Miniatures Of Life Quotes

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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)
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 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)
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)
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)
It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.
Ralph D. Sawyer (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)
School was the unhappiest time of my life and the worst trick it ever played on me was to pretend that it was the world in miniature. For it hindered me from discovering how lovely and delightful and kind the world can be, and how much of it is intelligible.
E.M. Forster
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))
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)
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)
All my life I have been passionately interested in monomaniacs of any kind, people carried away by a single idea. 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)
A strange persuasion came upon me that, save for the grossness of the line, save for the grotesqueness of the forms, I had here before me the whole balance of human life in miniature, the whole interplay of instinct, reason, and fate in its simplest form.
H.G. Wells (The Island of Dr. Moreau)
Big Idea Your days are your life in miniature. As you live your hours, so you create your years. As you live your days, so you craft your life. What you do today is actually creating your future. The words you speak, the thoughts you think, the food you eat and the actions you take are defining your destiny — shaping who you are becoming and what your life will stand for. Small choices lead to giant consequences over time. There’s no such thing as an unimportant day.
Robin S. Sharma
And as life began in the sea, so each of us begins his identical life in a miniature ocean within his mother's womb.
Rachel Carson (The Sea Around Us)
China puts her hand on my palm. Her fingernails are baby blue with miniature clouds airbrushed at the tips. She saved three weeks of allowance for that sky.
E.R. Frank (Life is Funny)
NEXT LIFE. My embroidery studio on the main street of Bayeux will be just one part of my Institute of Slow Information. I will also teach letter writing, listening, miniature portrait painting, and the art of doing one thing at a time.
Vivian Swift (Le Road Trip: A Traveler's Journal of Love and France)
​Each one of us is a miniature version of the infinite universe out there.
Abhijit Naskar (What is Mind?)
Watching him watching his hands, I figured I could ask him to build me a model of the Sistine Chapel with miniature true to life detailing then a shed we could display it in, advertise it and sell tickets and he would have said, "Works for me.
Kristen Ashley (Breathe (Colorado Mountain, #4))
Sylvia Plath" A miniature mad talent? Sylvia Plath, who'll wipe off the spit of your integrity, rising in the saddle to slash at Auschwitz, life tearing this or that, I am a woman? Who'll lay the graduate girl in marriage, queen bee, naked, unqueenly, shaming her shame? Each English major saying, "I am Sylvia, I hate marriage, I must hate babies." Even men have a horror of giving birth, mother-sized babies splitting us in half, sixty thousand American infants a year, U.I.D., Unexplained Infant Deaths, born physically whole and hearty, refuse to live, Sylvia...the expanding torrent of your attack.
Robert Lowell
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
They were all intensely excited, and all overflowing with noisy expressions of their loyalty to the Law. Yet I felt an absolute assurance in my own mind that the Hyena-Swine was implicated in the rabbit-killing. A strange persuasion came upon me that, save for the grossness of the line, save for the grotesqueness of the forms, I had here before me the whole balance of human life in miniature, the whole interplay of instinct, reason, and fate in its simplest form.
H.G. Wells
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
Alma's existence at once felt bigger and much, much smaller — but a pleasant sort of smaller. The world had scaled itself down into endless inches of possibility. Her life could be lived in generous miniature…She would probably die of old age before she understood even half of what was occurring in this one single boulder field. Well, huzzah to that! It meant that Alma had work stretched ahead of her for the rest of her life. She need not be idle. She need not be unhappy. Perhaps she need not even be lonely. She had a task.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Signature of All Things)
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))
Your days are your life in miniature. As you live your hours, so you create your years.
Robin S. Sharma (The Greatness Guide: One of the World's Most Successful Coaches Shares His Secrets for Personal and Business Mastery)
When we’re seeking purpose, each step has its own miniature purpose
Cynthia Yoder (Divine Purpose, Find the Passion Within)
Suddenly, the pinpricks felt like not a punishment but a celebration, like hundreds of miniature fireworks exploding within him and for him, as if his body were reminding him of who he was and of what he still owned: himself.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
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)
Children need to make mistakes and discover that it's not the end of the world. That's how they gain the confidence to try new things in life. Toxic parents impose unobtainable goals, impossible expectations, and ever-changing rules on their children. They expect their children to respond with a degree of maturity that can come only from life experiences that are inaccessible to a child. Children are not miniature adults, but toxic parents expect them to act as if they were.
Susan Forward (Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life)
Pilgrimage, then, is an image of what the journey of life is about. That, I believe, is the reason it endures—not because of relics and shrines, but because we sense intuitively that this holy journey is a rehearsal for death and resurrection. We go on pilgrimage to see our life in miniature, to walk physically and geographically the journey of the soul to God.
Murray Bodo (The Road to Mount Subasio)
Nothing irks me more than the vocabulary of social responsibility. The very word ‘duty’ is unpleasant to me, like an unwanted guest. But the terms ‘civic duty’, ‘solidarity’, ‘humanitarianism’ and others of the same ilk disgust me like rubbish dumped out of a window right on top of me. I’m offended by the implicit assumption that these expressions pertain to me, that I should find them worthwhile and even meaningful. I recently saw in a toy-shop window some objects that reminded me exactly of what these expressions are: make-believe dishes filled with make-believe tidbits for the miniature table of a doll. For the real, sensual, vain and selfish man, the friend of others because he has the gift of speech and the enemy of others because he has the gift of life, what is there to gain from playing with the dolls of hollow and meaningless words?
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
He made my life hell. Him and Tonto over there." Daniel glared toward Nick. "Poor little Clay. He has problems. He's had a tough life. You should be nice to him. You should make friends with him. That's all I ever heard. All they saw was a cute little runt of a wolf cub. He bared his teeth and they thought it was cute. He ordered us around like a miniature Napoleon and they thought it was cute. Well, it wasn't cute from where I was standing. It was—" I held up my hand. "You're ranting." "What?" "Just wanted to let you know. You're ranting. It's kinda ugly. Next thing you know, you'll be laying out your plans for world domination. That's what all villains do after they rant about their motivation. I was hoping you'd be different.
Kelley Armstrong (Bitten (Otherworld, #1))
I am not at all sure that the majority of the human race have not been ugly, and even among those "lords of their kind," the British, squat figures, ill-shapen nostrils, and dingy complexions are not startling exceptions. Yet there is a great deal of family love amongst us. I have a friend or two whose class of features is such that the Apollo curl on the summit of their brows would be decidedly trying; yet to my certain knowledge tender hearts have beaten for them, and their miniatures—flattering, but still not lovely—are kissed in secret by motherly lips. I have seen many an excellent matron, who could have never in her best days have been handsome, and yet she had a packet of yellow love-letters in a private drawer, and sweet children showered kisses on her sallow cheeks. And I believe there have been plenty of young heroes, of middle stature and feeble beards, who have felt quite sure they could never love anything more insignificant than a Diana, and yet have found themselves in middle life happily settled with a wife who waddles. Yes! Thank God; human feeling is like the mighty rivers that bless the earth: it does not wait for beauty—it flows with resistless force and brings beauty with it.
George Eliot (Adam Bede)
Kids need guidance, for sure. I did, and I’m glad I got guided because it helped me miss making a lot of mistakes. 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 (Boy's Life)
The blond stuffs her hairbrush, which is now spun with gold and black silk (a miniature angel's nest) back into her backpack next to her anthology of English literature. The pages are so thin, they're like dead girls' dreams, translucent skin. On them it seems that everything that has ever been thought has been written.
