Miniature Quotes

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When kids hit 1 year old, it's like hanging out with a miniature drunk. You have to hold onto them. They bump into things. They laugh and cry. They urinate. They vomit.
Johnny Depp
You have the opposite of poker face. You have like.. miniature golf face.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Hey anyone who thinks a non-military–grade rappelling cable can support the weight of two grown men and a miniature donkey deserves to fall off a cliff.
Ally Carter (Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society, #2))
And so the dentist says 'Rinse.' So you lean over, and you're lookin' at this miniature toilet bowl.
Bill Cosby
I Like The Way That when you Tilt Poems On their side They Look like Miniature Cities From A long way Away. Skyscrapers Made out Of Words.
Matt Haig (How to Stop Time)
I certainly hadn't expected to walk away from today's trip with joint custody of a miniature dragon.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
I stare into a thin, web-like crack above the urinal's handle and think to myself that if I were to disappear into that crack, say somehow miniaturize and slip into it, the odds are good that no one would notice I was gone. No... one... would... care. In fact some, if they noticed my absence, might feel an odd, indefinable sense of relief. This is true: the world is better off with some people gone. Our lives are not all interconnected. That theory is crock. Some people truly do not need to be here.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
For the more a man limits himself, the nearer he is on the other hand to what is limitless; it is precisely those who are apparently aloof from the world who build for themselves a remarkable and thoroughly individual world in miniature, using their own special equipment, termit-like.
Stefan Zweig (Chess Story)
Oh come on Pam, they're funny. They're like humans but miniature...tea cup humans!
Charlaine Harris
No one and nothing outside of you can give you salvation, or free you from the misery. You have to light your own lamp. You have to know the miniature universe that you yourself are.
Banani Ray (Awakening Inner Guru)
There are worse things than having behaved foolishly in public. There are worse things than these miniature betrayals, committed or endured or suspected; there are worse things than not being able to sleep for thinking about them. It is 5 a.m. All the worse things come stalking in and stand icily about the bed looking worse and worse and worse.
Fleur Adcock
Each of his phrases was rather like a little ancient island, inundated by a miniature sea of whiskey.
J.D. Salinger (Nine Stories)
Oddly, the most freeing thing we can ever do is to abdicate the throne of our own miniature kingdoms.
Beth Moore
It's no accident, I think, that tennis uses the language of life. Advantage, service, fault, break, love, the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence, because every match is a life in miniature. Even the structure of tennis, the way the pieces fit inside one another like Russian nesting dolls, mimics the structure of our days. Points become games become sets become tournaments, and it's all so tightly connected that any point can become the turning point. It reminds me of the way seconds become minutes become hours, and any hour can be our finest. Or darkest. It's our choice.
Andre Agassi (Open)
The guitar is a miniature orchestra in itself.
Ludwig van Beethoven
Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.
Ralph D. Sawyer (The Art of War: (Miniature book))
This is BATL. War in miniature. War as a game. War under glass.
Brian Van Norman (Against the Machine: Evolution)
You must speak the truth and you must speak it now, Conor O'Malley. Say it. You must. Conor shook his head again, his mouth clamped shut tight, but he could feel a burning in his chest, like a fire someone had lit there, a miniature sun, blazing away and burning him from the inside. “It'll kill me if I do,” he gasped. It will kill you if you do not, the monster said. You must say it.
Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls)
A dead hydrangea is as intricate and lovely as one in bloom. Bleak sky is as seductive as sunshine, miniature orange trees without blossom or fruit are not defective; they are that.
Toni Morrison (Tar Baby)
Socialism is not a science, a sociology in miniature: it is a cry of pain.
Émile Durkheim
You’re beautiful because when you were born, undiscovered planets lined up to peep over the rim of your cradle and lay gifts of gravity and light at your miniature feet
Simon Armitage
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair. I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy - ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness--that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what--at last--I have found. With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved. Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer. This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.
Bertrand Russell
Goldfish get big enough only for the bowl you put them in. Bonsai trees twist in miniature. I would have given anything to keep her little. They outgrow us so much faster than we outgrow them.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister’s Keeper)
The more one limits oneself, the closer one is to the infinite; these people, as unworldly as they seem, burrow like termites into their own particular material to construct, in miniature, a strange and utterly individual image of the world
Stefan Zweig (Chess Story)
I once spoke to someone who had survived the genocide in Rwanda, and she said to me that there was now nobody left on the face of the earth, either friend or relative, who knew who she was. No one who remembered her girlhood and her early mischief and family lore; no sibling or boon companion who could tease her about that first romance; no lover or pal with whom to reminisce. All her birthdays, exam results, illnesses, friendships, kinships—gone. She went on living, but with a tabula rasa as her diary and calendar and notebook. I think of this every time I hear of the callow ambition to 'make a new start' or to be 'born again': Do those who talk this way truly wish for the slate to be wiped? Genocide means not just mass killing, to the level of extermination, but mass obliteration to the verge of extinction. You wish to have one more reflection on what it is to have been made the object of a 'clean' sweep? Try Vladimir Nabokov's microcosmic miniature story 'Signs and Symbols,' which is about angst and misery in general but also succeeds in placing it in what might be termed a starkly individual perspective. The album of the distraught family contains a faded study of Aunt Rosa, a fussy, angular, wild-eyed old lady, who had lived in a tremulous world of bad news, bankruptcies, train accidents, cancerous growths—until the Germans put her to death, together with all the people she had worried about.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
We’d hoped for love of a different kind, love that knew and forgave our human frailty but did not miniaturize our grander ideas of ourselves.
