Personality Captures Quotes

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When death captures me,' the boy vowed, 'he will feel my fist on his face.' Personally, I quite like that. Such stupid gallantry. Yes. I like that a lot.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Obama’s next words captured the attention of the world and the amusement of those present. As he wagged his finger at the crowd, he scolded, ‘So stop it, all of you. I know you have to find something to report on, but we have more than enough problems out there without manufacturing problems.
Claudia Clark (Dear Barack: The Extraordinary Partnership of Barack Obama and Angela Merkel)
Emotion is ‘recognition’. When treasured moments are identified in the jungle of our personal history during a visual or aural encounter, we capture magic sparks from our past, arousing flashes of insight and revealing an inner flare. These instants of recognition may kindle enthralling emotion and fulfilling inspiration. (“Those journeys of love”)
Erik Pevernagie
What other problems do American soldiers face when hunting down these fanat­ical killers?” “A person’s senses are more acute when being hunted,” Reid said. “More adept at avoiding capture.” These guys are good, Blake thought as a bead of sweat trickled down the small of his back. What have I gotten myself into?
Chad Boudreaux (Scavenger Hunt)
I don't think anyone ever remembers what they were really like as kids. Adults think they do, but they don't. Photos and videos don't capture the real you, or bring back to life the person you used to be. You have to return to the past to do that.
Darren Shan (Sons of Destiny (Cirque du Freak, #12))
It's not one of the posed shots- it's one he didn't even realize had been taken, one he definitely didn't think would be released. He should have given the photographer more credit. He managed to capture the moment right when Henry cracked a joke, a candid, genuine photo, completely caught up in each other, Henry's arm around him and his own hand reaching up to grasp for Henry's on his shoulder. The way Henry's looking at him in the picture is so affectionate, so openly loving, that seeing it from a third person perspective almost makes Alex want to look away, like he's staring into the sun. He called Henry the North Star once. That wasn't bright enough.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
Maybe love, at its essence, is being a mirror for another person—for the good parts and the bad. Perhaps love is simply finding that one person who sees you clearly, cares for you deeply, challenges you and supports you, and subsequently helps you see and be your true self.
Penny Reid (Capture (Elements of Chemistry #3; Hypothesis, #1.3))
I believe it is customary to get one's washing over first in baths and bask afterwards; personally, I bask first. I have discovered that the first few minutes are the best and not to be wasted-- my brain always seethes with ideas and life suddenly looks much better than did.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
With our limited senses and consciousness, we only glimpse a small portion of reality. Furthermore, everything in the universe is in a state of constant flux. Simple words and thoughts cannot capture this flux or complexity. The only solution for an enlightened person is to let the mind absorb itself in what it experiences, without having to form a judgment on what it all means. The mind must be able to feel doubt and uncertainty for as long as possible. As it remains in this state and probes deeply into the mysteries of the universe, ideas will come that are more dimensional and real than if we had jumped to conclusions and formed judgments early on.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
The Mind—Satan’s Battlefield Let me bring you into the enemy’s kingdom and the strategy of the devil in a deeper way. The first thing the enemy attacks is your mind. The enemy knows that the battle is in the mind, and he knows if he can capture the territory of your mind, your thoughts, and the way you operate, he’s got you in a stranglehold. The next move he makes will be to attack your soul. This includes your mind, will, and emotions. Once he’s got a person’s soul, he will paralyze that person and bring them down to nothing.
John Ramirez (Unmasking the Devil: Strategies to Defeat Eternity's Greatest Enemy)
If we could capture feelings like we capture pictures, none of us would ever leave our rooms. It would be so tempting to inhabit the good moments over and over again. But I don't want to be the kind of person who lives backwardly, who memorializes moments before she's finished living in them. So I plant my feet here on this hillside beside a boy who is undoing me, and I kiss him back like I mean it. And, God help me, with the sky wrapped around us in every direction, I do mean it.
Emery Lord (Open Road Summer)
It's beauty that captures your attention, personality which captures your heart...
Roy Rolfe Gilson
As a person i couldnt say, although i am well apuainted with tales of his atrocities. every time brom and i crossed paths with him, he was trying to kill us. or ratar, capture, torture, and then killus, none of which are productive to establishing a close relationship" _ Jeod
Christopher Paolini (Brisingr (The Inheritance Cycle, #3))
What swells inside me is a love so boundless, I am the sunrise and sunset. I am Liberty Bell in the Cascades. I am Beihai Lake. I am every beautiful, truly beautiful, thing I've ever seen, captured in my personal Geographia, the atlas of myself.
Justina Chen (North of Beautiful)
Celaena knew where she was before she awoke. And she didn't care. She was living the same story again and again. The night she'd been captured, she'd also snapped, and come so close to killing the person she most wanted to destroy before someone knocked her out and she awoke in a rotting dungeon. She smiled bitterly as she opened her eyes. It was always the same story, the same loss.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
It's beauty that captures your attention; personality that captures your heart..
Oscar Wilde
Falling in love is not an act of will. It is not a conscious choice. No matter how open to or eager for it we may be, the experience may still elude us. Contrarily, the experience may capture us at times when we are definitely not seeking it, when it is inconvenient and undesirable. We are as likely to fall in love with someone with whom we are obviously ill matched as with someone more suitable. Indeed, we may not even like or admire the object of our passion, yet, try as we might, we may not be able to fall in love with a person whom we deeply respect and with whom a deep relationship would be in all ways desirable. This is not to say that the experience of falling in love is immune to discipline. Psychiatrists, for instance, frequently fall in love with their patients, just as their patients fall in love with them, yet out of duty to the patient and their role they are usually able to abort the collapse of their ego boundaries and give up the patient as a romantic object. The struggle and suffering of the discipline involved may be enormous. But discipline and will can only control the experience; they cannot create it. We can choose how to respond to the experience of falling in love, but we cannot choose the experience itself.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
And at last father flung the rug off as if it were hampering him and strode over to the table saying, 'cocoa, cocoa!'-- it might have been the most magnificent drink in the world; which, personally, I think it is.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
Human love is directed to the other person for his own sake, spiritual love loves him for Christ's sake. Therefore, human love seeks direct contact with the other person; it loves him not as a free person but as one whom it binds to itself. It wants to gain, to capture by every means; it uses force. It desires to be irresistible, to rule.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
I couldn't make it out - why you ever let me, I mean. I understand now. Things like that happen when you're in love with the wrong person. Worse things. Things you never forgive yourself for.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
Incidentally, I never felt less brisk in my life, because being looked at like that makes a person feel dizzy.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
An introverted woman spends hours contemplating a thought or observing a pattern in her life. She turns it over in her mind until it becomes a companion to her and then decides to share it in the context of a small group. When she musters up the courage to voice it, trembling as she puts words to this precious inner stirring, someone in the group cuts her off when she pauses in the middle, her thought still building steam. This person quickly tells her she shouldn't feel the way she does or else counters with a story of her own, which only tangentially relates to what the introvert was saying. Nouwen's words perfectly capture the sense of personal violation and emptiness: "Often we come home from a sharing session with a feeling that something precious has been taken away from us or that holy ground has been trodden upon.
Adam McHugh
And life goes on, which seems kind of strange and cruel when you're watching someone die. But there's a joy and an abundance of everything, like information and laughter and summer weather and so many stories. My mother urges me to write them down because, "You're the last of the Markhams, my love." So I record dates and journeys and personalities and traits and heroes and losers and weaknesses and strengths and I try to capture every one of those people because one day I'll need what they had to offer.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
Each time a person’s essence was captured, the copper pot glowed. Not once did the happy couples notice the pot as Joroku’s golden nails carved the intricate design. Just like when he cut the silhouette for Lyly and her friend, Patrick. They were too much in love to feel their souls bleed.
Mary K. Savarese (The Girl In The Toile Wallpaper (The Star Writers Trilogy, #1))
The fascination exerted by one human being over another is not what he emits of his personality at the present instant of encounter but a summation of his entire being which gives off this powerful drug capturing the fancy and attachment.
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
The night she'd been captured, she'd also snapped, and come SO CLOSE to killing the person she most wanted to destroy before someone knocked her out and she awoke in a rotting dungeon. She smiled bitterly as she opened her eyes. It was always the same story, the same loss.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
A partner must be biologically interesting, attractive to us, and you are fascinating. You are horror and beauty in rare combination. In a very real way, you've captured us, and we can't escape. But you're more than only the composition and the workings of your bodies. You are your personalities, your cultures.
