Inspirational Picture Quotes

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But we never get back our youth… The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
What fire does not destroy, it hardens
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
You are a wonderful creation. You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Women, as some witty Frenchman once put it, inspire us with the desire to do masterpieces and always prevent us from carrying them out.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
A photograph shouldn't be just a picture, it should be a philosophy.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
When I pictured myself, it was always like just an outline in a colouring book, with the inside not yet completed.
Sarah Dessen
Your mother won a special reward," she told me, "because everyone had a head in her pictures. We all applauded.
Sarah Dessen (Dreamland)
Another year is fast approaching. Go be that starving artist you’re afraid to be. Open up that journal and get poetic finally. Volunteer. Suck it up and travel. You were not born here to work and pay taxes. You were put here to be part of a vast organism to explore and create. Stop putting it off. The world has much more to offer than what’s on 15 televisions at TGI Fridays. Take pictures. Scare people. Shake up the scene. Be the change you want to see in the world.
Jason Mraz
The ugly and stupid have the best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play. If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat. They live as we all should live-- undisturbed, indifferent, and without disquiet. They never bring ruin upon others, nor ever receive it from alien hands. Your rank and wealth, Henry; my brains, such as they are-- my art, whatever it may be worth; Dorian Gray's good looks-- we shall all suffer for what the gods have given us, suffer terribly.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
I pictured her tragically; it never once ocurred to me to picture her as the tragedy.
Robyn Schneider (The Beginning of Everything)
To my mind, a picture should be something pleasant, cheerful, and pretty, yes pretty! There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Many people become bankrupt through having invested too heavily in the prose of life. To have ruined one's self over poetry is an honor.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living.
Rachel Marie Martin (The Brave Art of Motherhood: Fight Fear, Gain Confidence, and Find Yourself Again)
I don't wait for inspiration. I'm not, in fact, quite sure what inspiration is, but I'm sure that if it is going to turn up, my having started work is the precondition of its arrival.
Quentin Blake (Words and Pictures)
Do not disturb yourself by picturing your life as a whole; do not assemble in your mind the many and varied troubles which have come to you in the past and will come again in the future, but ask yourself with regard to every present difficulty: 'What is there in this that is unbearable and beyond endurance?' You would be ashamed to confess it! And then remind yourself that it is not the future or what has passed that afflicts you, but always the present, and the power of this is much diminished if you take it in isolation and call your mind to task if it thinks that it cannot stand up to it when taken on its own.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Am I in the picture? Am I getting in or out of it? I could be a ghost, an animal or a dead body, not just this girl standing on the corner…?
Francesca Woodman
Even though Mr. Roo had been very hard on him, Mouse felt compassion and kindness...
Sophia R. Tyler (The Friendly Mouse)
Sure, the Leaning Tower of Pisa leaned like everyone else said it would, the mountains of Tibet were more beautiful than you had ever expected, and the Pyramids of Egypt stood mysteriously in the sea of sand like in the pictures; yet is it the environment or rather the openness in mindset, that makes up the elusive essence of happiness that we experience when we travel?
Forrest Curran
People who are too optimistic seem annoying. This is an unfortunate misinterpretation of what an optimist really is. An optimist is neither naive, nor blind to the facts, nor in denial of grim reality. An optimist believes in the optimal usage of all options available, no matter how limited. As such, an optimist always sees the big picture. How else to keep track of all that’s out there? An optimist is simply a proactive realist. An idealist focuses only on the best aspects of all things (sometimes in detriment to reality); an optimist strives to find an effective solution. A pessimist sees limited or no choices in dark times; an optimist makes choices. When bobbing for apples, an idealist endlessly reaches for the best apple, a pessimist settles for the first one within reach, while an optimist drains the barrel, fishes out all the apples and makes pie. Annoying? Yes. But, oh-so tasty!
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
See, the ‘small stuff’ is what makes up the larger picture of our lives. Many people are like you, young man. But their perspective is distorted. They ignore ‘small stuff,’ claiming to have an eye on the bigger picture, never understanding that the bigger picture is composed of nothing more than-are you ready?- ‘small stuff’.
Andy Andrews (The Noticer: Sometimes, All a Person Needs Is a Little Perspective)
Magic is when you live your life the way you didn’t picture it and leave nothing behind.
Robert M. Drake
The entire universe is God's cosmic motion picture, and that individuals are merely actors in the divine play who change roles through reincarnation; mankind's deep suffering is rooted in identifying too closely with one's current role, rather than with the movie's director, or God.
Paramahansa Yogananda
Religion can never reform mankind because religion is slavery. It is far better to be free, to leave the forts and barricades of fear, to stand erect and face the future with a smile. It is far better to give yourself sometimes to negligence, to drift with wave and tide, with the blind force of the world, to think and dream, to forget the chains and limitations of the breathing life, to forget purpose and object, to lounge in the picture gallery of the brain, to feel once more the clasps and kisses of the past, to bring life's morning back, to see again the forms and faces of the dead, to paint fair pictures for the coming years, to forget all Gods, their promises and threats, to feel within your veins life's joyous stream and hear the martial music, the rhythmic beating of your fearless heart. And then to rouse yourself to do all useful things, to reach with thought and deed the ideal in your brain, to give your fancies wing, that they, like chemist bees, may find art's nectar in the weeds of common things, to look with trained and steady eyes for facts, to find the subtle threads that join the distant with the now, to increase knowledge, to take burdens from the weak, to develop the brain, to defend the right, to make a palace for the soul. This is real religion. This is real worship
Robert G. Ingersoll (The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol. IV)
But, of course, putting yourself out there takes vulnerability. Vulnerability is hard, and we, as a rule, tend to go for what’s easy; by that logic, closing ourselves off is the easiest thing in the world. We quote the words of others to do our talking for us, send each other links to articles and stories in lieu of actual conversation, post pretty pictures to adequately convey our current state of mind, all to avoid having to proffer a single identifiable human emotion. We keep in touch with relatives by emailing them mawkishly inspirational chain letters once in a while. We regurgitate memes to approximate the feeling of being in the loop.