Michael Cunningham (A Home at the End of the World)
You are my Marilyn. You are my lake full of fishes. You are my sky set, my 'Hollywood in Miniature,' my pink Cadillac, my highway, my martini, the stage for my heart to rock and roll on, the screen where my movies light up.
Francesca Lia Block (Weetzie Bat (Weetzie Bat, #1))
The cleverer I am at miniaturizing the world, the better I possess it.
Gaston Bachelard
Birds,” he muttered. “Miniature little devils.
Chloe Gong (These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1))
To lift an autumn hair is no sign of great strength; to see the sun and moon is no sign of sharp sight; to hear the noise of thunder is no sign of a quick ear.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War: (Miniature book))
Love isn't a steadfast dog at all; love is more like a pygmy mouse lemur. Yes, that's exactly what love is: a tiny, jittery primate with eyes that are permanently peeled open in fear. For those of you who cannot quite picture a pygmy mouse lemur, imagine a miniature Don Knotts or Steve Buscemi wearing a fur coat.
Andrew Davidson (The Gargoyle)
Pythagoras said that the universal Creator had formed two things in His own image: The first was the cosmic system with its myriads of suns, moons, and planets; the second was man, in whose nature the entire universe existed in miniature.
Manly P. Hall (Melchizedek and the Mystery of Fire)
I start to picture a world where Jesus had been killed using a different murder device. I picture little ceramic guillotine figurines. I imagine miniature nooses hung above children's beds. Electric chair necklaces and earrings.
Emily Austin (Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead)
I had a dream about you last night. Eons ago, we created a Universe, then sat back and watched miniature versions of ourselves try to make all the same mistakes we did.
Michael Summers (I Had a Dream About You)
There was a moon and it was on the water. A miniature moon rocking on the little waves. I always see nice images like that but I don’t know what to do with them. I guess you share them with someone. Or you write them down in a poem. I had so many of those little images, but I never shared them or wrote any of them down.
James Franco (Palo Alto)
We'd hoped vaguely to fall in love but hadn't worried much about it, because we'd thought we had all the time in the world. Love had seemed so final and so dull -- love was what ruined our parents. Love had delivered them to a life of mortgage payments and household repairs; to unglamorous jobs and the flourescent aisles of a supermarket at two in the afternoon. We'd hoped for love of a different kind, love that knew and forgave our human frailty but did not miniaturize our grander ideas of ourselves. It sounded possible. If we didn't rush or grab, if we didn't panic, a love both challenging and nurturing might appear. If the person was imaginable, then the person could exist.
Michael Cunningham
People always assume I play basketball because I'm tall. I'd like to ask people if they play miniature golf because they're short, but I had a feeling breaking that one out right now wasn't going to endear me to anyone.
Aprilynne Pike (Life After Theft)
Sun Tzu said: The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War: (Miniature book))
the human body is a miniature version of the universe - the eyes and ears are the sun and moon, breath is air, blood is rain.
Lisa See (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan)
I smoked and looked down at the bottom of Pittsburgh for a little while, watching the kids playing tiny baseball, the distant figures of dogs snatching at a little passing car, a miniature housewife on her back porch shaking out a snippet of red rug, and I made a sudden, frightened vow never to become that small, and to devote myself to getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
Michael Chabon (The Mysteries of Pittsburgh)
After Bajju delivered a few beaming salutations, we walked northward up the makeshift, winding path through protruding brush, not much but a few stones placed here and there for balance and leverage upon ascending or descending. Having advanced about hundred steps from the street below, a sharp left leads to Bajju’s property, which begins with his family’s miniature garden – at the time any signs of fertility were mangled by dried roots which flailed like wheat straw, but within the day Bajju’s children vehemently delivered blows with miniature hoes in preparation for transforming such a plot into a no-longer-neglected vegetable garden. A few steps through the produce, or preferably circumventing all of it by taking a few extra steps around the perimeter, leads to the sky-blue painted home. Twisting left, hundreds of miles of rolling hills and the occasional home peeps out, bound below by demarcated farming steppes. If you’re lucky on a clear day and twist to the right, the monstrous, perpetually snow-capped Chaukhamba mountain monopolizes the distance just fifteen miles toward the direction of Tibet in the north.
Colin Phelan (The Local School)
I could barely manage myself sometimes, let alone some miniature kleinman person whose sole method of communication was crying. How would I know what she wanted? How would I keep her happy?
M.J. O'Shea (Stuff My Stocking: M/M Romance Stories that are Nice and… Naughty)
The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War: (Miniature book))
The Ladybug wears no disguises. She is just what she advertises. A speckled spectacle of spring, A fashion statement on the wing.... A miniature orange kite. A tiny dot-to-dot delight.
J. Patrick Lewis
You can see the most beautiful things from the observation deck of the Empire State Building. I read somewhere that people on the street are supposed to look like ants, but that's not true. They look like little people. And the cars look like little cars. And even the buildings look little. It's like New York is a miniature replica of New York, which is nice, because you can see what it's really like, instead of how it feels when you're in the middle of it.
Jonathan Safran Foer
There’s strength in observing one’s miniaturization. That you are insignificant and prone to, and God knows, dumb about a lot. Because doesn’t smallness prime us to eventually take up space? For instance, the momentum gained from reading a great book. After after, sitting, sleeping, living in its consequence. A book that makes you feel, finally, latched on.
Durga Chew-Bose (Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays)
A clever general, therefore, avoids an army when its spirit is keen, but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined to return. This is the art of studying moods.
Ralph D. Sawyer (The Art of War: (Miniature book))
An army is a miniature of the society which produces it.
