Monuments Small Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Monuments Small. Here they are! All 90 of them:

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)
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
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)
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))
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)
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)
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)
Eschew the monumental. Shun the Epic. All the guys who can paint great big pictures can paint great small ones.
Ernest Hemingway
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))
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
Destiny is not one push, she thought as she waited to cross a quiet street on that cold Paris evening years later, but a thousand small moments that through insight and hard work you line up in the right direction, like the magnet does the metal shavings.
Robert M. Edsel (The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History)
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 is 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)
God calls big trees out of small seeds, so He prepares great monuments out of small minds. He will definitely call those wonderful things he put in you out of you. When He begins, do not resist!
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
The whole human earth was bleeding. Time, buildings, routes, rain, erase the constellation of the crime, the fact is, this small planet has been covered a thousand times by blood, war or vengeance, ambush or battle, people fell, they were devoured, and later oblivion wiped clean each square meter: sometimes a vague, dishonest monument, other times a clause in bronze, and still later, conversations, births, townships, and then oblivion. What arts we have for extermination and what science to obliterate memory! What was bloody is covered with flowers. Once more, young men, ready yourselves for another chance to kill, to die again, and to scatter flowers over the blood.
Pablo Neruda (The Sea and the Bells)
He always stumbled over that part. Not because it hurt—although it really fucking did—but because it seemed so…small. So simple and flat and anticlimactic a phrase for something as monumental as death. You told people 'they died,' and hell was folded up inside those two short words. Some people got it. Some people didn't.
Talia Hibbert (Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters, #2))
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))
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. The Cosmos may be densely populated with intelligent beings. But the Darwinian lesson is clear: There will be no humans elsewhere. Only here. Only on this small planet. We are a rare as well as an endangered species. Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
When we gaze at the magnificence of an ancient monument and ascribe its achievement to one man, we are guilty of spiritual embezzlement. We forget the army of craftsmen, unknown and unsung, who preceded him in the darkness of the ages, who toiled humbly - all heroism is humble - each contributing his small share to the common treasure of his time. A great building is not the private invention of some genius or other. It is merely a condensation of the spirit of a people.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
Half your anger is for yourself.” She ate the last bite of pastry and brushed her small gloved hands together, showering fragments of sugar icing onto the grass. “But it’s such a monumentally enormous anger even half is quite devastating.
Ann Leckie (Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #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.
Louise Gornall (Under Rose-Tainted Skies)
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)
Adrian?" Her voice was small, nearly lost in the dripping of waterfrom the fountain. But the power it carried - and the effect it had on me - was monumental. I'd heard the expression "weak-kneed" before but had never lived it until now. My muscles didn't feel as though they could sustain me, and there was a great swelling in my chest, the result of a tangle of emotions I couldn't even begin to describe. Love. Joy. Relief. Disbelief. And mixed in with all of them were the emotions that I'd endured these last few months as well: despair, fear, rossow. It spread out from my heart, and I felt tears form in my eyes. It wasn't possible that one person could make you experience so many emotions at once, that one person could trigger a universe of feelings, simply with the sound of your name. I also knew then that they were wrong - all of them. My mom. My dad. Nina. Anyone who thought love could simply be built on shared goals alone had never, ever experienced anything like what I had with Sydney. I couldn't believe I'd almost lost this through my own ignorance. Until I looked into her eyes now, I didn't truly realize what a hollow life I'd been living. "Sydney..
Richelle Mead (Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5))
The city was a real city, shifty and sexual. I was lightly jostled by small herds of flushed young sailors looking for action on Forty-Second Street, with it rows of x-rated movie houses, brassy women, glittering souvenir shops, and hot-dog vendors. I wandered through Kino parlors and peered through the windows of the magnificent sprawling Grant’s Raw Bar filled with men in black coats scooping up piles of fresh oysters. The skyscrapers were beautiful. They did not seem like mere corporate shells. They were monuments to the arrogant yet philanthropic spirit of America. The character of each quadrant was invigorating and one felt the flux of its history. The old world and the emerging one served up in the brick and mortar of the artisan and the architects. I walked for hours from park to park. In Washington Square, one could still feel the characters of Henry James and the presence of the author himself … This open atmosphere was something I had not experienced, simple freedom that did not seem oppressive to anyone.
Patti Smith (Just Kids)
Those whom nature destined to make her disciples have no need of teachers. Bacon, Descartes, Newton — these tutors of the human race had no need of tutors themselves, and what guides could have led them to those places where their vast genius carried them? Ordinary teachers could only have limited their understanding by confining it to their own narrow capabilities. With the first obstacles, they learned to exert themselves and made the effort to traverse the immense space they moved through. If it is necessary to permit some men to devote themselves to the study of the sciences and the arts, that should be only for those who feel in themselves the power to walk alone in those men's footsteps and to move beyond them. It is the task of this small number of people to raise monuments to the glory of the human mind.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Discourse on the Sciences and Arts and Polemics)
Remarkable, if for nothing else, because of this, that all of those men and women who stayed for any reason left behind them some monument, some structure of marble and brick and stone that still stands; so that even when the gas lamps went out and the planes came in and the office buildings crowded the blocks of Canal Street, something irreducible of beauty and romance remained; not in every street perhaps, but in so many that the landscape is for me the landscape of those times always, and walking now in the starlit streets of the Quarter or the Garden District I am in those times again. I suppose that is the nature of the monument. Be it a small house or a mansion of Corinthian columns and wrought-iron lace. The monument does not say that this or that man walked here. No, that what he felt in one time in one spot continues. The moon that rose over New Orleans then still rises. As long as the monuments stand, it still rises. The feeling, at least here...and there...it remains the same.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
All three of the English types I have mentioned can, I think, be accounted for as the results of the presence of different cultures, existing side by side in the country, and who were the creation of the folk in ages distantly removed one from another. In a word, they represent specific " strata" of folk-imagination. The most diminutive of all are very probably to be associated with a New Stone Age conception of spirits which haunted burial-mounds and rude stone monuments. We find such tiny spirits haunting the great stone circles of Brittany. The "Small People," or diminutive fairies of Cornwall, says Hunt, are believed to be "the spirits of people who inhabited Cornwall many thousands of years ago. "The spriggans, of the same area, are a minute and hirsute family of fairies" found only about the cairns, cromlechs, barrows, or detached stones, with which it is unlucky to meddle." Of these, the tiny fairies of Shakespeare, Drayton, and the Elizabethans appear to me to be the later representatives. The latter are certainly not the creation of seventeenth-century poets, as has been stated, but of the aboriginal folk of Britain.
Lewis Spence (British Fairy Origins)
I wanted a monument to myself in granite. I wanted my face in seven different colours. I wanted I LOVE YOU in giant red letters on top of the Museum of Modern Art. I wanted a new bridge across the Hudson in my name. I wanted a three-volume history of the Greeks dedicated to my memory. I wanted a filmed version of my life in Ektachrome Commercial. I wanted the Mercedes-Benz no longer to be for Mercedes. But I have small breasts.
Carol Emshwiller (Joy In Our Cause: Short Stories)
I looked into the wind, feeling the day alternately warm and cool and warm again on my face and arms as the breeze turned and returned across the bay. A small fleet of fishing canoes drifted past us on their way back to the fishermen’s sandy refuge near the slum. I suddenly remembered the day in the rain, sailing in a canoe across the flooded forecourt of the Taj Mahal Hotel and beneath the booming, resonant dome of the Gateway Monument. I remembered Vinod’s love song, and the rain that night as Karla came into my arms.
Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram)
I began my life as I shall no doubt end it: among books. In my grandfather's study, they were everywhere; it was forbidden to dust them except once a year, before the October term. Even before I could read, I already revered these raised stones; upright or leaning, wedged together like bricks on the library shelves or nobly placed like avenues of dolmens, I felt that our family prosperity depended on them. They were all alike, and I was romping about in a tiny sanctuary, surrounded by squat, ancient monuments which had witnessed my birth, which would witness my death and whose permanence guaranteed me a future as calm as my past. I used to touch them in secret to honour my hands with their dust but I did not have much idea what to do with them and each day I was present at ceremonies whose meaning escaped me: my grandfather - so clumy, normally, that my grandmother buttoned his gloves for him - handled these cultural objects with the dexterity of an officiating priest. Hundreds of times I saw him get up absent-mindedly, walk round the table, cross the room in two strides, unhesitatingly pick out a volume without allowing himself time for choice, run through it as he went back to his armchair, with a combined movement of his thumb and right forefinger, and, almost before he sat down, open it with a flick "at the right page," making it creak like a shoe. I sometimes got close enough to observe these boxes which opened like oysters and I discovered the nakedness of their internal organs, pale, dank, slightly blistering pages, covered with small black veins, which drank ink and smelt of mildew.
