Beautiful Marvel Quotes

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Everyone should consider his body as a priceless gift from one whom he loves above all, a marvelous work of art, of indescribable beauty, and mystery beyond human conception, and so delicate that a word, a breath, a look, nay, a thought may injure it.
Nikola Tesla
You have lost your reason and taken the wrong path. You have taken lies for truth, and hideousness for beauty. You would marvel if, owing to strange events of some sorts, frogs and lizards suddenly grew on apple and orange trees instead of fruit, or if roses began to smell like a sweating horse; so I marvel at you who exchange heaven for earth. I don't want to understand you.
Anton Chekhov
No one's life should be rooted in fear. We are born for wonder, for joy, for hope, for love, to marvel at the mystery of existence, to be ravished by the beauty of the world, to seek truth and meaning, to acquire wisdom, and by our treatment of others to brighten the corner where we are.
Dean Koontz (Life Expectancy)
Sad words are just another beauty. A sad story means, this storyteller is alive. The next thing you know something fine will happen to her, something marvelous, and then she will turn around and smile.
Chris Cleave (Little Bee)
Yes, I read. I have that absurd habit. I like beautiful poems, moving poetry, and all the beyond of that poetry. I am extraordinarily sensitive to those poor, marvelous words left in our dark night by a few men I never knew.
Louis Aragon (Treatise on Style)
I marveled at the beauty of all life and savored the power and possibilities of my imagination. In these rare moments, I prayed, I danced, and I analyzed. I saw that life was good and bad, beautiful and ugly. I understood that I had to dwell on the good and beautiful in order to keep my imagination, sensitivity, and gratitude intact. I knew it would not be easy to maintain this perspective. I knew I would often twist and turn, bend and crack a little, but I also knew that…I would never completely break.
Maria Nhambu (Africa's Child (Dancing Soul Trilogy, #1))
She did not know yet how sometimes people keep parts of themselves hidden and secret, sometimes wicked and unkind parts, but often brave or wild or colorful parts, cunning or powerful or even marvelous, beautiful parts, just locked up away at the bottom of their hearts. They do this because they are afraid of the world and of being stared at, or relied upon to do feats of bravery or boldness. And all of those brave and wild and cunning and marvelous and beautiful parts they hid away and left in the dark to grow strange mushrooms—and yes, sometimes those wicked and unkind parts, too—end up in their shadow.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2))
Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars - mere globs of gas atoms. I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination - stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one - million - year - old light. A vast pattern - of which I am a part... What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?
Richard P. Feynman
Having a Coke with You is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them I look at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully as the horse it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it
Frank O'Hara
The leaves had fallen from the trees and lay crisp and crackling beneath his feet. Picking one up he marveled, not for the first time, at the perfection of nature where leaves were most beautiful at the very end of their lives.
Louise Penny (The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #5))
The prime function of the children's book writer is to write a book that is so absorbing, exciting, funny, fast and beautiful that the child will fall in love with it. And that first love affair between the young child and the young book will lead hopefully to other loves for other books and when that happens the battle is probably won. The child will have found a crock of gold. He will also have gained something that will help to carry him most marvelously through the tangles of his later years. Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl
I still had this idea that there was a whole world of marvelous golden people somewhere, as far ahead of me as the seniors at Rye when I was in the sixth grade; people who knew everything instinctively, who made their lives work out the way they wanted without even trying, who never had to make the best of a bad job because it never occured to them to do anything less then perfectly the first time. Sort of heroic super-people, all of them beautiful and witty and calm and kind, and I always imagined that when I did find them I'd suddenly know that I Belonged among them, that I was one of them, that I'd been meant to be one of them all along, and everything in the meantime had been a mistake; and they'd know it too. I'd be like the ugly duckling among the swans.
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
I have been a lucky man. To feel the intimacy of brothers is a marvelous thing in life. To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life. But to feel the affection that comes from those whom we do not know, from those unknown to us, who are watching over our sleep and solitude, over our dangers and our weaknesses – that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being, and unites all living things.
Pablo Neruda
You look like a Turner painting and I want to learn your textures with my fingertips. You are the most fascinating thing in this beautiful house. I'd like to introduce my fists to whoever taught you to stop talking about the things that interest you.
Freya Marske (A Marvellous Light (The Last Binding, #1))
Let us not mince words.. the marvelous is always beautiful, anything marvelous is beautiful, in fact only the marvelous is beautiful.
André Breton
Whenever I felt like that, I would have a chat with my own Fat Mary. She was like the sweet fresh air after the rain. She brought me newness, clarity, and relief. She managed to get in touch with and resurrect the free spirit deep inside me. Being one with the spirit allowed me to soar above my everyday reality. I marveled at the beauty of all life and savored the power and possibilities of my imagination.
Maria Nhambu (Africa's Child (Dancing Soul Trilogy, #1))
Marveling at the perfection of that leaf, I was reminded that aesthetic beauty is as much about how and whether you look as what you see. From the quark to the supernova, the wonders do not cease. It is our attentiveness that is in short supply, our ability and willingness to do the work that awe requires.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
One marvel of a day he had walked so far that when he returned the moon was high and full and all the world was purple shadow and silver.
Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden)
You see, I have never felt the need to invent a world beyond this world, for this world has always seemed large and beautiful enough for me. I have wondered why it is not large and beautiful enough for others-- why they must dream up new and marvelous spheres, or long to live elsewhere, beyond this dominion... but that is not my business. We are all different, I suppose. All I ever wanted was to know this world. I can say now, as I reach my end, that I know quite a bit more of it than I knew when I arrived. Moreover, my little bit of knowledge has been added to all the other accumulated knowledge of history-- added to the great library, as it were. That is no small feat, sir. Anyone who can say such a thing has lived a fortunate life.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Signature of All Things)
None of your knowledge, your reading, your connections will be of any use here: two legs suffice, and big eyes to see with. Walk alone, across mountains or through forests. You are nobody to the hills or the thick boughs heavy with greenery. You are no longer a role, or a status, not even an individual, but a body, a body that feels sharp stones on the paths, the caress of long grass and the freshness of the wind. When you walk, the world has neither present nor future: nothing but the cycle of mornings and evenings. Always the same thing to do all day: walk. But the walker who marvels while walking (the blue of the rocks in a July evening light, the silvery green of olive leaves at noon, the violet morning hills) has no past, no plans, no experience. He has within him the eternal child. While walking I am but a simple gaze.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
There isn’t any particular relationship between the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
Is the sunrise of Mount Fuji more beautiful from the one you see in the countryside a bit closer to home? Are the beaches of Indonesia really that much more serene than those we have in our own countries? The point I make is not to downplay the marvels of the world, but to highlight the notion of the human tendency in our failure to see the beauty in our daily lives when we take off the travel goggles when we are home. It is the preconceived notion of a place that creates the difference in perception of environments rather than the actual geological location.
Forrest Curran
Whenever I see the alcove of a tastefully built Japanese room, I marvel at our comprehension of the secrets of shadows, our sensitive use of shadow and light. For the beauty of the alcove is not the work of some clever device. An empty space is marked off with plain wood and plain walls, so that the light drawn into its forms dim shadows within emptiness. There is nothing more. And yet, when we gaze into the darkness that gathers behind the crossbeam, around the flower vase, beneath the shelves, though we know perfectly well it is mere shadow, we are overcome with the feeling that in this small corner of the atmosphere there reigns complete and utter silence; that here in the darkness immutable tranquility holds sway.
Jun'ichirō Tanizaki (In Praise of Shadows)
There are places which exist in this world beyond the reach of imagination.
Daniel J. Rice (This Side of a Wilderness)
The most wonderful of all things in life is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a growing depth, beauty and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life.
Hugh Walpole
Yesterday I was clever, so I took the glory for me. Today He makes me wise, so I give the glory to Thee
indonesia123
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead and his eyes are dimmed.
Albert Einstein (The World As I See It)
The novels were an escape from reality in the sense that we could marvel at their beauty and perfection. Curiously, the novels we escaped into led us finally to question and prod our own realities, about which we felt so helplessly speechless.
Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books)
One saw a bird dying, shot by a man. It was flying with rhythmic beat and beautifully, with such freedom and lack of fear. And the gun shattered it; it fell to the earth and all the life had gone out of it. A dog fetched it, and the man collected other dead birds. He was chattering with his friend and seemed so utterly indifferent. All that he was concerned with was bringing down so many birds, and it was over as far as he was concerned. They are killing all over the world. Those marvellous, great animals of the sea, the whales, are killed by the million, and the tiger and so many other animals are now becoming endangered species. Man is the only animal that is to be dreaded.
J. Krishnamurti (Krishnamurti to Himself: His Last Journal)
Kai and Thorne were there, too, each of them standing with their hands in their pockets, rocking back on their heels with supremely smug looks on their faces, like they were daring anyone to suggest it wasn’t the most beautiful impromptu wedding ever created. And they had done a marvelous job—much better than Cinder would have expected.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection (The Lunar Chronicles #4.5))
Evermore in the world is this marvelous balance of beauty and disgust, magnificence and rats.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I'm enjoying two beautiful visions tonight. Watching you stand there against a marvelous background has to be the most intriguing sunset I have ever experienced.
K.S. Collier
The full moon, well risen in a cloudless eastern sky, covered the high solitude with its light. We are not conscious of daylight as that which displaces darkness. Daylight, even when the sun is clear of clouds, seems to us simply the natural condition of the earth and air. When we think of the downs, we think of the downs in daylight, as with think of a rabbit with its fur on. Stubbs may have envisaged the skeleton inside the horse, but most of us do not: and we do not usually envisage the downs without daylight, even though the light is not a part of the down itself as the hide is part of the horse itself. We take daylight for granted. But moonlight is another matter. It is inconstant. The full moon wanes and returns again. Clouds may obscure it to an extent to which they cannot obscure daylight. Water is necessary to us, but a waterfall is not. Where it is to be found it is something extra, a beautiful ornament. We need daylight and to that extent it us utilitarian, but moonlight we do not need. When it comes, it serves no necessity. It transforms. It falls upon the banks and the grass, separating one long blade from another; turning a drift of brown, frosted leaves from a single heap to innumerable flashing fragments; or glimmering lengthways along wet twigs as though light itself were ductile. Its long beams pour, white and sharp, between the trunks of trees, their clarity fading as they recede into the powdery, misty distance of beech woods at night. In moonlight, two acres of coarse bent grass, undulant and ankle deep, tumbled and rough as a horse's mane, appear like a bay of waves, all shadowy troughs and hollows. The growth is so thick and matted that event the wind does not move it, but it is the moonlight that seems to confer stillness upon it. We do not take moonlight for granted. It is like snow, or like the dew on a July morning. It does not reveal but changes what it covers. And its low intensity---so much lower than that of daylight---makes us conscious that it is something added to the down, to give it, for only a little time, a singular and marvelous quality that we should admire while we can, for soon it will be gone again.
Richard Adams (Watership Down (Watership Down, #1))
In learning a language, when from mere words we reach the laws of words, we have gained a great deal. But if we stop at that point and concern ourselves only with the marvels of the formation of a language, seeking the hidden reason of all its apparent caprices, we do not reach that end, for grammar is not literature… When we come to literature, we find that, though it conforms to the rules of grammar, it is yet a thing of joy; it is freedom itself. The beauty of a poem is bound by strict laws, yet it transcends them. The laws are its wings. They do not keep it weighed down. They carry it to freedom. Its form is in law, but its spirit is in beauty. Law is the first step toward freedom, and beauty is the complete liberation which stands on the pedestal of law. Beauty harmonizes in itself the limit and the beyond – the law and the liberty.
Rabindranath Tagore (Sadhana)
It is true that the sky was always beautiful but I don't remember marvelling at sunset or gazing at the dawn of a new day. Survival does not allow time for poetic reflection.
Izzeldin Abuelaish (I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity)
Poverty becomes a marvellously beautiful thing when the mind is free of society. One must become poor inwardly for then there is no seeking, no asking, no desire, no - nothing! It is only this inward poverty that can see the truth of a life in which there is no conflict at all
J. Krishnamurti (Freedom from the Known)
Why should their pain produce such marvelous beauty? he wonders. Or is all beauty created through pain? Is that the secret of great art, both human and Melnibonen?
Michael Moorcock (Elric of Melniboné (The Elric Saga, #1))
You don't notice the dead leaving when they really choose to leave you. You're not meant to. At most you feel them as a whisper or the wave of a whisper undulating down. I would compare it to a woman in the back of a lecture hall or theater whom no one notices until she slips out.Then only those near the door themselves, like Grandma Lynn, notice; to the rest it is like an unexplained breeze in a closed room. Grandma Lynn died several years later, but I have yet to see her here. I imagine her tying it on in her heaven, drinking mint juleps with Tennessee Williams and Dean Martin. She'll be here in her own sweet time, I'm sure. If I'm to be honest with you, I still sneak away to watch my family sometimes. I can't help it, and sometimes they still think of me. They can't help it.... It was a suprise to everyone when Lindsey found out she was pregnant...My father dreamed that one day he might teach another child to love ships in bottles. He knew there would be both sadness and joy in it; that it would always hold an echo of me. I would like to tell you that it is beautiful here, that I am, and you will one day be, forever safe. But this heaven is not about safety just as, in its graciousness, it isn't about gritty reality. We have fun. We do things that leave humans stumped and grateful, like Buckley's garden coming up one year, all of its crazy jumble of plants blooming all at once. I did that for my mother who, having stayed, found herself facing the yard again. Marvel was what she did at all the flowers and herbs and budding weeds. Marveling was what she mostly did after she came back- at the twists life took. And my parents gave my leftover possessions to the Goodwill, along with Grandma Lynn's things. They kept sharing when they felt me. Being together, thinking and talking about the dead, became a perfectly normal part of their life. And I listened to my brother, Buckley, as he beat the drums. Ray became Dr. Singh... And he had more and more moments that he chose not to disbelieve. Even if surrounding him were the serious surgeons and scientists who ruled over a world of black and white, he maintained this possibility: that the ushering strangers that sometimes appeared to the dying were not the results of strokes, that he had called Ruth by my name, and that he had, indeed, made love to me. If he ever doubted, he called Ruth. Ruth, who graduated from a closet to a closet-sized studio on the Lower East Side. Ruth, who was still trying to find a way to write down whom she saw and what she had experienced. Ruth, who wanted everyone to believe what she knew: that the dead truly talk to us, that in the air between the living, spirits bob and weave and laugh with us. They are the oxygen we breathe. Now I am in the place I call this wide wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort. So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wide roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
The eye turned to the fire gave back no light and he closed it with his thumb and sat by her and put his hand upon her bloodied forehead and closed his own eyes that he could see her running in the mountains, running in the starlight where the grass was wet and the sun's coming as yet had not undone the rich matrix of creatures passed in the night before her. Deer and hare and dove and groundvole all richly empaneled on the air for her delight, all nations of the possible world ordained by God of which she was one among and not separate from. Where she ran the cries of the coyotes clapped shut as if a door had closed upon them and all was fear and marvel. He took up her stiff head out of the leaves and held it or he reached to hold what cannot be held, what already ran among the mountains at once terrible and of great beauty, like flowers that feed on flesh. What blood and bone are made of but can themselves not make on any altar nor by any wound of war. What we may well believe has power to cut and shape and hollow out the dark form of the world surely if wind can, if rain can. But which cannot be held never be held and is no flower but is swift and a huntress and the wind itself is in terror of it and the world cannot lose it.
