Outside Beauty Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Outside Beauty. Here they are! All 200 of them:

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
What's the whole point of being pretty on the outside when you’re so ugly on the inside?
Jess C. Scott (I'm Pretty (Envy))
Hey, girls, you're beautiful. Don't look at those stupid magazines with sticklike models. Eat healthy and exercise. That's all. Don't let anyone tell you you're not good enough. You're good enough, you are too good. Love your family with all your heart and listen to it. You are gorgeous, whether you're a size 4 or 14. It doesn't matter what you look like on the outside, as long as you're a good person, as long as you respect others. I know it's been told hundreds of times before, but it's true. Hey, girls, you are beautiful.
Gerard Way
Beauty is not who you are on the outside, it is the wisdom and time you gave away to save another struggling soul like you.
Shannon L. Alder
There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
I painted stars and the moon and clouds and just endless, dark sky.” I finished the sixth, and was well on my way sawing through the seventh before I said, “I never knew why. I rarely went outside at night—usually, I was so tired from hunting that I just wanted to sleep. But I wonder … ” I pulled out the seventh and final arrow. “I wonder if some part of me knew what was waiting for me. That I would never be a gentle grower of things, or someone who burned like fire—but that I would be quiet and enduring and as faceted as the night. That I would have beauty, for those who knew where to look, and if people didn’t bother to look, but to only fear it … Then I didn’t particularly care for them, anyway. I wonder if, even in my despair and hopelessness, I was never truly alone. I wonder if I was looking for this place—looking for you all.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
The struggles we endure today will be the ‘good old days’ we laugh about tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
It’s painful, loving someone from afar. Watching them – from the outside. The once familiar elements of their life reduced to nothing more than occasional mentions in conversations and faces changing in photographs….. They exist to you now as nothing more than living proof that something can still hurt you … with no contact at all.
Ranata Suzuki
Beauty's only skin deep. Everybody has ugly days. We're all made of the same stuff underneath. Acting right is better than looking right. Realize what make you special beyond looks. Evil can look pretty on the outside.
Shannon Delany (13 to Life (13 to Life, #1))
Elegance comes from being as beautiful inside as outside.
Coco Chanel
You know,” he said, “I wish you could see this cave.” “What’s it like?” He paused. “It’s...beautiful, really.” “Tell me.” And so Po described to Katsa what hid in the blackness of the cave; and outside, the world awaited them.
Kristin Cashore (Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1))
Please make me empty, if I'm empty then I can receive, if I can receive it means it comes from somewhere outside of me, if it comes from outside of me I'm not alone! I cannot bear this loneliness. Above all it is loneliness.
Leonard Cohen (Beautiful Losers)
Instructions for freedom": 1. Life's metaphors are God's instructions. 2. You have just climbed up and above the roof, there is nothing between you and the Infinite; now, let go. 3. The day is ending, it's time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go. 4. Your wish for resolution was a prayer. You are being here is God's response, let go and watch the stars came out, in the inside and in the outside. 5. With all your heart ask for Grace and let go. 6. With all your heart forgive him, forgive yourself and let him go. 7. Let your intention be freedom from useless suffering then, let go. 8. Watch the heat of day pass into the cold night, let go. 9. When the Karma of a relationship is done, only Love remains. It's safe, let go. 10. When the past has past from you at last, let go.. then, climb down and begin the rest of your life with great joy.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
It's in those quiet little towns, at the edge of the world, that you will find the salt of the earth people who make you feel right at home.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
When I look at the Abnegation lifestyle as an outsider, I think it’s beautiful. When I watch my family move in harmony; when we go to dinner parties and everyone cleans together afterward without having to be asked; when I see Caleb help strangers carry their groceries, I fall in love with this life all over again.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
He is outside of everything, and alien everywhere. He is an aesthetic solitary. His beautiful, light imagination is the wing that on the autumn evening just brushes the dusky window.
Henry James
Life's trials will test you, and shape you, but don’t let them change who you are.” ~ Aaron Lauritsen, ‘100 Days Drive
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Remember what things make you special and embrace those because there are so many things that aren’t on the outside that are so important and people find so beautiful.
Miley Cyrus
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty. When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer. Guide her, protect her When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age. Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit. May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait. O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed. And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it. And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
Without struggle, success has no value.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
I promise you that the same stuff galaxies are made of, you are. The same energy that swings planets around stars makes electrons dance in your heart. It is in you, outside you, you are it. It is beautiful. Trust in this. And you your life will be grand.
Kamal Ravikant (Live Your Truth)
Riches, prestige, everything can be lost. But the happiness in your own heart can only be dimmed; it will always be there, as long as you live, to make you happy again. Whenever you're feeling lonely or sad, try going to the loft on a beautiful day and looking outside. Not at the houses and the rooftops, but at the sky. As long as you can look fearlessly at the sky, you'll know that you're pure within and will find happiness once more.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
True friends don't come with conditions.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Here is how I spend my days now. I live in a beautiful place. I sleep in a beautiful bed. I eat beautiful food. I go for walks through beautiful places. I care for people deeply. At night my bed is full of love, because I alone am in it. I cry easily, from pain and pleasure, and I don’t apologize for that. In the mornings I step outside and I’m thankful for another day. It took me many years to arrive at such a life.
Ottessa Moshfegh (Eileen)
From this point forward, you don’t even know how to quit in life.” ~ Aaron Lauritsen, ‘100 Days Drive
Aaron Lauritsen
I assure you; while I look like a ghost, I'm no spirit or demon. I'm nothing but a girl struggling to make her way in an intolerant world. I bleed, I love, and someday, I'll die.
Leanna Renee Hieber (The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker (Strangely Beautiful, #1))
Your soldiers look like they have seen better days." "Oh, they always look like that. I've tried and tries to get them to focus on outside appearances as much as improving their inner beauty, but... you know how men are.
Sarah J. Maas (Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5))
Peace is the number one beautiful ornament you can wear, I really believe that. They say you should always wear a smile, but I don't believe that you should "always" wear a smile, seriously, you're going to look stupid! But peace, you should always carry peace within you, its the most beautifying thing you could ever have or do. Peace makes your heart beautiful and it makes you look beautiful, too. You want to have perfect physical posture when you stand, sit, and walk, and peace is the perfect posture of the soul, really. Try perfect posture outside as well as inside. Peace creates grace and grace gives peace.
C. JoyBell C.
Outside his office my father had a framed copy of a letter written by Abraham Lincoln to his son’s teacher, translated into Pashto. It is a very beautiful letter, full of good advice. “Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books…But also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and the flowers on a green hillside,” it says. “Teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.
Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban)
Deep within everyone's heart there always remains a sense of longing for that hour, that summer, that one brief moment of blossoming. For several weeks or months, rarely longer, a beautiful young woman lives outside ordinary life. She is intoxicated. She feels as if she exists beyond time, beyond its laws; she experiences not the monotonous succession of days passing by, but moments of intense, almost desperate happiness.
Irène Némirovsky (Jezebel)
We are made for goodness. We are made for love. We are made for friendliness. We are made for togetherness. We are made for all of the beautiful things that you and I know. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders. All are welcome: black, white, red, yellow, rich, poor, educated, not educated, male, female, gay, straight, all, all, all. We all belong to this family, this human family, God's family.
Desmond Tutu
I was completely astonished by the beauty of nature. Our eyes see just a small fraction of the light in the world. It is a trick to make a colored world, which does not exist outside of human beings.
Albert Hofmann
Those who achieve the extraordinary are usually the most ordinary because they have nothing to prove to anybody. Be Humble.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Celebration when your plan is working? Anyone can do that. But when you realize that the story of your life could be told a thousand different ways, that you could tell it over and over as a tragedy, but you choose to call it an epic, that's when you start to learn what celebration is. When what you see in front of you is so far outside of what you dreamed, but you have the belief, the boldness, the courage to call it beautiful instead of calling it wrong, that's celebration.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
If people were more concerned with how they looked on the inside, then on the outside, the world would be a nicer place to exist.
David Walsh
Why couldn't people's insides match their outsides? The world would be such a wonderful place if the nicer someone was, the more beautiful they became.
Jay Bell (Something Like Summer (Something Like, #1))
I heard of a man who says words so beautifully that if he only speaks their name women give themselves to him. If I am dumb beside your body while silence blossoms like tumors on our lips it is because I hear a man climb stairs and clear his throat outside our door.
Leonard Cohen
We are all so afraid, we are all so alone, we all so need from the outside the assurance of our own worthiness to exist. So, for a time, if such a passion come to fruition, the man will get what he wants. He will get the moral support, the encouragement, the relief from the sense of loneliness, the assurance of his own worth. But these things pass away; inevitably they pass away as the shadows pass across sundials. It is sad, but it is so. The pages of the book will become familiar; the beautiful corner of the road will have been turned too many times. Well, this is the saddest story.
Ford Madox Ford
Don't judge from the outside. Like any beautiful rose has thorns... the more a person appears nice on the outside, the more you should doubt the inside.
Gosho Aoyama (名探偵コナン 45 (Detective Conan #45))
The tea ritual: such a precise repetition of the same gestures and the same tastes; accession to simple, authentic and refined sensations, a license given to all, at little cost, to become aristocrats of taste, because tea is the beverage of the wealthy and the poor; the tea ritual, therefore, has the extraordinary virtue of introducing into the absurdity of our lives an aperture of serene harmony. Yes, the world may aspire to vacuousness, lost souls mourn beauty, insignificance surrounds us. Then let us drink a cup of tea. Silence descends, one hears the wind outside, autumn leaves rustle and take flight, the cat sleeps in a warm pool of light. And, with each swallow, time is sublimed.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
Destiny has many faces. Mine is beautiful on the outside and hideous on the inside. She has stretched her bloody talons toward me—
Andrzej Sapkowski (The Last Wish (The Witcher, #0.5))
At some point, you just gotta forgive the past, your happiness hinges on it.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
There's nothing quite as good as folding up into a book and shutting the world outside.If I pick the right one I can be beautiful, or fall in love, or live happily ever after. Maybe even all three.
Bill Condon
Explore, Experience, Then Push Beyond.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
No matter how beautiful the outside may be, the inside still has feelings and needs that just words don't fulfill.
Hubert Selby Jr. (Requiem for a Dream)
To come to know that nothing is good, nothing is bad, is a turning point; it is a conversion. You start looking in; the outside reality loses meaning. The social reality is a fiction, a beautiful drama; you can participate in it, but then you don’t take it seriously. It is just a role to be played; play it as beautifully, as efficiently, as possible. But don’t take it seriously, it has nothing of the ultimate in it.
Osho
Somehow grasping at vanishing snowflakes is like grasping at happiness: an act of possession that instantly gives way to nothing. It reminded me that there was a world outside this house: a world of vastness and unimaginable beauty; a world that for now, remained out of my reach. That memory had repeatedly returned to me over the years. It's as if the misery that surrounded that brief moment of freedom made it burn even brighter: a tiny light surrounded by darkness.
Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient)
The freedom of the open road is seductive, serendipitous and absolutely liberating.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
There was a filmy veil of soft dull mist obscuring, but not hiding, all objects, giving them a lilac hue, for the sun had not yet fully set; a robin was singing ... The leaves were more gorgeous than ever; the first touch of frost would lay them all low to the ground. Already one or two kept constantly floating down, amber and golden in the low slanting sun-rays.
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South)
I loved the sensual pleasures of being outside, the smell of it, the feel of the earth under my fingers, the satisfaction of seeing things living, glowing, captivated by their own temporary beauty.
Jojo Moyes (Me Before You (Me Before You, #1))
Daniel took Luce’s hands in his. He closed his eyes, inhaled, and let his massive white wings unfurl. Fully extended , they would have filled the entire kitchen , but Daniel reined them in, close to his body. They shimmered and glowed and looked altogether too beautiful. Luce reached out and touched them with both hands. Warm and satin smooth on the outside, but inside, full of power. She could feel it coursing through Daniel, into her. She felt so close to him, understood him completely—As If they had become one.
Lauren Kate (Torment (Fallen, #2))
Marginalia Sometimes the notes are ferocious, skirmishes against the author raging along the borders of every page in tiny black script. If I could just get my hands on you, Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien, they seem to say, I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head. Other comments are more offhand, dismissive - Nonsense." "Please!" "HA!!" - that kind of thing. I remember once looking up from my reading, my thumb as a bookmark, trying to imagine what the person must look like who wrote "Don't be a ninny" alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson. Students are more modest needing to leave only their splayed footprints along the shore of the page. One scrawls "Metaphor" next to a stanza of Eliot's. Another notes the presence of "Irony" fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal. Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers, Hands cupped around their mouths. Absolutely," they shout to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin. Yes." "Bull's-eye." "My man!" Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points rain down along the sidelines. And if you have managed to graduate from college without ever having written "Man vs. Nature" in a margin, perhaps now is the time to take one step forward. We have all seized the white perimeter as our own and reached for a pen if only to show we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages; we pressed a thought into the wayside, planted an impression along the verge. Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria jotted along the borders of the Gospels brief asides about the pains of copying, a bird singing near their window, or the sunlight that illuminated their page- anonymous men catching a ride into the future on a vessel more lasting than themselves. And you have not read Joshua Reynolds, they say, until you have read him enwreathed with Blake's furious scribbling. Yet the one I think of most often, the one that dangles from me like a locket, was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye I borrowed from the local library one slow, hot summer. I was just beginning high school then, reading books on a davenport in my parents' living room, and I cannot tell you how vastly my loneliness was deepened, how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed, when I found on one page A few greasy looking smears and next to them, written in soft pencil- by a beautiful girl, I could tell, whom I would never meet- Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love.