C.L.R. James (The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution)
You don't want a tiny diamond on your finger when you can have three carats. You don't want a one-dollar bill when you can have a Benjamin. And you don't want to ride a miniature pony when you can saddle up on a rock-star cock at the rodeo of your pleasure.
Lauren Blakely (Big Rock (Big Rock, #1))
With force, Gansey kicked off his shoes. One flew over his miniature Henrietta and the other made it all the way to the side of his desk. It slammed off the old wood and slid to the ground. Under his breath, Gansey said, "Yee haw.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
Human beings must love something, and, in the dearth of worthier objects of affection, I contrived to find a pleasure in loving and cherishing a faded graven image, shabby as a miniature scarecrow. It puzzles me now to remember with what absurd sincerity I doated on this little toy, half fancying it alive and capable of sensation. I could not sleep unless it was folded in my night-gown; and when it lay there safe and warm, I was comparatively happy, believing it to be happy likewise.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy's troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War: (Miniature book))
One must face the fact that all the talk about His love for men, and His service being perfect freedom, is not (as one would gladly believe) mere propaganda, but an appalling truth. He really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself—creatures, whose life, on its miniature scale, will be qualitatively like His own, not because He has absorbed them but because their wills freely conform to His. We want cattle who can finally become food; (2) He wants servants who can finally become sons. We want to suck in, He wants to give out. We are empty and would be filled; He is full and flows over. Our war aim is a world in which Our Father Below has drawn all other beings into himself: the Enemy wants a world full of beings united to Him but still distinct.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
What of miniature boats constructed of birch bark and fallen leaves, launched onto cold water clear as air? How many fleets were pushed out toward the middles of ponds or sent down autumn brooks, holding treasures of acorns, or black feathers, or a puzzled mantis? Let those grassy crafts be listed alongside the iron hulls that cleave the sea, for they are all improvisations built from the daydreams of men, and all will perish, whether from the ocean siege or October breeze.
Paul Harding (Tinkers)
Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War: (Miniature book))
A boy is a man in miniature, and though he may sometimes exhibit notable virtue, as well as characteristics that seem to be charming because they are childlike, he is also a schemer, self-seeker, traitor, Judas, crook, and villain - in short, a man.
Robertson Davies (The Deptford Trilogy)
She’d spent forever trying to find him something personal, settling on a miniature Albertosaurus covered in deep violet feathers. She knew it was silly, but it reminded her of the day they met, and in the card she thanked him for showing her what dinosaurs really looked like.
Shannon Messenger (Keeper of the Lost Cities)
and addressed them thus: “I presume you know the difference between front and back, right hand and left hand?
Sun Tzu (The Art of War: (Miniature book))
Fred, George, Harry, and Ron were the only ones who knew that the angel on top of the tree was actually a garden gnome that had bitten Fred on the ankle as he pulled up carrots for Christmas dinner. Stupefied, painted gold, stuffed into a miniature tutu and with small wings glued to its back, it glowered down at them all, the ugliest angel Harry had ever seen, with a large bald head like a potato and rather hairy feet.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
On open ground, do not try to block the enemy's way. On the ground of intersecting highways, join hands with your allies.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War: (Miniature book))
When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardour will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War: (Miniature book))
You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended.You can ensure the safety of your defence if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.
Ralph D. Sawyer (The Art of War: (Miniature book))
If you take the long view, the universe is just something small and round, like those water filled balls which produce a miniature snowstorm when you shake them. * Although, unless the ineffable plan is a lot more ineffable than it's given credit for, it does not have a giant plastic snowman at the bottom.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War: (Miniature book))
There are not more than five primary colours, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War: (Miniature book))
Molecular biology has shown that even the simplest of all living systems on the earth today, bacterial cells, are exceedingly complex objects. Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, weighing less than 10-12 gms, each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the nonliving world.
Michael Denton (Evolution: A Theory In Crisis)
Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War: (Miniature book))
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; The children were nestled all snug in their beds; While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap, When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave a lustre of midday to objects below, When what to my wondering eyes did appear, But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer, With a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: "Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!" As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky; So up to the housetop the coursers they flew With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too— And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight— “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Clement Clarke Moore (The Night Before Christmas)
If we had the true and complete history of one man - which would be the history of his head - we would sign the warrants and end ourselves forever, not because of the wickedness we would find within that man, no, but because of the meagerness of feeling, the miniaturization of meaning, the pettiness of ambition, the vulgarities, the vanities, the diminution of intelligence, the endless trivia we’d encounter, the ever present dust.
William H. Gass (The Tunnel)
The public school system is not about educating black children. Never has been. Inner-city schools are about social control. Period. They’re operated as holding pens—miniature jails, really. It’s only when black children start breaking out of their pens and bothering white people that society even pays any attention to the issue of whether these children are being educated.
Barack Obama
When he concentrated, a miniature tornado swirled around its three points, getting faster and larger the more he focused. When he planted the spear on the ground, the floor of the pit began to shake and crak. "Best weapon,"he announced." Right here." Brontes tossed them a third item. Hades caught this one-a gleaming bronze war helmet decorated with scenes of death and destruction. "You get weapons" Hades grumbled. "i get a hat
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson's Greek Gods)
Matter,” Vittoria repeated. “Blossoming out of nothing. An incredible display of subatomic fireworks. A miniature universe springing to life. He proved not only that matter can be created from nothing, but that the Big Bang and Genesis can be explained simply by accepting the presence of an enormous source of energy.” “You mean God?” Kohler demanded. “God, Buddha, The Force, Yahweh, the singularity, the unicity point—call it whatever you like—the result is the same. Science and religion support the same truth—pure energy is the father of creation.
Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
But I think parents aren't teachers anymore. Parents -- or a whole lot of us, at least -- lead by mouth instead of by example. It seems to me that if a child's hero is their mother or father -- or even better, both of them in tandem -- then the rough road of learning and experience is going to be smoothed some. And every little bit of smoothing helps, in this rough old world that wants children to be miniature adults, devoid of charm and magic and the beauty of innocence.
Robert McCammon
Ansel: Is it on? John: It is on. Shailene: Ansel paints miniatures. John: Do you really paint miniatures? Shailene: You're going to freak out when you see what he does. Ansel: Do you paint miniatures too? John: Miniature what? No, I'm sorry. Honest to -- I'm sorry to disappoint you though. Miniature whats? Shailene: Uh, miniature Godzillas. Ansel: No I don't paint Godzillas.
John Green
Toddlers were running the place like some miniature version of Lord of the Flies, complete with weapons made from blocks and tinker toys. One of them came at me, charging my knees and the pink pod that held my precious baby. I screamed and made a run for the front door, flip-flops sticking to squelchy dried puddles of juice. I let out a relieved sigh when we were outside breathing fresh air. The near-deafening roar of the highway was a lark song compared to the screeching we’d just escaped.
Piper Vaughn (One Small Thing (One Thing, #1))
You two have to promise to be careful!" Sinead handed Amy a small plastic bag. "I made you a going-away present–a high-powered miniature smoke bomb. Could come in handy against the Vespers. It works with knockout gas, so I tossed in a couple of breathing filters." "That's the Cahill equivalent of a Hallmark moment," Dan observed. "A smoke bomb. When you care enough to send the very best–explosives." "I'm not a flowers-and-candy kind of girl," Sinead informed him.
Gordon Korman (The Medusa Plot (39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, #1))
On the outside, Oscar simply looked tired, no taller, no fatter, only the skin under his eyes, pouched from years of quiet desperation, had changed. Inside, he was in a world of hurt. He saw black flashes before his eyes. He saw himself falling through the air. He knew what he was turning into. He was turning into the worst kind of human on the planet: an old bitter dork. Saw himself at the Game Room, picking through the miniatures for the rest of his life. He didn't want this future but he couldn't see how it could be avoided, couldn't figure his way out of it. Fukú.
Junot Díaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)
Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen Mary — the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there's a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trimtab. It's a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual can be a trimtab. Society thinks it's going right by you, that it's left you altogether. But if you're doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go. So I said, call me Trimtab.
R. Buckminster Fuller
When I started reading the literature of molecular biology, I was stunned by certain descriptions. Admittedly, I was on the lookout for anything unusual, as my investigation had led me to consider that DNA and its cellular machinery truly were an extremely sophisticated technology of cosmic origin. But as I pored over thousands of pages of biological texts, I discovered a world of science fiction that seemed to confirm my hypothesis. Proteins and enzymes were described as 'miniature robots,' ribosomes were 'molecular computers,' cells were 'factories,' DNA itself was a 'text,' a 'program,' a 'language,' or 'data.' One only had to do a literal reading of contemporary biology to reach shattering conclusions; yet most authors display a total lack of astonishment and seem to consider that life is merely 'a normal physiochemical phenomenon.
Jeremy Narby (The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge)
Why, Esther wonders, do any of us believe our lives lead outward through time? How do we know we aren't continually traveling inward, toward our centers? Because this is how it feels to Esther when she sits on her deck in Geneva, Ohio, in the last spring of her life; it feels as if she is being drawn down some path that leads deeper inside, toward a miniature, shrouded, final kingdom that has waited within her all along.
Anthony Doerr (Memory Wall)
People were always chasing after some leader or another, and stumbling from one superstition to the next, cheering His Majesty one day and giving the most disgusting incendiary speeches in Parliament the next, and none of it ever amounted to anything in the end! If this could be miniaturized by a factor of a a million and reduced, as it were, to the dimensions of a single head, the result would be precisely the image of the unaccountable, forgetful, ignorant conduct and the demented hopping around that has always been the image of a lunatic.
Robert Musil (The Man Without Qualities)
English was such a dense, tight language. So many hard letters, like miniature walls. Not open with vowels the way Spanish was. Our throats open, our mouths open, our hearts open. In English, the sounds were closed. They thudded to the floor. And yet, there was something magnificent about it. Profesora Shields explained that in English there was no usted, no tu. There was only one word—you. It applied to all people. No one more distant or more familiar. You. They. Me. I. Us. We. There were no words that changed from feminine to masculine and back again depending on the speaker. A person was from New York. Not a woman from New York, not a man from New York. Simply a person.
Cristina Henríquez (The Book of Unknown Americans)
All of the designers I have met up to this point have been very nice, although upon being introduced to Karl Lagerfeld, he looks me up and down and dismisses me with the not super-kind, "What can you write that hasn't been written already?" He's absolutely right, I have no idea. I can but try. The only thing I can come up with right now is that Lagerfeld's powdered white ponytail has dusted the shoulders of his suit with what looks like dandruff but isn't....seated on a tiny velvet chair, with his large doughy rump dominating the miniature piece of furniture like a loose, flabby, ass-flavored muffin over-risen from its pan, he resembles a Daumier caricature of some corpulent, overfed, inhumane oligarch drawn sitting on a commode, stuffing his greedy throat with the corpses of dead children, while from his other end he shits out huge, malodorous piles of tainted money. How's that for new and groundbreaking, Mr. L.?