Laura Kasischke (The Life Before Her Eyes)
Bombay, you will be told, is the only city India has, in the sense that the word city is understood in the West. Other Indian metropolises like Calcutta, Madras and Delhi are like oversized villages. It is true that Bombay has many more high-rise buildings than any other Indian city: when you approach it by the sea it looks like a miniature New York. It has other things to justify its city status: it is congested, it has traffic jams at all hours of the day, it is highly polluted and many parts of it stink.
Khushwant Singh (Truth, Love & A Little Malice)
A human being can only endure depression up to a certain point; when this point of saturation is reached it becomes necessary for him to discover some element of pleasure, no matter how humble or on how low a level, in his environment if he is to go on living at all. In my case these insignificant birds with their subdued colourings have provided just sufficient distraction to keep me from total despair. Each day I find myself spending longer and longer at the window watching their flights, their quarrels, their mouse-quick flutterings, their miniature feuds and alliances. Curiously enough, it is only when I am standing in front of the window that I feel any sense of security. While I am watching the birds I believe that I am comparatively immune from the assaults of life. The very indifference to humanity of these wild creatures affords me a certain safeguard. Where all else is dangerous, hostile and liable to inflict pain, they alone can do me no injury because, probably, they are not even aware of my existence. The birds are at once my refuge and my relaxation.
Anna Kavan (Asylum Piece)
Miniatures made her feel like she was larger than life, like the world was in the palm of her hand.
Lisi Harrison (Alphas (Alphas, #1))
Get into the habit of collecting miniatures of your toiletries and keep these in your suitcase.
Sophie Miller (House Cleaning and Organizing Hacks: Designed to Make Your Life WAY Easier (House Cleaning and Organizing, speed cleaning, speed cleaning and home organization))
Growing up as a miniature adult, burdened with duties, he developed an exaggerated sense of responsibility that would be evident throughout his life.
Ron Chernow (Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.)
Which ensures that life gets lived in miniature. In lieu of the large feelings—sorrow, fury, joy—I had their junior counterparts—anxiety, irritation, excitement. But
Mary Karr (Lit)
Writing stories not only involved secrecy, it also gave her all the pleasures of miniaturization. A world could be made in five pages, and one that was more pleasing than a model farm. The childhood of a spoiled prince could be framed within half a page, a moonlit dash through sleepy villages was one rhythmically emphatic sentence, falling in love could be achieved in a single word--a glance . The pages of a recently finished story seemed to vibrate in her hand with all the life they contained. Her passion for tidiness was also satisfied, for an unruly world could be made just so.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
To us a human is primarily food; our aim is the absorption of its will into ours, the increase of our own area of selfhood at its expense. But the obedience which the Enemy demands of men is quite a different thing. 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; 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. And
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
At some point in life the world's beauty becomes enough. You don't need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough. No record of it needs to be kept and you don't need someone to share it with or tell it to. When that happens - that letting go - you let go because you can. The world will always be there - while you sleep it will be there - when you wake it will be there as well. So you can sleep and there is reason to wake. 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)
Poetry puts language in a state of emergence, in which life becomes manifest through its vivacity. These linguistic impulses, which stand out from the ordinary rank of pragmatic language, are miniatures of the vital impulse. A micro-Bergsonism that abandoned the thesis of language-as-instrument in favor of the thesis of language-as-reality would find in poetry numerous documents of the intense life of language.
Gaston Bachelard
I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy, ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of my life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it next, because it relieves loneliness, the 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 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.
Bertrand Russell (Autobiography of Bertrand Russell: the Early Years 1872-World War I)
War thoughts again. I think back to the business cards from that health shop earlier on. I think about miniature wars that individuals fight all the time. They fight against cellulite, or negative emotions, or addictions, or stress. I think about how we can now hire all different sorts of mercenaries to help us fight against ourselves…Therapists, manicurists, hairdressers, personal trainers, life coaches. But what’s it all for? What do all these little wars achieve? Although it is a part of my life too, and I want to be thin and pretty and not laughed at in the street and not so stressed and mad that I start screaming on the tube, it suddenly seems a little bit ridiculous. All the time we do these things we are trying to enlist ourselves into a bigger war. We are trying to join up, constantly, with the enemy. - Hitler tried to impose his shiny, blonde, neat, sparkling world on us all and we resisted. So how is it that when McDonald’s and Disney and The Gap and L’Oreal and all the others try to do the same thing we all just say, ‘OK’? Hitler needed marketing, that’s all. His propaganda was, of course, brilliant for its time, everyone knows that. What a great idea, to make people feel that they belong to something, that their identity makes them special. If Hilter had bee able to enlist a twenty-first-century marketing department, would he have been able to sell Nazism to everyone? Why not? You can just see a beautiful, thin woman with her long blonde hair moving softly in the breezes, and the tagline ‘Because I’m worth it’.
Scarlett Thomas (PopCo)
Small wins do not combine in a neat, linear, serial form, with each step being a demonstrable step closer to some predetermined goal,” wrote Karl Weick, a prominent organizational psychologist. “More common is the circumstance where small wins are scattered … like miniature experiments that test implicit theories about resistance and opportunity and uncover both resources and barriers that were invisible before the situation was stirred up.
Charles Duhigg (The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business)
Why does it always have to hurt so much?” Kingsley asked. “What?” “Life.” Nora smiled. “God’s a sadist. That’s why.” “You think so?” “Oh, I know so,” Nora said. “I’m a writer. I do what God does in miniature every time I write a book. I create worlds and people out of nothing—ex nihilo—and I torture the fuck out of them for four hundred pages.” “Because you’re a sadist?” “Partly that. Plus...if I didn’t torture them it would be a real fucking short book. And trust me on this, King, there is no money in short stories.” Kingsley laughed and buried his head into her lap again, seeking her comfort and safety and the shelter of someone stronger. “You’ve solved the oldest theological conundrum of all time,” Kingsley said. “Why does God allow suffering? Because there’s no money in short stories.” “I’ll tell you one more little secret about being a god. Even though I torture them for four hundred pages, it hurts me to do it.” “They aren’t real. Why does it hurt?” “I created them. They’re mine. I love them. God loves us, too, even when He hurts us. Especially when He hurts us, I imagine.
Tiffany Reisz (The Queen (The Original Sinners, #8))
What we learned from these painstakingly detailed miniatures was how ephemeral all those ancient lives had been, how quickly they’d all been forgotten, and how vain we were to think that we could grasp the meaning of life and history by learning a handful of facts.
Orhan Pamuk (Kırmızı Saçlı Kadın)
An obsession, a mania, Lib supposed it could be called. A sickness of the mind. Hysteria, as that awful doctor had named it? Anna reminded Lib of a princess under a spell in a fairy tale. What could restore the girl to ordinary life? Not a prince. A magical herb from the world's end? Some shock to jolt a poisoned bite of apple out of her throat? No, something simple as a breath of air: reason. What if Lib shook the girl awake this very minute and said, Come to your senses! But that was part of the definition of madness, Lib supposed, the refusal to accept that one was mad. Standish's wards were full of such people. Besides, could children ever be considered quite of sound mind? Seven was counted the age of reason, but Lib's sense of seven-year-olds was that they still brimmed over with imagination. Children lived to play. Of course they could be put to work, but in spare moments they took their games as seriously as lunatics did their delusions. Like small gods, children formed their miniature worlds out of clay, or even just words. To them, the truth was never simple. But Anna was eleven, which was a far cry from seven, Lib argued with herself. Other eleven-year-olds knew when they'd eaten and when they hadn't; they were old enough to tell make-believe from fact. There was something very different about - very wrong with - Anna O'Donnell.
Emma Donoghue (The Wonder)
The science of Chaos teaches us that everything is interconnected, but the contemporary developments in neuroscience, getting started with the brain neurons and their multiple connections, reveal the topology of the brain, a miniature of the universal geometry of everything.
