered to be essentially independent and self-existent. When man thinks of himself in this way, he will inevitably tend to defend the needs of his own ‘Ego’ against those of the others; or, if he identifies with a group of people of the same kind, he will defend this group in a similar way. He cannot seriously think of mankind as the basic reality, whose claims come first. Even if he does try to consider the needs of mankind he tends to regard humanity as separate from nature, and so on. What I am proposing here is that man’s general way of thinking of the totality, i.e. his general world view, is crucial for overall order of the human mind itself. If he thinks of the totality as constituted of independent fragments, then that is how his mind will tend to operate, but if he can include everything coherently and harmoniously in an overall whole that is undivided, unbroken, and without a border (for every border is a division or break) then his mind will tend to move in a similar way, and from this will flow an orderly action within the whole.
David Bohm (Wholeness and the Implicate Order (Routledge Classics))
Then, at one particular corner of the gooseberry patch, the change came. What awaited her there was serious to the degree of sorrow and beyond. There was no form nor sound. The mold under the bushes, the moss on the path, and the little brick border, were not visibly changed. But they were changed. A boundary had been crossed. She had come into a world, or into a Person, or into the presence of a Person. Something expectant, patient, inexorable, met her with no veil or protection between. In the closeness of that contact she perceived at once that the Director’s words had been entirely misleading. This demand which now pressed upon her was not, even by analogy, like any other demand. It was the origin of all right demands and contained them. In its light you could understand them; but from them you could know nothing of it. There was nothing, and never had been anything, like this. And now there was nothing except this. Yet also, everything had been like this; only by being like this had anything existed. In this height and depth and breadth the little idea of herself which she had hitherto called me dropped down and vanished, unfluttering, into bottomless distance, like a bird in a space without air. The name me was the name of a being whose existence she had never suspected, a being that did not yet fully exist but which was demanded. It was a person (not the person she had thought), yet also a thing, a made thing, made to please Another and in Him to please all others, a thing being made at this very moment, without its choice, in a shape it had never dreamed of. And the making went on amidst a kind of splendor or sorrow or both, whereof she could not tell whether it was in the molding hands or in the kneaded lump.
C.S. Lewis (That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy #3))
You can build walls all the way to the sky and I will find a way to fly above them. You can try to pin me down with a hundred thousand arms, but I will find a way to resist. And there are many of us out there, more than you think. People who refuse to stop believing. People who refuse to come to earth. People who love in a world without walls, people who love into hate, into refusal, against hope,and without fear. I love you. Remember. They cannot take it.
Lauren Oliver
There's almost always a church youth group at the soup kitchen. I have yet to see an atheists' youth group. Yeah, I know, religious people don't have a monopoly on doing good. I'm sure that there are many agnostics and atheists out there slinging mashed potatoes at other soup kitchens. I know the world is full of selfless secular gropus like Doctors without Borders. But I've got to say: It's a lot easier to do good if you put your faith in a book that requires you to do good.
A.J. Jacobs
Can Trump really promote free markets in the U.S. while undermining free trade on the global level? Can the Chinese Communist Party continue to enjoy the fruits of economic liberalization without making any movement toward political liberalization? Can Hungarians have democracy without personal liberties, or is Orban’s “illiberal democracy” just a nicer way of saying “dictatorship”? Can international peace survive in a world of rising border walls and intensifying trade wars?
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Even when the income disparity is very much greater, people are sticky. Micronesians mostly stay where they were born, even though they are free to live and work in the US without a visa, where the average income is twenty times higher. Niger, next to Nigeria, is not depopulated even though it is six times poorer and there are no border controls between the countries. People like to stay in the communities they were born in, where everything is familiar and easy, and many require a substantial push to migrate – even to another location in the same nation, and even when it would be obviously beneficial. One study in Bangladesh found that a programme that offered subsidies to help rural people migrate to the city for work during the lean season didn’t work, even when workers could make substantially more money through seasonal migration.22 One problem is the lack of affordable housing and other facilities in cities, meaning people end up living illegally in cramped, unregulated spaces or in tents.
Gaia Vince (Nomad Century: How Climate Migration Will Reshape Our World)
One thing he held against the bird force was the curse of knowing always which direction he was headed in, without the vaguest idea where he was going. He headed east this time, recalling as if it were yesterday every fifth or sixth mile of the road, where they hadn't torn it up, straightened it, bent it, laid it down again, and bordered it with regular houses planted eave-to-eave like an impenetrable, multicolored fence - soon a flag will wave from every antenna, we'll peek out at the savage world from a plaster fortress, nationwide.
Douglas Woolf (Wall to Wall (American Literature))
From east to west, in fact, her gaze swept slowly, without encountering a single obstacle, along a perfect curve. Beneath her, the blue-and-white terraces of the Arab town overlapped one another, splattered with the dark-red spots of the peppers drying in the sun. Not a soul could be seen, but from the inner courts, together with the aroma of roasting coffee, there rose laughing voices or incomprehensible stamping of feet. Father off, the palm grove, divided into uneven squares by clay walls, rustled its upper foliage in a wind that could not be felt up on the terace. Still farther off and all the way to the horizon extended the ocher-and-gray realm of stones, in which no life was visible. At some distance from the oasis, however, near the wadi that bordered the palm grove on the west could be seen broad black tents. All around them a flock of motionless dromedaries, tiny at the distance, formed against the gray ground the black signs of a strange handwriting, the meaning of which had to be deciphered. Above the desert, the silence was as vast as the space. Janine, leaning her whole body against the parapet, was speechless, unable to tear herself away from the void opening before her. Beside her, Marcel was getting restless. He was cold; he wanted to go back down. What was there to see here, after all? But she could not take her gaze from the horizon. Over yonder, still farther south, at that point where sky and earth met in a pure line - over yonder it suddenly seemed there was awaiting her something of which, though it had always been lacking, she had never been aware until now. In the advancing afternoon the light relaxed and softened; it was passing from the crystalline to the liquid. Simultaneously, in the heart of a woman brought there by pure chance a knot tightened by the years, habit, and boredom was slowly loosening. She was looking at the nomads' encampment. She had not even seen the men living in it' nothing was stirring among the black tents, and yet she could think only of them whose existence she had barely known until this day. Homeless, cut off from the world, they were a handful wandering over the vast territory she could see, which however was but a paltry part of an even greater expanse whose dizzying course stopped only thousands of miles farther south, where the first river finally waters the forest. Since the beginning of time, on the dry earth of this limitless land scraped to bone, a few men had been ceaselessly trudging, possessing nothing but serving no one, poverty-stricken but free lords of a strange kingdom. Janine did not know why this thought filled her with such a sweet, vast melancholy that it closed her eyes. She knew that this kingdom had been eternally promised her and yet that it would never be hers, never again, except in this fleeting moment perhaps when she opened her eyes again on the suddenly motionless sky and on its waves of steady light, while the voices rising from the Arab town suddenly fell silent. It seemed to her that the world's course had just stopped and that, from that moment on, no one would ever age any more or die. Everywhere, henceforth, life was suspended - except in her heart, where, at the same moment, someone was weeping with affliction and wonder.
