Amidst Quotes

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What a blessing it is to love books as I love them;- to be able to converse with the dead, and to live amidst the unreal!
Thomas Babington Macaulay (The Selected Letters of Thomas Babington Macaulay)
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitments, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into it's expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst it's perils.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Amidst the mists and coldest frosts he thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts
Anonymous
Be a philosopher; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.
David Hume (An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding)
Yet, even amidst the hatred and carnage, life is still worth living. It is possible for wonderful encounters and beautiful things to exist.
Hayao Miyazaki
Looking over the Ethan's bowed head, amidst the tangled forest of Wilderness littered with the bodies of men dead and dying, Victor saw the serene image of his mother.  She smiled at her son, her unbound black hair blowing wildly in the breeze.  She reached a hand out towards him, and this time, he went with her.
Barbara Sontheimer (Victor's Blessing)
Yet amidst all that, life has spit in the eye of death.
Ruta Sepetys (Salt to the Sea)
I race you, Ryles,” he says in a voice that’s implacable and unwavering amidst the swirling chaos.
K. Bromberg (Fueled (Driven, #2))
It's not very easy to grow up into a woman. We are always taught, almost bombarded, with ideals of what we should be at every age in our lives: "This is what you should wear at age twenty", "That is what you must act like at age twenty-five", "This is what you should be doing when you are seventeen." But amidst all the many voices that bark all these orders and set all of these ideals for girls today, there lacks the voice of assurance. There is no comfort and assurance. I want to be able to say, that there are four things admirable for a woman to be, at any age! Whether you are four or forty-four or nineteen! It's always wonderful to be elegant, it's always fashionable to have grace, it's always glamorous to be brave, and it's always important to own a delectable perfume! Yes, wearing a beautiful fragrance is in style at any age!
C. JoyBell C.
Across galaxies of time and space Travelling just to see your face Lost amidst the countless stars To bring me back to where you are.
Bryce Anderson
He could offer her an eternity of challenges and passion, of quiet, tender moments stolen in the depths of riotous flames and ravaging storms--tranquility amidst the chaos.
A.G. Howard (The Moth in the Mirror (Splintered, #1.5))
Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair and let us huddle together as darkness takes over. We are at home amidst the birds and the trees, for we are children of nature.
Susan Polis Schutz
Certainly the determining acts of her life were not ideally beautiful. They were the mixed result of young and novel impulse struggling amidst the conditions of an imperfect social state, in which great feelings will often take the aspect of error, and great faith the aspect of illusion.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
I didn’t remember how long we talked, but somewhere amidst her laughter and smiles, I decided I would rip the world apart for her.
Amber V. Nicole (The Book of Azrael (Gods and Monsters, #1))
I do not concern myself with my inability to feel such comfort amidst humans (other than with very few friends and family), but, rather, am simply thankful that at least dogs exist, and I’m humbly aware of how much less a person I’d be – how less a human – if they did not exist.
Rick Bass (Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had)
What surprises you in life? The marvel of consciousness -- that sudden window swinging open on a sunlit landscape amidst the night of non-being.
Vladimir Nabokov
There is a gentrification that is happening to cities, and there is a gentrification that is happening to the emotions too, with a similarly homogenising, whitening, deadening effect. Amidst the glossiness of late capitalism, we are fed the notion that all difficult feeling - depression, anxiety, loneliness, rage - are simply a consequence of unsettled chemistry, a problem to be fixed, rather than a response to structural injustice or, on the other hand, to the native texture of embodiment, of doing time, as David Wojnarowicz memorably put it, in a rented body, with all the attendant grief and frustration that entails.
Olivia Laing (The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone)
The love of a single heart can make a world of difference.
Immaculée Ilibagiza (Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust)
Even amidst fierce flames the golden lotus can be planted" - Sylvia Plath's epitaph (from Wu Cheng'en's novel Journey to the West aka. Monkey, translated by Arthur Waley)
Wu Cheng'en
During the flames of controversy, opinions, mass disputes, conflict, and world news, sometimes the most precious, refreshing, peaceful words to hear amidst all the chaos are simply and humbly 'I don't know.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Uncertain as I was as I pushed forward, I felt right in my pushing, as if the effort itself meant something. That perhaps being amidst the undesecrated beauty of the wilderness meant I too could be undesecrated, regardless of the regrettable things I'd done to others or myself or the regrettable things that had been done to me. Of all the things I'd been skeptical about, I didn't feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
Love, be mystical as the flickering blue flame of night as the fully-awoken moon beneath cobwebs of passing clouds amidst chanting high-tides fuzzy, as my blanket big enough to illuminate a hundred thousand billion galaxies and just small enough to fit into my embrace.
Sanober Khan (Turquoise Silence)
The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
My name is Eva, which means 'life,' according to a book of names my mother consulted. I was born in the back room of a shadowy house, and grew up amidst ancient furniture, books in Latin, and human mummies, but none of those things made me melancholy, because I came into the world with a breath of the jungle in my memory.
Isabel Allende (Eva Luna)
Jesus was not sent here to teach the people to build magnificent churches and temples amidst the cold wretched huts and dismal hovels. He came to make the human heart a temple, and the soul an altar, and the mind a priest.
Kahlil Gibran (The Treasured Writings of Kahlil Gibran)
You ask me why I dwell amidst these jade-green hills? I smile. No words can tell the stillness in my heart. Peach blossoms drift streamwater away deep in mystery. I live in the other world one that lies beyond the human.
