Flock Book Quotes

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Second hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.
Virginia Woolf
One must always be careful of books,' said Tessa, 'and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.' 'I'm not sure a book has ever changed me,' said Will. 'Well there is one volume that promises to teach one how to turn oneself into an entire flock of sheep-' 'Only the very weak minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry,' said Tessa, determined not to let him run wildly off with the conversation.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
People flock in, nevertheless, in search of answers to those questions only librarians are considered to be able to answer, such as "Is this the laundry?" "How do you spell surreptitious?" and, on a regular basis, "Do you have a book I remember reading once? It had a red cover and it turned out they were twins.
Terry Pratchett (Going Postal (Discworld, #33; Moist von Lipwig, #1))
My favorite books, love songs, movies, the ones that resonated with me, have kept me grieving long after I turned the last page, the notes faded out, or the credits rolled.
Kate Stewart (Flock (The Ravenhood, #1))
Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack. Besides, in this random miscellaneous company we may rub against some complete stranger who will, with luck, turn into the best friend we have in the world.
Virginia Woolf (Street Haunting)
Will grinned. “Some of these books are dangerous,” he said. “It’s wise to be careful.”“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”“I’m not sure a book has ever changed me,” said Will. “Well, there is one volume that promises to teach one how to turn oneself into an entire flock of sheep—”“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry,” said Tessa
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
But in a country where you hang your dead up on walls and pride whether or not a man bears a javelin more than his character, how am I to persuade you out of a war? It would be suicide for Kildenree to war on Bayern and butchery for Bayern to attack Kildenree. If you don't believe me, then send me back. Or if you don't trust me to leave, I'll return to my little room on the west wall and tend your geese, and you can be sure that on my watch no thieves will touch my flock.
Shannon Hale (The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern, #1))
Books are everywhere; and always the same sense of adventure fills us. Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack. Besides, in this random miscellaneous company we may rub against some complete stranger who will, with luck, turn into the best friend we have in the world.
Virginia Woolf (Street Haunting)
The majority of people have successfully alienated themselves from change; they tediously arrange their lives into a familiar pattern, they give themselves to normalcy, they are proud if they are able to follow in auspicious footsteps set before them, they take pride in always coloring inside the lines and they feel secure if they belong to a batch of others who are like them. Now, if familiar patterns bore you, if normalcy passes before you unnoticed, if you want to create your own footsteps in the earth and leave your own handprints on the skies, if you are the one who doesn't mind the lines in the coloring book as much as others do, and perchance you do not cling to a flock for you to identify with, then you must be ready for adversity. If you are something extraordinary, you are going to always shock others and while they go about existing in their mundaneness which they call success, you're going to be flying around crazy in their skies and that scares them. People are afraid of change, afraid of being different, afraid of doing things and thinking things that aren't a part of their checkerboard game of a life. They only know the pieces and the moves in their games, and that's it. You're always going to find them in the place that you think you're going to find them in, and every time they think about you, you're going to give them a heart attack.
C. JoyBell C.
At least we have each other." He held out his arms, like he would have given her a huge hug if they hadn't been strapped into their seats. The nose of the ship tipped to the right and he quickly grasped the controls again, leveling it out just in time to dodge flock of pigeons.
Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
We find that at present the human race is divided into one wise man, nine knaves, and ninety fools out of every hundred. That is, by an optimistic observer. The nine knaves assemble themselves under the banner of the most knavish among them, and become 'politicians'; the wise man stands out, because he knows himself to be hopelessly outnumbered, and devotes himself to poetry, mathematics, or philosophy; while the ninety fools plod off under the banners of the nine villains, according to fancy, into the labyrinths of chicanery, malice and warfare. It is pleasant to have command, observes Sancho Panza, even over a flock of sheep, and that is why the politicians raise their banners. It is, moreover, the same thing for the sheep whatever the banner. If it is democracy, then the nine knaves will become members of parliament; if fascism, they will become party leaders; if communism, commissars. Nothing will be different, except the name. The fools will be still fools, the knaves still leaders, the results still exploitation. As for the wise man, his lot will be much the same under any ideology. Under democracy he will be encouraged to starve to death in a garret, under fascism he will be put in a concentration camp, under communism he will be liquidated.
T.H. White (The Book of Merlyn: The Unpublished Conclusion to The Once & Future King)
Our Lord has many weak children in His family, many dull pupils in His school, many raw soldiers in His army, many lame sheep in His flock. Yet He bears with them all, and casts none away.
Arthur W. Pink (The Gospel of John (Arthur Pink Collection Book 29))
All grown-ups were once children... but only few of them remember it.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
ilana Graf
Originally, he'd wanted to focus his work on the convict leasing system that had stolen years off of his great-grandpa H's life, but the deeper into the research he got, the bigger the project got. How could he talk about Great-Grandpa H's story without also talking about his grandma Willie and the millions of other black people who had migrated north, fleeing Jim Crow? And if he mentioned the Great Migration, he'd have to talk about the cities that took that flock in. He'd have to talk about Harlem, And how could he talk about Harlem without mentioning his father's heroin addiction - the stints in prison, the criminal record? And if he was going to talk about heroin in Harlem in the '60s, wouldn't he also have to talk about crack everywhere in the '80s? And if he wrote about crack, he'd inevitably be writing, to, about the "war on drugs." And if he started talking about the war on drugs, he'd be talking about how nearly half of the black men he grew up with were on their way either into or out of what had become the harshest prison system in the world. And if he talked about why friends from his hood were doing five-year bids for possession of marijuana when nearly all the white people he'd gone to college with smoked it openly every day, he'd get so angry that he'd slam the research book on the table of the beautiful but deadly silent Lane Reading Room of Green Library of Stanford University. And if he slammed the book down, then everyone in the room would stare and all they would see would be his skin and his anger, and they'd think they knew something about him, and it would be the same something that had justified putting his great-grandpa H in prison, only it would be different too, less obvious than it once was.
Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing)
New Rule: If an Evangelical tries to use Halloween to pimp Jesus to kids, they get to egg his house. On Halloween, the president of the American Family Association urged his flock to hand out a Christian-based comic book instead of candy. Excuse me, Halloween isn't a time to push your beliefs. You don't see me handing out pot to kids...Okay, well not the little kids.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
You’ll become a beacon and the light spreads far and wide. Many see it and are attracted to it. And they will flock to you like a moth to a candle. Even though they have not been aware or interested before, now they see they want to be a part of it.
Dolores Cannon (The Convoluted Universe - Book Five (The Convoluted Universe: Book One 5))
The whole flock is helping to raise her, with Total insisting on French lessons and Nudge making sure she doesn't look like a cave girl (even though we pretty much live in caves). But it's only Fang who spends as much time with her as I do, Fang who patiently teaches the fascinating facts his photographic brain remembers from all those fat books I shunned in school. Fang, because he's her father.
James Patterson (Maximum Ride Forever (Maximum Ride, #9))
People plan their reading? Takes all kinds… Books just find me. They converge upon me like flocks of benevolent vultures. They follow me home, wagging their tails. I’m pretty sure they breed in the dark, too, like mushrooms. When I finish a book, I pick up whatever looks most appealing from the tottering piles at hand.
Diana Gabaldon
...It's not that she has not tried to improve her condition before acknowledging its hopelessness. (Oh, come on, let's get the hell out of this, and get into the first person.) I have sought, by study, to better my form and make myself Society's Darling. You see, I had been fed, in my youth, a lot of old wives' tales about the way men would instantly forsake a beautiful woman to flock about a brilliant one. It is but fair to say that, after getting out in the world, I had never seen this happen, but I thought that maybe I might be the girl to start the vogue. I would become brilliant. I would sparkle. I would hold whole dinner tables spellbound. I would have throngs fighting to come within hearing distance of me while the weakest, elbowed mercilessly to the outskirts, would cry "What did she say?" or "Oh, please ask her to tell it again." That's what I would do. Oh I could just hear myself." -Review of the books, Favorite Jokes of Famous People, by Bruce Barton; The Technique of the Love Affair by "A Gentlewoman." (Actually by Doris Langley Moore.) Review title: Wallflower's Lament; November 17, 1928.
Dorothy Parker (Constant Reader: 2)
People flock in, nevertheless, in search of answers to those questions only librarians are considered to be able to answer, such as “Is this the laundry?” “How do you spell surreptitious?” and, on a regular basis, “Do you have a book I remember reading once? It had a red cover and it turned out they were twins.
Terry Pratchett (Going Postal (Discworld, #33))
Books, he thought, were a sort of migratory bird. Here they rested a while, weary of their travels, before taking flight again, before moving, settling in another nest for a time. They seemed to him like a flock that had descended on these tables, pages fluttering like wings, and here they rested in the shade, enjoying the lull, knowing it would soon be time to go on their way again.
Lavie Tidhar (Osama)
Books are everywhere; and always the same sense of adventure fills us. Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack. Besides, in this random miscellaneous company we may rub against some complete stranger who will, with luck, turn into the best friend we have in the world.