Jean-Paul Sartre (The Words)
Since the 1300s, this job had been performed by members of a small group of families, all living in the hills near the mine. Over the centuries humans grew larger, but the miners stayed the same size, until they eventually seemed dwarfed by the demands of the mine and their time underground (diet and inbreeding were more likely causes). Even in the early twentieth century, this small isolated community spoke a dialect last popular in the Middle Ages. They explored their tunnels with acetylene torches, and wore the white linen suits and peaked caps of medieval miners.
Robert M. Edsel (The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, And The Greatest Treasure Hunt In History)
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.
Kiera Cass (The Crown (The Selection, #5))
But for now, I would be the happiest of men if I could just swallow the overflow of saliva that endlessly floods my mouth. Even before first light, I am already practicing sliding my tongue toward the rear of my palate in order to provoke a swallowing reaction. What is more, I have dedicated to my larynx the little packets of incense hanging on the wall, amulets brought back from Japan by pious globe-trotting friends. Just one of the stones in the thanksgiving monument erected by my circle of friends during their wanderings. In every corner of the world, the most diverse deities have been solicited in my name. I try to organize all this spiritual energy. If they tell me that candles have been burned for my sake in a Breton chapel, or that a mantra has been chanted in a Nepalese temple, I at once give each of the spirits invoked a precise task. A woman I know enlisted a Cameroon holy man to procure me the goodwill of Africa's gods: I have assigned him my right eye. For my hearing problems I rely on the relationship between my devout mother-in-law and the monks of a Bordeaux brotherhood. They regularly dedicate their prayers to me, and I occasionally steal into their abbey to hear their chants fly heavenward. So far the results have been unremarkable. But when seven brothers of the same order had their throats cut by Islamic fanatics, my ears hurt for several days. Yet all these lofty protections are merely clay ramparts, walls of sand, Maginot lines, compared to the small prayer my daughter, Céleste, sends up to her Lord every evening before she closes her eyes. Since we fall asleep at roughly the same hour, I set out for the kingdom of slumber with this wonderful talisman, which shields me from all harm.
Jean-Dominique Bauby (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
Have you ever been in a place where history becomes tangible? Where you stand motionless, feeling time and importance press around you, press into you? That was how I felt the first time I stood in the astronaut garden at OCA PNW. Is it still there? Do you know it? Every OCA campus had – has, please let it be has – one: a circular enclave, walled by smooth white stone that towered up and up until it abruptly cut off, definitive as the end of an atmosphere, making room for the sky above. Stretching up from the ground, standing in neat rows and with an equally neat carpet of microclover in between, were trees, one for every person who’d taken a trip off Earth on an OCA rocket. It didn’t matter where you from, where you trained, where your spacecraft launched. When someone went up, every OCA campus planted a sapling. The trees are an awesome sight, but bear in mind: the forest above is not the garden’s entry point. You enter from underground. I remember walking through a short tunnel and into a low-lit domed chamber that possessed nothing but a spiral staircase leading upward. The walls were made of thick glass, and behind it was the dense network you find below every forest. Roots interlocking like fingers, with gossamer fungus sprawled symbiotically between, allowing for the peaceful exchange of carbon and nutrients. Worms traversed roads of their own making. Pockets of water and pebbles decorated the scene. This is what a forest is, after all. 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. As I stood contemplating the roots, a hidden timer triggered, and the lights faded out. My breath went with it. The glass was etched with some kind of luminescent colourant, invisible when the lights were on, but glowing boldly in the dark. I moved closer, and I saw names – thousands upon thousands of names, printed as small as possible. I understood what I was seeing without being told. The idea behind Open Cluster Astronautics was simple: citizen-funded spaceflight. Exploration for exploration’s sake. Apolitical, international, non-profit. Donations accepted from anyone, with no kickbacks or concessions or promises of anything beyond a fervent attempt to bring astronauts back from extinction. It began in a post thread kicked off in 2052, a literal moonshot by a collective of frustrated friends from all corners – former thinkers for big names gone bankrupt, starry-eyed academics who wanted to do more than teach the past, government bureau members whose governments no longer existed. If you want to do good science with clean money and clean hands, they argued, if you want to keep the fire burning even as flags and logos came down, if you understand that space exploration is best when it’s done in the name of the people, then the people are the ones who have to make it happen.
Becky Chambers (To Be Taught, If Fortunate)
Move when it’s time We were touring the ruins at Hovenweep National Monument in the southwestern United States. A sign along the interpretive trail told about the Anasazi who had lived along the small, narrow canyon so long ago. The archaeologists have done their best to determine what these ancient Indians did and how they lived their lives. The signs told about the strategic positioning of the buildings perched precariously on the edge of a cliff, and questioned what had caused this ancient group to suddenly disappear long ago. “Maybe they just got tired of living there and moved,” my friend said. We laughed as we pictured a group of wise ancients sitting around the campfire one night. “You know,” says one of them, “I’m tired of this desert. Let’s move to the beach.” And in our story they did. No mystery. No aliens taking them away. They just moved on, much like we do today. It’s easy to romanticize what we don’t know. It’s easy to assume that someone else must have a greater vision, a nobler purpose than just going to work, having a family, and living a life. People are people, and have been throughout time. Our problems aren’t new or unique. The secret to happiness is the same as it has always been. If you are unhappy with where you are, don’t be there. Yes, you may be here now, you may be learning hard lessons today, but there is no reason to stay there. If it hurts to touch the stove, don’t touch it. If you want to be someplace else, move. If you want to chase a dream, then do it. Learn your lessons where you are, but don’t close off your ability to move and to learn new lessons someplace else. Are you happy with the path that you’re on? If not, maybe it’s time to choose a new one. There need not be a great mysterious reason. Sometimes it’s just hot and dry, and the beach is calling your name. Be where you want to be. God, give me the courage to find a path with heart. Help me move on when it’s time.
Melody Beattie (More Language of Letting Go: 366 New Daily Meditations (Hazelden Meditation Series))
But we may fairly say that they alone are engaged in the true duties of life who shall wish to have Zeno, Pythagoras, Democritus, and all the other high priests of liberal studies, and Aristotle and Theophrastus, as their most intimate friends every day. No one of these will be "not at home," no one of these will fail to have his visitor leave more happy and more devoted to himself than when he came, no one of these will allow anyone to leave him with empty hands; all mortals can meet with them by night or by day. No one of these will force you to die, but all will teach you how to die; no one of these will wear out your years, but each will add his own years to yours; conversations with no one of these will bring you peril, the friendship of none will endanger your life, the courting of none will tax your purse. From them you will take whatever you wish; it will be no fault of theirs if you do not draw the utmost that you can desire. What happiness, what a fair old age awaits him who has offered himself as a client to these! He will have friends from whom he may seek counsel on matters great and small, whom he may consult every day about himself, from whom he may hear truth without insult, praise without flattery, and after whose likeness he may fashion himself. We are wont to say that it was not in our power to choose the parents who fell to our lot, that they have been given to men by chance; yet we may be the sons of whomsoever we will. Households there are of noblest intellects; choose the one into which you wish to be adopted; you will inherit not merely their name, but even their property, which there will be no need to guard in a mean or niggardly spirit; the more persons you share it with, the greater it will become. These will open to you the path to immortality, and will raise you to a height from which no one is cast down. This is the only way of prolonging mortality—nay, of turning it into immortality. Honours, monuments, all that ambition has commanded by decrees or reared in works of stone, quickly sink to ruin; there is nothing that the lapse of time does not tear down and remove. But the works which philosophy has consecrated cannot be harmed; no age will destroy them, no age reduce them; the following and each succeeding age will but increase the reverence for them, since envy works upon what is close at hand, and things that are far off we are more free to admire. The life of the philosopher, therefore, has wide range, and he is not confined by the same bounds that shut others in. He alone is freed from the limitations of the human race; all ages serve him as if a god. Has some time passed by? This he embraces by recollection. Is time present? This he uses. Is it still to come? This he anticipates. He makes his life long by combining all times into one. But those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear for the future have a life that is very brief and troubled; when they have reached the end of it, the poor wretches perceive too late that for such a long while they have been busied in doing nothing.