Cormac McCarthy (The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, #2))
Option three: Edward loved me. The bond forged between us was not one that could be broken by absence, distance, or time. And no matter how much more special or beautiful or brillant or perfect than me he might me, he was as irreversibly altered as I was. As I would always belong to him, so would he always be mine. Was that what I'd been trying to tell myself? "Oh!" "Bella?" "Oh. Okay. I see." "Your epithany?" he asked, his voice uneven and strained. "You love me," I marveled. The sense of conviction and rightness washed through me again. Though his eyes were still anxious, the crooked smile I loved best flashed across his face. "Truly, I do.
Stephenie Meyer (New Moon (The Twilight Saga, #2))
Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm)
Our melanin will always make us marvelous... Just imagine what that sea of sisterhood would look like. Magic!
Alexandra Elle
There are no telegraphs on Tralfamadore. But you're right: each clump of symbols is a brief, urgent message-- describing a situation, a scene. We Tralfamadorians read them all at once, not one after the other. There isn't any particular relationship between all the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
On the girl’s brown legs there were many small white scars. I was thinking, Do those scars cover the whole of you, like the stars and moons on your dress? I thought that would be pretty too, and I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars a s beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, ‘I survived’. In a few breaths’ time I will speak some sad words to you. But you must hear them as we have agreed to see scars now. Sad words are just another beauty. A sad story means the storyteller is alive. The next thing you know, something fine will happen to her, something marvellous, and then she will turn round and smile.
Chris Cleave (Little Bee)
I am not a religious man. I have not attended a service for many years. But I do believe in God. My own practice of religion, you could say, it a nonpractice. I personally feel that it's just as worthy on a weekend to rake the lawns of an elderly neighbor or to climb a mountain and marvel at the beauty of this land we live in as it is to sing hosannas or go to Mass. In other words, I think every many finds his own church- and not all of them have four walls - Judge Haig (Page 399)
Jodi Picoult (Change of Heart)
When I looked, I knew I might never again see so much of the earth so beautiful, the beautiful being something you know added to something you see, in a whole that is different from the sum of its parts. What I saw might have been just another winter scene, although an impressive one. But what I knew was that the earth underneath was alive and that by tomorrow, certainly by the day after, it would be all green again. So what I saw because of what I knew was a kind of death with the marvellous promise of less than a three-day resurrection.
Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It and Other Stories)
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
Nicole Johnson
But at my back I always hear Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near; And yonder all before us lie Deserts of vast eternity. Thy beauty shall no more be found; Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound My echoing song; then worms shall try That long-preserved virginity, And your quaint honour turn to dust, And into ashes all my lust; The grave’s a fine and private place, But none, I think, do there embrace.
Andrew Marvell (The Complete Poems)
What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at once.There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. When seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
Spirituality to me is about becoming your own therapist. It’s about inner joy and peace so we can be our best version of ourselves. It’s about realizing that everything is connected, that everything has meaning because we give it meaning, awakening from this rollercoaster of life, step off and just marvel at the beauty of it all.
Todd Perelmuter (Spiritual Words to Live by : 81 Daily Wisdoms and Meditations to Transform Your Life)
Felicity laughs and takes on the tone of a fashionable lady. "Darling, the Bryn-Joneses have just done the most marvelous thing in their parlor with human blood. We simply must have ours done straightaway!
Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1))
Life at best is bittersweet.
Jack Kirby
He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.
John Burroughs
Ultron: Stark asked for a savior, and settled for a slave. The Vision: I suppose we're both disappointments. Ultron: [laughs] I suppose we are. The Vision: Humans are odd. They think order and chaos are somehow opposites and try to control what won't be. But there is grace in their failings. I think you missed that. Ultron: They're doomed! The Vision: Yes... but a thing isn't beautiful because it lasts. It is a privilege to be among them. Ultron: You're unbelievably naïve. The Vision: Well, I was born yesterday.
Joss Whedon
Having a Coke with You is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them I look at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully as the horse it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it.
Alex Flinn (Beastly (Beastly, #1; Kendra Chronicles, #1))
The less you demand total fulfillment from relationships, the more you can appreciate them for the beautiful tapestries they are, in which absolute and relative, perfect and imperfect, infinite and finite are marvelously interwoven. You can stop fighting the shifting tides of relative love and learn to ride them instead. And you come to appreciate more fully the simple, ordinary heroism involved in opening to another person and forging real intimacy.
John Welwood (Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships: Healing the Wound of the Heart)
And while you and the rest of your kind are battling together—year after year—for this special privilege of being 'bored to death,' the 'real girl' that you're asking about, the marvelous girl, the girl with the big, beautiful, unspoken thoughts in her head, the girl with the big, brave, undone deeds in her heart, the girl that stories are made of, the girl whom you call 'improbable'—is moping off alone in some dark, cold corner—or sitting forlornly partnerless against the bleak wall of the ballroom—or hiding shyly up in the dressing-room—waiting to be discovered!
Eleanor Hallowell Abbott (Little Eve Edgarton)
DO NOT FALL IN LOVE WITH PEOPLE LIKE ME Do not fall in love with people like me. People like me will love you so hard that you turn into stone, into a statue where people come to marvel at how long it must have taken to carve that faraway look into your eyes. Do not fall in love with people like me. We will take you to museums and parks and monuments and kiss you in every beautiful place so that you can never go back to them without tasting us like blood in your mouth. Do not come any closer. People like me are bombs. When our time is up, we will splatter loss all over your walls in angry colors that make you wish your doorway never learned our name. Do not fall in love with people like me. With the lonely ones. We will forget our own names if it means learning yours. We will make you think that hurricanes are gentle, that pain is a gift. You will get lost in the desperation, in the longing for something that is always reaching, but never able to hold. Do not fall in love with people like me. We will destroy your apartment. We will throw apologies at you that shatter on the floor and cut your feet. We will never learn how to be soft. We will leave. We always do.
Caitlyn Siehl (What We Buried)
To His Coy Mistress Had we but world enough and time, This coyness, lady, were no crime. We would sit down, and think which way To walk, and pass our long love’s day. Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide Of Humber would complain. I would Love you ten years before the flood, And you should, if you please, refuse Till the conversion of the Jews. My vegetable love should grow Vaster than empires and more slow; An hundred years should go to praise Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze; Two hundred to adore each breast, But thirty thousand to the rest; An age at least to every part, And the last age should show your heart. For, lady, you deserve this state, Nor would I love at lower rate. But at my back I always hear Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near; And yonder all before us lie Deserts of vast eternity. Thy beauty shall no more be found; Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound My echoing song; then worms shall try That long-preserved virginity, And your quaint honour turn to dust, And into ashes all my lust; The grave’s a fine and private place, But none, I think, do there embrace. Now therefore, while the youthful hue Sits on thy skin like morning dew, And while thy willing soul transpires At every pore with instant fires, Now let us sport us while we may, And now, like amorous birds of prey, Rather at once our time devour Than languish in his slow-chapped power. Let us roll all our strength and all Our sweetness up into one ball, And tear our pleasures with rough strife Thorough the iron gates of life: Thus, though we cannot make our sun Stand still, yet we will make him run.
Andrew Marvell (The Complete Poems)
The eye: the window to the soul; the center of the face's beauty; the point where a person's identity is concentrated; but at the same time an optical instrument that requires constant washing, wetting, maintenance by a special liquid dosed with salt. So the gaze, the greatest marvel man possesses, is regularly interrupted by a mechanical washing action.
Milan Kundera (Identity)
Reading has always brought me pure joy. I read to encounter new worlds and new ways of looking at the world. I read to enlarge my horizons, to gain wisdom, to experience beauty, to understand myself better, and for the pure wonderment of it all. I read and marvel over how writers use language in ways I never thought of. I read for company, and for escape. Because I am incurably interested in the lives of other people, both friends and strangers, I read to meet myriad folks and enter their lives- for me, a way of vanquishing the “otherness” we all experience.
Nancy Pearl
Although beauty is a marvelous thing, we must discredit it in human relations, since it has little to do with love or happiness.
Helen B. Andelin
I marvel at everything as if it were new.
Anna Akhmatova (The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova)
You are the most fascinating thing in this beautiful house.
Freya Marske (A Marvellous Light (The Last Binding, #1))
Kaitlyn remebered the things he'd given her, the sun-flooded afternoons, and the cool healing ocean waves, and the music he'd written. He'd given her everything that was best in him, everything he was. She wanted to give him the same thing back. I don't know how you can love me. The words came soflty, as if he were thinking them to himself. You've seen what I am. That's why I do love you, Kaitlyn told him. I hope you'll still love me when you see what I am. "I know what you are, Kait. Everything beautiful and brave and gallant and..." He stopped as if his throat had closed. "Everything that makes me want to be better for you. That makes me sorry I'm such a stupid mess..." You looked like a knight with that shard, Kaitlyn said, moving toward him. "Really?" He laughed shakily. My knight. And I never said thank you. She was almost touching him, now. Looking up into his eyes. What she could feel in him was something she'd only felt before when she gave him her life energy. Childlike, marveling joy. Trust and vulnerability. And such love... Then she was in his arms and they weren't separate beings any longer. Their minds were together, sharing thoughts, sharing happiness beyond thought. Sharing everything. She never even knew whether he kissed her.
L.J. Smith (Dark Visions (Dark Visions, #1-3))
What man most passionately wants is his living wholeness and his living unison, not his own isolate salvation of his "soul." Man wants his physical fulfillment first and foremost, since now, once and once only, he is in the flesh and potent. For man, the vast marvel is to be alive. For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive. Whatever the unborn and the dead may know, they cannot know the beauty, the marvel of being alive in the flesh. The dead may look after the afterwards. But the magnificent here and now of life in the flesh is ours, and ours alone, and ours only for a time. We ought to dance with rapture that we should be alive and in the flesh, and part of the living, incarnate cosmos. I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me. That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly, and my blood is part of the sea. My soul knows that I am part of the human race, my soul is an organic part of the great human soul, as my spirit is part of my nation. In my own very self, I am part of my family. There is nothing of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself, it is only the glitter of the sun on the surface of the waters.
D.H. Lawrence
You still felt that life was passing you by? Sort of. I still had this idea that there was a whole world of marvelous golden people somewhere, as far ahead of me as the seniors at Rye when I was in sixth grade; people who knew everything instinctively, who made their lives work out the way they wanted without even trying, who never had to make the best of a bad job because it never occurred to them to do anything less than perfectly the first time. Sort of heroic super-people, all of them beautiful and witty and calm and kind, and I always imagined that when I did find them I'd suddenly know that I belonged among them, that I was one of them, that I'd been meant to be one of them all along, and everything in the meantime had been a mistake; and they'd know it too. I'd be like the ugly duckling among the swans.
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
The best stories I have heard were pointless, the best books those whose plot I can never remember, the best individuals those whom I never get anywhere with. Though it has been practised on me time and again I never cease to marvel how it happens that with certain individuals whom I know, within a few minutes after greeting them we are embarked on an endless voyage comparable in feeling and trajectory only to the deep middle dream which the practised dreamer slips into like a bone slips into its sockets
Henry Miller (The Colossus of Maroussi)
What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at once.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
I continue to marvel at the reluctancy of people to look into the mirror and see all the darkness that's within them: all the deceit, the dishonesty, the insincerity, the lack, the need, the want, the lies...they would rather look upon the mural of themselves that they've painted on the wall, and stare at that inanimate portrait of beauty, all the while telling themselves that it is the mirror image of them! This is a falsity, this is unreal! It is only when you turn to the unveiled mirror and bravely face your light and your darkness at once, that you will be able to see the true image of you! How can you pull the thorns from your skin if you are too afraid to open your eyes and look at them? You must open your eyes first, look at the thorns where they are piercing your flesh, and only then can you pull them out!
C. JoyBell C.
Baseball is the slow creation of something beautiful. It is the almost boringly paced accumulation of what seems slight or incidental into an opera of bracing suspense. The game will threaten never to end, until suddenly it forces you to marvel at how it came to be where it is and to wonder at how far it might go. It’s the drowsy metamorphosis of the dull into the indescribable.
Joshua Ferris (To Rise Again at a Decent Hour)
I would venture to say that approaching the Christian Story from this direction, it has long been my feeling (a joyous feeling) that God redeemed the corrupt makingcreatures, men, in a way fitting to this aspect, as to others, of their strange nature. The Gospels contain a fairy-story, or a story of a larger kind which embraces all the essence of fairy-stories. They contain many marvels—peculiarly artistic, beautiful, and moving: ‘mythical’ in their perfect, self-contained significance; and among the marvels is the greatest and most complete conceivable eucatastrophe. But this story has entered History and the primary world; the desire and aspiration of sub-creation has been raised to the fulfillment of Creation. The Birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of Man’s history. The Resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of the Incarnation. This story begins and ends in joy. It has pre-eminently the ‘inner consistency of reality’. There is no tale ever told that men would rather find was true, and none which so many sceptical men have accepted as true on its own merits. For the Art of it has the supremely convincing tone of Primary Art, that is, of Creation. To reject it leads either to sadness or to wrath.
J.R.R. Tolkien (Tolkien On Fairy-stories)
Of all the places I have walked into, libraries must be the most magical. Have you ever opened the cover of a book and wondered what you would find inside? Where you would go? Whom you would meet? A story has the power to send you back in time or into the future, to transport you to other lands and kingdoms. I’ve met ogres, talking rabbits, and some of my best friends in the pages of books. Librarians might just have the best jobs ever. With each library card they hand out, they offer a ticket to strange and marvelous worlds. Open a book and, like Reading Beauty, you might fall under a spell—the magic of a deep read. But chances are, unlike the Sleeping Beauty of the original fairy tale, you will never want the spell to be broken.
Kimberly Long Cockroft (Reading Beauty)
The most wonderful of all things in life, I believe, is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a glowing depth, beauty, and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing, it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of Divine accident.
Hugh Walpole
Forgetfulness heals everything and song is the most beautiful manner of forgetting, for in song man feels only what he loves. So, in the kapia, between the skies, the river and the hills, generation after generation learnt not to mourn overmuch what the troubled waters had borne away. They entered there into the unconscious philosophy of the town; that life was an incomprehensible marvel, since it was incessantly wasted and spent, yet none the less it lasted and endured 'like the bridge on the Drina'.