Alexis Karpouzos (NON - DUALITY: THE PARTICIPATORY UNIVERSE (UNIVERSAL CONSCIOUSNESS Book 1))
I wriggle slowly out of the snug little cubby of blankets. Taking a shower. Letting the cool morning breeze that blows through the open windows gently caress my naked flesh. I savor the mild sun. For a while, i luxuriate in the feel of the soft towel against my skin and then, the breeze picks up and feels like a thousand miniature tongues licking the beads of water from my body. Today, no expectations. Lots of time for stretching and waking up slowly. The smell of fresh brewed coffee tickles my nose. Mornings like these make life so delicious – Nice!
Anna Asche
And how easy it was to leave this life, after all - this life that could feel so present and permanent that departing from it must seem to require a tear into a different dimension. There the bunch of them were, young hopefuls, decorating their annually purged dorm rooms with postcards and prints and favorite photographs of friends, filling them with hot pots and dried flowers, throw rugs and stereos. Houseplants, a lamp, maybe some furniture brought up by encouraging parents. They nested there like miniature grownups. As if this provisional student life - with its brushfire friendships and drink-addled intimacies, its gorging on knowledge and blind sexual indulgences - could possibly last. As if it were a home, of any kind at all: someplace to gather one's sense of self. Flannery had never felt for a minute that these months of shared living took place on anything other than quicksand, and it had given this whole year (these scant seven or eight months, into which an aging decade or so had been condensed) a sliding, wavery feel. She came from earthquake country and knew the dangers of building on landfill. That was, it seemed to Flannery, the best description of this willed group project of freshman year: construction on landfill. A collective confusion of impressions and tendencies, mostly castoffs with a few keepers. What was there to count on in any of it? What structure would remain, founded on that?
Sylvia Brownrigg (Pages for You (Pages for You, #1))
As we were wrapping up the book, I sat down and thought about all the lessons I’d learned over the past two years. I couldn’t list them all, but here are a few: Never complain about the price of a gift from your spouse--accept it with love and gratitude. You can’t put a price on romance. Take lots of videos, even of the mundane. You will forget the sound of your children’s voices and you will miss your youth as much as theirs. Celebrate every wedding anniversary. Make time for dates. Hug your spouse every single morning. And always, ALWAYS, say “I love you.” Believe in your partner. When you hit hard times as a couple, take a weekend away or at least a night out. The times that you least feel like doing it are likely the times that you need it the most. Write love notes to your spouse, your children, and keep the ones they give you. Don’t expect a miniature pig to be an “easy” pet. Live life looking forward with a goal of no regrets, so you can look back without them. Be the friend you will need some day. Often the most important thing you can do for another person is just showing up. Question less and listen more. Don’t get too tied up in your plans for the future. No one really knows their future anyway. Laugh at yourself, and with life. People don’t change their core character. Be humble, genuine, and gracious. Before you get into business with someone, look at their history. Expect them to be with you for the long haul, even if you don’t think they will be. If they aren’t someone you could take a road trip across the country with, don’t do business with them in the first place. Real families and real sacrifices live in the fabric of the Red, White, and Blue; stand for the national anthem.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
I beg you not to read anything threatening, or even prophetic, into my words, Mr. Clarke. Simply take them as a description, or a 'law' if you like. This circle around a law is a world in miniature within our world, which itself is a miniature. We create the world to fit in with our personal system, so that man can become world. In other words, so that the miniature can become miniature. But miniatures have their own laws, you know. It is not only space which can become minute: it also happens to the corresponding time, which becomes extremely fast. That is why life is so short.
César Aira (The Hare)
The task of painting the picture of life, however often poets and philosophers may pose it, is nonetheless senseless: even under the hands of the greatest painter-thinkers all that has ever eventuated is pictures and miniatures out of one life, namely their own – and nothing else is even possible.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
The immense accretion of flesh which had descended on her in middle life like a flood of lava on a doomed city had changed her from a plump active little woman with a neatly-turned foot and ankle into something as vast and august as a natural phenomenon. She had accepted this submergence as philosophically as all her other trials, and now, in extreme old age, was rewarded by presenting to her mirror an almost unwrinkled expanse of firm pink and white flesh, in the centre of which the traces of a small face survived as if awaiting excavation. A flight of smooth double chins led down to the dizzy depths of a still-snowy bosom veiled in snowy muslins that were held in place by a miniature portrait of the late Mr. Mingott; and around and below, wave after wave of black silk surged away over the edges of a capacious armchair, with two tiny white hands poised like gulls on the surface of the billows.
Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence)
in his life and death, Jesus emphasised the necessity of loving others without regard to our own self-interest. In a way, when we love fictional characters, knowing that they can never love us in return, is that not a method of practising in miniature the kind of personally disinterested love to which Jesus calls us?
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
As I said before, I took to miniature painting without a completely whole heart, on the advice of my elders and betters. Generally speaking, I do not think that one should ever take another person's advice in the things of life that really matter, but follow the dictates of the still small something in one's innermost self. But 'they' advised, and I bowed to the advice; and in this particular instance it was a good thing I did, because the advice turned out to be so resoundingly wrong that it turned me into another direction altogether. If I had gone on working in oils I might very well have been a dedicated but unsuccessful painter to this day.
Rosemary Sutcliff (Blue Remembered Hills: A Recollection)
Looking back into childhood is like turning a telescope the wrong way around. Everything appears in miniature, but with a clarity it probably does not deserve; moreover it has become concentrated and stylized, taking shape in symbolism. Thus it is that I sometimes see my infant self as having been set down before a blank slate on which to construct a map or schema of the external world, and as hesitantly beginning to sketch it, with many false starts and much rubbing-out, the anatomy of my universe. Happiness and sorrow, love and friendship, hostility, a sense of guilt and more abstract concepts still, must all find a place somewhere, much as an architect lays out the plan of a house he is designing - hall, dining-room and bedrooms - but must not forget the bathroom. In a child’s map, too, some of the rooms are connected by a serving-hatch, while others are sealed off behind baize doors. How can the fragments possibly be combined to make sense? Yet this map or finished diagram, constructed in the course of ten or twelve years’ puzzling, refuses to be ignored, and for some time to come will make itself felt as bones through flesh, to emerge as the complex organism which adults think of as their philosophy of life. Presumably it has its origins in both heredity and enviorment. So with heredity I shall begin.
