Pictures Of Beautiful Quotes

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Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
There are no bad pictures; that's just how your face looks sometimes.
Abraham Lincoln
The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.
P.C. Cast (Betrayed (House of Night, #2))
Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.
Marc Riboud
It is with the reading of books the same as with looking at pictures; one must, without doubt, without hesitations, with assurance, admire what is beautiful.
Vincent van Gogh
I feel so intensely the delights of shutting oneself up in a little world of one’s own, with pictures and music and everything beautiful.
Virginia Woolf (The Voyage Out)
As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her daughter, she is perfectly satisfied
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Luna had decorated her bedroom ceiling with five beautifully painted faces: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Neville. They were not moving as the portraits at Hogwarts moved, but there was a certain magic about them all the same: Harry thought they breathed. What appeared to be fine golden chains wove around the pictures, linking them together, but after examining them for a minute or so, Harry realized that the chains were actually one word, repeated a thousand times in golden ink: friends . . . friends . . . friends . . .
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Painted Veil)
Its a beautiful woman's fate to be the subject of conversation where ever she goes
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us even in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavour. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
I don't take good pictures 'cause I have the kind of beauty that moves.
Ani DiFranco
But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
The picture of me just after I’d found out Aspen was saving up to marry me. I looked radiant, hopeful, beautiful. I looked like I was in love. And some idiot thought that love was for Prince Maxon.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Beauty is a form of Genius--is higher, indeed, than Genius, as it needs no explanation. It is one of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in the dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we have the eyes to see them.
John Ruskin
I find him in the curves of certain lines, in the loveliness and subtleties of certain colours.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
When I try to picture for myself what a happy life might look like, the picture hasn't changed very much since I was a child - a house with flowers and trees around it, and a river nearby, and a room full of books, and someone there to love me, that's all. Just to make a home there, and to care for my parents when they grow older. Never to move, never to board a plane again, just to live quietly and then be buried in the earth.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
For you, and for any dear to you, I would do anything. If my career were of that better kind that there was any opportunity or capacity of sacrifice in it, I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you. Try to hold me in your mind, at some quiet times, as ardent and sincere in this one thing. The time will come, the time will not be long in coming, when new ties will be formed about you--ties that will bind you yet more tenderly and strongly to the home you so adorn--the dearest ties that will ever grace and gladden you. O Miss Manette, when the little picture of a happy father's face looks up in yours, when you see your own bright beauty springing up anew at your feet, think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you!
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
She is a peacock in everything but beauty!
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
INVISIBLE BOY And here we see the invisible boy In his lovely invisible house, Feeding a piece of invisible cheese To a little invisible mouse. Oh, what a beautiful picture to see! Will you draw an invisible picture for me?
Shel Silverstein (Where the Sidewalk Ends)
I don’t know if I will have the time to write any more letters, because I might be too busy trying to participate. So, if this does end up being the last letter, I just want you to know that I was in a bad place before I started high school, and you helped me. Even if you didn’t know what I was talking about, or know someone who’s gone through it, you made me not feel alone. Because I know there are people who say all these things don’t happen. And there are people who forget what it’s like to be sixteen when they turn seventeen. I know these will all be stories some day, and our pictures will become old photographs. We all become somebody’s mom or dad. But right now, these moments are not stories. This is happening. I am here, and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story. You are alive. And you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you’re listening to that song, and that drive with the people who you love most in this world. And in this moment, I swear, we are infinite.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Kept dreaming of this spot she had on her neck, this tiny country. I wanted to visit, to paint a picture of what I found there, a wall with a road map of her skin.
Cath Crowley (Graffiti Moon)
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
We live in an age that reads too much to be wise, and that thinks too much to be beautiful.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Genius lasts longer than beauty
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
People say sometimes that Beauty is superficial. That may be so. But at least it is not so superficial as Thought is. To me, Beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
With your face and your beautiful eyes and the coversations with the little white lies and the faded picture of a beautiful lie you carry me from your car up the stairs,and I broke down crying was she worth this mess? After everything and that little black dress.After everything i must confess...I need you <3'':) -Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift: Fearless)
It often happens that the real tragedies of life occur in such an inartistic manner that they hurt us by their crude violence, their absolute incoherence, their absurd want of meaning, their entire lack of style. They affect us just as vulgarity affects us. They give us an impression of sheer brute force, and we revolt against that. Sometimes, however, a tragedy that possesses artistic elements of beauty crosses our lives. If these elements of beauty are real, the whole thing simply appeals to our sense of dramatic effect. Suddenly we find that we are no longer the actors, but the spectators of the play. Or rather we are both. We watch ourselves, and the mere wonder of the spectacle enthralls us.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
An artist should create beautiful things, but should put nothing of his own life into them.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
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)
Having more does not keep you from wanting more. And if you always want more - to be richer, more beautiful, more well known - you are missing the bigger picture, and I can tell you from experience, happiness will never come
Mitch Albom (Have a Little Faith: a True Story)
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word home means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name just by the way you describe your bedroom when you were eight. See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate, and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain or bounce in the bellies of snow? And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms or would leave your snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree? And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek? Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad even if it makes your lover mad? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name, and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel. Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old beating up little boys at school. If you were walking by a chemical plant where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud or would you whisper “That cloud looks like a fish, and that cloud looks like a fairy!” Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea? And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me — how would you explain the miracle of my life to me? See, I wanna know if you believe in any god or if you believe in many gods or better yet what gods believe in you. And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you asked come true? And if they didn’t, did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? Would you think less of me if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key? And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me who have learned the wisdom of silence. Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence? And if you do — I want you to tell me of a meadow where my skateboard will soar. See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving, and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes from other people’s wounds, and if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon — that if you wanted to, you could pop, but you never would ‘cause you’d never want it to stop. If a tree fell in the forest and you were the only one there to hear — if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound, would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist, or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness? And lastly, let me ask you this: If you and I went for a walk and the entire walk, we didn’t talk — do you think eventually, we’d… kiss? No, wait. That’s asking too much — after all, this is only our first date.
Andrea Gibson
To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Nature and Selected Essays)
I’m a picture without a frame. A poem without a rhyme. A car with three wheels. A sun without fire. I am a gun without bullets. I am the truth without someone to hear it. I am a feeling without someone to feel it. This is who I am. A mess without you. Something beautiful with you.
pleasefindthis (I Wrote This For You (I Wrote This For You #4))
That was the thing about pictures. No matter how beautiful, they couldn't capture the truly felt parts of a moment.
Sarah Ockler (The Book of Broken Hearts)
I am sure people tell you this constantly but if you looked up 'incredibly beautiful' in the dictionary there would be a picture of you.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
It is a sad thing to think of, but there is no doubt that genius lasts longer than beauty. That accounts for the fact that we all take such pains to over-educate ourselves. In the wild struggle for existence, we want to have something that endures, and so we fill our minds with rubbish and facts, in the silly hope of keeping our place. The thoroughly well-informed man--that is the modern ideal. And the mind of the thoroughly well-informed man is a dreadful thing. It is like a bric-a-brac shop, all monsters and dust, with everything priced above its proper value.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die. I am jealous of the portrait you have painted of me. Why should it keep what I must lose? Every moment that passes takes something from me and gives something to it. Oh, if it were only the other way! If the picture could change, and I could be always what I am now! Why did you paint it? It will mock me some day—mock me horribly!
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
It's beautiful," I breathed, admiring the powerful emotion and truth frozen in the single shot. "I love that picture," he admitted softly. "I think it's because I love the girl in that picture.
Rebecca Donovan (Reason to Breathe (Breathing, #1))
I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
The library was home away from home to my mom, and my family. We had spent every Sunday afternoon there since I was a little boy, wandering around the stacks, pulling out every book with a picture of a pirate ship, a knight, a soldier, or an astronaut. My mom used to say, "This is my church, Ethan. This is how we keep the Sabbath holy in our family.
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
There were moments when he looked on evil simply as a mode through which he could realize his conception of the beautiful.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Adoption is a beautiful picture of redemption. It is the Gospel in my living room.
Katie Davis (Kisses from Katie)
Sure, the Leaning Tower of Pisa leaned like everyone else said it would, the mountains of Tibet were more beautiful than you had ever expected, and the Pyramids of Egypt stood mysteriously in the sea of sand like in the pictures; yet is it the environment or rather the openness in mindset, that makes up the elusive essence of happiness that we experience when we travel?
Forrest Curran
...for we are all amateurs at life, but if we do not focus too much on our mistakes, a miraculous picture emerges. And we learn that it's not the beauty of the image that warrants our gratitude--it's the chance to paint.
Richard Paul Evans (Finding Noel)
The more you try to impress, the more you become depressed, and the more they get tired of your coercion. It doesn't make them love you, instead, they'll see you as a little child, trying to draw a senseless picture on a piece of paper, begging people to look at it and admire it by force. You can persuade someone to look at your face, but you can't persuade them to see the beauty therein.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Unwrapping the paper carefully so it doesn’t tear, I find a beautiful red leather box. Cartier. It’s familiar, thanks to my second-chance earrings and my watch. Cautiously, I open the box to discover a delicate charm bracelet of silver, or platinum or white gold—I don’t know, but it’s absolutely enchanting. Attached to it are several charms: the Eiffel Tower, a London black cab, a helicopter—Charlie Tango, a glider—the soaring, a catamaran—The Grace, a bed, and an ice cream cone? I look up at him, bemused. “Vanilla?” He shrugs apologetically, and I can’t help but laugh. Of course. “Christian, this is beautiful. Thank you. It’s yar.” He grins. My favorite is the heart. It’s a locket. “You can put a picture or whatever in that.” “A picture of you.” I glance at him through my lashes. “Always in my heart.” He smiles his lovely, heartbreakingly shy smile. I fondle the last two charms: a letter C—oh yes, I was his first girlfriend to use his first name. I smile at the thought. And finally, there’s a key. “To my heart and soul,” he whispers.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3))
The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.
Francis Bacon
The importance of reading, for me, is that it allows you to dream. Reading not only educates, but is relaxing and allows you to feed your imagination - creating beautiful pictures from carefully chosen words.
Eric Ripert
Poets are not so scrupulous as you are. They know how useful passion is for publication. Nowadays a broken heart will run to many editions." "I hate them for it," cried Hallward. "An artist should create beautiful things, but should put nothing of his own life into them. We live in an age when men treat art as if it were meant to be a form of autobiography. We have lost the abstract sense of beauty. Some day I will show the world what is it; and for that the world shall never see my portrait of Dorian Gray.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face. The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something horrid. Look at the successful men in any of the learned professions. How perfectly hideous they are! Except, of course, in the Church. But then in the Church they don't think.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic. World's had to be in travail, that the meanest flower might blow...
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
If you look at old pictures, Irene Casey is so pretty. Not just young, but pretty the way you look when your face goes smooth, the skin around your eyes and lips relaxed, the pretty you only look when you love the person taking the picture.
Chuck Palahniuk (Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey)
Fuck the usual. I don't want to be picture-perfect with you. I want to be a fucking mosaic, made up of broken pieces so damn colorful, you can't help finding them beautiful.
Lauren Asher (Wrecked (Dirty Air, #3))
The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Over the years I have developed a picture of what a human being living humanely is like. She is a person who understand, values and develops her body, finding it beautiful and useful; a person who is real and is willing to take risks, to be creative, to manifest competence, to change when the situation calls for it, and to find ways to accommodate to what is new and different, keeping that part of the old that is still useful and discarding what is not.
Virginia Satir
You're everything I never knew I wanted. Every time I picture my future, it's always your face I see…with some little people who look like us.
Georgia Cates (Beauty from Surrender (Beauty, #2))
A nice frame doesn’t make a nice picture.
Winston Graham (Demelza (Poldark, #2))
The setting sun burned the sky pink and orange in the same bright hues as surfers' bathing suits. It was beautiful deception, Bosch thought, as he drove north on the Hollywood Freeway to home. Sunsets did that here. Made you forget it was the smog that made their colors so brilliant, that behind every pretty picture there could be an ugly story.
Michael Connelly (The Black Echo (Harry Bosch Universe, #1))
A beautiful woman risking everything for a mad passion. A few wild weeks of happiness cut short by a hideous, treacherous crime. Months of voiceless agony, and then a child born in pain. The mother snatched away by death, the boy left to solitude and the tyranny of an old and loveless man. Yes, it was an interesting background. It posed the lad, made him more perfect as it were. Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Homesickness is not always a vague, nostalgic, almost beautiful emotion, although that is somehow the way we always seem to picture it in our mind. It can be a terribly keen blade, not just a sickness in metaphor but in fact as well. It can change the way one looks at the world; the faces one sees in street look not just indeferent but ugly...perhaps even malignant. Homesickness is real sickness--the ache of the uprooted plant" the breathing method
Stephen King (The Body)
Captain Shotover: How much does your soul eat? Ellie: Oh, a lot. It eats music and pictures and books and mountains and lakes and beautiful things to wear and nice people to be with.
