Picture Speaks Quotes

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One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship)
—if a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see, and think, and feel, you don’t think, ‘oh, I love this picture because it’s universal.’ ‘I love this painting because it speaks to all mankind.’ That’s not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It’s a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes you.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
The universe contains any amount of horrible ways to be woken up, such as the noise of the mob breaking down the front door, the scream of fire engines, or the realization that today is the Monday which on Friday night was a comfortably long way off. A dog's wet nose is not strictly speaking the worst of the bunch, but it has its own peculiar dreadfulness which connoisseurs of the ghastly and dog owners everywhere have come to know and dread. It's like having a small piece of defrosting liver pressed lovingly against you.
Terry Pratchett (Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10; Industrial Revolution, #1))
I’ve seen it happen over and over again: a black person gets killed just for being black, and all hell breaks loose. I’ve Tweeted RIP hashtags, reblogged pictures on Tumblr, and signed every petition out there. I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down. Now I am that person, and I’m too afraid to speak.
Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1))
I draw because words are too unpredictable. I draw because words are too limited. If you speak and write in English, or Spanish, or Chinese, or any other language, then only a certain percentage of human beings will get your meaning. But when you draw a picture everybody can understand it. If I draw a cartoon of a flower, then every man, woman, and child in the world can look at it and say, "That's a flower.
Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)
And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy's and talk about the day and type up your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don't listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you're sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the tv programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse your and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you're late and be amazed when you're early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I'm black and be sorry when I'm wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I'd known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you're angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you're gorgeous and hug you when you're anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I'm next to you and whimper when I'm not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don't and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I'm rejecting you when I'm not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I'd ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don't believe me and have a feeling so deep I can't find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I'd get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don't want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don't mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it's empty without you and want what you want and think I'm losing myself but know I'm safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don't deserve any less and answer your questions when I'd rather not and tell you the truth when I really don't want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it's all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it's beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you.
Sarah Kane (Crave)
when you walk, you look like you’re trying to disappear. your back is gonna be fucked up. why do you think change is so hard? is it because you’re afraid? people might think you’re pretty, but they’ll never love you. you talk like you’re apologizing for your own voice. speak up. grow up. find your spine, stop shrinking. there is nothing brave about keeping silent. how many times have you been in love? I can’t picture it ever happening for you. you lie because it makes you feel free. this is a prison. you’re always gonna think about him. you will never get him out of your system. I wish I never had to see you again. you poor thing. go to hell. you may be a nice person but you will never be a good person. no one is ever going to want to touch you. is there a vision in your head of who you want to be? you do not have the strength to become her. there is no boat big enough to keep you from drowning in the sea of yourself. go to bed, baby. you are tired from all of this nothing. sleep. rest.
Caitlyn Siehl
Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.
Walt Disney Company
Back To December is a song that addresses a first for me. In that I've never apologized in a song before. Whether it be good or bad or an apology. The person I wrote this song about deserves this. This is about a person who was incredible to me- just perfect in a relationship- and I was very careless with him. So, this is a song full of words that I would say to him that he deserves to hear. I’ve never felt the need to apologize in a song before, but in the last two years I’ve experienced a lot, a lot of different kinds of learning lessons And sometimes you learn a lesson too late and at that point you need to apologize because you were careless. ['Back To December'] is about a person who was incredible to me, just perfect to me in a relationship, and I was really careless with him I’ve written songs about things like burning my ex boyfriends pictures… I’ve written songs about the times that I’ve been hurt by love. But then one day I woke up and realized that I had hurt somebody… And so I wrote this song to tell him I’m sorry
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift: Speak Now)
The word "metaphor" means carrying something from one place to another . . . and it is when you describe something by using a word for something that it isn't. This means that the word "metaphor" is a metaphor. I think it should be called a lie because a pig is not like a day and people do not have skeletons in their cupboards. And when I try and make a picture of the phrase in my head it just confuses me because imagining and apple in someone's eye doesn't have anything to do with liking someone a lot and it makes you forget what the person was talking about.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
I don't understand why people never say what they mean. It's like the immigrants who come to a country and learn the language but are completely baffled by idioms. (Seriously, how could anyone who isn't a native English speaker 'get the picture,' so to speak, and not assume it has something to do with a photo or a painting?)
Jodi Picoult (House Rules)
Is there no context for our lives? No song, no literature, no poem full of vitamins, no history connected to experience that you can pass along to help us start strong? You are an adult. The old one, the wise one. Stop thinking about saving your face. Think of our lives and tell us your particularized world. Make up a story. Narrative is radical, creating us at the very moment it is being created. We will not blame you if your reach exceeds your grasp; if love so ignites your words they go down in flames and nothing is left but their scald. Or if, with the reticence of a surgeon's hands, your words suture only the places where blood might flow. We know you can never do it properly - once and for all. Passion is never enough; neither is skill. But try. For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don't tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear's caul. You, old woman, blessed with blindness, can speak the language that tells us what only language can: how to see without pictures. Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. Language alone is meditation.
Toni Morrison (The Nobel Lecture In Literature, 1993)
Oh! why was I born with a different face? why was I not born like the rest of my race? when I look,each one starts! when I speak, I offend; then Im silent & passive & lose every friend. Then my verse I dishonour, my pictures despise, my person degrade & my temper chastise; and the pen is my terror, the pencil my shame; all my talents I bury, and dead is my fame. Im either too low or too highly prized; when elate I m envy'd, when meek Im despis'd
William Blake
With cold eyes and indifferent mind the spectators regard the work. Connoissers admire the "skill" (as one admires a tightrope walker), enjoy the "quality of painting" (as one enjoys a pasty). But hungry souls go hungry away. The vulgar herd stroll through the rooms and pronounce the pictures "nice" or "splendid." Those who could speak have said nothing, those who could hear have heard nothing.
Wassily Kandinsky (Concerning the Spiritual in Art)
DADDY You do not do, you do not do Any more, black shoe In which I have lived like a foot For thirty years, poor and white, Barely daring to breathe or Achoo. Daddy, I have had to kill you. You died before I had time― Marble-heavy, a bag full of God, Ghastly statue with one grey toe Big as a Frisco seal And a head in the freakish Atlantic When it pours bean green over blue In the waters of beautiful Nauset. I used to pray to recover you. Ach, du. In the German tongue, in the Polish town Scraped flat by the roller Of wars, wars, wars. But the name of the town is common. My Polack friend Says there are a dozen or two. So I never could tell where you Put your foot, your root, I never could talk to you. The tongue stuck in my jaw. It stuck in a barb wire snare. Ich, ich, ich, ich, I could hardly speak. I thought every German was you. And the language obscene An engine, an engine Chuffing me off like a Jew. A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen. I began to talk like a Jew. I think I may well be a Jew. The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna Are not very pure or true. With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack I may be a bit of a Jew. I have always been scared of you, With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo. And your neat mustache And your Aryan eye, bright blue. Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You― Not God but a swastika So black no sky could squeak through. Every woman adores a Fascist, The boot in the face, the brute Brute heart of a brute like you. You stand at the blackboard, daddy, In the picture I have of you, A cleft in your chin instead of your foot But no less a devil for that, no not And less the black man who Bit my pretty red heart in two. I was ten when they buried you. At twenty I tried to die And get back, back, back to you. I thought even the bones would do. But they pulled me out of the sack, And they stuck me together with glue. And then I knew what to do. I made a model of you, A man in black with a Meinkampf look And a love of the rack and the screw. And I said I do, I do. So daddy, I’m finally through. The black telephone’s off at the root, The voices just can’t worm through. If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two― The vampire who said he was you And drank my blood for a year, Seven years, if you want to know. Daddy, you can lie back now. There’s a stake in your fat black heart And the villagers never like you. They are dancing and stamping on you. They always knew it was you. Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
You are the only person I’d like to say goodbye to when I die, because only then will this thing I call my life make any sense. And if I should hear that you died, my life as I know it, the me who is speaking with you now, will cease to exist. Sometimes I have this awful picture of waking up in our house in B. and, looking out to the sea, hearing the news from the waves themselves, He died last night. We missed out on so much. It was a coma. Tomorrow I go back to my coma, and you to yours.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
Speaking of the sick, twisted freak, have you caught sight of the bastard?" Jack gave a short, expressive snort. "Um, that would be a negative. I've never actually seen Sean." "I sent you an image." "Tails and horns aren't exactly the real deal, ken. You gave me a picture of the devil.
Christine Feehan (Deadly Game (GhostWalkers, #5))
Sometimes I still feel that there are two of me: one clean, flawless picture, the other imperfect and cracked; one boy, one girl; one voice that speaks aloud and one that whispers in my ear; one publicly known to have been troubled but be on the mend, the other who has privately lost something to do with innocence and gained something to do with knowledge and adulthood that can never be undone. I feel sometimes there are things that tear me in two directions, that there are two sets of thoughts that grow side by side. But then I realize that I am whole, whatever that means and does not mean; I am complete without the need for additions or alteration.
Abigail Tarttelin (Golden Boy)
You can't see yourself. You know what you look like because of mirrors and photographs, but out there in the world, as you move among your fellow human beings, whether strangers or friends or the most intimate beloveds, your own face is invisible to you. You can see other parts of yourself, arms and legs, hands and feet, shoulders and torso, but only from the front, nothing of the back except the backs of your legs if you twist them into the right position, but not your face, never your face, and in the end - at least as far as others are concerned - your face is who you are, the essential fact of your identity. Passports do not contain pictures of hands and feet. Even you, who have lived inside your body for sixty-four years now, would probably be unable to recognize your foot in an isolated photograph of that foot, not to speak of your ear, or your elbow, or one of your eyes in close-up. All so familiar to you in the context of the whole, but utterly anonymous when taken piece by piece. We are all aliens to ourselves, and if we have any sense of who we are, it is only because we live inside the eyes of others.
Paul Auster (Winter Journal)
Black women’s stories look a lot different from what you’ve heard. And when black women speak for themselves, the picture presented is nuanced, empowering, and hopeful.
Tamara Winfrey Harris (The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America)
Promise me this, that you'll stand by me forever. But if God forbid Fate should step in and force us into a goodbye. If you have children someday, when they point to the pictures please tell them my name. Tell them how the crowd went wild, tell them how I hope they shine.
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift: Speak Now)
If a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see, and think, and feel, you don't think, 'oh, I love this picture because it's universal.' 'I love this painting because it speaks to all mankind.' That's not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It's a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes, you. ... You see one painting, I see another, the art book puts it at another remove still, the lady buying the greeting card at the museum gift shop sees something else entirely, an that's not even to mention the people separated from us by time -four hundred years before us, four hundred years after we're gone- it'll never strike anybody the same way and the great majority of people it'll never strike in any deep way at all but- a really great painting is fluid enough to work its way into the mind and heart through all kinds of different angles, in ways that are unique and very particular. Yours, yours. I was painted for you.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
You're going to be something, you and that language you speak on paper.
Patricia Reilly Giff (Pictures of Hollis Woods)
He laughed. “What’s to say? Great paintings—people flock to see them, they draw crowds, they’re reproduced endlessly on coffee mugs and mouse pads and anything-you-like. And, I count myself in the following, you can have a lifetime of perfectly sincere museum-going where you traipse around enjoying everything and then go out and have some lunch. But—” crossing back to the table to sit again “—if a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see, and think, and feel, you don’t think, ‘oh, I love this picture because it’s universal.’ ‘I love this painting because it speaks to all mankind.’ That’s not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It’s a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes you.” Fingertip gliding over the faded-out photo—the conservator’s touch, a touch-without-touching, a communion wafer’s space between the surface and his forefinger.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
At such moments the collapse of their courage, willpower, and endurance was so abrupt that they felt they could never drag themselves out of the pit of despond into which they had fallen. Therefore they forced themselves never to think about the problematic day of escape, to cease looking to the future, and always to keep, so to speak, their eyes fixed on the ground at their feet. But, naturally enough, this prudence, this habit of feinting with their predicament and refusing to put up a fight, was ill rewarded. For, while averting that revulsion which they found so unbearable, they also deprived themselves of those redeeming moments, frequent enough when all is told, when by conjuring up pictures of a reunion to be, they could forget about the plague. Thus, in a middle course between these heights and depths, they drifted through life rather than lived, the prey of aimless days and sterile memories, like wandering shadows that could have acquired substance only by consenting to root themselves in the solid earth of their distress.
Albert Camus (The Plague)
The word “autism” still conveys a fixed and dreadful meaning to most people—they visualize a child mute, rocking, screaming, inaccessible, cut off from human contact. And we almost always speak of autistic children, never of autistic adults, as if such children never grew up, or were somehow mysteriously spirited off the planet, out of society.
Temple Grandin (Thinking In Pictures, Expanded Edition: My Life With Autism)
Yes,” she purred. “I really think you can do better. Lots better.” As she spoke, she trailed a red-painted finger down the center of his chest, over his abdomen, heading straight for the button on his jeans. And oh, hell to the no. “Get your hands off him.” Sadi’s head snapped in my direction. “Excuse me?” “I don’t think I stuttered.” I took a step forward. “But it looks like you need me to repeat it. Get your freaking hands off him.” One side of her plump red lips curled up. “You want to make me?” In the back of my head, I was aware that Sadi didn’t move or speak like the other Luxen. Her mannerisms were too human, but then that thought was quickly chased away when Daemon reached down and pulled her hand away. “Stop it,” he murmured, voice dropped low in that teasing way of his. I saw red. The pictures on the wall rattled and the papers on the desk started to lift up. Static charged over my skin. I was about to pull a Beth right here, seconds away from floating to the ceiling and ripping out every strand of red—
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
Dear Camryn, I never wanted it to be this way. I wanted to tell you these things myself, but I was afraid. I was afraid that if I told you out loud that I loved you, that what we had together would die with me. The truth is that I knew in Kansas that you were the one. I’ve loved you since that day when I first looked up into your eyes as you glared down at me from over the top of that bus seat. Maybe I didn’t know it then, but I knew something had happened to me in that moment and I could never let you go. I have never lived the way I lived during my short time with you. For the first time in my life, I’ve felt whole, alive, free. You were the missing piece of my soul, the breath in my lungs, the blood in my veins. I think that if past lives are real then we have been lovers in every single one of them. I’ve known you for a short time, but I feel like I’ve known you forever. I want you to know that even in death I’ll always remember you. I’ll always love you. I wish that things could’ve turned out differently. I thought of you many nights on the road. I stared up at the ceiling in the motels and pictured what our life might be like together if I had lived. I even got all mushy and thought of you in a wedding dress and even with a mini me in your belly. You know, I always heard that sex is great when you’re pregnant. ;-) But I’m sorry that I had to leave you, Camryn. I’m so sorry…I wish the story of Orpheus and Eurydice was real because then you could come to the Underworld and sing me back into your life. I wouldn’t look back. I wouldn’t fuck it up like Orpheus did. I’m so sorry, baby… I want you to promise me that you’ll stay strong and beautiful and sweet and caring. I want you to be happy and find someone who will love you as much as I did. I want you to get married and have babies and live your life. Just remember to always be yourself and don’t be afraid to speak your mind or to dream out loud. I hope you’ll never forget me. One more thing: don’t feel bad for not telling me that you loved me. You didn’t need to say it. I knew all along that you did. Love Always, Andrew Parrish
J.A. Redmerski
We have the oddest conversations.” “I find this conversation more than odd. It’s positively shocking.” “Why? Because I understand the principle of a logarithm? I know you’re used to speaking to me in small, simple words, but I did have the finest education England can offer a young aristocrat. Attended both Eton and Oxford.” “Yes, but . . . somehow, I never pictured you earning high marks in maths.
Tessa Dare (A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2))
As Clover looked down the hillside her eyes filled with tears. If she could have spoken her thoughts, it would have been to say that this was not what they had aimed at when they had set themselves years ago to work for the overthrow of the human race. These scenes of terror and slaughter were not what they had looked forward to on that night when old Major first stirred them to rebellion. If she herself had had any picture of the future, it had been of a society of animals set free from hunger and the whip, all equal, each working according to his capacity, the strong protecting the weak, as she had protected the lost brood of ducklings with her foreleg on the night of Major's speech. Instead--she did not know why--they had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce, growling dogs roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your comrades torn to pieces after confessing to shocking crimes. There was no thought of rebellion or disobedience in her mind. She knew that, even as things were, they were far better off than they had been in the days of Jones, and that before all else it was needful to prevent the return of the human beings. Whatever happened she would remain faithful, work hard, carry out the orders that were given to her, and accept the leadership of Napoleon. But still, it was not for this that she and all the other animals had hoped and toiled.
George Orwell (Animal Farm)
Covers, so many covers, so many different, delectable pictures, and although, metaphorically speaking, it is the thing I hate most, when it comes to literature I always judge books by their covers. First the cover will catch my eye, then I read the back of the book, and then finally the first page.
Jane Green (Jemima J)
Art directors speak in pictures. If you want an art director to understand what you're saying, you need to draw some lines and circles on a piece of paper.
Nevada Scheffler
If a picture speaks a thousand words,let me present you an essay
Abheek Kakkar
Maybe it was the alcohol, maybe it was the truth, maybe I didn't want things to turn abstract, but I felt I should say it, because this was the moment to say it, because it suddenly dawned on me that this was why I had come, to tell him 'You are the only person I'd like to say goodbye to when I die, because only then will this thing I call my life make any sense. And if I should hear that you died, my life as I know it, the me who is speaking with you now, will cease to exist. Sometimes I have this awful picture of waking up in our house in B. and, looking out to the sea, hearing the news from the waves themselves, He died last night. We missed out on so much. It was a coma. Tomorrow I go back to my coma, and you to yours. Pardon, I didn't mean to offend—I am sure yours is no coma.' 'No, a parallel life.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
Nico tried to picture that, then decided he'd rather not. 'Is this Spain?' 'Portugal', Hedge said. 'You overshot. By the way, Reyna speaks Spanish; she does not speak Portuguese. Anyway, while you were asleep, we figured out this city is Évora.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
There is power in words. There are words that bid us laugh and make us weep. Words to begin with and words to end by. Words that seize the hearts in our chests and squeeze them tight, that set the skin on our bones to tingling. Words so beautiful they shape us, forever change us, live inside us for as long as we have breath to speak them. There are forgotten words. Killing words. Great and frightening and terrible words. There are True words. And then there are pictures.
Jay Kristoff (Kinslayer (The Lotus Wars, #2))
There is evidence that the honoree [Leonard Cohen] might be privy to the secret of the universe, which, in case you're wondering, is simply this: everything is connected. Everything. Many, if not most, of the links are difficult to determine. The instrument, the apparatus, the focused ray that can uncover and illuminate those connections is language. And just as a sudden infatuation often will light up a person's biochemical atmosphere more pyrotechnically than any deep, abiding attachment, so an unlikely, unexpected burst of linguistic imagination will usually reveal greater truths than the most exacting scholarship. In fact. The poetic image may be the only device remotely capable of dissecting romantic passion, let alone disclosing the inherent mystical qualities of the material world. Cohen is a master of the quasi-surrealistic phrase, of the "illogical" line that speaks so directly to the unconscious that surface ambiguity is transformed into ultimate, if fleeting, comprehension: comprehension of the bewitching nuances of sex and bewildering assaults of culture. Undoubtedly, it is to his lyrical mastery that his prestigious colleagues now pay tribute. Yet, there may be something else. As various, as distinct, as rewarding as each of their expressions are, there can still be heard in their individual interpretations the distant echo of Cohen's own voice, for it is his singing voice as well as his writing pen that has spawned these songs. It is a voice raked by the claws of Cupid, a voice rubbed raw by the philosopher's stone. A voice marinated in kirschwasser, sulfur, deer musk and snow; bandaged with sackcloth from a ruined monastery; warmed by the embers left down near the river after the gypsies have gone. It is a penitent's voice, a rabbinical voice, a crust of unleavened vocal toasts -- spread with smoke and subversive wit. He has a voice like a carpet in an old hotel, like a bad itch on the hunchback of love. It is a voice meant for pronouncing the names of women -- and cataloging their sometimes hazardous charms. Nobody can say the word "naked" as nakedly as Cohen. He makes us see the markings where the pantyhose have been. Finally, the actual persona of their creator may be said to haunt these songs, although details of his private lifestyle can be only surmised. A decade ago, a teacher who called himself Shree Bhagwan Rajneesh came up with the name "Zorba the Buddha" to describe the ideal modern man: A contemplative man who maintains a strict devotional bond with cosmic energies, yet is completely at home in the physical realm. Such a man knows the value of the dharma and the value of the deutschmark, knows how much to tip a waiter in a Paris nightclub and how many times to bow in a Kyoto shrine, a man who can do business when business is necessary, allow his mind to enter a pine cone, or dance in wild abandon if moved by the tune. Refusing to shun beauty, this Zorba the Buddha finds in ripe pleasures not a contradiction but an affirmation of the spiritual self. Doesn't he sound a lot like Leonard Cohen? We have been led to picture Cohen spending his mornings meditating in Armani suits, his afternoons wrestling the muse, his evenings sitting in cafes were he eats, drinks and speaks soulfully but flirtatiously with the pretty larks of the street. Quite possibly this is a distorted portrait. The apocryphal, however, has a special kind of truth. It doesn't really matter. What matters here is that after thirty years, L. Cohen is holding court in the lobby of the whirlwind, and that giants have gathered to pay him homage. To him -- and to us -- they bring the offerings they have hammered from his iron, his lead, his nitrogen, his gold.
Tom Robbins
Don’t speak. Let me think, or, rather, let me try not to think.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
In fact, words do speak louder than pictures. Captions do tend to override the evidence of our eyes; but no caption can permanently restrict or secure a picture’s meaning.