Frances Partridge (Love in Bloomsbury: Memories)
There was something about that girl. Blue. A feeling that dogged Saffy, relentless. It was envy, she realized, as the wind rippled the trees, miniature in the distance. It took a certain privilege to invite a man like Ansel into your world. To trust so freely. In the entirety of her life, Saffy had never once felt that sort of safety. As the world splayed beneath her, obscene in its beauty, Saffy marveled. She had known from a young age that everyone had darkness inside—some just controlled it better than others. Very few people believed that they were bad, and this was the scariest part. Human nature could be so hideous, but it persisted in this ugliness by insisting it was good. By the time
Danya Kukafka (Notes on an Execution)
Let's press ahead a little further by sketching out a few variations among short shorts: ONE THRUST OF INCIDENT. (Examples: Paz, Mishima, Shalamov, Babel, W. C. Williams.) In these short shorts the time span is extremely brief, a few hours, maybe even a few minutes: Life is grasped in symbolic compression. One might say that these short shorts constitute epiphanies (climactic moments of high grace or realization) that have been tom out of their contexts. You have to supply the contexts yourself, since if the contexts were there, they'd no longer be short shorts. LIFE ROLLED UP. (Examples: Tolstoy's 'Alyosha the Pot,' Verga's 'The Wolf,' D. H. Lawrence's 'A Sick Collier.') In these you get the illusion of sustained narrative, since they deal with lives over an extended period of time; but actually these lives are so compressed into typicality and paradigm, the result seems very much like a single incident. Verga's 'Wolf' cannot but repeat her passions, Tolstoy's Alyosha his passivity. Themes of obsession work especially well in this kind of short short. SNAP-SHOT OR SINGLE FRAME. (Examples: Garda Marquez, Boll, Katherine Anne Porter.) In these we have no depicted event or incident, only an interior monologue or flow of memory. A voice speaks, as it were, into the air. A mind is revealed in cross-section - and the cut is rapid. One would guess that this is the hardest kind of short short to write: There are many pitfalls such as tiresome repetition, being locked into a single voice, etc. LIKE A FABLE. (Examples: Kafka, Keller, von Kleist, Tolstoy's 'Three Hermits.') Through its very concision, this kind of short short moves past realism. We are prodded into the fabulous, the strange, the spooky. To write this kind of fable-like short short, the writer needs a supreme self-confidence: The net of illusion can be cast only once. When we read such fable-like miniatures, we are prompted to speculate about significance, teased into shadowy parallels or semi allegories. There are also, however, some fables so beautifully complete (for instance Kafka's 'First Sorrow') that we find ourselves entirely content with the portrayed surface and may even take a certain pleasure in refusing interpretation. ("Introduction")
Irving Howe (Short Shorts)
THE order of God’s Providence maintains a perpetual vicissitude in the material being of this world; day is continually turning to night, spring to summer, summer to autumn, autumn to winter, winter to spring; no two days are ever exactly alike. Some are foggy, rainy, some dry or windy; and this endless variety greatly enhances the beauty of the universe. And even so precisely is it with man (who, as ancient writers have said, is a miniature of the world), for he is never long in any one condition, and his life on earth flows by like the mighty waters, heaving and tossing with an endless variety of motion; one while raising him on high with hope, another plunging him low in fear; now turning him to the right with rejoicing, then driving him to the left with sorrows; and no single day, no, not even one hour, is entirely the same as any other of his life. All this is a very weighty warning, and teaches us to aim at an abiding and unchangeable evenness of mind amid so great an uncertainty of events; and, while all around is changing, we must seek to remain immoveable, ever looking to, reaching after and desiring our God.
Francis de Sales (Introduction to the Devout Life - Enhanced Version)
Daily life in 1960 would be unrecognizable to anyone transported from the year 1930. From 1960 to 1990, a Cold War nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union threatens the survival of civilization. Though begun in the 1950s, the US stockpile of nuclear warheads peaks in the 1960s, with the Soviets’ stockpile peaking in the 1980s.11 The Berlin Wall, erected in 1962, becomes the greatest symbol of Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain,” separating Eastern from Western Europe. Yet it’s dismantled by 1989, as peace breaks out in Europe. The commercialization of the transistor allows consumer electronics to miniaturize, transforming audiovisual equipment from heavy, floor-mounted living room furniture to what you carry in your pocket.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization)
The headmaster used to expound the meaning of school life in his sermons.15 Sherborne was not, he explained, entirely devoted to ‘opening the mind’, although ‘historically … this was the primary meaning of school.’ Indeed, said the headmaster, there was ‘constantly a danger of forgetting the original object of school.’ For the English public school had been consciously developed into what he called ‘a nation in miniature’. With a savage realism, it dispensed with the lip service paid to such ideas as free speech, equal justice and parliamentary democracy, and concentrated upon the fact of precedence and power. As the headmaster put it: In form-room and hall and dormitory, on the field and on parade, in your relations with us masters and in the scale of seniority among yourselves, you have become familiar with the ideas of authority and obedience, of cooperation and loyalty, of putting the house and the school above your personal desires … The great theme of the ‘scale of seniority’ was the balance of privilege and duty, itself reflecting the more worthy side of the British Empire. But this was a theme to which ‘opening the mind’ came as at best an irrelevance.
Andrew Hodges (Alan Turing: The Enigma)
would react with violent seizures. Because of the rudimentary working conditions, and the difficulty of correctly reproducing body parts in miniature, this body had been built using only parts from the biggest and fittest of cadavers. The straps were not sufficient to hold me. I tore free. Lightning was cascading through copper rods buried in my chest. I ripped them out. Elixir and blood were being pumped into my body by a machine. I smashed it. I roared like an animal as I began destroying the very tools that had brought me to life. The bellows were manned by one of Dippel’s assistants. I remember him looking at me with an expression of terror as I picked him up by the neck. I killed my first man only ten seconds after I had been born. With blood and Elixir pouring from my self-inflicted wounds, I
Larry Correia (Monster Hunter Nemesis (Monster Hunter International, #5))
Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yet the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated.
Richard Paul (Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools)
He evoked a Russia which was long dead and gone, lacked the range and urgency of his successors and, unlike these preachers, he was thought of - quite wrongly - as a painter of miniatures and, unfashionably, the pure artist. Yet like Dostoyevsky he believed that 'art must not be burdened with all kinds of aims', that 'without art men might not wish to live on earth', and that 'art will always live man's real life with him'.
V.S. Pritchett
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 lonelines - 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 (The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell 1914-44)
And you might also remember you are the greatest healer among us. That is unchallenged by anyone." "I am the greatest killer, also unchallenged." He tried to give her truth again. She touched his hard mouth. "I will hunt with you then,lifemate." His heart slammed against his ribs. Her smile was mysterious, scretive, and so beautiful,it broke his heart. "What is behind this smile,bebe." His hand caught and spanned her throat, his thumb brushing her lips in a gentle caress. "What do you know that I do not?" His mind slipped into hers, a sensuous thrust, the ultimate intimacy, not unlike the way his tongue sometimes dueled with her-or his body took possession of hers. She was familiar with his touch in her mind. She knew he tried to keep its invasiveness to a minimum. He allowed her to set the bounderies and never pushed beyond any barrier she erected, even though he could do so easily. Both of them needed the intimate union of their minds merging, Savannah as much as Gregori. And her newfound knowledge of him was secure behind a miniature barricade she had hastily erected. Wide-eyed and innocent, she looked at him. His thumb pressed into her lower lip, half mesmerized by the satin perfection of it. "You will never hunt vampires, ma cherie, not ever.And if I were ever to catch you attempting such a thing,there would be hell to pay." She didn't look scared. Rather, amusement crept into the deep blue of her eyes. "Surely you aren't threatening me,Dark One, bogey man of the Carpathians." She laughed softly, a sound that feathered down his spine and somehow took away the sting of that centuries-old designation. "Stop looking so serious, Gregori-you haven't lost your reputation entirely. Everyone else is still terrified of the big bad wolf." His eyebrows shot up. She was teasing him. About his dark reputation, of all things. Her gaze was clear and sparkling, hinting at mischeif. Savannah wasn't railing against her fate, of being tied to him, a monster. She was too filled with life and laughter, with joy. He felt it in her mind, in her heart, in her very soul. He wished it could somehow rub off on him,make him a more compatible lifemate for her. "You are the only one who needs to worry about the big bad wolf, mon amour," he threatened with mock gravity. She leaned over to stare up into his eyes, a smile curving her soft mouth. "You cracked a joke, Gregori. We're making progress.Why,we're practically friends." "Practically?" he echoed gently. "Getting there fast," she told him firmly with her chin up,daring him to contradict her. "Can one be friends with a monster?" He said casually, as if he were simply musing out loud,but there was a shadow in his silver eyes. "I was being childish, Gregori, when I made such an accusation," she said softly, her eyes meeting his squarely.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
Here, in his hands, is Lispenard Street: their apartment, with its odd proportions and slapdash second bedroom; its narrow hallways and miniature kitchen. He can tell that this is an early piece of Malcolm's because the windows are made of glassine, not vellum or Plexiglas, and the walls are made of cardboard, not wood. And in this apartment Malcolm has placed furniture, cut and folded from stiff paper: his lumpy twin futon bed on its cinder-block base; the broken-springed couch they had found on the street; the squeaking wheeled easy chair given them by JB's aunts. All that is missing is a paper him, a paper Willem. He puts Lispenard Street on the floor by his feet. For a long time he sits very still, his eyes closed, allowing his mind to reach back and wander: there is much he doesn't romanticize about those years, not now, but at the time, when he hadn't known what to hope for, he hadn't known that life could be better than Lispenard Street.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
modern science hasn’t managed to come up with answers to any of the most basic questions. How did life first appear on earth? How does evolution work? Is it a series of random events, or does it have a set teleological direction? There are all kinds of theories, but we haven’t been able to prove one of them. The structure of the atom is not a miniature of the solar system, it’s something much more difficult to grasp, full of what you might call latent power. And when we try to observe the subatomic world, we find that the mind of the observer comes into play in subtle ways. The mind, my friend! The very same mind which, ever since Descartes, proponents of the mechanistic view of the universe considered subordinate to the body-machine. And now we find that the mind influences observed results. So I give up. Nothing surprises me. I’m prepared to accept anything that happens in this world. I actually kind of envy people who can still believe in the omnipotence of modern science.
