Brains And Beauty Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Brains And Beauty. Here they are! All 100 of them:

Make way! Move it, people! Lets make room for this poor woman's hideously disfigured, ginormous brain! She's a fucking genius!
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful ... Love begins with a metaphor. Which is to say, love begins at the point when a woman enters her first word into our poetic memory.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
Lets face it, you did steal me. But you saved my life too. And somewhere in the middle, you showed me a place so different and beautiful, I can never get it out of my mind. And I can't get you out of there either. You're stuck in my brain like my own blood vessels.
Lucy Christopher (Stolen (Stolen, #1))
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend More than cool reason ever comprehends. The lunatic, the lover and the poet Are of imagination all compact: One sees more devils than vast hell can hold, That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic, Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt: The poet's eye, in fine frenzy rolling, Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven; And as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name.
William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Beauty you're born with, but brains you earn.
Jay Kristoff (Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1))
Because when I read, I don't really read; I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins to the root of each blood vessel.
Bohumil Hrabal (Too Loud a Solitude)
The beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon.
Robert Cormier
I believe in the hands that work, in the brains that think, and in the hearts that love...I believe in sunshine, fresh air, friendship, calm sleep, beautiful thoughts.
Elbert Hubbard
Stop worrying about your identity and concern yourself with the people you care about, ideas that matter to you, beliefs you can stand by, tickets you can run on. Intelligent humans make those choices with their brain and hearts and they make them alone. The world does not deliver meaning to you. You have to make it meaningful...and decide what you want and need and must do. It’s a tough, unimaginably lonely and complicated way to be in the world. But that’s the deal: you have to live; you can’t live by slogans, dead ideas, clichés, or national flags. Finding an identity is easy. It’s the easy way out.
Zadie Smith (On Beauty)
There is something beautiful about a billion stars held steady by a God who knows what He is doing. (They hang there, the stars, like notes on a page of music, free-form verse, silent mysteries swirling in the blue like jazz.) And as I lay there, it occurred to me that God is up there somewhere. Of course, I had always known He was, but this time I felt it, I realized it, the way a person realizes they are hungry or thirsty. The knowledge of God seeped out of my brain and into my heart. I imagined Him looking down on this earth, half angry because His beloved mankind had cheated on Him, had committed adultery, and yet hopelessly in love with her, drunk with love for her.
Donald Miller
The brain may take advice, but not the heart, and love, having no geography, knows no boundaries: weight and sink it deep, no matter, it will rise and find the surface: and why not? any love is natural and beautiful that lies within a person's nature; only hypocrites would hold a man responsible for what he loves, emotional illiterates and those of righteous envy, who, in their agitated concern, mistake so frequently the arrow pointing to heaven for the one that leads to hell.
Truman Capote (Other Voices, Other Rooms)
We human beings don't realize how great God is. He has given us an extraordinary brain and a sensitive loving heart. He has blessed us with two lips to talk and express our feelings, two eyes which see a world of colours and beauty, two feet which walk on the road of life, two hands to work for us, and two ears to hear the words of love. As I found with my ear, no one knows how much power they have in their each and every organ until they lose one.
Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban)
My wife, ladies and gentlemen. Beauty, brains, and now brawn.
Richelle Mead (The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6))
We have big, beautiful brains. We invent things that fly. Fly. We write poetry. You probably hate poetry, but it’s hard to argue with ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate’ in terms of sheer beauty. We are capable of big lives. A big history. Why settle? Why choose the practical thing, the mundane thing? We are born to dream and make the things we dream about.
Nicola Yoon (The Sun is Also a Star)
The pretty ones are usually unhappy. They expect everyone to be enamored of their beauty. How can a person be content when their happiness lies in someone else's hands, ready to be crushed at any moment? Ordinary-looking people are far superior, because they are forced to actually work hard to achieve their goals, instead of expecting people to fall all over themselves to help them.
J. Cornell Michel (Jordan's Brains: A Zombie Evolution)
The ugliest thing in the world is a beautiful woman without the brains or courage to know that [beauty] is nothing more than an accident.
Charlie Fletcher (Silvertongue (Stoneheart Trilogy, #3))
nothing proving or sick or partial. Nothing false,nothing difficult or easy or small or colossal. Nothing ordinary or extraordinary,nothing emptied or filled,real or unreal;nothing feeble and known or clumsy and guessed. Everywhere tints childrening, innocent spontaneous,true. Nowhere possibly what flesh and impossibly such a garden,but actually flowers which breasts are among the very mouths of light. Nothing believed or doubted; brain over heart, surface:nowhere hating or to fear;shadow, mind without soul. Only how measureless cool flames of making;only each other building always distinct selves of mutual entirely opening;only alive. Never the murdered finalities of wherewhen and yesno,impotent nongames of wrongright and rightwrong;never to gain or pause,never the soft adventure of undoom,greedy anguishes and cringing ecstasies of inexistence; never to rest and never to have:only to grow. Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.
E.E. Cummings
Never before had I known the sudden quiver of understanding that travels from word to brain to heart, the way a new language can move, coil, swim into life under the eyes, the almost savage leap of comprehension, the instantaneous, joyful release of meaning, the way the words shed their printed bodies in a flash of heat and light.
Elizabeth Kostova (The Historian)
Every day was like a day out of someone else's life. Nothing had ever happened to me, and now everything was happening to me -- and by everything, I really meant Lena. An hour was both faster and slower. I felt like I had sucked the air out of a giant balloon, like my brain wasn't getting enough oxygen. Clouds were more interesting, the lunchroom less disgusting, music sounded better, the same old jokes were funnier, and Jackson went from being a clump of grayish-green industrial buildings to a map of times and places where I might run into her. I found myself smiling for no reason, keeping my earphones in and replaying our conversations in my head, just so I could listen to them again. I had seen this kind of thing before. I had just never felt it.
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
The cuter the boy, the mushier your brain.
Jeanne Birdsall (The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (The Penderwicks, #1))
I don't think much new ever happens. Most of us spend our days the same way people spent their days in the year 1000: walking around smiling, trying to earn enough to eat, while neurotically doing these little self-proofs in our head about how much better we are than these other slobs, while simultaneously, in another part of our brain, secretly feeling woefully inadequate to these smarter, more beautiful people.
George Saunders
Why should we place Christ at the top and summit of the human race? Was he kinder, more forgiving, more self-sacrificing than Buddha? Was he wiser, did he meet death with more perfect calmness, than Socrates? Was he more patient, more charitable, than Epictetus? Was he a greater philosopher, a deeper thinker, than Epicurus? In what respect was he the superior of Zoroaster? Was he gentler than Lao-tsze, more universal than Confucius? Were his ideas of human rights and duties superior to those of Zeno? Did he express grander truths than Cicero? Was his mind subtler than Spinoza’s? Was his brain equal to Kepler’s or Newton’s? Was he grander in death – a sublimer martyr than Bruno? Was he in intelligence, in the force and beauty of expression, in breadth and scope of thought, in wealth of illustration, in aptness of comparison, in knowledge of the human brain and heart, of all passions, hopes and fears, the equal of Shakespeare, the greatest of the human race?
Robert G. Ingersoll (About The Holy Bible)
A bore or an uggo might manage not to get up anyone's nose, but if a girl's got brains and looks and personality, she's going to piss someone off, somewhere along the way.
Tana French (Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #3))
The brain is a monstrous, beautiful mess.
Susannah Cahalan (Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness)
What is beauty? Beauty is no more than a trick; a delusion; the influence of excited particles and electrons colliding in your eyes, jostling in your brain like a bunch of overeager school children, about to be released on break. Will you let yourself be deluded? Will you let yourself be decieved? -"On Beauty and Falsehood," The New Philosophy, by Ellen Dorpshire
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
A beautiful woman is a beautiful woman, but a beautiful woman with a brain is an absolutely lethal combination.
Prabal Gurung
I don't have time to feel sorry for myself. I've got to think.
Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1))
Each one of us is alone in the world. He is shut in a tower of brass, and can communicate with his fellows only by signs, and the signs have no common value, so that their sense is vague and uncertain. We seek pitifully to convey to others the treasures of our heart, but they have not the power to accept them, and so we go lonely, side by side but not together, unable to know our fellows and unknown by them. We are like people living in a country whose language they know so little that, with all manner of beautiful and profound things to say, they are condemned to the banalities of the conversation manual. Their brain is seething with ideas, and they can only tell you that the umbrella of the gardener's aunt is in the house.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Moon and Sixpence)
However small we are, we should always fight for what we believe to be right. And I don’t mean fight with the power of our fists or the power of our swords…I mean the power of our brains and our thoughts and our dreams. And as small and quiet and unimportant as our fighting may look, perhaps we might all work together…and break out of the prisons of our own making. Perhaps we might be able to keep this fierce and beautiful world of ours as free for all of us as it seemed to be on that blue afternoon of my childhood.
Cressida Cowell (How to Speak Dragonese (How to Train Your Dragon, #3))
My education has been so unwitting I can't quite tell which of my thoughts come from me and which from my books, but that's how I've stayed attuned to myself and the world around me for the past thirty-five years. Because when I read, I don't really read; I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins to the root of each blood vessel.
Bohumil Hrabal (Too Loud a Solitude)
All beauty comes from beautiful blood and a beautiful brain. If the greatnesses are in conjunction in a man or woman it is enough...the fact will prevail through the universe...but the gaggery and gilt of a million years will not prevail. Who troubles himself about his ornaments or fluency is lost. This is what you shall so: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body...
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Brains are beautiful.
Jean Kwok (Girl in Translation)
Books are food for the brain. I can't think of anything healthier
Velvetoscar (Young & Beautiful)
She stared at Peter, and she realized that in that one moment, when she hadn't been thinking, she knew exactly what he'd felt as he moved through the school with his backpack and his guns. Every kid in this school played a role: jock, brain, beauty, freak. All Peter had done was what they all secretly dreamed of: be someone, even for just nineteen minutes, who nobody else was allowed to judge.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
And still the brain continues to yearn, continues to burn, foolishly, with desire. My old man's brain is mocked by a body that still longs to stretch in the sun and form a beautiful shape in someone else's gaze, to lie under a blue sky and dream of helpless, selfless love, to behold itself, illuminated, in the golden light of another's eyes.
Meg Rosoff (What I Was)
[Cleopatra's] power has been made to derive from her sexuality, for obvious reason; as one of Caesar's murderers had noted, 'How much more attention people pay to their fears than to their memories!' It has always been preferable to attribute a woman's success to her beauty rather than to her brains, to reduce her to the sum of her sex life.
Stacy Schiff (Cleopatra: A Life)
Girls with the beauty-and-brains thing going on are the most intimidating girls in the world.
Susane Colasanti (When It Happens)
If your heads were stuffed with straw, like mine, you would probably all live in the beautiful places, and then Kansas would have no people at all. It is fortunate for Kansas that you have brains.
L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1))
Literature, real literature, must not be gulped down like some potion which may be good for the heart or good for the brain — the brain, that stomach of the soul. Literature must be taken and broken to bits, pulled apart, squashed — then its lovely reek will be smelt in the hollow of the palm, it will be munched and rolled upon the tongue with relish; then, and only then, its rare flavor will be appreciated at its true worth and the broken and crushed parts will again come together in your mind and disclose the beauty of a unity to which you have contributed something of your own blood.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lectures on Russian Literature)
If you've brains it's better than beauty - brains last, beauty doesn't.
L.M. Montgomery (Emily of New Moon (Emily, #1))
Braininess is not attractive unless combined with some signs of elegance; class.
Alice Munro (The Beggar Maid: Stories of Flo and Rose)
So, the gods don't hand out all their gifts at once, not build and brains and flowing speech to all. One man may fail to impress us with his looks but a god can crown his words with beauty, charm, and men look on with delight when he speaks out. Never faltering, filled with winning self-control, he shines forth at assembly grounds and people gaze at him like a god when he walks through the streets. Another man may look like a deathless one on high but there's not a bit of grace to crown his words. Just like you, my fine, handsome friend.
Homer (The Odyssey)
TO what purpose, April, do you return again? Beauty is not enough. You can no longer quiet me with the redness Of little leaves opening stickily. I know what I know. The sun is hot on my neck as I observe The spikes of the crocus. The smell of the earth is good. It is apparent that there is no death. But what does that signify? Not only under ground are the brains of men Eaten by maggots. Life in itself Is nothing, An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs. It is not enough that yearly, down this hill, April Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
It is too often the quality of happiness that you feel at every moment its fragility, while depression seems when you are in it to be a state that will never pass. Even if you accept that moods change, that whatever you feel today will be different tomorrow, you cannot relax into happiness like you can into sadness. For me, sadness has always been and still is a more powerful feeling; and if that is not a universal experience, perhaps it is the base from which depression grows. I hated being depressed, but it was also in depression that I learned my own acreage, the full extent of my soul. When I am happy, I feel slightly distracted by happiness, as though it fails to use some part of my mind and brain that wants the exercise. Depression is something to do. My grasp tightens and becomes acute in moments of loss: I can see the beauty of glass objects fully at the moment when they slip from my hand toward the floor.
Andrew Solomon (The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression)
It has always been preferable to attribute a woman's success to her beauty rather to her brains, to reduce her to the sum of her sex life.
Stacy Schiff (Cleopatra: A Life)
Of course I know in my brain that everything we tell ourselves about human civilisation is a lie. But imagine having to find out in real life.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
Seriously? That's what you think I should be relegating my brain space to? Looking nice? Like, if I don't make the effort to look beautiful, my entire existence is nullified? Nothing else matters-not my intellect, not my personality or my accomplishments; my hopes and dreams mean nothing if I'm not wearing eyeliner?
Sandhya Menon (When Dimple Met Rishi (Dimple and Rishi, #1))
But Shakespeare one gets acquainted with without knowing how. It is a part of an Englishman's constitution. His thoughts and beauties are so spread abroad that one touches them everywhere; one is intimate with him by instinct. No man of any brain can open at a good part of one of his plays without falling into the flow of his meaning immediately.
Jane Austen (Mansfield Park)
Women can be beautiful and smart. They just choose to play down their intelligence so they can survive and get along with others during the times in history when women didn't have equal rights, couldn't speak out, and were considered property. - Strong by Kailin Gow
Kailin Gow
Some days I do appreciate things more, eggs, flowers, but then I decide I'm only having an attack of sentimentality, my brain going pastel Technicolor, like a beautiful-sunset greeting cards they used to make so many of in California. High-gloss hearts. The danger is grayout.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
I remember when people used to think I was smart. I remember when people used to think my brain was useful. Damaged by water, sure. And ready to seizure at any moment. But still useful, and maybe even a little bit beautiful and sacred and magical.
Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)
My type has a romantic soul. He’ll make my brain and my heart fight over who gets him first. He does what’s right, even when it’s not easy—actually, especially when it’s not easy. He knows the value of discipline, education, honor, and restraint. And his strength of character is the only thing that outweighs the strength of his love for me.
Penny Reid (Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0))
I will go directly to her home, ring the bell, and walk in. Here I am, take me-or stab me to death. Stab the heart, stab the brains, stab the lungs, the kidneys, the viscera, the eyes, the ears. If only one organ be left alive you are doomed-doomed to be mine, forever, in this world and the next and all the worlds to come. I'm a desperado of love, a scalper, a slayer. I'm insatiable. I eat hair, dirty wax, dry blood clots, anything and everything you call yours. Show me your father, with his kites, his race horses, his free passes for the opera: I will eat them all, swallow them alive. Where is the chair you sit in, where is your favorite comb, your toothbrush, your nail file? Trot them out that I may devour them at one gulp. You have a sister more beautiful than yourself, you say. Show her to me-I want to lick the flesh from her bones.
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
She could not explain or quite understand that it wasn't altogether jealousy she felt, it was rage. And not because she couldn't shop like that or dress like that. It was because that was what girls were supposed to be like. That was what men - people, everybody - thought they should be like. Beautiful, treasured, spoiled, selfish, pea-brained. That was what a girl should be, to be fallen in love with. Then she would become a mother and she'd be all mushily devoted to her babies. Not selfish anymore, but just as pea-brained. Forever.