Albert Camus
This isolation has left Americans quite unaware of the world beyond their borders. Americans speak few languages, know little about foreign cultures, and remain unconvinced that they need to rectify this. Americans rarely benchmark to global standards because they are sure that their way must be the best and most advanced. There is a growing gap between America's worldly business elite and cosmopolitan class, on the one hand and the majority of the American people on the other. Without real efforts to bridge it, this divide could destroy America's competitive edge and its political future.
Fareed Zakaria (The Post-American World)
James reminded Lulu of things best forgotten, of the cost of survival and the price of high living. Lulu had paid the price by trading in her tongue. Lo had cut out her heart. Audrey, who had been born into this world, had no ability to see beyond its borders. Emma alone seemed untouched by any kind of deal with the devil. But Lulu didn't believe that to be true. Nobody could go without paying the price. The prize of being accepted into the fold of the one-day rich and powerful was too tempting, too all-encompassing. Emma's bargain must have been the worst of all to stay so neat and invisible.
Aminah Mae Safi (Not the Girls You're Looking For)
It is a mistake to suppose that, in a country where the usual evidences of civilization exist, the condition of a very large body of inhabitants may not be as degraded as that of savages. I refer to the degraded poor, not now to the degraded rich. To know this I should not need to look farther than to the shanties which everywhere border our railroads, that last improvement in civilization; where I see in my daily walks human beings living in sties, and all winter with an open door, for the sake of light, without any visible, often imaginable, wood-pile, and the forms of both old and young are permanently contracted by the long habit of shrinking from cold and misery, and the development of all their limbs and faculties is checked.... Such too, to a greater or less extent, is the condition of the operatives of every denomination in England, which is the great workhouse of the world. Or I could refer you to Ireland, which is marked as one of the white or enlightened spots on the map. Contrast the physical condition of the Irish with that of the North American Indian, or the South Sea Islander, or any other savage race before it was degraded by contact with the civilized man. Yet I have no doubt that that people's rulers are as wise as the average of civilized rulers. Their condition only proves what squalidness may consist with civilization.
Henry David Thoreau
A war always comes to someone else. In Salinas we were aware that the United States was the greatest and most powerful nation in the world. Every American was a rifleman by birth, and one American was worth ten or twenty foreigners in a fight. Pershing’s expedition into Mexico after Villa had exploded one of our myths for a little while. We had truly believed that Mexicans can’t shoot straight and besides were lazy and stupid. When our own Troop C came wearily back from the border they said that none of this was true […] Somehow we didn’t connect Germans with Mexicans. We went right back to our own myths. One American was as good as twenty Germans. This being true, we had only to act in a stern manner to bring the Kaiser to heel. He wouldn’t dare interfere with our trade--but he did. He wouldn’t stick out his neck and and sink our ships--and he did. It was stupid, but he did, and so there was nothing for it but to fight him. The war, at first anyway, was for other people. We, I, my family and friends, had kind of bleacher seats, and it was pretty exciting. And just as war is always for somebody else, so it is also that somebody else always gets killed. And Mother of God! that wasn’t true either. The dreadful telegrams began to sneak sorrowfully in, and it was everybody’s brother. Here we were, over six thousand miles from the anger and the noise, and that didn’t save us […] The draftees wouldn’t look at their mothers. They didn’t dare. We’d never thought the war could happen to us. There were some in Salinas who began to talk softly in the poolrooms and the bars. These had private information from a soldier--we weren’t getting the truth. Our men were being sent in without guns. Troopships were sunk and the government wouldn’t tell us. The German army was so far superior to ours that we didn’t have a chance. That Kaiser was a smart fellow. He was getting ready to invade America. But would Wilson tell us this? He would not. And usually these carrion talkers were the same ones who had said one American was worth twenty Germans in a scrap--the same ones.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Before embarking on this intellectual journey, I would like to highlight one crucial point. In much of this book I discuss the shortcomings of the liberal worldview and the democratic system. I do so not because I believe liberal democracy is uniquely problematic but rather because I think it is the most successful and most versatile political model humans have so far developed for dealing with the challenges of the modern world. While it might not be appropriate for every society in every stage of development, it has proven its worth in more societies and in more situations than any of its alternatives. So when we are examining the new challenges that lie ahead of us, it is necessary to understand the limitations of liberal democracy and to explore how we can adapt and improve its current institutions. Unfortunately, in the present political climate any critical thinking about liberalism and democracy might be hijacked by autocrats and various illiberal movements, whose sole interest is to discredit liberal democracy rather than to engage in an open discussion about the future of humanity. While they are more than happy to debate the problems of liberal democracy, they have almost no tolerance of any criticism directed at them. As an author, I was therefore required to make a difficult choice. Should I speak my mind openly and risk that my words might be taken out of context and used to justify burgeoning autocracies? Or should I censor myself? It is a mark of illiberal regimes that they make free speech more difficult even outside their borders. Due to the spread of such regimes, it is becoming increasingly dangerous to think critically about the future of our species. After some soul-searching, I chose free discussion over self-censorship. Without criticizing the liberal model, we cannot repair its faults or move beyond it. But please note that this book could have been written only when people are still relatively free to think what they like and to express themselves as they wish. If you value this book, you should also value the freedom of expression.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Thus, one of the strong theses of the book is that there is no modernity without coloniality and that coloniality is constitutive, and not derivative, of modernity. This is the basic condition of border thinking: the moment you realize (and accept) that your life is a life in the border, and you realize that you do not want to “become modern” because modernity hides behind the splendors of happiness, the constant logic of coloniality. For precisely this reason, border thinking that leads to decoloniality is of the essence to unveil that the system of knowledge, beliefs, expectations, dreams, and fantasies upon which the modern/colonial world was built is showing, and will continue to show, its unviability.