Phil Roland
When writing, there are some scenes that are emotionally overwhelming. They completely overcome the author, and only when they do this can they cause a similar reaction in the reader. Through this, the author gets to experience multiple lives. If a character's life flashes before their eyes, it flashes before the author's eyes too, and he or she remembers it as his or her own. With reading, we get to live other lives vicariously, and this is doubly so with writing. It is like a lucid dream, where we guide the outcome. In this, we don't merely write *about* a character -- we momentarily *become* them, and walk as they walk, think as they think, and do as they do. When we return to our own life, we might return a little shaken, likely a little stronger, hopefully a little wiser. What is certain is that we return better, because experiencing the lives of others makes us understand their aims and dreams, their fears and foils, the challenges and difficulties, and joys and triumphs, that they face. It helps us grow and empathise, and see all the little pictures that make up the bigger one we see from the omniscience of the narrator.
Dean F. Wilson
You may fancy yourself safe and think yourself strong. But a chance tone of color in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play. I tell you Dorian, that it is on things like these that our lives depend.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
When the blood in your body is weary to flow, when your bones are heavy though hollow if you have made it past thirty celebrate and if you haven't yet, rejoice. Know that there is a time coming in your life when dirt settles and the patterns forma picture.
Yrsa Daley-Ward (bone)
Don't believe everything you read. It's very difficult to be accepting of our own bodies. This topic deserves it's own book, but since I'm not qualified to write it, I won't. Instead I'll just say this: The pictures staring out at you from the supermarket checkout stands, the images we are all supposed to aspire to? They lie
Ally Carter
That was the real secret of the Tarahumara: they'd never forgotten what it felt like to love running. They remembered that running was mankind's first fine art, our original act of inspired creation. Way before we were scratching pictures on caves or beating rhythms on hollow trees, we were perfecting the art of combining our breath and mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion over wild terrain. And when our ancestors finally did make their first cave paintings, what were the first designs? A downward slash, lightning bolts through the bottom and middle--behold, the Running Man. Distance running was revered because it was indispensable; it was the way we survived and thrived and spread across the planet. You ran to eat and to avoid being eaten; you ran to find a mate and impress her, and with her you ran off to start a new life together. You had to love running, or you wouldn't live to love anything else. And like everyhing else we ove--everything we sentimentally call our 'passions' and 'desires' it's really an encoded ancestral necessity. We were born to run; we were born because we run. We're all Running People, as the Tarahumara have always known.
Christopher McDougall (Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen)
Change wasn't something to fear anymore. And even though my picture was hung on the wall, I didn't care so much about how I'd be remembered. So long as I never forgot.
Siobhan Vivian (Not That Kind of Girl)
You know what I noticed when I was with Jacob? In your world, people can reach each other in an instant. There's the telephone, and the fax - and on the computer you can talk to someone all the way around the world. You've got people telling their secrets on TV talk shows, and magazines that publish pictures of movie stars trying to hide their homes. All those connections, but everyone there seems so lonely.
Jodi Picoult (Plain Truth)
Elodin pointed down the street. "What color is that boy's shirt?" "Blue." "What do you mean by blue? Describe it." I struggled for a moment, failed. "So blue is a name?" "It is a word. Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man's will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself." My head was swimming by this point. "I still don't understand." He laid a hand on my shoulder. "Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating." He lifted his hands high above his head as if stretching for the sky. "But there are other ways to understanding!" he shouted, laughing like a child. He threw both arms to the cloudless arch of sky above us, still laughing. "Look!" he shouted tilting his head back. "Blue! Blue! Blue!
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Don't dream it, be it
Dr Frank-N-Furter Rocky Horror Picture Show
We often can't see what God is doing in our lives, but God sees the whole picture and His plan for us clearly.
Tony Dungy (Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices & Priorities of a Winning Life)
I always have a picture in my head of what I want. I will literally do anything to make it happen. I will kill myself; I will run myself into the ground to make it happen how I want it to happen.
Víctor Fuentes
what is the use of a book,' thought Alice, 'without pictures or conversations?
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
Take my picture Hollywood. I wanna be STAR
Lady Gaga
Art altogether is nothing but a survival skill, we should never lose sight of this fact, it is, time and again, just an attempt -- an attempt that seems touching even to our intellect -- to cope with this world and its revolting aspects, which, as we know, is invariably possible only by resorting to lies and falsehoods, to hyprocrisy and self-deception, Reger said. These pictures are full of lies and falsehoods and full of hypocrisy and self-deception, there is nothing else in them if we disregard their often inspired artistry. All these pictures, moreover, are an expression of man's absolute helplessness in coping with himself and with what surrounds him all his life. That is what all these pictures express, this helplessness which, on the one hand, embarasses the intellect and, on the other hand, bewilders the same intellect and moves it to tears, Reger said.
Thomas Bernhard (Old Masters: A Comedy)
The thing about fate, Magnus: even if we can't change the big picture, our choices can alter the details. That's how we rebel against destiny, how we make our own mark.
Rick Riordan (The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1))
Smells could bring a person back clearer than pictures even could.
Anne Tyler (Breathing Lessons)
You don't need planning permission to build castles in the sky.
Banksy (Pictures of Walls)
Life is a constellation, the individual moments in our lives seem so pointless sometimes; but when you look at the whole picture, you can see that those little moments formed memories.
Alex Rogers (I'm Only Human After All (The Empowerment Series Book 1))
I wish I wasn't an imperial highness or an ex-grand duchess. I'm sick of people doing things to me because of what I am. Girl-in-white-dress. Short-one-with-fringe. Daughter-of-the-tsar. Child-of-the-ex-tyrant. I want people to look and see me, Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova, not the caboose on a train of grand duchesses. Someday, I promise myself, no one will be able to hear my name or look at my picture and suppose they know all about me. Someday I will do something bigger than what I am.
Sarah Miller (The Lost Crown)
When our vision starts blurring, and we lose sight of the big picture of our lives, the time has come to regain a sense of purpose and direction. By reconnecting with our authentic selves and finding sound milestones, we can discover the tools helping us navigate through the tangle of our life story and create a sense of progress, rekindling our focus and inspiration. ("No handkerchief, when you need it")
Erik Pevernagie
Far more powerful than religion, far more powerful than money, or even land or violence, are symbols. Symbols are stories. Symbols are pictures, or items, or ideas that represent something else. Human beings attach such meaning and importance to symbols that they can inspire hope, stand in for gods, or convince someone that he or she is dying. These symbols are everywhere around you.