Ellery Adams (The Secret, Book, & Scone Society (Secret, Book, & Scone Society, #1))
It is much, much worse to receive bad news through the written word than by somebody simply telling you, and I’m sure you understand why. When somebody simply tells you bad news, you hear it once, and that’s the end of it. But when bad news is written down, whether in a letter or a newspaper or on your arm in felt tip pen, each time you read it, you feel as if you are receiving the news again and again. For instance, I once loved a woman, who for various reasons could not marry me. If she had simply told me in person, I would have been very sad, of course, but eventually it might have passed. However, she chose instead to write a two-hundred-page book, explaining every single detail of the bad news at great length, and instead my sadness has been of impossible depth. When the book was first brought to me, by a flock of carrier pigeons, I stayed up all night reading it, and I read it still, over and over, and it is as if my darling Beatrice is bringing me bad news every day and every night of my life. The Baudelaire orphans
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events #4))
Frightened, he runs off to the silent fields and howls aloud, attempting speech in vain; foam gathers at the corners of his mouth; he turns his lust for slaughter on the flocks, and mangles them, rejoicing still in blood. His garments now become a shaggy pelt; his arms turn into legs, and he, to wolf while still retaining traces of the man: greyness the same, the same cruel visage, the same cold eyes and bestial appearance. ~ The story of King Lycaon from Ovid's Metamorphosis, Book I, ll. 321-331 tr. Charles Martin
Ovid (Metamorphoses)
Yet there in the library, Hamish and I climbed the bright ladder of the body, as if it were sky and we a deafening. twisting flock of birds that could never fall to earth.
Regina O'Melveny (The Book of Madness and Cures)
If one sense breaks free from its bonds having a glimpse of the invisible it makes it apparent to all the others. You have seen how when one sheep jumps over the creek the whole flock follows. So drive the flock of your senses to pasture and let them graze on the heavenly flowers in the Garden of Truth.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi) (Rumi's Little Book of Life: The Garden of the Soul, the Heart, and the Spirit)
...it was my father who had taught me to love books for themselves, the smell of the vellum and paper, the rare authority of the pages. "Here, do you see this marvelous book, the skins of 182 sheep," he once pronounced as he slapped his hand down on the stamped leather cover boards. "The book is a flock, a jewel, a cemetery, a lantern, a garden, a piss pot; pigments ground of precious minerals, charred bone, lamp soot, rare plants and insects. Pigments formed at the corrosion of copper plates suspended above urine.
Regina O'Melveny (The Book of Madness and Cures)
Drug addicts, especially young ones, are conformists flocking together in sticky groups, and I do not write for groups, nor approve of group therapy (the big scene in the Freudian farce); as I have said often enough, I write for myself in multiplicate, a not unfamiliar phenomenon on the horizon of shimmering deserts. Young dunces who turn to drugs cannot read “Lolita,” or any of my books, some in fact cannot read at all. Let me also observe that the term “square” already dates as a slang word, for nothing dates quicker than conservative youth, nor is there anything more philistine, more bourgeois, more ovine than this business of drug duncery. Half a century ago, a similar fashion among the smart set of St. Petersburg was cocaine sniffing combined with phony orientalities. The better and brighter minds of my young American readers are far removed from those juvenile fads and faddists. I also used to know in the past a Communist agent who got so involved in trying to wreck anti-Bolshevist groups by distributing drugs among them that he became an addict himself and lapsed into a dreamy state of commendable metempsychic sloth. He must be grazing today on some grassy slope in Tibet if he has not yet lined the coat of his fortunate shepherd.
Vladimir Nabokov (Strong Opinions)
I think they should combine the Summer and Winter Olympics and call it the Fall Olympics. They could host it in the spring, when all the lovers will flock to see me preform live for the chance to win their affection.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
But what might be written in the book which had rounded its edges off in his pocket, she did not know. What he thought they none of them knew. But he was absorbed in it, so that when he looked up, as he did now for an instant, it was not to see anything; it was to pin down some thought more exactly. That done, his mind flew back again and he plunged into his reading. He read, she thought, as if he were guiding something, or wheedling a large flock of sheep, or pushing his way up and up a single narrow path; and sometimes he went fast and straight, and broke his way through the bramble, and sometimes it seemed a branch struck at him, a bramble blinded him, but he was not going to let himself be beaten by that; on he went, tossing over page after page.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
A ship with two of every animal in the world, my friend? That would have to be a very large ship indeed. Is that how you would save a world? A bull and a cow, a sheep and a ram, and so on? The people who wrote your Torah, my friend, must have had poor livestock if they raised their herds from only one dam and one sire, breeding sisters with their brothers, any herdsman knows that this does not produce a healthy flock. No, my friend to save the world you save the knowledge of that world, the knowledge that there were bulls and cows in it, that there were sheep and rams in it, that there were men and women who lived and died. If your world is to be destroyed, all you can save my friend, is the knowledge of it, to restore what you once had, to mourn what can never be restored.
Hal Duncan (Ink (The Book of All Hours, #2))
My favorite books, love songs, movies, the ones that resonated with me, have kept me grieving long after I turned the last page, the notes faded out, or the credits rolled. Because of that, I believed it, because I made myself believe it, and I bred the most masochistic of romantic hearts, which resulted in my illness. When I lived this story, my own twisted fairy tale, it was unbeknownst to me at the time because I was young and naïve. I gave into temptation and fed that beating beast, which grew thirstier with every slash, every strike, every blow. That’s the novelty of fiction versus reality. You can’t re-live your own love story because, by the time you’ve realized you’re living it, it’s over. At least that was the case for me.
Kate Stewart (Flock (The Ravenhood, #1))
Pick one,” he says just as I reach the handle. “One what?” He nods toward the shelves. I run my hands over my face in frustration. “You drive me insane.” I move toward the shelf and look over his collection. I pause when I see a few familiar titles. “You have a whole romance section.” I giggle and pull a book from the shelf. When I open it, a receipt falls to the floor. Inspecting it, I see he’s just bought ten books and spent a few hundred dollars opting for some pricy hardcovers over paperbacks. “You just bought these?” Upon closer inspection, I see most of them are romance titles by my favorite indies. There’s also a few suspense and an older historical, all of them titles from a familiar list that I wrote on a bookmark in my bedroom. When he was in my house, he had to have snooped in my room while Sean was distracting me. “You looked through my stuff?” He keeps his eyes on his book. It’s a stupid question. And the answer is so obvious, but I can’t help myself. “You bought these for me?” Silence. And again, I’m floating off the ground as he continues to read, feigning indifference. But I know differently now, and it changes everything. Beneath that mask is a man who’s been paying attention, very close attention to me. He turns another page and pulls an empty pillow closer to his shoulder. He wants me to read, with him, in his bed. And what better way to pass a day in stormy weather than curling up with a gorgeous man and getting lost in the words.
Kate Stewart (Flock (The Ravenhood, #1))
Great paintings—people flock to see them, they draw crowds, they’re reproduced endlessly on coffee mugs and mouse pads and anything-you-like. And, I count myself in the following, you can have a lifetime of perfectly sincere museum-going where you traipse around enjoying everything and then go out and have some lunch. But if a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see, and think, and feel, you don’t think, ‘oh, I love this picture because it’s universal.’ ‘I love this painting because it speaks to all mankind.’ That’s not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It’s a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes you. An individual heart-shock. Your dream, Welty’s dream, Vermeer’s dream. You see one painting, I see another, the art book puts it at another remove still, the lady buying the greeting card at the museum gift shop sees something else entire, and that’s not even to mention the people separated from us by time—four hundred years before us, four hundred years after we’re gone—it’ll never strike anybody the same way and the great majority of people it’ll never strike in any deep way at all but—a really great painting is fluid enough to work its way into the mind and heart through all kinds of different angles, in ways that are unique and very particular. Yours, yours. I was painted for you. And—oh, I don’t know, stop me if I’m rambling… but Welty himself used to talk about fateful objects. Every dealer and antiquaire recognizes them. The pieces that occur and recur. Maybe for someone else, not a dealer, it wouldn’t be an object. It’d be a city, a color, a time of day. The nail where your fate is liable to catch and snag.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
To the primitive believers came the Psalter, like an aftermath, wet with the dews of a new birth as from the womb of the morning. The Spirit had descended upon it anew, as showers upon the mown grass; and it had sprung up afresh, sweeter than before, for the pasture of flocks. The Church received it as full of Christ, as the inheritance of a nobler and truer Israel, for which His coming had illuminated it with a genuine interpretation, painting even its darker and clouded surfaces with the bow of promise, now made the symbol of an everlasting covenant and of all promises fulfilled in Him. Hence the local and temporary meanings of the Psalms were regarded as insignificant.
Augustine of Hippo (The Complete Works of Saint Augustine: The Confessions, On Grace and Free Will, The City of God, On Christian Doctrine, Expositions on the Book Of Psalms, ... (50 Books With Active Table of Contents))
It was funny that she should have said that, for Julian chose that moment to begin baaing like a flock of sheep. His one long, bleating "baa-baa-aa-aa" was taken up by the echoes at once, and it seemed suddenly as if hundreds of poor lost sheep were baa-ing their way down the dungeons! Mr. Stick jumped to his feet, as white as a sheet. "Well, if it isn't sheep now!" he said. "What's up? What's in these "ere dungeons? I never did like them." "Baa-aa-AAAAAAAAAAP went the mournful bleats all round and about. And then
Enid Blyton (Five Run Away Together (Famous Five Book 3))
I network like a shepherd with a flock of sheep. I’m constantly on the lookout for wolves, and I’m always in the mood for a good lamb chop.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.
