Paradise Found Quotes

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He dug so deeply into her sentiments that in search of interest he found love, because by trying to make her love him he ended up falling in love with her. Petra Cotes, for her part, loved him more and more as she felt his love increasing, and that was how in the ripeness of autumn she began to believe once more in the youthful superstition that poverty was the servitude of love. Both looked back then on the wild revelry, the gaudy wealth, and the unbridled fornication as an annoyance and they lamented that it had cost them so much of their lives to find the paradise of shared solitude. Madly in love after so many years of sterile complicity, they enjoyed the miracle of living each other as much at the table as in bed, and they grew to be so happy that even when they were two worn-out people they kept on blooming like little children and playing together like dogs.
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.
Richard Bach
Was it the infinite sadness of her eyes that drew him or the mirror of himself that he found in the gorgeous clarity of her mind?
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
We took the liberty to make some enquiries concerning the ground of their pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation. The Ambassador [of Tripoli] answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise. {Letter from the commissioners, John Adams & Thomas Jefferson, to John Jay, 28 March 1786}
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awoke - Aye! and what then?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Anima Poetae from the Unpublished Note-Books of Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
He found something that he wanted, had always wanted and always would want -- not to be admired, as he had feared; not to be loved, as he had made himself believe; but to be necessary to people, to be indispensable...'very few things matter and nothing matters very much
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
We danced our youth in a dreamed of city, Venice, paradise, proud and pretty, We lived for love and lust and beauty, Pleasure then our only duty. Floating them twixt heaven and Earth And drank on plenties blessed mirth We thought ourselves eternal then, Our glory sealed by God’s own pen. But paradise, we found is always frail, Against man’s fear will always fail.
Veronica Franco
That day I oft remember, when from sleep I first awaked, and found myself reposed, Under a shade, on flowers, much wondering where And what I was, whence thither brought, and how.
John Milton (Paradise Lost)
Do not use your energy except for a cause more noble than yourself. Such a cause cannot be found except in Almighty God Himself: to preach the truth, to defend womanhood, to repel humiliation which your Creator has not imposed upon you, to help the oppressed. Anyone who uses his energy for the sake of the vanities of the world is like someone who exchanges gemstones for gravel. There is no nobility in anyone who lacks faith. The wise man knows that the only fitting price for his soul is a place in Paradise...
Abu Muhammad Ali ibn Hazm
And yet we had done what so often happened in the proud history of geographic discovery. We had found paradise. And then we had set it on fire.
Matt Haig (How to Stop Time)
i was perhaps an egotist in youth, but i soon found it made me morbid to think too much about myself
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
Inside your soul is the ability to survive even the toughest storms, and that paradise can always be found--even in the middle of a hurricane--if you are willing to look.
Denise Hildreth Jones
He once envied the humans because they were given the Earth, but looking at her, he wondered if maybe Paradise was to be found in a person and not a place.
J.M. Darhower (Reignite (Extinguish, #2))
The soul gropes in search of a soul, and finds it. And that soul, found and proven, is a woman. A hand sustains you, it is hers; lips lightly touch your forehead, they are her lips; you hear breathing near you, it is she. To have her wholly, from her devotion to her pity, never to be left alone, to have that sweet shyness as, to lean on that unbending reed, to touch, Providence with your hands and be able to grasp it in your arms; God made palpable, what transport! The heart, that dark celestial flower, bursts into a mysterious bloom. You would not give up that shade for all the light in the world! The angel soul is there, forever there; if she goes away, it is only to return; she fades away in a dream and reappears in reality. You feel an approaching warmth, she is there. You overflow with serenity, gaiety, and ecstasy; you are radiant in your darkness. And the thousand little cares! The trifles that are enormous in this void. The most ineffable accents of the womanly voice used to comfort you, and replacing for you the vanished universe! You are caressed through the soul. You see nothing but you feel yourself adored. It is paradise of darkness.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows: 1- Do not feel absolutely certain of anything. 2- Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light. 3- Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed. 4- When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory. 5- Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found. 6- Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you. 7- Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric. 8- Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter. 9- Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it. 10- Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.
Bertrand Russell
In fact, the sickness I was suffering from was that I had been driven out of the paradise of childhood and had not found my place in the world of adults. I had set myself up in the absolute in order to gaze down upon this world which was rejecting me; now, if I wanted to act, to write a book, to express myself, I would have to go back down there: but my contempt had annihilated it, and I could see nothing but emptiness. The fact is that I had not yet put my hand to the plow. Love, action, literary work: all I did was to roll these ideas round in my head; I was fighting in an abstract fashion against abstract possibilities, and I had come to the conclusion that reality was of the most pitiful insignificance. I was hoping to hold fast to something, and misled by the violence of this indefinite desire, I was confusing it with the desire for the infinite.
Simone de Beauvoir (Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter)
The more one is obsessed with God, the less one is innocent. Nobody bothered about him in paradise. The fall brought about this divine torture. It’s not possible to be conscious of divinity without guilt. Thus God is rarely to be found in an innocent soul.
Emil M. Cioran (Tears and Saints)
When I was young, I learned to expect loss. Every time you slept, something disappeared. Whenever you woke up, someone else was gone. But . . . I also learned that every day, you created everything anew. And whatever you had, you enjoyed as long as it lasted. Spend money when it’s in your pocket.” He took my hand and put the orange in it. “Eat fruit while it’s ripe.” His other hand found my cheek, his thumb brushing the corner of my mouth. “Paradise is a promise no god bothers to keep. There’s only now, and tomorrow nothing will be the same, whether we like it or not.
Heidi Heilig (The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1))
It’s not inexplicable. I like you the way Newton liked gravity.” “I don’t know what you mean.” “Once he found it, everything else in the universe made sense.
J.T. Geissinger (Cruel Paradise (Beautifully Cruel, #2))
I squint my eyes and glare at him. “I don’t have a crush on Quinn anymore.” He raises a golden eyebrow. “No?” I shake my head. “No.” “Why is that?” I stare at him long and hard, trying to decide what to say. Should I be downright, painfully honest? I’ve always found that the best way to be, so I nod. “Two words.” He waits. “Dante. Giliberti.” I hear him suck in his breath and I smile. Sometimes, honesty is refreshing and so very worth it. “Me?” He sounds so surprised, as though he doesn’t know that he is practically a living breathing Adonis. I nod. “You.” He studies me again and I fight the need to fidget as I wait for his reaction. After a minute of nerve-wracking silence, he finally answers. “So, will you keep the bracelet?” I nod. “Can I kiss you again?” I nod. So he does.
Courtney Cole (Dante's Girl (The Paradise Diaries, #1))
There's no such thing as security in this life sweetheart, and the sooner you accept that fact, the better off you'll be. The person who strives for security will never be free. The person who believes she's found security will never reach paradise. What she mistakes for security is purgatory. You know what purgatory is, Gwendolyn? It's the waiting room, it's the lobby. Not only does she have the wrong libretto, she's stuck in the lobby where she can't see the show.
Tom Robbins (Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas)
Love can only be found in freedom of choice. And for choice to exist, there must be an alternative to choose. Something as compelling as love.
Ted Dekker (Showdown (Paradise, #1))
You can never rouse Harris. There is no poetry about Harris- no wild yearning for the unattainable. Harris never "weeps, he knows not why." If Harris's eyes fill with tears, you can bet it is because Harris has been eating raw onions, or has put too much Worcester over his chop. If you were to stand at night by the sea-shore with Harris, and say: "Hark! do you not hear? Is it but the mermaids singing deep below the waving waters; or sad spirits, chanting dirges for white corpses held by seaweed?" Harris would take you by the arm, and say: "I know what it is, old man; you've got a chill. Now you come along with me. I know a place round the corner here, where you can get a drop of the finest Scotch whisky you ever tasted- put you right in less than no time." Harris always does know a place round the corner where you can get something brilliant in the drinking line. I believe that if you met Harris up in Paradise (supposing such a thing likely), he would immediately greet you with: "So glad you've come, old fellow; I've found a nice place round the corner here, where you can get some really first-class nectar.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
I was in darkness, but I took three steps and found myself in paradise. The first step was a good thought, the second, a good word; and the third, a good deed.
Friedrich Nietzsche
For years I lived my life suspended, trapped by the past, unable to move into the future. Like every wounded child I just wanted to turn back time and be in that paradise again, in that moment of remembered rapture where I felt loved, where I felt a sense of belonging. We can never go back. I know that now. We can go forward .We can find the love our hearts long for, but not until we let go grief about the love we lost long ago, when we were little and had no voice to speak the heart's longing. All the years of my life I thought I was searching for love I found, retrospectively, to be years where I was simply trying to recover what had been lost, to return to the first home, to get back the rapture of our first love. I was not really ready to love or be loved in the present. I was still mourning--clinging to the broken heart of girlhood, to broken connections. When that mourning ceased I was able to love again.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
Not so on Man; him through their malice fall'n, Father of Mercy and Grace, thou didst not doom So strictly, but much more to pity incline: No sooner did thy dear and only Son Perceive thee purpos'd not to doom frail Man So strictly, but much more to pity inclin'd, He to appease thy wrath, and end the strife Of mercy and Justice in thy face discern'd, Regardless of the Bliss wherein hee sat Second to thee, offer'd himself to die For man's offence. O unexampl'd love, Love nowhere to be found less than Divine! Hail Son of God, Saviour of Men, thy Name Shall be the copious matter of my Song Henceforth, and never shall my Harp thy praise Forget, nor from thy Father's praise disjoin.