Lia Habel (Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1))
As we grow up we learn that even the person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it gets harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love, so take many pictures, laugh too much and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is one minute of happiness you'll never get back.
Andy Biersack
If we wished to gain contentment, we might try such rules as these: 1. Allow thyself to complain of nothing, not even of the weather. 2. Never picture thyself to thyself under any circumstances in which thou art not. 3. Never compare thine own lot with that of another. 4. Never allow thyself to dwell on the wish that this or that had been, or were, otherwise than it was, or is. God Almighty loves thee better and more wisely than thou dost thyself. 5. Never dwell on the morrow. Remember that it is God's, not thine. The heaviest part of sorrow often is to look forward to it. "The Lord will provide.
Edward Bouverie Pusey
A #loveselfie isn't a picture or a status update. It's an attitude of embracing, accepting, and valuing yourself, exactly as you are in each moment. It's being one hundred percent present with yourself. Try it.
Amy Leigh Mercree
If a picture paints a thousand words, then a let a picture inspire a thousand words.
Nicholas Boyd Crutchley
Really? If I could hate my trainer? That would be ideal. I'd prefer to despise this person with the fire of ten thousand suns. So when I walk - nay, crawl - out of here at the end of my workouts, I want to lull myself to sleep by picturing my very talented and inspirational trainer getting hit by a bus. A bus that I am driving.
Jen Lancaster (Bright Lights, Big Ass)
<...> though he found that if you are stupid enough to bury a camera underground you won't be taking many pictures with it afterwards. Thus the story has no picture book for the period May 10, 1991 - January 7, 1992. But this is not important. It is the experiences, the memories, the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found. God it's great to be alive! Thank you. Thank you.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
Oppenheimer’s warnings were ignored—and ultimately, he was silenced. Like that rebellious Greek god Prometheus—who stole fire from Zeus and bestowed it upon humankind, Oppenheimer gave us atomic fire. But then, when he tried to control it, when he sought to make us aware of its terrible dangers, the powers-that-be, like Zeus, rose up in anger to punish him.
Kai Bird (American Prometheus: THE INSPIRATION FOR 'OPPENHEIMER', WINNER OF 7 OSCARS, INCLUDING BEST PICTURE, BEST DIRECTOR AND BEST ACTOR)
Then the cow asked: "What is a mirror?" "It is a hole in the wall," said the cat. "You look in it, and there you see the picture, and it is so dainty and charming and ethereal and inspiring in its unimaginable beauty that your head turns round and round, and you almost swoon with ecstasy.
Mark Twain (Short Stories (Penguin Classics))
Put emotions to thoughts. Thoughts to words. Words to paragraphs. Paragraphs to pictures. Let your mind be known, heard and seen. Your thoughts are real as it could be.
Diana Rose Morcilla
You can always tell the quality of an author by their cover picture. Bad writers bear an idiotic smile on the inside flap. Great writers take up the entire back cover looking slightly mad, sad, or bored. The very best writers, though, had the superior ability to die before photography was invented.
Bauvard (Some Inspiration for the Overenthusiastic)
I have studied many times The marble which was chiseled for me— A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor. In truth it pictures not my destination But my life. For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment; Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid; Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances. Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life. And now I know that we must lift the sail And catch the winds of destiny Wherever they drive the boat. To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness, But life without meaning is the torture Of restlessness and vague desire— It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.
Edgar Lee Masters
January 8 has been a lucky day for me. I have started all my books on that day, and all of them have been well received by the readers. I write eight to ten hours a day until I have a first draft, then I can relax a little. I am very disciplined. I write in silence and solitude. I light a candle to call inspiration and the muses, and I surround myself with pictures of the people I love, dead and alive.
Isabel Allende (Eva Luna)
Each time we use our cell phones, snap pictures with a camera, or use a search engine’s algorithms, we benefit from the legacy of Muhammad’s modern mindset. His mindset is not tied to Mecca or Medina, for as the Golden Age political philosopher Al-Farabi observed, “Medina is not a location but the manner in which a community comes together.” Indeed, people of any culture or race can establish a “place of flowing change.” As Muhammad declared in the final days of his life, “My progeny are those who uphold my legacy!
Mohamad Jebara (Muhammad, the World-Changer: An Intimate Portrait)
Why do you think that great leaders and thinkers throughout history have “gone out into the wilderness” and come back with inspiration, with a plan, with an experience that puts them on a course that changes the world? It’s because in doing so they found perspective, they understood the larger picture in a way that wasn’t possible in the bustle of everyday life. Silencing the noise around them, they could finally hear the quiet voice they needed to listen to. Creativity
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
I do not possess the ability to draw or paint. I can’t sing or dance. I can’t knit or sew. But I am an artist. I have the ability to put onto paper, words that tell an intriguing story. I am a writer. A writer is someone who, with just words, can paint a beautiful picture. A writer can open up a world of imagination you didn’t realize was possible. When you open up a book and become so consumed in the story, you feel like you’re a part of it… you’re standing next to that character and feeling the same way that character feels, That’s the art of a writer. I am an artist. My inspiration is the world around me. My paintbrush is my words. My easel is my computer. My canvas is the mind of my reader.
Bri Justine (Heinous Crimes, Immoral Minds)
The true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art. To women he is half vivisector, half vampire. He gets into intimate relations with them to study them, to strip the mask of convention from them, to surprise their inmost secrets, knowing that they have the power to rouse his deepest creative energies, to rescue him from his cold reason, to make him see visions and dream dreams, to inspire him, as he calls it. He persuades women that they may do this for their own purpose whilst he really means them to do it for his. He steals the mother’s milk and blackens it to make printer’s ink to scoff at her and glorify ideal women with. He pretends to spare her the pangs of child-bearing so that he may have for himself the tenderness and fostering that belong of right to her children. Since marriage began, the great artist has been known as a bad husband. But he is worse: he is a child-robber, a blood-sucker, a hypocrite, and a cheat. Perish the race and wither a thousand women if only the sacrifice of them enable him to act Hamlet better, to paint a finer picture, to write a deeper poem, a greater play, a profounder philosophy! For mark you, Tavy, the artist’s work is to shew us ourselves as we really are. Our minds are nothing but this knowledge of ourselves; and he who adds a jot to such knowledge creates new mind as surely as any woman creates new men. In the rage of that creation he is as ruthless as the woman, as dangerous to her as she to him, and as horribly fascinating. Of all human struggles there is none so treacherous and remorseless as the struggle between the artist man and the mother woman. Which shall use up the other? that is the issue between them. And it is all the deadlier because, in your romanticist cant, they love one another.