Li Bai
We shall dive down through black abysses...and in that lair of the Deep Ones we shall dwell amidst wonder and glory forever.
H.P. Lovecraft
Should the whole frame of nature round him break, In ruin and confusion hurled, He, unconcerned, would hear the mighty crack, And stand secure amidst a falling world.
Joseph Addison
Indulge your passion for science…but let your science be human, and such as may have a direct reference to action and society. Be a philosopher; but amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.
David Hume (An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding)
If man merely sat back and thought about his impending termination, and his terrifying insignificance and aloneness in the cosmos, he would surely go mad, or succumb to a numbing sense of futility. Why, he might ask himself, should he bother to write a great symphony, or strive to make a living, or even to love another, when he is no more than a momentary microbe on a dust mote whirling through the unimaginable immensity of space? Those of us who are forced by their own sensibilities to view their lives in this perspective — who recognize that there is no purpose they can comprehend and that amidst a countless myriad of stars their existence goes unknown and unchronicled — can fall prey all too easily to the ultimate anomie. The world's religions, for all their parochialism, did supply a kind of consolation for this great ache.
Stanley Kubrick
His own life seemed so solitary, a fragile column supporting nothing amidst the wreckage of the years.
Carson McCullers (The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories)
I like to walk about amidst the beautiful things that adorn the world.
George Santayana
But for their cries, The herons would be lost Amidst the morning snow.
Chiyo Ni
Like it or not, we are constantly forced to juggle tasks and battle unwanted distractions—to truly set ourselves apart, we must learn to be creative amidst chaos.
Jocelyn K. Glei (Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind)
Amidst those who strut with illicit pride, even after sinking a dagger into others with stealth, there stands me, burdened by a persisting pang of guilt whenever I inadvertently crush an ant underfoot.
Sanu Sharma
And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is gift and a privilege, not a right. We must earn life once it has been awarded us. Life asks for rewards back because it has favored us with animation. So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all.
Ray Bradbury (The October Country)
When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone.
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
I was astonished, bewildered. This was America, a country where, whatever its faults, people could speak, write, assemble, demonstrate without fear. It was in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. We were a democracy... But I knew it wasn't a dream; there was a painful lump on the side of my head... The state and its police were not neutral referees in a society of contending interests. They were on the side of the rich and powerful. Free speech? Try it and the police will be there with their horses, their clubs, their guns, to stop you. From that moment on, I was no longer a liberal, a believer in the self-correcting character of American democracy. I was a radical, believing that something fundamental was wrong in this country--not just the existence of poverty amidst great wealth, not just the horrible treatment of black people, but something rotten at the root. The situation required not just a new president or new laws, but an uprooting of the old order, the introduction of a new kind of society--cooperative, peaceful, egalitarian.
Howard Zinn (You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times)
My world had for some years been Lowood: my experience had been of its rules and systems; now I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
A confident woman knows her worth and so doesn’t fret when her man is highly placed or is often found amidst other women in the course of his business or assignment.
Jaachynma N.E. Agu
They can only kill us once.
Immaculée Ilibagiza (Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust)
But in the kingdom of death, amidst ramparts of bodies and wind all of screams, there is a king, and his name is not Lune. It is Reaper.
Pierce Brown (Dark Age (Red Rising Saga #5))
Instead of remaining stuck amidst the ruins of the past, mired in unfulfilled hopes and unrealized ambitions, and focusing solely on what has failed, we must look outward and forward to confront challenges head-on and harness our inner strength and resilience. ( "The world was somewhere else")
Erik Pevernagie
But he found that a traveller's life is one that includes much pain amidst its enjoyments. His feelings are for ever on the stretch; and when he begins to sink into repose, he finds himself obliged to quit that on which he rests in pleasure for something new, which again engages his attention, and which also he forsakes for other novelties.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
Perhaps being amidst the undesecrated beauty of the wilderness meant that I too could be undesecrated, regardless of what I'd lost or what had been taken from me, regardless of the regrettable things I'd done to others or myself or the regrettable things that had been done to me. Of all the things I'd been skeptical about, I didn't feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
... If the dead can come back to this earth and move unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night—amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours—always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or if the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.
Paul Hoffman (The Left Hand of God (The Left Hand of God, #1))
I knew that my heart and mind would always be tempted to feel anger--to find blame and hate. But I resolved that when the negative feelings came upon me, I wouldn't wait for them to grow or fester. I would always turn immediately to the Source of all true power: I would turn to God and let His love and forgiveness protect and save me.
Immaculée Ilibagiza (Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust)
All migrants leave their pasts behind, although some try to pack it into bundles and boxes-but on the journey something seeps out of the treasured mementoes and old photographs, until even their owners fail to recognize them, because it is the fate of migrants to be stripped of history, to stand naked amidst the scorn of strangers upon whom they see rich clothing, the brocades of continuity and the eyebrows of belonging..
Salman Rushdie (Shame)
We are preaching hope, standing on the bones of the past.
John Rucyahana (The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones)
But I came to learn that God never shows us something we aren't ready to understand. Instead, He lets us see what we need to see, when we need to see it. He'll wait until our eyes and hearts are open to Him, and then when we're ready, He will plant our feet on the path that's best for us...but it's up to us to do the walking.