Walter D. Mignolo (Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking (Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History))
Maybe I had had an illusion, I thought. I stood there a long time, gazing at the rainswept streets. Once again, I was a twelve-year-old boy staring for hours at the rain. Look at the rain long enough, with no thoughts in your head, and you gradually feel your body falling loose, shaking free of the world of reality. Rain has the power to hypnotize. But this had been no illusion. When I went back into the bar, a glass and an ashtray remained where she had been. A couple of lightly crushed cigarette butts were lined up in the ashtray, a faint trace of lipstick on each. I sat down and closed my eyes. Echoes of music faded away, leaving me alone. In that gentle darkness, the rain continued to fall without a sound.
Haruki Murakami (South of the Border, West of the Sun)
Our voices sounded small in the noisy darkness. We called her name again and again. We waved our flashlights in hope that she’d see their bobbing light. We were hoarse from calling. And desperate when she didn’t answer. The faint trail gave out, and we began circling back to the house without realizing it until we saw the lights in the windows. “We need to call the police,” Dad said. “We don’t know the land the way they do. We’ll get lost ourselves if we keep going.” Wordlessly, we made our way home. Mom was on the front porch, shivering in her warmest down coat. “You didn’t find her?” “No.” Dad stopped to hug her. Mom clung to him. They stood there whispering to each other, as if they’d forgotten about me. I waited, shifting my weight from one frozen foot to the other, afraid Bloody Bones might be watching us from the trees. Not that I believed he actually existed, not in my world, the real world, the five-senses world. But with the wind blowing and the moon sailing in and out of clouds like a ghost racing across the sky, I could almost believe I’d crossed a border into another world, where anything could be true—even conjure women and spells and monsters. The police came sooner than we’d expected. We heard their sirens and saw their flashing lights before they’d even turned into the driveway. Four cars and an ambulance stopped at the side of the house. Doors opened, men got out. A couple of them had dogs, big German shepherds who
Mary Downing Hahn (Took: A Ghost Story)
Nakata let his body relax, switched off his mind, allowing things to flow through him. This was natural for him, something he’d done ever since he was a child, without a second thought. Before long the borders of his consciousness fluttered around, just like the butterflies. Beyond these borders lay a dark abyss. Occasionally his consciousness would fly over the border and hover over that dizzying, black crevass. But Nakata wasn’t afraid of the darkness or how deep it was. And why should he be? That bottomless world of darkness, that weighty silence and chaos, was an old friend, a part of him already. Nakata understood this well. In that world there was no writing, no days of the week, no scary Governor, no opera, no BMWs.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
Remus,” said Hermione tentatively, “is everything all right . . . you know . . . between you and—” “Everything is fine, thank you,” said Lupin pointedly. Hermione turned pink. There was another pause, an awkward and embarrassed one, and then Lupin said, with an air of forcing himself to admit something unpleasant, “Tonks is going to have a baby.” “Oh, how wonderful!” squealed Hermione. “Excellent!” said Ron enthusiastically. “Congratulations,” said Harry. Lupin gave an artificial smile that was more like a grimace, then said, “So . . . do you accept my offer? Will three become four? I cannot believe that Dumbledore would have disapproved, he appointed me your Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, after all. And I must tell you that I believe that we are facing magic many of us have never encountered or imagined.” Ron and Hermione both looked at Harry. “Just—just to be clear,” he said. “You want to leave Tonks at her parents’ house and come away with us?” “She’ll be perfectly safe there, they’ll look after her,” said Lupin. He spoke with a finality bordering on indifference. “Harry, I’m sure James would have wanted me to stick with you.” “Well,” said Harry slowly, “I’m not. I’m pretty sure my father would have wanted to know why you aren’t sticking with your own kid, actually.” Lupin’s face drained of color. The temperature in the kitchen might have dropped ten degrees. Ron stared around the room as though he had been bidden to memorize it, while Hermione’s eyes swiveled backward and forward from Harry to Lupin. “You don’t understand,” said Lupin at last. “Explain, then,” said Harry. Lupin swallowed. “I—I made a grave mistake in marrying Tonks. I did it against my better judgment and I have regretted it very much ever since.” “I see,” said Harry, “so you’re just going to dump her and the kid and run off with us?” Lupin sprang to his feet: His chair toppled over backward, and he glared at them so fiercely that Harry saw, for the first time ever, the shadow of the wolf upon his human face. “Don’t you understand what I’ve done to my wife and my unborn child? I should never have married her, I’ve made her an outcast!” Lupin kicked aside the chair he had overturned. “You have only ever seen me amongst the Order, or under Dumbledore’s protection at Hogwarts! You don’t know how most of the Wizarding world sees creatures like me! When they know of my affliction, they can barely talk to me! Don’t you see what I’ve done? Even her own family is disgusted by our marriage, what parents want their only daughter to marry a werewolf? And the child—the child—” Lupin actually seized handfuls of his own hair; he looked quite deranged. “My kind don’t usually breed! It will be like me, I am convinced of it—how can I forgive myself, when I knowingly risked passing on my own condition to an innocent child? And if, by some miracle, it is not like me, then it will be better off, a hundred times so, without a father of whom it must always be ashamed!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
He went on thus to call over names celebrated in Scottish song, and most of which had recently received a romantic interest from his own pen. In fact, I saw a great part of the border country spread out before me, and could trace the scenes of those poems and romances which had, in a manner, bewitched the world. I gazed about me for a time with mute surprise, I may almost say with disappointment. I beheld a mere succession of gray waving hills, line beyond line, as far as my eye could reach; monotonous in their aspect, and so destitute of trees, that one could almost see a stout fly walking along their profile; and the far-famed Tweed appeared a naked stream, flowing between bare hills, without a tree or thicket on its banks; and yet, such had been the magic web of poetry and romance thrown over the whole, that it had a greater charm for me than the richest scenery I beheld in England. I could not help giving utterance to my thoughts. Scott hummed for a moment to himself, and looked grave; he had no idea of having his muse complimented at the expense of his native hills. "It may be partiality," said he, at length; "but to my eye, these gray hills and all this wild border country have beauties peculiar to themselves. I like the very nakedness of the land; it has something bold, and stern, and solitary about it. When I have been for some time in the rich scenery about Edinburgh, which is like ornamented garden land, I begin to wish myself back again among my own honest gray hills; and if I did not see the heather at least once a year, I think I should die!