George Bernard Shaw (Heartbreak House)
Inteligence lives longer than beauty.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
She was smart and terribly determined, this girl-her will was pure steel, through and through-but she was as human as anyone else. She was lonely, too. Lonely in a way that perhaps only single girls fresh from small Midwestern towns know. Homesickness is not always a vague, nostalgic, almost beautiful emotion, although that is somehow the way we always seem to picture it in our mind. It can be a terribly keen blade, not just a sickness in metaphor but in fact as well. It can change the way one looks at the world; the faces one sees in the street look not just indifferent but ugly....perhaps even malignant. Homesickness is a real sickness- the ache of the uprooted plant.
Stephen King (The Breathing Method)
I'd once been fascinated by his legend - all the stories I'd heard before I met him. Now I can feel that same sense of fascination returning. I picture his face, so beautiful even after pain and torture and grief, his blue eyes bright and sincere. I'm ashamed to admit that I enjoyed my brief time with him in his prison cell. His voice can make me forget about all the details running through my mind, bringing with it emotions of desire, or fear instead, sometimes even anger, but always triggering something. Something that wasn't there before.
Marie Lu (Legend (Legend, #1))
The scenes in our life resemble pictures in a rough mosaic; they are ineffective from close up, and have to be viewed from a distance if they are to seem beautiful. That is why to attain something desired is to discover how vain it is; and why, though we live all our lives in expectation of better things, we often at the same time long regretfully for what is past. The present, on the other hand, is regarded as something quite temporary and serving as the only road to our goal. That is why most men discover when they look back on their life that they have been living the whole time ad interim, and are surprised to see that which they let go by so unregarded and unenjoyed was precisely their life, was precisely that in expectation of which they lived.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Essays and Aphorisms)
There is more beauty inside you than in anyone I have ever met. These pictures don’t lie. I won’t ever forget you. Or stop loving you. You can ask me to. You can tell me to move on. But I won’t. And I never will. Just don’t forget how beautiful we were. How beautiful we can still be. Please.
A. Meredith Walters (Light in the Shadows (Find You in the Dark, #2))
There is a picture of me in their heads, a picture of someone I don't know yet. She is not the chubby girl with the braces and bad perm. She is not the girl hiding in the bathroom at recess. She is someone new, a blank slate they have named beautiful. That is what I am now: beautiful, with this new body and face and hair and clothes. Beautiful, with this erasing of history.
Amy Reed (Beautiful)
Adoption is wonderful and beautiful and the greatest blessing I have ever experienced. Adoption is also difficult and painful. Adoption is a beautiful picture of redemption.
Katie Davis (Kisses from Katie)
You need bravery for compassion. In the picture of your soul, the bravery points are the most beautiful.
Amit Ray (Walking the Path of Compassion)
"that moment... that moment out there?" Blake pointed at the bed of army jacket, grass, and mint. "I've pictured it in my head for months. Months! I knew it would never really happen, but it kept me going. The beautiful, smiling girl would look at me like a man-a man worthy of her body, worthy of her kisses. Do you realize what a fool I am for hoping?"
Debra Anastasia (Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #1))
Must you know that yours will be the “better” picture before you pick up the brush and paint? Can it not simply be another picture? Another expression of beauty? Must a rose be “better” than an iris in order to justify it’s existence? I tell you this: you are all flowers in the Garden of the Gods.
Neale Donald Walsch (Friendship with God: An Uncommon Dialogue)
I was surrounded by heaven. The sun, the moon, the earth, and all those living stars. They wen't static like in pictures taken from impossibly far away- they breathed, they glowed. They were future and past, possibility and memory. They were beautiful. "I never knew there were so many," I whispered. We are merely pieces of a grander design, even more insignificant than I imagined. When the earth ceases to be, all those stars will shine on. Out deaths will mean nothing to them. "I feel so small." No one replied. I wondered as I watched the stars, really seeing them for the fist time, whether they could see me, too.
Shaun David Hutchinson (We Are the Ants)
Suspended as we were, with no horizon line or landscape or anything else to draw a separation between the water and the sky, I pictured us up there with the stars. Another story written in tiny lights. We were a constellation put in the sky-- two people holding hands, floating peacefully above everything else, in a beautiful, perfect moment.
Jessi Kirby (In Honor)
Every picture tells a story. But sometimes it's hard to know what story is actually being told.
Anastasia Hollings (Beautiful World)
It’s called ‘All Too Well.’ And it’s beautiful. I love the words and the pictures they paint and the way it always tears at my heart. Do you know it?
Christine Riccio (Again, but Better)
That picture changed everything. I was not the same after I saw it and I couldn’t go back to the man I’d been before seeing it either. Not after we met that night on the street. My whole world altered because of a photograph. A photograph of my beautiful American girl.
Raine Miller (Naked (The Blackstone Affair, #1))
In the depths of the mirror the evening landscape moved by, the mirror and the reflected figures like motion pictures superimposed one on the other. The figures and the background were unrelated, and yet the figures, transparent and intangible, and the background, dim in the gathering darkness, melted into a sort of symbolic world not of this world. Particularly when a light out in the mountains shone in the centre of the girl's face, Shimamura felt his chest rise at the inexpressible beauty of it.
Yasunari Kawabata (Snow Country)
And there it was. Just like that I had my next case and my curiosity was piqued. Connecting to the ship’s Wi-Fi, I did a Google search of Judge Russell Hastings of Tallahassee, Florida. Wow. Wow. Wow. Perusing just a few of the hundreds of listings it became quickly apparent that the judge was both well-known and well-respected. The murder of a high-profile appellate judge in his own chambers was a mystery that had baffled the Tallahassee police for over a year. There were pictures of the judge and his family; including a beautiful wife and three grown daughters.
Behcet Kaya (Appellate Judge (Jack Ludefance, #3))
beautiful sins, like beautiful things, are the privilege of the rich
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
With that realization came the understanding that sometimes you can't appreciate the true beauty of a thing until you experience it for yourself; no amount of words or pictures will do the trick. And no amount of planning could make it happen. Sometimes, we just have to go where the wind takes us and see where we end up.
Elle Casey (Shine Not Burn (Shine Not Burn, #1))
She pictured herself running from a hoard of ravenous zombies on a hot day eventually collapsing from heatstroke and getting devoured. Then she imagined Hal giving a rousing eulogy at her funeral explaining how Kendra's death was a beautiful sacrifice allowing the noble zombies to live on delighting future generations by mindlessly trying to eat them. With her luck it could totally happen.
Brandon Mull (Grip of the Shadow Plague (Fablehaven, #3))
I like silent pictures and I always have ... I wanted to restore some of this beauty. I thought of it, I remember in this way: one of techniques of modern art is simplification, and that I must therefore simplify this film.
Akira Kurosawa
...the problem of space remained, she thought, taking up her brush again. It glared at her. The whole mass of the picture was poised upon that weight. Beautiful and bright it should be on the surface, feathery and evanescent, one colour melting into another like the colours on a butterfly's wing; but beneath the fabric must be clamped together with bolts of iron.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
I had that picture made the day after I took it," he says. "It's been in my apartment for months now, because you were the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen and I wanted to look at it every single day."
Colleen Hoover (It Ends with Us (It Ends with Us, #1))
First one gives off his best picture, the bright and finished product mended with bluff and falsehood and humor. Then more details are required and one paints a second portrait, and third---before long the best lines cancel out---and the secret is exposed at last; the planes of the picture have intermingled and given us away, and though we paint and paint we can no longer sell a picture. We must be satisfied with hoping such fatuous accounts of ourselves as we make to our wives and children and business associates are accepted as true.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
I must try to enjoy all the graces that God has given me today. Grace cannot be hoarded. There are no banks where it can be deposited to be used when I feel more at peace with myself. If I do not make full use of these blessings, I will lose them forever. God knows that we are all artists of life. One day, he gives us a hammer with which to make sculptures, another day he gives us brushes and paints with which to make a picture, or paper and a pencil to write with. But you cannot make a painting with a hammer, or a sculpture with a paintbrush. Therefore, however difficult it may be, I must accept today's small blessings, even if they seem like curses because I am suffering and it's a beautiful day, the sun is shining, and the children are singing in the street. This is the only way I will manage to leave my pain behind and rebuild my life.
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
When I try to picture for myself what a happy life might look like, the picture hasn’t changed very much since I was a child—a house with flowers and trees around it, and a river nearby, and a room full of books, and someone there to love me, that’s all.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
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)
The author squares man's depravity with still being made in the image of God with this word picture. A vase that has held beautiful roses though now broken, will nevertheless hold something of the fragrance it once contained.
A.W. Tozer (The Attributes of God: A Journey Into the Father's Heart (The Attributes of God, #1))
How sad it is!" murmured Dorian Gray with his eyes still fixed upon his own portrait. "How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June… . If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that—for that—I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
What was beauty unless you intended to use it, like a hammer, or a key? It was just something for other people to use and admire, or envy, despise. To nail their dreams onto like a picture hanger on a blank wall. And so many girls saying, use me, dream me.
Janet Fitch
Actually, it's nature itself that creates the most beautiful pictures, I'm only choosing the perspective.
Katja Michael
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)
What the worm was to the corpse, his sins would be to the painted image on the canvas. They would mar its beauty, and eat away its grace. they would defile it, and make it shameful. And yet the thing would still live on. It would be always alive. (Dorian Gray regarding his portrait)
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
She was very beautiful and he felt he loved her. She was not beautiful as a state or a picture is beautiful; she was beautiful as a meadow across which the wind blows. It was life that pulsed in her and that had formed her into what she was.
Erich Maria Remarque (Arch of Triumph: A Novel of a Man Without a Country)
Her phone lay on the table, so I picked it up, turned on the camera, made a stupid face, and snapped a picture. “What the hell are you doing?” Abby said with a giggle. I searched for my name, and then attached the picture. “So you’ll remember how much you adore me when I call.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
Just consider a child who, absorbed in play, forgets himself—this is the moment to take a snapshot; when you wait until he notices that you are taking a picture, his face congeals and freezes, showing his unnatural self-consciousness rather than his natural graciousness. Why do most people have that stereotyped expression on their faces whenever they are photographed? This expression stems from their concern with the impression they are going to leave on the onlooker. It is "cheese" that makes them so ugly. Forgetting themselves, the photographer, and the future onlooker would make them beautiful.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning)
Consider it this way: what would you say if a blond homecoming queen fell in love with a short Japanese businessman? He treats her cruelly, then goes home for three years, during which time she prays to his picture and turns down marriage from a young Kennedy. Then, when she learns he has remarried, she kills herself. Now I believe you should consider this girl to be a deranged idiot, correct? But because it's an Oriental who kills herself for a Westerner–ah!–you find it beautiful.
David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly)
Anyone can take a picture of poverty; it’s easy to focus on the dirt and hurt of the poor. It’s much harder—and much more needful—to pry under that dirt and reveal the beauty and dignity of people that, but for their birth into a place and circumstance different from our own, are just like ourselves. I want my images to tell the story of those people and to move us beyond pity to justice and mercy.
David duChemin (Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision)
Supposing there is no life everlasting. Think what it means if death is really the end of all things. They've given up all for nothing. They've been cheated. They're dupes." Waddington reflected for a little while. "I wonder if it matters what they have aimed at is illusion. Their lives are in themselves beautiful. I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books the write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Painted Veil)
Everything in New York is a photograph. All the things that are supposed to be dirty or rough or unrefined are the most beautiful things. Garbage cans at the ends of alleyways look like they've been up all night talking with each other. Doorways with peeling paint look like the wise lines around an old feller's eyes. I stop and stare but can't stay because men always think I'm selling something. Or worse, giving something away. I wish I could be invisible. Or at least I wish I didn't look like someone they want to look at. They stop being part of the picture, they get up from their chess game and come out of the frame at me, blocking my view.