Virginia Woolf (Thoughts On Peace In an Air Raid)
Seeing them, Jamie reached for a remnant of bread, and tossed it with considerable accuracy into the middle of the flock, which exploded like shrapnel, all fleeing the sudden intrusion.
Diana Gabaldon (The Outlander Series 7-Book Bundle: Outlander / Dragonfly in Amber / Voyager / Drums of Autumn / The Fiery Cross / A Breath of Snow and Ashes / An Echo in the Bone)
There was a sound like a rush of wings in the blackish clouds, and I knew his spirit had left him. I imagined it like a great flock of birds, soaring, scattering, coming to rest everywhere.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Book of Longings)
Do not suppose from this that your new career is to be perpetually supported by agreeable spiritual contacts, or occupy itself in the mild contemplation of the great world through which you move. True, it is said of the Shepherd that he carries the lambs in his bosom: but the sheep are expected to walk, and put up with the inequalities of the road, the bunts and blunders of the flock. It
Evelyn Underhill (Practical Mysticism: A Little Book for Normal People)
Like a great ship, this season has run aground. Dawn and dusk alternate at an old man's pace. I live alone in an area known as the 'Waterside', writing a book akin to the Revelations of St. John.
Ge Fei (Flock of Brown Birds (Penguin Specials))
There's a special madness strikes travellers from the North when they reach the lovely land where the lemon trees grow. We come from countries of cold weather; at home, we are at war with nature but here, ah! you think you've come to the blessed plot where the lion lies down with the lamb. Everything flowers; no harsh wind stirs the voluptuous air. The sun spills fruit for you. And the deathly, sensual lethargy of the sweet South infects the starved brain; it gasps: 'Luxury! more luxury!' But then the snow comes, you cannot escape it, it followed us from Russia as if it ran behind our carriage, and in this dark, bitter city has caught up with us at last, flocking against the windowpanes to mock my father's expectations of perpetual pleasure as the veins in his forehead stand out and throb, his hands shake as he deals the Devil's picture books.
Angela Carter (The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories)
It is finished,” Jesus said. There was a sound like a rush of wings in the blackish clouds, and I knew his spirit had left him. I imagined it like a great flock of birds, soaring, scattering, coming to rest everywhere.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Book of Longings)
Asiatic youths are flocking to Western colleges for the equipment of modern education. Our insight does not penetrate your culture deeply, but at least we are willing to learn. Some of my compatriots have adopted too much of your customs and too much of your etiquette, in the delusion that the acquisition of stiff collars and tall silk hats comprised the attainment of your civilisation. Pathetic and deplorable as such affectations are, they evince our willingness to approach the West on our knees.
Kakuzō Okakura (The Book of Tea)
When the School of Resentment becomes as dominant among art historians and critics as it is among literary academics, will Matisse go unattended while we all flock to view the daubings of the Guerrilla Girls? The lunacy of these questions is plain enough when it comes to the eminence of Matisse, while Stravinsky is clearly in no danger of being replaced by politically correct music for the ballet companies of the world. Why then is literature so vulnerable to the onrush of our contemporary social idealists?
Harold Bloom (The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages)
When people prattle on about needing to find their “life’s purpose,” what they really mean is that it’s no longer clear to them what matters, what is a worthy use of their limited time here on earth6—in short, what to hope for. They are struggling to see what the before/after of their lives should be. That’s the hard part: finding that before/after for yourself. It’s difficult because there’s no way ever to know for sure if you’ve got it right. This is why a lot of people flock to religion, because religions acknowledge this permanent state of unknowing and demand faith in the face of it. This is also probably partly why religious people suffer from depression and commit suicide in far fewer numbers than nonreligious people: that practiced faith protects them from the Uncomfortable Truth.7
Mark Manson (Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope)
Many readers are familiar with the spirit and the letter of the definition of “prayer”, as given by Ambrose Bierce in his Devil’s Dictionary. It runs like this, and is extremely easy to comprehend: Prayer: A petition that the laws of nature be suspended in favor of the petitioner; himself confessedly unworthy. Everybody can see the joke that is lodged within this entry: The man who prays is the one who thinks that god has arranged matters all wrong, but who also thinks that he can instruct god how to put them right. Half–buried in the contradiction is the distressing idea that nobody is in charge, or nobody with any moral authority. The call to prayer is self–cancelling. Those of us who don’t take part in it will justify our abstention on the grounds that we do not need, or care, to undergo the futile process of continuous reinforcement. Either our convictions are enough in themselves or they are not: At any rate they do require standing in a crowd and uttering constant and uniform incantations. This is ordered by one religion to take place five times a day, and by other monotheists for almost that number, while all of them set aside at least one whole day for the exclusive praise of the Lord, and Judaism seems to consist in its original constitution of a huge list of prohibitions that must be followed before all else. The tone of the prayers replicates the silliness of the mandate, in that god is enjoined or thanked to do what he was going to do anyway. Thus the Jewish male begins each day by thanking god for not making him into a woman (or a Gentile), while the Jewish woman contents herself with thanking the almighty for creating her “as she is.” Presumably the almighty is pleased to receive this tribute to his power and the approval of those he created. It’s just that, if he is truly almighty, the achievement would seem rather a slight one. Much the same applies to the idea that prayer, instead of making Christianity look foolish, makes it appear convincing. Now, it can be asserted with some confidence, first, that its deity is all–wise and all–powerful and, second, that its congregants stand in desperate need of that deity’s infinite wisdom and power. Just to give some elementary quotations, it is stated in the book of Philippians, 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication and thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.” Deuteronomy 32:4 proclaims that “he is the rock, his work is perfect,” and Isaiah 64:8 tells us, “Now O Lord, thou art our father; we art clay and thou our potter; and we are all the work of thy hand.” Note, then, that Christianity insists on the absolute dependence of its flock, and then only on the offering of undiluted praise and thanks. A person using prayer time to ask for the world to be set to rights, or to beseech god to bestow a favor upon himself, would in effect be guilty of a profound blasphemy or, at the very least, a pathetic misunderstanding. It is not for the mere human to be presuming that he or she can advise the divine. And this, sad to say, opens religion to the additional charge of corruption. The leaders of the church know perfectly well that prayer is not intended to gratify the devout. So that, every time they accept a donation in return for some petition, they are accepting a gross negation of their faith: a faith that depends on the passive acceptance of the devout and not on their making demands for betterment. Eventually, and after a bitter and schismatic quarrel, practices like the notorious “sale of indulgences” were abandoned. But many a fine basilica or chantry would not be standing today if this awful violation had not turned such a spectacularly good profit. And today it is easy enough to see, at the revival meetings of Protestant fundamentalists, the counting of the checks and bills before the laying on of hands by the preacher has even been completed. Again, the spectacle is a shameless one.
Christopher Hitchens (Mortality)
In a popular TED talk and book, Simon Sinek argues that if we want to inspire people, we should start with why. If we communicate the vision behind our ideas, the purpose guiding our products, people will flock to us. This is excellent advice—and when you’re doing something original that challenges the status quo, you have to be careful about how you communicate your why.
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World)
Echo and Shadow A room and a room. And between them she leans in the doorway to say something, lintel bright above her face, threshold dark beneath her feet, her hands behind her head gathering her hair to tie and tuck at the nape. A world and a world. Dying and not dying. And between them the curtains blowing and the shadows they make on her body, a shadow of birds, a single flock, a myriad body of wings and cries turning and diving in complex unison. Shadow of bells, or the shadow of the sound they make in the air, mornings, evenings, everywhere I wait for her, as even now her voice seems a lasting echo of my heart’s calling me home, its story an ocean beyond my human beginning, each wave tolling the whole note of my outcome and belonging.
Li-Young Lee (Book of My Nights: Poems (American Poets Continuum, 68))
Bless the words I write. May they be beautiful in your sight. May they be visible to eyes not yet born. When I am dust, sing these words over my bones: she was a voice. I gazed upon the prayer and the girl and the dove, and a sensation billowed in my chest, a small exultation like a flock of birds lifting all at once from the trees. I wished God might notice what I’d done and speak from the whirlwind. I wished him to say: Ana, I see you. How pleasing you are in my sight. There was only silence. It was while I busied myself putting away my writing tools that the second commandment appeared in my mind as if God had spoken after all, but it was not what I wished to hear. Thou shalt not make a graven image of anything living in heaven, or on the earth, or in the sea.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Book of Longings)
Thus with the Year Seasons return, but not to me returns Day, or the sweet approach of Ev’n or Morn, Or sight of vernal bloom, or Summers Rose, Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine; But cloud in stead, and ever-during dark Surrounds me, from the chearful waies of men Cut off, and for the book of knowledg fair Presented with a Universal blanc Of Natures works to mee expung’d and ras’d, And wisdome at one entrance quite shut out.