John Milton (Paradise Lost)
The old folk from Indiana and Iowa and Illinois, from Boston and Kansas City and Des Moines, they sold their homes and their stores, and they came here by train and by automobile to the land of sunshine, to die in the sun, with just enough money to live until the sun killed them, tore themselves out by the roots in their last days, deserted the smug prosperity of Kansas City and Chicago and Peoria to find a place in the sun. And when they got here they found that other and greater thieves had already taken possession, that even the sun belonged to the others; Smith and Jones and Parker, druggist, banker, baker, dust of Chicago and Cincinnati and Cleveland on their shoes, doomed to die in the sun, a few dollars in the bank, enough to subscribe to the Los Angeles Times, enough to keep alive the illusion that this was paradise, that their little papier-mâché homes were castles.
John Fante (Ask the Dust (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #3))
We walked down the back stairwell into the garden where the old breakfast table used to be. 'This was my father's spot. I call it his ghost spot. My spot used to be over there, if you remember.' I pointed to where my old table used to stand by the pool. 'Did I have a spot?' he asked with a half grin. 'You'll always have a spot.' I wanted to tell him that the pool, the garden, the house, the tennis court, the orle of paradise, the whole place, would always be his ghost spot. Instead, I pointed upstairs to the French windows of his room. Your eyes are forever there, I wanted to say, trapped in the sheer curtains, staring out from my bedroom upstairs where no one sleeps these days. When there's a breeze and they swell and I look up from down here or stand outside on the balcony, I'll catch myself thinking that you're in there, staring out from your world to my world, saying, as you did on that one night when I found you on the rock, I've been happy here. You're thousands of miles away but no sooner do I look at this window than I'll think of a bathing suit, a shirt thrown on on the fly, arms resting on the banister, and you're suddenly there, lighting up your first cigarette of the day—twenty years ago today. For as long as the house stands, this will be your ghost spot—and mine too, I wanted to say.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
In discourse more sweet (For Eloquence the Soul, Song charms the Sense) Others apart sat on a hill retired, In thoughts more elevate, and reasoned high Of Providence, Foreknowledge, Will, and Fate- Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute, And found no end, in wandering mazes lost. Of good and evil much they argued then, Of happiness and final misery, Passion and apathy, and glory and shame: Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy!- Yet, with a pleasing sorcery, could charm Pain for a while or anguish, and excite Fallacious hope, or arm th' obdurate breast With stubborn patience as with triple steel.
John Milton (Paradise Lost)
Love can only be found in freedom of choice.
Ted Dekker (Showdown (Paradise, #1))
The weird in me found the weird in you. I was a lost kid until I met you, and the best part of my life, hands down, has been you being my friend.
Colby Brock (Paradise Island: A Sam and Colby Story)
If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awoke — Aye, and what then? —S. T. Coleridge, Anima Poetae
Clive Barker (Weaveworld)
There are these rare moments when musicians together touch something sweeter than they've ever found before in rehearsals or performance, beyond the merely collaborative or technically proficient, when their expression becomes as easy and graceful as friendship or love. This is when they give us a glimpse of what we might be, of our best selves, and of an impossible world in which you give everything you have to others, but lose nothing of yourself. Out in the real world there exist detailed plans, visionary projects for peaceable realms, all conflicts resolved, happiness for everyone, for ever – mirages for which people are prepared to die and kill. Christ's kingdom on earth, the workers' paradise, the ideal Islamic state. But only in music, and only on rare occasions, does the curtain actually lift on this dream of community, and it's tantalisingly conjured, before fading away with the last notes.
Ian McEwan (Saturday)
A civilization is integral and healthy to the extent [that] it is founded on the "invisible" or "underlying" religion, the religio perennis, that is, to the extent [that] its expressions or forms are transparent to the Non-Formal and tend toward the Origin, thus conveying the recollection of a lost Paradise, but also - and with all the more reason - the presentiment of a timeless Beatitude. For the Origin is at once within us and before us; time is but a spiral movement around a motionless Center.
Frithjof Schuon (Light on the Ancient Worlds: A New Translation with Selected Letters (Library of Perennial Philosophy))
It was with a shock of pitying surprise that she realized, in later years, that the grown-ups had missed the paradise which the children found so easily.
Monica Dickens (Mariana)
I think the roots of this antagonism to science run very deep. They're ancient. We see them in Genesis, this first story, this founding myth of ours, in which the first humans are doomed and cursed eternally for asking a question, for partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. It's puzzling that Eden is synonymous with paradise when, if you think about it at all, it's more like a maximum-security prison with twenty-four hour surveillance. It's a horrible place. Adam and Eve have no childhood. They awaken full-grown. What is a human being without a childhood? Our long childhood is a critical feature of our species. It differentiates us, to a degree, from most other species. We take a longer time to mature. We depend upon these formative years and the social fabric to learn many of the things we need to know.
Ann Druyan
So spake the Seraph Abdiel faithful found, Among the faithless, faithful only hee; Among innumerable false, unmov'd, Unshak'n, unseduc'd, unterrifi'd His Loyaltie he kept, his Love, his Zeale; Nor number, nor example with him wrought To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind Though single. From amidst them forth he passd, Long way through hostile scorn, which he susteind Superior, nor of violence fear'd aught; And with retorted scorn his back he turn'd On those proud Towrs to swift destruction doom'd.
John Milton (Paradise Lost)
We leave this behind in your capable hands, for in the black-foaming gutters and back alleys of paradise, in the dank windowless gloom of some galactic cellar, in the hollow pearly whorls found in sewer like seas, in starless cities of insanity, and in their slums . . . my awe-struck little deer and I have gone frolicking.
Thomas Ligotti
I didn't recognize it as such then, because I was only thirteen years old, but later I found it a bit ironic that my first time seeing a woman in all her form and glory and saggy drug-tainted tits, arrived at the same exact time as my first introduction to death.
Dave Matthes (Paradise City (The Mire Man Trilogy, #2))
On top of the Tree of Life - in the Hall of the Palace - someone had found somebody for whom he had been searching for a long, long time. And the tears of joy which were shed became the fruit of the Tree of Life, the grapes whose juice if distilled by the flute of the blue god.
Miguel Serrano (The Visits of the Queen of Sheba)
believe no happiness can be found worthy to be compared with that of a soul in Purgatory except that of the saints in Paradise. And day by day this happiness grows as God flows into these souls, more and more as the hindrance to His entrance is consumed. Sin's rust is the hindrance, and the fire burns the rust away so that more and more the soul opens itself up to the divine inflowing.
Catherine of Siena (Fire of Love!: Understanding Purgatory)
If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awoke – Aye, and what then?’ S. T. Coleridge Anima Poetae
Clive Barker (Weaveworld)
A dying man asked a dying man for eternal life; a man without possessions asked a poor man for a Kingdom; a thief at the door of death asked to die like a thief and steal Paradise. One would have thought a saint would have been the first soul purchased over the counter of Calvary by the red coins of Redemption, but in the Divine plan it was a thief who was the escort of the King of kings into Paradise. If Our Lord had come merely as a teacher, the thief would never have asked for forgiveness. But since the thief's request touched the reason of His coming to earth, namely, to save souls, the thief heard the immediate answer: 'I promise thee, this day thou shalt be With Me in Paradise' (Luke 23:43) It was the thief's last prayer, perhaps even his first. He knocked once, sought once, asked once, dared everything, and found everything. When even the disciples were doubting and only one was present at the Cross, the thief owned and acknowledged Him as Saviour.
Fulton J. Sheen (Life of Christ)
I read your poem," I croaked. "'Fall.'" Then something I never thought would happen, happened: Marcus Flutie was shocked by something I said. "You did?" he said. "I thought you lost it!" "Well someone found it for me. Where do you get off saying," I lowered my voice, "we'll be naked without shame in paradise?" He didn't open his mouth. "I know what that means, you know. Who do you think I am?" He didn't open his mouth. "We are never going to be naked without shame in paradise." He didn't open his mouth. "We're NEVER going to have sex," I whispered, clearly over-stating my case. He didn't open his mouth. The mouth that used to bite mine. "And I'm just going to forget about that biting thing from the other night," I said. He looked at me right in the eyes. If he'd focused hard enough on my pupils, he could've seen his own reflection, his own face smirking at me. "You couldn't forget if you tried," he said, before walking away. He's right. And I don't know if I hate him or love him for that.
Megan McCafferty (Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling, #1))
This beautiful thought, of 'dying close by that which one loves', expressed in a hundred different ways, was followed by a sonnet in which it was found that the soul, separated, after atrocious torments, from the frail body in which it dwelt for twenty-three years, and impelled by that instinct for happiness natural to all that has once existed, would not reascend to heaven to mingle with angelic choirs as soon as it was set free, and in the event of the awful judgment according it forgiveness for its sins, but, happier after death than it had been in life, it would go a few steps from the prison where it had lamented for so long, to be reunited with all that it had loved in the world. And thus, the sonnet's last line went. I shall have found my paradise on earth.
Stendhal (The Charterhouse of Parma)
Each morning fog rolls over the bay and caresses the Golden Gate, the most picturesque bridge in the world. In the evenings night descends from heaven like some mystical force of nature, alerting hearts that something wonderful is about to happen. The City by the Bay becomes a moonlit paradise of sounds and sensations. It teems with lights, music, ocean, and pretty girls ready to dance and have fun. San Francisco stretches out her romantic hand, beckoning you to join in all the living going on, all the love being found. And for this reason, night is the loneliest time for those of us who have no one. Oh, we try for love, desperately we make the attempt, gallantly we forge on. But inevitably we fall into a seductive whirlpool of night and garter belts, lipstick and alluring lingerie, darkened hotel rooms and passion devoid of love. Love is the trophy others raise high in happiness, leaving the rest to seek momentary solace in sex bereft of tenderness and meaning, pretending for a few moments, perhaps even a few hours, that it is something more. A hollow consolation prize for losing the romance contest.
Bobby Underwood (Gypsy Summer)
Afterward their ghosts played, yet both of them hoped from their souls never to meet. Was it the infinite sadness of her eyes that drew him or the mirror of himself that he found in the gorgeous clarity of her mind? She will have no other adventure like Amory, and if she reads this she will say: "And Amory will have no other adventure like me.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
Why doesn't the pope convert to Calvinism? Why doesn't the Dalai Lama, convert to Christianity, why doesn't Billy Graham convert to Islam, Why doesn't the Ayatollahs convert to Buddhism, Why isn't Buddhism swept away? Religious leaders know that all religions are equal; they know that no one of them has the monopoly to the knowledge of God. They know that each religion is trying to find the hidden God and that no one religion can claim to have found him beyond doubt. That's why they remain where they are and respect each other.
Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
Then Rosalind began popping into his mind again, and he found his lips forming her name over and over.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
[they] reason’d high Of Providence, Foreknowledge, Will, and Fate, Fixt Fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute, And found no end, in wand’ring mazes lost. (Paradise Lost 2.658
Sophocles (The Three Theban Plays: Antigone; Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus (Annotated))
Paradise is found when love is given; love can only be given when it is understood as an act of the will rather than a response of the emotions.
Mike Coe (Flight to Paradise)
I found her as lovable as a cheap old toy. She
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Complete Novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald: This Side of Paradise + The Beautiful and Damned + The Great Gatsby + Tender Is the Night + The Love of the Last Tycoon)
A hundred pounds! He couldn't remember ever having seen a hundred pounds, all at one time. He found himself envying his father, who had nothing to worry about except the future of mankind.
John Mortimer (Paradise Postponed)
I performed the part of an odd, quiet woman, and performed it to everyone's satisfaction. When others slept, I was awake; when they woke, they found me quietly occupied. I took walks by myself. I read and sewed or sat in the garden with my own self for company. I was not missed. I have never been missed. I had all the manners and necessities of other women of my society, yet I was without society. ... I simply surrendered to that brute unhappiness which had always been close at hand. I no longer made the effort to appear civil, for by then I loathed civilisation from the bottom of my heart. Solitude, after a while, becomes the worst kind of savagery.
Margaret Cezair-Thompson (The True History of Paradise)
In loving thou dost well, in passion not, Wherein true love consists not; love refines The thoughts, and heart enlarges, hath his seat In reason, and is judicious, is the scale By which to heavenly love thou mayest ascend, Not sunk in carnal pleasure, for which cause Among the beasts no mate for thee was found.
John Milton (Paradise Lost and Other Poems)
He found something that he wanted, had always wanted and always would want—not to be admired, as he had feared; not to be loved, as he had made himself believe; but to be necessary to people, to be indispensable.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
Did you not take the opportunity to bathe, gentlemen?" Valentina questioned them, trying to take her mind off her body, which felt unusually sensitive in this sultry climate. The silk of her gown seemed to rub against her nipples with every breath.
Bertrice Small (Lost Love Found (O'Malley Saga, #5))
Traveling further ingrained my desire to connect to a place other than an island that is slightly older, in a New World way, than the United States, especially after I found characteristics of my face in the faces of the people in my global community.
Raquel Cepeda (Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina)
Today the word "hope" had grown meaningless. Today we were tramping simply because we were tramping. Probably oxen work for the same reason. Yesterday I had dreamed of a paradise of orange-trees. Today I would not give a button for paradise; I did not believe oranges existed. When I thought about myself I found in me nothing but a heart squeezed dry. I was tottering but emotionless. I felt no distress whatever, and in a way I regretted it: misery would have seemed to me as sweet as water. I might then have felt sorry for myself and commiserated with myself as with a friend.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wind, Sand and Stars)
If you have seen in silent prayer How the soul of the earth fashions crystals, If you have seen the flame in the growing seed And death in life and birth in decay, If you have found brothers in men and beasts, And if you recognized in the brother, the brother and God, Then you will celebrate at the table of the holy grail Communion with the messiah of love. You will search and you will find, just like God said, The way to the lost paradise.
Manfred Kyber
My identity changed with the neighborhood I found myself in. In midtown, they thought I might be black, but in Harlem, they knew I wasn’t. I was spoken to in Spanish and Portuguese and Italian and even Hindi, and when I answered, “I’m Hawaiian,” I would invariably be told that they or their brother or cousin had been there after the war, and asked what I was doing up here, so far from home, when I could be on the beach with a pretty little hula girl. I never had an answer to these questions, but they didn’t expect one—it was all they knew to ask, but no one wanted to hear what I had to say.
Hanya Yanagihara (To Paradise)
Amory became thirteen, rather tall and slender, and more than ever on to his Celtic mother. He had tutored occasionally—the idea being that he was to "keep up," at each place "taking up the work where he left off," yet as no tutor ever found the place he left off, his mind was still in very good shape.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
I wanted to tell him that the pool, the garden, the house, the tennis court, the orle of paradise, the whole place, would always be his ghost spot. Instead, I pointed upstairs to the French windows of his room. Your eyes are forever there, I wanted to say, trapped in the sheer curtains, staring out from my bedroom upstairs where no one sleeps these days. When there’s a breeze and they swell and I look up from down here or stand outside on the balcony, I’ll catch myself thinking that you’re in there, staring out from your world to my world, saying, as you did on that one night when I found you on the rock, I’ve been happy here. You’re thousands of miles away but no sooner do I look at this window than I’ll think of a bathing suit, a shirt thrown on on the fly, arms resting on the banister, and you’re suddenly there, lighting up your first cigarette of the day—twenty years ago today. For as long as the house stands, this will be your ghost spot—and mine too, I wanted to say.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
one thing that I realized early on in thinking about this book, when I found, to my consternation, that I was writing a fantasy. I hadn't expected ever to write a fantasy, because I am not a great fantasy fan. But I realized that I could use the apparatus of fantasy to say things that I thought were true. Which was exactly what, I then realized, Milton had been doing with Paradise Lost. Paradise Lost is not a story of people and some other people who've got wings. It's not one of those banal fantasies that just rely on somebody having magic and someone dropping a ring down a volcano. Paradise Lost is a great psychological novel that happens to be cast in the form of a fantasy, because the devils and the angels are, of course, embodiments of psychological states. The portrait of Satan, especially in the Temptation scene (I think it's in Book 9), is a magnificent piece of psychological storytelling. So it was possible to do, I realized, and with Milton as my encouragement, I launched into this book -- which I reluctantly accept has to be called a fantasy. Finding physical embodiments for things that were not themselves physical was one of the ways I approached what I wanted to say. But then, that's what we do with metaphor all the time. That's the way metaphor works. The way metaphor works is not the way allegory works. Allegory works because the author says, "This means so-and-so, that means such-and-such, and this can only be understood in such-and-such a way. If you don't understand it like this, the book won't work." It seems to me that some critics of mine, from the religious point of view, are treating my novel as if it were an allegory and they had the key to it. It is not an allegory, and they don't have the key to it, because there is no key apart from the sympathetic and open-minded understanding of the reader.
Philip Pullman
When my sadness finally lifted, I found my head on Josh’s shoulder. He stroked my hair slowly, patiently. “Josh?” “Mmm?” he said. “Can we get married?” His breath caught, and then I felt his smile against my forehead. “You do mean to each other, right?” I squeezed his knee. “Yes. Would you do that for me?” “I would like that very much,” he said in a small voice.
Sarina Bowen (Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye, #1))
If I were to look over the whole world to find out the country most richly endowed with all the wealth, power, and beauty that nature can bestow—in some parts a very paradise on earth—I should point to India. If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most full developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant—I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we, here in Europe, we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of one Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw that corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human, a life, not for this life only, but a transfigured and eternal life—again I should point to India.
F. Max Müller (India: What Can it Teach Us? A Course of Lectures Delivered before the University of Cambridge)
Deep in the heart of the hot, wet African rainforest, there lives a tribe of peacemakers who share a multiplicity of pleasures and make a very special kind of love. South of the sprawling Congo River, in the midst of war-ravaged territory, some 2,000 miles from the arid Ethiopian desert where the oldest human fossils have been found, lies this lush and steamy jungle paradise, the only natural habitat of the bonobo.
Susan Block (The Bonobo Way)
Let us remark by the way, that to be blind and to be loved, is, in fact, one of the most strangely exquisite forms of happiness upon this earth, where nothing is complete. To have continually at one's side a woman, a daughter, a sister, a charming being, who is there because you need her and because she cannot do without you; to know that we are indispensable to a person who is necessary to us; to be able to incessantly measure one's affection by the amount of her presence which she bestows on us, and to say to ourselves, "Since she consecrates the whole of her time to me, it is because I possess the whole of her heart"; to behold her thought in lieu of her face; to be able to verify the fidelity of one being amid the eclipse of the world; to regard the rustle of a gown as the sound of wings; to hear her come and go, retire, speak, return, sing, and to think that one is the centre of these steps, of this speech; to manifest at each instant one's personal attraction; to feel one's self all the more powerful because of one's infirmity; to become in one's obscurity, and through one's obscurity, the star around which this angel gravitates,—few felicities equal this. The supreme happiness of life consists in the conviction that one is loved; loved for one's own sake—let us say rather, loved in spite of one's self; this conviction the blind man possesses. To be served in distress is to be caressed. Does he lack anything? No. One does not lose the sight when one has love. And what love! A love wholly constituted of virtue! There is no blindness where there is certainty. Soul seeks soul, gropingly, and finds it. And this soul, found and tested, is a woman. A hand sustains you; it is hers: a mouth lightly touches your brow; it is her mouth: you hear a breath very near you; it is hers. To have everything of her, from her worship to her pity, never to be left, to have that sweet weakness aiding you, to lean upon that immovable reed, to touch Providence with one's hands, and to be able to take it in one's arms,—God made tangible,—what bliss! The heart, that obscure, celestial flower, undergoes a mysterious blossoming. One would not exchange that shadow for all brightness! The angel soul is there, uninterruptedly there; if she departs, it is but to return again; she vanishes like a dream, and reappears like reality. One feels warmth approaching, and behold! she is there. One overflows with serenity, with gayety, with ecstasy; one is a radiance amid the night. And there are a thousand little cares. Nothings, which are enormous in that void. The most ineffable accents of the feminine voice employed to lull you, and supplying the vanished universe to you. One is caressed with the soul. One sees nothing, but one feels that one is adored. It is a paradise of shadows.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Nowadays almost all man's improvements, so called, as the building of houses, and the cutting down of the forest and of all large trees, simply deform the landscape, and make it more tame and cheap... and some worldly miser with a surveyor looking after his bounds, while heaven had taken place around him, and he did not see the angles going to and fro, but was looking for an old post-hole in the midst of paradise. I looked again, and saw him standing in the middle of a boggy, stygian, fen, surrounded by devils, and he had found his bounds without a doubt, three little stones, where a stake had been driven, and looking nearer, I saw that the prince of Darkness was his surveyor.
Henry David Thoreau
The laws of nature are sublime, but there is a moral sublimity before which the highest intelligences must kneel and adore. The laws by which the winds blow, and the tides of the ocean, like a vast clepsydra, measure, with inimitable exactness, the hours of ever-flowing time; the laws by which the planets roll, and the sun vivifies and paints; the laws which preside over the subtle combinations of chemistry, and the amazing velocities of electricity; the laws of germination and production in the vegetable and animal worlds, — all these, radiant with eternal beauty as they are, and exalted above all the objects of sense, still wane and pale before the Moral Glories that apparel the universe in their celestial light. The heart can put on charms which no beauty of known things, nor imagination of the unknown, can aspire to emulate. Virtue shines in native colors, purer and brighter than pearl, or diamond, or prism, can reflect. Arabian gardens in their bloom can exhale no such sweetness as charity diffuses. Beneficence is godlike, and he who does most good to his fellow-man is the Master of Masters, and has learned the Art of Arts. Enrich and embellish the universe as you will, it is only a fit temple for the heart that loves truth with a supreme love. Inanimate vastness excites wonder; knowledge kindles admiration, but love enraptures the soul. Scientific truth is marvellous, but moral truth is divine; and whoever breathes its air and walks by its light, has found the lost paradise. For him, a new heaven and a new earth have already been created. His home is the sanctuary of God, the Holy of Holies.
Horace Mann (A Few Thoughts For A Young Man)
And when the Unwanted Visitor arrives, you will hear it say: “It is fair to ask: ‘Father, Father, why hast thou forsaken me?’ But now, in this final second of your life on Earth, I am going to tell you what I saw: I found the house clean, the table laid, the fields plowed, the flowers smiling. I found each thing in its proper place, precisely as it should be. You understood that small things are responsible for great changes. “And for that reason, I will carry you up to Paradise.
Paulo Coelho (Manuscript Found in Accra)
Running? Jumping?" Anthony turned an anxious face to William. "He'll hurt himself. You can handle the Computer. Override. Make him stop." And William said sharply, "No. I won't. I'll take the chance of his hurting himself. Don't you understand? He's happy. He was on Earth, a world he was never equipped to handle. Now he's on Mercury with a body perfectly adapted to its environment, as perfectly adapted as a hundred specialized scientists could make it be. It's paradise for him; let him enjoy it." "Enjoy? He's a robot." "I'm not talking about the robot. I'm talking about the brain-the brain-that's living here." The Mercury Computer, enclosed in glass, carefully and delicately wired, its integrity most subtly preserved, breathed and lived. "It's Randall who's in paradise," said William. "He's found the world for whose sake he autistically fled this one. He has a world his new body fits perfectly in exchange for the world his old body did not fit at all.
Isaac Asimov (The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories)
This place might have been paradise, a treasure trove far greater than any to be found in a pirate yarn. Everywhere he looked there were books. They rose into the air in majestic columns, stacks and stacks of them forming a maze that seemed to stretch to forever; the stacks rose high into the air and disappeared towards the unseen ceiling. The air had the overwhelming smell of old books, of polished leather, and yellowing leaves, like the smell of a bookshop or a public library magnified a thousand-fold.
Lavie Tidhar (The Bookman (The Bookman Histories, #1))
Sweet are the oases in Sahara; charming the isle-groves of August prairies; delectable pure faith amidst a thousand perfidies; but sweeter, still more charming, most delectable, the dreamy Paradise of Bachelors, found in the stony heart of stunning London. In mild meditation pace the cloisters; take your pleasure, sip your leisure, in the garden waterward; go linger in the ancient library; go worship in the scultured chapel; but little have you seen, just nothing do you know, not the sweet kernel have you tasted, till you dine among the banded Bachelors, and see their convivial eyes and glasses sparkle. Not dine in bustling commons, during term time, in the hall; but tranquilly, by private hint, at a private table; some fine Templar's hospitably invited guest.
Herman Melville
No, there's more to life than this. . .That was the past, but there is a future. Now we know. We dare to understand. Truly. Truly, the past was a dream. But this, this is real. To know from this that something must be done, that is real. We searched. We were confused, but we searched. And now the search has ended, for the truth has found us. For the first time in our lives, for the first time, our house has a real foundation . . . Everywhere now, men are rising from their sleep. Men-- men are understanding the bitter, black total of their lives. Their whispers are growing to shouts. They become an ocean of understanding. No man fights alone. Oh, if you could see with me the greatness of men. I tremble like a bride to see the time when they'll use it. No, my dear, we must have one regret-- that life is so short, that we must die so soon. Yes, I-- I want to see that new world. I want to kiss all those future men and women. What's all this talk about bankruptcies, failures, hatreds? They won't know what that means. I tell you, the whole world is for men to possess. Heartbreak and terror are not the heritage of mankind. The world is beautiful. No fruit tree wears a lock and key. Men will sing at their work, men will love. Oh, darling, the world is in its morning. And no man fights alone. Let's have air. Open the windows. --From Paradise Lost
Clifford Odets (Waiting for Lefty and Other Plays)
An ironic religion -- one that never claims to be absolutely true but only professes to be relatively beautiful, and never promises salvation but only proposes it as a salubrious idea. A century ago there were people who thought art was the thing that could fuse the terms of this seemingly insuperable oxymoron, and no doubt art is part of the formula. But maybe consumerism also has something to teach us about forging an ironic religion -- a lesson about learning to choose, about learning the power and consequences, for good or ill, of our ever-expanding palette of choices. Perhaps . . . the day will come when the true ironic religion is found, the day when humanity is filled with enough love and imagination and responsibility to become its own god and make a paradise of its world, a paradise of all the right choices.
Alex Shakar (The Savage Girl)
Q (Quiller-Couch) was all by himself my college education. I went down to the public library one day when I was seventeen looking for books on the art of writing, and found five books of lectures which Q had delivered to his students of writing at Cambridge. "Just what I need!" I congratulated myself. I hurried home with the first volume and started reading and got to page 3 and hit a snag: Q was lecturing to young men educated at Eton and Harrow. He therefore assumed his students − including me − had read Paradise Lost as a matter of course and would understand his analysis of the "Invocation to Light" in Book 9. So I said, "Wait here," and went down to the library and got Paradise Lost and took it home and started reading it and got to page 3, when I hit a snag: Milton assumed I'd read the Christian version of Isaiah and the New Testament and had learned all about Lucifer and the War in Heaven, and since I'd been reared in Judaism I hadn't. So I said, "Wait here," and borrowed a Christian Bible and read about Lucifer and so forth, and then went back to Milton and read Paradise Lost, and then finally got back to Q, page 3. On page 4 or 5, I discovered that the point of the sentence at the top of the page was in Latin and the long quotation at the bottom of the page was in Greek. So I advertised in the Saturday Review for somebody to teach me Latin and Greek, and went back to Q meanwhile, and discovered he assumed I not only knew all the plays by Shakespeare, and Boswell's Johnson, but also the Second books of Esdras, which is not in the Old Testament and not in the New Testament, it's in the Apocrypha, which is a set of books nobody had ever thought to tell me existed. So what with one thing and another and an average of three "Wait here's" a week, it took me eleven years to get through Q's five books of lectures.
Helene Hanff
A woman who has found her match with respect to depth of soul and who has quenched her thirst with her children is no different than the women of Paradise, and the home structured around such a person is no different than the gardens of Paradise. And it is no wonder that her children, who grow up savoring affection in the shelter of this paradise, will be no different than heavenly beings. Indeed those who are fortunate enough to be raised in such an atmosphere of affection will live in state of otherworldy joy as if they have been exalted to the heavens, inspiring high spirits all around through their smiles.
M. Fethullah Gülen (Speech and Power of Expression)
How much more satisfying had we been placed in a garden custom-made for us, its other occupants put there for us to use as we saw fit. There is a celebrated story in the Western tradition like this, except that not quite everything was there for us. There was one particular tree of which we were not to partake, a tree of knowledge. Knowledge and understanding and wisdom were forbidden to us in this story. We were to be kept ignorant. But we couldn’t help ourselves. We were starving for knowledge—created hungry, you might say. This was the origin of all our troubles. In particular, it is why we no longer live in a garden: We found out too much. So long as we were incurious and obedient, I imagine, we could console ourselves with our importance and centrality, and tell ourselves that we were the reason the Universe was made. As we began to indulge our curiosity, though, to explore, to learn how the Universe really is, we expelled ourselves from Eden. Angels with a flaming sword were set as sentries at the gates of Paradise to bar our return. The gardeners became exiles and wanderers. Occasionally we mourn that lost world, but that, it seems to me, is maudlin and sentimental. We could not happily have remained ignorant forever.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
This was why love was so dangerous. Love turned the world into a garden, so beguiling it was easy to forget that rose petals sails appeared charmed. They blazed red in the day and silver at night, like a magician’s cloak, hinting at mysteries concealed beneath, which Tella planned to uncover that night. Drunken laughter floated above her as Tella delved deeper into the ship’s underbelly in search of Nigel the Fortune-teller. Her first evening on the vessel she’d made the mistake of sleeping, not realizing until the following day that Legend’s performers had switched their waking hours to prepare for the next Caraval. They slumbered in the day and woke after sunset. All Tella had learned her first day aboard La Esmeralda was that Nigel was on the ship, but she had yet to actually see him. The creaking halls beneath decks were like the bridges of Caraval, leading different places at different hours and making it difficult to know who stayed in which room. Tella wondered if Legend had designed it that way, or if it was just the unpredictable nature of magic. She imagined Legend in his top hat, laughing at the question and at the idea that magic had more control than he did. For many, Legend was the definition of magic. When she had first arrived on Isla de los Sueños, Tella suspected everyone could be Legend. Julian had so many secrets that she’d questioned if Legend’s identity was one of them, up until he’d briefly died. Caspar, with his sparkling eyes and rich laugh, had played the role of Legend in the last game, and at times he’d been so convincing Tella wondered if he was actually acting. At first sight, Dante, who was almost too beautiful to be real, looked like the Legend she’d always imagined. Tella could picture Dante’s wide shoulders filling out a black tailcoat while a velvet top hat shadowed his head. But the more Tella thought about Legend, the more she wondered if he even ever wore a top hat. If maybe the symbol was another thing to throw people off. Perhaps Legend was more magic than man and Tella had never met him in the flesh at all. The boat rocked and an actual laugh pierced the quiet. Tella froze. The laughter ceased but the air in the thin corridor shifted. What had smelled of salt and wood and damp turned thick and velvet-sweet. The scent of roses. Tella’s skin prickled; gooseflesh rose on her bare arms. At her feet a puddle of petals formed a seductive trail of red. Tella might not have known Legend’s true name, but she knew he favored red and roses and games. Was this his way of toying with her? Did he know what she was up to? The bumps on her arms crawled up to her neck and into her scalp as her newest pair of slippers crushed the tender petals. If Legend knew what she was after, Tella couldn’t imagine he would guide her in the correct direction, and yet the trail of petals was too tempting to avoid. They led to a door that glowed copper around the edges. She turned the knob. And her world transformed into a garden, a paradise made of blossoming flowers and bewitching romance. The walls were formed of moonlight. The ceiling was made of roses that dripped down toward the table in the center of the room, covered with plates of cakes and candlelight and sparkling honey wine. But none of it was for Tella. It was all for Scarlett. Tella had stumbled into her sister’s love story and it was so romantic it was painful to watch. Scarlett stood across the chamber. Her full ruby gown bloomed brighter than any flowers, and her glowing skin rivaled the moon as she gazed up at Julian. They touched nothing except each other. While Scarlett pressed her lips to Julian’s, his arms wrapped around her as if he’d found the one thing he never wanted to let go of. This was why love was so dangerous. Love turned the world into a garden, so beguiling it was easy to forget that rose petals were as ephemeral as feelings, eventually they would wilt and die, leaving nothing but the thorns.
Stephanie Garber (Legendary (Caraval, #2))
Now Morn, her rosy steps in the eastern clime Advancing, sowed the earth with orient pearl, When Adam waked, so customed; for his sleep Was aerie-light, from pure digestion bred, And temperate vapors bland, which the only sound Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan, Lightly dispersed, and the shrill matin song Of birds on every bough; so much the more His wonder was to find unwakened Eve With tresses discomposed, and glowing cheek, As through unquiet rest: He, on his side Leaning half raised, with looks of cordial love Hung over her enamored, and beheld Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep, Shot forth peculiar graces; then with voice Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes, Her hand soft touching, whispered thus. Awake, My fairest, my espoused, my latest found, Heaven's last best gift, my ever new delight! Awake: The morning shines, and the fresh field Calls us; we lose the prime, to mark how spring Our tender plants, how blows the citron grove, What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed, How nature paints her colors, how the bee Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet.
John Milton (Paradise Lost)
We’re so close to Earth that sometimes we forget how beautiful it is. Seen from space, our blue planet is remarkably alive— a living paradise suspended in a vast and hostile cosmos. On the first trip to the moon, astronauts were stunned to see Earth rise above the moon’s desolate horizon. We know that on the moon there are no trees, rivers, or birds. No other planet has yet been found to have life as we know it. It is reported that astronauts orbiting high up in space stations spend most of their free time contemplating the breathtaking sight of Earth far below. From a distance, it looks like one giant living, breathing organism. Seeing its beauty and wonder, astronauts feel great love for the whole Earth. They know billions of people are living out their lives on this little planet, with all their joy, happiness, and suffering. They see violence, wars, famine, and environmental destruction. At the same time, they see clearly that this wonderful little blue planet, so fragile and precious, is irreplaceable. As one astronaut put it, “We went to the moon as technicians; we returned as humanitarians.
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Art Of Living)
Sentences like the following are found in many mystical and reactionary writings though not as clearly formulated as by Hutten: ''Kulturbolschewismus is nothing new. It is based on a striving which humanity has had since its earliest days: the longing for happiness. It is the eternal nostalgia for paradise on earth . . . The religion of faith is replaced by the religion of pleasure.'' We, on the other hand, ask: Why not happiness on earth? Why should not pleasure be the content of life? If one were to put this question to a general vote, no reactionary ideology could stand up. The reactionary also recognizes, though in a mystical manner, the connection between mysticism and compulsive marriage and family: ''Because of this responsibility (for the possible consequences of pleasure), society has created the institution of marriage which, as a lifelong union, provides the protective frame for the sexual relationship.'' Right after this, we find the whole register of "cultural values" which, in the framework of reactionary ideology, fit together like the parts of a machine: ''Marriage as a tie, the family as a duty, the fatherland as value of its own, morality as authority, religion as obligation from eternity.'' It would be impossible better to describe the rigidity of human plasma!
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
And what of the masses in this intellectual’s paradise? They have found in the intellectual the most formidable taskmaster in history. No other regime has treated the masses so callously as raw material, to be experimented on and manipulated at will; and never before have so many lives been wasted so recklessly in war and in peace. On top of all this, the Communist intelligentsia has been using force in a wholly novel manner. The traditional master uses force to exact obedience and lets it go at that. Not so the intellectual. Because of his professed faith in the power of words and the irresistibility of the truths which supposedly shape his course, he cannot be satisfied with mere obedience. He tries to obtain by force a response that is usually obtained by the most perfect persuasion, and he uses Terror as a fearful instrument to extract faith and fervor from crushed souls.
Eric Hoffer (The Ordeal of Change)
Consequently, in 1958 the Chinese government was informed that annual grain production was 50 per cent more than it actually was. Believing the reports, the government sold millions of tons of rice to foreign countries in exchange for weapons and heavy machinery, assuming that enough was left to feed the Chinese population. The result was the worst famine in history and the death of tens of millions of Chinese.3 Meanwhile, enthusiastic reports of China’s farming miracle reached audiences throughout the world. Julius Nyerere, the idealistic president of Tanzania, was deeply impressed by the Chinese success. In order to modernise Tanzanian agriculture, Nyerere resolved to establish collective farms on the Chinese model. When peasants objected to the plan, Nyerere sent the army and police to destroy traditional villages and forcibly relocate hundreds of thousands of peasants onto the new collective farms. Government propaganda depicted the farms as miniature paradises, but many of them existed only in government documents. The protocols and reports written in the capital Dar es Salaam said that on such-and-such a date the inhabitants of such-and-such village were relocated to such-and-such farm. In reality, when the villagers reached their destination, they found absolutely nothing there. No houses, no fields, no tools. Officials nevertheless reported great successes to themselves and to President Nyerere. In fact, within less than ten years Tanzania was transformed from Africa’s biggest food exporter into a net food importer that could not feed itself without external assistance. In 1979, 90 per cent of Tanzanian farmers lived on collective farms, but they generated only 5 per cent of the country’s agricultural output.4
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
There are hints of child sacrifice in Genesis and Exodus, including Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac. Human sacrifice was long associated with Canaanite and Phoenician ritual. Much later, Roman and Greek historians ascribed this dastardly practice to the Carthaginians, those descendants of the Phoenicians. Yet very little evidence was discovered until the early 1920s, when two French colonial officials in Tunisia found a tophet, with buried urns and inscriptions in a field. They bore the letters MLK (as in molok, offering) and contained the burned bones of children and the telling message of a victim’s father reading: “It was to Baal that Bomilcar vowed this son of his own flesh. Bless him!” These finds may have coincided with the time of Manasseh, implying that the biblical stories were plausible. Molok (offering) was distorted into the biblical “moloch,” the definition of the cruel idolatrous god and, later in Western literature, particularly in John Milton’s Paradise Lost, one of Satan’s fallen angels. Gehenna in Jerusalem became not just hell, but the place where Judas invested his ill-gotten silver pieces and during the Middle Ages the site of mass charnel-houses. CHAPTER 5
Simon Sebag Montefiore (Jerusalem: The Biography)
There is indeed a poetical attitude to be adopted towards all things, but all things are not fit subjects for poetry. Into the secure and sacred house of Beauty the true artist will admit nothing that is harsh or disturbing, nothing that gives pain, nothing that is debatable, nothing about which men argue. He can steep himself, if he wishes, in the discussion of all the social problems of his day, poor-laws and local taxation, free trade and bimetallic currency, and the like; but when he writes on these subjects it will be, as Milton nobly expressed it, with his left hand, in prose and not in verse, in a pamphlet and not in a lyric. This exquisite spirit of artistic choice was not in Byron: Wordsworth had it not. In the work of both these men there is much that we have to reject, much that does not give us that sense of calm and perfect repose which should be the effect of all fine, imaginative work. But in Keats it seemed to have been incarnate, and in his lovely ODE ON A GRECIAN URN it found its most secure and faultless expression; in the pageant of the EARTHLY PARADISE and the knights and ladies of Burne-Jones it is the one dominant note. It is to no avail that the Muse of Poetry be called, even by such a clarion note as Whitman’s, to migrate from Greece and Ionia and to placard REMOVED and TO LET on the rocks of the snowy Parnassus. Calliope’s call is not yet closed, nor are the epics of Asia ended; the Sphinx is not yet silent, nor the fountain of Castaly dry. For art is very life itself and knows nothing of death; she is absolute truth and takes no care of fact; she sees (as I remember Mr. Swinburne insisting on at dinner) that Achilles is even now more actual and real than Wellington, not merely more noble and interesting as a type and figure but more positive and real.
Oscar Wilde (The English Renaissance of Art)
A SOLAR OASIS Like everywhere else in Puerto Rico, the small mountain city of Adjuntas was plunged into total darkness by Hurricane Maria. When residents left their homes to take stock of the damage, they found themselves not only without power and water, but also totally cut off from the rest of the island. Every single road was blocked, either by mounds of mud washed down from the surrounding peaks, or by fallen trees and branches. Yet amid this devastation, there was one bright spot. Just off the main square, a large, pink colonial-style house had light shining through every window. It glowed like a beacon in the terrifying darkness. The pink house was Casa Pueblo, a community and ecology center with deep roots in this part of the island. Twenty years ago, its founders, a family of scientists and engineers, installed solar panels on the center’s roof, a move that seemed rather hippy-dippy at the time. Somehow, those panels (upgraded over the years) managed to survive Maria’s hurricane-force winds and falling debris. Which meant that in a sea of post-storm darkness, Casa Pueblo had the only sustained power for miles around. And like moths to a flame, people from all over the hills of Adjuntas made their way to the warm and welcoming light.
Naomi Klein (The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes on the Disaster Capitalists)
ultimately, most of us would choose a rich and meaningful life over an empty, happy one, if such a thing is even possible. “Misery serves a purpose,” says psychologist David Myers. He’s right. Misery alerts us to dangers. It’s what spurs our imagination. As Iceland proves, misery has its own tasty appeal. A headline on the BBC’s website caught my eye the other day. It read: “Dirt Exposure Boosts Happiness.” Researchers at Bristol University in Britain treated lung-cancer patients with “friendly” bacteria found in soil, otherwise known as dirt. The patients reported feeling happier and had an improved quality of life. The research, while far from conclusive, points to an essential truth: We thrive on messiness. “The good life . . . cannot be mere indulgence. It must contain a measure of grit and truth,” observed geographer Yi-Fu Tuan. Tuan is the great unheralded geographer of our time and a man whose writing has accompanied me throughout my journeys. He called one chapter of his autobiography “Salvation by Geography.” The title is tongue-in-cheek, but only slightly, for geography can be our salvation. We are shaped by our environment and, if you take this Taoist belief one step further, you might say we are our environment. Out there. In here. No difference. Viewed that way, life seems a lot less lonely. The word “utopia” has two meanings. It means both “good place” and “nowhere.” That’s the way it should be. The happiest places, I think, are the ones that reside just this side of paradise. The perfect person would be insufferable to live with; likewise, we wouldn’t want to live in the perfect place, either. “A lifetime of happiness! No man could bear it: It would be hell on Earth,” wrote George Bernard Shaw, in his play Man and Superman. Ruut Veenhoven, keeper of the database, got it right when he said: “Happiness requires livable conditions, but not paradise.” We humans are imminently adaptable. We survived an Ice Age. We can survive anything. We find happiness in a variety of places and, as the residents of frumpy Slough demonstrated, places can change. Any atlas of bliss must be etched in pencil. My passport is tucked into my desk drawer again. I am relearning the pleasures of home. The simple joys of waking up in the same bed each morning. The pleasant realization that familiarity breeds contentment and not only contempt. Every now and then, though, my travels resurface and in unexpected ways. My iPod crashed the other day. I lost my entire music collection, nearly two thousand songs. In the past, I would have gone through the roof with rage. This time, though, my anger dissipated like a summer thunderstorm and, to my surprise, I found the Thai words mai pen lai on my lips. Never mind. Let it go. I am more aware of the corrosive nature of envy and try my best to squelch it before it grows. I don’t take my failures quite so hard anymore. I see beauty in a dark winter sky. I can recognize a genuine smile from twenty yards. I have a newfound appreciation for fresh fruits and vegetables. Of all the places I visited, of all the people I met, one keeps coming back to me again and again: Karma Ura,
Eric Weiner (The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World)
It’s a long story,” he said, taking a sip of Mr. Braeburn’s whiskey, “so I will tell only a very condensed version of it. “Mrs. Marsden and I grew up on adjacent properties in the Cotswold. But the Cotswold, as fair as it is, plays almost no part in this tale. Because it was not in the green, unpolluted countryside that we fell in love, but in gray, sooty London. Love at first sight, of course, a hunger of the soul that could not be denied.” Bryony trembled somewhere inside. This was not their story, but her story, the determined spinster felled by the magnificence and charm of the gorgeous young thing. He glanced at her. “You were the moon of my existence; your moods dictated the tides of my heart.” The tides of her own heart surged at his words, even though his words were nothing but lies. “I don’t believe I had moods,” she said severely. “No, of course not. ‘Thou art more lovely and more temperate’—and the tides of my heart only rose ever higher to crash against the levee of my self-possession. For I loved you most intemperately, my dear Mrs. Marsden.” Beside her Mrs. Braeburn blushed, her eyes bright. Bryony was furious at Leo, for his facile words, and even more so at herself, for the painful pleasure that trickled into her drop by drop. “Our wedding was the happiest hour of my life, that we would belong to each other always. The church was filled with hyacinths and camellias, and the crowd overflowed to the steps, for the whole world wanted to see who had at last captured your lofty heart. “But alas, I had not truly captured your lofty heart, had I? I but held it for a moment. And soon there was trouble in Paradise. One day, you said to me, ‘My hair has turned white. It is a sign I must wander far and away. Find me then, if you can. Then and only then will I be yours again.’” Her heart pounded again. How did he know that she had indeed taken her hair turning white as a sign that the time had come for her to leave? No, he did not know. He’d made it up out of whole cloth. But even Mr. Braeburn was spellbound by this ridiculous tale. She had forgotten how hypnotic Leo could be, when he wished to beguile a crowd. “And so I have searched. From the poles to the tropics, from the shores of China to the shores of Nova Scotia. Our wedding photograph in hand, I have asked crowds pale, red, brown, and black, ‘I seek an English lady doctor, my lost beloved. Have you seen her?’” He looked into her eyes, and she could not look away, as mesmerized as the hapless Braeburns. “And now I have found you at last.” He raised his glass. “To the beginning of the rest of our lives.
Sherry Thomas (Not Quite a Husband (The Marsdens, #2))
It was common among Muslim scholars to discuss the delicate balance between hope and fear. If one is overwhelmed with fear, he enters a psychological state of terror that leads to despair (ya’s)— that is, despair of God’s mercy. In the past, this religious illness was common, but it is less so today because, ironically, people are not as religious as they used to be. However, some of this is still found among certain strains of evangelical Christianity that emphasize Hellfire and eternal damnation. One sect believes that only 144,000 people will be saved based on its interpretation of a passage in the Book of Revelations. Nonetheless, an overabundance of hope is a disease that leads to complacency and dampens the aspiration to do good since salvation is something guaranteed (in one’s mind, that is). According to some Christian sects that believe in unconditional salvation, one can do whatever one wills (although he or she is encouraged to do good and avoid evil) and still be saved from Hell and gain entrance to Paradise. This is based on the belief that once one accepts Jesus a personal savior, there is nothing to fear about the Hereafter. Such religiosity can sow corruption because human beings simply cannot handle being assured of Paradise without deeds that warrant salvation. Too many will serve their passions like slaves and still consider themselves saved. In Islam, faith must be coupled with good works for one’s religion to be complete. This does not contradict the sound Islamic doctrine that “God’s grace alone saves us.” There is yet another kind of hope called umniyyah, which is blameworthy in Islam. Essentially, it is having hope but neglecting the means to achieve what one hopes for, which is often referred to as an “empty wish.” One hopes to become healthier, for example, but remains sedentary and is altogether careless about diet. To hope for the Hereafter but do nothing for it in terms of conduct and morality is also false hope.
Hamza Yusuf (Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart)
The Sun burned down in a warm contrasting world of white and black, of white Sun against black sky and white rolling ground mottled with black shadow. The bright sweet smell of the Sun on every exposed square centimeter of metal contrasting with the creeping death-of-aroma on the other side. He lifted his hand and stared at it, counting the fingers. Hot-hot-hot-turning, putting each finger, one by one, into the shadow of the others and the hot slowly dying in a change in tactility that made him feel the clean, comfortable vacuum. Yet not entirely vacuum. He straightened and lifted both arms over his head, stretching them out, and the sensitive spots on either wrist felt the vapors- the thin, faint touch of tin and lead rolling through the cloy of mercury. The thicker taste rose from his feet; the silicates of each variety, marked by the clear separate-and-together touch and tang of each metal ion. He moved one foot slowly through the crunchy, caked dust, and felt the changes like a soft, not quite random symphony. And over all the Sun. He looked up at it, large and fat and bright and hot, and heard its joy. He watched the slow rise of prominences around its rim and listened to the crackling sound of each; and to the other happy noises over the broad face. When he dimmed the background light, the red of the rising wisps of hydrogen showed in bursts of mellow contralto, and the deep bass of the spots amid the muted whistling of the wispy, moving faculae, and the occasional thin keening of a flare, the ping-pong ticking of gamma rays and cosmic particles, and over all in every direction the soft, fainting, and ever-renewed sigh of the Sun's substance rising and retreating forever in a cosmic wind which reached out and bathed him in glory. He jumped, and rose slowly in the air with a freedom he had never felt, and jumped again when he landed, and ran, and jumped, and ran again, with a body that responded perfectly to this glorious world, this paradise in which he found himself.
Isaac Asimov (The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories)
Senseless people name evil good, call good evil. As you are doing. You accuse Us of passing false judgement: you do Us injustice. We shall prove this to you. You ask who We are: We are God’s handle, Master Death, a truly effective reaper. Our scythe works its way. It cuts down white, black, red, brown, green, blue, grey, yellow, and all kinds of lustrous flowers in its path, irrespective of their splendour, their strength, their virtue. And the violet’s beautiful colour, rich perfume, and palatable sap, avail it nought. See: that is justice. Our justification was acknowledged by the Romans and the poets, for they knew Us better than you do. You ask what We are: We are nothing, and yet something. Nothing, because We have neither life, nor being, nor form, and We are no spirit, not visible, not tangible; something, because We are the end of life, the end of existence, the beginning of nullity, a cross between the two. We are a happening that fells all people. Huge giants must fall before Us; all living beings must be transformed by Us. You ask where We are: We are not ascertainable. But Our form was found in a temple in Rome*, painted on a wall, as a hoodwinked man sitting on an ox; this man wielded a hatchet in his right hand and a shovel in his left hand, with which he was beating the ox. A great crowd of all kinds of people was hitting him, fighting him, and making casts at him, each one with the tools of his trade: even the nun with her psalter was there. They struck and made casts at the man on the ox, he who signified Us; yet Death contested and buried them all. Pythagoras likens Us to a man’s form with the eyes of a basilisk: they wandered to the ends of the Earth, and every living creature had to die at their glance. You ask where We are: We are from the Earthly Paradise. God created Us there and gave Us Our true name, when he said: «The day that ye bite of this fruit, ye shall die the death.» And for that reason We call ourself: «We, Death, mighty ruler and master on Earth, in the air, and in the rivers of the sea.» You ask what good We do: you have already heard that We bring the world more advantage than harm. Now cease, rest content, and thank Us for the kindness we have done you!
Johannes von Saaz (Death and the Ploughman)
Marketa really desired, with both her body and her senses, the women she considered Karel's mistresses. And she also desired them with her head: fulfilling the prophecy of her old math teacher, she wanted - at least to the limits of the disastrous contract - to show herself enterprising and playful, and to astonish Karel. But as soon as she found herself naked with them on the wide daybed, the sensual wanderings immediately vanished from her mind, and seeing her husband was enough to return her to her role, the role of the better one, the one who is wronged, Even when she was with Eva, whom she loved very much and of whom she was not jealous, the presence of the man she loved too well weighed heavily on her, stifling the pleasure of the senses. The moment she removed his head from the body, she felt the strange and intoxicating touch of freedom. That anonymity of the body was a suddenly discovered paradise. With an odd delight, she expelled her wounded and too vigilant soul and was transformed into a simple body without past or memory, but all the more eager and receptive. She tenderly caressed Eva's face, while the headless body moved vigorously on top of her. But here the headless body interrupted his movements and, in a voice that reminded her unpleasantly of Karel's, uttered unbelievably idiotic words: "I'm Bobby Fischer! I'm Bobby Fischer!" It was like being awakened from a dream. And just then, as she lay snuggled against Eva (as the awakening sleeper snuggles against his pillow to hide from the dim first light of day), Eva had asked her, "All right?" and she had consented with a sign, pressing her lips against Eva's. She had always loved her, but today for the first time sh loved her with all her senses, for herself, for her body, and for her skin, becoming intoxicated with this fleshly love as with a sudden revelation. Afterward, while they lay side by side on their stomachs, with their buttocks slightly raised, Marketa could feel on her skin that the infinitely efficient body was again fixing its eyes on hers and at any moment was going to start again making love to them. She tried to ignore the voice talking about seeing beautiful Mrs. Nora, tried simply to be a body hearing nothing while lying pressed between a very soft-skinned girlfriend and some headless man.
Milan Kundera (The Book of Laughter and Forgetting)
Peace cannot require Palestinians to acquiesce to the denial of what was done to them. Neither can it require Israeli Jews to view their own presence in Palestine as illegitimate or to change their belief in their right to live there because of ancient historical and spiritual ties. Peace, rather, must be based on how we act toward each other now. It is unacceptable for a Palestinian to draw on his history of oppression and suffering to justify harming innocent Israeli civilians. It is equally unacceptable for an Israeli to invoke his belief in an ancient covenant between God and Abraham to justify bulldozing the home and seizing the land of a Palestinian farmer. The 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which proposes a political framework for a resolution to the conflict in Ireland, and which was overwhelmingly endorsed in referendums, sets out two principles from which Palestinians and Israelis could learn. First “[i]t is recognized that victims have a right to remember as well as to contribute to a changed society.” Second, whatever political arrangements are freely and democratically chosen for the governance of Northern Ireland, the power of the government “shall be exercised with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people in the diversity of their identities and traditions and shall be founded on the principles of full respect for, and equality of civil, political, social, and cultural rights, of freedom from discrimination for all citizens, and of parity of esteem and of just and equal treatment for the identity, ethos, and aspirations of both communities.” Northern Ireland is still a long way from achieving this ideal, but life has vastly improved since the worst days of “the Troubles” and it is a paradise on earth compared to Palestine/Israel.
Ali Abunimah (One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse)
Marilee lay perfectly still,waiting for her world to settle.She had to fight the unreasonable urge to weep. Wyatt's face was pressed to the hollow of her throat,his breathing rough, his damp body plastered to hers. He nuzzled her neck. "Am I too heavy?" "Umm." It was all she could manage. "You all right?" "Umm." "Did anybody ever tell you that you talk too much?" "Umm." He brushed his mouth over hers. "If you hum a bit more,I might be able to name that tune." That broke the spell of tears that had been threatening and caused her to laugh. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back. "Have I told you how much I like your silly sense of humor?" "No,you haven't." He rolled to his side and gathered her into his arms,nuzzling her cheek,while his big hands moved over her hip,her back,her waist, as though measuring every inch of her. "What else do you like about me?" "You fishing for compliments?" "Of course I am." "Glutton. Your sense of humor isn't enough?" "Not nearly enough.How about my looks?" "They're okay,for a footloose rebel." "Stop.All these mushy remarks will inflate my ego." He gave a mock frown. "How about the way I kiss?" "You're not bad." "Not bad?" His hands stopped their movement. He drew a little away. "That's all you can say?" "If you recall,tonight was the first time we've kissed.I haven't had nearly enough practice to be a really good judge of your talent." "Then we'd better take care of that right now." He framed her face. With his eyes steady on hers, he lowered his mouth to claim her lips. Marilee's eyelids fluttered and she felt an explosion of color behind them. As though the moon and stars had collided while she rocketed through space. It was the most amazing sensation, and, as his lips continued moving over hers,she found herself wishing it could go on forever. When at last they came up for air, she took in a long,deep breath before opening her eyes. "Oh,yes,rebel.I have to say,I do like the way you kiss." "That's good,because I intend to do a whole lot more of it." He lay back in the grass,one hand beneath his head. "Now it's my turn.Want to know all the things I like about you?" "I'm afraid to hear it." Marilee lay on her side,her hand splayed across his chest. "Besides your freckles,which I've already mentioned,the thing about you I like best is your take-charge attitude." She chuckled. "A lot of guys feel intimidated by that." "They're idiots.Don't they know there's something sexy about a woman who knows what to do and how to do it? I've watched you as a medic and as a pilot, and I haven't decided which one turns me on more." "Really?" She sat up. "Want me to fetch my first-aid kit from the plane? I could always splint your arm or leg and really turn you on." He dragged her down into his arms and growled against her mouth, "You don't need to do a single thing to turn me on. All I need to do is look at you and I want you." "You mean now? Again? So soon?" "Oh,yeah." "Liar.I don't believe it's possible." "You ought to know by now that I never say anything I can't back up with action." "Prove it,rebel." "My pleasure." There was a wicked smile on his lips as he rolled over her and began to kiss her breathless,all the while taking her on a slow,delicious ride to paradise.