Washington Irving (Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey)
Remember, never give up on love. It is easier to give up in search of a better prize, because the brain always keeps craving for new stimulants, but this way you only keep on searching, never to find peace in love. Let me tell you a story. There was a student who asked his teacher, what is love. The teacher said go into the field and bring me the most beautiful flower. The student returned with no flower at hand and said, I found the most beautiful flower in the field but I didn't pick it up for I might find a better one, but when I returned to the place, it was gone. We always look for the best in life. When we finally see it, we take it for granted and after some time start expecting a better one, not knowing that it's the best. Seek for your love, and once you have it never ever give up on it, no matter the situations.
Abhijit Naskar (When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders)
But empires of old kept their colonies at a distance: Rome conquered the Gauls across the Alps. France ruled Algeria from across the Mediterranean. King George III dispatched troops across the Atlantic to administer the new world. In the United States in 2016 such distance does not exist: the “rough” part of Ferguson is maybe a thousand yards from the “nice” neighborhoods. And so the maintenance of the Nation’s integrity requires constant vigilance. The borders must be enforced without the benefit of actual walls and checkpoints. This requires an ungodly number of interactions between the sentries of the state and those the state views as the disorderly class. The math of large numbers means that with enough of these interactions and enough fear and suspicion on the part of the officers who wield the gun, hundreds of those who’ve been marked for monitoring will die.
Chris Hayes (A Colony in a Nation)
The “United States” does not exist as a nation, because the ruling class of the U.S./Europe exploits the world without regard to borders and nationality.  For instance, multinational or global corporations rule the world.  They make their own laws by buying politicians– Democrats and Republicans, and white politicians in England and in the rest of Europe.  We are ruled by a European power which disregards even the hypocritical U.S. Constitution.  If it doesn’t like the laws of the U.S., as they are created, interpreted and enforced, the European power simply moves its base of management and labor to some other part of the world.   Today the European power most often rules through neocolonial regimes in the so-called “Third World.”  Through political leaders who are loyal only to the European power, not to their people and the interests of their nation, the European power sets up shop in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  By further exploiting the people and stealing the resources of these nations on every continent outside Europe, the European power enhances its domination.  Every institution and organization within the European power has the purpose of adding to its global domination: NATO, the IMF, the World Bank, the military, and the police.   The European power lies to the people within each “nation” about national pride or patriotism.  We foolishly stand with our hands over our hearts during the “National Anthem” at football games while the somber servicemen in their uniforms hold the red, white and blue flag, then a military jet flies over and we cheer.  This show obscures the real purpose of the military, which is to increase European power through intimidation and the ongoing invasion of the globe.  We are cheering for imperialist forces.  We are standing on Native land celebrating the symbols of de-humanizing terrorism.  Why would we do this unless we were being lied to?   The European imperialist power lies to us about its imperialism.  It’s safe to say, most “Americans” do not recognize that we are part of an empire.  When we think of an empire we think of ancient Rome or the British Empire.  Yet the ongoing attack against the Native peoples of “North America” is imperialism.  When we made the “Louisiana Purchase” (somehow the French thought Native land was theirs to sell, and the U.S. thought it was ours to buy) this was imperialism.  When we stole the land from Mexico, this was imperialism (the Mexican people having been previously invaded by the European imperialist power).  Imperialism is everywhere.  Only the lies of capitalism could so effectively lead us to believe that we are not part of an empire.
Samantha Foster (Center Africa / and Other Essays To Raise Reparations for African Liberation)
Finnish education appears paradoxical to outside observers because it seems to break a lot of the rules. In Finland, “less is more.” Children don’t start academics1 until the year they turn seven. They have a lot of recess (ten to fifteen minutes every forty-five minutes, even through high school), shorter school hours than we do in the United States (Finnish children spend nearly three hundred fewer hours2 in elementary school per year than Americans), and the lightest homework load of any industrialized nation. There are no gifted programs, few private schools, and no high-stakes national standardized tests. Yet over the past decade, Finland has consistently performed at the top on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a standardized test given to fifteen-year-olds in nations around the world. While American children3 usually hover around the middle of the pack on this test, Finland’s excel.