John Milton (Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained)
Do you remember our conversation? Do you remember the places we went and the things we saw? The bindery was our access, the point in space that contains all other points, and that night you were a boy unbound, a tiny astronaut, taking your first leap into an infinite and unknowable universe. For the first time you could see the voices of the things you'd been hearing for so long, all that clamorous matter vying for your attention. With your supernatural ears, you were able to perceive, with absolute clarity, the sinuous shapes and contours of the sounds that matter makes as it moves through space and time and mind. Some of these sounds were so beautiful they made you laugh out loud and clap your hands with delight, and others were so sad they made tears run down your face. And, oh, the visions we had! Container ships glittering on a moonlit night off the coast of Alaska. Pyramids of sulfur, rising yellow in the mist. The plundered moon and all its craters; globes and stars and asteroids; a jet black crow with a diamond tiara; a flock of rubber duckies, spinning through the Pacific gyres. At the sound of a footstep, a young girl freezes, and Andromeda sparkles in the firmament. Fires rage as the redwoods burn; and in the deep ocean, a pilot whale carries her dead baby on her nose, while sea turtles weep briny tears onto nets of plastic.
Ruth Ozeki (The Book of Form and Emptiness)
When Israel came out of Egypt, 1 the house of Jacob from a barbarous-tongued folk, Judah became His sanctuary, 2 Israel His dominion. 3 The sea saw and fled, Jordan turned back. 4 The mountains danced like rams, hills like lambs of the flock. 5 What is wrong with you, sea, that you flee, Jordan, that you turn back, 6 mountains, that you dance like rams, hills like lambs of the flock? 7 Before the Master, whirl, O earth, before the God of Jacob, Who turns the rock to a pond of water, 8 flint to a spring of water.
Robert Alter (The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary)
They could lock the sheep in pens, castrate rams and selectively breed ewes, yet they could not ensure that the ewes conceived and gave birth to healthy lambs, nor could they prevent the eruption of deadly epidemics. How then to safeguard the fecundity of the flocks? A leading theory about the origin of the gods argues that gods gained importance because they offered a solution to this problem. Gods such as the fertility goddess, the sky god and the god of medicine took centre stage when plants and animals lost their ability to speak, and the gods’ main role was to mediate between humans and the mute plants and animals. Much of ancient mythology is in fact a legal contract in which humans promise everlasting devotion to the gods in exchange for mastery over plants and animals – the first chapters of the book of Genesis are a prime example. For thousands of years after the Agricultural Revolution, religious liturgy consisted mainly of humans sacrificing lambs, wine and cakes to divine powers, who in exchange promised abundant harvests and fecund flocks.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Why this book is disliked by gay readers: Captain Ernst Roehm, was a stocky, bull-necked, piggish-eyed, scar-faced professional soldier—the upper part of his nose had been shot away in 1914—with a flair for politics and a natural ability as an organizer. Like Hitler he was possessed of a burning hatred for the democratic Republic. His aim was to re-create a strong nationalist Germany and he believed with Hitler that this could be done only by a party based on the lower classes, from which he himself, unlike most Regular Army officers, had come. A tough, ruthless, driving man—albeit, like so many of the early Nazis, a homosexual—he helped to organize the first Nazi strong-arm squads which grew into the S.A.... (...) Murderers, pimps, homosexual perverts, drug addicts or just plain rowdies were all the same to him if they served his purposes. (...) The brown-shirted S.A. never became much more than a motley mob of brawlers. Many of its top leaders, beginning with its chief, Roehm, were notorious homosexual perverts. Lieutenant Edmund Heines, who led the Munich S.A., was not only a homosexual but a convicted murderer. These two and dozens of others quarreled and feuded as only men of unnatural sexual inclinations, with their peculiar jealousies, can. (...) [Hitler] who was so monumentally intolerant by his very nature, was strangely tolerant of one human condition—a man’s morals. No other party in Germany came near to attracting so many shady characters. As we have seen, a conglomeration of pimps, murderers, homosexuals, alcoholics and blackmailers flocked to the party as if to a natural haven. (...) Karl Ernst, a former hotel bellhop and ex-bouncer in a café frequented by homosexuals, whom Roehm had made leader of the Berlin S.A., had alerted the storm troopers...
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich)
Goodreads also found that liberals and conservatives flocked to fundamentally different types of books. Obama supporters outnumbered Romney supporters by three to one in reading books written by Jonathan Franzen, the critically acclaimed fiction author. Romney voters, by contrast, read David McCullough at a rate of two to one compared with Obama voters. McCullough, too, is highly acclaimed, having been awarded two Pulitzers during his decades-long career—but he writes popular historical nonfiction, a genre more in line with a practical-minded, fixed worldview and very different from Franzen’s style.
Marc Hetherington (Prius Or Pickup?: How the Answers to Four Simple Questions Explain America's Great Divide)
Girls, I was dead and down in the Underworld, a shade, a shadow of my former self, nowhen. It was a place where language stopped, a black full stop, a black hole Where the words had to come to an end. And end they did there, last words, famous or not. It suited me down to the ground. So imagine me there, unavailable, out of this world, then picture my face in that place of Eternal Repose, in the one place you’d think a girl would be safe from the kind of a man who follows her round writing poems, hovers about while she reads them, calls her His Muse, and once sulked for a night and a day because she remarked on his weakness for abstract nouns. Just picture my face when I heard - Ye Gods - a familiar knock-knock at Death’s door. Him. Big O. Larger than life. With his lyre and a poem to pitch, with me as the prize. Things were different back then. For the men, verse-wise, Big O was the boy. Legendary. The blurb on the back of his books claimed that animals, aardvark to zebra, flocked to his side when he sang, fish leapt in their shoals at the sound of his voice, even the mute, sullen stones at his feet wept wee, silver tears. Bollocks. (I’d done all the typing myself, I should know.) And given my time all over again, rest assured that I’d rather speak for myself than be Dearest, Beloved, Dark Lady, White Goddess etc., etc. In fact girls, I’d rather be dead. But the Gods are like publishers, usually male, and what you doubtless know of my tale is the deal. Orpheus strutted his stuff. The bloodless ghosts were in tears. Sisyphus sat on his rock for the first time in years. Tantalus was permitted a couple of beers. The woman in question could scarcely believe her ears. Like it or not, I must follow him back to our life - Eurydice, Orpheus’ wife - to be trapped in his images, metaphors, similes, octaves and sextets, quatrains and couplets, elegies, limericks, villanelles, histories, myths… He’d been told that he mustn’t look back or turn round, but walk steadily upwards, myself right behind him, out of the Underworld into the upper air that for me was the past. He’d been warned that one look would lose me for ever and ever. So we walked, we walked. Nobody talked. Girls, forget what you’ve read. It happened like this - I did everything in my power to make him look back. What did I have to do, I said, to make him see we were through? I was dead. Deceased. I was Resting in Peace. Passé. Late. Past my sell-by date… I stretched out my hand to touch him once on the back of the neck. Please let me stay. But already the light had saddened from purple to grey. It was an uphill schlep from death to life and with every step I willed him to turn. I was thinking of filching the poem out of his cloak, when inspiration finally struck. I stopped, thrilled. He was a yard in front. My voice shook when I spoke - Orpheus, your poem’s a masterpiece. I’d love to hear it again… He was smiling modestly, when he turned, when he turned and he looked at me. What else? I noticed he hadn’t shaved. I waved once and was gone. The dead are so talented. The living walk by the edge of a vast lake near, the wise, drowned silence of the dead.
Carol Ann Duffy (The World's Wife)
Tunes her nocturnal Note. Thus with the Year Seasons return, but not to me returns Day, or the sweet approach of Ev’n or Morn, Or sight of vernal bloom, or Summers Rose, Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine; But cloud in stead, and ever-during dark Surrounds me, from the chearful waies of men Cut off, and for the book of knowledg fair Presented with a Universal blanc Of Natures works to mee expung’d and ras’d, And wisdome at one entrance quite shut out. So much the rather thou Celestial light Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers Irradiate, there plant eyes, all mist from thence Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell Of things invisible to mortal sight. Now
John Milton (Paradise Lost: An Annotated Bibliography (Paradise series Book 1))
What gave my book the more sudden and general celebrity, was the success of one of its proposed experiments, made by Messrs. Dalibard and De Lor at Marly, for drawing lightning from the clouds. This engag'd the public attention every where. M. de Lor, who had an apparatus for experimental philosophy, and lectur'd in that branch of science, undertook to repeat what he called the Philadelphia Experiments; and, after they were performed before the king and court, all the curious of Paris flocked to see them. I will not swell this narrative with an account of that capital experiment, nor of the infinite pleasure I receiv'd in the success of a similar one I made soon after with a kite at Philadelphia, as both are to be found in the histories of electricity.
Benjamin Franklin (The Complete Harvard Classics - ALL 71 Volumes: The Five Foot Shelf & The Shelf of Fiction: The Famous Anthology of the Greatest Works of World Literature)
Gregory gazed, transfixed, as snow swarmed down upon him like space junk; like disarranged flocks of birds; like the universe emptying itself. He knew what the vision meant: human lives past and present, around him, inside him. He opened his mouth and eyes and arms and drew them into himself, feeling a surge of discovery—of rapture—that seemed to lift him out of the snow. He wanted to laugh or shout. Finish your book! Here was his father’s parting gift: a galaxy of human lives hurtling toward his curiosity. From a distance they faded into uniformity, but they were moving, each propelled by a singular force that was inexhaustible. The collective. He was feeling the collective without any machinery at all. And its stories, infinite and particular, would be his to tell.