Ivo Andrić (The Bridge on the Drina (Bosnian Trilogy, #1))
For remember, that it is altogether your world now. You and all the rest. We have delivered you from evil, but the evil that is inside men is at the last a matter for men to control. The responsibility and the hope and the promise are in your hands-your hands and the hands of all men on this earth. The future can not blame the present, just as the present can not blame the past. The hope is always here, always alive, but only your fierce caring can fan it into a fire to warm the world. For Drake is no longer in his hammock, children, nor is Arthur somewhere sleeping, and you may not lie idly expecting the second coming of anybody now, because the world is yours and it is up to you. Now especially since man has the strength to destroy the world, it is the responsibility of man to keep it alive, in all its beauty and marvelous joy. And the world will still be imperfect, because men are imperfect. Good men will still be killed by bad, or sometimes by other good men, and there will still be pain and disease and famine, anger and hate. But if you work and care and are watchful, as we have tried to be for you, then in the long run the worse will never, ever, triumph over the better. And the gifts put into some men, that shine as bright as Eirias the sword, shall light the dark corners of life for all the rest, in so brave a world.
Susan Cooper (Silver on the Tree (The Dark is Rising, #5))
There isn't any particular relationship between all the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep.  There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects.  What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
Certain acts dazzle us and light up blurred surfaces, if our eyes are sharp enough to see them in a flash, for the beauty of a living thing can be grasped only fleetingly. To pursue it during its changes leads us inevitably to the moment when it ceases, for it cannot last a lifetime. And to analyze it, that is, to pursue it in time with the sight and the imagination, is to view it in its decline, for following the marvelous moment in which it reveals itself, it diminishes in intensity.
Jean Genet (Miracle of the Rose)
Let us not mince words: The marvelous is always beautiful, anything marvelous is beauitful, in fact only the marvelous is beautiful
André Breton
From his heart, he thanks these young animals for their beauty. And they will never know what they have done to make this moment marvelous to him, and life itself less hateful.…
Christopher Isherwood (A Single Man)
We are faith. We speak all languages of beauty and hardship.
G. Willow Wilson (No Normal (Ms. Marvel, #1))
The game is cruel; but its cruelty is sensual and stirs George into hot excitement. He feels a thrill of pleasure to find the senses so eager in their response; too often, now, they seem sadly jaded. From his heart, he thanks these young animals for their beauty. And they will never know what they have done to make this moment marvelous to him, and life itself less hateful....
Christopher Isherwood (A Single Man)
These marvels were great and comfortable ones, but in the old England there was a greater still. The weather behaved itself. In the spring all the little flowers came out obediently in the meads, and the dew sparkled, and the birds sang; in the summer it was beautifully hot for no less than four months, and, if it did rain just enough for agricultural purposes, they managed to arrange it so that it rained while you were in bed; in the autumn the leaves flamed and rattled before the west winds, tempering their sad adieu with glory; and in the winter, which was confined by statute to two months, the snow lay evenly, three feet thick, but never turned into slush.
T.H. White (The Sword in the Stone (The Once and Future King, #1))
Floating in the void free of gravity I made my way along the side of the ship. I listened to my own breaths. It was so dark and I was so weightless that I had to look for my bubbles to be sure which way was up. I swam backward a little away from the boat and into outer space and waved my arm through the water. Sure enough the phosphorescents appeared trailing my movement like the tail of a shooting star. I let myself tip upside down and floated there watching the gentle snowstorm marveling that a world of such strangeness existed here all the time just under the surface.
Elisabeth Eaves (Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents)
There was so much time that marvelous summer. Day after day, mist rose from the meadow as the sky lightened and hedges, barns and woods took shape until, at last, the long curving back of the hills lifted away from the Plain. It was a sort of stage-magic.
J.L. Carr (A Month in the Country)
There was something about Christmas Eve, they both felt, that demanded company; one needed somebody to whisper to, during the warm beautiful dream-taut moments between hanging the empty stocking at the end of the bed, and dropping into the cosy oblivion that would flower into the marvel of Christmas morning.
Susan Cooper (The Dark Is Rising (The Dark is Rising, #2))
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.
Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1))
I came across a wild flower, marveled at its beauty and at the perfection of all its parts, and exclaimed: 'But all this in you and in thousands like you blossoms and fades; it is not noticed by anyone and in fact is often not even seen by any one.' But the flower replied: 'You fool! Do you imagine I blossom in order to be seen? I blossom for my own sake because it pleases me, and not for the sake of others; my joy and delight consist in my being and in my blossoming.
Arthur Schopenhauer
How I'm rushing through this! How much each sentence in this brief story contains. "The stars are made of the same atoms as the earth." I usually pick one small topic like this to give a lecture on. Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars—mere globs of gas atoms. Nothing is "mere." I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more ? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagina-tion—stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern—of which I am a part—perhaps my stuff was belched from some forgotten star, as one is belching there. Or see them with the greater eye of Palomar, rushing all apart from some common starting point when they were perhaps all together. What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the why ? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined! Why do the poets of the present not speak of it ? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?
Richard P. Feynman (The Feynman Lectures on Physics)
I ask you right here to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must see all scars as beauty... because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived. Sad words are just another beauty. A sad story means, this story teller is alive. The next think you know, something fine will happen to her, something marvelous, and then she will turn around and smile.
Chris Cleave (Little Bee)
The song is an unvarnished love shout, an implorement tinged with...anger? Something like anger, but the anger of a philosoher, the anger of a pot. An anger directed at the transience of the world, at its heartbreaking beauty that collides constantly with our awareness of the fact that everything gets taken away, that we're being shown marvels but reminded always that they don't belong to us. They're sultans' treasures; we're lucky, we're expected to feel lucky to have been invited to see them at all.
Michael Cunningham (The Snow Queen)
Houses, gardens, and people were transfigured into musical sounds, all that was solid seemed to be transfigured into soul and into gentleness. Sweet veils of silver and soul-haze swam through all things and lay over all things. The soul of the world had opened, and all grief, all human disappointment, all evil, all pain seemed to vanish, from now on never to appear again. Earlier walks came before my eyes; but the wonderful image of the humble present became a feeling which overpowered all others. The future paled, and the past dissolved. I glowed and flowered myself in the glowing, flowering present. From near and far, great things and small things emerged bright silver with marvelous gestures, joys, and enrichments, and in the midst of this beautiful place I dreamed of nothing but this place itself. All other fantasies sank and vanished in meaninglessness. I had the whole rich earth immediately before me, and I still looked only at what was most small and most humble. With gestures of love the heavens rose and fell. I had become an inward being, and walked as in an inward world; everything outside me became a dream; what I had understood till now became unintelligible. I fell away from the surface, down into the fabulous depths, which I recognized then to be all that was good. What we understand and love understands and loves us also. I was no longer myself, was another, and yet it was on this account that I became properly myself. In the sweet light of love I realized, or believe I realized, that perhaps the inward self is the only self which really exists.
Robert Walser (Selected Stories)
The best Christmas trees come very close to exceeding nature. If some of our great decorated trees had been grown in a remote forest area with lights that came on every evening as it grew dark, the whole world would come to look at them and marvel at the mystery of their great beauty.
Andy Rooney (Andy Rooney: 60 Years of Wisdom and Wit)
I've often thought about how all these different life forms occupy the same space as me during a given moment and how easy it can be to get so wrapped up in your own world you forget you're part of something larger and marvelous.
Noel Marie Fletcher (Windows into the Beauty of Flowers & Nature)
Moreover, knowledge and investigation help promote wonder they do not destroy it. Whatever our tastes, we can generally appreciate such things as music, art or wine better when we understand a bit about them. We read up on our favourite singers or artists because we feel we can appreciate their work better when we know how they think and what they bring to their work. The giddy delight and curiosity that comes from marvelling at the beauty of this universe is deepened, not cheapened, by the laws and facts science gives us to aid our understanding. In a similar way, the psychological tricks at work behind many seemingly paranormal events are truly more fascinating than the explanation of other-worldiness precisely because they are of this world, and say something about how rich and complex and mysterious we are as human beings to be convinced by such trickery, indeed to want to perpetuate it in the first place.
Derren Brown (Tricks of the Mind)
Stupid women were lured into it and assured they would become young and beautiful if they let themselves be pummeled and pounded and smeared with sticky creams, and have their faces lifted and their stomachs flattened. They paid a lot of money to Madame Olympia, who would put a little bit of magic into the creams and ointments that she used so that at first they did look marvelous. But it was the kind of magic that wore off very quickly, leaving the women even uglier than before so that they would rush back to her and pay her more money and the whole thing would start again.
Eva Ibbotson (Which Witch?)
It has been a hard and lonely life, she says, and a wonderful one, too. She has lived through wars, and fought in them, witnessed revolutions and rebirth. She has left her mark on a thousand works of art, like a thumbprint in the bottom of a drying bowl. She has seen marvels, and gone mad, has danced in snowbanks and frozen to death along the Seine. She fell in love with the darkness many times, fell in love with a human once. And she is tired. Unspeakably tired. But there is no question she has lived. 'Nothing is all good or all bad,' she says. 'Life is os much messier than that.' And there in the dark, he asks if it was really worth it. Were the instants of joy worth the stretches of sorrow? Were the moments of beauty worth the years of pain? And she turns her head, and looks at him, and says, 'Always.
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
He has a simple and a beautiful nature...Don't spoil him. Don't try to influence him. Your influence would be bad. The world is wide, and has many marvellous people in it. Don't take away from me the one person who gives to my art whatever charm it possesses: my life as an artist depends on him.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
And I go back to Eden, in my mind, to imagine what it is going to be like for you and me in heaven. I suppose it will be a new and marvelous paradise, where love will exist in its purest form, where the beauty of diversity will be understood for the first time, where self-hatred will fade into an agreement with with God about the splendor of His creation, where physical beauty will no longer be used as a commodity, where you and I will feel free in our sincere love for others, ourselves, and God. And I suppose it will be in heaven that you and I actually understand each other, all the drama of the lifeboat a distant memory, all the arguments we has seeming so inconsequential, and the glory of God before us in all His majesty, shining like sunlight through our souls.
Donald Miller (Searching for God Knows What)
Where others saw America in lovely columns, marvels of engineering, and refined democrats, Dad saw only masks concealing the heralds of woe.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood)
Now especially since man has the strength to destroy the world, it is the responsibility of man to keep it alive, in all its beauty and marvelous joy.
Susan Cooper (Silver on the Tree (The Dark is Rising, #5))
You know, it is one of the most marvellous things in life to discover something unexpectedly, spontaneously, to come upon something without premeditation, and instantly to see the beauty, the sacredness, the reality of it. But a mind that is seeking and wanting to find is never in that position at all.
J. Krishnamurti (On God)
endless action and reaction. Those beautifully rounded pebbles which you gather on the sand and which you hold in your hand and marvel at their exceeding smoothness, were chiseled into their varies and graceful forms by the ceaseless action of countless waves. Nature is herself a great worker and never tolerates, without certain rebuke, any contradiction to her wise example. Inaction is followed by stagnation. Stagnation is followed by pestilence and pestilence is followed by death.
Frederick Douglass
in heavenly realms of hellas dwelt two very different sons of zeus: one, handsome strong and born to dare --a fighter to his eyelashes-- the other,cunning ugly lame; but as you'll shortly comprehend a marvellous artificer now Ugly was the husband of (as happens every now and then upon a merely human plane) someone completely beautiful; and Beautiful,who(truth to sing) could never quite tell right from wrong, took brother Fearless by the eyes and did the deed of joy with him then Cunning forged a web so subtle air is comparatively crude; an indestructible occult supersnare of resistless metal: and(stealing toward the blissful pair) skilfully wafted over them- selves this implacable unthing next,our illustrious scientist petitions the celestial host to scrutinize his handiwork: they(summoned by that savage yell from shining realms of regions dark) laugh long at Beautiful and Brave --wildly who rage,vainly who strive; and being finally released flee one another like the pest thus did immortal jealousy quell divine generosity, thus reason vanquished instinct and matter became the slave of mind; thus virtue triumphed over vice and beauty bowed to ugliness and logic thwarted life:and thus-- but look around you,friends and foes my tragic tale concludes herewith: soldier,beware of mrs smith
E.E. Cummings
To feel the intimacy of brothers is a marvelous thing in life. To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life. But to feel affection that comes from those whom we do not know, from those unknown to us, who are watching over our sleep and solitude, over our dangers and our weaknesses---that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being and unites all living things.
Pablo Neruda (Neruda and Vallejo: Selected Poems)
You see, the root cause of our lack of engagement in God’s mission is not a missions problem but a gospel problem. We demonstrate by our inaction that we no longer marvel at grace. We are unaffected by the beauty of what God has done for us in Christ.
Trevin K. Wax (Gospel-Centered Teaching: Showing Christ in All the Scripture)
Your cruelties and mistakes may look damning to you, but that is not what I see. Every human conversation is more elegant and complex than the entire solar system that contains it. You have no idea how marvelous you are, but I am not only here to protect what you are now, I am here to protect what you will become. I can't tell you what that might be because I don't know. That unknown is a diamond in a universe of dirt. Uncertainty. Unpredictability. It is when you turn your emotions into art. It is BTS and the Sistine Chapel and Rumi's poetry and Ross Geller on the stairs yelling, 'Pivot.' Every creation great and small, they are our diamonds. And what you may be in two hundred years, we can guess with fair accuracy. What you are in two thousand . . . Oh, my friends . . . my best friends, you cannot know.
Hank Green (A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor (The Carls, #2))
Robin managed to hold his tongue on something truly unwise like You look like a Turner painting and I want to learn your textures with my fingertips. You are the most fascinating thing in this beautiful house. I’d like to introduce my fists to whoever taught you to stop talking about the things that interest you.
Freya Marske (A Marvellous Light (The Last Binding, #1))
It was as if a blade had shucked his heart like an oyster and stolen the beauty within. He said his heart never started beating again, it just started working and I never understood the difference, not until I was much older anyway, when I learnt that coming back from the dead is not quite the same as coming back to life.
Sarah Winman (A Year of Marvellous Ways)
. . . at eighteen the true narrative of life is yet to be commenced. Before that time we sit listening to a tale, a marvelous fiction, delightful sometimes, and sad sometimes, almost always unreal. Before that time our world is heroic, its inhabitants half-divine or semi-demon; its scenes are dreamscenes; darker woods and stranger hills, brighter skies, more dangerous waters, sweeter flowers, more tempting fruits, wider plains, drearier deserts, sunnier fields than are found in nature, overspread our enchanted globe. What a moon we gaze on before that time! How the trembling of our hearts at her aspect bears witness to its unutterable beauty!
Charlotte Brontë (Shirley)
Every time, it’s the same thing, I feel like crying, my throat goes all tight and I do the best I can to control myself but sometimes it gets close: I can hardly keep myself from sobbing. So when they sing a canon I look down at the ground because it’s just too much emotion at once: it’s too beautiful, and everyone singing together, this marvelous sharing. I’m no longer myself. I am just one part of a sublime whole, to which the others also belong, and I always wonder at such moments why this cannot be the rule of everyday life, instead of being an exceptional moment, during a choir.