Christine Gross-Loh (Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us)
William Stead recognized the power of the fair immediately. The vision of the White City and its profound contrast to the Black City drove him to write If Christ Came to Chicago, a book often credited with launching the City Beautiful movement, which sought to elevate American cities to the level of the great cities of Europe. Like Stead, civic authorities throughout the world saw the fair as a model of what to strive for. They asked Burnham to apply the same citywide thinking that had gone into the White City to their own cities. He became a pioneer in modern urban planning. He created citywide plans for Cleveland, San Francisco, and Manila and led the turn-of-the-century effort to resuscitate and expand L’Enfant’s vision of Washington, D.C. In each case he worked without a fee. While helping design the new Washington plan, Burnham persuaded the head of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Alexander Cassatt, to remove his freight tracks and depot from the center of the federal mall, thus creating the unobstructed green that extends today from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial. Other cities came to Daniel Burnham for citywide plans, among them Fort Worth, Atlantic City, and St. Louis, but he turned them down to concentrate on his last plan, for the city of Chicago. Over the years many aspects of his Chicago plan were adopted, among them the creation of the city’s lovely ribbon of lakefront parks and Michigan Avenue’s “Miracle Mile.” One portion of the lakefront, named Burnham Park in his honor, contains Soldier Field and the Field Museum, which he designed. The park runs south in a narrow green border along the lakeshore all the way to Jackson Park, where the fair’s Palace of Fine Arts, transformed into a permanent structure, now houses the Museum of Science and Industry. It looks out over the lagoons and the Wooded Island, now a wild and tangled place that perhaps would make Olmsted smile—though no doubt he would find features to criticize.
Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City)
Once the ruling elite stopped depending on the traditional economy for tax revenues, they no longer needed allies in that world. Even in totalitarian dictatorships, the power elite have to propitiate some domestic constituency. But in these oil-rich Muslim states, they could diverge from the masses of their people culturally without consequence. The people they did need to get along with were the agents of the world economy coming and going from their countries. Thus did “modernization” divide these “developing” societies into a “governing club” and “everyone else.” The governing club was not small. It included the technocracy, which was not a mere group but a whole social class. It also included the ruling elite who, in dynastic countries, were the royal family and its far-flung relatives and in the “republics” the ruling party and its apparatchik. Still, in any of these countries the governing club was a minority of the population as a whole, and the border between the governing classes and the masses grew ever more distinct.
Tamim Ansary (Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes)
The men who had inhabited prehistoric Egypt, who had carved the Sphinx and founded the world‘s oldest civilization, were men who had made their exodus from Atlantis to settle on this strip of land that bordered the Nile. And they had left before their ill-fated continent sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, a catastrophe which had drained the Sahara and turned it into a desert. The shells which to-day litter the surface of the Sahara in places, as well as the fossil fish which are found among its sands, prove that it was once covered by the waters of a vast ocean. It was a tremendous and astonishing thought that the Sphinx provided a solid, visible and enduring link between the people of to-day and the people of a lost world, the unknown Atlanteans. This great symbol has lost its meaning for the modern world, for whom it is now but an object of local curiosity. What did it mean to the Atlanteans? We must look for some hint of an answer in the few remnants of culture still surviving from peoples whose own histories claimed Atlantean origin. We must probe behind the degenerate rituals of races like the Incas and the Mayas, mounting to the purer worship of their distant ancestors, and we shall find that the loftiest object of their worship was Light, represented by the Sun. Hence they build pyramidal Temples of the Sun throughout ancient America. Such temples were either variants or slightly distorted copies of similar temples which had existed in Atlantis. After Plato went to Egypt and settled for a while in the ancient School of Heliopolis, where he lived and studied during thirteen years, the priest-teachers, usually very guarded with foreigners, favoured the earnest young Greek enquirer with information drawn from their well-preserved secret records. Among other things they told him that a great flat-topped pyramid had stood in the centre of the island of Atlantis, and that on this top there had been build the chief temple of the continent – a sun temple. […] The Sphinx was the revered emblem in stone of a race which looked upon Light as the nearest thing to God in this dense material world. Light is the subtlest, most intangible of things which man can register by means of one of his five senses. It is the most ethereal kind of matter which he knows. It is the most ethereal element science can handle, and even the various kind of invisible rays are but variants of light which vibrate beyond the power of our retinas to grasp. So in the Book of Genesis the first created element was Light, without which nothing else could be created. „The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the Deep,“ wrote Egyptian-trained Moses. „And God said, Let there be Light: and there was Light.“ Not only that, it is also a perfect symbol of that heavenly Light which dawns within the deep places of man‘s soul when he yields heart and mind to God; it is a magnificent memorial to that divine illumination which awaits him secretly even amid the blackest despairs. Man, in turning instinctively to the face and presence of the Sun, turns to the body of his Creator. And from the sun, light is born: from the sun it comes streaming into our world. Without the sun we should remain perpetually in horrible darkness; crops would not grow: mankind would starve, die, and disappear from the face of this planet. If this reverence for Light and for its agent, the sun, was the central tenet of Atlantean religion, so also was it the central tenet of early Egyptian religion. Ra, the sun-god, was first, the father and creator of all the other gods, the Maker of all things, the One, the self-born [...] If the Sphinx were connected with this religion of Light, it would surely have some relationship with the sun.
