Deflection Quotes

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Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from its life's quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result -- eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly -- in you.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
LAW 46 Never Appear Too Perfect Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
Life, as we find it, is too hard for us; it brings us too many pains, disappointments and impossible tasks. In order to bear it we cannot dispense with palliative measures... There are perhaps three such measures: powerful deflections, which cause us to make light of our misery; substitutive satisfactions, which diminish it; and intoxicating substances, which make us insensible to it.
Sigmund Freud (Civilization and Its Discontents)
Some people reflect light, some deflect it, you by some miracle, seem to collect it.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say "It is yet more difficult than you thought." This is the muse of form. It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.
Wendell Berry
No, I'm too busy trying to deflect your Power of Stupidity. But I don't think I'm strong enough.
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
Point made. Question deflected. Spoiled bitch put in her pace.
Samantha Young (On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1))
I decided to deflect her attitude by giving a long, Southern answer. I come from people who know how to draw things out. Annoy a Southerner, and we will drain away the moments of your life with our slow, detailed replies until you are nothing but a husk of your former self and that much closer to death.
Maureen Johnson (The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1))
To fall in love with the world isn’t to ignore or overlook suffering, both human or otherwise. For me anyway, to fall in love with the world is to look up at the night sky and feel your mind swim before the beauty and the distance of the stars. It is to hold your children while they cry and watch the sycamore trees leaf out in June. When my breastbone starts to hurt, and my throat tightens and tears well in my eyes, I want to look away from feeling. I want to deflect with irony or anything else that will keep me from feeling directly. We all know how loving ends. But I want to fall in love with the world anyway, to let it crack me open. I want to feel what there is to feel while I am here.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot talk, so I listen very well. I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. It's like being a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met at a party and I wanted to tell you a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor's yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story, you, hearing the words "soccer" and "neighbor" in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, Didn't he play for the Cosmos of New York? Did you grow up in New York? And you might reply that, no, you grew up in Brazil on the streets of Tres Coracoes with Pele, and I might say, I thought you were from Tennessee, and you might say not originally, and then go on to outline your genealogy at length. So my initial conversational gambit - that I had a funny story about being chased by my neighbor's dog - would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
I'm not that hard to get to know, really." He flashed me a quick smile. "But you... I think you've made an art form out of deflection and self-possession.
Samantha Young (On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1))
In terms of days and moments lived, you’ll never again be as young as you are right now, so spend this day, the youth of your future, in a way that deflects regret. Invest in yourself. Have some fun. Do something important. Love somebody extra. In one sense, you’re just a kid, but a kid with enough years on her to know that every day is priceless. (418)
Victoria Moran (Younger by the Day: 365 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Body and Revitalize Your Spirit)
Your death has not been waiting for your arrival at the appointed hour: it has, for all the years of your life, been racing towards you with the fierce velocity of time's arrow. It cannot be evaded, it cannot be bargained with, deflected or placated. All that is given to you is the choice: meet it with open eyes and peace in your heart, go gentle to your reward. Or burn bright, take up arms, and fight the bitch.
Mark Lawrence (Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1))
Consider the fact that for 3.8 billion years, a period of time older than the Earth's mountains and rivers and oceans, every one of your forebears on both sides has been attractive enough to find a mate, healthy enough to reproduce, and sufficiently blessed by fate and circumstances to live long enough to do so. Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from its life's quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result -- eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly -- in you.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
While we are expecting everybody to tell downright the truth, many are muddying the water, drowning questions in a river of words and trying to make us forget what actually the real issue is about. If paltering and deflecting matters might become a new way of telling the truth, interaction might be doomed to culminate in a cluster shell of suspicion and mutual trust to become frantically undermined. ( “Blame storming” )
Erik Pevernagie
Here is why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot speak so I listen very well. I never interrupt, I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. ...I beg of you, pretend you are a dog like me and LISTEN to other people rather than steal their stories.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
Evil has an ordinary face. It laughs, it cries, it deflects, it rationalizes, it makes great pasta.
James B. Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
Hey, aren’t we forgetting something? (Savitar) Your dignity? (Takeshi) No, you have me confused with you again. Aren’t you supposed to be training him? (Savitar) So you admit my superiority by deflecting my attention to the neophyte. (Takeshi)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
I dreamed I saw my maternal grandmother sitting by the bank of a swimming pool, that was also a river. In real life, she had been a victim of Alzheimer’s disease, and had regressed, before her death, to a semi-conscious state. In the dream, as well, she had lost her capacity for self-control. Her genital region was exposed, dimly; it had the appearance of a thick mat of hair. She was stroking herself, absent-mindedly. She walked over to me, with a handful of pubic hair, compacted into something resembling a large artist’s paint-brush. She pushed this at my face. I raised my arm, several times, to deflect her hand; finally, unwilling to hurt her, or interfere with her any farther, I let her have her way. She stroked my face with the brush, gently, and said, like a child, “isn’t it soft?” I looked at her ruined face and said, “yes, Grandma, it’s soft.
Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief)
If you lie to your husband - even about something so banal as how much you drink - each lie is a brick in a wall going up between you, and when he tells you he loves you, it's deflected away.
Mary Karr (Lit)
Here's some advice. Stay alive," says Haymitch, and then bursts out laughing. I exchange a look with Peeta before I remember that I'm having nothing more to do with him. I'm surprised to see the hardness in his eyes. He generally seems so mild. 'That's very funny,' says Peeta. Suddenly, he lashes out at the glass in Haymitch's hand. It shatters on the floor, sending the bloodred liquid running toward the back of the train. 'Only not to us.' Haymitch considers this a moment, then punches Peeta in the jaw, knocking him from his chair. When he turns back to reach for the spirits, I drive my knife into the table between his hand and the bottle, barely missing his fingers. I brace myself to deflect his hit, but it doesn't come. Instead, he sits back and squints at us. 'Well, what's this?' says Haymitch. 'Did I actually get a pair of fighters this year?
Suzanne Collins
Alec said you do that," said Jace. "Deflect questions about yourself with jokes.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Deflect, co-opt, absorb or annihilate. It doesn't matter if you're in a sword fight or conducting a worldwide military campaign, these are the options for dealing with your opposition.