Muriel Barbery
He thinks it's because he was born in the wrong body, but we want to whisper in his ears that many of us were born in the right bodies and still felt foreign inside them, felt betrayed. We completely misunderstood our bodies. We punished them, berated them, held them to an Olympian ideal that was deeply unfair to them. We loathed the hair in some places and the lack of hair in others. We wanted to everything to be tighter, stronger, harder, faster. We rarely recognized our own beauty unless someone else was recognizing it for us. We starved or we pushed or we hid or we paraded, and there was always another body we thought was better than ours. There was always something wrong, most time numerous things wrong. When we were healthy, we were ignorant. We could never be content within our own skin. Breathe, we want to tell Avery. Feel yourself breathe. Because that is as much a part of your body as anything else. Avery, we whisper, you are a marvel. And he is. He may never believe it, but he is.
David Levithan (Two Boys Kissing)
[Wild animals], and the beautiful landscapes that sustain them...possess a value and a virtue regardless of our dwindling connection with them. It seems that there is a virtue and a wisdom in keeping some things beyond our reach: that the protection of wilderness itself is imperative... We have touched, and are consuming, everything. The world is very old, and we are so new. I like the feeling of awe--what the late writer Wallace Stegner called 'the birth of awe'--in beholding wild country not reduced by man. I like to remember that it is wild country that gives rise to wild animals; and that the marvelous specificity of wild animals reminds us to wake up, to let our senses be inflamed by every scent and sound and sight and taste and touch of the world. I like to remember that we are not here forever, and not here alone, and that the respect with which we behold the wild world matters, if anything does.
Rick Bass
Each of us experiences the perpetual revival of the self. We constantly recast our connate emotional index by perceiving each encounter in life as a marvel, impedance, problem, disaster, or nothing at all. Living in the moment allows us to escape the lonely landscape of self-interest and be part of a larger world filled with beauty, reverence, and adoration.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
The Invisible mom: “As mothers, we are BUILDING great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will MARVEL, not only at what we have built, but at the BEAUTY that has been added to the world by the SACRIFICES of invisible women.
Nicole Johnson
I know from grim experience that there is a beauty to her inner layers, too. Marvels of symmetry and craftsmanship sealed away inside her like the jewelled movements of a timepiece, fine works of art never meant to be seen.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
I understand what you mean, and I believe in this girl. Anyone you love must be marvellous, and any girl that has the effect you describe must be fine and noble. To spiritualise one's age--that is something worth doing. If this girl can give a soul to those who have lived without one, if she can create the sense of beauty in people whose lives have been sordid and ugly, if she can strip them of their selfishness and lend them tears for sorrows that are not their own, she is worthy of all your adoration, worthy of the adoration of the world.
Oscar Wilde
If every form of nature looked the same we wouldn’t marvel in its beauty. If every mountain overlooked a parallel scene, if every flower bloomed in uninspired ways, the Earth would not steal us of our breath. Use this as a lesson. Your eyes, your hands, your marvelous smile – those are all your unique contribution to the matchless beauty of nature. You are a stunning rarity; you don’t need to be fixed.
Bianca Sparacino (Seeds Planted in Concrete)
Miracles are like stones: they are everywhere, offering up their beauty, but hardly anyone concedes value to them. We live in a reality where prodigies abound but are seen only by those who have developed their perception of them. Without this perception everything is banal, marvelous events are seen as chance, and one progresses through life without possessing the key that is gratitude. When something extraordinary happens it is seen as a natural phenomenon that we can exploit like parasites, without giving anything in return. But miracles require an exchange; I must make that which is given to me bear fruit for others. If one is not united with oneself, the wonder cannot be captured. Miracles are never performed or provoked: they are discovered. If someone who believes himself to be blind takes off his dark glasses, he will see the light. That darkness is the prison of the rational.
Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality: A Psychomagical Autobiography)
Beauty made you love, love made you beautiful.... She pulled her wrap closer round her with a gesture of defence, of keeping out and off. She didn't want to grow sentimental. Difficult not to, here; the marvelous night stole in through all one's chinks, and brought in with it, whether one wanted them or not, enormous feelings--feelings one couldn't manage, great things about death and time and waste; glorious and devastating things, magnificent and bleak, at once rapture and terror and immense, heart-cleaving longing. She felt small and dreadfully alone. She felt uncovered and defenceless. Instinctively she pulled her wrap closer. With this thing of chiffon she tried to protect herself from the eternities.
Elizabeth von Arnim (The Enchanted April)
create a private life strong in ethics, rich with marvelous beauty and unyielding when it comes to the protection of your inner peace.
Robin S. Sharma (The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life)
To be an engineer, and build a marvelous machine, and to see the beauty of its operation is as valid an experience of beauty as a mathematician's absorption in a wondrous theorem. One is not "more" beautiful than the other. To see a space shuttle standing on the launch pad, the vented gases escaping, and witness the thunderous blast-off as it climbs heavenward on a pillar of flame - this is beauty. Yet it is a prime example of applied mathematics.
Calvin C. Clawson (Mathematical Mysteries: The Beauty and Magic of Numbers)
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. —ALBERT EINSTEIN
Glen David Gold (Carter Beats the Devil)
I am not a well educated man except that I have educated myself, and, because I have educated myself, what I say will not stand up, for lack of recognized authority. This in turn leaves me free to say what I will, in the hope that, like those small forces that do not threaten empires and are thus not fully pursued, the things in which I believe can survive in some high and forgotten place until the power of empire subsides. And although I know that few will listen to or credit this, I think we are in a lost age, in which holiness and charity have been traded for the victory and penetration of knowledge, though all the knowledge in the world has not brought us any further than where we can go without it even in the outermost halls of grace. I believe that more is to be known and apprehended from the beauty of a face than in delving, no matter how deep, simply into how things work, no matter how marvelous that may be. The greatest substance of the world is immaterial, the province of the heart, and its study cannot be forced or reasoned. Merely to touch upon the edge of things in parsing their mechanics is to forswear their fullness, for the entry to this fullness lies not in science but in art. I cannot prove this, for it cannot be proven, but I claim, assert, and have seen it.
Mark Helprin
Sometimes at Christmas she would slip into neighborhoods just like this one. She would walk along the streets and peer into windows at family and holiday gatherings, and marvel at the shiny gold, crimson and green decorated trees covered with tinsel and twinkling colored lights, while she wondered what it must be like to experience the beauty of such an ordinary, unattainable life.
Thea Harrison (Storm's Heart (Elder Races, #2))
There isn't any particular relationship between all the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at once.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
In each life, there come moments that feel as though they are a seashell from centuries ago caught and preserved in stone. All that is beautiful is there in full detail. And we are allowed to marvel as though time isn’t slipping away from us, as though it will always be here, in our hands. That’s how Helen felt as she cradled the newborn in her arms and looked down at his tiny sleeping face.
Corinne Beenfield (The Ocean's Daughter)
Looking at things is never time wasted. If your children want to stand and stare, let them. When I was marvelling at the beauty of a painting or enjoying a great view it did not occur to me that the experience, however intense, would be of value many years later. But there it has remained, tucked away in hidden bits of my mind and now it comes, shouldering aside even the most passionate love affairs.
Diana Athill
Like everything perfect, he set up a ferocious pain inside me -- a flickering, griping sort of pain, because nothing as marvelous as that is ever within reach, is it? Nothing as beautiful can ever last.
Geraldine McCaughrean (The White Darkness)
When the sun goes down, melting away his caresses into the sky which consonants with the ocean, lively colors are scattered through the deep pale depth during some short sensuous instants. Later, as by art of magic, light is consumed into the infinite horizon giving space to the poked voidness and its full-cristal-covered vastness. Then, to mystify the night, a marvelous and alluring sentinel rests next to us through the vivid night, just until the next prismatic fest arrives with its celebrating aperture.
Jose A. Arvide
The sign says BLIND PEOPLE’S ARBORETUM. I stand, still out of breath, dripping sweat and marveling at such a beautiful concept—in China, of all places, where disabled people are still often considered flawed and superfluous. I have never seen anything like this, even in the United States or Europe, and yet here, hidden away on the edge of a noisy, bustling, modernizing Chinese city, someone has taken the effort and expense to plant this beautiful, tree-hugging garden—an island of stop-and-rest in a sea of smash-and-grab.   5.
Rob Gifford (China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power)
Sand and ash. The ingredients of glass. Such beauty created from nothing. It had been something Babbo had marveled about and something she’d never understood. From sand and ash, rebirth. From sand and ash, new life. With every song and with every prayer, with every small rebellion, Eva felt reborn, renewed, and she vowed to press on. She vowed to push back, to make glass from the ashes, and that courage was a victory in itself. Eva
Amy Harmon (From Sand and Ash)
The cyclone had set the house down gently, very gently – for a cyclone—in the midst of a country of marvelous beauty. There were lovely patches of green sward all about, with stately trees bearing rich and luscious fruits. Banks of gorgeous flowers were on every hand, and birds with rare and brilliant plumage sang and fluttered in the trees and bushes. A little way off was a small brook, rushing and sparkling along between green banks, and murmuring in a voice very grateful to a little girl who had lived so long on the dry, gray prairies.
L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1))
I'm not really a director. I'm a man who believes in the validity of a person's inner desires. And I think those inner desires, whether they're ugly or beautiful, are pertinent to each of us and are probably the only things worth a damn. I want to put those inner dreams on the screen so we can all look and think and feel and marvel at them.
John Cassavetes
Nothing like beautiful legs. 'Cause with beautiful legs, even if you've been there only once or twice, there might be something up there besides the cunt, there might be something really marvellous this time - it could be a cunt, but it could be - it's just something about looking at the legs just makes you - I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the cunt, I'm just saying, you always imagine - some extra magic when you're looking at the outside portion of the female.
Charles Bukowski
Biological instincts are the key to understanding how every single human being is wired. The marvelous interplay of various brain circuits creates our instinctual reality of the daily life. If you’re conscious about the fact that there lies a complex yet vividly beautiful brain circuit mechanism behind every single impulse of your daily emotions, then you can choose how to react upon each of those impulses. You can thus program your behavioral response in a certain situation.
Abhijit Naskar (Love Sutra: The Neuroscientific Manual of Love)
Her mind was as destitute of beauty and mystery as the prairie school-house in which she had been educated; and her ideals seemed to Ralph as pathetic as the ornaments made of corks and cigar-bands with which her infant hands had been taught to adorn it. He was beginning to understand this, and learning to adapt himself to the narrow compass of her experience.
Edith Wharton (The Custom of the Country)
There are marvelous utilities, infinite good and unspeakable beauties in the great cosmic intelligence, the unseen world, ready for our use and enjoyment. If we only had sufficient faith to believe they were there we could draw them to ourselves.
Orison Swett Marden (How to Get What You Want)
Oh what marvels fill me with thanksgiving! The deep mahogany of a leaf once green. The feathered fronds of tiny icicles coating every twig and branch in a wintry landscape. The feel of goosebumps thawing after endured frozen temperatures. Both hands clamped around a hot mug of herbal tea. The aromatic whiff of mint under my nose. The stir of emotion from a child's cry for mommy. A gift of love detached of strings. Spotted lilies collecting raindrops in a cupped clump of petals. The vibrant mélange of colors on butterfly wings. The milky luster of a single pearl. Rainbows reflecting off iridescence bubbles. Awe-struck silence evoked by any form of beauty. Avocado flecks in your eyes. Warm hands on my face. Sweetness on the tongue. The harmony of voices. An answered prayer. A pink balloon. A caress. A smile. More. These have become my treasures by virtue of thanksgiving.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.
Albert Einstein (The World As I See It)
The snow on the high mountains is melting fast, and the streams are singing bank-full, swaying softly through the level meadows and bogs, quivering with sun-spangles, swirling in pot-holes, resting in deep pools, leaping, shouting in wild, exulting energy over rough boulder dams, joyful, beautiful in all their forms. No Sierra landscape that I have seen holds anything truly dead or dull, or any trace of what in manufactories is called rubbish or waste; everything is perfectly clean and pure and full of divine lessons. This quick, inevitable interest attaching to everything seems marvelous until the hand of God becomes visible; then it seems reasonable that what interests Him may well interest us. When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.
John Muir
And then to my surprise in one of them I discovered the original manuscript of On Friendship. Puzzled, I unrolled it, thinking I must have brought it with me by mistake. But when I saw that Cicero had copied out at the top of the roll in his shaking hand a quotation from the text, on the importance of having friends, I realised it was a parting gift: If a man ascended into heaven and gazed upon the whole workings of the universe and the beauty of the stars, the marvellous sight would give him no joy if he had to keep it to himself. And yet, if only there had been someone to describe the spectacle to, it would have filled him with delight. Nature abhors solitude.
Robert Harris (Dictator (Cicero, #3))
But strange and marvelous as she was, a wisp of silk in a forest of black wool, she was not at all the fragile creature one would ever have her seem. In many ways she was as cool and competent as Henry; tough-minded and solitary in her habits, and in many ways as aloof .
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
I know it’s hard sometimes to recognize how truly beautiful you are, and how truly worthy of love you have always been and will always be. It’s hard sometimes to see the truth of your divinity amidst the closed, judgmental opinions of the outside world, and of your own critical mind. But your beauty and your worthiness have nothing to do with anyone’s opinions, or anyone’s mind, not even your own. Your real truth lives in the heart, and your heart, as big and open and generous as it is, will never stop marveling at your stunning existence.
Scott Stabile
Will laughed and shook his head. “We’re married, Hanna,” he said, and it sounded like he was still marveling at it, too . . . “Say, I was wondering what you were doing in this tuxedo.” I wrapped his tie around my fist and tugged on it, bringing him closer. “Unless you’re just a really, really snappy dresser. But then, you have this ring on your finger, too . . .” “I want to be sweet with you,” he said, palm curving over my shoulder and slipping down between my breasts. There was a weight there, a pressure to his touch I could feel even through the thin layers of fabric. Despite the softness in his voice, it screamed of possession, of lust. “I feel like I should be sweet tonight.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Boss (Beautiful Bastard, #4.5))
The founder of a religion must be able to turn water into wine -- cure with a word the blind and lame, and raise with a simple touch the dead to life. It was necessary for him to demonstrate to the satisfaction of his barbarian disciple, that he was superior to nature. In times of ignorance this was easy to do. The credulity of the savage was almost boundless. To him the marvelous was the beautiful, the mysterious was the sublime. Consequently, every religion has for its foundation a miracle -- that is to say, a violation of nature -- that is to say, a falsehood. No one, in the world's whole history, ever attempted to substantiate a truth by a miracle. Truth scorns the assistance of a miracle. Nothing but falsehood ever attested itself by signs and wonders. No miracle ever was performed, and no sane man ever thought he had performed one, and until one is performed, there can be no evidence of the existence of any power superior to, and independent of, nature.
Robert G. Ingersoll
The function of education, then, is to help you from childhood not to imitate anybody, but to be yourself all the time. And this is a most difficult thing to do: whether you are ugly or beautiful, whether you are envious or jealous, always to be what you are, but understand it. To be yourself is very difficult, because you think that what you are is ignoble, and that if you could only change what you are into something noble it would be marvellous; but that never happens. Whereas, if you look at what you actually are and understand it, then in that very understanding there is a transformation. So freedom lies, not in trying to become something different, nor in doing whatever you happen to feel like doing, nor in following the authority of tradition, of your parents, of your guru, but in understanding what you are from moment to moment.
J. Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
All praise to winter, then, was Henry's feeling. Let others have their sultry luxuries. How full of creative genius was the air in which these snow-crystals were generated. He could hardly have marveled more if real stars had fallen and lodged on his coat. What a world to live in, where myriads of these little discs, so beautiful to the most prying eye, were whirled down on every traveler's coat, on the restless squirrel's fur and on the far-stretching fields and forests, the wooded dells and mountain-tops,--these glorious spangles, the sweepings of heaven's floor.
Van Wyck Brooks (The Flowering of New England, 1815-1865)
Believing then … that human life is actually worth living, one can combat one’s natural pessimism by stoicism and the refusal of illusion, while embellishing the scene with any one of the following. There are the beauties of science and the extraordinary marvels of nature. There is the consolation and irony of philosophy. There are the infinite splendors of literature and poetry, not excluding the liturgical and devotional aspects of these, such as those found in John Donne or George Herbert. There is the grand resource of art and music and architecture, again not excluding those elements that aspire to the sublime. In all of these pursuits, any one of them enough to absorb a lifetime, there may be found a sense of awe and magnificence that does not depend at all on any invocation of the supernatural. Indeed, nobody armed by art and culture and literature and philosophy is likely to be anything but bored and sickened by ghost stories, UFO tales, spiritualist experiences, or babblings from the beyond.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
He positively forgot where he was, and not even hearing what was said, he could not take his eyes off the marvelous portrait. It was not a picture, but a living, charming woman, with black curling hair, with bare arms and shoulders, with a pensive smile on the lips, covered with soft down; triumphantly and softly she looked at him with eyes that baffled him. She was not living only because she was more beautiful than a living woman can be.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
It was so beautiful', he said. 'the Three Pagodas Pass must be one of the loveliest places in the world. you've got this broad valley with the river running down it, and the jungle forest, and the mountains....we used to sit by the river and watch the sun setting behind the mountains, sometimes, and say what a marvellous place it would be to come to for a holiday. however terrible a prison camp may be, it makes a difference if its beautiful.
Nevil Shute (A Town Like Alice)
Do you see the butterfly?” Suri grinned with enthusiasm. “Yes, I see it, but—” “So stunning and delicate; it’s marvelous. No one can see a butterfly and not stop to admire it. I’d love to be one. To go to sleep and wake up a season later with such beautiful wings and the ability to flutter about. That’s the most wonderful sort of magic, don’t you think? To change, to grow, to fly. But…” She paused. “I wonder what the cost would be.” The smile diminished once more. “There’s always a cost when it comes to magic. I suspect there is a great price to go from lowly caterpillar to glorious butterfly.
Michael J. Sullivan (Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire, #1))
Even though May came in accompanied by rain, all the fields were bright with the loveliest green imaginable. A sunbeam pierced a little gap in the dark sea of cloud, and the world laughed and glittered in the light of heaven. I stood there marveling and thought, Does God take us for fools, that he should light up the world for us with such consummate beauty in the radiance of his glory, in his honor? And nothing, on the other hand, but rapine and murder? Where does the truth lie? Should one go off and build a little house with flowers outside the windows and a garden outside the door and extol and thank God and turnone’s back on the world and its filth? Isn’t seclusion a form of treachery of desertion? I’m weak and puny, but I want to do what is right.
Hans Scholl (At the Heart of the White Rose: Letters and Diaries of Hans and Sophie Scholl)
One of many beautiful young girls in traditional hijab came up to me to have her photo signed. Her green eyes glistened as she looked at me directly and asked, “Can you put ‘Women can be heroes, too’?” I met everyday heroines on this trip–ladies with a glow and a sparkle, a determination and a strength in the face of adversity. We did have tremendous fun in the making of Agent Carter, but the positive effect–particularly on young women–is what I hold closest to my heart. I met a girl named Nada at the convention. She said, “Most people think my name means ‘Nothing,’ but in fact it means ‘dewdrop’ and ‘honesty’ in my culture.” Whatever happens in the future for Peggy, and the show, Season One and its small impact on young girls are a drop of positivity in our world. Peggy is an honest girl following her own moral compass in the face of adversity. She makes us strive to be better than we want to be. Thank you, Marvel, for letting me step into her high heels, apply her lipstick, and fight the good fight. For all you little Peggys out there, you are not alone. Go forth and kick ass.
Hayley Atwell (Marvel's Agent Carter: Season One Declassified)
Together, on his back porch, his cigarette smoke rising like incense to the heavens, we spoke to the God of grace we both are so grateful to know up close and personal. It may be the most beautiful prayer I've ever heard. Jesus, for some reason you've given us another day, and you've set us in Narnia. There are people who still think it's frozen, and there are people who are longing to be thawed but don't know it. God, I pray that what you've called us to do would be the subversive work of the kingdom, that we would help participate in the melting of Narnia, and that people would come alive and would drink and dance and sing and just celebrate life in ways that are so marvelous that the world would press its face against the glass and see the redeemed celebrate life. Amen.
Cathleen Falsani (Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace)
I first met Winston Churchill in the early summer of 1906 at a dinner party to which I went as a very young girl. Our hostess was Lady Wemyss and I remember that Arthur Balfour, George Wyndman, Hilaire Belloc and Charles Whibley were among the guests… I found myself sitting next to this young man who seemed to me quite different from any other young man I had ever met. For a long time he seemed sunk in abstraction. Then he appeared to become suddenly aware of my existence. He turned on me a lowering gaze and asked me abruptly how old I was. I replied that I was nineteen. “And I,” he said despairingly, “am thirty-two already. Younger than anyone else who counts, though, “he added, as if to comfort himself. Then savagely: “Curse ruthless time! Curse our mortality. How cruelly short is this allotted span for all we must cram into it!” And he burst forth into an eloquent diatribe on the shortness of human life, the immensity of possible human accomplishment—a theme so well exploited by the poets, prophets, and philosophers of all ages that it might seem difficult to invest it with new and startling significance. Yet for me he did so, in a torrent of magnificent language which appeared to be both effortless and inexhaustible and ended up with the words I shall always remember: “We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow worm.” By this time I was convinced of it—and my conviction remained unshaken throughout the years that followed. Later he asked me whether I thought that words had a magic and music quite independent of their meaning. I said I certainly thought so, and I quoted as a classic though familiar instance the first lines that came into my head. Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. His eyes blazed with excitement. “Say that again,” he said, “say it again—it is marvelous!” “But I objected, “You know these lines. You know the ‘Ode to a Nightengale.’ ” He had apparently never read or heard of it before (I must, however, add that next time I met him he had not learned not merely this but all of the odes to Keats by heart—and he recited them quite mercilessly from start to finish, not sparing me a syllable). Finding that he liked poetry, I quoted to him from one of my own favorite poets, Blake. He listened avidly, repeating some lines to himself with varying emphases and stresses, then added meditatively: “I never knew that old Admiral had found so much time to write such good poetry.” I was astounded that he, with his acute susceptibility to words and power of using them, should have left such tracts of English literature entirely unexplored. But however it happened he had lost nothing by it, when he approached books it was “with a hungry, empty mind and with fairly srong jaws, and what I got I *bit*.” And his ear for the beauty of language needed no tuning fork. Until the end of dinner I listened to him spellbound. I can remember thinking: This is what people mean when they talk of seeing stars. That is what I am doing now. I do not to this day know who was on my other side. Good manners, social obligation, duty—all had gone with the wind. I was transfixed, transported into a new element. I knew only that I had seen a great light. I recognized it as the light of genius… I cannot attempt to analyze, still less transmit, the light of genius. But I will try to set down, as I remember them, some of the differences which struck me between him and all the others, young and old, whom I have known. First and foremost he was incalculable. He ran true to no form. There lurked in his every thought and world the ambush of the unexpected. I felt also that the impact of life, ideas and even words upon his mind, was not only vivid and immediate, but direct. Between him and them there was no shock absorber of vicarious thought or precedent gleaned either from books or other minds. His relationship wit
Violet Bonham Carter
But there is pleasure, is there not, unrivaled by any other feeling in the world, to reach the last page of a book and know that you have lived in it, that you have stood witness to the performance of momentous deeds at the hands of extraordinary personalities? Do you not sometimes marvel at how the construction of a beautiful line can leave you either shaking with laughter or bawling like an untended infant? Is that not a miracle which deserves as much scrutiny as the wonders of science and nature?
Katherine J. Chen (Mary B: An Untold Story of Pride and Prejudice)
Even the girl he'd danced with had thought it was some marvelous trick. She had been enveloped in real, bright fire and she had tipped back her head and laughed, the tumble of her black hair becoming a crackling waterfall of light, the heels of her shoes striking sparks like glittering leaping dust all over the floor, her skirt trailing flame as if he were following a phoenix tail. Magnus had spun and swung with her, and she'd thought he was marvelous for a single moment of bright illusion. But, like love, fire didn't last.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
The world is so big, so complicated, so replete with marvels and surprises that it takes years for most people to begin to notice that it is, also, irretrievably broken. We call this period of research “childhood.” There follows a program of renewed inquiry, often involuntary, into the nature and effects of mortality, entropy, heartbreak, violence, failure, cowardice, duplicity, cruelty, and grief; the researcher learns their histories, and their bitter lessons, by heart. Along the way, he or she discovers that the world has been broken for as long as anyone can remember, and struggles to reconcile this fact with the ache of cosmic nostalgia that arises, from time to time, in the researcher’s heart: an intimation of vanished glory, of lost wholeness, a memory of the world unbroken. We call the moment at which this ache first arises “adolescence.” The feeling haunts people all their lives. Everyone, sooner or later, gets a thorough schooling in brokenness. The question becomes: What to do with the pieces? Some people hunker down atop the local pile of ruins and make do, Bedouin tending their goats in the shade of shattered giants. Others set about breaking what remains of the world into bits ever smaller and more jagged, kicking through the rubble like kids running through piles of leaves. And some people, passing among the scattered pieces of that great overturned jigsaw puzzle, start to pick up a piece here, a piece there, with a vague yet irresistible notion that perhaps something might be done about putting the thing back together again. Two difficulties with this latter scheme at once present themselves. First of all, we have only ever glimpsed, as if through half-closed lids, the picture on the lid of the jigsaw puzzle box. Second, no matter how diligent we have been about picking up pieces along the way, we will never have anywhere near enough of them to finish the job. The most we can hope to accomplish with our handful of salvaged bits—the bittersweet harvest of observation and experience—is to build a little world of our own. A scale model of that mysterious original, unbroken, half—remembered. Of course the worlds we build out of our store of fragments can be only approximations, partial and inaccurate. As representations of the vanished whole that haunts us, they must be accounted failures. And yet in that very failure, in their gaps and inaccuracies, they may yet be faithful maps, accurate scale models, of this beautiful and broken world. We call these scale models “works of art.
Michael Chabon (The Wes Anderson Collection)
You have a freckle,” he murmured. “Right” – he leaned down and dropped a light kiss near the inside of her elbow – “here.” “You’ve seen it before,” she said softly. It wasn’t in an immodest spot; she had plenty of frocks with short sleeves. He chuckled. “But I’ve never given it it’s proper due.” “Really.” “Mmm-hmm.” He lifted her arm, twisting it just a bit so that he could pretend to be studying her freckle. “It is clearly the most delightful beauty mark in all of England.” A marvelous sense of warmth and contentment melted through her. Even as her body burned for his, she could not stop herself from encouraging his teasing conversation. “Only England?” “Well, I haven’t traveled very extensively abroad…” “Oh, really?” “And you know…” His voice dropped to a husky growl. “There may be other freckles right here in this room. You could have one here.” He dipped a finger under the bodice of her nightgown, then moved his other hand to her hip. “Or here.” “I might,” she agreed. “The back of your knee,” he said, the words hot against her ear . “You could have one there.” She nodded. She wasn’t sure she was still capable of speech. “One of your toes,” he suggested. “Or your back.” “You should probably check,” she managed to get out. He took a deep, shuddering breath.
Julia Quinn (Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #1))
Watching Paris is Burning, I began to think that the many yuppie-looking, straight -acting, pushy, predominantly white folks in the audience were there because the film in no way interrogates “whiteness.” These folks left the film saying it was “amazing,” “marvellous,” incredibly funny,” worthy of statements like, “Didn’t you just love it?” And no, I didn’t love it. For in many ways the film was a graphic documentary portrait of the way in which colonized black people (in this case black gay brothers, some of whom were drag queens) worship at the throne of whiteness, even when such worship demands that we live in perpetual self-hate, steal, go hungry, and even die in its pursuit. The "we" evoked here is all of us, black people/people of color, who are daily bombarded by a powerful colonizing whiteness that seduces us away from ourselves, that negates that there is beauty to be found in any form of blackness that is not imitation whiteness.
bell hooks (Black Looks: Race and Representation)
West had always congratulated himself on being too clever to desire a woman he couldn't have. But Phoebe was as rare as a year with two blue moons. All through dinner, he'd marveled at how beautiful she was, the candlelight striking gleams from her hair and skin like rubies and pearls. She was clever, perceptive, quick as a whip. There had been hints of an absolutely lacerating wit, which he loved, but there were also touches of shyness and melancholy that went straight to his heart. She was a woman who badly needed to enjoy herself, and he wanted to indulge her in some thoroughly adult fun.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5))
There are no telegrams on Tralfamadore. But you’re right: each clump of symbols is a brief, urgent message—describing a situation, a scene. We Tralfamadorians read them all at once, not one after the other. There isn’t any particular relationship between all the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
There are no telegrams on Tralfamadore. But you're right: each clump of symbols is a brief, urgent message - describing a situation, a scene. We Tralfamadorians read them all at once , not one after the other. There isn't any particular relationship between all the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
But it wasn’t for him to judge whether the artists were good or not—other people, plenty of other people, did that already. He was there only to offer the sort of practical help that so few of them had, as so many of them lived in a world that was deaf to practicalities. He knew it was romantic, but he admired them: he admired anyone who could live for year after year on only their fastburning hopes, even as they grew older and more obscure with every day. And, just as romantically, he thought of his time with the organization as his salute to his friends, all of whom were living the sorts of lives he marveled at: he considered them such successes, and he was proud of them. Unlike him, they had had no clear path to follow, and yet they had plowed stubbornly ahead. They spent their days making beautiful things.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Heisenberg and Bohr and Einstein strike me as being like gifted retriever dogs. Off they go, not just for an afternoon, but for ten years; they come back exhausted and triumphant and drop at your feet... a vole. It's a remarkable thing in its way, a vole—intricate, beautiful really, marvellous. But does it... Does it help? Does it move the matter on? When you ask a question that you'd actually like to know the answer to—what was there before the Big Bang, for instance, or what lies beyond the expanding universe, why does life have this inbuilt absurdity, this non sequitur of death—they say that your question can't be answered, because the terms in which you've put it are logically unsound. What you must do, you see, is ask vole questions. Vole is—as we have agreed—the answer; so it follows that your questions must therefore all be vole-related.