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
One often feels exalted, expanded, in his presence. He is not one of those egotists who miniaturize others. He is the opposite kind of egotist, driven by grandiosity rather than greed, and if he insists on a version of you that is funnier, stranger, more eccentric and profound than you suspect yourself to be--capable of doing more good and more harm in the world than you've ever imagined--it is all but impossible not to believe, at least in his presence and for a while after you've left him that he alone sees through to your essence, weighs your true qualities (not all of which are necessarily flattering--a certain clumsy, childish rudeness is part of his style), and appreciates you more fully than anyone else ever has.
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
The children mingled with the adults, and spoke and were spoken to. Children in these families, at the end of the nineteenth century, were different from children before or after. They were neither dolls nor miniature adults. They were not hidden away in nurseries, but present at family meals, where their developing characters were taken seriously and rationally discussed, over supper or during long country walks. And yet, at the same time, the children in this world had their own separate, largely independent lives, as children. They roamed the woods and fields, built hiding-places and climbed trees, hunted, fished, rode ponies and bicycles, with no other company than that of other children.
A.S. Byatt (The Children's Book)
Perhaps swimming was dancing under the water, he thought. To swim under lily pads seeing their green slender stalks wavering as you passed, to swim under upraised logs past schools of sunfish and bluegills, to swim through reed beds past wriggling water snakes and miniature turtles, to swim in small lakes, big lakes, Lake Michigan, to swim in small farm ponds, creeks, rivers, giant rivers where one was swept along easefully by the current, to swim naked alone at night when you were nineteen and so alone you felt like you were choking every waking moment, having left home for reasons more hormonal than rational; reasons having to do with the abstraction of the future and one's questionable place in the world of the future, an absurdity not the less harsh for being so widespread.
Jim Harrison (The Man Who Gave Up His Name)
As my visits with Morrie go on, I begin to read about death, how different cultures view the final passage. There is a tribe in the North American Arctic, for example, who believe that all things on earth have a soul that exists in a miniature form of the body that hold it -so that a deer has a tiny deer inside it, and a man has a tiny man inside him. When the large being dies, that tiny form lives on. It can slide into something being born nearby, or it can go to a temporary resting place in the sky, in the belly of a great feminine spirit, where it waits until the moon can send it back to earth. Sometimes, they say, the moon is so busy with the new souls of the world that it disappears from the sky. That is why we have moonless nights. But in the end, the moon always returns, as do we all. That is what they believe.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
If I walked too far and wondered loud enough the fields would change. I could look down and see horse corn and I could hear it then- singing- a kind of low humming and moaning warning me back from the edge. My head would throb and the sky would darken and it would be that night again, that perpetual yesterday lived again. My soul solidifying, growing heavy. I came up to the lip of my grave this way many times but had yet to stare in. I did begin to wonder what the word heaven meant. I thought, if this were heaven, truly heaven, it would be where my grandparents lived. Where my father's father, my favorite of them all, would lift me up and dance with me. I would feel only joy and have no memory, no cornfield and no grave. You can have that,' Franny said to me. 'Plenty of people do.' How do you make the switch?' I asked. It's not as easy as you might think,' she said. 'You have to stop desiring certain answers.' I don't get it.' If you stop asking why you were killed instead of someone else, stop investigating the vaccum left by your loss, stop wondering what everyone left on Earth is feeling,' she said, 'you can be free. Simply put, you have to give up on Earth.' This seemed impossible to me. ... She used the bathroom, running the tap noisily and disturbing the towels. She knew immediately that her mother had bought these towels- cream, a ridiculous color for towels- and monogrammed- also ridiculous, my mother thought. But then, just as quickly, she laughed at herself. She was beginning to wonder how useful her scorched-earth policy had been to her all these years. Her mother was loving if she was drunk, solid if she was vain. When was it all right to let go not only of the dead but of the living- to learn to accept? I was not in the bathroom, in the tub, or in the spigot; I did not hold court in the mirror above her head or stand in miniature at the tip of every bristle on Lindsey's or Buckley's toothbrush. In some way I could not account for- had they reached a state of bliss? were my parents back together forever? had Buckley begun to tell someone his troubles? would my father's heart truly heal?- I was done yearning for them, needing them to yearn for me. Though I still would. Though they still would. Always.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
There’s so much wonder in the world, but instead of giving a damn, and taking the time to come to the realization that we are all very, very, small in a very, very miniature place, we like to pretend we are the alphas of the whole universe. We like to make ourselves feel big. And we each like to make our way seem like the best way, and our hurts seem like the biggest hurts, when really, we are nothing more than a tiny burning dot that makes up a part of the giant sky. A tiny dot that no one would even notice was missing. A tiny dot, that will soon enough be replaced by another speck which thinks it’s more important than it actually is. I just wish people would sometimes stop fighting about stupid mundane things like race, sexual orientation, and reality television. I wish they would remember how small they are and take five minutes a day to look up to the sky and breathe.” “Logan?