Ann-Marie MacDonald (Fall on Your Knees)
The Doors The End This is the end, beautiful friend This is the end, my only friend The end of our elaborate plans The end of ev'rything that stands The end No safety or surprise The end I'll never look into your eyes again Can you picture what will be So limitless and free Desperately in need of some strangers hand In a desperate land Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain And all the children are insane All the children are insane Waiting for the summer rain There's danger on the edge of town Ride the king's highway Weird scenes inside the goldmine Ride the highway West baby Ride the snake Ride the snake To the lake To the lake The ancient lake baby The snake is long Seven miles Ride the snake He's old And his skin is cold The west is the best The west is the best Get here and we'll do the rest The blue bus is calling us The blue bus is calling us Driver, where you taking us? The killer awoke before dawn He put his boots on He took a face from the ancient gallery And he walked on down the hall He went into the room where his sister lived And then he paid a visit to his brother And then he walked on down the hall And he came to a door And he looked inside Father? Yes son I want to kill you Mother, I want to............. Come on, baby, take a chance with us Come on, baby, take a chance with us Come on, baby, take a chance with us And meet me at the back of the blue bus This is the end, beautiful friend This is the end, my only friend The end It hurts to set you free But you'll never follow me The end of laughter and soft lies The end of nights we tried to die This is the end
Jim Morrison (The Doors: The Complete Lyrics)
I find so many opportunities to fall, to falter, and fail when I refuse to surrender to change. Change will come into my room and rearrange my tidy world. Then like dominoes, one things changed falls upon another until it feels like the world is collapsing around me. But when I yield, when I surrender to the necessary change, I can stand back and look at the beautiful picture created by what seemed to be my world falling apart.
Stella Payton
Music takes us out of ourselves, away from our worries and tragedies, helps us look into a different world, a bigger picture. All those cadences and beautiful chord changes, every one of them makes you feel a different splendor of life.
Jennifer Ryan (The Chilbury Ladies' Choir)
Life is never beautiful, but only the pictures of life are so in the transfiguring mirror of art or poetry; especially in youth, when we do not yet know it. Many a youth would receive great peace of mind if one could assist him to this knowledge.
Arthur Schopenhauer (The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 2)
My mom was never the type to write me long letters or birthday cards. We never got mani-pedis together, she never gave me a locket with our picture in it. She wouldn't tell me I looked beautiful, or soothe me when a boy broke my heart. But she was there. She kept me safe. She did her best to make me tough. She fed me the most delicious home-cooked meals. For lunch, she'd pack me rare sliced steak over white rice and steamed broccoli. She sent me to private school from kindergarten through twelfth grade. She is still there for me. She will always be there for me, as long as she's able. That's a great mom.
Ali Wong (Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life)
The most beautiful women in the world are the ones that can stand as rivals on the battlefield of love, yet they can still see each other’s pain. They can set down their swords for only just a moment to acknowledge the beauty of the warrior that stands before them—the passion, the fearlessness and the relentless fire that never gives up. It is in this moment that we learn that it is not the man that sees the worth of the hearts torn by battle in his honor; it is the women who have suffered for so long. Two women that can “see” clearly the worth of the other, even while they grow weary from their wounds is the only kind of beauty that matters. For if there wasn’t two worthy opponents there would be no war in love.
Shannon L. Alder
I think the man who designed this should have committed suicide. A man who can conceive a thing as beautiful as this should never allowed it to be erected. He should not want to exist. But he will let it be built, so that women will hang out diapers on his terraces, so that men will spit on his stairways and draw dirty pictures on his walls. He's given it to them and he's made it part of them, part of everything. He shouldn't have offered it for men like you to look at. For men like you to talk about. He's defiled his own work by the first word you'll utter about it. He's made himself worse than you are. You'll be committing only a mean little indecency, but he's committed a sacrilege. A man who knows what he must have known to produce this should not have been able to remain alive.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
The growth of intimacy is like that. First one gives off his best picture, the bight and finished product mended with bluff and falsehood and humor. Then more details are required and one paints a second portrait, and a third--before long the best lines cancel out--and the secret is exposed at last; the panes of the pictures have intermingled and given us away, and though we paint and paint we can no longer sell a picture. We must be satisfied with hoping that such famous accounts of ourselves as we make to our wives and children and business associates are accepted as true.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
And oh, how she pitched herself into things. She would draw pictures all day long for weeks on end, then throw out the pencils and never draw another thing. Then it was embroidery with her, she had to learn it, and she'd make the most beautiful thing, fussing at herself for the least little mistake, then throw down the needles and be done with that forevermore. I never saw a child so changeable. It was as though she was looking for something to which she could give herself, and she never found it. Least ways not while she was a little girl.
Anne Rice (The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches, #1))
Kirigin cleared his throat. "It's of no matter to me. I just wondered if I should have that cordial she likes waiting. Is Commander Nazalensky well? " "Pretty as a picture and brimming with spite." "She is lovely, isn't she?" said Kirigin dreamily....
Leigh Bardugo (King of Scars (King of Scars, #1))
The Simi has needs. Lots of needs. I need akri’s plastic card, for one thing. It very nice. People give me lots of stuff when I hand it to them. Ooo, I really like the new plastic card he gave me with my own name on it. It blue and all sparkly and it says Simi Parthenopaeus. Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it? I have to say it again. Simi Parthenopaeus. I like that a lot. It even has my picture in the corner and I am a very attractive demon if I do say so myself. Akri says it, too. ‘Simi, you are beautiful.’ I like it when he tells me that. (Simi)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dance with the Devil (Dark-Hunter, #3))
Homesickness is not always a vague, nostalgic, almost beautiful emotion, although that is somehow the way we always seem to picture it in our mind. It can be a terribly keen blade, not just a sickness in metaphor but in fact as well. It can change the way one looks at the world; the faces one sees in the street look not just indifferent but ugly... perhaps even malignant. Homesickness is a real sickness--the ache of the uprooted plant.
Stephen King (The Breathing Method)
There is no reason why you should be bored when you can be otherwise. But if you find yourself sitting in the hedgerow with nothing but weeds, there is no reason for shutting your eyes and seeing nothing, instead of finding what beauty you may in the weeds. To put it cynically, life is too short to waste it in drawing blanks. Therefore, it is up to you to find as many pictures to put on your blank pages as possible.
Emily Post
I used to be lost in us. Blurred were the lines that separated us. But now, I see our togetherness in our separateness. I see the you in me and the me in you. We are two independent beings who complement one another like photographs that are beautiful on their own but are enhanced when juxtaposed, creating an altogether new photograph.
Kamand Kojouri
Then the cow asked: "What is a mirror?" "It is a hole in the wall," said the cat. "You look in it, and there you see the picture, and it is so dainty and charming and ethereal and inspiring in its unimaginable beauty that your head turns round and round, and you almost swoon with ecstasy.
Mark Twain (Short Stories)
Sometimes I can feel my darkness, like a fragment of nerves inside of me somewhere, sparking my hate. I picture it moving throughout my body, the other cells letting it pass by, yielding to its master. It moves to my tongue when it wants me to spew beautiful, damaging words, it moves to my hands when it wants me to feel all it can take away, and it moves to my eyes to blind me from truly seeing the destruction I’ve done.
Piper Payne (Breathing Black (The Black and White Duet, #1))
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
I inhaled the musty, leathery, old-papery scent and a shiver passed over me. If I had any idea of heaven, it was this: shelves and shelves of books, ten times as many as were upstairs, each with stories or pictures more exciting and beautiful than the next, and two overstuffed chairs big enough for me to sleep in.
Clay Carmichael (Wild Things)
-You know how to call me although such a noise now would only confuse the air Neither of us can forget the steps we danced the words you stretched to call me out of dust Yes I long for you not just as a leaf for weather or vase for hands but with a narrow human longing that makes a man refuse any fields but his own I wait for you at an unexpected place in your journey like the rusted key or the feather you do not pick up.- -I WILL NEVER FIND THE FACES FOR ALL GOODBYES I'VE MADE.- For Anyone Dressed in Marble The miracle we all are waiting for is waiting till the Parthenon falls down and House of Birthdays is a house no more and fathers are unpoisoned by renown. The medals and the records of abuse can't help us on our pilgrimage to lust, but like whips certain perverts never use, compel our flesh in paralysing trust. I see an orphan, lawless and serene, standing in a corner of the sky, body something like bodies that have been, but not the scar of naming in his eye. Bred close to the ovens, he's burnt inside. Light, wind, cold, dark -- they use him like a bride. I Had It for a Moment I had it for a moment I knew why I must thank you I saw powerful governing men in black suits I saw them undressed in the arms of young mistresses the men more naked than the naked women the men crying quietly No that is not it I'm losing why I must thank you which means I'm left with pure longing How old are you Do you like your thighs I had it for a moment I had a reason for letting the picture of your mouth destroy my conversation Something on the radio the end of a Mexican song I saw the musicians getting paid they are not even surprised they knew it was only a job Now I've lost it completely A lot of people think you are beautiful How do I feel about that I have no feeling about that I had a wonderful reason for not merely courting you It was tied up with the newspapers I saw secret arrangements in high offices I saw men who loved their worldliness even though they had looked through big electric telescopes they still thought their worldliness was serious not just a hobby a taste a harmless affectation they thought the cosmos listened I was suddenly fearful one of their obscure regulations could separate us I was ready to beg for mercy Now I'm getting into humiliation I've lost why I began this I wanted to talk about your eyes I know nothing about your eyes and you've noticed how little I know I want you somewhere safe far from high offices I'll study you later So many people want to cry quietly beside you
Leonard Cohen (Flowers for Hitler)
I ran to the children's room: their door was ajar, I saw they had never laid down, though it was past midnight; but they were calmer, and did not need me to console them. The little souls were comforting each other with better thoughts than I could have hit on: no parson in the world ever pictured heaven so beautifully as they did, in their innocent talk; and, while I sobbed, and listened. I could not help wishing we were all there safe together.
Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights)
And it all came to pass, all that she had hoped, but it did not fill her with rapture nor carry her away with the power or the fervor she had expected. She had imagined it all different, and had imagined herself different, too. In dreams and poems everything had been, as it were, beyond the sea; the haze of distance had mysteriously veiled all the restless mass of details and had thrown out the large lines in bold relief, while the silence of distance had lent its spirit of enchantment. It had been easy then to feel the beauty; but now that she was in the midst of it all, when every little feature stood out and spoke boldly with the manifold voices of reality, and beauty was shattered as light in a prism, she could not gather the rays together again, could not put the picture back beyond the sea. Despondently she was obliged to admit to herself that she felt poor, surrounded by riches that she could not make her own.
Jens Peter Jacobsen (Niels Lyhne)
Relax into your creativity. Allow your mind to paint the pictures of words and colors, images and lines, rhythm and melodies. Lean into your passion without strife and allow your heart to sing as you create. Share your gifts with the world as we all deserve to absorb the beauty and awes of art.
C. Toni Graham
At the end of his life, the great picture book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak said on the NPR show Fresh Air, 'I cry a lot because I miss people. I cry a lot because they die, and I can't stop them. They leave me, and I love them more.' He said, 'I'm finding out as I'm aging that I'm in love with the world.' It has taken me all my life up to now to fall in love with the world, but I've started to feel it the last couple of years. To fall in love with the world isn't to ignore or overlook suffering, both human and otherwise. For me anyway, to fall in love with the world is to look up at the night sky and feel your mind swim before the beauty and the distance of the stars. It is to hold your children while they cry, to watch as the sycamore trees leaf out in June. When my breastbone starts to hurt, and my throat tightens, and tears well in my eyes, I want to look away from the feeling. I want to deflect with irony, or anything else that will keep me from feeling directly. We all know how loving ends. But I want to fall in love with the world anyway, to let it crack me open. I want to feel what there is to feel while I am here.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
I had a book of Bible stories when I was a kid. There was a picture I'd look at twenty times every day: Jacob wrestles with the angel. I don't really remember the story, or why the wrestling --just the picture. Jacob is young and very strong. The angel is...a beautiful man, with golden hair and wings, of course. I still dream about it. Many nights. I'm...It's me. In that struggle. Fierce, and unfair. The angel is not human, and it holds nothing back, so how could anyone human win, what kind of a fight is that? It's not just. Losing means your soul thrown down in the dust, your heart torn out from God's. But you can't not lose.
Tony Kushner (Millennium Approaches (Angels in America, #1))
No respect for beauty – that was characteristic of today’s society. The works of the great masters were at most employed as ironic references, or used in advertising. Michelangelo’s ‘The Creation of Adam’, where you see a pair of jeans in place of the spark. The whole point of the picture, at least as he saw it, was that these two monumental bodies each came to an end in two index fingers that almost, but not quite, touched. There was a space between them a millimetre or so wide. And in this space – life. The sculptural size and richness of detail of this picture was simply a frame, a backdrop, to emphasise the crucial void in its centre. The point of emptiness that contained everything. And in its place a person had superimposed a pair of jeans.
John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let the Right One In)
I do not possess the ability to draw or paint. I can’t sing or dance. I can’t knit or sew. But I am an artist. I have the ability to put onto paper, words that tell an intriguing story. I am a writer. A writer is someone who, with just words, can paint a beautiful picture. A writer can open up a world of imagination you didn’t realize was possible. When you open up a book and become so consumed in the story, you feel like you’re a part of it… you’re standing next to that character and feeling the same way that character feels, That’s the art of a writer. I am an artist. My inspiration is the world around me. My paintbrush is my words. My easel is my computer. My canvas is the mind of my reader.