Kōji Suzuki (Spiral (Ring, #2))
The charm of traveling is everywhere I go, tiny life. I go to the hotel, tiny soap, tiny shampoos, single-serving butter, tiny mouthwash and a single-use toothbrush. Fold into the standard airplane seat. You’re a giant. The problem is your shoulders are too big. Your Alice in Wonderland legs are all of a sudden miles so long they touch the feet of the person in front. Dinner arrives, a miniature do-it-yourself Chicken Cordon Bleu hobby kit, sort of a put-it-together project to keep you busy.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
To say to an Orthodox Jew, “I would like to have dinner with you,” is understood as “I would like to enter into friendship with you.” Even today, members of Orthodox Jewry will share a donut and a cup of coffee with you, but when they extend a dinner invitation, they are saying, “Come to my mikdash me-at, my miniature sanctuary, my dining-room table, and we will celebrate the most beautiful experience that life affords—friendship.” That is what Zacchaeus heard when Jesus called him down from the sycamore tree,
Brennan Manning (A Glimpse of Jesus: The Stranger to Self-Hatred)
Lizzie had once briefly toyed with the idea of studying developmental psychology—she’d never much liked children, but she did love the idea of them as natural-born physicists, the theory that babies began life as miniature Aristotelians and only by trial and error discovered Galilean inertia and Newtonian motion, every toddler a live-action Wile E. Coyote, running off the cliff and learning gravity on the way down. It occurred to her now to imagine a moral philosophy taking shape in the same way, baby Hobbeses and little Lockes bumping into sin and consequence.
Robin Wasserman (Mother Daughter Widow Wife)
Julius explained that the palace rooms where they stood were called Wunderkammers, or wonder rooms. Souvenirs of nature, of travels across continents and seas; jewels and skulls. A show of wealth, intellect, power. The first room had rose-colored glass walls, with rubies and garnets and bloodred drapes of damask. Bowls of blush quartz; semiprecious stone roses running the spectrum of red down to pink, a hard, glittering garden. The vaulted ceiling, a feature of all the ten rooms Julius and Cymbeline visited, was a trompe l'oeil of a rosy sky at down, golden light edging the morning clouds. The next room was of sapphire and sea and sky; lapis lazuli, turquoise and gold and silver. A silver mermaid lounged on the edge of a lapis lazuli bowl fashioned in the shape of an ocean. Venus stood aloft on the waves draped in pearls. There were gold fish and diamond fish and faceted sterling silver starfish. Silvered mirrors edged in silvered mirror. There were opals and aquamarines and tanzanite and amethyst. Seaweed bloomed in shades of blue-green marble. The ceiling was a dome of endless, pale blue. A jungle room of mica and marble followed, with its rain forest of cats made from tiger's-eye, yellow topaz birds, tortoiseshell giraffes with stubby horns of spun gold. Carved clouds of smoky quartz hovered over a herd of obsidian and ivory zebras. Javelinas of spotted pony hide charged tiny, life-sized dik-diks with velvet hides, and dazzling diamond antlers mingled with miniature stuffed sable minks. Agate columns painted a medley of dark greens were strung with faceted ropes of green gold. A room of ivory: bone, teeth, skulls, and velvet. A room crowded with columns all sheathed in mirrors, reflecting world maps and globes and atlases inlaid with silver, platinum, and white gold; the rubies and diamonds that were sometimes set to mark the location of a city or a town of conquest resembled blood and tears. A room dominated by a fireplace large enough to hold several people, upholstered in velvets and silks the colors of flame. Snakes of gold with orange sapphire and yellow topaz eyes coiled around the room's columns. Statues of smiling black men in turbans offering trays of every gem imaginable-emerald, sapphire, ruby, topaz, diamond-stood at the entrance to a room upholstered in pistachio velvet, accented with malachite, called the Green Vault. Peridot wood nymphs attended to a Diana carved from a single pure crystal of quartz studded with tiny tourmalines. Jade tables, and jade lanterns. The royal jewels, blinding in their sparkling excess: crowns, tiaras, coronets, diadems, heavy ceremonial necklaces, rings, and bracelets that could span a forearm, surrounding the world's largest and most perfect green diamond. Above it all was a night sky of painted stars, with inlaid cut crystal set in a serious of constellations.
Whitney Otto (Eight Girls Taking Pictures (Thorndike Press Large Print Basic Series))
float before I could swim. Ellis never believed it was called Dead-Man’s Float, thought I’d made it up. I told him it was a survival position after a long exhausting journey. How apt. All I see below is blue light. Peaceful and eternal. I’m holding my breath until my body throbs as one pulse. I roll over and suck in a deep lungful of warm air. I look up at the starry starry night. The sound of water in and out of my ears, and beyond this human shell, the sound of cicadas fills the night. I dreamt of my mother. It was an image, that’s all, and a fleeting one, at that. She was faded with age, like a discarded offcut on the studio floor. In this dream, she didn’t speak, just stepped out of the shadows, a reminder that we are the same, her and me, cut from the same bruised cloth. I understand how she got up one day and left, how instinctively she trusted the compulsion to flee. The rightness of that action. We are the same, her and me. She walked out when I was eight. Never came back. I remember being collected from school by our neighbour Mrs Deakin, who bought me sweets on the way home and let me play with a dog for as long as I wanted. Inside the house, my father was sitting at the table, drinking. He was holding a sheet of blue writing paper covered in black words, and he said, Your mother’s gone. She said she’s sorry. A sheet of writing paper covered in words and just two for me. How was that possible? Her remnant life was put in bags and stored in the spare room at the earliest opportunity. Stuffed in, not folded – clothes brushes, cosmetics all thrown in together, awaiting collection from the Church. My mother had taken only what she could carry. One rainy afternoon, when my father had gone next door to fix a pipe, I emptied the bags on to the floor and saw my mother in every jumper and blouse and skirt I held up. I used to watch her dress and she let me. Sometimes, she asked my opinion about colours or what suited her more, this blouse or that blouse? And she’d follow my advice and tell me how right I was. I took off my clothes and put on a skirt first, then a blouse, a cardigan, and slowly I became her in miniature. She’d taken her good shoes, so I slipped on a pair of mid-height heels many sizes too big, of course, and placed a handbag on my arm. I stood in front of the mirror, and saw the infinite possibilities of play. I strutted, I
Sarah Winman (Tin Man)
Does a mirror preserve everything that has been reflected in it? Is there a record of light, thin membranes compressed layer upon layer that one has to ease apart with the finger-tips so that the colors don't dissipate, so that the moments don't blot and the hours don't run together into inconsequential splotches? So that a song of preserved years lies in your palm, a miniature of your life and times, with every detail meticulous in clear, chanting angel-fine enamel, as on the old manuscripts, at which you can peer through a magnifying glass and marvel at so much effort? So many tears for nothing? For light? For bygone moments?