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Fire Between High & Lo (Elements, #2))
Clark had always been fond of beautiful objects, and in his present state of mind, all objects were beautiful. He stood by the case and found himself moved by every object he saw there, by the human enterprise each object had required. Consider the snow globe. Consider the mind that invented those miniature storms, the factory worker who turned sheets of plastic into white flakes of snow, the hand that drew the plan for the miniature Severn City with its church steeple and city hall, the as**sembly-line worker who watched the globe glide past on a conveyer belt somewhere in China. Consider the white gloves on the hands of the woman who inserted the snow globes into boxes, to be packed into larger boxes, crates, shipping containers. Consider the card games played belowdecks in the evenings on the ship carrying the containers across the ocean, a hand stubbing out a cigarette in an overflowing ashtray, a haze of blue smoke in dim light, the cadences of a half dozen languages united by common profanities, the sailors’ dreams of land and women, these men for whom the ocean was a gray-line horizon to be traversed in ships the size of overturned skyscrapers. Consider the signature on the shipping manifest when the ship reached port, a signature unlike any other on earth, the coffee cup in the hand of the driver delivering boxes to the distribution center, the secret hopes of the UPS man carrying boxes of snow globes from there to the Severn City Airport. Clark shook the globe and held it up to the light. When he looked through it, the planes were warped and caught in whirling snow.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
The hoodlum-occultist is “sociopathic” enough to, see through the conventional charade, the social mythology of his species. “They’re all sheep,” he thinks. “Marks. Suckers. Waiting to be fleeced.” He has enough contact with some more-or-less genuine occult tradition to know a few of the gimmicks by which “social consciousness,” normally conditioned consciousness, can be suspended. He is thus able to utilize mental brutality in place of the simple physical brutality of the ordinary hooligan. He is quite powerless against those who realize that he is actually a stupid liar. He is stupid because spending your life terrorizing and exploiting your inferiors is a dumb and boring existence for anyone with more than five billion brain cells. Can you imagine Beethoven ignoring the heavenly choirs his right lobe could hear just to pound on the wall and annoy the neighbors? Gödel pushing aside his sublime mathematics to go out and cheat at cards? Van Gogh deserting his easel to scrawl nasty caricatures in the men’s toilet? Mental evil is always the stupidest evil because the mind itself is not a weapon but a potential paradise. Every kind of malice is a stupidity, but occult malice is stupidest of all. To the extent that the mindwarper is not 100 percent charlatan through-and-through (and most of them are), to the extent that he has picked up some real occult lore somewhere, his use of it for malicious purposes is like using Shakespeare’s sonnets for toilet tissue or picking up a Picasso miniature to drive nails. Everybody who has advanced beyond the barbarian stage of evolution can see how pre-human such acts are, except the person doing them. Genuine occult initiation confers “the philosopher’s stone,” “the gold of the wise” and “the elixir of life,” all of which are metaphors for the capacity to greet life with the bravery and love and gusto that it deserves. By throwing this away to indulge in spite, malice and the small pleasure of bullying the credulous, the mindwarper proves himself a fool and a dolt. And the psychic terrorist, besides being a jerk, is always a liar and a fraud. Healing is easier (and more fun) than cursing, to begin with, and cursing usually backfires or misfires. The mindwarper doesn’t want you to know that. He wants you to think he’s omnipotent.
Robert Anton Wilson
Why was fabulousness important? The world was a scary, sad place and adornment was one of the only ways she knew to make herself and the people around her forget their troubles. That was why she had opened her store almost five years ago. Everyone who entered the little square white house with miniature Corinthian columns, cherub statues, and French windows seemed to leave carrying armloads of newly handmade and well spruced-up recycled vintage clothing, humming sixties girl-group songs, seventies glam and punk, eighties New Wave one-hit wonders, or nineties grunge, doing silly dances, and not caring what anyone thought. Weetzie loved the old dresses she found and sold, because they had their own secret histories. She always wondered where, when, and how they had been worn. What they had seen. Old dresses were like old ladies.
Francesca Lia Block (Necklace of Kisses (Weetzie Bat, #6))
What I Have Lived For Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair. I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy - ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness--that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what--at last--I have found. With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved. Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer. This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.
Bertrand Russell
I slammed the water off hard enough to make it clack, got out of the shower, dried, and started getting dressed in a fresh set of secondhand clothes. “Why do you wear those?” asked Lacuna. I jumped, stumbled, and shouted half of a word to a spell, but since I was only halfway done putting on my underwear, I mostly just fell on my naked ass. “Gah!” I said. “Don’t do that!” My miniature captive came to the edge of the dresser and peered down at me. “Don’t ask questions?” “Don’t come in here all quiet and spooky and scare me like that!” “You’re six times my height, and fifty times my weight,” Lacuna said gravely. “And I’ve agreed to be your captive. You don’t have any reason to be afraid.” “Not afraid,” I snapped back. “Startled. It isn’t wise to startle a wizard!” “Why not?” “Because of what could happen!” “Because they might fall down on the floor?” “No!” I snarled. Lacuna frowned and said, “You aren’t very good at answering questions.” I started shoving myself into my clothes. “I’m starting to agree with you.” “So why do you wear those?” I blinked. “Clothes?” “Yes. You don’t need them unless it’s cold or raining.” “You’re wearing clothes.” “I am wearing armor. For when it is raining arrows. Your T-shirt will not stop arrows.” “No, it won’t.” I sighed. Lacuna peered at my shirt. “Aer-O-Smith. Arrowsmith. Does the shirt belong to your weapon dealer?” “No.” “Then why do you wear the shirt of someone else’s weapon dealer?” That was frustrating in so many ways that I could avoid a stroke only by refusing to engage. “Lacuna,” I said, “humans wear clothes. It’s one of the things we do. And as long as you are in my service, I expect you to do it as well.” “Why?” “Because if you don’t, I  .  .  . I  .  .  . might pull your arms out of your sockets.” At that, she frowned. “Why?” “Because I have to maintain discipline, don’t I?” “True,” she said gravely. “But I have no clothes.” I counted to ten mentally. “I’ll  .  .  . find something for you. Until then, no desocketing. Just wear the armor. Fair enough?” Lacuna bowed slightly at the waist. “I understand, my lord.” “Good.” I sighed. I flicked a comb through my wet hair, for all the good it would do, and said, “How do I look?” “Mostly human,” she said. “That’s what I was going for.” “You have a visitor, my lord.” I frowned. “What?” “That is why I came in here. You have a visitor waiting for you.” I stood up, exasperated. “Why didn’t you say so?” Lacuna looked confused. “I did. Just now. You were there.” She frowned thoughtfully. “Perhaps you have brain damage.” “It would not shock me in the least,” I said. “Would you like me to cut open your skull and check, my lord?” she asked. Someone that short should not be that disturbing. “I  .  .  . No. No, but thank you for the offer.” “It is my duty to serve,” Lacuna intoned. My life, Hell’s bells.