Billy Collins (Picnic, Lightning)
After a while you'll think no thought the others do not think. You'll know no word the others can't say. And you'll do things because the others do them. You'll feel the danger in any difference whatever-a danger to the crowd of like-thinking, like-acting men...Once in a while there is a man who won't do what is demanded of him, and do you know what happens? The whole machine devotes itself coldly to the destruction of his difference. They'll beat your spirit and your nerves, your body and your mind, with iron rods until the dangerous difference goes out of you. And if you can't finally give in, they'll vomit you up and leave you stinking outside--neither part of themselves, nor yet free...They only do it to protect themselves. A thing so triumphantly illogical, so beautifully senseless as an army can't allow a question to weaken it.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
I drove in last night,' he said. 'I couldn't sleep, it was too hot. So I went outside. I was feeling melancholy. Then I danced with a beautiful girl, and I felt better. What's your story?
Judy Blundell (What I Saw and How I Lied)
If you didn't earn something, it's not worth flaunting.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
None of your knowledge, your reading, your connections will be of any use here: two legs suffice, and big eyes to see with. Walk alone, across mountains or through forests. You are nobody to the hills or the thick boughs heavy with greenery. You are no longer a role, or a status, not even an individual, but a body, a body that feels sharp stones on the paths, the caress of long grass and the freshness of the wind. When you walk, the world has neither present nor future: nothing but the cycle of mornings and evenings. Always the same thing to do all day: walk. But the walker who marvels while walking (the blue of the rocks in a July evening light, the silvery green of olive leaves at noon, the violet morning hills) has no past, no plans, no experience. He has within him the eternal child. While walking I am but a simple gaze.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
You are so, so beautiful, Auburn. Everywhere. Every part of you. On the outside, on the inside, when you’re beneath me, on top of me, painted on a canvas.
Colleen Hoover (Confess)
It’s the ‘everyday’ experiences we encounter along the journey to who we wanna be that will define who we are when we get there.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
The human ego is the ugliest part of man. We lift up men who only show us darkness, and put down those brave enough to show us the light. Likewise, people engage in darkness when it is light outside, and acknowledge the light only when it is dark. We abandon those fighting for us to cheer behind those fighting against us. And, we only remember good people and God when it is convenient for us, and take them for granted because their doors are always open - only to chase after closed doors and personalities void of substance and truth.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
There's more to a person than flesh. Judge others by the sum of their soul and you'll see that beauty is a force of light that radiates from the inside out.
Aaron Lauritsen
spring is super in the supermarkets and the strawberries prance and glow never mind that they're all kinda tart and tasteless as strawberries go meanwhile wild things are not for sale anymore than they are for show so i'll be outside, in love with the kind of beauty it takes more than eyes to know
Ani DiFranco
Because you're beautiful, Layla, and while I may say that one word to you a lot, I don't simply toss it around. And I've seen many, many beautiful things. People as beautiful as demons are atrocious. You, by far, shine brighter than any of them. It's more than what's on the outside. It comes from within you. I've seen a lot of things and nothing, nothing, comes close to you.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements, #3))
You are not born with beauty, your beauty is created by who you are. Your inner beauty is more important than how people see you on the outside.
Emily Coussons
The beauty of that poem is that everybody can relate, because we all feel like nobody. We all feel like we are on the outside, looking in. We all feel scattered. But I think it's that self-awareness that actually makes us somebody. And you are definitely somebody, Blue. You may not be a work of art, but you are definitely a piece of work.
Amy Harmon (A Different Blue)
What I want to be, girls, is beautiful. Beautiful means ‘full of beauty.’ Beautiful is not about how you look on the outside. Beautiful is about what you’re made of. Beautiful people spend time discovering what their idea of beauty on this earth is. They know themselves well enough to know what they love, and they love themselves enough to fill up with a little of their particular kind of beauty each day.
Glennon Doyle Melton (Love Warrior)
Jesus, I wondered, what do you do with pain so bad it has no redeeming value? It cannot even be alchemized into art, into words, into something you can chalk up to an interesting experience because the pain itself, its intensity, is so great that it has woven itself into your system so deeply that there is no way to objectify or push it outside or find its beauty within. That is the pain I’m feeling now. It's so bad, it's useless. The only lesson I will ever derive from this pain is how bad pain can be.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
She always told us there were two types of women. Those who are lit from the outside and those who are lit from within. The first needs the shimmer of a diamond to maker her sparkle, but for the other, her beauty is illuminated through the sheer light of her soul.
Alyson Richman
If you throw me out of this house, I shall sleep on the path outside. If you return to the Continent without me, I shall follow you. I will build a willow hut at your gate; I will sleep under your window; I will be waiting for you at your own front door.
Eloisa James (When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales, #2))
believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without ever realizing it. I don’t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting. The Heisman Trophy winner knows this. He knows that his big moment was not when they gave him the trophy. It was the thousand times he went to practice instead of going back to bed. It was the miles run on rainy days, the healthy meals when a burger sounded like heaven. That big moment represented and rested on a foundation of moments that had come before it. I believe that if we cultivate a true attention, a deep ability to see what has been there all along, we will find worlds within us and between us, dreams and stories and memories spilling over. The nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage an parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if you know where to look. Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull of the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted. Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is. You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural. You are more than dust and bones. You are spirit and power and image of God. And you have been given Today.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
This silence, this moment, every moment, if it’s genuinely inside you, brings what you need. There’s nothing to believe. Only when I stopped believing in myself did I come into this beauty. Sit quietly, and listen for a voice that will say, ‘Be more silent.’ Die and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign that you’ve died. Your old life was a frantic running from silence. Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence.
Rumi (Rumi: Poems)
Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you've been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you're having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull off the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted." -Cold Tangerines
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
The ancient rhythms of the earth have insinuated themselves into the rhythms of the human heart. The earth is not outside us; it is within: the clay from where the tree of the body grows.
John O'Donohue (Beauty: The Invisible Embrace)
I don’t care to be pretty,” Blue shot back hotly, “I care to look on the outside like I look on the inside.
Maggie Stiefvater
Paris was a universe whole and entire unto herself, hollowed and fashioned by history; so she seemed in this age of Napoleon III with her towering buildings, her massive cathedrals, her grand boulevards and ancient winding medieval streets--as vast and indestructible as nature itself. All was embraced by her, by her volatile and enchanted populace thronging the galleries, the theaters, the cafes, giving birth over and over to genius and sanctity, philosophy and war, frivolity and the finest art; so it seemed that if all the world outside her were to sink into darkness, what was fine, what was beautiful, what was essential might there still come to its finest flower. Even the majestic trees that graced and sheltered her streets were attuned to her--and the waters of the Seine, contained and beautiful as they wound through her heart; so that the earth on that spot, so shaped by blood and consciousness, had ceased to be the earth and had become Paris.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
She felt just like that girl in that book with the letter A on her chest. Only her A signified Alone. She was an outcast, cast out by her own choices, an outsider with a pretty face. Like a rose, she may have been beautiful to look at, but almost everyone only knew the thorny side.
Victoria Kahler (Their Friend Scarlet)
Anya looked upon Nin admirably. Having him as a partner-in-crime—if only on this one occasion, which she hoped would only be the start of something more—was more revitalizing than the cheap thrills of a cookie-cutter shallow, superficial romance, where the top priority was how beautiful a person was on the outside.
Jess C. Scott (The Other Side of Life)
The dawn was coming then. All the lower valley was covered with mist, and sometimes little pieces of it broke off and floated away in small clouds. The sky was lighter in the east, and the horizon was a thin golden line. The clouds changed from gray to pink, and the mist was touched with gold. There was a silent moment when everything held its breath, and then the sun rose. It was beautiful.
S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders)
Modern man does not experience himself as a part of nature but as an outside force destined to dominate and conquer it. He even talks of a battle with nature, forgetting that, if he won the battle, he would find himself on the losing side.
Ernst F. Schumacher (Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered)
She would not say of any one in the world that they were this or were that. She felt very young; at the same time unspeakably aged. She sliced like a knife through everything; at the same time was outside, looking on. She had a perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, far out to the sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day. Not that she thought herself clever, or much out of the ordinary. How she had got through life on the few twigs of knowledge Fraulein Daniels gave them she could not think. She knew nothing; no language, no history; she scarcely read a book now, except memoirs in bed; and yet to her it was absolutely absorbing; all this; the cabs passing; and she would not say of Peter, she would not say of herself, I am this, I am that.
Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway)
If one of the things you believe in, Is that this world's an ugly place, You must have never gone outside at, And stared up into space, You haven't felt the way the air changes, In the minutes before it rains, Or watched the world pass by below, Out the window of a plane, You've never been awake so early, That you see the moment the sun starts to rise, And you've never lain with your back on the grass, And made shapes with the clouds in the sky, But maybe if you've done all this, But still don't believe it's not true, It's because you can't see all the beauty, That I see when I look at you" ~e.h.
Erin Hanson (Reverie (The Poetic Underground #1))
My dream is to create something so beautiful that it encourages people to present the best version of themselves to me everywhere I go.
Ross Caligiuri
The fire roared down upon us. It curled through our hair, then wrapped around our wrists and faces, trying to drag us apart. It seared across my skin, hotter than the Heart of Fire, and yet more painful was how it seared through my mind. The fire burned away my memories, taking back his name and mine, both of my pasts and all of my hopes, the sky and the sparrow and the world itself. I clung to somebody I did not know, could not imagine knowing, but I still knew beyond all doubt that he was mine. We fell until we had been falling forever and always, and always would continue falling, because nothing existed outside this chaos of fire and shadow. But I held on to him. And he held on to me.
Rosamund Hodge (Cruel Beauty)
Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.
Augustine of Hippo
The soul grows into lovely habits as easily as into ugly ones, and the moment a life begins to blossom into beautiful words and deeds, that moment a new standard of conduct is established, and your eager neighbors look to you for a continuous manifestation of the good cheer, the sympathy, the ready wit, the comradeship, or the inspiration, you once showed yourself capable of. Bear figs for a season or two, and the world outside the orchard is very unwilling you should bear thistles.
Kate Douglas Wiggin (Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm)
Grace: Outside, deep in the woods, I heard a long keening wail, and then another, as the wolves began to howl. More voices pitched in, some low and mournful, others high and short, an eerie and beautiful chorus. I knew my wolf's howl; his rich tone sang out above others as if begging me to hear it. My heart ached inside me, torn between wanting them to stop and wishing they would go on for ever. I imagined myself there among them in the golden woods, watching them tilt their heads back and howl underneath a sky of endless stars. I blinked a tear away, feeling foolish and miserable, but I didn't go to sleep until every wolf had fallen silent.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
The day my mother died I wrote in my journal, "A serious misfortune of my life has arrived." I suffered for more than one year after the passing away of my mother. But one night, in the highlands of Vietnam, I was sleeping in the hut in my hermitage. I dreamed of my mother. I saw myself sitting with her, and we were having a wonderful talk. She looked young and beautiful, her hair flowing down. It was so pleasant to sit there and talk to her as if she had never died. When I woke up it was about two in the morning, and I felt very strongly that I had never lost my mother. The impression that my mother was still with me was very clear. I understood then that the idea of having lost my mother was just an idea. It was obvious in that moment that my mother is always alive in me. I opened the door and went outside. The entire hillside was bathed in moonlight. It was a hill covered with tea plants, and my hut was set behind the temple halfway up. Walking slowly in the moonlight through the rows of tea plants, I noticed my mother was still with me. She was the moonlight caressing me as she had done so often, very tender, very sweet... wonderful! Each time my feet touched the earth I knew my mother was there with me. I knew this body was not mine but a living continuation of my mother and my father and my grandparents and great-grandparents. Of all my ancestors. Those feet that I saw as "my" feet were actually "our" feet. Together my mother and I were leaving footprints in the damp soil. From that moment on, the idea that I had lost my mother no longer existed. All I had to do was look at the palm of my hand, feel the breeze on my face or the earth under my feet to remember that my mother is always with me, available at any time.
Thich Nhat Hanh (No Death, No Fear)
The best remedy for those who are frightened, lovely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be alone, alone with the sky, nature and God. For then and only then can you feel that everything is as it should be and that God wants people to be happy amid nature's beauty and simplicity.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
The beauty on the inside, will determine the ugly on the outside.
Anthony Liccione
It is a beautiful day outside. Birds are singning, flowers are blooming.... On days like these, kids like you... should be burning in hell
Toby Fox
Rome is not outside me, but inside me.. Her feverish sweetness, her tragic countryside, her own beauty and harmony, all these are mine, for my thought and my work.
Amedeo Modigliani
Building bridges is the best defence against ignorance.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Around the outside of the room other beautiful women wearing little or nothing at all flitted between the infatuated, intoxicated men, sometimes luring them away for a private dance. The men would follow obediently, weighed down by lust and credit cards.
R.D. Ronald (The Zombie Room)
The high road of grace will get you somewhere a whole lot faster then the freeway of spite.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
My only wish is that we leave room for hope. There is good and bad in all things. We find what we expect to find. We see what we expect to see. I have learned that if I tilt my head just right and squint, the world outside is beautiful. The future is bright. There are good things to come.