Marlene van Niekerk (Agaat)
I am short, so I like the little guy/underdog stories, but they are not straightforwardly about one size versus another. Think about, say, Jack and the Beanstalk, which is basically a big ugly stupid giant, and a smart little Jack who is fast on his feet. OK, but the unstable element is the beanstalk, which starts as a bean and grows into a huge tree-like thing that Jack climbs to reach the castle. This bridge between two worlds is unpredictable and very surprising. And later, when the giant tries to climb after Jack, the beanstalk has to be chopped down pronto. This suggests to me that the pursuit of happiness, which we may as well call life, is full of surprising temporary elements -- we get somewhere we couldn't go otherwise and we profit from the trip, but we can't stay there, it isn't our world, and we shouldn't let that world come crashing down into the one we can inhabit. The beanstalk has to be chopped down. But the large-scale riches from the 'other world' can be brought into ours, just as Jack makes off with the singing harp and the golden hen. Whatever we 'win' will accommodate itself to our size and form -- just as the miniature princesses and the frog princes all assume the true form necessary for their coming life, and ours. Size does matter.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy, ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of my life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it next, because it relieves loneliness, the 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 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... (from the prologue “What I Lived For,” Autobiography, Routledge Classics, 2009)
Bertrand Russell (The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell 1914-44)
It was spring, and the long months of desolation melted into running water, with streamlets pouring from every hill and miniature waterfalls leaping from stone to stone to stone. The air was filled with the racket of birds, a cacophony of melody that replaced the lonely calling of geese passing by far overhead. Birds go one by one in the winter, a single raven hunched brooding in a barren tree, an owl fluffed against the cold in the high, dark shadows of a barn. Or they go in flocks, a massed thunder of wings to bear them up and away, wheeling through the sky like handsful of pepper grains thrown aloft, calling their way in Vs of mournful courage toward the promise of a distant and problematic survival. In winter, the raptors draw apart unto themselves; the songbirds flee away, all the color of the feathered world reduced to the brutal simplification of predator and prey, gray shadows passing overhead, with no more than a small bright drop of blood fallen back to earth here and there to mark the passing of life, leaving a drift of scattered feathers, borne on the wind. But as spring blooms, the birds grow drunk with love and the bushes riot with their songs. Far, far into the night, darkness mutes but does not silence them, and small melodious conversations break out at all hours, invisible and strangely intimate in the dead of night, as though one overheard the lovemaking of strangers in the room next door.
Diana Gabaldon (A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6))
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 holds 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: An old man, a young man, and life's greatest lesson)
When tadpole was born, I spent a sleepless night on the maternity ward gazing intently into her inky, newborn eyes, grappling to come to terms with the indisputable fact that this was an actual person looking back at me, not just a version of Mr Frog, or me, or both, in miniature. From the outset she seemed to know what she wanted, and I realised I could have no inkling of the paths she would choose to follow. But if I watch her life unfold carefully enough, perhaps I will see clear signposts pointing to who or what she will become. Because when I look backwards, ransacking my own past for clues with the clarity that only hindsight can bring, several defining moments do stand out. Moments charged with significance; snapshots of myself which, if I were to join the dots together, lead me unswervingly to where I stand today.
Catherine Sanderson (Petite Anglaise)
I was afraid of anyone in a costume. A trip to see Santa might as well have been a trip to sit on Hitler's lap for all the trauma it would cause me. Once, when I was four, my mother and I were in a Sears and someone wearing an enormous Easter Bunny costume headed my way to present me with a chocolate Easter egg. I was petrified by this nightmarish six-foot-tall bipedal pink fake-fur monster with human-sized arms and legs and a soulless, impassive face heading toward me. It waved halfheartedly as it held a piece of candy out in an evil attempt to lure me into its clutches. Fearing for my life, I pulled open the bottom drawer of a display case and stuck my head inside, the same way an ostrich buries its head in the sand. This caused much hilarity among the surrounding adults, and the chorus of grown-up laughter I heard echoing from within that drawer only added to the horror of the moment. Over the next several years, I would run away in terror from a guy in a gorilla suit whose job it was to wave customers into a car wash, a giant Uncle Sam on stilts, a midget dressed like a leprechaun, an astronaut, the Detroit Tigers mascot, Ronald McDonald, Big Bird, Bozo the Clown, and every Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, Chip and Dale, Uncle Scrooge, and Goofy who walked the streets at Disneyland. Add to this an irrational fear of small dogs that saw me on more than one occasion fleeing in terror from our neighbor's four-inch-high miniature dachschund as if I were being chased by the Hound of the Baskervilles and a chronic case of germ phobia, and it's pretty apparent that I was--what some of the less politically correct among us might call--a first-class pussy.
Paul Feig (Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence)
At the lawn's edge, a grand set of graystone stairs led into Lady Ashbury’s rose garden. Pink blooms hugged the trellises, alive with the warm drone of diligent bees hovering about their yellow hearts. I passed beneath the arbor, unlatched the kissing gate and started down the Long Walk: a stretch of gray cobblestones set amongst a carpet of white alyssum. Halfway along, tall hornbeam hedges gave way to the miniature yew that bordered the Egeskov Garden. I blinked as a couple of topiaries came to life, then smiled at myself and the pair of indignant ducks that had wandered up from the lake and now stood regarding me with shiny black eyes. At the end of the Egeskov Garden was the second kissing gate, the forgotten sister (for there is always a forgotten sister), victim of the wiry jasmine tendrils. On the other side lay the Icarus fountain, and beyond, at the lake’s edge, the boathouse.
Kate Morton (The House at Riverton)
He paused and eyed her as if she were an agate discovered in gravel. "But what a very sharp tongue you have for a housekeeper." Bridget's heart sank- she knew better than to speak so frankly. It was never good for a servant to be noticed by a master- particularly this master. "Come." He beckoned her closer with his forefinger and she saw the flash of a jeweled gold ring on his left thumb. She swallowed and opened her right hand, silently dropping the miniature to the lush carpet. As she walked toward him she nudged the little painting under the enormous bed with the side of her foot. She stopped a pace away from him. His lips curved, sly and sensual. "Closer." She stepped nearer until her plain, practical black linsey-woolsey skirts were crushed against his purple velvet knees. Her heart beat hard and swift, but she was confident her expression didn't show her fear. Still smiling, he held out his hands, palms upward. His hands were long-fingered and elegant. The hands of a musician- or a swordsman. She stared down at them a moment, confused. He quirked an eyebrow and nodded. Bridget placed her hands on top of his. Palm to palm. She expected searing heat or deathly cold and was a little surprised to instead feel human warmth. She'd been hired little more than a fortnight before the duke had supposedly been banished. In that time he had never struck her as human- or humane. "Ah," His Grace murmured, cocking his head with interest. "What feminine hands you have, despite your station in life." His blue eyes flashed at her from under dark eyelashes, a secretive smile playing about his mouth. She met his gaze stonily. His lips quirked and he looked down again. "Small, plump, with neat, round nails." He turned her hands over so that they now rested palms-up in his. "I once knew a Greek girl who swore she could read a man's life story from the lines on his hands." He dropped her left hand to trace the lines on her right palm with a forefinger. His touch sent a frisson along her nerves and Bridget couldn't hold back a shudder.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10))
I hope you love my little brother with all the strength of your heart," he said, gazing deeply into her eyes.  "Gareth has suffered much pain in his life, and he deserves no less than what I know you can give him.  He deserves someone like you, Juliet." "I do love him, Charles."  A tear slipped from the corner of her eye, and began a slow path down her cheek.  "I do love him, and I pray that you find someone to make you as happy as he has made me."  She swiped away the tear.  "But I think you already have." He smiled, gently.  "Yes . . . I think I have." And then she reached deeply into her pocket and drew something out which she held tightly in her closed hand for a long moment. "I've been keeping these for you.  Waiting for the right moment to give them back to you.  They once belonged to you, but they really should be hers now." And then she held her hand over his and dropped two objects into his palm.  One was the miniature he'd had painted two years ago in Boston.  And the other was the signet ring with which they had sealed their betrothal that fateful night in April. Her smile was a little watery.  "You're a free man now, Charles.  Take these and be happy.