Graeme Rodaughan (The Day Guard (The Metaframe War, #4))
Being a reader is sort of like being president, except reading involves fewer state dinners, usually. You have this agenda you want to get through, but you get distracted by life events, e.g., books arriving in the mail/World War III, and you are temporarily deflected from your chosen path.
Nick Hornby (The Polysyllabic Spree)
My worst habit, according to my mother, is how I deflect compliments with self-deprecation. I need to learn how to accept praise. It boils down to confidence, she says, or lack thereof.
Kate Elizabeth Russell (My Dark Vanessa)
The ORDINARY RESPONSE TO ATROCITIES is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is the conviction that denial does not work. Folk wisdom is filled with ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told. Murder will out. Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims. The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma. People who have survived atrocities often tell their stories in a highly emotional, contradictory, and fragmented manner that undermines their credibility and thereby serves the twin imperatives of truth-telling and secrecy. When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom. The psychological distress symptoms of traumatized people simultaneously call attention to the existence of an unspeakable secret and deflect attention from it. This is most apparent in the way traumatized people alternate between feeling numb and reliving the event. The dialectic of trauma gives rise to complicated, sometimes uncanny alterations of consciousness, which George Orwell, one of the committed truth-tellers of our century, called "doublethink," and which mental health professionals, searching for calm, precise language, call "dissociation." It results in protean, dramatic, and often bizarre symptoms of hysteria which Freud recognized a century ago as disguised communications about sexual abuse in childhood. . . .
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
Rudeness is a means to attract attention, assert power, cover-up ineptitude, deflect personal insecurities, and intimidate meeker people.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
I would not regret putting a hole in your arrogant chest, only it would be deflected when it hit that piece of rock you call a heart.
Laurie McBain (Devil's Desire)
Will saw the first Senshi officer release and instantly knew where the arrow was aimed. 'They've spotted Shigeru!' He was about to turn and shove Shigeru to the ground, but as he did so, his eye caught a flicker of movement and he spun back. When asked later about what he did next, he could never explain how he managed it. Nor could he ever repeat the feat. He acted totally from instinct, an unbelievable piece of coordination between hand and eye. The Senshi arrow flashed downward, heading directly for Shigeru. Will flicked his bow at it, caught it and deflected it from its course. The arrowhead screeched on the hard, rocky ground and the arrow skittered away. Even Halt took a second to be impressed. 'My god!' he said. 'How did you do that?
John Flanagan (The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10))
This cruel age has deflected me, like a river from this course. Strayed from its familiar shores, my changeling life has flowed into a sister channel. How many spectacles I've missed: the curtain rising without me, and falling too. How many friends I never had the chance to meet.
Anna Akhmatova (The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova)
Imprisonment is increasingly used as a strategy of deflection of the underlying social problems—racism, poverty, unemployment, lack of education, and so on.
Angela Y. Davis (Freedom is a Constant Struggle)
Are you trying to make me have an emotion?...Because I've spent by whole life learning how to repress and deflect and you're kind of ruining my thing
Maureen Johnson (The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, #3))
It’s okay to feel all of the stuff you’re feeling. You’re just becoming human again. You’re not doing life wrong; you’re doing it right. If there’s any secret you’re missing, it’s that doing it right is just really hard. Feeling all your feelings is hard, but that’s what they’re for. Feelings are for feeling. All of them. Even the hard ones. The secret is that you’re doing it right, and that doing it right hurts sometimes.” I did not know, before that woman told me, that all feelings were for feeling. I did not know that I was supposed to feel everything. I thought I was supposed to feel happy. I thought that happy was for feeling and that pain was for fixing and numbing and deflecting and hiding and ignoring. I thought that when life got hard, it was because I had gone wrong somewhere. I thought that pain was weakness and that I was supposed to suck it up. But the thing was that the more I sucked it up, the more food and booze I had to suck down.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
We are not dissatisfied with our choices and with what life has given us, but when we meet we both have a curious and not unpleasant impression that a veil, a breath, a throw of the dice deflected us onto two divergent paths, which were not ours.
Primo Levi (The Periodic Table)
Give no one in all the world the power to deflect you from your goal, your aim in life, which is to express your hidden talents to the world, to serve humanity, and to reveal more and more of God’s wisdom, truth, and beauty to all people in the world. Remain true to your ideal. Know definitely and absolutely that whatever contributes to your peace, happiness, and fulfillment must of necessity bless all men who walk the earth. The harmony of the part is the harmony of the whole, for the whole is in the part, and the part is in the whole. All you owe the other, as Paul says, is love, and love is the fulfilling of the law of health, happiness, and peace of mind.
Joseph Murphy (The Power of Your Subconscious Mind)
If you allow one little sin to creep into your life, and think it doesn't matter, it will grow and grow until it affects your whole spiritual life, deflecting you from your primary aim of serving God.
Angus Buchan (Faith Like Potatoes: The Story of a Farmer Who Risked Everything for God)
Growling, Marcus put all of his strength behind his next swing, deflecting the blow meant to sever his head and snapping Roy's blade in two. Dumb ass. That's what happened when you puchased weapons off of cable shopping networks.
Dianne Duvall (Night Reigns (Immortal Guardians, #2))
A vision of cultural homogeneity that seeks to deflect attention away from or even excuse the oppressive, dehumanizing impact of white supremacy on the lives of black people by suggesting black people are racist too indicates that the culture remains ignorant of what racism really is and how it works. It shows that people are in denial. Why is it so difficult for many white folks to understand that racism is oppressive not because white folks have prejudicial feelings about blacks (they could have such feelings and leave us alone) but because it is a system that promotes domination and subjugation?
bell hooks (Killing Rage: Ending Racism)
Some people reflect light Some deflect it You by some miracle Seem to collect it
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
Men seek for vocabularies that are reflections of reality. To this end, they must develop vocabularies that are selections of reality. And any selection of reality must, in certain circumstances, function as a deflection of reality.