Sebastian Faulks (Engleby)
Something like anger, but the anger of a philosopher, the anger of a poet, an anger directed at the transience of the world, at its heartbreaking beauty that collides constantly with our awareness of the fact that everything gets taken away; that we're being shown marvels but reminded, always, that they don't belong to us, they're sultan's treasures, we're lucky (we're expected to feel lucky) to have been invited to see them at all.
Michael Cunningham (The Snow Queen)
Like a thief, the image of her taut, well-formed body crept into his mind next. His hair swept backwards, shot up like long needles in the rush of the air and his thoughts grew bolder. He marveled how beautifully her body arched as she stood and gave commands. Vishwakarma, the god of all craftsmen, in an exalting moment had threaded a wire through it to give it that elegant curve. From that instant, the memories of a wife, of dear daughters waiting back in the village seemed hazy as in a dream. Inhibitions became soft barriers. He remembered the gestures of Chanda Bai’s two hands as she talked; her palms like delicate seashells; her elegant fingers. Flashes of her jewel studded ears, another pair of shells; and her long hair lovingly braided by her servants with thick strands of white and yellow jasmine flowers interlaced in them. He wanted to caress those flowers with his finger.
Mukta Singh-Zocchi (The Thugs & a Courtesan)
When there is this simple, clear watching and listening, then there is an awareness - awareness of the colour of those flowers, red, yellow, white, of the spring leaves, the stems, so tender, so delicate, awareness of the heavens, the earth and those people who are passing by. They have been chattering along that long road, never looking at the trees, at the flowers, at the skies and the marvellous hills. They are not even aware of what is going on around them. They talk a great deal about the environment, how we must protect nature and so on, but it seems they are not aware of the beauty and the silence of the hills and the dignity of a marvellous old tree. They are not even aware of their own thoughts, their own reactions, nor are they aware of the way they walk, of their clothes. It does not mean that they are to be selfcentred in their watching, in their awareness, but just be aware.
J. Krishnamurti (Krishnamurti to Himself: His Last Journal)
In your travels, do not draw your attention to those stones in the dirt that cause your feet to ache. But rather draw your attention to the loveliness of all that does surround you. Marvel at the blades of grass that seem to turn silk under the loom of golden leaves that share with you the sun’s warmth and ponder the impression of that morning fog whose kiss good morning gently asks Mother Nature to arise so that her spirit can bask in the beauty of her own imagination as she gazes into the distance, not in fear, but in awe of that beauty which will cause the imagination to create all endless possibilities that the spirit knows to already exist. Remember that your spirit is not a device that heeds to walls and streets that tell you where to go. Your spirit is your attention drawn to that beauty in the distance that only you can look to. Your spirit is connected to your environment by the imagination and the travel that you possess. Walk with your spirit in front of you and you will become part of that beauty in the distance that causes you to marvel with gladness. You will always be beautiful because this is who you are.
Luccini Shurod (The Painter)
The laws of nature are sublime, but there is a moral sublimity before which the highest intelligences must kneel and adore. The laws by which the winds blow, and the tides of the ocean, like a vast clepsydra, measure, with inimitable exactness, the hours of ever-flowing time; the laws by which the planets roll, and the sun vivifies and paints; the laws which preside over the subtle combinations of chemistry, and the amazing velocities of electricity; the laws of germination and production in the vegetable and animal worlds, — all these, radiant with eternal beauty as they are, and exalted above all the objects of sense, still wane and pale before the Moral Glories that apparel the universe in their celestial light. The heart can put on charms which no beauty of known things, nor imagination of the unknown, can aspire to emulate. Virtue shines in native colors, purer and brighter than pearl, or diamond, or prism, can reflect. Arabian gardens in their bloom can exhale no such sweetness as charity diffuses. Beneficence is godlike, and he who does most good to his fellow-man is the Master of Masters, and has learned the Art of Arts. Enrich and embellish the universe as you will, it is only a fit temple for the heart that loves truth with a supreme love. Inanimate vastness excites wonder; knowledge kindles admiration, but love enraptures the soul. Scientific truth is marvellous, but moral truth is divine; and whoever breathes its air and walks by its light, has found the lost paradise. For him, a new heaven and a new earth have already been created. His home is the sanctuary of God, the Holy of Holies.
Horace Mann (A Few Thoughts for a Young Man)
I am not sure whether you could call this abuse, but when I was (long ago) abroad in the world of dry men, I saw parents, usually upscale and educated and talented and functional and white, patient and loving and supportive and concerned and involved in their children’s lives, profilgate with compliments and diplomatic with constructive criticism, loquacious in their pronouncements of unconditional love for and approval of their children, conforming to every last jot-tittle in any conceivably definition of a good parent, I saw parent after unimpeachable parent who raised kids who were (a) emotionally retarded or (b) lethally self-indulgent or (c) chronically depressed or (d) borderline psychotic or (e) consumed with narcissistic self-loathing or (f) neurotically driven/addicted or (g) variously psychosomatically Disabled or (h) some conjunctive permutation of (a) … (g). Why is this. Why do many parents who seem relentlessly bent on producing children who feel they are good persons deserving of love produce children who grow to feel they are hideous persons not deserving of love who just happen to have lucked into having parents so marvelous that the parents love them even though they are hideous? Is it a sign of abuse if a mother produces a child who believes not that he is innately beautiful and lovable and deserving of magnificent maternal treatment but somehow that he is a hideous unlovable child who has somehow lucked in to having a really magnificent mother? Probably not. But could such a mother then really be all that magnificent, if that’s the child’s view of himself? ...I think, Mrs. Starkly, that I am speaking of Mrs. Avril M.-T. Incandenza, although the woman is so multileveled and indictment-proof that it is difficult to feel comfortable with any sort of univocal accusation of anything. Something just was not right, is the only way to put it. Something creepy, even on the culturally stellar surface.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
There is a marvellous Indian story of a boy who leaves home in search of truth. He goes to various teachers, walking endlessly in various parts of the country, every teacher asserting something or other. After many years, as an old man, after searching, searching, asking, meditating, taking certain postures, breathing rightly, fasting, no sex and all that, he comes back to his old house. As he opens the door there it is: the truth is just there. You understand? You might say, ‘It wouldn’t have been there if he hadn’t wandered all over the place.’ That’s a cunning remark, but you miss the beauty of the story if you don’t see that truth is not to be sought after. Truth is not something to be attained, to be experienced, to be held. It is there for those who can see it.
J. Krishnamurti (Meeting Life: Writings and Talks on Finding Your Path Without Retreating from Society)
I’d dreamed once of a forest of gold, and Jesse had done what he could to give it to me. His bedroom had been transformed into a wonderland of leaves and flowers, pinecones and branches of birch and oak, all of it glimmering, all of it singing. The bed was covered, his chest of drawers, the sill. Much of it was jumbled together, beautiful for what it was if not its presentation. Jesse had last left this room on the night of his death, right after he’d called to me, right before he’d gone to the castle. So he would have been scattering his final gift in haste, knowing he worked against the clock. Knowing, somehow, what was to come. Which meant he’d been making gold for weeks. When I’d seen him so tired, when he’d told me all those nights that we should rest apart…he had been doing this. For me. A folded note had been set upon the bed. My name had been scrawled upon it. I love you was all it said inside. I sank to the floor. I looked up and all around as the sun danced through the window and turned Jesse’s room into an ambered heaven of song and shimmer and sparks. That was how Armand found me, hours later. That was what he saw, as well, what he heard, as he walked slowly into the chamber and eased down beside me to rest his back against the bed. We sat there together, listening, marveling. In time, his hand reached out and took firm hold of mine.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
More than once have I thought, Why does crime, even when as powerful as Cæsar, and assured of being beyond punishment, strive always for the appearances of truth, justice, and virtue? Why does it take the trouble? I consider that to murder a brother, a mother, a wife, is a thing worthy of some petty Asiatic king, not a Roman Cæsar; but if that position were mine, I should not write justifying letters to the Senate. But Nero writes. Nero is looking for appearances, for Nero is a coward. But Tiberius was not a coward; still he justified every step he took. Why is this? What a marvellous, involuntary homage paid to virtue by evil! And knowest thou what strikes me? This, that it is done because transgression is ugly and virtue is beautiful. Therefore a man of genuine æsthetic feeling is also a virtuous man. Hence I am virtuous.
Henryk Sienkiewicz (Quo Vadis)
Time and time again I am astounded by the regularity and repetition of form in this valley and elsewhere in wild nature: basic patterns, sculpted by time and the land, appearing everywhere I look. The twisted branches in the forest that look so much like the forked antlers of the deer and elk. The way the glacier-polished hillside boulders look like the muscular, rounded bodies of the animals- deer, bear- that pass among these boulders like loving ghosts. The way the swirling deer hair is the exact shape and size of the larch and pine needles the deer hair lies upon one it is torn loose and comes to rest on the forest floor. As if everything up here is leaning in the same direction, shaped by the same hands, or the same mind; not always agreeing or in harmony, but attentive always to the same rules of logic and in the playing-out, again and again, of the infinite variations of specificity arising from that one shaping system of logic an incredible sense of community develops… Felt at night when you stand beneath the stars and see the shapes and designs of bears and hunters in the sky; felt deep in the cathedral of an old forest, when you stare up at the tops of the swaying giants; felt when you take off your boots and socks and wade across the river, sensing each polished, mossy stone with your bare feet. Felt when you stand at the edge of the marsh and listen to the choral uproar of the frogs, and surrender to their shouting, and allow yourself, too, like those pine needles and that deer hair, like those branches and those antlers, to be remade, refashioned into the shape and the pattern and the rhythm of the land. Surrounded, and then embraced, by a logic so much more powerful and overarching than anything that a man or woman could create or even imagine that all you can do is marvel and laugh at it, and feel compelled to give, in one form or another, thanks and celebration for it, without even really knowing why…
Rick Bass
But even more than by the filth of its organs, the flower is betrayed by the fragility of its corolla: thus, far from answering the demands of human ideas, it is the sign of their failure. In fact, after a very short period of glory the marvelous corolla rots indecently in the sun, thus becoming, for the plant, a garish withering. Risen from the stench of the manure pile---even though it seemed for a moment to have escaped it in a flight of angelic and lyrical purity---the flower seems to relapse abruptly into its original squalor: the most ideal is rapidly reduced to a wisp of aerial manure. For flowers do not age honestly like leaves, which lose nothing of their beauty, even after they have died; flowers wither like old and overly made-up dowagers, and they die ridiculously on stems that seemed to carry them to the clouds.
Georges Bataille (Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927–1939)
It will be a marvellous thing – the true personality of man – when we see it. It will grow naturally and simply, flowerlike, or as a tree grows. It will not be at discord. It will never argue or dispute. It will not prove things. It will know everything. And yet it will not busy itself about knowledge. It will have wisdom. Its value will not be measured by material things. It will have nothing. And yet it will have everything, and whatever one takes from it, it will still have, so rich will it be. It will not be always meddling with others, or asking them to be like itself. It will love them because they will be different. And yet while it will not meddle with others, it will help all, as a beautiful thing helps us, by being what it is. The personality of man will be very wonderful. It will be as wonderful as the personality of a child.
Oscar Wilde
The Poles rode out from Warsaw against the German Tanks on horses. Rode knowing, in sunlight, with sabers, A magnitude of beauty that allows me no peace. And yet this poem would lessen that day. Question The bravery. Say it's not courage. Call it a passion. Would say courage isn't that. Not at its best. It was impossib1e, and with form. They rode in sunlight, Were mangled. But I say courage is not the abnormal. Not the marvelous act. Not Macbeth with fine speeches. The worthless can manage in public, or for the moment. It is too near the whore's heart: the bounty of impulse, And the failure to sustain even small kindness. Not the marvelous act, but the evident conclusion of being. Not strangeness, but a leap forward of the same quality. Accomplishment. The even loyalty. But fresh. Not the Prodigal Son, nor Faustus. But Penelope. The thing steady and clear. Then the crescendo. The real form. The culmination. And the exceeding. Not the surprise. The amazed understanding. The marriage, Not the month's rapture. Not the exception. The beauty That is of many days. Steady and clear. It is the normal excellence, of long accomplishment.
Jack Gilbert
I see," agreed Rule. "You are going to be the Sacrifice." She looked up at him rather shyly. "It c-can't signify to you, can it? Except that I know I'm not a Beauty, like L-Lizzie. But I have got the Nose, sir." Rule surveyed the Nose. "Undoubtedly, you have the Nose," he said. Horatia seemed determined to make a clean breast of her blemishes. "And p-perhaps you could become used to my eyebrows?" The smile lurked at the back of Rule's eyes. "I think, quite easily." She said sadly: "They won't arch, you know. And I ought to t-tell you that we have quite given up hope of my g-growing any taller." "It would certainly be a pity if you did," said his lordship. "D-do you think so?" Horatia was surprised. "It is a great trial to me, I can assure you." She took a breath, and added, with difficulty: "You m-may have n-noticed that I have a—a stammer." "Yes, I had noticed," the Earl said gently. "If you f-feel you c-can't bear it, sir, I shall quite understand," Horatia said in a small, anxious voice. "I like it," said the Earl. "It is very odd of you," marvelled Horatia. "But p-perhaps you said that to p-put me at my ease?" "No," said the Earl. "I said it because it was true.