Octavia E. Butler (Dawn (Xenogenesis, #1))
Is it later yet?” Roth asked. Casting him a lingering look, I grinned as I rose fluidly, with a grace I never thought I’d ever be capable of. “Only if you can catch me.” Roth rose at once, capturing my hand before I could even take off, threading his fingers through mine. “Already did, Layla.” And so he had, a long time ago, when he strutted into a dark alley and took out a Poser demon. Truth be told, I really didn’t even want to run. This was love, and love could change people, even if that person was really a demon and the Crown Prince of Hell. “I love you,” I told him, and I told him that every day and I would tell him that over and over again. Roth lowered his forehead to mine as he brought our joined hands to his chest, placing them above his heart. “And I love you,” he said. “With every breath I take, I will always love you.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements, #3))
No picture I saw online truly captured the effect of that tanned, well-structured face in person. Absolutely none. His face is walk-straight-into-a-wall stunning, and I won’t even dwell on his body, but now I understand why his bed is the most coveted spot in town.
Katy Evans (Manwhore (Manwhore, #1))
This may sound weird, but there are certain songs, like really great songs---you don't just listen to them, you know? They make you feel like they're listening back. Like the person who wrote the song heard you. Music makes you feel less alone in that way. It's proof that someone out there has felt the exact same way you do and they've managed to capture it in this perfect blend of words and sound.
Jasmine Warga (Here We Are Now)
Rich people don’t have to have a life-and-death relationship with the truth and its questions; they can ignore the truth and still thrive materially. I am not surprised many of them understand literature only as an ornament. Life is an ornament to them, relationships are ornaments, their 'work' is but a flimsy, pretty ornament meant to momentarily thrill and capture attention.
Sergio Troncoso (Crossing Borders: Personal Essays)
If you are a person of faith, at some point you’ll need to decide whether you want to be right or if you want to be Jesus.
Bob Goff (Undistracted: Capture Your Purpose. Rediscover Your Joy.)
Much of the borderline’s dramatic behavior is related to his interminable search for something to fill the emptiness that continually haunts him. Relationships and drugs are two of the mechanisms the borderline uses to combat the loneliness and to capture a sense of existing in a world that feels real. CASE
Jerold J. Kreisman (I Hate You--Don't Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality)
Joy is the net of love by which we can capture souls. God loves the person who gives with joy. Whoever gives with joy gives more. The best way to show our gratitude to God and to people is to accept with joy.
Mother Teresa (The Love of Christ (English and French Edition))
I was so anxious to make him believe me that I leaned towards him, across the table. He looked at me, right into my eyes. That queer, veiled expression in his -- that I fear I used to call his daft look -- was suddenly not there; there seemed to be a light in them and yet I have never seen them look so dark. And they were so direct that it was more like being touched than being looked at. It only lasted a second, but for that second he was quite a different person -- much more interesting, even a little bit exciting.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
I wanted to explore this part of myself for me, not in spite of or because of another person. If I was going to change my style or add to it, I wanted to do it because of how it made me feel. Not because I wanted to make someone else feel better or view me differently.
Penny Reid (Capture (Elements of Chemistry #3; Hypothesis, #1.3))
I’d been on the precipice of being brave, and nothing can make a person more foolish and vulnerable than bravery.
Penny Reid (Capture (Elements of Chemistry #3; Hypothesis, #1.3))
A girl's desire is like a pretty butterfly. And a man's desire is like a butterfly net. His desire captures and kills her. He turns her into an object to be pinned on a corkboard. I don't think I'm interested in the tyranny of the couple. I'm more interested in what a person does when they're forced to be by themselves.
Heather O'Neill (The Lonely Hearts Hotel)
Here’s the fundamental problem: group identity can be fractionated right down to the level of the individual. That sentence should be written in capital letters. Every person is unique—and not just in a trivial manner: importantly, significantly, meaningfully unique. Group membership cannot capture that variability. Period.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Why no pictures?” While I knew from the beginning that I did not want to include them, it took lengthy discussion with readers to articulate exactly why. It comes down to the fact that photos capture one instant in a person’s life. I hoped to bring these people alive as complex individuals: hopeful, gloomy, anxious, playful, devious, etc. Photos, within these covers, undermine that, in my opinion. So we left them out. Photos
Dave Cullen (Columbine)
I wish I'd been accepted sooner and better. When I was younger, not being accepted made me enraged, but now, I am not inclined to dismantle my history. If you banish the dragons, you banish the heroes--and we become attached to the heroic strain in our personal history. We choose our own lives. It is not simply that we decide on the behaviors that construct our experience; when given our druthers, we elect to be ourselves. Most of us would like to be more successful or more beautiful or wealthier, and most people endure episodes of low self-esteem or even self-hatred. We despair a hundred times a day. But we retain the startling evolutionary imperative for the fact of ourselves, and with that splinter of grandiosity we redeem our flaws. These parents have, by and large, chosen to love their children, and many of them have chosen to value their own lives, even though they carry what much of the world considers an intolerable burden. Children with horizontal identities alter your self painfully; they also illuminate it. They are receptacles for rage and joy-even for salvation. When we love them, we achieve above all else the rapture of privileging what exists over what we have merely imagined. A follower of the Dalai Lama who had been imprisoned by the Chinese for decades was asked if he had ever been afraid in jail, and he said his fear was that he would lose compassion for his captors. Parents often think that they've captured something small and vulnerable, but the parents I've profiled here have been captured, locked up with their children's madness or genius or deformity, and the quest is never to lose compassion. A Buddhist scholar once explained to me that most Westerners mistakenly think that nirvana is what you arrive at when your suffering is over and only an eternity of happiness stretches ahead. But such bliss would always be shadowed by the sorrow of the past and would therefore be imperfect. Nirvana occurs when you not only look forward to rapture, but also gaze back into the times of anguish and find in them the seeds of your joy. You may not have felt that happiness at the time, but in retrospect it is incontrovertible. For some parents of children with horizontal identities, acceptance reaches its apogee when parents conclude that while they supposed that they were pinioned by a great and catastrophic loss of hope, they were in fact falling in love with someone they didn't yet know enough to want. As such parents look back, they see how every stage of loving their child has enriched them in ways they never would have conceived, ways that ar incalculably precious. Rumi said that light enters you at the bandaged place. This book's conundrum is that most of the families described here have ended up grateful for experiences they would have done anything to avoid.
Andrew Solomon (Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity)
Sometimes I fantasize about getting my hands on my library records. . . my recurring bookworm dream is to peruse my personal library history like it's a historical document. My bookshelves show me the books I've bought or been given. . . But my library books come into my house and go out again, leaving behind only memories and a jotted line in a journal (if I'm lucky). I long for a list that captures these ephemeral reads - all the books I've borrowed in a lifetime of reading, from last week's armful spanning back to when I was a seven-year-old kid with my first library card. I don't need many details - just the titles and dates would be fine - but oh, how I'd love to see them. Those records preserve what my memory has not. I remember the highlights of my grade-school checkouts, but much is lost to time. How I'd love to see the complete list of what I chose to read in second grade, or sixth, or tenth.
Anne Bogel (I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life)
Do you know how hard it is to paint kindness?” She leaned her hip against a desk in the corner of the room, still watching me. “It’s the only part of a person I really want to capture. Everything else seems to get lost in layers of deception or defensiveness. But not kindness. You can’t hide it. And people either are or they aren’t.
Laura Anderson Kurk (Perfect Glass)
The potion drunk by lovers is prepared by no one but themselves. The potion is the sum of one's whole existence. Every word spoken in the past accumulated forms and color in the self. What flows through the veins besides blood is the distillation of every act committed, the sediment of all the visions, wishes, dreams, and experiences. All the past emotions converge to tint the skin and flavor the lips, to regulate the pulse and produce crystals in the eyes. The fascination exerted by one human being over another is not what he emits of his personality at the present instant of encounter but a summation of his entire being which gives off this powerful drug capturing the fancy and attachment. No moment of charm without long roots in the past, no moment of charm is born on bare soil, a careless accident of beauty, but is the sum of great sorrows, growths, and efforts. But love, the great narcotic, was the hothouse in which all the selves burst into their fullest bloom . . .
Anaïs Nin
There are a dozen different ways of delivering destruction in impersonal wholesale, via ships and missiles of one sort or another, catastrophes so widespread, so unselective, that the war is over because that nation or planet has ceased to exist. What we do is entirely different. We make war as personal as a punch in the nose. We can be selective, applying precisely the required amount of pressure at the specified point at a designated time - we've never been told to go down and kill or capture all left-handed redheads in a particular area, but if they tell us to, we can. We will.
Robert A. Heinlein
Only one person had ever captured Erich and kept him, and that person held him captive even in death.
Megan Derr (Bound (Kria, #2))
To be successful, innovation is not just about value creation, but value capture.
Jay Samit (Disrupt You!: Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation)
By choosing to innovate instead of compete, Apple successfully captured a leadership share of a very competitive market.
Josh Kaufman (The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business)
She’s a person who deserves to have her story told. What does it matter where she was born?