Alice Munro (Runaway: Stories)
So our crew is back to being all girls, and stays that way for the rest of lunch. The only other guy who’d sit with us never bothers making an appearance in the cafeteria. But I pass Nate in the hallway afterward, and all the questions bubbling in my brain about Simon, Leah, and Janae disappear when he gives me a fleeting grin. Because God, it’s beautiful when that boy smiles.
Karen M. McManus (One of Us Is Lying (One of Us is Lying, #1))
In prehistoric times, early man was bowled over by natural events: rain, thunder, lightning, the violent shaking and moving of the ground, mountains spewing deathly hot lava, the glow of the moon, the burning heat of the sun, the twinkling of the stars. Our human brain searched for an answer, and the conclusion was that it all must be caused by something greater than ourselves - this, of course, sprouted the earliest seeds of religion. This theory is certainly reflected in faery lore. In the beautiful sloping hills of Connemara in Ireland, for example, faeries were believed to have been just as beautiful, peaceful, and pleasant as the world around them. But in the Scottish Highlands, with their dark, brooding mountains and eerie highland lakes, villagers warned of deadly water-kelpies and spirit characters that packed a bit more punch.
Signe Pike (Faery Tale: One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World)
Well, for each of us the brain creates a whole, unique universe. It contains everything we know. Everything we see or touch. Everything we feel and remember. In a sense, our brains create all of reality for us. Without the brain, there's nothing. Some people find this idea scary, but I think it's rather beautiful.
Gavin Extence (The Universe Versus Alex Woods)
It was one of those strange moments that came to him rarely, but never left. A moment that stamped itself on heart and brain, instantly recallable in every detail, for all of his life. There was no telling what made these moments different from any other, though he knew them when they came. He had seen sights more gruesome and more beautiful by far, and been left with no more than a fleeting muddle of their memory. But these-- the still moments, as he called them to himself-- they came with no warning, to print a random image of the most common things inside his brain, indelible.
Diana Gabaldon (Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4))
When I walk into a room, you're the only person I see. My brain doesn't get a choice anymore, because there's something inside you so rare it radiates out and blocks everyone else. You have the kind of beauty that can't be manufactured - the kind that comes from in here." He tapped a finger against her chest. "I didn't know what real beauty was before I met you, but I get it now. So trust me when I say you're the most breathtaking girl in my world.
Melissa Landers (Starflight (Starflight, #1))
Leslie was one of those people who sat quietly at her desk, never whispering or daydreaming or chewing gum, doing beautiful schoolwork, and yet her brain was so full of mischief that if the teacher could have once seen through that mask of perfection, she would have thrown her out in horror.
Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia)
The complex human eye harvests light. It perceives seven to ten million colors through a synaptic flash: one-tenth of a second from retina to brain. Homo sapiens gangs up to 70 percent of its sense receptors solely for vision, to anticipate danger and recognize reward, but also—more so—for beauty.
Ellen Meloy (The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky (Pulitzer Prize Finalist))
Your kiss thrilled me beyond imagining,” he whispered. “Every night for the rest of my life, I’ll dream of the afternoon in the holloway, when I was waylaid by a dark-haired beauty who devastated me with the heat of a thousand troubled stars, and left my soul in cinders. Even when I’m an old man, and my brain has fallen to wrack and ruin, I’ll remember the sweet fire of your lips under mine, and I’ll say to myself, ‘Now, that was a kiss.’” Silver-tongued devil, Pandora thought, unable to hold back a crooked grin.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
This is a beautiful and hopeful time to be alive. We are at a turning point, and your contribution to the world is needed more than ever. All of your struggles, all the struggles of your ancestors, all the struggles of all life have led to this moment right now. You are the culmination of life's great yearning; you are the hope of the world.
Ilchi Lee (Brain Wave Vibration: Getting Back into the Rhythm of a Happy, Healthy Life)
Leaving out appraisal also would render the biological description of the phenomena of emotion vulnerable to the caricature that emotions without an appraisal phase are meaningless events. It would be more difficult to see how beautiful and amazingly intelligent emotions can be, and how powerfully they can solve problems for us.
António R. Damásio (Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain)
Have faith that your child's brain is an evolving planet that rotates at its own speed. It will naturally be attracted to or repel certain subjects. Be patient. Just as there are ugly ducklings that turn into beautiful swans, there are rebellious kids and slow learners that turn into serious innovators and hardcore intellectuals.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
He was an animal. He was terrifying. And he was beautiful. I realized that I was biting my lip, that my hand was wound into the ruffled fabric at my chest. Something in me was drawn to the carnage. Like so many women before me, I was a slave to the caveman brain, that deep old part of my DNA that whispered that ferocity would keep me safe and fed and alive and that I should most definitely find the fiercest creature around and hump it.
Delilah S. Dawson (Wicked as They Come (Blud, #1))
I cannot understand why you should wish to leave this beautiful country and go back to the dry, gray place you call Kansas." "That is because you have no brains," answered the girl. "No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home." The Scarecrow sighed. "Of course I cannot understand it," he said. "If your heads were stuffed with straw, like mine, you would probably all live in beautiful places, and then Kansas would have no people at all. It is fortunate for Kansas that you have brains.
L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1))
Those who don't feel this Love pulling them like a river, those who don't drink dawn like a cup of spring water or take sunset like supper, those who don't want to change, let them sleep. This Love is beyond the study of theology, that old trickery and hypocrisy. If you want to improve your mind that way sleep on. I've given up on my brain. I've torn the cloth to shreds and thrown it away. If you're not completely naked wrap your beautiful robe of words around you, and sleep.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
My father did not become the bad guy for me. Not yet. That day I hated my mother for killing my father, but also for all the reasons you cannot say. Part of my child brain hated her because she wasn’t young enough or even beautiful enough. Because she wasn’t strong enough. Or because she was too strong. Because she was so complex where my father was not. I hated my mother, in short, for being a woman.
Lisa Taddeo (Animal)
Some years ago, there was a lovely philosopher of science and journalist in Italy named Giulio Giorello, and he did an interview with me. And I don’t know if he wrote it or not, but the headline in Corriere della Sera when it was published was "Sì, abbiamo un'anima. Ma è fatta di tanti piccoli robot – "Yes, we have a soul, but it’s made of lots of tiny robots." And I thought, exactly. That’s the view. Yes, we have a soul, but in what sense? In the sense that our brains, unlike the brains even of dogs and cats and chimpanzees and dolphins, our brains have functional structures that give our brains powers that no other brains have - powers of look-ahead, primarily. We can understand our position in the world, we can see the future, we can understand where we came from. We know that we’re here. No buffalo knows it’s a buffalo, but we jolly well know that we’re members of Homo sapiens, and it’s the knowledge that we have and the can-do, our capacity to think ahead and to reflect and to evaluate and to evaluate our evaluations, and evaluate the grounds for our evaluations. It’s this expandable capacity to represent reasons that we have that gives us a soul. But what’s it made of? It’s made of neurons. It’s made of lots of tiny robots. And we can actually explain the structure and operation of that kind of soul, whereas an eternal, immortal, immaterial soul is just a metaphysical rug under which you sweep your embarrassment for not having any explanation.
Daniel C. Dennett
What is the matter with these people, these people who won't stop fighting, won't stop hurting each other long enough to see that a body is a thing of beauty, is a miracle of rivers and oceans and islands and continents contained within itself? That the brain is divided into two hemispheres, each symmetrical, each perfect, each with its own system of waterways. These people of war should be shown an x-ray of an intraparenchymal hemorrhage, of a hemorrhage in an eighteen-year-old girl's brain, a girl named Ivy. Take a look at that, people of war. See, you should not hurt each other, and this is why. Without you ever even trying, this is what can happen to your body, your beautiful body, and your brain, your beautiful symmetrical brain, and your heart, and your soul.