Georgette Heyer (The Convenient Marriage)
The feasting people were Wood-elves, of course. These are not wicked folk. If they have a fault it is distrust of strangers. Though their magic was strong, even in those days they were wary. They differed from the High Elves of the West, and were more dangerous and less wise. For most of them (together with their scattered relations in the hills and mountains) were descended from the ancient tribes that never went to Faerie in the West. There the Light-elves and the Deep-elves and the Sea-elves went and lived for ages, and grew fairer and wiser and more learned, and invented their magic and their cunning craft in the making of beautiful and marvellous things, before some came back into the Wide World. In the Wide World the Wood-elves lingered in the twilight of our Sun and Moon, but loved best the stars; and they wandered in the great forests that grew tall in lands that are now lost. They dwelt most often by the edges of the woods, from which they could escape at times to hunt, or to ride and run over the open lands by moonlight or starlight; and after the coming of Men they took ever more and more to the gloaming and the dusk. Still elves they were and remain, and that is Good People.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit (The Lord of the Rings, #0))
Here's the plain truth, at least as it has been shown to me: We are never far from wonders. I remember when my son was about two, we were walking in the woods one November morning. We were along a ridge, looking down at a forest in the valley below, where a cold haze seemed to hug the forest floor. I kept trying to get my oblivious two-year-old to appreciate the landscape. At one point, I picked him up and pointed out toward the horizon and said, "Look at that, Henry, just look at it!" And he said, "Weaf!" I said, "What?" And again he said, "Weaf," and then reached out and grabbed a single brown oak leaf from the little tree next to us. I wanted to explain to him that you can see a brown oak leaf anywhere in the eastern United States in November, that nothing in the forest was less interesting. But after watching him look at it, I began to look as well, and I soon realized it wasn't just a brown leaf. Its veins spidered out red and orange and yellow in a pattern too complex for my brain to synthesize, and the more I looked at that leaf with Henry, the more I was compelled into an aesthetic contemplation I neither understood nor desired, face-to-face with something commensurate to my capacity for wonder. Marveling at the perfection of that leaf, I was reminded that aesthetic beauty is as much about how and whether you look as what you see. From the quark to the supernova, the wonders do not cease. It is our attentiveness that is in short supply, our ability and willingness to do the work that awe requires.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
The value of Greek prose composition, he said, was not that it gave one any particular facility in the language that could not be gained as easily by other methods but that if done properly, off the top of one's head, it taught one to think in Greek. One's thought patterns become different, he said, when forced into the confines of a rigid and unfamiliar tongue. Certain common ideas become inexpressible; other, previously undreamt-of ones spring to life, finding miraculous new articulation. By necessity, I suppose, it is difficult for me to explain in English exactly what I mean. I can only say that an incendium is in its nature entirely different from the feu with which a Frenchman lights his cigarette, and both are very different from the stark, inhuman pur that the Greeks knew, the pur that roared from the towers of Ilion or leapt and screamed on that desolate, windy beach, from the funeral pyre of Patroklos. Pur: that one word contains for me the secret, the bright, terrible clarity of ancient Greek. How can I make you see it, this strange harsh light which pervades Homer's landscapes and illumines the dialogues of Plato, an alien light, inarticulable in our common tongue? Our shared language is a language of the intricate, the peculiar, the home of pumpkins and ragamuffins and bodkins and beer, the tongue of Ahab and Falstaff and Mrs. Gamp; and while I find it entirely suitable for reflections such as these, it fails me utterly when I attempt to describe in it what I love about Greek, that language innocent of all quirks and cranks; a language obsessed with action, and with the joy of seeing action multiply from action, action marching relentlessly ahead and with yet more actions filing in from either side to fall into neat step at the rear, in a long straight rank of cause and effect toward what will be inevitable, the only possible end. In a certain sense, this was why I felt so close to the other in the Greek class. They, too, knew this beautiful and harrowing landscape, centuries dead; they'd had the same experience of looking up from their books with fifth-century eyes and finding the world disconcertingly sluggish and alien, as if it were not their home. It was why I admired Julian, and Henry in particular. Their reason, their very eyes and ears were fixed irrevocably in the confines of those stern and ancient rhythms – the world, in fact, was not their home, at least the world as I knew it – and far from being occasional visitors to this land which I myself knew only as an admiring tourist, they were pretty much its permanent residents, as permanent as I suppose it was possible for them to be. Ancient Greek is a difficult language, a very difficult language indeed, and it is eminently possible to study it all one's life and never be able to speak a word; but it makes me smile, even today, to think of Henry's calculated, formal English, the English of a well-educated foreigner, as compared with the marvelous fluency and self-assurance of his Greek – quick, eloquent, remarkably witty. It was always a wonder to me when I happened to hear him and Julian conversing in Greek, arguing and joking, as I never once heard either of them do in English; many times, I've seen Henry pick up the telephone with an irritable, cautious 'Hello,' and may I never forget the harsh and irresistible delight of his 'Khairei!' when Julian happened to be at the other end.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
I may enter a zone of transcendence, in which I marvel at all the accidents of fate, since the beginning of life on earth, that led to my genes being created and my standing in this particular garden in a contemplative and imagining mind. I’ve been reading recently how reflection evolved. what a fascinating solution to the rigors of survival…how amazing that a few basic ingredients- the same ones that form the mountains, plants, and rivers- when arranged differently and stressed could result in us. More and more of late, I find myself standing outside of life, with a sense of the human saga laid out before me. it is a private vision, balanced between youth and old age, a vision in which I understand how caught up in striving we humans get, and a little of why, and how difficult it is even to recognize, since it feels integral to our nature and is. but I find it interesting that, according to many religions, life and begins and ends in a garden.
Diane Ackerman (Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden)
In the East, he then believed, a man went to college not for vocational training but in disciplined search for wisdom and beauty, and nobody over the age of twelve believed that those words were for sissies. In the East, wearing rumpled tweeds and flannels, he could have strolled for hours among ancient elms and clock towers, talking with his friends, and his friends would have been the cream of their generation. The girls of the East were marvelously slim and graceful; they moved with the authority of places like Bennington and Holyoke; they spoke intelligently in low, subtle voices, and they never giggled. On sharp winter evenings you could meet them for cocktails at the Biltmore and take them to the theater, and afterwards, warmed with brandy, they would come with you for a drive to a snowbound New England inn, where they’d slip happily into bed with you under an eiderdown quilt. In the East, when college was over, you could put off going seriously to work until you’d spent a few years in a book-lined bachelor flat, with intervals of European travel, and when you found your true vocation at last it was through a process of informed and unhurried selection; just as when you married at last it was to solemnize the last and best of your many long, sophisticated affairs.
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
Men have no right to complain that they are naturally feeble and short-lived, or that it is chance and not merit that decides their destiny. . . . What guides and controls human life is man's soul. . . . If men pursued good things with the same ardour with which they seek what is unedifying and unprofitable--often, indeed, actually dangerous and pernicious--they would control events instead of being controlled by them, and would rise to such heights of greatness and glory that their mortality would put on immortality. As man consists of body and soul, all our possessions and pursuits partake of the nature of one or the other. Thus personal beauty and great wealth, bodily strength, and all similar things, soon pass away; the noble achievements of the intellect are immortal like the soul itself. Physical advantages, and the material gifts of fortune, begin and end; all that comes into existence, perishes; all that grows, must one day decay. But the soul, incorruptible and eternal, is the ruler of mankind; it guides and controls everything, subject itself to no control. Wherefore we can but marvel the more at the unnatural conduct of those who abandon themselves to bodily pleasures and pass their time in riotous living and idleness, neglecting their intelligence--the best and noblest element in man's nature--and letting it become dull through lack of effort; and that, too, when the mind is capable of so many different accomplishments that can win the highest distinction.
Sallust
Men may perish, but the world will neither celebrate nor mourn. It will go on.' His smile thinned. 'Would you like to know how?' 'No.' 'Animals will swell to fill the void left by men," he told her. 'And over-swell it, perhaps. There will be other extinctions and other recoveries. The sky will clear, but those who see it will not marvel at its many colors. Those ruins will collapse, burying treasures like this-' He waved at the walls. '-and this-' He picked up the spoon from her coffee tray and tossed it down again with a clatter. '-forever, but the world will go on. Years become centuries so easily when no one is there to count them. Centuries become millennia. The forests will reclaim the lands that Men have razed. Rivers will carve canyons across the scars left by this fallen cities. Mountains will rise up, trapping seas to dry under and uncaring sun and leaving the bones of whales to bleach in the newborn deserts for no one to find, no one to be inspired by thoughts of giants and dragons. And still the worlds will go on, and I will go on with it through ages that can only be measured by the coming and going of glaciers. The stars themselves will shift in the heavens and no one will be there to invent names for their new alignments or remember the stories of the old ones, no one but me. In time, the sun itself will begin to cool. Here on Earth, the world goes on and on as its remaining life passes through its last changes and dies away. It will be quiet. And lonely.' His mouth curved into a bitter line. 'But I'll live.' 'Stop it,' Lan whispered through numb lips. 'I read once that the sun will someday swell and engulf this world before it burns itself out. Perhaps I will finally die with it. Or perhaps I' will continue to endure... my ashes pulled eternally apart through the frozen vacuum of space, and I with no more mouth to scream... still alive.
R. Lee Smith (Land of the Beautiful Dead)
The physician had asked the patient to read aloud a paragraph from the statutes of Trinity College, Dublin. ‘It shall be in the power of the College to examine or not examine every Licentiate, previous to his admission to a fellowship, as they shall think fit.’ What the patient actually read was: ‘An the bee-what in the tee-mother of the trothodoodoo, to majoram or that emidrate, eni eni krastei, mestreit to ketra totombreidei, to ra from treido a that kekritest.’ Marvellous! Philip said to himself as he copied down the last word. What style! What majestic beauty! The richness and sonority of the opening phrase! ‘An the bee-what in the tee-mother of the trothodoodoo.’ He repeated it to himself. ‘I shall print it on the title page of my next novel,’ he wrote in his notebook.
Aldous Huxley (Point Counter Point)
Either peace or happiness, let it enfold you. When I was a young man I felt these things were dumb, unsophisticated. I had bad blood, a twisted mind, a precarious upbringing. I was hard as granite, I leered at the sun. I trusted no man and especially no woman... I challenged everything, was continually being evicted, jailed, in and out of fights, in and out of my mind... Peace and happiness to me were signs of inferiority, tenants of the weak, an addled mind. But as I went on...it gradually began to occur to me that I wasn't different from the others, I was the same... Everybody was nudging, inching, cheating for some insignificant advantage, the lie was the weapon and the plot was empty... Cautiously, I allowed myself to feel good at times. I found moments of peace in cheap rooms just staring at the knobs of some dresser or listening to the rain in the dark. The less I needed the better I felt... I re-formulated. I don't know when, date, time, all that but the change occured. Something in me relaxed, smoothed out. I no longer had to prove that I was a man, I didn’t have to prove anything. I began to see things: coffee cups lined up behind a counter in a cafe. Or a dog walking along a sidewalk. Or the way the mouse on my dresser top stopped there with its body, its ears, its nose, it was fixed, a bit of life caught within itself and its eyes looked at me and they were beautiful. Then...it was gone. I began to feel good, I began to feel good in the worst situations and there were plenty of those... I welcomed shots of peace, tattered shards of happiness... And finally I discovered real feelings of others, unheralded, like lately, like this morning, as I was leaving for the track, I saw my wife in bed, just the shape of her head there...so still, I ached for her life, just being there under the covers. I kissed her in the forehead, got down the stairway, got outside, got into my marvelous car, fixed the seatbelt, backed out the drive. Feeling warm to the fingertips, down to my foot on the gas pedal, I entered the world once more, drove down the hill past the houses full and empty of people, I saw the mailman, honked, he waved back at me.
Charles Bukowski
In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence. To make possible true inner silence, practice: Silence of the eyes, by seeking always the beauty and goodness of God everywhere, and closing them to the faults of others and to all that is sinful and disturbing to the soul. Silence of the ears, by listening always to the voice of God and to the cry of the poor and the needy, and closing them to all other voices that come from fallen human nature, such as gossip, tale bearing, and uncharitable words. Silence of the tongue, by praising God and speaking the life-giving Word of God that is the truth, that enlightens and inspires, brings peace, hope, and joy; and by refraining from self-defense and every word that causes darkness, turmoil, pain, and death. Silence of the mind, by opening it to the truth and knowledge of God in prayer and contemplation, like Mary who pondered the marvels of the Lord in her heart, and by closing it to all untruths, distractions, destructive thoughts, rash judgments, false suspicions of others, vengeful thoughts, and desires. Silence of the heart, by loving God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength; loving one another as God loves; and avoiding all selfishness, hatred, envy, jealousy, and greed. I shall keep the silence of my heart with greater care, so that in the silence of my heart I hear His words of comfort, and from the fullness of my heart I comfort Jesus in the distressing disguise of the poor. For in the silence and purity of the heart God speaks.
Mother Teresa (In the Heart of the World: Thoughts, Stories and Prayers)
At first all was well. In fact, all was terrific. The Takers were pedaling away and the wings of their craft were flapping beautifully. They felt wonderful, exhilarated. They were experiencing the freedom of the air: freedom from restraints that bind and limit the rest of the biological community. And with that freedom came marvels—all the things you mentioned the other day: urbanization, technology, literacy, mathematics, science. “Their flight could never end, it could only go on becoming more and more exciting. They couldn’t know, couldn’t even have guessed that, like our hapless airman, they were in the air but not in flight. They were in free fall, because their craft was simply not in compliance with the law that makes flight possible. But their disillusionment is far away in the future, and so they’re pedaling away and having a wonderful time. Like our airman, they see strange sights in the course of their fall. They see the remains of craft very like their own—not destroyed, merely abandoned—by the Maya, by the Hohokam, by the Anasazi, by the peoples of the Hopewell cult, to mention only a few of those found here in the New World. ‘Why,’ they wonder, ‘are these craft on the ground instead of in the air? Why would any people prefer to be earthbound when they could have the freedom of the air, as we do?’ It’s beyond comprehension, an unfathomable mystery.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit)
But before I go, I want to tell you a little story. “A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad wandered through the desert for forty days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived. “Rather than finding a saintly man, though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world. The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man’s attention. “The wise man listened attentively to the boy’s explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn’t have time just then to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours. “‘Meanwhile, I want to ask you to do something,’ said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. ‘As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.’ “The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was. “‘Well,’ asked the wise man, ‘did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?’ “The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him. “‘Then go back and observe the marvels of my world,’ said the wise man. ‘You cannot trust a man if you don’t know his house.’ “Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen. “‘But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?’ asked the wise man. “Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone. “‘Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you,’ said the wisest of wise men. ‘The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
What is this, behind this veil, is it ugly, is it beautiful? It is shimmering, has it breasts, has it edges? I am sure it is unique, I am sure it is what I want. When I am quiet at my cooking I feel it looking, I feel it thinking 'Is this the one I am too appear for, Is this the elect one, the one with black eye-pits and a scar? Measuring the flour, cutting off the surplus, Adhering to rules, to rules, to rules. Is this the one for the annunciation? My god, what a laugh!' But it shimmers, it does not stop, and I think it wants me. I would not mind if it were bones, or a pearl button. I do not want much of a present, anyway, this year. After all I am alive only by accident. I would have killed myself gladly that time any possible way. Now there are these veils, shimmering like curtains, The diaphanous satins of a January window White as babies' bedding and glittering with dead breath. O ivory! It must be a tusk there, a ghost column. Can you not see I do not mind what it is. Can you not give it to me? Do not be ashamed--I do not mind if it is small. Do not be mean, I am ready for enormity. Let us sit down to it, one on either side, admiring the gleam, The glaze, the mirrory variety of it. Let us eat our last supper at it, like a hospital plate. I know why you will not give it to me, You are terrified The world will go up in a shriek, and your head with it, Bossed, brazen, an antique shield, A marvel to your great-grandchildren. Do not be afraid, it is not so. I will only take it and go aside quietly. You will not even hear me opening it, no paper crackle, No falling ribbons, no scream at the end. I do not think you credit me with this discretion. If you only knew how the veils were killing my days. To you they are only transparencies, clear air. But my god, the clouds are like cotton. Armies of them. They are carbon monoxide. Sweetly, sweetly I breathe in, Filling my veins with invisibles, with the million Probable motes that tick the years off my life. You are silver-suited for the occasion. O adding machine----- Is it impossible for you to let something go and have it go whole? Must you stamp each piece purple, Must you kill what you can? There is one thing I want today, and only you can give it to me. It stands at my window, big as the sky. It breathes from my sheets, the cold dead center Where split lives congeal and stiffen to history. Let it not come by the mail, finger by finger. Let it not come by word of mouth, I should be sixty By the time the whole of it was delivered, and to numb to use it. Only let down the veil, the veil, the veil. If it were death I would admire the deep gravity of it, its timeless eyes. I would know you were serious. There would be a nobility then, there would be a birthday. And the knife not carve, but enter Pure and clean as the cry of a baby, And the universe slide from my side.