Jim Butcher (Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14))
After changing shape several times, the ball eventually turned into a huge face. It floated alongside the air-car. This time, time instead of sending him a mental message, the face spoke out aloud and the whole air-car vibrated with its intensity. “If you are foolish enough to renege on your contract, you will be severely punished. For your sake, I hope you wouldn’t do such a thing.” When Tarmy made no attempt to respond, the face turned and pressed itself against the millipede-free window. A moment later, Tarmy felt the fat slug entering his mind, the sign that the face was attempting to use its powers to obtain his response by other means. But as the slug dug deeper, Samantha’s cover stories began springing out of the corners of his mind. Instead of obtaining Tarmy’s agreement, all that the face saw was a burning army transporter surrounded by bodies. Undeterred, the face continued its assault. Samantha had anticipated that Tarmy might come up against an adept, so the mental images of death and destruction flowed unchecked. After failing to break Tarmy’s defences, the face removed the slug and tried reason. “You can’t win, Mr Tarleton, so why don’t you do yourself a favour and cooperate? It will be better for you in the long run. Now, where is the miniature pulse drive engine?” Tarmy realised why the millipedes hadn’t been allowed to attack. It was obvious that the Great Ones were hoping to retrieve the engine. When Tarmy didn’t respond, the face said, “I am prepared to overlook your desertion if you agree to tell us where the engine is and also honour your contract by showing us how to convert the engine into a bomb.
Andrew R. Williams (Samantha's Revenge (Arcadia's Children, #1))
She hardly knew what to do, it had been so long since such strong feelings had borne down on her. It was like carrying another creature inside her, and nothing so benign and natural as a baby. Undamped, untamed, the pain and exultation of her attachment to them blew through Liga like a storm-wind carrying sharp leaves and struggling birds. How long she had known her daughters, and how well, and in what extraordinary vividness and detail! How blithely she had done the work of rearing them - it seemed to her now that she had had cause for towering, disabling anxieties about them; that what had seemed little plaints and sorrows in their childhoods were in fact off-drawings from much greater tragedies, from which she had tried to keep them but could not. And the joys she had had of them, too, their embraces and laughter - it was all too intense to be endured, this connection with them, which was a miniature of the connection with the forces that drove planet and season - the relentlessness of them, the randomness, the susceptibility to glory, to accident, to disaster. How soft had been her life in that other place, how safe and mild! And here she was, back where terrors could immobilize her, and wonders too; where life might become gulps of strong ale rather than sips of bloom-tea. She did not know whether she was capable of lifting the cup, let alone drinking the contents.
Margo Lanagan (Tender Morsels)
Ada luka sumbing serupa gempil bibir poci di hati semua orang. Cacat yang berusaha keras mereka sembunyikan dari dunia. Tapi tak semestinya kita mengenakan topeng hanya demi menutup secebis luka. Tak semua hal mesti kita cerna dengan tatapan mata curiga serupa itu. Maka dari itu, coba dengarkan apa kata Bundamu ini, Nak. Manusia tak perlu harus jadi sempurna agar ia dihargai. Sebagaimana keindahan bisa muncul dari hal kecil dan sederhana. Termasuk apa yang tampak pada selembar kain batik yang lusuh atau cangkir teh yang somplak ujungnya. Kita bisa belajar dari kintsugi, menjadi bijak tanpa harus bergegas menjadi tua; bagaimana menorehkan pernis emas pada sebuah cawan tembikar yang terlanjur retak. Betapa sesungguhnya, sebuah guci porselen yang jatuh, pecah dan bahkan rusak tak berarti kehilangan semua nilai yang dimilikinya. Ketidaksempurnaan tidak akan mengecilkan arti dirimu. Sebab hanya ketangguhanmu melewati bukit penderitaanlah yang akan membuatmu menemukan cahaya kebahagiaan yang sesungguhnya. Bagaimana kamu bisa belajar menghargai kekurangan pada diri sendiri. Bagaimana kamu bisa menerima kesalahan dan bahkan kegagalan. Sebagaimana alam memaknai wabi sabi, ketidak sempurnaan bukan sesuatu yang harus ditolak atau disangkal. Ia mesti disambut sebagai air telaga yang jernih, kesegaran embun di pagi hari, atau aroma petrichor di musim penghujan. Setiap kali engkau jatuh dan menjadi rapuh, engkau bisa merangkaikan kembali serpihan serpihan hatimu. Tak akan pernah kehilangan tujuan yang engkau perjuangkan. Sebab setiap bekas luka seperti juga keringat dan airmata, adalah permata yang lahir dari segenap jerih payahmu. Ia terlalu berharga untuk kamu sia siakan. Manik manik gemerlap yang dapat engkau rangkai menjadi perhiasan unik nan cantik yang akan selamanya jadi milikmu. Jangan pernah takut terantuk batu. Jangan sekalinya jeri dicerca burung. Jangan merasa ngeri terempas badai. Sebab saat nanti engkau sampai ke puncak, kau akan bisa melihat dunia sebagai miniatur lanskap yang permai dan elok untuk dikenang. Karena demikianlah semestinya hidup, ia adalah keindahan yang tercipta dari kekurangan dan ketidaksempurnaan diri kita.