Immaculée Ilibagiza (Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust)
Nature is pitiless; she never withdraws her flowers, her music, her fragrance and her sunlight, from before human cruelty or suffering. She overwhelms man by the contrast between divine beauty and social hideousness. She spares him nothing of her loveliness, neither wing or butterfly, nor song of bird; in the midst of murder, vengeance, barbarism, he must feel himself watched by holy things; he cannot escape the immense reproach of universal nature and the implacable serenity of the sky. The deformity of human laws is forced to exhibit itself naked amidst the dazzling rays of eternal beauty. Man breaks and destroys; man lays waste; man kills; but the summer remains summer; the lily remains the lily; and the star remains the star. ... As though it said to man, 'Behold my work. and yours.
Victor Hugo (Ninety-Three)
And there in the middle, high above Prechistensky Boulevard, amidst a scattering of stars on every side but catching the eye through its closeness to the earth, its pure white light and the long uplift of its tail, shone the comet, the huge, brilliant comet of 1812, that popular harbinger of untold horrors and the end of the world. But this bright comet with its long, shiny tail held no fears for Pierre. Quite the reverse: Pierre’s eyes glittered with tears of rapture as he gazed up at this radiant star, which must have traced its parabola through infinite space at speeds unimaginable and now suddenly seemed to have picked its spot in the black sky and impaled itself like an arrow piercing the earth, and stuck there, with its strong upthrusting tail and its brilliant display of whiteness amidst the infinity of scintillating stars. This heavenly body seemed perfectly attuned to Pierre’s newly melted heart, as it gathered reassurance and blossomed into new life.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Her death the dividing mark: Before and After. And though it’s a bleak thing to admit all these years later, still I’ve never met anyone who made me feel loved the way she did. Everything came alive in her company; she cast a charmed theatrical light about her so that to see anything through her eyes was to see it in brighter colours than ordinary – I remember a few weeks before she died, eating a late supper with her in an Italian restaurant down in the Village, and how she grasped my sleeve at the sudden, almost painful loveliness of a birthday cake with lit candles being carried in procession from the kitchen, faint circle of light wavering in across the dark ceiling and then the cake set down to blaze amidst the family, beatifying an old lady’s face, smiles all round, waiters stepping away with their hands behind their backs – just an ordinary birthday dinner you might see anywhere in an inexpensive downtown restaurant, and I’m sure I wouldn’t even remember it had she not died so soon after, but I thought about it again and again after her death and indeed I’ll probably think about it all my life: that candlelit circle, a tableau vivant of the daily, commonplace happiness that was lost when I lost her
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Where was the excitement in dependability? Where was the spontaneity in a predictable world? He could offer her an eternity of challenges and passion, of quiet, tender moments stolen in the depths of riotous flames and ravaging storms—tranquility amidst the chaos. She belonged with him, wearing regal robes. He had so much to teach her about the nether realm, about the glories of manipulation and madness.
A.G. Howard (The Moth in the Mirror (Splintered, #1.5))
However, amidst the bouquets of laughter that people tried to gift me, there was that memory of yours, lips curled up in a fashion, which makes my heart skip a beat even now. And then the happiness felt incomplete, because I missed you, missed you everyday more than the previous day.
Anmol Rawat (A Little Chorus of Love)
The humanities are like the great old Paris Flea Market where, amidst masses of junk, people with a good eye found cast away treasures...They are like a refugee camp where all the geniuses driven out of their jobs and countries by unfriendly regimes are idling.
Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind)
This solitary hill has always been dear to me And this hedge, which prevents me from seeing most of The endless horizon. But when I sit and gaze, I imagine, in my thoughts Endless spaces beyond the hedge, An all encompassing silence and a deeply profound quiet, To the point that my heart is almost overwhelmed. And when I hear the wind rustling through the trees I compare its voice to the infinite silence. And eternity occurs to me, and all the ages past, And the present time, and its sound. Amidst this immensity my thought drowns: And to founder in this sea is sweet to me.
Giacomo Leopardi
Closing down in the midst of pain is a denial of a man's true nature. A superior man is free in feeling and action, even amidst great pain and hurt. If necessary, a man should live with a hurting heart rather than a closed one. He should learn to stay in the wound of pain and act with spontaneous skill and love even from that place.
David Deida
I desire nothing, seek nothing but peace, the slumber of the soul. I have tasted all the hollowness and wretchedness of life and I despise it heartily. Whoever has lived and thought cannot but, in his soul, despise humanity. Activity, cares, worries, distractions - I am sick of them all. I wish for nothing, I seek nothing. I have no aim, for one gains that which one is eager for - and sees that it is all illusion. My joyous days have passed. I have cooled to them. In the educated world, amidst human beings, I feel the disadvantages of life too strongly, but alone, far from the crowd, I turn to stone. In this trance anything can happen, I see neither others nor myself. I do nothing and do not notice the actions either of others or myself - and I am at peace, I am indifferent. There can be no happiness for me, and I will not succumb to unhappiness.
Ivan Goncharov (The Same Old Story)
The spiritual world the Qur’an encountered was thus monotheism ascendant but in chaotic crisis. Ironically, claimants to the mantle of Abraham, whose very name means “compassionate patriarch,” were splintered by violent divides. A rich and ancient ancestry lay obscured amidst the dust and debris.