George Bernard Shaw (Man and Superman)
I have only to contemplate myself; man comes from nothing, passes through time, and disappears forever in the bosom of God. He is seen but for a moment wandering on the verge of two abysses, and then is lost. If man were wholly ignorant of himself he would have no poetry in him, for one cannot describe what one does not conceive. If he saw himself clearly, his imagination would remain idle and would have nothing to add to the picture. But the nature of man is sufficiently revealed for him to know something of himself and sufficiently veiled to leave much impenetrable darkness, a darkness in which he ever gropes, forever in vain, trying to understand himself.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
On the great canvas of time We all create our own masterpiece. Choreographing our steps across minutes and hours Dancing over the days Painting pictures over months and Writing our stories on the years. Singing our songs that echo across eons. We are all a thread in the talent tapestry. A snapshot in the cosmic, collective collage.
Runa Heilung
Life is random. Life is complicated. Life is often unforgiving. And we must each live it anyway. And I don’t mean live it as if it’s a chore, something to be endured, survived. I mean, dig in, get muddy, howl at the moon, take pictures of sunsets, play in the rain, make love, savor your food, smile as much as you can. And cry when you’re sad. Live it despite the fact it pisses you off. Live it and pay as much attention as you can muster
Thomas Lloyd Qualls
What exists beneath the sea? I’d always pictured it in colors of emerald and aquamarine, where black velvet fish with sequined eyes swim among plankton. But, when my eyes adjust, I see gray stones, lost anchors, wet wood, buttons, hooks, and eyes, the salem witches who wouldn’t float, stars and stripes, missing vessels, windup toys, the souls of Romeo and Juliet, peaches, cream, pistons, screams, cages of ribs and birds, tunnels, nutcracker soldiers, satin bows, drugstore signs, Pandora box ripped open at its hinges.
Kelly Easton (The Life History of a Star)
So we have to internalize a very powerful reality that Allah has given us. We treasure all of our relationships so long as, they are something that is building us towards the akhirah (the afterlife). So I want to leave you with this picture, what Allah has in His possession is better.
Nouman Ali Khan (Revive Your Heart: Putting Life in Perspective)
Perhaps the cause of our contemporary pessimism is our tendency to view history as a turbulent stream of conflicts – between individuals in economic life, between groups in politics, between creeds in religion, between states in war. This is the more dramatic side of history; it captures the eye of the historian and the interest of the reader. But if we turn from that Mississippi of strife, hot with hate and dark with blood, to look upon the banks of the stream, we find quieter but more inspiring scenes: women rearing children, men building homes, peasants drawing food from the soil, artisans making the conveniences of life, statesmen sometimes organizing peace instead of war, teachers forming savages into citizens, musicians taming our hearts with harmony and rhythm, scientists patiently accumulating knowledge, philosophers groping for truth, saints suggesting the wisdom of love. History has been too often a picture of the bloody stream. The history of civilization is a record of what happened on the banks.
Will Durant
Oh, monsters are scared', said Lettie. 'And as for grown-ups...' She stopped talking, rubbed her freckled nose with a finger. Then, 'I'm going to tell you something important. Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.' ... We sat there, side by side, on the old wooden bench, not saying anything. I thought about adults. I wondered if that was true: if they were all really children wrapped in adult bodies, like children's books hidden in the middle of dull, long books. The kind with no pictures or conversations.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
I wonder if my watching him from the armchair is what it's like to be God, if there is a God. He sits back and sees the big picture, just as I could see that if the bluebottle just moved up a few inches, he'd be free. He wasn't really trapped at all, he was just looking in the wrong place. I wondered if God could see a way out for me and Mum. If I can see the open window for the bluebottle, maybe God can see the tomorrows for me and Mum. That idea brings me comfort. Well, it did, until I left the room and returned a few hours later to see a dead bluebottle on the windowsill. Then to show you where my mind is right now, I started crying...Then I got mad at God because in my head the death of that bluebottle meant Mum and I might never find our way out of this mess. What good is it being so far back you can see everything and yet not do anything to help? Then I realized this: I had tried to help the bluebottle, but it wouldn't let me. And then I felt sorry for God because i understood how it must be frustrating for him. He offers people a helping hand, but it often gets pushed away. People always want to help themselves first.
Cecelia Ahern (The Book of Tomorrow)
people who only love once in their lives are really shallow people. What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or the lack of imagination. Faithlessness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the intellectual life,—simply a confession of failure.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
How I picture it: We are all nesting dolls, carrying the earlier iterations of ourselves inside. We carry the past inside us. We take ourselves–all of our selves–wherever we go. Inside forty-something me is the woman I was in my thirties, the woman I was in my twenties, the teenager I was, the child I was. Inside divorced me: married me, the me who loved my husband, the me who believed what we had was irrevocable and permanent, the me who believed in permanence. I still carry these versions of myself. It's a kind of reincarnation without death: all these different lives we get to live in this one body, as ourselves.
Maggie Smith (You Could Make This Place Beautiful)
Cinema is a language. It can say things—big, abstract things. And I love that about it. I’m not always good with words. Some people are poets and have a beautiful way of saying things with words. But cinema is its own language. And with it you can say so many things, because you’ve got time and sequences. You’ve got dialogue. You’ve got music. You’ve got sound effects. You have so many tools. And you can express a feeling and a thought that can’t be conveyed any other way. Its a magical medium. For me, it’s so beautiful to think about these pictures and sounds flowing together in time and in sequence, making something that can be done only through cinema. Its not just words or music-it’s a whole range of elements coming together and making something that didn’t exist before. It’s telling stories. It’s devising a world, an experience, that people cannot have unless they see that film. When I catch an idea for a film, I fall in love with the way cinema can express it. I like a story that holds abstractions, and that’s what cinema can do.