Susan Sontag
This poem is very long So long, in fact, that your attention span May be stretched to its very limits But that’s okay It’s what’s so special about poetry See, poetry takes time We live in a time Call it our culture or society It doesn’t matter to me cause neither one rhymes A time where most people don’t want to listen Our throats wait like matchsticks waiting to catch fire Waiting until we can speak No patience to listen But this poem is long It’s so long, in fact, that during the time of this poem You could’ve done any number of other wonderful things You could’ve called your father Call your father You could be writing a postcard right now Write a postcard When was the last time you wrote a postcard? You could be outside You’re probably not too far away from a sunrise or a sunset Watch the sun rise Maybe you could’ve written your own poem A better poem You could have played a tune or sung a song You could have met your neighbor And memorized their name Memorize the name of your neighbor You could’ve drawn a picture (Or, at least, colored one in) You could’ve started a book Or finished a prayer You could’ve talked to God Pray When was the last time you prayed? Really prayed? This is a long poem So long, in fact, that you’ve already spent a minute with it When was the last time you hugged a friend for a minute? Or told them that you love them? Tell your friends you love them …no, I mean it, tell them Say, I love you Say, you make life worth living Because that, is what friends do Of all of the wonderful things that you could’ve done During this very, very long poem You could have connected Maybe you are connecting Maybe we’re connecting See, I believe that the only things that really matter In the grand scheme of life are God and people And if people are made in the image of God Then when you spend your time with people It’s never wasted And in this very long poem I’m trying to let a poem do what a poem does: Make things simpler We don’t need poems to make things more complicated We have each other for that We need poems to remind ourselves of the things that really matter To take time A long time To be alive for the sake of someone else for a single moment Or for many moments Cause we need each other To hold the hands of a broken person All you have to do is meet a person Shake their hand Look in their eyes They are you We are all broken together But these shattered pieces of our existence don’t have to be a mess We just have to care enough to hold our tongues sometimes To sit and listen to a very long poem A story of a life The joy of a friend and the grief of friend To hold and be held And be quiet So, pray Write a postcard Call your parents and forgive them and then thank them Turn off the TV Create art as best as you can Share as much as possible, especially money Tell someone about a very long poem you once heard And how afterward it brought you to them
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
both you and paintings are layered… first, ephemera and notations on the back of the canvas. Labels indicate gallery shows, museum shows, footprints in the snow, so to speak. Then pencil scribbles on the stretcher, usually by the artist, usually a title or date. Next the stretcher itself. Pine or something. Wooden triangles in the corners so the picture can be tapped tighter when the canvas becomes loose. Nails in the wood securing the picture to the stretcher. Next, a canvas: linen, muslin, sometimes a panel; then the gesso - a primary coat, always white. A layer of underpaint, usually a pastel color, then, the miracle, where the secrets are: the paint itself, swished around, roughly, gently, layer on layer, thick or thin, not more than a quarter of an inch ever -- God can happen in that quarter of an inch -- the occasional brush hair left embedded, colors mixed over each other, tones showing through, sometimes the weave of the linen revealing itself. The signature on top of the entire goulash. Then varnish is swabbed over the whole. Finally, the frame, translucent gilt or carved wood. The whole thing is done.
Steve Martin (An Object of Beauty)
Sound has a profound effect on the senses. It can be both herd and felt. It can even be seen with the mind’s eye. It can almost be tasted and smelled. Sound can evoke responses of the five senses. Sound can paint a picture, produce a mood, trigger the senses to remember another time and place. From infancy we hear sound with our entire bodies. When I hear my own name, I have as much a sense of it entering my body through my back or my hand or my chest as through my ears. Sound speaks to the sensorium; the entire system of nerves that stimulates sensual responce.
Louis Colaianni (The Joy of Phonetics and Accents)
The idea of a Universe didn’t fit into their world picture, so to speak. They simply couldn’t cope with it. And so, charmingly, delightfully, intelligently, whimsically if you like, they decided to destroy it.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5))
as human beings, we must inevitably see the universe from a centre lying within ourselves and speak about it in terms of a human language shaped by the exigencies of human intercourse. Any attempt rigorously to eliminate our human perspective from our picture of the world must lead to absurdity.
Michael Polanyi (Personal Knowledge)
We speak and understand best our native language. We feel most comfortable speaking that language. The more we use a secondary language, the more comfortable we become conversing in it. If we speak only our primary language and encounter someone else who speaks only his or her primary language, which is different from ours, our communication will be limited. We must rely on pointing, grunting, drawing pictures, or acting out our ideas. We can communicate, but it is awkward.
Gary Chapman (The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate)
If abuse is to cease, and genuine love, respect, and trust are to be restored to the family picture- indeed to humanity's universal picture- then the ways that abuse is formed and perpetuated must be addressed. All that we deny of ourselves and bury beneath the surface, eventually becomes the rot which lays a brittle foundation for the next generation
Moriah S. St. Clair (Abused Beyond Words: The Healing Journey of Reclaiming Our Inner Power and Peace by Speaking the Unspeakable Truth)
I was obviously born to draw better than most people, just as the widow Berman and Paul Slazinger were obviously born to tell stories better than most people can. Other people are obviously born to sing and dance or explain the stars in the sky or do magic tricks or be great leaders or athletes, and so on. I think that could go back to the time when people had to live in small groups of relatives -- maybe fifty or a hundred people at the most. And evolution or God or whatever arranged things genetically to keep the little families going, to cheer them up, so that they could all have somebody to tell stories around the campfire at night, and somebody else to paint pictures on the walls of the caves, and somebody else who wasn't afraid of anything and so on. That's what I think. And of course a scheme like that doesn't make sense anymore, because simply moderate giftedness has been made worthless by the printing press and radio and television and satellites and all that. A moderately gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern communications put him or her into daily competition with nothing but the world's champions. The entire planet can get along nicely now with maybe a dozen champion performers in each area of human giftedness. A moderately gifted person has to keep his or her gifts all bottled up until, in a manner of speaking, he or she gets drunk at a wedding and tapdances on the coffee table like Fred Astair or Ginger Rogers. We have a name for him or her. We call him or her an 'exhibitionist.' How do we reward such an exhibitionist? We say to him or her the next morning, 'Wow! Were you ever _drunk_ last night!
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Bluebeard)
To speak somewhat frankly, every boy I’ve known as well as killed has struck me as his corpse’s baby picture.
Dennis Cooper (The Marbled Swarm)
It is the subtle things in life that you have to look for because the deepest love speaks at a whisper that only two people can hear.
Shannon L. Alder
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words - A Book Paints a Thousand Pictures.
Philos Sopher
But if I've learned anything, it is that goodness prevails, not in the absence of reasons to despair, but in spite of them. If we wait for clean heroes and clear choices and evidence on our side to act, we will wait forever, and my radio conversations teach me that people who bring light into the world wrench it out of darkness, and contend openly with darkness all of their days. [...] They were flawed human beings, who wrestled with demons in themselves as in the world outside. For me, their goodness is more interesting, more genuinely inspiring because of that reality. The spiritual geniuses of the ages and of the everyday simply don't let despair have the last word, nor do they close their eyes to its pictures or deny the enormity of its facts. They say, "Yes, and …," and they wake up the next day, and the day after that, to live accordingly.
Krista Tippett (Speaking of Faith)
What is a nebulous mass, just out of idle curiosity?" "A possible growth in the body." "And it's called nebulous because you can't get a clear picture of it." "We get very clear pictures. The imaging block takes the clearest pictures humanly possible. It's called a nebulous mass because it has no definite shape, form, or limits." "What can it do in terms of worst-case scenario contingencies?" "Cause a person to die." "Speak English, for God's sake. I despise this modern jargon.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
Hold childhood in reverence, and do not be in any hurry to judge it for good or ill. Leave exceptional cases to show themselves, let their qualities be tested and confirmed, before special methods are adopted. Give nature time to work before you take over her business, lest you interfere with her dealings. You assert that you know the value of time and are afraid to waste it. You fail to perceive that it is a greater waste of time to use it ill than to do nothing, and that a child ill taught is further from virtue than a child who has learnt nothing at all. You are afraid to see him spending his early years doing nothing. What! is it nothing to be happy, nothing to run and jump all day? He will never be so busy again all his life long. Plato, in his Republic, which is considered so stern, teaches the children only through festivals, games, songs, and amusements. It seems as if he had accomplished his purpose when he had taught them to be happy; and Seneca, speaking of the Roman lads in olden days, says, "They were always on their feet, they were never taught anything which kept them sitting." Were they any the worse for it in manhood? Do not be afraid, therefore, of this so-called idleness. What would you think of a man who refused to sleep lest he should waste part of his life? You would say, "He is mad; he is not enjoying his life, he is robbing himself of part of it; to avoid sleep he is hastening his death." Remember that these two cases are alike, and that childhood is the sleep of reason. The apparent ease with which children learn is their ruin. You fail to see that this very facility proves that they are not learning. Their shining, polished brain reflects, as in a mirror, the things you show them, but nothing sinks in. The child remembers the words and the ideas are reflected back; his hearers understand them, but to him they are meaningless. Although memory and reason are wholly different faculties, the one does not really develop apart from the other. Before the age of reason the child receives images, not ideas; and there is this difference between them: images are merely the pictures of external objects, while ideas are notions about those objects determined by their relations.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Emile, or On Education)
Your heart of devotion and obedience is not in vain. Who knows but God how many people have come near to you and were forever changed simply by the fragrance of his love in you? Who knows but God if he will put you before kings and leaders to speak the truth, redirecting the future of nations? Who knows when that small crack in the dam of our enemy’s plans will give way and God’s glory will truly cover the earth as the sea? Do not become distracted or discouraged by the death around you. Death must always give way when the life of Christ enters the picture.
Amy Layne Litzelman (This Beloved Road: A Journey of Revelation and Worship)
Hear my wife speak of John Lewis and you might picture a stately pleasure dome of ornamental cascades and hanging gardens, staffed by muscular Centaurs who know all there is to know about kitchenware and soft furnishings. But really it's just a big hall full of wanky chrome fridges.
Tim Moore (You are Awful (But I Like You): Travels Around Unloved Britain)
Lips that Shakespeare taught to speak have whispered their secret in my ear. I have had the arms of Rosalind around me, and kissed Juliet on the mouth.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
What would your shoes say about the things you do everyday?
Sherley Mondesir-Prescott (If Your Shoes Could Speak)
What we cannot admit in ourselves we often find in others. If a person--who speaks of another person whom he hates with a vengeance that seems nearly irrational--can be brought to describe the characteristics which he most dislikes, you will frequently have a picture of his own repressed aspects which are unrecognized to him though obvious to others. -June Singer
Elizabeth Wagele (The Happy Introvert: A Wild and Crazy Guide to Celebrating Your True Self)
´´I am in agreement with Goethe, who said that every day one ought to ´´hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.´´ I would add to this the need to love. Without it, the rest is dust.´´
Elizabeth Berg (The Dream Lover: A Novel of George Sand)
Did you ever think our misfortune is directly related to your good fortune? Maybe the house your parents bought was on the market because the sellers didn't want my mama in the neighborhood. Maybe the good grades that eventually led you to law school were possible because your mama didn't have to work eighteen hours a day, and was there to read to you at night, or make sure you did your homework. How often do you remind yourself how lucky you are that you own your house, because you were able to build up equity through generations in a way families of color can't? How often do you open your mouth at work and think how awesome it is that no one's thinking you're speaking for everyone with the same skin color you have? How hard is it for you to find the greeting card for your baby's birthday with a picture of a child that has the same color skin as her? How many times have you seen a painting of Jesus that looks like you? Prejudice goes both ways, you know. There are people who suffer from it, and there are people who profit from it.
Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things)
We must not make exaggerated demand on critics, and particularly we must not expect that criticism can function as an exact science. Art is not scientific; why should criticism be? The main complaint against some critics--and a certain type of criticism--is that too seldom do they speak about cinema as such. The scenario of a film is the film; all films are not psychological. Every critic should take to heart Jean Renoir's remark, "All great art is abstract." He should learn to be aware of form, and to understand that certain artists, for example Dreyer or Von Sternberg, never sought to make a picture that resembled reality.
François Truffaut (The Films in My Life)
The things that are “freely given to us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12) are the only things we need to know now. A lot of the reason we grow so upset and disturbed about not hearing specifically from God is that we want what isn’t “freely given.” When we pray, “Lord, show me Your will,” we’re often asking for things that He knows are not pertinent for another twenty years. We want God to paint the whole picture right away, but He wisely withholds certain truths and information from us until we need it, when we can actually do something with it besides just mess it up.
Priscilla Shirer (Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When He Speaks)
If you are lucky enough to have a childhood friend, try your hardest to grow old with them. These friends are a unique, irreplaceable breed. These friends lived through curfews and Polaroid pictures with you. These friends know your parents and siblings because they had to call your house first to speak with you. Your memories are not frozen in time on social media, but live on nonetheless. Most importantly, they remember the person you were before the world got ahold of you, so they have this crazy ability to love you no matter what. They are the living, breathing reflection of where you have been. And so, just when you think you’ve lost yourself for good, they are there to bring you face-to-face with your true self, simply by sharing a cup of coffee with them. As your world grows and becomes larger and more complicated than your backyard, even if you establish a life elsewhere, I hope your childhood friends remain lifelong allies, because mine have saved my life on more than one occasion.
Alicia Cook (Stuff I've Been Feeling Lately)
In the pragmatist, streetwise climate of advanced postmodern capitalism, with its scepticism of big pictures and grand narratives, its hard-nosed disenchantment with the metaphysical, 'life' is one among a whole series of discredited totalities. We are invited to think small rather than big – ironically, at just the point when some of those out to destroy Western civilization are doing exactly the opposite. In the conflict between Western capitalism and radical Islam, a paucity of belief squares up to an excess of it. The West finds itself faced with a full-blooded metaphysical onslaught at just the historical point that it has, so to speak, philosophically disarmed. As far as belief goes, postmodernism prefers to travel light: it has beliefs, to be sure, but it does not have faith.
Terry Eagleton (The Meaning of Life)
For no matter the shadows of an age, the picture of a young couple in love, we are told, speaks most luminously of the future, as the span of that passion makes us believe we can overleap any walls, obliterate whatever obstacles.
Chang-rae Lee (On Such a Full Sea)
So if you ask the question “What kinds of perceptions and thoughts and feelings guide us through life each day?” the answer, at the most basic level, isn’t “The kinds of thoughts and feelings and perceptions that give us an accurate picture of reality.” No, at the most basic level the answer is “The kinds of thoughts and feelings and perceptions that helped our ancestors get genes into the next generation.” Whether those thoughts and feelings and perceptions give us a true view of reality is, strictly speaking, beside the point. As a result, they sometimes don’t. Our brains are designed to, among other things, delude us.
Robert Wright (Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment)
He set the RAM on the desk, then reached into his back pocket to pull out his grimoire. The size of a small paperback novel, it'd been a gift from Ambrose to help him understand some of the madness that surrounded him, and to answer some of the "other" questions that came up. "All right, Nashira," Nick said in a low tone. "Talk to me. What the heck is watching me?" He slid his knife out of his pocket, opened the book, and pricked his finger, allowing three drops of blood to touch a blank page. "Dredanya eire coulet" he whispered, waking the female spirit who lived inside the enchanted pages. The moment he finished speaking, his blood began swirling until it formed words: Do not fear that which cannot be seen. For they are lost in between. 'Tis the ones who come alive That your blood will allow to thrive. Nick snorted at the cryptic stanzas. "Not really useful, Nashira. Doesn't answer my question." His blood crawled over to the next page. Answer, answer, you always say, But it doesn't work that way. In time, the truth you shall find. And then you will understand my rhyme. "I'm such a masochist to even try talking to you" Underneath the words, a picture of an obscene gesture formed. "Oh very nice, Nashira. Very nice. Wherever did you learn that?" In your pocket I reside. Ever privy to your deride. But more than that, I can see. And that includes bathroom stall graffiti Nick screwed his face up in distaste. "Oh my God, no. Tell me you haven't been spying on me in the rest room. You perv!" Calm yourself, you evil troll. My job is not to console. But if it is privacy you seek, Leave me in your backpack so I can't peek. Now he understood why other people got so aggravated with his attitude disorder. He wanted to strangle his book.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Inferno (Chronicles of Nick, #4))
The most indisputable beauty may be the one that people cannot ever touch. That God exists up there somehow, in the peaks and remote lakes and the sharp wind. Who knows why that picture stirs joy. It speaks directly to our impermanence and our smallness.
Peter Heller (Celine)
The Fatigues all talk like that. Big-Picture-speak, Risa calls it. Seeing the whole, and none of the parts. It's not just in their speech but in their eyes as well. When they look at Risa, she can tell they don't really see her. They seem to see the mob of Unwinds more as a concept rather than a collection of anxious kids, and so they miss all the subtle social tremors that shake things just as powerfully as the jets shake the roof.
Neal Shusterman (Unwind (Unwind, #1))
That is why Napoleon and Mussolini both insist so emphatically upon the inferiority of women, for if they were not inferior, they would cease to enlarge. That serves to explain in part the necessity that women so often are to men. And it serves to explain how restless they are under her criticism; how impossible it is for her to say to them this book is bad, this picture is feeble, or whatever it may be, without giving far more pain and rousing far more anger than a man would do who gave the same criticism. For if she begins to tell the truth, the figure in the looking-glass shrinks; his fitness for life is diminished. How is he to go on giving judgement, civilising natives, making laws, writing books, dressing up and speechifying at banquets, unless he can see himself at breakfast and at dinner at least twice the size he really is?. . . they say to themselves as they go into the room, I am the superior of half the people here, and it is thus that they speak with that self-confidence, that self-assurance, which have such profound consequences in public life and lead to such curious notes in the margin of the private mind.
Virginia Woolf
My pictures are about making people realize we've got to protect those who can't speak for themselves.
Michael "Nick" Nichols
One should, each day, try to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if possible, speak a few reasonable words
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We can all take pictures but not everyone can capture the beauty that's usually hidden in plain view... We can all open our mouth to sing but not everyone can melodically touch your soul... We can all pick up a pen to write but not everyone can write words in such a way that they leap off of the page for you... We can all part our lips to speak but not everyone can speak life into you... We can all move our bodies to a beat but not everyone can become one with music, stir emotions and shift energy with dance... Point is: WE CAN all do something but Know your gifts, cultivate them and ALWAYS, ALWAYS BE YOURSELF! Then working together becomes effortless. Copies aren't accepted everywhere...ORIGINALS are eventually required!
Sanjo Jendayi
As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let us down, probably will. You'll have your heart broken and you'll break others' hearts. You'll fight with your best friend or maybe even fall in love with them, and you'll cry because time is flying by. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely, and love like you've never been hurt. Life comes with no guarantees, no time outs, no second chances. You just have to live life to the fullest, tell someone what they mean to you and tell someone off, speak out, dance in the pouring rain, hold someone's hand, comfort a friend, fall asleep watching the sun come up, stay up late, be a flirt, and smile until your face hurts. Don't be afraid to take chances or fall in love and most of all, live in the moment because every second you spend angry or upset is a second of happiness you can never get back.
Matti Nykanen
When she says margarita she means daiquiri. When she says quixotic she means mercurial. And when she says, "I'll never speak to you again," she means, "Put your arms around me from behind as I stand disconsolate at the window." He's supposed to know that. When a man loves a woman he is in New York and she is in Virginia or he is in Boston, writing, and she is in New York, reading, or she is wearing a sweater and sunglasses in Balboa Park and he is raking leaves in Ithaca or he is driving to East Hampton and she is standing disconsolate at the window overlooking the bay where a regatta of many-colored sails is going on while he is stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway. When a woman loves a man it is one ten in the morning she is asleep he is watching the ball scores and eating pretzels drinking lemonade and two hours later he wakes up and staggers into bed where she remains asleep and very warm. When she says tomorrow she means in three or four weeks. When she says, "We're talking about me now," he stops talking. Her best friend comes over and says, "Did somebody die?" When a woman loves a man, they have gone to swim naked in the stream on a glorious July day with the sound of the waterfall like a chuckle of water rushing over smooth rocks, and there is nothing alien in the universe. Ripe apples fall about them. What else can they do but eat? When he says, "Ours is a transitional era," "that's very original of you," she replies, dry as the martini he is sipping. They fight all the time It's fun What do I owe you? Let's start with an apology Ok, I'm sorry, you dickhead. A sign is held up saying "Laughter." It's a silent picture. "I've been fucked without a kiss," she says, "and you can quote me on that," which sounds great in an English accent. One year they broke up seven times and threatened to do it another nine times. When a woman loves a man, she wants him to meet her at the airport in a foreign country with a jeep. When a man loves a woman he's there. He doesn't complain that she's two hours late and there's nothing in the refrigerator. When a woman loves a man, she wants to stay awake. She's like a child crying at nightfall because she didn't want the day to end. When a man loves a woman, he watches her sleep, thinking: as midnight to the moon is sleep to the beloved. A thousand fireflies wink at him. The frogs sound like the string section of the orchestra warming up. The stars dangle down like earrings the shape of grapes.
David Lehman (When a Woman Loves a Man: Poems)
If you speak and write in English, or Spanish, or Chinese, or any other language, then only a certain percentage of human beings will get your meaning. But when you draw a picture, everybody can understand it.
Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)
The universe contains any amount of horrible ways to be woken up, such as the noise of the mob breaking down the front door, the scream of fire engines, or the realization that today is the Monday which on Friday night was a comfortably long way off. A dog’s wet nose is not strictly speaking the worst of the bunch, but it has its own peculiar dreadfulness which connoisseurs of the ghastly and dog owners everywhere have come to know and dread. It’s like having a small piece of defrosting liver pressed lovingly against you.
Terry Pratchett (Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10))
People in coats and ties were milling around the Talley gallery, and on the wall were the minimally rendered still lifes by Giorgio Morandi, most of them no bigger than a tea tray. Their thin browns, ashy grays, and muted blues made people speak softly to one another, as if a shouted word might curdle one of the paintings and ruin it. Bottles, carafes, and ceramic whatnots sat in his paintings like small animals huddling for warmth, and these shy pictures could easily hang next to a Picasso or Matisse without feeling inferior.
Steve Martin (An Object of Beauty)
I believe...that to be very poor and very beautiful is most probably a moral failure more than an artistic success. Shakespeare would have done well in any generation because he would have refused to die in a corner; he would have taken the false gods and made them over; he would have taken the current formulae and forced them into something lesser men thought them incapable of. Alive today he would undoubtedly have written and directed motion pictures, plays, and God knows what. Instead of saying, "This medium is not good," he would have used it and made it good. If some people called some his work cheap (which some of it was), he wouldn't have cared a rap, because he would know that without some vulgarity there is no complete man. He would have hated refinement, as such, because it is always a withdrawal, and he was too tough to shrink from anything.
Raymond Chandler (Raymond Chandler Speaking)
Hey, I got an idea, let’s go to the movies. I wanna go to the movies, I want to take you all to the movies. Let’s go and experience the art of the cinema. Let’s begin with the Scream Of Fear, and we are going to haunt us for the rest of our lives. And then let’s go see The Great Escape, and spend our summer jumping our bikes, just like Steve McQueen over barb wire. And then let’s catch The Seven Samurai for some reason on PBS, and we’ll feel like we speak Japanese because we can read the subtitles and hear the language at the same time. And then let’s lose sleep the night before we see 2001: A Space Odyssey because we have this idea that it’s going to change forever the way we look at films. And then let’s go see it four times in one year. And let’s see Woodstock three times in one year and let’s see Taxi Driver twice in one week. And let’s see Close Encounters of the Third Kind just so we can freeze there in mid-popcorn. And when the kids are old enough, let’s sit them together on the sofa and screen City Lights and Stage Coach and The Best Years of Our Lives and On The Waterfront and Midnight Cowboy and Five Easy Pieces and The Last Picture Show and Raging Bull and Schindler’s List… so that they can understand how the human condition can be captured by this amalgam of light and sound and literature we call the cinema.
