Moment Of Reflection Quotes

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Maybe this is why we read, and why in moments of darkness we return to books: to find words for what we already know.
Alberto Manguel (A Reading Diary: A Passionate Reader's Reflections on a Year of Books)
A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, The one I feed the most.
George Bernard Shaw
Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.
George Orwell (1984)
You carry away with you a reflection of me, a part of me. I dreamed you; I wished for your existence. You will always be a part of my life. If I love you, it must be because we shared, at some moment, the same imaginings, the same madness, the same stage.
Anaïs Nin
Sometimes it's the same moments that take your breath away that breathe purpose and love back into your life.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
A woman’s silence is one of her most powerful forms of communication; it conveys emotions, so intense, that no words could possibly describe how she feels at that moment.
Amari Soul (Reflections Of A Man)
Blessed are those with cracks in their broken heart because that is how the light gets in.
Shannon L. Alder
Perhaps one central reason for loving dogs is that they take us away from this obsession with ourselves. When our thoughts start to go in circles, and we seem unable to break away, wondering what horrible event the future holds for us, the dog opens a window into the delight of the moment.
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (Dogs Never Lie About Love: Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs)
O Deep Thought computer," he said, "the task we have designed you to perform is this. We want you to tell us...." he paused, "The Answer." "The Answer?" said Deep Thought. "The Answer to what?" "Life!" urged Fook. "The Universe!" said Lunkwill. "Everything!" they said in chorus. Deep Thought paused for a moment's reflection. "Tricky," he said finally. "But can you do it?" Again, a significant pause. "Yes," said Deep Thought, "I can do it." "There is an answer?" said Fook with breathless excitement. "Yes," said Deep Thought. "Life, the Universe, and Everything. There is an answer. But, I'll have to think about it." ... Fook glanced impatiently at his watch. “How long?” he said. “Seven and a half million years,” said Deep Thought. Lunkwill and Fook blinked at each other. “Seven and a half million years...!” they cried in chorus. “Yes,” declaimed Deep Thought, “I said I’d have to think about it, didn’t I?" [Seven and a half million years later.... Fook and Lunkwill are long gone, but their descendents continue what they started] "We are the ones who will hear," said Phouchg, "the answer to the great question of Life....!" "The Universe...!" said Loonquawl. "And Everything...!" "Shhh," said Loonquawl with a slight gesture. "I think Deep Thought is preparing to speak!" There was a moment's expectant pause while panels slowly came to life on the front of the console. Lights flashed on and off experimentally and settled down into a businesslike pattern. A soft low hum came from the communication channel. "Good Morning," said Deep Thought at last. "Er..good morning, O Deep Thought" said Loonquawl nervously, "do you have...er, that is..." "An Answer for you?" interrupted Deep Thought majestically. "Yes, I have." The two men shivered with expectancy. Their waiting had not been in vain. "There really is one?" breathed Phouchg. "There really is one," confirmed Deep Thought. "To Everything? To the great Question of Life, the Universe and everything?" "Yes." Both of the men had been trained for this moment, their lives had been a preparation for it, they had been selected at birth as those who would witness the answer, but even so they found themselves gasping and squirming like excited children. "And you're ready to give it to us?" urged Loonsuawl. "I am." "Now?" "Now," said Deep Thought. They both licked their dry lips. "Though I don't think," added Deep Thought. "that you're going to like it." "Doesn't matter!" said Phouchg. "We must know it! Now!" "Now?" inquired Deep Thought. "Yes! Now..." "All right," said the computer, and settled into silence again. The two men fidgeted. The tension was unbearable. "You're really not going to like it," observed Deep Thought. "Tell us!" "All right," said Deep Thought. "The Answer to the Great Question..." "Yes..!" "Of Life, the Universe and Everything..." said Deep Thought. "Yes...!" "Is..." said Deep Thought, and paused. "Yes...!" "Is..." "Yes...!!!...?" "Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
I’m not very good with on-the-spot motivational speech,” I say to her. “Sometimes at night, I’ll rewrite conversations I had during the day, but I’ll change them up to reflect everything I wish I could have said in the moment.
Colleen Hoover (November 9)
Stop waiting for the perfect day or the perfect moment... Take THIS day, THIS moment and lead it to perfection.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Live Today! Do not allow your spirit to be softened of your happiness to be limited by a day you cannot have back or a day that does not yet exist.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
She stared at her reflection in the glossed shop windows as if to make sure, moment by moment, that she continued to exist.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
Perfectly Imperfect We have all heard that no two snowflakes are alike. Each snowflake takes the perfect form for the maximum efficiency and effectiveness for its journey. And while the universal force of gravity gives them a shared destination, the expansive space in the air gives each snowflake the opportunity to take their own path. They are on the same journey, but each takes a different path. Along this gravity-driven journey, some snowflakes collide and damage each other, some collide and join together, some are influenced by wind... there are so many transitions and changes that take place along the journey of the snowflake. But, no matter what the transition, the snowflake always finds itself perfectly shaped for its journey. I find parallels in nature to be a beautiful reflection of grand orchestration. One of these parallels is of snowflakes and us. We, too, are all headed in the same direction. We are being driven by a universal force to the same destination. We are all individuals taking different journeys and along our journey, we sometimes bump into each other, we cross paths, we become altered... we take different physical forms. But at all times we too are 100% perfectly imperfect. At every given moment we are absolutely perfect for what is required for our journey. I’m not perfect for your journey and you’re not perfect for my journey, but I’m perfect for my journey and you’re perfect for your journey. We’re heading to the same place, we’re taking different routes, but we’re both exactly perfect the way we are. Think of what understanding this great orchestration could mean for relationships. Imagine interacting with others knowing that they too each share this parallel with the snowflake. Like you, they are headed to the same place and no matter what they may appear like to you, they have taken the perfect form for their journey. How strong our relationships would be if we could see and respect that we are all perfectly imperfect for our journey.
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
The earth reflects the sky and the sky meets the earth and, every now and then, if we’re lucky, we have a moment to see how small we are.
Ally Condie (Reached (Matched, #3))
The important thing is that man is lost in time, in the moment that immediately precedes him - which only attests, by reflection, to the fact that he is lost in the moment that follows
André Breton
So tonight I reach for my journal again. This is the first time I’ve done this since I came to Italy. What I write in my journal is that I am weak and full of fear. I explain that Depression and Loneliness have shown up, and I’m scared they will never leave. I say that I don’t want to take the drugs anymore, but I’m frightened I will have to. I am terrified that I will never really pull my life together. In response, somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled. This is what I find myself writing on the page: I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and Braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me. Tonight, this strange interior gesture of friendship—the lending of a hand from me to myself when nobody else is around to offer solace—reminds me of something that happened to me once in New York City. I walked into an office building one afternoon in a hurry, dashed into the waiting elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glance of myself in a security mirror’s reflection. In that moment, my brain did an odd thing—it fired off this split-second message: “Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar. In a flash instant of course, I realized my mistake and laughed in embarrassment at my almost doglike confusion over how a mirror works. But for some reason that incident comes to mind again tonight during my sadness in Rome, and I find myself writing this comforting reminder at the bottom of the page. Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a FRIEND… I fell asleep holding my notebook pressed against my chest, open to this most recent assurance. In the morning when I wake up, I can still smell a faint trace of depression’s lingering smoke, but he himself is nowhere to be seen. Somewhere during the night, he got up and left. And his buddy loneliness beat it, too.
Elizabeth Gilbert
For the moment I can think of nothing— except that I am a sentient being stabbed by the miracle of these waters that reflect a forgotten world.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
It was strange, I reflected.. that even in the weirdest circumstances, the most troubling episodes of one's life, the greatest divides from home and familiarity, there were these moments of undeniable joy.
Elizabeth Kostova (The Historian)
Who was this women?' asked Harry. 'I dunno, some Ministry hag.' Mundungus considered for a moment, brow wrinkled. 'Little women. Bow on top of er' head.' He frowned and then added, 'Looked like a toad.' Harry dropped his wand. Harry looked up and saw his own shock reflected in Ron and Hermione's faces. The scars on the back of right hand seemed to be tingling again.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Banality is like boredom: bored people are boring people, people who think that things are banal are themselves banal. Interesting people can find something interesting in all things.
Idries Shah (Reflections)
Though I was standing in front of a mirror, I wasn't really seeing my reflection. I was seeing, very clearly, that—at the moment—I was all in the world that Eric could think of as his own. I had better not fail him.
Charlaine Harris (Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse, #4))
One great thing about growing old is that nothing is going to lead to anything. Everything is of the moment.
Joseph Campbell (A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living)
Man, as we realize if we reflect for a moment, never perceives anything fully or comprehends anything completely.
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
His heavy-lidded gaze reflected a languor that had nothing to do with having just awakened, and there was no doubt what was on his mind. But this is no safe cherry picker, Gwen thought, growing more concerned by the moment. This man looks like a cherry tree chopper-downer.
Karen Marie Moning (Kiss of the Highlander (Highlander, #4))
You will, Judas, my brother. God will give you the strength, as much as you lack, because it is necessary—it is necessary for me to be killed and for you to betray me. We two must save the world. Help me." Judas bowed his head. After a moment he asked, "If you had to betray your master, would you do it?" Jesus reflected for a long time. Finally he said, "No, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to. That is why God pitied me and gave me the easier task: to be crucified.
Nikos Kazantzakis (The Last Temptation of Christ)
When you are eighty years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. —Jeff Bezos, commencement speech at Princeton University, May 30, 2010
Brad Stone (The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon)
If, from time to time, you give up expectation, you will be able to perceive what it is you are getting.
Idries Shah (Reflections)
Shahrzad, I've failed you several times. But there was one moment I failed you beyond measure. It was the day we met. The moment I took your hand and you looked at me, with the glory of hate in your eyes. I should have sent you home to your family. But I didn't. There was honesty in your hatred. Fearlessness in your pain. In your honesty, I saw a reflection of myself. Or rather, of the man I longed to be. So I failed you. I didn't stay away. Then later, I thought if I had answers, it would be enough. I would no longer care. You would not matter. So I continued failing you. Continued wanting more. And now I can't find the words to say what must be said. To convey to you the least of what I owe. When I think of you, I can't find the air to breathe. And now, though you are gone, there is no pain or fear. All I am left with is gratitude. When I was a boy, my mother would tell me that one of the best things in life is the knowledge that your story isn't over yet. Our story may have come to a close, but your story is still yet to be told. Make it a story worthy of you. I failed you in one last thing. Here is my chance to rectify it. It was never because I didn't feel it. It was because I swore I would never say it, and a man is nothing if he can't keep his promises. So I write it in the sky- I love you, a thousand times over. And I will never apologize for it. Khalid
Renée Ahdieh (The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1))
It had rained, she said, and I imagined the beads of small water on the windshield like a thousand eyes, or each drop a small imperfect reflection of a perfect moment.
Simon Van Booy (The Secret Lives of People in Love)
The people we consider successful in our society are all people that seize every moment and make the best of each situation.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Name none of the fallen, for they stand in our place, and stand there still in each moment of our lives. Let my death hold no glory, and let me die forgotten and unknown. Let it not be said that I was one among the dead to accuse the living.
Steven Erikson (Deadhouse Gates (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2))
What do you think has become of the young and old men? And what do you think has become of the women and children? They are alive and well somewhere, The smallest sprout shows there is really no death, And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it, And ceas'd the moment life appear'd. All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses, And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
Any day above ground is a good day. Before you complain about anything, be thankful for your life and the things that are still going well.
Germany Kent
All the light of the day, fleeing the earth, seemed for one brief moment to take refuge in the sky; pink clouds spiralled round the full moon that was as green as pistachio sorbet and as clear as glass; it was reflected in the lake.
Irène Némirovsky (Suite Française)
This moment is yours and yours alone! Take charge, seize this moment and allow it to propel you to the high levels of an empowered life. Allow upon this fertile moment to be planted the seeds of your happiness and success.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
There are things we don't do. From this moment forth, let us all ensure our every action reflects well on us and our ancestors. Let us live to the highest standards, lest we win this war only to find ourselves staring in the mirror at the face of our late enemy.
Jack Campbell (Dauntless (The Lost Fleet, #1))
Her underwear, her jeans, the comforter, my corduroys and my boxers between us, I thought. Five layers, and yet I felt it, the nervous warmth of touching – a pale reflection of the fireworks of one mouth on another, but a reflection nonetheless. And in the almostness of the moment, I cared at least enough. I wasn’t sure whether I liked her, and doubted whether I could trust her, but I cared at least enough to try to find out. Her on my bed, wide green eyes staring down at me. The enduring mystery of her sly, almost smirking, smile. Five layers between us.
John Green
There is neither source nor end, for all things are in the Center of Time. As all the stars may be reflected in a round raindrop falling in the night: so too do all the stars reflect the raindrop. There is neither darkness nor death, for all things are, in the Light of the Moment, and their end and their beginning are one.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4))
From time to time ponder whether you are unconsciously saying: 'Truth is what I happen to be thinking at this moment.
Idries Shah (Reflections)
The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time. I used to have time to think, to reflect, my mind and I. We would sit together of an evening and listen to the inner melodies of the spirit, which one hears only in leisure moments when the words of some loved poet touch a deep, sweet chord in the soul that until then had been silent. But in college there is no time to commune with one's thoughts. One goes to college to learn, it seems, not to think. When one enters the portals of learning, one leaves the dearest pleasures--solitude, books and imagination--outside with the whispering pines. I suppose I ought to find some comfort in the thought that I am laying up treasures for future enjoyment, but I am improvident enough to prefer present joy to hoarding riches against a rainy day.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life)
From a mind filled with infinite love comes the power to create infinite possibilities. We have the power to think in ways that reflect and attract all the love in the world. Such thinking is called enlightenment. Enlightenment is not a process we work toward, but a choice available to us in any instant.
Marianne Williamson (The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles)
Sometimes there are stormy moments in your life when your friends do more than just walk with you; they become angels that carry you and protect you with their wings.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
In a split second of eternity, everything is changed, transfigured. A few bars of music, rising from an unfamiliar place, a touch of perfection in the flow of human dealings--I lean my head slowly to one side, reflect on the camellia on the moss on the temple, reflect on a cup of tea, while outside the wind is rustling foliage, the forward rush of life is crystalized in a brilliant jewel of a moment that knows neither projects nor future, human destiny is rescued from the pale succession of days, glows with light at last and, surpassing time, warms my tranquil heart.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
We were together because we were addicted to each other. I was never as intoxicated as I was when we were happy together, and I knew it was the same for him. We were putting ourselves through the wringer for those moments of perfection between us, but they were so tenuous that only our stubbornness, determination and love kept us fighting for them.
Sylvia Day (Reflected in You (Crossfire, #2))
I touched my lips to hers again, and this time, it was a very different sort of kiss. It was six years’ worth of kissing, her lips coming to life under mine, tasting of orange and of desire. Her fingers ran through my sideburns and into my hair before linking around my neck, alive and cool on my warm skin. I was wild and tame and pulled into shreds and crushed into being all at once. For once in my human life, my mind didn’t wander to compose a song lyric or store the moment for later reflection. For once in my life, I was here and nowhere else. -Sam
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
Reading about the response of people in stories, plays, poems, helps us to respond more courageously and openly at our own moments of turning.
Madeleine L'Engle (Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art)
I was only then, when I knew I was alone, at least for the moment, that I reached under my gown into the pocket of my dress. As I pulled out my key from the yellow house, which I'd kept on my bureau since the day Nate left, I traced the shape one last time before folding my hand tightly around it. Behind me, Cora was calling again. My family was waiting. Looking down at the pond, all I could think was that it is an incredible thing, how a whole world can rise from what seems like nothing at all. I stepped closer to the edge, keeping my eyes on my reflection as I dropped the key into the water, where it landed with a splash. At first, the fish darted away, but as it began to sink they circled back, gathering around. Together, they followed it down, down until it was gone.<3
Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key)
Hard times are moments of reflection.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Don't be distracted by the noise going on. Pause & reflect. You'll realize how much time you've wasted on all that nonsense around you.
Ismail Musa Menk (Motivational Moments by Mufti Menk)
After the temper subsides and one has a moment to calmly reflect, it isn't uncommon for declarations shouted in a fit of rage to strike one as untrue, and because they may have been hurtful to family, friends, lovers, husbands, or wives, one wishes them unsaid.
Frank Beddor (The Looking Glass Wars (The Looking Glass Wars, #1))
No one can make you 'better' emotionally, mentally, spiritually or physically. You have to find this for yourself. You have to taste that brutal moment when you're crying in a corner of the room, curled up on the floor and you think this is your end. You have to fight to stand up, literally. And you have to walk over to your reflection and scream, scream it all out. Then you have pick up your sword and fight and never quit. This is your life. Don't let those bastards win.
Crystal Woods (Write like no one is reading)
Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.