Mohamad Jebara (The Life of the Qur'an: From Eternal Roots to Enduring Legacy)
In all my travels, I've never seen a country's population more determined to forgive, and to build and succeed than in Rwanda.
Rick Warren (The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones)
We look back through countless millions of years and see the great will to live struggling out of the intertidal slime, struggling from shape to shape and from power to power, crawling and then walking confidently upon the land, struggling generation after generation to master the air, creeping down the darkness of the deep; we see it turn upon itself in rage and hunger and reshape itself anew, we watch it draw nearer and more akin to us, expanding, elaborating itself, pursuing its relentless inconceivable purpose, until at last it reaches us and its being beats through our brains and arteries...It is possible to believe that all the past is but the beginning of a beginning, and that all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn. It is possible to believe that all that the human mind has accomplished is but the dream before the awakening; out of our lineage, minds will spring that will reach back to us in our littleness to know us better than we know ourselves. A day will come, one day in the unending succession of days, when beings, beings who are now latent in our thoughts and hidden in our loins, shall stand upon this earth as one stands upon a footstool, and shall laugh and reach out their hands amidst the stars.
H.G. Wells
I want you to tell me about the Survivor," he finally said. "He was lord of the mists," Demoux said immediately. "Not the rhetoric," Elend said. "Someone tell me about the man, Kelsier. I never met him, you know. I saw him once, right before he died, but I never knew him." "What's the point?" Cett asked. "We've all heard the stories. He's practically a god, if you listen to the skaa." "Just do as I ask," Elend said. The tent was still for a few moments. Finally, Ham spoke. "Kell was . . . grand. He wasn't just a man, he was bigger than that. Everything he did was large—his dreams, the way he spoke, the way he thought. . . ." "And it wasn't false," Breeze added. "I can tell when a man is being a fake. That's why I started my first job with Kelsier, actually. Amidst all the pretenders and posturers, he was genuine. Everyone wanted to be the best. Kelsier really was." "He was a man," Vin said quietly. "Just a man. Yet, you always knew he'd succeed. He made you be what he wanted you to be." "So he could use you," Breeze said. "But you were better when he was done with you," Ham added
Brandon Sanderson (The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3))
Sometimes, in a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in a revery, amidst the pines and hickories and sumachs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness, while the birds sing around or flitted noiseless through the house, until by the sun falling in at my west window, or the noise of some traveller's wagon on the distant highway, I was reminded of the lapse of time. I grew in those seasons like corn in the night, and they were far better than any work of the hands would have been. They were not time subtracted from my life, but so much over and above my usual allowance. I realized what the Orientals mean by contemplation and the forsaking of works. For the most part, I minded not how the hours went. The day advanced as if to light some work of mine; it was morning, and lo, now it is evening, and nothing memorable is accomplished.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
The Chair I’m writing to you, who made the archaic wooden chair look like a throne while you sat on it. Amidst your absence, I choose to sit on the floor, which is dusty as a dry Kansas day. I am stoic as a statue of Buddha, not wanting to bother the old wooden chair, which has been silent now for months. In this sunlit moment I think of you. I can still picture you sitting there-- your forehead wrinkled like an un-ironed shirt, the light splashed on your face, like holy water from St. Joseph’s. The chair, with rounded curves like that of a full-figured woman, seems as mellow as a monk in prayer. The breeze blows from beyond the curtains, as if your spirit has come back to rest. Now a cloud passes overhead, and I hush, waiting to hear what rests so heavily on the chair’s lumbering mind. Do not interrupt, even if the wind offers to carry your raspy voice like a wispy cloud.
Jarod Kintz (A Letter to Andre Breton, Originally Composed on a Leaf of Lettuce With an Ink-dipped Carrot)
I realized that my battle to survive this war would have to be fought inside of me.
Immaculée Ilibagiza (Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust)
For in prosperity a man is often puffed up with pride, whereas tribulations chasten and humble him through suffering and sorrow. In the midst of prosperity the mind is elated, and in prosperity a man forgets himself; in hardship he is forced to reflect on himself, even though he be unwilling. In prosperity a man often destroys the good he has done; amidst difficulties he often repairs what he long since did in the way of wickedness.
Alfred the Great
I felt angry, frustrated. I felt I didn't belong, not in my church, not in my home, not in my skin. Amidst the chaos, i felt alone, in need of a friend instead of a sister, someone detached from my world. The "woman's role" theory disgusted me. I would soon be a woman, and I knew I could never perform as expected. I was tired of my mom's submission to her religion, to her husband's sick quest for an heir, to his abuse. I was sick of my dad, of reaching for him as he fell farther away from us and into the arms of Johnnie WB.
Ellen Hopkins (Burned (Burned, #1))
You are the sky. The clouds are what happens, what comes and goes.
Eckhart Tolle (Eckhart Tolle's Findhorn Retreat: Stillness Amidst the World)
But on a Sunday morning when I want to grab an omelet over girl talk, I’m at a loss. My Chicago friends are the let’s-get-dinner-on-the-books-a-month-in-advance type. We email, trading dates until we find an open calendar slot amidst our tight schedules of workout classes, volunteer obligations (no false pretenses here, the volunteers are my friends, not me, sadly), work events, concert tickets and other dinners scheduled with other girls. I’m looking for someone to invite to watch The Biggest Loser with me at the last minute or to text “pedicure in half an hour?” on a Saturday morning. To me, that’s what BFFs are.