Tom Hanks
You’re with a girl. She’s brown-haired and side-swept. I imagine that she’s the kind of girl who can easily shop for jean shorts, and speaks kindly more often than not. She seems like the kind of girl who hates New York City because it wreaks havoc on her shoes (really she just thinks it’s a big and scary place), but once had the time of her life in Spain on a backpacking trip when she was 23. Her gaze is focused on the embracing couple as near strangers capable of judgement. She stands bolted next to you like you’re her anchor in the social storm. You two seem finely matched… but what do I know? (Nothing at all.) I accidentally saw a picture of you and it reminded me that I was dating a man rightfully shaking his fist at God, while trying to hold my hand with the other. I was reminded of how fiercely we tried to hold our relationship together, and how devastated and relieved we were in its destruction. There’s water under that bridge. I accidentally saw a picture of you. No big deal. I wrote about it.
Joy Wilson
Finally, we entered Chetaube County, my imaginary birthplace, where the names of the little winding roads and minuscule mountain communities never failed to inspire me: Yardscrabble, Big Log, Upper, Middle and Lower Pigsty, Chicken Scratch, Cooterville, Felchville, Dust Rag, Dough Bag, Uranus Ridge, Big Bottom, Hooter Holler, Quickskillet, Buck Wallow, Possum Strut ... We always say a picture speaks a thousand words, but isn’t the opposite equally true?
Sol Luckman (Beginner's Luke (Beginner's Luke, #1))
Such a man is like a dreamer who wakes from a dream of grief to a greater sorrow yet. All that he loves is now become a torment to him. The pin has been pulled from the axis of the universe. Whatever one takes one's eye from threatens to flee away. Such a man is lost to us. He moves and speaks. But he is himself less than the merest shadow among all that he beholds. There is no picture of him possible. The smallest mark upon the page exaggerates his presence.
Cormac McCarthy (The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, #2))
Children raised in a couple-centered home more fully understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. God’s love manifested in marriage speaks more to kids than any Sunday school lesson or sermon. This truth is the essence of Ephesians 5:25. Marriage is used as a word picture for God’s love for the church. What is your marriage teaching your kids about Jesus?
Gary Smalley (Great Parents, Lousy Lovers: Discover How to Enjoy Life with Your Spouse While Raising Your Kids)
Your own politicians make our Dr. Goebbels look like a child playing with picture books in a kindergarten. They speak of morality while they douse screaming children and old women in burning napalm. Your draft-resisters are called cowards and ‘peaceniks.’ For refusing to follow orders they are either put in jails or scourged from the country. Those who demonstrate against this country's unfortunate Asian adventure are clubbed down in the streets. The GI soldiers who kill the innocent are decorated by Presidents, welcomed home from the bayoneting of children and the burning of hospitals with parades and bunting. They are given dinners, Keys to the City, free tickets to pro football games.” He toasted his glass in Todd's direction. “Only those who lose are tried as war criminals for following orders and directives.
Stephen King (Apt Pupil)
the architecture student from number eleven presses his face to the glass and looks at the way the light falls through the water, he thinks about a place where he worked in the spring, an office where they had a stack of empty watercooler bottles against the window, and how he would sit and watch the sun mazing its way through the layers of refraction, the beauty of it, he called it spontaneous maths and he wanted to build architecture like he that, he looks at the row of houses opposite and he pictures them built entirely of plastic and glass, he imagines how people's lives might change if their dwellings shook with endless reflections of light, he does not know if it's possible but he thinks it's a nice idea
Jon McGregor (If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things)
As soon as he heard of the Sillerton’s party he had said to himself that the Marchioness Manson would certainly come to Newport with the Blenkers, and that Madame Olenska might again take the opportunity of spending the day with her grandmother. At any rate, the Blenker habitation would probably be deserted, and he would be able, without indiscretion, to satisfy a vague curiosity concerning it. He was not sure that he wanted to see the Countess Olenska again; but ever since he had looked at her from the path above the bay he had wanted, irrationally and indescribably, to see the place she was living in, and to follow the movements of her imagined figure as he had watched the real one in the summer-house. The longing was with him day and night, an incessant undefinable craving, like the sudden whim of a sick man for food or drink once tasted and long since forgotten. He could not see beyond the craving, or picture what it might lead to, for he was not conscious of any wish to speak to Madame Olenska or to hear her voice. He simply felt that if he could carry away the vision of the spot of earth she walked on, and the way the sky and sea enclosed it, the rest of the world might seem less empty.
Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence)
Then why won't you exhibit his portrait?' asked Lord Henry. 'Because without intending it, I have put into it some expression of all this curious artistic idolatry, of which, of course, I have never cared to speak to him. He knows nothing about it. He shall never know anything about it. But the world might guess it; and I will not bare my soul to their shallow, prying eyes. My heart shall never be put under their microscope. There is too much of myself in the thing Harry - too much of myself!
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
I am in agreement with Goethe, who said that every day one ought to 'hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.' I would add to this the need to love. Without it, the rest is dust.
Elizabeth Berg
We all have those things, I think – those things we want too badly to speak about aloud for fear someone'll swoop in and tell us we're just dreaming, those things we hold close and fantasize about at night and swear to the world we don't care that much about.
Kelly Loy Gilbert (Picture Us in the Light)
She looked now at the drawing-room step. She saw, through William’s eyes, the shape of a woman, peaceful and silent, with downcast eyes. She sat musing, pondering (she was in grey that day, Lily thought). Her eyes were bent. She would never lift them. . . . [N]o, she thought, one could say nothing to nobody. The urgency of the moment always missed its mark. Words fluttered sideways and struck the object inches too low. Then one gave it up; then the idea sunk back again; then one became like most middle-aged people, cautious, furtive, with wrinkles between the eyes and a look of perpetual apprehension. For how could one express in words these emotions of the body? Express that emptiness there? (She was looking at the drawing-room steps; they looked extraordinarily empty.) It was one’s body feeling, not one’s mind. The physical sensations that went with the bare look of the steps had become suddenly extremely unpleasant. To want and not to have, sent all up her body a hardness, a hollowness, a strain. And then to want and not to have – to want and want – how that wrung the heart, and wrung again and again! Oh, Mrs. Ramsay! she called out silently, to that essence which sat by the boat, that abstract one made of her, that woman in grey, as if to abuse her for having gone, and then having gone, come back again. It had seemed so safe, thinking of her. Ghost, air, nothingness, a thing you could play with easily and safely at any time of day or night, she had been that, and then suddenly she put her hand out and wrung the heart thus. Suddenly, the empty drawing-room steps, the frill of the chair inside, the puppy tumbling on the terrace, the whole wave and whisper of the garden became like curves and arabesques flourishing round a centre of complete emptiness. . . . A curious notion came to her that he did after all hear the things she could not say. . . . She looked at her picture. That would have been his answer, presumably – how “you” and “I” and “she” pass and vanish; nothing stays; all changes; but not words, not paint. Yet it would be hung in the attics, she thought; it would be rolled up and flung under a sofa; yet even so, even of a picture like that, it was true. One might say, even of this scrawl, not of that actual picture, perhaps, but of what it attempted, that it “remained for ever,” she was going to say, or, for the words spoken sounded even to herself, too boastful, to hint, wordlessly; when, looking at the picture, she was surprised to find that she could not see it. Her eyes were full of a hot liquid (she did not think of tears at first) which, without disturbing the firmness of her lips, made the air thick, rolled down her cheeks. She had perfect control of herself – Oh, yes! – in every other way. Was she crying then for Mrs. Ramsay, without being aware of any unhappiness? She addressed old Mr. Carmichael again. What was it then? What did it mean? Could things thrust their hands up and grip one; could the blade cut; the fist grasp? Was there no safety? No learning by heart of the ways of the world? No guide, no shelter, but all was miracle, and leaping from the pinnacle of a tower into the air? Could it be, even for elderly people, that this was life? – startling, unexpected, unknown? For one moment she felt that if they both got up, here, now on the lawn, and demanded an explanation, why was it so short, why was it so inexplicable, said it with violence, as two fully equipped human beings from whom nothing should be hid might speak, then, beauty would roll itself up; the space would fill; those empty flourishes would form into shape; if they shouted loud enough Mrs. Ramsay would return. “Mrs. Ramsay!” she said aloud, “Mrs. Ramsay!” The tears ran down her face.
Virginia Woolf
I don’t know what to . . . to think.” There was a horrifying burn of tears crawling up my throat. “This is all overwhelming for you, I imagine. The whole world as you know it is on the brink of great change, and you’re here and don’t even know my name.” The man smiled so broadly, I wondered if it hurt. “You can call me Rolland.” Then he extended a hand. My gaze dropped to it and I made no attempt to take it. Rolland chuckled as he turned and strolled back to the desk. “So, you’re a hybrid? Mutated and linked to him on such an intense level that if one of you dies, so does the other?” His question caught me off guard, but I kept quiet. He sat on the edge of the desk. “You’re actually the first hybrid I’ve seen.” “She really isn’t anything special.” The redhead sneered. “Frankly, she’s rather filthy, like an unclean animal.” As stupid as it was, my cheeks heated, because I was filthy, and Daemon had just physically removed me from him. My pride—my everything—was officially wounded. Rolland chuckled. “She’s had a rough day, Sadi.” At her name, every muscle in my body locked up, and my gaze swung back to her. That was Sadi? The one Dee said was trying to molest Daemon—my Daemon? Anger punched through the confusion and hurt. Of course it would have to be a freaking walking and talking model and not a hag. “Rough day or not, I can’t imagine she cleans up well.” Sadi looked at Daemon as she placed a hand on his chest. “I’m kind of disappointed.” “Are you?” Daemon replied.
 Every hair on my body rose as my arms unfolded.
 “Yes,” she purred. “I really think you can do better. Lots better.” As she spoke, she trailed red-painted fingers down the center of his chest, over his abdomen, heading straight for the button on his jeans. And oh, hell to the no. “Get your hands off him.”
 Sadi’s head snapped in my direction. “Excuse me?”
 “I don’t think I stuttered.” I took a step forward. “But it looks like you need me to repeat it. Get your freaking hands off him.” One side of her plump red lips curled up. “You want to make me?”
 In the back of my head, I was aware that Sadi didn’t move or speak like the other Luxen. Her mannerisms were too human, but then that thought was quickly chased away when Daemon reached down and pulled her hand away. “Stop it,” he murmured, voice dropped low in that teasing way of his. I saw red. The pictures on the wall rattled and the papers on the desk started to lift up. Static charged over my skin. I was about to pull a Beth right here, seconds away from floating to the ceiling and ripping out every strand of red— “And you stop it,” Daemon said, but the teasing quality was gone from his words. There was a warning in them that took the wind right out of my pissed-off sails. The pictures settled as I gaped at him. Being slapped in the face would’ve been better.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
One of the few things that August didn't know about her was that sometimes when she looked at her collection of pictures she tried to imagine and place herself in that other, shadow life. You walk into a room and flip a switch and the room fills with light. You leave your garbage in bags on the curb, and a truck comes and transports it to some invisible place. When you're in danger, you call for the police. Hot water pours from faucets. Lift a receiver or press a button on a telephone, and you can speak to anyone. All of the information in the world is on the Internet, and the Internet is all around you, drifting through the air like pollen on a summer breeze. There is money, slips of paper that can be traded for anything: houses, boats, perfect teeth. There are dentists. She tried to imagine this life playing out somewhere at the present moment. Some parallel Kirsten in an air-conditioned room, waking from an unsettling dream of walking through an empty landscape.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
Piece by Piece Piece by piece They tear at you: Peeling away layers of being, Lying about who you are, Speaking for your dreams. In the squalor of their eyes You are an outlaw. Dressing you in a jacket of lies —tailor-made in steel— You fit their perfect picture. Take it off! Make your own mantle. Question the interrogators. Eyeball the death in their gaze. Say you won’t succumb. Say you won’t believe them When they rename you. Say you won’t accept their codes, Their colors, their putrid morals. Here you have a way. Here you can sing victory. Here you are not a conquered race Perpetual victim —the sullen face in a thunderstorm. Hands/minds, they are carving out A sanctuary. Use these weapons Against them. Use your given gifts —they are not stone.
Luis J. Rodríguez (My Nature Is Hunger: New and Selected Poems: 1989-2004)
Appalling things can happen to children. And even a happy childhood is filled with sadnesses. Is there any other period in your life when you hate your best friend on Monday and love them again on Tuesday? But at eight, 10, 12, you don't realise you're going to die. There is always the possibility of escape. There is always somewhere else and far away, a fact I had never really appreciated until I read Gitta Sereny's profoundly unsettling Cries Unheard about child-killer Mary Bell. At 20, 25, 30, we begin to realise that the possibilities of escape are getting fewer. We begin to picture a time when there will no longer be somewhere else and far away. We have jobs, children, partners, debts, responsibilities. And if many of these things enrich our lives immeasurably, those shrinking limits are something we all have to come to terms with. This, I think, is the part of us to which literary fiction speaks.
Mark Haddon
He turned and saw her. Ah! She was lovely, lovelier now than ever he thought. But he could not speak to her. He could not interrupt her. He wanted urgently to speak to her now that ames was gone and she was alone at last. But he resolved, no; he would not interrupt her. She was aloof from him now in her beauty, in her sadness. He would let her be, and he passed her without a word, though it hurt him that she should look so distant, and he could not reach her, he could do nothing to help her. And again he would have passed her without a word had she not, at that very moment given him of her own free will what she knew he would never ask, and called to him and taken the green shawl off the picture frame, and gone to him. For he wished, she knew, to protect her.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
For a moment his rage was so great that he literally could not speak. The blood beat loudly in his ears. It was like getting a call from some twentieth-century Medici prince … no portraits of my family with their warts showing, please, or back to the rabble you’ll go. I subsidize no pictures but pretty pictures.
Stephen King (The Shining (The Shining #1))
I asked Geertrui the other day what she thought love is-real love, true love. She said that for her real love is observing another person and being observed by another person with complete attention. If she's right, you only have to look at the pictures Rembrandt painted of Titus, and there are quite a lot, to see that they loved each other. Because that is what you're seeing. Complete attention, one of the other..."but in that case," he said, speaking the words as the thought came to him, "all art is love, because all art is about looking closely, isn't it? Looking closely at what's being painted." "The artist looking closely while he paints, the viewer looking closely at what has been painted. I agree. All true art, yes. Painting, Writing-literature-also. I think it is. And bad art is a failure to observe with complete attention. So, you see why I like the history of art. It's the study of how to observe life with complete attention. It's the history of love.
Aidan Chambers
The longing was with him day and night, an incessant undefinable craving, like the sudden whim of a sick man for food and drink once tasted and long since forgotten. He could not see beyond the craving, or picture what it might lead to, for he was not conscious of any wish to speak to Madame Olenska or to hear her voice. He simply felt that if he could carry the vision of the spot of earth she walked on, and the way the sky and sea enclosed it, the rest of the world might seem less empty.
Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence)
Much of our modern difficulty, in religion and other things, arises merely from this: that we confuse the word "indefinable" with the word "vague." If some one speaks of a spiritual fact as "indefinable" we promptly picture something misty, a cloud with indeterminate edges. But this is an error even in commonplace logic. The thing that cannot be defined is the first thing; the primary fact. It is our arms and legs, our pots and pans, that are indefinable. The indefinable is the indisputable. The man next door is indefinable, because he is too actual to be defined. And there are some to whom spiritual things have the same fierce and practical proximity; some to whom God is too actual to be defined.
G.K. Chesterton (Charles Dickens: A Critical Study)
Akasha, for two thousand years I have watched,' he said. 'Call me the Roman in the Arena if you will and tell me tales of the ages that went before. When I knelt at your feet I begged you for your knowledge. But what I have witnessed in this short span has filled me with awe and love for all things mortal; I have seen revolutions in thought and philosophy which I believed impossible. Is not the human race moving towards the very age of peace you describe?' Her face was a picture of disdain. 'Marius,' she said, 'this will go down as one of the bloodiest centuries in the history of the human race. What revolutions do you speak of, when millions have been exterminated by one small European nation on the whim of a madman, when entire cities were melted into oblivion by bombs? When children in desert countries of the East war on other children in the name of an ancient and despotic God? Marius, women the world over wash the fruits of their wombs down public drains. The screams of the hungry are deafening, yet unheard by the rich who cavort in technological citadels; disease runs rampant among the starving of whole continents while the sick in palatial hospitals spend the wealth of the world on cosmetics refinements and the promise of eternal life through pills and vials." She laughed softly. 'Did ever the cries of the dying ring so thickly in the ears of those of us who can hear them? Has ever more blood been shed?
Anne Rice (The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles, #3))
Bonaventure always liked pictures because even though they had no mouths they managed to speak.
Rita Leganski (The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow)
action speaks louder than word but if someone judged you by your picture that means they are STUPID not to understand art and missed the meaning of "for art sakes
Jayson Zabate
Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as collective memory--part of the same family of spurious notions as collective guilt. But there is collective instruction....What is called collective memory is not a remembering but a stipulating: that this is important, and this is the story about how it happened, with the pictures that lock the story in our minds.
Susan Sontag
Look in it,' he said, smiling slightly, as you do when you have given someone a present which you know will please him and he is unwrapping it before your eyes. I opened it. In the folder I found four 8×10 glossy photos, obviously professionally done; they looked like the kind of stills that the publicity departments of movie studios put out. The photos showed a Greek vase, on it a painting of a male figure who we recognized as Hermes. Twined around the vase the double helix confronted us, done in red glaze against a black background. The DNA molecule. There could be no mistake. 'Twenty-three or -four hundred years ago,' Fat said. 'Not the picture but the krater, the pottery.' 'A pot,' I said. 'I saw it in a museum in Athens. It's authentic. Thats not a matter of my own opinion; I'm not qualified to judge such matters; it's authenticity has been established by the museum authorities. I talked with one of them. He hadn't realized what the design shows; he was very interested when I discussed it with him. This form of vase, the krater, was the shape later used as the baptismal font. That was one of the Greek words that came into my head in March 1974, the word “krater”. I heard it connected with another Greek word: “poros”. The words “poros krater” essentially mean “limestone font”. ' There could be no doubt; the design, predating Christianity, was Crick and Watson's double helix model at which they had arrived after so many wrong guesses, so much trial-and-error work. Here it was, faithfully reproduced. 'Well?' I said. 'The so-called intertwined snakes of the caduceus. Originally the caduceus, which is still the symbol of medicine was the staff of- not Hermes-but-' Fat paused, his eyes bright. 'Of Asklepios. It has a very specific meaning, besides that of wisdom, which the snakes allude to; it shows that the bearer is a sacred person and not to be molested...which is why Hermes the messenger of the gods, carried it.' None of us said anything for a time. Kevin started to utter something sarcastic, something in his dry, witty way, but he did not; he only sat without speaking. Examining the 8×10 glossies, Ginger said, 'How lovely!' 'The greatest physician in all human history,' Fat said to her. 'Asklepios, the founder of Greek medicine. The Roman Emperor Julian-known to us as Julian the Apostate because he renounced Christianity-conside​red Asklepios as God or a god; Julian worshipped him. If that worship had continued, the entire history of the Western world would have basically changed
Philip K. Dick (VALIS)
Stories are not just entertainment, not to me. A story records and transmits the experience of being human. It teaches us what it’s like to be who we are. Nothing but art can do this. There is no science that can capture the inner life. No words can describe it directly. We can only speak of it in metaphors. We can only say: it’s like this—this story, this picture, this song.
Andrew Klavan (The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ)
I spent my childhood and youth on the outskirts of the Alps, in a region that was largely spared the immediate effects of the so-called hostilities. At the end of the war I was just one year old, so I can hardly have any impressions of that period of destruction based on personal experience. Yet to this day, when I see photographs or documentary films dating from the war I feel as if I were its child, so to speak, as if those horrors I did not experience cast a shadow over me … I see pictures merging before my mind’s eye—paths through the fields, river meadows, and mountain pastures mingling with images of destruction—and oddly enough, it is the latter, not the now entirely unreal idylls of my early childhood, that make me feel rather as if I were coming home…
W.G. Sebald (On the Natural History of Destruction)
You know, it's such a peculiar thing--our idea of mankind in general. We all have a sort of vague, glowing picture when we say that, something solemn, big and important. But actually all we know of it is the people we meet in our lifetime. Look at them. Do you know any you'd feel big and solemn about? There's nothing but housewives haggling at pushcarts, drooling brats who write dirty words on the sidewalks, and drunken debutantes. Or their spiritual equivalent. As a matter of fact, one can feel some respect for people when they suffer. They have a certain dignity. But have you ever looked at them when they're enjoying themselves? That's when you see the truth. Look at those who spend the money they've slaved for--at amusement parks and side shows. Look at those who're rich and have the whole world open to them. Observe what they pick out for enjoyment. Watch them in the smarter speak-easies. That's your mankind in general. I don't want to touch it.
Ayn Rand
If you speak and write in English, or Spanish, or Chinese, or any other language, then only a certain percentage of human beings will get your meaning. But when you draw a picture everybody can understand it.
Sherman Alexie
Don’t be tedious, Lavay. If it’s so necessary for you to know,” he said ungraciously. “She won a contest.” There was a short stunned silence. “You…played a game?” Lavay said this slow, flat incredulity, hilarity suppressed, clearly trying to picture it. “And you lost to a…girl. What manner of contest was this? Ribbon-tying?” Flint felt ridiculous now, in retrospect, which was doing nothing to settle his temper. “I challenged her to aim a dart…let’s just say it landed rather serendipitously in the right spot,” he finished curtly. “She was lucky.” “You speak metaphorically, Captain? She aimed a dart as in the vein of Cupid?
Julie Anne Long (I Kissed an Earl (Pennyroyal Green, #4))
Dorian, Dorian," she cried, "before I knew you, acting was the one reality of my life. It was only in the theatre that I lived. I thought that it was all true. I was Rosalind one night and Portia the other. The joy of Beatrice was my joy, and the sorrows of Cordelia were mine also. I believed in everything. The common people who acted with me seemed to me to be godlike. The painted scenes were my world. I knew nothing but shadows, and I thought them real. You came—oh, my beautiful love!— and you freed my soul from prison. You taught me what reality really is. To-night, for the first time in my life, I saw through the hollowness, the sham, the silliness of the empty pageant in which I had always played. To-night, for the first time, I became conscious that the Romeo was hideous, and old, and painted, that the moonlight in the orchard was false, that the scenery was vulgar, and that the words I had to speak were unreal, were not my words, were not what I wanted to say. You had brought me something higher, something of which all art is but a reflection.