Barbara De Angelis
Ah, Sir, a novel is a mirror carried along a high road. At one moment it reflects to your vision the azure skies, at another the mire of the puddles at your feet. And the man who carries this mirror in his pack will be accused by you of being immoral! His mirror shews the mire, and you blame the mirror! Rather blame that high road upon which the puddle lies, still more the inspector of roads who allows the water to gather and the puddle to form.
Stendhal (The Red and the Black)
If not in the moment, where do you propose to live?
Na'ama Yehuda
Nobody liked my plan. "You want us to split up?" Chase asked, his brow wrinkling in obvious bewilderment. Lake echoed the sentiment, her voice flat. "Why would we split up? There's four of us and one of him." After a brief moment's pause, she amended her head count to better reflect the real odds. "Three and a half of us, one of him." Three and a half, as in three werewolves, one human. I narrowed my eyes. "For your sake, Lake, I'm going to pretend that Devon is the half." Dev, unquestionably the strongest person in the room, just shrugged and let me keep my delusions. "It's because of my petite stature," he said. All 6'4" of him.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Raised by Wolves (Raised by Wolves, #1))
The absence of romance in my history will, I fear, detract somewhat from its interest, but if it is judged worthy by those inquirers who desire an exact knowledge of the past as an aid to the understanding of the future, which in the course of human things must resemble if it does not reflect it, I shall be content. In fine I have written my work not as an essay with which to win the applause of the moment but as a possession for all time.
Thucydides (History of the Peloponnesian War)
Joan was nothing more than a friend. He was not in love with her. One does not fall in love with a girl whom one has met only three times. One is attracted, yes; but one does not fall in love. A moment's reflection enabled him to diagnose his sensations correctly. This odd impulse to leap across the compartment and kiss Joan was not love. It was merely the natural desire of a good-hearted young man to be decently chummy with his species.
P.G. Wodehouse (Something Fresh (Blandings Castle, #1))
Each moment is all being, each moment is the entire world. Reflect now whether any being or any world is left out of the present moment.
Dōgen
Sometimes at night, I’ll rewrite conversations I had during the day, but I’ll change them up to reflect everything I wish I could have said in the moment. So I just want you to know that tonight when I write this conversation down on paper, I’ll say something really heroic and it’ll make you feel really good about your life.
Colleen Hoover (November 9)
I wanted to preserve this moment, this slice of time when the night was cool and bright with reflected moonlight and the possibility of a kiss hung between us, full of unspent promise. Every event in my life after this would be different because I would have been kissed.
Alex Flinn (Bewitching (Kendra Chronicles, #2))
In a traditional German toilet, the hole into which shit disappears after we flush is right at the front, so that shit is first laid out for us to sniff and inspect for traces of illness. In the typical French toilet, on the contrary, the hole is at the back, i.e. shit is supposed to disappear as quickly as possible. Finally, the American (Anglo-Saxon) toilet presents a synthesis, a mediation between these opposites: the toilet basin is full of water, so that the shit floats in it, visible, but not to be inspected. [...] It is clear that none of these versions can be accounted for in purely utilitarian terms: each involves a certain ideological perception of how the subject should relate to excrement. Hegel was among the first to see in the geographical triad of Germany, France and England an expression of three different existential attitudes: reflective thoroughness (German), revolutionary hastiness (French), utilitarian pragmatism (English). In political terms, this triad can be read as German conservatism, French revolutionary radicalism and English liberalism. [...] The point about toilets is that they enable us not only to discern this triad in the most intimate domain, but also to identify its underlying mechanism in the three different attitudes towards excremental excess: an ambiguous contemplative fascination; a wish to get rid of it as fast as possible; a pragmatic decision to treat it as ordinary and dispose of it in an appropriate way. It is easy for an academic at a round table to claim that we live in a post-ideological universe, but the moment he visits the lavatory after the heated discussion, he is again knee-deep in ideology.
Slavoj Žižek (The Plague of Fantasies)
Optimism hopes for the best without any guarantee of its arriving and is often no more than whistling in the dark. Christian hope, by contrast, is faith looking ahead to the fulfillment of the promises of God, as when the Anglican burial service inters the corpse 'in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ.' Optimism is a wish without warrant; Christian hope is a certainty, guaranteed by God himself. Optimism reflects ignorance as to whether good things will ever actually come. Christian hope expresses knowledge that every day of his life, and every moment beyond it, the believer can say with truth, on the basis of God's own commitment, that the best is yet to come.
J.I. Packer
There are so many things Blair doesn’t get about me, so many things she ultimately overlooked, and things that she would never know, and there would always be a distance between us because there were too many shadows everywhere. Had she ever made promises to a faithless reflection in the mirror? Had she ever cried because she hated someone so much? Had she ever craved betrayal to the point where she pushed the crudest fantasies into reality, coming up with sequences that she and nobody else could read, moving the game as you play it? Could she locate the moment she went dead inside? Does she remember the year it took to become that way? The fades, the dissolves, the rewritten scenes, all the things you wipe away—I now want to explain all these things to her but I know I never will, the most important one being: I never liked anyone and I’m afraid of people.
Bret Easton Ellis (Imperial Bedrooms)
You would not be here TODAY if YESTERDAY was your defining moment. LIVE THIS DAY and move towards your dreams.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Every moment is precious, even the ones behind me that I often reflect upon with a reserved smile. However…I seldom look back, only forward in anticipation of the next greater now.
Carl Henegan (Darkness Left Undone)
He watched in awe as she stacked up an enormous armload of music. "There," she finished, slapping Frank Zappa's Greatest Hits on top of the pile. "That should do for a start." "You are a music lover," said the wide-eyed cashier. "No, I'm a kleptomaniac." And she dashed out the door. He was so utterly shocked that it took him a moment to run after her. With a meaningful nod in the direction of the astounded Cahills, she barreled down the cobblestone street with her load. "Fermati!" shouted the cashier, scrambling in breathless pursuit. Nellie let a few CDs drop and watched with satisfaction over her shoulder as the clerk stopped to pick them up. The trick would be to keep the chase going just long enough for Amy and Dan to search Disco Volante. Yikes, she reflected suddenly, I'm starting to think like a Cahill.... And if she was nuts enough to hang around this family, it was only going to get worse.
Gordon Korman (One False Note (The 39 Clues, #2))
Sundown- When the sun must make peace with the moon and for a few brief moments, the two touch in mutual friendship and respect. Perfect balance between the light and dark. A time for reflection and for preparation.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Retribution (Dark-Hunter, #19))
Nietzsche was the one who did the job for me. At a certain moment in his life,the idea came to him of what he called 'the love of your fate.' Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, 'This is what I need.' It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment--not discouragement--you will find the strength is there. Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow. Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see that this is really true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes.
Joseph Campbell (A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living)
At moments of departure and a change of life, people capable of reflecting on their actions usually get into a serious state of mind. At these moments they usually take stock of the past and make plans for the future.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
To all those who care, You can't forever. Time steals the years, And your reflection in the mirror. But I can still see the story in your eyes, And your timeless passion that’s never died. While your skin became tired, Your heart became strong, The present became the past, And your memories like a song. And though the moment at hand is all that we have, You’ve taught me to live it like it is our last. Since two words don't say ‘thank you’ the way they are meant to, I'll try all my life to be something like you.
Crystal Woods (Write like no one is reading 2)
For that moment, at least, all our doors and windows were wide open; we were not carefully shutting out God's purifying light, in order to feel safe and secure; we were bathed in the same light that burned and yet did not consume the bush. We walked barefoot on holy ground.
Madeleine L'Engle (Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art)
I am living in the Google years, no question of that. And there are advantages to it. When you forget something, you can whip out your iPhone and go to Google. The Senior Moment has become the Google moment, and it has a much nicer, hipper, younger, more contemporary sound, doesn't it? By handling the obligations of the search mechanism, you almost prove you can keep up.... You can't retrieve you life (unless you're on Wikipedia, in which case you can retrieve an inaccurate version of it).
Nora Ephron (I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections)
I began my studies with eagerness. Before me I saw a new world opening in beauty and light, and I felt within me the capacity to know all things. In the wonderland of Mind I should be as free as another [with sight and hearing]. Its people, scenery, manners, joys, and tragedies should be living tangible interpreters of the real world. The lecture halls seemed filled with the spirit of the great and wise, and I thought the professors were the embodiment of wisdom... But I soon discovered that college was not quite the romantic lyceum I had imagined. Many of the dreams that had delighted my young inexperience became beautifully less and "faded into the light of common day." Gradually I began to find that there were disadvantages in going to college. The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time. I used to have time to think, to reflect, my mind and I. We would sit together of an evening and listen to the inner melodies of the spirit, which one hears only in leisure moments when the words of some loved poet touch a deep, sweet chord in the soul that until then had been silent. But in college there is no time to commune with one's thoughts. One goes to college to learn, it seems, not to think. When one enters the portals of learning, one leaves the dearest pleasures – solitude, books and imagination – outside with the whispering pines. I suppose I ought to find some comfort in the thought that I am laying up treasures for future enjoyment, but I am improvident enough to prefer present joy to hoarding riches against a rainy day.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life: With Her Letters (1887 1901) and a Supplementary Account of Her Education Including Passages from the Reports and Letters of Her Teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan by John Albert Macy)
In moments of prayer, people tend to pose as a critic and point out percieved flaws in God's art.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
I Love Loving You You are my favorite song; a rhythm of beauty that captures my spirit. You are my favorite poem; an exquisite grouping of ideas set in motion with an unmatched enchanting elegance. You are my best friend; from our laughter to our deep conversations, our moments together are a timeless pleasure. You are my soul mate; a connection so pure, so powerful, that it can only be considered divine. You are my lover; a passionate entwinement, a chorus of ecstasy, and a feeling of complete unity that words could never adequately describe. You are my angel; you remind me of the goodness in this world and inspire me to be the greatest version of myself. You are my home; it is in your loving gaze that I find the comfort, acceptance, and the sense of belonging. You are my love ~ mi amor; there are not enough days in forever to allow me to fully express my love for you. I love loving you.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
The workings of the human heart are the profoundest mystery of the universe. One moment they make us despair of our kind, and the next we see in them the reflection of the divine image.
Charles W. Chesnutt
The Americans, who are the most efficient people on the earth, have carried [phrase-making] to such a height of perfection and have invented so wide a range of pithy and hackneyed phrases that they can carry on an amusing and animated conversation without giving a moment’s reflection to what they are saying and so leave their minds free to consider the more important matters of big business and fornication.
W. Somerset Maugham (Cakes and Ale)
Morley joined them, and after a long, uncomfortable moment, Mrs. Grant decided to ignore his presence. The guards didn’t. Their knuckles were white on their weapons. May I assist?” he asked, and put his hands behind his back. “I promise not to eat anyone.” Very funny,” Mrs. Grant said. Morley gave her a grave look. I wasn’t joking, dear lady,” he said. “I do promise. And I never make a promise I don’t intend to keep. You should feel quite secure.” Well, I’m sorry, I don’t,” she said. “You’re just—” Too overwhelmingly dashing and attractive?” Morley grinned. “A common problem women face with me. It’ll pass. You seem like the no-nonsense sort. I like that.” Claire smiled at the look on Mrs. Grant’s face, reflected in the white LED light of the lantern she was holding. You are really—odd,” the older woman said, as if she couldn’t quite believe she was even having the conversation.
Rachel Caine (Kiss of Death (The Morganville Vampires, #8))
Sometimes it’s only in the ecstasy of unrepressed movement that we may enter the stillness of our authentic selves. In such sacred moments, the world seems to be in step. This is why the idea of finding love across the dance floor endure — symbolizing that, when we know the true rhythm of our heart, we know the other.
Alexandra Katehakis (Mirror of Intimacy: Daily Reflections on Emotional and Erotic Intelligence)
Without reflecting that this is the only moment in which you can study character," said the count; "on the steps of the scaffold death tears off the mask that has been worn through life, and the real visage is disclosed.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
If you're wrestling with some sort of decision, reflect for a moment and ask yourself, Am I being brave, or am I being safe? In the end, it depends on whether we think God can be trusted.
Gary Haugen
All the idylls of youth: beauty manifest in lakes, mountains, people; richness in experience, conversation, friendships. Nights during a full moon, the light flooded the wilderness, so it was possible to hike without a headlamp. We would hit the trail at two A.M., summiting the nearest peak, Mount Tallac, just before sunrise, the clear, starry night reflected in the flat, still lakes spread below us. Snuggled together in sleeping bags at the peak, nearly ten thousand feet up, we weathered frigid blasts of wind with coffee someone had been thoughtful enough to bring. And then we would sit and watch as the first hint of sunlight, a light tinge of day blue, would leak out of the eastern horizon, slowly erasing the stars. The day sky would spread wide and high, until the first ray of the sun made an appearance. The morning commuters began to animate the distant South Lake Tahoe roads. But craning your head back, you could see the day’s blue darken halfway across the sky, and to the west, the night remained yet unconquered—pitch-black, stars in full glimmer, the full moon still pinned in the sky. To the east, the full light of day beamed toward you; to the west, night reigned with no hint of surrender. No philosopher can explain the sublime better than this, standing between day and night. It was as if this were the moment God said, “Let there be light!” You could not help but feel your specklike existence against the immensity of the mountain, the earth, the universe, and yet still feel your own two feet on the talus, reaffirming your presence amid the grandeur.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
The earth reflects the sky and the sky meets the earth and, every now and then, if we're lucky, we have a moment to see how small we are.
Ally Condie (Reached (Matched, #3))
If we come to sleep we are His drowsy ones And if we come to wake we are in His hands If we come to weeping we are His cloud full of raindrops And if we come to laughing we are His lightning in that moment If we come to anger and battle it is the reflection of His wrath And if we come to peace and pardon it is the reflection of His love Who are we in this complicated world?
Rumi
Looking back, it is also the smallest moments that seem to radiate the most pain. The moments when you realize you loved these people, helplessly, that you were given no choice in this matter of loving them, and that they will always be part of you no matter how you try to carve them out of your flesh. That you are tied to them with bonds you could never sever, that they will live on inside you no matter how many effigies of them you hang and burn, no matter how often their reflections appear in the eyes of other men and women, men and women who then unwittingly play the roles of father and mother, with whom you act out the drama again and again.
Evelyn Lau (Inside Out: Reflections on a Life So Far)
Sometimes moments in life are so perfect you want to freeze frame them; capture them within your soul forever so they never fade away—they burn themselves into your being until they’re a part of who you are.
Cassandra Giovanni (Flawed Perfection (Beautifully Flawed, #1))
Rarely if ever, moments come that are so defining in our lives. The years are glutted with benign matters which impact us more deeply than we could have ever imagined in our youth.
Joel T. McGrath
At certain moments in life, reflection is mandatory. I found being squeezed in the scaly claw of a three story dragon to be one of them.
Stacey Rourke (The Conduit (Gryphon, #1))
The difference between darkness and brightness is how you thrive on those moments and how you use such circumstances with goodwill in your spirit.
Angelica Hopes
Everyone is on a journey at any given moment in their lives
Carrie Hope Fletcher (All I Know Now: Wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully)
Every moment is utterly unique and will not be continued in eternity. This fact gives life its poignancy and should concentrate your attention on what you are experiencing now.
Joseph Campbell (A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living)
The charm of golden sunrise and sunset does not depend on you, it reflects on you...only if you allow it. So does fleeting moments of joy
Val Uchendu
I have learned that the kindness of a teacher, a coach, a policeman, a neighbor, the parent of a friend, is never wasted. These moments are likely to pass with neither the child nor the adult fully knowing the significance of the contribution. No ceremony attaches to the moment that a child sees his own worth reflected in the eyes of an encouraging adult. Though nothing apparent marks the occasion, inside that child a new view of self might take hold. He is not just a person deserving of neglect or violence, not just a person who is a burden to the sad adults in his life, not just a child who fails to solve his family’s problems, who fails to rescue them from pain or madness or addiction or poverty or unhappiness. No, this child might be someone else, someone whose appearance before this one adult revealed specialness or lovability, or value.
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
I learned to accept that everything happened in her time. When you live in the moment, it’s easier to wait. When you trust and have faith, you just know that whatever it is will come when it will come. Your master will always bring everything to you at the perfect time.
Kate McGahan (JACK McAFGHAN: Reflections on Life with my Master)
I walked away at a good pace, thinking it was easier to go than I had supposed it would be, and reflecting that it would never have done to have an old shoe thrown after the coach, in sight of all the High Street. I whistled and made nothing of going. But the village was very peaceful and quiet, and the light mists were solemnly rising, as if to show me the world, and I had been so innocent and little there, and all beyond was so unknown and great, that in a moment with a strong heave and sob I broke into tears. We changed again, and yet again, and it was now too late and too far to go back, and I went on. And the mists had all solemnly risen now, and the world lay spread before me.