R.C. Ryan (Montana Destiny)
There is something in the contemplation of the mode in which America has been settled, that, in a noble breast, should forever extinguish the prejudices of national dislikes. Settled by the people of all nations, all nations may claim her for their own. You can not spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole world. Be he Englishman, Frenchman, German, Dane, or Scot; the European who scoffs at an American, calls his own brother Raca, and stands in danger of the judgment. We are not a narrow tribe of men, with a bigoted Hebrew nationality—whose blood has been debased in the attempt to ennoble it, by maintaining an exclusive succession among ourselves. No: our blood is as the flood of the Amazon, made up of a thousand noble currents all pouring into one. We are not a nation, so much as a world; for unless we may claim all the world for our sire, like Melchisedec, we are without father or mother. For who was our father and our mother? Or can we point to any Romulus and Remus for our founders? Our ancestry is lost in the universal paternity; and Caesar and Alfred, St. Paul and Luther, and Homer and Shakespeare are as much ours as Washington, who is as much the world's as our own. We are the heirs of all time, and with all nations we divide our inheritance. On this Western Hemisphere all tribes and people are forming into one federated whole; and there is a future which shall see the estranged children of Adam restored as to the old hearthstone in Eden. The other world beyond this, which was longed for by the devout before Columbus' time, was found in the New; and the deep-sea-lead, that first struck these soundings, brought up the soil of Earth's Paradise. Not a Paradise then, or now; but to be made so, at God's good pleasure, and in the fullness and mellowness of time. The seed is sown, and the harvest must come; and our children's children, on the world's jubilee morning, shall all go with their sickles to the reaping. Then shall the curse of Babel be revoked, a new Pentecost come, and the language they shall speak shall be the language of Britain. Frenchmen, and Danes, and Scots; and the dwellers on the shores of the Mediterranean, and in the regions round about; Italians, and Indians, and Moors; there shall appear unto them cloven tongues as of fire.
Herman Melville (Redburn)
Kaz had never been able to dodge the horror of that night in the Ketterdam harbor, the memory of his brother’s corpse clutched tight in his arms as he told himself to kick a little harder, to take one more breath, stay afloat, stay alive. He’d found his way to shore, devoted himself to the vengeance he and his brother were owed. But the nightmare refused to fade. Kaz had been sure it would get easier. He would stop having to think twice before he shook a hand or was forced into close quarters. Instead, things got so bad he could barely brush up against someone on the street without finding himself once more in the harbor. He was on the Reaper’s Barge and death was all around him. He was kicking through the water, clinging to the slippery bloat of Jordie’s flesh, too frightened of drowning to let go. The situation had gotten dangerous. When Gorka once got too drunk to stand at the Blue Paradise, Kaz and Teapot had to carry him home. Six blocks they hauled him, Gorka’s weight shifting back and forth, slumping against Kaz in a sickening press of skin and stink, then flopping onto Teapot, freeing Kaz briefly—though he could still feel the rub of the man’s hairy arm against the back of his neck. Later, Teapot had found Kaz huddled in a lavatory, shaking and covered in sweat. He’d pleaded food poisoning, teeth chattering as he jammed his foot against the door to keep Teapot out. He could not be touched again or he would lose his mind completely. The next day he’d bought his first pair of gloves—cheap black things that bled dye whenever they got wet. Weakness was lethal in the Barrel. People could smell it on you like blood, and if Kaz was going to bring Pekka Rollins to his knees, he couldn’t afford any more nights trembling on a bathroom floor. Kaz never answered questions about the gloves, never responded to taunts. He just wore them, day in and day out, peeling them off only when he was alone. He told himself it was a temporary measure. But that didn’t stop him from remastering every bit of sleight of hand wearing them, learning to shuffle and work a deck even more deftly than he could barehanded. The gloves held back the waters, kept him from drowning when memories of that night threatened to drag him under. When he pulled them on, it felt like he was arming himself, and they were better than a knife or a gun. 
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
The Garden" How vainly men themselves amaze To win the palm, the oak, or bays, And their uncessant labours see Crown’d from some single herb or tree, Whose short and narrow verged shade Does prudently their toils upbraid; While all flow’rs and all trees do close To weave the garlands of repose. Fair Quiet, have I found thee here, And Innocence, thy sister dear! Mistaken long, I sought you then In busy companies of men; Your sacred plants, if here below, Only among the plants will grow. Society is all but rude, To this delicious solitude. No white nor red was ever seen So am’rous as this lovely green. Fond lovers, cruel as their flame, Cut in these trees their mistress’ name; Little, alas, they know or heed How far these beauties hers exceed! Fair trees! wheres’e’er your barks I wound, No name shall but your own be found. When we have run our passion’s heat, Love hither makes his best retreat. The gods, that mortal beauty chase, Still in a tree did end their race: Apollo hunted Daphne so, Only that she might laurel grow; And Pan did after Syrinx speed, Not as a nymph, but for a reed. What wond’rous life in this I lead! Ripe apples drop about my head; The luscious clusters of the vine Upon my mouth do crush their wine; The nectarine and curious peach Into my hands themselves do reach; Stumbling on melons as I pass, Ensnar’d with flow’rs, I fall on grass. Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less, Withdraws into its happiness; The mind, that ocean where each kind Does straight its own resemblance find, Yet it creates, transcending these, Far other worlds, and other seas; Annihilating all that’s made To a green thought in a green shade. Here at the fountain’s sliding foot, Or at some fruit tree’s mossy root, Casting the body’s vest aside, My soul into the boughs does glide; There like a bird it sits and sings, Then whets, and combs its silver wings; And, till prepar’d for longer flight, Waves in its plumes the various light. Such was that happy garden-state, While man there walk’d without a mate; After a place so pure and sweet, What other help could yet be meet! But ’twas beyond a mortal’s share To wander solitary there: Two paradises ’twere in one To live in paradise alone. How well the skillful gard’ner drew Of flow’rs and herbs this dial new, Where from above the milder sun Does through a fragrant zodiac run; And as it works, th’ industrious bee Computes its time as well as we. How could such sweet and wholesome hours Be reckon’d but with herbs and flow’rs!
Andrew Marvell (Miscellaneous Poems)
True love is in despair and is enchanted over a glove lost or a handkerchief found, and eternity is required for its devotion and its hopes. It is composed both of the infinitely great and the infinitely little. If you are a stone, be adamant; if you are a plant, be the sensitive plant; if you are a man, be love. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com 1579 Nothing suffices for love. We have happiness, we desire paradise; we possess paradise, we desire heaven. Oh ye who love each other, all this is contained in love. Understand how to find it there. Love has contemplation as well as heaven, and more than heaven, it has voluptuousness. ‘Does she still come to the Luxembourg?’ ‘No, sir.’ ‘This is the church where she attends mass, is it not?’ ‘She no longer comes here.’ ‘Does she still live in this house?’ ‘She has moved away.’ ‘Where has she gone to dwell?’ ‘She did not say.’ What a melancholy thing not to know the address of one’s soul! Love has its childishness, other passions have their pettinesses. Shame on the passions which belittle man! Honor to the one which makes a child of him! There is one strange thing, do you know it? I dwell in the night. There is a being who carried off my sky when she went away. Oh! would that we were lying side by side in the same grave, hand in hand, and from time to time, in the darkness, gently caressing a finger,—that would suffice for my eternity! Ye who suffer because ye love, love yet more. To die of love, is to live in it. Love. A sombre and starry transfiguration is mingled with this torture. There is ecstasy in agony. Oh joy of the birds! It is because they have nests that they sing. 1580 Les Miserables Love is a celestial respiration of the air of paradise. Deep hearts, sage minds, take life as God has made it; it is a long trial, an incomprehensible preparation for an unknown destiny. This destiny, the true one, begins for a man with the first step inside the tomb. Then something appears to him, and he begins to distinguish the definitive. The definitive, meditate upon that word. The living perceive the infinite; the definitive permits itself to be seen only by the dead. In the meanwhile, love and suffer, hope and contemplate. Woe, alas! to him who shall have loved only bodies, forms, appearances! Death will deprive him of all. Try to love souls, you will find them again. I encountered in the street, a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old, his coat was worn, his elbows were in holes; water trickled through his shoes, and the stars through his soul. What a grand thing it is to be loved! What a far grander thing it is to love! The heart becomes heroic, by dint of passion. It is no longer composed of anything but what is pure; it no longer rests on anything that is not elevated and great. An unworthy thought can no more germinate in it, than a nettle on a glacier. The serene and lofty soul, inaccessible to vulgar passions and emotions, dominating the clouds and the shades of this world, its follies, its lies, its hatreds, its vanities, its miseries, inhabits the blue of heaven, and no longer feels anything but profound and subterranean shocks of destiny, as the crests of mountains feel the shocks of earthquake. If there did not exist some one who loved, the sun would become extinct.
Victor Hugo