Oscar Wilde
For a billion years the patient earth amassed documents and inscribed them with signs and pictures which lay unnoticed and unused. Today, at last, they are waking up, because man has come to rouse them. Stones have begun to speak, because an ear is there to hear them. Layers become history and, released from the enchanted sleep of eternity, life's motley, never-ending dance rises out of the black depths of the past into the light of the present.
Hans Cloos (Conversation with the Earth)
Exactly. You know what it says in the Book of Job.” “Remind me.” “Well, Satan is there in heaven, with God. God says, where have you been? And Satan says, roaming around the earth! It’s a regular conversation. And they begin arguing about Job. Satan believes Job’s goodness is founded entirely upon his good fortune. And God agrees to let Satan torment Job. This is the most nearly true picture of the situation which we possess. God doesn’t know everything. The Devil is a good friend of his. And the whole thing is an experiment. And this Satan is a far cry from being the Devil as we know him now, worldwide.” “You’re really speaking of these ideas as if they were real beings …
Anne Rice (The Tale of the Body Thief (The Vampire Chronicles, #4))
Of students’ papers: ‘I am generally very benevolent [said Shade]. But there are certain trifles I do not forgive.’ Kinbote: ‘For instance?’ ‘Not having read the required book. Having read it like an idiot. Looking in it for symbols; example: “The author uses the striking image green leaves because green is the symbol of happiness and frustration.” I am also in the habit of lowering a student’s mark catastrophically if he uses “simple” and “sincere” in a commendatory sense; examples: “Shelley’s style is always very simple and good”; or “Yeats is always sincere.” This is widespread, and when I hear a critic speaking of an author’s sincerity I know that either the critic or the author is a fool.’ Kinbote: ‘But I am told this manner of thinking is taught in high school?’ ‘That’s where the broom should begin to sweep. A child should have thirty specialists to teach him thirty subjects, and not one harassed schoolmarm to show him a picture of a rice field and tell him this is China because she knows nothing about China, or anything else, and cannot tell the difference between longitude and latitude.’ Kinbote: ‘Yes. I agree.
Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire)
Milton's Eve! Milton's Eve! ... Milton tried to see the first woman; but Cary, he saw her not ... I would beg to remind him that the first men of the earth were Titans, and that Eve was their mother: from her sprang Saturn, Hyperion, Oceanus; she bore Prometheus" -- "Pagan that you are! what does that signify?" "I say, there were giants on the earth in those days: giants that strove to scale heaven. The first woman's breast that heaved with life on this world yielded the daring which could contend with Omnipotence: the stregth which could bear a thousand years of bondage, -- the vitality which could feed that vulture death through uncounted ages, -- the unexhausted life and uncorrupted excellence, sisters to immortality, which after millenniums of crimes, struggles, and woes, could conceive and bring forth a Messiah. The first woman was heaven-born: vast was the heart whence gushed the well-spring of the blood of nations; and grand the undegenerate head where rested the consort-crown of creation. ... I saw -- I now see -- a woman-Titan: her robe of blue air spreads to the outskirts of the heath, where yonder flock is grazing; a veil white as an avalanche sweeps from hear head to her feet, and arabesques of lighting flame on its borders. Under her breast I see her zone, purple like that horizon: through its blush shines the star of evening. Her steady eyes I cannot picture; they are clear -- they are deep as lakes -- they are lifted and full of worship -- they tremble with the softness of love and the lustre of prayer. Her forehead has the expanse of a cloud, and is paler than the early moon, risen long before dark gathers: she reclines her bosom on the ridge of Stilbro' Moor; her mighty hands are joined beneath it. So kneeling, face to face she speaks with God. That Eve is Jehova's daughter, as Adam was His son.
Charlotte Brontë (Shirley)
The body is a multilingual being. It speaks through its colour and its temperature, the flush of recognition, the glow of love, the ash of pain, the heat of arousal, the coldness of non-conviction. It speaks through its constant tiny dance, sometimes swaying, sometimes a-jitter, sometimes trembling. It speaks through the leaping of the heart, the falling of the spirit, the pit at the centre, and rising hope. The body remembers, the bones remember, the joints remember, even the little finger remembers. Memory is lodged in pictures and feelings in the cells themselves. Like a sponge filled with water, anywhere the flesh is pressed, wrung, even touched lightly, a memory may flow out in a stream.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
There is a strange sensation often experienced in the presence of an audience. It may proceed from the gaze of the many eyes that turn upon the speaker, especially if he permits himself to steadily return that gaze. Most speakers have been conscious of this in a nameless thrill, a real something, pervading the atmosphere, tangible, evanescent, indescribable. All writers have borne testimony to the power of a speaker's eye in impressing an audience. This influence which we are now considering is the reverse of that picture—the power their eyes may exert upon him, especially before he begins to speak: after the inward fires of oratory are fanned into flame the eyes of the audience lose all terror.
William Pittenger (Extempore Speech: How to Acquire and Practice It)
Language enables the left hemisphere to represent the world ‘off-line’, a conceptual version, distinct from the world of experience, and shielded from the immediate environment, with its insistent impressions, feelings and demands, abstracted from the body, no longer dealing with what is concrete, specific, individual, unrepeatable, and constantly changing, but with a disembodied representation of the world, abstracted, central, not particularised in time and place, generally applicable, clear and fixed. Isolating things artificially from their context brings the advantage of enabling us to focus intently on a particular aspect of reality and how it can be modelled, so that it can be grasped and controlled. But its losses are in the picture as a whole. Whatever lies in the realm of the implicit, or depends on flexibility, whatever can't be brought into focus and fixed, ceases to exist as far as the speaking hemisphere is concerned.
Iain McGilchrist (The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World)
This is arguably the besetting mistake of all naturalist thinking, as it happens, in practically every sphere. In this context, the assumption at work is that if one could only reduce one’s picture of the original physical conditions of reality to the barest imaginable elements—say, the “quantum foam” and a handful of laws like the law of gravity, which all looks rather nothing-ish (relatively speaking)—then one will have succeeded in getting as near to nothing as makes no difference. In fact, one will be starting no nearer to nonbeing than if one were to begin with an infinitely realized multiverse: the difference from non-being remains infinite in either case. All quantum states are states within an existing quantum system, and all the laws governing that system merely describe its regularities and constraints. Any quantum fluctuation therein that produces, say, a universe is a new state within that system, but not a sudden emergence of reality from nonbeing. Cosmology simply cannot become ontology. The only intellectually consistent course for the metaphysical naturalist is to say that physical reality “just is” and then to leave off there, accepting that this “just is” remains a truth entirely in excess of all physical properties and causes: the single ineradicable “super-natural” fact within which all natural facts are forever contained, but about which we ought not to let ourselves think too much.
David Bentley Hart (The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss)
On coming to America I had the same hopes as have most European immigrants and the same disillusionment, though the latter affected me more keenly and more deeply. The immigrant without money and without connections is not permitted to cherish the comforting illusion that America is a benevolent uncle who assumes a tender and impartial guardianship of nephews and nieces. I soon learned that in a republic there are myriad ways by which the strong, the cunning, the rich can seize power and hold it. I saw the many work for small wages which kept them always on the borderline of want for the few who made huge profits. I saw the courts, the halls of legislation, the press, and the schools--in fact every avenue of education and protection--effectively used as an instrument for the safeguarding of a minority, while the masses were denied every right. I found that the politicians knew how to befog every issue, how to control public opinion and manipulate votes to their own advantage and to that of their financial and industrial allies. This was the picture of democracy I soon discovered on my arrival in the United States. Fundamentally there have been few changes since that time.
Emma Goldman (Red Emma Speaks)
I find people confusing. This is for two main reasons. The first main reason is that people do a lot of talking without using any words. Siobhan says that if you raise one eyebrow it can mean lots of different things. It can mean "I want to do sex with you" and it can also mean "I think that what you just said was very stupid." Siobhan also says that if you close your mouth and breathe out loudly through your nose, it can mean that you are relaxed, or that you are bored, or that you are angry, and it all depends on how much air comes out of your nose and how fast and what shape your mouth is when you do it and how you are sitting and what you said just before and hundreds of other things which are too complicated to work out in a few seconds. The second main reason is that people often talk using metaphors. These are examples of metaphors I laughed my socks off. He was the apple of her eye. They had a skeleton in the cupboard. We had a real pig of a day. The dog was stone dead. The word metaphor means carrying something from one place to another, and it comes from the Greek words meta (which means from one place to another) and ferein (which means to carry), and it is when you describe something by using a word for something that it isn't. This means that the word metaphor is a metaphor. I think it should be called a lie because a pig is not like a day and people do not have skeletons in their cupboards. And when I try and make a picture of the phrase in my head it just confuses me because imagining an apple in someone's eye doesn't have anything to do with liking someone a lot and it makes you forget what the person was talking about.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
People spoke to foreigners with an averted gaze, and everybody seemed to know somebody who had just vanished. The rumors of what had happened to them were fantastic and bizarre though, as it turned out, they were only an understatement of the real thing. Before going to see General Videla […], I went to […] check in with Los Madres: the black-draped mothers who paraded, every week, with pictures of their missing loved ones in the Plaza Mayo. (‘Todo mi familia!’ as one elderly lady kept telling me imploringly, as she flourished their photographs. ‘Todo mi familia!’) From these and from other relatives and friends I got a line of questioning to put to the general. I would be told by him, they forewarned me, that people ‘disappeared’ all the time, either because of traffic accidents and family quarrels or, in the dire civil-war circumstances of Argentina, because of the wish to drop out of a gang and the need to avoid one’s former associates. But this was a cover story. Most of those who disappeared were openly taken away in the unmarked Ford Falcon cars of the Buenos Aires military police. I should inquire of the general what precisely had happened to Claudia Inez Grumberg, a paraplegic who was unable to move on her own but who had last been seen in the hands of his ever-vigilant armed forces [….] I possess a picture of the encounter that still makes me want to spew: there stands the killer and torturer and rape-profiteer, as if to illustrate some seminar on the banality of evil. Bony-thin and mediocre in appearance, with a scrubby moustache, he looks for all the world like a cretin impersonating a toothbrush. I am gripping his hand in a much too unctuous manner and smiling as if genuinely delighted at the introduction. Aching to expunge this humiliation, I waited while he went almost pedantically through the predicted script, waving away the rumored but doubtless regrettable dematerializations that were said to be afflicting his fellow Argentines. And then I asked him about Senorita Grumberg. He replied that if what I had said was true, then I should remember that ‘terrorism is not just killing with a bomb, but activating ideas. Maybe that’s why she’s detained.’ I expressed astonishment at this reply and, evidently thinking that I hadn’t understood him the first time, Videla enlarged on the theme. ‘We consider it a great crime to work against the Western and Christian style of life: it is not just the bomber but the ideologist who is the danger.’ Behind him, I could see one or two of his brighter staff officers looking at me with stark hostility as they realized that the general—El Presidente—had made a mistake by speaking so candidly. […] In response to a follow-up question, Videla crassly denied—‘rotondamente’: ‘roundly’ denied—holding Jacobo Timerman ‘as either a journalist or a Jew.’ While we were having this surreal exchange, here is what Timerman was being told by his taunting tormentors: Argentina has three main enemies: Karl Marx, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of society; Sigmund Freud, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of the family; and Albert Einstein, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of time and space. […] We later discovered what happened to the majority of those who had been held and tortured in the secret prisons of the regime. According to a Navy captain named Adolfo Scilingo, who published a book of confessions, these broken victims were often destroyed as ‘evidence’ by being flown out way over the wastes of the South Atlantic and flung from airplanes into the freezing water below. Imagine the fun element when there’s the surprise bonus of a Jewish female prisoner in a wheelchair to be disposed of… we slide open the door and get ready to roll her and then it’s one, two, three… go!
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
I pictured Becs and myself together, squabbling, but always over little things, while I rotted away at the core from love of Ferris. It was hopeless. ‘Here.’ I laid my hands on the table, palms up, and jerked my head at them, ‘put yours on top.’ Ferris did not move. ‘Please,’ I said. He laid his cold hands on mine and I curled my fingers, folding his within them. ‘Now,’ I said, ‘I’ve neither accepted nor refused. Speak it out plainly, tell me and I’ll do it.’ He cried, ‘Don’t put it onto me! Choose for yourself.’ ‘This is choosing. Tell Aunt I will do whatever you’ll have me do, and that’s my answer.’ I kept hold of his fingers. We stayed there silent and motionless for some time, while the candles burnt down. At last he said quietly, ‘It is a lot to give up.’ ‘Well. My history is bad enough without bigamy,’ I replied, at which he smiled but made no reply. The candles were half burnt. I took one and rose. ‘Goodnight, Ferris.’ ‘Goodnight, Jacob.
Maria McCann (As Meat Loves Salt)
[33]* In the seventh month, when the heat is dreadful, everything in the building is kept open all through the night, and it’s delightful to wake on moonlit nights and lie there looking out. Dark nights too are delightful, and as for the sight of the moon at dawn, words cannot describe the loveliness. Picture her lying there, on a fresh new mat 1 placed near the outer edge of the gleaming wooden aisle-room floor, the low standing curtain pushed to the back of the room in a quite unseemly way. 2 It should normally be placed at the outer edge, but perhaps she’s concerned about being seen from within. Her lover must have already left. She is lying asleep, a robe drawn up over her head 3 – it is pale greyish-violet with deep violet inner lining, the outer surface a little faded, or perhaps it is a stiffish robe of rich gleaming damask. Beneath this, she is wearing a clove-tan or yellow gossamer-silk shift, and the long strings of her unlined scarlet skirted trousers trailing undone from below the hem of her clothing tell us that she must have fallen asleep with trousers still untied after her lover departed. The soft luxury of hair that lies piled in waves beside her speaks of its wonderful length.
Sei Shōnagon (The Pillow Book)
Professor Smith has kindly submitted his book to me before publication. After reading it thoroughly and with intense interest I am glad to comply with his request to give him my impression. The work is a broadly conceived attempt to portray man's fear-induced animistic and mythic ideas with all their far-flung transformations and interrelations. It relates the impact of these phantasmagorias on human destiny and the causal relationships by which they have become crystallized into organized religion. This is a biologist speaking, whose scientific training has disciplined him in a grim objectivity rarely found in the pure historian. This objectivity has not, however, hindered him from emphasizing the boundless suffering which, in its end results, this mythic thought has brought upon man. Professor Smith envisages as a redeeming force, training in objective observation of all that is available for immediate perception and in the interpretation of facts without preconceived ideas. In his view, only if every individual strives for truth can humanity attain a happier future; the atavisms in each of us that stand in the way of a friendlier destiny can only thus be rendered ineffective. His historical picture closes with the end of the nineteenth century, and with good reason. By that time it seemed that the influence of these mythic, authoritatively anchored forces which can be denoted as religious, had been reduced to a tolerable level in spite of all the persisting inertia and hypocrisy. Even then, a new branch of mythic thought had already grown strong, one not religious in nature but no less perilous to mankind -- exaggerated nationalism. Half a century has shown that this new adversary is so strong that it places in question man's very survival. It is too early for the present-day historian to write about this problem, but it is to be hoped that one will survive who can undertake the task at a later date.
Albert Einstein (Man and His Gods)
That’s really all art is about, I think, and not just pictures—it’s the same with books and stories and sculpture and even castles in the sand. Some things call to us, that’s all. It’s as if the people who made them were speaking inside our heads.
Stephen King (Rose Madder)
I draw because words are too unpredictable. I draw because words are too limited. If you speak and write in English or Spanish or Chinese or any other language, then only a certain percentage of human beings will get your meaning. But when you draw a picture, everybody can understand it. If I draw a cartoon of a flower, then every man, woman, and child in the world can look at it and say “that’s a flower.” So I draw because I want to talk to the world and I want the world to pay attention to me.
Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)
In a well-balanced, reasoning mind there is no such thing as an intuition - an inspired guess! You can guess, of course - and a guess is either right or wrong. If it is right you can call it an intuition. If it is wrong you usually do not speak of it again. But what is often called an intuition is really impression based on logical deduction or experience. When an expert feels that there is something wrong about a picture or a piece of furniture or the signature on a cheque he is really basing that feeling on a host of a small signs and details. He has no need to go into them minutely - his experience obviates that - the net result is the definite impression that something is wrong. But it is not a guess, it is an impression based on experience.
Agatha Christie (The A.B.C. Murders (Hercule Poirot, #13))
Brighton Beach does not look, smell, or sound like Russia. It's a parody of Russia at best, something as different from the real thing as a picture of the Eiffel Tower. Yes, they sell Russian food on Brighton Beach, and Russian books and videos, and Russian clothes, and there are Russian restaurants and Russian nightclubs, and everybody speaks Russian, but the Russianness of the place is so concentrated that it feels ridiculously exaggerated. Everything Russian on Brighton Beach is too Russian, far more Russian than in real Russia. This is what happens all over Brooklyn. From the Scandinavians of Bay Ridge to the Chinese of Sunset Park, Brooklyn's immigrants go to ridiculous extremes to re-create their homelands only to end up with a vulgar pastiche.
Lara Vapnyar
Over the course of three decades watching kids walk into my schools, I have decided that I want them to be lifelong learners be passionate be ready to take risks be able to problem-solve and think critically be able to look at things differently be able to work independently and with others be creative care and want to give back to their community persevere have integrity and self-respect have moral courage be able to use the world around them well speak well, write well, read well, and work well with numbers truly enjoy their life and their work.
Dennis Littky (The Big Picture: Education Is Everyone's Business)
I liked the way it felt to speak Chinese—the elegant rise and fall of the tones, the sensuous way my tongue flitted about my mouth and the economy of a language that needed very few words to say a lot. Speaking good French demands control of one’s lips; American English relies on an open mouth; but Chinese can be spoken perfectly even through clenched teeth. “Picture your tongue as a butterfly,” one of my instructors would say, and there it would be, flapping against my mouth and banging against my teeth as I sought to harness it and speak Chinese.
John Pomfret (Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China)
. . . to my surprise I began to know what The Language was about, not just the part we were singing now but the whole poem. It began with the praise and joy in all creation, copying the voice of the wind and the sea. It described sun and moon, stars and clouds, birth and death, winter and spring, the essence of fish, bird, animal, and man. It spoke in what seemed to be the language of each creature. . . . It spoke of well, spring, and stream, of the seed that comes from the loins of a male creature and of the embryo that grows in the womb of the female. It pictured the dry seed deep in the dark earth, feeling the rain and the warmth seeping down to it. It sang of the green shoot and of the tawny heads of harvest grain standing out in the field under the great moon. It described the chrysalis that turns into a golden butterfly, the eggs that break to let out the fluffy bird life within, the birth pangs of woman and of beast. It went on to speak of the dark ferocity of the creatures that pounce upon their prey and plunge their teeth into it--it spoke in the muffled voice of bear and wolf--it sang the song of the great hawks and eagles and owls until their wild faces seemed to be staring into mine, and I knew myself as wild as they. It sang the minor chords of pain and sickness, of injury and old age; for a few moments I felt I was an old woman with age heavy upon me.
Monica Furlong (Wise Child)
Lacey said softly, "Tristan, you need to rest now. There's nothing you can do until you rest." But he could not leave Ivy. He put his arms around her. She slipped through him and moved toward the bureau, taking the picture in her hands. He wrapped her in his arms again, but she only cried harder. Then Ella was set lightly on the bureau top. Lacey's hands had done it. The cat rubbed up against Ivy's head. "Oh, Ella, I don't know how to let go of him." "Don't let go," Tristan begged. "In the end, she must," Lacey warned. "I've lost him, Ella, I know it. Tristan is dead. He can't hold me ever again. He can't think of me. He can't want me now. Love ends with death." "It doesn't!" Tristan said. "I'll hold you again, I swear it, and you'll see that my love will never end." "You're exhausted, Tristan," Lacey told him. "I'll hold you, I'll love you forever!" "If you don't rest now," Lacey said, "you'll become even more confused. It'll be hard to tell real from unreal, or to rouse yourself out of the darkness. Tristan, listen to me..." But before she finished speaking, the darkness overtook him.
Elizabeth Chandler (Kissed by an Angel/The Power of Love/Soulmates (Kissed by an Angel, #1-3))
In 90% of cases, you can start with one of the two most effective ways to open a speech: ask a question or start with a story. Our brain doesn’t remember what we hear. It remembers only what we “see” or imagine while we listen. You can remember stories. Everything else is quickly forgotten. Smell is the most powerful sense out of 4 to immerse audience members into a scene. Every sentence either helps to drive your point home, or it detracts from clarity. There is no middle point. If you don’t have a foundational phrase in your speech, it means that your message is not clear enough to you, and if it’s not clear to you, there is no way it will be clear to your audience. Share your failures first. Show your audience members that you are not any better, smarter or more talented than they are. You are not an actor, you are a speaker. The main skill of an actor is to play a role; to be someone else. Your main skill as a speaker is to be yourself. People will forgive you for anything except for being boring. Speaking without passion is boring. If you are not excited about what you are talking about, how can you expect your audience to be excited? Never hide behind a lectern or a table. Your audience needs to see 100% of your body. Speak slowly and people will consider you to be a thoughtful and clever person. Leaders don’t talk much, but each word holds a lot of meaning and value. You always speak to only one person. Have a conversation directly with one person, look him or her in the eye. After you have logically completed one idea, which usually is 10-20 seconds, scan the audience and then stop your eyes on another person. Repeat this process again. Cover the entire room with eye contact. When you scan the audience and pick people for eye contact, pick positive people more often. When you pause, your audience thinks about your message and reflects. Pausing builds an audiences’ confidence. If you don’t pause, your audience doesn’t have time to digest what you've told them and hence, they will not remember a word of what you've said. Pause before and after you make an important point and stand still. During this pause, people think about your words and your message sinks in. After you make an important point and stand still. During this pause, people think about your words and your message sinks in. Speakers use filler words when they don’t know what to say, but they feel uncomfortable with silence. Have you ever seen a speaker who went on stage with a piece of paper and notes? Have you ever been one of these speakers? When people see you with paper in your hands, they instantly think, “This speaker is not sincere. He has a script and will talk according to the script.” The best speeches are not written, they are rewritten. Bad speakers create a 10 minutes speech and deliver it in 7 minutes. Great speakers create a 5 minute speech and deliver it in 7 minutes. Explain your ideas in a simple manner, so that the average 12-year-old child can understand the concept. Good speakers and experts can always explain the most complex ideas with very simple words. Stories evoke emotions. Factual information conveys logic. Emotions are far more important in a speech than logic. If you're considering whether to use statistics or a story, use a story. PowerPoint is for pictures not for words. Use as few words on the slide as possible. Never learn your speech word for word. Just rehearse it enough times to internalize the flow. If you watch a video of your speech, you can triple the pace of your development as a speaker. Make videos a habit. Meaningless words and clichés neither convey value nor information. Avoid them. Never apologize on stage. If people need to put in a lot of effort to understand you they simply won’t listen. On the other hand if you use very simple language you will connect with the audience and your speech will be remembered.