Seneca
The PEOPLE, SCHOOL, EVERYONE, and EVERYTHING is so FAKE AND GAY.' 'I shrieked, at the top of my voice fingers outspread and frozen in fear, unlike ever before in my young life; being the gentle, sweet, and shy girl that I am.' 'Besides always too timid to have a voice, to stand up for me, and forced not to, by masters.' Amidst my thoughts racing ridiculously, 'I feel that it is all just another way for the 'SOCIETY' to make me feel inferior, they think, they are so 'SUPERIOR' to me, and who I am to them.' 'Nonetheless, every day of my life, I have felt like I have been drowning in a pool, with weights attached to my ankles.' 'Like, of course, there is no way for me to escape the chains that are holding me down.' 'The one and only person, that holds the key to my freedom: WILL NEVER LET ME GO! It's like there is within me, and has been deep inside me!' 'I now live in this small dull town for too damn long. It is an UNSYMPATHETIC, obscure, lonely, totally depressed, and depressing place, for any teenage girl to be, most definitely if you're a girl like me.' 'All these streets surrounding me are covered with filth, and born in the hills of middle western Pennsylvania mentalities of slow-talking and deep heritages, and beliefs, that don't operate me as a soul lost and lingering within the streets and halls.' 'My old town was ultimately left behind when the municipality neighboring made the alterations to the main roads; just to save five minutes of commuting, through this countryside village. Now my town sits on one side of that highway.' 'Just like a dead carcass to the rest of the world, which rushes by. What is sullen about this is that it is a historic town, with some immeasurable old monuments, and landmarks.' 'However, the others I see downright neglect what is here, just like me, it seems. Other than me, no one cares. Yet I care about all the little things.' 'I am so attached to all these trivial things as if they are a part of me. It disheartens me to see anything go away from me.' 'It's a community where the litter blows and bisects the road, like the tumble-wheats of the yore of times past.' 'Furthermore, if you do not look where you are going, you will fall in our trip, in one of the many potholes or heaved up bumps in the pavement, or have an evacuated structure masonry descending on your head.' 'Merely one foolproof way of simplifying the appearance of this ghost town.' 'There are still some reminders of the glory days when you glance around.' 'Like the town clock, that is evaporated black that has chipped enamel; it seems that it is always missing a few light bulbs.' 'The timepiece only has time pointing hands on the one side, and it nevermore shows the right time of day.' 'The same can be assumed for the neon signs on the mom-and-pop shops, which flicker at night as if they're in agonizing PAIN.' 'Why? To me is a question that is asked frequently.' 'It is all over negligence!' 'I get the sense and feeling most of the time, as they must prepare when looking around here at night.' 'The streetlamps do not all work, as they should. The glass in them is cracked.' 'The parking meters are always jammed, or just completely broken off their posts altogether.' 'The same can be said, for the town sign that titles this area. It is not even here anymore, as it should be now moved to the town square or shortage of a park.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh Walking the Halls)
I’m not interested in big monuments,” Haeg has said. “I’m interested in singular gestures that become models— small gestures in response to common issues that can be instituted by anyone.
Jeff Gordinier (X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking)
The key to failing on a monumental scale is to take life one small misstep at a time,
Anonymous
The Parthenon was 228 feet long by 101 broad, and 64 feet high; the porticoes at each end had a double row of eight columns; the sculptures in the pediments were in full relief, representing in the eastern the Birth of Athene, and in the western the Struggle between that goddess and Poseidon, whilst those on the metopes, some of which are supposed to be from the hand of Alcamenes, the contemporary and rival of Phidias, rendered scenes from battles between the Gods and Giants, the Greeks and the Amazons, and the Centaurs and Lapithæ. Of somewhat later date than the Parthenon and resembling it in general style, though it is very considerably smaller, is the Theseum or Temple of Theseus on the plain on the north-west of the Acropolis, and at Bassæ in Arcadia is a Doric building, dedicated to Apollo Epicurius and designed by Ictinus, that has the peculiarity of facing north and south instead of, as was usual, east and west. Scarcely less beautiful than the Parthenon itself is the grand triple portico known as the Propylæa that gives access to it on the western side. It was designed about 430 by Mnesicles, and in it the Doric and Ionic styles are admirably combined, whilst in the Erectheum, sacred to the memory of Erechtheus, a hero of Attica, the Ionic order is seen at its best, so delicate is the carving of the capitals of its columns. It has moreover the rare and distinctive feature of what is known as a caryatid porch, that is to say, one in which the entablature is upheld by caryatides or statues representing female figures. Other good examples of the Ionic style are the small Temple of Niké Apteros, or the Wingless Victory, situated not far from the Propylæa and the Parthenon of Athens, the more important Temple of Apollo at Branchidæ near Miletus, originally of most imposing dimensions, and that of Artemis at Ephesus, of which however only a few fragments remain in situ. Of the sacred buildings of Greece in which the Corinthian order was employed there exist, with the exception of the Temple of Jupiter at Athens already referred to, but a few scattered remains, such as the columns from Epidaurus now in the Athens Museum, that formed part of a circlet of Corinthian pillars within a Doric colonnade. In the Temple of Athena Alea at Tegea, designed by Scopas in 394, however, the transition from the Ionic to the Corinthian style is very clearly illustrated, and in the circular Monument of Lysicrates, erected in 334 B.C. to commemorate the triumph of that hero's troop in the choric dances in honour of Dionysos, and the Tower of the Winds, both at Athens, the Corinthian style is seen at its best. In addition to the temples described above, some remains of tombs, notably that of the huge Mausoleum at Halicarnassus in memory of King Mausolus, who died in 353 B.C., and several theatres, including that of Dionysos at Athens, with a well-preserved one of larger size at Epidaurus, bear witness to the general prevalence of Doric features in funereal monuments and secular buildings, but of the palaces and humbler dwelling-houses in the three Greek styles, of which there must have been many fine examples, no trace remains. There is however no doubt that the Corinthian style was very constantly employed after the power of the great republics had been broken, and the Oriental taste for lavish decoration replaced the love for austere simplicity of the virile people of Greece and its dependencies. CHAPTER III
Nancy R.E. Meugens Bell (Architecture)
small metal wheels; retrieval was messy and tricky and its marks remained for many years as a monument
Nicholas Rhea (Constable on the Hill)
didn’t remember him picking up and inserted it into one of several unmarked doors. But instead of turning the key, he stepped back. “Your uncle was cremated, something we are reluctant to do, but Father Mamani seemed to condone in this case. He never told me why.” Angela wordlessly stared at the small door. “I’ve never opened it,” said Velez. “And don’t know what’s inside. I think that’s something for you to do.” With that, he stepped further back. “I’ll be waiting upstairs.” The two watched Velez calmly retreat the way they had come, disappearing back up the stone steps. The sound of his footsteps faded into silence. Angela blinked at Morton and then looked back at the long, black key protruding from the hole. “You want me to leave?” asked Morton. “No. I don’t.” With a deep breath, she inched forward until directly in front of the key. Still trembling, she raised her right hand and grasped the end of it…and turned.
Michael C. Grumley (The Last Monument)
We are changed forever. But the moments remain, in moth dust fallen from us, in firefly-light and flickering stars, in the monuments of our breathing, in smallnesses that become our mended bones.
Ian William L.
Small increments on a daily basis will lead you to monumental results over time. Being consistent is the hallmark of epic performers.