David Lynch (Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity)
But if I've learned anything, it is that goodness prevails, not in the absence of reasons to despair, but in spite of them. If we wait for clean heroes and clear choices and evidence on our side to act, we will wait forever, and my radio conversations teach me that people who bring light into the world wrench it out of darkness, and contend openly with darkness all of their days. [...] They were flawed human beings, who wrestled with demons in themselves as in the world outside. For me, their goodness is more interesting, more genuinely inspiring because of that reality. The spiritual geniuses of the ages and of the everyday simply don't let despair have the last word, nor do they close their eyes to its pictures or deny the enormity of its facts. They say, "Yes, and …," and they wake up the next day, and the day after that, to live accordingly.
Krista Tippett (Speaking of Faith)
Dear young woman, do not place your sense of beauty and self worth, upon the plastic pedestal called "what other people say to you", "what other people think about your photo", "how many 'likes' your pictures get", "how many guys tell you that you look sexy", "how skinny can you be?". A plastic pedestal that is but the dismal shadow of the real one. Dear young woman, place your sense of self worth and beauty upon the Roman marble pedestal that will exist even when all other people are no longer there. If you were the very last person on this planet, you should still be able to know within your heart that you are worthy, you are beautiful, you are wanted. Even if you become the very last person on Earth, you should be fully wanted. Want yourself. Know yourself. See yourself as beautiful, see yourself as worthy.
C. JoyBell C.
Here at our ministry we refuse to present a picture of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild,” a portrait that tugs at your sentiments or pulls at your heartstrings. That’s because we deal with so many people who suffer, and when you’re hurting hard, you’re neither helped nor inspired by a syrupy picture of the Lord, like those sugary, sentimental images many of us grew up with. You know what I mean? Jesus with His hair parted down the middle, surrounded by cherubic children and bluebirds. Come on. Admit it: When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, when you feel like Morton’s salt is being poured into your wounded soul, you don’t want a thin, pale, emotional Jesus who relates only to lambs and birds and babies. You want a warrior Jesus. You want a battlefield Jesus. You want his rigorous and robust gospel to command your sensibilities to stand at attention. To be honest, many of the sentimental hymns and gospel songs of our heritage don’t do much to hone that image. One of the favorite words of hymn writers in days gone by was sweet. It’s a term that down’t have the edge on it that it once did. When you’re in a dark place, when lions surround you, when you need strong help to rescue you from impossibility, you don’t want “sweet.” You don’t want faded pastels and honeyed softness. You want mighty. You want the strong arm an unshakable grip of God who will not let you go — no matter what.
Joni Eareckson Tada (A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty)
If you pay attention to those aspects of God that demonstrate love, truth, beauty, intelligence, order, and spiritual evolution, those aspects will begin to expand in your life. Bit by bit, like a mosaic, disparate fragments of grace will merge to form a complete picture. Eventually this picture will replace the ore threatening one you have carried around inside you since infancy.
Deepak Chopra (Why Is God Laughing?: The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism)
I believe that women ought to be more proactive about making choices in life. I think that I am not happy about seeing women take the passenger's seat and playing the victim game all too often. If you know a guy is engaged, don't kiss him! There is another woman in the situation whom you are hurting and that other woman could have very well been you, your sister, your mother! If someone is committed, don't sleep with him! There is another woman in the picture that is going to get hurt and that other woman is your sister, just because she is a woman too! This is the kind of proactive I want to see in women, everywhere. We're not victims of the choices that we make; we made those choices! Is another woman doing good? More successful? Happier? Good for her. Because she is your sister and she could very well be you. Let's respect the relationships, the personal paths, the doors and the walkways of our fellow women and let us wish one another the utmost happiness. Because this is the only way up and out.
C. JoyBell C.
And then Harry Potter had launched in to a speech that was inspiring, yet vague. A speech to the effect that Fred and George and Lee had tremendous potential if they could just learn to be weirder. To make people's live surreal, instead of just surprising them with the equivalents of buckets of water propped above doors. (Fred and George had exchanged interested looks, they'd never thought of that one.) Harry Potter had invoked a picture of the prank they'd pulled on Neville - which, Harry had mentioned with some remorse, the Sorting Hat had chewed him out on - but which must have made Neville doubt his own sanity. For Neville it would have felt like being suddendly transported into an alternate universe. The same way everyone else had felt when they'd seen Snape apologize. That was the true power of pranking.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
Obviously, a rigid, blinkered, absolutist world view is the easiest to keep hold of, whereas the fluid, uncertain, metamorphic picture I've always carried about is rather more vulnerable. Yet I must cling with all my might to … my own soul; must hold on to its mischievous, iconoclastic, out-of-step clown-instincts, no matter how great the storm. And if that plunges me into contradiction and paradox, so be it; I've lived in that messy ocean all my life. I've fished in it for my art. This turbulent sea was the sea outside my bedroom window in Bombay. It is the sea by which I was born, and which I carry within me wherever I go.
Salman Rushdie
What Waringa tried hard to avoid was looking at the pictures of the walls and windows of the church. Many of the pictures showed Jesus in the arms of the virgin Mary or on the cross. But others depicted the devil, with two cow-like horns and a tail like a monkey's, raising one leg in a dance of evil, while his angels, armed with burning pitchforks, turned over human beings on a bonfire. The Virgin Mary, Jesus and God's angels were white, like European, but the devil and his angels were black.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (Devil on the Cross)
What you are lies with you. If you are lazy, and accept your lot, you may live in it. If you are willing to work, you can write your name anywhere you choose, among the only ones who live beyond the grave in this world, the people who write books that help, make exquisite music, carve statues, paint pictures, and work for others. Never mind the calico dress, and the coarse shoes. Work at you books, and before long you will hear yesterday's tormentors boasting that they were once classmates of yours.