Paul Brunton (A Search in Secret Egypt)
POEM – MY AMAZING TRAVELS [My composition in my book Travel Memoirs with Pictures] My very first trip I still cannot believe Was planned and executed with such great ease. My father, an Inspector of Schools, was such a strict man, He gave in to my wishes when I told him of the plan. I got my first long vacation while working as a banker One of my co-workers wanted a travelling partner. She visited my father and discussed the matter Arrangements were made without any flutter. We travelled to New York, Toronto, London, and Germany, In each of those places, there was somebody, To guide and protect us and to take us wonderful places, It was a dream come true at our young ages. We even visited Holland, which was across the Border. To drive across from Germany was quite in order. Memories of great times continue to linger, I thank God for an understanding father. That trip in 1968 was the beginning of much more, I visited many countries afterward I am still in awe. Barbados, Tobago, St. Maarten, and Buffalo, Cirencester in the United Kingdom, Miami, and Orlando. I was accompanied by my husband on many trips. Sisters, nieces, children, grandchildren, and friends, travelled with me a bit. Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, New York, and Hialeah, Curacao, Caracas, Margarita, Virginia, and Anguilla. We sailed aboard the Creole Queen On the Mississippi in New Orleans We traversed the Rockies in Colorado And walked the streets in Cozumel, Mexico. We were thrilled to visit the Vatican in Rome, The Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum. To explore the countryside in Florence, And to sail on a Gondola in Venice. My fridge is decorated with magnets Souvenirs of all my visits London, Madrid, Bahamas, Coco Cay, Barcelona. And the Leaning Tower of Pisa How can I forget the Spanish Steps in Rome? Stratford upon Avon, where Shakespeare was born. CN Tower in Toronto so very high I thought the elevator would take me to the sky. Then there was El Poble and Toledo Noted for Spanish Gold We travelled on the Euro star. The scenery was beautiful to behold! I must not omit Cartagena in Columbia, Anaheim, Las Vegas, and Catalina, Key West, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Pembroke Pines, Places I love to lime. Of course, I would like to make special mention, Of two exciting cruises with Royal Caribbean. Majesty of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas Two ships which grace the Seas. Last but not least and best of all We visited Paris in the fall. Cologne, Dusseldorf, and Berlin Amazing places, which made my head, spin. Copyright@BrendaMohammed
Brenda C. Mohammed (Travel Memoirs with Pictures)
During his visit to India in December 2010, the soft-spoken Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao seems to have succeeded in convincing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the border dispute between the two countries belongs to the past, won’t be easy to resolve, and requires patience. Instead of using whatever diplomatic language was necessary to call this statement pure poppycock, the even more soft-spoken Dr Singh appears to have succumbed completely. When Mr Jiabao was asked whether he would advise Pakistan to stop terrorist activity, he made it clear that he would not. ‘That’s for the two of you to resolve,’ he bluntly said. Our prime minister obviously tried to flatter his guest in the hope of getting some response which he could sell to the Indian people when he declared that ‘the world will listen when India and China will speak with one voice’. The response he received to this piece of flattery was, ‘Our relationship is greater than the sum of its parts.’ To me the statement is an attractive piece of diplomatic craftsmanship meaning nothing. Without any countervailing advantage, the visit yielded a trade pact which will take the bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2015, a complete economic sell-out in a year when the trade deficit was already approximately $20 billion.
Ram Jethmalani (RAM JETHMALANI MAVERICK UNCHANGED, UNREPENTANT)
It is not a war, it is a lesson of life (first part) It's a life lesson. It's not a war. War brings hatred, violence, destruction, while we are called, at this particular moment, to rediscover values ​​such as solidarity, fraternity, neighborliness and nature. The war metaphor, so dear to journalists and politicians, has the unique purpose of amplifying the context of a narrative, framing it perfectly for the use of Tg and Talk shows to remind us, rather than to inform us, which are meant to sell news, gaining a broad audience. To say that we are at war is, in my humble opinion, a pure example of lexical inclination. Don't fight at war on the couch at home or by repeatedly posting stories on your favorite social network. No border is in danger, there is no enemy out there to shoot down. And then, to understand it sincerely and serenely: we, as human beings, have been waging wars since the dawn of time. We are so brutal that for thousands of years we have killed each other with stones, sticks, swords, spears, cannons, machine guns and atomic bombs. Imagine if we needed a pandemic to declare war ... who are we? A stupid virus that's part of the nature of things? However, at this time there is a disease that affects and does so without distinguishing borders, nationalities, skin color or social status. And this is already a great first lesson in life. He tells us - as it should - that we are all the same. Diversity and distinctions are the fruit of our limited and limiting mind, the apotheosis of our finitude. We are facing a pandemic that, in order to be addressed, requires a strong sense of personal responsibility and collaboration between communities. It requires a counter-current gesture, of altruism, in an individualistic society, in which everyone thinks for himself and defends his goods. And this is a second life lesson. Let's stop looking at our little miserable garden made of selfishness, greed and spiritual misery. Do you know how this pandemic will end? With mutual help! We will have to help each other! Either the sense of community will predominate, or we will be doomed to eat each other. The message "No one is saved alone" launched by the Pope. This virus, in its way of being contagious, in making us stay a little alone with ourselves, tells us that the error was probably the first. The naiveté in believing that our way of life was right, the blindness in believing that we are happy and not superficial, the folly of seeing a world that burns and gets stuck on itself - and on us - pretending that it is normal. The mistake of considering the law of profit as the driving force of all. Instead of investing in healthcare, for our care, in solidarity, to strengthen the sense of community, we preferred to spend in the armament, to defend ourselves from others, from our fellow citizens. Isn't that a life lesson too? We wake up from the heat of a time when possession was more important than knowledge, it was deception and not truth, inhumanity and not benevolence. But not only that, it was the moment of insensitivity, blindness, selfishness, cowardice, appearance, mediocrity, misunderstanding and especially evil, in all its forms. Maybe, dear readers, it's time to acknowledge that the disease is not the virus. We are the disease! So far we have lived convinced that life, in a subtle way, has deceived us. That she was unfair and cruel. We forgot about ourselves watching the clock, with our all-powerful feeling, convinced that we can control the passage of time. As we were convinced that there is still time, that nothing will happen tomorrow and everything can be postponed. I was wrong. An invisible being, transported into the air we breathe and which, in just over a month, has traversed the seas, mountains and entire continents, was enough to bring to our knees all our beliefs and customs.
Corina Abdulahm Negura
I have lost some fundamental part of my knowing, some elemental human feeling. Without it, the world feels like tap water left overnight, flat and chemical, devoid of life. I am like lightning seeking earth. Uneasy, I carry the prickle of potential energy in my limbs, ever deferred from the point of contact, the moment of release. Instead, it gathers in me, massing like a storm that never comes. I lack the language to even describe it, this vast unsettled sense that I am slipping over the glassy surface of things, afraid of what lurks beneath. I need a better way to walk through this life. I want to be enchanted again. Enchantment is small wonder magnified through meaning, fascination caught in the web of fable and memory. It relies on small doses of awe, almost homeopathic: those quiet traces of fascination that are found only when we look for them. It is the sense that we are joined together in one continuous thread of existence with the elements constituting this earth, and that there is a potency trapped in this interconnection, a tingle on the border of our perception. It is the forgotten seam of our geology, the elusive particle that binds our unstable matter: the ability to sense magic in the everyday, to channel it through our minds and bodies, to be sustained by it. Without it, I feel I am lacking some essential nutrient, some vitamin found only when you go digging in your own soil.