Bri Justine (Heinous Crimes, Immoral Minds)
Use the imagination to picture only what is good, what is beautiful, what is beneficial, what is ideal, and what you wish to realize. Mentally see yourself receiving what you deeply desire to receive. What you imagine, you will think, and what you think, you will become. Therefore, if you imagine only those things that are in harmony with what you wish to obtain or achieve, all your thinking will soon tend to produce what you want to attain or achieve.
Christian D. Larson
I imagine that the goddess of Love has come down from Olympus to visit a mortal. So as not to die of cold in this modern world of ours, she wraps her sublime body in great heavy furs and warms her feet on the prostrate body of her lover. I imagine the favorite of this beautiful despot, who is whipped when his mistress grows tired of kissing him, and whose love only grows more intense the more he is trampled underfoot. I shall call the picture "Venus in Furs
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (Venus in Furs)
From the time I met him, he left me little clues of a man, a trail of bread crumbs to a gingerbread cottage. Inside the cottage were peeling pictures of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe that keep sliding to the floor because the walls were too sweet to hold the Blu-Tack. I tried to pick the posters off the floor and got so distracted, I ended up in an oven. So I climbed out of the oven and out of the house and I was saving myself, but it hurt so bad. I found the boy I loved, but he didn't want to hug me because I was blistered and spotted with bread crumbs. I looked up close because, up close, I could always see myself reflected in the surface of his shiny, iconic beauty. But suddenly he had pores, grey hairs, and chapped lips. And I couldn't see a damn thing.
Emma Forrest
I know every microscopic detail of his face. I know the shape of his brows for every emotion. He is the most beautiful man who ever lived, and at one time I couldn't have said with any certainty what color eyes he had. He was no more memorable that a picture hanging on the wall that I'd long gotten used to. How many times did my gaze pass right over him, not realizing he was looking back at me? Always watching. Listening. Waiting.
Sarah Hogle (You Deserve Each Other)
Tommy’s three years old today, that means you raised him for three years. You. And you did an amazing job because look at him,” she says, pointing to the pictures. “Look how beautiful he is. How happy he is. You did that, Josh. You gave him a life worth smiling about.” She pauses a beat. “We’re not just here to celebrate Tommy’s birthday. We’re all here to celebrate you.
Jay McLean (Kick, Push (Kick Push, #1))
USURY: Everybody's looking for the job in which you never have to pay anyone their pound of flesh. Self-employed nirvana. A lot of artists like to think of themselves as uncompromising; a lot of management consultants won't tell you what they do until they've sunk five pints. I don't think anybody should give themselves air just because they don't have to hand over a pound of flesh every day at 5pm, and I don't think anyone should beat themselves with broken glass because they do. If you're an artist, well, good for you. Thank your lucky stars every evening and dance in the garden with the fairies. But don't fool yourself that you occupy some kind of higher moral ground. You have to work for that. Writing a few lines, painting a pretty picture - that just won't do it.
Zadie Smith (On Beauty)
Here's the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don't know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord. Feeling like shit. It? I ast. Yeah, It. God ain't a he or a she, but a It. But what do it look like? I ast. Don't look like nothing, she say. It ain't a picture show. It ain't something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you've found It. Shug a beautiful something, let me tell you. She frown a little, look out cross the yard, lean back in her chair, look like a big rose. She say, My first step from the old white man was trees. Then air. Then birds. Then other people. But one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and I run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it happen, you can't miss it. It sort of like you know what, she say, grinning and rubbing high up on my thigh. Shug! I say. Oh, she say. God love all them feelings. That's some of the best stuff God did. And when you know God loves 'em you enjoys 'em a lot more. You can just relax, go with everything that's going, and praise God by liking what you like. God don't think it dirty? I ast. Naw, she say. God made it. Listen, God love everything you love? and a mess of stuff you don't. But more than anything else, God love admiration. You saying God vain? I ast. Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. What it do when it pissed off? I ast. Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. Yeah? I say. Yeah, she say. It always making little surprises and springing them on us when us least expect. You mean it want to be loved, just like the bible say. Yes, Celie, she say. Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk? Well, us talk and talk bout God, but I'm still adrift. Trying to chase that old white man out of my head. I been so busy thinking bout him I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it do that?) not the color purple (where it come from?). Not the little wildflowers. Nothing. Now that my eyes opening, I feels like a fool. Next to any little scrub of a bush in my yard, Mr. ____s evil sort of shrink. But not altogether. Still, it is like Shug say, You have to git man off your eyeball, before you can see anything a'tall. Man corrupt everything, say Shug. He on your box of grits, in your head, and all over the radio. He try to make you think he everywhere. Soon as you think he everywhere, you think he God. But he ain't. Whenever you trying to pray, and man plop himself on the other end of it, tell him to git lost, say Shug. Conjure up flowers, wind,water, a big rock. But this hard work, let me tell you. He been there so long, he don't want to budge. He threaten lightening, floods and earthquakes. Us fight. I hardly pray at all. Every time I conjure up a rock, I throw it. Amen
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
Life has everything in store for you, Dorian. There is nothing that you, with your extraordinary good looks, will not be able to do." "But suppose, Harry, I became haggard, and old, and wrinkled? What then?" "Ah, then," said Lord Henry, rising to go, "then, my dear Dorian, you would have to fight for your victories. As it is, they are brought to you. No, you must keep your good looks. We live in an age that reads too much to be wise, and that thinks too much to be beautiful. We cannot spare you." (8.19)
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
I'd see him do things that didn't fit with his face or hands, things like painting a picture at OT with real paints on a blank paper with no lines or numbers anywhere on it to tell him where to paint, or like writing letters to somebody in a beautiful flowing hand. How could a man who looked like him paint pictures or write letters to people, or be upset and worried like I saw him once when he got a letter back?
Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
Picture to yourself the most beautiful girl imaginable! She was so beautiful that there would be no point, in view of my meagre talent for storytelling, in even trying to put her beauty into words. That would far exceed my capabilities, so I'll refrain from mentioning whether she was a blonde or a brunette or a redhead, or whether her hair was long or short or curly or smooth as silk. I shall also refrain from the usual comparisons where her complexion was concerned, for instance milk, velvet, satin, peaches and cream, honey or ivory, Instead, I shall leave it entirely up to your imagination to fill in this blank with your own ideal of feminine beauty.
Walter Moers (The Alchemaster's Apprentice: A Culinary Tale from Zamonia by Optimus Yarnspinner (Zamonia, #5))
Didn’t I talk about us like we were a thing from our first date? I fell in love with you that first time we went out for burgers and dancing. I love our weird dates and your belly laugh and how you see beauty in everything. Except yourself. And I love being the one to help you get there. I love the way you daydream I love the way you hold my hand. I can’t stop thinking about the way you taste.
Alessandra Thomas (Picture Perfect (Picturing Perfect, #1))
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
Soul. The word rebounded to me, and I wondered, as I often had, what it was exactly. People talked about it all the time, but did anybody actually know? Sometimes I'd pictured it like a pilot light burning inside a person--a drop of fire from the invisible inferno people called God. Or a squashy substance, like a piece of clay or dental mold, which collected the sum of a person's experiences--a million indentations of happiness, desperation, fear, all the small piercings of beauty we've ever known.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Mermaid Chair)
Things Are Different: You never know the story By the cover of the book. You can’t tell what a dinner’s like By simply looking at the cook. It’s something everybody needs to know Way down deep inside That things are often different Than the way they look. When I put on a costume To play a fancy part That costume changes just my looks. It doesn’t change my heart. You cannot know what someone’s thinking By the picture you just took ‘Cause things are often different From the way they look.
Fred Rogers (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers)
Her endeavor was misguided and wrong and maybe plain crazy, akin to someone waking up one day and deciding he’s going to scale Kilimanjaro because he can’t stop imagining the view from the top, the picture so arresting and beautiful that it too soon delivers him to a precarious ledge, where he can no longer turn back. And while it’s easy to say this is a situation to be avoided, isn’t this what we also fear and crave simultaneously, that some internal force which defies understanding might remake us into the people we dream we are?
Chang-rae Lee (On Such a Full Sea)
And here, after all that, is what I have come to believe about beauty: Laughter is beautiful. Kindness is beautiful. Cellulite is beautiful. Softness and plumpness and roundness are beautiful. It's more important to be interesting, to be vivid, and to be adventurous, than to sit pretty for pictures. A woman's soft tummy is a miracle of nature. Beauty comes from tenderness. Beauty comes from variety, from specificity, from the fact that no person in the world looks exactly like anyone else. Beauty comes from the tragedy that each person's life is destined to be lost to time. I believe women are too hard on themselves. I believe that when you love someone, she becomes beautiful to you. I believe the eyes see everything through the heart - and nothing in the world feels as good as resting them on someone you love. I have trained my eyes to look for beauty, and I've gotten very good at finding it. You can argue and tell me it's not true, but I really don't care what anyone says. I have come, at last, to believe in the title I came up with for the book: Everyone Is Beautiful.
Katherine Center (Everyone is Beautiful)
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)
Women are genuinely trapped at the intersection of capitalism and patriarchy—two systems that, at their extremes, ensure that individual success comes at the expense of collective morality. And yet there is enormous pleasure in individual success. It can feel like license and agency to approach an ideal, to find yourself—in a good picture, on your wedding day, in a flash of identical movement—exemplifying a prototype. There are rewards for succeeding under capitalism and patriarchy; there are rewards even for being willing to work on its terms. There are nothing but rewards, at the surface level. The trap looks beautiful. It’s well-lit. It welcomes you in.
Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion)
Weren’t movies his generation’s faith anyway- its true religion? Wasn’t the theatre our temple, the one place we enter separately but emerge from two hours later together, with the same experience, same guided emotions, same moral? A million schools taught ten million curricula, a million churches featured ten thousand sects with a billion sermons- but the same movie showed in every mall in the country. And we all saw it. That summer, the one you’ll never forget, every movie house beamed the same set of thematic and narrative images…flickering pictures stitched in our minds that replaced our own memories, archetypal stories that become our shared history, that taught us what to expect from life, that defined our values. What was that but a religion?
Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins)
The gods have been good to you. But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully. When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats. Every month as it wanes bring you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses.
Oscar Wilde
ROTHKO: (Explodes) 'Pretty.' 'Beautiful.' 'Nice.' 'Fine.' That's our life now! Everything's 'fine'. We put on the funny nose and glasses and slip on the banana peel and the TV makes everything happy and everyone's laughing all the time, it's all so goddamn funny, it's our constitutional right to be amused all the time, isn't it? We're a smirking nation, living under the tyranny of 'fine.' How are you? Fine.. How was your day? Fine. How are you feeling? Fine. How did you like the painting? Fine. What some dinner? Fine... Well, let me tell you, everything is not fine!! HOW ARE YOU?!... HOW WAS YOUR DAY?!... HOW ARE YOU FEELING? Conflicted. Nuanced. Troubled. Diseased. Doomed. I am not fine. We are not fine. We are anything but fine... Look at these pictures. Look at them! You see the dark rectangle, like a doorway, an aperture, yes but it’s also a gaping mouth letting out a silent howl of something feral and foul and primal and REAL. Not nice. Not fine. Real. A moan of rapture. Something divine or damned. Something immortal, not comic books or soup cans, something beyond me and beyond now. And whatever it is, it’s not pretty and it’s not fine...I AM HERE TO STOP YOUR HEART‬
John Logan (Red)
It was only when we brought Will back home, once the annex was adapted and ready, that I could see a point in making it beautiful again. I needed to give my son something to look at. I needed to tell him, silently, that things might change, grow, or fail, but that life did go on. That we were all part of some great cycle, some pattern that it was only God’s purpose to understand. I couldn’t say that to him, of course—Will and I have never been able to say much to each other—but I wanted to show him. A silent promise, if you like, that there was a bigger picture, a brighter future.
Jojo Moyes (Me Before You (Me Before You, #1))
Translation error is compounded by bias error. We distort others by forcing into them our preferred ideas and gestalts, a process Proust beautifully describes: We pack the physical outline of the creature we see with all the ideas we already formed about him, and in the complete picture of him which we compose in our minds, these ideas have certainly the principal place. In the end they come to fill out so completely the curve of his cheeks, to follow so exactly the line of his nose, they blend so harmoniously in the sound of his voice that these seem to be no more than a transparent envelope, so that each time we see the face or hear the voice it is our own ideas of him which we recognize and to which we listen.