Titon Rahmawan
Electrons, when they were first discovered, behaved exactly like particles or bullets, very simply. Further research showed, from electron diffraction experiments for example, that they behaved like waves. As time went on there was a growing confusion about how these things really behaved ---- waves or particles, particles or waves? Everything looked like both. This growing confusion was resolved in 1925 or 1926 with the advent of the correct equations for quantum mechanics. Now we know how the electrons and light behave. But what can I call it? If I say they behave like particles I give the wrong impression; also if I say they behave like waves. They behave in their own inimitable way, which technically could be called a quantum mechanical way. They behave in a way that is like nothing that you have seen before. Your experience with things that you have seen before is incomplete. The behavior of things on a very tiny scale is simply different. An atom does not behave like a weight hanging on a spring and oscillating. Nor does it behave like a miniature representation of the solar system with little planets going around in orbits. Nor does it appear to be somewhat like a cloud or fog of some sort surrounding the nucleus. It behaves like nothing you have seen before. There is one simplication at least. Electrons behave in this respect in exactly the same way as photons; they are both screwy, but in exactly in the same way…. The difficulty really is psychological and exists in the perpetual torment that results from your saying to yourself, "But how can it be like that?" which is a reflection of uncontrolled but utterly vain desire to see it in terms of something familiar. I will not describe it in terms of an analogy with something familiar; I will simply describe it. There was a time when the newspapers said that only twelve men understood the theory of relativity. I do not believe there ever was such a time. There might have been a time when only one man did, because he was the only guy who caught on, before he wrote his paper. But after people read the paper a lot of people understood the theory of relativity in some way or other, certainly more than twelve. On the other hand, I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. So do not take the lecture too seriously, feeling that you really have to understand in terms of some model what I am going to describe, but just relax and enjoy it. I am going to tell you what nature behaves like. If you will simply admit that maybe she does behave like this, you will find her a delightful, entrancing thing. Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possible avoid it, "But how can it be like that?" because you will get 'down the drain', into a blind alley from which nobody has escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.
Richard P. Feynman (The Character of Physical Law)
Where are you?” she shouted. “Don’t you see us?” taunted the woman’s voice. “I thought Hecate chose you for your skill.” Another bout of queasiness churned through Hazel’s gut. On her shoulder, Gale barked and passed gas, which didn’t help. Dark spots floated in Hazel’s eyes. She tried to blink them away, but they only turned darker. The spots consolidated into a twenty-foot-tall shadowy figure looming next to the Doors. The giant Clytius was shrouded in the black smoke, just as she’d seen in her vision at the crossroads, but now Hazel could dimly make out his form—dragon-like legs with ash-colored scales; a massive humanoid upper body encased in Stygian armor; long, braided hair that seemed to be made from smoke. His complexion was as dark as Death’s (Hazel should know, since she had met Death personally). His eyes glinted cold as diamonds. He carried no weapon, but that didn’t make him any less terrifying. Leo whistled. “You know, Clytius…for such a big dude, you’ve got a beautiful voice.” “Idiot,” hissed the woman. Halfway between Hazel and the giant, the air shimmered. The sorceress appeared. She wore an elegant sleeveless dress of woven gold, her dark hair piled into a cone, encircled with diamonds and emeralds. Around her neck hung a pendant like a miniature maze, on a cord set with rubies that made Hazel think of crystallized blood drops. The woman was beautiful in a timeless, regal way—like a statue you might admire but could never love. Her eyes sparkled with malice. “Pasiphaë,” Hazel said. The woman inclined her head. “My dear Hazel Levesque.” Leo coughed. “You two know each other? Like Underworld chums, or—” “Silence, fool.” Pasiphaë’s voice was soft, but full of venom. “I have no use for demigod boys—always so full of themselves, so brash and destructive.” “Hey, lady,” Leo protested. “I don’t destroy things much. I’m a son of Hephaestus.” “A tinkerer,” snapped Pasiphaë. “Even worse. I knew Daedalus. His inventions brought me nothing but trouble.” Leo blinked. “Daedalus…like, the Daedalus? Well, then, you should know all about us tinkerers. We’re more into fixing, building, occasionally sticking wads of oilcloth in the mouths of rude ladies—” “Leo.” Hazel put her arm across his chest. She had a feeling the sorceress was about to turn him into something unpleasant if he didn’t shut up. “Let me take this, okay?
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
When one has apparently made up one’s mind to spend the evening at home and has donned one’s house-jacket and sat down at the lamplit table after supper and do the particular job or play the particular game on completion of which one is in the habit of going to bed, when the weather out is so unpleasant as to make staying in the obvious choice, when one has been sitting quietly at the table for so long already that one’s leaving must inevitably provoke general astonishment, when the stairwell is in any case in darkness and the street door locked, and when in spite of all this one stands up, suddenly ill at ease, changes one’s coat, reappears immediately in street clothes, announces that one has to go out and after a brief farewell does so, feeling that one has left behind one a degree of irritation commensurate with the abruptness with which one slammed the apartment door, when one then finds oneself in the street possessed of limbs that respond to the quite unexpected freedom one has procured for them with out-of-the-ordinary agility, when in the wake of this one decision one feels capable, deep down, of taking any decision, when one realizes with a greater sense of significance than usual that one has, after all, more ability than one has need easily to effect and endure the most rapid change, and when in this frame of mind one walks the long city streets—then for that evening one has stepped completely outside one’s family, which veers into inessentiality, while one’s own person, rock solid, dark with definition, thighs thrusting rhythmically, assumes it true form. The whole experience is enhanced when at that late hour one looks up a friend to see how he is.
Franz Kafka (The Complete Stories)