Katherine May (Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age)
Oh! ye whose dead lie buried beneath the green grass; who standing among flowers can say—here, here lies my beloved; ye know not the desolation that broods in bosoms like these. What bitter blanks in those black-bordered marbles which cover no ashes! What despair in those immovable inscriptions! What deadly voids and unbidden infidelities in the lines that seem to gnaw upon all Faith, and refuse resurrections to the beings who have placelessly perished without a grave. As well might those tablets stand in the cave of Elephanta as here. In what census of living creatures, the dead of mankind are included; why it is that a universal proverb says of them, that they tell no tales, though containing more secrets than the Goodwin Sands; how it is that to his name who yesterday departed for the other world, we prefix so significant and infidel a word, and yet do not thus entitle him, if he but embarks for the remotest Indies of this living earth; why the Life Insurance Companies pay death-forfeitures upon immortals; in what eternal, unstirring paralysis, and deadly, hopeless trance, yet lies antique Adam who died sixty round centuries ago; how it is that we still refuse to be comforted for those who we nevertheless maintain are dwelling in unspeakable bliss; why all the living so strive to hush all the dead; wherefore but the rumor of a knocking in a tomb will terrify a whole city. All these things are not without their meanings. But Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs, and even from these dead doubts she gathers her most vital hope.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, The Whale)
With the term vita activa, I propose to designate three fundamental human activities: labor, work, and action. They are fundamental because each corresponds to one of the basic conditions under which life on earth has been given to man. Labor is the activity which corresponds to the biological process of the human body, whose spontaneous growth, metabolism, and eventual decay are bound to the vital necessities produced and fed into the life process by labor. The human condition of labor is life itself. Work is the activity which corresponds to the unnaturalness of human existence, which is not imbedded in, and whose mortality is not compensated by, the species’ ever-recurring life cycle. Work provides an “artificial” world of things, distinctly different from all natural surroundings. Within its borders each individual life is housed, while this world itself is meant to outlast and transcend them all. The human condition of work is worldliness. Action, the only activity that goes on directly between men without the intermediary of things or matter, corresponds to the human condition of plurality, to the fact that men, not Man, live on the earth and inhabit the world. While all aspects of the human condition are somehow related to politics, this plurality is specifically the condition—not only the conditio sine qua non, but the conditio per quam—of all political life. Thus the language of the Romans, perhaps the most political people we have known, used the words “to live” and “to be among men” (inter homines esse) or “to die” and “to cease to be among men” (inter homines esse desinere) as synonyms.
Hannah Arendt (The Human Condition)
Translation is a symbiotic act. Between writer and translator, of course, but also between languages. In becoming its vessel, you carry over something of yourself but also something of the original language, because that is the way that language works. It is a communal heritage, but is also something entirely individual, entirely your own. And that is what gives it its transformative possibility: this inevitable commingling of self and other, of self and culture, of personal history and collective history. Language gives the individual the power and strength of the collective. And writing, speaking, telling stories—wielding language in narrative form—has the ability to transform the collective through the individual experience. To cross over from that which is felt, experienced, to that which is voiced—for the purpose of witness and being witnessed—is each and every time the declaration of a singular understanding of what it means to be alive in the world. This opens up new spaces, new imagined possibilities, and those, through language, become part of the collective heritage. It is the best form of resistance I can imagine for a world scarred with forbidding, categorical borders. Between the self and other, between where you come from and where you end up, between the personal narrative and collective history, between genders and cultures and languages and countries and the similar calls for dignity and recognition contained in stories. The only way to make borders meaningless is to keep insisting on crossing them: like a refugee, without papers, without waiting to be given permission, without regard for what might be waiting on the other side. For when you cross a border, you are not only affirming its permeability, but also changing the landscape on both sides. You cross carrying what you can carry, you cross bearing your witness, you cross knowing that you are damageable, that you are mortal and finite, but that language is memory, and memory lives on.
Linza Mounzer
Among the white scouts were numbered some of the most noted of their class. The most prominent man among them was "Wild Bill". Wild bill was a strange character, just the one which a novelist might gloat over. Whether on foot or on horseback, he was one of the most perfect types of physical manhood I ever saw. Of his courage there could be no question; it had been brought to the test on too many occasions to admit a doubt. His skill in the use of the rifle and pistol was unerring; while his deportment was exactly the opposite of what might be expected from a man of his surroundings. It was entirely free of bluster or bravado. He seldom spoke of himself unless requested to do so. His conversation, strange to say, never bordered either on the vulgar or blasphemous. His influence among the frontiersmen was unbounded, his word was law; and many are the personal quarrels and disturbances which he has checked among his comrades by his simple announcement that "this has gone far enough" if need be followed by the ominous warning that when persisted in or renewed the quarreler "must settle it with me". Wild Bill is anything but a quarrelsome man; yet no one but himself can enumerate the many conflicts in which he has been engaged, and which have almost invariably resulted in the death of his adversary. I have personal knowledge of at least half a dozen men whom he has at various times killed, one of these being at the time a member of my command. Wild Bill always carried two handsome ivory-handled revolvers of the large size; he was never seen without them. Where this is the common custom, brawls or personal difficulties are seldom if ever settled by blows. The quarrel is not from word to blow, but from a word to revolver, and he who can draw and fire first is the best man. An item which has been floating lately through the columns of the press states that, "the funeral of 'Jim Bludso,' who was killed the other day by 'Wild Bill' took place today" and then adds: "The funeral expenses were borne by 'Wild Bill'" What could be more thoughtful than this? Not only to send a fellow mortal out of the world, but to pay the expenses of the transit.