Irvin D. Yalom (Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy)
What - what - what are you doing?" he demanded. "I am almost six hundred years old," Magnus claimed, and Ragnor snorted, since Magnus changed his age to suit himself every few weeks. Magnus swept on. "It does seem about time to learn a musical instrument." He flourished his new prize, a little stringed instrument that looked like a cousin of the lute that the lute was embarrassed to be related to. "It's called a charango. I am planning to become a charanguista!" "I wouldn't call that an instrument of music," Ragnor observed sourly. "An instrument of torture, perhaps." Magnus cradled the charango in his arms as if it were an easily offended baby. "It's a beautiful and very unique instrument! The sound box is made from an armadillo. Well, a dried armadillo shell." "That explains the sound you're making," said Ragnor. "Like a lost, hungry armadillo." "You are just jealous," Magnus remarked calmly. "Because you do not have the soul of a true artiste like myself." "Oh, I am positively green with envy," Ragnor snapped. "Come now, Ragnor. That's not fair," said Magnus. "You know I love it when you make jokes about your complexion." Magnus refused to be affected by Ragnor's cruel judgments. He regarded his fellow warlock with a lofty stare of superb indifference, raised his charango, and began to play again his defiant, beautiful tune. They both heard the staccato thump of frantically running feet from within the house, the swish of skirts, and then Catarina came rushing out into the courtyard. Her white hair was falling loose about her shoulders, and her face was the picture of alarm. "Magnus, Ragnor, I heard a cat making a most unearthly noise," she exclaimed. "From the sound of it, the poor creature must be direly sick. You have to help me find it!" Ragnor immediately collapsed with hysterical laughter on his windowsill. Magnus stared at Catarina for a moment, until he saw her lips twitch. "You are conspiring against me and my art," he declared. "You are a pack of conspirators." He began to play again. Catarina stopped him by putting a hand on his arm. "No, but seriously, Magnus," she said. "That noise is appalling." Magnus sighed. "Every warlock's a critic." "Why are you doing this?" "I have already explained myself to Ragnor. I wish to become proficient with a musical instrument. I have decided to devote myself to the art of the charanguista, and I wish to hear no more petty objections." "If we are all making lists of things we wish to hear no more . . . ," Ragnor murmured. Catarina, however, was smiling. "I see," she said. "Madam, you do not see." "I do. I see it all most clearly," Catarina assured him. "What is her name?" "I resent your implication," Magnus said. "There is no woman in the case. I am married to my music!" "Oh, all right," Catarina said. "What's his name, then?" His name was Imasu Morales, and he was gorgeous.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
Beauty is one of the great facts of the world, like sunlight,or springtime, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully. When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you...Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed...Ah! realise your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless, or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar...Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing...The world belongs to you for a season...how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last. The common hillflowers wither, but they blossom again. The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now. In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty, becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to...Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Poetic naturalism is a philosophy of freedom and responsibility. The raw materials of life are given to us by the natural world, and we must work to understand them and accept the consequences. The move from description to prescription, from saying what happens to passing judgment on what should happen, is a creative one, a fundamentally human act. The world is just the world, unfolding according to the patterns of nature, free of any judgmental attributes. The world exists; beauty and goodness are things that we bring to it.
Sean Carroll (The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself)
A delicate scent hung in the air as we strolled down the long boulevard toward the Opera House holding hands. Paris had come to life in a very special way, the lights of the Eiffel Tower a gentle reminder that nothing mattered once that starry blanket covered the great city, except love. Love was the reason Paris existed. For those lonely in their soul, their heart a barren wasteland starving for nourishment, she offered hope. For those like Caroline and I, lucky enough to have found each other and begin the healing process to repair our brokenness, Paris was a bastion to love's transforming power. A year ago I could not have pictured myself holding hands with someone as nice as Caroline, as lovely and unpretentious. She was pretty, but her soul made her beautiful. I loved everything about her, including her damage.
Bobby Underwood (The Long Gray Goodbye (Seth Halliday #2))
In the age of Facebook and Instagram you can observe this myth-making process more clearly than ever before, because some of it has been outsourced from the mind to the computer. It is fascinating and terrifying to behold people who spend countless hours constructing and embellishing a perfect self online, becoming attached to their own creation, and mistaking it for the truth about themselves.20 That’s how a family holiday fraught with traffic jams, petty squabbles and tense silences becomes a collection of beautiful panoramas, perfect dinners and smiling faces; 99 per cent of what we experience never becomes part of the story of the self. It is particularly noteworthy that our fantasy self tends to be very visual, whereas our actual experiences are corporeal. In the fantasy, you observe a scene in your mind’s eye or on the computer screen. You see yourself standing on a tropical beach, the blue sea behind you, a big smile on your face, one hand holding a cocktail, the other arm around your lover’s waist. Paradise. What the picture does not show is the annoying fly that bites your leg, the cramped feeling in your stomach from eating that rotten fish soup, the tension in your jaw as you fake a big smile, and the ugly fight the happy couple had five minutes ago. If we could only feel what the people in the photos felt while taking them! Hence if you really want to understand yourself, you should not identify with your Facebook account or with the inner story of the self. Instead, you should observe the actual flow of body and mind. You will see thoughts, emotions and desires appear and disappear without much reason and without any command from you, just as different winds blow from this or that direction and mess up your hair. And just as you are not the winds, so also you are not the jumble of thoughts, emotions and desires you experience, and you are certainly not the sanitised story you tell about them with hindsight. You experience all of them, but you don’t control them, you don’t own them, and you are not them. People ask ‘Who am I?’ and expect to be told a story. The first thing you need to know about yourself, is that you are not a story.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Dear young woman, do not place your sense of beauty and self worth, upon the plastic pedestal called "what other people say to you", "what other people think about your photo", "how many 'likes' your pictures get", "how many guys tell you that you look sexy", "how skinny can you be?". A plastic pedestal that is but the dismal shadow of the real one. Dear young woman, place your sense of self worth and beauty upon the Roman marble pedestal that will exist even when all other people are no longer there. If you were the very last person on this planet, you should still be able to know within your heart that you are worthy, you are beautiful, you are wanted. Even if you become the very last person on Earth, you should be fully wanted. Want yourself. Know yourself. See yourself as beautiful, see yourself as worthy.
C. JoyBell C.
The hemulen woke up slowly and recognised himself and wished he had been someone he didn't know. He felt even tireder than when he went to bed, and here it was -- another day which would go on until evening and then there would be another one and another one which would be the same as all days are when they are lived by a hemulen. He crept under the bedcover and buried his nose in the pillow, then he shifted his stomach to the edge of the bed where the sheets were cool. He took possession of the whole bed with outstretched arms and legs he was waiting for a nice dream that wouldn't come. He curled up and made himself small but it didn't help a bit. He tried being the hemulen that everybody like, he tried being the hemulen that no one liked. But however hard he tried he remained a hemulen doing his best without anything really coming off. In the end he got up and pulled on his trousers. The Hemulen didn't like getting dressed and undressed, it gave him a feeling that the days passed without anything of importance happening. Even so, he spent the whole day arranging, organising and directing things from morning till night! All around him there were people living slipshod and aimless lives, wherever he looked there was something to be put to rights and he worked his fingers to the bone trying to get them to see how they ought to live. It's as though they don't want to live well, the Hemulen thought sadly as he brushed his teeth. He looked at the photograph of himself with his boat which was been taken when the boat was launched. It was a beautiful picture but it made him feel even sadder. I ought to learn how to sail, the Hemulen thought. But I've never got enough time... Moominvalley in November Chapter 5, THE HEMULEN
Tove Jansson (Moominvalley in November (The Moomins, #9))
The crowd is his element, as the air is that of birds and water of fishes. His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd. For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world - impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define. The spectator is a prince who everywhere rejoices in his incognito. The lover of life makes the whole world his family, just like the lover of the fair sex who builds up his family from all the beautiful women that he has ever found, or that are or are not - to be found; or the lover of pictures who lives in a magical society of dreams painted on canvas. Thus the lover of universal life enters into the crowd as though it were an immense reservoir of electrical energy. Or we might liken him to a mirror as vast as the crowd itself; or to a kaleidoscope gifted with consciousness, responding to each one of its movements and reproducing the multiplicity of life and the flickering grace of all the elements of life.
Charles Baudelaire (The Painter of Modern Life and Other Essays (Phaidon Arts and Letters))
Cinema is a language. It can say things—big, abstract things. And I love that about it. I’m not always good with words. Some people are poets and have a beautiful way of saying things with words. But cinema is its own language. And with it you can say so many things, because you’ve got time and sequences. You’ve got dialogue. You’ve got music. You’ve got sound effects. You have so many tools. And you can express a feeling and a thought that can’t be conveyed any other way. Its a magical medium. For me, it’s so beautiful to think about these pictures and sounds flowing together in time and in sequence, making something that can be done only through cinema. Its not just words or music-it’s a whole range of elements coming together and making something that didn’t exist before. It’s telling stories. It’s devising a world, an experience, that people cannot have unless they see that film. When I catch an idea for a film, I fall in love with the way cinema can express it. I like a story that holds abstractions, and that’s what cinema can do.
David Lynch (Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity)
No, you don't feel it now. Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with itshideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly.Now, wherever you go, you charm the world. Will it always be so? . . . You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr. Gray. Don't frown. You have. And beauty is a form of genius-- is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it.You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile. . . . People say sometimes that beauty is only superficial.That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders.It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. . . . Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods have been good to you.But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully.When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats.Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah! realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days,listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure,or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals,of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing. . . . A new Hedonism-- that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol.With your personality there is nothing you could not do.The world belongs to you for a season. . . . The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself.I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last--such a little time.The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again.The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now.In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Happy the writer who, passing by characters that are boring, disgusting, shocking in their mournful reality, approaches characters that manifest the lofty dignity of man, who from the great pool of daily whirling images has chosen only the rare exceptions, who has never once betrayed the exalted turning of his lyre, nor descended from his height to his poor, insignificant brethren, and, without touching the ground, has given the whole of himself to his elevated images so far removed from it. Twice enviable is his beautiful lot: he is among them as in his own family; and meanwhile his fame spreads loud and far. With entrancing smoke he has clouded people's eyes; he has flattered them wondrously, concealing what is mournful in life, showing them a beautiful man. Everything rushes after him, applauding, and flies off following his triumphal chariot. Great world poet they name him, soaring high above all other geniuses in the world, as the eagle soars above the other high fliers. At the mere mention of his name, young ardent hearts are filled with trembling, responsive tears shine in all eyes...No one equals him in power--he is God! But such is not the lot, and other is the destiny of the writer who has dared to call forth all that is before our eyes every moment and which our indifferent eyes do not see--all the stupendous mire of trivia in which our life in entangled, the whole depth of cold, fragmented, everyday characters that swarm over our often bitter and boring earthly path, and with the firm strength of his implacable chisel dares to present them roundly and vividly before the eyes of all people! It is not for him to win people's applause, not for him to behold the grateful tears and unanimous rapture of the souls he has stirred; no sixteen-year-old girl will come flying to meet him with her head in a whirl and heroic enthusiasm; it is not for him to forget himself in the sweet enchantment of sounds he himself has evoked; it is not for him, finally, to escape contemporary judgment, hypocritically callous contemporary judgment, which will call insignificant and mean the creations he has fostered, will allot him a contemptible corner in the ranks of writers who insult mankind, will ascribe to him the quality of the heroes he has portrayed, will deny him heart, and soul, and the divine flame of talent. For contemporary judgment does not recognize that equally wondrous are the glasses that observe the sun and those that look at the movement of inconspicuous insect; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that much depth of soul is needed to light up the picture drawn from contemptible life and elevate it into a pearl of creation; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that lofty ecstatic laughter is worthy to stand beside the lofty lyrical impulse, and that a whole abyss separates it from the antics of the street-fair clown! This contemporary judgment does not recognize; and will turn it all into a reproach and abuse of the unrecognized writer; with no sharing, no response, no sympathy, like a familyless wayfarer, he will be left alone in the middle of the road. Grim is his path, and bitterly he will feel his solitude.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
You have a picture of life within you, a faith, a challenge, and you were ready for deeds and sufferings and sacrifices, and then you became aware by degrees that the world asked no deeds and no sacrifices of you whatever, and that life is no poem of heroism with heroic parts to play and so on, but a comfortable room where people are quite content with eating and drinking, coffee and knitting, cards and wireless. And whoever wants more and has got it in him--the heroic and the beautiful, and the reverence for the great poets or for the saints--is a fool and a Don Quixote. Good. And it has been just the same for me, my friend. I was a gifted girl. I was meant to live up to a high standard, to expect much of myself and do great things. I could have played a great part. I could have been the wife of a king, the beloved of a revolutionary, the sister of a genius, the mother of a martyr. And life has allowed me just this, to be a courtesan of fairly good taste, and even that has been hard enough. That is how things have gone with me. For a while I was inconsolable and for a long time I put the blame on myself. Life, thought I, must in the end be in the right, and if life scorned my beautiful dreams, so I argued, it was my dreams that were stupid and wrong headed. But that did not help me at all. And as I had good eyes and ears and was a little inquisitive too, I took a good look at this so-called life and at my neighbors and acquaintances, fifty or so of them and their destinies, and then I saw you. And I knew that my dreams had been right a thousand times over, just as yours had been. It was life and reality that were wrong. It was as little right that a woman like me should have no other choice than to grow old in poverty and in a senseless way at a typewriter in the pay of a money-maker, or to marry such a man for his money's sake, or to become some kind of drudge, as for a man like you to be forced in his loneliness and despair to have recourse to a razor. Perhaps the trouble with me was more material and moral and with you more spiritual--but it was the same road. Do you think I can't understand your horror of the fox trot, your dislike of bars and dancing floors, your loathing of jazz and the rest of it? I understand it only too well, and your dislike of politics as well, your despondence over the chatter and irresponsible antics of the parties and the press, your despair over the war, the one that has been and the one that is to be, over all that people nowadays think, read and build, over the music they play, the celebrations they hold, the education they carry on. You are right, Steppenwolf, right a thousand times over, and yet you must go to the wall. You are much too exacting and hungry for this simple, easygoing and easily contented world of today. You have a dimension too many. Whoever wants to live and enjoy his life today must not be like you and me. Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours--
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened. One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street. “This is amazing,” he said. “I’ve been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you’re the 100% perfect girl for me.” “And you,” she said to him, “are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I’d pictured you in every detail. It’s like a dream.” They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It’s a miracle, a cosmic miracle. As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of doubt took root in their hearts: Was it really all right for one’s dreams to come true so easily? And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, “Let’s test ourselves - just once. If we really are each other’s 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we’ll marry then and there. What do you think?” “Yes,” she said, “that is exactly what we should do.” And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west. The test they had agreed upon, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other’s 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully. One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season’s terrible inluenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. When they awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence’s piggy bank. They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special-delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 85% love. Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty. One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter, was walking from east to west, but along the same narrow street in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in their chest. And they knew: She is the 100% perfect girl for me. He is the 100% perfect boy for me. But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fouteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever. A sad story, don’t you think?