Andrii Sedniev (Magic of Public Speaking: A Complete System to Become a World Class Speaker)
During my first few months of Facebooking, I discovered that my page had fostered a collective nostalgia for specific cultural icons. These started, unsurprisingly, within the realm of science fiction and fantasy. They commonly included a pointy-eared Vulcan from a certain groundbreaking 1960s television show. Just as often, though, I found myself sharing images of a diminutive, ancient, green and disarmingly wise Jedi Master who speaks in flip-side down English. Or, if feeling more sinister, I’d post pictures of his black-cloaked, dark-sided, heavy-breathing nemesis. As an aside, I initially received from Star Trek fans considerable “push-back,” or at least many raised Spock brows, when I began sharing images of Yoda and Darth Vader. To the purists, this bordered on sacrilege.. But as I like to remind fans, I was the only actor to work within both franchises, having also voiced the part of Lok Durd from the animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It was the virality of these early posts, shared by thousands of fans without any prodding from me, that got me thinking. Why do we love Spock, Yoda and Darth Vader so much? And what is it about characters like these that causes fans to click “like” and “share” so readily? One thing was clear: Cultural icons help people define who they are today because they shaped who they were as children. We all “like” Yoda because we all loved The Empire Strikes Back, probably watched it many times, and can recite our favorite lines. Indeed, we all can quote Yoda, and we all have tried out our best impression of him. When someone posts a meme of Yoda, many immediately share it, not just because they think it is funny (though it usually is — it’s hard to go wrong with the Master), but because it says something about the sharer. It’s shorthand for saying, “This little guy made a huge impact on me, not sure what it is, but for certain a huge impact. Did it make one on you, too? I’m clicking ‘share’ to affirm something you may not know about me. I ‘like’ Yoda.” And isn’t that what sharing on Facebook is all about? It’s not simply that the sharer wants you to snortle or “LOL” as it were. That’s part of it, but not the core. At its core is a statement about one’s belief system, one that includes the wisdom of Yoda. Other eminently shareable icons included beloved Tolkien characters, particularly Gandalf (as played by the inimitable Sir Ian McKellan). Gandalf, like Yoda, is somehow always above reproach and unfailingly epic. Like Yoda, Gandalf has his darker counterpart. Gollum is a fan favorite because he is a fallen figure who could reform with the right guidance. It doesn’t hurt that his every meme is invariably read in his distinctive, blood-curdling rasp. Then there’s also Batman, who seems to have survived both Adam West and Christian Bale, but whose questionable relationship to the Boy Wonder left plenty of room for hilarious homoerotic undertones. But seriously, there is something about the brooding, misunderstood and “chaotic-good” nature of this superhero that touches all of our hearts.
George Takei
She could not picture it. Herself riding on the subway or streetcar, caring for new horses, talking to new people, living among hordes of people every day who were not Clark. A life, a place, chosen for that specific reason––that it would not contain Clark. The strange and terrible thing coming clear to her about that world of the future, as she now pictured it, was that she would not exist there. She would only walk around, and open her mouth and speak, and do this and do that. She would not really be there. And what was strange about it was that she was doing all this, she was riding on this bus in the hope of recovering herself. As Mrs. Jamieson might say––and as she herself might with satisfaction have said––taking charge of her own life. With nobody glowering over her, nobody's mood infecting her with misery. But what would she care about? How would she know that she was alive? While she was running away from him––now––Clark still kept his place in her life. But when she was finished running away, when she just went on, what would she put in his place? What else––who else––could ever be so vivid a challenge?
Alice Munro (Runaway)
Making art depends upon noticing things — things about yourself, your methods, your subject matter. Sooner or later, for instance, every visual artist notices the relationship of the line to the picture’s edge. Before that moment the relationship does not exist; afterwards it’s impossible to imagine it not existing. And from that moment on every new line talks back and forth with the picture’s edge. People who have not yet made this small leap do not see the same picture as those who have — in fact, conceptually speaking, they do not even live in the same world.
David Bayles (Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking)
They come and go, without the drowsy observer’s participation, but are essentially different from dream pictures for he is still master of his senses. They are often grotesque. I am pestered by roguish profiles, by some coarse-featured and florid dwarf with a swelling nostril or ear. At times, however, my photisms take on a rather soothing flou quality, and then I see—projected, as it were, upon the inside of the eyelid—gray figures walking between beehives, or small black parrots gradually vanishing among mountain snows, or a mauve remoteness melting beyond moving masts.
Vladimir Nabokov (Speak, Memory)
Yesterday a very interesting, beautifully photografed english picture about a nun convent in India, "Black Narcissus," with Deborah Kerr who is quite lovely. They are away ahead of Hollywood, better ideas, better scripts, better color, and much better acting. Kurt Weill, London, May 8, 1947
Kurt Weill (Speak Low (When You Speak Love): The Letters of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya)
The woman with the cat complex is named Mrs. Alice Plesher, but she doesn't reveal her first name to him and Sai only finds out by accident, later. Mrs. Plesher calls the paper and is put through to Sai. He has no idea why although he could guess the new guy gets all of the reporter-on-the-beat drudgery assignments until proven worthy. Alice speaks haltingly as if hardened by age and her voice reveals a rasp. Sai pictures her in a long house dress from the fifties, wide pink and white stripes fading with age---a smock of beige over the dress, a multitude of cats clinging to the fabric like stick-ons.
Justin Bog (A Great Distance)
After inside upheavals, it is important to fix on imperturbable things. Their imperturbableness, their air that nothing has happened renews our guarantee. Pictures would not be hung plumb over the centres of fireplaces or wallpapers pasted on with such precision that their seams make no break in the pattern if life were really not possible to adjudicate for. These things are what we mean when we speak of civilization: they remind us how exceedingly seldom the unseemly or unforeseeable rears its head. In this sense, the destruction of buildings and furniture is more palpably dreadful to the spirit than the destruction of human life.
Elizabeth Bowen (The Death of the Heart)
Without Victoria, life becomes lived in a kind of suspension, as if Victoria still might be here but has just gone away for a while. She is not physically here, but she is in my thoughts, night and day. Yet, every time I try and picture Victoria’s face, or what she looked like, and how she moved in the world, and all the little characteristics of a human being, I can’t see her at all. The visuals won’t come. I can’t even remember what my own daughter looked like. In desperation, I put up photos of her on a noticeboard above my desk , and speak to them, as if that will bring her back. The images remain two-dimensional. They fail to evoke the living girl that was.
Linda Collins (Loss Adjustment)
Men are so inclined to content themselves with what is commonest; the spirit and the senses so easily grow dead to the impressions of the beautiful and perfect,—that every one should study, by all methods, to nourish in his mind the faculty of feeling these things. For no man can bear to be entirely deprived of such enjoyments: it is only because they are not used to taste of what is excellent that the generality of people take delight in silly and insipid things, provided they be new. For this reason," he would add, "one ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship)
Great paintings—people flock to see them, they draw crowds, they’re reproduced endlessly on coffee mugs and mouse pads and anything-you-like. And, I count myself in the following, you can have a lifetime of perfectly sincere museum-going where you traipse around enjoying everything and then go out and have some lunch. But if a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see, and think, and feel, you don’t think, ‘oh, I love this picture because it’s universal.’ ‘I love this painting because it speaks to all mankind.’ That’s not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It’s a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes you. An individual heart-shock. Your dream, Welty’s dream, Vermeer’s dream. You see one painting, I see another, the art book puts it at another remove still, the lady buying the greeting card at the museum gift shop sees something else entire, and that’s not even to mention the people separated from us by time—four hundred years before us, four hundred years after we’re gone—it’ll never strike anybody the same way and the great majority of people it’ll never strike in any deep way at all but—a really great painting is fluid enough to work its way into the mind and heart through all kinds of different angles, in ways that are unique and very particular. Yours, yours. I was painted for you. And—oh, I don’t know, stop me if I’m rambling… but Welty himself used to talk about fateful objects. Every dealer and antiquaire recognizes them. The pieces that occur and recur. Maybe for someone else, not a dealer, it wouldn’t be an object. It’d be a city, a color, a time of day. The nail where your fate is liable to catch and snag.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
he had wanted, irrationally and indescribably, to see the place she was living in, and to follow the movements of her imagined figure as he had watched the real one in the summer-house. The longing was with him day and night, an incessant undefinable craving, like the sudden whim of a sick man for food or drink once tasted and long since forgotten. He could not see beyond the craving, or picture what it might lead to, for he was not conscious of any wish to speak to Madame Olenska or to hear her voice. He simply felt that if he could carry away the vision of the spot of earth she walked on, and the way the sky and sea enclosed it, the rest of the world might seem less empty.
Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence)
We have, then, in this beautiful section, as we have seen, a picture of unbroken communion and its delightful issues. May our lives correspond! First, one with the King, then speaking of the King; the joy of communion leading to fellowship in service, to a being all for Jesus, ready for any experience that will fit for further service, surrendering all to Him, and willing to minister all for Him. There is no room for love of the world here, for union with Christ has filled the heart; there is nothing for the gratification of the world, for all has been sealed and is kept for the Master's use. Jesus, my life is Thine! And evermore shall be Hidden in Thee. For nothing can untwine Thy life from mine.
James Hudson Taylor (Union And Communion or Thoughts on the Song of Solomon)
She had turned thought and feeling into life, into reality, into creation. They speak of the _creations_ of the human intellect, of the human imagination! there is nothing man can do comes half so near the making of the Maker as the ordering of his way--except one thing: the highest creation of which man is capable, is to will the will of the Father. That _has_ in it an element of the purely creative, and then is man likest God. But simply to do what we ought, is an altogether higher, diviner, more potent, more creative thing, than to write the grandest poem, paint the most beautiful picture, carve the mightiest statue, build the most worshiping temple, dream out the most enchanting commotion of melody and harmony.
George MacDonald (Mary Marston)
Sienna gave him a solemn shrug. “Robert, speaking from a purely scientific standpoint—all logic, no heart—I can tell you without a doubt that without some kind of drastic change, the end of our species is coming. And it’s coming fast. It won’t be fire, brimstone, apocalypse, or nuclear war … it will be total collapse due to the number of people on the planet. The mathematics is indisputable.” Langdon stiffened. “I’ve studied a fair amount of biology,” she said, “and it’s quite normal for a species to go extinct simply as a result of overpopulating its environment. Picture a colony of surface algae living in a tiny pond in the forest, enjoying the pond’s perfect balance of nutrients. Unchecked, they reproduce so wildly that they quickly cover the pond’s entire surface, blotting out the sun and thereby preventing the growth of the nutrients in the pond. Having sapped everything possible from their environment, the algae quickly die and disappear without a trace.” She gave a heavy sigh. “A similar fate could easily await mankind. Far sooner and faster than any of us imagine.
Dan Brown (Inferno (Robert Langdon, #4))
But if they are serious, then my job is to be solely responsible for the running of all aspects of the resort and I’ll have to liaise with the head office and provide weekly reports. I’ve never had to “liaise” before. It sounds sexy and dangerous. Any job that tells me that I have to “liaise” with the big boys in the head office is a winner to me. I can picture myself all dolled up in a cocktail dress at a work “do” standing in a circle with the other “suits” speaking in hushed tones about graphs and pie charts and financial reports. If people ask us what we’re doing, I can say dismissively, “Oh don’t mind us, we’re just liaising…” Ahern, Cecelia (2005-02-01). Love, Rosie (pp. 173-174). Hachette Books. Kindle Edition.
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
But if we look a little deeper we shall find there is a pathetic, one might almost say a tragic, side to the picture. A shy man means a lonely man—a man cut off from all companionship, all sociability. He moves about the world, but does not mix with it. Between him and his fellow-men there runs ever an impassable barrier—a strong, invisible wall that, trying in vain to scale, he but bruises himself against. He sees the pleasant faces and hears the pleasant voices on the other side, but he cannot stretch his hand across to grasp another hand. He stands watching the merry groups, and he longs to speak and to claim kindred with them. But they pass him by, chatting gayly to one another, and he cannot stay them. He tries to reach them, but his prison walls move with him and hem him in on every side. In the busy street, in the crowded room, in the grind of work, in the whirl of pleasure, amid the many or amid the few—wherever men congregate together, wherever the music of human speech is heard and human thought is flashed from human eyes, there, shunned and solitary, the shy man, like a leper, stands apart. His soul is full of love and longing, but the world knows it not. The iron mask of shyness is riveted before his face, and the man beneath is never seen. Genial words and hearty greetings are ever rising to his lips, but they die away in unheard whispers behind the steel clamps. His heart aches for the weary brother, but his sympathy is dumb. Contempt and indignation against wrong choke up his throat, and finding no safety-valve whence in passionate utterance they may burst forth, they only turn in again and harm him. All the hate and scorn and love of a deep nature such as the shy man is ever cursed by fester and corrupt within, instead of spending themselves abroad, and sour him into a misanthrope and cynic.
Jerome K. Jerome (Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow)
In the narrative of his third voyage Columbus wrote: "For I believe that the earthly Paradise lies here, which no one can enter except by God's leave." As for the people of this land, Peter Martyr would write as early as 1505: "They seem to live in that golden world of which old writers speak so much, wherein men lived simply and innocently without enforcement of laws, without quarreling, judges, or libels, content only to satisfy nature." Or as the ever present Montaigne would write: "In my opinion, what we actually see in these nations not only surpasses all the pictures which the poets have drawn of the Golden Age, and all their inventions representing the then happy state of mankind, but also the conception and desire of philosophy itself.
Paul Auster
When I was a young girl, I studied Greek in school. It's a beautiful language and ever so many good things were written in it. When you speak Greek, it feels like a little bird flapping its wings on your tongue as fast as it can. This is why I sometimes put Greek words into my stories, even though not so many people speak Ancient Greek anymore. Anything beautiful deserves to be shared round, and anything I love goes into my stories for safekeeping. The word I love is Arete. It has a simple meaning and a complicated meaning. The simple one is: excellence. But if that were all, we'd just use Excellence and I wouldn't bring it up until we got to E. Arete means your own excellence. Your very own. A personal excellence that belongs to no one else, one that comes out of all the things that make you special and different. Arete means whatever you are best at, no matter what that is. You might think the Greeks only meant things like fighting with bronze swords or debating philosophy, but they didn't. They meant whatever you're best at. What makes you feel like you're doing the rightest thing in the world. And that might be fighting with bronze swords and it might mean debating philosophy—but it also might mean building machines, or drawing pictures, or playing the guitar, or acting in Shakespeare plays, or writing books, or making a home for people who need one, or listening so hard and so well that people tell you the things they really need to say even if they didn't mean to, or running faster than anyone else, or teaching people patiently and boldly, or even making pillow forts or marching in parades or baking bread. It could be lending out just the right library book to just the right person at just the right moment. It could be standing up to the powerful even if you don't feel very powerful yourself, even if you're lost and as far away from home as you can get. It could be loving someone with the same care and thoroughness that a Wyvern takes with alphabetizing. It could be anything in the world. And it isn't easy to figure out what that is. It's even harder to get that good at it, because nothing, not even being yourself, comes without practice. But your arete goes with you everywhere, just waiting for you to pay attention to it. You can't lose it. You can only find it. And that's my favorite thing that starts with A.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2))
It is almost incredible what a little stretch of nature will do to arouse a fellow—convert him, so to speak. I cannot think of a rarer experience than one I met on the river Saguenay, up there in Canada. The river’s water is an inky black—a curious study, I believe, to this day to the scientific men: take it up in a bucket, and it is still unmistakably black—the color of the stream. Oh! that great day! Down the stream a boat—sails open—wing-a-wing—one one side, one the other—patched, stained, heavy—but oh! how beautiful! It was a curious revelation out of little means. Wing-a-wing is rarely fine anyhow—I have not known it much in pictures—but few artists can accomplish it. See then, the large result of what may seem a small impulse. Why should we go hunt beauty then—I should rather ask—where can you go to get away from it?
Walt Whitman (Walt Whitman Speaks: His Final Thoughts on Life, Writing, Spirituality, and the Promise of America: A Library of America Special Publication)
A sane person who dwells among the mad will become insane because they will act like the mad. One who cares and treats the insane will have mad traits. A sane man who lives among the mad will be made mad by virtue of his associations and dealings. No sane person can dwell among the mad unless if that person is mad himself/herself. A mad person percieves madness and has no clear object or picture that can come out of his mind. Remember sore grapes can ruin good tasty grapes when taken together.You can't live amongst pigs if you are not a pig yourself. Therefore how can the mad treat their fellow mad. That is vanity too be treated by a mad physician who thinks he is sane. The treatment of a mad person speaks volumes and appears to suggest and show that they are treated in a haphazard way without a clear path in regard to recovering their sanity.
David Ssembajjo (The Stolen Gift)
Our world no longer hears God because it is constantly speaking, at a devastating speed and volume, in order to say nothing. Modern civilization does not know how to be quiet. It holds forth in an unending monologue. Postmodern society rejects the past and looks at the present as a cheap consumer object; it pictures the future in terms of an almost obsessive progress. Its dream, which has become a sad reality, will have been to lock silence away in a damp, dark dungeon. Thus there is a dictatorship of speech, a dictatorship of verbal emphasis. In this theater of shadows, nothing is left but a purulent wound of mechanical words, without perspective, without truth, and without foundation. Quite often “truth” is nothing more than the pure and misleading creation of the media, corroborated by fabricated images and testimonies. When that happens, the word of God fades away, inaccessible and inaudible. Postmodernity is an ongoing offense and aggression against the divine silence. From morning to evening, from evening to morning, silence no longer has any place at all; the noise tries to prevent God himself from speaking. In this hell of noise, man disintegrates and is lost; he is broken up into countless worries, fantasies, and fears. In order to get out of these depressing tunnels, he desperately awaits noise so that it will bring him a few consolations. Noise is a deceptive, addictive, and false tranquilizer. The tragedy of our world is never better summed up than in the fury of senseless noise that stubbornly hates silence. This age detests the things that silence brings us to: encounter, wonder, and kneeling before God. 75. Even in the schools, silence has disappeared. And yet how can anyone study in the midst of noise? How can you read in noise? How can you train your intellect in noise? How can you structure your thought and the contours of your interior being in noise? How can you be open to the mystery of God, to spiritual values, and to our human greatness in continual turmoil? Contemplative silence is a fragile little flame in the middle of a raging ocean. The fire of silence is weak because it is bothersome to a busy world.
Robert Sarah (The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise)
Edelman, who once planned to be a concert violinist, uses musical metaphors as well. In a BBC radio interview, he said: Think: if you had a hundred thousand wires randomly connecting four string quartet players and that, even though they weren’t speaking words, signals were going back and forth in all kinds of hidden ways [as you usually get them by the subtle nonverbal interactions between the players] that make the whole set of sounds a unified ensemble. That’s how the maps of the brain work by reentry. The players are connected. Each player, interpreting the music individually, constantly modulates and is modulated by the others. There is no final or “master” interpretation; the music is collectively created, and every performance is unique. This is Edelman’s picture of the brain, as an orchestra, an ensemble, but without a conductor, an orchestra which makes its own music.
Oliver Sacks (On the Move: A Life)
There is an old-fashioned distinction between the novel of character and the novel of incident, which must have cost many a smile to the intending romancer who was keen about his work. It appears to me as little to the point as the equally celebrated distinction between the novel and the romance- to answer as little to any reality. There are bad novels and good novels, as there are bad pictures and good pictures; but that is the only distinction in which I see any meaning, and I can as little imagine speaking of a novel of character as I can imagine speaking of a picture of character. When one says picture, one says of character, when one says novel, one says of incident, and the terms may be transposed. What is character but the determination of incident? What is incident but the illustration of character? What is a picture or a novel that is not of character? What else do we seek in it and find in it?
Henry James
Literature works from mind to mind and is more progenitive. It is at once more universal and more poignantly particular. If it speaks of bread or wine or stone or tree, it appeals to the whole of these things, to their ideas; yet each hearer will give to them a peculiar personal embodiment in his imagination. Should the story say 'he ate bread', the dramatic producer or painter can only show 'a piece of bread' according to his taste or fancy, but the hearer of the story will think of bread in general and picture it in some form of his own. If a story says 'he climbed a hill and saw a river in the valley below', the illustrator may catch, or nearly catch, his own vision of such a scene; but every hearer of the words will have his own picture, and it will be made out of all the hills and rivers and dales he has ever seen, but especially out of The Hill, The River, The Valley which were for him the first embodiment of the word.
J.R.R. Tolkien (Tolkien on Fairy-stories)
There is a progression from pictographic, writing the picture; to ideographic, writing the idea; and then logographic, writing the word. Chinese script began this transition between 4,500 and 8,000 years ago: signs that began as pictures came to represent meaningful units of sound. Because the basic unit was the word, thousands of distinct symbols were required. This is efficient in one way, inefficient in another. Chinese unifies an array of distinct spoken languages: people who cannot speak to one another can write to one another. It employs at least fifty thousand symbols, about six thousand commonly used and known to most literate Chinese. In swift diagrammatic strokes they encode multidimensional semantic relationships. One device is simple repetition: tree + tree + tree = forest; more abstractly, sun + moon = brightness and east + east = everywhere. The process of compounding creates surprises: grain + knife = profit; hand + eye = look.
James Gleick (The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)
Why do people keep doing stuff?" he said, talking to himself it seemed. Swin hesitated. "Wiping counters down and taking pictures. Cheating. Defending things." Swin couldn't see Kyle's face. It appeared he was about to say more, then thought better of it. It seemed he was going to laugh or cry; of course he was going to do neither. It was a moment of defeat, nothing more. Kyle looked back toward the woods where he'd thrown the gun. Swin felt he had to speak. "It's involved," he said. "Many schools of thought. In layman's terms, being the most sophisticated monkey makes you the most confused monkey. Taking action, any at all, is a way to alleviate that confusion. You, you're one of the least sophisticated of us sophisticated monkeys, and therefore suffer less confusion, and have less use for the empty actions that alleviate confusion. I don't mean that as a put-down." Though Kyle didn't move, Swin knew he was listening, knew the explanation was somehow helping.