Gene Stratton-Porter (A Girl of the Limberlost (Limberlost, #2))
I noticed that the [drawing] teacher didn't tell people much... Instead, he tried to inspire us to experiment with new approaches. I thought of how we teach physics: We have so many techniques - so many mathematical methods - that we never stop telling the students how to do things. On the other hand, the drawing teacher is afraid to tell you anything. If your lines are very heavy, the teacher can't say, "Your lines are too heavy." because *some* artist has figured out a way of making great pictures using heavy lines. The teacher doesn't want to push you in some particular direction. So the drawing teacher has this problem of communicating how to draw by osmosis and not by instruction, while the physics teacher has the problem of always teaching techniques, rather than the spirit, of how to go about solving physical problems.
Richard P. Feynman (Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character)
And when you discover what you will be in your life, set out to do it as if God Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. Don’t just set out to do a good job. Set out to do such a good job that the living, the dead or the unborn couldn’t do it any better. If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.
Martin Luther King Jr.
My inspiration for writing music is like Don McLean did when he did "American Pie" or "Vincent". Lorraine Hansberry with "A Raisin in the Sun". Like Shakespeare when he does his thing, like deep stories, raw human needs. I'm trying to think of a good analogy. It's like, you've got the Vietnam War, and because you had reporters showing us pictures of the war at home, that's what made the war end, or that shit would have lasted longer. If no one knew what was going on we would have thought they were just dying valiantly in some beautiful way. But because we saw the horror, that's what made us stop the war. So I thought, that's what I'm going to do as an artist, as a rapper. I'm gonna show the most graphic details of what I see in my community and hopefully they'll stop it quick. I've seen all of that-- the crack babies, what we had to go through, losing everything, being poor, and getting beat down. All of that. Being the person I am, I said no no no no. I'm changing this.
Tupac Shakur (Tupac: Resurrection 1971-1996)
Your heart of devotion and obedience is not in vain. Who knows but God how many people have come near to you and were forever changed simply by the fragrance of his love in you? Who knows but God if he will put you before kings and leaders to speak the truth, redirecting the future of nations? Who knows when that small crack in the dam of our enemy’s plans will give way and God’s glory will truly cover the earth as the sea? Do not become distracted or discouraged by the death around you. Death must always give way when the life of Christ enters the picture.
Amy Layne Litzelman (This Beloved Road: A Journey of Revelation and Worship)
It was an irresistible development of modern illustration (so largely photographic) that borders should be abandoned and the "picture" end only with the paper. This method may be suitable for for photographs; but it is altogether inappropriate for the pictures that illustrate or are inspired by fairy-stories. An enchanted forest requires a margin, even an elaborate border. To print it coterminous with the page, like a "shot" of the Rockies in Picture Post, as if it were indeed a "snap" of fairyland or a "sketch by our artist on the spot", is a folly and an abuse.
J.R.R. Tolkien (Tolkien On Fairy-stories)
I mean to do something grand. I don't know what, yet; but when I'm grown up I shall find out.Perhaps,it will be rowing out in boats, and saving peoples' lives,like that girl in the book. Or perhaps I shall go and nurse in the hospital, like Miss Nightingale. Or else I'll head a crusade and ride on a white horse, with armor and a helmet on my head, and carry a sacred flag. Or if I don't do that, I'll paint pictures,or sing, or scalp – sculp – what is it? you know – make figures in marble. Anyhow it shall be something.
Susan Coolidge (What Katy Did)
The whole island was exactly what a kid growing up in some trailer park--say some dump like Tecumseh Lake, Georgia--would dream about. This kid would turn out all the lights in the trailer while her mom was at work. She'd lie down flat on her back, on the matted-down orange shag carpet in the living room. The carpet smelling like somebody stepped in a dog pile. The orange melted black in spots from cigarette burns. The ceiling was water-stained. she'd fold her arms across her chest, and she could picture life in this kind of place. It would be that time--late at night--when your ears reach out for any sound. When you can see more with your eyes closed than open. The fish skeleton. From the first time she held a crayon, that's what she'd draw.
Chuck Palahniuk (Diary)
What’s the main allure of folks in Extreme Spiritual Addiction? Astral flash, of course. Picture a wannabe rock star, all decked out in garish colors and sequins. Why does that over-the-top kind of dress-up work so well in Vegas? Because audiences in Vegas aren’t seeking Spiritual Enlightenment, nor even a refined experience. Quite the opposite, right? Fact is, multitudes anywhere prefer entertainment that’s larger-than-life. Sleazy sex sells, and so does every other kind of garishness, including astral flash. To some spiritual seekers – and others -- astral flash can seem incredibly wonderful. Only some folks of course – you need not be one of them.
Rose Rosetree (Seeking Enlightenment in the Age of Awakening: Your Complete Program for Spiritual Awakening and More, In Just 20 Minutes a Day)
We read the pagan sacred books with profit and delight. With myth and fable we are ever charmed, and find a pleasure in the endless repetition of the beautiful, poetic, and absurd. We find, in all these records of the past, philosophies and dreams, and efforts stained with tears, of great and tender souls who tried to pierce the mystery of life and death, to answer the eternal questions of the Whence and Whither, and vainly sought to make, with bits of shattered glass, a mirror that would, in very truth, reflect the face and form of Nature's perfect self. These myths were born of hopes, and fears, and tears, and smiles, and they were touched and colored by all there is of joy and grief between the rosy dawn of birth, and death's sad night. They clothed even the stars with passion, and gave to gods the faults and frailties of the sons of men. In them, the winds and waves were music, and all the lakes, and streams, and springs,—the mountains, woods and perfumed dells were haunted by a thousand fairy forms. They thrilled the veins of Spring with tremulous desire; made tawny Summer's billowed breast the throne and home of love; filled Autumns arms with sun-kissed grapes, and gathered sheaves; and pictured Winter as a weak old king who felt, like Lear upon his withered face, Cordelia's tears. These myths, though false, are beautiful, and have for many ages and in countless ways, enriched the heart and kindled thought. But if the world were taught that all these things are true and all inspired of God, and that eternal punishment will be the lot of him who dares deny or doubt, the sweetest myth of all the Fable World would lose its beauty, and become a scorned and hateful thing to every brave and thoughtful man.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
The mistake we make in putting emphasis on happiness is to forget that life is a process, defined by activity and motion, and to search instead for the one perfect state of being. There can be no such state, since change is the essence of life. Scholars who study meaning in life distinguish between synchronic meaning and diachronic meaning. Synchronic meaning depends on your state of being at any one moment in time: you are happy because you are out in the sunshine. Diachronic meaning depends on the journey you are on: you are happy because you are making progress toward a college degree. If we permit ourselves to take inspiration from what we have learned about ontology, it might suggest that we focus more on diachronic meaning at the expense of synchronic. The essence of life is change, and we can aim to make change part of how we find meaning in it.