Alison McGhee (All Rivers Flow to the Sea)
Schecter turned to MacRieve. “And what is your field, Dr…?” Despite the fact that he was a prince, he answered, “Mr. MacRieve. I’m here in a security capacity for my wife. She’s the beauty and brains—I’m the brawn.” She stiffened again at his calling her his wife. MacRieve had no idea how much that word bothered her. Schecter asked, “Why exactly would anyone need security?” “Are you jesting?” MacRieve asked. “You doona know?” He flashed an aggravated look at Travis, then said simply, “Because we’re in the bluidy Amazon.
Kresley Cole (Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark, #8))
She read on and on, enraptured. She could not understand half, but it excited her oddly, like words in a foreign language sung to a beautiful air. She followed the poem vaguely as she followed the Latin in her missal, guessing, inventing meanings for herself, intoxicated by the mere rush of words. And yet she felt she did understand, not with her eyes or her brain, but with some faculty she did not even know she possessed.
Antonia White (Frost in May (Frost in May #1))
I may bring other women here, to this place, and I may tell them I love them, and make love to them. But they will be impostors. And I will be a ghost. Because it means I will have lost you. My body, my brain, my lungs, my stomach, my guts, legs, arms will be here but I won't be. I will be out there, looking for you. And if we meet somewhere, at a restaurant, or a party and I'm with someone, I want you to know that they are by my side only because you are not. And she will be beautiful. And I will be laughing and smiling and she will be laughing and smiling, but she will be laughing at a lie. Because all I will have done to that person is lie to them. All I will do to anyone else, forever, from this moment forward, anyone who isn't you, is lie. I have no choice.
Jez Butterworth (The River)
The pain is stronger than ever. I've seen bits of lost Paradises and I know I'll be hopelessly trying to return even if it hurts. The deeper I swing into the regions of nothingness the further I'm thrown back into myself, each time more and more frightening depths below me, until my very being becomes dizzy. There are brief glimpses of clear sky, like falling out of a tree, so I have some idea where I'm going, but there is still too much clarity and straight order of things, I am getting always the same number somehow. So I vomit out broken bits of words and syntaxes of the countries I've passed through, broken limbs, slaughtered houses, geographies. My heart is poisoned, my brain left in shreds of horror and sadness. I've never let you down, world, but you did lousy things to me. (from "As I was moving ahead occasionally I saw brief glimpses of beauty", 2000)
Jonas Mekas
And when I look around the apartment where I now am,—when I see Charlotte’s apparel lying before me, and Albert’s writings, and all those articles of furniture which are so familiar to me, even to the very inkstand which I am using,—when I think what I am to this family—everything. My friends esteem me; I often contribute to their happiness, and my heart seems as if it could not beat without them; and yet—if I were to die, if I were to be summoned from the midst of this circle, would they feel—or how long would they feel—the void which my loss would make in their existence? How long! Yes, such is the frailty of man, that even there, where he has the greatest consciousness of his own being, where he makes the strongest and most forcible impression, even in the memory, in the heart of his beloved, there also he must perish,—vanish,—and that quickly. I could tear open my bosom with vexation to think how little we are capable of influencing the feelings of each other. No one can communicate to me those sensations of love, joy, rapture, and delight which I do not naturally possess; and though my heart may glow with the most lively affection, I cannot make the happiness of one in whom the same warmth is not inherent. Sometimes I don’t understand how another can love her, is allowed to love her, since I love her so completely myself, so intensely, so fully, grasp nothing, know nothing, have nothing but her! I possess so much, but my love for her absorbs it all. I possess so much, but without her I have nothing. One hundred times have I been on the point of embracing her. Heavens! what a torment it is to see so much loveliness passing and repassing before us, and yet not dare to lay hold of it! And laying hold is the most natural of human instincts. Do not children touch everything they see? And I! Witness, Heaven, how often I lie down in my bed with a wish, and even a hope, that I may never awaken again! And in the morning, when I open my eyes, I behold the sun once more, and am wretched. If I were whimsical, I might blame the weather, or an acquaintance, or some personal disappointment, for my discontented mind; and then this insupportable load of trouble would not rest entirely upon myself. But, alas! I feel it too sadly; I am alone the cause of my own woe, am I not? Truly, my own bosom contains the source of all my pleasure. Am I not the same being who once enjoyed an excess of happiness, who at every step saw paradise open before him, and whose heart was ever expanded towards the whole world? And this heart is now dead; no sentiment can revive it. My eyes are dry; and my senses, no more refreshed by the influence of soft tears, wither and consume my brain. I suffer much, for I have lost the only charm of life: that active, sacred power which created worlds around me,—it is no more. When I look from my window at the distant hills, and behold the morning sun breaking through the mists, and illuminating the country around, which is still wrapped in silence, whilst the soft stream winds gently through the willows, which have shed their leaves; when glorious Nature displays all her beauties before me, and her wondrous prospects are ineffectual to extract one tear of joy from my withered heart,—I feel that in such a moment I stand like a reprobate before heaven, hardened, insensible, and unmoved. Oftentimes do I then bend my knee to the earth, and implore God for the blessing of tears, as the desponding labourer in some scorching climate prays for the dews of heaven to moisten his parched corn.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
It’s just death and resurrection, over and over again, day after day, as God reaches down into our deepest graves and with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead wrests us from our pride, our apathy, our fear, our prejudice, our anger, our hurt, and our despair. Most days I don’t know which is harder for me to believe: that God reanimated the brain functions of a man three days dead, or that God can bring back to life all the beautiful things we have killed. Both seem pretty unlikely to me.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900. To You WHOEVER you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams, I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands; Even now, your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you, Your true Soul and Body appear before me, They stand forth out of affairs—out of commerce, shops, law, science, work, forms, clothes, the house, medicine, print, buying, selling, eating, drinking, suffering, dying. Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem; I whisper with my lips close to your ear, I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you. O I have been dilatory and dumb; I should have made my way straight to you long ago; I should have blabb’d nothing but you, I should have chanted nothing but you. I will leave all, and come and make the hymns of you; None have understood you, but I understand you; None have done justice to you—you have not done justice to yourself; None but have found you imperfect—I only find no imperfection in you; None but would subordinate you—I only am he who will never consent to subordinate you; I only am he who places over you no master, owner, better, God, beyond what waits intrinsically in yourself. Painters have painted their swarming groups, and the centre figure of all; From the head of the centre figure spreading a nimbus of gold-color’d light; But I paint myriads of heads, but paint no head without its nimbus of gold-color’d light; From my hand, from the brain of every man and woman it streams, effulgently flowing forever. O I could sing such grandeurs and glories about you! You have not known what you are—you have slumber’d upon yourself all your life; Your eye-lids have been the same as closed most of the time; What you have done returns already in mockeries; (Your thrift, knowledge, prayers, if they do not return in mockeries, what is their return?) The mockeries are not you; Underneath them, and within them, I see you lurk; I pursue you where none else has pursued you; Silence, the desk, the flippant expression, the night, the accustom’d routine, if these conceal you from others, or from yourself, they do not conceal you from me; The shaved face, the unsteady eye, the impure complexion, if these balk others, they do not balk me, The pert apparel, the deform’d attitude, drunkenness, greed, premature death, all these I part aside. There is no endowment in man or woman that is not tallied in you; There is no virtue, no beauty, in man or woman, but as good is in you; No pluck, no endurance in others, but as good is in you; No pleasure waiting for others, but an equal pleasure waits for you. As for me, I give nothing to any one, except I give the like carefully to you; I sing the songs of the glory of none, not God, sooner than I sing the songs of the glory of you. Whoever you are! claim your own at any hazard! These shows of the east and west are tame, compared to you; These immense meadows—these interminable rivers—you are immense and interminable as they; These furies, elements, storms, motions of Nature, throes of apparent dissolution—you are he or she who is master or mistress over them, Master or mistress in your own right over Nature, elements, pain, passion, dissolution. The hopples fall from your ankles—you find an unfailing sufficiency; Old or young, male or female, rude, low, rejected by the rest, whatever you are promulges itself; Through birth, life, death, burial, the means are provided, nothing is scanted; Through angers, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui, what you are picks its way.