John Brandon (Arkansas)
In the campaign of 1876, Robert G. Ingersoll came to Madison to speak. I had heard of him for years; when I was a boy on the farm a relative of ours had testified in a case in which Ingersoll had appeared as an attorney and he had told the glowing stories of the plea that Ingersoll had made. Then, in the spring of 1876, Ingersoll delivered the Memorial Day address at Indianapolis. It was widely published shortly after it was delivered and it startled and enthralled the whole country. I remember that it was printed on a poster as large as a door and hung in the post-office at Madison. I can scarcely convey now, or even understand, the emotional effect the reading of it produced upon me. Oblivious of my surroundings, I read it with tears streaming down my face. It began, I remember: "The past rises before me like a dream. Again we are in the great struggle for national life.We hear the sounds of preparation--the music of boisterous drums--the silver voices of heroic bugles. We see the pale cheeks of women and the flushed faces of men; and in those assemblages we see all the dead whose dust we have covered with flowers..." I was fairly entranced. he pictured the recruiting of the troops, the husbands and fathers with their families on the last evening, the lover under the trees and the stars; then the beat of drums, the waving flags, the marching away; the wife at the turn of the lane holds her baby aloft in her arms--a wave of the hand and he has gone; then you see him again in the heat of the charge. It was wonderful how it seized upon my youthful imagination. When he came to Madison I crowded myself into the assembly chamber to hear him: I would not have missed it for every worldly thing I possessed. And he did not disappoint me. A large handsome man of perfect build, with a face as round as a child's and a compelling smile--all the arts of the old-time oratory were his in high degree. He was witty, he was droll, he was eloquent: he was as full of sentiment as an old violin. Often, while speaking, he would pause, break into a smile, and the audience, in anticipation of what was to come, would follow him in irresistible peals of laughter. I cannot remember much that he said, but the impression he made upon me was indelible. After that I got Ingersoll's books and never afterward lost an opportunity to hear him speak. He was the greatest orater, I think, that I have ever heard; and the greatest of his lectures, I have always thought, was the one on Shakespeare. Ingersoll had a tremendous influence upon me, as indeed he had upon many young men of that time. It was not that he changed my beliefs, but that he liberated my mind. Freedom was what he preached: he wanted the shackles off everywhere. He wanted men to think boldly about all things: he demanded intellectual and moral courage. He wanted men to follow wherever truth might lead them. He was a rare, bold, heroic figure.
Robert Marion La Follette (La Follette's Autobiography: A Personal Narrative of Political Experiences)
You know, it's such a peculiar thing — our idea of mankind in general. We all have a sort of vague, glowing picture when we say that, something solemn, big and important. But actually all we know of it is the people we meet in our lifetime. Look at them. Do you know any you'd feel big and solemn about? There's nothing but housewives haggling at pushcarts, drooling brats who write dirty words on the sidewalks, and drunken debutantes. Or their spiritual equivalent. As a matter of fact, one can feel some respect for people when they suffer. They have a certain dignity. But have you ever looked at them when they're enjoying themselves? That's when you see the truth. Look at those who spend the money they've slaved for — at amusement parks and side shows. Look at those who're rich and have the whole world open to them. Observe what they pick out for enjoyment. Watch them in the smarter speak-easies. That's your mankind in general. I don't want to touch it." Dominique Roark
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
To my complete and utter surprise, the writing on his door is gone. Vanished. “What happened?” I ask. It takes him a second before he realizes what I’m asking. “I washed it off,” he explains. “You what?” “I wasn’t going to, but I didn’t want the super to give me a hard time. Plus, I thought it might freak out some of my neighbors. You have to admit, death threats on doors can be pretty offensive, generally speaking. Not to mention the sheer fact that it made me look like a total asshole—like some old girlfriend was trying to get even.” “Did you take pictures at least?” “Actually, no.” He cringes. “That probably would’ve been a good idea.” “But Tray saw the writing, right?” “Um . . .” He nibbles his lip, clearly reading my angst. “You told me he was with you last night. You said you called him.” “I tried, but he didn’t pick up, and I didn’t want you to worry.” “So, you lied?” I snap. “I didn’t want you to worry,” he repeats. “Please, don’t be upset.” “How can I not be? We’re talking about your life here. You can’t go erasing evidence off your door. And you can’t be lying to me, either. How am I supposed to help you if you don’t tell me the truth?” “Why are you helping me?” he asks, taking a step closer. “I mean, I’m grateful and all, and you know I love spending time with you, be it death-threat missions or pizza and a movie. It’s just . . . what do you get out of it? What’s this sudden interest in my life?” My mouth drops open, but I manage a shrug, almost forgetting the fact that he knows nothing about my premonitions.
Laurie Faria Stolarz (Deadly Little Games (Touch, #3))
PEACETIME CEO/WARTIME CEO Peacetime CEO knows that proper protocol leads to winning. Wartime CEO violates protocol in order to win. Peacetime CEO focuses on the big picture and empowers her people to make detailed decisions. Wartime CEO cares about a speck of dust on a gnat’s ass if it interferes with the prime directive. Peacetime CEO builds scalable, high-volume recruiting machines. Wartime CEO does that, but also builds HR organizations that can execute layoffs. Peacetime CEO spends time defining the culture. Wartime CEO lets the war define the culture. Peacetime CEO always has a contingency plan. Wartime CEO knows that sometimes you gotta roll a hard six. Peacetime CEO knows what to do with a big advantage. Wartime CEO is paranoid. Peacetime CEO strives not to use profanity. Wartime CEO sometimes uses profanity purposefully. Peacetime CEO thinks of the competition as other ships in a big ocean that may never engage. Wartime CEO thinks the competition is sneaking into her house and trying to kidnap her children. Peacetime CEO aims to expand the market. Wartime CEO aims to win the market. Peacetime CEO strives to tolerate deviations from the plan when coupled with effort and creativity. Wartime CEO is completely intolerant. Peacetime CEO does not raise her voice. Wartime CEO rarely speaks in a normal tone. Peacetime CEO works to minimize conflict. Wartime CEO heightens the contradictions. Peacetime CEO strives for broad-based buy-in. Wartime CEO neither indulges consensus building nor tolerates disagreements. Peacetime CEO sets big, hairy, audacious goals. Wartime CEO is too busy fighting the enemy to read management books written by consultants who have never managed a fruit stand. Peacetime CEO trains her employees to ensure satisfaction and career development. Wartime CEO trains her employees so they don’t get their asses shot off in the battle. Peacetime CEO has rules like “We’re going to exit all businesses where we’re not number one or two.” Wartime CEO often has no businesses that are number one or two and therefore does not have the luxury of following that rule.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
Sadly, however, it is not serious historians who, for the most part, form the historical consciousness of their times; it is bad popular historians, generally speaking, and the historical hearsay they repeat or invent, and the myths they perpetuate and simplifications they promote, that tend to determine how most of us view the past. However assiduously the diligent, painstakingly precise academical drudge may labor at his or her meticulously researched and exhaustively documented tomes, nothing he or she produces will enjoy a fraction of the currency of any of the casually composed (though sometimes lavishly illustrated) squibs heaped on the front tables of chain bookstores or clinging to the middle rungs of best-seller lists. For everyone whose picture of the Middle Ages is shaped by the dry, exact, quietly illuminating books produced by those pale dutiful pedants who squander the golden meridians of their lives prowling in the shadows of library stacks or weakening their eyes by poring over pages of barely legible Carolingian minuscule, a few hundred will be convinced by what they read in, say, William Manchester’s dreadful, vulgar, and almost systematically erroneous A World Lit Only by Fire. After all, few have the time or the need to sift through academic journals and monographs and tedious disquisitions on abstruse topics trying to separate the gold from the dross. And so, naturally, among the broadly educated and the broadly uneducated alike, it is the simple picture that tends to prevail, though in varying shades and intensities of color, as with any image often and cheaply reproduced.
David Bentley Hart (Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies)
The Book Lover:- See how I have come up in the World, because of my books. I pull the covers agape, pages release their cargo and words fly like birds each with its own song. Listen, and vowels will breathe like flutes in your head, Consonants tick-tack like woodpeckers, and sibilants, sly as asps, bite the plosives that pop from our pressed lips. A picture worth a thousand words? You paint a score of trees, dark needled, stippled and stroked across your canvas: My book say ‘’forrest’’ (Feel that Pine green touch) You wash your paper with azures and turquoise, set ship after ship, sails wind-pregnant, As far as the daubed horizon: my books say ‘’armada’’. (Smell that sea-green scent) Art’s shape is their noun, its colour their objective, Its tone their adverb; my books match the grammar of landscapes. This book may say ‘Socrates’ secrets, Freud’s autopsy of actions or Heaney’s verses; Every idea dreamed by man caught, black stamped for all time, within its cardboard confines. Here the past speaks to us, as the future will, in the language of our senses. Step up book by book- In time, you will reach the stars.
Catriona Malan
Poem for My Father You closed the door. I was on the other side, screaming. It was black in your mind. Blacker than burned-out fire. Blacker than poison. Outside everything looked the same. You looked the same. You walked in your body like a living man. But you were not. would you not speak to me for weeks would you hang your coat in the closet without saying hello would you find a shoe out of place and beat me would you come home late would i lose the key would you find my glasses in the garbage would you put me on your knee would you read the bible to me in your smoking jacket after your mother died would you come home drunk and snore would you beat me on the legs would you carry me up the stairs by my hair so that my feet never touch the bottom would you make everything worse to make everything better i believe in god, the father almighty, the maker of heaven, the maker of my heaven and my hell. would you beat my mother would you beat her till she cries like a rabbit would you beat her in a corner of the kitchen while i am in the bathroom trying to bury my head underwater would you carry her to the bed would you put cotton and alcohol on her swollen head would you make love to her hair would you caress her hair would you rub her breasts with ben gay until she stinks would you sleep in the other room in the bed next to me while she sleeps on the pull-out cot would you come on the sheet while i am sleeping. later i look for the spot would you go to embalming school with the last of my mother's money would i see your picture in the book with all the other black boys you were the handsomest would you make the dead look beautiful would the men at the elks club would the rich ladies at funerals would the ugly drunk winos on the street know ben pretty ben regular ben would your father leave you when you were three with a mother who threw butcher knives at you would he leave you with her screaming red hair would he leave you to be smothered by a pillow she put over your head would he send for you during the summer like a rich uncle would you come in pretty corduroys until you were nine and never heard from him again would you hate him would you hate him every time you dragged hundred pound cartons of soap down the stairs into white ladies' basements would you hate him for fucking the woman who gave birth to you hate him flying by her house in the red truck so that other father threw down his hat in the street and stomped on it angry like we never saw him (bye bye to the will of grandpa bye bye to the family fortune bye bye when he stompled that hat, to the gold watch, embalmer's palace, grandbaby's college) mother crying silently, making floating island sending it up to the old man's ulcer would grandmother's diamonds close their heartsparks in the corner of the closet yellow like the eyes of cockroaches? Old man whose sperm swims in my veins, come back in love, come back in pain.
Toi Derricotte
In modern street-English, we use “hell” as a catchall term to describe the bad place (usually red hot) where sinful people are condemned to punishment and torment after they die. This simplistic, selective, and horrifying perception of hell is due in large part to nearly 400 years of the King James Version’s monopoly in English-speaking congregations (not to mention centuries of imaginative religious art). Rather than acknowledge the variety of terms, images, and concepts that the Bible uses for divine judgment, the KJV translators opted to combine them all under the single term “hell.” In truth, the array of biblical pictures and meanings that this one word is expected to convey is so vast that they appear contradictory. For example, is hell a lake of fire or a place of utter darkness? Is it a purifying forge or a torture chamber? Is it exclusion from God’s presence or the consuming fire of God’s glory? While modern scholarship acknowledges the mis- or over-translation of Sheol, Hades, and Gehenna as “hell” - especially if by “hell” we refer automatically to the eternal punishment of the wicked in conscious torment in a lake of fire - the thoroughly discussed limitations of hell language and imagery have been slow to permeate the theology of pulpits and pews in much of the church. Why the reluctance? Do we resist out of ignorance? Or are we afraid that abandoning infernalism implies abandoning faithfulness to Scripture and sound doctrine? After all, for so long we were taught that to be a Christian - especially an evangelical - is to be an infernalist. And yet, not a few of my friends have confessed that they have given up on being “good Christians” because they can no longer assent to the kind of God that creates and sends people to hell as they imagine it.
Bradley Jersak (Her Gates Will Never Be Shut: Hell, Hope, and the New Jerusalem)
was once asked to give a talk to a group of science journalists who were meeting in my hometown. I decided to talk about the design of bridges, explaining how their form does not derive from a set of equations expressing the laws of physics but rather from the creative mind of the engineer. The first step in designing a bridge is for the engineer to conceive of a form in his mind’s eye. This is then translated into words and pictures so that it can be communicated to other engineers on the team and to the client who is commissioning the work. It is only when there is a form to analyze that science can be applied in a mathematical and methodical way. This is not to say that scientific principles might not inform the engineer’s conception of a bridge, but more likely they are embedded in the engineer’s experience with other, existing bridges upon which the newly conceived bridge is based. The journalists to whom I was speaking were skeptical. Surely science is essential to design, they insisted. No, it is not. And it is not a chicken-and-egg paradox. The design of engineering structures is a creative process in the same way that paintings and novels are the products of creative minds.
Henry Petroski (The Essential Engineer)
In the area of linguistics, there are major language groups: Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, English, Portuguese, Greek, German, French, and so on. Most of us grow up learning the language of our parents and siblings, which becomes our primary or native tongue. Later, we may learn additional languages but usually with much more effort. These become our secondary languages. We speak and understand best our native language. We feel most comfortable speaking that language. The more we use a secondary language, the more comfortable we become conversing in it. If we speak only our primary language and encounter someone else who speaks only his or her primary language, which is different from ours, our communication will be limited. We must rely on pointing, grunting, drawing pictures, or acting out our ideas. We can communicate, but it is awkward. Language differences are part and parcel of human culture. If we are to communicate effectively across cultural lines, we must learn the language of those with whom we wish to communicate. In the area of love, it is similar. Your emotional love language and the language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese from English. No matter how hard you try to express love in English, if your spouse understands only Chinese, you will never understand how to love each other. My friend on the plane was speaking the language of “Affirming Words” to his third wife when he said, “I told her how beautiful she was. I told her I loved her. I told her how proud I was to be her husband.” He was speaking love, and he was sincere, but she did not understand his language. Perhaps she was looking for love in his behavior and didn’t see it. Being sincere is not enough. We must be willing to learn our spouse’s primary love language if we are to be effective communicators of love.
Gary Chapman (The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate)
But there’s never been anyone? Really?” Sarah shrugs. “Penny and I were tutored at home when we were young . . . but in year ten, there was this one boy.” I rub my hands together. “Here we go—tell me everything. I want all the sick, lurid details. Was he a footballer? Big and strong, captain of the team, the most popular boy in school?” I could see it. Sarah’s delicate, long and lithe, but dainty, beautiful—any young man would’ve been desperate to have her on his arm. In his lap. In his bed, on the hood of his car, riding his face . . . all of the above. “He was captain of the chess team.” I cover my eyes with my hand. “His name was Davey. He wore these adorable tweed jackets and bow ties, he had blond hair, and was a bit pale because of the asthma. He had the same glasses as I and he had a different pair of argyle socks for every day of the year.” “You’re messing with me, right?” She shakes her head. “Argyle socks, Sarah? I am so disappointed in you right now.” “He was nice,” she chides. “You leave my Davey alone.” Then she laughs again—delighted and free. My cock reacts hard and fast, emphasis on hard. It’s like sodding granite. “So what happened to old Davey boy?” “I was alone in the library one day and he came up and started to ask me to the spring social. And I was so excited and nervous I could barely breathe.” I picture how she must’ve looked then. But in my mind’s eyes she’s really not any different than she is right now. Innocent, sweet, and so real she couldn’t deceive someone if her life depended on it. “And then before he could finish the question, I . . .” I don’t realize I’m leaning toward her until she stops talking and I almost fall over. “You . . . what?” Sarah hides behind her hands. “I threw up on him.” And I try not to laugh. I swear I try . . . but I’m only human. So I end up laughing so hard the car shakes and I can’t speak for several minutes. “Christ almighty.” “And I’d had fish and chips for lunch.” Sarah’s laughing too. “It was awful.” “Oh you poor thing.” I shake my head, still chuckling. “And poor Davey.” “Yes.” She wipes under her eyes with her finger. “Poor Davey. He never came near me again after that.” “Coward—he didn’t deserve you. I would’ve swam through a whole lake of puke to take a girl like you to the social.” She smiles so brightly at me, her cheeks maroon and round like two shiny apples. “I think that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.” I wiggle my eyebrows. “I’m all about the compliments.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
Christopher . . . are these from you?” she asked at lunch, careful to make her tone light as she placed the two picture-poems on the table. Christopher’s eyes fell to them, and he smiled. “Yes.” He didn’t ask if she liked them, and he didn’t seem embarrassed. Sarah was flustered, and somewhat surprised by Christopher’s easy confidence. Even so, her natural suspicion surfaced. “Why?” “Because,” he answered seriously, “you make a good subject. Your hair, for one, is like a shimmering waterfall. It’s so fair that it catches the light. It makes you seem like you have a halo about you. And your eyes—they’re such a pure color, not washed out at all, deep as the ocean. And your expression . . . intense and yet somehow detached, as if you see more of the world than the rest of us.” Flustered, she could think of no way to respond. Did he just say this stuff from the top of his head? Only her strict Vida control kept her from blushing. Meanwhile Nissa entered the cafeteria. She started to sit, then glanced from the pictures, to Christopher, to Sarah. “Should I go somewhere else?” Christopher nodded to a chair, answering easily, “Sit down. We aren’t exchanging dark secrets—yet.” Nissa flashed a teasing look to her brother as she took a seat. “As his sister, I feel the need to inform you, Sarah, that Christopher has been talking about you incessantly.” Christopher smiled, unembarrassed. “I suppose I might have been.’ “Especially your eyes—he never shuts up about your eyes,” Nissa confided, and this time Christopher shrugged. “They’re beautiful,” he said casually. “Beauty should be looked at, not ignored. I try to capture it on paper, but that’s really impossible with eyes, because they have a life no still portrait can capture.” Sarah’s voice was tied up so tightly she thought she might be able to speak again sometime next year. No one had ever talked about her—or to her—with such admiration.
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (Shattered Mirror)
Yes, it is true that one generally needs to speak to the members of the key audience for a product or service. But as we are not trying to plumb an individual psyche for psychological motivation, but are rather trying to elucidate the relevant symbolic cultural meanings and practices, information garnered from those who do not like something is also relevant to understanding the cultural picture. In fact, contestation between points of view and meanings is a crucial aspect of the social dynamic. These nodal points of disagreement and different points of view can be precisely the most intriguing domains of cultural movement and thus new opportunities.
Patricia L. Sunderland (Doing Anthropology in Consumer Research)
When one completely denies oneself, there are no words to speak. What can one say? Praise and blame are the same to one; there is nothing to be said. And how is this to be attained? It is to be attained, not only by prayer or by worship or by believing in God. It is to be attained by forgetting oneself in God. The belief in God is the first step. By the belief in God, is attained the losing oneself in God. If one is able to do it, one has attained a power which is beyond human comprehension. The process of attaining this is called Fana by the Sufis. Fana is not necessarily a destruction in God. Fana results in what may be called a resurrection in God, which is symbolized by the picture of Christ. The Christ on the cross is narrative of Fana; it means 'I am not.' And the idea of resurrection explains the next stage, which is Baqa, which means 'Thou art.' and this means rising towards All-might. The divine spirit is to be recognized in that rising towards All-might. Fana is not attained by torturing oneself, by tormenting oneself, by giving oneself a great many troubles, as many ascetics do. For even after torturing themselves, they will not come to that realization if they were not meant to. It is by denying one's little self, the false self, which covers one's real self, in which the essence of divine Being is to be found.
Hazrat Inayat Khan (The Way of Illumination (The Sufi Teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan Book 1))
Hey, I got an idea, let’s go to the movies. I wanna go to the movies, I want to take you all to the movies. Let’s go and experience the art of the cinema. Let’s begin with the Scream Of Fear, and we're gonna have it haunt us for the rest of our lives. And then let’s go see The Great Escape, and spend our summer jumping our bikes, just like Steve McQueen over barb wire. And then let’s catch The Seven Samurai for some reason on PBS, and we’ll feel like we speak Japanese because we can read the subtitles and hear the language at the same time. And then let’s lose sleep the night before we see 2001: A Space Odyssey because we have this idea that it’s going to change forever the way we look at films. And then let’s go see it four times in one year. And let’s see Woodstock three times in one year and let’s see Taxi Driver twice in one week. And let’s see Close Encounters of the Third Kind just so we can freeze there in mid-popcorn. And when the kids are old enough, let’s sit them together on the sofa and screen City Lights and Stage Coach and The Best Years of Our Lives and On The Waterfront and Midnight Cowboy and Five Easy Pieces and The Last Picture Show and Raging Bull and Schindler’s List… so that they can understand how the human condition can be captured by this amalgam of light and sound and literature we call the cinema.
Tom Hanks
Blake’s lips were still tinged blue from the time he’d spent waiting for Livia in the rain. Livia decided to change that. She sat in his lap and pushed the hair out of his eyes. His hands found a sliver of bare skin at the small of her back. Livia knew his touch registered on her face when his lip lifted in a snarl. She let her head fall back so her hair would skim his hands. Blake blew on her neck. She knew what was next. She’d been picturing it since the meadow. His tongue was slow and meandering, and even though she should have been prepared, his teeth still made her gasp. Livia wanted to do so many bad things to him on the kitchen table. She was pretty sure she could actually speak in tongues if she tried right then.
Debra Anastasia (Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #1))
When you get older, you notice your sheets are dirty. Sometimes, you do something about it. And sometimes, you read the front page of the newspaper and sometimes you floss and sometimes you stop biting your nails and sometimes you meet a friend for lunch. You still crave lemonade, but the taste doesn’t satisfy you as much as it used to. You still crave summer, but sometimes you mean summer, five years ago. You remember your umbrella, you check up on people to see if they got home, you leave places early to go home and make toast. You stand by the toaster in your underwear and a big t-shirt, wondering if you should just turn in or watch one more hour of television. You laugh at different things. You stop laughing at other things. You think about old loves almost like they are in a museum. The socks, you notice, aren’t organized into pairs and you mentally make a note of it. You cover your mouth when you sneeze, reaching for the box of tissues you bought, contains aloe. When you get older, you try different shampoos. You find one you like. You try sleeping early and spin class and jogging again. You try a book you almost read but couldn’t finish. You wrap yourself in the blankets of: familiar t-shirts, caffe au lait, dim tv light, texts with old friends or new people you really want to like and love you. You lose contact with friends from college, and only sometimes you think about it. When you do, it feels bad and almost bitter. You lose people, and when other people bring them up, you almost pretend like you know what they are doing. You try to stop touching your face and become invested in things like expensive salads and trying parsnips and saving up for a vacation you really want. You keep a spare pen in a drawer. You look at old pictures of yourself and they feel foreign and misleading. You forget things like: purchasing stamps, buying more butter, putting lotion on your elbows, calling your mother back. You learn things like balance: checkbooks, social life, work life, time to work out and time to enjoy yourself. When you get older, you find yourself more in control. You find your convictions appealing, you find you like your body more, you learn to take things in stride. You begin to crave respect and comfort and adventure, all at the same time. You lay in your bed, fearing death, just like you did. You pull lint off your shirt. You smile less and feel content more. You think about changing and then often, you do.