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
Whatever the internal mechanism that moderated the human capacity for joy, mine had long been broken beyond repair. And I knew this was a poor substitute, a base shadow cast on the cave wall, a reflection in a tarnished mirror of ordinary things like happiness, love, and hope. But there were moments, fleeting moments, lost in the responses of my body to his, when it was almost enough. And, God, I wanted, I wanted. These crumbs of bliss.
Alexis Hall (Glitterland (Spires, #1))
The loved object is simply one that has shared an experience at the same moment of time, narcissistically; and the desire to be near the beloved object is at first not due to the idea of possessing it, but simply to let the two experiences compare themselves, like reflections in different mirrors. All this may precede the first look, kiss, or touch; precede ambition, pride, or envy; precede the first declarations which mark the turning point—for from here love degenerates into habit, possession, and back to loneliness.
Lawrence Durrell (Justine (The Alexandria Quartet #1))
To develop emotional and erotic intelligence we need to practice enlarging our inner passion at every moment. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in our world, or even how we feel about ourselves in the moment. In fact, the best time to accomplishing something may be when we least feel like trying, because the hopeless part of ourselves most needs the light.
Alexandra Katehakis (Mirror of Intimacy: Daily Reflections on Emotional and Erotic Intelligence)
it will make sense the moment you come Home. I could see it all so clearly. I could see what it is that we are waiting for. I knew in one solitary moment why I had learned obedience and why I valued nothing on the earth but love. It’s all that matters. It is all there is.
Kate McGahan (JACK McAFGHAN: Reflections on Life with my Master)
To tolerate existence, we lie, and we lie above all to ourselves. Sometimes we tell ourselves lovely tales, sometimes petty lies. Falsehoods protect us, mitigate suffering, allow us to avoid the terrifying moment of serious reflection, they dilute the horrors of our time, they even save us from ourselves.
Elena Ferrante (La frantumaglia)
Yes, sex is troublesome and beautiful. And only when we drop our expectations, and know that we'll have moments of great sex and moments when our sexuality confounds, pains, or infuriates us, will we be liberated to enjoy it in a way that's true to ourselves.
Alexandra Katehakis (Mirror of Intimacy: Daily Reflections on Emotional and Erotic Intelligence)
It is always the first and last steps that are the hardest to take. We walk away and try not to turn back, or we stand just outside the gates, terrified to find what's waiting for us now that we've returned. In between, we stumble blindly from one place and life to the next. We try to do the best we can. There are moments like this, however, when we are neither coming nor going, and all we have to do is sit and look back on the life we have made.
Dinaw Mengestu
<…>Tate fell silent. Ty didn't. "Since the day I was released, you knocked yourself out. You had my back, you took care of Lexie when we had our thing then you did what you could to help me sort that. It's important to me that you know I'm grateful. I've been tryin' to figure out how I can show how much but, keep thinkin' on it, nothin' comes to mind and I know why. I get it. You're a man who has everything so there is nothing I can hand you that you want or need. And I get that because I am now that same man. So the only thing I can give you are words and, my guess is, that'll be enough. If it isn't, you name it and it's yours." "Friends do what I did for friends," Tate returned. "No they don't, Tate. You did what you did for me because you're you. That's what I'm talkin' about." Tate ws silent a moment then he said, "Well then, you guessed right. Words are enough." Ty nodded. Tate tipped his head to the side and asked jokingly, "We done with the near-midnight in the middle of fuckin' nowhere heart-to-heart?" Ty didn't feel like joking and answered, "No." "Then what -?" "Love you, man," Ty interrupted quietly. "Learned the hard way not to delay in expressing that sentiment so I'm not gonna delay. You call me brother and I got one who's blood who don't mean shit to me and today, all this shit done, rejoicing and reflecting, it hit me that I got two who aren't blood but who do mean something. And you're one of those two." "Ty-" Tate murmured. "I will never forget, until I die, what you did for me and my wife and until that day I will never stop bein' grateful." "Fuck man," Tate whispered. "Now, do those words work so you get what you did mean to me?" Silence then, "Yeah, they work." "Good, then now we're done with our near-midnight, middle of fuckin' nowhere heart-to-heart," Ty declared, turned, opened the door to the Viper and started folding in. He stopped with his ass nearly to the seat and looked up over the door when Tate called his name. "I don't have a blood brother," Tate said. "But you should know there's a reason I call you that."<…>
Kristen Ashley (Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3))
Within Siddhartha there slowly grew and ripened the knowledge of what wisdom really was and the goal of his long seeking. It was nothing but a preparation of the soul, a capacity, a secret art of thinking, feeling and breathing thoughts of unity at every moment of life. This thought matured in him slowly, and it was reflected in Vasudeva's old childlike face: harmony, knowledge of the eternal perfection of the world, and unity.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
A moment’s reflection will show you that you play many roles in the course of a day . . . and that who you are from moment to moment changes. There is the angry you, and the kind you, the lazy you, the lustful you—hundreds of different you’s. Gurdjieff points out that sometimes one “you” does something for which all the other “you’s” must pay for years or possibly the rest of this life.
Ram Dass (Be Here Now)
Everything you perceive is your presence. Today, look deeply into every moment and perceive divine presence. Recognize each circumstance as having a particular bearing on your soul. Over time, this practice will bring you presence of mind and make manifest your own catalytic presence.
Alexandra Katehakis (Mirror of Intimacy: Daily Reflections on Emotional and Erotic Intelligence)
For a moment the feeling crept over me that my work, my vision, is going to destroy me, and for a fleeting moment I let myself take a long, hard look at myself, something I would not otherwise do--out of instinct, on principle, out of self-preservation--look at myself with objective curiosity to see whether my vision has not destroyed me already. I found it comforting to note that I was still breathing.
Werner Herzog (Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo)
Slowly, Finley rose from the sofa, tilted her head back and looked him dead in the eye. “I have no desire to be any more in your debt than I already am.” He looked thoughtful for a moment. “Would it make you more comfortable if I demanded something in return? Would that put you at ease?” When he put it like that, it made her sound like an awful sort of person for thinking the worst. “It would, yes. At least that would be honest.” It might have been laughter that came scoffing from his throat, but there was little humor in it. He shook his head, the light reflecting glints of russet in his hair. “I’d like to meet whomever it was who made you so distrusting and pull his teeth out one by one.” The vehemence in his tone startled her, yet was strangely warming. “’Twas more than just one.” His face darkened, like clouds overtaking the sun. Suddenly, this was no longer just some seemingly kind, bored aristocrat standing before her, but a young man capable of many dangerous things.
Kady Cross (The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1))
People are made of stories. Our memories are not the impartial accumulation of every second we’ve lived; they’re the narrative that we assembled out of selected moments. Which is why, even when we’ve experienced the same events as other individuals, we never constructed identical narratives: the criteria used for selecting moments were different for each of us, and a reflection of our personalities. Each of us noticed the details that caught our attention and remembered what was important to us, and the narratives we built shaped our personalities in turn. But, I wondered, if everyone remembered everything, would our differences get shaved away? What would happen to our sense of self? It seemed to me that a perfect memory couldn’t be a narrative any more than unedited security-cam footage could be a feature film. ·
Ted Chiang (Exhalation)
In the rearview mirror, he caught Blue’s eyes by accident. Strangely enough, he saw his own thoughts reflected in her face: excitement and consternation. Casually, out of view of Ronan, making sure Adam was still sleeping, Gansey dangled his hand between the driver’s seat and the door. Palm up, fingers stretched back to Blue. This was not allowed. He knew it was not allowed, by rules he himself had set. He would not permit himself to play favorites between Adam and Ronan; he and Blue couldn’t play favorites in this way, either. She would not see the gesture, anyway. She would ignore it if she did. His heart hummed. Blue touched his fingertips. Just this — He pinched her fingers lightly, just for a moment, and then he withdrew his hand and put it back on the wheel. His chest felt warm. This was not allowed. Ronan had not seen; Adam was still sleeping. The only casualty was his pulse. “Your exit, dick!” Ronan snapped. Or Dick. It could have been either, really. Gansey steered in a hurry. Adam blinked awake. Ronan swore. Gansey’s heart restarted. Eyes on the road, Gansey.
Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3))
He handed me a bandana. "Tie that on." "Why?" I said, but I did it anyway. "Norman, you are way too into ceremony." "It's important." I could hear him moving around, adjusting things, before he came to sit beside me. "Okay," he said. "Take a look." I pulled off the blindfold. Beside me, Norman watched me see myself for the first time. And it was me. At least, it was a girl who looked like me. She was sitting on the back stoop of the restaurant, legs crossed and dangling down. She had her head slightly tilted, as if she had been asked something and was waiting for the right moment to respond, smiling slightly behind the sunglasses that were perched on her nose, barely reflecting part of a blue sky. The girl was something else, though. Something I hadn't expected. She was beautiful. Not in the cookie-cutter way of all the faces encircling Isabel's mirror. And not in the easy, almost effortless style of a girl like Caroline Dawes. This girl who stared back at me, with her lip ring and her half smile - not quite earned - knew she wasn't like the others. She knew the secret. And she'd clicked her heels three times to find her way home. "Oh, my God," I said to Norman, reaching forward to touch the painting, which still didn't seem real. My own face, bumpy and textured beneath my fingers, stared back at me. "Is this how you see me?" "Colie." He was right beside me. "That's how you are.
Sarah Dessen (Keeping the Moon)
We should reflect on the idea that since the beginning of time sentient beings have been mentally unstable because they have been slaves of delusion, they lack the eye of wisdom to see the path leading to nirvana and enlightenment, and they lack the necessary guidance of a spiritual teacher. Moment by moment they are indulging in negative actions, which will eventually bring about their downfall.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Way To Freedom)
But as he stood watching Carthage burn, Scipio reflected on the fate of this once great power. Overcome with emotion, he cried. His friend and mentor Polybius approached and asked why Scipio was crying. "A glorious moment, Polybiius; but I have a dread foreboding that some day the same doom will be pronounced on my own country." Scipio then quoted a line from Homer: "A day will come when sacred Troy shall perish, And Priam and his people shall be slain." Scipio knew that no power endures indefinitely, that all empires must fall.
Mike Duncan (The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic)
Heaven is filled with absolute, perfect, confidence in God. This world is filled with absolute mistrust. And you and I will always reflect the nature of the world we are most aware of. What you live conscious of is what you will reproduce in the world around you. I try to live in such a way that nothing ever gets bigger in my awareness than my conscious awareness of the presence of God upon me. I don’t care what the problem is; if it’s an international crisis or a personal issue, the moment that problem gets bigger than my awareness of the presence of God on me, then I will live in reaction to a problem.
Bill Johnson (Manifesto for a Normal Christian Life)
It felt like being shot with an arrow, and Will jerked back. His wineglass crashed to the floor and shattered. He lurched to his feet, leaning both hands on the table. He was vaguely aware of stares, and the landlords anxious voice in his ear, but the pain was too great to think through, almost too great to breathe through. The tightness in his chest, the one he had thought of as one end of a cord tying him to Jem, had pulled so taut that it was strangling his heart. He stumbled away from his table, pushing through a knot of customers near the bar, and passed to the front door of the inn. All he could think of was air, getting air into his lungs to breathe. He pushed the doors open and half-tumbled out into the night. For a moment the pain in his chest eased, and he fell back against the wall of the inn. Rain was sheeting down, soaking his hair and clothes. He gasped, his heart stuttering with a misture of terror and desperation. Was this just the distance from Jem affecting him? He had never felt anything like this, even when Jem was at his worst, even when he'd been injured and Will had ached with sympathetic pain. The cord snapped. For a moment everything went white, the courtyard bleeching through as if with acid. Will jackknifed to his knees, vomiting up his supper into the mud. When the spasms had passed , he staggard to his feet and blindly away from the inn, as if trying to outpace his own pain. He fetched up against the wall of the stables, beside the horse trough. He dropped to his knees to plunge his hands into the icy water-and saw his own reflection. There was his face, as white as death, and his shirt, and a spreading stain of red across the front. With wet hands he siezed at his lapels and jerked the shirt open. In the dim light that spilled from the inn, he could see that his parabati rune, just over his heart, was bleeding. His hands were covered in blood, blood mixed with rain, the same ran that was washing the blood away from his chest, showing the rune as it began to fade from black to silver, changing all that had been sense in Will's life into nonsense. Jem was dead.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
It partook ... of eternity ... there is a coherence in things, a stability; something, she meant, is immune from change, and shines out (she glanced at the window with its ripple of reflected lights) in the face of the flowing, the fleeting, the spectral, like a ruby; so that again tonight she had the feeling she had had once today, already, of peace, of rest. Of such moments, she thought, the thing is made that endures.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
Maybe we're just falling stars, we once danced in the same skyline looking down at the world. And we've fallen like all others, from near and far, we've gathered together, but separated by time and space, keeping a part of that light that we've came with and spreading it in this dark world that we've chosen to live in, in order to shine some light and love around. Maybe we've chosen to believe one truth today, and find it to be false tomorrow. Maybe we're trying to not get attached to the idea that we now know it all. At night, we see the truth of where we've fallen from, gazing in that night sky full of distant stars, constellations, planets, the reflection of the sun on the moon, all with their own stories to tell. Sometimes we wonder why would we leave such a mysterious place, with an infinite amount of stories and wonders. Maybe it's because as stars we could've only seen each other's light from afar, but here we can listen more carefully to each other's story, embrace each other and kiss, discover more and more of what can be seen when infinite star dust potential is put into one body and given freedom to walk the Earth and wander, love and enjoy every moment until coming back. Maybe in the morning, we'll only see one star shining up there and forget the others. Maybe that is also how life and death is, and the beauty of the sunrise and sunset that come in between, our childhood years and old years, when we reflect on the stars that we once were and that we will once again be. Maybe, just maybe.
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
Opinions differ on the question of whether a golden age is something you can experience while it's happening or whether it only comes into focus on reflection...no matter how grand and prosperous and momentous the time in which you are living may be, its grandeur is inevitably stained by the incessant drabness of the present.
Russell Shorto (Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City)
I notice he doesn't have his meteorite bag and see out the window it's probably going to pour any minute, but wee need to et out of here. Immediately. "We're going to search for meteorites," I say, like that's what most people do on winter mornings. I never really told either of them too much about last summer, which is reflected in both of their flummoxed faces. But who freaking cares? Not us. In a flash, we're through the door, across the street and into the woods, running for no reason and laughing for no reason and totally out of breath and out of our minds when Brian catches me by my shirt, whips me around, and with one strong hand flat against my chest, he pushes me against a tree and kisses me so hard I go blind.
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
Until now, I've never been able to see while I fly, and I feel a dizzying lightness as I look out at the land below us. Is this what I've missed? The stars have come to the earth, and the ocean has turned over the ground; dark waves meet the sky. They are unmoving, barely visible but for the light of the sun rising behind them. Mountains, I realize. That's what the ocean is. Those waves are peaks. The stars are lights in houses and on streets. The earth reflects the sky and the sky meets the earth and, every now and then, if we're lucky, we have a moment to see how small we are.
Ally Condie (Reached (Matched, #3))
When we pick up the newspaper at breakfast, we expect - we even demand - that it brings us momentous events since the night before...We expect our two-week vacations to be romantic, exotic, cheap, and effortless..We expect anything and everything. We expect the contradictory and the impossible. We expect compact cars which are spacious; luxurious cars which are economical. We expect to be rich and charitable, powerful and merciful, active and reflective, kind and competitive. We expect to be inspired by mediocre appeals for excellence, to be made literate by illiterate appeals for literacy...to go to 'a church of our choice' and yet feel its guiding power over us, to revere God and to be God. Never have people been more the masters of their environment. Yet never has a people felt more deceived and disappointed. For never has a people expected so much more than the world could offer.
Daniel J. Boorstin
I glance back in the mirror to the concrete bridge, the one I've boldly driven straight across without second thought, and I see truth reflecting back at me: Every time fear freezes and worry writhes, every time I surrender to stress, aren't I advertising the unreliability of God? That I really don't believe? But if I'm grateful to the Bridge Builder for the crossing of a million strong bridges, thankful for a million faithful moments, my life speaks my beliefs and I trust Him again.
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
The moments of silence are gone. We run from them into the rush of unimportant things, so filled is the quiet with the painful whispers of all that goes unspoken. Busy-ness is our drug of choice, numbing our minds just enough to keep us from dwelling on all that we fear we can’t change. A compilation of coping mechanisms, we have become our fatigue. Unwilling or unable to cut ourselves free of this modern machine we have built, we’re dragged in its wake all too quickly toward our end. The virtue of a society’s culture is reflected in the physical, mental, and emotional health of its people. The time has come to part ways with all that is toxic, and preserve our quality of life.
L.M. Browning (Seasons of Contemplation: A Book of Midnight Meditations)
Science is a match that man has just got alight. He thought he was in a room - in moments of devotion, a temple - and that his light would be reflected from and display walls inscribed with wonderful secrets and pillars carved with philosophical systems wrought into harmony. It is a curious sensation, now that the preliminary splutter is over and the flame burns up clear, to see his hands lit and just a glimpse of himself and the patch he stands on visible, and around him, in place of all that human comfort and beauty he anticipated - darkness still.'The Rediscovery of the Unique' Fortnightly Review (1891)
H.G. Wells
I asked a professor of nanotechnology what they use to measure the unthinkable small distances of nanospace? He said it was the nanometre. This didn't help me very much. A nanometre is a billionth of a metre. I understood the idea but couldn't visualise what it meant. I said, "What is it roughly?" He thought for a moment and said, "A nanometre is roughly the distance that a man's beard grows in one second". I had never thought about what beards do in a second but they must do something. It takes them all day to grow about a milllimetre. They don't leap out of your face at eight o'clock in the morning. Beards are slow, languid things and our language reflects this. We do not say "as quick as a beard" or "as fast as a bristle". We now have a way of grasping of how slow they are - about a nanometre a second.
Ken Robinson (Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative)
I realized all those times I'd felt people stare at me, their faces had been pictures, abstracts. None of them were mirrors, able to reflect back the expression I thought only I wore, the feelings only I felt. Until now, this moment, as our eyes met. If there was a way to recognize something you'd never seen but still knew by heart, I felt it as I looked at his face. Finally, someone understood.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
  Are you oblivious to the sufferings of birth, old age, sickness and death? There is no guarantee that you will survive, even past this very day! The time has come [for you] to develop perseverance in [your] practice. For, at this singular opportunity, you could attain the everlasting bliss [of nirvāṇa]. So now is [certainly] not the time to sit idly, But, starting with [the reflection on] death, you should bring your practice to completion!3   The moments of our life are not expendable, And the [possible] circumstances of death are beyond imagination. If you do not achieve an undaunted confident security now, What point is there in your being alive, O living creature?
Padmasambhava (The Tibetan Book of the Dead)
The rain has stopped, the air is mild, the sky slowly rolls up fine black images : it is more than enough to frame the perfect moment ; to reflect these images, she would cause dark little tides to be born in our hearts. I don't know how to take advantage of the occasion : I walk at random, calm and empty, under this wasted sky.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea)
When you left you left behind a field of silent flowers under a sky full of unstirred clouds...you left a million butterflies mid-silky flutters You left like midnight rain against my dreaming ears Oh and how you left leaving my coffee scentless and my couch comfortless leaving upon my fingers the melting snow of you you left behind a calendar full of empty days and seasons full of aimless wanders leaving me alone with an armful of sunsets your reflection behind in every puddle your whispers upon every curtain your fragrance inside every petal you left your echoes in between the silence of my eyes Oh and how you left leaving my sands footless and my shores songless leaving me with windows full of moistened moonlight nights and nights of only a half-warmed soul and when you left... you left behind a lifetime of moments untouched the light of a million stars unshed and when you left you somehow left my poem...unfinished. (Published in Taj Mahal Review Vol.11 Number 1 June 2012)
Sanober Khan
It was my teacher's genius, her quick sympathy, her loving tact which made the first years of my education so beautiful. It was because she seized the right moment to impart knowledge that made it so pleasant and acceptable to me. She realized that a child's mind is like a shallow brook which ripples and dances merrily over the stony course of its education and reflects here a flower, there a bush, yonder a fleecy cloud; and she attempted to guide my mind on its way, knowing that like a brook it should be fed by mountain streams and hidden springs, until it broadened out into a deep river, capable of reflecting in its placid surface, billowy hills, the luminous shadows of trees and the blue heavens, as well as the sweet face of a little flower. Any teacher can take a child to the classroom, but not every teacher can make him learn. He will not work joyously unless he feels that liberty is his, whether he is busy or at rest; he must feel the flush of victory and the heart-sinking of disappointment before he takes with a will the tasks distasteful to him and resolves to dance his way bravely through a dull routine of textbooks. My teacher is so near to me that I scarcely think of myself apart from her. How much of my delight in all beautiful things is innate, and how much is due to her influence, I can never tell. I feel that her being is inseparable from my own, and that the footsteps of my life are in hers. All the best of me belongs to her--there is not a talent, or an aspiration or a joy in me that has not been awakened by her loving touch.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life: With Her Letters (1887 1901) and a Supplementary Account of Her Education Including Passages from the Reports and Letters of Her Teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan by John Albert Macy)
It's important to have quiet moments in your life, it's a time to listen to your inner self. Spending time alone with your self is quiet liberating. You can really re-discover yourself. I call it "ME" time. Invest time in knowing who you are. Spend time alone. Reflect, meditate, journal, sing, explore the world, walk, sit and listen the sounds of nature or the waves. Be with yourself. The most important relationship that you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.
Angie karan
THE DAY YOU READ THIS On this day, you read something that moved you and made you realise there were no more fears to fear. No tears to cry. No head to hang in shame. That every time you thought you’d offended someone, it was all just in your head and really, they love you with all their heart and nothing will ever change that. That everyone and everything lives on inside you. That that doesn’t make any of it any less real. That soft touches will change you and stay with you longer than hard ones. That being alone means you’re free. That old lovers miss you and new lovers want you and the one you’re with is the one you’re meant to be with. That the tingles running down your arms are angel feathers and they whisper in your ear, constantly, if you choose to hear them. That everything you want to happen, will happen, if you decide you want it enough. That every time you think a sad thought, you can think a happy one instead. That you control that completely. That the people who make you laugh are more beautiful than beautiful people. That you laugh more than you cry. That crying is good for you. That the people you hate wish you would stop and you do too. That your friends are reflections of the best parts of you. That you are more than the sum total of the things you know and how you react to them. That dancing is sometimes more important than listening to the music. That the most embarrassing, awkward moments of your life are only remembered by you and no one else. That no one judges you when you walk into a room and all they really want to know, is if you’re judging them. That what you make and what you do with your time is more important than you’ll ever fathom and should be treated as such. That the difference between a job and art is passion. That neither defines who you are. That talking to strangers is how you make friends. That bad days end but a smile can go around the world. That life contradicts itself, constantly. That that’s why it’s worth living. That the difference between pain and love is time. That love is only as real as you want it to be. That if you feel good, you look good but it doesn’t always work the other way around. That the sun will rise each day and it’s up to you each day if you match it. That nothing matters up until this point. That what you decide now, in this moment, will change the future. Forever. That rain is beautiful. And so are you.
pleasefindthis (I Wrote This For You)
To leave the thread of all time And let it make a dark line In hopes that I can still find The way back to the moment I took the turn and turned to Begin a new beginning Still looking for the answer I cannot find the finish It's either this or that way It's one way or the other It should be one direction It could be on reflection The turn I have just taken The turn that I was making I might be just beginning I might be near the end.
Enya (The Memory of Trees)
The shrub that half concealed her was a malignant plant, a Madagascan tanghin tree with wide, box-like leaves with whitish stems, whose smallest veins distilled a venomous fluid. At a moment when Louise and Maxime laughed more loudly in the reflected yellow light of the sunset in the little boudoir, Renée, her mind wandering, her mouth dry and parched, took between her lips a sprig of the tanghin tree that was level with her mouth, and sank her teeth into one of its bitter leaves.
Émile Zola (La Curée)
I'm not very good with on-the-spot motivational speech," I say to her. "Sometimes at night, I'll rewrite conversations I had during the day, but I'll change them up to reflect everything I wish I could have said in the moment. So I just want you to know that tonight when I write this conversation down on paper, I'll say something really heroic and it'll make you feel really good about your life.
Colleen Hoover (November 9)
We only had this one life. We could wish for the past all day long. We could look at old pictures and tell ourselves the same old stories but they're just that—stories. Memories. They happened. And maybe they were wonderful and amazing, and maybe they changed our lives in ways we'd never be changed again, but they no longer existed. By the time we stopped to reflect on one moment, it was gone, and another was instantly upon us, also destined to pass.
Sarah Ockler (The Book of Broken Hearts)
In 1976, Stephen King published a short story, “I Know What You Need,” about the courting of a young woman. Her suitor was a young man who could read her mind but did not tell her so. He simply appeared with what she wanted at the moment, beginning with strawberry ice cream for a study break. Step by step he changed her life, making her dependent upon him by giving her what she thought she wanted at a certain moment, before she herself had a chance to reflect. Her best friend realized that something disconcerting was happening, investigated, and learned the truth: “That is not love,” she warned. “That’s rape.” The internet is a bit like this. It knows much about us, but interacts with us without revealing that this is so. It makes us unfree by arousing our worst tribal impulses and placing them at the service of unseen others.
Timothy Snyder (The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America)
When you are a young person, you are like a young creek, and you meet many rocks, many obstacles and difficulties on your way. You hurry to get past these obstacles and get to the ocean. But as the creek moves down through the fields, it becomes larges and calmer and it can enjoy the reflection of the sky. It's wonderful. You will arrive at the sea anyway so enjoy the journey. Enjoy the sunshine, the sunset, the moon, the birds, the trees, and the many beauties along the way. Taste every moment of your daily life.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Good Citizens: Creating Enlightened Society)
That everything you want to happen, will happen, if you decide you want it enough. That every time you think a sad thought, you can think a happy one instead. That you control that completely. That the people who make you laugh are more beautiful than beautiful people. That you laugh more than you cry. That crying is good for you. That the people you hate wish you would stop and you do too. That your friends are reflections of the best parts of you. That you are more than the sum total of the things you know and how you react to them. That dancing is sometimes more important than listening to the music. That the most embarrassing, awkward moments of your life are only remembered by you and no one else
Iain S. Thomas (I Wrote This For You (I Wrote This For You #4))
Stalker put his hands on my shoulders - and for a moment, his pale eyes blazed with the power of what he felt for me. The reflected head warmed me where I hadn't even know I was cold. Then his golden, spiky lashes swept down, veiling his thoughts. I shouldn't let this boy comfort me when I'd rejected him. Weakness made me selfish, but I didn't resist when he pulled me against him.
Ann Aguirre (Outpost (Razorland, #2))
We stared at each other for a long moment. His hand smoldered against my skin. In my face, I knew there was nothing but wistful sadness―I didn't want to have to say goodbye now, no matter for how short a time. At first his face reflected mine, but then, as neither of us looked away, his expression changed. He released me, lifting his other hand to brush his fingertips along my cheek, trailing them down to my jaw. I could feel his fingers tremble―not with anger this time. He pressed his palm against my cheek, so that my face was trapped between his burning hands. "Bella," he whispered. I was frozen. No! I hadn't made this decision yet. I didn't know if I could do this, and now I was out of time to think. But I would have been a fool if I thought rejecting him now would have no consequences. I stared back at him. He was not my Jacob, but he could be. His face was familiar and beloved. in so many real ways, I did love him. He was my comfort, my safe harbor. Right now, I could choose to have him belong to me. Alice was back for the moment, but that changed nothing. True love was forever lost. The prince was never coming back to kiss me awake from my enchanted sleep. I was not a princess, after all. So what was the fairy-tale protocol for other kisses? The mundane kind that didn't break any spells? Maybe it would be easy―like holding his hand or having his arms around me. Maybe it would feel nice. Maybe it wouldn't feel like betrayal. Besides, who was I betraying, anyway? Just myself. Keeping his eyes on mine, Jacob began to bend his face toward me. And I was still absolutely undecided.
Stephenie Meyer (New Moon (Twilight, #2))
What is life? Life is living in this moment, experiencing and experimenting but experience isn’t life. Life is reflecting and meditating but reflection isn’t life. Life is helping and guiding but philanthropy isn’t life. Life is eating and drinking but food isn’t life. Life is reading and dancing but art isn’t life. Life is kissing and pleasuring but sex isn’t life. Life is winning and losing but competition isn’t life. Life is loving and caring but love isn’t life. Life is birthing and nurturing but children aren’t life. Life is letting go and surrendering but death isn’t life. Life is all these things but all these things aren’t life. Life is always more.
Kamand Kojouri
MOTHER TIME: Life goes by so very fast, my dears, and taking the time to reflect, even once a year, slows things down. We zoom past so many seconds, minutes, hours, killing them with the frantic way we live that it's important we take at least this one collective sigh and stop, take stock, and acknowledge our place in time before diving back into the melee. Midnight on New Year's Eve is a unique kind of magic where, just for a moment, the past and the future exist at once in the present. Whether we're aware of it or not, as we countdown together to it, we're sharing the burden of our history and committing to the promise of tomorrow.
Hillary DePiano (New Year's Thieve)
The door opened and Gideon walked in. I held his gaze when I said, "If Gideon's dick touched anything but his hand or me, we'd be over." His brows rose. "Well, then." I smiled sweetly and winked. "Hi, ace." "Angel." He looked at Cary. "How are you feeling this morning?" Cary's lips twisted wryly. "Like I got hit by a bus. . . or a bat." "We're working on getting you set up at home. It looks like we can make that happen by Wednesday." "Big tits, please," Cary said. "Or bulging muscles. Either will do." Gideon looked at me. I grinned. "The private nurse." "Ah." "If it's a woman," Cary went on, "can you get her to wear one of those white nurse dresses with the zipper down the front." "I can only imagine the media frenzy over that sexual-harassment lawsuit," Gideon said dryly. "How about a collection of naughty-nurse porn instead?" "Dude." Cary smiled wide and looked, for a moment, like his old self. "You're the man." Chapter 12, pg 214
Sylvia Day (Reflected in You (Crossfire, #2))
He had but one consolation, that she had loved him, that her eyes had told him so, that although she did not know his name she knew his heart, and that perhaps, wherever she now was, in whatever undiscoverable place, she loved him still. Perhaps she even thought of him constantly as he did of her. Sometimes, in those unaccountable moments known to every lover, when the heart feels a strange stirring of delight although there is not cause for anything but grief, he reflected: 'It is her own thoughts that are reaching me!... And perhaps my thoughts are reaching her!' Fancies such as these, which an instant later he brushed aside, nevertheless sufficed to kindle a glow in him which was something near to hope.
Victor Hugo
Man as we realize if we reflect for a moment, never perceives anything fully or comprehends anything completely. He can see, hear, touch, and taste; but how far he sees, how well he hears, what his touch tells him, and what he tastes depend upon the number and quality of his senses. These limit his perception of the world around him. By using scientific instruments he can partly compensate for the deficiencies of his senses. For example, he can extend the range of his vision by binoculars or of his hearing by electrical amplification. But the most elaborate apparatus cannot do more than bring distant or small objects within range of his eyes, or make faint sounds more audible. No matter what instruments he uses, at some point he reaches the edge of certainty beyond which conscious knowledge cannot pass.
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
At this moment, in this place, the shifting action potential in my neurons cascade into certain arrangements, patterns, thoughts; they flow down my spine, branch into my arms, my fingers, until muscles twitch and thought is translated into motion; mechanical levers are pressed; electrons are rearranged; marks are made on paper. At another time, in another place, light strikes the marks, reflects into a pair of high-precision optical instruments sculpted by nature after billions of years of random mutations; upside-down images are formed against two screens made up of millions of light-sensitive cells, which translate light into electrical pulses that go up the optic nerves, cross the chiasm, down the optic tracts, and into the visual cortex, where the pulses are reassembled into letters, punctuation marks, words, sentences, vehicles, tenors, thoughts. The entire system seems fragile, preposterous, science fictional.
Ken Liu (The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories)
Slowly, even though I thought it would never happen, New York lost its charm for me. I remember arriving in the city for the first time, passing with my parents through the First World's Club bouncers at Immigration, getting into a massive cab that didn't have a moment to waste, and falling in love as soon as we shot onto the bridge and I saw Manhattan rise up through the looks of parental terror reflected in the window. I lost my virginity in New York, twice (the second one wanted to believe he was the first so badly). I had my mind blown open by the combination of a liberal arts education and a drug-popping international crowd. I became tough. I had fun. I learned so much. But now New York was starting to feel empty, a great party that had gone on too long and was showing no sign of ending soon. I had a headache, and I was tired. I'd danced enough. I wanted a quiet conversation with someone who knew what load-shedding was.
Mohsin Hamid (Moth Smoke)
Sitting in front of my fireplace, basking in it's warm glow gives me time to reflect upon the sacrifices that it has taken for me to enjoy the security of a good home, in a safe environment. I can hear the soft whisper of the snow as it caresses my window and covers the ground outside in a scintillating display of sparkling lights under the full moon. How many times have our service men and women watched this same scene from a foxhole, or camped in some remote part of the world. Thankful for the silence of that moment, knowing it won’t last long. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He/she dresses in fatigues and patrols the world restlessly, ensuring that we can have this peaceful night. Every day they give us the gift of this lifestyle that we enjoy, and every night they watch over us. They are warriors, angels, guardians, friends, brothers, fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers, forming a family that stretches back to the beginning of the country. So tonight when you go to bed say a prayer that God watch over those who watch over us, and thank them for their sacrifices, on and off the battlefield. Pray that they have a peaceful night, and will be home soon with their families who also share their burden. Without them we would not have this moment.