Sean Carroll (The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself)
There comes a point when you begin to connect to the dots, when the chosen paths begin to mean something, when the picture starts to reveal itself. It is probably not at all what you had envisioned, but somewhere deep inside, perhaps you always knew. The journey was there for a reason. Its was there for you and for the others that have traveled along with you. The strength and comfort that comes from that awareness is amazing and beyond words. Once experienced, it becomes the biggest part of you. So let it unfold. Let your life reveal its lessons. Follow your heart, as it will not lead you astray. Find your passion and let its energy run through you in ways you have never experienced. With that, your real life will begin.
Angela Bushman (A Soul's Journey Home)
You’re with a girl. She’s brown-haired and side-swept. I imagine that she’s the kind of girl who can easily shop for jean shorts, and speaks kindly more often than not. She seems like the kind of girl who hates New York City because it wreaks havoc on her shoes (really she just thinks it’s a big and scary place), but once had the time of her life in Spain on a backpacking trip when she was 23. Her gaze is focused on the embracing couple as near strangers capable of judgement. She stands bolted next to you like you’re her anchor in the social storm. You two seem finely matched… but what do I know? (Nothing at all.) I accidentally saw a picture of you and it reminded me that I was dating a man rightfully shaking his fist at God, while trying to hold my hand with the other. I was reminded of how fiercely we tried to hold our relationship together, and how devastated and relieved we were in its destruction. There’s water under that bridge. I accidentally saw a picture of you. No big deal. I wrote about it.
Joy Wilson
You go out into your world, and try and find the things that will be useful to you. Your weapons. Your tools. Your charms. You find a record, or a poem, or a picture of a girl that you pin to the wall and go, "Her. I'll try and be her. I'll try and be her - but here." You observe the way others walk, and talk, and you steal little bits of them - you collage yourself out of whatever you can get your hands on. You are like the robot Johnny 5 in Short Circuit, crying, "More input! More input for Johnny 5! as you rifle through books and watch films and sit in front of the television, trying to guess which of these things that you are watching - Alexis Carrington Colby walking down a marble staircase; Anne of Green Gables holding her shoddy suitcase; Cathy wailing on the moors; Courtney Love wailing in her petticoat; Dorothy Parker gunning people down; Grace Jones singing "Slave to the Rhythm" - you will need when you get out there. What will be useful. What will be, eventually, you? And you will be quite on your own when you do all this. There is no academy where you can learn to be yourself; there is no line manager slowly urging you toward the correct answer. You are midwife to yourself, and will give birth to yourself, over and over, in dark rooms, alone. And some versions of you will end in dismal failure - many prototypes won't even get out the front door, as you suddenly realize that no, you can't style-out an all-in-one gold bodysuit and a massive attitude problem in Wolverhampton. Others will achieve temporary success - hitting new land-speed records, and amazing all around you, and then suddenly, unexpectedly exploding, like the Bluebird on Coniston Water. But one day you'll find a version of you that will get you kissed, or befriended, or inspired, and you will make your notes accordingly, staying up all night to hone and improvise upon a tiny snatch of melody that worked. Until - slowly, slowly - you make a viable version of you, one you can hum every day. You'll find the tiny, right piece of grit you can pearl around, until nature kicks in, and your shell will just quietly fill with magic, even while you're busy doing other things. What your nature began, nature will take over, and start completing, until you stop having to think about who you'll be entirely - as you're too busy doing, now. And ten years will pass without you even noticing. And later, over a glass of wine - because you drink wine now, because you are grown - you will marvel over what you did. Marvel that, at the time, you kept so many secrets. Tried to keep the secret of yourself. Tried to metamorphose in the dark. The loud, drunken, fucking, eyeliner-smeared, laughing, cutting, panicking, unbearably present secret of yourself. When really you were about as secret as the moon. And as luminous, under all those clothes.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl (How to Build a Girl, #1))
My mom’s smile is genuine, A lilac beaming In the presence of her Sun. Indentions in the sand prove Time’s linear progression, Her hair yet unblighted, Carrying midnight’s consistency. Clear tracks fading as the Movement slips further In the past. Cheekbones High, soft, In summer’s hue, Hopeful. Each step’s unknown impact, A future looking back. My father’s strength: One whose Life is in his arms. Squinting past the camera, He rests upon a rock Like caramel corn half eaten, Just to the left Of man-made concrete convention Daylight’s eraser Removing color to his right. Dustin sits In my father’s lap, Open mouth of a drooling Big mouth bass; Muscle tone Of a well exercised Jelly fish, He looks at me Half aware; His wheelchair Perched at the edge Of parking lot gravel grafted Like a scar on nature’s beach, Opening to the ironic splendor Of a bitter tasting lake. I took the picture. Age 11. Capturing the pinnacle arc Of a son To my lilac Who Outlived him and weeps, Still. Their sky has staple holes – Maybe that’s how the Light Leaked out.
Darcy Leech (From My Mother)
Making these choices [to attend school instead of skipping], as it turned out, wasn't about willpower. I always admired people who “willed” themselves to do something, because I have never felt I was one of them. If sheer will were enough by itself, it would have been enough a long time ago, back on University Avenue, I figured. It wasn't, not for me anyway. Instead, I needed something to motivate me. I needed a few things that I could think about in my moments of weakness that would cause me to throw off the blanket and walk through the front door. More than will, I needed something to inspire me. One thing that helped was a picture I kept in mind, this image that I used over and over whenever I was faced with these daily choices. I pictured a runner running on a racetrack. The image was set in the summertime and the racetrack was a reddish orange, divided in white racing stripes to flag the runners’ columns. Only, the runner in my mental image did not run alongside others; she ran solo, with no one watching her. And she did not run a free and clear track, she ran one that required her to jump numerous hurdles, which made her break into a heavy sweat under the sun. I used this image every time I thought of things that frustrated me: the heavy books, my crazy sleep schedule, the question of where I would sleep and what I would eat. To overcome these issues I pictured my runner bolting down the track, jumping hurdles toward the finish line. Hunger, hurdle. Finding sleep, hurdle, schoolwork, hurdle. If I closed my eyes I could see the runner’s back, the movement of her sinewy muscles, glistening with sweat, bounding over the hurdles, one by one. On mornings when I did not want to get out of bed, I saw another hurdle to leap over. This way, obstacles became a natural part of the course, an indication that I was right where I needed to be, running the track, which was entirely different from letting obstacles make me believe I was off it. On a racing track, why wouldn't there be hurdles? With this picture in mind—using the hurdles to leap forward toward my diploma—I shrugged the blanket off, went through the door, and got myself to school.