Hugh Howey (Dust (Silo, #3))
Never say, "O Lord, I am a miserable sinner." Who will help you? You are the help of the universe. What in this universe can help you? What can prevail over you? You are the God of the universe; where can you seek for help? Never help came from anywhere but from yourself. In your ignorance, every prayer that you made and that was answered, you thought was answered by some Being, but you answered the prayer yourself unknowingly. The help came from yourself, and you fondly imagined that someone was sending help to you. There is no help for you outside of yourself; you are the creator of the universe. Like the silkworm, you have built a cocoon around yourself. Who will save you? Burst your own cocoon and come out as a beautiful butterfly, as the free soul. Then alone you will see Truth.
Vivekananda (The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 3)
Days of slow walking are very long: they make you live longer, because you have allowed every hour, every minute, every second to breathe, to deepen, instead of filling them up by straining the joints…
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
One evening, when we were already resting on the floor of our hut, dead tired, soup bowls in hand, a fellow prisoner rushed in and asked us to run out to the assembly grounds and see the wonderful sunset. Standing outside we saw sinister clouds glowing in the west and the whole sky alive with clouds of ever-changing shapes and colors, from steel blue to blood red. The desolate grey mud huts provided a sharp contrast, while the puddles on the muddy ground reflected the glowing sky. Then, after minutes of moving silence, one prisoner said to another, "How beautiful the world could be...
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
There is beauty outside of beauty and there is hope within hopelessness.
Jeff Brown (An Uncommon Bond)
We love our partners for who they are, not for who they are not.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Our society does reward beauty on the outside over health on the inside. Women must not be blamed for choosing short-term beauty "fixes" that harm our long-term health, since our life spans are inverted under the beauty myth, and there is no great social or economic incentive for women to live a long time. A thin young woman with precancerous lungs [who smokes to stay thin] is more highly rewarded socially that a hearty old crone. Spokespeople sell women the Iron Maiden [an intrinsically unattainable standard of beauty used to punish women for their failure to achieve and conform to it]and name her "Health": if public discourse were really concerned with women's health, it would turn angrily upon this aspect of the beauty myth.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
I know how mirrors work. They're all in league with the cosmetics trade. They tell a woman lies. Drawing her gaze from one imagined flaw to another, until all she sees is a constellation of imperfections. If you could get outside yourself, borrow my eyes for just an instant... There is only beauty.
Tessa Dare (Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4))
It’s the person you are inside that counts and you’re beautiful. You’re beautiful outside, too, but that’s not what’s got to me.” He put his hand over my heart, “This has.
Cora Hawkes (Rocked Under (Rocked, #1))
And outside my skin, an infinity illuminated by a billion stars. The beauty of the universe in the grandest and smallest things. This is a good place to die.
Amie Kaufman
Once I had put enough distance between myself and where I grew up, I started to see its beauty. I started to see it the way outsiders do - maybe because I had become an outsider.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (One True Loves)
Yes, the world may aspire to vacuousness, lost souls mourn beauty, insignificance surrounds us. Then let us drink a cup of tea. Silence descends, one hears the wind outside, autumn leaves rustle and take flight, the cat sleeps in a warm pool of light. And, with each swallow, time is sublimed.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
I began my studies with eagerness. Before me I saw a new world opening in beauty and light, and I felt within me the capacity to know all things. In the wonderland of Mind I should be as free as another [with sight and hearing]. Its people, scenery, manners, joys, and tragedies should be living tangible interpreters of the real world. The lecture halls seemed filled with the spirit of the great and wise, and I thought the professors were the embodiment of wisdom... But I soon discovered that college was not quite the romantic lyceum I had imagined. Many of the dreams that had delighted my young inexperience became beautifully less and "faded into the light of common day." Gradually I began to find that there were disadvantages in going to college. The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time. I used to have time to think, to reflect, my mind and I. We would sit together of an evening and listen to the inner melodies of the spirit, which one hears only in leisure moments when the words of some loved poet touch a deep, sweet chord in the soul that until then had been silent. But in college there is no time to commune with one's thoughts. One goes to college to learn, it seems, not to think. When one enters the portals of learning, one leaves the dearest pleasures – solitude, books and imagination – outside with the whispering pines. I suppose I ought to find some comfort in the thought that I am laying up treasures for future enjoyment, but I am improvident enough to prefer present joy to hoarding riches against a rainy day.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life: With Her Letters (1887 1901) and a Supplementary Account of Her Education Including Passages from the Reports and Letters of Her Teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan by John Albert Macy)
Beauty is something that is everywhere. The sunset is beautiful. Human connection is beautiful. Kindness is beautiful. Bodies are beautiful --all of them. Beauty is ubiquitous, inherent, and found in all of us: on the outside and the inside.
Jes Baker (Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living)
I feel ugly” I said and you looked at me as if I spoke a different language. There are things you will never understand and if there were words to describe the rapture that takes place in my head from time to time I would put my hand in front of your eyes to protect you from all the ugliness in the world. I kept my eyes on the streetlights outside the window and you kissed every inch of my body as if you could kiss the pain away.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
This morning I woke up before the alarm clock went off and the sky outside was a big red ocean. You're beautiful when you're sleeping so I spent an hour observing the way you breathe. Inhale, exhale, without a thought of tomorrow. The window was open and the air was so crisp and I couldn't imagine how to ever ask for more than this.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
Economic development is something much wider and deeper than economics, let alone econometrics. Its roots lie outside the economic sphere, in education, organisation, discipline and, beyond that, in political independence and a national consciousness of self-reliance.
Ernst F. Schumacher (Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered)
The world is unbearably ugly when beauty is judged purely by what is seen on the outside.
Sarah Brownlee
Beauty is an inner light that shines on the outside.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Or take this girl, for example. At a meeting just outside Paris, a fifteen-year-old girl came up to me and said that she'd been to see [The Double Life of] Véronique. She'd gone once, twice, three times and only wanted to say one thing really - that she realized that there is such a thing as a soul. She hadn't known before, but now she knew that the soul does exist. There's something very beautiful in that. It was worth making Véronique for that girl. It was worth working for a year, sacrificing all that money, energy, time, patience, torturing yourself, killing yourself, taking thousands of decisions, so that one young girl in Paris should realize that there is such a thing as a soul. It's worth it.
Krzysztof Kieślowski (Kieslowski on Kieslowski)
Some are perfectly satisfied with what they have; they eat, drink, impregnate their wives, and take life as it comes. Others can never forget that they are being cheated; that life tempts them to struggle by offering them the essence of sex, of beauty, of success; and that she always seems to pay in counterfeit money.
Colin Wilson (The Outsider)
Christopher…you are the one that’s beautiful.” She lifted her head. “And not just on the inside. You’re beautiful on the outside, too. To me…you’re perfect.” She could see several emotions move across his face before his eyes half closed... “You say that to me…and if you’re not careful you might end up stuck with me.” It was a warning.
Pepper Pace (Beast (Estill County Mountain Man #1))
Outside the youth center, between the liquor store and the police station, a little dogwood tree is losing its mind; overflowing with blossomfoam, like a sudsy mug of beer; like a bride ripping off her clothes, dropping snow white petals to the ground in clouds, so Nature’s wastefulness seems quietly obscene. It’s been doing that all week: making beauty, and throwing it away, and making more.
Tony Hoagland (What Narcissism Means to Me)
Transient and Eternal The state of the world is in flux, and every object within it is subject to change. Concepts live outside of time and, because All Things Are Number, liberate us from it.
Frank Wilczek (A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature's Deep Design)
I know, now, without a doubt that the true source of happiness, self-worth, and authentic beauty doesn't come from the outside. Women are constantly being persuaded to want something unachievable, to look younger or thinner and above all to fit in because being different is too painful and embarassing. I have accepted myself in a world that does not accept me, because I have learned [ . . . ] that our hearts matter most... It's a beautiful heart, not a perfect body, that leads to a beautiful life.
Stephanie Nielson (Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy)
We've had a beautiful friendship, Diana. We've never marred it by one quarrel or coolness or unkind word; and I hope it will always be so. But things can't be quite the same after this. You'll have other interests. I'll just be on the outside.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables, #3))
Everyone wants to fall in love. But I think more people are in love with the theory of love. If you’re looking in from the outside, it looks so beautiful. On the inside, it’s scary because it can take over your life. It’s the strongest emotion but also the darkest. It can put you on a high for days, but it can wrap an anchor around your feet and drown you in less than a minute. If everyone knew the truth no one would really ask for love. But when it drops into your life, you can only hope that you have enough strength to hang on.
Calia Read (Breaking the Wrong (Sloan Brothers, #2))
Now let me be clear; millions of women around the world nurse their children beautifully for years without giving anybody else a hard time about it. Teat Nazis are a solely western upper-middle-class phenomenon occurring when highly ambitious women experience deprivation from outside modes of achievement.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
Perhaps things are most beautiful when they are not quite real; when you look upon a scene as an outsider, and come to possess it in its entirety and forever; when you live in the present with the lucidity and feeling of memory; when, for want of connection, the world deepens and becomes art.
Mark Helprin (Ellis Island and Other Stories)
She was forcing it with her scorn, the kiss she gave me, the hard curl of her lips, the mockery of her eyes, until I was like a man made of wood and there was no feeling within me except terror and a fear of her, a sense that her beauty was too much, that she was so much more beautiful than I, deeper rooted than I. She made me a stranger unto myself, she was all of those calm nights and tall eucalyptus trees, the desert stars, that land and sky, that fog outside, and I had come there with no purpose save to be a mere writer, to get money, to make a name for myself and all that piffle. She was so much finer than I, so much more honest, that I was sick of myself and I could not look at her warm eyes, I suppressed the shiver brought on by her brown arms around my neck and the long fingers in my hair. I did not kiss her. She kissed me, author of The Little Dog Laughed. Then she took my wrist with her two hands. She pressed her lips into the palm of my hand. She placed my hand upon her bosom between her breasts. She turned her lips towards my face and waited. And Arturo Bandini, the great author dipped deep into his colourful imagination, romantic Arturo Bandini, just chock-full of clever phrases, and he said, weakly, kittenishly, 'Hello.
John Fante (Ask the Dust (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #3))
I am convinced that poets are toddlers in a cathedral, slobbering on wooden blocks and piling them up in the light of the stained glass. We can hardly make anything beautiful that wasn’t beautiful in the first place. We aren’t writers, but gleeful rearrangers of words whose meanings we can’t begin to know. When we manage to make something pretty, it’s only so because we are ourselves a flourish on a greater canvas. That means there’s no end to the discovery. We may crawl around the cathedral floor for ages before we grow up enough to reach the doorknob and walk outside into a garden of delights. Beyond that, the city, then the rolling hills, then the sea. And when the world of every cell has been limned and painted and sung, we lie back on the grass, satisfied that our work is done. Then, of course, the sun sets and we see above us the dark dome of glittering stars. On and on it goes, all the way to the lightless borderlands of time and space, which we come to discover in some future age are but the beginnings or endings of a single word spoken from the mouth of God. Some nights, while I traipse down the hill, I imagine that word isn’t a word at all, but a burst of laughter.
Andrew Peterson
He'll never compose whole odes to my beauty and grace. He'll never show up with a boom box to reenact Say Anything outside my window. He'll never drive over at three a.m. because I'm sick and can't sleep and just want to feel his arms around me.
Abby McDonald (Getting Over Garrett Delaney)
Will you go outside on the 28th and watch the meteor shower? I know what you're thinking: 3:00am? But I think it will be beautiful. Besides, it will be cool to know that you're watching the sky at the same exact time as me. ~Lila
Katie McGarry (Crossing the Line (Pushing the Limits, #1.1))
I’m a little dirty,” he said huskily, running his hand up and down the outside of one of her thighs. “I washed up but should have showered. Didn’t expect this.” “You probably should have expected this.” Her voice sounded a little breathless. “Yeah,” he agreed, his eyes darkening. “I probably should have.” “It’s okay,” she told him. “I’m washable.” Images of showers and soap bubbles tripped through her mind and she hoped through his as well. He gave her a little grin. “Good to know. Means I can get you really dirty.” Juliet felt her breathing quicken. She put her hand against his face, over his scar. “I really want that.” Sawyer slid a hand up her back and into her hair. He urged her closer until her lips were nearly against his. “Me, too.
Erin Nicholas (Beauty and the Bayou (Boys of the Bayou, #3))
Music gives me a sense of self-sufficiency and nourishment. I don’t need anyone or anything. I bathe in it as in amniotic fluid; it surrounds and protects me. It’s also stable, ever-available and something I can control - that is, I can reach for it whenever I want. I can also choose music that reflects my mood, or if I want, helps to soothe it…music-seeking offers excitement and tension that I can immediately resolve and a reward I can immediately attain - unlike other tensions in my life and other desired rewards. Music is a source of beauty and meaning outside myself that I can claim as my own without exploring how, in my life, I keep from directly experiencing those qualities. Addiction, in this sense, is the lazy man’s path to transcendence.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
I was wondering if my life, the life in which I had a son and a beautiful, young girlfriend, could exist outside of the hospital. Or was the hospital its container? Was I like honey thinking it's a small bear, not realizing the bear is just the shape of its bottle?
Miranda July (The First Bad Man)
Perhaps I was easier to shake off for you because you’re such a together person. I was just an extra layer on the outside… like a blanket you could shrug off and feel just the same…. except maybe a little colder…. But I was always a broken person that was haphazardly held together by little more than my own strength. And so you just seeped in the cracks and mingled with my insides until you became an inseparable part of me. And as painful as that is, it still kind of warms me to know I will always carry a part of you with me.
Ranata Suzuki
At the foot of the mountain, the park ended and suddenly all was squalor again. I was once more struck by this strange compartmentalization that goes on in America -- a belief that no commercial activities must be allowed inside the park, but permitting unrestrained development outside, even though the landscape there may be just as outstanding. America has never quite grasped that you can live in a place without making it ugly, that beauty doesn't have to be confined behind fences, as if a national park were a sort of zoo for nature.
Bill Bryson (The Lost Continent)
I'm floating inside my skin. I could go on floating like this for days. Right now, the real world with its heartbreak and disappointments is just a pulse against the protective membrane we've drunk ourselves into. It's somewhere outside us, waiting." A Great and Terrible Beauty, Page 141, by
Libba Bray
I should like to make life beautiful--I mean everybody's life. And then all this immense expense of art, that seems somehow to lie outside life and make it no better for the world, pains one. It spoils my enjoyment of anything when I am made to think that most people are shut out from it." I call that the fanaticism of sympathy," said Will, impetuously. "You might say the same of landscape, of poetry, of all refinement. If you carried it out you ought to be miserable in your own goodness, and turn evil that you might have no advantage over others. The best piety is to enjoy--when you can. You are doing the most then to save the earth's character as an agreeable planet. And enjoyment radiates. It is of no use to try and take care of all the world; that is being taken care of when you feel delight--in art or in anything else. Would you turn all the youth of the world into a tragic chorus, wailing and moralising over misery? I suspect that you have some false belief in the virtues of misery, and want to make your life a martyrdom.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
I caught the look Benjamin gave me. "What?" "Nothing. We just thought a svetocha would be more, well, difficult." Leon's mouth twitched. "I do seriously want a slushie." I tried a tentative smile. I definitely liked him now. "I haven't had one in ages. Maybe the guys outside—the double blonds—would want one, too?" For some reason Leon found that utterly fricking hysterical. He snorted and chuckled all the way through Housewares to the Health and Beauty section, and even Benjamin unbent enough to grin.
Lilith Saintcrow (Jealousy (Strange Angels, #3))
Beauty is for the artist something outside all orders of rank, because in beauty opposites are tamed; the highest sign of power, namely power over opposites; moreover, without tension: – that violence is no longer needed: that everything follows, obeys, so easily and so pleasantly – that is what delights the artist’s WILL TO POWER.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Will to Power)
As I stood there holding onto him, it occurred to me that not all great acts of courage are obvious to those looking in from the outside. But I saw this moment for what it was–a boy who had never been made to feel that he was wanted anywhere, showing up and asking others to accept him. It made my heart soar with pride for the beautiful act of bravery that was Archer Hale stepping into this small town diner.
Mia Sheridan (Archer's Voice)
When he put the old-fashioned mechanical toy on her palm, she stopped breathing. It was a tiny representation of an atom, complete with colored ball bearings standing in for neutrons, protons, and on the outside, arranged on arcs of fine wire, electrons. Turning the key on the side made the electrons move, what she’d thought were ball bearings actually finely crafted spheres of glass that sparked with color. A brilliant, thoughtful, wonderful gift for a physics major. “Why magnesium?” she asked, identifying the atomic number of the light metal. His hand on her jaw, his mouth on her own. “Because it’s beautifully explosive, just like my X.
Nalini Singh (Tangle of Need (Psy-Changeling, #11))
A beautiful and binding morning The world outside begins to breathe See clouds arriving without warning I need you here to shelter me. If I could make these moments endless If I could stop the winds of change If we just keep our eyes wide open Then everything would stay the same And I know that only time will tell me how We'll carry on without each other So keep me awake for every moment Give us more time to be this way We can't stay like this forever But I can have you next to me today
Josh Groban (Josh Groban: Awake)
Don’t go outside your house to see the flowers. My friend, don’t bother with that excursion. Inside your body there are flowers. One flower has a thousand petals. That will do for a place to sit. Sitting there you will have a glimpse of beauty inside the body and out of it, before gardens and after gardens.
Kabir
It is only that people are far more different than is pretended. All over the world men and women are worrying because they cannot develop as they are supposed to develop. Here and there they have the matter out, and it comforts them. Don't fret yourself, Helen. Develop what you have; love your child. I do not love children. I am thankful to have none. I can play with their beauty and charm, but that is all - nothing real, not one scrap of what there ought to be. And others - others go farther still, and move outside humanity altogether. A place, as well as a person, may catch the glow. Don't you see that all this leads to comfort in the end? It is part of the battle against sameness. Differences - eternal differences, planted by God in a single family, so that there may always be colour; sorrow, perhaps, but colour in the daily grey.
E.M. Forster (Howards End)
Thomas was still outside, so I knocked once and opened the door without waiting for a response. Loki was in the middle of changing clothes as I came in. He'd already traded his worn slacks for a pair of pajama pants, and he was holding a white T-shirt, preparing to put it on. He had his back to me, and it was even worse than I'd thought. "Oh, my god, Loki," I gasped. "I didn't know you were coming." He turned around to face me, smirking. "Shall I leave the shirt off, then?" "No, put the shirt on," I said, and I closed the door behind me so nobody could see or overhear us talking. "You're no fun." He wrinkled his nose and pulled the shirt over his head. "Your back is horrific." "And I was just going to tell you how beautiful you look today, but I'm not going to bother now if you're going to talk that way." Loki sat back down on his bed, more lying than sitting.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
Still, winter is an abstract season: it is low on colors, even in Italy, and big on the imperatives of cold and brief daylight. These things train your eye on the outside with an intensity greater than that of the electric bulb availing you of your own features in the evening. If this season doesn't necessarily quell your nerves, it still subordinates them to your instincts; beauty at low temperatures is beauty.
Joseph Brodsky
My brothers are idiots. Anyone can see that under the scars and the attitude, Isabeau is more fragile than she looks. And as a reclusive Hound princess, her first introduction to the royal family shouldn’t be a dose of Hypnos and four idiots gawking at her. If I’d managed not to gawk, they sure as hell could have. She was beautiful, fierce, and utterly unlike anyone I’d ever known. It was really hard not to gawk. Much better to pace outside her door with one of our Bouviers sitting at the top of the stairs watching me curiously. “This sucks, Boudicca,” I told her. “I don’t think we inherited Dad’s diplomacy.” She laid her chin on her paws. I could have sworn she rolled her eyes.
Alyxandra Harvey (Blood Feud (Drake Chronicles, #2))
MY MOTHER GETS DRESSED It is impossible for my mother to do even the simplest things for herself anymore so we do it together, get her dressed. I choose the clothes without zippers or buckles or straps, clothes that are simple but elegant, and easy to get into. Otherwise, it's just like every other day. After bathing, getting dressed. The stockings go on first. This time, it's the new ones, the special ones with opaque black triangles that she's never worn before, bought just two weeks ago at her favorite department store. We start with the heavy, careful stuff of the right toes into the stocking tip then a smooth yank past the knob of her ankle and over her cool, smooth calf then the other toe cool ankle, smooth calf up the legs and the pantyhose is coaxed to her waist. You're doing great, Mom, I tell her as we ease her body against mine, rest her whole weight against me to slide her black dress with the black empire collar over her head struggle her fingers through the dark tunnel of the sleeve. I reach from the outside deep into the dark for her hand, grasp where I can't see for her touch. You've got to help me a little here, Mom I tell her then her fingertips touch mine and we work her fingers through the sleeve's mouth together, then we rest, her weight against me before threading the other fingers, wrist, forearm, elbow, bicep and now over the head. I gentle the black dress over her breasts, thighs, bring her makeup to her, put some color on her skin. Green for her eyes. Coral for her lips. I get her black hat. She's ready for her company. I tell the two women in simple, elegant suits waiting outside the bedroom, come in. They tell me, She's beautiful. Yes, she is, I tell them. I leave as they carefully zip her into the black body bag. Three days later, I dream a large, green suitcase arrives. When I unzip it, my mother is inside. Her dress matches her eyeshadow, which matches the suitcase perfectly. She's wearing coral lipstick. "I'm here," she says, smiling delightedly, waving and I wake up. Four days later, she comes home in a plastic black box that is heavier than it looks. In the middle of a meadow, I learn a naked more than naked. I learn a new way to hug as I tighten my fist around her body, my hand filled with her ashes and the small stones of bones. I squeeze her tight then open my hand and release her into the smallest, hottest sun, a dandelion screaming yellow at the sky.
Daphne Gottlieb (Final Girl)
You're an intensely attractive woman. You do know that, don't you?" To her silence, he replied, "You'd believe me if you could see yourself." "I have seen myself. That's the snag, you see." He shook his head. "No, no. Not in a mirror. I know how mirrors work. They're all in league with the cosmetics trade. They tell a woman lies. Drawing her gaze from one imagined flaw to another, until all she sees is a constellation of imperfections. If you could get outside yourself, borrow my eyes for just an instant...There's only beauty.
Tessa Dare (Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4))
All this "honest work" kills beauty in man too. It forces men into poor diet, poor choices, poor paths outside the workplace. Everything in life for them, whether they chose so or not, must revolve around their "honest work". No time to research, pick, and cook a proper meal so I have chips and soda again. No time to work out, to worship the sun in peace, to study so I watch television and jerk off in-between beers again. No time to even so much as consider another way of life so I hammer nails into useless thing for useless people in useless place again. You are being scammed, robbed.
Mike Ma (Harassment Architecture)
This is not the way these tales end," Calliope said firmly. "This is not the way that things end when they get to be tales," Amatus said, "but since ours is not yet told, we cannot count on it. There were a hundred dead princes on the thorns outside Sleeping Beauty's castle, and I'm sure many of them were splendid fellows.
John Barnes (One for the Morning Glory)
I followed Jared outside and eyes the slick, black beauty parked on the curb. “What is that?” Jared sighed. “It’s a Vulcan.” “Weird. I thought it was a motorcycle.” I smiled, but Jared didn’t find the humor in my words. I put up my hand and separated my fingers into a ‘V’. “Live long and…no?” I shook my head, seeing that Jared was in no mood for jokes.
Jamie McGuire (Providence (Providence, #1))
At such moments I don't think about all the misery, but about the beauty that still remains. This is where Mother and I differ greatly. Her advice in the face of melancholy is: 'Think about all the suffering in the world and be thankful you're not part of it.' My advice is: 'Go outside, to the country, enjoy the sun and all nature has to offer. Try to recapture the happiness within yourself and God; think of all the beauty in yourself and in everything around you and be happy.' I don't think Mother's advice can be right, because what are you supposed to do if you become part of the suffering? You'd be completely lost. On the contrary, beauty remains in the nature, sun, freedom and yourself. If you just look for it, you discover yourself and God, you will stand out.
Anne Frank
Once upon a time there was a king who had three beautiful daughters. No, no, wait. Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a wee house in the woods. Once upon a time there were three soldiers, tramping together down the road after the war. Once upon a time there were three little pigs. Once upon a time there were three brothers. No, this is it. This is the variation I want. Once upon a time there were three Beautiful children, two boys and a girl. When each baby was born, the parents rejoiced, the heavens rejoiced, even the fairies rejoiced. The fairies came to christening parties and gave the babies magical gifts. Bounce, effort, and snark. Contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. Sugar, curiosity, and rain. And yet, there was a witch. There's always a witch. This which was the same age as the beautiful children, and as she and they grew, she was jealous of the girl, and jealous of the boys, too. They were blessed with all these fairy gifts, gifts the witch had been denied at her own christening. The eldest boy was strong and fast, capable and handsome. Though it's true, he was exceptionally short. The next boy was studious and open hearted. Though it's true, he was an outsider. And the girl was witty, Generous, and ethical. Though it's true, she felt powerless. The witch, she was none of these things, for her parents had angered the fairies. No gifts were ever bestowed upon her. She was lonely. Her only strength was her dark and ugly magic. She confuse being spartan with being charitable, and gave away her possessions without truly doing good with them. She confuse being sick with being brave, and suffered agonies while imagining she merited praise for it. She confused wit with intelligence, and made people laugh rather than lightening their hearts are making them think. Hey magic was all she had, and she used it to destroy what she most admired. She visited each young person in turn in their tenth birthday, but did not harm them out right. The protection of some kind fairy - the lilac fairy, perhaps - prevented her from doing so. What she did instead was cursed them. "When you are sixteen," proclaimed the witch in a rage of jealousy, "you shall prick your finger on a spindle - no, you shall strike a match - yes, you will strike a match and did in its flame." The parents of the beautiful children were frightened of the curse, and tried, as people will do, to avoid it. They moved themselves and the children far away, to a castle on a windswept Island. A castle where there were no matches. There, surely, they would be safe. There, Surely, the witch would never find them. But find them she did. And when they were fifteen, these beautiful children, just before their sixteenth birthdays and when they're nervous parents not yet expecting it, the jealous which toxic, hateful self into their lives in the shape of a blonde meeting. The maiden befriended the beautiful children. She kissed him and took them on the boat rides and brought them fudge and told them stories. Then she gave them a box of matches. The children were entranced, for nearly sixteen they have never seen fire. Go on, strike, said the witch, smiling. Fire is beautiful. Nothing bad will happen. Go on, she said, the flames will cleanse your souls. Go on, she said, for you are independent thinkers. Go on, she said. What is this life we lead, if you did not take action? And they listened. They took the matches from her and they struck them. The witch watched their beauty burn, Their bounce, Their intelligence, Their wit, Their open hearts, Their charm, Their dreams for the future. She watched it all disappear in smoke.
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)
In fairy tales, monsters exist to be a manifestation of something that we need to understand, not only a problem we need to overcome, but also they need to represent, much like angels represent the beautiful, pure, eternal side of the human spirit, monsters need to represent a more tangible, more mortal side of being human: aging, decay, darkness and so forth. And I believe that monsters originally, when we were cavemen and you know, sitting around a fire, we needed to explain the birth of the sun and the death of the moon and the phases of the moon and rain and thunder. And we invented creatures that made sense of the world: a serpent that ate the sun, a creature that ate the moon, a man in the moon living there, things like that. And as we became more and more sophisticated and created sort of a social structure, the real enigmas started not to be outside. The rain and the thunder were logical now. But the real enigmas became social. All those impulses that we were repressing: cannibalism, murder, these things needed an explanation. The sex drive, the need to hunt, the need to kill, these things then became personified in monsters. Werewolves, vampires, ogres, this and that. I feel that monsters are here in our world to help us understand it. They are an essential part of a fable.
Guillermo del Toro
I used to listen to it all the time when I was little and thinking about grown-up things. I would go to my bedroom window and stare at my reflection in the glass and the trees behind it and just listen to the song for hours. I decided then that when I met someone I thought was as beautiful as the song, I should give it to that person. And I didn’t mean beautiful on the outside. I meant beautiful in all ways.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
WEAN YOURSELF Little by little, wean yourself. This is the gist of what I have to say. From an embryo, whose nourishment comes in the blood, move to an infant drinking milk, to a child on solid food, to a searcher after wisdom, to a hunter of more invisible game. Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo. You might say, "The world outside is vast and intricate. There are wheatfields and mountain passes, and orchards in bloom. At night there are millions of galaxies, and in sunlight the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding." You ask the embryo why he, or she, stays cooped up in the dark with eyes closed. Listen to the answer. There is no "other world." I only know what I've experienced. You must be hallucinating.
Rumi (The Essential Rumi)
Now, I learned a long time ago how to be quiet on the outside while I'm freaking on the inside. How to turn away like I don't see all the things that need to be seen, just to keep peace. How to lie low and act like I want nothing, expect nothing, and hope for nothing so I don't become more trouble than I'm worth. I'm five months short of eighteen and I know how to be cursed and ignored and left behind, how to swallow a thousand tears and ignore a thousand delibarate cruelties, but it's two in the morning on New Year's Eve and I'm mad and scared and bone tired and really, really sick of acting like I'm grateful to be staying on a hairy, sagging, dog-stained couch in a junky, mildewed trailer with a fat, dangerous, volatile drunk who sweats stale beer and wallows in his own wastewater, and who doesn't think there's one thing wrong with taking his crap life out on his dog, who comes bellying back for forgiveness every single time, no matter how rotten the treatment-
Laura Wiess (Ordinary Beauty)
When we were little, Scarlett and I were utterly convinced that we'd originally been one person in our mother's belly. We believed that somehow, half of us wanted to be born and half wanted to stay. So our heart had to be broken in two so that Scarlett could be born first, and then I finally braved the outside world a few years later. It made sense, in our little pigtailed heads--it explained why, when we ran through grass or danced or spun in circles long enough, we would lose track of who was who and it started to feel as if there were some organic, elegant link between us, our single heart holding the same tempo and pumping the same blood. That was before the attack, though. Now our hearts link only when we're hunting, when Scarlett looks at me with a sort of beautiful excitement that's more powerful than her scars and then tears after a Fenris as though her life depends on its death. I follow, always, because it's the only time when our hearts beat in perfect harmony, the only time when I'm certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are one person broken in two.
Jackson Pearce (Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1))
Their [girls] sexual energy, their evaluation of adolescent boys and other girls goes thwarted, deflected back upon the girls, unspoken, and their searching hungry gazed returned to their own bodies. The questions, Whom do I desire? Why? What will I do about it? are turned around: Would I desire myself? Why?...Why not? What can I do about it? The books and films they see survey from the young boy's point of view his first touch of a girl's thighs, his first glimpse of her breasts. The girls sit listening, absorbing, their familiar breasts estranged as if they were not part of their bodies, their thighs crossed self-consciously, learning how to leave their bodies and watch them from the outside. Since their bodies are seen from the point of view of strangeness and desire, it is no wonder that what should be familiar, felt to be whole, become estranged and divided into parts. What little girls learn is not the desire for the other, but the desire to be desired. Girls learn to watch their sex along with the boys; that takes up the space that should be devoted to finding out about what they are wanting, and reading and writing about it, seeking it and getting it. Sex is held hostage by beauty and its ransom terms are engraved in girls' minds early and deeply with instruments more beautiful that those which advertisers or pornographers know how to use: literature, poetry, painting, and film. This outside-in perspective on their own sexuality leads to the confusion that is at the heart of the myth. Women come to confuse sexual looking with being looked at sexually ("Clairol...it's the look you want"); many confuse sexually feeling with being sexually felt ("Gillete razors...the way a woman wants to feel"); many confuse desiring with being desirable. "My first sexual memory," a woman tells me, "was when I first shaved my legs, and when I ran my hand down the smooth skin I felt how it would feel to someone else's hand." Women say that when they lost weight they "feel sexier" but the nerve endings in the clitoris and nipples don't multiply with weight loss. Women tell me they're jealous of the men who get so much pleasure out of the female body that they imagine being inside the male body that is inside their own so that they can vicariously experience desire. Could it be then that women's famous slowness of arousal to men's, complex fantasy life, the lack of pleasure many experience in intercourse, is related to this cultural negation of sexual imagery that affirms the female point of view, the culture prohibition against seeing men's bodies as instruments of pleasure? Could it be related to the taboo against representing intercourse as an opportunity for a straight woman actively to pursue, grasp, savor, and consume the male body for her satisfaction, as much as she is pursued, grasped, savored, and consumed for his?
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
He smiled his shy smile at her as he went into the yard. Anne took the memory of it with her when she went to her room that night and sat for a long while at her open window, thinking of the past and dreaming of the future. Outside the Snow Queen was mistily white in the moonshine; the frogs were singing in the marsh beyond Orchard Slope. Anne always remembered the silvery, peaceful beauty and fragrant calm of that night. It was the last night before sorrow touched her life; and no life is ever quite the same again when once that cold, sanctifying touch has been laid upon it.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1))
Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull of the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted. Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is. You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural. You are more than dust and bones. You are spirit and power and image of God. And you have been given Today.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
I couldn't help but suspect something he'd seen or encountered had changed his view of what had happened between them. It had somehow set him free. And he'd let it fly, that gorgeous blackbird of a love he'd been keeping in a cage. What was it like for him, every day standing outside in the wind and rain to stare at the ocean, yearning for some sign of her, never giving up hope? At The Peak perhaps she'd finally come into view, a ship coming neither toward him nor away, only riding that perfect line between heaven and earth, long enough for him to know that she had loved him, that what they had was real, before slipping out of sight, probably forever.
Marisha Pessl (Night Film)
I am closest of all to happiness—although I won’t attempt to define just what it is—when I turn away from the window and am aware, with the edge of my consciousness, that a moment ago I was not here, there was simply the world outside the window, and something beautiful and incomprehensible, something which there is absolutely no need to ‘comprehend,’ existed for a few seconds instead of the usual swarm of thoughts, of which one, like a locomotive, pulls all the others after it, absorbs them all and calls itself ‘I’.
Victor Pelevin (The Yellow Arrow)
It was a warship, after all. It was built, designed to glory in destruction, when it was considered appropriate. It found, as it was rightly and properly supposed to, an awful beauty in both the weaponry of war and the violence and devastation which that weaponry was capable of inflicting, and yet it knew that attractiveness stemmed from a kind of insecurity, a sort of childishness. It could see that—by some criteria—a warship, just by the perfectly articulated purity of its purpose, was the most beautiful single artifact the Culture was capable of producing, and at the same time understand the paucity of moral vision such a judgment implied. To fully appreciate the beauty of the weapon was to admit to a kind of shortsightedness close to blindness, to confess to a sort of stupidity. The weapon was not itself; nothing was solely itself. The weapon, like anything else, could only finally be judged by the effect it had on others, by the consequences it produced in some outside context, by its place in the rest of the universe. By this measure the love, or just the appreciation, of weapons was a kind of tragedy.
Iain M. Banks (Excession (Culture, #5))
At present we are on the outside… the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the pleasures we see. But all the pages of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so. Someday, God willing, we shall get “in”… We will put on glory… that greater glory of which Nature is only the first sketch. We do not want to merely “see” beauty -- though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words–to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.
C.S. Lewis
we all make vows, Jimmy. And there is something very beautiful and touching and noble about wanting good impulses to be permanent and true forever," she said. "Most of us stand up and vow to love, honor and cherish someone. And we truly mean it, at the time. But two or twelve or twenty years down the road, the lawyers are negotiating the property settlement." "You and George didn't go back on your promises." She laughed. "Lemme tell ya something, sweetface. I have been married at least four times, to four different men." She watched him chew that over for a moment before continuing, "They've all been named George Edwards but, believe me, the man who is waiting for me down the hall is a whole lot different animal from the boy I married, back before there was dirt. Oh, there are continuities. He has always been fun and he has never been able to budget his time properly and - well, the rest is none of your business." "But people change," he said quietly. "Precisely. People change. Cultures change. Empires rise and fall. Shit. Geology changes! Every ten years or so, George and I have faced the fact that we have changed and we've had to decide if it makes sense to create a new marriage between these two new people." She flopped back against her chair. "Which is why vows are such a tricky business. Because nothing stays the same forever. Okay. Okay! I'm figuring something out now." She sat up straight, eyes focused somewhere outside the room, and Jimmy realized that even Anne didn't have all the answers and that was either the most comforting thing he'd learned in a long time or the most discouraging. "Maybe because so few of us would be able to give up something so fundamental for something so abstract, we protect ourselves from the nobility of a priest's vows by jeering at him when he can't live up to them, always and forever." She shivered and slumped suddenly, "But, Jimmy! What unnatural words. Always and forever! Those aren't human words, Jim. Not even stones are always and forever.
Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1))
The teacher asks a question. You know the answer, you suspect you are the only one in the classroom who knows the answer, because the person in question is yourself, and on that you are the greatest living authority, but you don’t raise your hand. You raise the top of your desk and take out an apple. You look out the window. You don’t raise your hand and there is some essential beauty in your fingers, which aren’t even drumming, but lie flat and peaceful. The teacher repeats the question. Outside the window, on an overhanging branch, a robin is ruffling its feathers and spring is in the air.
Mary Ruefle
I wonder what we Christians are known for in the world outside our churches. Are we known as critics, consumers, copiers, condemners of culture? I’m afraid so. Why aren’t we known as cultivators—people who tend and nourish what is best in human culture, who do the hard and painstaking work to preserve the best of what people before us have done? Why aren’t we known as creators—people who dare to think and do something that has never been thought or done before, something that makes the world more welcoming and thrilling and beautiful?
Andy Crouch (Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling)
Going back to the basis, the phrase ‘Fight Like A Girl’, and we’ve all heard that growing up. And by that they mean that you’re some kind of weakling and have no skills as a male. It’s said to little boys when they can’t fight yet, and it ridicules us. By the time we were born, the most of us hear things which program you to accept and know that you are less than your male counter part. It comes apparent in the way you’re paid for your job, it comes apparent when yóu are not allowed to go outside after a certain hour because you stand a good chance of getting raped while no one says that to your boyfriend. While women, anywhere, live in some kind of fear, there is no equality and that is mathematically impossible. We cannot see that change or solved in our lifetimes, but we have to do everything that we can. We should remind ourselves that we are fifty-one percent. Everyone should know that fighting like a girl is a positive thing and that there is not inherently anything wrong with us by the fact that we are born like ladies. That is a beautiful thing that we should never be put down because of. Being compared to a woman should only make a man feel stronger. It should be a compliment. In this world we’re creating it actually is. I remember this one guy who came to our show in Texas or something and he had painted his shirt “real men fight like a girl”, and I cried, because he was going away in the army next day. He bought my book because he wanted something he could read over there. I just hoped that this men, fully straight and fully male can maintain and retain all of those things that make him understand us, and what makes him so beautiful. A lot of military training is step one: you take all those guys and put them in front of bunch of hardcore videogames where you kill a bunch of people and become desensitised. But that is NOT power! I will not do that. I will not become less of a human being and I refuse to give up my femininity because that’s bullshit. I’m not going to have to shave my head and become all buff and all that to be able to say “now I’m powerful” because that’s bullshit. All of this, all of us, we are power. You don’t have to change anything to be strong.
Emilie Autumn
Don't give me no 'but you're beautiful on the inside' bullshit." "No, you are beautiful on the outside," I say. "Don't give me that bullshit either. I'm beautiful when I say I'm beautiful. Let me own that shit," she says. Her eyes have not left the computer screen this whole time, but I know she's paying attention to everything I say. "Okay, then you are ugly." "Thanks for being honest." "Seriously. That's what we say in Haiti. 'Nou led, men nou la.' We are ugly, but we are here." "We are ugly, but we are here," she says, almost whispering. "I hear that.