Danelle Harmon (The Beloved One (The De Montforte Brothers, #2))
You’ve got spirit, I’ll give you that,” Ezmia said. “Perhaps this will humble you.” Ezmia placed the glass jar she had been carrying on a small table close to Charlotte’s cage. Charlotte was horrifed to see a miniature ghostly version of the Fairy Godmother trapped inside. “That’s my… my… grandmother!” Charlotte said, almost forgetting she was still pretending to be her own daughter. “What have you done to her?” A smile appeared on Ezmia’s face, matching the satisfaction in her eyes. “I captured her soul,” she said. The thought almost made Charlotte sick. She’d had no idea such a thing was possible, even in the fairy-tale world. “What do you want with her soul?” Charlotte asked. “It’s a bit of a hobby of mine, actually,” Ezmia said and walked to her fireplace. Displayed proudly on the mantel were five other turquoise jars, each containing a ghostly substance. “You’re a soul collector?” Charlotte asked. “Is it to make up for being soulless?” “What a clever play on words,” Ezmia said mockingly. “You know that phrase forgive and forget? Well, I always disagreed with it—I found it impossible, actually. People would do me wrong and then forget about me, as if their actions didn’t matter—because I didn’t matter. How was I supposed to forgive people like that?” “So you imprisoned their souls instead of forgiving?” Charlotte said. “Precisely,” Ezmia said. “I found taking away their life force to be much more appealing than simply forgiving. To forgive would be to allow them to continue living their lives, free of consequence. But by taking their souls and preventing them from all future happiness, I could heal and find peace.” Charlotte couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “Do you honestly expect anyone to sympathize with that?” Charlotte asked her. Ezmia stared into the fire at the burning skulls, almost in a trance. “I don’t want the world to understand; I want it to grovel,” she said. The confession made Charlotte’s heart heavier. She wondered if she would ever escape the clutches of a person who thought like this. But thinking about her children, Bob, and the life she had been stolen from gave Charlotte the strength to survive the Enchantress’s imprisonment. “I find it hard to believe that the Fairy Godmother, who is known for her generosity, would harm you in any way,” Charlotte said. “Sometimes help can be just as destructive as harm,” Ezmia said. “But I imagine someone who helps for a
Chris Colfer (The Enchantress Returns (The Land of Stories, #2))
His hand felt odd against her swollen belly. She started to speak at the same moment that the baby suddenly moved. Tate’s hand jerked back as if it had been stung. He stared at her stomach with pure horror as it fluttered again. She couldn’t help it. She burst out laughing. “Is that…normal?” he wanted to know. “It’s a baby,” she said softly. “They move around. He kicks a little. Not much, just yet, but as he grows, he’ll get stronger.” “I never realized…” He drew in a long breath and put his hand back against her body. “Cecily, does it hurt you when he…” He hesitated. His black, stunned eyes met hers. “He?” She nodded. “They can tell, so soon?” “Yes,” she said simply. “They did an ultrasound.” His fingers became caressing. A son. He was going to have a son. He swallowed. It was a shock. He hadn’t thought past her pregnancy, but now he realized that there was going to be a miniature version of himself and Cecily, a child who would embody the traits of all his ancestors. All his ancestors. It made him feel humble. “How did you find me?” she asked. He glared into her eyes. “Not with any help from you, let me tell you! It took me forever to track down the driver who brought you to Nashville. He was off on extended sick leave, and it wasn’t until this week that anybody remembered he’d worked that route before Christmas.” She averted her eyes. “I didn’t want to be found.” “So I noticed. But you have been, and you’re damned well coming home,” he said furiously. “I’m damned if I’m going to leave you here at the mercy of people who go nuts over an inch of snow!” She sat up, displacing his hand, noticed that she was too close to him for comfort, swung her legs off the sofa and got up. “I’m not going as far as the mailbox with you!” she told him flatly. “I’ve made a new life for myself here, and I’m staying!” “That’s what you think.” He got up, too, and went toward the bedroom. He found her suitcase minutes later, threw it open on the bed and started filling it. “I’m not going with you,” she told him flatly. “You can pack. You can even take the suitcase and all my clothes. But I’m not leaving. This is my life now. You have no place in it!” He whirled. He was furious. “You’re carrying my child!” The sight of him was killing her. She loved him, wanted him, needed him, but he was here only out of a sense of duty, maybe even out of guilt. She knew he didn’t want ties or commitments; he’d said so often enough. He didn’t love her, either, and that was the coldest knowledge of all. “Colby asked me to marry him for the baby’s sake,” she said bitterly. “Maybe I should have.” “Over my dead body,” he assured her.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Youth development is an interdisciplinary field that draws broadly on different social sciences to understand children and adolescents (Larson, 2000). It embraces an explicit developmental stance: Children and adolescents are not miniature adults, and they need to be understood on their own terms. Youth development also emphasizes the multiple contexts in which development occurs. Particularly influential as an organizing framework has been Bronfenbrenner’s (1977, 1979, 1986) ecological approach, which articulates different contexts in terms of their immediacy to the behaving individual. So, the microsystem refers to ecologies with which the individual directly interacts: family, peers, school, and neighborhood. The mesosystem is Bronfenbrenner’s term for relationships between and among various microsystems. The exosystem is made up of larger ecologies that indirectly affect development and behavior, like the legal system, the social welfare system, and mass media. Finally, the macrosystem consists of broad ideological and institutional patterns that collectively define a culture. There is the risk of losing the individual amid all these systems, but the developmental perspective reminds us that different children are not interchangeable puppets. Each young person brings his or her own characteristics to life, and these interact with the different ecologies to produce behavior. Youth development
Christopher Peterson (Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification)
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…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
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
The Addams dwelling at 25 West Fifty-fourth Street was directly behind the Museum of Modern Art, at the top of the building. It was reached by an ancient elevator, which rumbled up to the twelfth floor. From there, one climbed through a red-painted stairwell where a real mounted crossbow hovered. The Addams door was marked by a "big black number 13," and a knocker in the shape of a vampire. ...Inside, one entered a little kingdom that fulfilled every fantasy one might have entertained about its inhabitant. On a pedestal in the corner of the bookcase stood a rare "Maximilian" suit of armor, which Addams had bought at a good price ("a bargain at $700")... It was joined by a half-suit, a North Italian Morion of "Spanish" form, circa 1570-80, and a collection of warrior helmets, perched on long stalks like decapitated heads... There were enough arms and armaments to defend the Addams fortress against the most persistent invader: wheel-lock guns; an Italian prod; two maces; three swords. Above a sofa bed, a spectacular array of medieval crossbows rose like birds in flight. "Don't worry, they've only fallen down once," Addams once told an overnight guest. ... Everywhere one looked in the apartment, something caught the eye. A rare papier-mache and polychrome anatomical study figure, nineteenth century, with removable organs and body parts captioned in French, protected by a glass bell. ("It's not exactly another human heart beating in the house, but it's close enough." said Addams.) A set of engraved aquatint plates from an antique book on armor. A lamp in the shape of a miniature suit of armor, topped by a black shade. There were various snakes; biopsy scissors ("It reaches inside, and nips a little piece of flesh," explained Addams); and a shiny human thighbone - a Christmas present from one wife. There was a sewing basket fashioned from an armadillo, a gift from another. In front of the couch stood a most unusual coffee table - "a drying out table," the man at the wonderfully named antiques shop, the Gettysburg Sutler, had called it. ("What was dried on it?" a reporter had asked. "Bodies," said Addams.)...