Alida Nugent (You Don't Have to Like Me: Essays on Growing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding Feminism)
During all that time I didn't see Willie. I didn't see him again until he announced in the Democratic primary in 1930. But it wasn't a primary. It was hell among the yearlings and the Charge of the Light Brigade and Saturday night in the back room of Casey's saloon rolled into one, and when the dust cleared away not a picture still hung on the walls. And there wasn't any Democratic party. There was just Willie, with his hair in his eyes and his shirt sticking to his stomach with sweat. And he had a meat ax in his hand and was screaming for blood. In the background of the picture, under a purplish tumbled sky flecked with sinister white like driven foam, flanking Willie, one on each side, were two figures, Sadie Burke and a tallish, stooped, slow-spoken man with a sad, tanned face and what they call the eyes of a dreamer. The man was Hugh Miller, Harvard Law School, Lafayette Escadrille, Croix de Guerre, clean hands, pure heart, and no political past. He was a fellow who had sat still for years, and then somebody (Willie Stark) handed him a baseball bat and he felt his fingers close on the tape. He was a man and was Attorney General. And Sadie Burke was just Sadie Burke. Over the brow of the hill, there were, of course, some other people. There were, for instance, certain gentlemen who had been devoted to Joe Harrison, but who, when they discovered there wasn't going to be any more Joe Harrison politically speaking, had had to hunt up a new friend. The new friend happened to be Willie. He was the only place for them to go. They figured they would sign on with Willie and grow up with the country. Willie signed them on all right, and as a result got quite a few votes not of the wool-hat and cocklebur variety. After a while Willie even signed on Tiny Duffy, who became Highway Commissioner and, later, Lieutenant Governor in Willie's last term. I used to wonder why Willie kept him around. Sometimes I used to ask the Boss, "What do you keep that lunk-head for?" Sometimes he would just laugh and say nothing. Sometimes he would say, "Hell, somebody's got to be Lieutenant Governor, and they all look alike." But once he said: "I keep him because he reminds me of something." "What?" "Something I don't ever want to forget," he said. "What's that?" "That when they come to you sweet talking you better not listen to anything they say. I don't aim to forget that." So that was it. Tiny was the fellow who had come in a big automobile and had talked sweet to Willie back when Willie was a little country lawyer.
Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)
We get in and I start the car. “Are you going to be good to Lani?” I ask. I think of Tommy Cook, a pale boy with psoriasis; we used to tie him to a chair with bungee cords and put him in the middle of the road, then hide. Few cars would actually come down Rainbow Drive, but when they did, it always surprised me that the drivers would slow their vehicles and swerve around the chair. None of them ever got out of their cars to help Tommy; it was as though they were in on the prank. I don’t know how Tommy managed to let us catch him more than once. Maybe he liked the attention. “I’ll try,” Scottie says. “But it’s hard. She has this face that you just want to hit.” “I know what you mean,” I say, thinking of Tommy, but realize I’m not supposed to empathize. “What does that mean?” I ask. “The kind of face that you want to hit. Where did you get that?” Sometimes I wonder if Scottie knows what she’s saying or if it’s something she recites, like those kids who memorize the Declaration of Independence. “It’s something Mom said about Danielle.” “I see.” Joanie has carried her juvenile meanness into her adult life. She sends unflattering pictures of her ex-friends to the Advertiser to put in their society pages. She always has some sort of drama in her life, some friend I’m not supposed to speak to or invite to our barbecues, and then I hear her on the phone gossiping about the latest scandal in an outraged and thrilled voice. “You are going to die,” I’ll hear her say. “Oh my God, you will just die.” Is this where Scottie gets it? By watching her mother use cruelty as a source of entertainment? I feel almost proud that I have made these deductions without the blogs and without Esther, and I’m eager to tell Joanie about all of this, to prove that I was capable without her.
Kaui Hart Hemmings (The Descendants)
The extermination of the Jews has sometimes been seen as a kind of industrialized, assembly-line kind of mass murder, and this picture has at least some element of truth to it. No other genocide in history has been carried out by mechanical means - gassing - in specially constructed facilities like those in operation at Auschwitz or Treblinka. At the same time, however, these facilities did not operate efficiently or effectively, and if the impression given by calling them industrialized is that they were automated or impersonal, then it is a false one. Men such as Hess and Stangl and their subordinates tried to insulate themselves from the human dimensions of what they were doing by referring to their victims as 'cargo' or 'items.' Talking to Gerhard Stabenow, the head of the SS Security Service in Warsaw, in September 1942, Wilm Hosenfeld noted how the language Stabenow used distanced himself from the fact that what he was involved in was the mass murder of human beings: 'He speaks of the Jews as ants or other vermin, of their 'resettlement', that means their mass murder, as he would of the extermination of the bedbugs in the disinfestation of a house.' But at the same time such men were not immune from the human emotions they tried so hard to repress, and they remembered incidents in which individual women and children had appealed to their conscience, even if such appeals were in vain. The psychological strain that continual killing of unarmed civilians, including women and children, imposed on such men was considerable, just as it had been in the case of the SS Task Forces, whose troops had been shooting Jews in their hundreds of thousands before the first gas vans were deploted in an attempt not only to speed up the killing but also to make it somehow more impersonal.
Richard J. Evans (The Third Reich at War (The History of the Third Reich, #3))
[O]ften one listens and hears nothing, if it is a piece of music at all complicated to which one is listening for the first time. And yet when, later on, this sonata had been played over to me two or three times I found that I knew it quite well. And so it is not wrong to speak of hearing a thing for the first time. If one had indeed, as one supposes, received no impression from the first hearing, the second, the third would be equally ‘first hearings’ and there would be no reason why one should understand it any better after the tenth. Probably what is wanting, the first time, is not comprehension but memory. For our memory, compared to the complexity of the impressions which it has to face while we are listening, is infinitesimal, as brief as the memory of a man who in his sleep thinks of a thousand things and at once forgets them, or as that of a man in his second childhood who cannot recall, a minute afterwards, what one has just been saying to him. Of these multiple impressions our memory is not capable of furnishing us with an immediate picture. But that picture gradually takes shape, and, with regard to works which we have heard more than once, we are like the schoolboy who has read several times over before going to sleep a lesson which he supposed himself not to know, and finds that he can repeat it by heart next morning. It was only that I had not, until then, heard a note of the sonata, whereas Swann and his wife could make out a distinct phrase that was as far beyond the range of my perception as a name which one endeavours to recall and in place of which one discovers only a void, a void from which, an hour later, when one is not thinking about them, will spring of their own accord, in one continuous flight, the syllables that one has solicited in vain. And not only does one not seize at once and retain an impression of works that are really great, but even in the content of any such work...it is the least valuable parts that one at first perceives.
Marcel Proust (Within A Budding Grove, Part 1)
Isn't that a beautiful tale, grandfather," said Heidi, as the latter continued to sit without speaking, for she had expected him to express pleasure and astonishment. "You are right, Heidi; it is a beautiful tale," he replied, but he looked so grave as he said it that Heidi grew silent herself and sat looking quietly at her pictures. Presently she pushed her book gently in front of him and said, "See how happy he is there," and she pointed with her finger to the figure of the returned prodigal, who was standing by his father clad in fresh raiment as one of his own sons again. A few hours later, as Heidi lay fast asleep in her bed, the grandfather went up the ladder and put his lamp down near her bed so that the light fell on the sleeping child. Her hands were still folded as if she had fallen asleep saying her prayers, an expression of peace and trust lay on the little face, and something in it seemed to appeal to the grandfather, for he stood a long time gazing down at her without speaking. At last he too folded his hands, and with bowed head said in a low voice, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee and am not worthy to be called thy son." And two large tears rolled down the old man's cheeks. Early the next morning he stood in front of his hut and gazed quietly around him. The fresh bright morning sun lay on mountain and valley. The sound of a few early bells rang up from the valley, and the birds were singing their morning song in the fir trees. He stepped back into the hut and called up, "Come along, Heidi! the sun is up! Put on your best frock, for we are going to church together!" Heidi was not long getting ready; it was such an unusual summons from her grandfather that she must make haste. She put on her smart Frankfurt dress and soon went down, but when she saw her grandfather she stood still, gazing at him in astonishment. "Why, grandfather!" she exclaimed, "I never saw you look like that before! and the coat with the silver buttons! Oh, you do look nice in your Sunday coat!" The old man smiled and replied, "And you too; now come along!" He took Heidi's hand in his and together they walked down the mountain side. The bells were ringing in every direction now, sounding louder and fuller as they neared the valley, and Heidi listened to them with delight. "Hark at them, grandfather! it's like a great festival!" The congregation had already assembled and the singing had begun when Heidi and her grandfather entered the church at Dorfli and sat down at the back. But before the hymn was over every one was nudging his neighbor and whispering, "Do you see? Alm-Uncle is in church!" Soon everybody in the church knew of Alm-Uncle's presence, and the women kept on turning round to look and quite lost their place in the singing. But everybody became more attentive when the sermon began, for the preacher spoke with such warmth and thankfulness that those present felt the effect of his words, as if some great joy had come to them all.
Johanna Spyri (Heidi (Heidi, #1-2))
Heidi began to read of the son when he was happily at home, and went out into the fields with his father's flocks, and was dressed in a fine cloak, and stood leaning on his shepherd's staff watching as the sun went down, just as he was to be seen in the picture. But then all at once he wanted to have his own goods and money and to be his own master, and so he asked his father to give him his portion, and he left his home and went and wasted all his substance. And when he had nothing left he hired himself out to a master who had no flocks and fields like his father, but only swine to keep; and so he was obliged to watch these, and he only had rags to wear and a few husks to eat such as the swine fed upon. And then he thought of his old happy life at home and of how kindly his father had treated him and how ungrateful he had been, and he wept for sorrow and longing. And he thought to himself, "I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, 'Father, I am not worthy to be called thy son; make me as one of thy hired servants.' " And when he was yet a great way off his father saw him . . . Here Heidi paused in her reading. "What do you think happens now, grandfather?" she said. "Do you think the father is still angry and will say to him, 'I told you so!' Well, listen now to what comes next." His father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son." But the father said to his servants, "Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf and kill it; and let us eat and be merry, for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. And they began to be merry." "Isn't that a beautiful tale, grandfather," said Heidi, as the latter continued to sit without speaking, for she had expected him to express pleasure and astonishment.
Johanna Spyri (Heidi (Heidi, #1-2))
Girls, I was dead and down in the Underworld, a shade, a shadow of my former self, nowhen. It was a place where language stopped, a black full stop, a black hole Where the words had to come to an end. And end they did there, last words, famous or not. It suited me down to the ground. So imagine me there, unavailable, out of this world, then picture my face in that place of Eternal Repose, in the one place you’d think a girl would be safe from the kind of a man who follows her round writing poems, hovers about while she reads them, calls her His Muse, and once sulked for a night and a day because she remarked on his weakness for abstract nouns. Just picture my face when I heard - Ye Gods - a familiar knock-knock at Death’s door. Him. Big O. Larger than life. With his lyre and a poem to pitch, with me as the prize. Things were different back then. For the men, verse-wise, Big O was the boy. Legendary. The blurb on the back of his books claimed that animals, aardvark to zebra, flocked to his side when he sang, fish leapt in their shoals at the sound of his voice, even the mute, sullen stones at his feet wept wee, silver tears. Bollocks. (I’d done all the typing myself, I should know.) And given my time all over again, rest assured that I’d rather speak for myself than be Dearest, Beloved, Dark Lady, White Goddess etc., etc. In fact girls, I’d rather be dead. But the Gods are like publishers, usually male, and what you doubtless know of my tale is the deal. Orpheus strutted his stuff. The bloodless ghosts were in tears. Sisyphus sat on his rock for the first time in years. Tantalus was permitted a couple of beers. The woman in question could scarcely believe her ears. Like it or not, I must follow him back to our life - Eurydice, Orpheus’ wife - to be trapped in his images, metaphors, similes, octaves and sextets, quatrains and couplets, elegies, limericks, villanelles, histories, myths… He’d been told that he mustn’t look back or turn round, but walk steadily upwards, myself right behind him, out of the Underworld into the upper air that for me was the past. He’d been warned that one look would lose me for ever and ever. So we walked, we walked. Nobody talked. Girls, forget what you’ve read. It happened like this - I did everything in my power to make him look back. What did I have to do, I said, to make him see we were through? I was dead. Deceased. I was Resting in Peace. Passé. Late. Past my sell-by date… I stretched out my hand to touch him once on the back of the neck. Please let me stay. But already the light had saddened from purple to grey. It was an uphill schlep from death to life and with every step I willed him to turn. I was thinking of filching the poem out of his cloak, when inspiration finally struck. I stopped, thrilled. He was a yard in front. My voice shook when I spoke - Orpheus, your poem’s a masterpiece. I’d love to hear it again… He was smiling modestly, when he turned, when he turned and he looked at me. What else? I noticed he hadn’t shaved. I waved once and was gone. The dead are so talented. The living walk by the edge of a vast lake near, the wise, drowned silence of the dead.
Carol Ann Duffy (The World's Wife)
It was the ultimate sacrilege that Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, was rejected and even put to death. And it continues. In many parts of the world today we see a growing rejection of the Son of God. His divinity is questioned. His gospel is deemed irrelevant. In day-to-day life, His teachings are ignored. Those who legitimately speak in His name find little respect in secular society. If we ignore the Lord and His servants, we may just as well be atheists—the end result is practically the same. It is what Mormon described as typical after extended periods of peace and prosperity: “Then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One” (Helaman 12:2). And so we should ask ourselves, do we reverence the Holy One and those He has sent? Some years before he was called as an Apostle himself, Elder Robert D. Hales recounted an experience that demonstrated his father’s sense of that holy calling. Elder Hales said: "Some years ago Father, then over eighty years of age, was expecting a visit from a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on a snowy winter day. Father, an artist, had painted a picture of the home of the Apostle. Rather than have the painting delivered to him, this sweet Apostle wanted to go personally to pick the painting up and thank my father for it. Knowing that Father would be concerned that everything was in readiness for the forthcoming visit, I dropped by his home. Because of the depth of the snow, snowplows had caused a snowbank in front of the walkway to the front door. Father had shoveled the walks and then labored to remove the snowbank. He returned to the house exhausted and in pain. When I arrived, he was experiencing heart pain from overexertion and stressful anxiety. My first concern was to warn him of his unwise physical efforts. Didn’t he know what the result of his labor would be? "'Robert,' he said through interrupted short breaths, 'do you realize an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ is coming to my home? The walks must be clean. He should not have to come through a snowdrift.' He raised his hand, saying, 'Oh, Robert, don’t ever forget or take for granted the privilege it is to know and to serve with Apostles of the Lord.'" [In CR, April 1992, 89; or “Gratitude for the Goodness of God,” Ensign, May 1992, 64] I think it is more than coincidence that such a father would be blessed to have a son serve as an Apostle. You might ask yourself, “Do I see the calling of the prophets and apostles as sacred? Do I treat their counsel seriously, or is it a light thing with me?” President Gordon B. Hinckley, for instance, has counseled us to pursue education and vocational training; to avoid pornography as a plague; to respect women; to eliminate consumer debt; to be grateful, smart, clean, true, humble, and prayerful; and to do our best, our very best. Do your actions show that you want to know and do what he teaches? Do you actively study his words and the statements of the Brethren? Is this something you hunger and thirst for? If so, you have a sense of the sacredness of the calling of prophets as the witnesses and messengers of the Son of God.
D. Todd Christofferson
He got up out of bed, walked across the room, and put his glowing hand to her face with hesitation. On a sigh she leaned into the imprint of his palm and the warmth of his flesh. “Is this you?” he said hoarsely. She nodded and reached out to his cheeks, which were a little red. “You’ve been crying.” He captured her hand. “I feel you.” “Me, too.” He touched her neck, her shoulder, her sternum. Brought her arm forward and looked at it…well, through it. “Um…so I can sit on things,” she said for no particular reason. “I mean…while I was waiting out there, I sat on the couch. I also moved a picture on the wall, put a penny back in your change dish, picked up a magazine. It’s a little weird, but all I have to do is concentrate.” Shit. She had no idea what she was saying. “The, ah…the Scribe Virgin said I could eat but I didn’t have to. She said…I could drink, too. I’m not sure how it all works, but she seems to know. Yeah. So. Anyway, I think it’s going to take some time to figure out the drill, but…” He put his hand into her hair and it felt the same as it had before. Her nonexistent body registered the sensations exactly as it had before. He frowned, then looked downright angry. “She said it required a sacrifice. To bring someone back. What did you give her? What did you bargain with?” “How do you mean?” “She doesn’t give things away without demanding something in return. What did she take from you?” “Nothing. She never asked me for anything.” He shook his head and seemed like he was going to speak. But then he wrapped his heavy arms around her and held her against his trembling, glowing body. Unlike the other times when she had to concentrate to find solidity, with V it just happened. Against him, she was corporeal with no effort on her part. She could tell he was crying by the way he breathed and the fact that he leaned on her, but she knew that if she made any mention of it, or tried to soothe him with words, he would stop on a dime. So she just held him and let him go. Then again, she was kind of busy holding herself together. “I thought I would never get to do this again,” he said in a voice that cracked. -Vishous & Jane
J.R. Ward (Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5))
Why can't we sit together? What's the point of seat reservations,anyway? The bored woman calls my section next,and I think terrible thoughts about her as she slides my ticket through her machine. At least I have a window seat. The middle and aisle are occupied with more businessmen. I'm reaching for my book again-it's going to be a long flight-when a polite English accent speaks to the man beside me. "Pardon me,but I wonder if you wouldn't mind switching seats.You see,that's my girlfriend there,and she's pregnant. And since she gets a bit ill on airplanes,I thought she might need someone to hold back her hair when...well..." St. Clair holds up the courtesy barf bag and shakes it around. The paper crinkles dramatically. The man sprints off the seat as my face flames. His pregnant girlfriend? "Thank you.I was in forty-five G." He slides into the vacated chair and waits for the man to disappear before speaking again. The guy onhis other side stares at us in horror,but St. Clair doesn't care. "They had me next to some horrible couple in matching Hawaiian shirts. There's no reason to suffer this flight alone when we can suffer it together." "That's flattering,thanks." But I laugh,and he looks pleased-until takeoff, when he claws the armrest and turns a color disturbingy similar to key lime pie. I distract him with a story about the time I broke my arm playing Peter Pan. It turned out there was more to flying than thinking happy thoughts and jumping out a window. St. Clair relaxes once we're above the clouds. Time passes quickly for an eight-hour flight. We don't talk about what waits on the other side of the ocean. Not his mother. Not Toph.Instead,we browse Skymall. We play the if-you-had-to-buy-one-thing-off-each-page game. He laughs when I choose the hot-dog toaster, and I tease him about the fogless shower mirror and the world's largest crossword puzzle. "At least they're practical," he says. "What are you gonna do with a giant crossword poster? 'Oh,I'm sorry Anna. I can't go to the movies tonight. I'm working on two thousand across, Norwegian Birdcall." "At least I'm not buying a Large Plastic Rock for hiding "unsightly utility posts.' You realize you have no lawn?" "I could hide other stuff.Like...failed French tests.Or illegal moonshining equipment." He doubles over with that wonderful boyish laughter, and I grin. "But what will you do with a motorized swimming-pool snack float?" "Use it in the bathtub." He wipes a tear from his cheek. "Ooo,look! A Mount Rushmore garden statue. Just what you need,Anna.And only forty dollars! A bargain!" We get stumped on the page of golfing accessories, so we switch to drawing rude pictures of the other people on the plane,followed by rude pictures of Euro Disney Guy. St. Clair's eyes glint as he sketches the man falling down the Pantheon's spiral staircase. There's a lot of blood. And Mickey Mouse ears. After a few hours,he grows sleepy.His head sinks against my shoulder. I don't dare move.The sun is coming up,and the sky is pink and orange and makes me think of sherbet.I siff his hair. Not out of weirdness.It's just...there. He must have woken earlier than I thought,because it smells shower-fresh. Clean. Healthy.Mmm.I doze in and out of a peaceful dream,and the next thing I know,the captain's voice is crackling over the airplane.We're here. I'm home.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
... The influence of the Pre-Raphaelites was felt less through their paintings than through a book, The Poems of Tennyson, edited by Moxon and wonderfully illustrated by Rossetti and Millais. The influence on Maeterlinck stems less from the poems themselves than from the illustrations. The revival of illustrated books in the last two years of the century derives from this Tennyson, the books printed at William Morris' press, the albums of Walter Crane. These last two and the ravishing little books for children by Kate Greenaway were heralded by Huysmans as early as 1881. Generally speaking, it is the English Aesthetic Movement rather than the Pre-Raphaelites which influenced the Symbolists, a new life-style rather than a school of painting. The Continent, passing through the Industrial Revolution some fifty years after England, found valuable advice on how to escape from materialism on the other side of the Channel. Everything that one heard about the refinements practised in Chelsea enchanted Frenchmen of taste: furniture by Godwin, open-air theatricals by Lady Archibald Campbell, the Peacock Room by Whistler, Liberty prints. As the pressure of morality was much less pronounced in France than in England, the ideal of Aestheticism was not a revolt but a retreat towards an exquisite world which left hearty good living to the readers of the magazine La Vie Parisienne ('Paris Life') and success to the readers of Zola. If one could not write a beautiful poem or paint a beautiful picture, one could always choose materials or arrange bouquets of flowers. Aesthetic ardour smothered the anglophobia in the Symbolist circle. The ideal of a harmonious life suggested in Baudelaire's poem L' Invitation au Voyage seemed capable of realization in England, whose fashions were brought back by celebrated travellers: Mallarmé after 1862, Verlaine in 1872. Carrière spent a long time in London, as did Khnopff later on. People read books by Gabriel Mourey on Swinburne, and his Passé le Détroit ('Beyond the Channel') is particularly important for the artistic way of life ... Thus England is represented in this hall of visual influences by the works of Burne-Jones and Watts, by illustrated books, and by objets d'art ...