Sravani Saha Nakhro
At Göbekli Tepe there is a creature, sculted in high-relief, identified by Klaus Schmidt as a beast of prey with splayed claws and powerful shoulders, its tail bent to its left over its body. A very similar animal is seen at Cutimbo [in Peru] with the same splayed claws and the same powerful shoulders, while the tail instead of being bent to its left is bent to its right. At both Göbekli Tepe and Cutimbo, reliefs of salamanders and of serpents are found. The style of execution in all cases is very similar. At about the level of the genitals of the so-called "Totem Pole" of Göbekli Tepe, a small head and two arms protrude. The head has a determined look, with prominent brows. The long fingers of the hands almost meet. The posture is that of a man leaning down through the stone and playing a drum. This is also the posture of two figures at Cutimbo, who emerge from a large convex block on one of the circular towers. They have the same determined features and prominent brow ridges as the figure on the "Totem Pole." The two serpents on the side of the "Totem Pole" have peculiarly large heads, making them look almost like sperm. So, too, does the serpent that emerges from the dark narrow entrance of the Temple of the Moon above Cuzco. Lions feature in the reliefs at Göbekli Tepe, pumas feature in the reliefs at Cutimbo and again the manner of representation is similar.
Graham Hancock (Magicians of the Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth's Lost Civilization)
It’s hard to do big things, and you have to give yourself credit for every victory, big and small.
Ann Shoket (The Big Life: Embrace the Mess, Work Your Side Hustle, Find a Monumental Relationship, and Become the BADASS BABE You Were Meant to Be)
After a time I saw what I believed, at the time, to be a radio relay station located out on a desolate sand spit near Villa Bens. It was only later that I found out that it was Castelo de Tarfaya, a small fortification on the North African coast. Tarfaya was occupied by the British in 1882, when they established a trading post, called Casa del Mar. It is now considered the Southern part of Morocco. In the early ‘20s, the French pioneering aviation company, Aéropostale, built a landing strip in this desert, for its mail delivery service. By 1925 their route was extended to Dakar, where the mail was transferred onto steam ships bound for Brazil. A monument now stands in Tarfaya, to honor the air carrier and its pilots as well as the French aviator and author Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint-Exupéry better known as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. As a newly acclaimed author in the literary world. “Night Flight,” or “Vol de nuit,” was the first of Saint-Exupéry’s literary works and won him the prix Femina, a French literary prize created in 1904. The novel was based on his experiences as an early mail pilot and the director of the “Aeroposta Argentina airline,” in South America. Antoine is also known for his narrative “The Little Prince” and his aviation writings, including the lyrical 1939 “Wind, Sand and Stars” which is Saint-Exupéry’s 1939, memoir of his experiences as a postal pilot. It tells how on the week following Christmas in 1935, he and his mechanic amazingly survived a crash in the Sahara desert. The two men suffered dehydration in the extreme desert heat before a local Bedouin, riding his camel, discovered them “just in the nick of time,” to save their lives. His biographies divulge numerous affairs, most notably with the Frenchwoman Hélène de Vogüé, known as “Nelly” and referred to as “Madame de B.
Hank Bracker
Everywhere we went, Deb and I saw the imprint of the great national undertakings of the past. An astonishing amount of the public architecture of twenty-first-century America was laid down in a few Depression years in the 1930s, bu the millions of people employed by the Works Progress Administration. The small airports we landed at were the result of midcentury defense-and-transportation bulding projects, as were the interstates we flew above. The libraries we found almost everywhere were the result of both public and private investment. The grid-pattern fields of the farmland Midwest had been laid out by the rules of settlement from the earliest days of the republic. The practices that made them the most productive farmland in the world were crucially spurred by land grant universities and agricultural-research schools. The wildlands and ecosystems that have escaped development did so because of their protection as national parks or monuments.
James Fallows
Then, a pea shoot and foie gras wheel with a small butter knife. Michael Saltz and I stared at it, confounded by how it worked. It stood on its side like an ancient monument, with various crinkly and crackly things at its base. "Just cut it," the waiter said kindly. He looked like Pascal Lite, not as exotic or statuesque, but with a bit of Pascal's twinkle and good-boy-with-a-lot-of-tattoos edge. I slid the knife down. At first nothing happened. The foie gras clung to itself, until it peeled apart sleepily and a green, milky liquid bled out. "Wow," I said. "Wow," Michael Saltz said. I took a soft forkful of foie gras and dragged it through the pea shoot sauce and the brown crumbles and white flakes. I rubbed the foie gras against the roof of my mouth, and it stuck there with a sticky stubbornness, then melted away. The taste coursed through my body, a slippery, moody, gutsy smoothness that slithered and pushed and screamed down my throat. Oh, Pascal, I thought. If I couldn't be with him, this came close. I flashed back to three nights ago and the pleasure cascaded through me once more.
Jessica Tom (Food Whore: A Novel of Dining and Deceit)
Life is made up of small moments, most passing by in the blink of an eye, unremarked and unremarkable. But every so often one of those small moments expands and time seems to stop. We’re faced with an occurrence so intense, so monumental, that the rest of life’s cluttered minutiae simply slip away like a passing wisp of breeze. What remains is a haze of shock and emptiness, a void that we must somehow learn to negotiate. There’s an elemental shift in worldview and a lesson never forgotten: that nothing in life is as permanent as we once believed.
Laurien Berenson (Gone With the Woof (Melanie Travis, #16))
We must come to terms with being of no cosmic significance, and this means jettisoning our personal and collective egos and valuing what we have. We can no longer assume the platform of gods, or dream of a unique place in their hearts. Science has forced us to look fixedly into an infinite universe, and its volume dilutes special pleading to a vanishingly small and pathetic whimper. And yet what’s left is better. No monument to the gods is as magnificent as the story of our planet; of the origin and evolution of life on the rare Earth and the rise of a fledgling civilisation taking its first steps into the dark. We stand related to every one of Darwin’s endless, most beautiful forms, each of us connected at some branch in the unbroken chain of life stretching back 4 billion years. We share more in common with bacteria than we do with any living things out there amongst the stars, should they exist, and they are more worthy of our attention. Build cathedrals in praise of bacteria; we are on our own, and as the dominant intellect we are responsible for our planet in its magnificent and fragile entirety.
Brian Cox (Forces of Nature)
Yogyakarta, Indonesia (Java Island) Known as Jogja to locals and a small but steady flow of backpackers that fill up the budget accommodation in alleyways close to the town's main train station. The town itself has always had a reputation for attracting arts dealers from across Asia and is home to many impressive galleries and several significant palaces and monuments that show off different aspects of Islamic and Javanese culture and history. It is also very close to two of Indonesia's most important and impressive religious sites. Firstly the magnificent Borobodur, the worlds largest Buddhist monument outshines even Angkor Wat in terms of its size and grandeur. At sunrise especially it is a truly awe-inspiring sight. The other one is the Hindu temples at Prambanan which are equally important and it is easy to visit both Borobodur and Pramabanan on the same day although prepare for some fairly hefty entry fees of around US$20 at each site.
Funky Guides (Backpackers Guide to Southeast Asia 2014-2015)
Honorable men refuse to wallow in the small and the bitter. Honorable men refuse to hate life because something once went wrong. Honorable men don’t build monuments to their disappointments, nor do they let others brand them and curse them to their destruction. Honorable
Stephen Mansfield (Mansfield's Book of Manly Men: An Utterly Invigorating Guide to Being Your Most Masculine Self)
Spare parts lay scattered, every turn wrought with twisted dread, all over the ground, the rooftops, and they were still. Some moving, twitching, enough to almost see. Half cracked and shattered, but still visible and eerie, smiles spread wide and thin, teeth decayed and not, paralleled by hollowed, some missing or in other places, eyes of shades green and blue and some brown with red, but no white, just color portrayed, even if it may be dampened in every way. The beauty in the frivolity, the polished shining gears and cracked glass illuminated so brightly, create a portrait of terror and wonder, significance of a different sort, that only human eyes can see and human minds can feel, but all this is something only dreams, the ethereal concepts that fuse and mince chaos and order into a more paradoxical state, can create and fathom and fashion and make. And yet, doubts upon anxious contradictions, my fingers can feel the brokenness of what can be witnessed, an abyss within a void where deeper within the still lies a glow, a half pulse of a flutter, a vein of mimicry of the reverse of all I see, with concave eyes lost in the magnitude of image whole. Massive and monumental, my feet dragged behind me, cuts in the dirt and spiraling tracks. And then I awoke, half my world disappeared. So much empty within the whole, holes of sizes big and small and all between, the loss of, what it was to be called, my dream. And then my life ended, the holes and tears and cracks complete, empty eyes can still see so clearly, the nothingness that everything has become, shadow and matte a combination of dark on black, in the nothingness that all has become, it is all complete in a way opposite of what I know, a world different in every way and stretch I see, vision upon view of different and strange, only when empty eyes, longing for purpose dreading its meaning, gaze upon their own reflection will the last piece fall into place, a round puzzle of pieces triangular and square, the completeness in the nothingness can be seen, mind flooded with wonder, envisioning the antonym of a dream, and what, in this new beginning, this all could mean. With a blink it all changes, incomplete images appear, holes are wide and seen because you are back now, between death and dream, interwoven as an integral part of this necessary in between seam, and when you touch, worry creases the brow, their faces, half real and the other untouchable, your hand passes through their skin, penetration of the most intimate sort, holding their hearts as if for sport. The warmth, the beating, the crimson piercing blood, so beautiful, the engine that we run, pumping and pumping only to cause the most dreaded flood. Now I drown, and I see you drown too. Together, we are, for split seconds few, we are torn apart and disappear in this vast blood red hue.