Sylvia Plath
What were you thinking of just now?” he asked instead of answering my question. He walked over to the window, stood beside me and joined me looking out. We gazed across the Elbe River, marveling at the amazing and incredible beauty spread out before us in the glorious sunny early morning. Then he continued, “When we came and opened the door, your face was so intent on some sort of dream. Not a happy one I think,” it was a very gentle tone, the loving nuances. I saw the look of longing in his eyes and my heart skipped a crazy beat. I clasped my hand more firmly and gazed toward the view of the far line that marked the edge of the Elbe river of Hamburg Harbor. I was thinking about Hamburg,” I told him. “Thinking about the escape they seem to offer.” “Escape?” he asked. “I would have said a prison, rather.” “That, too. It’s a false escape of course. I was thinking about their dangers, too. “Go on,” he said. Then I put my fancy into words. “I suppose I used to love the feeling of shutting out the world, of drawing a line of that water in the harbor around me and letting all the achingly familiar scenes stay outside the line. I started to cry. “It’s been years, Adrian. I kept everything in my heart because that’s what all was left; everything, absolutely everything. It’s completely messed up and you have no idea, at all. I was left alone to mourn.
Bea C. Pilotin (The Whys Of Us)
How I Threw Big Party for Jane Austen It was at a petting party in the White House that I first met Jane Austen. The beautiful little Englishwoman had come to our shores in response to an attractive offer from the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer people, one of whose officers had spelled out her novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and considered it good material for a seven reel comedy. Syd Chaplin was at that time with this firm and was slated for the title role. Miss Austen had a few weeks’ time to spare before she was due in Hollywood and it fell to my lot to entertain her. I postponed my engagement with President Pierce, whom I intended to interview in regard to my pension as general in the Spanish war, and placed myself entirely at the disposal of the little authoress. She expressed a desire to see the night life of New York and I organized a party to visit Texas Guinan’s. In the party, besides myself and Miss Austen, or Janey as we called her, were Brinck Thorne, then captain of the Yale football nine, and Harry Wills.* *Editor’s note: The author evidently means ‘eleven,’ not ‘nine.’ *Author’s note: Other teams would not play against Mr. Thorne unless he limited himself to eight helpers instead of the regulation ten. After two or three rounds of drinks we decided we had had enough and a water brought us a check for $22.75. The other two men seemed to have paralysis of the arms and as I found on $1.50 in my pocket, I asked Miss Guinan if she would take my check. She said yes and I made out a check on the Great Neck Trust Company, but knowing my balance there was only $7.00, I purposely neglected to affix my signature. Miss Guinana’s sharp eyes noticed the oversight and asked for my autograph. This piqued Miss Austen as she was really more famous than I at that time, so to smooth matters over I suggested that we all give Miss Guinan our autographs and start an album for her. I next took Miss Austen to Albany to meet Gov. Al (‘Peaches’) Smith. The governor received us with his usual simplicity and said he was a great admirer of Miss Austen’s work. ‘I thought “The Green Hat” was a scream,’ he complimented her. Miss Austen wanted to go to Hollywood by way of Pittsburgh, but at that time there was a federal law forbidding any railroad to run a train near that city. President Pierce was a born hater of Pittsburgh and remained in that frame of mind to his dying day. ‘Janey’ was obliged to make the journey via Niagara Falls. She eventually reached Hollywood and supervised the screening of ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ which made a big success under its new title, ‘The Bath in Champagne.’ It was about a month subsequent to my affair with Jane that the world was startled by Robert Fulton’s invention of the taxicab. The first taxi now would seem a crude vehicle, but at the time it was hailed as a marvel. It was a sidewheeler and was steered from the rear seat, by the passenger, thus insuring at least, its arrival at the point where the passenger wanted to go. The driver sat in front and warned pedestrians out of the way. He generally did this by cupping his hands to his mouth and shouting, almost continuously, ‘Halloa! Halloa!’ For a while the new conveyances were known as ‘Halloa cabs.’* *Editor’s note: They still are in some cities.
Ring Lardner Jr. (The Story of a Wonder Man: Being the Autobiography of Ring Lardner)
Until my thirtieth year, I lived in a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed with periods of suicidal depression. It feels now as if I am talking about some past lifetime or somebody else’s life. One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train – everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live. ‘I cannot live with myself any longer.’ This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. ‘Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with.’ ‘Maybe,’ I thought, ‘only one of them is real.’ I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words ‘resist nothing,’ as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that. I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I had never heard such a sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make a sound, this is what it would be like. I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marvelling at the beauty and aliveness of it all. That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth, as if I had just been born into this world.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
Everything in Nature ran according to its own nature; the running of grass was in its growing, the running of rivers their flowing, granite bubbled up, cooled, compressed and crumbled, birds lived, flew, sang and died, everything did what it needed to do, each simultaneously running its own race, each by living according to its own nature together, never leaving any other part of the universe behind. The world’s Holy things raced constantly together, not to win anything over the next, but to keep the entire surging diverse motion of the living world from grinding to a halt, which is why there is no end to that race; no finish line. That would be oblivion to all. For the Indigenous Souls of all people who can still remember how to be real cultures, life is a race to be elegantly run, not a race to be competitively won. It cannot be won; it is the gift of the world’s diverse beautiful motion that must be maintained. Because human life has been give the gift of our elegant motion, whether we limp, roll, crawl, stroll, or fly, it is an obligation to engender that elegance of motion in our daily lives in service of maintaining life by moving and living as beautifully as we can. All else has, to me, the familiar taste of that domineering warlike harshness that daily tries to cover its tracks in order to camouflage the deep ruts of some old, sick, grinding, ungainly need to flee away from the elegance of our original Indigenous human souls. Our attempt to avariciously conquer or win a place where there are no problems, whether it be Heaven or a “New Democracy,” never mind if it is spiritually ugly and immorally “won” and taken from someone who is already there, has made a citifying world of people who, unconscious of it, have become our own ogreish problem to ourselves, our future, and the world. This is a problem that we cannot continue to attempt to competitively outrun by more and more effectively designed technological approaches to speed away from the past, for the specter of our own earth-wasting reality runs grinning competitively right alongside us. By developing even more effective and entertaining methods of escape that only burn up the earth, the air, animals, plants, and the deeper substance of what it should mean to be human, by competing to get ahead, we have created a brakeless competition that has outrun our innate beauty and marked out a very definite and imminent “finish” line. Living in and on a sphere, we cannot really outrun ourselves anyway. Therefore, I say, the entire devastating and hideous state of the world and its constant wounding and wrecking of the wild, beautiful, natural, viable and small, only to keep alive an untenable cultural proceedance is truly a spiritual sickness, one that will not be cured by the efficient use of the same thinking that maintains the sickness. Nor can this overly expensive, highly funded illness be symptomatically kept at bay any longer by yet more political, environmental, or social programs. We must as individuals and communities take the time necessary to learn how to indigenously remember what a sane, original existence for a viable people might look like. Though there are marvellous things and amazing people doing them, both seen and unseen, these do not resemble in any way the general trend of what is going on now. To begin remembering our Indigenous belonging on the Earth back to life we must metabolize as individuals the grief of recognition of our lost directions, digest it into a valuable spiritual compost that allows us to learn to stay put without outrunning our strange past, and get small, unarmed, brave, and beautiful. By trying to feed the Holy in Nature the fruit of beauty from the tree of memory of our Indigenous Souls, grown in the composted failures of our past need to conquer, watered by the tears of cultural grief, we might become ancestors worth descending from and possibly grow a place of hope for a time beyond our own.
Martin Prechtel (The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic: The Parallel Lives of People as Plants: Keeping the Seeds Alive)
This is how we understand depressive psychosis today: as a bogging down in the demands of others-family job, the narrow horizon of daily duties. In such a bogging down the individual does not feel or see that he has alternatives, cannot imagine any choices or alternate ways of life, cannot release himself from the network of obligations even though these obligations no longer give him a sense of self-esteem, of primary value, of being a heroic contributor to world life even by doing his daily family and job duties. As I once speculated, the schizophrenic is not enough built into his world-what Kierkegaard has called the sickness of infinitude; the depressive, on the other hand, is built into his world too solidly, too overwhelmingly. Kierkegaard put it this way: But while one sort of despair plunges wildly into the infinite and loses itself, a second sort permits itself as it were to be defrauded by "the others." By seeing the multitude of men about it, by getting engaged in all sorts of worldly affairs, by becoming wise about how things go in this world, such a man forgets himself...does not dare to believe in himself, finds it too venturesome a thing to be himself, far easier and safer to be like the others, to become an imitation, a number, a cipher in the crowd. This is a superb characterization of the "culturally normal" man, the one who dares not stand up for his own meanings because this means too much danger, too much exposure. Better not to be oneself, better to live tucked into others, embedded in a safe framework of social and cultural obligations and duties. Again, too, this kind of characterization must be understood as being on a continuum, at the extreme end of which we find depressive psychosis. The depressed person is so afraid of being himself, so fearful of exerting his own individuality, of insisting on what might be his own meanings, his own conditions for living, that he seems literally stupid. He cannot seem to understand the situation he is in, cannot see beyond his own fears, cannot grasp why he has bogged down. Kierkegaard phrases it beautifully: If one will compare the tendency to run wild in possibility with the efforts of a child to enunciate words, the lack of possibility is like being dumb...for without possibility a man cannot, as it were, draw breath. This is precisely the condition of depression, that one can hardly breath or move. One of the unconscious tactics that the depressed person resorts to, to try to make sense out of his situation, is to see himself as immensely worthless and guilty. This is a marvelous "invention" really, because it allows him to move out of his condition of dumbness, and make some kind of conceptualization of his situation, some kind of sense out of it-even if he has to take full blame as the culprit who is causing so much needless misery to others. Could Kierkegaard have been referring to just such an imaginative tactic when he casually observed: Sometimes the inventiveness of the human imagination suffices to procure possibility....
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
The news that she had gone of course now spread rapidly, and by lunch time Riseholme had made up its mind what to do, and that was hermetically to close its lips for ever on the subject of Lucia. You might think what you pleased, for it was a free country, but silence was best. But this counsel of perfection was not easy to practice next day when the evening paper came. There, for all the world to read were two quite long paragraphs, in "Five o'clock Chit-Chat," over the renowned signature of Hermione, entirely about Lucia and 25 Brompton Square, and there for all the world to see was the reproduction of one of her most elegant photographs, in which she gazed dreamily outwards and a little upwards, with her fingers still pressed on the last chord of (probably) the Moonlight Sonata. . . . She had come up, so Hermione told countless readers, from her Elizabethan country seat at Riseholme (where she was a neighbour of Miss Olga Bracely) and was settling for the season in the beautiful little house in Brompton Square, which was the freehold property of her husband, and had just come to him on the death of his aunt. It was a veritable treasure house of exquisite furniture, with a charming music-room where Lucia had given Hermione a cup of tea from her marvellous Worcester tea service. . . . (At this point Daisy, whose hands were trembling with passion, exclaimed in a loud and injured voice, "The very day she arrived!") Mrs. Lucas (one of the Warwickshire Smythes by birth) was, as all the world knew, a most accomplished musician and Shakespearean scholar, and had made Riseholme a centre of culture and art. But nobody would suspect the blue stocking in the brilliant, beautiful and witty hostess whose presence would lend an added gaiety to the London season. Daisy was beginning to feel physically unwell. She hurried over the few remaining lines, and then ejaculating "Witty! Beautiful!" sent de Vere across to Georgie's with the paper, bidding him to return it, as she hadn't finished with it. But she thought he ought to know. . . . Georgie read it through, and with admirable self restraint, sent Foljambe back with it and a message of thanks--nothing more--to Mrs. Quantock for the loan of it. Daisy, by this time feeling better, memorised the whole of it. Life under the new conditions was not easy, for a mere glance at the paper might send any true Riseholmite into a paroxysm of chattering rage or a deep disgusted melancholy. The Times again recorded the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Philip Lucas had arrived at 25 Brompton Square, there was another terrible paragraph headed 'Dinner,' stating that Mrs. Sandeman entertained the following to dinner. There was an Ambassador, a Marquis, a Countess (dowager), two Viscounts with wives, a Baronet, a quantity of Honourables and Knights, and Mr. and Mrs. Philip Lucas. Every single person except Mr. and Mrs. Philip Lucas had a title. The list was too much for Mrs. Boucher, who, reading it at breakfast, suddenly exclaimed: "I didn't think it of them. And it's a poor consolation to know that they must have gone in last." Then she hermetically sealed her lips again on this painful subject, and when she had finished her breakfast (her appetite had quite gone) she looked up every member of that degrading party in Colonel Boucher's "Who's Who.
E.F. Benson (Lucia in London (Lucia, #3))
Be your own anchor, and sail along the shore of Life with a bunch of smiles. In a whirlwind of a thousand journeys, we flow through Life, as if crossing through an Ocean of an endless voyage. Sometimes we marvel at the ports we glide along, sometimes we chase the waves with our heart and soul, while sometimes we lose our way only to find a lighthouse guiding us along, always catching our breath at the majestic sunrises and sunsets. Our happy moments and connections are like those ports that cross our path while the moments of pain direct our steps to the lighthouse within our soul, as we keep growing ourselves through so many births and deaths of our soul just as the sunrises and sunsets. I want some of you to know and acknowledge the fact that it's absolutely okay to let go, to let the ship of your Life cross the port, because however beautiful that port might be, your journey shouldn't stop, it is not meant to stop. Well, the most brutal yet beautiful truth is, initially everyone stays but eventually no one does. It is brutal because it hurts, it sometimes makes you wonder why it has to end and it's beautiful because everything that ends often ends up gifting you with an invaluable experience filled with beautiful lessons and memories. Understand that it doesn't have to be chaotic, it can be a peaceful goodbye. And even when sometimes it might end in a turmoil, your soul would finally find the grace to give it a closure it demands. Understand that the pain that wrenches your heart in this, gradually tunes your soul to find an anchor, a flicker of Light that is forever guiding you Home. Understand that all of these arrivals and departures, detours and halts are Time's decision to make and we must embrace that with dignity and grace. The essential thing is to keep sailing, by letting go, by simply carrying on with the journey. Halt if you must, but while you halt, don't forget to gaze at how you have grown through each of those very experiences, just as how wonderful the journey gets along the path while you keep passing the ports one after another, steering nearer to the ultimate destination. So wave them a goodbye with a smile of gratitude for helping you in finding a piece of your soul back through a mad jest of pain, to gift you with another step closer to your destination, and sail along the shore of Life with a bunch of smiles.
Debatrayee Banerjee