Jennifer Egan (The Candy House)
[About her father's friend Lilian Pirie] She was one of the few people I have met whom I consider had a really interesting mind. . . . Young people always flocked to her house and were happy to talk to her. To spend an afternoon with her, even when she was well over seventy, was a wonderful refreshment. I think she had, more perfectly than anyone I have ever known, the art of leisure. You found her sitting in a high-backed chair in her beautiful room, usually engaged with some needlework of her own design, some interesting book or other by her side. She had the air of having time to talk with you all day, all night, for months on end. Her criticisms were caustic and clear. Although she would talk about any abstract subject under the sun she seldom indulged in personalities.
Agatha Christie (Agatha Christie: An Autobiography)
Bible translations succeed or fail based on Christian trust, because only a vanishingly small percentage of Bible readers can, and even fewer do, go through the laborious process of checking their English translations against the Greek and Hebrew. The vast majority of Bible readers simply take—they have to take—the word of others that the translations in their laps are faithful. When scholarly Christians and ministry-leading Christians go to battle over Bible translations, in dog fights far above the it’s-all-Greek-to-me heads of people in the pew, some of the flak falls on the flock. The sheep today have many resources—like this book—and can do some good homework, but if they can’t read the original languages of Scripture they must still take sides based largely on whom they trust.
Mark L. Ward Jr. (Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible)
The entire pre-Columbian literature of Mexico, a vast library of tens of thousands of codices, was carefully and systematically destroyed by the priests and friars who followed in the wake of the conquistadors. In November 1530, for example, Bishop Juan de Zumárraga, who had shortly before been apointed 'Protector of the Indians' by the Spanish crown, proceeded to 'protect' his flock by burning at the stake a Mexican aristocrat, the lord of the city of Texcoco, whom he accused of having worshipped the rain god. In the city's marketplace Zumárraga 'had a pyramid formed of the documents of Aztec history, knowledge and literature, their paintings, manuscripts, and hieroglyphic writings, all of which he committed to the flames while the natives cried and prayed.' More than 30 years later, the holocaust of documents was still under way. In July 1562, in the main square of Mani (just south of modern Merida in the Yucatan), Bishop Diego de Landa burned thousands of Maya codices, story paintings, and hieroglyphs inscribed on rolled-up deer skins. He boasted of destroying countless 'idols' and 'altars,' all of which he described as 'works of the devil, designed by the evil one to delude the Indians and to prevent them from accepting Christianity.' Noting that the Maya 'used certain characters or letters, which they wrote in their books about the antiquities and their sciences' he informs us: 'We found a great number of books in these letters, and since they contained nothing but superstitions and falsehoods of the devil we burned them all, which they took most grievously and which gave them great pain.
Graham Hancock (America Before: The Key to Earth's Lost Civilization)
He listened to the small, quick sounds of the typing lady’s fingers. Earlier, her tapping had sounded like raindrops, but now it sounded more like a flock of starlings lifting from a wheat field and then settling again, blending back into the Library’s ambient hush. Or maybe not starlings. Maybe waves. Maybe the starlings were changing into waves, washing up on the sand and tickling all the pebbles and tiny broken shells, before receding again. In and out, waves and starlings, the tapping of fingers on a keyboard, the rustle of a turning page, the exhalations of the stars, punctuated by an occasional snore—Benny heard all these sounds, rising and falling, and he knew, too, that they, like the voices he heard, were always there, and would always be there, coming and going, somewhere in the background.
Ruth Ozeki (The Book of Form and Emptiness)
Like Dick Whittington, who set off with his possessions in a handkerchief and a surprisingly well-trained cat at his side, young ambitious people flock to cities to live a different life from the one they grew up with. They want the construct, just as much as those who dream of a bucolic ideal want theirs. City-dwellers have museums, restaurants, cinemas, theatres: they get everything when it’s new and they can decide whether they like it before anyone else does. They can see artists, hear musicians, buy groceries in the middle of the night and books on their way home from the pub. The city, for all its failings, so carefully enumerated by Juvenal, is still wonderful. So those of us who live in one should enjoy it for what is is, and always has been: a glorious, grubby, industrial, gastronomical, cultural, social mess.
Natalie Haynes (The Ancient Guide to Modern Life)
ago: THE FIVE LAWS OF GOLD 1. Gold cometh gladly and in increasing quantity to any man who will put by not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and that of his family. 2. Gold laboreth diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying even as the flocks of the field. 3. Gold clingeth to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of men wise in its handling. 4. Gold slippeth away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes with which he is not familiar or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep. 5. Gold flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings or who followeth the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers or who trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.
George S. Clason (The Richest Man in Babylon: 9789387669369 (GP Self-Help Collection Book 1))
A month passed, and it was time again for Marcus to return to his research. He had been avoiding it because it wasn’t going well. Originally, he’d wanted to focus his work on the convict leasing system that had stolen years off of his great-grandpa H’s life, but the deeper into the research he got, the bigger the project got. How could he talk about Great-Grandpa H’s story without also talking about his grandma Willie and the millions of other black people who had migrated north, fleeing Jim Crow? And if he mentioned the Great Migration, he’d have to talk about the cities that took that flock in. He’d have to talk about Harlem. And how could he talk about Harlem without mentioning his father’s heroin addiction—the stints in prison, the criminal record? And if he was going to talk about heroin in Harlem in the ’60s, wouldn’t he also have to talk about crack everywhere in the ’80s? And if he wrote about crack, he’d inevitably be writing, too, about the “war on drugs.” And if he started talking about the war on drugs, he’d be talking about how nearly half of the black men he grew up with were on their way either into or out of what had become the harshest prison system in the world. And if he talked about why friends from his hood were doing five-year bids for possession of marijuana when nearly all the white people he’d gone to college with smoked it openly every day, he’d get so angry that he’d slam the research book on the table of the beautiful but deadly silent Lane Reading Room of Green Library of Stanford University. And if he slammed the book down, then everyone in the room would stare and all they would see would be his skin and his anger, and they’d think they knew something about him, and it would be the same something that had justified putting his great-grandpa H in prison, only it would be different too, less obvious than it once was.
Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing)
When we neared the orchard a flock of birds lit from its outer rows. They hadn't been there long. The branches shook with their absent weight and the birds circled above in the riddy mackerel sky, where they made an artless semaphore. I was afraid, I smelled copper and cheap wine. The sun was up, but a half-moon hung low on the opposite horizon, cutting through the morning sky like a figure from a child's pull-tab book. We were lined along the ditch up to our ankles in a soupy muck. It all seemed in that moment to be the conclusion of a poorly designed experiment in inevitability. Everything was in its proper place, waiting for a pause in time, for the source of all momentum to be stilled, so that what remained would be nothing more than detritus to be tallied up. The world was paper-thin as far as I could tell. And the world was the orchard, and the orchard was what came next. But none of that was true. I was only afraid of dying.
Kevin Powers (The Yellow Birds)
Assert the most absurd nonsense, call it a scientific truth, and back it up with strange words which, like potentiality, etc., sound as if they had a meaning but in reality have none, and nine out of every ten men who read your book will believe you. Acquire a remarkable name in one branch of human knowledge, and presto! you are infallible in all. Who can contradict you, if you only wrap up your assertions in specious phrases that not one man in a million attempts to ascertain the real meaning of? We like so much to be saved the trouble of thinking,that it is far easier and more comfortable to be led than to contradict, to fall in quietly with the great flock of sheep that jump blindly after their leader than to remain apart, making one's self ridiculous by foolishly attempting to argue. Real argument, in fact, is very difficult, for several reasons: first, you must understand your subject well, which is hardly likely; secondly your opponent must also understand it well, which is even less likely; thirdly you must listen patiently to his arguments, which is still less likely; and fourthly, he must listen to yours, the least likely of all.
Jules Verne (From the Earth to the Moon and 'Round the Moon)
Don Camillo, what do you mean by “idea”?’ ‘As a poor country priest, all I can say is that ideas are lamps shining through the night of human ignorance and lighting up some new aspect of the greatness of the Creator.’ Jesus smiled. ‘Poor country priest,’ he said, ‘you’re not so far from right. Once a hundred men were shut into an enormous dark room, each one of them with an unlit lamp. One of them managed to light his lamp, and so they all could see one another and get to know one another. As the rest lit their lamps, more and more of the objects around them came into view, until finally everything in the room stood out as good and beautiful. Now, follow me closely, Don Camillo: there were a hundred lamps, but only one idea; yet it took the light of all the lamps to reveal the details of everything in the room. Every flame was the hundredth part of one great idea, one great light, the idea of the existence and eternal greatness of the Creator. It was as if a man had broken a statuette into a hundred pieces and given one piece to each of a hundred men. The hundred men groped for one another and tried to fit the fragments together, making thousands of misshapen figures until at last they joined them properly. I repeat, Don Camillo, that every man lit his own lamp and the light of the hundred lamps together was Truth and Revelation. This should have satisfied them. But each man thought that the beauty of the objects he saw around him was due to the light of his own lamp, which had brought them out of the darkness. Some men stopped to worship their own lamps, and others wandered off in various directions, until the great light was broken up into a hundred flames, each one of which could illuminate only a fraction of the truth. And so you see, Don Camillo, the hundred lamps must come together again in order to find the true light. Today men wander mistrustfully about, each one in the light of his own lamp, with an area of melancholy darkness all around him, clinging to the slightest detail of whatever object he can illuminate by himself. And so I say that ideas do not exist; there is only one Idea, one Truth with a hundred facets. Ideas are neither finite nor finished, because there is only this one and eternal Idea. But men must join their fellows again like those in the enormous room.