Kenneth Burke
How skillful to tax the middle class to pay for the relief of the poor, building resentment on top of humiliation! How adroit to bus poor black youngsters into poor white neighborhoods, in a violent exchange of impoverished schools, while the schools of the rich remain untouched and the wealth of the nation, doled out carefully where children need free milk, is drained for billion-dollar aircraft carriers. How ingenious to meet the demands of blacks and women for equality by giving them small special benefits, and setting them in competition with everyone else for jobs made scares by an irrational, wasteful system. How wise to turn the fear and anger of the majority toward a class of criminals bred - by economic inequity - faster than they can be put away, deflecting attention from the huge thefts of national resources carried out within the law by men in executive offices.
Howard Zinn (A People’s History of the United States)
Any man of reasonable intelligence can make money if that's what he wants. Mostly it's women or clothes or admiration he really wants and they deflect him.
John Steinbeck (The Winter of Our Discontent)
There are countless horrible things happening all over the world and horrible people prospering, but we must never allow them to disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to sabotage and annoy them whenever possible.
Auberon Waugh
I am losing my great, dissolving, disintegrating pity for others, in which I saw deflected the compassion I wanted for myself. I no longer give compassion, which means I no longer need to receive it.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934)
At the end of his life, the great picture book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak said on the NPR show Fresh Air, 'I cry a lot because I miss people. I cry a lot because they die, and I can't stop them. They leave me, and I love them more.' He said, 'I'm finding out as I'm aging that I'm in love with the world.' It has taken me all my life up to now to fall in love with the world, but I've started to feel it the last couple of years. To fall in love with the world isn't to ignore or overlook suffering, both human and otherwise. For me anyway, to fall in love with the world is to look up at the night sky and feel your mind swim before the beauty and the distance of the stars. It is to hold your children while they cry, to watch as the sycamore trees leaf out in June. When my breastbone starts to hurt, and my throat tightens, and tears well in my eyes, I want to look away from the feeling. I want to deflect with irony, or anything else that will keep me from feeling directly. We all know how loving ends. But I want to fall in love with the world anyway, to let it crack me open. I want to feel what there is to feel while I am here.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Beginning when we are girls, most of us are taught to deflect praise. We apologize for our accomplishments. We try to level the field with our family and friends by downplaying our brilliance. We settle for the passenger’s seat when we long to drive. That’s why so many of us have been willing to hide our light as adults. Instead of being filled with all the passion and purpose that enable us to offer our best to the world, we empty ourselves in an effort to silence our critics. The truth is that the naysayers in your life can never be fully satisfied. Whether you hide or shine, they’ll always feel threatened because they don’t believe they are enough. So stop paying attention to them. Every time you suppress some part of yourself or allow others to play you small, you are ignoring the owner’s manual your Creator gave you. What I know for sure is this: You are built not to shrink down to less but to blossom into more. To be more splendid. To be more extraordinary. To use every moment to fill yourself up.
Oprah Winfrey (What I Know For Sure)
Sanabalis never seemed to eat, and he deflected most of her questions about Dragon cuisine. Then again, he deflected most of her questions about Dragons, period. Which was annoying because he was one, and could in theory be authorative.
Michelle Sagara West (Cast in Silence (Chronicles of Elantra, #5))
Not only have you been lucky enough to be attached since time immemorial to a favored evolutionary line, but you have also been extremely- make that miraculously- fortunate in your personal ancestry. Consider the fact that for 3.8 billion years, a period of time older than the Earth's mountains and rivers and oceans, everyone of your forbears on both sides has been attractive enough to find a mate, healthy enough to reproduce, and sufficiently blessed by fate and circumstances to live long enough to do so. Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from it's life quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result - evetually, astoundingly, and all to briefly- in you.
Bill Bryson
Hazel studied Reyna’s outfit with concern. “Your sword’s in the truck. Don’t you want to take a shield or something?” “Nah. I’ve got my cloak. It’ll turn aside most weapons.” Reyna brushed the collar of her sweater wrap. Instantly it unfurled into her usual purple cape. Frank’s smile faded. “Does my cloak do that?” “See you, guys!” Reyna climbed behind the wheel. “Wait, does my cloak deflect weapons?” Frank called after us. “Does mine turn into a sweater wrap?” As we pulled away, I could see Frank Zhang in the rearview mirror, intently studying the stitching of his cape.
Rick Riordan (The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo, #4))
I kept finding the same anguish, the same doubt; a self-contempt that neither irony nor intellect seemed able to deflect. Even DuBois’s learning and Baldwin’s love and Langston’s humor eventually succumbed to its corrosive force, each man finally forced to doubt art’s redemptive power, each man finally forced to withdraw, one to Africa, one to Europe, one deeper into the bowels of Harlem, but all of them in the same weary flight, all of them exhausted, bitter men, the devil at their heels.
Barack Obama (Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance)
Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot speak so I listen very well. I never interrupt, I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. it's like having a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
It's one of the things I like most about New York City. It deflects any attempts you make to lie to yourself.
Nicola Yoon (The Sun Is Also a Star)
Religion and ethics were not always - or even frequently - mutually compatible. The demands of religious absolutism or fundamentalism or rampaging relativism often deflected the worst aspects of contemporary culture or prejudices rather than a system which both man and God could live under with a sense of real justice.
Dan Simmons (The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #2))
The obsessive desire for a passionate relationship is usually a reflection of a lack of love for oneself. The manic need to pursue a passionate career is rooted in an intense unhappiness with present reality. They are a series of soothing thoughts and deflection methods and escape routes: The monster everyone’s running from, of course, is themselves.
Brianna Wiest (101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think)
I'm never going to complain about receiving free early copies of books, because clearly there's nothing to complain about, but it does introduce a rogue element into one's otherwise carefully plotted reading schedule. ... Being a reader is sort of like being president, except reading involves fewer state dinners, usually. You have this agenda you want to get through, but you get distracted by life events, e.g., books arriving in the mail/World War III, and you are temporarly deflected from your chosen path.
Nick Hornby (The Polysyllabic Spree)
The worst tragedy of sin isn't that it produced bad behavior, but that it produced the idea that bad behavior is strong enough to deflect love.
D.R. Silva
Never meet a person’s anger directly. Deflect, distract him, even agree with him. Unbalance his mind, and you can lead him anywhere you want.