Philippe Jullian (The Symbolists)
Burial Cathy Linh Che There is the rain, the odor of fresh earth, and you, grandmother, in a box. I bury the distance, 22 years of not meeting you and your ruined hands. I bury your hair, parted to the side and pinned back, your áo dài of crushed velvet, the implements you used to farm, the stroke which claimed your right side, the land you gave up when you remarried, your grief over my grandfather's passing, the war that evaporated your father's leg, the war that crushed your bowls, your childhood home razed by the rutted wheels of an American tank— I bury it all. You learned that nothing stays in this life, not your daughter, not your uncle, not even the dignity of leaving this world with your pants on. The bed sores on your hips were clean and sunken in. What did I know, child who heard you speak only once, and when we met for the first time, tears watered the side of your face. I held your hand and said, bà ngoai, bà ngoai Ten years later, I returned. It rained on your gravesite. In the picture above your tomb, you looked just like my mother. We lit the joss sticks and planted them. We kept the encroaching grass at bay.
Cathy Linh Che (Split)
I find it hard to talk about myself. I'm always tripped up by the eternal who am I? paradox. Sure, no one knows as much pure data about me as me. But when I talk about myself, all sorts of other factors - values, standards, my own limitations as an observer - make me, the narrator, select and eliminate things about me, the narratee. I've always been disturbed by the thought that I'm not painting a very objective picture of myself. This kind of things doesn't seem to bother most people. Given the chance, people are surprisingly frank when they talk about themselves. "I'm honest and open to a ridiculous degree," they'll say, or "I'm thin-skinned and not the type who gets along easily in the world." Or "I'm very good at sensing others' true feelings." But any number of times I've seen people who say they're easily hurt or hurt other people for no apparent reason. Self-styled honest and open people, without realizing what they're doing, blithely use some self-serving excuse to get what they want. And those "good at sensing others' true feelings" are taken in by the most transparent flattery. It's enough to make me ask the question: how well do really know ourselves? The more I think about it, the more I'd like to take a rain check on the topic of me. What I'd like to know more about is the objective reality of things outside myself. How important the world outside is to me, how I maintain a sense of equilibrium by coming to terms with it. That's how I'd grasp a clearer sense of who I am. These are the kind of ideas I had running through my head when I was a teenager. Like a master builder stretches taut his string and lays one brick after another, I constructed this viewpoint - or philosophy of life, to put a bigger spin on it. Logic and speculation played a part in formulating this viewpoint, but for the most part it was based on my own experiences. And speaking of experience, a number of painful episodes taught me that getting this viewpoint of mine across to other people wasn't the easiest thing in the world. The upshot of all this is that when I was young I began to draw an invisible boundary between myself and other people. No matter who I was dealing with, I maintained a set distance, carefully monitoring the person's attitude so that they wouldn't get any closer. I didn't easily swallow what other people told me. My only passions were books and music. As you might guess, I led a lonely life.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
But often one hears nothing when one listens for the first time to a piece of music that is at all complicated. [...] And so it is not wrong to speak of hearing a thing for the first time. If one has indeed, as one supposes, received no impression from the first hearing, the second, the third would be equally "first hearings" and there would be no reason why one should understand it any better after the tenth. Probably what is wanting, the first time, is not comprehension but memory. For our memory, relatively to the complexity of the impressions which it has to face while we are listening, is infinitesimal, as brief as the memory of a man who in his sleep thinks of a thousand things and at once forgets them, or as that of a man in his second childhood who cannot recall a minute afterwards what one has just said to him. Of these multiple impressions our memory is not capable of furnishing us with an immediate picture. But that picture gradually takes shape in the memory, and, with regard to works we have heard more than once, we are like the schoolboy who has read several times over before going to sleep a lesson which he supposed himself not to know, and finds that he can repeat it by heart next morning.
Marcel Proust (In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower)
Suddenly a violent noise leaped at them from no source that he could identify. He gasped in terror at what sounded like a man trying to gargle while fighting off a pack of wolves. “Shush!” said Ford. “Listen, it might be important.” “Im … important?” “It’s the Vogon captain making an announcement on the tannoy.” “You mean that’s how the Vogons talk?” “Listen!” “But I can’t speak Vogon!” “You don’t need to. Just put this fish in your ear.” Ford, with a lightning movement, clapped his hand to Arthur’s ear, and he had the sudden sickening sensation of the fish slithering deep into his aural tract. Gasping with horror he scrabbled at his ear for a second or so, but then slowly turned goggle-eyed with wonder. He was experiencing the aural equivalent of looking at a picture of two black silhouetted faces and suddenly seeing it as a picture of a white candlestick. Or of looking at a lot of colored dots on a piece of paper which suddenly resolve themselves into the figure six and mean that your optician is going to charge you a lot of money for a new pair of glasses. He was still listening to the howling gargles, he knew that, only now it had somehow taken on the semblance of perfectly straightforward English. This is what he heard … * Ford Prefect’s original name is only pronounceable in an obscure Betel-geusian dialect, now virtually extinct since the Great Collapsing Hrung Disaster of Gal./Sid./Year 03758 which wiped out all the old Praxibetel communities on Betelgeuse Seven. Ford’s father was the only man on the entire planet to survive the Great Collapsing Hrung Disaster, by an extraordinary coincidence that he was never able satisfactorily to explain. The whole episode is shrouded in deep mystery: in fact no one ever knew what a Hrung was nor why it had chosen to collapse on Betelgeuse Seven particularly. Ford’s father, magnanimously waving aside the clouds of suspicion that had inevitably settled around him, came to live on Betelgeuse Five, where he both fathered and uncled Ford; in memory of his now dead race he christened him in the ancient Praxibetel tongue. Because Ford never learned to say his original name, his father eventually died of shame, which is still a terminal disease in some parts of the Galaxy. The other kids at school nicknamed him Ix, which in the language of Betelgeuse Five translates as “boy who is not able satisfactorily to explain what a Hrung is, nor why it should choose to collapse on Betelgeuse Seven.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1))
Everything old people say about time is true. For starters, it flies. As a kid living through semi-eternal summer vacations, this is hard to believe. But as an adult? Get married. Have children. And then sit back, stunned, watching an absolute roar of gorgeous moments and hilarious moments and exhausting moments disappear—quickly and in tragedy or marching off at the traditional pace, but disappear they must. Snap a photo or two. Read verses about futility. Watching one’s small humans age and grow up packs a serious punch. It’s like being stuck in a dream unable to speak, like being a ghost that can see but not touch, like standing on a huge grate while a storm rains oiled diamonds, like collecting feathers in a storm. Parents in love with their kids are all amnesiacs, trying to remember, trying to cherish moments, ghosts trying to hold the world. Being mortals, having a finite mind when surrounded by joy that is perpetually rolling back into the rear view is like always having something important on the tips of our tongues, something on the tips of our fingers, always slipping away, always ducking our embrace. No matter how many pictures we take, no matter how many scrapbooks we make, no matter how many moments we invade with a rolling camera, we will die. We will vanish. We cannot grab and hold.
N.D. Wilson (Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent)
You’re the one who didn’t keep his word. And speaking of your word and its dubious worth, don’t change the subject. I saw the looks you and Miss Turner were exchanging. The lady goes bright pink every time you speak to her. For God’s sake, you put food on her plate without even asking.” “And where’s the crime in that?” Gray was genuinely curious to hear the answer. He hadn’t forgotten that shocked look she’d given him. “Come on, Gray. You know very well one doesn’t take such a liberty with a mere acquaintance. It’s…it’s intimate. The two of you are intimate. Don’t deny it.” “I do deny it. It isn’t true.” Gray took another swig from his flask and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Damn it, Joss. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to trust me. I gave you my word. I’ve kept it.” And it was the truth, Gray told himself. Yes, he’d touched her tonight, but he’d never pledged not to touch her. He had kept his word. He hadn’t bedded her. He hadn’t kissed her. God, what he wouldn’t give just to kiss her… He rubbed the heel of his hand against his chest. That same ache lingered there-the same sharp tug he’d felt when she’d brought her foot down on his and pursed her lips into a silent plea. Please, she’d said. Don’t. As if she appealed to his conscience. His conscience. Where would the girl have gathered such a notion, that he possessed a conscience? Certainly not form his treatment of her. A bitter laugh rumbled through his chest, and Joss shot him a skeptical look. “Believe me, I’ve scarcely spoken to the girl in weeks. You can’t know the lengths I’ve gone to, avoiding her. And it isn’t easy, because she won’t stay put in her cabin, now will she? No, she has to go all over the ship, flirting with the crew, tacking her little pictures in every corner of the boat, taking tea in the galley with Gabriel. I can’t help but see her. And I can see she’s too damn thin. She needs to eat; I put food on her plate. There’s nothing more to it than that.” Joss said nothing, just stared at him as though he’d grown a second head. “Damn it, what now? Don’t you believe me?” “I believe what you’re saying,” his brother said slowly. “I just can’t believe what I’m hearing.” Gray folded his arms and leaned against the wall. “And what are you hearing?” “I wondered why you’d done all this…the dinner. Now I know.” “You know what?” Gray was growing exasperated. Most of all, because he didn’t know. “You care for this girl.” Joss cocked his head. “You care for her. Don’t you?” “Care for her.” Joss’s expression was smug. “Don’t you?” The idea was too preposterous to entertain, but Gray perked with inspiration. “Say I did care for her. Would you release me from that promise? If my answer is yes, can I pursue her?” Joss shook his head. “If the answer is yes, you can-and should-wait one more week. It’s not as though she’ll vanish the moment we make harbor. If the answer is yes, you’ll agree she deserves that much.” Wrong, Gray thought, sinking back into a chair.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
A striking example from the history of writing is the origin of the syllabary devised in Arkansas around 1820 by a Cherokee Indian named Sequoyah, for writing the Cherokee language. Sequoyah observed that white people made marks on paper, and that they derived great advantage by using those marks to record and repeat lengthy speeches. However, the detailed operations of those marks remained a mystery to him, since (like most Cherokees before 1820) Sequoyah was illiterate and could neither speak nor read English. Because he was a blacksmith, Sequoyah began by devising an accounting system to help him keep track of his customers’ debts. He drew a picture of each customer; then he drew circles and lines of various sizes to represent the amount of money owed. Around 1810, Sequoyah decided to go on to design a system for writing the Cherokee language. He again began by drawing pictures, but gave them up as too complicated and too artistically demanding. He next started to invent separate signs for each word, and again became dissatisfied when he had coined thousands of signs and still needed more. Finally, Sequoyah realized that words were made up of modest numbers of different sound bites that recurred in many different words—what we would call syllables. He initially devised 200 syllabic signs and gradually reduced them to 85, most of them for combinations of one consonant and one vowel. As one source of the signs themselves, Sequoyah practiced copying the letters from an English spelling book given to him by a schoolteacher. About two dozen of his Cherokee syllabic signs were taken directly from those letters, though of course with completely changed meanings, since Sequoyah did not know the English meanings. For example, he chose the shapes D, R, b, h to represent the Cherokee syllables a, e, si, and ni, respectively, while the shape of the numeral 4 was borrowed for the syllable se. He coined other signs by modifying English letters, such as designing the signs , , and to represent the syllables yu, sa, and na, respectively. Still other signs were entirely of his creation, such as , , and for ho, li, and nu, respectively. Sequoyah’s syllabary is widely admired by professional linguists for its good fit to Cherokee sounds, and for the ease with which it can be learned. Within a short time, the Cherokees achieved almost 100 percent literacy in the syllabary, bought a printing press, had Sequoyah’s signs cast as type, and began printing books and newspapers. Cherokee writing remains one of the best-attested examples of a script that arose through idea diffusion. We know that Sequoyah received paper and other writing materials, the idea of a writing system, the idea of using separate marks, and the forms of several dozen marks. Since, however, he could neither read nor write English, he acquired no details or even principles from the existing scripts around him. Surrounded by alphabets he could not understand, he instead independently reinvented a syllabary, unaware that the Minoans of Crete had already invented another syllabary 3,500 years previously.
Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel)
History is storytelling,’” Yaw repeated. He walked down the aisles between the rows of seats, making sure to look each boy in the eye. Once he finished walking and stood in the back of the room, where the boys would have to crane their necks in order to see him, he asked, “Who would like to tell the story of how I got my scar?” The students began to squirm, their limbs growing limp and wobbly. They looked at each other, coughed, looked away. “Don’t be shy,” Yaw said, smiling now, nodding encouragingly. “Peter?” he asked. The boy who only seconds before had been so happy to speak began to plead with his eyes. The first day with a new class was always Yaw’s favorite. “Mr. Agyekum, sah?” Peter said. “What story have you heard? About my scar?” Yaw asked, smiling still, hoping, now to ease some of the child’s growing fear. Peter cleared his throat and looked at the ground. “They say you were born of fire,” he started. “That this is why you are so smart. Because you were lit by fire.” “Anyone else?” Timidly, a boy named Edem raised his hand. “They say your mother was fighting evil spirits from Asamando.” Then William: “I heard your father was so sad by the Asante loss that he cursed the gods, and the gods took vengeance.” Another, named Thomas: “I heard you did it to yourself, so that you would have something to talk about on the first day of class.” All the boys laughed, and Yaw had to stifle his own amusement. Word of his lesson had gotten around, he knew. The older boys told some of the younger ones what to expect from him. Still, he continued, making his way back to the front of the room to look at his students, the bright boys from the uncertain Gold Coast, learning the white book from a scarred man. “Whose story is correct?” Yaw asked them. They looked around at the boys who had spoken, as though trying to establish their allegiance by holding a gaze, casting a vote by sending a glance. Finally, once the murmuring subsided, Peter raised his hand. “Mr. Agyekum, we cannot know which story is correct.” He looked at the rest of the class, slowly understanding. “We cannot know which story is correct because we were not there.” Yaw nodded. He sat in his chair at the front of the room and looked at all the young men. “This is the problem of history. We cannot know that which we were not there to see and hear and experience for ourselves. We must rely upon the words of others. Those who were there in the olden days, they told stories to the children so that the children would know, so that the children could tell stories to their children. And so on, and so on. But now we come upon the problem of conflicting stories. Kojo Nyarko says that when the warriors came to his village their coats were red, but Kwame Adu says that they were blue. Whose story do we believe, then?” The boys were silent. They stared at him, waiting. “We believe the one who has the power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history, you must always ask yourself, Whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. From there, you begin to get a clearer, yet still imperfect, picture.
Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing)
Gina flopped back on her cot, arm up over her eyes. “Oh, my God, Molly, what am I going to do? The fact that he came here tonight at all is . . . He’s clearly interested, but that’s probably just because he thinks I’m a total perv.” “Whoa,” Molly said. “Wait. You lost me there.” Gina sat up, a mix of earnestness, horror, and amusement on her pretty face. “I didn’t tell you this, but after I first spoke to Lucy’s sister—we were in the shower tent so no one would see us—I let her leave first and then I waited, like, a minute, thinking we shouldn’t be seen leaving the tent together. And before I go, he came in.” He. “Leslie Pollard?” Molly clarified. Gina nodded. “I freaked out when I saw him coming, and it’s stupid, I know, but I hid. And I should have just waited until I heard the shower go on, but God, maybe he wouldn’t have pulled the curtain, because he obviously thought he was in there alone . . .” Molly started to laugh. “Oh my.” “Yeah,” Gina said. “Oh my. So I decide to run for it, only he’s not in one of the changing booths, he’s over by the bench, you know?” Molly nodded. The bench in the main part of the room. “In only his underwear,” Gina finished, with a roll of her eyes. “Oh, my God.” “Really? Molly asked. Apparently Jones was taking his change of identity very seriously. He hated wearing underwear of any kind, but obviously he thought it wouldn’t be in character for Leslie Pollard to go commando. “Boxers or briefs?” Gina gave her a look, but she was starting to laugh now, too, thank goodness. “Briefs. Very brief briefs.” She covered her mouth with her hands. “Oh, my God, Molly, he was . . . I think he showers at noon because he knows no one else will be in there, so he can, you know, have an intimate visit with Mr. Hand.” Oh, dear. “And now I know, and he knows I know, and he also probably thinks I lurk in the men’s shower,” Gina continued. “And the fact that he actually came to tea tonight, instead of hiding from me, in his tent, forever, means . . . something awful, don’t you think? Did I mention he has, like, an incredible body?” Molly shook her head. Oh dear. “No.” “Yes,” Gina said just a little too grimly, considering the topic. “Who would’ve guessed that underneath those awful shirts he’s a total god? And maybe that’s what’s freaking out the most.” “You mean because . . . you’re attracted to him?” Molly asked. “No!” Gina said. “God! Because I’m not. I felt nothing. I’m standing there and he’s . . . You know how I said he reminds me of Hugh Grant?” Molly nodded, too relieved to speak. “Well, I got the wrong Hugh. This guy is built like Hugh Jackman. And beneath the hats and sunblock and glasses, he’s actually got cheekbones and a jaw line, too. I’m talking total hottie. And, yes, I can definitely appreciate that on one level, but . . .” She glanced over at the desk, at her digital camera. She’d gotten it out of her trunk earlier today. Which, Molly had learned, meant that she’d spent more time this afternoon looking at her saved pictures. Which included at least a few of Max. Molly’s relief over not having to deal with the complications of Gina having a crush on Leslie felt a whole lot less good. She wished someone would just go ahead and steal Gina’s camera already. Maybe that would help her move on.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
But Harry had eyes only for the man who stood in the largest portrait directly behind the headmaster’s chair. Tears were sliding down from behind the half-moon spectacles into the long silver beard, and the pride and the gratitude emanating from him filled Harry with the same balm as phoenix song. At last, Harry held up his hands, and the portraits fell respectfully silent, beaming and mopping their eyes and waiting eagerly for him to speak. He directed his words at Dumbledore, however, and chose them with enormous care. Exhausted and bleary-eyed though he was, he must make one last effort, seeking one last piece of advice. “The thing that was hidden in the Snitch,” he began, “I dropped it in the forest. I don’t know exactly where, but I’m not going to go looking for it again. Do you agree?” “My dear boy, I do,” said Dumbledore, while his fellow pictures looked confused and curious. “A wise and courageous decision, but no less than I would have expected of you. Does anyone else know where it fell?” “No one,” said Harry, and Dumbledore nodded his satisfaction. “I’m going to keep Ignotus’s present, though,” said Harry, and Dumbledore beamed. “But of course, Harry, it is yours forever, until you pass it on!” “And then there’s this.” Harry held up the Elder Wand, and Ron and Hermione looked at it with a reverence that, even in his befuddled and sleep-deprived state, Harry did not like to see. “I don’t want it,” said Harry. “What?” said Ron loudly. “Are you mental?” “I know it’s powerful,” said Harry wearily. “But I was happier with mine. So…” He rummaged in the pouch hung around his neck, and pulled out the two halves of holly still just connected by the finest thread of phoenix feather. Hermione had said that they could not be repaired, that the damage was too severe. All he knew was that if this did not work, nothing would. He laid the broken wand upon the headmaster’s desk, touched it with the very tip of the Elder Wand, and said, “Reparo.” As his wand resealed, red sparks flew out of its end. Harry knew that he had succeeded. He picked up the holly and phoenix wand and felt a sudden warmth in his fingers, as though wand and hand were rejoicing at their reunion. “I’m putting the Elder Wand,” he told Dumbledore, who was watching him with enormous affection and admiration, “back where it came from. It can stay there. If I die a natural death like Ignotus, its power will be broken, won’t it? The previous master will never have been defeated. That’ll be the end of it.” Dumbledore nodded. They smiled at each other. “Are you sure?” said Ron. There was the faintest trace of longing in his voice as he looked at the Elder Wand. “I think Harry’s right,” said Hermione quietly. “That wand’s more trouble than it’s worth,” said Harry. “And quite honestly,” he turned away from the painted portraits, thinking now only of the four-poster bed lying waiting for him in Gryffindor Tower, and wondering whether Kreacher might bring him a sandwich there, “I’ve had enough trouble for a lifetime.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Let us now assume that under truly extraordinary circumstances, the daimon nevertheless breaks through in the individual, so to speak, and is this able to let its destructive transcendence be felt: then one would have a kind of active experience of death. Thereupon the second connection becomes clear: why the figure of the daimon or doppelgänger in the ancient myths could be melded with the deity of death. In the Nordic tradition the warrior sees his Valkyrie precisely at the moment of death or mortal danger. In religious asceticism, mortification, self-renunciation, and the impulse of devotion to God are the preferred methods of provoking and successfully overcoming the crisis I have just mentioned. Everyone knows the expressions which refer to these states, such as the 'mystical death' or 'dark night of the soul', etc. In contrast to this, within the framework of a heroic tradition, the path to the same goal is the active rapture, the Dionysian unleashing of the active element. At its lower levels, we find phenomenons such as the use of dance as a sacred technique for achieving an ecstasy of the soul that summons and uses profound energies. While the individual’s life is surrendered to Dionysian rhythm, another life sinks into it, as if it where his abyssal roots surfacing. The 'wild host' Furies, Erinyes, and suchlike spiritual natures are symbolic picturings of this energy, thus corresponding to a manifestation of the daimon in its terrifying and active transcendence. At a higher level we find sacred war-games; higher still, war itself. And this brings us back to the ancient Aryan concept of battle and the warrior ascetic. At the climax of danger and heroic battle, the possibility for such an extraordinary experience was recognized. The Lating ludere, meaning both 'to play' and 'to fight', seems to contain the idea of release. This is one of the many allusions to the inherent ability of battle to release deeply-buried powers from individual limitations and let them freely emerge. Hence the third comparison: the daimon, the Lar, the individualizing I, etc., are not only identical with the Furies, Erinyes, and other unleashed Dionysian natures, which themselves have many traits similar to the goddess of death — they are also synonymous with the storm maidens of battle, the Valkyries and Fravartis. In the texts, for example, the Fravartis are called 'the terrible, the all-powerful', 'those who attack in storm and bestow victory upon those who conjure them', or, more precisely, those who conjure them up in themselves. From there to the final comparison is only a short step. In the Aryan tradition the same martial beings eventually take on the form of victory-goddesses, a transformation which denotes the happy completion of the inner experience in question. Just as the daimon or doppelgänger signifies a deep, supra-individual power in its latent condition as compared to ordinary consciousness; just as the Furies and Erinyes reflect a particular manifestation of daimonic rages and eruptions (and the goddesses of death, Valkyries, Fravartis, etc., refer to the same conditions, as long as these are facilitated by battle and heroism) — in the same way the goddess of victory is the expression of the triumph of the I over this power. She signifies the victorious ascent to a state unendangered by ecstasies and sub-personal forms of disintegration, a danger that always lurks behind the frenetic moment of Dionysian and even heroic action. The ascent to a spiritual, truly supra-personal condition that makes one free, immortal, and internally indestructible, when the 'Two becomes One', expresses itself in this image of mythical consciousness.
Julius Evola (Metaphysics of War)