Ibi Zoboi (American Street)
To think of the Midwest as a whole as anything other than beautiful is to ignore the extraordinary power of the land. The lushness of the grass and trees in August, the roll of the hills (far less of the Midwest is flat than outsiders seem to imagine), the rich smell of soil, the evening sunlight over a field of wheat, or the crickets chirping at dusk on a residential street: All of it, it has always made me feel at peace. There is room to breathe, there is a realness of place. The seasons are extreme, but they pass and return, pass and return, and the world seems far steadier than it does from the vantage point of a coastal city. Certainly picturesque towns can be found in New England or California or the Pacific Northwest, but I can't shake the sense that they're too picturesque. On the East Coast, especially, these places seem to me aggressively quaint, unbecomingly smug, and even xenophobic, downright paranoid in their wariness of those who might somehow infringe upon the local charm. I suspect this wariness is tied to the high cost of real estate, the fear that there might not be enough space or money and what there is of both must be clung to and defended. The West Coast, I think, has a similar self-regard...and a beauty that I can't help seeing as show-offy. But the Midwest: It is quietly lovely, not preening with the need to have its attributes remarked on. It is the place I am calmest and most myself.
Curtis Sittenfeld (American Wife)
A plane flies overhead and inside it is a writer who has spent most of his life as a law clerk, even though he’s always known deep down that he’s a writer. For the first time, he’s worked out what he wants to write, what the truth really is. He begs a napkin and a pen off the air hostess and he writes down the most beautiful sentence ever written, as the engine catches fire outside and the plane starts its plummet to the ground. It doesn’t matter to him. It’s the only sentence he’s ever written and it is the last and no part of him cares. The sentence falls through the air with singed, black edges and comes to rest in a tree, in a park, miles away. One day, around ten years from now, an old widow of an astronaut will find it when a strong breeze finally blows it from its hiding place. She will read it and she will weep.
pleasefindthis (Intentional Dissonance)
The clear light of the library was slanting in through the glass-paneled doorway to my right, falling on the table between my tutor and me and on dust motes hung in the air. The tiny flecks drew my eye, and I watched as they dipped and swirled in invisible currents. "They are beautiful in the light, are they not?" my tutor asked. They were, catching the sun and shining like tiny stars themselves. "You know, there are just as many outside the sun's rays that are invisible," she said. Then, in the way of dreams, she lifted her hand into the air and moved a single dust mote into the light. "And you?" she asked. She lifted her hand again, just beyond the edge of the light, and I knew she held another mote and could move it as easily into the way of the sun, and I said, "No, thank you. I am content where I am.
Megan Whalen Turner (A Conspiracy of Kings (The Queen's Thief, #4))
It occurred to me. . .that aberrance is a wholly human construct. There were no such things as monsters outside the human mind. We are vain and arrogant, evolution's highest achievement and most dismal failure, prisoners of our self-awareness and the illusion that we stand in the center, that there is us and then there is everything else but us. But we do not stand apart from or above or in the middle of anything. There is nothing apart, nothing above, and the middle is everywhere - and nowhere. We are no more beautiful and essential or magnificent than an earthworm. In fact - and dare we go there, you and I? - you could say the worm is more beautiful, because it is innocent and we are not. The worm has no motive but to survive long enough to make baby worms. There is no betrayal, no cruelty, no envy, no lust, and no hatred in the worm's heart, and so who are the monsters and which species shall we call aberrant?
Rick Yancey (The Final Descent (The Monstrumologist, #4))
Take me as I am Take me, baby, in stride Only you can save me tonight There's nowhere to run Nowhere to hide You let me in, don't leave me out Or leave me dry Even when I'm alone I'm not lonely I hear the sweetest melodies (sweetest melodies) On the fire escapes of the city Sounds like I am free It's got me singing God bless America, and all the beautiful women in it God bless America, and all the beautiful women in it May you stand proud and strong Like Lady Liberty shining all night long God bless America Take me as I am Don't see me for what I'm not Only you can hear me tonight Keep your light on, babe I might be standing outside You let me in, don't leave me out Or leave me dry Even walking alone, I'm not worried I feel your arms all around me (arms around me) In the air on the streets of the city Feels like I am free It's got me thinking God bless America, and all the beautiful women in it God bless America, and all the beautiful women in it May you stand proud and strong Like Lady Liberty shining all night long God bless America (sweetest melodies) Even with you I've got nothing to lose So you'd better believe that nobody can make me feel lonely Because I hear (sweetest melodies) Even when you talk that talk with those lips I'm most certain in hell I'll never feel, never feel lonely I have no fear It's got me thinking (Yeah) God bless America, and all the beautiful women in it God bless America, and all the beautiful people in it May they stand proud and strong Like Lady Liberty shining all night long God bless America, and all the beautiful people in it And all the beautiful people in it
Lana Del Rey
The earth is our origin and destination. The ancient rhythms of the earth have insinuated themselves into the rhythms of the human heart. The earth is not outside us; it is within: the clay from where the tree of the body grows. When we emerge from our offices, rooms and houses, we enter our natural element. We are children of the earth: people to whom the outdoors is home. Nothing can separate us from the vigour and vibrancy of this inheritance. In contrast to our frenetic, saturated lives, the earth offers a calming stillness. Movement and growth in nature takes time. The patience of nature enjoys the ease of trust and hope. There is something in our clay nature that needs to continually experience this ancient, outer ease of the world. It helps us remember who we are and why we are here.
John O'Donohue (Beauty: The Invisible Embrace)
The faint aroma of gum and calico that hangs about a library is as the fragrance of incense to me. I think the most beautiful sight is the gilt-edged backs of a row of books on a shelf. The alley between two well-stocked shelves in a hall fills me with the same delight as passing through a silent avenue of trees. The colour of a binding-cloth and its smooth texture gives me the same pleasure as touching a flower on its stalk. A good library hall has an atmosphere which elates. I have seen one or two University Libraries that have the same atmosphere as a chapel, with large windows, great trees outside, and glass doors sliding on noiseless hinges.
R.K. Narayan
• At 1 A.M. I'd pull on my coat, my boots. Walk down the stairway, out the door, down the long driveway to the road. Sometimes, I'd go to the stoned boy's house. We'd sit and watch TV. We'd have sex, sometimes. I remember only that the bedroom had two windows through which blue light spilled, and it smelled sticky sweet. His guitar leaned against the wall. Sometimes, I'd just walk. Down roads and up roads, through hills, through the neighborhoods, cold. Counting the small squares of lamplight in the houses where someone was still awake. I wondered who they were, and what kept them up. I went down to the little strip mall, the all-night 7-Elevena single glow beside the dark bluegrass bar, the dark deli, the dark beauty salon, Acrylic's Only $19. I bought a thirty-two-ounce cup of coffee, black. I sat outside on the bench, smoking, holding the cup in both hands.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
In Mexico City they somehow wandered into an exhibition of paintings by the beautiful Spanish exile Remedios Varo: in the central painting of a triptych, titled “Bordando el Manto Terrestre,” were a number of frail girls with heart-shaped faces, huge eyes, spun-gold hair, prisoners in the top room of a circular tower, embroidering a kind of tapestry which spilled out the slit windows and into a void, seeking hopelessly to fill the void: for all the other buildings and creatures, all the waves, ships and forests of the earth were contained in the tapestry, and the tapestry was the world. Oedipa, perverse, had stood in front of the painting and cried. No one had noticed; she wore dark green bubble shades. For a moment she’d wondered if the seal around her sockets were tight enough to allow the tears simply to go on and fill up the entire lens space and never dry. She could carry the sadness of the moment with her that way forever, see the world refracted through those tears, those specific tears, as if indices as yet unfound varied in important ways from cry to cry. She had looked down at her feet and known, then, because of a painting, that what she stood on had only been woven together a couple thousand miles away in her own tower, was only by accident known as Mexico, and so Pierce had take her away from nothing, there’d been no escape. What did she so desire escape from? Such a captive maiden, having plenty of time to think, soon realizes that her tower, its height and architecture, are like her ego only incidental: that what really keeps her where she is is magic, anonymous and malignant, visited on her from outside and for no reason at all. Having no apparatus except gut fear and female cunning to examine this formless magic, to understand how it works, how to measure its field strength, count its lines of force, she may fall back on superstition, or take up a useful hobby like embroidery, or go mad, or marry a disk jockey. If the tower is everywhere and the knight of deliverance no proof against its magic, what else?
Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49)
A huge cloud of dust is not a beautiful thing to look at. Very few painters have done portraits of huge clouds of dust or included them in their landscapes or still lifes. Film directors rarely choose huge clouds of dust to play the lead roles in romantic comedies, and as far as my research has shown, a huge cloud of dust has never placed higher than twenty-fifth in a beauty pageant. Nevertheless, as the Baudelaire orphans stumbled around the cell, dropped each half of the battering ram and listening to the sound of crows flying in circles outside, they stared at the huge cloud of dust as if it were a thing of great beauty.
Lemony Snicket (The Vile Village (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #7))
You see, you have feelings. You can appreciate the inner me. Like right now I feel a closeness between us that Ive never felt with anyone before … anyone. Yeah, I know what you mean. Thats how I feel. I don’t know if I can put it into words, but— Thats just it, it doesnt need words. Thats the whole point. Like whats the use of all those words when the feelings arent behind them. Theyre just words. Like I can look at a painting and tell it, youre beautiful. What does it mean to the painting? But Im not a painting. Im not two dimensional. Im a person. Even a Botticelli doesnt breathe and have feelings. Its beautiful, but its still a painting. No matter how beautiful the outside may be, the inside still has feelings and needs that just words dont fulfill.
Hubert Selby Jr. (Requiem for a Dream)
There are quiet places also in the mind,” he said, meditatively. “But we build bandstand and factories on them. Deliberately—to put a stop to the quietness. We don’t like the quietness. All the thoughts, all the preoccupation in my head—round and round continually.” He made a circular motion with his hands. “And the jazz bands, the music hall songs, the boys shouting the news. What’s it all for? To put an end to the quiet, to break it up and disperse it, to pretend at any cost it isn’t there. Ah, but it is, it is there, in spite of everything, at the back of everything. Lying awake at night, sometimes—not restlessly, but serenely, waiting for sleep—the quiet re-establishes itself, piece by piece; all the broken bits, all the fragments of it we’ve been so busily dispersing all day long. It re-establishes itself, an inward quiet, like this outward quiet of grass and trees. It fills one, it grows –a crystal quiet, a growing expanding crystal. It grows, it becomes more perfect; it is beautiful and terrifying, yes, terrifying, as well as beautiful. For one’s alone in the crystal and there’s no support from outside, there’s nothing external and important, nothing external and trivial to pull oneself up by or to stand up, superiorly, contemptuously, so that one can look down. There’s nothing to laugh at or feel enthusiastic about. But the quiet grows and grows. Beautifully and unbearably. And at last you are conscious of something approaching; it is almost a faint sound of footsteps. Something inexpressibly lovely and wonderful advances through the crystal, nearer, nearer. And oh, inexpressibly terrifying. For if it were to touch you, if it were to seize and engulf you, you’d die; all the regular habitual, daily part of you would die. There would be and end of bandstands and whizzing factories, and one would have to begin living arduously in the quiet, arduously n some strange unheard-of manner. Nearer, nearer come the steps; but one can’t face the advancing thing. One daren’t. It’s too terrifying; it’s too painful to die. Quickly, before it is too late, start the factory wheels, bang the drum, blow up the saxophone. Think of the women you’d like to sleep with, the schemes for making money, the gossip about your friends, the last outrage of the politicians. Anything for a diversion. Break the silence, smash the crystal to pieces. There, it lies in bits; it is easily broken, hard to build up and easy to break. And the steps? Ah, those have taken themselves off, double quick. Double quick, they were gone at the flawing of the crystal. And by this time the lovely and terrifying thing is three infinities away, at least. And you lie tranquilly on your bed, thinking of what you’d do if you had ten thousand pounds and of all the fornications you’ll never commit.
Aldous Huxley
ALTERNATE UNIVERSE IN WHICH I AM UNFAZED BY THE MEN WHO DO NOT LOVE ME when the businessman shoulder checks me in the airport, i do not apologize. instead, i write him an elegy on the back of a receipt and tuck it in his hand as i pass through the first class cabin. like a bee, he will die after stinging me. i am twenty-four and have never cried. once, a boy told me he doesn’t “believe in labels” so i embroidered the word chauvinist on the back of his favorite coat. a boy said he liked my hair the other way so i shaved my head instead of my pussy. while the boy isn’t calling back, i learn carpentry, build a desk, write a book at the desk. i taught myself to cum from counting ceiling tiles. the boy says he prefers blondes and i steam clean his clothes with bleach. the boy says i am not marriage material and i put gravel in his pepper grinder. the boy says period sex is disgusting and i slaughter a goat in his living room. the boy does not ask if he can choke me, so i pretend to die while he’s doing it. my mother says this is not the meaning of unfazed. when the boy says i curse too much to be pretty and i tattoo “cunt” on my inner lip, my mother calls this “being very fazed.” but left over from the other universe are hours and hours of waiting for him to kiss me and here, they are just hours. here, they are a bike ride across long island in june. here, they are a novel read in one sitting. here, they are arguments about god or a full night’s sleep. here, i hand an hour to the woman crying outside of the bar. i leave one on my best friend’s front porch, send my mother two in the mail. i do not slice his tires. i do not burn the photos. i do not write the letter. i do not beg. i do not ask for forgiveness. i do not hold my breath while he finishes. the man tells me he does not love me, and he does not love me. the man tells me who he is, and i listen. i have so much beautiful time.