Tan Twan Eng (The Gift of Rain)
God, Packard! Do you know how hard I worked at it?” I twist up the napkin and whip it at him. He deflects it. “There we go; I knew you could do it.” My mouth falls open. “Very funny.” He just laughs. “I can’t believe you!
Carolyn Crane (Mind Games (The Disillusionists, #1))
Gaslighting their partners into believing the abuse isn't real by denying, minimizing or rationalizing the abuse. This includes deflecting any conversations about accountability using circular conversations and word salad in order to avoid being held accountable for their actions.
Shahida Arabi (Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself)
As with all the principles of aikijutsu, you do not meet the force of the strike head-on. You parry, you step to the side to avoid the blow, your redirect the force and unbalance your opponent. It is the same with the ken, the sword. These principles apply to you daily life as well. Never meet a person’s anger directly. Deflect, distract him, even agree with him. Unbalance his mind, and you can lead him anywhere you want.
Tan Twan Eng (The Gift of Rain)
Numberless are the world's wonders, but none More wonderful than man; the storm gray sea Yields to his prows, the huge crests bear him high; Earth, holy and inexhaustible, is graven With shining furrows where his plows have gone Year after year, the timeless labor of stallions. The light-boned birds and beasts that cling to cover, The lithe fish lighting their reaches of dim water, All are taken, tamed in the net of his mind; The lion on the hill, the wild horse windy-maned, Resign to him; and his blunt yoke has broken The sultry shoulders of the mountain bull. Words also, and thought as rapid as air, He fashions to his good use; statecraft is his And his the skill that deflects the arrows of snow, The spears of winter rain: from every wind He has made himself secure--from all but one: In the late wind of death he cannot stand. O clear intelligence, force beyond all measure! O fate of man, working both good and evil! When the laws are kept, how proudly his city stands! When the laws are broken, what of his city then? Never may the anarchic man find rest at my hearth, Never be it said that my thoughts are his thoughts.
Sophocles (Antigone (The Theban Plays, #3))
if you think the corporations are evil and it’s the government’s job to make them moral, you’re deflecting your own responsibility to civics. You’re making the government your big brother and the corporation the evil bully your big brother’s supposed to keep off you at recess.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King: An Unfinished Novel)
Their [girls] sexual energy, their evaluation of adolescent boys and other girls goes thwarted, deflected back upon the girls, unspoken, and their searching hungry gazed returned to their own bodies. The questions, Whom do I desire? Why? What will I do about it? are turned around: Would I desire myself? Why?...Why not? What can I do about it? The books and films they see survey from the young boy's point of view his first touch of a girl's thighs, his first glimpse of her breasts. The girls sit listening, absorbing, their familiar breasts estranged as if they were not part of their bodies, their thighs crossed self-consciously, learning how to leave their bodies and watch them from the outside. Since their bodies are seen from the point of view of strangeness and desire, it is no wonder that what should be familiar, felt to be whole, become estranged and divided into parts. What little girls learn is not the desire for the other, but the desire to be desired. Girls learn to watch their sex along with the boys; that takes up the space that should be devoted to finding out about what they are wanting, and reading and writing about it, seeking it and getting it. Sex is held hostage by beauty and its ransom terms are engraved in girls' minds early and deeply with instruments more beautiful that those which advertisers or pornographers know how to use: literature, poetry, painting, and film. This outside-in perspective on their own sexuality leads to the confusion that is at the heart of the myth. Women come to confuse sexual looking with being looked at sexually ("Clairol...it's the look you want"); many confuse sexually feeling with being sexually felt ("Gillete razors...the way a woman wants to feel"); many confuse desiring with being desirable. "My first sexual memory," a woman tells me, "was when I first shaved my legs, and when I ran my hand down the smooth skin I felt how it would feel to someone else's hand." Women say that when they lost weight they "feel sexier" but the nerve endings in the clitoris and nipples don't multiply with weight loss. Women tell me they're jealous of the men who get so much pleasure out of the female body that they imagine being inside the male body that is inside their own so that they can vicariously experience desire. Could it be then that women's famous slowness of arousal to men's, complex fantasy life, the lack of pleasure many experience in intercourse, is related to this cultural negation of sexual imagery that affirms the female point of view, the culture prohibition against seeing men's bodies as instruments of pleasure? Could it be related to the taboo against representing intercourse as an opportunity for a straight woman actively to pursue, grasp, savor, and consume the male body for her satisfaction, as much as she is pursued, grasped, savored, and consumed for his?
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
You must never be deflected by unpleasantness. I want you to remember that. Although it may not be apparent to others, your duty will become as clear to you as if it were a white line painted down the middle of the road. You must follow it, Flavia.
Alan Bradley (The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce, #2))
Of the not very many ways known of shedding one's body, falling, falling, falling is the supreme method, but you have to select your sill or ledge very carefully so as not to hurt yourself or others. Jumping from a high bridge is not recommended even if you cannot swim, for wind and water abound in weird contingencies, and tragedy ought not to culminate in a record dive or a policeman's promotion. If you rent a cell in the luminous waffle, room 1915 or 1959, in a tall business centre hotel browing the star dust, and pull up the window, and gently - not fall, not jump - but roll out as you should for air comfort, there is always the chance of knocking clean through into your own hell a pacific noctambulator walking his dog; in this respect a back room might be safer, especially if giving on the roof of an old tenacious normal house far below where a cat may be trusted to flash out of the way. Another popular take-off is a mountaintop with a sheer drop of say 500 meters but you must find it, because you will be surprised how easy it is to miscalculate your deflection offset, and have some hidden projection, some fool of a crag, rush forth to catch you, causing you to bounce off it into the brush, thwarted, mangled and unnecessarily alive. The ideal drop is from an aircraft, your muscles relaxed, your pilot puzzled, your packed parachute shuffled off, cast off, shrugged off - farewell, shootka (little chute)! Down you go, but all the while you feel suspended and buoyed as you somersault in slow motion like a somnolent tumbler pigeon, and sprawl supine on the eiderdown of the air, or lazily turn to embrace your pillow, enjoying every last instant of soft, deep, death-padded life, with the earth's green seesaw now above, now below, and the voluptuous crucifixion, as you stretch yourself in the growing rush, in the nearing swish, and then your loved body's obliteration in the Lap of the Lord.
Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire)
Our children take their flight into the future with our thrust and with our aim. And even as we anxiously watch that arrow in flight and know all the evils that can deflect its course after is has left our hand, nevertheless we take courage in remembering that the most important factor in determining that arrow's destination will be the stability, strength, and unwavering certainty of the holder of the bow.
Jeffrey R. Holland (Created for Greater Things)
The only way to solve the weight problem is to stop making weight a problem—to stop judging ourselves and others by our size. Weight is not an effective measure of attractiveness, moral character, or health. The real enemy is weight stigma, for it is the stigmatization and fear of fat that causes the damage and deflects attention from true threats to our health and well-being.
Linda Bacon (Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight)
The psychological distress symptoms of traumatized people simultaneously call attention to the existence of an unspeakable secret and deflect attention from it. This is most apparent in the way traumatized people alternate between feeling numb and reliving the event.
Judith Lewis Herman
Metaphors are tiny saviors leading the way out of sentimentality, small disciples of Pound, urging "Say it new! Say it new!" It's hard for emotion to feel flat if its language is suitably novel, to feel excessive if its rendering is suitably opaque. Metaphors translate emotion into surprising and sublime language, but they also help us deflect and diffuse the glare of revelation.
Leslie Jamison (The Empathy Exams)
Only Yeong-hye, docile and naive, had been unable to deflect their father's temper or put up any form of resistance. Instead, she had merely absorbed all her suffering inside her, deep into the marrow of her bones. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, In-hye could see that the role that she had adopted back then of the hard-working, self-sacrificing eldest daughter had been a sign not of maturity but of cowardice. It had been a survival tactic.
Han Kang (The Vegetarian)
Knowing the Techniques of Survival........ Our fears and anxieties will often drive us to build impenetrable walls that act like blinders deflecting others and preventing us from seeing who surrounds us. Getting focused to the things that matter are the Key to what has to be to COMPLETE our MISSION. "I Had Every Excuse to Fail but I Chose None" Speak Life!!! (sky)
Sebastian K. Young (I Had Every Excuse to Fail, but I Chose None)
Where’s Sasha?” – Sundown “Getting his ass kicked while deflecting this asshole from you. Any time you want to help me, Jess. Step right up.” – Sasha “Whatever you do, keep him busy.” – Sundown “No problemo. Using my face as his punching bag seems to be working. I’ll just need you to help me find all my teeth later.” – Sasha
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Retribution (Dark-Hunter, #19))
The urge to leap across feminism to "human liberation" is a tragic and dangerous mistake. It deflects us from our real sources of vision, recycles us back into old definitions and structures, and continues to serve the purposes of the patriarchy, which will use "women's lib," as it contemptuously phrases it, only to buy more time for itself—as both capitalism and socialism are now doing. Feminism is a criticism and subversion of all patriarchal thought and institutions—not merely those currently seen as reactionary and tyrannical.
Adrienne Rich (On Lies, Secrets, and Silence. Selected Prose 1966-1978)
Many strong girls have similar stories: They were socially isolated and lonely in adolescence. Smart girls are often the girls most rejected by peers. Their strength is a threat and they are punished for being different. Girls who are unattractive or who don't worry about their appearance are scorned. This isolation is often a blessing because it allows girls to develop a strong sense of self. Girls who are isolated emerge from adolescence more independent and self-sufficient than girls who have been accepted by others. Strong girls may protect themselves by being quiet and guarded so that their rebellion is known by only a few trusted others. They may be cranky and irascible and keep critics at a distance so that only people who love them know what they are up to. They may have the knack of shrugging off the opinions of others or they may use humor to deflect the hostility that comes their way.
Mary Pipher
Men and women who had worn suits for decades traded punches powerful enough to crush elephant skulls, dodged and deflected attacks too fast for the eye to follow, and died suddenly, often before the crowd registered the killing blow. Victors and dead men were separated by a blink of the eye.
Zachary Jernigan (No Return (Jeroun, #1))
Yes, there have been ET visitations. There have been crashed craft. There have been material and bodies recovered. There has been a certain amount of reverse engineering that has allowed some of these craft, or some components, to be duplicated. And there is some group of people that may or may not be associated with government at this point that have this knowledge. They have been attempting to conceal this knowledge. People in high level government have very little, if any, valid information about this. It has been the subject of disinformation in order to deflect attention and create confusion so the truth doesn’t come out.
Edgar D. Mitchell (The Way of the Explorer: An Apollo Astronaut's Journey Through the Material and Mystical Worlds)
She is opinionated, as most of us are, but you won’t find yourself impaled on her arguments; she doesn’t charge at you as some people do. What [she] does is walk slowly and steadily into a conversational battle, somehow managing to deflect all incoming targets until she is standing in your corner with her flag dug firmly into the ground. I think it comes from the deep-seated confidence she possesses in her core. I think it is the powerful combination of encouraged individualism and a strong family unit.
Carrie Adams (The Godmother)
Like an attack this melancholy comes from time to time. I don't know at what intervals, and slowly covers my sky with clouds. It begins with an unrest in the heart, with a premonition of anxiety, probably with my dreams at night. People, houses, colors, sounds that otherwise please me become dubious and seem false. Music gives me a headache. All my mail becomes upsetting and contains hidden arrows. At such times, having to converse with people is torture and immediately leads to scenes... Anger, suffering, and complaints are directed at everything, at people, at animals, at the weather, at God, at the paper in the book one is reading, at the material of the very clothing one has on. But anger, impatience, complaints and hatred have no effect on things and are deflected from everything, back to myself.
Hermann Hesse (Wandering)
Your death has not been waiting for your arrival at the appointed hour; it has, for all the years of your life, been racing towards you with the fierce velocity of time’s arrow. It cannot be evaded; it cannot be bargained with, deflected or placated. All that is given to you is the choice: Meet it with open eyes and peace in your heart, go gentle to your reward. Or burn bright, take up arms, and fight the bitch.