Kerri Maniscalco (Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #4))
In addition, I think religion has a chance of a look-in whenever the mind craves solace in music or poetry-- in any form of art at all. Personally, I think it is an art, the greatest one; an extension of the communication all the other arts attempt.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
You may be astonished that in such a short period of time I could go from weeping over the muffled killing of a flying fish to gleefully bludgeoning to death a dorado. I could explain it by arguing that profiting from a pitiful flying fish’s navigational mistake made me shy and sorrowful, while the excitement of actively capturing a great dorado made me sanguinary and self-assured. But in point of fact the explanation lies elsewhere. It is simple and brutal: a person can get used to anything, even to killing.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
I love capturing memories. Emotion that’s usually fleeting being frozen forever in time. The wisdom in the gaze of a person who’s lived a full life. The look in someone’s eyes when they realize they’re in love. The joy in their face when they’re laughing at a joke. Photographs help us remember things we’d otherwise forget.
Emily McIntire (Twisted (Never After, #4))
Somehow I feel that an ordinary person–the man in the street if you like–is a more challenging subject for exploration than people in the heroic mold. It is the half shades, the hardly audible notes that I want to capture and explore. […] My films are about human beings, human relationships, and social problems. I think it is possible for everyone to relate to these issues. On a certain level, foreign audiences can appreciate Indian works, but many details are missed. For example, when they see a woman with a red spot on her forehead, they don’t know that this is a sign showing that she is married, or that a woman dressed in a white sari is a widow. Indian audiences understand this at once; it is self-evident for them. So, on certain level, the cultural gap is too wide. But on a psychological level, on the level of social relations, it is possible to relate. I think I have been able to cross the barrier between cultures. My films are made for an Indian audience, but I think they have bridged the gap.
Satyajit Ray
Hester glowered at her. “The biggest mistake a villain can make is to get caught up in revenge. Hansel and Gretel were two hungry kids trying to survive in the Woods. Mother thought she’d captured another pair of greedy, gluttonous brats, only to grossly underestimate them. Hansel and Gretel killed her because they had to. It wasn’t personal.” She glanced back at the old siblings. “Doesn’t mean I can stand the sight of ’em, of course. But it also doesn’t mean their story has anything to do with mine anymore.
Soman Chainani (The Last Ever After (The School for Good and Evil, #3))
We didn't finish that dance." "Here?" "Why not?" Echo's high heel tapped against the sidewalk, the telltale sign of nerves. I took a deliberate step forward and caught her waist before she coud back away from me. My siren had sung to me for way too long, capturing my heart, tempting me with her body, driving me slowly insane. Now, I expected her to pay up. "Do you hear that?" I aked. Echo raised an eyebrow when she heard nothing but the sound of water trickling in the fountain. "Hear what?" I slid my right hand down her arm, cradled her hand against my chest and swayed us from side to side. "The music." Her eyes danced. "Maybe if you could tell me what i'm supposed to be hearing." "Slow drum beat." With one finger i tapped the beat into the small of her back. "Acoustic quitar." I leaned down and hummed my favorite song in her ear. Her sweet cinnamon smell intoxicated me. She relaxed, fitting perfectly into my body. In the crisp, cold February air, we swayed together, moving to our own personal beat. For one moment, we escaped hell. No teachers, no therapist, no well-meaning friends, no nightmares-just the two of us, dancing. My song ended, my finger stopped tapping the beat, and we ceased swaying from side to side. She held perfectly still, keeping her hand in mine, her head resting on my shoulder. I nuzzled into the warmth of her silky curls, tightening my hold on her. Echo was becoming essential, like air. I eased my hand to her chin, lifting her face toward me. My thumb caressed her warm, smooth cheek. My heart beat faster. A ghost of that siren smile graced her lips as she tilted her head closer to mine, creating the undeniable pull of the sailor lost to the sea to the beautiful goddess calling him home. I kissed her lips. Soft, full, warm-everything i'd fantasized it would be and more, so much more. Echo hesitantly pressed back, a curious question for which i had a response. I parted my lips and teased her bottom one, begging, praying, for permission. Her smooth hands inched up my neck and pulled at my hair, bringing me closer. She opened her mouth, her tongue seductively touching mine, almost bringing me to my knees. Flames licked through me as our kiss deepened. Her hands massaged my scalp and neck, only stoking the heat of the fire. Forgetting every rule i'd created for this moment, my hands wandered up her back, twining in her hair, bringing her closer to me. I wanted Echo. I needed Echo. Her eyes met mine again. "So what does this mean for us?" I lowered my forehead to hers. "It means you 're mine.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
As we drove I remembered how I had told myself I would make Simon happy. I didn't feel the same person. For I now knew that I had been stuffing myself up with a silly fairy tale, that I could never mean to him what Rose had meant. I think I knew it first as I watched his face while he listened to her singing, and then more and more, as he talked about the whole wretched business - not angrily or bitterly, but quietly and without ever saying a word against Rose. But most of all I knew it because a change in myself. Perhaps watching someone you love suffer can teach you more than suffering yourself can. Long before we got back to the castle, with all my heart and for my own heart's ease as well as his, I would have given her back to him if I could.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
Kreizler emphasized that no good would come of conceiving of this person as a monster, because he was most assuredly a man (or a woman); and that man or woman had once been a child. First and foremost, we must get to know that child, and to know his parents, his siblings, his complete world. It was pointless to talk about evil and barbarity and madness; none of these concepts would lead us any closer to him. But if we could capture the human child in our imaginations – then we could capture the man in fact.
Caleb Carr (The Alienist (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #1))
When you’re young, experiencing new relationships and first loves, nobody really knows what they’re doing. We chase the butterflies and try to capture the perfect moments. But the more you grow, the more you realize that’s not what it’s all about. Love becomes real when the ideal fades away. When that one person becomes more important than yourself. When you make the decision that no matter the cost, you’ll never stop fighting for them. When you can face each other, scarred and unashamed in this dark, lonely world, and feel like you’re finally home. Until we are ready to love with all our hearts, all our minds, and all our souls, we are nothing but lonesome people, just looking to use somebody.
Riley Jean (Use Somebody)
I receive remarkable letters. They are opened for me, unfolded, and spread out before my eyes in a daily ritual that gives the arrival of the mail the character of a hushed and holy ceremony. I carefully read each letter myself. Some of them are serious in tone, discussing the meaning of life, invoking the supremacy of the soul, the mystery of every existence. And by a curious reversal, the people who focus most closely on these fundamental questions tend to be people I had known only superficially. Their small talk has masked hidden depths. Had I been blind and deaf, or does it take the harsh light of disaster to show a person's true nature? Other letters simply relate the small events that punctuate the passage of time: roses picked at dusk, the laziness of a rainy Sunday, a child crying himself to sleep. Capturing the moment, these small slices of life, these small gusts of happiness, move me more deeply than all the rest. A couple of lines or eight pages, a Middle Eastern stamp or a suburban postmark... I hoard all these letters like treasure. One day I hope to fasten them end to end in a half-mile streamer, to float in the wind like a banner raised to the glory of friendship. It will keep the vultures at bay.
Jean-Dominique Bauby (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
As she began rattling off a number of multi-syllabic Latin-derived medical terms, he had to rearrange himself in his leathers. Something about her getting all professional made him want to get all up in her. Probably had to do with the bonding thing—he wanted to mark this spectacular person as his, so the whole world knew they needed to back the fuck off. Jane was the only female who had ever gotten his attention and held it. And yeah, if he had to wax psychological on the situation, it was probably because her single-minded passion for her job, shit, her relentless commitment to excellence, made him feel a little like he was always chasing her just to keep up. On so many levels he was a typical predator: The chase was more electric than the capture and consumption. And with Jane, there was always something to pursue. “Hello? V?” When their eyes met, he frowned. “Sorry. Distracted.
J.R. Ward (The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #14))
Margery," I blurted out in a passion of frustration. "I don't know what to make of you!" Nor I you, Mary. Frankly, I cannot begin to comprehend the motives of a person who dedicates a large portion of her life to the contemplation of a God in whom she only marginally believes." I felt stunned, as if she had struck me in the diaphragm. She looked down at me, trying to measure the effect of her words. Mary, you believe in the power that the idea of God has on the human mind. You believe in the way human beings talk about the unknowable, reach for the unattainable, pattern their imperfect lives and offer their paltry best up to the beingless being that created the universe and powers its continuation. What you balk as it believing the evidence of your eyes, that God can reach out and touch a single human life in a concrete way." She smiled a sad, sad smile. "You mustn't be so cold, Mary. If you are, all you will see is a cold God, cold friends, cold love. God is not cold-never cold. God sears with heat, not ice, the heat of a thousand suns, heat that inflames but does not consume. You need warmth, Mary-you, Mary, need it. You fear it, you flirt with it, you imagine that you can stand in its rays and retain your cold intellectual attitude towards it. You imagine that you can love with your brain. Mary, oh my dear Mary, you sit in the hall and listen to me like some wild beast staring at a campfire, unable to leave, fearful of losing your freedom if you come any closer. It won't consume you; I won't capture you. Love does not do either. It only brings life. Please, Mary, don't let yourself be tied up by the bonds of cold academia." Her words, the power of her conviction, broke over me like a great wave, inundating me, robbing me of breath, and, as they receded in the room, they pulled hard at me to folllow. I struggled to keep my footing against the wash of Margery's vision, and only when it began to lose its strength, dissipated against the silence in the room, was I seized by a sudden terror at the nearness of my escape.