Hubert Martin
Where L’Enfant dreamed of a monumental city for the new capital, as grand as any in Europe, Jefferson saw a simple one, as small in scale as the center of Philadelphia. Where L’Enfant pictured the Congress House high above the Potomac on the summit of Jenkins Hill, connected to the President’s Palace by a wide avenue, Jefferson saw the Capitol, a word he had drawn from the Temple of Jupiter on Rome’s Capitoline Hill, and a President’s House on the flat land hard by the Potomac and the Tiber, connected by a short public walk. Where L’Enfant envisioned a city worthy of the empire that he believed America would become, Jefferson saw a town where republican principles might prosper.
Tom Lewis (Washington: A History of Our National City)
At the weekend, I asked Niem to show me the monument to the Vietnam War. “You mean the ‘Resistance War Against America,’” he said. Of course, I should have realized he wouldn’t call it the Vietnam War. Niem drove me to one of the city’s central parks and showed me a small stone with a brass plate, three feet high. I thought it was a joke. The protests against the Vietnam War had united a generation of activists in the West. It had moved me to send blankets and medical equipment. More than 1.5 million Vietnamese and 58,000 Americans had died. Was this how the city commemorated such a catastrophe? Seeing that I was disappointed, Niem drove me to see a bigger monument: a marble stone, 12 feet high, to commemorate independence from French colonial rule. I was still underwhelmed. Then Niem asked me if I was ready to see the proper war monument. He drove a little way further, and pointed out of the window. Above the treetops I could see a large pagoda, covered in gold. It seemed about 300 feet high. He said, “Here is where we commemorate our war heroes. Isn’t it beautiful?” This was the monument to Vietnam’s wars with China. The wars with China had lasted, on and off, for 2,000 years. The French occupation had lasted 200 years. The “Resistance War Against America” took only 20 years. The sizes of the monuments put things in perfect proportion. It was only by comparing them that I could understand the relative insignificance of “the Vietnam War” to the people who now live in Vietnam.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
Another time, while on patrol with a small four-man team from my SAS squadron, out in the deserts of North Africa, we were waiting for a delayed helicopter pick-up. A 48-hour delay when you are almost out of water, in the roasting desert, can be life-threatening. We were all severely dehydrated and getting weaker fast. Every hour we would sip another small capful from the one remaining water bottle we each carried. Rationed carefully, methodically. To make matters worse, I had diarrhea, which was causing me to dehydrate even faster. We finally got the call-up that our extraction would be at dawn the next day, some 20 miles away. We saddled up during the night and started to move across the desert, weighed down by kit and fatigue. I was soon struggling. Every footstep was a monumental effort of will as we shuffled across the mountains. My sergeant, an incredible bear of a man called Chris Carter (who was tragically killed in Afghanistan; a hero to all who had served with him), could see this. He stopped the patrol, came to me, and insisted I drink the last remaining capful from his own bottle. No fuss, no show, he just made me drink it. It was the kindness, not the actual water itself, that gave me the strength to keep going when I had nothing left inside me. Kindness inspires us, it motivates us, and creates a strong, tight team: honest, supporting, empowering. No ego. No bravado or show. Simple goodness. It is the very heart of a great man, and I have never forgotten that single act that night in the desert. The thing about kindness is that it costs the giver very little but can mean the world to the receiver. So don’t underestimate the power you have to change lives and encourage others to be better. It doesn’t take much but it requires us to value kindness as a quality to aspire to above almost everything else. You want to be a great adventurer and expedition member in life and in the mountains? It is simple: be kind.
Bear Grylls (A Survival Guide for Life: How to Achieve Your Goals, Thrive in Adversity, and Grow in Character)
There is a scene in the movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. At the beginning, in the woods, Robert Ford, played by Casey Affleck, illustrates this phenomenon. He thinks the outlaw Jesse James is a great man. He thinks that he, himself, is a great man, too. He wants someone to recognize that in him. He wants someone to give him an opportunity—a project through which he can prove his worth. It just happens that Frank James would size the delusional, awkward boy up in the woods outside Blue Cut, Missouri: “You don’t have the ingredients, son.” In contrast, Mr. A is ambitious, but it’s paired with self-confidence, social adeptness, and a clear sense of what Thiel wanted. Even so, the prospect of meeting with Thiel is intimidating: his stomach churning, every nerve and synapse alive and flowing. He’s twenty-six years old. He’s sitting down for a one-on-one evening with a man worth, by 2011, some $ 1.5 billion and who owns a significant chunk of the biggest social network in the world, on whose board of directors he also sits. Even if Thiel were just an ordinary investor, dinner with him would make anyone nervous. One quickly finds that he is a man notoriously averse to small talk, or what a friend once deemed “casual bar talk.” Even the most perfunctory comment to Thiel can elicit long, deep pauses of consideration in response—so long you wonder if you’ve said something monumentally stupid. The tiny assumptions that grease the wheels of conversation find no quarter with Thiel. There is no chatting with Peter about the weather or about politics in general. It’s got to be, “I’ve been studying opening moves in chess, and I think king’s pawn might be the best one.” Or, “What do you think of the bubble in higher education?” And then you have to be prepared to talk about it at the expert level for hours on end. You can’t talk about television or music or pop culture because the person you’re sitting across from doesn’t care about these things and he couldn’t pretend to be familiar with them if he wanted to.
Ryan Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue)
If a man who wants to create greatness uses the past, then he will empower himself through monumental history. On the other hand, the man who wishes to emphasise the customary and traditionally valued cultivates the past as an antiquarian historian. Only the man whose breast is oppressed by a present need and who wants to cast off his load at any price has a need for critical history, that is, history which sits in judgement and passes judgement. From the thoughtless transplanting of plants stem many ills: the critical man without need, the antiquarian without reverence, and the student of greatness without the ability for greatness are the sort who are receptive to weeds estranged from their natural mother earth and therefore degenerate growths. History belongs secondly to the man who preserves and honours, to the person who with faith and love looks back in the direction from which he has come, where he has been. Through this reverence he, as it were, gives thanks for his existence. While he nurtures with a gentle hand what has stood from time immemorial, he want to preserve the conditions under which he came into existence for those who are to come after him. And so he serves life. His possession of his ancestors' goods changes the ideas in such a soul, for those goods are far more likely to take possession of his soul. The small, limited, crumbling, and archaic keep their own worth and integrity, because the conserving and honouring soul of the antiquarian man settles on these things and there prepares for itself a secret nest.
Friedrich Nietzsche
For Guerrero, racial and national divisions were deliberately promoted by the rich and powerful: Racial prejudice and nationality, clearly managed by the capitalists and tyrants, prevent peoples living side by side in a fraternal manner.... A river, a mountain, a line of small monuments suffice to maintain foreigners and make enemies of two peoples, both living in mistrust and envy of one another because of the acts of past generations. Each nationality pretends to be above the other in some kind of way, and the dominating classes, the keepers of education and the wealth of nations, feed the proletariat with the belief of stupid superiority and pride [and] make impossible the union of all nations who are separately fighting* to free themselves from Capital.
Lucien Van Der Walt (Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism)
But there is a limit to thinking about even a small piece of something monumental.
Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1))
Another of the characters who must now come into our story is the theologian Johannes Eck, whom Luther considered a friend until the unfortunate months of early 1518. The two had been introduced by the leading Humanist Christopher Scheurl when Scheurl was the rector at Wittenberg, but when Eck read Luther’s theses that January, he promptly let it be known that he desperately wished to debate Luther. In fact, he said he would gladly walk ten miles to do so. Eck then wrote and published a rebuttal of Luther’s theses, titled Obelisks. The typographic term “obelisk”—which referred to the four-sided monolithic stone monuments that taper upward and date back to ancient Egypt—denoted the small daggers that were even then used in the margins of manuscripts, indicating that the text nearby was perhaps of spurious origin. So Eck’s title must have seemed to Luther like the very thing itself, a poniard in the back of a friend. That a friend Luther considered a reasonable and educated man would attack him like this was certainly deeply hurtful. Nor was the attack measured, but vicious. In it Eck hurled boulders of invective Lutherward, calling him simpleminded, impudent, and Bohemian (which is to say, a heretic deserving of death, like the Bohemian Jan Hus) and a despiser of the pope, among other things. To Luther, it was a cruel betrayal. What might have sparked Eck’s emotion is hard to say, but surely part of it had to do with the fact that Luther was accusing the indulgence sellers of being greedy, and thereby somehow undermining the authority of the church itself. Even if there was truth to this, or if there was error to be reported, it seems Eck took greatest offense at Luther’s naked appeal to the anticlericalism so rampant at that time, which served only to make matters worse by undermining the church’s authority. In any case, Luther was wounded and disinclined to reply, but his friends insisted that he must. So he wrote Asterisks. Thus touché. The word “asterisk” is from the Greek for “little star,” and so asterisks were those marks in the margins of manuscripts that were the precise opposite of the pejorative downward-facing daggers.10 Asterisks were put next to text that was considered particularly valuable. So only six decades after the invention of movable type, Luther and Eck treated the world to its first typographic battle, waged with pre-Zapf dingbats.
Eric Metaxas (Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World)
Glenskehy is outside Dublin, tucked away in the Wicklow mountains near nothing very much. I'd lived half my life in Wicklow without getting any closer to it than the odd signpost. It turned out to be that kind of place: a scatter of houses getting old around a once-a-month church and a pub and a sell-everything shop, small and isolated enough to have been overlooked even by the desperate generation trawling the countryside for homes they can afford. Eight o'clock on a Thursday morning, and the main street - to use both words loosely - was postcard-perfect and empty, just one old woman pulling a shopping trolley past a worn granite monument to something or other, little sugared-almond houses lined up crookedly behind her, and the hills rising green and brown and indifferent over it all. I could imagine someone getting killed there, but a farmer in a generations-old fight over a boundary fence, a woman whose man had turned savage with drink and cabin fever, a man sharing a house with his brother forty years too long: deep-rooted, familiar crimes old as Ireland, nothing to make a detective as experienced as Sam sound like that.
Tana French (The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2))
the old church where generations of my ancestors may have worshipped, where prayers had been spoken and hearts broken and healed, it all made sense for a small moment. Religion made sense, if only to add context to the struggle of life and death. The church was a monument to what had been, a connection to the past that comforted those in the present, and it comforted me. I climbed the slope beyond the church to where the cemetery stretched. It overlooked the spires and the winding road I’d just traveled. Some of the stones were tipped or sunken; some were so covered with lichen and time that I couldn’t make out names or dates. Other plots were new, lined by rocks and filled in with mementos. The newer plots,
Amy Harmon (What the Wind Knows)
Your purpose is the lens through which you filter all your business decisions, from the tiny to the monumental. We’re talking about who you work with, what you offer, where you focus your time and energy, and even how you define your audience. Determining the unique purpose that underpins your company of one isn’t always a quick or easy process, and there’s no spreadsheet that can crunch some numbers and spit out the answer. Figuring out your purpose requires actual reflection on both your own desires and the audience you want to serve. After all, doing business boils down to serving others in a mutually beneficial way. Customers give you money, gratitude, and a shared passion, and you address their problems by applying your unique skills and knowledge to what you sell them.
Paul Jarvis (Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business)
So what was going on in Malta that led to all this? Why did the first megalithic temple-builders in the world choose to make things so difficult for themselves? Why didn't they start with small megaliths (if that is not too serious a contradiction in terms)? Why didn't they start simple? Why did they plunge straight into the very complicated stuff, like Gigantija and the Hypogeum? And, having plunged, how did they manage to produce such magnificent results? Was it beginner's luck? Or were their achievements as humanity's pioneering architects the product of some sort of heritage? Beginner's luck is possible, but having studied the earliest temples, and their level of perfection, archaeologists agree that heritage is the right answer. The only problem is what heritage? And where is it to be looked for? Since it is the received wisdom that no human beings lived on Malta before 5200 BC, and since this is a 'fact' that is at present unquestioned anywhere within conventional scholarship, archaeologists from roughly the mid-twentieth century onwards have simply seen no reason to explore the possibility that the heritage of the Maltese temples might be older than 5200 BC. To do so would be the research equivalent of an oxymoron -- like breeding dodos, trying to conduct an interview with William Shakespeare or seeking evidence that the earth is flat -- and would invite the ridicule of one's peers.
Graham Hancock (Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization)
We’re being outdone both in terms of content, quality and quantity, and in terms of amplification strategies,” said Sasha Havlicek of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a London-based research organization, in a presentation at the meeting. She used a diagram of a small and large megaphone to illustrate the “monumental gap” between the Islamic State, which uses social media services like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and other groups and governments, including the Obama administration.
Anonymous
Choosing to forgo the small rewards of society now will lead to the monumental rewards of becoming a person of value later.
Chris Matakas (#Human: Learning To Live In Modern Times)
Clinton was an ancient monument of liberalism. If Washington were Pharaonic Egypt—and sometimes it is—Hillary would be the Sphinx. With the exception that she never shuts up. And she’s hardly immobile. For the past quarter of a century she’s been everywhere we looked. So there was the monumental Hillary out in the American electoral desert surrounded by a Republican horde of . . . of whatever small, feckless, puny fauna Egypt has. I’ve Googled the matter. Yes, there it is exactly—“Giza gerbils.
P.J. O'Rourke (How the Hell Did This Happen?: The Election of 2016)
FROM the southern windows of the university that look out on Unter den Linden could be seen the small dome of the monument to the Unknown Soldier. I stood with Erich Doehr one afternoon in April of 1934 at a high window, looking down upon it and upon the briskly moving traffic and the pedestrians with which the mile-wide square teemed. Everywhere your eye moved it caught sight of a uniform. The
Kathrine Kressmann Taylor (Day of No Return)
Every word he wrote would be strong with that sweet purity and simplicity that was his gift alone, placing him higher than any living poet, secure on his pedestal apart from the world, like a great silent god above the little dwarfs of men tossed hither and thither in the stream of life. From the crystal clearness of his brain the images became words, and the words became magic, and the whole was transcendent of beauty, one thread touching another, alike in their perfection and their certitude of immortality. Thus it seemed to me he was not a living figure of flesh and blood, but a monument to the national pride of his country, his England, and now and then he would bow gravely from his pedestal and scatter to the people a small quantity of his thought, which they would grub for on their poor rough ground, then clasp to their hungry hearts as treasure.
Daphne du Maurier (I'll Never Be Young Again)
Slave-trading seems to have been coeval with the knowledge of iron. The monuments of Egypt show that this curse has venerable antiquity. Some people say, "If so ancient, why try to stop an old established usage now?" Well, some believe that the affliction that befel the most ancient of all the patriarchs, Job, was small-pox. Why then stop the ravages of this venerable disease in London and New York by vaccination?