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
There is nothing to suggest a trangression of the universal laws of egotism and malice. It is ridiculous to imagine that at the edge of the cosmos, other well-intentioned and wise beings await to guide us toward some sort of harmony. In order to imagine how they might treat us were we to come into contact with them, it might be best to recall how we treat "inferior intelligences" such as rabbits and frogs. In the best cases they serve as food for us, sometimes also, often in fact, we kill them for the sheer pleasure of killing. Thus, [Author: Lovecraft] warned, would be the true picture of our future relationship to those other intelligent beings. Perhaps some of the more beautiful human species would be honored and would end up on a dissection table - that's all.
Michel Houellebecq (H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life)
Mira moved into the light like a sleepwalker, leaving Blue behind in the dust, the unused room, the past. She thought of the fabled hundred years that cursed girls like her had slept, and how, after that much time, everything would be covered by a thick blanket of dust, including the princess. The intrepid prince would have to trust that something beautiful was hidden underneath. He'd kiss her and the first color to be revealed would be the chapped pink of her lips. Her eyes went to Freddie, playing his guitar and lit by the sun. She couldn't picture him kissing a girl coated by dust - he was too alive for that. He was golden. And she ... she was covered with death, with her grief over her parents. She'd tried to replace them with dreams, and she'd drifted through life in a haze, her eyes seeking ghosts instead of the world around her. She was already asleep. She had been for a long time.
Sarah Cross (Kill Me Softly (Beau Rivage, #1))
Develop a healthy relationship with food. If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re full, don’t eat. Eat vegetables to be good to your body, but eat ice cream to be good to your soul. Take pictures of yourself frequently. Chronicle your life. Selfies are completely underrated. Even if the pictures are unflattering, keep them anyway. There will always be mountains and cities and buildings, but you will never look the same way as you did in that one moment in time. Your worth does not depend on how desirable someone finds you. Spend less time in front of the mirror and more time with people who make you feel beautiful. Close doors. Don’t hold onto things that no longer brings you happiness and do not help you grow as a person. It is okay to walk away from toxic relationships. You are not weak for letting go. Forgive yourself. We all have something in our pasts that we are ashamed of, but they only weigh us down if we allow them to. Make amends with the old you and work every day to become the person that you’ve always wanted to be.
Tina Tran
My inspiration for writing music is like Don McLean did when he did "American Pie" or "Vincent". Lorraine Hansberry with "A Raisin in the Sun". Like Shakespeare when he does his thing, like deep stories, raw human needs. I'm trying to think of a good analogy. It's like, you've got the Vietnam War, and because you had reporters showing us pictures of the war at home, that's what made the war end, or that shit would have lasted longer. If no one knew what was going on we would have thought they were just dying valiantly in some beautiful way. But because we saw the horror, that's what made us stop the war. So I thought, that's what I'm going to do as an artist, as a rapper. I'm gonna show the most graphic details of what I see in my community and hopefully they'll stop it quick. I've seen all of that-- the crack babies, what we had to go through, losing everything, being poor, and getting beat down. All of that. Being the person I am, I said no no no no. I'm changing this.
Tupac Shakur (Tupac: Resurrection 1971-1996)
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)
You know I meant it. I am human. And male. And not remotely blind. Do you want me to say it again? You are distractingly, even-if-that-is-not-a-real-word, pretty. You are so pretty that I bullied Clay Whitaker into drawing me a picture of you so I could look at you when you aren’t around. You are so pretty that one of these days I’m going to lose a finger in my garage because I can’t concentrate with you so close to me. You are so pretty that I wish you weren’t so I wouldn’t want to hit every guy at school who looks at you, especially my best friend.” I stop to catch my breath. “More? I can keep going.” I can keep going, but even as I say all of this, I know it’s not quite true. She’s not just distractingly pretty. She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen and I want to touch her so badly right now that it’s almost impossible to keep my hands from reaching out and doing it.
Katja Millay (The Sea of Tranquility)
The biggest spur to my interest in art came when I played van Gogh in the biographical film Lust For Life. The role affected me deeply. I was haunted by this talented genius who took his own life, thinking he was a failure. How terrible to paint pictures and feel that no one wants them. How awful it would be to write music that no one wants to hear. Books that no one wants to read. And how would you like to be an actor with no part to play, and no audience to watch you. Poor Vincent—he wrestled with his soul in the wheat field of Auvers-sur-Oise, stacks of his unsold paintings collecting dust in his brother's house. It was all too much for him, and he pulled the trigger and ended it all. My heart ached for van Gogh the afternoon that I played that scene. As I write this, I look up at a poster of his "Irises"—a poster from the Getty Museum. It's a beautiful piece of art with one white iris sticking up among a field of blue ones. They paid a fortune for it, reportedly $53 million. And poor Vincent, in his lifetime, sold only one painting for 400 francs or $80 dollars today. This is what stimulated my interest in buying works of art from living artists. I want them to know while they are alive that I enjoy their paintings hanging on my walls, or their sculptures decorating my garden
Kirk Douglas (Climbing The Mountain: My Search For Meaning)
Those who are esteemed umpires of taste, are often persons who have acquired some knowledge of admired pictures or sculptures, and have an inclination for whatever is elegant; but if you inquire whether they are beautiful souls, and whether their own acts are like fair pictures, you learn that they are selfish and sensual. Their cultivation is local, as if you should rub a log of dry wood in one spot to produce fire, all the rest remaining cold. Their knowledge of the fine arts is some study of rules and particulars, or some limited judgment of color or form which is exercised for amusement or for show. It is a proof of the shallowness of the doctrine of beauty, as it lies in the minds of our amateurs, that men seem to have lost the perception of the instant dependence of form upon soul.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (The Poet)
I just think of people," she continued, "whether they seem right where they are and fit into the picture. I don't mind if they don't do anything. I don't see why they should; in fact it always astonishes me when anybody does anything." "You don't want to do anything?" "I want to sleep." -Gloria Gilbert "Once upon a time all the men of mind and genius in the world became of one belief--that is to say, of no belief. But it wearied them to think that within a few years after their death many cults and systems and prognostications would be ascribed to them which they had never meditated nor intended. So they said to one another: "'Let's join together and make a great book that will last forever to mock the credulity of man. Let's persuade our more erotic poets to write about the delights of the flesh, and induce some of our robust journalists to contribute stories of famous amours. We'll include all the most preposterous old wives' tales now current. We'll choose the keenest satirist alive to compile a deity from all the deities worshipped by mankind, a deity who will be more magnificent than any of them, and yet so weakly human that he'll become a byword for laughter the world over--and we'll ascribe to him all sorts of jokes and vanities and rages, in which he'll be supposed to indulge for his own diversion, so that the people will read our book and ponder it, and there'll be no more nonsense in the world. "'Finally, let us take care that the book possesses all the virtues of style, so that it may last forever as a witness to our profound scepticism and our universal irony.' "So the men did, and they died. "But the book lived always, so beautifully had it been written, and so astounding the quality of imagination with which these men of mind and genius had endowed it. They had neglected to give it a name, but after they were dead it became known as the Bible." -Maury Noble
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
Peg came over with dinner tonight and told me about this dumb schmaltzy poem she heard someone read at an AA meeting.  It got me thinking.  It was about how while we are on earth, our limitations are such that we can only see the underside of the tapestry that God is weaving.  God sees the topside, the whole evolving portrait and its amazing beauty, and uses us as the pieces of thread to weave the picture.  We see the glorious colors and shadings, but we also see the knots and the threads hanging down, the think lumpy patches, the tangles.  But God and the people in heaven with him see how beautiful the portraits in the tapestry are.  The poem says in this flowery way that faith is about the willingness to be used by God wherever and however he most needs you, most needs the piece of thread that is your life.  You give him your life to put through his needle, to use as he sees fit.
Anne Lamott (Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year)
The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things. The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. The nineteenth century dislike of realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass. The nineteenth century dislike of romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass. The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved. No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art. Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art. From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician. From the point of view of feeling, the actor's craft is the type. All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
We read the pagan sacred books with profit and delight. With myth and fable we are ever charmed, and find a pleasure in the endless repetition of the beautiful, poetic, and absurd. We find, in all these records of the past, philosophies and dreams, and efforts stained with tears, of great and tender souls who tried to pierce the mystery of life and death, to answer the eternal questions of the Whence and Whither, and vainly sought to make, with bits of shattered glass, a mirror that would, in very truth, reflect the face and form of Nature's perfect self. These myths were born of hopes, and fears, and tears, and smiles, and they were touched and colored by all there is of joy and grief between the rosy dawn of birth, and death's sad night. They clothed even the stars with passion, and gave to gods the faults and frailties of the sons of men. In them, the winds and waves were music, and all the lakes, and streams, and springs,—the mountains, woods and perfumed dells were haunted by a thousand fairy forms. They thrilled the veins of Spring with tremulous desire; made tawny Summer's billowed breast the throne and home of love; filled Autumns arms with sun-kissed grapes, and gathered sheaves; and pictured Winter as a weak old king who felt, like Lear upon his withered face, Cordelia's tears. These myths, though false, are beautiful, and have for many ages and in countless ways, enriched the heart and kindled thought. But if the world were taught that all these things are true and all inspired of God, and that eternal punishment will be the lot of him who dares deny or doubt, the sweetest myth of all the Fable World would lose its beauty, and become a scorned and hateful thing to every brave and thoughtful man.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
Dear daughter, I won't try to call my feeling for Arty love. Call it focus. My focus on Art was an ailment, noncommunicable, and, even to me all these years later, incomprehensible. Now I despise myself. But even so I remember, in hot floods, the way he slept, still as death, with his face washed flat, stony as a carved tomb and exquisite. His weakness and his ravening bitter needs were terrible, and beautiful, and irresistible as an earthquake. He scalded or smothered anyone he needed, but his needing and the hurt that it caused me were the most life I ever had. Remember what a poor thing I have always been and forgive me. He saw no use for you and you interfered with his use of me. I sent you away to please him, to prove my dedication to him, and to prevent him from killing you... My job was to come back [from the convent] directly, with nothing leaking from beneath my dark glasses, to give Arty his rubdown and then paint him for the next show, nodding cheerfully all the while, never showing anything but attentive care for his muscular wonderfulness. Because he could have killed you. He could have cut off the money that schooled and fed you. He could have erased you so entirely that I never would have had those letters and report cards and photos, or your crayon pictures, or the chance to spy on you, and to love you secretly when everything else was gone.