Linda H. Davis (Chas Addams: A Cartoonist's Life)
I continued my explorations in a cobbled yard overlooked by broken doors and cracked windows. Pushing open a swollen door into a storeroom, I found a stream running across paving stones and a carpet of slippery green moss. My explorations took me beneath a gateway surmounted by a clock face, standing with hands fixed permanently at eleven o'clock. Beyond stood derelict stables; then the park opened up in an undulating vista, reaching all the way to a swathe of deep forest on the horizon. In the distance was the twinkle of the river that I realized must border my own land at Whitelow. The grass was knee-high and speckled with late buttercups, but I was transported by that first sight of the Delafosse estate. In its situation alone, the Croxons had chosen our new home well. I dreamed for a moment of myself and Michael making a great fortune, and no longer renting Delafosse Hall but owning every inch of it, my inheritance spinning gold from cotton. Turning back to view the Hall I took a sharp breath; it was as massive and ancient as a child's dream of a castle, the bulk of its walls carpeted in greenery, the diamond-leaded windows sparkling in picturesque stone mullions. True, the barley-twist chimneys leaned askew, and the roofs sagged beneath the weight of years, but the shell of it was magnificent. It cast a strange possessive mood upon me. I remembered Michael's irritation at the house the previous night, and his eagerness to leave. Somehow I had to entice Michael into this shared dream of a happy life here, beside me. Determined to explore the park, I followed the nearest path. After walking through a deep wood for a good while I emerged into the sunlight by a round hill surmounted by a two-story tower. A hunting lodge, Mrs. Croxon had called it, but I thought it more a folly. It had a fantastical quality, with four miniature turrets, each topped with a verdigris-tarnished dome. Above the doorway stood a sundial drawn upon a disc representing a blazing sun. It was embellished with a script I thought might be Latin: FERREA VIRGA EST, UMBRATILIS MOTUS. I wondered whether Michael might know the meaning, or Anne's husband perhaps. As for the sundial's accuracy, the morning light was too weak to cast a line of shadow.
Martine Bailey (A Taste for Nightshade)
Convinced that struggle was the crucible of character, Rockefeller faced a delicate task in raising his children. He wanted to accumulate wealth while inculcating in them the values of his threadbare boyhood. The first step in saving them from extravagance was keeping them ignorant of their father’s affluence. Until they were adults, Rockefeller’s children never visited his office or refineries, and even then they were accompanied by company officials, never Father. At home, Rockefeller created a make-believe market economy, calling Cettie the “general manager” and requiring the children to keep careful account books.16They earned pocket money by performing chores and received two cents for killing flies, ten cents for sharpening pencils, five cents per hour for practicing their musical instruments, and a dollar for repairing vases. They were given two cents per day for abstaining from candy and a dime bonus for each consecutive day of abstinence. Each toiled in a separate patch of the vegetable garden, earning a penny for every ten weeds they pulled up. John Jr. got fifteen cents an hour for chopping wood and ten cents per day for superintending paths. Rockefeller took pride in training his children as miniature household workers. Years later, riding on a train with his thirteen-year-old daughter, he told a traveling companion, “This little girl is earning money already. You never could imagine how she does it. I have learned what my gas bills should average when the gas is managed with care, and I have told her that she can have for pin money all that she will save every month on this amount, so she goes around every night and keeps the gas turned down where it is not needed.”17 Rockefeller never tired of preaching economy and whenever a package arrived at home, he made a point of saving the paper and string. Cettie was equally vigilant. When the children clamored for bicycles, John suggested buying one for each child. “No,” said Cettie, “we will buy just one for all of them.” “But, my dear,” John protested, “tricycles do not cost much.” “That is true,” she replied. “It is not the cost. But if they have just one they will learn to give up to one another.”18 So the children shared a single bicycle. Amazingly enough, the four children probably grew up with a level of creature comforts not that far above what Rockefeller had known as a boy.
Ron Chernow (Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.)
Mazel Amsel- I have the obsession of destroying Nevaeh, she is so perfect, I cannot stand it! My girls have to be on top, and I am never going to let her be anything, I will make sure of it! That is what I have been doing for years. Nevaeh that no good little pussy licker; even if she knows it is me, she will not be able to ‘Prove it.’ I am just that well-liked by everyone, I am so powerful that no one will ever defeat me. I am the master manipulator, Nevaeh- yes, she is the tower! She is about for a hundred pounds, unnatural blond hair, lime green glowing eyes, and a voice that bellows! To me, she looks like a bulldog in the face, yet evil wicked witch-like also, yet to everyone else she blends in, to the others she looks as they do, just a normal mom, with normal kids. Yet I think she is crumbling, I think some people are seeing through her veil, because of what happened recently. Mazel- I have everyone wrapped around my little finger. Likewise, if they do not bow down to me, I will make their life a living hell. That is the way; I have to have it, all the time for Nevaeh! I have to know what she is doing at all times. I have to hack into her social networking and get her pears to think she is a ‘Creep’ and ‘Stocker’ to young girls. So, she has no friends at all. So, my girls can be the supreme of this area, so that they can do as they please, without anyone stopping them from being the best, no matter what, and from getting what they want, and what I want for them. Besides, foremost I wanted to make sure that she would never date anyone. So, I came up with the story of telling everyone that she was into girls and that she is just plain crazy. I should know my eyes are on her always. I did not want to see her go to proms; I did not want to see her succeed. I did not want her to be loved. I would like to see her die, and not walk away from it. I have dreamed of ways to kill her repeatedly. Like this one, I would like to see her be impaled on a sharp wooden stick, starting through her butt hole, and then slowly have gravity have it go up into her delicious miniature body until it hits her brain, and she screams out my girl’s names, as we get what we need. I would love to see a Nevaeh- kabob! I would love to see her stoned out in the open with rocks! I would love to see my girls bite their nipples off with their teeth! I want to see my girl claw her up to head to toe. I hunger to see them scratch her sweet blue eyes that are so heavenly right out of her face! I want to see her gush that cobalt blood like a waterfall from her naked sliced-up body. Yes, I want us to torture her any way we can until she says yes to us. We are going to get at anything of hers we can until she comes with us! As we would, all dance around her, as we would light her up, cheerfully for the last time. How I would love to bleach and fry that perfect hair with chemicals. I and we all in our family want to fuck her up and down anyways we can! Mwah Ha, ha! Yes, Beforehand, we all would kiss, touch, lick, and stick her, and do what we want to get the life from her by sucking away. We would eat her soul away as it would come down from the heavens then through her body, and into ours, as we would drink it out, the way we do. Yes, yes, hell- yes, I can see it now! Yes, I want her soul! Besides, anything or everything I can get out of her to add to my shrine. We even have a voodoo doll of her with pins in it. I have a few things of hers like her hymen-damaged red blood tarnished pink polka-dotted gym underwear, and her indigo pantiliner she had on. That my girl ripped off of her in school, the more things we have the more we can control her mind, but I want more!
Marcel Ray Duriez