Rachel Bertsche (MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search For A New Best Friend)
Amidst all the attention given to the sciences as to how they can lead to the cure of all diseases and daily problems of mankind, I believe that the biggest breakthrough will be the realization that the arts, which are considered "useless," will be recognized as the whole reason why we ever try to live longer or live more prosperously. The arts are the science of enjoying life.
John Maeda
Why are we not satisfied when life mirrors itself peacefully in a deep lake? …How seldom do we now meet a person who can keep living so peacefully and cheerfully with himself even amidst the turmoil, saying to himself like Goethe: ‘The best is the deep quiet in which I live and grow against the world, and harvest what they cannot take from me by fire or sword.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
As she slept amidst the rolling grasslands, Catelyn dreamt that Bran was shole again, that Arya and Sansa held hands, that Rickon was still a babe at her breast. Robb, crownless, played with a wooden sword, and when all were safe asleep, she found Ned in her bed, smiling. Sweet it was, sweet and gone too soon. Dawn came cruel, a dagger of light. She woke aching and alone and weary; weary of riding, weary of hurting, weary of duty. I want to weep, she thought, I want to be comforted. I'm so tired of being strong. I want to be foolish and frightened for once. Just for a small while, that's all . . . a day . . . an hour . . .
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
October Fullness” Little by little, and also in great leaps, life happened to me, and how insignificant this business is. These veins carried my blood, which I scarcely ever saw, I breathed the air of so many places without keeping a sample of any. In the end, everyone is aware of this: nobody keeps any of what he has, and life is only a borrowing of bones. The best thing was learning not to have too much either of sorrow or of joy, to hope for the chance of a last drop, to ask more from honey and from twilight. Perhaps it was my punishment. Perhaps I was condemned to be happy. Let it be known that nobody crossed my path without sharing my being. I plunged up to the neck into adversities that were not mine, into all the sufferings of others. It wasn’t a question of applause or profit. Much less. It was not being able to live or breathe in this shadow, the shadow of others like towers, like bitter trees that bury you, like cobblestones on the knees. Our own wounds heal with weeping, our own wounds heal with singing, but in our own doorway lie bleeding widows, Indians, poor men, fishermen. The miner’s child doesn’t know his father amidst all that suffering. So be it, but my business was the fullness of the spirit: a cry of pleasure choking you, a sigh from an uprooted plant, the sum of all action. It pleased me to grow with the morning, to bathe in the sun, in the great joy of sun, salt, sea-light and wave, and in that unwinding of the foam my heart began to move, growing in that essential spasm, and dying away as it seeped into the sand.
Pablo Neruda (The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems)
I would have liked to say, "I'm a doctor," to those who asked me what I did, doctors being the current purveyors of magic and miracle. But I'm sure we would have had a bus accident around the next bend, and with all eyes fixed on me I would have to explain, amidst the crying and moaning of victims...I would have to confess that as a matter of fact it was a bachelor's in philosophy; next, to the shouts of what meaning such a bloody tragedy could have, I would have to admit that I had hardly touched kierkegaard; and so on.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
There is no antidote, he writes, against the opium of time. The winter sun shows how soon the light fades from the ash, how soon night enfolds us. Hour upon hour is added to the sum. Time itself grows old. Pyramids, arches and obelisks are melting pillars of snow. Not even those who have found a place amidst the heavenly constellations have perpetuated their names: Nimrod is lost in Orion, and Osiris in the Dog Star. Indeed, old families last not three oaks.
W.G. Sebald (The Rings of Saturn)
True Christian fortitude consists in strength of mind, through grace, exerted in two things; in ruling and suppressing the evil and unruly passions and affections of the mind; and in steadfastly and freely exerting and following good affections and dispositions, without being hindered by sinful fear or the opposition of enemies... Though Christian fortitude appears in withstanding and counteracting the enemies that are without us; yet it much more appears in resisting and suppressing the enemies that are within us; because they are our worst and strongest enemies and have greatest advantage against us. The strength of the good soldier of Jesus Christ appears in nothing more than in steadfastly maintaining the holy calm, meekness, sweetness, and benevolence of his mind, amidst all the storms, injuries, strange behaviour, and surprising acts and events of this evil and unreasonable world.
Jonathan Edwards (The Religious Affections)
Singing in the midst of evil is what it means to be disciples. Like Mary Magdalene, the reason we stand and weep and listen for Jesus is because we, like Mary, are bearers of resurrection, we are made new. On the third day, Jesus rose again, and we do not need to be afraid. To sing to God amidst sorrow is to defiantly proclaim, like Mary Magdalene did to the apostles, and like my friend Don did at Dylan Klebold's funeral,t hat death is not the final word. To defiantly say, once again, that a light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot, will not, shall not overcome it. And so, evil be damned, because even as we go to the grave, we still make our song alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.
Nadia Bolz-Weber (Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint)
Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th'encircling gloom, Lead Thou me on! The night is dark, and I am far from home, Lead Thou me on! Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see The distant scene; one step enough for me. I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou Shouldst lead me on; I loved to choose and see my path; but now Lead Thou me on! I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears, Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years! So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still Will lead me on. O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till The night is gone, And with the morn those angel faces smile, Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile! Meantime, along the narrow rugged path, Thyself hast trod, Lead, Saviour, lead me home in childlike faith, Home to my God. To rest forever after earthly strife In the calm light of everlasting life.