Liz Murray (Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard)
Think about it: If you have saved just enough to have your own house, your own car, a modicum of income to pay for food, clothes, and a few conveniences, and your everyday responsibilities start and end only with yourself… You can afford not to do anything outside of breathing, eating, and sleeping. Time would be an endless, white blanket. Without folds and pleats or sudden rips. Monday would look like Sunday, going sans adrenaline, slow, so slow and so unnoticed. Flowing, flowing, time is flowing in phrases, in sentences, in talk exchanges of people that come as pictures and videos, appearing, disappearing, in the safe, distant walls of Facebook. Dial fast food for a pizza, pasta, a burger or a salad. Cooking is for those with entire families to feed. The sala is well appointed. A day-maid comes to clean. Quietly, quietly she dusts a glass figurine here, the flat TV there. No words, just a ho-hum and then she leaves as silently as she came. Press the shower knob and water comes as rain. A TV remote conjures news and movies and soaps. And always, always, there’s the internet for uncomplaining company. Outside, little boys and girls trudge along barefoot. Their tinny, whiny voices climb up your windowsill asking for food. You see them. They don’t see you. The same way the vote-hungry politicians, the power-mad rich, the hey-did-you-know people from newsrooms, and the perpetually angry activists don’t see you. Safely ensconced in your tower of concrete, you retreat. Uncaring and old./HOW EASY IT IS NOT TO CARE
Psyche Roxas-Mendoza
Colored like a sunset tide is a gaze sharply slicing through the reflective glass. A furrowed brow is set much too seriously, as if trying to unfold the pieces of the face that stared back at it. One eyebrow is raised skeptically, always calculating and analyzing its surroundings. I tilt my head trying to see the deeper meaning in my features, trying to imagine the connection between my looks and my character as I stare in the mirror for the required five minutes. From the dark brown hair fastened tightly in a bun, a curl as bright as woven gold comes loose. A flash of unruly hair prominent through the typical browns is like my temper; always there, but not always visible. I begin to grow frustrated with the girl in the mirror, and she cocks her hip as if mocking me. In a moment, her lips curve in a half smile, not quite detectable in sight but rather in feeling, like the sensation of something good just around the corner. A chin was set high in a stubborn fashion, symbolizing either persistence or complete adamancy. Shoulders are held stiff like ancient mountains, proud but slightly arrogant. The image watches with the misty eyes of a daydreamer, glazed over with a sort of trance as if in the middle of a reverie, or a vision. Every once and a while, her true fears surface in those eyes, terror that her life would amount to nothing, that her work would have no impact. Words written are meant to be read, and sometimes I worry that my thoughts and ideas will be lost with time. My dream is to be an author, to be immortalized in print and live forever in the minds of avid readers. I want to access the power in being able to shape the minds of the young and open, and alter the minds of the old and resolute. Imagine the power in living forever, and passing on your ideas through generations. With each new reader, a new layer of meaning is uncovered in writing, meaning that even the author may not have seen. In the mirror, I see a girl that wants to change the world, and change the way people think and reason. Reflection and image mean nothing, for the girl in the mirror is more than a one dimensional picture. She is someone who has followed my footsteps with every lesson learned, and every mistake made. She has been there to help me find a foothold in the world, and to catch me when I fall. As the lights blink out, obscuring her face, I realize that although that image is one that will puzzle me in years to come, she and I aren’t so different after all.
K.D. Enos
The temporary alliance between the elite and the mob rested largely on this genuine delight with which the former watched the latter destroy respectability. This could be achieved when the German steel barons were forced to deal with and to receive socially Hitler's the housepainter and self-admitted former derelict, as it could be with the crude and vulgar forgeries perpetrated by the totalitarian movements in all fields of intellectual life, insofar as they gathered all the subterranean, nonrespectable elements of European history into one consistent picture. From this viewpoint it was rather gratifying to see that Bolshevism and Nazism began even to eliminate those sources of their own ideologies which had already won some recognition in academic or other official quarters. Not Marx's dialectical materialism, but the conspiracy of 300 families; not the pompous scientificality of Gobineau and Chamberlain, but the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion"; not the traceable influence of the Catholic Church and the role played by anti-clericalism in Latin countries, but the backstairs literature about the Jesuits and the Freemasons became the inspiration for the rewriters of history. The object of the most varied and variable constructions was always to reveal history as a joke, to demonstrate a sphere of secret influences of which the visible, traceable, and known historical reality was only the outward façade erected explicitly to fool the people. To this aversion of the intellectual elite for official historiography, to its conviction that history, which was a forgery anyway, might as well be the playground of crackpots, must be added the terrible, demoralizing fascination in the possibility that gigantic lies and monstrous falsehoods can eventually be established as unquestioned facts, that man may be free to change his own past at will, and that the difference between truth and falsehood may cease to be objective and become a mere matter of power and cleverness, of pressure and infinite repetition. Not Stalin’s and Hitler's skill in the art of lying but the fact that they were able to organize the masses into a collective unit to back up their lies with impressive magnificence, exerted the fascination. Simple forgeries from the viewpoint of scholarship appeared to receive the sanction of history itself when the whole marching reality of the movements stood behind them and pretended to draw from them the necessary inspiration for action.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
...Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march. He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient. ...He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low. He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life-or take it, because that is his job. He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed. He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to "square-away" those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. ...Just as did his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over two hundred years. He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood. And now we have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to war when our nation calls us to do so. As you go to bed tonight, remember this. A short lull, a little shade, and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.
Sarah Palin (America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag)