Monuments Quotes

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I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough..
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook)
First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you.
Nicholas Klein
Do not fall in love with people like me. I will take you to museums, and parks, and monuments, and kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth. I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible. And when I leave you will finally understand, why storms are named after people.
Caitlyn Siehl (Literary Sexts: A Collection of Short & Sexy Love Poems (Volume 1))
The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honor heroes after they've died. They're like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Only instead of being made of stone, they're made out of the memories people have of you.
R.J. Palacio (Wonder (Wonder, #1))
Great, I thought. We just blowtorched a national monument.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
...your deeds are like your monuments. Built with memories instead of stone.
R.J. Palacio (Wonder (Wonder, #1))
She is so naked and singular. She is the sum of yourself and your dream. Climb her like a monument, step after step. She is solid.
Anne Sexton
Do not fall in love with people like me we will take you to museums and parks and monuments and kiss you in every beautiful place so that you can never go back to them without tasting us like blood in your mouth.
Caitlyn Siehl
a young woman in love always looks like patience on a monument smiling at grief
William Shakespeare (Twelfth Night)
Why do I read? I just can't help myself. I read to learn and to grow, to laugh and to be motivated. I read to understand things I've never been exposed to. I read when I'm crabby, when I've just said monumentally dumb things to the people I love. I read for strength to help me when I feel broken, discouraged, and afraid. I read when I'm angry at the whole world. I read when everything is going right. I read to find hope. I read because I'm made up not just of skin and bones, of sights, feelings, and a deep need for chocolate, but I'm also made up of words. Words describe my thoughts and what's hidden in my heart. Words are alive--when I've found a story that I love, I read it again and again, like playing a favorite song over and over. Reading isn't passive--I enter the story with the characters, breathe their air, feel their frustrations, scream at them to stop when they're about to do something stupid, cry with them, laugh with them. Reading for me, is spending time with a friend. A book is a friend. You can never have too many.
Gary Paulsen (Shelf Life: Stories by the Book)
Hoover Dam," Thalia said. "It's huge." We stood at the river's edge, looking up at a curve of concrete that loomed between the cliffs. People were walking along the top of the dam. They were so tiny they looked like fleas. The naiads had left with a lot of grumbling—not in words I could understand, but it was obvious they hated this dam blocking up their nice river. Our canoes floated back downstream, swirling in the wake from the dam's discharge vents. "Seven hundred feet tall," I said. "Built in the 1930s." "Five million cubic acres of water," Thalia said. Graver sighed. "Largest construction project in the United States." Zoe stared at us. "How do you know all that?" "Annabeth," I said. "She liked architecture." "She was nuts about monuments," Thalia said. "Spouted facts all the time." Grover sniffled. "So annoying." "I wish she were here," I said.
Rick Riordan (The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3))
Oh, something is there, waiting for me. Perhaps someday the revelation will burst in upon me and I will see the other side of this monumental grotesque joke. And then I'll laugh. And then I'll know what life is.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
My religious convictions and scientific views cannot at present be more specifically defined than as those of a believer in creative evolution. I desire that no public monument or work of art or inscription or sermon or ritual service commemorating me shall suggest that I accepted the tenets peculiar to any established church or denomination nor take the form of a cross or any other instrument of torture or symbol of blood sacrifice. [From the will of GBS]
George Bernard Shaw
I am too tired, I must try to rest and sleep, otherwise I am lost in every respect. What an effort to keep alive! Erecting a monument does not require an expenditure of so much strength.
Franz Kafka
A complete stranger has the capacity to alter the life of another irrevocably. This domino effect has the capacity to change the course of an entire world. That is what life is; a chain reaction of individuals colliding with others and influencing their lives without realizing it. A decision that seems miniscule to you, may be monumental to the fate of the world.
J.D. Stroube (Caged by Damnation (Caged, #2))
The Yogic sages say that all the pain of a human life is caused by words, as is all the joy. We create words to define our experience and those words bring attendant emotions that jerk us around like dogs on a leash. We get seduced by our own mantras (I'm a failure... I'm lonely... I'm a failure... I'm lonely...) and we become monuments to them. To stop talking for a while, then, is to attempt to strip away the power of words, to stop choking ourselves with words, to liberate ourselves from our suffocating mantras.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
All is as if the world did cease to exist. The city's monuments go unseen, its past unheard, and its culture slowly fading in the dismal sea.
Nathan Reese Maher
Well?” “Well, what?” I waved a hand at the room. “Start genuflecting. Let’s see some knee action.” “You’re serious.” I lifted my brows. He responded in kind, but finally nodded his head, then walked between the couches. He dropped to one knee, then held out his hands. “I’m monumentally sorry for the pain and humiliation that I caused you and your—” “Both knees.” “Pardon?” “I’d prefer to see both knees on the ground. I mean, if you’re going to grovel, be the best groveler you can, right?
Chloe Neill (Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1))
Of our hurts we make monuments of survival. If we survive.
Joyce Carol Oates
I am done with great things and big things, great institutions and big success, and I am for those tiny, invisible molecular moral forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, yet which if you give them time, will rend the hardest monuments of man's pride.
William James
The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have a potential to turn a life around. It’s overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt.
Leo F. Buscaglia
The monuments of wit survive the monuments of power.
Francis Bacon
You have ordinary moments and ordinary moments and more ordinary moments, and then, suddenly, there is something monumental right there. You have past and future colliding in the present, your own personal Big Bang, and nothing will ever be the same.
Deb Caletti (Stay)
And I wonder, in my last moments, if the planet does not mind that we wound her surface or pillage her bounty, because she knows we silly warm things are not even a breath in her cosmic life. We have grown and spread, and will rage and die. And when all that remains of us is our steel monuments and plastic idols, her winds will whisper, her sands will shift, and she will spin on and on, forgetting about the bold, hairless apes who thought they deserved immortality.
Pierce Brown (Morning Star (Red Rising, #3))
It feels like he's marking me. Like he's preparing me for something monumental. That could both change and ruin my life.
Katy Evans (Real (Real, #1))
Let me tell you what you feel like when you know you are ready to die. You sleep a lot, and when you wake up the very first thought in your head is that you wish you could go back to bed. You go entire days without eating, because food is a commodity that keeps you here. You read the same page a hundred times. You rewind your life like a videocassette and see the things that make you weep, things that make you pause, but nothing that makes you want to play it forward. You forget to comb your hair, to shower, to dress. And then one day, when you make the decision that you have enough energy left in you to do this one, last, monumental thing, there comes a peace. Suddenly you are counting moments as you haven’t for months. Suddenly you have a secret that makes you smile, that makes people say you look wonderful, although you feel like a shell-brittle and capable of cracking into a thousand pieces.
Jodi Picoult (Keeping Faith)
I knew that I shouldn’t have, but I did it all the same; and there you have my epitaph, or one of them, because my grave is going to require a monument inscribed on all four sides with rueful mottoes, in small characters, set close together.
Michael Chabon (Wonder Boys)
I prefer sinners and madmen, who can learn, who can change, who can teach-or people like myself, if I may say so, who are not afraid to eat a lobster alone as they take on their shoulders the monumental weight of thirty years
James Baldwin (Just Above My Head)
Athena called, "Annabeth Chase, my own daughter." Annabeth squeezed my arm, then walked forward and knelt at her mother's feet. Athena smiled. "You, my daughter, have exceeded all expectations. You have used your wits, your strength, and your courage to defend this city, and our seat of power. It has come to our attention that Olympus is...well, trashed. The Titan lord did much damage that will have to be repaired. We could rebuild it by magic, of course, and make it just as it was. But the gods feel that the city could be improved. We will take this as an opportunity. And you, my daughter, will design these improvements." Annabeth looked up, stunned. "My...my lady?" Athena smiled wryly. "You are an architect, are you not? You have studied the techniques of Daedalus himself. Who better to redesign Olympus and make it a monument that will last for another eon?" "You mean...I can design whatever I want?" "As your heart desires," the goddess said. "Make us a city for the ages." "As long as you have plenty of statues of me," Apollo added. "And me," Aphrodite agreed. "Hey, and me!" Ares said. "Big statues with huge wicked swords and-" All right!" Athena interrupted. "She gets the point. Rise, my daughter, official architect of Olympus.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
nothing she did or said was quite what she meant but still her life could be called a monument shaped in a slant of available light and set to the movement of possible music
Carol Shields
Religion is a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism.
William James
When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy.
Stanisław Lem
To accept your country without betraying it, you must love it for that which shows what it might become. America -- this monument to the genius of ordinary men and women, this place where hope becomes capacity, this long, halting turn of 'no' into the 'yes' -- needs citizens who love it enough to re-imagine and re-make it.
Cornel West
When we think of friends, and call their faces out of the shadows, and their voices out of the echoes that faint along the corridors of memory, and do it without knowing why save that we love to do it, we content ourselves that that friendship is a Reality, and not a Fancy--that it is builded upon a rock, and not upon the sands that dissolve away with the ebbing tides and carry their monuments with them.
Mark Twain
...we should be remembered for the things we do. The things we do are the most important things of all. They are more important than what we say or what we look like. The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honour heroes after they've died. They're like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honour the Pharaohs. Only instead of being made out of stone, they're made out of the memories people have of you. That's why your deeds are like your monuments. Built with memories instead of with stone.
R.J. Palacio
People who worship only themselves get a slick, polished look -- like monuments. Too bad they had to go so soon.
Vanna Bonta (Degrees: Thought Capsules (Poems and Micro Tales on Life, Death, Man, Woman, & Art))
She never told her love, but let concealment, like a worm 'i th' bud, feed on her damask cheek. She pinned in thought; and, with a green and yellow melancholy, she sat like Patience on a monument, smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed? We men may say more, swear more; but indeed our shows are more than will; for we still prove much in our vows but little in our love.
William Shakespeare (Twelfth Night)
A young woman in love always looks like Patience on a monument Smiling at Grief.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
In all ages the people have honored those who dishonored them. They have worshiped their destroyers; they have canonized the most gigantic liars, and buried the great thieves in marble and gold. Under the loftiest monuments sleeps the dust of murder.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Humboldt From 'The Gods and Other Lectures')
The greater the monument, the greater the man. The stone the Greeks quarry for his grave is huge and white, stretching up to the sky. A C H I L L E S, it reads. It will stand for him, and speak to all who pass: he lived and died, and lives again in memory.
Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it." [First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801]
Thomas Jefferson (The Inaugural Speeches and Messages of Thomas Jefferson, Esq.: Late President of the United States: Together with the Inaugural Speech of James Madison, Esq. ...)
My patience has dreadful chilblains from standing so long on a monument.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Mary Russell Mitford, 1836-1854)
I hate it when people let me down, when things are temporary. I think that's why I want to be an architect." "To build something permanent," I said. "A monument to last a thousand years.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
Helplessness is such a rotten feeling. There's nothing you can do about it. Being helpless is like being paralyzed. It's sickness. The cure calls for a monumental effort to stand up and start walking somewhere, anywhere. But that takes some doing.
Chuck Barris (You and Me, Babe)
An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral. And the advance of man's knowledge is a greater miracle than all the sticks turned to snakes or the parting of the waters.
Jerome Lawrence (Inherit the Wind)
There will be a monument," she said to Abraxos, to Manon. "Should you wish it, I will build a monument right there. So no one shall ever forget what was given. Who we have to thank.
Sarah J. Maas (Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7))
Your deeds are your monuments.
R.J. Palacio (Wonder (Wonder, #1))
Too bad Einstein’s dead. I’m sure he would have appreciated my latest discovery within the space-time continuum.The closer you are to experiencing a monumental event, the longer time stretches out. It makes you feel alone
Susane Colasanti (When It Happens)
When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another's skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness - and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. No doubt all of this is not true remembrance but the ruinous work of nostalgia, which obliterates the past, and no doubt, as usual, I have exaggerated everything.
Michael Chabon (The Mysteries of Pittsburgh)
I loved you, so I drew these tides of Men into my hands And wrote my will across the Sky and stars To earn you freedom, the seven Pillared worthy house, That your eyes might be Shining for me When we came Death seemed my servant on the Road, 'til we were near And saw you waiting: When you smiled and in sorrowful Envy he outran me And took you apart: Into his quietness Love, the way-weary, groped to your body, Our brief wage Ours for the moment Before Earth's soft hand explored your shape And the blind Worms grew fat upon Your substance Men prayed me that I set our work, The inviolate house, As a memory of you But for fit monument I shattered it, Unfinished: and now The little things creep out to patch Themselves hovels In the marred shadow Of your gift.
T.E. Lawrence (The Seven Pillars of Wisdom)
Sitting on the floor, I'd replay the past in my head. Funny, that's all I did, day after day after day for half a year, and I never tired of it. What I'd been through seemed so vast, with so many facets. Vast, but real, very real, which was why the experience persisted in towering before me, like a monument lit up at night. And the thing was, it was a monument to me.
Haruki Murakami (Dance Dance Dance (The Rat #3))
What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.
Pericles
I look at the Augusteum,and I think that perhaps my life has not actually been so chaotic, after all. It is merely this world that is chaotic, bringing changes to us all that nobody could have anticipated. The Augusteum warns me to not to get attached to any obsolete ideas about who I am, what I represent, whom I belong to, or what function I may once have intended to serve. Yesterday I might have been a glorious monument to somebody, true enough--but tomorrow I could be a fireworks depository. Even in the Eternal City, says the silent Augusteum, one must always be prepared for riotous and endless waves of transformation.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
I am a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook (The Notebook, #1))
There are times when a feeling of expectancy comes to me, as if something is there, beneath the surface of my understanding, waiting for me to grasp it. It is the same tantalizing sensation when you almost remember a name, but don't quite reach it. I can feel it when I think of human beings, of the hints of evolution suggested by the removal of wisdom teeth, the narrowing of the jaw no longer needed to chew such roughage as it was accustomed to; the gradual disappearance of hair from the human body; the adjustment of the human eye to the fine print, the swift, colored motion of the twentieth century. The feeling comes, vague and nebulous, when I consider the prolonged adolesence of our species; the rites of birth, marriage and death; all the primitive, barbaric ceremonies streamlined to modern times. Almost, I think, the unreasoning, bestial purity was best. Oh, something is there, waiting for me. Perhaps someday the revelation will burst in upon me and I will see the other side of this monumental grotesque joke. And then I'll laugh. And then I'll know what life is.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
All depression has its roots in self-pity, and all self-pity is rooted in people taking themselves too seriously.” At the time Switters had disputed her assertion. Even at seventeen, he was aware that depression could have chemical causes. “The key word here is roots,” Maestra had countered. “The roots of depression. For most people, self-awareness and self-pity blossom simultaneously in early adolescence. It's about that time that we start viewing the world as something other than a whoop-de-doo playground, we start to experience personally how threatening it can be, how cruel and unjust. At the very moment when we become, for the first time, both introspective and socially conscientious, we receive the bad news that the world, by and large, doesn't give a rat's ass. Even an old tomato like me can recall how painful, scary, and disillusioning that realization was. So, there's a tendency, then, to slip into rage and self-pity, which if indulged, can fester into bouts of depression.” “Yeah but Maestra—” “Don't interrupt. Now, unless someone stronger and wiser—a friend, a parent, a novelist, filmmaker, teacher, or musician—can josh us out of it, can elevate us and show us how petty and pompous and monumentally useless it is to take ourselves so seriously, then depression can become a habit, which, in tern, can produce a neurological imprint. Are you with me? Gradually, our brain chemistry becomes conditioned to react to negative stimuli in a particular, predictable way. One thing'll go wrong and it'll automatically switch on its blender and mix us that black cocktail, the ol’ doomsday daiquiri, and before we know it, we’re soused to the gills from the inside out. Once depression has become electrochemically integrated, it can be extremely difficult to philosophically or psychologically override it; by then it's playing by physical rules, a whole different ball game. That's why, Switters my dearest, every time you've shown signs of feeling sorry for yourself, I've played my blues records really loud or read to you from The Horse’s Mouth. And that’s why when you’ve exhibited the slightest tendency toward self-importance, I’ve reminded you that you and me— you and I: excuse me—may be every bit as important as the President or the pope or the biggest prime-time icon in Hollywood, but none of us is much more than a pimple on the ass-end of creation, so let’s not get carried away with ourselves. Preventive medicine, boy. It’s preventive medicine.” “But what about self-esteem?” “Heh! Self-esteem is for sissies. Accept that you’re a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of humor about it. That way lies grace—and maybe even glory.
Tom Robbins (Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates)
For a moment my soul was elevated from its debasing and miserable fears to which these sights were the monuments and the remembrances. For an instant I dared to shake off my chains, and look around me with a free and lofty spirit; but the iron had eaten into my flesh, and I sank again, trembling and hopeless, into my miserable self.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
Don't believe the lie of individual trees, each a monument to its own self-made success. A forest is an interdependent community. Resources are shared, and life in isolation is a death sentence.
Becky Chambers (To Be Taught, If Fortunate)
I will set up my name in the place where the names of famous men are written, and where no man’s name is written yet I will raise a monument to the gods.
Anonymous (The Epic of Gilgamesh)
Within the shadows of honor, courage often walks in silence. -Engraved on the monument Clay built
Lorraine Heath (Always to Remember)
Actually there were many officers' clubs that Yossarian had not helped build, but he was proudest of the one on Pianosa. It was a sturdy and complex monument to his powers of determination. Yossarian never went there to help until it was finished; then he went there often, so pleased was he with the large , fine, rambling shingled building. It was a truly splendid building, and Yossarian throbbed with a mighty sense of accomplishment each time he gazed at it and reflected that none of the work that had gone into it was his.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
Even water carves monuments of stone, so do our thoughts shape our character.
Hugh B. Brown
All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwalds, the Auschwitzes -all of them. They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the earth into a graveyard, into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worst of all their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its rememberance. Then we become the grave diggers.
Rod Serling
so here i sit. a sum of the parts. about a third way down this wonderful path, so to speak. and i've been thinking lately about a friendship that fell apart with time, with distance, and with the misunderstanding of youth. i'm trying not to confuse sadness with regret. not the easiest thing at times. i dont regret that certain things happened. i understand that perhaps i had a choice in the matter, or perhaps i believe in fate. probably not, but so far actions as small as the quickest glance to events as monumental as death have pushed me slowly along to right here, right now. there was no other way to get here. the meandering and erratic path was actually the straightest of lines. take away a handful of angry words, things once thought of as mistakes or regrets, and i'm suddenly a different person with a different history, a different future. that, i would regret. so here i sit. thinking about a person i once called my best friends. a man who might be full of sadness and regret, who might not give a damn, or who might, just might, remember the future and realize that's where its at.
Chris Wright
Who am I? And how I wonder, will this story end? . . . My life? It is'nt easy to explain. It has not been the rip-roaring spectacular I fancied it woulf be, but neither have I burrowed around with the gophers. i suppose it has most resembled a bluechip stock: fairly stable, more ups and downs, and gradually tending over time. A good buy, a lucky buy, and I've learned that not everyone can say this about his life. But do not be misled. I am nothing special; of this I am sure. I am common man with common thought and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me, and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough. The romantics would call this a love story, the cynics would call it a tragedy. In my mind, it's a little bit of both, and no matter how you choose to view it in the end, it does not change the fact that involves a great deal of my life and the path I've chosen to follow. I have no complaints about the places it has taken me, enough complaints to fill a circus tent about other thins, maybe, but the path I've chosen has always been the right one, and I would'nt have had it any other way. Time, unfortunatley, does'nt make it easy to stay on course. The path is straight as ever, but now it is strewn with the rocks and gravel that accumulated over a lifetime . . . There is always a moment right before I begin to read the story when my mind churns, and I wonder, will it happen today? I don't know, for I never know beforehand, and deep down it really doesn't matter. It's the possibility that keeps me going, not the guarantee, a sort of wager on my part. And though you may call me a dreamer or a fool or any other thing, I believe that anything is possible. I realize that odds, and science, are againts me. But science is not the answer; this I know, this I have learned in my lifetime. And that leaves me with the belief that miracles, no matter how inexplicable or unbelievable, are real and can occur without regard to the natural order of things. So once again, just as I do ecery day, I begin to read the notebook aloud, so that she can hear it, in the hope that the miracle, that has come to dominate my life will once again prevail. And maybe, just maybe, it will.
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook (The Notebook, #1))
See, anxiety doesn’t just stop. You can have nice moments, minutes where it shrinks, but it doesn’t leave. It lurks in the background like a shadow, like that important assignment you have to do but keep putting off or the dull ache that follows a three-day migraine. The best you can hope for is to contain it, make it as small as possible so it stops being intrusive. Am I coping? Yes, but it’s taking a monumental amount of effort to keep the dynamite inside my stomach from exploding. The
Louise Gornall (Under Rose-Tainted Skies)
Not marble nor the gilded monuments Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme, But you shall shine more bright in these contents Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time. When wasteful war shall statues overturn And broils roots out the work of masonry, Nor mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn The living record of your memory. 'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room Even in the eyes of all posterity That wear this world out to the ending doom. So, till judgement that yourself arise, You in this, and dwell in lovers eyes.
William Shakespeare (Shakespeare's Sonnets)
Friday, August 04, 2006 MONUMENT posted 8:31 AM Silver nitrous girls pointed into occult winds of porn and destiny.
William Gibson
This is epic monument-style shit we're in.
Elizabeth Norris (Unbreakable (Unraveling, #2))
Out of the closets and into the museums, libraries, architectural monuments, concert halls, bookstores, recording studios and film studios of the world. Everything belongs to the inspired and dedicated thief…. Words, colors, light, sounds, stone, wood, bronze belong to the living artist. They belong to anyone who can use them. Loot the Louvre! A bas l’originalité, the sterile and assertive ego that imprisons us as it creates. Vive le vol-pure, shameless, total. We are not responsible. Steal anything in sight.
William S. Burroughs
After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one.
Marcus Porcius Cato
Time has a different meaning for me, and these events that seem so monumental in the moment will one day be nothing more than a line in a scroll. These humans are but letters to be inked into history. A hundred years from now, I will be free. I will have forgotten their names and faces, and the struggles they have will not matter. Time has a way of burying things, shifting like the desert and swallowing entire civilizations, erasing them from map and memory. Always, in the end, everything returns to dust.
Jessica Khoury (The Forbidden Wish)
Understand, daughter, that the only reason for your existing was as a tribute to your uncle-father. You were meant to love him. I planned to teach you how to serve him and adore him. You would be his monument and his fortress against mortality. Forgive me. As soon as you arrived I realized that you were worth far more than that.
Katherine Dunn (Geek Love)
A Sonnet is a moment's monument,— Memorial from the Soul's eternity To one dead deathless hour.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
No man ever raised a monument to a cynic or wrote a poem about a man without faith.
Louis L'Amour
Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.
John W. Gardner
the hole left by the moon’s tearing-free and monument to her exile;
Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49)
Because I was conceived and born and I grew up. I'm breathing and my heart is beating and as much as it hurts ― as much searing, monumental pain it causes me ― I have to exist.
Brenna Yovanoff (Paper Valentine)
Well how many troubles should equal a legitimate reason for self-mutilation? Ten? Twenty? One hundred? And how monumental must these troubles be? There’s probably no critical mass beyond which cutting yourself would ever seem to most people like a reasonable choice. I cut because it did look that way to me. I cut because something had to give. I cut because the alternatives were worse.
Caroline Kettlewell (Skin Game)
He came out of nothingness, took form, was loved, was always bound to return to nothingness. Only I did not think it would be so soon. Or that he would precede us. Two passing temporarinesses developed feelings for one another. Two puffs of smoke became mutually fond. I mistook him for a solidity, and now must pay. I am not stable and Mary not stable and the very buildings and monuments here not stable and the greater city not stable and the wide world not stable. All alter, are altering, in every instant. (Are you comforted?) No. (It
George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo)
There are fights that you may lose without losing your honor; what makes you lose your honor is not to fight. -Jaques Jaujard
Robert M. Edsel (The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History)
In the spring of her twenty-second year, Sumire fell in love for the first time in her life. An intense love, a veritable tornado sweeping across the plains—flattening everything in its path, tossing things up in the air, ripping them to shreds, crushing them to bits. The tornado’s intensity doesn’t abate for a second as it blasts across the ocean, laying waste to Angkor Wat, incinerating an Indian jungle, tigers and everything, transforming itself into a Persian desert sandstorm, burying an exotic fortress city under a sea of sand. In short, a love of truly monumental proportions. The person she fell in love with happened to be 17 years older than Sumire. And was married. And, I should add, was a woman. This is where it all began, and where it all ended. Almost.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook (The Notebook, #1))
The things that save you are as frequently trivial as monumental.
Andrew Solomon (The Noonday Demon)
He, the Life of all, our Lord and Saviour, did not arrange the manner of his own death lest He should seem to be afraid of some other kind. No. He accepted and bore upon the cross a death inflicted by others, and those other His special enemies, a death which to them was supremely terrible and by no means to be faced; and He did this in order that, by destroying even this death, He might Himself be believed to be the Life, and the power of death be recognised as finally annulled. A marvellous and mighty paradox has thus occurred, for the death which they thought to inflict on Him as dishonour and disgrace has become the glorious monument to death's defeat.
Athanasius of Alexandria (On the Incarnation)
Often the crowd does not recognize a leader until he has gone, and then they build a monument for him with the stones they threw at him in life.
J. Oswald Sanders (Spiritual Leadership)
With monuments as with men, position means everything.
Honoré de Balzac
Until we consider animal life to be worthy of the consideration and reverence we bestow upon old books and pictures and historic monuments, there will always be the animal refugee living a precarious life on the edge of extermination, dependent for existence on the charity of a few human beings.
Gerald Durrell
Yes, I agree with Tennyson, who wrote, “ ’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” But heartbreak knocks the wind out of you, and the feelings of loss and longing can make getting out of bed a monumental task. Learning to trust and lean in to love again can feel impossible.
Brené Brown (Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
I'm convinced that a lot of people run ultramarathons for the same reason they take mood-altering drugs. I don't mean to minimize the gifts of friendship, achievement, and closeness to nature that I've received in my running carer. But the longer and farther I ran, the more I realized that what I was often chasing was a state of mind - a place where worries that seemed monumental melted away, where the beauty and timelessness of the universe, of the present moment, came into sharp focus.
Scott Jurek (Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness)
But there is a limit to thinking about even a small piece of something monumental. You still see the shadow of the whole rearing up behind you, and you become lost in your thoughts in part from the panic of realizing the size of that imagined leviathan.
Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1))
The longer and farther I ran, the more I realized that what I was often chasing was a state of mind--a place where worries that seemed monumental melted away, where the beauty and timelessness of the universe, of the present moment, came into sharp focus.
Scott Jurek (Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness)
Oh, Black known and unknown poets, how often have your auctioned pains sustained us? Who will compute the lonely nights made less lonely by your songs, or by the empty pots made less tragic by your tales? If we were a people much given to revealing secrets, we might raise monuments and sacrifice to the memories of our poets, but slavery cured us of that weakness.
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
The most durable monument of human labor is that which recalls the wretchedness and nothingness of man.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Obelisk?” “It’s my favorite word.” “Really?” “One of them, at least. Look at it.” I look. “That is one straight-up, upstanding, powerful word. Unique, original, and kind of stealthy because it doesn’t really sound like what it is. It’s a word that surprises you and makes you think, Oh. All right then. It commands respect, but it’s also modest. Not like ‘monument’ or ‘tower.’ ” He shakes his head. “Pretentious bastards.” I don’t say anything because I used to love words. I loved them and was good at arranging them. Because of this, I felt protective of all the best ones. But now all of them, good and bad, frustrate me.
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
Sisters annoy, interfere, criticize. Indulge in monumental sulks, in huffs, in snide remarks. Borrow. Break. Monopolize the bathroom. Are always underfoot. But if catastrophe should strike, sisters are there. Defending you against all comers.
Pam Brown
And his life was now, he felt, one monumental unreality, in which everything that did not matter - professional ambitions, the private pursuit of status, the colour of wallpaper, the size of an office or the matter of a dedicated car parking space - was treated with the greatest significance, and everything that did matter - pleasure, joy, friendship, loved - was deemed somehow peripheral.
Richard Flanagan (The Narrow Road to the Deep North)
Things changing, failing apart, fading, another year, a few more moves, a hard person who doesn't give a fuck, a boredom so monumental it humbles, arrangements so fleeting made by people you don't even know that it requires you to lose any sense of reality you might have once acquired, expectations so unreasonable you become superstitious about ever matching them.
Bret Easton Ellis (Water from the Sun and Discovering Japan)
There was only the broad square with the scattered dim moons of the street lamps and with the monumental stone arch which receded into the mist as though it would prop up the melancholy sky and protect beneath itself the faint lonely flame on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which looked like the last grave of mankind in the midst of night and loneliness.
Erich Maria Remarque (Arch of Triumph: A Novel of a Man Without a Country)
We stone our prophets, then build monuments to them after they're gone.
Richard Paul Evans (The Gift)
You had every intention of being depressed forever, but as it turns out, there's work to be done, meals to eat, movies to see, errands to run. You meant to be in ruins permanently, your misery a monument, a gash across the cold hard earth, but honestly, who has the time for that? Instead, you survived - apparently, you both did - and things are shockingly okay.
Raphael Bob-Waksberg (Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory: Stories)
I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. "There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough..
Nicholas Sparks
What a monument of human smallness is this idea of the philosopher king. What a contrast between it and the simplicity of humaneness of Socrates, who warned the statesmen against the danger of being dazzled by his own power, excellence, and wisdom, and who tried to teach him what matters most — that we are all frail human beings.
Karl Popper (The Open Society and Its Enemies)
Sometimes he did not know if he slept or just thought about sleep.
Mark Strand
i carry the stories the sadness the victories of people before me i'm both a monument and a future skyscraper rising from the same skeleton
Noor Unnahar (Yesterday I Was the Moon)
When smashing monuments, save the pedestals -- they always come in handy.
Stanisław Jerzy Lec
Do not fall in love with people like me. We will take you to museums and parks and monuments and kiss you in every beautiful place so that you can never go back to them without tasting us like blood in your mouth.
Caitlyn Siehl (What We Buried)
The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out, and after an era new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men's hearts of the heart of men centuries dead.
Clarence Day Jr.
Of all my children, you were always the hardest on yourself. You were always looking for the right way to behave, so concerned you might make a mistake. But, darling, there are no mistakes. There are only our wishes, our actions, and the consequences that follow both. There are only events, how we cope with them, and what we learn from the coping." "That's too easy," he said. "On the contrary. It's monumentally difficult.
Elizabeth George (With No One as Witness (Inspector Lynley, #13))
Zalasiewicz is convinced that even a moderately competent stratigrapher will, at the distance of a hundred million years or so, be able to tell that something extraordinary happened at the moment in time that counts for us as today. This is the case even though a hundred million years from now, all that we consider to be the great works of man—the sculptures and the libraries, the monuments and the museums, the cities and the factories—will be compressed into a layer of sediment not much thicker than a cigarette paper.
Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History)
And when all that remains of us is our steel monuments and plastic idols, her winds will whisper, her sands will shift, and she will spin on and on, forgetting about the bold, hairless apes who thought they deserved immortality.
Pierce Brown (Morning Star (Red Rising Saga, #3))
I have never seen a monument erected to a pessimist.
Paul Harvey
Relationships are monuments build on lies
Dan Savage
Ignorance fears all things, falling, terror-stricken before the passing wind. Superstition stands as the monument to ignorance, and before it kneel all who realize their own weakness who see in all things the strength they do not possess
Manly P. Hall (The Lost Keys of Freemasonry: Or the Secret of Hiram Abiff)
When occasions present themselves in which the interests of the people are at variance with their inclinations, it is the duty of the persons whom they have appointed to be the guardians of those interests to withstand the temporary delusion in order to give them time and opportunity for more cool and sedate reflection. Instances might be cited in which a conduct of this kind has saved the people from very fatal consequences of their own mistakes, and has procured lasting monuments of their gratitude to the men who had courage and magnanimity enough to serve them at the peril of their displeasure.
Alexander Hamilton (The Federalist Papers)
The thought came back to him, as it often did: To save the culture of your allies is a small thing. To cherish the culture of your enemy, to risk your life and the life of other men to save it, to give it all back to them as soon as the battle was won … it was unheard of, but that was exactly what Walker Hancock and the other Monuments Men intended to do.
Robert M. Edsel (The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History)
Women's liberation is one thing, but the permeation of anti-male sentiment in post-modern popular culture - from our mocking sitcom plots to degrading commercial story lines - stands testament to the ignorance of society. Fair or not, as the lead gender that never requested such a role, the historical male reputation is quite balanced. For all of their perceived wrongs, over centuries they've moved entire civilizations forward, nurtured the human quest for discovery and industry, and led humankind from inconvenient darkness to convenient modernity. Navigating the chessboard that is human existence is quite a feat, yet one rarely acknowledged in modern academia or media. And yet for those monumental achievements, I love and admire the balanced creation that is man for all his strengths and weaknesses, his gifts and his curses. I would venture to say that most wise women do.
Tiffany Madison
Somehow the pain, the losses, the hurt, the bad, God is able to transform these into something they could have never been, icons and monuments of grace and love. It is the deep mystery how wounds and scars can become precious, or a ravaging and terrifying cross the essential symbol of relentless affection.” “Is it worth it?” whispered Tony. “Wrong question, son. There is no ‘it.’ The question is and has always been, ‘Are you worth it?’ and the answer is and always, ‘Yes!’
William Paul Young (Cross Roads: What If You Could Go Back and Put Things Right?)
I find that a real gardener is not a man who cultivates flowers; he is a man who cultivates the soil. He is a creature who digs himself into the earth and leaves the sight of what is on it to us gaping good-for-nothings. He lives buried in the ground. He builds his monument in a heap of compost. If he came into the Garden of Eden, he would sniff excitedly and say: "Good Lord, what humus!
Karel Čapek (The Gardener's Year)
... so many nominal Christians throughout history, took no notice whatsoever of the key parable of Jesus Christ himself, which taught that you shall love your neighbour as you love yourself, and even those that you have despised and hated are your neighbours. This never made any difference to Christians, since the primary epiphenomena of any religion’s foundation are the production and flourishment of hypocrisy, megalomania and psychopathy, and the first casualties of a religion’s establishment are the intensions of its founders. One can imagine Jesus and Mohammed glumly comparing notes in paradise, scratching their heads and bemoaning their vain expense of effort and suffering, which resulted only in the construction of two monumental whited sepulchres. ...
Louis de Bernières (Birds Without Wings)
When I was hungry I fed almost daily on the words of her songs.
Jaroslav Seifert (Morový sloup / The Plague Monument)
There was movement along the fringe of Chauncey's vision, and he snapped his head to the left. At first glance what appeared to be a large angel topping a nearby monument rose to full height. Neither stone nor marble, the boy had arms and legs. His torso was naked, his feet were bare, and peasant trousers hung low on his waist. He hopped down from the monument, the ends of his hair dripping rain. It slid down his face, which was dark as a Spaniard's.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
St. Teresa of Avila wrote: 'All difficulties in prayer can be traced to one cause: praying as if God were absent.' This is the conviction that we bring with us from early childhood and apply to everyday life and to our lives in general. It gets stronger as we grow up, unless we are touched by the Gospel and begin the spiritual journey. This journey is a process of dismantling the monumental illusion that God is distant or absent.
Thomas Keating (Fruits and Gifts of the Spirit)
My nose is Gargantuan! You little Pig-snout, you tiny Monkey-Nostrils, you virtually invisible Pekinese-Puss, don't you realize that a nose like mine is both scepter and orb, a monument to me superiority? A great nose is the banner of a great man, a generous heart, a towering spirit, an expansive soul--such as I unmistakably am, and such as you dare not to dream of being, with your bilious weasel's eyes and no nose to keep them apart! With your face as lacking in all distinction--as lacking, I say, in interest, as lacking in pride, in imagination, in honesty, in lyricism--in a word, as lacking in nose as that other offensively bland expanse at the opposite end of your cringing spine--which I now remove from my sight by stringent application of my boot!
Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac)
"The wanderer in Manhattan must go forth with a certain innocence, because New York is best seen with innocent eyes. It doesn't matter if you are younger or old. Reading our rich history makes the experience more layered, but it is not a substitute for walking the streets themselves. For old-timer or newcomer, it is essential to absorb the city as it is now in order to shape your own nostalgias. That's why I always urge the newcomer to surrender to the city's magic. Forget the irritations and the occasional rudeness; they bother New Yorkers too. Instead, go down to the North River and the benches that run along the west side of Battery Park City. Watch the tides or the blocks of ice in winter; they have existed since the time when the island was empty of man. Gaze at the boats. Look across the water at the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island, the place to which so many of the New York tribe came in order to truly live. Learn the tale of our tribe, because it's your tribe too, no matter where you were born. Listen to its music and its legends. Gaze at its ruins and monuments. Walk its sidewalks and run fingers upon the stone and bricks and steel of our right-angled streets. Breathe the air of the river breeze."
Pete Hamill (Downtown: My Manhattan)
Maybe it’s not metaphysics. Maybe it’s existential. I’m talking about the individual US citizen’s deep fear, the same basic fear that you and I have and that everybody has except nobody ever talks about it except existentialists in convoluted French prose. Or Pascal. Our smallness, our insignificance and mortality, yours and mine, the thing that we all spend all our time not thinking about directly, that we are tiny and at the mercy of large forces and that time is always passing and that every day we’ve lost one more day that will never come back and our childhoods are over and our adolescence and the vigor of youth and soon our adulthood, that everything we see around us all the time is decaying and passing, it’s all passing away, and so are we, so am I, and given how fast the first forty-two years have shot by it’s not going to be long before I too pass away, whoever imagined that there was a more truthful way to put it than “die,” “pass away,” the very sound of it makes me feel the way I feel at dusk on a wintry Sunday—’ ‘And not only that, but everybody who knows me or even knows I exist will die, and then everybody who knows those people and might even conceivably have even heard of me will die, and so on, and the gravestones and monuments we spend money to have put in to make sure we’re remembered, these’ll last what—a hundred years? two hundred?—and they’ll crumble, and the grass and insects my decomposition will go to feed will die, and their offspring, or if I’m cremated the trees that are nourished by my windblown ash will die or get cut down and decay, and my urn will decay, and before maybe three or four generations it will be like I never existed, not only will I have passed away but it will be like I was never here, and people in 2104 or whatever will no more think of Stuart A. Nichols Jr. than you or I think of John T. Smith, 1790 to 1864, of Livingston, Virginia, or some such. That everything is on fire, slow fire, and we’re all less than a million breaths away from an oblivion more total than we can even bring ourselves to even try to imagine, in fact, probably that’s why the manic US obsession with production, produce, produce, impact the world, contribute, shape things, to help distract us from how little and totally insignificant and temporary we are.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
Oh, he was just angry, we tell ourselves when someone blurts out something he later apologizes for. But a word, once spoken, lingers forever; to keep peace we pretend to forget, but we never do. Strange that a spoken word can have such lasting power when words carved on stone monuments vanish in spite of all our efforts to preserve them. What we would lose persists, lodged in our minds, and what we would keep is lost to water, moths, moss.
Margaret George (The Memoirs of Cleopatra)
It will be hard James but you come from sturdy peasant stock men who picked cotton and dammed rivers and built railroads and in the teeth of the most terrifying odds achieved an unassailable and monumental dignity You come from a long line of great poets some of the greatest poets since Homer. One of them said "The very time I thought I was lost My dungeon shook and my chains fell off." You know and I know that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon. We cannot be free until they are free. God bless you James and Godspeed.
James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)
I asked once, and the library assistant told me there were more than a hundred thousand books there, and more than sixty million pages of documents. It's a good number, I think: ten pages for every person who died. A kind of monument in paper for people who have no gravestones.
Geraldine Brooks (People of the Book)
There was this other apocalypse this one time. And, well, I took off. But this time, I don't... I don't know." "Well, what's different?" "Well, I guess I was kinda new to being around humans before. And now I've seen a lot more, gotten to know people, seen what they're capable of and I guess I just realize how amazingly... screwed up they all are. I mean, really, really screwed up in a monumental fashion." "Oh." "And they have no purpose that unites them, so they just drift around, blundering through life until they die. Which they-they know is coming, yet every single one of them is surprised when it happens to them. They're incapable of thinking about what they want beyond the moment. They kill each other, which is clearly insane, and yet, here's the thing. When it's something that really matters, they fight. I mean, they're lame morons for fighting. But they do. They never... They never quit. And so I guess I will keep fighting, too.
Joss Whedon
There's a power struggle going on across Europe these days. A few cities are competing against each other to see who shall emerge as the great 21st century European metropolis. Will it be London? Paris? Berlin? Zurich? Maybe Brussels, center of the young union? They all strive to outdo one another culturally, architecturally, politically, fiscally. But Rome, it should be said, has not bothered to join the race for status. Rome doesn't compete. Rome just watches all the fussing and striving, completely unfazed. I am inspired by the regal self-assurance of this city, so grounded and rounded, so amused and monumental, knowing she is held securely in the palm of history. I would like to be like Rome when I am an old lady.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
A good book is never exhausted. It goes on whispering to you from the wall. Books perfume and give weight to a room. A bookcase is as good as a view, as the sight of a city or a river. There are dawns and sunsets in books - storms, fogs, zephyrs. I read about a family whose apartment consists of a series of spaces so strictly planned that they are obliged to give away their books as soon as they've read them. I think they have misunderstood the way books work. Reading a book is only the first step in the relationship. After you've finished it, the book enters on its real career. It stand there as a badge, a blackmailer, a monument, a scar. It's both a flaw in the room, like a crack in the plaster, and a decoration. The contents of someone's bookcase are part of his history, like an ancestral portrait. - in "About books; recoiling, rereading, retelling", The New York Times, February 22, 1987
Anatole Broyard
This precept means that we should be remembered for the things we do. The things we do are the most important things of all. They are more important than what we say or what we look like. The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honor heroes after they’ve died. They’re like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Only instead of being made out of stone, they’re made out of the memories people have of you. That’s why your deeds are like your monuments. Built with memories instead of with stone.
R.J. Palacio (Wonder)
On the plane leaving Tokyo I’m sitting alone in back twisting the knobs on Etch-A-Sketch and Roger is next to me singing “Over the Rainbow” straight into my ear, things changing, falling apart, fading, another year, a few more moves, a hard person who doesn’t give a fuck, a boredom so monumental it humbles, arrangements so fleeting made by people you don’t even know that it requires you to lose any sense of reality you might have once acquired, expectations so unreasonable you become superstitious about ever matching them. Roger offers me a joint and I take a drag and stare out the window and I relax for a moment when the lights of Tokyo, which I never realized is an island, vanish from view but this feeling only lasts a moment because Roger is telling me that other lights in other cities, in other countries, on other planets, are coming into view soon.
Bret Easton Ellis (The Informers)
You were once my one companion, You were all that mattered. You were once a friend and father, Then my world was shattered. Wishing you were somehow here again, Wishing you were somehow near. Sometimes it seemed if I just dreamed, Somehow you would be here. Wishing I could hear your voice again, Knowing that I never would Dreaming of you won’t help me to do All that you dreamed I could Passing bells and sculpted angels Cold and monumental Seem for you the wrong companions You were warm and gentle Too many years fighting back tears Why cant the past just die Wishing you were somehow here again Knowing we must say goodbye Try to forgive Teach me to live Give me the strength to try No more memories No more silent tears No more gazing across the wasted years Help me say goodbye Help me say goodbye
Charles Hart (The Phantom of the Opera: Piano/Vocal)
There aren't many berry bushes where I'm from." "And just where would that be?" His hand paused on a berry like it was a monumental decision whether to pluck it or not. He finally pulled and explained he was from a small town in the southernmost part of Morringhan. When I asked the name, he said it was very small and had no name.... "A town with no name? Really? How very odd." I waited for him to scramble, and he didn't disappoint me. "It's only a region. A few scattered dwellings at most. We're farmers there. Mostly farmers. And you? Where are you from?"... I took the berry still poised in his fingers and popped it in my mouth. Where was I from? I narrowed my eyes and smiled. "A small town in the northernmost part of Morrighan. Mostly farmers. Only a regions, really. A few scattered dwellings. At most. No name." He couldn't restrain a chuckle. "Then we come from opposite but similar worlds, don't we?
Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
in reference to Persepolis and all palaces, cities and temples of the past: could these wonders have come into being without that suffering? without the overseer's whip, the slave's fear, the ruler's vanity? was not the monumentality of past epochs created by that which is negative and evil in man?
Ryszard Kapuściński (Travels With Herodotus)
One day, I am going to write a travel guide containing only maps and addresses of hotels, and with the rest of the pages blank. That way, people will have to make their own initery, to discover themselves restaurants, monuments and all the magnificent things that every city has, but which are never mentioned because ' the history we have been taught' does not include them in the list of things you must see.
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough..
Nicholas Sparks
The living room is a monument to my impulsive spending habits. I've got more than two hundred DVDs, including cinematic greats such as Monkey Bone, Corkey Romano, and A Night at the Roxbury, leading me to believe not only do I have awful taste in films, but I also have a Chris Kattan fixation. What I don't have is $4000 earing intrest in a money market account.
Jen Lancaster (Bitter Is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office)
Night came and fell hard. Not like God drawing a blanket over our land But like someone snuffing a candle. Sudden and total. Out—just like that. Now we are waiting. Waiting in the dark To see if someone Will switch on the light. We can cower, We can fear, We can get lost together or Get lost alone. But the truth is: I am the light. You are the light. We are lit up together. We are silhouettes of sunlight cast against the night. Shining now, let us Shining, hold the light, Shining, so that our families Can find us. Shining.
Emmy Laybourne (Monument 14 (Monument 14, #1))
On the back part of the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance. At first I thought it was revolving; then I realised that this movement was an illusion created by the dizzying world it bounded. The Aleph's diameter was probably little more than an inch, but all space was there, actual and undiminished. Each thing (a mirror's face, let us say) was infinite things, since I distinctly saw it from every angle of the universe. I saw the teeming sea; I saw daybreak and nightfall; I saw the multitudes of America; I saw a silvery cobweb in the center of a black pyramid; I saw a splintered labyrinth (it was London); I saw, close up, unending eyes watching themselves in me as in a mirror; I saw all the mirrors on earth and none of them reflected me; I saw in a backyard of Soler Street the same tiles that thirty years before I'd seen in the entrance of a house in Fray Bentos; I saw bunches of grapes, snow, tobacco, lodes of metal, steam; I saw convex equatorial deserts and each one of their grains of sand; I saw a woman in Inverness whom I shall never forget; I saw her tangled hair, her tall figure, I saw the cancer in her breast; I saw a ring of baked mud in a sidewalk, where before there had been a tree; I saw a summer house in Adrogué and a copy of the first English translation of Pliny -- Philemon Holland's -- and all at the same time saw each letter on each page (as a boy, I used to marvel that the letters in a closed book did not get scrambled and lost overnight); I saw a sunset in Querétaro that seemed to reflect the colour of a rose in Bengal; I saw my empty bedroom; I saw in a closet in Alkmaar a terrestrial globe between two mirrors that multiplied it endlessly; I saw horses with flowing manes on a shore of the Caspian Sea at dawn; I saw the delicate bone structure of a hand; I saw the survivors of a battle sending out picture postcards; I saw in a showcase in Mirzapur a pack of Spanish playing cards; I saw the slanting shadows of ferns on a greenhouse floor; I saw tigers, pistons, bison, tides, and armies; I saw all the ants on the planet; I saw a Persian astrolabe; I saw in the drawer of a writing table (and the handwriting made me tremble) unbelievable, obscene, detailed letters, which Beatriz had written to Carlos Argentino; I saw a monument I worshipped in the Chacarita cemetery; I saw the rotted dust and bones that had once deliciously been Beatriz Viterbo; I saw the circulation of my own dark blood; I saw the coupling of love and the modification of death; I saw the Aleph from every point and angle, and in the Aleph I saw the earth and in the earth the Aleph and in the Aleph the earth; I saw my own face and my own bowels; I saw your face; and I felt dizzy and wept, for my eyes had seen that secret and conjectured object whose name is common to all men but which no man has looked upon -- the unimaginable universe. I felt infinite wonder, infinite pity.
Jorge Luis Borges
Or powerful objects, such as statues, amulets, monuments, certain models of cars. But they prefer human form. You see gods have great power, but only humans have creativity, the power to change history rather than simply repeat it. Humans can...how do you moderns say it...think outside the cup.” “The box,” I suggested.
Rick Riordan (The Red Pyramid: The Graphic Novel (The Kane Chronicles: The Graphic Novels, #1))
Yet man dies not whilst the world, at once his mother and his monument, remains. His name is lost, indeed, but the breath he breathed still stirs the pine-tops on the mountains, the sound of the words he spoke yet echoes on through space; the thoughts his brain gave birth to we have inherited to-day; his passions are our cause of life; the joys and sorrows that he knew are our familiar friends--the end from which he fled aghast will surely overtake us also! Truly the universe is full of ghosts, not sheeted churchyard spectres, but the inextinguishable elements of individual life, which having once been, can never die, though they blend and change, and change again for ever.
H. Rider Haggard (King Solomon's Mines (Allan Quatermain, #1))
Trains tap into some deep American collective memory.
Dana Frank (Local Girl Makes History: Exploring Northern California's Kitsch Monuments)
No respect for beauty – that was characteristic of today’s society. The works of the great masters were at most employed as ironic references, or used in advertising. Michelangelo’s ‘The Creation of Adam’, where you see a pair of jeans in place of the spark. The whole point of the picture, at least as he saw it, was that these two monumental bodies each came to an end in two index fingers that almost, but not quite, touched. There was a space between them a millimetre or so wide. And in this space – life. The sculptural size and richness of detail of this picture was simply a frame, a backdrop, to emphasise the crucial void in its centre. The point of emptiness that contained everything. And in its place a person had superimposed a pair of jeans.
John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let the Right One In)
But one must remember that they were all men with systems. Freud, monumentally hipped on sex (for which he personally had little use) and almost ignorant of Nature: Adler, reducing almost everything to the will to power: and Jung, certainly the most humane and gentlest of them, and possibly the greatest, but nevertheless the descendant of parsons and professors, and himself a super-parson and a super-professor. all men of extraordinary character, and they devised systems that are forever stamped with that character.… Davey, did you ever think that these three men who were so splendid at understanding others had first to understand themselves? It was from their self-knowledge they spoke. They did not go trustingly to some doctor and follow his lead because they were too lazy or too scared to make the inward journey alone. They dared heroically. And it should never be forgotten that they made the inward journey while they were working like galley-slaves at their daily tasks, considering other people's troubles, raising families, living full lives. They were heroes, in a sense that no space-explorer can be a hero, because they went into the unknown absolutely alone. Was their heroism simply meant to raise a whole new crop of invalids? Why don't you go home and shoulder your yoke, and be a hero too?
Robertson Davies (The Manticore (The Deptford Trilogy, #2))
A legacy that powerful does not disappear. Next to the Egyptians, the Greeks and Romans were babies. Our modern nations like Great Britain and America? Blinks of an eye...The very oldest root of civilization, at least of Western civilization, is Egypt. Look at the pyramid on the dollar bill. Look at the Washington Monument—the world’s largest Egyptian obelisk. Egypt is still.......very much alive.
Rick Riordan (The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, #1))
A surging, seething, murmuring crowd of beings that are human only in name, for to the eye and ear they seem naught but savage creatures, animated by vile passions and by the lust of vengeance and of hate. The hour, some little time before sunset, and the place, the West Barricade, at the very spot where, a decade later, a proud tyrant raised an undying monument to the nation's glory and his own vanity.
Emmuska Orczy (The Scarlet Pimpernel)
Laine slowly rolled out of bed. The queen size was one of the few new things in the house. But now, even the new bed felt tainted. It was an inner-spring monument to lies, a petri dish of mendacity she had shared with her faithless husband, and shared now with creeping dreams that flew from the light but left harsh scratches and diseased black feathers. Laine promised herself that, as soon as, she could, she would rid herself of this house, this bed, her clothes, her jewelry - everything but the flesh she lived in. She would scrub herself clean and flee to start a new life whose first and only commandment would be: Never let thyself be lied to again.
Stephen M. Irwin (The Dead Path)
O Time the fatal wrack of mortal things, That draws oblivion's curtains over kings; Their sumptuous monuments, men know them not, Their names without a record are forgot, Their parts, their ports, their pomps all laid in th' dust Nor wit nor gold, nor buildings scape time's rust; But he whose name is graved in the white stone Shall last and shine when all of these are gone.
Anne Bradstreet
Sixsmith. I climb the steps of the Scot monument every morning and all becomes clear. Wish I could make you see this brightness. Don't worry, all is well. All is so perfectly, damnably well. I understand now that boundaries between noise and sound are conventions. All boundaries are conventions, waiting to be transcended. One may transcend any convention if only one can first conceive of doing so. Moments like this, I can feel your heart beating as clearly as I feel my own, and I know that separation is an illusion. My life extends far beyond the limitations of me.
Cloud Atlas 2012 Movie
On Slavery: The saddest slap in the face is we have NO monument, no real statues or memorials, no special day of Atonement or Remembrance (NOT ONE), no thanks for 400+ years of free labor, forced servitude across the Trans-Atlantic, ass beatings, buying ourselves and families out of slavery, rape and plunder...but everyone else has monuments, special museums, and even movies. This is what America thinks of black people, so-called black president and all, who has been largely silent on this subject...we'll even celebrate Leprechauns, Easter Bunnies, and Secretary's Day before we acknowledge our history.
Brandi L. Bates
Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not -- you vault down down the stairs and make a run for the corner. Only if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus. But the bus was barreling down our street so I ran.
Emmy Laybourne
Maria, lonely prostitute on a street of pain, You, at least, hail me and speak to me While a thousand others ignore my face. You offer me an hour of love, And your fees are not as costly as most. You are the madonna of the lonely, The first-born daughter in a world of pain. You do not turn fat men aside, Or trample on the stuttering, shy ones, You are the meadow where desperate men Can find a moment's comfort. Men have paid more to their wives To know a bit of peace And could not walk away without the guilt That masquerades as love. You do not bind them, lovely Maria, you comfort them And bid them return. Your body is more Christian than the Bishop's Whose gloved hand cannot feel the dropping of my blood. Your passion is as genuine as most, Your caring as real! But you, Maria, sacred whore on the endless pavement of pain, You, whose virginity each man may make his own Without paying ought but your fee, You who know nothing of virgin births and immaculate conceptions, You who touch man's flesh and caress a stranger, Who warm his bed to bring his aching skin alive, You make more sense than stock markets and football games Where sad men beg for virility. You offer yourself for a fee--and who offers himself for less? At times you are cruel and demanding--harsh and insensitive, At times you are shrewd and deceptive--grasping and hollow. The wonder is that at times you are gentle and concerned, Warm and loving. You deserve more respect than nuns who hide their sex for eternal love; Your fees are not so high, nor your prejudice so virtuous. You deserve more laurels than the self-pitying mother of many children, And your fee is not as costly as most. Man comes to you when his bed is filled with brass and emptiness, When liquor has dulled his sense enough To know his need of you. He will come in fantasy and despair, Maria, And leave without apologies. He will come in loneliness--and perhaps Leave in loneliness as well. But you give him more than soldiers who win medals and pensions, More than priests who offer absolution And sweet-smelling ritual, More than friends who anticipate his death Or challenge his life, And your fee is not as costly as most. You admit that your love is for a fee, Few women can be as honest. There are monuments to statesmen who gave nothing to anyone Except their hungry ego, Monuments to mothers who turned their children Into starving, anxious bodies, Monuments to Lady Liberty who makes poor men prisoners. I would erect a monument for you-- who give more than most-- And for a meager fee. Among the lonely, you are perhaps the loneliest of all, You come so close to love But it eludes you While proper women march to church and fantasize In the silence of their rooms, While lonely women take their husbands' arms To hold them on life's surface, While chattering women fill their closets with clothes and Their lips with lies, You offer love for a fee--which is not as costly as most-- And remain a lonely prostitute on a street of pain. You are not immoral, little Maria, only tired and afraid, But you are not as hollow as the police who pursue you, The politicians who jail you, the pharisees who scorn you. You give what you promise--take your paltry fee--and Wander on the endless, aching pavements of pain. You know more of universal love than the nations who thrive on war, More than the churches whose dogmas are private vendettas made sacred, More than the tall buildings and sprawling factories Where men wear chains. You are a lonely prostitute who speaks to me as I pass, And I smile at you because I am a lonely man.
James Kavanaugh (There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves)
Sometimes, when you'd least expect it, the grief would chop your legs out from under you.
Emmy Laybourne (Monument 14 (Monument 14, #1))
For over twenty-five centuries we’ve been bearing the weight of superb and heterogeneous civilizations, all from outside, none made by ourselves, none that we could call our own. This violence of landscape, this cruelty of climate, this continual tension in everything, and even these monuments of the past, magnificent yet incomprehensible because not built by us and yet standing round us like lovely mute ghosts; all those rulers who landed by main force from every direction who were at once obeyed, soon detested, and always misunderstood, their only expressions works of art we couldn't understand and taxes which we understood only too well and which they spent elsewhere: all these things have formed our character, which is thus conditioned by events outside our control as well as by a terrifying insularity of mind.
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (The Leopard)
Не доверяй таким людям как я. Я буду водить тебя в музеи, парки, к памятникам, буду целовать тебя в самых красивых местах, так что ты никогда не сможешь туда вернуться не вспоминая меня, словно кровь во рту. Я уничтожу тебя самым прекрасным способом, который только возможен. А когда я покину тебя, ты поймешь, почему штормы называют человеческими именами. Do not fall in love with people like me. I will take you to museums, and parks, and monuments, and kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth. I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible. And when I leave you will finally understand, why storms are named after people.
Caitlyn Siehl (Literary Sexts: A Collection of Short & Sexy Love Poems (Volume 1))
We have held the peculiar notion that a person or society that is a little different from us, whoever we are, is somehow strange or bizarre, to be distrusted or loathed. Think of the negative connotations of words like alien or outlandish. And yet the monuments and cultures of each of our civilizations merely represent different ways of being human. An extraterrestrial visitor, looking at the differences among human beings and their societies, would find those differences trivial compared to the similarities.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
Poems, even when narrative, do not resemble stories. All stories are about battles, of one kind or another, which end in victory or defeat. Everything moves towards the end, when the outcome will be known. Poems, regardless of any outcome, cross the battlefields, tending the wounded, listening to the wild monologues of the triumphant or the fearful. They bring a kind of peace. Not by anaesthesia or easy reassurance, but by recognition and the promise that what has been experienced cannot disappear as if it had never been. Yet the promise is not of a monument. (Who, still on a battlefield, wants monuments?) The promise is that language has acknowledged, has given shelter, to the experience which demanded, which cried out.
John Berger (And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos)
But Mehrunnisa did not know then, would never know, by giving her blessings to this marriage she had set into progress a chain of events that would eventually erase her name from history's pages. Or that Arjumand would become the only Mughal woman posterity would easily recognize. Docile, seemingly tractable and troublesome Arjumand would eclipse even Mehrunnisa, cast her in a shadow...because of the monument Khurram would build in Arjumand's memory - the Taj Mahal.
Indu Sundaresan (The Feast of Roses (Taj Mahal Trilogy, #2))
War did not come like a hurricane, Rorimer realized, destroying everything in its path. It came like a tornado, touching down in patches, taking with it one life while leaving the next person unharmed.
Robert M. Edsel (The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History)
Until that moment, I hadn’t realized that I embarked on the project of touring historic sites and monuments having to do with the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley right around the time my country iffily went off to war, which is to say right around the time my resentment of the current president cranked up into contempt. Not that I want the current president killed. Like that director, I will, for the record (and for the FBI agent assigned to read this and make sure I mean no harm – hello there), clearly state that while I am obsessed with death, I am against it.
Sarah Vowell (Assassination Vacation)
Evil is not just a theory of paradox, but an actual entity that exists only for itself. From its ether of manifestation that is garlanded in perpetual darkness, it not only influences and seeks the ruination and destruction of everything that resides in our universe, but rushes to embrace its own oblivion as well. To accomplish this, however, it must hide within the shroud of lies and deceit it spins to manipulate the weak-minded as well as those who choose to ally themselves with it for their own personal gain. For evil must rely on the self-serving interests of the arrogant, the lustful, the power-hungry, the hateful, and the greedy to feed and proliferate. This then becomes the condition of evil’s existence: the baneful ideologies of those who wantonly chose to ignore the needs and rights of others, inducing oppression, fear, pain, and even death throughout the cosmos. And by these means, evil seeks to supplant the balance of the universe with its perverse nature. And once all that was good has been extinguished by corruption or annihilation, evil will then turn upon and consume what remains: particularly its immoral servants who have assisted its purpose so well … along with itself. And within that terrible instant of unimaginable exploding quantum fury, it will burn brighter than a trillion galaxies to herald its moment of ultimate triumph. But a moment is all that it shall be. And a micro-second later when the last amber burns and flickers out to the demise of dissolving ash, evil will leave its legacy of a totally devoid universe as its everlasting monument to eternal death.
R.G. Risch (Beyond Mars: Crimson Fleet)
Not a thousand years ago, it was illegal to teach a slave to read. Not a thousand years ago, the Supreme Court decided that separate could not be equal. And today, as we sit here, no one is learning anything in this country. You see a nation which is the leader of the rest of the world, that had to pay the price of that ticket, and the price of that ticket is we're sitting in the most illiterate nation in the world. THE MOST ILLITERATE NATION IN THE WORLD. A monument to illiteracy. And if you doubt me, all you have to do is spend a day in Washington. I am serious as a heart attack.
James Baldwin (The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings)
Most lives vanish. A person dies, and little by little all traces of that life disappear. An inventor survives in his inventions, an architect survives in his buildings, but most people leave behind no monuments or lasting achievements: a shelf of photograph albums, a fifth-grade report card, a bowling trophy, an ashtray filched from a Florida hotel room on the final morning of some dimly remembered vacation. A few objects, a few documents, and a smattering of impressions made on other people. Those people invariably tell stories about the dead person, but more often than not dates are scrambled, facts are left out, and the truth becomes increasingly distorted, and when those people die in their turn, most of the stories vanish with them.
Paul Auster
Somewhere beyond the battening, urged sweep of three-bedroom houses rushing by their thousands across all the dark beige hills, somehow implicit in an arrogance or bite to the smog the more inland somnolence of San Narciso did lack, lurked the sea, the unimaginable Pacific, the one to which all surfers, beach pads, sewage disposal schemes, tourist incursions, sunned homosexuality, chartered fishing are irrelevant, the hole left by the moon’s tearing-free and monument to her exile; you could not hear or even smell this but it was there, something tidal began to reach feelers in past eyes and eardrums, perhaps to arouse fractions of brain current your most gossamer microelectrode is yet too gross for finding.
Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49)
...In another time, What cannot be seen will define us, and we shall be prompted To say that language is error, and all things are wronged By representation. The self, we shall say, can never be Seen with a disguise, and never be seen without one.
Mark Strand (The Story of Our Lives: with The Monument and The Late Hour)
We tend to think of memories as monuments we once forged and may find intact beneath the weedy growth of years. But, in a real sense, memories are tied to and describe the present. Formed in an idiosyncratic way when they happened, they're also true to the moment of recall, including how you feel, all you've experienced, and new values, passions, and vulnerability. One never steps into the same stream of consciousness twice.
Diane Ackerman (An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain)
DO NOT FALL IN LOVE WITH PEOPLE LIKE ME Do not fall in love with people like me. People like me will love you so hard that you turn into stone, into a statue where people come to marvel at how long it must have taken to carve that faraway look into your eyes. Do not fall in love with people like me. We will take you to museums and parks and monuments and kiss you in every beautiful place so that you can never go back to them without tasting us like blood in your mouth. Do not come any closer. People like me are bombs. When our time is up, we will splatter loss all over your walls in angry colors that make you wish your doorway never learned our name. Do not fall in love with people like me. With the lonely ones. We will forget our own names if it means learning yours. We will make you think that hurricanes are gentle, that pain is a gift. You will get lost in the desperation, in the longing for something that is always reaching, but never able to hold. Do not fall in love with people like me. We will destroy your apartment. We will throw apologies at you that shatter on the floor and cut your feet. We will never learn how to be soft. We will leave. We always do.
Caitlyn Siehl (What We Buried)
Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way? Or is it, that as in essence whiteness is not so much a color as the visible absence of color; and at the same time the concrete of all colors; is it for these reasons that there is such a dumb blankness, full of meaning, in a wide landscape of snows- a colorless, all-color of atheism from which we shrink? And when we consider that other theory of the natural philosophers, that all other earthly hues — every stately or lovely emblazoning — the sweet tinges of sunset skies and woods; yea, and the gilded velvets of butterflies, and the butterfly cheeks of young girls; all these are but subtile deceits, not actually inherent in substances, but only laid on from without; so that all deified Nature absolutely paints like the harlot, whose allurements cover nothing but the charnel-house within; and when we proceed further, and consider that the mystical cosmetic which produces every one of her hues, the great principle of light, for ever remains white or colorless in itself, and if operating without medium upon matter, would touch all objects, even tulips and roses, with its own blank tinge — pondering all this, the palsied universe lies before us a leper; and like wilful travellers in Lapland, who refuse to wear colored and coloring glasses upon their eyes, so the wretched infidel gazes himself blind at the monumental white shroud that wraps all the prospect around him. And of all these things the Albino whale was the symbol. Wonder ye then at the fiery hunt?
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
Real mystery - the very reason to read (and certainly write) any book - was to them a thing to dismantle, distill and mine out into rubble they could tyrannize into sorry but more permanent explanations; monuments to themselves, in other words. In my view all teachers should be required to stop teaching at age thirty-two and not allowed to resume until they're sixty-five, so that they can live their lives, not teach them away - live lives full of ambiguity and transience and regret and wonder, be asked to explain nothing in public until very near the end when they can't do anything else. Explaining is where we all get into trouble.
Richard Ford
Three years in London had not changed Richard, although it had changed the way he perceived the city. Richard had originally imagined London as a gray city, even a black city, from pictures he had seen, and he was surprised to find it filled with color. It was a city of red brick and white stone, red buses and large black taxis, bright red mailboxes and green grassy parks and cemeteries. It was a city in which the very old and the awkwardly new jostled each other, not uncomfortably, but without respect; a city of shops and offices and restaurants and homes, of parks and churches, of ignored monuments and remarkably unpalatial palaces; a city of hundreds of districts with strange names - Crouch End, Chalk Farm, Earl's Court, Marble Arch - and oddly distinct identities; a noisy, dirty, cheerful, troubled city, which fed on tourists, needed them as it despised them, in which the average speed of transportation through the city had not increased in three hundred years, following five hundred years of fitful road-widening and unskillful compromises between the needs of traffic, whether horse-drawn, or, more recently, motorized, and the need of pedestrians; a city inhabited by and teeming with people of every color and manner and kind.
Neil Gaiman (Neverwhere (London Below, #1))
As we did every New Year's Eve we made ridiculous resolutions that no one would keep, and quietly we all wondered what the coming year would hold, each of us praying for our own private miracles. Good health. Better health. A marriage for this child, a good job for another. This hopefulness was something hardwired into our psyches, that a new year might mean some monumental something wonderful could happen to bring us happiness at a level we had never known. A new year was a chance to start over. Maybe even, just maybe, there would be peace on earth for one entire day.
Dorothea Benton Frank (The Last Original Wife)
One of the great Confederate combat leaders, General John B. Gordon, had sat at his horse and spoken farewell to his men. Some he had seen weeping as they folded burnt and shot-pierced battle flags and laid them on the stacked arms of surrender. As he told his troops his own grief he tried to give them hope to rebuild out of the poverty and ashes to which many would return. Gordon would never forget a Kentucky father who lost two sons, one dying for the North, the other for the South. Over the two graves of his soldier boys the father set up a joint monument inscribed "God knows which was right.
Carl Sandburg (Abraham Lincoln)
Your mother hollers that you're going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don't stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don't thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not- you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner. Only, if it's the last you'll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you'd stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus. But the bus was barreling down our street so i ran.
Emmy Laybourne (Monument 14 (Monument 14, #1))
I encourage you to sit in that garden, but when you do, close your eyes and I'll tell you about the real garden, the sacred place. Ninety feet away from where you sit there is a spot, where Brock's knees hit the dirt, where the Swedes tackled him to the ground, yelling 'What the fuck are you doing? Do you think this is okay?'. Put their words on a plaque. Mark that spot, because in my mind I've erected a monument. The place to be remembered is not where I was assaulted, but where he fell, where I was saved, where two men declared stop, no more, not here, not now, not ever.
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
Winter Liar" by Liam Doyle the Incubus What come once here will never come again, no matter monument nor memory; all sunwarmed green succumbs to winter's wind. And you, my love, were also my best friend, and had your life to live. The tragedy was not just my youth's recklessness, although I trusted much to impulse, whim, freedom, a destiny excluding doom. Frankly, youth can be our insanity. But now I'm cured of that fever, although the price was high; and chilly April wind can only sigh at my regrets, yet sun will brighten wind so, one knows that soon green stirs, and wild bees hum. And summer once more will make winter liar, but I won't warm. You're all I'll ever desire.
Juliet Dark (The Demon Lover (Fairwick Chronicles, #1))
Porque la característica esencial de lo que llamamos locura es la soledad, pero una soledad monumental. Una soledad tan grande que no cabe dentro de la palabra soledad y que uno no puede ni llegar a imaginar si no ha estado ahí. Es sentir que te has desconectado del mundo, que no te van a poder entender, que no tienes #Palabras para expresarte. Es como hablar un lenguaje que nadie más conoce. Es ser un astronauta flotando a la deriva en la vastedad negra y vacía del espacio exterior. De ese tamaño de soledad estoy hablando. Y resulta que en el verdadero dolor, en el dolor-alud, sucede algo semejante. Aunque la sensación de desconexión no sea tan extrema, tampoco puedes compartir ni explicar tu sufrimiento. Ya lo dice la sabiduría popular: Fulanito se volvió loco de dolor. La pena aguda es una enajenación. Te callas y te encierras.
Rosa Montero (La ridícula idea de no volver a verte)
Whoever is born in New York is ill-equipped to deal with any other city: all other cities seem, at best, a mistake, and, at worst, a fraud. No other city is so spitefully incoherent. Whereas other cities flaunt there history - their presumed glory - in vividly placed monuments, squares, parks, plaques, and boulevards, such history as New York has been unable entirely to obliterate is to be found, mainly, in the backwaters of Wall Street, in the goat tracks of Old and West Broadway, in and around Washington Square, and, for the relentless searcher, in grimly inaccessible regions of The Bronx.
James Baldwin (Just Above My Head)
The living dead had taken more from us than land and loved ones. They'd robbed us of our confidence as the planet's dominant life form. We were a shaken, broken species, driven to the edge of extinction and grateful only for tomorrow with perhaps a little less suffering than today. Was this the legacy we would leave our children, a level of anxiety and self-doubt not seen since our simian ancestors cowered in the tallest trees? What kind of world would they rebuild? Would they rebuild at all? Could they continue to progress, knowing that they would be powerless to reclaim their future? And what if that future saw another rise of the living dead? Would our descendants rise to meet them in battle, or simply crumple in meek surrender and accept what they believe to be their inevitable extinction? For this alone, we had to reclaim our planet. We had to prove to ourselves that we could do it, and leave that proof as this war's greatest monument. The long, hard road back to humanity, or the regressive ennui of Earth's once-proud primates. That was the choice, and it had to be made now.
Max Brooks (World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War)
If one destroyed in museums and libraries, if one hurled down on the flagstones before the churches all the works and all the monuments of art that religions have inspired, what would remain of the great dreams of humanity? To give to men that portion of hope and illusion without which they cannot live, such is the reason for the existence of gods, heroes, and poets. During fifty years science appeared to undertake this task. But science has been compromised in hearts hungering after the ideal, because it does not dare to be lavish enough of promises, because it cannot lie
Gustave Le Bon (The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind)
WAIT, WAIT! JUST one more!” “Bliss, there are children waiting.” And they probably hated us, but I was just so glad to see her smiling that I didn’t care. “Yeah, well, they all just jumped on the bandwagon. Most of them weren’t alive when I read Harry Potter for the first time.” I turned to the Canadian family behind me and said, “I’m so sorry. This is the last one, I promise.” Then I took one more picture of Bliss pretending to push the luggage cart through the wall at the Platform 9¾ monument at King’s Cross Station. A little boy stuck his tongue out at Bliss as we left. I pulled her away before she could follow suit. “That kid better watch it. I’m totally a Slytherin.” I shook my head, smiling. “Love, I’m going to need you to pull back on the crazy a bit.” “You’re right. Realistically, I’m a Ravenclaw.
Cora Carmack (Keeping Her (Losing It, #1.5))
There are few things more blasphemous than a preacher who compliments the unbeliever on the wonderful life he has made for himself, extolling all that he has achieved, and then adding that he lacks one thing: he needs Jesus to make it all complete. This was not the attitude of the apostle Paul, who counted even the most splendid things in his previous life to be dung in comparison to Christ.11 We should never present Christ to the unbeliever as the cherry on top of an already wonderful life. The unbeliever must see that he has no life, and that all his personal achievements prior to Christ are monuments to his own vanity: made of sand and quickly passing.
Paul David Washer (The Gospel's Power & Message)
A block or two west of the new City of Man in Turtle Bay there is an old willow tree that presides over an interior garden. It is a battered tree, long suffering and much climbed, held together by strands of wire but beloved of those who know it. In a way it symbolizes the city: life under difficulties, growth against odds, sap-rise in the midst of concrete, and the steady reaching for the sun. Whenever I look at it nowadays, and feel the cold shadow of the planes, I think: "This must be saved, this particular thing, this very tree." If it were to go, all would go -- this city, this mischevious and marvelous monument which not to look upon would be like death.
E.B. White (Here Is New York)
They say that in D.C., all the museums and the monuments have been concessioned out and turned into a tourist park that now generates about 10 percent of the Government's revenue. The Feds could run the concession themselves and probably keep more of the gross, but that's not the point. It's a philosophical thing. A back-to-basics thing. Government should govern. It's not in the entertainment industry, is it? Leave entertaining to Industry weirdos -- people who majored in tap dancing. Feds aren't like that. Feds are serious people. Poli-sci majors. Student council presidents. Debate club chairpersons. The kinds of people who have the grit to wear a dark wool suit and a tightly buttoned collar even when the temperature has greenhoused up to a hundred and ten degrees and the humidity is thick enough to stall a jumbo jet. The kinds of people who feel most at home on the dark side of a one-way mirror.
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
Reluctantly, he knew that he despised his fellow residents for the way in which they fit so willingly into their appointed slots in the apartment buildings, for their overdeveloped sense of responsibility and lack of flamboyance. Above all, he looked down on them for their good taste. The building was a monument to good taste, to the well-designed kitchen, to sophisticated utencils and fabrics, to elegant and never ostentatious furnishings. In short, to that whole aesthetic sensibility which these well-educated, professional people had inherited from all the schools of industrial design, all the award-winning schemes of interior decoration institutionalized by the last quarter of the century. Royal detested this orthodoxy of the intelligent. Visiting his neighbors’ apartments, he would find himself physically repelled by the contours of an award-winning coffee pot, but the well-modulated color schemes, by the good taste and intelligence that, Midas-like, had transformed everything in these apartments into an ideal marriage of function and design. In a sense, these people were the vanguard of a well-to-do and well-educated proletariat of the future, boxed up in these expensive apartments with their elegant furniture, and intelligent sensibilities, and no possibility of escape.
J.G. Ballard (High-Rise)
Time is so subjective, its measure totally dependent upon the means by which we mark its passage. When we follow the conventional milestones, meting out our lives with birthdays and graduations and anniversaries and funerals, we are left with voids along the way-vast stretches of empty space lost forever, never to be filled. As time grows short, the significance of each moment increases, until finally every heartbeat is of monumental importance. Or so it seems at first. I have discovered, almost too late, that time is not just arbitrary, but of no great consequence after all. She has taught me that a touch is a lifetime, a kiss forever, and that passion will transcend the limitations of fragile existence to span eternity. I no longer worry about the beat of my heart-I need only the memory of her to live on. My soul, my very being, pulses with wonder at the places within me that she has filled, with gratitude for the wounds she has healed, and with everlasting devotion for the love she has given. In her arms, I found passion and peace and a place to rest. No matter where I travel or what road I take to reach my detestation, I will always have the comfort of her hand in my and the soft whisper of her voice reminding me that I do not need to be afraid. This, this has always been my secret desire, and now I need search no further. I am Loved, and I am content,
Radclyffe (Love's Masquerade)
It was not until the year 1808 that Great Britain abolished the slave trade. Up to that time her judges, sitting upon the bench in the name of justice, her priests, occupying her pulpits, in the name of universal love, owned stock in the slave ships, and luxuriated upon the profits of piracy and murder. It was not until the same year that the United States of America abolished the slave trade between this and other countries, but carefully preserved it as between the States. It was not until the 28th day of August, 1833, that Great Britain abolished human slavery in her colonies; and it was not until the 1st day of January, 1863, that Abraham Lincoln, sustained by the sublime and heroic North, rendered our flag pure as the sky in which it floats. Abraham Lincoln was, in my judgment, in many respects, the grandest man ever President of the United States. Upon his monument these words should be written: 'Here sleeps the only man in the history of the world, who, having been clothed with almost absolute power, never abused it, except upon the side of mercy.' Think how long we clung to the institution of human slavery, how long lashes upon the naked back were a legal tender for labor performed. Think of it. With every drop of my blood I hate and execrate every form of tyranny, every form of slavery. I hate dictation. I love liberty.
Robert G. Ingersoll (The Liberty Of Man, Woman And Child)
The fervor and single-mindedness of this deification probably have no precedent in history. It's not like Duvalier or Assad passing the torch to the son and heir. It surpasses anything I have read about the Roman or Babylonian or even Pharaonic excesses. An estimated $2.68 billion was spent on ceremonies and monuments in the aftermath of Kim Il Sung's death. The concept is not that his son is his successor, but that his son is his reincarnation. North Korea has an equivalent of Mount Fuji—a mountain sacred to all Koreans. It's called Mount Paekdu, a beautiful peak with a deep blue lake, on the Chinese border. Here, according to the new mythology, Kim Jong Il was born on February 16, 1942. His birth was attended by a double rainbow and by songs of praise (in human voice) uttered by the local birds. In fact, in February 1942 his father and mother were hiding under Stalin's protection in the dank Russian city of Khabarovsk, but as with all miraculous births it's considered best not to allow the facts to get in the way of a good story.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
If, in time of peace, our museums and art galleries are important to the community, in time of war they are doubly valuable. For then, when the petty and the trivial fall way and we are face to face with final and lasting values, we… must summon to our defense all our intellectual and spiritual resources. We must guard jealously all we have inherited from a long past, all we are capable of creating in a trying present, and all we are determined to preserve in a foreseeable future. Art is the imperishable and dynamic expression of these aims. It is, and always has been, the visible evidence of the activity of free minds.…
Robert M. Edsel (The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, And The Greatest Treasure Hunt In History)
The elk that you glimpse in the summer, those at the forest edge, are survivors of winter, only the strongest. You see one just before dusk that summer, standing at the perimeter of the meadow so it can step back to the forest and vanish. You can't help imagining the still, frozen nights behind it, so cold that the slightest motion is monumental. I have found their bodies, half drifted over in snow, no sign of animal attack or injury. Just toppled over one night with ice working into their lungs. You wouldn't want to stand outside for more than a few minutes in that kind of weather. If you lived through only one of those winters the way this elk has, you would write books about it. You would become a shaman. You would be forever changed. That elk from the winter stands there on the summer evening, watching from beside the forest. It keeps its story to itself.
Craig Childs (The Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild)
I sat wondering: Why is there always this deep shade of melancholy over the fields arid river banks, the sky and the sunshine of our country? And I came to the conclusion that it is because with us Nature is obviously the more important thing. The sky is free, the fields limitless; and the sun merges them into one blazing whole. In the midst of this, man seems so trivial. He comes and goes, like the ferry-boat, from this shore to the other; the babbling hum of his talk, the fitful echo of his song, is heard; the slight movement of his pursuit of his own petty desires is seen in the world's market-places: but how feeble, how temporary, how tragically meaningless it all seems amidst the immense aloofness of the Universe! The contrast between the beautiful, broad, unalloyed peace of Nature—calm, passive, silent, unfathomable,—and our own everyday worries—paltry, sorrow-laden, strife-tormented, puts me beside myself as I keep staring at the hazy, distant, blue line of trees which fringe the fields across the river. Where Nature is ever hidden, and cowers under mist and cloud, snow and darkness, there man feels himself master; he regards his desires, his works, as permanent; he wants to perpetuate them, he looks towards posterity, he raises monuments, he writes biographies; he even goes the length of erecting tombstones over the dead. So busy is he that he has not time to consider how many monuments crumble, how often names are forgotten!
Rabindranath Tagore
Coddly slammed a fist on the table. “No one will take you seriously if you do not act decisively.” There was a beat of silence after his voice stopped echoing around the room, and the entire table sat motionless. “Fine,” I responded calmly. “You’re fired.” Coddly laughed, looking at the other gentlemen at the table. “You can’t fire me, Your Highness.” I tilted my head, staring at him. “I assure you, I can. There’s no one here who outranks me at the moment, and you are easily replaceable.” Though she tried to be discreet, I saw Lady Brice purse her lips together, clearly determined not to laugh. Yes, I definitely had an ally in her. “You need to fight!” he insisted. “No,” I answered firmly. “A war would add unnecessary strain to an already stressful moment and would cause an upheaval between us and the country we are now bound to by marriage. We will not fight.” Coddly lowered his chin and squinted. “Don’t you think you’re being too emotional about this?” I stood, my chair screeching behind me as I moved. “I’m going to assume that you aren’t implying by that statement that I’m actually being too female about this. Because, yes, I am emotional.” I strode around the opposite side of the table, my eyes trained on Coddly. “My mother is in a bed with tubes down her throat, my twin is now on a different continent, and my father is holding himself together by a thread.” Stopping across from him, I continued. “I have two younger brothers to keep calm in the wake of all this, a country to run, and six boys downstairs waiting for me to offer one of them my hand.” Coddly swallowed, and I felt only the tiniest bit of guilt for the satisfaction it brought me. “So, yes, I am emotional right now. Anyone in my position with a soul would be. And you, sir, are an idiot. How dare you try to force my hand on something so monumental on the grounds of something so small? For all intents and purposes, I am queen, and you will not coerce me into anything.” I walked back to the head of the table. “Officer Leger?” “Yes, Your Highness?” “Is there anything on this agenda that can’t wait until tomorrow?” “No, Your Highness.” “Good. You’re all dismissed. And I suggest you all remember who’s in charge here before we meet again.
Kiera Cass (The Crown (The Selection, #5))
Poetic Terrorism WEIRD DANCING IN ALL-NIGHT computer-banking lobbies. Unauthorized pyrotechnic displays. Land-art, earth-works as bizarre alien artifacts strewn in State Parks. Burglarize houses but instead of stealing, leave Poetic-Terrorist objects. Kidnap someone & make them happy. Pick someone at random & convince them they're the heir to an enormous, useless & amazing fortune--say 5000 square miles of Antarctica, or an aging circus elephant, or an orphanage in Bombay, or a collection of alchemical mss. ... Bolt up brass commemorative plaques in places (public or private) where you have experienced a revelation or had a particularly fulfilling sexual experience, etc. Go naked for a sign. Organize a strike in your school or workplace on the grounds that it does not satisfy your need for indolence & spiritual beauty. Graffiti-art loaned some grace to ugly subways & rigid public monuments--PT-art can also be created for public places: poems scrawled in courthouse lavatories, small fetishes abandoned in parks & restaurants, Xerox-art under windshield-wipers of parked cars, Big Character Slogans pasted on playground walls, anonymous letters mailed to random or chosen recipients (mail fraud), pirate radio transmissions, wet cement... The audience reaction or aesthetic-shock produced by PT ought to be at least as strong as the emotion of terror-- powerful disgust, sexual arousal, superstitious awe, sudden intuitive breakthrough, dada-esque angst--no matter whether the PT is aimed at one person or many, no matter whether it is "signed" or anonymous, if it does not change someone's life (aside from the artist) it fails. PT is an act in a Theater of Cruelty which has no stage, no rows of seats, no tickets & no walls. In order to work at all, PT must categorically be divorced from all conventional structures for art consumption (galleries, publications, media). Even the guerilla Situationist tactics of street theater are perhaps too well known & expected now. An exquisite seduction carried out not only in the cause of mutual satisfaction but also as a conscious act in a deliberately beautiful life--may be the ultimate PT. The PTerrorist behaves like a confidence-trickster whose aim is not money but CHANGE. Don't do PT for other artists, do it for people who will not realize (at least for a few moments) that what you have done is art. Avoid recognizable art-categories, avoid politics, don't stick around to argue, don't be sentimental; be ruthless, take risks, vandalize only what must be defaced, do something children will remember all their lives--but don't be spontaneous unless the PT Muse has possessed you. Dress up. Leave a false name. Be legendary. The best PT is against the law, but don't get caught. Art as crime; crime as art.
Hakim Bey (TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone (New Autonomy))
My mom believed that you make your own luck. Over the stove she had hung these old, maroon painted letters that spell out, “MANIFEST.” The idea being if you thought and dreamed about the way you wanted your life to be -- if you just envisioned it long enough, it would come into being. But as hard as I had manifested Astrid Heyman with her hand in mine, her blue eyes gazing into mine, her lips whispering something wild and funny and outrageous in my ear, she had remained totally unaware of my existence. Truly, to even dream of dreaming about Astrid, for a guy like me, in my relatively low position on the social ladder of Cheyenne Mountain High, was idiotic. And with her a senior and me a junior? Forget it. Astrid was just lit up with beauty: shining blonde ringlets, June sky blue eyes, slightly furrowed brow, always biting back a smile, champion diver on the swim team. Olympic level. Hell, Astrid was Olympic level in every possible way.
Emmy Laybourne
And I was alone, had been for a while, and might be for a while, but it no longer frightened me the way it had. I was discovering something terrifyingly simple: there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I was discovering this in the way, I suppose, that everybody does, but having tried, endlessly, to do something about it. You attach yourself to someone, or you allow someone to attach themselves to you. This person is not for you, and you, really, are not for that person--and that's it, son. But you try, you both try. The only result of all your trying is to make absolutely real the unconquerable distance between you: to dramatize, in a million ways, the absolutely unalterable truth of this distance. Side by side, and hand in hand, your sunsets, nevertheless are not occurring in the same universe. It is not merely that the rain falls differently on each of you, for that can be a wonder and a joy: it is that what is rain for the one is not rain for the other. Your elements will not mix, unless one agrees that the elements be pulverized--and the result of that is worse than being alone. The result of that is to become one of the living dead. The most dreadful people I have ever known are those who have been "saved," as they claim, by Christ--they could not possibly be more deluded--those for whom the heavenly telephone is endlessly ringing, always with disastrous messages for everybody else. Or those people who have been cured by their psychiatrists, a cure which has rendered them a little less exciting than oatmeal. I prefer sinners and madmen, who can learn, who can change, who can teach--or people like myself, if I may say so, who are not afraid to eat a lobster alone as they take on their shoulders the monumental weight of thirty years.
James Baldwin (Just Above My Head)
Ultimately, the roast turkey must be regarded as a monument to Boomer's love. Look at it now, plump and glossy, floating across Idaho as if it were a mammoth, mutated seed pod. Hear how it backfires as it passes the silver mines, perhaps in tribute to the origin of the knives and forks of splendid sterling that a roast turkey and a roast turkey alone possesses the charisma to draw forth into festivity from dark cupboards. See how it glides through the potato fields, familiarly at home among potatoes but with an air of expectation, as if waiting for the flood of gravy. The roast turkey carries with it, in its chubby hold, a sizable portion of our primitive and pagan luggage. Primitive and pagan? Us? We of the laser, we of the microchip, we of the Union Theological Seminary and Time magazine? Of course. At least twice a year, do not millions upon millions of us cybernetic Christians and fax machine Jews participate in a ritual, a highly stylized ceremony that takes place around a large dead bird? And is not this animal sacrificed, as in days of yore, to catch the attention of a divine spirit, to show gratitude for blessings bestowed, and to petition for blessings coveted? The turkey, slain, slowly cooked over our gas or electric fires, is the central figure at our holy feast. It is the totem animal that brings our tribe together. And because it is an awkward, intractable creature, the serving of it establishes and reinforces the tribal hierarchy. There are but two legs, two wings, a certain amount of white meat, a given quantity of dark. Who gets which piece; who, in fact, slices the bird and distributes its limbs and organs, underscores quite emphatically the rank of each member in the gathering. Consider that the legs of this bird are called 'drumsticks,' after the ritual objects employed to extract the music from the most aboriginal and sacred of instruments. Our ancestors, kept their drums in public, but the sticks, being more actively magical, usually were stored in places known only to the shaman, the medicine man, the high priest, of the Wise Old Woman. The wing of the fowl gives symbolic flight to the soul, but with the drumstick is evoked the best of the pulse of the heart of the universe. Few of us nowadays participate in the actual hunting and killing of the turkey, but almost all of us watch, frequently with deep emotion, the reenactment of those events. We watch it on TV sets immediately before the communal meal. For what are footballs if not metaphorical turkeys, flying up and down a meadow? And what is a touchdown if not a kill, achieved by one or the other of two opposing tribes? To our applause, great young hungers from Alabama or Notre Dame slay the bird. Then, the Wise Old Woman, in the guise of Grandma, calls us to the table, where we, pretending to be no longer primitive, systematically rip the bird asunder. Was Boomer Petaway aware of the totemic implications when, to impress his beloved, he fabricated an outsize Thanksgiving centerpiece? No, not consciously. If and when the last veil dropped, he might comprehend what he had wrought. For the present, however, he was as ignorant as Can o' Beans, Spoon, and Dirty Sock were, before Painted Stick and Conch Shell drew their attention to similar affairs. Nevertheless, it was Boomer who piloted the gobble-stilled butterball across Idaho, who negotiated it through the natural carving knives of the Sawtooth Mountains, who once or twice parked it in wilderness rest stops, causing adjacent flora to assume the appearance of parsley.
Tom Robbins (Skinny Legs and All)
If you could design a new structure for Camp Half-Blood what would it be? Annabeth: I’m glad you asked. We seriously need a temple. Here we are, children of the Greek gods, and we don’t even have a monument to our parents. I’d put it on the hill just south of Half-Blood Hill, and I’d design it so that every morning the rising sun would shine through its windows and make a different god’s emblem on the floor: like one day an eagle, the next an owl. It would have statues for all the gods, of course, and golden braziers for burnt offerings. I’d design it with perfect acoustics, like Carnegie Hall, so we could have lyre and reed pipe concerts there. I could go on and on, but you probably get the idea. Chiron says we’d have to sell four million truckloads of strawberries to pay for a project like that, but I think it would be worth it. Aside from your mom, who do you think is the wisest god or goddess on the Olympian Council? Annabeth: Wow, let me think . . . um. The thing is, the Olympians aren’t exactly known for wisdom, and I mean that with the greatest possible respect. Zeus is wise in his own way. I mean he’s kept the family together for four thousand years, and that’s not easy. Hermes is clever. He even fooled Apollo once by stealing his cattle, and Apollo is no slouch. I’ve always admired Artemis, too. She doesn’t compromise her beliefs. She just does her own thing and doesn’t spend a lot of time arguing with the other gods on the council. She spends more time in the mortal world than most gods, too, so she understands what’s going on. She doesn’t understand guys, though. I guess nobody’s perfect. Of all your Camp Half-Blood friends, who would you most like to have with you in battle? Annabeth: Oh, Percy. No contest. I mean, sure he can be annoying, but he’s dependable. He’s brave and he’s a good fighter. Normally, as long as I’m telling him what to do, he wins in a fight. You’ve been known to call Percy “Seaweed Brain” from time to time. What’s his most annoying quality? Annabeth: Well, I don’t call him that because he’s so bright, do I? I mean he’s not dumb. He’s actually pretty intelligent, but he acts so dumb sometimes. I wonder if he does it just to annoy me. The guy has a lot going for him. He’s courageous. He’s got a sense of humor. He’s good-looking, but don’t you dare tell him I said that. Where was I? Oh yeah, so he’s got a lot going for him, but he’s so . . . obtuse. That’s the word. I mean he doesn’t see really obvious stuff, like the way people feel, even when you’re giving him hints, and being totally blatant. What? No, I’m not talking about anyone or anything in particular! I’m just making a general statement. Why does everyone always think . . . agh! Forget it. Interview with GROVER UNDERWOOD, Satyr What’s your favorite song to play on the reed pipes?
Rick Riordan (The Demigod Files (Percy Jackson and the Olympians))
It’s no one’s fault really,” he continued. “A big city cannot afford to have its attention distracted from the important job of being a big city by such a tiny, unimportant item as your happiness or mine.” This came out of him easily, assuredly, and I was suddenly interested. On closer inspection there was something aesthetic and scholarly about him, something faintly professorial. He knew I was with him, listening, and his grey eyes were kind with offered friendliness. He continued: “Those tall buildings there are more than monuments to the industry, thought and effort which have made this a great city; they also occasionally serve as springboards to eternity for misfits who cannot cope with the city and their own loneliness in it.” He paused and said something about one of the ducks which was quite unintelligible to me. “A great city is a battlefield,” he continued. “You need to be a fighter to live in it, not exist, mark you, live. Anybody can exist, dragging his soul around behind him like a worn-out coat; but living is different. It can be hard, but it can also be fun; there’s so much going on all the time that’s new and exciting.” I could not, nor wished to, ignore his pleasant voice, but I was in no mood for his philosophising. “If you were a negro you’d find that even existing would provide more excitement than you’d care for.” He looked at me and suddenly laughed; a laugh abandoned and gay, a laugh rich and young and indescribably infectious. I laughed with him, although I failed to see anything funny in my remark. “I wondered how long it would be before you broke down and talked to me,” he said, when his amusement had quietened down. “Talking helps, you know; if you can talk with someone you’re not lonely any more, don’t you think?” As simple as that. Soon we were chatting away unreservedly, like old friends, and I had told him everything. “Teaching,” he said presently. “That’s the thing. Why not get a job as a teacher?” “That’s rather unlikely,” I replied. “I have had no training as a teacher.” “Oh, that’s not absolutely necessary. Your degrees would be considered in lieu of training, and I feel sure that with your experience and obvious ability you could do well.” “Look here, Sir, if these people would not let me near ordinary inanimate equipment about which I understand quite a bit, is it reasonable to expect them to entrust the education of their children to me?” “Why not? They need teachers desperately.” “It is said that they also need technicians desperately.” “Ah, but that’s different. I don’t suppose educational authorities can be bothered about the colour of people’s skins, and I do believe that in that respect the London County Council is rather outstanding. Anyway, there would be no need to mention it; let it wait until they see you at the interview.” “I’ve tried that method before. It didn’t work.” “Try it again, you’ve nothing to lose. I know for a fact that there are many vacancies for teachers in the East End of London.” “Why especially the East End of London?” “From all accounts it is rather a tough area, and most teachers prefer to seek jobs elsewhere.” “And you think it would be just right for a negro, I suppose.” The vicious bitterness was creeping back; the suspicion was not so easily forgotten. “Now, just a moment, young man.” He was wonderfully patient with me, much more so than I deserved. “Don’t ever underrate the people of the East End; from those very slums and alleyways are emerging many of the new breed of professional and scientific men and quite a few of our politicians. Be careful lest you be a worse snob than the rest of us. Was this the kind of spirit in which you sought the other jobs?
E.R. Braithwaite (To Sir, With Love)