David Livingstone (The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death: 1869-1873)
I love you,” Val began, wondering where in the nine circles of hell that had come from. He sat forward, elbows on his knees, and scrubbed a hand over his face. “I’m sorry; that came out… wrong. Still…” He glanced at her over his shoulder. “It’s the truth.” Ellen’s fingers settled on his nape, massaging in the small, soothing circles Val had come to expect when her hands were on him. “If you love me,” she said after a long, fraught silence, “you’ll tell me the truth.” Val tried to see that response as positive—she hadn’t stomped off, railed at him, or tossed his words back in his face. Yet. But neither had she reciprocated. “My name is Valentine Windham,” he said slowly, “but you’ve asked about my family, and in that regard—and that regard only—I have not been entirely forthcoming.” “Come forth now,” she commanded softly, her hand going still. “My father is the Duke of Moreland. That’s all. I’m a commoner, my title only a courtesy, and I’m not even technically the spare anymore, a situation that should improve further, because my brother Gayle is deeply enamored of his wife.” “Improve?” Ellen’s voice was soft, preoccupied. “I don’t want the title, Ellen.” Val sat up, needing to see her eyes. “I don’t ever want it, not for me, not for my son or grandson. I make pianos, and it’s a good income. I can provide well for you, if you’ll let me.” “As your mistress?” “Bloody, blazing… no!” Val rose and paced across the porch, turning to face her when he could go no farther. “As my wife, as my beloved, dearest wife.” A few heartbeats of silence went by, and with each one, Val felt the ringing of a death knell over his hopes. “I would be your mistress. I care for you, too, but I cannot be your wife.” Val frowned at that. It wasn’t what he’d been expecting. A conditional rejection, that’s what it was. She’d give him time, he supposed, to get over his feelings and move along with his life. “Why not marry me?” he asked, crossing his arms over his chest. She crossed her arms too. “What else haven’t you told me?” “Fair enough.” Val came back to sit beside her and searched his mind. “I play the piano. I don’t just mess about with it for polite entertainment. Playing the piano used to be who I was.” “You were a musician?” Val snorted. “I was a coward, but yes, I was a musician, a virtuoso of the keyboard. Then my hand”—he held up his perfectly unremarkable left hand—“rebelled against all the wear and tear, or came a cropper somehow. I could not play anymore, not without either damaging it beyond all repair or risking a laudanum addiction, maybe both.” “So you came out here?” Ellen guessed. “You took on the monumental task of setting to rights what I had put wrong on this estate and thought that would be… what?” “A way to feel useful or maybe just a way to get tired enough each day that I didn’t miss the music so much, and then…” “Then?” She took his hand in hers, but Val wasn’t reassured. His mistress, indeed. “Then I became enamored of my neighbor. She beguiled me—she’s lovely and dear and patient. She’s a virtuoso of the flower garden. She cared about my hand and about me without once hearing me play the piano, and this intrigued me.” “You intrigued me,” Ellen admitted, pressing the back of his hand to her cheek. “You still do.” “My Ellen loves to make beauty, as do I.” Val turned and used his free hand to trace the line of Ellen’s jaw. “She is as independent as I am and values her privacy, as I do.” “You are merely lonely, Val.
Grace Burrowes (The Virtuoso (Duke's Obsession, #3; Windham, #3))
Each monumental challenge is really just several small challenges completed before the next one. It's taking things day by day, even hour by hour. Instead of losing yourself in the overwhelming picture of how different or difficult things are, it's making the choice to give up and trust up in the decision of the moment.
Kristen Strong (Girl Meets Change: Truths to Carry You Through Life's Transitions)
It was a small church. No large cathedral towers overshadowed the purpose of the house of worship. It was a monument to faith rather than a monument to man’s triumph over nature.
Richard W. Kelly (Testament)
It happened in 2006 when the company’s COO and soon-to-be CEO, Randall Stephenson, quietly struck a deal with Steve Jobs for AT&T to be the exclusive service provider in the United States for this new thing called the iPhone. Stephenson knew that this deal would stretch the capacity of AT&T’s networks, but he didn’t know the half of it. The iPhone came on so fast, and the need for capacity exploded so massively with the apps revolution, that AT&T found itself facing a monumental challenge. It had to enlarge its capacity, practically overnight, using the same basic line and wireless infrastructure it had in place. Otherwise, everyone who bought an iPhone was going to start experiencing dropped calls. AT&T’s reputation was on the line—and Jobs would not have been a happy camper if his beautiful phone kept dropping calls. To handle the problem, Stephenson turned to his chief of strategy, John Donovan, and Donovan enlisted Krish Prabhu, now president of AT&T Labs. Donovan picks up the story: “It’s 2006, and Apple is negotiating the service contracts for the iPhone. No one had even seen one. We decided to bet on Steve Jobs. When the phone first came out [in 2007] it had only Apple apps, and it was on a 2G network. So it had a very small straw, but it worked because people only wanted to do a few apps that came with the phone.” But then Jobs decided to open up the iPhone, as the venture capitalist John Doerr had suggested, to app developers everywhere. Hello, AT&T! Can you hear me now? “In 2008 and 2009, as the app store came on stream, the demand for data and voice just exploded—and we had the exclusive contract” to provide the bandwidth, said Donovan, “and no one anticipated the scale. Demand exploded a hundred thousand percent [over the next several years]. Imagine the Bay Bridge getting a hundred thousand percent more traffic. So we had a problem. We had a small straw that went from feeding a mouse to feeding an elephant and from a novelty device to a necessity” for everyone on the planet. Stephenson insisted AT&T offer unlimited data, text, and voice. The Europeans went the other way with more restrictive offerings. Bad move. They were left as roadkill by the stampede for unlimited data, text, and voice. Stephenson was right, but AT&T just had one problem—how to deliver on that promise of unlimited capacity without vastly expanding its infrastructure overnight, which was physically impossible. “Randall’s view was ‘never get in the way of demand,’” said Donovan. Accept it, embrace it, but figure out how to satisfy it fast before the brand gets killed by dropped calls. No one in the public knew this was going on, but it was a bet-the-business moment for AT&T, and Jobs was watching every step from Apple headquarters.
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
Xenophobia doesn't always look like a monument of shame. It doesn't always look like ridicule and jeering. It looks like a room full of people and nobody to sit with. It looks like conversations buzzing all around me with no way in. It looks like one person at a time, taking notice of the ways in which I differ, and expressing quiet disinterest and revulsion. No one, big public humiliation. Many small, private disappointments.
Sung Yim (What About the Rest of Your Life)
The quail book is monumental, but dull. Eschew the monumental. Shun the Epic. All the guys who can paint great big pictures can paint great small ones.
Larry W. Phillips (Ernest Hemingway on Writing)
I still do think fondly about my days in Edendale and Mixville — the little-known corners of the city limits where the movies actually were born. Tucked into the once barren hills just west of Downtown were the studios of Western hero Tom Mix and fledgling cartoonist Walt Disney. Behind razor wire near Glendale Boulevard lingered a small stone monument to Comedy. Why? Because the ancient Selig Company had once made movies there.
David Ossman (Dr. Firesign's Follies)
Mother once said I’d marry a quarryman. She looked at me as we washed clothes in the giant steel washtub, two pairs of water-wrinkled hands scrubbing and soaking other people’s laundry. We were elbow-deep in dirty suds and our fingers brushed under the foamy mounds. “Some mistakes are bound to be repeated,” she murmured We lived in Stony Creek, a granite town at a time when granite was going out of fashion. There were only three types of men here: Cottagers, rich, paunchy vacationers who swooped into our little Connecticut town in May and wiled away time on their sailboats through August; townsmen, small-time merchants and business owners who dreamed of becoming Cottagers; and quarrymen, men like my father, who worked with no thought to the future. The quarrymen toiled twelve hours a day, six days a week. They didn’t care that they smelled of granite dust and horses, grease and putty powder. They didn’t care about cleaning the crescents of grime from underneath their fingernails. Even when they heard the foreman’s emergency signal, three sharp shrieks of steam, they scarcely looked up from their work. In the face of a black powder explosion gone awry or the crushing finality of a wrongly cleaved stone, they remained undaunted. I knew why they lived this way. They did it for the granite. Nowhere else on earth did such stone exist—mesmerizing collages of white quartz, pink and gray feldspar, black lodestone, winking glints of mica. Stony Creek granite was so striking, it graced the most majestic of architecture: the Battle Monument at West Point, the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Fulton Building in Pittsburgh, the foundations of the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. The quarrymen of Stony Creek would wither and fall before the Cottagers, before the townsmen. But the fruits of their labor tethered them to a history that would stand forever. “You’ll marry one, Adele—I’m sure of it. His hands will be tough as buckskin, but you’ll love him regardless,” Mother told me, her breath warm in my ear as the steam of the wastewater rose around us. I didn’t say that she was wrong, that she couldn’t know what would happen. I’d learned that from the quarry. Pa was a stonecutter and he cut the granite according to rift and grain, to what he could feel with his fingertips and see with his eyes. But there were cracks below the surface, cracks that betrayed the careful placement of a chisel and the pounding of a mallet. The most beautiful piece of stone could shatter into a pile of riprap. It all depended on where those cracks teased and wound, on where the stone would fracture when forced apart. “Keep your eyes open, Adele. I don’t know who it will be—a steam driller, boxer, derrickman, powderman? Maybe a stonecutter like your father?” I turned away from her, feigning disinterest. “There’s no predicting, I told her.