Laurie R. King (A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, #2))
This is a frame. I think Mason Verger is trying to capture Dr. Lecter himself for purposes of personal revenge. I think he just missed him in Florence. I think Mr. Krendler may be in collusion with Verger and wants the FBI’s effort against Dr. Lecter to work for Verger. I think Paul Krendler of the Department of Justice is making money out of this and I think he is willing to destroy me to do it. Mr. Krendler has behaved toward me before in an inappropriate manner and is acting now out of spite as well as financial self-interest. Only this week he called me a ‘cornpone country pussy.’ I would challenge Mr. Krendler before this body to take a lie detector test with me on these matters. I’m at your convenience. We could do it now.
Thomas Harris (Hannibal (Hannibal Lecter, #3))
The truth was that her photographs were an extension of who she was, what she thought, how she felt. It took perfect concentration to capture the exquisite pain of personal tragedy on film. You had to be there one hundred percent, in the moment - but it had to be their moment.
Kristin Hannah (Winter Garden)
In short, wonder is captured in one word—worship. When we have learned what worship is,we have experienced what wonder is. Worship is a personal thing before it goes public. It is an individual thing before it is part of a community. It is a disciplined thing before it is natural.
Ravi Zacharias (Recapture the Wonder)
I feel like a meme of a clueless white person. The wildest thing about all this is that even now I cannot stop composing. I'm trying to funnel this awfulness into something lovely. My salacious roman à clef will become a horror novel. My terror will become my readers' terror. I will take my fugue state of delirious panic and compost it into a fertile bed of creativity — for aren't all the best novels borne from some madness, which is borne from truth? Perhaps, if I can capture all my fears and constrain them safely on the page, this will rob them of their power. Don't all the ancient myths tell us that we gain control over a thing once we name it?
R.F. Kuang (Yellowface)
I believe it is customary to get get one's washing over first in baths and bask afterwards; personally, I bask first. I have discovered that the first few minutes are the best and not to be wasted--- my brain always seethes with ideas and life suddenly looks much better than it did...So I bask first, wash second and then read as long as the hot water holds out. The last stage of a bath, when the water is cooling and there is nothing to look forward to, can be pretty disillusioning.
Dodie Smith
People always said that photography is an attempt to capture something fleeting. And suddenly everything is fleeting. It's like Ardor is this special tone of light we've never had before, and it's shining down and infusinf every single object and person on the planet. I just want to document that light, before it's gone. -Eliza
Tommy Wallach (We All Looked Up)
Before your father and I got married, he told me he knew I loved him long before I ever said the words aloud. He said I had ‘the look of love’. I always thought he was crazy. Until I watched this footage the videographer captured at the wedding reception. Your father was right after all. Sometimes the person in love is the last to know he’s already fallen.
Vi Keeland (The Christmas Pact)
Take more selfies. Not because you need validation or likes or comments. but because you are here on this earth. Alive and holy and true. And yes, your beauty deserves to be seen and known, most especially by you. You are worthy of being the subject of your own art. It is okay to capture the process of your own becoming. To be your own kind and gentle and fierce witness. To learn the truth of your eyes and your skin and your bones. To choose to show what wants to be shown, to name what wishes to be named, to claim ownership of the story that is told about you by being the one to tell it. Dear girl. YOU are the greatest art you will ever create. The masterpiece. The magnum opus. You’re it. However you want to be. Look at yourself now, miracle that you are, look at yourself and soak in the wonder, until you no longer want to look away.
Jeanette LeBlanc
If we were having this discussion three years from today, and you were looking back over those three years, what has to have happened in your life, both personally and professionally, for you to feel happy with your progress? Specifically, what dangers do you have now that need to be eliminated, what opportunities need to be captured, and what strengths need to be maximized?
Dan Sullivan (The Dan Sullivan Question)
But even while Rome is burning, there’s somehow time for shopping at IKEA. Social imperatives are a merciless bitch. Everyone is attempting to buy what no one can sell.  See, when I moved out of the house earlier this week, trawling my many personal belongings in large bins and boxes and fifty-gallon garbage bags, my first inclination was, of course, to purchase the things I still “needed” for my new place. You know, the basics: food, hygiene products, a shower curtain, towels, a bed, and umm … oh, I need a couch and a matching leather chair and a love seat and a lamp and a desk and desk chair and another lamp for over there, and oh yeah don’t forget the sideboard that matches the desk and a dresser for the bedroom and oh I need a coffeetable and a couple end tables and a TV-stand for the TV I still need to buy, and don’t these look nice, whadda you call ’em, throat pillows? Oh, throw pillows. Well that makes more sense. And now that I think about it I’m going to want my apartment to be “my style,” you know: my own motif, so I need certain decoratives to spruce up the decor, but wait, what is my style exactly, and do these stainless-steel picture frames embody that particular style? Does this replica Matisse sketch accurately capture my edgy-but-professional vibe? Exactly how “edgy” am I? What espresso maker defines me as a man? Does the fact that I’m even asking these questions mean I lack the dangling brass pendulum that’d make me a “man’s man”? How many plates/cups/bowls/spoons should a man own? I guess I need a diningroom table too, right? And a rug for the entryway and bathroom rugs (bath mats?) and what about that one thing, that thing that’s like a rug but longer? Yeah, a runner; I need one of those, and I’m also going to need…
Joshua Fields Millburn (Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists)
In 1817 the twenty-two-year-old poet John Keats wrote a letter to his brothers in which he explained his most recent thoughts on the creative process. The world around us, he wrote, is far more complex than we can possibly imagine. With our limited senses and consciousness, we only glimpse a small portion of reality. Furthermore, everything in the universe is in a state of constant flux. Simple words and thoughts cannot capture this flux or complexity. The only solution for an enlightened person is to let the mind absorb itself in what it experiences, without having to form a judgment on what it all means. The mind must be able to feel doubt and uncertainty for as long as possible. As it remains in this state and probes deeply into the mysteries of the universe, ideas will come that are more dimensional and real than if we had jumped to conclusions and formed judgments early on. To accomplish this, he wrote, we must be capable of negating our ego. We are by nature fearful and insecure creatures. We do not like what is unfamiliar or unknown. To compensate for this, we assert ourselves with opinions and ideas that make us seem strong and certain. Many of these opinions do not come from our own deep reflection, but are instead based on what other people think. Furthermore, once we hold these ideas, to admit they are wrong is to wound our ego and vanity. Truly creative people in all fields can temporarily suspend their ego and simply experience what they are seeing, without the need to assert a judgment, for as long as possible. They are more than ready to find their most cherished opinions contradicted by reality.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
The moment we try and turn a thought into words we place it into a shared world. This shared world we call 'language', Once we take our personal unseen experiences and make them seen, we help others, and even ourselves, to understand what we are going through. What we say aloud can never quite capture what we feel inside, but that is almost the point. Words don't capture, they release.