Katherine Dunn (Geek Love)
The dream was gone. Something had been taken from him. In a sort of panic he pushed the palms of his hands into his eyes and tried to bring up a picture of the waters lapping on Sherry Island and the moonlit veranda, and gingham on the golf-links and the dry sun and the gold color of her neck's soft down. And her mouth damp to his kisses and her eyes plaintive with melancholy and her freshness like new fine linen in the morning. Why, these things were no longer in the world! They had existed and they existed no longer. For the first time in years the tears were streaming down his face. But they were for himself now. He did not care about mouth and eyes and moving hands. He wanted to care, and he could not care. For he had gone away and he could never go back any more. The gates were closed, the sun was gone down, and there was no beauty but the gray beauty of steel that withstands all time. Even the grief he could have borne was left behind in the country of illusion, of youth, of the richness of life, where his winter dreams had flourished. “Long ago,” he said, “long ago, there was something in me, but now that thing is gone. Now that thing is gone, that thing is gone. I cannot cry. I cannot care. That thing will come back no more.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Winter Dreams)
But sometimes, very occasionally, songs and books and films and pictures express who you are perfectly. And they don’t do this in words or images, necessarily; the connection is a lot less direct and more complicated than that. When I was first beginning to write seriously, I read Anne Tyler’s Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, and suddenly knew what I was, and what I wanted to be, for better or worse. It’s a process something like falling in love. You don’t necessarily choose the best person, or the wisest, or the most beautiful; there’s something else going on. There was a part of me that would rather have fallen for Updike or Kerouac, or DeLillo – for someone masculine, or at least, maybe somebody a little more opaque, and certainly someone who uses more swearwords- and, though I have admired those writers, at various stages in my life, admiration is a very different thing from the kind of transference I’m talking about. I’m talking about understanding – or at least feeling like I understand- every artistic decision, every impulse, the soul of both the work and its creator. “This is me,” I wanted to say when I read Tyler’s rich, sad, lovely novel. “I’m not a character, I’m nothing like the author, I haven’t had the experiences she writes about. But even so, this is what I feel like, inside. This is what I would sound like, if I ever I were to find a voice.” And I did find a voice, eventually, and it was mine, not hers; but nevertheless, so powerful was the process of identification that I still don’t feel as though I’ve expressed myself as well, as completely, as Tyler did on my behalf.
Nick Hornby (Songbook)
And here, after all that, is what I have come to believe about beauty: Laughter is beautiful. Kindness is beautiful. Cellulite is beautiful. Softness and plumpness and roundness are beautiful. It’s more important to be interesting, to be vivid, and to be adventurous than to sit pretty for pictures. The soft tummy of a woman is a miracle of nature. Beauty comes from tenderness. Beauty comes from variety, from specificity, from the fact that no person in the world looks exactly like anyone else. Beauty comes from the tragedy that each person’s life is destined to be lost to time. I believe women are too hard on themselves. I believe that when you love someone, she becomes beautiful to you. I believe the eyes see everything through the heart, that nothing in the world feels as good as resting them on someone you love. I have trained my eyes to look for beauty, and I’ve gotten very good at finding it. You can argue and tell me it’s not true, but I really don’t care what anyone says. I have come at last to believe in the title of the book: Everyone Is Beautiful.
Katherine Center (Everyone is Beautiful)
It was drizzling. As people rushed along, they began opening umbrellas over their heads, and all at once the streets were crowded, too. Arched umbrella roofs collided with one another. The men were courteous, and when passing Tereza they held their umbrellas high over their heads and gave her room to go by. But the women would not yield; each looked straight ahead, waiting for the other woman to acknowledge her inferiority and step aside. The meeting of the umbrellas was a test of strength. At first Tereza gave way, but when she realized her courtesy was not being reciprocated, she started clutching her umbrella like the other women and ramming it forcefully against the oncoming umbrellas. No one ever said "Sorry." For the most part no one said anything, though once or twice she did hear a "Fat cow!" or "Fuck you!" The women thus armed with umbrellas were both young and old, but the younger among them proved the more steeled warriors. Tereza recalled the days of the invasion and the girls in miniskirts carrying flags on long staffs. Theirs was a sexual vengeance: the Russian soldiers had been kept in enforced celibacy for several long years and must have felt they had landed on a planet invented by a science fiction writer, a planet of stunning women who paraded their scorn on beautiful long legs the likes of which had not been seen in Russia for the past five or six centuries. She had taken many pictures of those young women against a backdrop of tanks. How she had admired them! And now these same women were bumping into her, meanly and spitefully. Instead of flags, they held umbrellas, but they held them with the same pride. They were ready to fight as obstinately against a foreign army as against an umbrella that refused to move out of their way.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
Now, to look is one of the most difficult things in life – or to listen – to look and listen are the same. If your eyes are blinded with your worries, you cannot see the beauty of the sunset. Most of us have lost touch with nature. Civilisation is tending more and more towards large cities; we are becoming more and more an urban people, living in crowded apartments and having very little space even to look at the sky of an evening and morning, and therefore we are losing touch with a great deal of beauty. I don’t know if you have noticed how few of us look at a sunrise or a sunset or the moonlight or the reflection of light on water. Having lost touch with nature we naturally tend to develop intellectual capacities. We read a great many books, go to a great many museums and concerts, watch television and have many other entertainments. We quote endlessly from other people’s ideas and think and talk a great deal about art. Why is it that we depend so much upon art? Is it a form of escape, of stimulation? If you are directly in contact with nature; if you watch the movement of a bird on the wing, see the beauty of every movement of the sky, watch the shadows on the hills or the beauty on the face of another, do you think you will want to go to any museum to look at any picture? Perhaps it is because you do not know how to look at all the things about you that you resort to some form of drug to stimulate you to see better. There
J. Krishnamurti (Freedom from the Known)
So, maybe we’re the generation of the selfie, but we’re also the generation that grew up in a tainted, Photoshopped world with every impossible beauty standard shoved down our throat through a tube because eating has become a guilty pleasure and condemning beauty ideals won’t go straight to our thighs. And if, by chance, we are able to destroy the demons that you’ve planted inside of us with your constant advertisements and rules that play behind our eyelids and take root in our brains, then let us take our fucking pictures and capture that moment when we felt beautiful because all this world has taught us is that our beauty is the greatest measure of our worth. Scoff at our phones all you like, these delicate extensions of our fingers, but know that through this technology that you couldn’t even begin to understand, we have smudged the entire world with our fingerprints. We are the generation of knowledge, and we are learning more than any that came before us. So, frown at my typing fingers; I am using them to grasp power by the throat. Try to invalidate us, but we’ve heard our parents talking about the world’s crashing and burning since we had sprung from the womb. We know you’ve fucked up, and we’re angry about it- the kind of anger that fuels knowledge, that I feel in my veins every time I read the news from my phone before school, that sticks in my throat like honey in a debate; the kind of anger that simmers, that sharpens teeth into daggers, that makes this generation more dangerous than you could have ever imagined. We are the generation of change, and goddammit, we’re coming.
E.P. .
I first read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit when I was eighteen. It felt as though the author had taken every element I'd ever want in a story and woven them into one huge, seamless narrative; but more important, for me, Tolkien had created a place, a vast, beautiful, awesome landscape, which remained a resource long after the protagonists had finished their battles and gone their separate ways. In illustrating The Lord of the Rings I allowed the landscapes to predominate. In some of the scenes the characters are so small they are barely discernible. This suited my own inclinations and my wish to avoid, as much as possible, interfering with the pictures being built up in the reader's mind, which tends to be more closely focussed on characters and their inter-relationships. I felt my task lay in shadowing the heroes on their epic quest, often at a distance, closing in on them at times of heightened emotion but avoiding trying to re-create the dramatic highpoints of the text. With The Hobbit, however, it didn't seem appropriate to keep such a distance, particularly from the hero himself. I don't think I've ever seen a drawing of a Hobbit which quite convinced me, and I don't know whether I've gotten any closer myself with my depictions of Bilbo. I'm fairly happy with the picture of him standing outside Bag End, before Gandalf arrives and turns his world upside-down, but I've come to the conclusion that one of the reasons Hobbits are so quiet and elusive is to avoid the prying eyes of illustrators.
Alan Lee
To my lovely starling, Maybe there are magical words that will make you understand, but if so, I do not know them. Words are your domain. I've always been better with pictures. I fear you think I am a monster. It's true I've disrupted many graves. The way I see it, the dead are dead. If, after their death, we can learn things from the about the human form - things that will increase the sum of human knowledge and the possibilities of art - what harm is that? After death, new life, new beauty. How can that be wrong? My friends and I have made use of some of the bodies as models. some we sell to surgeons who study them with the hopes of learning something about the frail mechanisms of the human body. I don't know exactly what Dottor de Gradi does in his workshop on the Rialto, and I was as surprised as you were to stumble on it. He couldn't - he wouldn't tell me if your friend's body ended up there. But he did assure me all of his work is focused solely on extending human life. I won't lie. I did it for the money as well. Don Loredan is holding a private exhibition in his palazzo tomorrow. The entry fee was quite steep but two of my paintings were accepted. This could be the beginning for me. I could find my own patrons. I could be more than just a peasant. Tommaso's assistant. So yes; a little for money. But mostly I did for the art. I don't expect these words to change how you feel. I simply want you not to see me as a monster. I don't want to be a monster. Not anymore. Not after meeting you. I know that we disrupted you dear friend's body, and for that I am deeply regretful. But if we had not done so, if I had not lingered in the San Domenico churchyard after standing guard for my friends, you and I might never have met. Meeting you is one thing I will never regret. I hope you like the painting. Consider tit a wedding gift. How stupid of me to let my heart go. It was a lovely fantasy while it lasted, though, wasn't it? Yours, Falco
Fiona Paul (Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1))
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
Look everywhere. There are miracles and curiosities to fascinate and intrigue for many lifetimes: the intricacies of nature and everything in the world and universe around us from the miniscule to the infinite; physical, chemical and biological functionality; consciousness, intelligence and the ability to learn; evolution, and the imperative for life; beauty and other abstract interpretations; language and other forms of communication; how we make our way here and develop social patterns of culture and meaningfulness; how we organise ourselves and others; moral imperatives; the practicalities of survival and all the embellishments we pile on top; thought, beliefs, logic, intuition, ideas; inventing, creating, information, knowledge; emotions, sensations, experience, behaviour. We are each unique individuals arising from a combination of genetic, inherited, and learned information, all of which can be extremely fallible. Things taught to us when we are young are quite deeply ingrained. Obviously some of it (like don’t stick your finger in a wall socket) is very useful, but some of it is only opinion – an amalgamation of views from people you just happen to have had contact with. A bit later on we have access to lots of other information via books, media, internet etc, but it is important to remember that most of this is still just opinion, and often biased. Even subjects such as history are presented according to the presenter’s or author’s viewpoint, and science is continually changing. Newspapers and TV tend to cover news in the way that is most useful to them (and their funders/advisors), Research is also subject to the decisions of funders and can be distorted by business interests. Pretty much anyone can say what they want on the internet, so our powers of discernment need to be used to a great degree there too. Not one of us can have a completely objective view as we cannot possibly have access to, and filter, all knowledge available, so we must accept that our views are bound to be subjective. Our understanding and responses are all very personal, and our views extremely varied. We tend to make each new thing fit in with the picture we have already started in our heads, but we often have to go back and adjust the picture if we want to be honest about our view of reality as we continually expand it. We are taking in vast amounts of information from others all the time, so need to ensure we are processing that to develop our own true reflection of who we are.
Jay Woodman
Georgette was a hip queer. She (he) didn't try to disguise or conceal it with marriage and mans talk, satisfying her homosexuality with the keeping of a secret scrapbook of pictures of favorite male actors or athletes or by supervising activities of young boys or visiting turkish baths or mens locker rooms, leering sidely while seeking protection behind a carefully guarded guise of virility (fearing that moment at a cocktail party or in a bar when this front may start crumbling from alcohol and be completely disintegrated with an attempted kiss or groping of an attractive young man and being repelled with a punch and - rotten fairy - followed with hysteria and incoherent apologies and excuses and running from the room) but, took a pride in being a homosexual by feeling intellectually and esthetically superior to those (especially women) who weren't gay (look at all the great artists who were fairies!); and with the wearing of womens panties, lipstick, eye makeup (this including occasionally gold and silver - stardust - on the lids),long marcelled hair, manicured and polished fingernails, the wearing of womens clothes complete with a padded bra, high heels and wig (one of her biggest thrills was going to BOP CITY dressed as a tall stately blond ( she was 6'4 in heels) in the company of a negro (he was a big beautiful black bastard and when he floated in all the cats in the place jumped and the squares bugged. We were at crazy pad before going and were blasting like crazy, and were up so high that I just didnt give ashit for anyone honey, let me tell you!); and the occasional wearing of menstrual napkin.
Hubert Selby Jr.
He is all my art to me now," said the painter gravely. "I sometimes think, Harry, that there are only two eras of any importance in the world's history. The first is the appearance of a new medium for art, and the second is the appearance of a new personality for art also. What the invention of oil-painting was to the Venetians, the face of Antinous was to late Greek sculpture, and the face of Dorian Gray will some day be to me. It is not merely that I paint from him, draw from him, sketch from him. Of course, I have done all that. But he is much more to me than a model or a sitter. I won't tell you that I am dissatisfied with what I have done of him, or that his beauty is such that art cannot express it. There is nothing that art cannot express, and I know that the work I have done, since I met Dorian Gray, is good work, is the best work of my life. But in some curious way—I wonder will you understand me?—his personality has suggested to me an entirely new manner in art, an entirely new mode of style. I see things differently, I think of them differently. I can now recreate life in a way that was hidden from me before. 'A dream of form in days of thought'—who is it who says that? I forget; but it is what Dorian Gray has been to me. The merely visible presence of this lad—for he seems to me little more than a lad, though he is really over twenty— his merely visible presence—ah! I wonder can you realize all that that means? Unconsciously he defines for me the lines of a fresh school, a school that is to have in it all the passion of the romantic spirit, all the perfection of the spirit that is Greek. The harmony of soul and body— how much that is! We in our madness have separated the two, and have invented a realism that is vulgar, an ideality that is void. Harry! if you only knew what Dorian Gray is to me! You remember that landscape of mine, for which Agnew offered me such a huge price but which I would not part with? It is one of the best things I have ever done. And why is it so? Because, while I was painting it, Dorian Gray sat beside me. Some subtle influence passed from him to me, and for the first time in my life I saw in the plain woodland the wonder I had always looked for and always missed.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
It was almost a mystical experience. I do not know how else to put it. My mind outran time as he neared, and it was as though I had an eternity to ponder the approach of this man who was my brother. His garments were filthy, his face blackened, the stump of his right arm raised, gesturing anywhere. The great beast that he rode was striped, black and red, with a wild red mane and tail. But it really was a horse, and its eyes rolled and there was foam at its mouth and its breathing was painful to hear. I saw then that he wore his blade slung across his back, for its haft protruded high above his right shoulder. Still slowing, eyes fixed upon me, he departed the road, bearing slightly toward my left, jerked the reins once and released them, keeping control of the horse with his knees. His left hand went up in a salute-like movement that passed above his head and seized the hilt of his weapon. It came free without a sound, describing a beautiful arc above him and coming to rest in a lethal position out from his left shoulder and slanting back, like a single wing of dull steel with a minuscule line of edge that gleamed like a filament of mirror. The picture he presented was burned into my mind with a kind of magnificence, a certain splendor that was strangely moving. The blade was a long, scythe like affair that I had seen him use before. Only then we had stood as allies against a mutual foe I had begun to believe unbeatable. Benedict had proved otherwise that night. Now that I saw it raised against me I was overwhelmed with a sense of my own mortality, which I had never experienced before in this fashion. It was as though a layer had been stripped from the world and I had a sudden, full understanding of death itself.
Roger Zelazny (The Guns of Avalon (The Chronicles of Amber #2))
Why the devil couldn’t it have been blue?” I said to myself. And this thought—one of the most profound ever made since the discovery of butterflies—consoled me for my misdeed and reconciled me with myself. I stood there, looking at the corpse with, I confess, a certain sympathy. The butterfly had probably come out of the woods, well-fed and happy, into the sunlight of a beautiful morning. Modest in its demands on life, it had been content to fly about and exhibit its special beauty under the vast cupola of a blue sky, al sky that is always blue for those that have wings. It flew through my open window, entered by room, and found me there. I suppose it had never seen a man; therefore it did not know what a man was. It described an infinite number of circles about my body and saw that I moved, that I had eyes, arms, legs, a divine aspect, and colossal stature. Then it said to itself, “This is probably the maker of butterflies.” The idea overwhelmed it, terrified it; but fear, which is sometimes stimulating, suggested the best way for it to please its creator was to kiss him on the forehead, and so it kissed me on the forehead. When I brushed it away, it rested on the windowpane, saw from there the portrait of my father, and quite possibly perceived a half-truth, i.e., that the man in the picture was the father of the creator of butterflies, and it flew to beg his mercy. Then a blow from a towel ended the adventure. Neither the blue sky’s immensity, nor the flowers’ joy, nor the green leaves’ splendor could protect the creature against a face towel, a few square inches fo cheap linin. Note how excellent it is to be superior to butterflies! For, even if it had been blue, its life would not have been safe; I might have pierced it with a pin and kept it to delight my eyes. It was not blue. This last thought consoled me again. I placed the nail of my middle finger against my thumb, gave the cadaver a flip, and it fell into the garden. It was high time; the provident ants were already gathering around…Yes, I stand by my first idea: I think that it would have been better for the butterfly if it had been born blue.
Machado de Assis (Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas)
The Idiot. I have read it once, and find that I don't remember the events of the book very well--or even all the principal characters. But mostly the 'portrait of a truly beautiful person' that dostoevsky supposedly set out to write in that book. And I remember how Myshkin seemed so simple when I began the book, but by the end, I realized how I didn't understand him at all. the things he did. Maybe when I read it again it will be different. But the plot of these dostoevsky books can hold such twists and turns for the first-time reader-- I guess that's b/c he was writing most of these books as serials that had to have cliffhangers and such. But I make marks in my books, mostly at parts where I see the author's philosophical points standing in the most stark relief. My copy of Moby Dick is positively full of these marks. The Idiot, I find has a few... Part 3, Section 5. The sickly Ippolit is reading from his 'Explanation' or whatever its called. He says his convictions are not tied to him being condemned to death. It's important for him to describe, of happiness: "you may be sure that Columbus was happy not when he had discovered America, but when he was discovering it." That it's the process of life--not the end or accomplished goals in it--that matter. Well. Easier said than lived! Part 3, Section 6. more of Ippolit talking--about a christian mindset. He references Jesus's parable of The Word as seeds that grow in men, couched in a description of how people are interrelated over time; its a picture of a multiplicity. Later in this section, he relates looking at a painting of Christ being taken down from the cross, at Rogozhin's house. The painting produced in him an intricate metaphor of despair over death "in the form of a huge machine of the most modern construction which, dull and insensible, has aimlessly clutched, crushed, and swallowed up a great priceless Being, a Being worth all nature and its laws, worth the whole earth, which was created perhaps solely for the sake of the advent of this Being." The way Ippolit's ideas are configured, here, reminds me of the writings of Gilles Deleuze. And the phrasing just sort of remidns me of the way everyone feels--many people feel crushed by the incomprehensible machine, in life. Many people feel martyred in their very minor ways. And it makes me think of the concept that a narrative religion like Christianity uniquely allows for a kind of socialized or externalized, shared experience of subjectivity. Like, we all know the story of this man--and it feels like our own stories at the same time. Part 4, Section 7. Myshkin's excitement (leading to a seizure) among the Epanchin's dignitary guests when he talks about what the nobility needs to become ("servants in order to be leaders"). I'm drawn to things like this because it's affirming, I guess, for me: "it really is true that we're absurd, that we're shallow, have bad habits, that we're bored, that we don't know how to look at things, that we can't understand; we're all like that." And of course he finds a way to make that into a good thing. which, it's pointed out by scholars, is very important to Dostoevsky philosophy--don't deny the earthly passions and problems in yourself, but accept them and incorporate them into your whole person. Me, I'm still working on that one.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
It is very easy to grow tired at collecting; the period of a low tide is about all men can endure. At first the rocks are bright and every moving animal makes his mark on the attention. The picture is wide and colored and beautiful. But after an hour and a half the attention centers weary, the color fades, and the field is likely to narrow to an individual animal. Here one may observe his own world narrowed down until interest and, with it, observation, flicker and go out. And what if with age this weariness becomes permanent and observation dim out and not recover? Can this be what happens to so many men of science? Enthusiasm, interest, sharpness, dulled with a weariness until finally they retire into easy didacticism? With this weariness, this stultification of attention centers, perhaps there comes the pained and sad memory of what the old excitement was like, and regret might turn to envy of the men who still have it. Then out of the shell of didacticism, such a used-up man might attack the unwearied, and he would have in his hands proper weapons of attack. It does seem certain that to a wearied man an error in a mass of correct data wipes out all the correctness and is a focus for attack; whereas the unwearied man, in his energy and receptivity, might consider the little dross of error a by-product of his effort. These two may balance and produce a purer thing than either in the end. These two may be the stresses which hold up the structure, but it is a sad thing to see the interest in interested men thin out and weaken and die. We have known so many professors who once carried their listeners high on their single enthusiasm, and have seen these same men finally settle back comfortably into lectures prepared years before and never vary them again. Perhaps this is the same narrowing we observe in relation to ourselves and the tide pool—a man looking at reality brings his own limitations to the world. If he has strength and energy of mind the tide pool stretches both ways, digs back to electrons and leaps space into the universe and fights out of the moment into non-conceptual time. Then ecology has a synonym which is ALL.
John Steinbeck (The Log from the Sea of Cortez)
The world is so big, so complicated, so replete with marvels and surprises that it takes years for most people to begin to notice that it is, also, irretrievably broken. We call this period of research “childhood.” There follows a program of renewed inquiry, often involuntary, into the nature and effects of mortality, entropy, heartbreak, violence, failure, cowardice, duplicity, cruelty, and grief; the researcher learns their histories, and their bitter lessons, by heart. Along the way, he or she discovers that the world has been broken for as long as anyone can remember, and struggles to reconcile this fact with the ache of cosmic nostalgia that arises, from time to time, in the researcher’s heart: an intimation of vanished glory, of lost wholeness, a memory of the world unbroken. We call the moment at which this ache first arises “adolescence.” The feeling haunts people all their lives. Everyone, sooner or later, gets a thorough schooling in brokenness. The question becomes: What to do with the pieces? Some people hunker down atop the local pile of ruins and make do, Bedouin tending their goats in the shade of shattered giants. Others set about breaking what remains of the world into bits ever smaller and more jagged, kicking through the rubble like kids running through piles of leaves. And some people, passing among the scattered pieces of that great overturned jigsaw puzzle, start to pick up a piece here, a piece there, with a vague yet irresistible notion that perhaps something might be done about putting the thing back together again. Two difficulties with this latter scheme at once present themselves. First of all, we have only ever glimpsed, as if through half-closed lids, the picture on the lid of the jigsaw puzzle box. Second, no matter how diligent we have been about picking up pieces along the way, we will never have anywhere near enough of them to finish the job. The most we can hope to accomplish with our handful of salvaged bits—the bittersweet harvest of observation and experience—is to build a little world of our own. A scale model of that mysterious original, unbroken, half—remembered. Of course the worlds we build out of our store of fragments can be only approximations, partial and inaccurate. As representations of the vanished whole that haunts us, they must be accounted failures. And yet in that very failure, in their gaps and inaccuracies, they may yet be faithful maps, accurate scale models, of this beautiful and broken world. We call these scale models “works of art.
Michael Chabon (The Wes Anderson Collection)
Baby girl, this is your mother. I know I’ve given you explicit instructions to trace this into your yearbook, but they’re my words. That means this is from me, my heart, and my love for you. There’s so many things I want to say to you, things I want you to hear, to know, but let’s start with the reason I’m having you put these words in your senior yearbook. First of all, this book is everything. It may be pictures, some names of people you won’t remember in five years, ten years, or longer, but this book is more important than you can imagine. It’s the first book that’s the culmination of your first chapter in life. You will have many. So many! But this book is the physical manifestation of your first part in life. Keep it. Treasure it. Whether you enjoyed school or not, it’s done. It’s in your past. These were the times you were a part of society from a child to who you are now, a young adult woman. When you leave for college, you’re continuing your education, but you’re moving onto your next chapter in life. The beginning of adulthood. This yearbook is your bridge. Keep this as a memento forever. It sums up who you grew up with. It houses images of the buildings where your mind first began to learn things, where you first began to dream, to set goals, to yearn for the road ahead. It’s so bittersweet, but those memories were your foundation to set you up for who you will become in the future. Whether they brought pain or happiness, it’s important not to forget. From here, you will go on and you will learn the growing pains of becoming an adult. You will refine your dreams. You will set new limits. Change your mind. You will hurt. You will laugh. You will cry, but the most important is that you will grow. Always, always grow, honey. Challenge yourself. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations (BUT BE SAFE!) and push yourself not to think about yourself, your friends, your family, but to think about the world. Think about others. Understand others, and if you can’t understand, then learn more about them. It’s so very important. Once you have the key to understanding why someone else hurts or dreams or survives, then you have ultimate knowledge. You have empathy. Oh, honey. As I’m writing this, I can see you on the couch reading a book. You are so very beautiful, but you are so very humble. You don’t see your beauty, and I want you to see your beauty. Not just physical, but your inner kindness and soul. It’s blinding to me. That’s how truly stunning you are. Never let anyone dim your light. Here are some words I want you to know as you go through the rest of your life: Live. Learn. Love. Laugh. And, honey, know. Just know that I am with you always.
Tijan (Enemies)