Chandra Prasad
Mother once said I’d marry a quarryman. She looked at me as we washed clothes in the giant steel washtub, two pairs of water-wrinkled hands scrubbing and soaking other people’s laundry. We were elbow-deep in dirty suds and our fingers brushed under the foamy mounds. “Some mistakes are bound to be repeated,” she murmured We lived in Stony Creek, a granite town at a time when granite was going out of fashion. There were only three types of men here: Cottagers, rich, paunchy vacationers who swooped into our little Connecticut town in May and wiled away time on their sailboats through August; townsmen, small-time merchants and business owners who dreamed of becoming Cottagers; and quarrymen, men like my father, who worked with no thought to the future. The quarrymen toiled twelve hours a day, six days a week. They didn’t care that they smelled of granite dust and horses, grease and putty powder. They didn’t care about cleaning the crescents of grime from underneath their fingernails. Even when they heard the foreman’s emergency signal, three sharp shrieks of steam, they scarcely looked up from their work. In the face of a black powder explosion gone awry or the crushing finality of a wrongly cleaved stone, they remained undaunted. I knew why they lived this way. They did it for the granite. Nowhere else on earth did such stone exist—mesmerizing collages of white quartz, pink and gray feldspar, black lodestone, winking glints of mica. Stony Creek granite was so striking, it graced the most majestic of architecture: the Battle Monument at West Point, the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Fulton Building in Pittsburgh, the foundations of the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. The quarrymen of Stony Creek would wither and fall before the Cottagers, before the townsmen. But the fruits of their labor tethered them to a history that would stand forever. “You’ll marry one, Adele—I’m sure of it. His hands will be tough as buckskin, but you’ll love him regardless,” Mother told me, her breath warm in my ear as the steam of the wastewater rose around us. I didn’t say that she was wrong, that she couldn’t know what would happen. I’d learned that from the quarry. Pa was a stonecutter and he cut the granite according to rift and grain, to what he could feel with his fingertips and see with his eyes. But there were cracks below the surface, cracks that betrayed the careful placement of a chisel and the pounding of a mallet. The most beautiful piece of stone could shatter into a pile of riprap. It all depended on where those cracks teased and wound, on where the stone would fracture when forced apart. “Keep your eyes open, Adele. I don’t know who it will be—a steam driller, boxer, derrickman, powderman? Maybe a stonecutter like your father?” I turned away from her, feigning disinterest. “There’s no predicting, I told her.
Chandra Prasad (On Borrowed Wings)
i don't want to give the impression that I fault my father. I don't. The truth is that he's one of my heroes. He's monumental to me. I believed - and still do - that a man must stand in the door of his home and let the wolf get him before the wolf gets his family. The wolf never got my father or his family, and I admire Daddy's guts. He never slacked off work or lied to me or shrugged his responsibilities. He dealt with his family from a distance, but was available, when needed. Eventually I'd do the same. I don't know whether I was copying him or whether, by coincidence, my work, like Daddy's, simply kept me away. All I know is that in many ways, big and small, I've followed my father.
B.B. King (Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King)
I thought changing the direction of my life would take a monumental effort on my part, like a grand strike of lightning, but for me it was a surprisingly small spark that illuminated a new path.
Lara Casey (Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life)
an earlier synthesis of genetics and evolutionary theory (the “modern synthesis”) helped us understand microevolution, or small-scale evolutionary changes. In this selection, you’ll see how evo-devo helps explain macroevolution, which refers to more monumental changes over time. Be sure to note the particular importance of Hox genes and the PAX6 genes and their roles in both development and evolution.
Mary K. Sandford (Classic and Contemporary Readings in Physical Anthropology)
Postmodern/Pluralistic stage, a small percentage (two or three percent) began to show characteristics that were literally unprecedented in human history. Graves called the emergence of this even newer level “a monumental leap in meaning,” and Maslow referred to it as the emergence of “Being values.” Where all the previous stages (Magic, Mythic, Rational, and Pluralistic) had operated out of a sense of lack, scarcity, and deficiency, this new level—which various researchers began calling “integrated,” “integral,” “autonomous,” “second tier,” “inclusive,” “systemic”—acted out of a sense of radical abundance, as if it were overflowing with goodness, truth, and beauty. It was as if somebody put a billion dollars in its psychological account, and all it wanted to do was share it, so full it was.
Frederic Laloux (Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness)
The house was permeated by his memories of Joanna? Well, then, so it was, and while he was still in the house something remained of her besides a tombstone-- the place she had made for them was still here, not a pyramid perhaps but still a small monument that continued for a time after she was gone, and he would not level that monument by abandoning it. He and Joanna had chosen this ground and he would hold it while he could.
Tony Rabig (Doorways)
Meanwhile, I was still an out-of-her-element novice from Oregon. Steve wanted to help me feel as comfortable with snakes as I was with my mammal friends. I’d had some experience with reptiles before, but it certainly wasn’t my forte. Since I was living every day with about a hundred and fifty snakes, in a country that was home to the top eleven most venomous snakes in the world, it was time for a Stevo snake education. He knew just the right teacher. “Let me introduce you to Rosie,” Steve said to me one day, bringing out a beautiful boa constrictor. She was eight feet long, as fat as my arm, and very sweet. But when I first met her, I was a bit more nervous than I wanted to admit. “The first step is to get to know each other,” Steve explained. I tried. While Steve cooked dinner, I sat at one end of the sofa. Rosie lay coiled at the other. I eyed her suspiciously. She eyed me the same way, both of us hoping that we each didn’t just suddenly fling ourselves at the other in attack. I was worried about her, and she must have been worried about me, too. Friend or foe? Back when we first met, neither of us knew. Finally there came a revelation. I watched her, curled up on her end of the sofa, and I realized Rosie was actually more wary of me than I was of her. That’s when I started to understand the thought process of the snake. Snakes are very logical: If it’s bigger than me, I’m afraid of it. If it’s smaller than me, I will eat it. Fortunately, I was way too big for Rosie to think of me as a snack. I inched closer to her. Rosie tentatively stretched her neck out, flicked her tongue a few times, and slid into my lap. It was a monumental moment and a huge new experience for me. We began to check each other out. I stroked her soft, smooth skin. She smelled every little bit of me, and since snakes smell with their tongues, this meant a lot of flicking and licking. She licked down the front of my knee and flicked her tongue at my shoelaces. After a long day traipsing around the zoo, my shoes must have smelled…interesting. Up she came. As she approached my face, I felt myself instinctively recoil. Incredibly, even though I betrayed none of my inner thoughts, Rosie seemed to sense my anxiety. She slowed down and hesitated. As I relaxed, she relaxed. As time went by, I was able to tolerate Rosie around my shoulders. Soon I did the dishes with Rosie around my neck, and paperwork with her stretched out on the table. We began doing most of my household chores together. She preferred small indoor spaces where she felt secure, but she became braver and braver as she trusted me more.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
Why is it that chatting with friends is energizing, but making small talk with acquaintances takes such monumental effort?
Mindy Kaling (Please Like Me [But Keep Away])
In the hills of Tennessee, monumental plants were being built to separate the rare isotope U-235 from U-238 using two different methods. Beside the Columbia River in Washington State, construction had commenced on reactors that used two hundred tons of uranium moderated by twelve hundred tons of graphite. Working with their Canadian ally, the Americans were building a massive heavy water plant at a hydropower station in Trail, British Columbia. At the Los Alamos Ranch School in New Mexico, a small city of physicists was working to build a functioning fission bomb.
Neal Bascomb (The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler's Atomic Bomb)
Anything you want my darling. Anything you need. Just give me the word.’ Tom had said tenderly to his emotionally weathered partner. How could she love him more at that moment? In that one small but monumental phrase he picked her up as if a craftsman might carefully gather and mend the broken parts of a toy. He will do the shopping, the clothes, look after the kids, and make dinner that night.
Felicity Chapman (Connected)