Matt Haig
But Nick still had one person left to speak to. Mark. “How did you survive?” he asked as Mark left Simi, who was licking her fingers and joined them by the truck. Mark flashed him a grin. “What? Did you forget the first rule I taught you, boy?” Nick scowled as he tried to remember Mark’s various rules for survival. “Duck urine chases away every living and unliving thing?” “Nah, that’s number six. Rule number one: I don’t have to outrun the zombie. I just have to outrun you. How you think Eric and Tabitha got captured?” Tabitha laughed. “Oh please. Inspector Gadget over there made a blowtorch out of Eric’s art sealant and a lighter. I’m not sure the house is stil standing, but he got us out of there and Simi covered the rest of our retreat. We’d have gotten away completely had Eric not tripped and I made the mistake of going back for him while Mark was hot-wiring a neighbour’s car.” Nick laughed at more proof Mark wasn’t completely insane. Never go back for the fallen unless you want to be captured or killed. Unless the fallen was Bubba, who usually had a larger calibre of weapons. Mark sighed. “By the time I realized they weren’t behind me, they were gone and I was sick over it. I really thought they’d gotten eaten. But luckily I saw your girlfriend under attack and, with Simi’s help, was able to get her to safety.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infinity (Chronicles of Nick, #1))
Scripture breathes wisdom like we breathe oxygen. It can't not. Through Scripture, God reveals himself. This wisdom cannot be captured, let alone contained, on a neon bumper sticker or rubber bracelet. Wisdom itself invites us to go deeper- right into a relationship with God himself. Through wisdom, we learn to love God and love what he loves. We find rich counsel on the life we were meant for- in our families, communities, and world. We discover our personal responsibilities to others. And we unearth how to put love into action." -Organic God
Margaret Feinberg (The Organic God)
This distorted lens may lead someone studying human sexuality to ask: “Where are you on a spectrum from straight to gay?” This question would miss a pattern we found in our data suggesting that people's arousal systems are not bundled by the gender of whatever it is that turns them on: 4.5% of men find the naked male form aversive but penises arousing, while 6.7% of women find the female form arousing, but vaginas aversive. Using simplified community identifications like the gay-straight spectrum to investigate how and why arousal patterns develop is akin to studying historic human migration patterns by distributing a research survey asking respondents to report their position on a spectrum from “white” to “person of color.” Yes, “person of color,” like the concept of “gay,” is a useful moniker to understand the life experiences of a person, but a person’s place on a “white” to “person of color” spectrum tells us little about their ethnicity, just as a person’s place on a scale of gay to straight tells us little about their underlying arousal patterns. The old way of looking at arousal limits our ability to describe sexuality to a grey scale. We miss that there is no such thing as attraction to just “females,” but rather a vast array of arousal systems that react to stimuli our society typically associates with “females” including things like vaginas, breasts, the female form, a gait associated with a wider hip bone, soft skin, a higher tone of voice, the gender identity of female, a person dressed in “female” clothing, and female gender roles. Arousal from any one of these things correlates with the others, but this correlation is lighter than a gay-straight spectrum would imply. Our data shows it is the norm for a person to derive arousal from only a few of these stimuli sets and not others. Given this reality, human sexuality is not well captured by a single sexual spectrum. Moreover, contextualizing sexuality as a contrast between these communities and a societal “default” can obscure otherwise-glaring data points. Because we contrast “default” female sexuality against “other” groups, such as the gay community and the BDSM community, it is natural to assume that a “typical” woman is most likely to be very turned on by the sight of male genitalia or the naked male form and that she will be generally disinterested in dominance displays (because being gay and/or into BDSM would be considered atypical, a typical woman must be defined as the opposite of these “other,” atypical groups). Our data shows this is simply not the case. The average female is more likely to be very turned on by seeing a person act dominant in a sexual context than she is to be aroused by either male genitalia or the naked male form. The average woman is not defined by male-focused sexual attraction, but rather dominance-focused sexual attraction. This is one of those things that would have been blindingly obvious to anyone who ran a simple survey of arousal pathways in the general American population, but has been overlooked because society has come to define “default” sexuality not by what actually turns people on, but rather in contrast to that which groups historically thought of as “other.
Simone Collins (The Pragmatist’s Guide to Sexuality: What Turns People On, Why, and What That Tells Us About Our Species (The Pragmatist's Guide))
They decided now, talking it over in their tight little two-and-quarter room flat, that most people who call themselves 'truth seekers' - persons who scurry about chattering of Truth as though it were a tangible seperable thing, like houses or salt or bread - did not so much desire to find Truth as to cure their mental itch. In novels, these truth-seekers quested the 'secret of life' in laboratories which did not seem to be provided wtih Bunsen flames or reagents; or they went, at great expense and much discomfort from hot trains and undesirable snakes, to Himalayan monasteries, to learn from unaseptic sages that the Mind can do all sorts of edifying things if one will but spend thirty or forty years in eating rice and gazing on one's navel. To these high matters Martin responded, 'Rot!' He insisted that there is no Truth but only many truths; that Truth is not a colored bird to be chased among the rocks and captured by its tail, but a skeptical attitude toward life. (260)
Sinclair Lewis (Arrowsmith)
I do not write every day. I write to the questions and issues before me. I write to deadlines. I write out of my passions. And I write to make peace with my own contradictory nature. For me, writing is a spiritual practice. A small bowl of water sits on my desk, a reminder that even if nothing is happening on the page, something is happening in the room--evaporation. And I always light a candle when I begin to write, a reminder that I have now entered another realm, call it the realm of the Spirit. I am mindful that when one writes, one leaves this world and enters another. My books are collages made from journals, research, and personal experience. I love the images rendered in journal entries, the immediacy that is captured on the page, the handwritten notes. I love the depth of ideas and perspective that research brings to a story, be it biological or anthropological studies or the insights brought to the page by the scholarly work of art historians. When I go into a library, I feel like I am a sleuth looking to solve a mystery. I am completely inspired by the pursuit of knowledge through various references. I read newpapers voraciously. I love what newspapers say about contemporary culture. And then you go back to your own perceptions, your own words, and weigh them against all you have brought together. I am interested in the kaleidoscope of ideas, how you bring many strands of thought into a book and weave them together as one piece of coherent fabric, while at the same time trying to create beautiful language in the service of the story. This is the blood work of the writer. Writing is also about a life engaged. And so, for me, community work, working in the schools or with grassroots conservation organizations is another critical component of my life as a writer. I cannot separate the writing life from a spiritual life, from a life as a teacher or activist or my life intertwined with family and the responsibilities we carry within our own homes. Writing is daring to feel what nurtures and breaks our hearts. Bearing witness is its own form of advocacy. It is a dance with pain and beauty.
Terry Tempest Williams
I need to be clear. I am not suggesting that the individual wealthy person is dull. Rather I am suggesting that a social order bent on producing wealth as an end in itself cannot avoid producing people whose souls are superficial and whose daily lives are captured by sentimentalities. They ask questions like, “Why does a good god let bad things happen to good people?” Such a people cannot imagine what kind of people would write and sing the Psalms.
Stanley Hauerwas (Working with Words: On Learning to Speak Christian)
Can you imagine? Fourteen-hundred-year-old views of history determining how neighbors interacted in the twentieth century? No. You can't. Because history here is a dead thing. Something captured in books that schoolchildren have to endure and which they forget about the moment the books are closed. In Pakistan, every conversation, however personal, is punctuated by the raspy, decrepit gasps of the past breathing down your neck; every generation has to fight out all the old arguments that have been fought before.
Nafisa Haji (The Sweetness of Tears)
It was about that time [415 BCE] that the poet Diagoras of Melos was proscribed for atheism, he having declared that the non-punishment of a certain act of iniquity proved that there were no gods. It has been surmised, with some reason, that the iniquity in question was the slaughter of the Melians by the Athenians in 416 BCE, and the Athenian resentment in that case was personal and political rather than religious. For some time after 415 the Athenian courts made strenuous efforts to punish every discoverable case of impiety; and parodies of the Eleusinian mysteries were alleged against Alcibiades and others. Diagoras, who was further charged with divulging the Eleusinian and other mysteries, and with making firewood of an image of Herakles, telling the god thus to perform his thirteenth labour by cooking turnips, became thenceforth one of the proverbial atheists of the ancient world, and a reward of a silver talent was offered for killing him, and of two talents for his capture alive; despite which he seems to have escaped.
J.M. Robertson (A Short History Of Freethought: Ancient And Modern (1899))
No priest, no theologian stood at the manger of Bethlehem. And yet all Christian theology has its origin in the wonder of all wonders: that God became human. Holy theology arises from knees bent before the mystery of the divine child in the stable. Without the holy night, there is no theology. “God is revealed in flesh,” the God-human Jesus Christ — that is the holy mystery that theology came into being to protect and preserve. How we fail to understand when we think that the task of theology is to solve the mystery of God, to drag it down to the flat, ordinary wisdom of human experience and reason! Its sole office is to preserve the miracle as miracle, to comprehend, defend, and glorify God’s mystery precisely as mystery. This and nothing else, therefore, is what the early church meant when, with never flagging zeal, it dealt with the mystery of the Trinity and the person of Jesus Christ…. If Christmas time cannot ignite within us again something like a love for holy theology, so that we—captured and compelled by the wonder of the manger of the son of God—must reverently reflect on the mysteries of God, then it must be that the glow of the divine mysteries has also been extinguished in our heart and has died out.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas)
William Wordsworth was said to have walked 180,000 miles in his lifetime. Charles Dickens captured the ecstasy of near-madness and insomnia in the essay “Night Walks” and once said, “The sum of the whole is this: Walk and be happy; Walk and be healthy.” Robert Louis Stevenson wrote of “the great fellowship of the Open Road” and the “brief but priceless meetings which only trampers know.” Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche said, “Only those thoughts that come by walking have any value.” More recently, writers who knew the benefits of striking out excoriated the apathetic public, over and over again, for its laziness. “Of course, people still walk,” wrote a journalist in Saturday Night magazine in 1912. “That is, they shuffle along on their own pins from the door to the street car or taxi-cab…. But real walking … is as extinct as the dodo.” “They say they haven’t time to walk—and wait fifteen minutes for a bus to carry them an eighth of a mile,” wrote Edmund Lester Pearson in 1925. “They pretend that they are rushed, very busy, very energetic; the fact is, they are lazy. A few quaint persons—boys chiefly—ride bicycles.
Ben Montgomery (Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail)
What are we really perceiving in trances? When we are watching a person cross a cobble-stone road and enter a tavern in the 16th Century, we are following the thread of life, the Akashic Records. Akasha is the Sanskrit word for "sky, atmosphere" or "aether". Just as a camera can catch a moment in time on film, or a video captures movement and action, so is it with the akasha … we leave traces in time and space, in the aethers. Consciously or not, when perceiving past lives we are looking back into time, and finding the records on the akasha. Time. And Space.
Stephen Poplin (Inner Journeys, Cosmic Sojourns: Life transforming stories, adventures and messages from a spiritual hypnotherapist's casebook (VOLUME1))
How do I know that the love of life is not a delusion? Or that the fear of death is not like a young person running away from home and unable to find his way back? The Lady Li Chi was the daughter of a border warden, Ai. When the state of Chin captured her, she wept until she had drenched her robes; then she came to the King’s palace, shared the King’s bed, ate his food, and repented of her tears. How do I know whether the dead now repent for their former clinging to life? ‘Come the morning, those who dream of the drunken feast may weep and moan; when the morning comes, those who dream of weeping and moaning go hunting in the fields. When they dream, they don’t know it is a dream. Indeed, in their dreams they may think they are interpreting dreams, only when they awake do they know it was a dream. Eventually there comes the day of reckoning and awakening, and then we shall know that it was all a great dream. Only fools think that they are now awake and that they really know what is going on, playing the prince and then playing the servant. What fools! The Master and you are both living in a dream. When I say a dream, I am also dreaming. This very saying is a deception. If after ten thousand years we could once meet a truly great sage, one who understands, it would seem as if it had only been a morning.
Zhuangzi (The Book of Chuang Tzu)
He flushes slightly. “I was mad about him when I was fifteen.” “How didn’t I know this?” I say indignantly. “We tell each other everything.” “Not anymore,” Dylan adds hastily, looking at Gabe, but he shrugs unconcerned. “Don’t try and cover it up, Dylan. Jude’s our very own Camilla - the third person in our relationship.” “Why am I the old woman in this scenario?” I say indignantly. “I want to be the younger, much fitter princess, who captured people’s hearts and minds.” “You would have been, babe,” Dylan says hastily. “And you’d look way better with a tiara than she does.” “I would,” I nod firmly. “I would be a very desirable addition to the royal family, and a very stabilizing influence, if I do say so myself. I also have a full head of my own hair.” Gabe shakes his head. “I’m worried that I not only follow these odd flights of fancy, but I find myself actually wanting to weigh in with my own opinions.” “What did you want to say?” Dylan asks immediately, but he shakes his head. “I said I wanted to, not that I was going to. I’m looking through the windows of the mental asylum, not going through the door.
Lily Morton (Deal Maker (Mixed Messages, #2))
The endless procession of people and things that forms the world is for me an interminable gallery of pictures whose content bores me. It doesn't interest me because the soul is a monotonous thing and is always the same in everyone; it differs only in its personal manifestations and the best part of it is that which overflows into dreams, into mannerisms and gestures, and thus becomes part of the image that so captures my interest [...] This is how I experience the animate exteriors of things and beings, in pure vision, indifferent as a god from another world to their content, to their spirit. I only go deep into the surface of other people, if I want profundity I look for it in myself and in my concept of things.
Fernando Pessoa
I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. That is, my feet are in it; the rest of me is on the draining-board, which I have padded with our dog's blanket and the tea-cosy. I can't say that I am really comfortable, and there is a depressing smell of carbolic soap, but this is the only part of the kitchen where there is any daylight left. And I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring - I wrote my very best poem while sitting on the hen-house. Though even that isn't a very good poem. I have decided my best poetry is so bad that I mustn't write any more of it. Drips from the roof are plopping into the water-butt by the back door. The view through the windows above the sink is excessively drear. Beyond the dank garden in the courtyard are the ruined walls on the edge of the moat. Beyond the moat, the boggy ploughed fields stretch to the leaden sky. I tell myself that all the rain we have had lately is good for nature, and that at any moment spring will surge on us. I try to see leaves on the trees and the courtyard filled with sunlight. Unfortunately, the more my mind's eye sees green and gold, the more drained of all colour does the twilight seem. It is comforting to look away from the windows and towards the kitchen fire, near which my sister Rose is ironing - though she obviously can't see properly, and it will be a pity if she scorches her only nightgown. (I have two, but one is minus its behind.) Rose looks particularly fetching by firelight because she is a pinkish person; her skin has a pink glow and her hair is pinkish gold, very light and feathery. Although I am rather used to her I know she is a beauty. She is nearly twenty-one and very bitter with life. I am seventeen, look younger, feel older. I am no beauty but I have a neatish face. I have just remarked to Rose that our situation is really rather romantic - two girls in this strange and lonely house. She replied that she saw nothing romantic about being shut up in a crumbling ruin surrounded by a sea of mud. I must admit that our home is an unreasonable place to live in. Yet I love it. The house itself was built in the time of Charles II, but it was grafted on to a fourteenth-century castle that had been damaged by Cromwell. The whole of our east wall was part of the castle; there are two round towers in it. The gatehouse is intact and a stretch of the old walls at their full height joins it to the house. And Belmotte Tower, all that remains of an even older castle, still stands on its mound close by. But I won't attempt to describe our peculiar home fully until I can see more time ahead of me than I do now. I am writing this journal partly to practise my newly acquired speed-writing and partly to teach myself how to write a novel - I intend to capture all our characters and put in conversations. It ought to be good for my style to dash along without much thought, as up to now my stories have been very stiff and self-conscious. The only time father obliged me by reading one of them, he said I combined stateliness with a desperate effort to be funny. He told me to relax and let the words flow out of me.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
I find that most people serve practical needs. They have an understanding of the difference between meaning and relevance. And at some level my mind is more interested in meaning than in relevance. That is similar to the mind of an artist. The arts are not life. They are not serving life. The arts are the cuckoo child of life. Because the meaning of life is to eat. You know, life is evolution and evolution is about eating. It's pretty gross if you think about it. Evolution is about getting eaten by monsters. Don't go into the desert and perish there, because it's going to be a waste. If you're lucky the monsters that eat you are your own children. And eventually the search for evolution will, if evolution reaches its global optimum, it will be the perfect devourer. The thing that is able to digest anything and turn it into structure to sustain and perpetuate itself, for long as the local puddle of negentropy is available. And in a way we are yeast. Everything we do, all the complexity that we create, all the structures we build, is to erect some surfaces on which to out compete other kinds of yeast. And if you realize this you can try to get behind this and I think the solution to this is fascism. Fascism is a mode of organization of society in which the individual is a cell in the superorganism and the value of the individual is exactly the contribution to the superorganism. And when the contribution is negative then the superorganism kills it in order to be fitter in the competition against other superorganisms. And it's totally brutal. I don't like fascism because it's going to kill a lot of minds I like. And the arts is slightly different. It's a mutation that is arguably not completely adaptive. It's one where people fall in love with the loss function. Where you think that your mental representation is the intrinsically important thing. That you try to capture a conscious state for its own sake, because you think that matters. The true artist in my view is somebody who captures conscious states and that's the only reason why they eat. So you eat to make art. And another person makes art to eat. And these are of course the ends of a spectrum and the truth is often somewhere in the middle, but in a way there is this fundamental distinction. And there are in some sense the true scientists which are trying to figure out something about the universe. They are trying to reflect it. And it's an artistic process in a way. It's an attempt to be a reflection to this universe. You see there is this amazing vast darkness which is the universe. There's all these iterations of patterns, but mostly there is nothing interesting happening in these patterns. It's a giant fractal and most of it is just boring. And at a brief moment in the evolution of the universe there are planetary surfaces and negentropy gradients that allow for the creation of structure and then there are some brief flashes of consciousness in all this vast darkness. And these brief flashes of consciousness can reflect the universe and maybe even figure out what it is. It's the only chance that we have. Right? This is amazing. Why not do this? Life is short. This is the thing we can do.
Joscha Bach
I wonder how much of a person is simply fabricated by others,” she said. “And think about this: None of us see the same person in the exact same way. We bring ourselves into the equation. So an individual is never really an individual.” “This might be a little too deep for a hangover. Are you saying we’re not only a product of our environment; we’re also informed by accurate and inaccurate observations by others? That makes my head hurt even more.” “One thing I know, before my capture I saw myself through everybody else’s eyes, if that makes any sense. Every single person I engaged with throughout the day. I read their reaction to me and saw what they saw, accurate or inaccurate. That hasn’t happened since my escape. I don’t know if this new me is normal or abnormal, but that skewed reflection no longer exists. It should feel good, but it’s like something is gone.” You become the person he sees.
Anne Frasier (The Body Reader (Detective Jude Fontaine Mysteries, #1))
Catch a customer with emotion and you will have a customer for a day; but, capture a customer with value and you will keep a customer for a lifetime. I truly believe in good, old-fashioned values when it comes to business. That is what timelessness is made of! At the end of the day, the question is, “Do you want to build a good hut for a day or do you want to build a good fortress for a lifetime?” Quality, value, understanding the needs of your clientele— that’s how you build a legacy. Connect with people, because you can never underestimate just how many people out there are yearning for any form of good interpersonal connection that they can find and when you can provide that as a brand name, you can allow the person behind your business to shine through. That’s how timelessness is created. It’s not created by luring people into a myth; it’s created by making connections, by remembering people’s names, by being genuinely interested in everybody.
C. JoyBell C.
So it all moves in a pageant towards the ending, it's own ending. Everywhere, imperceptibly or otherwise, things are passing, ending, going. And there will be other summers, other band concerts, but never this one, never again, never as now. Next year I will not be the self of this year now. And that is why I laugh at the transient, the ephemeral; laugh, while clutching, holding, tenderly, like a fool his toy, cracked glass, water through fingers. For all the writing, for all the invention of engines to express & convey & capture life, it is the living of it that is the gimmick. It goes by, and whatevere dream you use to dope up the pains and hurts, it goes. Delude yourself about printed islands of permanence. You've only got so long to live. You're getting your dream. Things are working, blind forces, no personal spiritual beneficent ones except your own intelligence and the good will of a few other fools and fellow humans. So hit it while it's hot.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
What are you two doing?” Her uncle’s teasing voice came into the room before he did. But his voice was the second warning that they were no longer alone, since Violet had tasted his presence long before he’d actually stepped into her house. Ever since saving her and Jay at Homecoming, her uncle carried an imprint of his own. The bitter taste of dandelions still smoldered on Violet’s tongue whenever he was near. A taste that Violet had grown to accept. And even, to some degree, to appreciate. “Nothing your parents wouldn’t approve of, I hope,” he added. Violet flashed Jay a wicked grin. “We were just making out, so if you could make this quick, we’d really appreciate it.” Jay jumped up from beside her. “She’s kidding,” he blurted out. “We weren’t doing anything.” Her uncle Stephen stopped where he was and eyed them both carefully. Violet could’ve sworn she felt Jay squirming, even though every single muscle in his body was frozen in place. Violet smiled at her uncle, trying her best to look guilty-as-charged. Finally he raised his eyebrows, every bit the suspicious police officer. “Your parents asked me to stop by and check on you on my way home. They won’t be back until late. Can I trust the two of you here . . . alone?” “Of course you can—” Jay started to say. “Probably not—“ Violet answers at the same time. And then she caught a glimpse of the horror-stricken expression on Jay’s face, and she laughed. “Relax, Uncle Stephen, we’re fine. We were just doing homework.” Her uncle looked at the pile of discarded books on the table in front of the couch. Not one of them was open. He glanced skeptically at Violet but didn’t say a word. “We may have gotten a little distracted,” she responded, and again she saw Jay shifting nervously. After several warnings, and a promise from Violet that she would lock the doors behind him, Uncle Stephen finally left the two of them alone again. Jay was glaring at Violet when she peeked at him as innocently as she could manage. “Why would you do that to me?” “Why do you care what he thinks we’re doing?” Violet had been trying to get Jay to admit his new hero worship of her uncle for months, but he was too stubborn—or maybe he honestly didn’t realize it himself—to confess it to her. “Because, Violet,” he said dangerously, taking a threatening step toward her. But his scolding was ruined by the playful glint in his eyes. “He’s your uncle, and he’s the police chief. Why poke the bear?” Violet took a step back, away from him, and he matched it, moving toward her. He was stalking her around the coffee table now, and Violet couldn’t help giggling as she retreated. But it was too late for her to escape. Jay was faster than she was, and his arms captured her before she’d ever had a chance. Not that she’d really tried. He hauled her back down onto the couch, the two of them falling into the cushions, and this time he pinned her beneath him. “Stop it!” she shrieked, not meaning a single word. He was the last person in the world she wanted to get away from. “I don’t know . . .” he answered hesitantly. “I think you deserve to be punished.” His breath was balmy against her cheek, and she found herself leaning toward him rather than away. “Maybe we should do some more homework.” Homework had been their code word for making out before they’d realized that they hadn’t been fooling anyone. But Jay was true to his word, especially his code word, and his lips settled over hers. Violet suddenly forgot that she was pretending to break free from his grip. Her frail resolve crumbled. She reached out, wrapping her arms around his neck, and pulled him closer to her. Jay growled from deep in his throat. “Okay, homework it is.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
The group of artists and scientists that had so far done least was the one that had attracted the greatest interest—and the greatest alarm. This was the team working on “total identification.” The history of the cinema gave the clue to their actions. First sound, then color, then stereoscopy, then Cinerama, had made the old “moving pictures” more and more like reality itself. Where was the end of the story? Surely, the final stage would be reached when the audience forgot it was an audience, and became part of the action. To achieve this would involve stimulation of all the senses, and perhaps hypnosis as well, but many believed it to be practical. When the goal was attained, there would be an enormous enrichment of human experience. A man could become—for a while, at least—any other person, and could take part in any conceivable adventure, real or imaginary. He could even be a plant or an animal, if it proved possible to capture and record the sense impressions of other living creatures. And when the “program” was over, he would have acquired a memory as vivid as any experience in his actual life—indeed, indistinguishable from reality itself. The prospect was dazzling. Many also found it terrifying, and hoped that the enterprise would fail. But they knew in their hearts that once science had declared a thing possible, there was no escape from its eventual realization…. This, then, was New Athens and some of its dreams. It hoped to become what the old Athens might have been had it possessed machines instead of slaves, science instead of superstition. But it was much too early yet to tell if the experiment would succeed.
Arthur C. Clarke (Childhood's End)
…95 percent of political commentary, whether spoken or written, is now polluted by the very politics it’s supposed to be about. Meaning it’s become totally ideological and reductive: The writer/speaker has certain political convictions or affiliations, and proceeds to filter all reality and spin all assertion according to those convictions and loyalties. Everybody’s pissed off and exasperated and impervious to argument from any other side. Opposing viewpoints are not just incorrect but contemptible, corrupt, evil […] Political discourse is now a formulaic matter of preaching to one’s own choir and demonizing the opposition. Everything’s relentlessly black-and-whitened…. Since the truth is way, way more gray and complicated than any one ideology can capture, the whole thing seems to me not just stupid but stupefying… How can any of this possibly help me, the average citizen, deliberate about whom to choose to decide my country’s macroeconomic policy, or how even to conceive for myself what that policy’s outlines should be, or how to minimize the chances of North Korea nuking the DMZ and pulling us into a ghastly foreign war, or how to balance domestic security concerns with civil liberties? Questions like these are all massively complicated, and much of the complication is not sexy, and well over 90 percent of political commentary now simply abets the uncomplicatedly sexy delusion that one side is Right and Just and the other Wrong and Dangerous. Which is of course a pleasant delusion, in a way—as is the belief that every last person you’re in conflict with is an asshole—but it’s childish, and totally unconducive to hard thought, give and take, compromise, or the ability of grown-ups to function as any kind of community.