Mark Lawrence (Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1))
I loved the way drink made me feel, and I loved it's special power of deflection, it's ability to shift my focus away from my own awareness of self and onto something else, something less painful than my own feelings. I loved the sounds of drink: the slide of a cork as it eased out of a wine bottle, the distinct glug-glug of booze pouring into a glass, the clatter of ice cubes in a tumbler. I loved the rituals, the camaraderie of drinking with others, the warming, melting feeling of ease and courage it gave me.
Caroline Knapp (Drinking: A Love Story)
There was a lot more to it than he had ever thought. First, he used a rub-rag, cleaning Red’s head gently but not too rapidly. He went behind the ears and under the halter, then moved on to the neck, chest, and shoulders before whisking off the stall dust from the back. Then he went down the thighs to the legs, holding the hind leg a few inches above the hock in order to deflect the leg if the colt tried to kick him. As well as Man o’ War knew him, there was always the possibility of being kicked, for every horse was apt to act on impulse.
Walter Farley (Man O'War (Black Stallion Book 16))
Often black people, especially non-gay folk, become enraged when they hear a white person who is gay suggest homosexuality is synonymous with the suffering people experience as a consequence of racial exploitation and oppression. The need to make gay experience and black experience of oppression synonymous seems to be one that surfaces much more in the minds of white people. Too often it is a way of minimizing or diminishing the particular problems people of color face in a white supremacist society, especially the problems ones encounter because they do not have white skin. Many of us have been in discussions where a non-white person – a black person – struggles to explain to white folks that while we can acknowledge that gay people of all colors are harassed and suffer exploitation and domination, we also recognize that there is a significant difference that arises because of the visibility of dark skin. Often homophobic attacks on gay people of all occur in situations where knowledge of sexual preference is established – outside of gay bars, for example. While it in no way lessens the severity of such suffering for gay people, or the fear that it causes, it does mean that in a given situation the apparatus of protection and survival may be simply not identifying as gay. In contrast, most people of color have no choice. No one can hide, change or mask dark skin color. White people, gay and straight, could show greater understanding of the impact of racial oppression on people of color by not attempting to make these oppressions synonymous, but rather by showing the ways they are linked and yet differ. Concurrently, the attempt by white people to make synonymous experience of homophobic aggression with racial oppression deflects attention away from the particular dual dilemma that non-white gay people face, as individuals who confront both racism and homophobia.
bell hooks (Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black)
Something to remember when fighting me, Sardothien,” he panted. The sun caught in his golden-brown eyes. “Hmm?” she grunted, lunging to deflect his newest attack. “I don’t lose.” He grinned at her, and before she could comprehend the words, something cut into her feet and— She had the sickening feeling of falling. She gasped as her spine collided with marble, the rapier flying from her hand. Chaol pointed his blade at her heart. “I win,” he breathed.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
Beyond the shadows of our doubt lies an ocean of extraordinary possibilities; things that could have been or could be; if we had the faith to see them through. Our doubts betray and deflect us from our true selves and deprive us of our chances to love, to achieve, to trust, or to know what we’re truly capable of…all because we confide in our fears rather than endeavor towards our rightful providences. ~Jason Versey
Jason Versey (A Walk with Prudence)
People delay action once they know truth—and the interim between knowing and doing is the space where suffering thrives. Most of the time, it’s not about not knowing what to do (or not knowing who you are). It’s about the resistance between what’s right and what’s easy, what’s best in the long v. short term. We hear our instincts; we just don’t listen. This is the single most common root of discomfort: the space between knowing and doing. We’re culturally addicted to procrastination, but we’re also just as enamored by deflection. By not acting immediately, we think we’re creating space for the truth to shift, when we’re really only creating discomfort so that we can sense it more completely (though we’re suffering needlessly in the process).
Brianna Wiest (101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think)
We don’t need the money that badly,” my mother said. “According to my sisters, we do.” I slid the photograph with dollar signs toward her. Mom swung toward Grandma Frida. “Mom!” Grandma Frida’s eyes got really big. “What? Don’t look at me!” “You started this.” Ha! Attack deflected and redirected. “I did no such thing. I’m innocent. You always blame me for everything.” “You started it and you encouraged it. Now look, she’s taking on murders because you’re guilt-tripping her to put food on the table. And what kind of message does this send?” “A true-love kind of message.” Grandma Frida grinned.
Ilona Andrews (White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2))
The Dire Wolf killed the Jakes,” he said. “Who’s this Dire Wolf?” I asked. Figured he was talking about someone he knew. He spoke in a whisper, almost reverently. “The Dire Wolf is the curse of the Downstream People, the Arkansa. He is an evil spirit of the Quapaw.” I sighed and shook my head, knowing how these old Indians liked to throw in a bunch of mythical tribal mumbo-jumbo and superstition to deflect blame from someone they knew. “Well, you know where I can find this Dire Wolf fella?” I asked. “He cannot be found,” the old man said. “Really. You have reason to believe he’s taken off to other parts?” He said nothing for a full quarter minute, his black eyes intently on mine, searching. I could see contempt in them and a sadness. Made me nervous. “No,” old Long Walker answered at last. “He has not departed. Now that he has awakened, he will kill again.
Phil Truman (Dire Wolf of the Quapaw: a Jubal Smoak Mystery (Jubal Smoak Mysteries Book 1))
Habit enables us to cling to the familiar, to the self we think we know with a persistence almost irresistible. An anodyne for the terror of the unknown, it effectively keeps us from knowing, and is fatal in itself. Habit is a fiction the organism requires to dim perception. It screens us from the world, and from the true world of the self. Habit—no matter how intense the suffering it causes—is the last thing the personality will give up. It is arming itself against danger. The weapons may be more painful to use than the pain they seek to deflect. No matter. Habit allows us to live—by which Proust means it allows us to exist while it simultaneously compels us to miss Life.
Howard Moss (Magic Lantern of Marcel Proust: A Critical Study of Remembrance of Things Past)
Sean stood there with a mischievous grin, hand still forming a claw. He’d tapped on the door with his fingernails to fool me. I slammed the door in his face. Before the latch caught, the door bounced open again. Cameron stood just behind Sean with the rubber toe of his shoe blocking the door from shutting. “You look like hell,” Cameron said. “I look like Sean.” is was a joke from my darkest memory. If Sean told me I was ugly, I could deflect the insult easily, because he was calling himself the same name. If Cameron told me I was ugly, he was also insulting Sean, and Sean would get revenge on him without me having to do a thing.