Giovannino Guareschi (Don Camillo and His Flock (Don Camillo Series Book 2))
Tonight, however, Dickens struck him in a different light. Beneath the author’s sentimental pity for the weak and helpless, he could discern a revolting pleasure in cruelty and suffering, while the grotesque figures of the people in Cruikshank’s illustrations revealed too clearly the hideous distortions of their souls. What had seemed humorous now appeared diabolic, and in disgust at these two favourites he turned to Walter Pater for the repose and dignity of a classic spirit. But presently he wondered if this spirit were not in itself of a marble quality, frigid and lifeless, contrary to the purpose of nature. ‘I have often thought’, he said to himself, ‘that there is something evil in the austere worship of beauty for its own sake.’ He had never thought so before, but he liked to think that this impulse of fancy was the result of mature consideration, and with this satisfaction he composed himself for sleep. He woke two or three times in the night, an unusual occurrence, but he was glad of it, for each time he had been dreaming horribly of these blameless Victorian works… It turned out to be the Boy’s Gulliver’s Travels that Granny had given him, and Dicky had at last to explain his rage with the devil who wrote it to show that men were worse than beasts and the human race a washout. A boy who never had good school reports had no right to be so morbidly sensitive as to penetrate to the underlying cynicism of Swift’s delightful fable, and that moreover in the bright and carefully expurgated edition they bring out nowadays. Mr Corbett could not say he had ever noticed the cynicism himself, though he knew from the critical books it must be there, and with some annoyance he advised his son to take out a nice bright modern boy’s adventure story that could not depress anybody. Mr Corbett soon found that he too was ‘off reading’. Every new book seemed to him weak, tasteless and insipid; while his old and familiar books were depressing or even, in some obscure way, disgusting. Authors must all be filthy-minded; they probably wrote what they dared not express in their lives. Stevenson had said that literature was a morbid secretion; he read Stevenson again to discover his peculiar morbidity, and detected in his essays a self-pity masquerading as courage, and in Treasure Island an invalid’s sickly attraction to brutality. This gave him a zest to find out what he disliked so much, and his taste for reading revived as he explored with relish the hidden infirmities of minds that had been valued by fools as great and noble. He saw Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë as two unpleasant examples of spinsterhood; the one as a prying, sub-acid busybody in everyone else’s flirtations, the other as a raving, craving maenad seeking self-immolation on the altar of her frustrated passions. He compared Wordsworth’s love of nature to the monstrous egoism of an ancient bellwether, isolated from the flock.
Margaret Irwin (Bloodstock and Other Stories)
I ASSURE you that I am the book of fate. Questions are my enemies. For my questions explode! Answers leap up like a frightened flock, blackening the sky of my inescapable memories. Not one answer, not one suffices. What prisms flash when I enter the terrible field of my past. I am a chip of shattered flint enclosed in a box. The box gyrates and quakes. I am tossed about in a storm of mysteries. And when the box opens, I return to this presence like a stranger in a primitive land. Slowly (slowly, I say) I relearn my name. But that is not to know myself! This person of my name, this Leto who is the second of that calling, finds other voices in his mind, other names and other places. Oh, I promise you (as I have been promised) that I answer to but a single name. If you say, "Leto," I respond. Sufferance makes this true, sufferance and one thing more: I hold the threads! All of them are mine. Let me but imagine a topic say... men who have died by the sword-and I have them in all of their gore, every image intact, every moan, every grimace. Joys of motherhood, I think, and the birthing beds are mine. Serial baby smiles and the sweet cooings of new generations. The first walkings of the toddlers and the first victories of youths brought forth for me to share. They tumble one upon another until I can see little else but sameness and repetition. "Keep it all intact," I warn myself. Who can deny the value of such experiences, the worth of learning through which I view each new instant? Ahhh, but it's the past. Don't you understand? It's only the past!
Frank Herbert (God Emperor of Dune (Dune #4))
Kenilworth, Mountainside, Scotch Plains, Dunellen... they themselves seemed far from Jersey: names out of Waverley novels, promising vistas of castles, highland waterfalls, and meadows dotted with flocks of grazing sheep. But the signboards lied, the books had lied, the Times had lied; the land here was one vast and charmless suburb, and as the bus passed through it, speeding west across the state, Freirs saw before him only the flat grey monotony of highway, broken from time to time by gas stations, roadhouses, and shopping malls that stretched away like deserts. The bus was warm, and the ride was beginning to give him a headache. He could feel the backs of his thighs sweating through his chinos. Easing himself farther into the seat, he pushed up his glasses and rubbed his eyes. The scenery disappointed him, yet it was still an improvement over what they'd just come through. Back there, on the fringes of the city, every work of man seemed to have been given over to the automobile, in an endless line of showrooms and repair shops for mufflers, fenders, carburetors, ignitions, tires, brakes. Now at last he could make out hills in the distance and extended zones of green, though here and there the nearness of some larger town or development meant a length of highway lined by construction, billboards touting banks or amusement parks, and drive-in theaters, themselves immense blank billboards, their signs proclaiming horror movies, "family pictures," soft-core porn. A speedway announced that next Wednesday was ladies' night. Food stands offered pizzaburgers, chicken in the basket, fish 'n' chips.
T.E.D. Klein (The Ceremonies)
JANUARY 26 Being Kind-I You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.” The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pastures. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish. —KAHLIL GIBRAN The great and fierce mystic William Blake said, There is no greater act than putting another before you. This speaks to a selfless giving that seems to be at the base of meaningful love. Yet having struggled for a lifetime with letting the needs of others define me, I've come to understand that without the healthiest form of self-love—without honoring the essence of life that this thing called “self” carries, the way a pod carries a seed—putting another before you can result in damaging self-sacrifice and endless codependence. I have in many ways over many years suppressed my own needs and insights in an effort not to disappoint others, even when no one asked me to. This is not unique to me. Somehow, in the course of learning to be good, we have all been asked to wrestle with a false dilemma: being kind to ourselves or being kind to others. In truth, though, being kind to ourselves is a prerequisite to being kind to others. Honoring ourselves is, in fact, the only lasting way to release a truly selfless kindness to others. It is, I believe, as Mencius, the grandson of Confucius, says, that just as water unobstructed will flow downhill, we, given the chance to be what we are, will extend ourselves in kindness. So, the real and lasting practice for each of us is to remove what obstructs us so that we can be who we are, holding nothing back. If we can work toward this kind of authenticity, then the living kindness—the water of compassion—will naturally flow. We do not need discipline to be kind, just an open heart. Center yourself and meditate on the water of compassion that pools in your heart. As you breathe, simply let it flow, without intent, into the air about you. JANUARY 27 Being Kind-II We love what we attend. —MWALIMU IMARA There were two brothers who never got along. One was forever ambushing everything in his path, looking for the next treasure while the first was still in his hand. He swaggered his shield and cursed everything he held. The other brother wandered in the open with very little protection, attending whatever he came upon. He would linger with every leaf and twig and broken stone. He blessed everything he held. This little story suggests that when we dare to move past hiding, a deeper law arises. When we bare our inwardness fully, exposing our strengths and frailties alike, we discover a kinship in all living things, and from this kinship a kindness moves through us and between us. The mystery is that being authentic is the only thing that reveals to us our kinship with life. In this way, we can unfold the opposite of Blake's truth and say, there is no greater act than putting yourself before another. Not before another as in coming first, but rather as in opening yourself before another, exposing your essence before another. Only in being this authentic can real kinship be known and real kindness released. It is why we are moved, even if we won't admit it, when strangers let down and show themselves. It is why we stop to help the wounded and the real. When we put ourselves fully before another, it makes love possible, the way the stubborn land goes soft before the sea. Place a favorite object in front of you, and as you breathe, put yourself fully before it and feel what makes it special to you. As you breathe, meditate on the place in you where that specialness comes from. Keep breathing evenly, and know this specialness as a kinship between you and your favorite object. During your day, take the time to put yourself fully before something that is new to you, and as you breathe, try to feel your kinship to it.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
Ibn Taimiyah spent years hunting down any philosophical interpretation that appeared to deviate from the literalist, ‘clear’ interpretation of the Koran. He was especially scathing of the Sufis, the mystics of Islam, who, in earlier ages, had produced some of the most creative and refreshing insights in Islamic thought. Ibn Taimiyah's most famous book, Politics in the Name of Divine Rule for Establishing Good Order in the Affairs of the Shepherd and the Flock, called for strict imposition of the Sharia, set out the literalist interpretation of the Koran as the sole source and measure of law and rule, and criminalized the separation of power and authority from religious rule and jihad. Ibn Taimiyah's ideas had featured regularly, not only in Sayyid Qutb's writings, but in those of other jihadist theorists as well.