Neil Leckman
Absolute trust in the reality of things begins to be shaken as the problem of truth enters upon the scene. The moment man ceases merely to live in and with reality and demands a knowledge of this reality, he moves into a new and fundamentally different relation to it. At first, to be sure, the question of truth seems to apply only to particular parts and not to the whole of reality. Within this whole different strata of validity begin to be marked off, reality seems to separate sharply from appearance. But it lies in the very nature of the problem of truth that once it arises it never comes to rest. The concept of truth conceals an immanent dialectic that drives it inexorably forward, forever extending its limits.
Ernst Cassirer (The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms 3: The Phenomenology of Knowledge)
You fasten your seatbelt. The plane is landing. To fly is the opposite of traveling: you cross a gap in space, you vanish into the void, you accept not being in any place for a duration that is itself a kind of void in time; then you reappear, in a place and in a moment with no relation to the where and the when in which you vanished. Meanwhile, what do you do? How do you occupy this absence of yourself from the world and of the world from you?" You read; you do not raise your eyes from the book between one airport and the other, because beyond the page there is the void, the anonymity of stopovers, of the metallic uterus that contains you and nourishes you, of the passing crowd always different and always the same. You might as well stick with this other abstraction of travel, accomplished by the anonymous uniformity of typographical characters: here, too, it is the evocative power of the names that persuades you that you are flying over something and not nothingness. You realize that it takes considerable heedlessness to entrust yourself to unsure instruments, handled with approximation; or perhaps this demonstrates and invincible tendency to passivity, to regression, to infantile dependence. (But are you reflecting on the air journey or on reading?)
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
(Lincoln reflecting on) George Washington's words: “It is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prospertiy. Washington advised vigilance against “the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.
Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln)
Between going and staying the day wavers, in love with its own transparency. The circular afternoon is now a bay where the world in stillness rocks. All is visible and all elusive, all is near and can't be touched. Paper, book, pencil, glass, rest in the shade of their names. Time throbbing in my temples repeats the same unchanging syllable of blood. The light turns the indifferent wall into a ghostly theater of reflections. I find myself in the middle of an eye, watching myself in its blank stare. The moment scatters. Motionless, I stay and go: I am a pause.
Octavio Paz
No, you don't feel it now. Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with itshideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly.Now, wherever you go, you charm the world. Will it always be so? . . . You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr. Gray. Don't frown. You have. And beauty is a form of genius-- is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it.You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile. . . . People say sometimes that beauty is only superficial.That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders.It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. . . . Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods have been good to you.But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully.When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats.Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah! realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days,listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure,or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals,of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing. . . . A new Hedonism-- that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol.With your personality there is nothing you could not do.The world belongs to you for a season. . . . The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself.I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last--such a little time.The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again.The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now.In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Relaxing the shoulders is vital for relaxation in general. However, owing to the effects of gravity, relaxation is problematic unless we let the shoulders remain in their natural place. Let the shoulders drop, or settle in harmony with gravity, into their most comfortable position. It isn’t too difficult to do this for a moment, but to sustain this condition unconsciously in our lives is another matter. We raise our shoulders unnaturally when we lean on a desk or hold the telephone between our shoulders and ears, when we are shocked by a loud noise, and who knows how many other times throughout the day. And the unsettling of the shoulders doesn’t have to be large to produce anxiety, stiff necks, and headaches. Just slightly raising them will create tension, and this tension throws the nervous system out of balance. When do we raise the shoulders in daily life? What are we feeling at that moment and leading up to that moment? Remembering that the body reflects the mind, and that the raising of the shoulders not only creates tension but also is a physical manifestation of psychological tension itself, what are the roots of this tension? Bringing the mind into the moment, let’s observe ourselves in a state free of preconceived ideas or beliefs. Don’t guess at these questions. Observe yourself in relationship to others and the universe
H.E. Davey (Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation)
They laid me down again while somebody fetched a stretcher. As soon as I knew that the bullet had gone clean through my neck I took it for granted that I was done for. I had never heard of a man or an animal getting a bullet through the middle of the neck and surviving it. The blood was dribbling out of the comer of my mouth. ‘The artery's gone,’ I thought. I wondered how long you last when your carotid artery is cut; not many minutes, presumably. Everything was very blurry. There must have been about two minutes during which I assumed that I was killed. And that too was interesting—I mean it is interesting to know what your thoughts would be at such a time. My first thought, conventionally enough, was for my wife. My second was a violent resentment at having to leave this world which, when all is said and done, suits me so well. I had time to feel this very vividly. The stupid mischance infuriated me. The meaninglessness of it! To be bumped off, not even in battle, but in this stale comer of the trenches, thanks to a moment's carelessness! I thought, too, of the man who had shot me—wondered what he was like, whether he was a Spaniard or a foreigner, whether he knew he had got me, and so forth. I could not feel any resentment against him. I reflected that as he was a Fascist I would have killed him if I could, but that if he had been taken prisoner and brought before me at this moment I would merely have congratulated him on his good shooting. It may be, though, that if you were really dying your thoughts would be quite different.
George Orwell (Homage to Catalonia)
There are times the lies get to me, times I weary of battering myself against the obstacles of denial, hatred, fear-induced stupidity, and greed, times I want to curl up and fall into the problem, let it sweep me away as it so obviously sweeps away so many others. I remember a spring day a few years ago, a spring day much like this one, only a little more sun, and warmer. I sat on this same couch and looked out this same window at the same ponderosa pine. I was frightened, and lonely. Frightened of a future that looks dark, and darker with each passing species, and lonely because for every person actively trying to shut down the timber industry, stop abuse, or otherwise bring about a sustainable and sane way of living, there are thousands who are helping along this not-so-slow train to oblivion. I began to cry. The tears stopped soon enough. I realized we are not so outnumbered. We are not outnumbered at all. I looked closely, and saw one blade of wild grass, and another. I saw the sun reflecting bright off the needles of pine trees, and I heard the hum of flies. I saw ants walking single file through the dust, and a spider crawling toward the corner of the ceiling. I knew in that moment, as I've known ever since, that it is no longer possible to be lonely, that every creature on earth is pulling in the direction of life--every grasshopper, every struggling salmon, every unhatched chick, every cell of every blue whale--and it is only our own fear that sets us apart. All humans, too, are struggling to be sane, struggling to live in harmony with our surroundings, but it's really hard to let go. And so we lie, destroy, rape, murder, experiment, and extirpate, all to control this wildly uncontrollable symphony, and failing that, to destroy it.
Derrick Jensen
I exhaled in delight as they floated toward me, as they landed on my hair. “How are you . . . ?” “You said it yourself.” Their glow reflected in his eyes. “Magic isn’t good or evil. It heeds those who summon it. When life is a choice between fighting or fleeing—every moment life or death—everything becomes a weapon. It doesn’t matter who holds them. Weapons harm. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it firsthand.” He touched the dingy, floral paper on the walls, and the blooms exploded upward, outward, until he reached up to pluck one, tucking it behind my ear. The scent of winter jasmine filled the room. “But life is more than those moments, Lou. We’re more than those moments.
Shelby Mahurin (Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove, #2))
Ending I lied. I wanted you from that moment. I wanted you, wrapped in starlight and reflections, To be tied up with strings. And ropes. And chains. I wanted you hanging around my neck Like a charm I could press to my heart and Make three wishes on. But I trapped the want And the words inside my mouth. I buried those secret things under my tongue, Biting down until blood and bitterness Filled my mouth And poured down the back of my throat. In the beginning, you said, there was only water. But what about the end? I closed my eyes and lay flat With my back to the ocean And my face to the sky. I lifted my hands and caught ribbons of wind Underneath my fingernails. I rode the water for so long, I forgot what my skin felt like when it was dry.
Autumn Doughton (This Sky)
Even a moment's reflection will help you see that the problem of using your time well is not a problem of the mind but of the heart. It will only yield to a change in the very way we feel about time. The value of time must change for us. And then the way we think about it will change, naturally and wisely. That change in feeling and in thinking is combined in the words of a prophet of God in this dispensation. It was Brigham Young, and the year was 1877, and he was speaking at April general conference. He wasn't talking about time or schedules or frustrations with too many demands upon us. Rather, he was trying to teach the members of the Church how to unite themselves in what was called the united order. The Saints were grappling with the question of how property should be distributed if they were to live the celestial law. In his usual direct style, he taught the people that they were having trouble finding solutions because they misunderstood the problem. Particularly, he told them they didn't understand either property or the distribution of wealth. Here is what he said: With regard to our property, as I have told you many times, the property which we inherit from our Heavenly Father is our time, and the power to choose in the disposition of the same. This is the real capital that is bequeathed unto us by our Heavenly Father; all the rest is what he may be pleased to add unto us. To direct, to counsel and to advise in the disposition of our time, pertains to our calling as God's servants, according to the wisdom which he has given and will continue to give unto us as we seek it. [JD 18:354] Time is the property we inherit from God, along with the power to choose what we will do with it. President Young calls the gift of life, which is time and the power to dispose of it, so great an inheritance that we should feel it is our capital. The early Yankee families in America taught their children and grandchildren some rules about an inheritance. They were always to invest the capital they inherited and live only on part of the earnings. One rule was "Never spend your capital." And those families had confidence the rule would be followed because of an attitude of responsibility toward those who would follow in later generations. It didn't always work, but the hope was that inherited wealth would be felt a trust so important that no descendent would put pleasure ahead of obligation to those who would follow. Now, I can see and hear Brigham Young, who was as flinty a New Englander as the Adams or the Cabots ever hoped to be, as if he were leaning over this pulpit tonight. He would say something like this, with a directness and power I wish I could approach: "Your inheritance is time. It is capital far more precious than any lands or stocks or houses you will ever get. Spend it foolishly, and you will bankrupt yourself and cheapen the inheritance of those that follow you. Invest it wisely, and you will bless generations to come. “A Child of Promise”, BYU Speeches, 4 May 1986
Henry B. Eyring
Like a bee in a flower bed, the human brain naturally flits from one thought to the next. In the high-speed workplace, where data and headlines come thick and fast, we are all under pressure to think quickly. Reaction, rather than reflection, is the order of the day. To make the most of our time, and to avoid boredom, we fill up every spare moment with mental stimulation…Keeping the mind active makes poor use of our most precious resource. True, the brain can work wonders in high gear. But it will do so much more if given the chance to slow down from time to time. Shifting the mind into lower gear can bring better health, inner calm, enhanced concentration and the ability to think more creatively.
Carl Honoré (In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed)
Never having experienced inequality, therefore, the majority of straight white men will be absolutely oblivious to their own advantages – not because they must necessarily be insensitive, sexist, racist, homophobic or unaware of the principles of equality; but because they have been told, over and over again, that there is no inequality left for them – or anyone else – to experience – and everything they have experienced up to that point will only have proved them right. Let the impact of that sink in for a moment. By teaching children and teenagers that equality already exists, we are actively blinding the group that most benefits from inequality – straight white men – to the prospect that it doesn’t. Privilege to them feels indistinguishable from equality, because they’ve been raised to believe that this is how the world behaves for everyone. And because the majority of our popular culture is straight-white-male-dominated, stories that should be windows into empathy for other, less privileged experiences have instead become mirrors, reflecting back at them the one thing they already know: that their lives both are important and free from discrimination. And this hurts men. It hurts them by making them unconsciously perpetrate biases they’ve been actively taught to despise. It hurts them by making them complicit in the distress of others. It hurts them by shoehorning them into a restrictive definition masculinity from which any and all deviation is harshly punished. It hurts them by saying they will always be inferior parents and caregivers, that they must always be active and aggressive even when they long for passivity and quietude, that they must enjoy certain things like sports and beer and cars or else be deemed morally suspect. It hurts them through a process of indoctrination so subtle and pervasive that they never even knew it was happening , and when you’ve been raised to hate inequality, discovering that you’ve actually been its primary beneficiary is horrifying – like learning that the family fortune comes from blood money. Blog post 4/12/2012: Why Teaching Equality Hurts Men
Foz Meadows
Men learn to regard rape as a moment in time; a discreet episode with a beginning, middle, and end. But for women, rape is thousands of moments that we fold into ourselves over a lifetime. Its' the day that you realize you can't walk to a friend's house anymore or the time when your aunt tells you to be nice because the boy was just 'stealing a kiss.' It's the evening you stop going to the corner store because, the night before, a stranger followed you home. It's the late hour that a father or stepfather or brother or uncle climbs into your bed. It's the time it takes you to write an email explaining that you're changing your major, even though you don't really want to, in order to avoid a particular professor. It's when you're racing to catch a bus, hear a person demand a blow job, and turn to see that it's a police officer. It's the second your teacher tells you to cover your shoulders because you'll 'distract the boys, and what will your male teachers do?' It's the minute you decide not to travel to a place you've always dreamed about visiting and are accused of being 'unadventurous.' It's the sting of knowing that exactly as the world starts expanding for most boys, it begins to shrink for you. All of this goes on all day, every day, without anyone really uttering the word rape in a way that grandfathers, fathers, brothers, uncles, teachers, and friends will hear it, let alone seriously reflect on what it means.
Soraya Chemaly (Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger)
Of the seminal moments in my life, Careers Day in the autumn of Year 5 is my favorite. Everyone had to dress as whatever they wanted to be once they grew up. I had gone in a tweed jacket and a bow tie, and when Miss Weston asked me what I wanted to be, I told her that I wanted to be the Doctor. 'Shouldn't you be wearing a lab coat and stethoscope like Paul?' She pointed to Paul Black, who was trying to strangle everyone with the stethoscope in question. Before I could answer, a boy I didn't know from the other class spoke up. 'Paul's *a* doctor,' he explained, giving me a look of approval. 'He wants to be *the* Doctor.' 'Who?' 'Exactly,' we said at the same time, relieved that she understood. She didn't. We were sent to the quiet table to reflect on why cheeking teachers was wrong.
Non Pratt (Trouble)
Before the Law stands a doorkeeper on guard. To this doorkeeper there comes a man from the country who begs for admittance to the Law. But the doorkeeper says that he cannot admit the man at the moment. The man, on reflection, asks if he will be allowed, then, to enter later. 'It is possible,' answers the doorkeeper, 'but not at this moment.' Since the door leading into the Law stands open as usual and the doorkeeper steps to one side, the man bends down to peer through the entrance. When the doorkeeper sees that, he laughs and says: 'If you are so strongly tempted, try to get in without my permission. But note that I am powerful. And I am only the lowest doorkeeper. From hall to hall keepers stand at every door, one more powerful than the other. Even the third of these has an aspect that even I cannot bear to look at.' These are difficulties which the man from the country has not expected to meet, the Law, he thinks, should be accessible to every man and at all times, but when he looks more closely at the doorkeeper in his furred robe, with his huge pointed nose and long, thin, Tartar beard, he decides that he had better wait until he gets permission to enter. The doorkeeper gives him a stool and lets him sit down at the side of the door. There he sits waiting for days and years. He makes many attempts to be allowed in and wearies the doorkeeper with his importunity. The doorkeeper often engages him in brief conversation, asking him about his home and about other matters, but the questions are put quite impersonally, as great men put questions, and always conclude with the statement that the man cannot be allowed to enter yet. The man, who has equipped himself with many things for his journey, parts with all he has, however valuable, in the hope of bribing the doorkeeper. The doorkeeper accepts it all, saying, however, as he takes each gift: 'I take this only to keep you from feeling that you have left something undone.' During all these long years the man watches the doorkeeper almost incessantly. He forgets about the other doorkeepers, and this one seems to him the only barrier between himself and the Law. In the first years he curses his evil fate aloud; later, as he grows old, he only mutters to himself. He grows childish, and since in his prolonged watch he has learned to know even the fleas in the doorkeeper's fur collar, he begs the very fleas to help him and to persuade the doorkeeper to change his mind. Finally his eyes grow dim and he does not know whether the world is really darkening around him or whether his eyes are only deceiving him. But in the darkness he can now perceive a radiance that streams immortally from the door of the Law. Now his life is drawing to a close. Before he dies, all that he has experienced during the whole time of his sojourn condenses in his mind into one question, which he has never yet put to the doorkeeper. He beckons the doorkeeper, since he can no longer raise his stiffening body. The doorkeeper has to bend far down to hear him, for the difference in size between them has increased very much to the man's disadvantage. 'What do you want to know now?' asks the doorkeeper, 'you are insatiable.' 'Everyone strives to attain the Law,' answers the man, 'how does it come about, then, that in all these years no one has come seeking admittance but me?' The doorkeeper perceives that the man is at the end of his strength and that his hearing is failing, so he bellows in his ear: 'No one but you could gain admittance through this door, since this door was intended only for you. I am now going to shut it.