Jennifer Echols (Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door, #1-2))
Dear lieutenant, I think we all seduced you, deflected you from a course that might have let you live. Seeking something in the quick of us, searching to secure a kind of love with the provenance of age and land and family, you took over our premises; you presumed to the legacy that was ours, and if you did not see that such assumptions have their own ramifying repercussions, and that the stones demand their own continuity of blood, if you did not understand the gravity of their isolation, the solitude of their trapped state or the hardness of their old responsibility, still you cannot fault the castle or either one of us, or complain that you were led to your own conclusion. I left the castle; you brought us all back.
Iain Banks (A Song of Stone)
The most damning and hypocritical critiques of his allegedly aristocratic economic system emanated from the most aristocratic southern slaveholders, who deflected attention from their own nefarious deeds by posing as populist champions and assailing the northern financial and mercantile interests aligned with Hamilton. As will be seen, the national consensus that the slavery issue should be tabled to preserve the union meant that the southern plantation economy was effectively ruled off-limits to political discussion, while Hamilton’s system, by default, underwent the most searching scrutiny.
Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton)
Concurrently, the growing class power and public voice of conservative and liberal well-to-do black folks easily obscures the class cruelty these individuals enact both in the way they talk about underprivileged blacks and the way they represent them. The existence of that class cruelty and its fascist dimensions have been somewhat highlighted by the efforts of privileged-class blacks to censor the voices of black youth, particularly gangsta rappers who are opposing bourgeois class values by extolling the values of street culture and street vernacular. Significantly, the attack on urban underclass black youth culture and its gangster dimensions (glamorization of crime, etc.) is usually presented via a critique of sexism. Since most privileged-class blacks have shown no interest in advancing feminist politics, the only organized effort to end sexism and sexist oppression, this attack on sexism seems merely gratuitous, a smoke screen that deflects away from the fact that what really disturbs bourgeois folks is the support of rebellion, unruly behavior, and disrespect for their class values. In reality, they and their white counterparts fear the power these young folks have to change the minds and life choices of youth from privileged classes. If only underclass black folks were listening to gangsta rap, there would be no public effort to silence and censor this music. The fear is that it will generate class rebellion.
bell hooks (Killing Rage: Ending Racism)
Everybody wants friends. Everybody needs friends. No one wishes to be without them. But never lose sight of the fact that it is your friends who will lead you along the paths that you will follow. While you should be friendly with all people, select with great care those whom you wish to have close to you. They will be your safeguards in situations where you may vacillate between choices, and you in turn may save them. . . . Be Grateful. Be Smart. Be Involved. Be Clean. Be True. Be Positive. Be Humble. Be Still. Be Prayerful. There they are, nine Be's which, if observed, will bring handsome dividends to any young man or woman. They will add sparkle to your days and peace to your nights. They will save you from heartache and pain. They will bring purpose into your life and give direction to your energies. They will bring you friends of your own kind. They will protect you from associations that would pull you down and deflect you from your course.
Gordon B. Hinckley (Way to Be!: 9 Ways To Be Happy And Make Something Of Your Life)
As someone said to me--I can't remember now who it was--it is really remarkable that when you wake up in the morning you nearly always find everything in exactly the same place as the evening before. For when asleep and dreaming you are, apparently at least, in an essentially different state from that of wakefulness; and therefore, as that man truly said, it requires enormous presence of mind or rather quickness of wit, when opening your eyes to seize hold as it were of everything in the room at exactly the same place where you had let it go on the previous evening. That was why, he said, the moment of waking up was the riskiest moment of the day. Once that was well over without deflecting you from your orbit, you could take heart of grace for the rest of the day.
Franz Kafka (The Trial)
I'm sorry Donatella wounded you so badly,' Evangeline said. And she meant it. She imagined Jacks was probably leaving a few things out, but she believed his hurt was genuine. 'Maybe the stories have it wrong and there's another true love waiting for you.' Jacks laughed derisively. 'Are you saying this because you think you can be her?' He eyed Evangeline through the bars, gaze bordering on indecent. 'Do you want to kiss me, Little Fox?' Something new and terrible knotted up inside her. 'No, that's not what I'm saying.' 'You don't sound too sure about that. You might not like me, but I bet you'd like it if I kissed you.' His eyes went to her lips, and the heat that swept across her mouth felt like the beginning of a kiss. 'Jacks, stop it,' she demanded. He didn't really want to kiss her. He was just teasing her to deflect the pain. 'I know what you're doing.' 'I doubt it.' He smiled, flashing his dimples as he ran his tongue over the tip of a very sharp and long incisor, looking suddenly thoughtful. 'Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to stay like this. I rather like these.' 'You also like daylight.' Evangeline reminded him. 'I could probably live without the sun if I could trade it for other things.' He cocked his head. 'I wonder... if I were to become a true vampire, perhaps my kiss wouldn't be fatal anymore.' His fangs lengthened. 'You could let me bite you and we could try it out.' Another piercing lick of heat, this time right beneath her jaw, then her wrist, and a few other intimate places she'd have never thought anyone would bite. Evangeline blushed from her neck down to her collarbone. 'We're not talking about biting,' she said hotly.
Stephanie Garber (Once Upon a Broken Heart (Once Upon a Broken Heart, #1))
I was crazy about goal keeping. In Russia and the Latin countries, that gallant art had been always surrounded with a halo of singular glamour. Aloof, solitary, impassive, the crack goalie is followed in the streets by entranced small boys. He vies with the matador and the flying ace as an object of thrilled adulation. His sweater, his peaked cap, his kneeguards, the gloves protruding from the hip pocket of his shorts, set him apart from the rest of the team. He is the lone eagle, the man of mystery, the last defender. Photographers, reverently bending one knee, snap him in the act of making a spectacular dive across the goal mouth to deflect with his fingertips a low, lightning-like shot, and the stadium roars in approval as he remains for a moment or two lying full length where he fell, his goal still intact.