Tarek Osman (Egypt on the Brink: From the Rise of Nasser to the Fall of Mubarak)
I’m concerned about the pastor who is a chief executive instead of a contemplative sage. The pastor is called to a contemplative life of prayer and study of the word (Acts 6:4 cf. Ephesians 4:11-16). From that life his ministry flows to the church. The pastor was never called to be a rock-star communicator or bench-mark business leader. He was called to model redemption and shepherd the flock of God (1 Peter 5:1-4 cf. Acts 20:28). Perhaps pastors should consider putting away their John Maxwell and Nelson Searcy books and picking up the Bible and the church fathers.
The day on which he was buried was beautifully sunny. No matter where one looked, the sky had a clean-washed appearance. There was not a trace of a cloud to be seen anywhere in its vast expanse. It was one of those days that made one want to open doors and gates to release the last traces of winter, to watch them disappear like thin wisps of smoke into the farthest reaches of the sky. It is true that older people still wore their winter coats, but they no longer wore them buttoned up. As for the children, they seemed to have grown wings at their shoulders and wouldn’t think of wearing coats any longer. They swarmed into the streets on that day with such lively, untrammelled spirits that one might have thought they were a flock of swallows readying themselves for flight—straight or zigzag, high or low, in avian madness. It was, in short, a day unfit for sorrow.
Der Nister (The Family Mashber (New York Review Books Classics))
The flock of the Lord is in very bad shape. As Jeremiah lamented, the sheep have become lost sheep because their shepherds have led them astray by making them turn aside to the mountains and hills, to things that will keep them excited and keep them moving. They are being led to the things of the Lord, but not to the Lord Himself. Many are now lukewarm because they have so much, so many distractions. Others are lukewarm because they are worn out from all the hype and continuous running to and fro. “You are right about your generation. Even so, the biggest victories can only come with the biggest battles. Your generation has failed, but it does not have to end in failure. Those who repent will be given the grace to change. Then they will be given one of the greatest honors of the ages—they will be allowed to fight in the last battle. All of the prophets and righteous ones have been waiting to see these days. You are living them. “I was surprised by the condition that you, and the few who have made it this far, have come in. But now I see strength. If the others who come have this and can keep it, then you will prevail.” “What is that strength?” I asked. “You are quick to repent. You are not afraid of an accurate evaluation of yourself. You do not try to hide your faults or make excuses for them. That is a foundation that victory can be built upon. Only with this accurate evaluation will you fully embrace the cross as your hope. The power of God is the cross, and those who live the life of the cross will live in power. “To be changed into the image of the Lord, you must see His glory with an unveiled face. Excuses are the biggest veil that keep people from seeing Him as He is, and from seeing themselves as they are. Those with this veil do not change. Even if they see His glory it is distorted through the veil they wear, so they are not changed by it. If you keep this humility it will not take long to get you ready for your purpose.
Rick Joyner (The Path: Fire on the Mountain, Book 1)
Sam Anderson. “The Greatest Novel.” New York Magazine (outline). Jan. 9, 2011. New York is, famously, the everything bagel of megalopolises—one of the world’s most diverse cities, defined by its churning mix of religions, ethnicities, social classes, attitudes, lifestyles, etc., ad infinitum. This makes it a perfect match for the novel, a genre that tends to share the same insatiable urge. In choosing the best New York novel, then, my first instinct was to pick something from the city’s proud tradition of megabooks—one of those encyclopedic ambition bombs that attempt to capture, New Yorkily, the full New Yorkiness of New York. Something like, to name just a quick armful or two, Manhattan Transfer, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Underworld, Invisible Man, Winter’s Tale, or The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay—or possibly even one of the tradition’s more modest recent offspring, like Lush Life and Let the Great World Spin. In the end, however, I decided that the single greatest New York novel is the exact opposite of all of those: a relatively small book containing absolutely zero diversity. There are no black or Hispanic or Asian characters, no poor people, no rabble-rousers, no noodle throwers or lapsed Baha’i priests or transgender dominatrixes walking hobos on leashes through flocks of unfazed schoolchildren. Instead there are proper ladies behaving properly at the opera, and more proper ladies behaving properly at private balls, and a phlegmatic old Dutch patriarch dismayed by the decline of capital-S Society. The book’s plot hinges on a subtly tragic love triangle among effortlessly affluent lovers. It is 100 percent devoted to the narrow world of white upper-class Protestant heterosexuals. So how can Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence possibly be the greatest New York novel of all time?
Hillingham first saw the women by the dwile flonkers. He had spent the day walking around Dover's Hill, the shallow amphitheatre where the Cotswold Olimpick Games took place and had taken, he thought, some good photographs so far. The place was heaving and he had captured some of that, he hoped; the shifting bustle as people flocked from event to event and laughed and shouted and ate and drank. The sound of cymbals and mandolins and violins and guitars filled the air about the crowd, leaping around the brightly costumed figures and the smells of roasting meat and open fires. ("The Cotswold Olimpicks")
Reggie Oliver (Best New Horror 24 (The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, #24))
Fillingham first saw the women by the dwile flonkers. He had spent the day walking around Dover's Hill, the shallow amphitheatre where the Cotswold Olimpick Games took place and had taken, he thought, some good photographs so far. The place was heaving and he had captured some of that, he hoped; the shifting bustle as people flocked from event to event and laughed and shouted and ate and drank. The sound of cymbals and mandolins and violins and guitars filled the air about the crowd, leaping around the brightly costumed figures and the smells of roasting meat and open fires. ("The Cotswold Olimpicks")
Reggie Oliver (Best New Horror 24 (The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, #24))
Some are so carried away that they contentiously assert that the flock of errors arising from them is sufficiently compensated by the publication of some book which defends religion and truth. Every law condemns deliberately doing evil simply because there is some hope that good may result. Is there any sane man who would say poison ought to be distributed, sold publicly, stored, and even drunk because some antidote is available and those who use it may be snatched from death again and again?
George Scherter, a minister of Salzburg, was apprehended and committed to prison for instructing his flock in the knowledge of the Gospel.
John Foxe (Foxe's Book of Martyrs)
But seek his kingdom,† and these things will be given to you as well.† 32“Do not be afraid,† little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.† 33 ‡ Sell your possessions and give to the poor.† Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven† that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.† 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.† Watchfulness
Anonymous (NIV Study Bible, eBook)
12:38 This verse confirms that the Israelites of the exodus (and thereafter) were actually a mixed people ethnically—something that most Christians are unaware of. The verse would best be translated as follows: “A huge ethnically diverse group also went up with them, and very many cattle, both flocks and herds.”84 To what was Moses referring? To the fact that many other persons who were not descended from Abraham or Israel joined the Israelites as they left Egypt. These people had observed the miraculous work of Yahweh, Israel's God, and had become convinced that conversion to him and life among his people would represent their best hope for the future. In this regard they were predecessors to Ruth, who declared to Naomi, “Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16).85
Douglas K. Stuart (Exodus: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (The New American Commentary Book 2))
And so the people watched until the bed of the Jordan was dry and they were all able to pass over. It took a long time for all of them to cross with their flocks and herds. About forty thousand men armed for battle also crossed over to the plains of Jericho. Finally, when everyone was on the far side, Joshua said to the twelve men he had selected from each tribe, “Go into the Jordan where the priests are standing and each take up a stone.” He waited until the twelve men had brought out their stones, and he commanded them to take them to where they set up their camp, piling them up for a memorial to what God had done for them this day at the Jordan River.
Gilbert Morris (Daughter of Deliverance (Lions of Judah Book #6))
Before the two days of exams, I slept just a few hours nightly, for the number of books to be read was insane and I made a maximum effort. After all, how could I dare disappoint my family? How could I disappoint Max, who paid my tuition? Yet, I don't know how I accomplished it. I was like caught in a whirlpool and kept going, going. I remember, one night, my Mother woke up at 4 a.m. and asked me why I was up so early, yet I had not gone to sleep yet. I had to finish a novel every day, no matter how long it took. Some impressions about Columbia. The dean, who advised me what courses to take, was none other than Prof. Oscar Hamilton, a famous Shakespearean scholar. He took time to talk to me about my interests and my former studies. I told him about my abiding interest in the theater and thus he recommended me to take the Drama course taught by Joseph Wood Krutch. He was, by that time, an influential drama critic and a most admired professor. At the first lecture I realized what a gold mine I had struck. A big lecture hall was completely filled, half were probably not his students. People just flocked to hear him.
Pearl Fichman (Before Memories Fade)
Abstract theology, sacramentalism whose standard was quantity not quality and over-refined piety. The guidance provided by clergy to the flock is being confined to a little artificial world of ritualism, of religious practices and pious extravaganzas, which is completely cut off from the true current of reality.
Alex Terego (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and the Cosmic Christ (A Handful of Catholics Book 1))
It was partly a matter of the simple fact that late fall was slaughtering time. Anything that could not be preserved had to be eaten. For instance, hens too old to lay eggs anymore and all the roosters but the chief of the flock were often killed at this time.