George Armstrong Custer (My Life on the Plains: Or, Personal Experiences with Indians)
robbery by European nations of each other's territories has never been a sin, is not a sin to-day. To the several cabinets the several political establishments of the world are clotheslines; and a large part of the official duty of these cabinets is to keep an eye on each other's wash and grab what they can of it as opportunity offers. All the territorial possessions of all the political establishments in the earth—including America, of course—consist of pilferings from other people's wash. No tribe, howsoever insignificant, and no nation, howsoever mighty, occupies a foot of land that was not stolen. When the English, the French, and the Spaniards reached America, the Indian tribes had been raiding each other's territorial clothes-lines for ages, and every acre of ground in the continent had been stolen and re-stolen 500 times. The English, the French, and the Spaniards went to work and stole it all over again; and when that was satisfactorily accomplished they went diligently to work and stole it from each other. In Europe and Asia and Africa every acre of ground has been stolen several millions of times. A crime persevered in a thousand centuries ceases to be a crime, and becomes a virtue. This is the law of custom, and custom supersedes all other forms of law. Christian governments are as frank to-day, as open and above-board, in discussing projects for raiding each other's clothes-lines as ever they were before the Golden Rule came smiling into this inhospitable world and couldn't get a night's lodging anywhere. In 150 years England has beneficently retired garment after garment from the Indian lines, until there is hardly a rag of the original wash left dangling anywhere. In 800 years an obscure tribe of Muscovite savages has risen to the dazzling position of Land-Robber-in-Chief; she found a quarter of the world hanging out to dry on a hundred parallels of latitude, and she scooped in the whole wash. She keeps a sharp eye on a multitude of little lines that stretch along the northern boundaries of India, and every now and then she snatches a hip-rag or a pair of pyjamas. It is England's prospective property, and Russia knows it; but Russia cares nothing for that. In fact, in our day land-robbery, claim-jumping, is become a European governmental frenzy. Some have been hard at it in the borders of China, in Burma, in Siam, and the islands of the sea; and all have been at it in Africa. Africa has been as coolly divided up and portioned out among the gang as if they had bought it and paid for it. And now straightway they are beginning the old game again—to steal each other's grabbings. Germany found a vast slice of Central Africa with the English flag and the English missionary and the English trader scattered all over it, but with certain formalities neglected—no signs up, "Keep off the grass," "Trespassers-forbidden," etc.—and she stepped in with a cold calm smile and put up the signs herself, and swept those English pioneers promptly out of the country. There is a tremendous point there. It can be put into the form of a maxim: Get your formalities right—never mind about the moralities. It was an impudent thing; but England had to put up with it. Now, in the case of Madagascar, the formalities had originally been observed, but by neglect they had fallen into desuetude ages ago. England should have snatched Madagascar from the French clothes-line. Without an effort she could have saved those harmless natives from the calamity of French civilization, and she did not do it. Now it is too late. The signs of the times show plainly enough what is going to happen. All the savage lands in the world are going to be brought under subjection to the Christian governments of Europe. I am
Mark Twain (Following the Equator)
I, Prayer (A Poem of Magnitudes and Vectors) I, Prayer, know no hour. No season, no day, no month nor year. No boundary, no barrier or limitation–no blockade hinders Me. There is no border or wall I cannot breach. I move inexorably forward; distance holds Me not. I span the cosmos in the twinkling of an eye. I knowest it all. I am the most powerful force in the Universe. Who then is My equal? Canst thou draw out leviathan with a hook? None is so fierce that dare stir him up. Surely, I may’st with but a Word. Who then is able to stand before Me? I am the wind, the earth, the metal. I am the very empyrean vault of Heaven Herself. I span the known and the unknown beyond Eternity’s farthest of edges. And whatsoever under Her wings is Mine. I am a gentle stream, a fiery wrath penetrating; wearing down mountains –the hardest and softest of substances. I am a trickling brook to fools of want lost in the deserts of their own desires. I am a Niagara to those who drink in well. I seep through cracks. I inundate. I level forests kindleth unto a single burning bush. My hand moves the Universe by the mind of a child. I withhold treasures solid from the secret stores to they who would wrench at nothing. I do not sleep or eat, feel not fatigue, nor hunger. I do not feel the cold, nor rain or wind. I transcend the heat of the summer’s day. I commune. I petition. I intercede. My time is impeccable, by it worlds and destinies turn. I direct the fates of nations and humankind. My Words are Iron eternaled—rust not they away. No castle keep, nor towers of beaten brass, Nor the dankest of dungeon helks, Nor adamantine links of hand-wrought steel Can contain My Spirit–I shan’t turn back. The race is ne’er to the swift, nor battle to the strong, nor wisdom to the wise or wealth to the rich. For skills and wisdom, I give to the sons of man. I take wisdom and skills from the sons of man for they are ever Mine. Blessed is the one who finds it so, for in humility comes honor, For those who have fallen on the battlefield for My Name’s sake, I reach down to lift them up from On High. I am a rose with the thorn. I am the clawing Lion that pads her children. My kisses wound those whom I Love. My kisses are faithful. No occasion, moment in time, instances, epochs, ages or eras hold Me back. Time–past, present and future is to Me irrelevant. I span the millennia. I am the ever-present Now. My foolishness is wiser than man’s My weakness stronger than man’s. I am subtle to the point of formlessness yet formed. I have no discernible shape, no place into which the enemy may sink their claws. I AM wisdom and in length of days knowledge. Strength is Mine and counsel, and understanding. I break. I build. By Me, kings rise and fall. The weak are given strength; wisdom to those who seek and foolishness to both fooler and fool alike. I lead the crafty through their deceit. I set straight paths for those who will walk them. I am He who gives speech and sight - and confounds and removes them. When I cut, straight and true is my cut. I strike without fault. I am the razored edge of high destiny. I have no enemy, nor friend. My Zeal and Love and Mercy will not relent to track you down until you are spent– even unto the uttermost parts of the earth. I cull the proud and the weak out of the common herd. I hunt them in battles royale until their cries unto Heaven are heard. I break hearts–those whose are harder than granite. Beyond their atomic cores, I strike their atomic clock. Elect motions; not one more or less electron beyond electron’s orbit that has been ordained for you do I give–for His grace is sufficient for thee until He desires enough. Then I, Prayer, move on as a comet, Striking out of the black. I, His sword, kills to give Life. I am Living and Active, the Divider asunder of thoughts and intents. I Am the Light of Eternal Mind. And I, Prayer, AM Prayer Almighty.
Douglas M. Laurent