Vladimir Nabokov (Speak, Memory)
[I]t is a mistake to rush to impose the individual ethical responsibility that the corporate structure deflects. This is the temptation of the ethical which, as Zizek has argued, the capitalist system is using in order to protect itself in the wake of the credit crisis - the blame will be put on supposedly pathological individuals, those’ abusing the system’, rather than on the system itself. But the evasion is actually a two step procedure - since structure will often be invoked (either implicitly or openly) precisely at the point when there is the possibility of individuals who belong to the corporate structure being punished. At this point, suddenly, the causes of abuse or atrocity are so systemic, so diffuse, that no individual can be held responsible… But this impasse - it is only individuals that can be held ethically responsible for actions, and yet the cause of these abuses and errors is corporate, systemic - is not only a dissimulation: it precisely indicates what is lacking in capitalism. What agencies are capable of regulating and controlling impersonal structures? How is it possible to chastise a corporate structure? Yes, corporations can legally be treated as individuals - but the problem is that corporations, whilst certainly entities, are not like individual humans, and any analogy between punishing corporations and punishing individuals will therefore necessarily be poor. And it is not as if corporations are the deep-level agents behind everything; they are themselves constrained by/expressions of the ultimate cause-that-is-not-asubject: Capital.
Mark Fisher (Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?)
Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot speak, so I listen very well. I never interrupt, I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. It's like having a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met a party and I wanted to tell you a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor's yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story , you, upon hearing the words 'soccer' and 'neighbor' in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, Didn't he play for the Cosmos of New York? Did you grow up in New York? And you might reply that no, you grew up in Brazil on the streets of Tres Coracoes with Pele and I might say, I thought you were from Tennessee, and you might say, not originally, and then go on to outline your genealogy at length. So my initial conversational gambit - that I had a funny story about being chased by my neighbor's dog - would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories.
Garth Stein
There was death at the beginning as there would be death again at its end. Though whether it was some fleeting shadow of this that passed across the girl’s dreams and woke her on that least likely of mornings she would never know. All she knew, when she opened her eyes, was that the world was somehow altered. The red glow of her alarm showed it was yet a half hour till the time she had set it to wake her and she lay quite still, not lifting her head, trying to configure the change. It was dark but not as dark as it should be. Across the bedroom, she could clearly make out the dull glint of her riding trophies on cluttered shelves and above them the looming faces of rock stars she had once thought she should care about. She listened. The silence that filled the house was different too, expectant, like the pause between the intake of breath and the uttering of words. Soon there would be the muted roar of the furnace coming alive in the basement and the old farmhouse floorboards would start their ritual creaking complaint. She slipped out from the bedclothes and went to the window. There was snow. The first fall of winter. And from the laterals of the fence up by the pond she could tell there must be almost a foot of it. With no deflecting wind, it was perfect and driftless, heaped in comical proportion on the branches of the six small cherry trees her father had planted last year. A single star shone in a wedge of deep blue above the woods. The girl looked down and saw a lace of frost had formed on the lower part of the window and she placed a finger on it, melting a small hole. She shivered, not from the cold, but from the thrill that this transformed world was for the moment entirely hers. And she turned and hurried to get dressed.
Nicholas Evans (The Horse Whisperer)
You were burning in the middle of the worst solar storm our records can remember. (...) Everyone else fled. All your companions and crew left you alone to wrestle with the storm. “You did not blame them. In a moment of crystal insight, you realized that they were cowards beyond mere cowardice: their dependence on their immortality circuits had made it so that they could not even imagine risking their lives. They were all alike in this respect. They did not know they were not brave; they could not even think of dying as possible; how could they think of facing it, unflinching? “You did not flinch. You knew you were going to die; you knew it when the Sophotechs, who are immune to pain and fear, all screamed and failed and vanished. “And you knew, in that moment of approaching death, with all your life laid out like a single image for you to examine in a frozen moment of time, that no one was immortal, not ultimately, not really. The day may be far away, it may be further away than the dying of the sun, or the extinction of the stars, but the day will come when all our noumenal systems fail, our brilliant machines all pass away, and our records of ourselves and memories shall be lost. “If all life is finite, only the grace and virtue with which it is lived matters, not the length. So you decided to stay another moment, and erect magnetic shields, one by one; to discharge interruption masses into the current, to break up the reinforcement patterns in the storm. Not life but honor mattered to you, Helion: so you stayed a moment after that moment, and then another. (...) “You saw the plasma erupting through shield after shield (...) Chaos was attempting to destroy your life’s work, and major sections of the Solar Array were evaporated. Chaos was attempting to destroy your son’s lifework, and since he was aboard that ship, outside the range of any noumenal circuit, it would have destroyed your son as well. “The Array was safe, but you stayed another moment, to try to deflect the stream of particles and shield your son; circuit after circuit failed, and still you stayed, playing the emergency like a raging orchestra. “When the peak of the storm was passed, it was too late for you: you had stayed too long; the flames were coming. But the radio-static cleared long enough for you to have last words with your son, whom you discovered, to your surprise, you loved better than life itself. In your mind, he was the living image of the best thing in you, the ideal you always wanted to achieve. “ ‘Chaos has killed me, son,’ you said. ‘But the victory of unpredictability is hollow. Men imagine, in their pride, that they can predict life’s each event, and govern nature and govern each other with rules of unyielding iron. Not so. There will always be men like you, my son, who will do the things no one else predicts or can control. I tried to tame the sun and failed; no one knows what is at its fiery heart; but you will tame a thousand suns, and spread mankind so wide in space that no one single chance, no flux of chaos, no unexpected misfortune, will ever have power enough to harm us all. For men to be civilized, they must be unlike each other, so that when chaos comes to claim them, no two will use what strategy the other does, and thus, even in the middle of blind chaos, some men, by sheer blind chance, if nothing else, will conquer. “ ‘The way to conquer the chaos which underlies all the illusionary stable things in life, is to be so free, and tolerant, and so much in love with liberty, that chaos itself becomes our ally; we shall become what no one can foresee; and courage and inventiveness will be the names we call our fearless unpredictability…’ “And you vowed to support Phaethon’s effort, and you died in order that his dream might live.
John C. Wright (The Golden Transcendence (Golden Age, #3))