Olivia Gatwood (New American Best Friend)
Houses, gardens, and people were transfigured into musical sounds, all that was solid seemed to be transfigured into soul and into gentleness. Sweet veils of silver and soul-haze swam through all things and lay over all things. The soul of the world had opened, and all grief, all human disappointment, all evil, all pain seemed to vanish, from now on never to appear again. Earlier walks came before my eyes; but the wonderful image of the humble present became a feeling which overpowered all others. The future paled, and the past dissolved. I glowed and flowered myself in the glowing, flowering present. From near and far, great things and small things emerged bright silver with marvelous gestures, joys, and enrichments, and in the midst of this beautiful place I dreamed of nothing but this place itself. All other fantasies sank and vanished in meaninglessness. I had the whole rich earth immediately before me, and I still looked only at what was most small and most humble. With gestures of love the heavens rose and fell. I had become an inward being, and walked as in an inward world; everything outside me became a dream; what I had understood till now became unintelligible. I fell away from the surface, down into the fabulous depths, which I recognized then to be all that was good. What we understand and love understands and loves us also. I was no longer myself, was another, and yet it was on this account that I became properly myself. In the sweet light of love I realized, or believe I realized, that perhaps the inward self is the only self which really exists.
Robert Walser (Selected Stories)
She was one of those exceptional children who do still spend time outside, in solitude. In her case nature represented beauty - and refuge. "It's so peaceful out there and the air smells so good. I mean, it's polluted, but not as much as the city air. For me, it's completely different there," she said. "It's like you're free when you go out there. It's your own time. Sometimes I go there when I'm mad - and then, just with the peacefulness, I'm better. I can come back home happy, and my mom doesn't even know why."      The she described her special part of the woods.      "I had a place. There was a big waterfall and a creek on one side of it. I'd dug a big hole there, and sometimes I'd take a tent back there, or a blanket, and just lie down in the hole, and look up at the trees and sky. Sometimes I'd fall asleep back there. I just felt free; it was like my place, and I could do what I wanted, with nobody to stop me. I used to go down there almost every day."      The young poet's face flushed. Her voice thickened.      "And then they just cut the woods down. It was like they cut down part of me.
Richard Louv (Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder)
My love, you are closer to me than myself... You shine through my eyes, Your light is brighter than the Moon... Step into the garden so all the flowers... Even the tall poplar can kneel before your beauty... Let your voice silence the lily famous for its hundred tongues, When you want to be kind... You are softer than the soul... But when you withdraw... You can be so cold and harsh. Dear one, you can be wild and rebellious... But when you meet him face to face... His charm will make you docile like the earth, Throw away your shield and bare your chest... There is no stronger protection than him. That's why when the Lover withdraws from the world... He covers all the cracks in the wall... So the outside light cannot come though, He knows that only the inner light illuminates his world!
Rumi
The love that I believe in is something that goes beyond the physical aspects of this world. The love that I believe is one that extends its energy and power through the beautiful souls that I encounter along the way, a love that can be seen in the eyes of a little dog or in the confusion of a cute lost cat who wants to be worshiped like a Goddess. This kind of love goes through a divine crafting of a person's inner self, through personal experience and thousands of years of tears and strength, that can only be seen in the familiar eyes of old souls, the eyes that recognize each other even after long times of separation, the eyes that find themselves familiar with places they have probably been to before, but that nevertheless bring great memories with every visit. This kind of love sees hope in the eyes of new-born children that know way much more than they are capable of putting into words and that bring with their innocence a smile on each person's face who'd wish they could start again. The love that I see when I look at you is a love which has roots deep inside each of us, but that needs care and light to grow and unfold its branches so that they can reach outside of ourselves and even further beyond the skies.
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
Walking causes a repetitive, spontaneous poetry to rise naturally to the lips, words as simple as the sound of footsteps on the road. There also seems to be an echo of walking in the practice of two choruses singing a psalm in alternate verses, each on a single note, a practice that makes it possible to chant and listen by turns. Its main effect is one of repetition and alternation that St Ambrose compared to the sound of the sea: when a gentle surf is breaking quietly on the shore the regularity of the sound doesn’t break the silence, but structures it and renders it audible. Psalmody in the same way, in the to-and-fro of alternating responses, produces (Ambrose said) a happy tranquillity in the soul. The echoing chants, the ebb and flow of waves recall the alternating movement of walking legs: not to shatter but to make the world’s presence palpable and keep time with it. And just as Claudel said that sound renders silence accessible and useful, it ought to be said that walking renders presence accessible and useful.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
Magnus stopped dead. The room was illuminated only by a reading lamp; all the other light came from outside the windows. Alec was painted with streetlights and moonlight, shadows curling around his biceps and the slender indentations of his collarbones, his torso all smooth, sleek, bare skin until the dark line of his jeans. There were runes on the flat planes of his stomach and the silvery scars of old Marks snaked around his ribs, with one on the ridge of his hip. His head was bowed, his hair black as ink, his luminously pale skin white as paper. He looked like a piece of art, chiaroscuro, beautifully and wonderfully made. Magnus had heard the story of how the Nephilim were created many times. They must have forgotten to leave out the bit that said: And the Angel descended from on high and gave his chosen ones fantastic abs.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
I don't know why, but I didn't want her to call me Dick anymore. It was feeling kind of fake. 'Maybe we should use our real names outside of class. Yours is Rosetta, right?' 'Yes. Rosetta Vaughn.' 'All right,' I said. 'Well, mine is - ' 'Seth McCoy. I know.' She kind of wrapped her arms around herself like she was getting cold. 'I've known since February fourteenth, actually.' She's memorized the date she found out my name? What the hell? She laughed. 'Don't freak out! I only remember because it was Valentine's Day.' As if that explained it. 'And why do you remember learning my name on Valentine's Day?' 'Kendall Eckman was running after you in the hall screaming, "Seth McCoy, if you don't buy a rose from me, I'll kill you!" She was doing that Valentine's drama club fundraiser. Remember?' 'Actually, yes.' What I remembered was getting stoned with Isaac before school, and Kendall harshing my mellow the minute we walked in the door. Rosetta was looking like there was more to this story. 'And after she kept asking, you bought a red one?' 'Right. And I passed it off to -' I'd been about to say 'some chick,' but with how intently she was watching me, I was getting a different idea. '-you, right?' She extended her arm to pass me an imaginary rose in the same way I must have handed her a real one. Then she imitated the corny voice I must have used. 'Here, beautiful. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day.' Oh, Christ. The stupid shit I said sometimes.
Mindi Scott (Freefall)
Yesterday it was sun outside. The sky was blue and people were lying under blooming cherry trees in the park. It was Friday, so records were released, that people have been working on for years. Friends around me find success and level up, do fancy photo shoots and get featured on big, white, movie screens. There were parties and lovers, hand in hand, laughing perfectly loud, but I walked numbly through the park, round and round, 40 times for 4 hours just wanting to make it through the day. There's a weight that inhabits my chest some times. Like a lock in my throat, making it hard to breathe. A little less air got through and the sky was so blue I couldn’t look at it because it made me sad, swelling tears in my eyes and they dripped quietly on the floor as I got on with my day. I tried to keep my focus, ticked off the to-do list, did my chores. Packed orders, wrote emails, paid bills and rewrote stories, but the panic kept growing, exploding in my chest. Tears falling on the desk tick tick tick me not making a sound and some days I just don't know what to do. Where to go or who to see and I try to be gentle, soft and kind, but anxiety eats you up and I just want to be fine. This is not beautiful. This is not useful. You can not do anything with it and it tries to control you, throw you off your balance and lovely ways but you can not let it. I cleaned up. Took myself for a walk. Tried to keep my eyes on the sky. Stayed away from the alcohol, stayed away from the destructive tools we learn to use. the smoking and the starving, the running, the madness, thinking it will help but it only feeds the fire and I don't want to hurt myself anymore. I made it through and today I woke up, lighter and proud because I'm still here. There are flowers growing outside my window. The coffee is warm, the air is pure. In a few hours I'll be on a train on my way to sing for people who invited me to come, to sing, for them. My own songs, that I created. Me—little me. From nowhere at all. And I have people around that I like and can laugh with, and it's spring again. It will always be spring again. And there will always be a new day.
Charlotte Eriksson
Instructions for a Broken Heart I will find a bare patch of earth, somewhere where the ruins have fallen away, somewhere where I can fit both hands, and I will dig a hole. And into that hole, I will scream you, I will dump all the shadow places of my heart—the times you didn’t call when you said you’d call, the way you only half listened to my poems, your eyes on people coming through the swinging door of the café—not on me—your ears, not really turned toward me. For all those times I started to tell you about the fight with my dad or when my grandma died, and you said something about your car, something about the math test you flunked, as an answer. I will scream into that hole the silence of dark nights after you’d kissed me, how when I asked if something was wrong—and something was obviously so very wrong—how you said “nothing,” how you didn’t tell me until I had to see it in the dim light of a costume barn—so much wrong. I will scream all of it. Then I will fill it in with dark earth, leave it here in Italy, so there will be an ocean between the hole and me. Because then I can bring home a heart full of the light patches. A heart that sees the sunset you saw that night outside of Taco Bell, the way you pointed out that it made the trees seem on fire, a heart that holds the time your little brother fell on his bike at the fairgrounds and you had pockets full of bright colored Band-Aids and you kissed the bare skin of his knees. I will take that home with me. In my heart. I will take home your final Hamlet monologue on the dark stage when you cried closing night and it wasn’t really acting, you cried because you felt the words in you and on that bare stage you felt the way I feel every day of my life, every second, the way the words, the light and dark, the spotlight in your face, made you Hamlet for that brief hiccup of a moment, made you a poet, an artist at your core. I get to take Italy home with me, the Italy that showed me you and the Italy that showed me—me—the Italy that wrote me my very own instructions for a broken heart. And I get to leave the other heart in a hole. We are over. I know this. But we are not blank. We were a beautiful building made of stone, crumbled now and covered in vines. But not blank. Not forgotten. We are a history. We are beauty out of ruins.
Kim Culbertson (Instructions for a Broken Heart)
Certainly those determining acts of her life were not ideally beautiful. They were the mixed result of young and noble impulse struggling amidst the conditions of an imperfect social state, in which great feelings will often take the aspect of error, and great faith the aspect of illusion. For there is no creature whose inward being is so strong that it is not greatly determined by what lies outside it. A new Theresa will hardly have the opportunity of reforming a conventual life, any more than a new Antigone will spend her heroic piety in daring all for the sake of a brother's burial: the medium in which their ardent deeds took shape is forever gone. But we insignificant people with our daily words and acts are preparing the lives of many Dorotheas, some of which may present a far sadder sacrifice than that of the Dorothea whose story we know. Her finely touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
The room behind me was dark. "Thief," intoned a lovely voice in the blackness. "You do know," Ianthe tittered from outside the cottage, her steps slowing into a walk, "that we'll have to kill whoever is inside there with you. Selfish of you, Feyre." I panted, holding the door open, making sure they couldn't see me on the other side. "You have seen my twin," the Weaver hissed softly- with a hint of wonder. "I smell him on you." Outside, Ianthe and the guard grew closer. Closer and closer. Somewhere deep in the room, I felt her move. Felt her stand. And take a step toward me. "What are you," the Weaver breathed. "Feyre, you can be quite tedious," Ianthe said. Right outside. I could barely make out her pale robes through the crack between the door and the threshold. "Do you think you can ambush us in there? I saw your shield. You're drained. And I do not think your glowing trick will help." The Weaver's dress rustled as she crept closer in the gloom. "Who did you bring, little wolf? Who did you bring to me?" Ianthe and her two guards stepped over the threshold. Then another step. Past the open door. They didn't see me in the shadows behind it. "Dinner," I said to the Weaver, whirling around the door- to it's outside face. And let go of the handle. Just as the door slammed shut hard enough to rattle the cottage, I saw the ball of faelight that Ianthe lifted to illuminate the room. Saw the horrible face of the Weaver, that mouth of stumped teeth opening wide with delight and unholy hunger. A death-god of old- starved for life. With a beautiful priestess before her. I was already hurtling for the trees when the guards and Ianthe began screaming.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
What is love? Is it a lightning bolt that instantaneously unites two souls in utter infatuation and admiration through the meeting of a simple innocent stare? Or is it a lustful seed that is sown in a dark dingy bar one sweaty summer's night only to be nurtured with romantic rendezvous as it matures into a beautiful flower? Is it a river springing forth, creating lifelong bonds through experiences, heartaches, and missed opportunities? Or is it a thunderstorm that slowly rolls in, climaxing with an awesome display of unbridled passion, only to succumb to its inevitable fade into the distance? I define love as education.... It teaches us to learn from our opportunities, and made the stupidest of decisions for the rightest of reasons. It gives us a hint of what "it" should be and feel like, but then encourages us to think outside the box and develop our own understanding of what "it" could be. Those that choose to embrace and learn from love's educational peaks and valleys are the ones that will eventually find true love, that one in a million. Those that don't are destined to be consumed with the inevitable ring around the rosy of fake I love you's and failed relationships. I have been lucky enough to have some of the most amazing teachers throughout my romantic evolution and it is to them that I dedicate this book. The lessons in life, passion and love they taught me have helped shape who I am today and who I will be tomorrow. To the love that stains my heart, but defines my soul....I thank you.....