David Foster Wallace (David Foster Wallace: The Interview)
How the intelligent young do fight shy of the mention of God! It makes them feel both bored and superior.” I tried to explain: “Well, once you stop believing in an old gentleman with a beard … It’s only the word God, you know — it makes such a conventional noise.” “It’s merely shorthand for where we come from, where we’re going, and what it’s all about.” “And do religious people find out what it’s all about? Do they really get the answer to the riddle?” “They get just a whiff of an answer sometimes.” He smiled at me and I smiled back and we both drank our madeira. Then he went on: “I suppose church services make a conventional noise to you, too — and I rather understand it. Oh, they’re all right for the old hands and they make for sociability, but I sometimes think their main use is to help weather churches — like smoking pipes to colour them, you know. If any — well, unreligious person, needed consolation from religion, I’d advise him or her to sit in an empty church. Sit, not kneel. And listen, not pray. Prayer’s a very tricky business.” “Goodness, is it?” “Well, for inexperienced pray-ers it sometimes is. You see, they’re apt to think of God as a slot-machine. If nothing comes out they say ‘I knew dashed well it was empty’ — when the whole secret of prayer is knowing the machine’s full.” “But how can one know?” “By filling it oneself.” “With faith?” “With faith. I expect you find that another boring word. And I warn you this slot-machine metaphor is going to break down at any moment. But if ever you’re feeling very unhappy — which you obviously aren’t at present, after all the good fortune that’s come to your family recently — well, try sitting in an empty church.” “And listening for a whiff?” We both laughed and then he said that it was just as reasonable to talk of smelling or tasting God as of seeing or hearing Him. “If one ever has any luck, one will know with all one’s senses — and none of them. Probably as good a way as any of describing it is that we shall ‘come over all queer.’” “But haven’t you already?” He sighed and said the whiffs were few and far between. “But the memory of them everlasting,” he added softly.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
I would walk round that beautiful, unspoilt little island, with its population of under a hundred and where there isn’t a single tarmac road, thinking about how he would truly sound. Perhaps the quietness of the island helped me do so. ‘Everybody thinks he’s French,’ I said to myself as I walked across the great stones that littered the beach at Rushy Bay, or stomped over the tussocky grass of Heathy Hill, with its famous dwarf pansies. ‘The only reason people think Poirot is French is because of his accent,’ I muttered. ‘But he’s Belgian, and I know that French-speaking Belgians don’t sound French, not a bit of it.’" "I also was well aware of Brian Eastman’s advice to me before I left for Bryher: ‘Don’t forget, he may have an accent, but the audience must be able to understand exactly what he’s saying.’ There was my problem in a nutshell." "To help me, I managed to get hold of a set of Belgian Walloon and French radio recordings from the BBC. Poirot came from Liège in Belgium and would have spoken Belgian French, the language of 30 per cent of the country’s population, rather than Walloon, which is very much closer to the ordinary French language. To these I added recordings of English-language stations broadcasting from Belgium, as well as English-language programmes from Paris. My principal concern was to give my Poirot a voice that would ring true, and which would also be the voice of the man I heard in my head when I read his stories. I listened for hours, and then gradually started mixing Walloon Belgian with French, while at the same time slowly relocating the sound of his voice in my body, moving it from my chest to my head, making it sound a little more high-pitched, and yes, a little more fastidious. After several weeks, I finally began to believe that I’d captured it: this was what Poirot would have sounded like if I’d met him in the flesh. This was how he would have spoken to me – with that characteristic little bow as we shook hands, and that little nod of the head to the left as he removed his perfectly brushed grey Homburg hat. The more I heard his voice in my head, and added to my own list of his personal characteristics, the more determined I became never to compromise in my portrayal of Poirot.
David Suchet (Poirot and Me)
Vanity is by far my favorite of all sins, and the camera lens is the ultimate vanity mirror. The camera captures all moods and nuances; immortalizes the soft and silky continuum that is humanity. Those still life moments seem so fluid, so representative of continuity. They are a single moment captured, yet an eternity expressed. All your youth; all your ages, captured and expressed in a single click. Of all the indulgences, vanity is certainly my favorite which we should otherwise resist, but are inexplicably captivated by and addicted. What other animal would spend so much time pouting and preening for its reflection? Only humanity would participate in such self-adoration. You would think we have the most colorful feathers or softest of manes. Rather, we are a naked biped that feels incomplete without some decorative element, accessory, or embellishment of the self. We are intoxicated by the image of the body, no different than we are seduced by fine wines, foods, or mind altering elements. We devour the skin, and peel away clothes as if they were the skin of some tropical fruit, covering a colorful and juicy interior. We hunt for bodily pleasures, and collect them as prizes; show them off in social situations as if our companions were some sort of extended adornment to ourselves. We are revealed in our sensuality. To touch beneath the surface; to connect beyond facades, that unattainable discourse between individuals is put tentatively within reach in intimacy. To capture those moments is to capture the essence of what makes us human, and what ultimately sets us above and aside from the rest of nature. Capturing humanity in its most extravagant expressions is intoxicating. Vanity is by far my favorite sin, and it is an endless tale as infinite as humanity. Every person is but a stitch in a giant tapestry.
A.E. Samaan
During World War II, there had been a project to sabotage the Nazi nuclear weapons program. Years earlier, Leo Szilard, the first person to realize the possibility of a fission chain reaction, had convinced Fermi not to publish the discovery that purified graphite was a cheap and effective neutron moderator. Fermi had wanted to publish, for the sake of the great international project of science, which was above nationalism. But Szilard had persuaded Rabi, and Fermi had abided by the majority vote of their tiny three-person conspiracy. And so, years later, the only neutron moderator the Nazis had known about was deuterium. The only deuterium source under Nazi control had been a captured facility in occupied Norway, which had been knocked out by bombs and sabotage, causing a total of twenty-four civilian deaths. The Nazis had tried to ship the deuterium already refined to Germany, aboard a civilian Norwegian ferry, the SS Hydro. Knut Haukelid and his assistants had been discovered by the night watchman of the civilian ferry while they were sneaking on board to sabotage it. Haukelid had told the watchman that they were escaping the Gestapo, and the watchman had let them go. Haukelid had considered warning the night watchman, but that would have endangered the mission, so Haukelid had only shaken his hand. And the civilian ship had sunk in the deepest part of the lake, with eight dead Germans, seven dead crew, and three dead civilian bystanders. Some of the Norwegian rescuers of the ship had thought the German soldiers present should be left to drown, but this view had not prevailed, and the German survivors had been rescued. And that had been the end of the Nazi nuclear weapons program. Which was to say that Knut Haukelid had killed innocent people. One of whom, the night watchman of the ship, had been a good person. Someone who'd gone out of his way to help Haukelid, at risk to himself; from the kindness of his heart, for the highest moral reasons; and been sent to drown in turn. Afterward, in the cold light of history, it had looked like the Nazis had never been close to getting nuclear weapons after all. And Harry had never read anything suggesting that Haukelid had acted wrongly.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
A while back a young woman from another state came to live with some of her relatives in the Salt Lake City area for a few weeks. On her first Sunday she came to church dressed in a simple, nice blouse and knee-length skirt set off with a light, button-up sweater. She wore hose and dress shoes, and her hair was combed simply but with care. Her overall appearance created an impression of youthful grace. Unfortunately, she immediately felt out of place. It seemed like all the other young women her age or near her age were dressed in casual skirts, some rather distant from the knee; tight T-shirt-like tops that barely met the top of their skirts at the waist (some bare instead of barely); no socks or stockings; and clunky sneakers or flip-flops. One would have hoped that seeing the new girl, the other girls would have realized how inappropriate their manner of dress was for a chapel and for the Sabbath day and immediately changed for the better. Sad to say, however, they did not, and it was the visitor who, in order to fit in, adopted the fashion (if you can call it that) of her host ward. It is troubling to see this growing trend that is not limited to young women but extends to older women, to men, and to young men as well. . . . I was shocked to see what the people of this other congregation wore to church. There was not a suit or tie among the men. They appeared to have come from or to be on their way to the golf course. It was hard to spot a woman wearing a dress or anything other than very casual pants or even shorts. Had I not known that they were coming to the school for church meetings, I would have assumed that there was some kind of sporting event taking place. The dress of our ward members compared very favorably to this bad example, but I am beginning to think that we are no longer quite so different as more and more we seem to slide toward that lower standard. We used to use the phrase “Sunday best.” People understood that to mean the nicest clothes they had. The specific clothing would vary according to different cultures and economic circumstances, but it would be their best. It is an affront to God to come into His house, especially on His holy day, not groomed and dressed in the most careful and modest manner that our circumstances permit. Where a poor member from the hills of Peru must ford a river to get to church, the Lord surely will not be offended by the stain of muddy water on his white shirt. But how can God not be pained at the sight of one who, with all the clothes he needs and more and with easy access to the chapel, nevertheless appears in church in rumpled cargo pants and a T-shirt? Ironically, it has been my experience as I travel around the world that members of the Church with the least means somehow find a way to arrive at Sabbath meetings neatly dressed in clean, nice clothes, the best they have, while those who have more than enough are the ones who may appear in casual, even slovenly clothing. Some say dress and hair don’t matter—it’s what’s inside that counts. I believe that truly it is what’s inside a person that counts, but that’s what worries me. Casual dress at holy places and events is a message about what is inside a person. It may be pride or rebellion or something else, but at a minimum it says, “I don’t get it. I don’t understand the difference between the sacred and the profane.” In that condition they are easily drawn away from the Lord. They do not appreciate the value of what they have. I worry about them. Unless they can gain some understanding and capture some feeling for sacred things, they are at risk of eventually losing all that matters most. You are Saints of the great latter-day dispensation—look the part.
D. Todd Christofferson