Mercedes Lackey (From a High Tower (Elemental Masters Book 10))
I wonder if he realized the peacocks would soon begin multiplying, because if I’m not much mistaken, I see a few babies poking their heads out of the shrubbery,” Abigail said. “Baby peacocks?” Rosetta took off toward the shrubbery before anyone could stop her. A shrill screech split the air right as an entire flock of peacocks came charging out of the shrubbery and directly toward Rosetta. Dropping Abigail’s arm, Millie broke into a run, dodging peacock after peacock as she tried to get to the child. By the time she finally reached her, Millie had been pecked numerous times. Scooping Rosetta up into her arms, she hugged the little girl tightly to herself before she looked over the child’s curls, discovering, much to her dismay, that they were now completely surrounded by the birds. “Shoo,” she shouted, but all that managed to do was set off additional screeching. A small hand on her cheek had her looking down. Rosetta, much to Millie’s surprise, wasn’t looking frightened in the least. In fact, she was smiling. “Aren’t they beautiful?” Rosetta asked before she tucked her small head into the crook of Millie’s neck. She then let out the smallest of sighs as her other hand reached up and closed around the fabric of Millie’s blouse. Right there and then, Millie lost her heart. Leaning closer to the little girl nestled against her, she breathed in the sweet scent of Rosetta’s hair, but then remembered she was right in the midst of a flock of mad peacocks. Lifting her head, she eyed the birds that were closing in on her. “They’re not going to hurt you,” Elizabeth called over the screeching. “Animals adore Rose. You’ll be fine walking through them.” Millie’s first thought, since the numerous pecks the peacocks had given her were beginning to sting, was that Elizabeth was up to no good, but then she remembered she was carrying Rosetta. It had been clear from the start that Elizabeth took her role as older sibling very seriously. Taking a steadying breath, Millie tightened her hold on Rosetta and began moving ever so slowly forward. To her relief, the peacocks stopped screeching and then filed, one after another, into a straight line behind her. Hoping she was not setting herself up for an attack, Millie headed for the house, wanting to put a solid wall between her and the birds. “I
Jen Turano (In Good Company (A Class of Their Own Book #2))
It had been a simple ceremony on Abigail’s private beach in Newport, with only the people Everett and Millie considered to be good company in attendance. Every member of Abigail’s and Everett’s staff had been there, along with Miss Nora Niesen, Everett’s parents, three puppies, and an entire flock of peacocks. Millie
Jen Turano (In Good Company (A Class of Their Own Book #2))
He was raising his hand to knock when the door suddenly opened, revealing Mr. Kenton, Abigail’s elderly butler. Unfortunately, given that Mr. Kenton seemed to be holding some type of bat in his hands, a bat he was now raising at Everett rather threateningly, Everett got the immediate impression the man might not exactly be happy to see him. “Good evening, Mr. Kenton,” Everett finally said when the butler remained mute, something Everett was fairly sure went against every proper bone in the man’s body. “I was, ah, well, I was wondering if I might speak with Miss Longfellow.” “She doesn’t want to speak with you.” Before Everett could get another word past his lips, Mr. Kenton stepped back and shut the door in Everett’s face. Squaring his shoulders, Everett moved forward and knocked rather determinedly on that door. The sound of the lock clicking into place was the only response. He knocked again. A minute passed, the door remained stubbornly shut against him, so . . . he knocked once more. This, to his annoyance, became a trend. He’d knock, a minute would pass, and he’d knock again. Finally, when his knuckles began burning, he turned and stalked down the steps. Just as Millie had done at the Reading Room, he began to peek in all the windows, hoping to find one that might be unlocked. Unfortunately, Mr. Kenton had apparently already thought of the whole unlocked-window business, because Everett heard windows ahead of him being slammed shut. Pushing through the shrubbery he’d been forced to climb behind, he jumped when a flock of peacocks suddenly flew out at him, screeching in a manner he was far too familiar with, right as the sound of barking puppies could be heard from inside the house. Knowing full well those puppies would be with Millie, who couldn’t refuse cuteness if she tried, Everett followed the sound as the peacocks began trailing after him. Stopping at the back of the house, he pushed his way through yet another shrub, peered through the window, and smiled. Millie was standing by a roaring fire with a book in her hand, something he would never tire of seeing.
Jen Turano (In Good Company (A Class of Their Own Book #2))
At midnight “there was a great cry in Egypt: for there was [280] not a house where there was not one dead.” All the first-born in the land, “from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle” had been smitten by the destroyer. Throughout the vast realm of Egypt the pride of every household had been laid low. The shrieks and wails of the mourners filled the air. King and courtiers, with blanched faces and trembling limbs, stood aghast at the overmastering horror. Pharaoh remembered how he had once exclaimed, “Who is Jehovah, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah, neither will I let Israel go.” Now, his heaven-daring pride humbled in the dust, he “called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said.... And be gone; and bless me also.” The royal counselors also and the people entreated the Israelites to depart “out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.” [281]
Ellen Gould White (Patriarchs and Prophets (Conflict of the Ages Book 1))
Fellow-servant of God, your sphere may be an humble and inconspicuous one; the flock to which God has called you to minister may be a small one; but faithfulness to your trust is what is required of you. There may be an Eliab ready to taunt you, and speak contemptuously of "those few sheep in the wilderness" (1 Sam. 17:28), as there was for David to encounter; but regard not their sneers. It is written, "His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" (Matthew 25:21).
Arthur W. Pink (The Life of David (Arthur Pink Collection Book 36))
An incident is recorded of the shepherd-life of David that plainly denoted his character and forecast his future. Speaking to Saul, ere he went forth to meet Goliath, he said, "Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: and I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him" (1 Sam. 17:34,35). Observe two things. First, the loss of one poor lamb was the occasion of David’s daring. How many a shepherd would have considered that a thing far too trifling to warrant the endangering of his own life! Ah, it was love to that lamb and faithfulness to his charge which moved him to act. Second, but how could a youth triumph over a lion and a bear? Through faith in the living God: he trusted in Jehovah, and prevailed. Genuine faith in God is ever an infallible mark of His elect (Titus 1:1).
Arthur W. Pink (The Life of David (Arthur Pink Collection Book 36))
Only 30 percent of English words are verbs, but in Potawatomi that proportion is 70 percent. Which means that 70 percent of the words have to be conjugated, and 70 percent have different tenses and cases to be mastered. Pages blurred and my eyes settled on a word—a verb, of course: “to be a Saturday.” Pfft! I threw down the book. Since when is Saturday a verb? Everyone knows it’s a noun. I grabbed the dictionary and flipped more pages and all kinds of things seemed to be verbs: “to be a hill,” “to be red,” “to be a long sandy stretch of beach,” and then my finger rested on wiikwegamaa: “to be a bay.” And then I swear I heard the zap of synapses firing. An electric current sizzled down my arm and through my finger, and practically scorched the page where that one word lay. In that moment I could smell the water of the bay, watch it rock against the shore and hear it sift onto the sand. A bay is a noun only if water is dead. But the verb wiikwegamaa—to be a bay—releases the water from bondage and lets it live. “To be a bay” holds the wonder that, for this moment, the living water has decided to shelter itself between these shores, conversing with cedar roots and a flock of baby mergansers. To be a hill, to be a sandy beach, to be a Saturday, all are possible verbs in a world where everything is alive.
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Books are everywhere; and always the same sense of adventure fills us. Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack. Besides, in this random miscellaneous company we may rub against some complete stranger who will, with luck, turn into the best friend we have in the world. —Virginia Woolf
Ellery Adams (The Secret, Book, & Scone Society (Secret, Book, & Scone Society, #1))
Avis: Summon a flock of birds that flies out of your wand and poops on your enemy’s car. The birds can do other stuff, but the poop is the most annoying thing about them.
Sadler Mars (Harry Potter Spell Book: The Unofficial Book of Magic Spells)
Not long ago, after I had spoken on the subject of biblical worship at a large metropolitan church, one of the elders wrote to me to ask how I would try to get across my main points to children (fourth to sixth graders, approximately ages ten to twelve). He was referring in particular to things I had said about Romans 12:1–2. I responded by saying that kids of that age do not absorb abstract ideas very easily unless they are lived out and identified. The Christian home, or the Christian parent who obviously delights in corporate worship, in thoughtful evangelism, in self-effacing and self-sacrificing decisions within the home, in sacrificial giving for the poor and the needy and the lost—and who then explains to the child that these decisions and actions are part of gratitude and worship to the sovereign God who has loved us so much that he gave his own Son to pay the price of our sin—will have far more impact on the child’s notion of genuine worship than all the lecturing and classroom instruction in the world. Somewhere along the line it is important not only to explain that genuine worship is nothing more than loving God with heart and soul and mind and strength and loving our neighbors as ourselves, but also to show what a statement like that means in the concrete decisions of life. How utterly different will that child’s thinking be than that of the child who is reared in a home where secularism rules all week but where people go to church on Sunday to “worship” for half an hour before the sermon. “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Ps 95:6–8).
Donald Arthur Carson (Worship by the Book)