Franz Kafka (The Trial)
There is a theory that when a planet, like our earth for example, has manifested every form of life, when it has fulfilled itself to the point of exhaustion, it crumbles to bits and is dispersed like star dust throughout the universe. It does not roll on like a dead moon, but explodes, and in the space of a few minutes, there is not a trace of it visible in the heavens. In marine life we have a similar effect. it is called implosion. When an amphibian accustomed to the black depths rises above a certain level, when the pressure to which it adapts itself is lifted, the body bursts inwardly. Are we not familiar with this spectacle in the human being also? The norsemen who went berserk, the malay who runs amuck—are these not examples of implosion and explosion? When the cup is full it runs over. but when the cup and that which it contains are one substance, what then? There are moments when the elixir of life rises to such overbrimming splendor that the soul spills over. In the seraphic smile of the madonnas the soul is seen to flood the psyche. The moon of the face becomes full; the equation is perfect. A minute, a half minute, a second later, the miracle has passed. something intangible, something inexplicable, was given out—and received. In the life of a human being it may happen that the moon never comes to the full. In the life of some human beings it would seem, indeed, that the only mysterious phenomenon observable is that of perpetual eclipse. In the case of those afflicted with genius, whatever the form it may take, we are almost frightened to observe that there is nothing but a continuous waxing and waning of the moon. Rarer still are the anomalous ones who, having come to the full, are so terrified by the wonder of it that they spend the rest of their lives endeavoring to stifle that which gave them birth and being. The war of the mind is the story of the soul-split. When the moon was at full there were those who could not accept the dim death of diminution; they tried to hang full-blown in the zenith of their own heaven. They tried to arrest the action of the law which was manifesting itself through them, through their own birth and death, in fulfillment and transfiguration. Caught between the tides they were sundered; the soul departed the body, leaving the simulacrum of a divided self to fight it out in the mind. Blasted by their own radiance they live forever the futile quest of beauty, truth and harmony. Depossessed of their own effulgence they seek to possess the soul and spirit of those to whom they are attracted. They catch every beam of light; they reflect with every facet of their hungry being. instantly illumined, When the light is directed towards them, they are also speedily extinguished. The more intense the light which is cast upon them the more dazzling—and blinding—they appear. Especially dangerous are they to the radiant ones; it is always towards these bright and inexhaustible luminaries that they are most passionately drawn…
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
Nowhere can I think so happily as in a train. I am not inspired; nothing so uncomfortable as that. I am never seized with a sudden idea for a masterpiece, nor form a sudden plan for some new enterprise. My thoughts are just pleasantly reflective. I think of all the good deeds I have done, and (when these give out) of all the good deeds I am going to do. I look out of the window and say lazily to myself, “How jolly to live there”; and a little farther on, “How jolly not to live there.” I see a cow, and I wonder what it is like to be a cow, and I wonder whether the cow wonders what it is to be like me; and perhaps, by this time, we have passed on to a sheep, and I wonder if it is more fun being a sheep. My mind wanders on in a way which would annoy Pelman a good deal, but it wanders on quite happily, and the “clankety-clank” of the train adds a very soothing accompaniment. So soothing, indeed, that at any moment I can close my eyes and pass into a pleasant state of sleep.
A.A. Milne
Well, I think I laid down my sunshade first,'said Mrs. Twining reflectively. 'Ah, that doesn't interest you. I told Finch that I wanted to tidy my hair (a euphemism for "powder my nose", of course), and would show myself out on to the terrace.' 'And you did in fact powder your nose, Mrs. Twining, at the mirror over the fireplace?' 'Most thoroughly,' she agreed. 'How long did that take you?' She looked rather amused. 'When a woman powders her nose, Inspector, she loses count of time. My own estimate would be a moment or two; almost any man, I feel, would probably say, ages.' 'Were you as long, perhaps, as five minutes?' 'I hope not. Let us say three - without prejudice.
Georgette Heyer (The Unfinished Clue)
Daemon pulled the bright, deep-red sweater over his head and adjusted the collar of the gold-and-white-checked shirt. Satisfied, he studied his reflection. His eyes were butter melted by humor and good spirits, his face subtly altered by the relaxed, boyish grin. The change in his appearance startled him, but after a moment he just shook his head and brushed his hair. The difference was Jaenelle and the incalculable ways she worried, intrigued, fascinated, incensed, and delighted him. More than that, now, when he was so long past it, she was giving him—the bored, jaded Sadist—a childhood. She colored the days with magic and wonder, and all the things he’d ceased to pay attention to he saw again new. He grinned at his reflection. He felt like a twelve-year-old. No, not twelve. He was at least a sophisticated fourteen. Still young enough to play with a girl as a friend, yet old enough to contemplate the day he might sneak his first kiss. Daemon shrugged into his coat, went into the kitchen, pinched a couple of apples from the basket, sent Cook a broad wink, and gave himself up to a morning with Jaenelle.
Anne Bishop (Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels, #1))
And there I was at night, chasing after the full moon behind the clouds like a mad man in search of the reflection of the light of love in another person, without daring to light up the spark of light that I had left within myself. It was nowhere to be seen, but I felt it was out there somewhere. I've surely seen it a couple of days ago up in the sky and my eyes couldn't have lied to me, it was so beautiful, or so it appeared to be. I guess I have to stop stalking what can't be seen for awhile and let the light of the full moon find its way through my messed up soul. Maybe it's time to go to sleep and trust that another sunrise will renew what the full moon couldn't clear away tonight. During all that time, I might've not found the light of the moon, but I rested deeply with the sound of the raindrops, while gazing at the quiet river flowing slowly. What a crucial moment to be alive!
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
MICHAEL BERNARD BECKWITH Creation is always happening. Every time an individual has a thought, or a prolonged chronic way of thinking, they’re in the creation process. Something is going to manifest out of those thoughts. What you are thinking now is creating your future life. You create your life with your thoughts. Because you are always thinking, you are always creating. What you think about the most or focus on the most, is what will appear as your life. Like all the laws of nature, there is utter perfection in this law. You create your life. Whatever you sow, you reap! Your thoughts are seeds, and the harvest you reap will depend on the seeds you plant. If you are complaining, the law of attraction will powerfully bring into your life more situations for you to complain about. If you are listening to someone else complain and focusing on that, sympathizing with them, agreeing with them, in that moment, you are attracting more situations to yourself to complain about. The law is simply reflecting and giving back to you exactly what you are focusing on with your thoughts. With this powerful knowledge, you can completely change every circumstance and event in your entire life, by changing the way you think.
Rhonda Byrne (The Secret)
If for instance the sentiment possessing for the moment the empire of our mind is sorrow, will not the genius sharpen the sorrow and the sorrow purify the genius? Together, will they not be like a cut diamond for which language is only the wax on which they stamp their imprint? I believe that genius, thus awakened, has no need to seek out details, that it scarcely pauses to reflect, that it never thinks of unity: I believe that the details come naturally without search by the poet, that inspiration takes the place of reflection and as for unity, I think there is no unity so perfect as that which results from a heart filled with a single idea...The nature of genius is related to that of instinct; it's operation is both simple and marvelous.
Charlotte Brontë
Dear Daniel, How do you break up with your boyfriend in a way that tells him, "I don't want to sleep with you on a regular basis anymore, but please be available for late night booty calls if I run out of other options"? Lily Charlotte, NC Dear Lily, The story's so old you can't tell it anymore without everyone groaning, even your oldest friends with the last of their drinks shivering around the ice in their dirty glasses. The music playing is the same album everyone has. Those shoes, everybody has the same shoes on. It looked a little like rain so on person brought an umbrella, useless now in the starstruck clouded sky, forgotten on the way home, which is how the umbrella ended up in her place anyway. Everyone gets older on nights like this. And still it's a fresh slap in the face of everything you had going, that precarious shelf in the shallow closet that will certainly, certainly fall someday. Photographs slipping into a crack to be found by the next tenant, that one squinter third from the left laughing at something your roommate said, the coaster from that place in the city you used to live in, gone now. A letter that seemed important for reasons you can't remember, throw it out, the entry in the address book you won't erase but won't keep when you get a new phone, let it pass and don't worry about it. You don't think about them; "I haven't thought about them in forever," you would say if anybody brought it up, and nobody does." You think about them all the time. Close the book but forget to turn off the light, just sit staring in bed until you blink and you're out of it, some noise on the other side of the wall reminding you you're still here. That's it, that's everything. There's no statue in the town square with an inscription with words to live by. The actor got slapped this morning by someone she loved, slapped right across the face, but there's no trace of it on any channel no matter how late you watch. How many people--really, count them up--know where you are? How many will look after you when you don't show up? The churches and train stations are creaky and the street signs, the menus, the writing on the wall, it all feels like the wrong language. Nobody, nobody knows what you're thinking of when you lean your head against the wall. Put a sweater on when you get cold. Remind yourself, this is the night, because it is. You're free to sing what you want as you walk there, the trees rustling spookily and certainly and quietly and inimitably. Whatever shoes you want, fuck it, you're comfortable. Don't trust anyone's directions. Write what you might forget on the back of your hand, and slam down the cheap stuff and never mind the bad music from the window three floors up or what the boys shouted from the car nine years ago that keeps rattling around in your head, because you're here, you are, for the warmth of someone's wrists where the sleeve stops and the glove doesn't quite begin, and the slant of the voice on the punch line of the joke and the reflection of the moon in the water on the street as you stand still for a moment and gather your courage and take a breath before stealing away through the door. Look at it there. Take a good look. It looks like rain. Love, Daniel Handler
Daniel Handler
There is no ready vocabulary to describe the ways in which artists become artists, no recognition that artists must learn to be who they are (even as they cannot help being who they are.) We have a language that reflects how we learn to paint, but not how we learn to paint our paintings. How do you describe the [reader to place words here] that changes when craft swells to art? "Artists come together with the clear knowledge that when all is said and done, they will return to their studio and practice art alone. Period. That simple truth may be the deepest bond we share. The message across time from the painted bison and the carved ivory seal speaks not of the differences between the makers of that art and ourselves, but of the similarities. Today these similarities lay hidden beneath urban complexity -- audience, critics, economics, trivia -- in a self-conscious world. Only in those moments when we are truly working on our own work do we recover the fundamental connection we share with all makers of art. The rest may be necessary, but it's not art. Your job is to draw a line from your art to your life that is straight and clear.
David Bayles (Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking)
Likewise, civilizations have throughout history marched blindly toward disaster, because humans are wired to believe that tomorrow will be much like today — it is unnatural for us to think that this way of life, this present moment, this order of things is not stable and permanent. Across the world today, our actions testify to our belief that we can go on like this forever, burning oil, poisoning the seas, killing off other species, pumping carbon into the air, ignoring the ominous silence of our coal mine canaries in favor of the unending robotic tweets of our new digital imaginarium. Yet the reality of global climate change is going to keep intruding on our fantasies of perpetual growth, permanent innovation and endless energy, just as the reality of mortality shocks our casual faith in permanence.
Roy Scranton (Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization)
Dear friend…' The Witcher swore quietly, looking at the sharp, angular, even runes drawn with energetic sweeps of the pen, faultlessly reflecting the author’s mood. He felt once again the desire to try to bite his own backside in fury. When he was writing to the sorceress a month ago he had spent two nights in a row contemplating how best to begin. Finally, he had decided on “Dear friend.” Now he had his just deserts. 'Dear friend, your unexpected letter – which I received not quite three years after we last saw each other – has given me much joy. My joy is all the greater as various rumours have been circulating about your sudden and violent death. It is a good thing that you have decided to disclaim them by writing to me; it is a good thing, too, that you are doing so so soon. From your letter it appears that you have lived a peaceful, wonderfully boring life, devoid of all sensation. These days such a life is a real privilege, dear friend, and I am happy that you have managed to achieve it. I was touched by the sudden concern which you deigned to show as to my health, dear friend. I hasten with the news that, yes, I now feel well; the period of indisposition is behind me, I have dealt with the difficulties, the description of which I shall not bore you with. It worries and troubles me very much that the unexpected present you received from Fate brings you worries. Your supposition that this requires professional help is absolutely correct. Although your description of the difficulty – quite understandably – is enigmatic, I am sure I know the Source of the problem. And I agree with your opinion that the help of yet another magician is absolutely necessary. I feel honoured to be the second to whom you turn. What have I done to deserve to be so high on your list? Rest assured, my dear friend; and if you had the intention of supplicating the help of additional magicians, abandon it because there is no need. I leave without delay, and go to the place which you indicated in an oblique yet, to me, understandable way. It goes without saying that I leave in absolute secrecy and with great caution. I will surmise the nature of the trouble on the spot and will do all that is in my power to calm the gushing source. I shall try, in so doing, not to appear any worse than other ladies to whom you have turned, are turning or usually turn with your supplications. I am, after all, your dear friend. Your valuable friendship is too important to me to disappoint you, dear friend. Should you, in the next few years, wish to write to me, do not hesitate for a moment. Your letters invariably give me boundless pleasure. Your friend Yennefer' The letter smelled of lilac and gooseberries. Geralt cursed.
Andrzej Sapkowski (Krew elfów (Saga o Wiedźminie, #1))
The primitive idea of justice is partly legalized revenge and partly expiation by sacrifice. It works out from both sides in the notion that two blacks make a white, and that when a wrong has been done, it should be paid for by an equivalent suffering. It seems to the Philistine majority a matter of course that this compensating suffering should be inflicted on the wrongdoer for the sake of its deterrent effect on other would-be wrongdoers; but a moment's reflection will shew that this utilitarian application corrupts the whole transaction. For example, the shedding of blood cannot be balanced by the shedding of guilty blood. Sacrificing a criminal to propitiate God for the murder of one of his righteous servants is like sacrificing a mangy sheep or an ox with the rinderpest: it calls down divine wrath instead of appeasing it. In doing it we offer God as a sacrifice the gratification of our own revenge and the protection of our own lives without cost to ourselves; and cost to ourselves is the essence of sacrifice and expiation.
George Bernard Shaw (Androcles and the Lion)
Kaladin spun through the last motions of the kata, chasm forgotten, bridgemen forgotten, fatigue forgotten. For a moment, it was just him. Him and the wind. He fought with her, and she laughed. He snapped the spear back into place, holding the haft at the one-quarter position, spearhead down, bottom of the haft tucked underneath his arm, end rising back behind his head. He breathed in deeply, shivering. Oh, how I’ve missed that. He opened his eyes. Sputtering torchlight revealed a group of stunned bridgemen standing in a damp corridor of stone, the walls wet and reflecting the light. Moash dropped a handful of spheres in stunned silence, staring at Kaladin with mouth agape. Those spheres plopped into the puddle at his feet, causing it to glow, but none of the bridgemen noticed. They just stared at Kaladin, who was still in a battle stance, half crouched, trails of sweat running down the sides of his face. He blinked, realizing what he’d done. If word got back to Gaz that he was playing around with spears…Kaladin stood up straight and dropped the spear into the pile of weapons. “Sorry,” he whispered to it, though he didn’t know why. Then, louder, he said, “Back to work! I don’t want to be caught down here when night falls.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
You are still beautiful,” Fern said softly, her face turned to his. He was quiet for a moment, but he didn't pull away or groan or deny what she'd said. “I think that statement is more a reflection of your beauty than mine,” Ambrose said eventually, turning his head so he could look down at her. Fern's face was touched with moonglow, the color of her eyes and the red of her hair undecipherable in the wash of pale light. But her features were clear–the dark pools of expressive eyes, the small nose and soft mouth, the earnest slant of her brow that indicated she didn't understand his response. “You know that thing people always say, about beauty being in the eye of the beholder?” “Yes?” “I always thought it meant we all have different tastes, different preferences . . . you know? Some guys focus on the legs, some guys prefer blondes, some men like girls with long hair, that kind of thing. I never thought about it really, not before this moment. But maybe you see beauty in me because you are beautiful, not because I am.” “Beautiful on the inside?” “Yes.
Amy Harmon (Making Faces)
My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of war-time. These memories, which are my life--for we possess nothing certainly except the past--were always with me. Like the pigeons of St. Mark's, theywere everywhere, under my feet, singly, in pairs, in little honey-voiced congregations, nodding, strutting, winking, rolling the tender feathers of their necks, perching sometimes, if I stood still, on my shoulder or pecking a broken biscuit from between my lips; until, suddenly, the noon gun boomed and in a moment, with a flutter and sweep of wings, the pavement was bare and the whole sky above dark with a tumult of fowl. Thus it was that morning. These memories are the memorials and pledges of the vital hours of a lifetime. These hours of afflatus in the human spirit, the springs of art, are, in their mystery, akin to the epochs of history, when a race which for centuries has lived content, unknown, behind its own frontiers, digging, eating, sleeping, begetting, doing what was requisite for survival and nothing else, will, for a generation or two, stupefy the world; commit all manner of crimes, perhaps; follow the wildest chimeras, go down in the end in agony, but leave behind a record of new heights scaled and new rewards won for all mankind; the vision fades, the soul sickens, and the routine of survival starts again. The human soul enjoys these rare, classic periods, but, apart from them, we are seldom single or unique; we keep company in this world with a hoard of abstractions and reflections and counterfeits of ourselves -- the sensual man, the economic man, the man of reason, the beast, the machine and the sleep-walker, and heaven knows what besides, all in our own image, indistinguishable from ourselves to the outward eye. We get borne along, out of sight in the press, unresisting, till we get the chance to drop behind unnoticed, or to dodge down a side street, pause, breathe freely and take our bearings, or to push ahead, out-distance our shadows, lead them a dance, so that when at length they catch up with us, they look at one another askance, knowing we have a secret we shall never share.
Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited)
The idea of being forgotten is terrifying. I fear not just that I, personally, will be forgotten, but that we are all doomed to being forgotten—that the sum of life is ultimately nothing; that we experience joy and disappointment and aches and delights and loss, make our little mark on the world, and then we vanish, and the mark is erased, and it is as if we never existed. If you gaze into that bleakness even for a moment, the sum of life becomes null and void, because if nothing lasts, nothing matters. It means that everything we experience unfolds without a pattern, and life is just a wild, random, baffling occurrence, a scattering of notes with no melody. But if something you learn or observe or imagine can be set down and saved, and if you can see your life reflected in previous lives, and can imagine it reflected in subsequent ones, you can begin to discover order and harmony. You know that you are a part of a larger story that has shape and purpose—a tangible, familiar past and a constantly refreshed future. We are all whispering in a tin can on a string, but we are heard, so we whisper the message into the next tin can and the next string. Writing a book, just like building a library, is an act of sheer defiance. It is a declaration that you believe in the persistence of memory. In Senegal, the polite expression for saying someone died is to say his or her library has burned. When I first heard the phrase, I didn’t understand it, but over time I came to realize it was perfect. Our minds and souls contain volumes inscribed by our experiences and emotions; each individual’s consciousness is a collection of memories we’ve cataloged and stored inside us, a private library of a life lived. It is something that no one else can entirely share, one that burns down and disappears when we die. But if you can take something from that internal collection and share it—with one person or with the larger world, on the page or in a story recited—it takes on a life of its own.
Susan Orlean (The Library Book)
Let us suppose that the great empire of China, with all its myriads of inhabitants, was suddenly swallowed up by an earthquake, and let us consider how a man of humanity in Europe, who had no sort of connection with that part of the world, would be affected upon receiving intelligence of this dreadful calamity. He would, I imagine, first of all, express very strongly his sorrow for the misfortune of that unhappy people, he would make many melancholy reflections upon the precariousness of human life, and the vanity of all the labours of man, which could thus be annihilated in a moment. He would too, perhaps, if he was a man of speculation, enter into many reasonings concerning the effects which this disaster might produce upon the commerce of Europe, and the trade and business of the world in general. And when all this fine philosophy was over, when all these humane sentiments had been once fairly expressed, he would pursue his business or his pleasure, take his repose or his diversion, with the same ease and tranquillity, as if no such accident had happened. The most frivolous disaster which could befall himself would occasion a more real disturbance. If he was to lose his little finger to-morrow, he would not sleep to-night; but, provided he never saw them, he will snore with the most profound security over the ruin of a hundred millions of his brethren, and the destruction of that immense multitude seems plainly an object less interesting to him, than this paltry misfortune of his own. To prevent, therefore, this paltry misfortune to himself, would a man of humanity be willing to sacrifice the lives of a hundred millions of his brethren, provided he had never seen them? Human nature startles with horror at the thought, and the world, in its greatest depravity and corruption, never produced such a villain as could be capable of entertaining it. But what makes this difference? When our passive feelings are almost always so sordid and so selfish, how comes it that our active principles should often be so generous and so noble? When we are always so much more deeply affected by whatever concerns ourselves, than by whatever concerns other men; what is it which prompts the generous, upon all occasions, and the mean upon many, to sacrifice their own interests to the greater interests of others? It is not the soft power of humanity, it is not that feeble spark of benevolence which Nature has lighted up in the human heart, that is thus capable of counteracting the strongest impulses of self-love. It is a stronger power, a more forcible motive, which exerts itself upon such occasions. It is reason, principle, conscience, the inhabitant of the breast, the man within, the great judge and arbiter of our conduct.
Adam Smith (The Theory of Moral Sentiments)
In those moments of moving through the streets with people who share one's beliefs comes the rare and magical possibility of a kind of populist communion...At such times it is as though the still small pool of one's own identity has been overrun by a great flood, bringing its own grand collective desires and resentments, scouring out that pool so thoroughly that one no longer feels fear or sees the reflections of oneself but is carried along on that insurrectionary surge. These moments when individuals find others who share their dreams, when fear is overwhelmed by idealism or by outrage, when people feel a strength that surprises them, are moments in which they become heroes—for what are heroes but those so motivated by ideals that fear cannot sway them, those who speak for us, those who have power for good? A person who never feels it is condemned to cynicism and isolation. In those moments everyone becomes a visionary, everyone becomes a hero.
Rebecca Solnit (Wanderlust: A History of Walking)
Do you suppose, gentlemen, that our children as they grow up and begin to reason can avoid such questions? No, they cannot, and we will not impose on them an impossible restriction. The sight of an unworthy father involuntarily suggests tormenting questions to a young creature, especially when he compares him with the excellent fathers of his companions. The conventional answer to this question is: 'He begot you, and you are his flesh and blood, and therefore you are bound to love him.' The youth involuntarily reflects: 'But did he love me when he begot me?' he asks, wondering more and more. 'Was it for my sake he begot me? He did not know me, not even my sex, at that moment, at the moment of passion, perhaps, inflamed by wine, and he has only transmitted to me a propensity to drunkenness- that's all he's done for me.... Why am I bound to love him simply for begetting me when he has cared nothing for me all my life after? Oh, perhaps those questions strike you as coarse and cruel, but do not expect an impossible restraint from a young mind. 'Drive nature out of the door and it will fly in at the window'.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
(Quoted in Dennis Okholm's Monk Habits for Everyday People) Settle down in your room at a moment when you have nothing else to do. Say "I am now with myself," and just sit with yourself. After an amazingly short time you will most likely feel bored. This teaches us one very useful thing. It gives us insight into the fact that if after ten minutes of being alone with ourselves we feel like that, it is no wonder that others should feel equally bored! Why is this so? It is so because we have so little to offer to our own selves as food for thought, for emotion and for life. If you watch your life carefully you will discover quite soon that we hardly ever live from within outwards; instead we respond to incitement, to excitement. In other words, we live by reflection, by reaction... We are completely empty, we do not act from within ourselves but accept as our life a life which is actually fed in from the outside; we are used to things happening which compel us to do other things. How seldom can we live simply by means of the depth and the richness we assume that there is within ourselves.
Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh
The idea of being forgotten is terrifying. I fear not just that I, personally, will be forgotten but that we are all doomed to being forgotten; that the sum of life is ultimately nothing; that we experience joy and disappointment and aches and delights and loss, make our little mark on the world, and then we vanish, and the mark is erased, and it is as if we never existed. If you gaze into that bleakness even for a moment, the sum of life becomes null and void, because if nothing lasts nothing matters. Everything we experience unfolds without a pattern, and life is just a baffling occurrence, a scattering of notes with no melody. But if something you learn or observe or imagine can be set down and saved, and if you can see your life reflected in previous lives, and can imagine it reflected in subsequent ones, you can begin to discover order and harmony. You know that you are a part of a larger story that has shape and purpose—a tangible, familiar past and a constantly refreshed future. We are all whispering in a tin can on a string, but we are heard, so we whisper the message into the next tin can and the next string. Writing a book is an act of sheer defiance. It is a declaration that you believe in the persistence of memory.
Susan Orlean
The apartment was entirely, was only, for her: a wall of books, both read and unread, all of them dear to her not only in themselves, their tender spines, but in the moments or periods they evoked. She had kept some books since college that she had acquired for courses and never read—Fredric Jameson, for example, and Kant’s Critique of Judgment—but which suggested to her that she was, or might be, a person of seriousness, a thinker in some seeping, ubiquitous way; and she had kept, too, a handful of children’s books taken fro her now-dismantled girlhood room, like Charlotte’s Web and the Harriet the Spy novels, that conjured for her an earlier, passionately earnest self, the sober child who read constantly in the back of her parents’ Buick, oblivious to her brother punching her knee, oblivious to her parents’ squabbling, oblivious to the traffic and landscapes pressing upon her from outside the window. She had, in addition to her books, a modest shelf of tapes and CDs that served a similar, though narrower, function…she was aware that her collection was comprised largely of mainstream choices that reflected—whether popular or classical—not so much an individual spirit as the generic tastes of her times: Madonna, the Eurythmics, Tracy Chapman from her adolescence; Cecilia Bartoli, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Mitsuko Uchida; more recently Moby and the posthumously celebrated folk-singing woman from Washington, DC, who had died of a melanoma in her early thirties, and whose tragic tale attracted Danielle more than her familiar songs. Her self, then, was represented in her books; her times in her records; and the rest of the room she thought of as a pure, blank slate.
Claire Messud (The Emperor's Children)
Until now, I've been writing about "now" as if it were literally an instant of time, but of course human faculties are not infinitely precise. It is simplistic to suppose that physical events and mental events march along exactly in step, with the stream of "actual moments" in the outside world and the stream of conscious awareness of them perfectly synchronized. The cinema industry depends on the phenomenon that what seems to us a movie is really a succession of still pictures, running at twenty-five [sic] frames per second. We don't notice the joins. Evidently the "now" of our conscious awareness stretches over at least 1/25 of a second. In fact, psychologists are convinced it can last a lot longer than that. Take he familiar "tick-tock" of the clock. Well, the clock doesn't go "tick-tock" at all; it goes "tick-tick," every tick producing the same sound. It's just that our consciousness runs two successive ticks into a singe "tick-tock" experience—but only if the duration between ticks is less than about three seconds. A really bug pendulum clock just goes "tock . . . tock . . . tock," whereas a bedside clock chatters away: "ticktockticktock..." Two to three seconds seems to be the duration over which our minds integrate sense data into a unitary experience, a fact reflected in the structure of human music and poetry.
Paul C.W. Davies (About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution)
This was my evening out:bopping back and forth, away from whichever convo made me the most uncomfortable. I walked back to the booth and stood next to Nick.He was leaning forward, listening to what Davis and Gavin were saying. I waited for them to finish. I stood naked beside him-wearing BOY TOY jeans,a long-sleeved shirt,and a short-sleeved PowderRoom.net T-shirt over that, but feeling naked nevertheless-for several long seconds. When he finally noticed me,he looked up quickly like he'd been waiting on edge for my return. He set down his pizza, crumpled his napkin in his hands, and even slid his half-filled plate toward the center of the table like I was the main course now and he was making room for me. "So,Hoyden." I noticed the Christmas lights glinting in his dark hair again, reflecting in his dark eyes. It took me a moment to remember I had something to tell him. Nick had that effect on me. I bent down and cupped my hand around his ear-such an intimate gesture on its own.The coarse strands of his hair brushed my fingers as I whispered, "Chloe and Liz think we need to make out." I jumped away at his sudden movement. He leaped up from the table and grabbed my hand. "I'll get my coat.
Jennifer Echols (The Ex Games)
As we have seen, prayer, celebration of the religious offices, alms, consoling the afflicted, the cultivation of a little piece of ground, fraternity, frugality, hospitality, self-sacrifice, confidence, study, and work, filled up each day of his life. Filled up is exactly the phrase; and in fact, the Bishop's day was full to the brim with good thoughts, good words, and good actions. Yet it was not complete if cold or rainy weather prevented him from passing an hour or two in the evening, when the two women had retired, in his garden before going to sleep. It seemed as though it were a sort of rite with him, to prepare himself for sleep by meditating in the presence of the great spectacle of the starry firmament. Sometimes late at night, if the two women were awake, they would hear him slowly walking the paths. He was out there alone with himself, composed, tranquil, adoring, comparing the serenity of his heart with the serenity of the skies, moved in the darkness by the visible splendors of the constellations, and the invisible splendor of God, opening his soul to the thoughts that fall from the Unknown. In such moments, offering up his heart at the hour when the flowers of night emit their perfume, lit like a lamp in the center of the starry night, expanding his soul in ecstasy in the midst of creation’s universal radiance, perhaps he could not have told what was happening in his own mind; he felt something depart from him, and something descend upon him; mysterious exchanges of the depths of the soul with the depths of the universe. He contemplated the grandeur, and the presence of God; the eternity of the future, that strange mystery; the eternity of the past, a stranger mystery; all the infinities hidden deep in every direction; and, without trying to comprehend the incomprehensible, he saw it. He did not study God; he was dazzled by Him. He reflected upon the magnificent union of atoms, which give visible forms to Nature, revealing forces by recognizing them, creating individualities in unity, proportions in extension, the innumerable in the infinite, and through light producing beauty. These unions are forming and dissolving continually; from which come life and death. He would sit on a wooden bench leaning against a decrepit trellis and look at the stars through the irregular outlines of his fruit trees. This quarter of an acre of ground, so sparingly planted, so cluttered with shed and ruins, was dear to him and satisfied him. What more was needed by this old man, who divided the leisure hours of his life, where he had so little leisure, between gardening in the day time, and contemplation at night? Was this narrow enclosure, with the sky for a background not space enough for him to adore God in his most beautiful, most sublime works? Indeed, is that not everything? What more do you need? A little garden to walk in, and immensity to reflect on. At his feet something to cultivate and gather; above his head something to study and meditate on; a few flowers on earth and all the stars in the sky.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Remember that your perception of the world is a reflection of your state of consciousness. You are not separate from it, and there is no objective world out there. Every moment, your consciousness creates the world that you inhabit. One of the greatest insights that has come out of modern physics is that of the unity between the observer and the observed: the person conducting the experiment — the observing consciousness — cannot be separated from the observed phenomena, and a different way of looking causes the observed phenomena to behave differently. If you believe, on a deep level, in separation and the struggle for survival, then you see that belief reflected all around you and your perceptions are governed by fear. You inhabit a world of death and of bodies fighting, killing, and devouring each other. Nothing is what it seems to be. The world that you create and see through the egoic mind may seem a very imperfect place, even a vale of tears. But whatever you perceive is only a kind of symbol, like an image in a dream. It is how your consciousness interprets and interacts with the molecular energy dance of the universe. This energy is the raw material of so-called physical reality. You see it in terms of bodies and birth and death, or as a struggle for survival. An infinite number of completely different interpretations, completely different worlds, is possible and, in fact, exists — all depending on the perceiving consciousness. Every being is a focal point of consciousness, and every such focal point creates its own world, although all those worlds are interconnected. There is a human world, an ant world, a dolphin world, and so on. There are countless beings whose consciousness frequency is so different from yours that you are probably unaware of their existence, as they are of yours. Highly conscious beings who are aware of their connectedness with the Source and with each other would inhabit a world that to you would appear as a heavenly realm — and yet all worlds are ultimately one.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
(Ivan) Hold your tongue, or I'll kill you! (The devil) You'll kill me? No, excuse me, I will speak. I came to treat myself to that pleasure. Oh, I love the dreams of my ardent young friends, quivering with eagerness for life! 'There are new men,' you decided last spring, when you were meaning to come here, 'they propose to destroy everything and begin with cannibalism. Stupid fellows! they didn't ask my advice! I maintain that nothing need be destroyed, that we only need to destroy the idea of God in man, that's how we have to set to work. It's that, that we must begin with. Oh, blind race of men who have no understanding! As soon as men have all of them denied God -- and I believe that period, analogous with geological periods, will come to pass -- the old conception of the universe will fall of itself without cannibalism, and, what's more, the old morality, and everything will begin anew. Men will unite to take from life all it can give, but only for joy and happiness in the present world. Man will be lifted up with a spirit of divine Titanic pride and the man-god will appear. From hour to hour extending his conquest of nature infinitely by his will and his science, man will feel such lofty joy from hour to hour in doing it that it will make up for all his old dreams of the joys of heaven. Everyone will know that he is mortal and will accept death proudly and serenely like a god. His pride will teach him that it's useless for him to repine at life's being a moment, and he will love his brother without need of reward. Love will be sufficient only for a moment of life, but the very consciousness of its momentariness will intensify its fire, which now is dissipated in dreams of eternal love beyond the grave'... and so on and so on in the same style. Charming! Ivan sat with his eyes on the floor, and his hands pressed to his ears, but he began trembling all over. The voice continued. (The devil) The question now is, my young thinker reflected, is it possible that such a period will ever come? If it does, everything is determined and humanity is settled for ever. But as, owing to man's inveterate stupidity, this cannot come about for at least a thousand years, everyone who recognises the truth even now may legitimately order his life as he pleases, on the new principles. In that sense, 'all things are lawful' for him. What's more, even if this period never comes to pass, since there is anyway no God and no immortality, the new man may well become the man-god, even if he is the only one in the whole world, and promoted to his new position, he may lightheartedly overstep all the barriers of the old morality of the old slaveman, if necessary. There is no law for God. Where God stands, the place is holy. Where I stand will be at once the foremost place... 'all things are lawful' and that's the end of it! That's all very charming; but if you want to swindle why do you want a moral sanction for doing it? But that's our modern Russian all over. He can't bring himself to swindle without a moral sanction. He is so in love with truth-.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Colored like a sunset tide is a gaze sharply slicing through the reflective glass. A furrowed brow is set much too seriously, as if trying to unfold the pieces of the face that stared back at it. One eyebrow is raised skeptically, always calculating and analyzing its surroundings. I tilt my head trying to see the deeper meaning in my features, trying to imagine the connection between my looks and my character as I stare in the mirror for the required five minutes. From the dark brown hair fastened tightly in a bun, a curl as bright as woven gold comes loose. A flash of unruly hair prominent through the typical browns is like my temper; always there, but not always visible. I begin to grow frustrated with the girl in the mirror, and she cocks her hip as if mocking me. In a moment, her lips curve in a half smile, not quite detectable in sight but rather in feeling, like the sensation of something good just around the corner. A chin was set high in a stubborn fashion, symbolizing either persistence or complete adamancy. Shoulders are held stiff like ancient mountains, proud but slightly arrogant. The image watches with the misty eyes of a daydreamer, glazed over with a sort of trance as if in the middle of a reverie, or a vision. Every once and a while, her true fears surface in those eyes, terror that her life would amount to nothing, that her work would have no impact. Words written are meant to be read, and sometimes I worry that my thoughts and ideas will be lost with time. My dream is to be an author, to be immortalized in print and live forever in the minds of avid readers. I want to access the power in being able to shape the minds of the young and open, and alter the minds of the old and resolute. Imagine the power in living forever, and passing on your ideas through generations. With each new reader, a new layer of meaning is uncovered in writing, meaning that even the author may not have seen. In the mirror, I see a girl that wants to change the world, and change the way people think and reason. Reflection and image mean nothing, for the girl in the mirror is more than a one dimensional picture. She is someone who has followed my footsteps with every lesson learned, and every mistake made. She has been there to help me find a foothold in the world, and to catch me when I fall. As the lights blink out, obscuring her face, I realize that although that image is one that will puzzle me in years to come, she and I aren’t so different after all.
K.D. Enos
..I began speaking.. First, I took issue with the media's characterization of the post-Katrina New Orleans as resembling the third world as its poor citizens clamored for a way out. I suggested that my experience in New Orleans working with the city's poorest people in the years before the storm had reflected the reality of third-world conditions in New Orleans, and that Katrina had not turned New Orleans into a third-world city but had only revealed it to the world as such. I explained that my work, running Reprieve, a charity that brought lawyers and volunteers to the Deep South from abroad to work on death penalty issues, had made it clear to me that much of the world had perceived this third-world reality, even if it was unnoticed by our own citizens. To try answer Ryan's question, I attempted to use my own experience to explain that for many people in New Orleans, and in poor communities across the country, the government was merely an antagonist, a terrible landlord, a jailer, and a prosecutor. As a lawyer assigned to indigent people under sentence of death and paid with tax dollars, I explained the difficulty of working with clients who stand to be executed and who are provided my services by the state, not because they deserve them, but because the Constitution requires that certain appeals to be filed before these people can be killed. The state is providing my clients with my assistance, maybe the first real assistance they have ever received from the state, so that the state can kill them. I explained my view that the country had grown complacent before Hurricane Katrina, believing that the civil rights struggle had been fought and won, as though having a national holiday for Martin Luther King, or an annual march by politicians over the bridge in Selma, Alabama, or a prosecution - forty years too late - of Edgar Ray Killen for the murder of civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi, were any more than gestures. Even though President Bush celebrates his birthday, wouldn't Dr. King cry if he could see how little things have changed since his death? If politicians or journalists went to Selma any other day of the year, they would see that it is a crumbling city suffering from all of the woes of the era before civil rights were won as well as new woes that have come about since. And does anyone really think that the Mississippi criminal justice system could possibly be a vessel of social change when it incarcerates a greater percentage of its population than almost any place in the world, other than Louisiana and Texas, and then compels these prisoners, most of whom are black, to work prison farms that their ancestors worked as chattel of other men? ... I hoped, out loud, that the post-Katrina experience could be a similar moment [to the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fiasco], in which the American people could act like the children in the story and declare that the emperor has no clothes, and hasn't for a long time. That, in light of Katrina, we could be visionary and bold about what people deserve. We could say straight out that there are people in this country who are racist, that minorities are still not getting a fair shake, and that Republican policies heartlessly disregard the needs of individual citizens and betray the common good. As I stood there, exhausted, in front of the thinning audience of New Yorkers, it seemed possible that New Orleans's destruction and the suffering of its citizens hadn't been in vain.
Billy Sothern (Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City)
To the extent that propaganda is based on current news, it cannot permit time for thought or reflection. A man caught up in the news must remain on the surface of the event; be is carried along in the current, and can at no time take a respite to judge and appreciate; he can never stop to reflect. There is never any awareness -- of himself, of his condition, of his society -- for the man who lives by current events. Such a man never stops to investigate any one point, any more than he will tie together a series of news events. We already have mentioned man's inability to consider several facts or events simultaneously and to make a synthesis of them in order to face or to oppose them. One thought drives away another; old facts are chased by new ones. Under these conditions there can be no thought. And, in fact, modern man does not think about current problems; he feels them. He reacts, but be does not understand them any more than he takes responsibility for them. He is even less capable of spotting any inconsistency between successive facts; man's capacity to forget is unlimited. This is one of the most important and useful points for the propagandist, who can always be sure that a particular propaganda theme, statement, or event will be forgotten within a few weeks. Moreover, there is a spontaneous defensive reaction in the individual against an excess of information and -- to the extent that he clings (unconsciously) to the unity of his own person -- against inconsistencies. The best defense here is to forget the preceding event. In so doing, man denies his own continuity; to the same extent that he lives on the surface of events and makes today's events his life by obliterating yesterday's news, he refuses to see the contradictions in his own life and condemns himself to a life of successive moments, discontinuous and fragmented. This situation makes the "current-events man" a ready target for propaganda. Indeed, such a man is highly sensitive to the influence of present-day currents; lacking landmarks, he follows all currents. He is unstable because he runs after what happened today; he relates to the event, and therefore cannot resist any impulse coming from that event. Because he is immersed in current affairs, this man has a psychological weakness that puts him at the mercy of the propagandist. No confrontation ever occurs between the event and the truth; no relationship ever exists between the event and the person. Real information never concerns such a person. What could be more striking, more distressing, more decisive than the splitting of the atom, apart from the bomb itself? And yet this great development is kept in the background, behind the fleeting and spectacular result of some catastrophe or sports event because that is the superficial news the average man wants. Propaganda addresses itself to that man; like him, it can relate only to the most superficial aspect of a spectacular event, which alone can interest man and lead him to make a certain decision or adopt a certain attitude. But here we must make an important qualification. The news event may be a real fact, existing objectively, or it may be only an item of information, the dissemination of a supposed fact. What makes it news is its dissemination, not its objective reality.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
You sometimes hear people say, with a certain pride in their clerical resistance to the myth, that the nineteenth century really ended not in 1900 but in 1914. But there are different ways of measuring an epoch. 1914 has obvious qualifications; but if you wanted to defend the neater, more mythical date, you could do very well. In 1900 Nietzsche died; Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams; 1900 was the date of Husserl Logic, and of Russell's Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz. With an exquisite sense of timing Planck published his quantum hypothesis in the very last days of the century, December 1900. Thus, within a few months, were published works which transformed or transvalued spirituality, the relation of language to knowing, and the very locus of human uncertainty, henceforth to be thought of not as an imperfection of the human apparatus but part of the nature of things, a condition of what we may know. 1900, like 1400 and 1600 and 1000, has the look of a year that ends a saeculum. The mood of fin de siècle is confronted by a harsh historical finis saeculi. There is something satisfying about it, some confirmation of the rightness of the patterns we impose. But as Focillon observed, the anxiety reflected by the fin de siècle is perpetual, and people don't wait for centuries to end before they express it. Any date can be justified on some calculation or other. And of course we have it now, the sense of an ending. It has not diminished, and is as endemic to what we call modernism as apocalyptic utopianism is to political revolution. When we live in the mood of end-dominated crisis, certain now-familiar patterns of assumption become evident. Yeats will help me to illustrate them. For Yeats, an age would end in 1927; the year passed without apocalypse, as end-years do; but this is hardly material. 'When I was writing A Vision,' he said, 'I had constantly the word "terror" impressed upon me, and once the old Stoic prophecy of earthquake, fire and flood at the end of an age, but this I did not take literally.' Yeats is certainly an apocalyptic poet, but he does not take it literally, and this, I think, is characteristic of the attitude not only of modern poets but of the modern literary public to the apocalyptic elements. All the same, like us, he believed them in some fashion, and associated apocalypse with war. At the turning point of time he filled his poems with images of decadence, and praised war because he saw in it, ignorantly we may think, the means of renewal. 'The danger is that there will be no war.... Love war because of its horror, that belief may be changed, civilization renewed.' He saw his time as a time of transition, the last moment before a new annunciation, a new gyre. There was horror to come: 'thunder of feet, tumult of images.' But out of a desolate reality would come renewal. In short, we can find in Yeats all the elements of the apocalyptic paradigm that concern us.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
Did he say anything to you?” “Just that I was supposed to watch you while he was gone. A hunt can take several days.” “Really? I had no idea it would take that long.” I hestitated, “So…he doesn’t mind you staying here while he’s gone.” “Oh, he minds,” he chuckled, “but he wants to make sure you’re safe. At least he trusts me that much.” “Well, I think he’s mad at both of us right now.” Kishan looked at me curiously with a raised eyebrow. “How so?” “Um…let’s just say we had a misunderstanding.” Kishan’s face turned hard. “Don’t worry, Kelsey. I’m sure that whatever he’s upset about is foolish. He’s very argumentative.” I sighed and shook my head sadly. “No, it’s really all my fault. I’m difficult, a hindrance, and I’m a pain to have around sometimes. He’s probably used to being around sophisticated, more experienced women who are much more…more…well, more than I am.” Kishan quirked an eyebrow. “Ren hasn’t been around any women as far as I know. I must confess that I’m now exceedingly curious as to what your argument was about. Whether you tell me or not, I won’t tolerate any more derogatory comments about yourself. He’s lucky to have you, and he’d better realize it.” He grinned. “Of course, if you did have a falling out, you’re always welcome to stay with me.” “Thanks for the offer, but I don’t really want to live in the jungle.” He laughed. “For you, I would even consider a change of residence. You, my lovely, are a prize worth fighting for.” I laughed and punched him lightly on the arm. “You, sir, are a major flirt. Worth fighting for? I think you two have been tigers for too long. I’m no great beauty, especially when I’m stuck out here in the jungle. I haven’t even picked a college major yet. What have I ever done that would make someone want to fight over me?” Kishan apparently took my rhetorical questions seriously. He reflected for a moment, and then answered, “For one thing, I’ve never met a woman so dedicated to helping others. You put your own life at risk for a person you met only a few weeks ago. You are confident, feisty, intelligent, and full of empathy. I find you charming and, yes, beautiful.” The golden-eyed prince fingered a strand of my hair. I blushed at his assessment, sipped my water, and then said softly, “I don’t like him being angry with me.” Kishan shrugged and dropped his hand, looking slightly annoyed that I’d steered the conversation back to Ren. “Yes. I’ve been on the receiving side of his anger, and I’ve learned not to underestimate his ability to hold a grudge.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
This afternoon, being on Fair Haven Hill, I heard the sound of a saw, and soon after from the Cliff saw two men sawing down a noble pine beneath, about forty rods off. I resolved to watch it till it fell, the last of a dozen or more which were left when the forest was cut and for fifteen years have waved in solitary majesty over the sprout-land. I saw them like beavers or insects gnawing at the trunk of this noble tree, the diminutive manikins with their cross-cut saw which could scarcely span it. It towered up a hundred feet as I afterward found by measurement, one of the tallest probably in the township and straight as an arrow, but slanting a little toward the hillside, its top seen against the frozen river and the hills of Conantum. I watch closely to see when it begins to move. Now the sawers stop, and with an axe open it a little on the side toward which it leans, that it may break the faster. And now their saw goes again. Now surely it is going; it is inclined one quarter of the quadrant, and, breathless, I expect its crashing fall. But no, I was mistaken; it has not moved an inch; it stands at the same angle as at first. It is fifteen minutes yet to its fall. Still its branches wave in the wind, as it were destined to stand for a century, and the wind soughs through its needles as of yore; it is still a forest tree, the most majestic tree that waves over Musketaquid. The silvery sheen of the sunlight is reflected from its needles; it still affords an inaccessible crotch for the squirrel’s nest; not a lichen has forsaken its mast-like stem, its raking mast,—the hill is the hulk. Now, now’s the moment! The manikins at its base are fleeing from their crime. They have dropped the guilty saw and axe. How slowly and majestic it starts! as it were only swayed by a summer breeze, and would return without a sigh to its location in the air. And now it fans the hillside with its fall, and it lies down to its bed in the valley, from which it is never to rise, as softly as a feather, folding its green mantle about it like a warrior, as if, tired of standing, it embraced the earth with silent joy, returning its elements to the dust again. But hark! there you only saw, but did not hear. There now comes up a deafening crash to these rocks , advertising you that even trees do not die without a groan. It rushes to embrace the earth, and mingle its elements with the dust. And now all is still once more and forever, both to eye and ear. I went down and measured it. It was about four feet in diameter where it was sawed, about one hundred feet long. Before I had reached it the axemen had already divested it of its branches. Its gracefully spreading top was a perfect wreck on the hillside as if it had been made of glass, and the tender cones of one year’s growth upon its summit appealed in vain and too late to the mercy of the chopper. Already he has measured it with his axe, and marked off the mill-logs it will make. And the space it occupied in upper air is vacant for the next two centuries. It is lumber. He has laid waste the air. When the fish hawk in the spring revisits the banks of the Musketaquid, he will circle in vain to find his accustomed perch, and the hen-hawk will mourn for the pines lofty enough to protect her brood. A plant which it has taken two centuries to perfect, rising by slow stages into the heavens, has this afternoon ceased to exist. Its sapling top had expanded to this January thaw as the forerunner of summers to come. Why does not the village bell sound a knell? I hear no knell tolled. I see no procession of mourners in the streets, or the woodland aisles. The squirrel has leaped to another tree; the hawk has circled further off, and has now settled upon a new eyrie, but the woodman is preparing [to] lay his axe at the root of that also.
Henry David Thoreau (The Journal, 1837-1861)
Higher purpose: I am here to serve. I am here to inspire. I am here to love. I am here to live my truth. Communion: I will appreciate someone who doesn’t know that I feel that way. I will overlook the tension and be friendly to someone who has ignored me. I will express at least one feeling that has made me feel guilty or embarrassed. Awareness: I will spend ten minutes observing instead of speaking. I will sit quietly by myself just to sense how my body feels. If someone irritates me, I will ask myself what I really feel beneath the anger—and I won’t stop paying attention until the anger is gone. Acceptance: I will spend five minutes thinking about the best qualities of someone I really dislike. I will read about a group that I consider totally intolerant and try to see the world as they do. I will look in the mirror and describe myself exactly as if I were the perfect mother or father I wish I had had (beginning with the sentence “How beautiful you are in my eyes”). Creativity: I will imagine five things I could do that my family would never expect—and then I will do at least one of them. I will outline a novel based on my life (every incident will be true, but no one would ever guess that I am the hero). I will invent something in my mind that the world desperately needs. Being: I will spend half an hour in a peaceful place doing nothing except feeling what it is like to exist. I will lie outstretched on the grass and feel the earth languidly revolving under me. I will take in three breaths and let them out as gently as possible. Efficiency: I will let at least two things out of my control and see what happens. I will gaze at a rose and reflect on whether I could make it open faster or more beautifully than it already does—then I will ask if my life has blossomed this efficiently. I will lie in a quiet place by the ocean, or with a tape of the sea, and breathe in its rhythms. Bonding: When I catch myself looking away from someone, I will remember to look into the person’s eyes. I will bestow a loving gaze on someone I have taken for granted. I will express sympathy to someone who needs it, preferably a stranger. Giving: I will buy lunch and give it to someone in need on the street (or I will go to a café and eat lunch with the person). I will compliment someone for a quality that I know the individual values in him- or herself. I will give my children as much of my undivided time today as they want. Immortality: I will read a scripture about the soul and the promise of life after death. I will write down five things I want my life to be remembered for. I will sit and silently experience the gap between breathing in and breathing out, feeling the eternal in the present moment.
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)