John Henry Newman
It's simply a national acknowledgement that in any kind of priority, the needs of human beings must come first. Poverty is here and now. Hunger is here and now. Racial tension is here and now. Pollution is here and now. These are the things that scream for a response. And if we don't listen to that scream - and if we don't respond to it - we may well wind up sitting amidst our own rubble, looking for the truck that hit us - or the bomb that pulverized us. Get the license number of whatever it was that destroyed the dream. And I think we will find that the vehicle was registered in our own name. [from a Commencement Address at the University of Southern California; March 17, 1970]
Rod Serling
I used to rush into strange dreams at night: dreams many-coloured, agitated, full of the ideal, the stirring, the stormy--dreams where, amidst unusual scenes, charged with adventure, with agitating risk and romantic chance, I still again and again met Mr. Rochester, always at some exciting crisis; and then the sense of being in his arms, hearing his voice, meeting his eye, touching his hand and cheek, loving him, being loved by him--the hope of passing a lifetime at his side, would be renewed, with all its first force and fire. Then I awoke. Then I recalled where I was, and how situated. Then I rose up on my curtainless bed, trembling and quivering; and then the still, dark night witnessed the convulsion of despair, and heard the burst of passion.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Let no one reduce to tears or reproach This statement of the mastery of God, Who, with magnificent irony, gave Me at once both books and night Of this city of books He pronounced rulers These lightless eyes, who can only Peruse in libraries of dreams The insensible paragraphs that yield With every new dawn. Vainly does the day Lavish on them its infinite books, Arduous as the arduous manuscripts Which at Alexandria did perish. Of hunger and thirst (a Greek story tells us) Dies a king amidst fountains and gardens; I aimlessly weary at the confines Of this tall and deep blind library. Encyclopedias, atlases, the East And the West, centuries, dynasties Symbols, cosmos and cosmogonies Do walls proffer, but pointlessly. Slow in my shadow, I the hollow shade Explore with my indecisive cane; To think I had imagined Paradise In the form of such a library. Something, certainly not termed Fate, rules on such things; Another had received in blurry Afternoons both books and shadow. Wandering through these slow corridors I often feel with a vague and sacred dread That I am another, the dead one, who must Have trodden the same steps at the same time. Which of the two is now writing this poem Of a plural I and of a single shadow? How important is the word that names me If the anathema is one and indivisible? Groussac or Borges, I see this darling World deform and extinguish To a pale, uncertain ash Resembling sleep and oblivion
Jorge Luis Borges
Because it may be fine to die in the open, with one’s body still young and healthy amidst the triumphant echoes of the bugles; but it is a sadder fate to die of wounds in a hospital ward after long sufferings, and it is more melancholy still to meet one’s end in one’s bed at home in the midst of fond laments, dim lights and medicine bottles. But nothing is more difficult than to die in some strange, indifferent spot, in the characterless bed of an inn, to die there old and worn and leave no one behind in the world.
Dino Buzzati (The Tartar Steppe (Canons Book 90))
That Anarchist world, I admit, is our dream; we do believe - well, I, at any rate, believe this present world, this planet, will some day bear a race beyond our most exalted and temerarious dreams, a race begotten of our wills and the substance of our bodies, a race, so I have said it, 'who will stand upon the earth as one stands upon a footstool, and laugh and reach out their hands amidst the stars,' but the way to that is through education and discipline and law. Socialism is the preparation for that higher Anarchism; painfully, laboriously we mean to destroy false ideas of property and self, eliminate unjust laws and poisonous and hateful suggestions and prejudices, create a system of social right-dealing and a tradition of right-feeling and action. Socialism is the schoolroom of true and noble Anarchism, wherein by training and restraint we shall make free men.
H.G. Wells (New Worlds for Old)
I've wandered as far west as I can go. Sitting now on the sand, I watch the sun blur into an aftermath. Reds finally marrying blues. Soon night will enfold us all. But the light is still not gone, not yet, and by it I can dimly see here my own dark hallway, or maybe it was just a foyer and maybe not dark at all, not in fact brightly lit, an afternoon sun blazing through the lead panes, now detected amidst what amounts to a long column of my yesterdays, towards the end, though not the very end of course, where I had stood at the age of seven, gripping my mother's wrists, trying as hard as I could to keep her from going.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
Verily I say unto you, the era of the sword and axe is nigh, the era of the wolf’s blizzard. The Time of the White Chill and the White Light is nigh, the Time of Madness and the Time of Contempt: Tedd Deireádh, the Time of End. The world will die amidst frost and be reborn with the new sun. It will be reborn of the Elder Blood, of Hen Ichaer, of the seed that has been sown. A seed which will not sprout but will burst into flame. Ess’tuath esse! Thus it shall be! Watch for the signs! What signs these shall be, I say unto you: first the earth will flow with the blood of Aen Seidhe, the Blood of Elves… Aen Ithlinnespeath, Ithlinne Aegli aep Aevenien’s prophecy
Andrzej Sapkowski (Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1))
I was sitting in my lab, my hand spread open on the table, while the skull examined my palm. I'd worn a mark there for years--an unblemished patch of skin amidst all the burn scars, in the perfect shape of the angelic sigil that was Lasciel's name. The mark was gone. In its place was just an irregular patch of unburned skin. "It looks like there's no mark there anymore," Bob said. I sighed. "Thank you, Bob," I said. "It's good to have a professional opinion." "Well, what did you expect?" Bob said. The skull swiveled around on the table and tilted up to look at my face. "Hmmmmm. And you say the entity isn't responding to you anymore?" "No. And she's always jumped every time I said frog." "Interesting," Bob said. "What's that supposed to mean?" "Well, from what you told me, this psychic attack the entity blocked for you was quite severe." I shivered, remembering. "Yeah." "And the process she used to accelerate your brain and shield you was traumatic as well." "Right. She said it could cause me brain damage." "Uh-huh," Bob said. "I think it did." "Huh?" "See what I mean?" Bob asked cheerfully. "You're thicker already." "Harry get hammer," I said. "Smash stupid talky skull.