Ivan Rusilko (Appetizers (The Winemaker's Dinner, #1))
Centuries of navel-gazing. Millennia of masturbation. Plato to Descartes to Dawkins to Rhanda. Souls and zombie agents and qualia. Kolmogorov complexity. Consciousness as Divine Spark. Consciousness as electromagnetic field. Consciousness as functional cluster. I explored it all. Wegner thought it was an executive summary. Penrose heard it in the singing of caged electrons. Nirretranders said it was a fraud; Kazim called it leakage from a parallel universe. Metzinger wouldn't even admit it existed. The AIs claimed to have worked it out, then announced they couldn't explain it to us. Gödel was right after all: no system can fully understand itself. Not even the synthesists had been able to rotate it down. The load-bearing beams just couldn't take the strain. All of them, I began to realize, had missed the point. All those theories, all those drugdreams and experiments and models trying to prove what consciousness was: none to explain what it was good for. None needed: obviously, consciousness makes us what we are. It lets us see the beauty and the ugliness. It elevates us into the exalted realm of the spiritual. Oh, a few outsiders—Dawkins, Keogh, the occasional writer of hackwork fiction who barely achieved obscurity—wondered briefly at the why of it: why not soft computers, and no more? Why should nonsentient systems be inherently inferior? But they never really raised their voices above the crowd. The value of what we are was too trivially self-evident to ever call into serious question. Yet the questions persisted, in the minds of the laureates, in the angst of every horny fifteen-year-old on the planet. Am I nothing but sparking chemistry? Am I a magnet in the ether? I am more than my eyes, my ears, my tongue; I am the little thing behind those things, the thing looking out from inside. But who looks out from its eyes? What does it reduce to? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? What a stupid fucking question. I could have answered it in a second, if Sarasti hadn't forced me to understand it first.
Peter Watts (Blindsight (Firefall, #1))
All those summer drives, no matter where I was going, to a person, a project, an adventure, or home, alone in the car with my social life all before and behind me, I was suspended in the beautiful solitude of the open road, in a kind of introspection that only outdoor space generates, for inside and outside are more intertwined than the usual distinctions allow. The emotion stirred by the landscape is piercing, a joy close to pain when the blue is deepest on the horizon or the clouds are doing those spectacular fleeting things so much easier to recall than to describe. Sometimes I thought of my apartment in San Francisco as only a winter camp and home as the whole circuit around the West I travel a few times a year and myself as something of a nomad (nomads, contrary to current popular imagination, have fixed circuits and stable relationships to places; they are far from beign the drifters and dharma bums that the word nomad often connotes nowadays). This meant that it was all home, and certainly the intense emotion that, for example, the sequence of mesas alongside the highway for perhaps fifty miles west of Gallup, N.M., and a hundred miles east has the power even as I write to move me deeply, as do dozens of other places, and I have come to long not to see new places but to return and know the old ones more deeply, to see them again. But if this was home, then I was both possessor of an enchanted vastness and profoundly alienated.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
I first read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit when I was eighteen. It felt as though the author had taken every element I'd ever want in a story and woven them into one huge, seamless narrative; but more important, for me, Tolkien had created a place, a vast, beautiful, awesome landscape, which remained a resource long after the protagonists had finished their battles and gone their separate ways. In illustrating The Lord of the Rings I allowed the landscapes to predominate. In some of the scenes the characters are so small they are barely discernible. This suited my own inclinations and my wish to avoid, as much as possible, interfering with the pictures being built up in the reader's mind, which tends to be more closely focussed on characters and their inter-relationships. I felt my task lay in shadowing the heroes on their epic quest, often at a distance, closing in on them at times of heightened emotion but avoiding trying to re-create the dramatic highpoints of the text. With The Hobbit, however, it didn't seem appropriate to keep such a distance, particularly from the hero himself. I don't think I've ever seen a drawing of a Hobbit which quite convinced me, and I don't know whether I've gotten any closer myself with my depictions of Bilbo. I'm fairly happy with the picture of him standing outside Bag End, before Gandalf arrives and turns his world upside-down, but I've come to the conclusion that one of the reasons Hobbits are so quiet and elusive is to avoid the prying eyes of illustrators.
Alan Lee
My life was awful. When I was a kid, I was fat, pretty ugly and had awful hair. I used to get teased every fucking day, slammed up against lockers, punched in the face - you name it. Hell, I had to go to prom with one of my female friends because I couldn’t even get a proper date. I can’t even look back at those photos because I look so bad. I transferred schools, but the teasing just got worse. After an, let’s say, ‘incident’ I had with the school play the bullying just got worse. But I made it through high school, only to find out that real life was pretty much the same. I just stayed in my dark room all day and didn’t talk to anyone. I didn’t go outside. I just stayed inside and drew. I’d draw vampires, mummies, heroes, villains. Anything to help me escape all the bad in the world. I went to art school and didn’t really belong. All I could draw was comic book characters. I tried to put my only good talent to use by drawing a cartoon and pitching it - only to have it turned down. Life to me was just pointless. I started drinking, doing drugs and just generally wasting my life drawing.
Then one day, I saw bodies falling from the sky. I witnessed people dying. And that’s when I decided to turn my life around. I called up anyone I knew who had an instrument and we formed a band. Being on tour for the first few years was bad. All we’d do is get drunk and do drugs, but I loved it. Because I was doing something I loved with people I loved. And a few years ago I met the most perfect woman ever. It’s like we share a wave-link or something. She just knows me without even knowing me, if you understand. And now, 2011, I have a beautiful baby girl, a caring wife and I get to perform for my adoring fans everyday. I am living proof that no matter how bad it gets, it gets better. I am Gerard Way, and I survived.
Gerard Way
I think of two landscapes- one outside the self, the other within. The external landscape is the one we see-not only the line and color of the land and its shading at different times of the day, but also its plants and animals in season, its weather, its geology… If you walk up, say, a dry arroyo in the Sonoran Desert you will feel a mounding and rolling of sand and silt beneath your foot that is distinctive. You will anticipate the crumbling of the sedimentary earth in the arroyo bank as your hand reaches out, and in that tangible evidence you will sense the history of water in the region. Perhaps a black-throated sparrow lands in a paloverde bush… the smell of the creosote bush….all elements of the land, and what I mean by “the landscape.” The second landscape I think of is an interior one, a kind of projection within a person of a part of the exterior landscape. Relationships in the exterior landscape include those that are named and discernible, such as the nitrogen cycle, or a vertical sequence of Ordovician limestone, and others that are uncodified or ineffable, such as winter light falling on a particular kind of granite, or the effect of humidity on the frequency of a blackpoll warbler’s burst of song….the shape and character of these relationships in a person’s thinking, I believe, are deeply influenced by where on this earth one goes, what one touches, the patterns one observes in nature- the intricate history of one’s life in the land, even a life in the city, where wind, the chirp of birds, the line of a falling leaf, are known. These thoughts are arranged, further, according to the thread of one’s moral, intellectual, and spiritual development. The interior landscape responds to the character and subtlety of an exterior landscape; the shape of the individual mind is affected by land as it is by genes. Among the Navajo, the land is thought to exhibit sacred order…each individual undertakes to order his interior landscape according to the exterior landscape. To succeed in this means to achieve a balanced state of mental health…Among the various sung ceremonies of this people-Enemyway, Coyoteway, Uglyway- there is one called Beautyway. It is, in part, a spiritual invocation of the order of the exterior universe, that irreducible, holy complexity that manifests itself as all things changing through time (a Navajo definition of beauty).
Barry Lopez (Crossing Open Ground)
She took a puff, put the cigarette in the ashtray and stared at it. Without looking up, she said, But do you believe in love, Mr Evans? She rolled the cigarette end around in the ash tray. Do you? Outside, he thought, beyond this mountain and its snow, there was a world of countless millions of people. He could see them in their cities, in the heat and the light. And he could see this house, so remote and isolated, so far away, and he had a feeling that it once must have seemed to her and Jack, if only for a short time, like the universe with the two of them at its centre. And for a moment he was at the King of Cornwall with Amy in the room they thought of as theirs—with the sea and the sun and the shadows, with the white paint flaking off the French doors and with their rusty lock, with the breezes late of an afternoon and of a night the sound of the waves breaking—and he remembered how that too had once seemed the centre of the universe. I don’t, she said. No, I don’t. It’s too small a word, don’t you think, Mr Evans? I have a friend in Fern Tree who teaches piano. Very musical, she is. I’m tone-deaf myself. But one day she was telling me how every room has a note. You just have to find it. She started warbling away, up and down. And suddenly one note came back to us, just bounced back off the walls and rose from the floor and filled the place with this perfect hum. This beautiful sound. Like you’ve thrown a plum and an orchard comes back at you. You wouldn’t believe it, Mr Evans. These two completely different things, a note and a room, finding each other. It sounded … right. Am I being ridiculous? Do you think that’s what we mean by love, Mr Evans? The note that comes back to you? That finds you even when you don’t want to be found? That one day you find someone, and everything they are comes back to you in a strange way that hums? That fits. That’s beautiful. I’m not explaining myself at all well, am I? she said. I’m not very good with words. But that’s what we were. Jack and me. We didn’t really know each other. I’m not sure if I liked everything about him. I suppose some things about me annoyed him. But I was that room and he was that note and now he’s gone. And everything is silent.
Richard Flanagan (The Narrow Road To The Deep North)
The Native Americans, whose wisdom Thoreau admired, regarded the Earth itself as a sacred source of energy. To stretch out on it brought repose, to sit on the ground ensured greater wisdom in councils, to walk in contact with its gravity gave strength and endurance. The Earth was an inexhaustible well of strength: because it was the original Mother, the feeder, but also because it enclosed in its bosom all the dead ancestors. It was the element in which transmission took place. Thus, instead of stretching their hands skyward to implore the mercy of celestial divinities, American Indians preferred to walk barefoot on the Earth: The Lakota was a true Naturist – a lover of Nature. He loved the earth and all things of the earth, the attachment growing with age. The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth. Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth. The birds that flew in the air came to rest on the earth and it was the final abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing. That is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life-giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly; he can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him. Walking, by virtue of having the earth’s support, feeling its gravity, resting on it with every step, is very like a continuous breathing in of energy. But the earth’s force is not transmitted only in the manner of a radiation climbing through the legs. It is also through the coincidence of circulations: walking is movement, the heart beats more strongly, with a more ample beat, the blood circulates faster and more powerfully than when the body is at rest. And the earth’s rhythms draw that along, they echo and respond to each other. A last source of energy, after the heart and the Earth, is landscapes. They summon the walker and make him at home: the hills, the colours, the trees all confirm it. The charm of a twisting path among hills, the beauty of vine fields in autumn, like purple and gold scarves, the silvery glitter of olive leaves against a defining summer sky, the immensity of perfectly sliced glaciers … all these things support, transport and nourish us.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
A few months ago on a school morning, as I attempted to etch a straight midline part on the back of my wiggling daughter's soon-to-be-ponytailed blond head, I reminded her that it was chilly outside and she needed to grab a sweater. "No, mama." "Excuse me?" "No, I don't want to wear that sweater, it makes me look fat." "What?!" My comb clattered to the bathroom floor. "Fat?! What do you know about fat? You're 5 years old! You are definitely not fat. God made you just right. Now get your sweater." She scampered off, and I wearily leaned against the counter and let out a long, sad sigh. It has begun. I thought I had a few more years before my twin daughters picked up the modern day f-word. I have admittedly had my own seasons of unwarranted, psychotic Slim-Fasting and have looked erroneously to the scale to give me a measurement of myself. But these departures from my character were in my 20s, before the balancing hand of motherhood met the grounding grip of running. Once I learned what it meant to push myself, I lost all taste for depriving myself. I want to grow into more of a woman, not find ways to whittle myself down to less. The way I see it, the only way to run counter to our toxic image-centric society is to literally run by example. I can't tell my daughters that beauty is an incidental side effect of living your passion rather than an adherence to socially prescribed standards. I can't tell my son how to recognize and appreciate this kind of beauty in a woman. I have to show them, over and over again, mile after mile, until they feel the power of their own legs beneath them and catch the rhythm of their own strides. Which is why my parents wake my kids early on race-day mornings. It matters to me that my children see me out there, slogging through difficult miles. I want my girls to grow up recognizing the beauty of strength, the exuberance of endurance, and the core confidence residing in a well-tended body and spirit. I want them to be more interested in what they are doing than how they look doing it. I want them to enjoy food that is delicious, feed their bodies with wisdom and intent, and give themselves the freedom to indulge. I want them to compete in healthy ways that honor the cultivation of skill, the expenditure of effort, and the courage of the attempt. Grace and Bella, will you have any idea how lovely you are when you try? Recently we ran the Chuy's Hot to Trot Kids K together as a family in Austin, and I ran the 5-K immediately afterward. Post?race, my kids asked me where my medal was. I explained that not everyone gets a medal, so they must have run really well (all kids got a medal, shhh!). As I picked up Grace, she said, "You are so sweaty Mommy, all wet." Luke smiled and said, "Mommy's sweaty 'cause she's fast. And she looks pretty. All clean." My PRs will never garner attention or generate awards. But when I run, I am 100 percent me--my strengths and weaknesses play out like a cracked-open diary, my emotions often as raw as the chafing from my jog bra. In my ultimate moments of vulnerability, I am twice the woman I was when I thought I was meant to look pretty on the sidelines. Sweaty and smiling, breathless and beautiful: Running helps us all shine. A lesson worth passing along.
Kristin Armstrong