Walt Whitman
The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep. They could see how love might control you, from your head to your toes, not to mention every single part of you in between. A woman could want a man so much she might vomit in the kitchen sink or cry so fiercly blood would form in the corners of her eyes. She put her hand to her throat as though someone were strangling her, but really she was choking on all that love she thought she’d needed so badly. What had she thought, that love was a toy, something easy and sweet, just to play with? Real love was dangerous, it got you from inside and held on tight, and if you didn’t let go fast enough you might be willing to do anything for it’s sake. She refused to believe in superstition, she wouldn’t; yet it was claiming her. Some fates are guaranteed, no matter who tries to intervene. After all I’ve done for you is lodged somewhere in her brain, and far worse, it’s in her heart as well. She was bad luck, ill-fated and unfortunate as the plague. She is not worth his devotion. She wishes he would evaporate into thin air. Maybe then she wouldn’t have this feeling deep inside, a feeling she can deny all she wants, but that won’t stop it from being desire. Love is worth the sum of itself and nothing more. But that’s what happens when you’re a liar, especially when you’re telling the worst of these lies to yourself. He has stumbled into love, and now he’s stuck there. He’s fairly used to not getting what he wants, and he’s dealt with it, yet he can’t help but wonder if that’s only because he didn’t want anything so badly. It’s music, it’s a sound that is absurdly beautiful in his mouth, but she won’t pay attention. She knows from the time she spent on the back stairs of the aunts’ house that most things men say are lies. Don’t listen, she tells herself. None if it’s true and none of it matters, because he’s whispering that he’s been looking for her forever. She can’t believe it. She can’t listen to anything he tells her and she certainly can’t think, because if she did she might just think she’d better stop. What good would it do her to get involved with someone like him? She’d have to feel so much, and she’s not that kind. The greatest portion of grief is the one you dish out for yourself. She preferred cats to human beings and turned down every offer from the men who fell in love with her. They told her how sticks and stones could break bones, but taunting and name-calling were only for fools. — & now here she is, all used up. Although she’d never believe it, those lines in *’s face are the most beautiful part about her. They reveal what she’s gone through and what she’s survived and who exactly she is, deep inside. She’s gotten back some of what she’s lost. Attraction, she now understands, is a state of mind. If there’s one thing * is now certain of, it’s house you can amaze yourself by the things you’re willing to do. You really don’t know? That heart-attack thing you’ve been having? It’s love, that’s what it feels like. She knows now that when you don’t lose yourself in the bargain, you find you have double the love you started with, and that’s one recipe that can’t be tampered with. Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
We are Trailblazers! Our Shero’s used their brains to spark the flame. We, as women, have to learn we cannot always do everything alone; coming together as one produces greatness as we lay the foundation together. All women are Trailblazers who’ve put in the work, and as we all know, nothing comes easy. Therefore, the time and hard work we’ve invested is ours that we earned; because it most definitely wasn’t given. Trailblazers, we must own our lives, filter out what doesn’t serve us, and stand firm for what we believe in. Our voices are beautiful and powerful!
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
This is it, I think, this is it, right now, the present, this empty gas station, here, this western wind, this tang of coffee on the tongue, and I am petting the puppy, I am watching the mountain. And the second I verbalize this awareness in my brain, I cease to see the mountain or feel the puppy. I am opaque, so much black asphalt. But at the same second, the second I know I've lost it, I also realize that the puppy is still squirming on his back under my hand. Nothing has changed for him. He draws his legs down to stretch the skin taut so he feels every fingertip's stroke along his furred and arching side, his flank, his flung-back throat. I sip my coffee. I look at the mountain, which is still doing its tricks, as you look at a still-beautiful face belonging to a person who was once your lover in another country years ago: with fond nostalgia, and recognition, but no real feeling save a secret astonishment that you are now strangers. Thanks. For the memories. It is ironic that the one thing that all religions recognize as separating us from our creator--our very self-consciousness--is also the one thing that divides us from our fellow creatures. It was a bitter birthday present from evolution, cutting us off at both ends. I get in the car and drive home.
Annie Dillard
Here is to all the brilliant minds that love deeply, for they write the stories that make us dream of true love. Here is to all the visionaries that create a miracle when others give up hope. Here is to all the artists, musicians, actors, singers, songwriters, dancers, screenwriters, philosophers, inventors and poetic hearts that create a perspective of heaven we can experience in this lifetime. But most of all, here is to the wild souls that the world calls broken, insane, abnormal, weird or different because they are the ones that renew our faith, by what they overcome and create, in a world that needs a sign that God doesn’t forget the least of us.
Shannon L. Alder
It destroyed some cavern of your reverence to watch Augustine punch the Prince Undying on the arm, and to watch the Prince Undying gamely cuff him back. Part of your brain temporarily calcified into atheism. You had not thought it would be like this. From the day the letter arrived in Drearburh, you’d thought that your Lyctoral days would be spent in prayer, training, and the beauty of necromantic mysteries. You did not think any part of it would be spent honestly quite drunk, wearing a piece of material no larger than a towel, and with Ianthe Tridentarius’s fingers idly caressing the hair at the nape of your neck. For a moment, you wondered wildly if you had hit your head quite hard entering the shuttle out of Drearburh, and had hallucinated everything subsequent.
Tamsyn Muir (Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2))
There Comes the Strangest Moment There comes the strangest moment in your life, when everything you thought before breaks free-- what you relied upon, as ground-rule and as rite looks upside down from how it used to be. Skin's gone pale, your brain is shedding cells; you question every tenet you set down; obedient thoughts have turned to infidels and every verb desires to be a noun. I want--my want. I love--my love. I'll stay with you. I thought transitions were the best, but I want what's here to never go away. I'll make my peace, my bed, and kiss this breast… Your heart's in retrograde. You simply have no choice. Things people told you turn out to be true. You have to hold that body, hear that voice. You'd have sworn no one knew you more than you. How many people thought you'd never change? But here you have. It's beautiful. It's strange.
Kate Light
Was it wisdom? Was it knowledge? Was it, once more, the deceptiveness of beauty, so that all one’s perceptions, half-way to truth, were tangled in a golden mesh? Or did she lock up within her some secret which certainly Lily Briscoe believed people must have for the world to go on at all? Every one could not be as helter skelter, hand to mouth as she was. But if they knew, could they tell one what they knew? Sitting on the floor with her arms round Mrs. Ramsay’s knees, close as she could get, smiling to think that Mrs. Ramsay would never know the reason of that pressure, she imagined how in the chambers of the mind and heart of the woman who was, physically, touching her, were stood, like the treasures in the tombs of kings, tablets bearing sacred inscriptions, which if one could spell them out, would teach one everything, but they would never be offered openly, never made public. What art was there, known to love or cunning, by which one pressed through into those secret chambers? What device for becoming, like waters poured into one jar, inextricably the same, one with the object one adored? Could the body achieve, or the mind, subtly mingling in the intricate passages of the brain? or the heart? Could loving, as people called it, make her and Mrs. Ramsay one? for it was not knowledge but unity that she desired, not inscriptions on tablets, nothing that could be written in any language known to men, but intimacy itself, which is knowledge, she had thought, leaning her head on Mrs. Ramsay’s knee.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
He had been wont to despise emotions: girls were weak, emotions–tears– were weakness. But this morning he was thinking that being a great brain in a tower, nothing but brain, wouldn’t be much fun. No excitement, no dog to love, no joy in the blue sky– no feelings at all. But feelings– feelings are emotions! He was suddenly overwhelmed by the revelation that what makes life worth living is, precisely, the emotions. But then– this was awful!– maybe girls with their tears and laughter were getting more out of life. Shattering! He checked himself, showing one’s emotions was not the thing: having them was. Still, he was dizzy with the revelation. What is beauty but something is responded to with emotion? Courage, at least, is partly emotional. All the splendour of life. But if the best of life is, in fact, emotional, then one wanted the highest, the purest emotions: and that meant joy. Joy was the highest. How did one find joy? In books it was found in love– a great love… So if he wanted the heights of joy, he must have it, if he could find it, in great love. But in the books again, great joy through love always seemed go hand in hand with frightful pain. Still, he thought, looking out across the meadow, still, the joy would be worth the pain– if indeed, they went together. If there were a choice– and he suspected there was– a choice between, on the one hand, the hights and the depths and, on the other hand, some sort of safe, cautious middle way, he, for one, here and now chose the heights and the depths. Since then the years have gone by and he– had he not had what he chose that day in the meadow? He had had the love. And the joy– what joy it had been! And the sorrow. He had had– was having– all the sorrow there was. And yet, the joy was worth the pain. Even now he re-affirmed that long-past choice.
Sheldon Vanauken (A Severe Mercy: A Story of Faith, Tragedy, and Triumph)
Reading for me, was like breathing. It was probably akin to masturbation for my brain. Getting off on the fantasy within the pages of a good novel felt necessary to my survival. If I wasn't asleep, knitting, or working, I was reading. This was for several reasons, all of them focused around the infititely superior and enviable lives of fictional heroines to real-life people. Take romans for instance. Fictional women in romance novels never get their period. They never have morning breath. They orgasm seventeen times a day. And they never seem to have jobs with bosses. These clean, well-satisfied, perm-minty-breathed women have fulfilling careers as florists, bakery owners, hair stylists or some other kind of adorable small business where they decorate all day. If they do have a boss, he's a cool guy (or gal) who's invested in the woman's love life. Or, he's a super hot billionaire trying to get in her pants. My boss cares about two things: Am I on time ? Are all my patients alive and well at the end of my shift? And the mend in the romance novels are too good to be true; but I love it, and I love them. Enter stage right the independently wealthy venture capitalist suffering from the ennui of perfection until a plucky interior decorator enters stage left and shakes up his life and his heart with perky catch phrases and a cute nose that wrinkles when she sneezes. I suck at decorating. The walls of my apartment are bare. I am allergic to most store-bought flowers. If I owned a bakery, I'd be broke and weigh seven hundred pounds, because I love cake.
Penny Reid (Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0))
Like I said, when I get pissed I say a lotta shit I don't mean and what I said about you I didn't mean," he repeated, beginning to look as impatient as he sounded. "And like I said, you're old enough to learn you shouldn't do that," I repeated too, probably also looking impatient. "That isn't me," he replied. "Well, then, this obviously is eating you and that's your consequence because I have feelings and you walked all over them and you can't order me to shake it off so you can feel better. It's there, burned in my brain and I can't just forget it because you tell me to. So you have to live with that. You can't and want me gone, say it now because I'm beginning to like Betty and I met Shambles and Sunny and I'm having dinner with them tomorrow night and I'd rather not make ties when I'm going to need to hit the road because my boss is going to get rid of me." "Shambles and Sunny?" he asked. "Shambles and Sunny," I answered but didn't share more. "Now, can we just move on and do our best to work together and all other times avoid each other or do you want me to go?" He moved forward an inch and I again fought the urge to retreat. "Forgiveness is divine," he said softly and I'd never heard him talk soft. He had a very nice voice but when it went soft, it was beautiful. This also sucked. (BTW, in the beginning a lot of things sucked! :D) I mean Lauren uses this word 'sucks'. "I'm not divine," I returned. "I'm also not Ace and I'm not Babe. I'm Lauren. You don't like my name, don't call me anything at all. Now can I clean the danged table?" I had my head tipped back to look him in the eye but I could tell he was expending effort to hold his whole body still. Then he said in that soft voice, "I'm sorry, Ace." "Me too," I replied instantly being clear I didn't accept his apology...
Kristen Ashley (Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2))
Anytime I talk about my work informally, I inevitably encounter someone who wants to know why addicts become addicts. They use words like “will” and “choice,” and they end by saying, “Don’t you think there’s more to it than the brain?” They are skeptical of the rhetoric of addiction as disease, something akin to high blood pressure or diabetes, and I get that. What they’re really saying is that they may have partied in high school and college but look at them now. Look how strong-willed they are, how many good choices they’ve made. They want reassurances. They want to believe that they have been loved enough and have raised their children well enough that the things that I research will never, ever touch their own lives. I understand this impulse. I, too, have spent years creating my little moat of good deeds in an attempt to protect the castle of myself. I don’t want to be dismissed the way that Nana was once dismissed. I know that it’s easier to say Their kind does seem to have a taste for drugs, easier to write all addicts off as bad and weak-willed people, than it is to look closely at the nature of their suffering. I do it too, sometimes. I judge. I walk around with my chest puffed out, making sure hat everyone knows about my Harvard and Stanford degrees, as if those things encapsulate me, and when I do so, I give in to the same facile, lazy thinking that characterizes those who think of addicts as horrible people. It’s just that I’m standing on the other side of the moat. What I can say for certain is that there is no case study in the world that could capture the whole animal of my brother, that could show how smart and kind and generous he was, how much he wanted to get better, how much he wanted to live. Forget for a moment what he looked like on paper, and instead see him as he was in all of his glory, in all of his beauty. It’s true that for years before he died, I would look at his face and think, What a pity, what a waste. But the waste was my own, the waste was what I missed out on whenever I looked at him and saw just his addiction.
Yaa Gyasi (Transcendent Kingdom)
The cosmic perspective comes from the frontiers of science, yet it is not solely the provenance of the scientist. It belongs to everyone. The cosmic perspective is humble. The cosmic perspective is spiritual, even redemptive, but not religious. The cosmic perspective enables us to grasp, in the same thought, the large and the small. The cosmic perspective opens our minds to extraordinary ideas but does not leave them so open that our brains spill out, making us susceptible to believing anything we're told. The cosmic perspective opens our eyes to the universe, not as a benevolent cradle designed to nurture life but as a cold, lonely, hazardous place, forcing us to reassess the value of all humans to one another. The cosmic perspective shows Earth to be a mote. But it's a precious mote and, for the moment, it's the only home we have. The cosmic perspective finds beauty in the images of planets, moons, stars, and nebulae, but also celebrates the laws of physics that shape them. The cosmic perspective enables us to see beyond our circumstances, allowing us to transcend the primal search for food, shelter, and a mate. The cosmic perspective reminds us that in space, where there is no air, a flag will not wave, an indication that perhaps flag-waving and space exploration do not mix. The cosmic perspective not only embraces our genetic kinship with all life on Earth but also values our chemical kinship with any yet-to-be discovered life in the universe, as well as our atomic kinship with the universe itself.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)
What grief is not taken away by time? What passion will survive an unequal battle with it? I knew a man in the bloom of his still youthful powers, filled with true nobility and virtue, I knew him when he was in love, tenderly, passionately, furiously, boldly, modestly, and before me, almost before my eyes, the object of his passion - tender, beautiful as an angel - was struck down by insatiable death. I never saw such terrible fits of inner suffering, such furious scorching anguish, such devouring despair as shook the unfortunate lover. I never thought a man could create such a hell for himself, in which there would be no shadow, no image, nothing in the least resembling hope... They tried to keep an eye on him; they hid all instruments he might have used to take his own life. Two weeks later he suddenly mastered himself: he began to laugh, to joke; freedom was granted him, and the first thing he did was buy a pistol. One day his family was terribly frightened by the sudden sound of a shot. They ran into the room and saw him lying with his brains blown out. A doctor who happened to be there, whose skill was on everyone's lips, saw signs of life in him, found that the wound was not quite mortal, and the man, to everyone's amazement, was healed. The watch on him was increased still more. Even at the table they did not give him a knife to and tried to take away from him anything that he might strike himself with; but a short while later he found a new occasion and threw himself under the wheels of a passing carriage. His arms and legs were crushed; but again they saved him. A year later I saw him in a crowded room; he sat at the card table gaily saying 'Petite ouverte,' keeping one card turned down, and behind him, leaning on the back of his chair, stood his young wife, who was sorting through his chips.
Nikolai Gogol (The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol)
It is customary for adults to forget how hard and dull school is. The learning by memory all the basic things one must know is the most incredible and unending effort. Learning to read is probably the most difficult and revolutionary thing that happens to the human brain and if you don't believe that watch an illiterate adult try to do it. School is not so easy and it is not for the most part very fun, but then, if you are very lucky, you may find a teacher. Three real teachers in a lifetime is the very best of luck. I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit. My three had these things in common. They all loved what they were doing. They did not tell - they catalyzed a burning desire to know. Under their influence, the horizons sprung wide and fear went away and the unknown became knowable. But most important of all, the truth, that dangerous stuff, became beautiful and precious.
John Steinbeck
Centaurs!” Annabeth yelled. The Party Pony army exploded into our midst in a riot of colors: tie-dyed shirts, rainbow Afro wigs, oversize sunglasses, and war-painted faces. Some had slogans scrawled across their flanks like HORSEZ PWN or KRONOS SUX. Hundreds of them filled the entire block. My brain couldn’t process everything I saw, but I knew if I were the enemy, I’d be running. “Percy!” Chiron shouted across the sea of wild centaurs. He was dressed in armor from the waist up, his bow in his hand, and he was grinning in satisfaction. “Sorry we’re late!” “DUDE!” Another centaur yelled. “Talk later. WASTE MONSTERS NOW!” He locked and loaded a double-barrel paint gun and blasted an enemy hellhound bright pink. The paint must’ve been mixed with Celestial bronze dust or something, because as soon as it splattered the hellhound, the monster yelped and dissolved into a pink-and-black puddle. “PARTY PONIES!” a centaur yelled. “SOUTH FLORIDA CHAPTER!” Somewhere across the battlefield, a twangy voice yelled back, “HEART OF TEXAS CHAPTER!” “HAWAII OWNS YOUR FACES!” a third one shouted. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. The entire Titan army turned and fled, pushed back by a flood of paintballs, arrows, swords, and NERF baseball bats. The centaurs trampled everything in their path. “Stop running, you fools!” Kronos yelled. “Stand and ACKK!” That last part was because a panicked Hyperborean giant stumbled backward and sat on top of him.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
As I discussed in the previous chapter, attachment researchers have shown that our earliest caregivers don't only feed us, dress us, and comfort us when we are upset; they shape the way our rapidly growing brain perceives reality. Our interactions with our caregivers convey what is safe and what is dangerous: whom we can count on and who will let us down; what we need to do to get our needs met. This information is embodied in the warp and woof of our brain circuitry and forms the template of how we think of ourselves and the world around us. These inner maps are remarkably stable across time. This doesn‘t mean, however, that our maps can‘t be modified by experience. A deep love relationship, particularly during adolescence, when the brain once again goes through a period of exponential change, truly can transform us. So can the birth of a child, as our babies often teach us how to love. Adults who were abused or neglected as children can still learn the beauty of intimacy and mutual trust or have a deep spiritual experience that opens them to a larger universe. In contrast, previously uncontaminated childhood maps can become so distorted by an adult rape or assault that all roads are rerouted into terror or despair. These responses are not reasonable and therefore cannot be changed simply by reframing irrational beliefs.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
NINA Your life is beautiful. TRIGORIN I see nothing especially lovely about it. [He looks at his watch] Excuse me, I must go at once, and begin writing again. I am in a hurry. [He laughs] You have stepped on my pet corn, as they say, and I am getting excited, and a little cross. Let us discuss this bright and beautiful life of mine, though. [After a few moments' thought] Violent obsessions sometimes lay hold of a man: he may, for instance, think day and night of nothing but the moon. I have such a moon. Day and night I am held in the grip of one besetting thought, to write, write, write! Hardly have I finished one book than something urges me to write another, and then a third, and then a fourth--I write ceaselessly. I am, as it were, on a treadmill. I hurry for ever from one story to another, and can't help myself. Do you see anything bright and beautiful in that? Oh, it is a wild life! Even now, thrilled as I am by talking to you, I do not forget for an instant that an unfinished story is awaiting me. My eye falls on that cloud there, which has the shape of a grand piano; I instantly make a mental note that I must remember to mention in my story a cloud floating by that looked like a grand piano. I smell heliotrope; I mutter to myself: a sickly smell, the colour worn by widows; I must remember that in writing my next description of a summer evening. I catch an idea in every sentence of yours or of my own, and hasten to lock all these treasures in my literary store-room, thinking that some day they may be useful to me. As soon as I stop working I rush off to the theatre or go fishing, in the hope that I may find oblivion there, but no! Some new subject for a story is sure to come rolling through my brain like an iron cannonball. I hear my desk calling, and have to go back to it and begin to write, write, write, once more. And so it goes for everlasting. I cannot escape myself, though I feel that I am consuming my life. To prepare the honey I feed to unknown crowds, I am doomed to brush the bloom from my dearest flowers, to tear them from their stems, and trample the roots that bore them under foot. Am I not a madman? Should I not be treated by those who know me as one mentally diseased? Yet it is always the same, same old story, till I begin to think that all this praise and admiration must be a deception, that I am being hoodwinked because they know I am crazy, and I sometimes tremble lest I should be grabbed from behind and whisked off to a lunatic asylum. The best years of my youth were made one continual agony for me by my writing. A young author, especially if at first he does not make a success, feels clumsy, ill-at-ease, and superfluous in the world. His nerves are all on edge and stretched to the point of breaking; he is irresistibly attracted to literary and artistic people, and hovers about them unknown and unnoticed, fearing to look them bravely in the eye, like a man with a passion for gambling, whose money is all gone. I did not know my readers, but for some reason I imagined they were distrustful and unfriendly; I was mortally afraid of the public, and when my first play appeared, it seemed to me as if all the dark eyes in the audience were looking at it with enmity, and all the blue ones with cold indifference. Oh, how terrible it was! What agony!
Anton Chekhov (The Seagull)
This is a love story,” Michael Dean says, ”but really what isn’t? Doesn’t the detective love the mystery or the chase, or the nosey female reporter who is even now being held against her wishes at an empty warehouse on the waterfront? Surely, the serial murder loves his victims, and the spy loves his gadgets, or his country or the exotic counterspy. The ice-trucker is torn between his love for ice and truck and the competing chefs go crazy for scallops, and the pawnshop guys adore their junk. Just as the housewives live for catching glimpses of their own botoxed brows in gilded hall mirrors and the rocked out dude on ‘roids totally wants to shred the ass of the tramp-tatted girl on hookbook. Because this is reality, they are all in love, madly, truly, with the body-mic clipped to their back-buckle and the producer casually suggesting, “Just one more angle.”, “One more jello shot.”. And the robot loves his master. Alien loves his saucer. Superman loves Lois. Lex and Lana. Luke loves Leia, til he finds out she’s his sister. And the exorcist loves the demon, even as he leaps out the window with it, in full soulful embrace. As Leo loves Kate, and they both love the sinking ship. And the shark, god the shark, loves to eat. Which is what the Mafioso loves too, eating and money and Pauly and Omertà. The way the cowboy loves his horse, loves the corseted girl behind the piano bar and sometimes loves the other cowboy. As the vampire loves night and neck. And the zombie, don’t even start with the zombie, sentimental fool, has anyone ever been more love-sick than a zombie, that pale dull metaphor for love, all animal craving and lurching, outstretched arms. His very existence a sonnet about how much he wants those brains. This, too is a love story.
Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins)
So, maybe we’re the generation of the selfie, but we’re also the generation that grew up in a tainted, Photoshopped world with every impossible beauty standard shoved down our throat through a tube because eating has become a guilty pleasure and condemning beauty ideals won’t go straight to our thighs. And if, by chance, we are able to destroy the demons that you’ve planted inside of us with your constant advertisements and rules that play behind our eyelids and take root in our brains, then let us take our fucking pictures and capture that moment when we felt beautiful because all this world has taught us is that our beauty is the greatest measure of our worth. Scoff at our phones all you like, these delicate extensions of our fingers, but know that through this technology that you couldn’t even begin to understand, we have smudged the entire world with our fingerprints. We are the generation of knowledge, and we are learning more than any that came before us. So, frown at my typing fingers; I am using them to grasp power by the throat. Try to invalidate us, but we’ve heard our parents talking about the world’s crashing and burning since we had sprung from the womb. We know you’ve fucked up, and we’re angry about it- the kind of anger that fuels knowledge, that I feel in my veins every time I read the news from my phone before school, that sticks in my throat like honey in a debate; the kind of anger that simmers, that sharpens teeth into daggers, that makes this generation more dangerous than you could have ever imagined. We are the generation of change, and goddammit, we’re coming.
E.P. .
These are lines from my asteroid-impact novel, Regolith: Just because there are no laws against stupidity doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be punished. I haven’t faced rejection this brutal since I was single. He smelled trouble like a fart in the shower. If this was a kiss of gratitude, then she must have been very grateful. Not since Bush and Cheney have so few spent so much so fast for so long for so little. As a nympho for mind-fucks, Lisa took to politics like a pig to mud. She began paying men compliments as if she expected a receipt. Like the Aerosmith song, his get-up-and-go just got-up-and-went. “You couldn’t beat the crap out of a dirty diaper!” He embraced his only daughter as if she was deploying to Iraq. She was hotter than a Class 4 solar flare! If sex was a weapon, then Monique possessed WMD I haven’t felt this alive since I lost my virginity. He once read that 95% of women fake organism, and the rest are gay. Beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder, but ugly is universal. Why do wives fart, but not girlfriends? Adultery is sex that is wrong, but not necessarily bad. The dinosaurs stayed drugged out, drooling like Jonas Brothers fans. Silence filled the room like tear gas. The told him a fraction of the truth and hoped it would take just a fraction of the time. Happiness is the best cosmetic, He was a whale of a catch, and there were a lot of fish in the sea eager to nibble on his bait. Cheap hookers are less buck for the bang, Men cannot fall in love with women they don’t find attractive, and women cannot fall in love with men they do not respect. During sex, men want feedback while women expect mind-reading. Cooper looked like a cow about to be tipped over. His father warned him to never do anything he couldn’t justify on Oprah. The poor are not free -- they’re just not enslaved. Only those with money are free. Sperm wasn’t something he would choose on a menu, but it still tasted better than asparagus. The crater looked alive, like Godzilla was about to leap out and mess up Tokyo. Bush follows the Bible until it gets to Jesus. When Bush talks to God, it’s prayer; when God talks to Bush, it’s policy. Cheney called the new Miss America a traitor – apparently she wished for world peace. Cheney was so unpopular that Bush almost replaced him when running for re-election, changing his campaign slogan to, ‘Ain’t Got Dick.’ Bush fought a war on poverty – and the poor lost. Bush thinks we should strengthen the dollar by making it two-ply. Hurricane Katrina got rid of so many Democratic voters that Republicans have started calling her Kathleen Harris. America and Iraq fought a war and Iran won. Bush hasn’t choked this much since his last pretzel. Some wars are unpopular; the rest are victorious. So many conservatives hate the GOP that they are thinking of changing their name to the Dixie Chicks. If Saddam had any WMD, he would have used them when we invaded. If Bush had any brains, he would have used them when we invaded. It’s hard for Bush to win hearts and minds since he has neither. In Iraq, you are a coward if you leave and a fool if you stay. Bush believes it’s not a sin to kill Muslims since they are going to Hell anyway. And, with Bush’s help, soon. In Iraq, those who make their constitution subservient to their religion are called Muslims. In America they’re called Republicans. With great power comes great responsibility – unless you’re Republican.
Brent Reilly
The addict’s reliance on the drug to reawaken her dulled feelings is no adolescent caprice. The dullness is itself a consequence of an emotional malfunction not of her making: the internal shutdown of vulnerability. From the latin word vulnerare, ‘to wound’, vulnerability is our susceptibility to be wounded. This fragility is part of our nature and cannot be escaped. The best the brain can do is to shut down conscious awareness of it when pain becomes so vast or unbearable that it threatens to overwhelm our capacity to function. The automatic repression of painful emotions is a helpless child’s prime defence mechanism and can enable the child to endure trauma that would otherwise be catastrophic. The unfortunate consequence is a wholesale dulling of emotional awareness. ‘Everybody knows there is no fineness or accuracy of suppression,’ wrote the American novelist Saul Bellow in The Adventures of Augie March; ‘if you hold down one thing you hold down the adjoining.’ Intuitively we all know that it’s better to feel than not to feel. Beyond their energizing subjective change, emotions have crucial survival value. They orient us, interpret the world for us and offer us vital information. They tell us what is dangerous and what is benign, what threatens our existence and what will nurture our growth. Imagine how disabled we would be if we could not see or hear or taste or sense heat or cold or physical pain. Emotional shutdown is similar. Our emotions are an indispensable part of our sensory apparatus and an essential part of who we are. They make life worthwhile, exciting, challenging, beautiful and meaningful. When we flee our vulnerability, we lose our full capacity for feeling emotion. We may even become emotional amnesiacs, not remembering ever having felt truly elated or truly sad. A nagging void opens, and we experience it as alienation, as profound as ennui, as the sense of deficient emptiness…
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
Hamish Alexander-Harrington knew his wife as only two humans who had both been adopted by a pair of mated treecats ever could. He'd seen her deal with joy and with sorrow, with happiness and with fury, with fear, and even with despair. Yet in all the years since their very first meeting at Yeltsin's Star, he suddenly realized, he had never actually met the woman the newsies called "the Salamander." It wasn't his fault, a corner of his brain told him, because he'd never been in the right place to meet her. Never at the right time. He'd never had the chance to stand by her side as she took a wounded heavy cruiser on an unflinching deathride into the broadside of the battlecruiser waiting to kill it, sailing to her own death, and her crew's, to protect a planet full of strangers while the rich beauty of Hammerwell's "Salute to Spring" spilled from her ship's com system. He hadn't stood beside her on the dew-soaked grass of the Landing City duelling grounds, with a pistol in her hand and vengeance in her heart as she faced the man who'd bought the murder of her first great love. Just as he hadn't stood on the floor of Steadholders' Hall when she faced a man with thirty times her fencing experience across the razor-edged steel of their swords, with the ghosts of Reverend Julius Hanks, the butchered children of Mueller Steading, and her own murdered steaders at her back. But now, as he looked into the unyielding flint of his wife's beloved, almond eyes, he knew he'd met the Salamander at last. And he recognized her as only another warrior could. Yet he also knew in that moment that for all his own imposing record of victory in battle, he was not and never had been her equal. As a tactician and a strategist, yes. Even as a fleet commander. But not as the very embodiment of devastation. Not as the Salamander. Because for all the compassion and gentleness which were so much a part of her, there was something else inside Honor Alexander-Harrington, as well. Something he himself had never had. She'd told him, once, that her own temper frightened her. That she sometimes thought she could have been a monster under the wrong set of circumstances. And now, as he realized he'd finally met the monster, his heart twisted with sympathy and love, for at last he understood what she'd been trying to tell him. Understood why she'd bound it with the chains of duty, and love, of compassion and honor, of pity, because, in a way, she'd been right. Under the wrong circumstances, she could have been the most terrifying person he had ever met. In fact, at this moment, she was . It was a merciless something, her "monster"—something that went far beyond military talent, or skills, or even courage. Those things, he knew without conceit, he, too, possessed in plenty. But not that deeply personal something at the core of her, as unstoppable as Juggernaut, merciless and colder than space itself, that no sane human being would ever willingly rouse. In that instant her husband knew, with an icy shiver which somehow, perversely, only made him love her even more deeply, that as he gazed into those agate-hard eyes, he looked into the gates of Hell itself. And whatever anyone else might think, he knew now that there was no fire in Hell. There was only the handmaiden of death, and ice, and purpose, and a determination which would not— couldnot—relent or rest. "I'll miss them," she told him again, still with that dreadful softness, "but I won't forget. I'll never forget, and one day— oneday, Hamish—we're going to find the people who did this, you and I. And when we do, the only thing I'll ask of God is that He let them live long enough to know who's killing them.
David Weber (Mission of Honor (Honor Harrington, #12))