Jim Butcher (White Night (The Dresden Files, #9))
What are we calling that, exactly?” I ask. Arthur ponders this for a moment. “Hmm. How about … Haphazard Medley Inspired By Radio on the Drive Over, Messrs. McCartney, Lennon, Harrison, and Starr, The Most Hideous Preteen Holiday Monstrosity Ever Inflicted Upon The Ears Of Longsuffering Parents, The Smiths Because I Know You Like Them, And A Great Deal Of Nonsense Made Up Spur Of The Moment, All For The Beautiful Boy Who Is Sitting Next To Me, Because Somehow, Amidst The Recent Chaos, Dissatisfaction, And Mediocrity Of My Existence, Lord Knows How, I Seem To Have Done Something Very Right.” Oh, this guy. “You’re never going to fit that on any album sleeves,” I say, leaning in to rest my forehead against his. “Just the beautiful boy part, then,” he compromises, starting to smile.
Hannah Johnson (Know Not Why (Know Not Why, #1))
It is night in your Seven Kingdoms now,' the red woman went on, 'but soon the sun will rise again. The war continues, Davos Seaworth, and some will soon learn that even an ember in the ashes can still ignite a great blaze. The old maester looked at Stannis and saw only a man. You see a king. You are both wrong. He is the Lord's chosen, the warrior of fire. I have seen him leading the fight against the dark, I have seen it in the flames. The flames do not lie, else you would not be here. It is written in prophecy as well. When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone.
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
If you can master me, that look seemed to say, then you can master whatever else this wicked world might bring. I can see her now, standing amidst her deerhounds that had the same thin, lean bodies, and the same long nose and the same huntess eyes as their mistress. Green eyes, she had, with a kind of cruelty deep inside them. It was not a soft face, any more that her body was soft. She was a woman of strong lines and high bones, and that made for a good face and a handsome one, but hard, so hard. What made her beautiful was her hair and her carriage, for she stood as straight as spear and her hair fell around her shoulders like a cascade of tumbling red tangles. That red hair softened her looks, while her laughter snared men like salmon caught in basket traps. There have been many more beautiful women, and thousands who were better, but since the world was weaned I doubt there have been many more so unforgettable as Guinevere, eldest daughter of Leodegan, the exiled King of Henis Wyren. And it would have been better, Merlin always said, had she been drowned at birth.
Bernard Cornwell (The Winter King (The Warlord Chronicles, #1))
Listen," Kirillov stopped, gazing before him with fixed, ecstatic eyes. "Listen to a big idea: There was one day on earth, and in the middle of the earth stood three crosses. One on a cross believed so much that he said to another: 'This day you will be with me in paradise.' They day ended, they both died, went, and did not find either paradise or resurrection. What had been said would not prove true. Listen: this man was the highest on all the earth, he constituted what it was to live for. Without this man the whole planet with everything on it is--madness only. There has not been one like Him before or since, not ever, even to the point of miracle. This is the miracle, that there has not been and never will be such a one. And if so, if the laws of nature did not pity even This One, did not pity even their own miracle, but made Him, too, live amidst a lie and die for a lie, then the whole planet is a lie, and stands upon a lie and a stupid mockery. Then the very laws of the planet are a lie and a devil's vaudeville. Why live then, answer me, if you're a man.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Demons)
Real arms races are run by highly intelligent, bespectacled engineers in glass offices thoughtfully designing shiny weapons on modern computers. But there's no thinking in the mud and cold of nature's trenches. At best, weapons thrown together amidst the explosions and confusion of smoky battlefields are tiny variations on old ones, held together by chewing gum. If they don't work, then something else is thrown at the enemy, including the kitchen sink - there's nothing "progressive" about that. At its usual worst, trench warfare is fought by attrition. If the enemy can be stopped or slowed by burning your own bridges and bombing your own radio towers and oil refineries, then away they go. Darwinian trench warfare does not lead to progress - it leads back to the Stone Age.
Michael J. Behe (The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism)
Instead of negotiating or begging for mercy, [my brother Damascene] challenged them to kill him. "Go ahead," he said. "What are you waiting for? Today is my day to go to God. I can feel Him all around us. He is watching, waiting to take me home. Go ahead--finish your work and send me to paradise. I pity you for killing people like it's some kind of child's game. Murder is no game: If you offend God, you will pay for your fun. The blood of the innocent people you cut down will follow you to your reckoning. But I am praying for you. . . I pray that you see the evil you're doing and ask God's forgiveness before it's too late.
Immaculée Ilibagiza (Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust)
A human life, I think, should be well rooted in some spot of a native land, where it may get the love of tender kinship for the face of the earth, for the labours men go forth to, for the sounds and accents that haunt it, for whatever will give that early home a familiar unmistakable difference amidst the future widening of knowledge: a spot where the definiteness of early memories may be inwrought with affection, and kindly acquaintance with all neighbours, even to the dogs and donkeys, may spread not by sentimental effort and reflection, but as a sweet habit of the blood. At five years old, mortals are not prepared to be citizens of the world, to be stimulated by abstract nouns, to soar above preference into impartiality; and that prejudice in favour of milk with which we blindly begin, is a type of the way body and soul must get nourished at least for a time. The best introduction to astronomy is to think of the nightly heavens as a little lot of stars belonging to one's own homestead.
George Eliot
Now observe that in all the propaganda of the ecologists—amidst all their appeals to nature and pleas for “harmony with nature”—there is no discussion of man’s needs and the requirements of his survival. Man is treated as if he were an unnatural phenomenon. Man cannot survive in the kind of state of nature that the ecologists envision—i.e., on the level of sea urchins or polar bears.... In order to survive, man has to discover and produce everything he needs, which means that he has to alter his background and adapt it to his needs. Nature has not equipped him for adapting himself to his background in the manner of animals. From the most primitive cultures to the most advanced civilizations, man has had to manufacture things; his well-being depends on his success at production. The lowest human tribe cannot survive without that alleged source of pollution: fire. It is not merely symbolic that fire was the property of the gods which Prometheus brought to man. The ecologists are the new vultures swarming to extinguish that fire.
Ayn Rand (The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution)
A thousand lips, a thousand eyes, a thousand hearts will read these words, as you read them, graze them, this moment. Thousands will utter them into the abyss, someday, perhaps for years to come; loudly, softly, repeatedly, again and again and again. Some will mock, some will laugh. Some will shed a tear. But it is written only for your lips, your eyes, your heart, beloved. Do as you please. It is written by an ideal heart, intense, yet free, when in thought of you. Written from a dehydrated pen, that shed the last drops of her blood, onto you. And still, you do not know me. No, you will never know of this desire. It is a shame, when love cannot love, who she loves, amidst these mortal games. And No. It is for me to know, and for you to close the last pages of my confessions, making nothing of it. As always, like always, I write for you and for the madness that stirs in every soul that has once burned, and for the tender parts of your soul, too. Nothing is hidden, nothing is revealed. The separation between the soul and mate, between lover and the beloved, is through spirit, is it not, my love? Or is it flesh? There, there is the clue. And this, this is the nature of our love. Forbidden,closed, then left ajar in oblivion. My eyes touch your lips, your eyes touch my lips, yet, no one makes a sound. No one moves on. What madness is this? And here you go, turning the pages now, there you go.
V.S. Atbay
I sat wondering: Why is there always this deep shade of melancholy over the fields arid river banks, the sky and the sunshine of our country? And I came to the conclusion that it is because with us Nature is obviously the more important thing. The sky is free, the fields limitless; and the sun merges them into one blazing whole. In the midst of this, man seems so trivial. He comes and goes, like the ferry-boat, from this shore to the other; the babbling hum of his talk, the fitful echo of his song, is heard; the slight movement of his pursuit of his own petty desires is seen in the world's market-places: but how feeble, how temporary, how tragically meaningless it all seems amidst the immense aloofness of the Universe! The contrast between the beautiful, broad, unalloyed peace of Nature—calm, passive, silent, unfathomable,—and our own everyday worries—paltry, sorrow-laden, strife-tormented, puts me beside myself as I keep staring at the hazy, distant, blue line of trees which fringe the fields across the river. Where Nature is ever hidden, and cowers under mist and cloud, snow and darkness, there man feels himself master; he regards his desires, his works, as permanent; he wants to perpetuate them, he looks towards posterity, he raises monuments, he writes biographies; he even goes the length of erecting tombstones over the dead. So busy is he that he has not time to consider how many monuments crumble, how often names are forgotten!
Rabindranath Tagore
Certainly those determining acts of her life were not ideally beautiful. They were the mixed result of young and noble impulse struggling amidst the conditions of an imperfect social state, in which great feelings will often take the aspect of error, and great faith the aspect of illusion. For there is no creature whose inward being is so strong that it is not greatly determined by what lies outside it. A new Theresa will hardly have the opportunity of reforming a conventual life, any more than a new Antigone will spend her heroic piety in daring all for the sake of a brother's burial: the medium in which their ardent deeds took shape is forever gone. But we insignificant people with our daily words and acts are preparing the lives of many Dorotheas, some of which may present a far sadder sacrifice than that of the Dorothea whose story we know. Her finely touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
I knew that to really minister to Rwanda's needs meant working toward reconciliation in the prisons, in the churches, and in the cities and villages throughout the country. It meant feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, caring for the young, but it also meant healing the wounded and forgiving the unforgivable. I knew I had to be committed to preaching a transforming message to the people of Rwanda. Jesus did not die for people to be religious. He died so that we might believe in Him and be transformed. I'm engaged in a purpose and strategy that Jesus came to Earth for. My life is set for that divine purpose in Jesus Christ. I was called to that--proclaiming the message of transformation through Jesus Christ.
John Rucyahana (The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones)