Playing Instruments Quotes

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you son of a bitch, she said, I am trying to build a meaningful relationship. you can't build it with a hammer, he said.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
Simon looked from one of them to the other, and shook his head. “ When did you two get so buddy-buddy? Last night it was all, ‘I’m the most elite warrior!’ ‘ No, I’m the most elite warrior!’ And today you’re playing Halo and giving each other props for good ideas.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
I am determined that only the deepest love will induce me into matrimony. So, I shall end an old maid, and teach your ten children to embroider cushions and play their instruments very ill.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
He grinned. It was a wicked grin, the kind that made the blood in Clary's veins run a little faster. "You want to go on a date?" Caught off guard, she stammered. "A wh-what?" "A date," Jace repeated. "Often 'a boring thing you have to memorize in history class,' but in this case, 'an offering of an evening of blisteringly white-hot romance with yours truly." "Really?" Clary was not sure what to make of this. "Blisteringly white-hot?" "It's me," said Jace. "Watching me play Scrabble is enough to make most women swoon. Imagine if I actually put in some effort.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
We Play the broken string of our instruments one last time
John Green (Paper Towns)
The banjo is such a happy instrument--you can't play a sad song on the banjo - it always comes out so cheerful.
Steve Martin
I see that you are working this vampire angle with some success. And kudos. Lots of girls love that sensitive-undead thing. But I'd drop the whole musician angle if I were you. Vampire rock stars are played out, and besides, you can't possible be very good.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Isabelle snorted. 'All the boys are gay. In this truck, anyway. Well, not you, Simon.' 'You noticed' said Simon. 'I think of myself as a freewheeling bisexual,' added Magnus. 'Please never say those words in front of my parents,' said Alec. 'Especially my father.' 'I thought your parents were okay with you, you know, coming out,' Simon said, leaning around Isabelle to look at Alec, who was — as he often was — scowling, and pushing his floppy dark hair out of his eyes. Aside from the occasional exchange, Simon had never talked to Alec much. He wasn’t an easy person to get to know. But, Simon admitted to himself, his own recent estrangement from his mother made him more curious about Alec’s answer than he would have been otherwise. 'My mother seems to have accepted it,' Alec said. 'But my father — no, not really. Once he asked me what I thought had turned me gay.' Simon felt Isabelle tense next to him. 'Turned you gay?' She sounded incredulous. 'Alec, you didn’t tell me that.' 'I hope you told him you were bitten by a gay spider,' said Simon. Magnus snorted; Isabelle looked confused. 'I’ve read Magnus’s stash of comics,' said Alec, 'so I actually know what you’re talking about' A small smile played around his mouth. 'So would that give me the proportional gayness of a spider?' 'Only if it was a really gay spider,' said Magnus, and he yelled as Alec punched him in the arm. 'Ow, okay, never mind.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Isabelle and Jace had left the topic of dead Shadowhunters behind and had moved on to something Jace apparently found even more horrifying__Isabelle's date with Simon. "I can't believe he took you to an actual restaurant." Jace was on his feet now, putting away the floor mats and training gear while Isabelle leaned against the wall and played with her new gloves. "I assumed his idea of a date would be making you watch him play World of Warcraft with his nerd friends." "I," Clary pointed out, "am one of his nerd friends, thank you.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
What would you give someone who likes to play the piano?” “A piano.” “Simon.” “A really huge metronome that could also double as a weapon?
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
I can't believe he took you to an actual resteraunt. I assumed his idea od a date would be making you watch him play World of Warcraft with his nerd friends.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
It’s me,” said Jace. “Watching me play Scrabble is enough to make most women swoon. Imagine if I actually put in some effort.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Green-eyed monsters,” said Magnus, and grinned. He deposited Chairman Meow on the ground, and the cat moved over to Alec, and rubbed against his leg. “The Chairman likes you.” “Is that good?” “I never date anyone my cat doesn’t like,” Magnus said easily, and stood up. “So let’s say Friday night?” A great wave of relief came over Alec. “Really? You want to go out with me?” Magnus shook his head. “You have to stop playing hard to get, Alexander. It makes things difficult.” He grinned.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Each woman is like an instrument, waiting to be learned, loved, and finely played, to have at last her own true music made.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Silmarillion)
It's me," said Jace. "Watching me play Scrabble is enough to make most women swoon. Imagine if I actually put in some effort.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
I learned to play the instruments of war," he said, "and paint in blood.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
You can sing only what you are. You can paint only what you are. You must be what your experiences, your environment, and your heredity have made you. For better or for worse, you must play your own little instrument in the orchestra of life.
Dale Carnegie (How to Stop Worrying and Start Living)
Reese sucked in a breath and played faster, hurling the anger through his fingers until it spun all his fear, all his rage, into the gentle voice of music.
Willowy Whisper (This Hostile Land)
There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
Johann Sebastian Bach
Take notes, boys! The ladies always love a man who can play an instrument!” Lindsay snorted, “Your instrument doesn’t even like girls, Rusty!” “Doesn’t mean they don’t like it!
Cora Carmack (Losing It (Losing It, #1))
To diminish the worth of women, men had to diminish the worth of the moon. They had to drive a wedge between human beings and the trees and the beasts and the waters, because trees and beasts and waters are as loyal to the moon as to the sun. They had to drive a wedge between thought and feeling...At first they used Apollo as the wedge, and the abstract logic of Apollo made a mighty wedge, indeed, but Apollo the artist maintained a love for women, not the open, unrestrained lust that Pan has, but a controlled longing that undermined the patriarchal ambition. When Christ came along, Christ, who slept with no female...Christ, who played no musical instrument, recited no poetry, and never kicked up his heels by moonlight, this Christ was the perfect wedge. Christianity is merely a system for turning priestesses into handmaidens, queens into concubines, and goddesses into muses.
Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)
If love played an instrument, I’ll bet it would be the piano. 88 keys, double infinity, and the ability to chop down trees with a sharpened mustache. 

Jarod Kintz (This Book Has No Title)
I noticed you the first week. Not just because of how pretty you are, though of course, that played into it. It was the way you lean onto your elbows when you 're listening in class, when something catches your interest. And when you laugh, it's never to get attention, it's just-laughter. The way you obssevively tuck your hair behind your ear on the left side, but let the right side fall down like a screen. And when you 're bored, you tap your foot soundlessly and move your fingers on the desktop like you 're playing an instrument. I wanted to sketch you.
Tammara Webber (Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1))
And the truth is that I'm not, Ed, is what I wanted to tell you. I'm not arty like everyone says who doesn't know me, I don't paint, I can't draw, I play no instrument, I can't sing. I'm not in plays, I wanted to say, I don't write poems. I can't dance except tipsy at dances. I'm not athletic, I'm not a goth or a cheerleader, I'm not treasurer or co-captain. I'm not gay and out and proud, I'm not that kid from Sri Lanka, not a triplet, a prep, a drunk, a genius, a hippie, a Christian, a slut, not even one of those super-Jewish girls with a yarmulke gang wishing everyone a happy Sukkoth. I'm not anything, this is what I realized ... I like movies, everyone knows I do -- I love them -- but I will never be in charge of one because my ideas are stupid and wrong in my head. There's nothing different about that, nothing fascinating, interesting, worth looking at.
Daniel Handler (Why We Broke Up)
It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.
Johann Sebastian Bach
Life is like playing the violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.
Samuel Butler
Not much had changed at Magnus’s since the first time Jace had been there. Jace used an open rune to get through the front door and took the stairs, buzzing Magnus’s apartment bell. It was safer that way because Magnus could be playing video games naked or really anything. Magnus yanked the door open, looking furious. He was wearing a black silk dressing gown, his feet were bare, his dark hair was tangled, “What are you doing here?” “My,” said Jace, “You’re so unwelcoming.” “That’s because you’re not welcome.” “I thought we were friends,” said Jace. “No, you’re Alec’s friend, Alec was my boyfriend so I had to put up with you. But now he’s not my boyfriend so I don’t have to put up with you.” “I think you should get back together with Alec,” said Jace. Magnus looked at him, “And why is that?
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Long ago, among other lies they were taught that silence was bravery.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
it's good to have things done with when they don't work it's also good not to hate or even forget the person you've failed with.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
I just wanted to say that it's okay if you dislike me. If you make Clary happy, I'm fine with you." He stuck his hand out, and Jace took his own hand out of Clary's and shook Simon's, a bemused look on his face. "I don't dislike you," he said. "In fact, because I actually do like you, I'm going to offer you some advice." "Advice?" Simon looked wary. "I see that you are working this vampire angle with some success," Jace said, indicating Isabelle and Maia with a nod of his head. "And kudos. Lots of girls love that sensitive-undead thing. But I'd drop the whole musician angle if I were you. Vampire rock stars are played out, and besides, you can't possibly be very good." Simon sighed. "I don't suppose there's any change you could reconsider the part where you didn't like me?" "Enough, both of you," Clary said. "You can't be complete jerks to each other forever, you know." "Technically," said Simon, "I can." Jace made an inelegant noise; after a moment Clary realized that he was trying not to laugh, and only semi-succeeding. Simon grinned. "Got you." "Well," Clary said. "This is a beautiful moment.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Oh, Lord Montgomery, what do you mean to do with me in this bedroom when you have me all alone? An innocent maiden, and unprotected? Is my virtue safe? 'I, ah- what?' 'I know you are a dangerous man. Some call you a rake. Everybody knows you are a devil with the ladies with your poetically puffed shirt and irresistible pants. I pray you will consider my innocence. And my poor, vulnerable heart.' Simon decided this was a lot like role-playing in D&D, but potentially more fun.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Physical space between us evaporates. We play the broken strings of our instruments one last time
John Green (Paper Towns)
Simon's band never actually produced any music. Mostly they sat around in Simon's living room, fighting about potential names and band logos. She sometimes wondered if any of them could actually play an instrument. 'What's on the table?' 'We're choosing between Sea Vegetable Conspiracy and Rock Solid Panda.' Clary shook her head. 'Those are both terrible.' 'Eric suggested Lawn Chair Crisis.' 'Maybe Eric should stick to gaming.' 'But then we'd have to find a new drummer.' 'Oh, is that what Eric does?...
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
The bassoon is one of my favorite instruments. It has a medieval aroma, like the days when everything used to sound like that. Some people crave baseball...I find this unfathomable, but I can easily understand why a person could get excited about playing the bassoon.
Frank Zappa
Ourchestra: So you haven't got a drum, just beat your belly. So I haven't got a horn-I'll play my nose. So we haven't any cymbals- We'll just slap our hands together, And though there may be orchestras That sound a little better With their fancy shiny instruments That cost an awful lot- Hey, we're making music twice as good By playing what we've got!
Shel Silverstein
I like to prowl ordinary places and taste the people- from a distance.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
But sleep didn't come. She could hear Jace's soft piano playing through the walls, but that wasn't what was keeping her awake. She was thinking of Simon, leaving for a house that no longer felt like home to him, of the despair in Jace's voice as he said 'I want to hate you', and of Magnus, not telling Jace the truth: that Alec did not want Jace to know about his relationship because he was still in love with him. She thought of the satisfaction it would have brought Magnus to say the words out loud, to acknowledge what the truth was, and the fact that he hadn't said them - had let Alec go on lying and pretending - because that was what Alec wanted, and Magnus cared about Alec enough to give him that. Maybe it was true what the Seelie Queen had said, after all: Love made you a liar.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
hate contains truth. beauty is a facade.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
But Jace", Clary said. "Valentine taught him more than just fighting. He taught him languages, and how to play the piano" "That was Jocelyn's influence." Sebastian said her name unwillingly, as if he hated the sound of it. "She thought Valentine ought to be able to talk about books, art, music...not just killing things. He passed that on to Jace." A wrought iron blue gate rose to their left. Sebastian ducked under it and beckoned Clary to follow him. She didn't have to duck but went after him, her hands stuffed into her pockets. "What about you?" she asked. He held up his hands. They were unmistakably her mother's hands - dexterous, long-fingered, meant for holding a brush or a pen. "I learned to play the instruments of war, " he said, "and paint in blood. I am not like Jace.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
I have lost my rhythm. I can't sleep. I can't eat. I have been robbed of my filth.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
Jace Herondale plays the piano very well.” “And he knows it.” “That sounds like a Herondale.” Tessa laughed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
I watch Jace Herondale play, and I see the ghosts that rise up in the music. Don't you?" "Ghosts are memories, and we carry them because those we love do not leave the world." "Yes," she said. I just wish he were here to see this with us, just here with us one more time.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
The streets are empty. Wind skims the voids keeping neighbors apart, as if grazing the hollow of a cut reed, or say, a plundered mailbox. A familiar note is produced. It's the one Desolation plays to keep its instrument in tune.
Andrew Hussie (Homestuck Book One)
I have, he went on, betrayed myself with belief, deluded myself with love tricked myself with sex. the bottle is damned faithful, he said, the bottle will not lie
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
It's my motto," said Isabelle, with a sultry smile. 'Nothing less than seven inches.' Meliorn gazed at her stonily. 'I'm talking about my heels,' she said. " It's a pun. You know? A play on-" "Come," the faerie knight said. "The Queen will be growing impatient." He headed down the corridor without giving Isabelle a second glance. "I forgot," Isabelle muttered as the rest of them caught up to her. " Faeries have no sense of humor." "Oh, I wouldn't say that," said Jace. "There's a pixie night club called Hot Wings. Not," he added," that I have ever been there.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
love needs too much help, he said. hate takes care of itself.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
She always wanted to be the kind of person who could play the "Moonlight" Sonata. She buries her failure in this, as she buries all her failures, in reading.
Lauren Groff (Florida)
You are an instrument of God. Don't leave the instrument sitting in its case, my son. Play! Leave no part of your instrument unexplored. Why settle for 'Three Blind Mice' when you can can play the 'Gloria'? No, not Bach's 'Gloria.' Yours! Your 'Gloria' lives within you. The greatest sin is not finding it, ignoring what God made possible in you.
Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone)
Grades are a problem. On the most general level, they're an explicit acknowledgment that what you're doing is insufficiently interesting or rewarding for you to do it on your own. Nobody ever gave you a grade for learning how to play, how to ride a bicycle, or how to kiss. One of the best ways to destroy love for any of these activities would be through the use of grades, and the coercion and judgment they represent. Grades are a cudgel to bludgeon the unwilling into doing what they don't want to do, an important instrument in inculcating children into a lifelong subservience to whatever authority happens to be thrust over them.
Derrick Jensen
for me obedience to another is the decay of self
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
for me obedience to another is the decay of self. for though every being is similar each being is different and to herd our differences under one law degrades each self.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
Music shouldn't be just a tune, it should be a touch.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
it's so easy to be a poet and so hard to be a man.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
She had the revelation one Sunday that while the other instruments played for everyone the violen played for her alone .
Gabriel García Márquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)
We are God’s gift to each other. Like a master composer, He brings all the instruments together, each with a different tone, each playing a different part, and He makes it turn out so beautifully.
Jack Canfield
Music is the one art we all have inside. We may not be able to play an instrument, but we can sing along or clap or tap our feet. Have you ever seen a baby bouncing up and down in the crib in time to some music? When you think of it, some of that baby's first messages from his or her parents may have been lullabies, or at least the music of their speaking voices. All of us have had the experience of hearing a tune from childhood and having that melody evoke a memory or a feeling. The music we hear early on tends to stay with us all our lives.
Fred Rogers (The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember)
I've learned to feel good when I feel good. it's better to be driven around in a red porsche than to own one. the luck of the fool is inviolate.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
they pulled Ezra through the streets in a wooden cage. Blake was sure of God. Villon was a mugger. Lorca sucked cock. T. S. Eliot worked a teller's cage
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
I like to prowl ordinary places. I feel sorry for us all or glad for us all caught alive together and awkward in that way. there's nothing better than the joke of us the seriousness of us the dullness of us
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
The Violins waltzed. The Cellos and Basses provided accompaniment. The Violas mourned their fate, while the Concertmaster showed off. The Flutes did bird imitations…repeatedly, and the reed instruments had the good taste to admire my jacket. The Trumpets held a parade in honor of our great nation, while the French Horns waxed nostalgic about something or other. The Trombones had too much to drink. The Percussion beat the band, and the Tuba stayed home playing cards with his landlady, the Harp, taking sips of warm milk a blue little cup. “But the Composer is still dead.
Lemony Snicket (The Composer Is Dead)
there's no defense except all the errors made
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
HAMLET: I do not well understand that. Will you play upon this pipe? GUILDENSTERN: My lord, I cannot. HAMLET: I pray you. GUILDENSTERN: Believe me, I cannot. HAMLET: I do beseech you. GUILDENSTERN: I know no touch of it, my lord. HAMLET: It is as easy as lying. Govern these ventages with our fingers and thumb, give it breath with your mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these are the stops. GUILDENSTERN: But these cannot I command to any utterance of harmony. I have not the skill. HAMLET: Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play upon me, you would seem to know my stops, you would pluck out the heart of my mystery, you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass, and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak. 'Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me.
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
waiting in a life full of little stories for a death to come
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
Dancers are instruments, like a piano the choreographer plays.
George Balanchine
The only people I truly envy are those who can play a musical instrument and those who can eat anything they want without gaining weight.
Thomas Sowell
I chose the specialty of surgery because of Matron, that steady presence during my boyhood and adolescence. 'What is the hardest thing you can possibly do?' she said when I went to her for advice on the darkest day of the first half of my life. I squirmed. How easily Matron probed the gap between ambition and expediency. 'Why must I do what is hardest?' 'Because, Marion, you are an instrument of God. Don't leave the instrument sitting in its case my son. Play! Leave no part of your instrument unexplored. Why settle for 'Three Blind Mice' when you can play the 'Gloria'? 'But, Matron, I can't dream of playing Bach...I couldn't read music. 'No, Marion,' she said her gaze soft...'No, not Bach's 'Gloria'. Yours! Your 'Gloria' lives within you. The greatest sin is not finding it, ignoring what God made possible in you.
Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone)
At every moment, each instrument knew what to play. Its little bit. But none could see the whole thing like this, all at once, only its own part. Just like life. Each person was like a line of music, but nobody knew what the symphony sounded like. Only the conductor had the whole score.
Janet Fitch (Paint it Black)
Life is an art we are required to practice without preparation, a score that we play at sight even before we have mastered our instruments.
Lewis Mumford
What would you give someone who likes to play the piano?” “A piano.” “Simon.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
permanent living peace is permanent living death.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
Barack Obama
I call her Wild Woman, for those very words, wild and woman, create llamar o tocar a la puerta, the fairy-tale knock at the door of the deep feminine psyche. Llamar o tocar a la puerta means literally to play upon the instrument of the name in order to open a door. It means using words that summon up the opening of a passageway. No matter by which culture a woman is influenced, she understands the words wild and woman, intuitively.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés
I care for you, darling, I love you, the only reason I fucked L. is because you fucked Z. and then I fucked R. and you fucked N. and because you fucked N. I had to fuck Y. But I think of you constantly, I feel you here in my belly like a baby, love I'd call it, no matter what happens I'd call it love, and so you fucked C. and then before I could move you fucked W., so I had to fuck D. But I want you to know that I love you, I think of you constantly, I don't think I've ever loved anybody like I love you.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
I wait on my fix: I am a poetry junkie.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
I want to play you…” He pressed his forehead to mine, closing his eyes. “I want to play your body like an instrument.
J.M. Warwick (A Season of Eden)
You don’t know anyone at the party, so you don’t want to go. You don’t like cottage cheese, so you haven’t eaten it in years. This is your choice, of course, but don’t kid yourself: it’s also the flinch. Your personality is not set in stone. You may think a morning coffee is the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it’s really just a habit. Thirty days without it, and you would be fine. You think you have a soul mate, but in fact you could have had any number of spouses. You would have evolved differently, but been just as happy. You can change what you want about yourself at any time. You see yourself as someone who can’t write or play an instrument, who gives in to temptation or makes bad decisions, but that’s really not you. It’s not ingrained. It’s not your personality. Your personality is something else, something deeper than just preferences, and these details on the surface, you can change anytime you like. If it is useful to do so, you must abandon your identity and start again. Sometimes, it’s the only way. Set fire to your old self. It’s not needed here. It’s too busy shopping, gossiping about others, and watching days go by and asking why you haven’t gotten as far as you’d like. This old self will die and be forgotten by all but family, and replaced by someone who makes a difference. Your new self is not like that. Your new self is the Great Chicago Fire—overwhelming, overpowering, and destroying everything that isn’t necessary.
Julien Smith (The Flinch)
A moment later, Helen had returned; she was walking slowly now, and carefully, her hand on the back of a thin boy with a mop of wavy brown hair. He couldn’t have been older than twelve, and Clary recognized him immediately. Helen, her hand firmly clamped around the wrist of a younger boy whose hands were covered with blue wax. He must have been playing with the tapers in the huge candelabras that decorated the sides of the nave. He looked about twelve, with an impish grin and the same wavy, bitter-chocolate hair as his sister. Jules, Helen had called him. Her little brother. The impish grin was gone now. He looked tired and dirty and frightened. Skinny wrists stuck out of the cuffs of a white mourning jacket whose sleeves were too long for him. In his arms he was carrying a little boy, probably not more than two years old, with the same wavy brown hair that he had; it seemed to be a family trait. The rest of his family wore the same borrowed mourning clothes: following Julian was a brunette girl about ten, her hand firmly clasped in the hold of a boy the same age: the boy had a sheet of tangled black hair that nearly obscured his face. Fraternal twins, Clary guessed. After them came a girl who might have been eight or nine, her face round and very pale between brown braids. The misery on their faces cut at Clary’s heart. She thought of her power with runes, wishing that she could create one that would soften the blow of loss. Mourning runes existed, but only to honor the dead, in the same way that love runes existed, like wedding rings, to symbolize the bond of love. You couldn’t make someone love you with a rune, and you couldn’t assuage grief with it, either. So much magic, Clary thought, and nothing to mend a broken heart. “Julian Blackthorn,” said Jia Penhallow, and her voice was gentle. “Step forward, please.” Julian swallowed and handed the little boy he was holding over to his sister. He stepped forward, his eyes darting around the room. He was clearly scouring the crowd for someone. His shoulders had just begun to slump when another figure darted out onto the stage. A girl, also about twelve, with a tangle of blond hair that hung down around her shoulders: she wore jeans and a t-shirt that didn’t quite fit, and her head was down, as if she couldn’t bear so many people looking at her. It was clear that she didn’t want to be there — on the stage or perhaps even in Idris — but the moment he saw her, Julian seemed to relax. The terrified look vanished from his expression as she moved to stand next to him, her face ducked down and away from the crowd. “Julian,” said Jia, in the same gentle voice, “would you do something for us? Would you take up the Mortal Sword?
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Question: What is the opposite of faith? Not disbelief. Too final, certain, closed. Itself is a kind of belief. Doubt. The human condition, but what of the angelic? Halfway between Allahgod and homosap, did they ever doubt? They did: challenging God's will one day they hid muttering beneath the Throne, daring to ask forbidden things: antiquestions. Is it right that. Could it not be argued. Freedom, the old antiquest. He calmed them down, naturally, employing management skills a la god. Flattered them: you will be the instruments of my will on earth, the salvationdamnation of man, all the usual etcetera. And hey presto, the end of protest, on with the haloes, back to work. Angels are easily pacified; turn them into instruments and they'll play your harpy tune. Human beings are tougher nuts, can doubt anything, even the evidence of their own eyes. Of behing-their-own-eyes. Of what, as they sink heavy-lidded, transpires behind closed peepers ... angels, they don't have much in the way of a will. To will is to disagree; not to submit; to dissent.
Salman Rushdie (The Satanic Verses)
Mr. Mancini had a singular talent for making me uncomfortable. He forced me to consider things I’d rather not think about – the sex of my guitar, for instance. If I honestly wanted to put my hands on a woman, would that automatically mean I could play? Gretchen’s teacher never told her to think of her piano as a boy. Neither did Lisa’s flute teacher, though in that case the analogy was obvious. On the off chance that sexual desire was all it took, I steered clear of Lisa’s instrument, fearing that I might be labeled a prodigy.
David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
No, I don't, like, play an instrument or anything.I'm just...well, you saw me at the beginning there. I was the guy that fell down and died.
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
Once there was a boy,” said Jace. Clary interrupted immediately. “A Shadowhunter boy?” “Of course.” For a moment a bleak amusement colored his voice. Then it was gone. “When the boy was six years old, his father gave him a falcon to train. Falcons are raptors – killing birds, his father told him, the Shadowhunters of the sky. “The falcon didn’t like the boy, and the boy didn’t like it, either. Its sharp beak made him nervous, and its bright eyes always seemed to be watching him. It would slash at him with beak and talons when he came near: For weeks his wrists and hands were always bleeding. He didn’t know it, but his father had selected a falcon that had lived in the wild for over a year, and thus was nearly impossible to tame. But the boy tried, because his father told him to make the falcon obedient, and he wanted to please his father. “He stayed with the falcon constantly, keeping it awake by talking to it and even playing music to it, because a tired bird was meant to be easier to tame. He learned the equipment: the jesses, the hood, the brail, the leash that bound the bird to his wrist. He was meant to keep the falcon blind, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it – instead he tried to sit where the bird could see him as he touched and stroked its wings, willing it to trust him. Hee fed it from his hand, and at first it would not eat. Later it ate so savagely that its beak cut the skin of his palm. But the boy was glad, because it was progress, and because he wanted the bird to know him, even if the bird had to consume his blood to make that happen. “He began to see that the falcon was beautiful, that its slim wings were built for the speed of flight, that it was strong and swift, fierce and gentle. When it dived to the ground, it moved like likght. When it learned to circle and come to his wrist, he neary shouted with delight Sometimes the bird would hope to his shoulder and put its beak in his hair. He knew his falcon loved him, and when he was certain it was not just tamed but perfectly tamed, he went to his father and showed him what he had done, expecting him to be proud. “Instead his father took the bird, now tame and trusting, in his hands and broke its neck. ‘I told you to make it obedient,’ his father said, and dropped the falcon’s lifeless body to the ground. ‘Instead, you taught it to love you. Falcons are not meant to be loving pets: They are fierce and wild, savage and cruel. This bird was not tamed; it was broken.’ “Later, when his father left him, the boy cried over his pet, until eventually his father sent a servant to take the body of the bird away and bury it. The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Magnus didn’t look at her; he was looking down at the tent, where Clary sat talking with Tessa, where Alec stood side by side with Maia and Bat, laughing, where Isabelle and Simon were dancing to the music Jace was playing on the piano, the haunting sweet notes of Chopin reminding him of another time, and the sound of a violin at Christmas.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
we should have known. maybe we wanted cotton candy luck. maybe we believed. what trash. we believed like dogs believe.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
What is it that makes you want to write songs? In a way you want to stretch yourself into other people’s hearts. You want to plant yourself there, or at least get a resonance, where other people become a bigger instrument than the one you’re playing. It becomes almost an obsession to touch other people. To write a song that is remembered and taken to heart is a connection, a touching of bases. A thread that runs through all of us. A stab to the heart. Sometimes I think songwriting is about tightening the heartstrings as much as possible without bringing on a heart attack.
Keith Richards (Life)
Jay took out his guitar. He was decent at it, but the piano was his best talent. He couldn’t get a certain riff right, so he handed the instrument to Kaidan, and my heart flipped. I recalled him saying he played guitar, but I’d never actually seen or heard him play. Kaidan began to pick at each string, testing and tuning with his full attention. I watched the way his hands moved across the wood and strings, gently, reverently, his body seeming to curl around it as if it were a part of him. . . . I felt my hands getting sweaty, because watching Kaidan get lost in music did crazy things to me. My breathing became ragged and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He looked up at that moment and caught me staring hard. He knew. He knew what it did to me! I could tell because his badge expanded. He angled himself away from the others and signed to me, I want to be alone with you tonight. Patti did have a lot of guests staying in the house. I signed back, I’ll work on it. “Excellent,” he whispered, a hot grin sliding onto his face.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Reckoning (Sweet, #3))
If all experienced God in the same way and returned Him an identical worship, the song of the Church triumphant would have no symphony, it would be played like an orchestra in which all instruments played the same note.
C.S. Lewis
Music is the fastest motivator in the world.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
A great voice is a unique instrument, not to sound like another instrument, but to be played like one.
Jeffrey Fry
Some people look like they sound better than they actually sound, because they look confident and have good posture," once musician, a veteran of many auditions, says. "Other people look awful when they play but sound great. Other people have that belabored look when they play, but you can't hear it in the sound. There is always this dissonance between what you see and hear" (p.251).
Malcolm Gladwell (Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking)
Each woman is like an instrument, waiting to be learned, loved, and finely played, to have at last her own true music made. Some might take offense at this way of seeing things, not understanding how a trouper views his music. They might think I degrade women. They might consider me callous, or boorish, or crude. But those people do not understand love, or music, or me.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Kiss me,” she pleaded, and he did, hot languorous slow kisses that sped up as his heartbeat did, as the movement of their bodies quickened against each other. Each kiss was different, each rising higher and higher like a spark as a fire grew: quick soft kisses that told her he loved her, long slow worshipful kisses that said that he trusted her, playful light kisses that said that he still had hope, adoring kisses that said he had faith in her as he did in no one else. Clary abandoned herself to the kisses, the language of them, the wordless speech that passed between the two of them.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Do I have an original thought in my head? My bald head. Maybe if I were happier, my hair wouldn't be falling out. Life is short. I need to make the most of it. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I'm a walking cliché. I really need to go to the doctor and have my leg checked. There's something wrong. A bump. The dentist called again. I'm way overdue. If I stop putting things off, I would be happier. All I do is sit on my fat ass. If my ass wasn't fat I would be happier. I wouldn't have to wear these shirts with the tails out all the time. Like that's fooling anyone. Fat ass. I should start jogging again. Five miles a day. Really do it this time. Maybe rock climbing. I need to turn my life around. What do I need to do? I need to fall in love. I need to have a girlfriend. I need to read more, improve myself. What if I learned Russian or something? Or took up an instrument? I could speak Chinese. I'd be the screenwriter who speaks Chinese and plays the oboe. That would be cool. I should get my hair cut short. Stop trying to fool myself and everyone else into thinking I have a full head of hair. How pathetic is that? Just be real. Confident. Isn't that what women are attracted to? Men don't have to be attractive. But that's not true. Especially these days. Almost as much pressure on men as there is on women these days. Why should I be made to feel I have to apologize for my existence? Maybe it's my brain chemistry. Maybe that's what's wrong with me. Bad chemistry. All my problems and anxiety can be reduced to a chemical imbalance or some kind of misfiring synapses. I need to get help for that. But I'll still be ugly though. Nothing's gonna change that.
Charlie Kaufman
It was like stepping onstage at your first piano recital and realizing that you’d never played anything but an instrument with broken keys. Your world shifts, but you’re asked to adjust and overcome, to play your music the same as everyone else.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
-I'm not creative like you.- -Of course you are!- -I don't sing or draw or act or play an instrument. I can't make things.- -That's not what 'creative' means, you know. Creativity is in everything.-
Lisa McMann (Island of Fire (Unwanteds, #3))
meat is cut as roses are cut men die as dogs die love dies like dogs die, he said.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
I almost tell him that I'd never be able to do something like that, just take out my instrument and begin playing on a street corner. But it feels to personal. Yes, I'm shy, but why bring it to his attention? I'm too shy to talk about how shy I am.
Andrew Clements (Things Hoped For (Things, #2))
Tonight I will suck the marrow from your bones!” it said. “I will dry them and work them most cunningly into instruments of music! Whenever I play upon them, your spirit will writhe in bodiless agony!” “You burn prettily,” I said.
Roger Zelazny (The Guns of Avalon (The Chronicles of Amber #2))
The Frays had never been a religiously observant family, but Clary loved Fifth Avenue at Christmas time. The air smelled like sweet roasted chestnuts, and the window displays sparkled with silver and blue, green and red. This year there were fat round crystal snowflakes attached to each lamppost, sending back the winter sunlight in shafts of gold. Not to mention the huge tree at Rockefeller Center. It threw its shadow across them as she and Simon draped themselves over the gate at the side of the skating rink, watching tourists fall down as they tried to navigate the ice. Clary had a hot chocolate wrapped in her hands, the warmth spreading through her body. She felt almost normal—this, coming to Fifth to see the window displays and the tree, had been a winter tradition for her and Simon for as long as she could remember. “Feels like old times, doesn’t it?” he said, echoing her thoughts as he propped his chin on his folded arms. She chanced a sideways look at him. He was wearing a black topcoat and scarf that emphasized the winter pallor of his skin. His eyes were shadowed, indicating that he hadn’t fed on blood recently. He looked like what he was—a hungry, tired vampire. Well, she thought. Almost like old times. “More people to buy presents for,” she said. “Plus, the always traumatic what-to-buy-someone-for-the-first-Christmas-after-you’ve-started-dating question.” “What to get the Shadowhunter who has everything,” Simon said with a grin. “Jace mostly likes weapons,” Clary sighed. “He likes books, but they have a huge library at the Institute. He likes classical music …” She brightened. Simon was a musician; even though his band was terrible, and was always changing their name—currently they were Lethal Soufflé—he did have training. “What would you give someone who likes to play the piano?” “A piano.” “Simon.” “A really huge metronome that could also double as a weapon?” Clary sighed, exasperated. “Sheet music. Rachmaninoff is tough stuff, but he likes a challenge.” “Now you’re talking. I’m going to see if there’s a music store around here.” Clary, done with her hot chocolate, tossed the cup into a nearby trash can and pulled her phone out. “What about you? What are you giving Isabelle?” “I have absolutely no idea,” Simon said. They had started heading toward the avenue, where a steady stream of pedestrians gawking at the windows clogged the streets. “Oh, come on. Isabelle’s easy.” “That’s my girlfriend you’re talking about.” Simon’s brows drew together. “I think. I’m not sure. We haven’t discussed it. The relationship, I mean.” “You really have to DTR, Simon.” “What?” “Define the relationship. What it is, where it’s going. Are you boyfriend and girlfriend, just having fun, ‘it’s complicated,’ or what? When’s she going to tell her parents? Are you allowed to see other people?” Simon blanched. “What? Seriously?” “Seriously. In the meantime—perfume!” Clary grabbed Simon by the back of his coat and hauled him into a cosmetics store that had once been a bank. It was massive on the inside, with rows of gleaming bottles everywhere. “And something unusual,” she said, heading for the fragrance area. “Isabelle isn’t going to want to smell like everyone else. She’s going to want to smell like figs, or vetiver, or—” “Figs? Figs have a smell?” Simon looked horrified; Clary was about to laugh at him when her phone buzzed. It was her mother. where are you? It’s an emergency.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
[On Chopin's Preludes:] "His genius was filled with the mysterious sounds of nature, but transformed into sublime equivalents in musical thought, and not through slavish imitation of the actual external sounds. His composition of that night was surely filled with raindrops, resounding clearly on the tiles of the Charterhouse, but it had been transformed in his imagination and in his song into tears falling upon his heart from the sky. ... The gift of Chopin is [the expression of] the deepest and fullest feelings and emotions that have ever existed. He made a single instrument speak a language of infinity. He could often sum up, in ten lines that a child could play, poems of a boundless exaltation, dramas of unequalled power.
George Sand (Story of My Life: The Autobiography of George Sand)
When Rosencrantz asks Hamlet, "Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper? You do surely bar the door upon your own liberty, if you deny your grief to your friends"(III, ii, 844-846), Hamlet responds, "Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck from my lowest note to the top of my compass; and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak. 'Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me." (III,ii, 371-380)
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
Life, said Samuel Butler, is like giving a concert on the violin while learning to play the instrument—that, friends, is real wisdom.
Saul Bellow
The point is that when you're playing D&D and your group comes across a heap of treasure, or a big sparkly gem, or a magical skull, you should never take it. It's always a trap." He uncrossed his arms and waved them wildly. "This is a trap." Jace was silent. He was looking at Simon thoughtfully, as if he'd never seen him before, or at least never considered him so closely. "Come here," he said. Simon moved toward him, his eyebrows raised. "What-oof!" Jace had dropped his sword into Simon's hands. "Hold this for me while I climb," Jace said, and leaped up onto the plinth.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Life can sometimes feel like an overproduced song, with a cacophony of a hundred instruments playing all at once. Sometimes the song sounds better stripped back to just a guitar and a voice. Sometimes, when a song has too much happening, it's hard to hear the song at all.
Matt Haig (Notes on a Nervous Planet)
Girls, be good to these spirits of music and poetry that breast your threshold with their scented gifts. Lift the lyre, clear and sweet, they leave with you. As for me, this body is now so arthritic I cannot play, hardly even hold the instrument. Can you believe my white hair was once black? And oh, the soul grows heavy with the body. Complaining knee-joints creak at every move. To think I danced as delicate as a deer! Some gloomy poems came from these thoughts: useless: we are all born to lose life, and what is worse, girls, to lose youth. The legend of the goddess of the dawn I’m sure you know: how rosy Eos madly in love with gorgeous young Tithonus swept him like booty to her hiding-place but then forgot he would grow old and grey while she in despair pursued her immortal way.
Sappho
It's called a gui-tar. It's used to perform American rural music. It's said to be especially popular in Texas," he told her. "It's also the instrument of choice for playing 'the blues,' which is a form of American music that chronicles the pain caused by poor decision making.
Adam Johnson (The Orphan Master's Son)
Why must I do what is hardest?" "Because, Marion, you are an instrument of God. Don't leave the instrument sitting in its case, my son. Play! Leave no part of your instrument unexplored. Why settle for 'Three Blind Mice' when you can play the 'Gloria'?
Abraham Verghese
Among other things, neuroplasticity means that emotions such as happiness and compassion can be cultivated in much the same way that a person can learn through repetition to play golf and basketball or master a musical instrument, and that such practice changes the activity and physical aspects of specific brain areas.
Andrew Weil (Spontaneous Healing)
She remembered what Jem, the ex-Silent Brother who'd helped preside over her parabatai ceremony, had said about what Julian was to her, that there was an expression for it in his native Chinese, zhi yin. "The one who understands your music." Emma couldn't play a note on any instrument , but Julian understood her music.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
It is easier to understand if you think of it in terms of music. Sometimes a man enjoys a symphony. Elsetimes he finds a jig more suited to his taste. The same holds true for lovemaking. One type is suited to the deep cushions of a twilight forest glade. Another comes quite naturally tangled in the sheets of narrow beds upstairs in inns. Each woman is like an instrument, waiting to be learned, loved, and finely played, to have at last her own true music made. Some might take offense at this way of seeing things, not understanding how a trouper views his music. They might think I degrade women. They might consider me callous, or boorish, or crude. But those people do not understand love, or music, or me.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
the lies of centuries, the lies of love, the lies of Socrates and Blake and Christ will be your bedmates and tombstones in a death that will never end.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
People who seek psychotherapy for psychological, behavioral or relationship problems tend to experience a wide range of bodily complaints...The body can express emotional issues a person may have difficulty processing consciously...I believe that the vast majority of people don't recognize what their bodies are really telling them. The way I see it, our emotions are music and our bodies are instruments that play the discordant tunes. But if we don't know how to read music, we just think the instrument is defective.
Charlette Mikulka
Not all activities are equal in this regard. Those that involve genuine concentration—studying a musical instrument, playing board games, reading, and dancing—are associated with a lower risk for dementia. Dancing, which requires learning new moves, is both physically and mentally challenging and requires much concentration. Less intense activities, such as bowling, babysitting, and golfing, are not associated with a reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s. (254)
Norman Doidge
You know what punk is? a bunch of no-talent guys who really, really want to be in a band. Nobody reads music, nobody plays the mandolin, and you're too dumb to write songs about mythology or Middle-earth. So what's your style? Three chords, cranked out fast and loud and distorted because your instruments are crap and you can't play them worth a damn. And you scream your lungs out to cover up the fact that you can't sing. It should suck, but here's the thing - it doesn't. Rock and roll can be so full of itself, but not this. It's simple and angry and raw.
Gordon Korman (Born to Rock)
In the years since, I learned that when I am missing Berk or Asta, I can play my tears through my instruments. And the Monitors think I am just improving. They don't know the truth. I play laughter and frustration. I play feelings I cannot define. But the music defines them for me.
Krista McGee (Anomaly (Anomaly, #1))
In short, a diamond bracelet is a much more honest instrument of courtship than a perforated stomach. She has the option of throwing the jewelry back at him, but she cannot decently walk out on the ulcer. ("Look How Hard I've Been Trying")
Eric Berne (Games People Play)
Punk was perfect for lazy people, because anyone could do it--you didn't even need to know how to play your instrument, assuming you knew how to plug it in. There was really no difference between Sid Vicious and anyone in London who owned a bass.
Chuck Klosterman (Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota)
Don't leave the instrument sitting in its case, my son. Play! Leave no part of your instrument unexplored. Why settle for 'Three Blind Mice' when you can play the 'Gloria'?
Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone)
I think that maybe I do want to learn to play” … “Oh, I think you’re quite adept at playing already, Tesoro.” “No.” She giggled. “An instrument.” “I’m allowing that joke to pass. Too obvious.
Elizabeth Hunter (A Fall of Water (Elemental Mysteries, #4))
The bricoleur, says Levi-Strauss, is someone who uses 'the means at hand,' that is, the instruments he finds at his disposition around him, those which are already there, which had not been especially conceived with an eye to the operation for which they are to be used and to which one tries by trial and error to adapt them, not hesitating to change them whenever it appears necessary, or to try several of them at once, even if their form and their origin are heterogenous—and so forth. There is therefore a critique of language in the form of bricolage, and it has even been said that bricolage is critical language itself…If one calls bricolage the necessity of borrowing one's concepts from the text of a heritage which is more or less coherent or ruined, it must be said that every discourse is bricoleur.
Jacques Derrida (Structure, Sign, and Play)
I'd like to hear five recordings of Louis Armstrong playing and singing "What Did I Do to Be so Black and Blue"-all at the same time. Sometimes now I listen to Louis while I have my favorite dessert of vanilla ice cream and sloe gin. I pour the red liquid over the white mound, watching it glisten and the vapor rising as Louis bends that military instrument into a beam of lyrical sound.
Ralph Ellison (Invisible Man)
If you find yourself pulled beyond all practicality toward doing something -- writing poetry, building a business, restoring old cars, planting a secret garden; if at four in the morning the right word comes to you, the perfect flower to plant in that particular spot -- you are playing your invisible instrument.
Joan Oliver Goldsmith (How Can We Keep from Singing: Music and the Passionate Life)
So sweet is this song that no one could resist it. For in it is all the passionate ache for the moonlight, and the great hunger of the sea, and the terror of desolate places,—all things that lure men to the unattainable. Omari tessala marax, tessala dodi phornepax amri radara poliax armana piliu amri radara piliu son; mari narya barbiton madara anaphax sarpedon andala hriliu Translation: I am the harlot that shaketh Death. This shaking giveth the Peace of Satiate Lust. Immortality jetteth from my skull, And music from my vulva. Immortality jetteth from my vulva also, For my Whoredom is a sweet scent like a seven-stringed instrument, Played unto God the Invisible, the all-ruler, That goeth along giving the shrill scream of orgasm. Every man that hath seen me forgetteth me never, and I appear oftentimes in the coals of the fire, and upon the smooth white skin of woman, and in the constancy of the waterfall, and in the emptiness of deserts and marshes, and upon great cliffs that look seaward; and in many strange places, where men seek me not. And many thousand times he beholdeth me not. And at last I smite myself into him as a vision smiteth into a stone, and whom I call must follow.
Aleister Crowley (The Vision and the Voice: With Commentary and Other Papers (Equinox IV:2))
The beautiful thing about the piano is that you got white keys and you got black keys. And the only way to make the most beautiful, magnificent, and poetic noise is with both sets of keys working in tandem. You can’t just play all white keys, because you won’t maximize what the instrument has to offer. You can’t just play all black keys, because you won’t maximize what the instrument has to offer. But integrate the white and black keys together, and that is when the piano makes a joyful noise.
Emmanuel Acho (Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man)
I'm convinced that the world, more than ever, needs the music only you can make. And if it takes extra courage to keep playing in spite of your loss, many will applaud the effort. And who knows? Others may be inspired to pick up their broken instruments, their broken lives, and begin again.
Steve Goodier
Destiny does not mean that your life has been strictly predetermined. Therefore, to leave everything to fate and to not actively contribute to the music of the universe is a sign of sheer ignorance. The music of the universe is all-pervading and it is composed on...different levels. Your destiny is the level where you will play your tune. You might not change your instrument but how well you play is entirely in your hands.
Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
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)
It was a ridiculous question. Did I _love_ Char? Did I feel about Char the same way I feel about the Beatles, string instruments in pop songs, the way Little Anthony sang high notes, the way Jerry Lee Lewis played piano?
Leila Sales (This Song Will Save Your Life)
Lying on her side, the warm fire at her feet, Helen's laughter died away as Lucas suddenly went from tuning to playing. It was like an orchestra in an instrument. He played with both hands-not one hand picking and the other holding down strings-but with both hands so that it sounded like more than one guitar was playing. Sometimes he hit the strings to make them hum like a harp, and sometimes he hit the body of the guitar like a drum to add bass and keep time. It was the most fascinating thing Helen had ever watched, like Lucas had a dozen voices in his head, all singing the same song, and he'd figured a way to make them come out of ten fingers. Helen looked at his face and could tell why he loved it. It was like thinking for him, only this was a puzzle that he could share with her as he solved it. He'd walked into her head when he'd come to her world. And she'd walked into his when she finally heard him play. It was heaven.
Josephine Angelini (Goddess (Starcrossed, #3))
The wind plays the world like an instrument. Blows through trees like flutes. But trees won’t grow in cement. And as heart beats bring percussion fallen trees bring repercussions. Cities play upon our souls like broken drums.
Saul Williams (The Dead Emcee Scrolls: The Lost Teachings of Hip-Hop)
Why would you want to stand there waving a stick when you could be playing an instrument?
Nigel Kennedy
I want to drum up interest for instruments that are played by beating them with sticks.
Jarod Kintz (This Book Has No Title)
The horn . . . is the joint hardest instrument to learn. . . . (The other is the oboe).
Jasper Rees (A Devil to Play: One Man's Year-Long Quest to Master the Orchestra's Most Difficult Instrument)
My words are like a musical instrument, softly & seductively playing under the moonlight as they penetrate the depths of your loins!
Rokk-I La' VON
Bad music is what will ruin music, not the instruments musicians choose to play.
Miles Davis (Miles: The Autobiography)
My code of life and conduct is simply this: work hard, play to the allowable limit, disregard equally the good and bad opinion of others, never do a friend a dirty trick, eat and drink what you feel like when you feel like, never grow indignant over anything, trust to tobacco for calm and serenity, bathe twice a day . . . learn to play at least one musical instrument and then play it only in private, never allow one's self even a passing thought of death, never contradict anyone or seek to prove anything to anyone unless one gets paid for it in cold, hard coin, live the moment to the utmost of its possibilities, treat one's enemies with polite inconsideration, avoid persons who are chronically in need, and be satisfied with life always but never with one's self.
George Jean Nathan
My advice to women who habitually gravitate toward musicians is that they learn how to play an instrument and start making music themselves. Not only will they see that it's not that hard, but sometimes I think women just want to be the very thing they think they want to sleep with. Because if you're bright enough--no offense, Tawny Kitaen--sleeping with a musician probably won't be enough for you to feel good about yourself. Even if he writes you a song for your birthday. Don't you know that a musician who writes a song for you is like a baker you're dating making you a cake? Aim higher.
Julie Klausner (I Don't Care About Your Band: Lessons Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I've Dated)
Marconi said, "I see you have your instruments. Can any of you sing? The old spirituals work best." John said, "I can sing." I said, "No, you can't, John." "Well, I play the guitar." "So can I," said Big Jim. "We have two guitars." I said, "This could not be any stupider." John said, "Dave, you remember the words to 'Camel Holocaust'?" "Ah, once again, you prove me wrong, John.
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
When I was a little girl I wanted to be a reindeer-the flying kind. I spent a couple years galloping around looking for lichen and fantasizing about boy reindeer. Then one day I saw Peter Pan and my reindeer phase was over. I didn't understand the allure of not growing up, because every little girl got boobs and go steady. I did understand that a flying Peter Pan was better than a flying reindeer. Mary Lou had seen Peter Pan too, but Mary Lou's ambition was to be Wendy, so Mary Lou and I made a good pair. On most any day we could be seen holding hands, running through the neighborhood singing, "I can fly! I can fly!" If we'd been older this probably would have started rumors. The Peter Pan stage was actually pretty short-lived because a few months into Peter Pan I discovered Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman couldn't fly, but she had big, fat bulging boobs crammed into a sexy Wondersuit. Barbie was firmly entrenched as role model in the burg, but Wonder Woman gave her a good run for her money. Not only did Wonder Woman spill over her Wondercups but she also kicked serious ass. If I had to name the single most influential person in my life it would have to be Wonder Woman. All during my teens and early twenties I wanted to be a rock star. The fact that I can't play a musical instrument or carry a tune did nothing to diminish the fantasy. During my more realistic moments I wanted to be a rock star's girlfriend.
Janet Evanovich (Three to Get Deadly (Stephanie Plum, #3))
Often, one compensates by playing an instrument, or going hiking, or joining some club. In other words, one creates a new type of society, when not working, in which one can feel more at home.
Isaac Asimov (Robot Dreams (Robot, #0.4))
Think of those fingers as abilities. A creative person may write, paint, sculpt, or think up math formulae; he or she might dance or sing or play a musical instrument. Those are the fingers, but creativity is the hand that gives them life. & just as all hands are basically the same - form follows function - all creative people are the same once you get down to the place where the fingers join.
Stephen King
Music is formed by instruments, framed with notes, paced by our hands playing with Time, but above all, it is made up of emotions. It transports you back to moments when you felt most alive. If it doesn’t release your locked feelings, music is just air.
Joseph Legaspi (A Three-Year Minute (The Three-Year Trilogy, #1))
When it comes to sexuality, romantic love plays a large part in feminine sexual scripts. Research suggests that women make sense of sexual encounters in terms of the amount of intimacy experienced; love becomes a rationale for sex. If i am in love, women often reason, sex is okay. Men more easily accept sex for its own sake, with no emotional strings necessarily attached. In this way, sexual scripts for men have involved more of an instrumental (sex for its own sake) approach, whereas for women it tends to be more expressive (sex involving emotional attachments). There is evidence to suggest that women are moving in the direction of sex as an end in itself without the normative constraints of an emotional relationship. By and large, however, women are still more likely than men to engage in sex as an act of love. Many scholars suggest that romance is one of the key ways that sexism is maintained in society.
Susan Shaw (Women's Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings)
We are all beautiful instruments of God. He created many notes in music so that we would not be stuck playing the same song. Be music always. Keep changing the keys, tones, pitch, and volume of each of the songs you create along your journey and play on. Nobody will ever reach ultimate perfection in this lifetime, but trying to achieve it is a full-time job. Start now and don't stop. Make your book of life a musical. Never abandon obligations, but have fun leaving behind a colorful legacy. Never allow anybody to be the composer of your own destiny. Take control of your life, and never allow limitations implanted by society, tell you how your music is supposed to sound — or how your book is supposed to be written.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
More so than with any other instrument, the violin becomes part of the body. Good musicians are physically dissolved when playing, and for violinists, who cannot see where to place their fingers and have nothing to guide them through touch, music must be more than ever about memory than fingertips and breath; the ventage is deeper, more of the self, closer to singing.
Lavinia Greenlaw (The Importance of Music to Girls)
External life being so mighty, the instruments so huge and terrible, the performances so great, the thoughts so great and threatening, you produce a someone who can exist before it. You invent a man who can stand before the terrible appearances. This way he can't get justice and he can't give justice, but he can live. And this is what mere humanity always does. It's made up of these inventors or artists, millions and millions of them, each in his own way trying to recruit other people to play a supporting role and sustain him in his make-believe... That's the struggle of humanity, to recruit others to your version of what's real.
Saul Bellow (The Adventures of Augie March)
It was not the sorrowful, lovely piece she had once played for Dorian, and it was not the light, dancing melodies she'd played for sport; it was not the complex and clever pieces she had played for Nehemia and Chaol. This piece was a celebration—a reaffirmation of life, of glory, of the pain and beauty in breathing. Perhaps that was why she'd gone to hear it performed every year, after so much killing and torture and punishment: as a reminder of that she was, of what she struggled to keep. Up and up it built, the sound breaking from the pianoforte like the heart-song of a god, until Rowan drifted over to stand beside the instrument, until she whispered to him, “Now,” and the crescendo shattered into the world, note after note after note. The music crashed around them, roaring through the emptiness of the theater. The hollow silence that had been inside her for so many months now overflowed with sound. She brought the piece home to its final explosive, triumphant chord. When she looked up, panting slightly, Rowan's eyes were lined with silver, his throat bobbing. Somehow, after all this time, her warrior-prince still managed to surprise her. He seemed to struggle for words, but he finally breathed, “Show me—show me how you did that.” So she obliged him.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
I'm here!" I said..."I'm read to go home!" As if they couldn't see me. As if I couldn't remember what it had been like, fluttering next to someone's ear and whispering into it. How the whole earth was like a musical instrument that we could play effortlessly. ...I could not fly. My sister was not there. My heart was broken.
Carolyn Turgeon (Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story)
I have had my invitation to this world's festival, and thus my life has been blessed. My eyes have seen and my ears have heard. It was my part at this feast to play upon my instrument, and I have done all I could. Now, I ask, has the time come at last when I may go in and see thy face and offer thee my silent salutation?
Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali)
My mouth blooms like a cut. I've been wronged all year, tedious nights, nothing but rough elbows in them and delicate boxes of Kleenex calling crybaby crybaby, you fool! Before today my body was useless. Now it's tearing at its square corners. It's tearing old Mary's garments off, knot by knot and see - Now it's shot full of these electric bolts. Zing! A resurrection! Once it was a boat, quite wooden and with no business, no salt water under it and in need of some paint. It was no more than a group of boards. But you hoisted her, rigged her. She's been elected. My nerves are turned on. I hear them like musical instruments. Where there was silence the drums, the strings are incurably playing. You did this. Pure genius at work. Darling, the composer has stepped into fire.
Anne Sexton (Love Poems)
I think animation is a very truthful way to express your thoughts, because the process is very direct. That’s what I’ve always liked about animation, particularly abstract animation. You go from the idea to execution, straight from your brain. It’s like when you hear someone playing an instrument, and you feel the direct connection between the instrument and his brain, because the instrument becomes an extension of his arms and fingers. It’s like a scanner of the brain and thought process that you can watch, or hear.
Michel Gondry
It was as if my body was his instrument and he learned to play it so perfectly that the melody vibrated within my very soul. Not only because of the pleasure he brought, but because he cared so much to know every little thing about me.
Mia Sheridan (Archer's Voice)
There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of ‘Heaven’ ridiculous by saying they do not want ‘to spend eternity playing harps’. The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them. All the scriptural imagery (harps, crowns, gold, etc.) is, of course, a merely symbolical attempt to express the inexpressible. Musical instruments are mentioned because for many people (not all) music is the thing known in the present life which most strongly suggests ecstasy and infinity. Crowns are mentioned to suggest the fact that those who are united with God in eternity share His splendour and power and joy. Gold is mentioned to suggest the timelessness of Heaven (gold does not rust) and the preciousness of it. People who take these symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, He meant that we were to lay eggs.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
It is only by demanding the impossible of the piano that you can obtain from it all that is possible. For the psychologist this means that imagination and desire are ahead of the possible reality. A deaf Beethoven created for the piano sounds never heard before and thus predetermined the development of the piano for several decades to come. The composer's creative spirit imposes on the piano rules to which it gradually conforms. That is the history of the instrument's development. I don't know of any case where the reverse occurred.
Heinrich Neuhaus (The Art of Piano Playing)
We are going to pick up our instruments and play Mozart,” Honoria announced. “And we are going to do it with smiles on our faces.” “I have no idea what any of you are talking about,” Daisy said. “I will play,” Sarah said, “but I make no promises about a smile.” She looked at the piano and blinked. “And I am not picking up my instrument.” Iris actually giggled. Then her eyes lit up. “I could help you.” “Pick it up?” Iris’s grin grew positively devilish. “The window is not far . . .” “I knew I loved you,” Sarah said with a wide smile.
Julia Quinn (Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1))
Playing an instrument says you have passion. Taking the time to teach someone else, especially someone younger, says you’re not only sweet, but patient. It told me you obviously like music. Musicians typically appreciate all music, so it told me you were more open. The fact that your little brother thought you were good meant you’re dedicated. And the way he looked at you, like you hung the moon, spoke loudest of all. It told me that someone loved you. That you had to be a good person to have so much respect from your brother when most brothers can’t seem to get along. It told me you were special.
Cheryl McIntyre (Sometimes Never (Sometimes Never, #1))
It was a sunny day, and Einstein merrily played with the telescope’s dials and instruments. Elsa came along as well, and it was explained to her that the equipment was used to determine the scope and shape of the universe. She reportedly replied, “Well, my husband does that on the back of an old envelope.
Walter Isaacson (Einstein: His Life and Universe)
that I played a part in building. We needed a safe way for the Submissives and the Dominants to learn. This club isn’t a free-for-all. Although each Dominant has their own way of doing things, their own preferences and kinks, and we encourage the variety. Dressed in leathers, the trainers are lined up and waiting for the women to choose instruments from the extensive collection. Their sole purpose is to provide a means for the women to explore their limits. One woman, I believe her name is Lisa, is concerned about her positioning. Although she’s dressed in a simple cream chiffon romper, she’s on the waxed floor of the stage, practicing with a trainer offering advice. She’s not very
Lauren Landish (Sold (Highest Bidder, #2))
Keep creating new chapters in your personal book and never stop re-inventing and perfecting yourself. Try new things. Pick up new hobbies and books. Travel and explore other cultures. Never stay in the same city or state for more than five years of your life. There are many heavens on earth waiting for you to discover. Seek out people with beautiful hearts and minds, not those with just beautiful style and bodies. The first kind will forever remain beautiful to you, while the other will grow stale and ugly. Learn a new language at least twice. Change your career at least thrice, and change your location often. Like all creatures in the wild, we were designed to keep moving. When a snake sheds its old skin, it becomes a more refined creature. Never stop refining and re-defining yourself. We are all beautiful instruments of God. He created many notes in music so we would not be stuck playing the same song. Be music always. Keep changing the keys, tones, pitch, and volume of each of the songs you create along your journey and play on. Nobody will ever reach ultimate perfection in this lifetime, but trying to achieve it is a full-time job. Start now and don't stop. Make your book of life a musical. Never abandon obligations, but have fun leaving behind a colorful legacy. Never allow anybody to be the composer of your own destiny. Take control of your life, and never allow limitations implanted by society, tell you how your music is supposed to sound — or how your book is supposed to be written.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Then at last the opening music came again, with all the different instruments bunched together for each note like a hard, tight fist that socked at her heart. And the first part was over. This music did not take a long time or a short time. It did not have anything to do with time going by at all. She sat with her arms held tight around her legs, biting her salty knee very hard. It might have been five minutes she listened or half the night. The second part was black-colored--a slow march. Not sad, but like the whole world was dead and black and there was no use thinking back how it was before. One of those horn kind of insturments played a sad and silver tune. Then the music rose up angry and with excitement underneath. And finally the black march again.
Carson McCullers (The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter)
Mac Rebennack, better known as Dr. John, once told me that when a brass band plays at a small club back up in one of the neighborhoods, it's as if the audience--dancing, singing to the refrains, laughing--is part of the band. They are two parts of the same thing. The dancers interpret, or it might be better to say literally embody, the sounds of the band, answering the instruments. Since everyone is listening to different parts of the music--she to the trumpet melody, he to the bass drum, she to the trombone--the audience is a working model in three dimensions of the music, a synesthesic transformation of materials. And of course the band is also watching the dancers, and getting ideas from the dancers' gestures. The relationship between band and audience is in that sense like the relationship between two lovers making love, where cause and effect becomes very hard to see, even impossible to call by its right name; one is literally getting down, as in particle physics, to some root stratum where one is freed from the lockstop of time itself, where time might even run backward, or sideways, and something eternal and transcendent is accessed.
Tom Piazza (Why New Orleans Matters)
After breakfast I spent an hour cleaning my revolver and trying my skill at a target. Jane shook her head, probably thinking that bullets were vain against demonic powers. But Perdita was hugely delighted with the shining little instrument and wanted it for a plaything; women of all ages will play with death! ("Absolute Evil")
Julian Hawthorne (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from Poe to the Pulps)
At the end of our visit, Fleisher agreed to play something on my piano, a beautiful old 1894 Bechstein concert grand that I had grown up with, my father's piano. Fleisher sat at the piano and carefully, tenderly, stretched each finger in turn, and then, with arms and hands almost flat, he started to play. He played a piano transcription of Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze," as arranged for piano by Egon Petri. Never in its 112 years, I thought, had this piano been played by such a master-I had the feeling that Fleisher has sized up the piano's character and perhaps its idiosyncrasies within seconds, that he had matched his playing to the instrument, to bring out its greatest potential, its particularity. Fleisher seemed to distill the beauty, drop by drop, like an alchemist, into flowing notes of an almost unbearable beauty-and, after this, there was nothing more to be said.
Oliver Sacks (Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain)
Apart from Tony Iommi – who I’d never seen again since leaving school – I didn’t even know anyone who could play a musical instrument. So, instead, I decided to grow my hair long and get some tattoos. At least I’d look the part. The hair was easy. The tattoos stung like a f**king bastard.
Ozzy Osbourne (I Am Ozzy)
If we admit instrumental musick in the worship of God, how can we resist the imposition of all the instruments used among the ancient Jews?—yea, dancing as well as playing, and several other Judaic actions? or, how can we decline a whole rabble of church-officers, necessary to be introduced for instrumental musick, whereof our Lord Jesus Christ hath left us no manner of direction?
Cotton Mather
Life is also a great instrument. You have to learn how to play upon it. Nothing has to be cut, destroyed, repressed, rejected. All that existence has given to you is beautiful. If you have not been able to use it beautifully, it simply shows that you are not yet artful enough. We have all taken our lives for granted, and that is wrong. We are given only a raw possibility. We have been given only a potential for life; we have to learn how to actualize it. All
Osho (Emotional Wellness: Transforming Fear, Anger, and Jealousy into Creative Energy)
So? If I die, then I die! The loss to the world won’t be great. Yes, and I’m fairly bored with myself already. I am like a man who is yawning at a ball, whose reason for not going home to bed is only that his carriage hasn’t arrived yet. But the carriage is ready . . . farewell! I run through the memory of my past in its entirety and can’t help asking myself: Why have I lived? For what purpose was I born? . . . There probably was one once, and I probably did have a lofty calling, because I feel a boundless strength in my soul . . . But I didn’t divine this calling. I was carried away with the baits of passion, empty and unrewarding. I came out of their crucible as hard and cold as iron, but I had lost forever the ardor for noble aspirations, the best flower of life. Since then, how many times have I played the role of the ax in the hands of fate! Like an instrument of execution, I fell on the head of doomed martyrs, often without malice, always without regret . . . My love never brought anyone happiness, because I never sacrificed anything for those I loved: I loved for myself, for my personal pleasure. I was simply satisfying a strange need of the heart, with greediness, swallowing their feelings, their joys, their suffering—and was never sated. Just as a man, tormented by hunger, goes to sleep in exhaustion and dreams of sumptuous dishes and sparkling wine before him. He devours the airy gifts of his imagination with rapture, and he feels easier. But as soon as he wakes: the dream disappears . . . and all that remains is hunger and despair redoubled! And, maybe, I will die tomorrow! . . . And not one being on this earth will have ever understood me totally. Some thought of me as worse, some as better, than I actually am . . . Some will say “he was a good fellow,” others will say I was a swine. Both one and the other would be wrong. Given this, does it seem worth the effort to live? And yet, you live, out of curiosity, always wanting something new . . . Amusing and vexing!
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
She walked as if through a forest. The pillars were furrowed like ancient trees, and into the woods the light seeped, colorful and as clear as song, through the stained-glass windows. High overhead animals and people frolicked in the stone foliage, and angels played their instruments. At an even higher, more dizzying height, the vaults of the ceiling arched upward, lifting the church toward God ... The song cut through her like a blinding light. Now she saw how deep in the dust she lay.
Sigrid Undset (Kristin Lavransdatter (Kristin Lavransdatter, #1-3))
When Magnus looked at Imasu, he saw Imasu had dropped his head into his hands. "Er," Magnus said. "Are you quite all right?" "I was simply overcome," Imasu said in a faint voice. Magnus preened slightly. "Ah. Well." "By how awful that was," Imasu said. Magnus blinked. "Pardon?" "I can't live a lie any longer!" Imasu burst out. "I have tried to be encouraging. Dignitaries of the town have been sent to me, asking me to plead with you to stop. My own sainted mother begged me, with tears in her eyes - " "It isn't as bad as all that - " "Yes, it is!" It was like a dam of musical critique had broken. Imasu turned on him with eyes that flashed instead of shining. "It is worse than you can possibly imagine! When you play, all of my mother's flowers lose the will to live and expire on the instant. The quinoa has no flavor now. The llamas are migrating because of your music, and llamas are not a migratory animal. The children now believe there is a sickly monster, half horse and half large mournful chicken, that lives in the lake and calls out to the world to grant it the sweet release of death. The townspeople believe that you and I are performing arcane magic rituals - " "Well, that one was rather a good guess," Magnus remarked. " - using the skull of an elephant, an improbably large mushroom, and one of your very peculiar hats!" "Or not," said Magnus. "Furthermore, my hats are extraordinary." "I will not argue with that." Imasu scrubbed a hand through his thick black hair, which curled and clung to his fingers like inky vines. "Look, I know that I was wrong. I saw a handsome man, thought that it would not hurt to talk a little about music and strike up a common interest, but I don't deserve this. You are going to get stoned in the town square, and if I have to listen to you play again, I will drown myself in the lake." "Oh," said Magnus, and he began to grin. "I wouldn't. I hear there is a dreadful monster living in that lake." Imasu seemed to still be brooding about Magnus's charango playing, a subject that Magnus had lost all interest in. "I believe the world will end with a noise like the noise you make!" "Interesting," said Magnus, and he threw his charango out the window. "Magnus!" "I believe that music and I have gone as far as we can go together," Magnus said. "A true artiste knows when to surrender." "I can't believe you did that!" Magnus waved a hand airily. "I know, it is heartbreaking, but sometimes one must shut one's ears to the pleas of the muse." "I just meant that those are expensive and I heard a crunch.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
He wasn’t that careful, Lucan. I think you’ve got him mixed up with someone else.” “He put a lot of effort into you. Not just as a soldier. But as a child. Why teach you that horse sport? Why teach you to play an instrument? Why give you a God? He took you to church? Every week?” I swallow and nod as my face begins to feel hot. “Men who want to kill their grandchildren don’t do those things, Junco.” FLIGHT ~ Chapter One
J.A. Huss (Flight (I Am Just Junco, #3))
Fuck being bored. You shouldn't ever be bored. You can always read and be smarter. You can always work out and be in better shape. You can always play your instrument and get better at it. Your space can always be cleaner. Blue-collar work is when you work with your hands--white-collar work is behind a desk. I'm not as grimy as my father, who made his living with a wrench, but everything I have comes from working with my hands.
Travis Barker (Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums, Drums, Drums)
Bowman was aware of some changes in his behavior patterns; it would have been absurd to expect anything else in the circumstances. He could no longer tolerate silence; except when he was sleeping, or talking over the circuit to Earth, he kept the ship's sound system running at almost painful loudness. / At first, needing the companionship of the human voice, he had listened to classical plays--especially the works of Shaw, Ibsen, and Shakespeare--or poetry readings from Discovery's enormous library of recorded sounds. The problems they dealt with, however, seemed so remote, or so easily resolved with a little common sense, that after a while he lost patience with them. / So he switched to opera--usually in Italian or German, so that he was not distracted even by the minimal intellectual content that most operas contained. This phase lasted for two weeks before he realized that the sound of all these superbly trained voices was only exacerbating his loneliness. But what finally ended this cycle was Verdi's Requiem Mass, which he had never heard performed on Earth. The "Dies Irae," roaring with ominous appropriateness through the empty ship, left him completely shattered; and when the trumpets of Doomsday echoed from the heavens, he could endure no more. / Thereafter, he played only instrumental music. He started with the romantic composers, but shed them one by one as their emotional outpourings became too oppressive. Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, lasted a few weeks, Beethoven rather longer. He finally found peace, as so many others had done, in the abstract architecture of Bach, occasionally ornamented with Mozart. / And so Discovery drove on toward Saturn, as often as not pulsating with the cool music of the harpsichord, the frozen thoughts of a brain that had been dust for twice a hundred years.
Arthur C. Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #1))
He was woken by music. It beckoned him, lilting and insistent; delicate music, played by delicate instruments that he could not identify, with one rippling, bell-like phrase running through it in a gold thread of delight. There was in this music so much of the deepest enchantment of all his dreams and imaginings that he woke smiling in pure happiness at the sound.
Susan Cooper (The Dark Is Rising (The Dark is Rising, #2))
And the thing about jazz, through all the business involved in practicing and improvement, it's always sweet: the improvement that you notice in the ability to express yourself, the feeling of playing, pushing yourself out into an open space through a sound, man. That's an unbelievable feeling, an uplifting feeling of joy to be able to express the range of what you feel and see, have felt and have seen. A lot of this has nothing to do with you. It comes from another time, another space. To be able to channel those things and then project them though an instrument, that's something that brings unbelievable joy.
Wynton Marsalis (To a Young Jazz Musician: Letters from the Road)
You don’t know anyone at the party, so you don’t want to go. You don’t like cottage cheese, so you haven’t eaten it in years. This is your choice, of course, but don’t kid yourself: it’s also the flinch. Your personality is not set in stone. You may think a morning coffee is the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it’s really just a habit. Thirty days without it, and you would be fine. You think you have a soul mate, but in fact you could have had any number of spouses. You would have evolved differently, but been just as happy. You can change what you want about yourself at any time. You see yourself as someone who can’t write or play an instrument, who gives in to temptation or makes bad decisions, but that’s really not you. It’s not ingrained. It’s not your personality. You personality is something else, something deeper than just preferences, and these details on the surface, you can change anytime you like. If it is useful to do so, you must abandon your identity and start again. Sometimes, it’s the only way. Set fire to your old self. It’s not needed here. It’s too busy shopping, gossiping about others, and watching days go by and asking why you haven’t gotten as far as you’d like. This old self will die and be forgotten by all but family, and replaced by someone who makes a difference. Your new self is not like that. Your new self is the Great Chicago Fire—overwhelming, overpowering, and destroying everything that isn’t necessary.
Julien Smith (The Flinch)
Our poor human heart is flawed: it is like a cake without the frosting: the first two acts of the theatre without the climax. Even its design is marred for a small piece is missing out of the side. That is why it remains so unsatisfied: it wants life and it gets death: it wants Truth and it has to settle for an education; it craves love and gets only intermittent euphoria’s with satieties. Samples, reflections and fractions are only tastes, not mouthfuls. A divine trick has been played on the human heart as if a violin teacher gave his pupil an instrument with one string missing. God kept a part of man's heart in Heaven, so that discontent would drive him back again to Him Who is Eternal Life, All-Knowing Truth and the Abiding Ecstasy of Love.
Fulton J. Sheen
I stared at him, baffled. But at that moment Gideon began to play, and I entirely forgot what I had been going to ask the count. Oh, my god! Maybe it was the punch—but wow! That violin was really sexy! Even the way Gideon raised it and tucked it under his chin! He didn’t have to do more than that to carry me away with him. His long lashes cast shadows on his cheeks, and a lock of hair fell over his face as he began passing the bow over the strings. The first notes filling the room almost took my breath away, they made such tender, melting music, and suddenly I was close to tears. Until now, violins had been way down on my list of favorite instruments, and I really liked them only for accompanying certain moments in films. But this was just incredibly wonderful—well, all of it was: the bittersweet melody and boy enticing it out of the instrument. All the people in the room listened with bated breath, and Gideon played on, immersed in the music as if there were no one else there. I didn’t notice that I was crying until the count touched my cheek and caught a tear gently with his finger. Then I jumped in alarm. He was smiling down at me, and I saw a warm glow in his dark brown eyes. “Nothing to be ashamed of,” he said quietly. “If it were otherwise, I’d have been very disappointed.
Kerstin Gier (Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2))
Whether you are five years old and irresistibly drawn to the piano in your home, or you are an adult who suddenly falls in love with music and decides to take lessons, the knowledge that you belong in the world of music is deep and indestructible. It is part of your basic nature, as much as the color of your eyes or the sound of your voice. Even your choice of instrument might feel choiceless; you hear a piano or a cello and somehow know that that is the instrument you must play.
Madeline Bruser (The Art of Practicing: A Guide to Making Music from the Heart)
My life was awful. When I was a kid, I was fat, pretty ugly and had awful hair. I used to get teased every fucking day, slammed up against lockers, punched in the face - you name it. Hell, I had to go to prom with one of my female friends because I couldn’t even get a proper date. I can’t even look back at those photos because I look so bad. I transferred schools, but the teasing just got worse. After an, let’s say, ‘incident’ I had with the school play the bullying just got worse. But I made it through high school, only to find out that real life was pretty much the same. I just stayed in my dark room all day and didn’t talk to anyone. I didn’t go outside. I just stayed inside and drew. I’d draw vampires, mummies, heroes, villains. Anything to help me escape all the bad in the world. I went to art school and didn’t really belong. All I could draw was comic book characters. I tried to put my only good talent to use by drawing a cartoon and pitching it - only to have it turned down. Life to me was just pointless. I started drinking, doing drugs and just generally wasting my life drawing.
Then one day, I saw bodies falling from the sky. I witnessed people dying. And that’s when I decided to turn my life around. I called up anyone I knew who had an instrument and we formed a band. Being on tour for the first few years was bad. All we’d do is get drunk and do drugs, but I loved it. Because I was doing something I loved with people I loved. And a few years ago I met the most perfect woman ever. It’s like we share a wave-link or something. She just knows me without even knowing me, if you understand. And now, 2011, I have a beautiful baby girl, a caring wife and I get to perform for my adoring fans everyday. I am living proof that no matter how bad it gets, it gets better. I am Gerard Way, and I survived.
Gerard Way
Then I told her what I didn’t see. Namely, that I didn’t see her. You could be standing a few feet away—Clara’s dance partner, or across the street taking a picture of Rudolph before he takes �ight. I could have sat next to you on the subway, or brushed beside you as we went through the turnstiles. But whether or not you are here, you are here—because these words are for you, and they wouldn’t exist if you weren’t here in some way. This notebook is a strange instrument—the player doesn’t know the music until it’s being played.
David Levithan (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
The great events of an age appear, to those living through them, as backdrops only to the vastly more compelling dramas of their own lives, and how could it be otherwise? In this same way, many of the men and women there in the Hippodrome (and some who were not, but later claimed to have been) would cling to one private image or another of what transpired. They might be entirely different things, varying moments, for each of us has strings within the soul, and we are played upon in different ways, like instruments, and how could it be otherwise?
Guy Gavriel Kay (Lord of Emperors (The Sarantine Mosaic, #2))
habits and qualities that the professional possesses that the amateur doesn't: 1. The professional shows up every day 2. The professional stays on the job all day 3. The professional is committed over the long haul 4. For the professional, the stakes are high and real Further: 5. The professional is patient 6. The professional seeks order 7. The professional demystifies 8. The professional acts in the face of fear 9. The professional accepts no excuses 10. The professional plays it as it lays 11. The professional is prepared 12. The professional does not show off 13. The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique 14. The professional does not hesitate to ask for help 15. The professional does not take failure or success personally 16. The professional does not identify with his or her instrument 17. The professional endures adversity 18. The professional self-validates 19. The professional reinvents herself 20. The professional is recognized by other professionals
Steven Pressfield (Turning Pro)
But should a sensation from the distant past-like those musical instruments that record and preserve the sound and style of the various artists who played them-enable our memory to make us hear that name with the particular tone it then had for our ears, even if the name seems not to have changed, we can still feel the distance between the various dreams which its unchanging syllables evoked for us in turn. For a second, rehearing the warbling from some distant springtime, we can extract from it, as from the little tubes of color used in painting, the precise tint-forgotten, mysterious, and fresh-of the days we thought we remembered when, like bad painters, we were in fact spreading our whole past on a single canvas and painting it with the conventional monochrome of voluntary memory.
Marcel Proust (The Guermantes Way)
Those who abdicate the empire of reason and permit their wills to wander in pursuit of reflections in the Astral Light, are subject to alternations of mania and melancholy which have originated all the marvels of demoniacal possession, though it is true, at the same time, that by means of these reflections impure spirits can act upon such souls, make use of them as docile instruments and even habitually torment their organism, wherein they enter and reside by obsession, or embryonically. These kabalistic terms are explained in the Hebrew book of the Revolution of Souls, of which our thirteenth chapter will contain a succinct analysis. It is therefore extremely dangerous to make sport of the Mysteries of Magic; it is above all excessively rash to practice its rites from curiosity, by way of experiment and as if to exploit higher forces. The inquisitive who, without being adepts, busy themselves with evocations or occult magnetism, are like children playing with fire in the neighborhood of a cask of gunpowder; sooner or later they will fall victims to some terrible explosion.
Éliphas Lévi (Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual)
The Listening Exercise Relax. Close your eyes. Try for several minutes to concentrate on all of the sounds you hear in your surroundings, as if you were hearing an orchestra playing its instruments. Little by little, try to separate each sound from the others. Concentrate on each one, as if it were the only instrument playing. Try to eliminate the other sounds from your awareness. When you do this exercise every day, you will begin to hear voices. First, you will think that they are imaginary. Later, you will discover that they are voices of people from your past, present, and future, all of them participating with you in the remembrance of time. This exercise should be performed only when you already know the voice of your messenger. Do this exercise for ten minutes at a time.
Paulo Coelho (The Pilgrimage)
It's a complex song, and it's fascinating to watch the creative process as they went back and forth and finally created it over a few months. Lennon was always my favorite Beatle. [ He laughs as Lennon stops during the first take and makes the band go back and revise a chord.] Did you hear that little detour they took? It didn't work, so they went back and started from where they were. It's so raw in this version. It actually makes the sound like mere mortals. You could actually imagine other people doing this, up to this version. Maybe not writing and conceiving it, but certainly playing it. Yet they just didn't stop. They were such perfectionists they kept it going This made a big impression on me when I was in my thirties. You could just tell how much they worked at this. They did a bundle of work between each of these recording. They kept sending it back to make it closer to perfect.[ As he listens to the third take, he points out how instrumentation has gotten more complex.] The way we build stuff at Apple is often this way. Even the number of models we'd make of a new notebook or iPod. We would start off with a version and then begin refining and refining, doing detailed models of the design, or the buttons, or how a function operates. It's a lot of work, but in the end it just gets better, and soon it's like, " Wow, how did they do that?!? Where are the screws?
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Driving to pick up his son, Bennie alternated between the Sleepers and the Dead Kennedys, San Francisco bands he'd grown up with. He listened for muddiness, the sense of actual musicians playing actual instruments in an actual room. Nowadays the quality (if it existed at all) was usually an effect of analogue signaling rather than bona fide tape - everything was an effect in the bloodless constructions Bennie and his peers were churning out. He worked tirelessly, feverishly, to get things right, stay on top, make songs that people would love and buy and download as ring tones (and steal, of course) - above all, to satisfy the multinational crude-oil extractors he'd sold his label to five years ago. But Bennie knew that what he was bringing into the world was shit. Too clear, too clean. The problem was precision, perfection; the problem was digitization, which sucked the life out of everything that got smeared through its microscopic mesh. Film, photography, music: dead. An aesthetic holocaust!
Jennifer Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad)
There’s a reason for the word heartbeat not be called beat of heart. The perfect woman only needs a good beat. The heart will follow. Emotions, when put in equilibrium with reason, create more miracles than any emotion, no matter how strong, deprived from reason. This is why it’s much easier to love a woman that can play the drums or any other instrument with rhythm, than one that believes in unreasonable magic, simply because there’s more magic in reason than in the lack of it. You see, loving someone that you truly want to love, someone you admire, someone you want to spend your time with, helping, sharing and growing together, makes much more sense than expecting someone to love you for no reason than your will, needs and desires. And when humans understand this, they will understand love, find it easily and never lose it again.
Robin Sacredfire
Welsh Incident 'But that was nothing to what things came out From the sea-caves of Criccieth yonder.' What were they? Mermaids? dragons? ghosts?' Nothing at all of any things like that.' What were they, then?' 'All sorts of queer things, Things never seen or heard or written about, Very strange, un-Welsh, utterly peculiar Things. Oh, solid enough they seemed to touch, Had anyone dared it. Marvellous creation, All various shapes and sizes, and no sizes, All new, each perfectly unlike his neighbour, Though all came moving slowly out together.' Describe just one of them.' 'I am unable.' What were their colours?' 'Mostly nameless colours, Colours you'd like to see; but one was puce Or perhaps more like crimson, but not purplish. Some had no colour.' 'Tell me, had they legs?' Not a leg or foot among them that I saw.' But did these things come out in any order?' What o'clock was it? What was the day of the week? Who else was present? How was the weather?' I was coming to that. It was half-past three On Easter Tuesday last. The sun was shining. The Harlech Silver Band played Marchog Jesu On thrity-seven shimmering instruments Collecting for Caernarvon's (Fever) Hospital Fund. The populations of Pwllheli, Criccieth, Portmadoc, Borth, Tremadoc, Penrhyndeudraeth, Were all assembled. Criccieth's mayor addressed them First in good Welsh and then in fluent English, Twisting his fingers in his chain of office, Welcoming the things. They came out on the sand, Not keeping time to the band, moving seaward Silently at a snail's pace. But at last The most odd, indescribable thing of all Which hardly one man there could see for wonder Did something recognizably a something.' Well, what?' 'It made a noise.' 'A frightening noise?' No, no.' 'A musical noise? A noise of scuffling?' No, but a very loud, respectable noise --- Like groaning to oneself on Sunday morning In Chapel, close before the second psalm.' What did the mayor do?' 'I was coming to that.
Robert Graves
Filth, filth, filth, from morning to night. I know they're poor but they could wash. Water is free and soap is cheap. Just look at that arm, nurse.' The nurse looked and clucked in horror. Francie stood there with the hot flamepoints of shame burning her face. The doctor was a Harvard man, interning at the neighborhood hospital. Once a week, he was obliged to put in a few hours at one of the free clinics. He was going into a smart practice in Boston when his internship was over. Adopting the phraseology of the neighborhood, he referred to his Brooklyn internship as going through Purgatory, when he wrote to his socially prominent fiancee in Boston. The nurse was as Williamsburg girl... The child of poor Polish immigrants, she had been ambitious, worked days in a sweatshop and gone to school at night. Somehow she had gotten her training... She didn't want anyone to know she had come from the slums. After the doctor's outburst, Francie stood hanging her head. She was a dirty girl. That's what the doctor meant. He was talking more quietly now asking the nurse how that kind of people could survive; that it would be a better world if they were all sterilized and couldn't breed anymore. Did that mean he wanted her to die? Would he do something to make her die because her hands and arms were dirty from the mud pies? She looked at the nurse... She thought the nurse might say something like: Maybe this little girl's mother works and didn't have time to wash her good this morning,' or, 'You know how it is, Doctor, children will play in the dirt.' But what the nurse actuallly said was, 'I know, Isn't it terrible? I sympathize with you, Doctor. There is no excuse for these people living in filth.' A person who pulls himself up from a low environment via the bootstrap route has two choices. Having risen above his environment, he can forget it; or, he can rise above it and never forget it and keep compassion and understanding in his heart for those he has left behind him in the cruel upclimb. The nurse had chosen the forgetting way. Yet, as she stood there, she knew that years later she would be haunted by the sorrow in the face of that starveling child and that she would wish bitterly that she had said a comforting word then and done something towards the saving of her immortal soul. She had the knowledge that she was small but she lacked the courage to be otherwise. When the needle jabbed, Francie never felt it. The waves of hurt started by the doctor's words were racking her body and drove out all other feeling. While the nurse was expertly tying a strip of gauze around her arm and the doctor was putting his instrument in the sterilizer and taking out a fresh needle, Francie spoke up. My brother is next. His arm is just as dirty as mine so don't be suprised. And you don't have to tell him. You told me.' They stared at this bit of humanity who had become so strangely articulate. Francie's voice went ragged with a sob. 'You don't have to tell him. Besides it won't do no godd. He's a boy and he don't care if he is dirty.'... As the door closed, she heard the doctor's suprised voice. I had no idea she'd understand what I was saying.' She heard the nurse say, 'Oh, well,' on a sighing note.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Bradley Headstone, in his decent black coat and waistcoat, and decent white shirt, and decent formal black tie, and decent pantaloons of pepper and salt, with his decent silver watch in his pocket and its decent hair-guard round his neck, looked a thoroughly decent young man of six-and-twenty. He was never seen in any other dress, and yet there was a certain stiffness in his manner of wearing this, as if there were a want of adaptation between him and it, recalling some mechanics in their holiday clothes. He had acquired mechanically a great store of teacher's knowledge. He could do mental arithmetic mechanically, sing at sight mechanically, blow various wind instruments mechanically, even play the great church organ mechanically. From his early childhood up, his mind had been a place of mechanical stowage. The arrangement of his wholesale warehouse, so that it might be always ready to meet the demands of retail dealers history here, geography there, astronomy to the right, political economy to the left—natural history, the physical sciences, figures, music, the lower mathematics, and what not, all in their several places—this care had imparted to his countenance a look of care; while the habit of questioning and being questioned had given him a suspicious manner, or a manner that would be better described as one of lying in wait. There was a kind of settled trouble in the face. It was the face belonging to a naturally slow or inattentive intellect that had toiled hard to get what it had won, and that had to hold it now that it was gotten. He always seemed to be uneasy lest anything should be missing from his mental warehouse, and taking stock to assure himself.
Charles Dickens (Our Mutual Friend)
At Chicago I read again 'Philip Van Artevelde,' and certain passages in it will always be in my mind associated with the deep sound of the lake, as heard in the night. I used to read a short time at night, and then open the blind to look out. The moon would be full upon the lake, and the calm breath, pure light, and the deep voice, harmonized well with the thought of the Flemish hero. When will this country have such a man ? It is what she needs — no thin Idealist, no coarse Realist, but a man whose eye reads the heavens while his feet step firmly on the ground and his hands are strong and dextrous in the use of human instruments. A man, religious, virtuous and — sagacious; a man of universal sympathies, but self-possessed; a man who knows the region of emotion, though he is not its slave; a man to whom this world is no mere spectacle or fleeting shadow, but a great, solemn game, to be played with good heed, for its stakes are of eternal value, yet who, if his own play be true, heeds not what he loses by the falsehood of others. A man who lives from the past, yet knows that its honey can but moderately avail him; whose comprehensive eye scans the present, neither infatuated by its golden lures nor chilled by its many ventures; who possesses prescience, as the wise man must, but not so far as to be driven mad to-day by the gift which discerns to-morrow. When there is such a man for America, the thought which urges her on will be expressed.
Margaret Fuller
Why should you desire to compel others; why should you seek to have power— that evil, bitter, mocking thing, which has been from of old, as it is today, the sorrow and curse of the world—over your fellow-men and fellow-women? Why should you desire to take from any man or woman their own will and intelligence, their free choice, their own self-guidance, their inalienable rights over themselves; why should you desire to make of them mere tools and instruments for your own advantage and interest; why should you desire to compel them to serve and follow your opinions instead of their own; why should you deny in them the soul—that suffers so deeply from all constraint—and treat them as a sheet of blank paper upon which you may write your own will and desires, of whatever kind they may happen to be? Who gave you the right, from where do you pretend to have received it, to degrade other men and women from their own true rank as human beings, taking from them their will, their conscience, and intelligence—in a word, all the best and highest part of their nature—turning them into mere empty worthless shells, mere shadows of the true man and women, mere counters in the game you are mad enough to play, and just because you are more numerous or stronger than they, to treat them as if they belonged not to themselves, but to you? Can you believe that good will ever come by morally and spiritually degrading your fellow-men? What happy and safe and permanent form of society can you hope to build on this pitiful plan of subjecting others, or being yourselves subjected by them?
Auberon Herbert
On behalf of those you killed, imprisoned, tortured, you are not welcome, Erdogan! No, Erdogan, you’re not welcome in Algeria. We are a country which has already paid its price of blood and tears to those who wanted to impose their caliphate on us, those who put their ideas before our bodies, those who took our children hostage and who attempted to kill our hopes for a better future. The notorious family that claims to act in the name of the God and religion—you’re a member of it—you fund it, you support it, you desire to become its international leader. Islamism is your livelihood Islamism, which is your livelihood, is our misfortune. We will not forget about it, and you are a reminder of it today. You offer your shadow and your wings to those who work to make our country kneel down before your “Sublime Door.” You embody and represent what we loathe. You hate freedom, the free spirit. But you love parades. You use religion for business. You dream of a caliphate and hope to return to our lands. But you do it behind the closed doors, by supporting Islamist parties, by offering gifts through your companies, by infiltrating the life of the community, by controlling the mosques. These are the old methods of your “Muslim Brothers” in this country, who used to show us God’s Heaven with one hand while digging our graves with the other. No, Mr. Erdogan, you are not a man of help; you do not fight for freedom or principles; you do not defend the right of peoples to self-determination. You know only how to subject the Kurds to the fires of death; you know only how to subject your opponents to your dictatorship. You cry with the victims in the Middle East, yet sign contracts with their executioners. You do not dream of a dignified future for us, but of a caliphate for yourself. We are aware of your institutionalized persecution, your list of Turks to track down, your sinister prisons filled with the innocent, your dictatorial justice palaces, your insolence and boastful nature. You do not dream of a humanity that shares common values and principles, but are interested only in the remaking of the Ottoman Empire and its bloodthirsty warlords. Islam, for you, is a footstool; God is a business sign; modernity is an enemy; Palestine is a showcase; and local Islamists are your stunned courtesans. Humanity will not remember you with good deeds Humanity will remember you for your machinations, your secret coups d’état, and your manhunts. History will remember you for your bombings, your vengeful wars, and your inability to engage in constructive dialogue with others. The UN vote for Al-Quds is only an instrument in your service. Let us laugh at this with the Palestinians. We know that the Palestinian issue is your political capital, as it is for many others. You know well how to make a political fortune by exploiting others’ emotions. In Algeria, we suffered, and still suffer, from those who pretend to be God and act as takers and givers of life. They applaud your coming, but not us. You are the idol of Algerian Islamists and Populists, those who are unable to imagine a political structure beyond a caliphate for Muslim-majority societies. We aspire to become a country of freedom and dignity. This is not your ambition, nor your virtue. You are an illusion You have made beautiful Turkey an open prison and a bazaar for your business and loved ones. I hope that this beautiful nation rises above your ambitions. I hope that justice will be restored and flourish there once again, at least for those who have been imprisoned, tortured, bombed, and killed. You are an illusion, Erdogan—you know it and we know it. You play on the history of our humiliation, on our emotions, on our beliefs, and introduce yourself as a savior. However, you are a gravedigger, both for your own country and for your neighbors. Turkey is a political miracle, but it owes you nothing. The best thing you can do
Kamel Daoud
kathakali discovered long ago that the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again. That is their mystery and their magic. To the Kathakali Man these stories are his children and his childhood. He has grown up within them. They are the house he was raised in, the meadows he played in. They are his windows and his way of seeing. So when he tells a story, he handles it as he would a child of his own. He teases it. He punishes it. He sends it up like a bubble. He wrestles it to the ground and lets it go again. He laughs at it because he loves it. He can fly you across whole worlds in minutes, he can stop for hours to examine a wilting leaf. Or play with a sleeping monkey’s tail. He can turn effortlessly from the carnage of war into the felicity of a woman washing her hair in a mountain stream. From the crafty ebullience of a rakshasa with a new idea into a gossipy Malayali with a scandal to spread. From the sensuousness of a woman with a baby at her breast into the seductive mischief of Krishna’s smile. He can reveal the nugget of sorrow that happiness contains. The hidden fish of shame in a sea of glory. He tells stories of the gods, but his yarn is spun from the ungodly, human heart. The Kathakali Man is the most beautiful of men. Because his body is his soul. His only instrument. From the age of three it has been planed and polished, pared down, harnessed wholly to the task of story-telling. He has magic in him, this man within the painted mask and swirling skirts.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
Turn it beautiful. His words came faintly at first, but they came again and again, always softly, always with the insistence of an elder commanding wisdom. Turn it all to beauty. She walked to the rail. When she turned and sat upon it, she heard a sailor in the crowd murmur that she might play them a tune. She hoped he was right. She needed the voices to be wrong. Fin raised the instrument to the cleft of her neck and closed her eyes. She emptied her mind and let herself be carried back to her earliest memory, the first pain she ever knew: the knowledge that her parents didn’t want her. The despair of rejection coursed through her. It fathered a knot of questions that bound her, enveloped her. Waves of uncertainty and frailty shook her to the bones. Her body quivered with anger and hopelessness. She reeled on the edge of a precipice. She wanted to scream or to throw her fists but she held it inside; she struggled to control it. She fought to subjugate her pain, but it grew. It welled up; it filled her mind. When she could hold it no more, exhausted by defiance and wearied by years of pretending not to care, Bartimaeus’s words surrounded her. Got to turn it beautiful. She dropped her defenses. She let weakness fill her. She accepted it. And the abyss yawned. She tottered over the edge and fell. The forces at war within her raced down her arms and set something extraordinary in motion; they became melody and harmony: rapturous, golden. Her fingers coaxed the long-silent fiddle to life. They danced across the strings without hesitation, molding beauty out of the miraculous combination of wood, vibration, and emotion. The music was so bright she felt she could see it. The poisonous voices were outsung. Notes raged out of her in a torrent. She had such music within her that her bones ached with it, the air around her trembled with it, her veins bled it. The men around fell still and silent. Some slipped to the deck and sat enraptured like children before a travelling bard.
A.S. Peterson (Fiddler's Green (Fin's Revolution, #2))
Why do you choose to write about such gruesome subjects? I usually answer this with another question: Why do you assume that I have a choice? Writing is a catch-as-catch-can sort of occupation. All of us seem to come equipped with filters on the floors of our minds, and all the filters have differing sizes and meshes. What catches in my filter may run right through yours. What catches in yours may pass through mine, no sweat. All of us seem to have a built-in obligation to sift through the sludge that gets caught in our respective mind-filters, and what we find there usually develops into some sort of sideline. The accountant may also be a photographer. The astronomer may collect coins. The school-teacher may do gravestone rubbings in charcoal. The sludge caught in the mind's filter, the stuff that refuses to go through, frequently becomes each person's private obsession. In civilized society we have an unspoken agreement to call our obsessions “hobbies.” Sometimes the hobby can become a full-time job. The accountant may discover that he can make enough money to support his family taking pictures; the schoolteacher may become enough of an expert on grave rubbings to go on the lecture circuit. And there are some professions which begin as hobbies and remain hobbies even after the practitioner is able to earn his living by pursuing his hobby; but because “hobby” is such a bumpy, common-sounding little word, we also have an unspoken agreement that we will call our professional hobbies “the arts.” Painting. Sculpture. Composing. Singing. Acting. The playing of a musical instrument. Writing. Enough books have been written on these seven subjects alone to sink a fleet of luxury liners. And the only thing we seem to be able to agree upon about them is this: that those who practice these arts honestly would continue to practice them even if they were not paid for their efforts; even if their efforts were criticized or even reviled; even on pain of imprisonment or death. To me, that seems to be a pretty fair definition of obsessional behavior. It applies to the plain hobbies as well as the fancy ones we call “the arts”; gun collectors sport bumper stickers reading YOU WILL TAKE MY GUN ONLY WHEN YOU PRY MY COLD DEAD FINGERS FROM IT, and in the suburbs of Boston, housewives who discovered political activism during the busing furor often sported similar stickers reading YOU'LL TAKE ME TO PRISON BEFORE YOU TAKE MY CHILDREN OUT OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD on the back bumpers of their station wagons. Similarly, if coin collecting were outlawed tomorrow, the astronomer very likely wouldn't turn in his steel pennies and buffalo nickels; he'd wrap them carefully in plastic, sink them to the bottom of his toilet tank, and gloat over them after midnight.
Stephen King (Night Shift)
While some of our deepest wounds come from feeling abandoned by others, it is surprising to see how often we abandon ourselves through the way we view life. It’s natural to perceive through a lens of blame at the moment of emotional impact, but each stage of surrender offers us time and space to regroup and open our viewpoints for our highest evolutionary benefit. It’s okay to feel wronged by people or traumatized by circumstances. This reveals anger as a faithful guardian reminding us how overwhelmed we are by the outcomes at hand. While we will inevitably use each trauma as a catalyst for our deepest growth, such anger informs us when the highest importance is being attentive to our own experiences like a faithful companion. As waves of emotion begin to settle, we may ask ourselves, “Although I feel wronged, what am I going to do about it?” Will we allow experiences of disappointment or even cruelty to inspire our most courageous decisions and willingness to evolve? When viewing others as characters who have wronged us, a moment of personal abandonment occurs. Instead of remaining present to the sheer devastation we feel, a need to align with ego can occur through the blaming of others. While it seems nearly instinctive to see life as the comings and goings of how people treat us, when focused on cultivating our most Divine qualities, pain often confirms how quickly we are shifting from ego to soul. From the soul’s perspective, pain represents the initial steps out of the identity and reference points of an old reality as we make our way into a brand new paradigm of being. The more this process is attempted to be rushed, the more insufferable it becomes. To end the agony of personal abandonment, we enter the first stage of surrender by asking the following question: Am I seeing this moment in a way that helps or hurts me? From the standpoint of ego, life is a play of me versus you or us versus them. But from the soul’s perspective, characters are like instruments that help develop and uncover the melody of our highest vibration. Even when the friction of conflict seems to divide people, as souls we are working together to play out the exact roles to clear, activate, and awaken our true radiance. The more aligned in Source energy we become, the easier each moment of transformation tends to feel. This doesn’t mean we are immune to disappointment, heartbreak, or devastation. Instead, we are keenly aware of how often life is giving us the chance to grow and expand. A willingness to be stretched and re-created into a more refined form is a testament to the fiercely liberated nature of our soul. To the ego, the soul’s willingness to grow under the threat of any circumstance seems foolish, shortsighted, and insane. This is because the ego can only interpret that reality as worry, anticipation, and regret.
Matt Kahn (Everything Is Here to Help You: A Loving Guide to Your Soul's Evolution)
Sarah sits up and reaches over, plucking a string on my guitar. It’s propped against the nightstand on her side of the bed. “So . . . do you actually know how to play this thing?” “I do.” She lies down on her side, arm bent, resting her head in her hand, regarding me curiously. “You mean like, ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,’ the ‘ABC’s,’ and such?” I roll my eyes. “You do realize that’s the same song, don’t you?” Her nose scrunches as she thinks about it, and her lips move as she silently sings the tunes in her head. It’s fucking adorable. Then she covers her face and laughs out loud. “Oh my God, I’m an imbecile!” “You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself, but if you say so.” She narrows her eyes. “Bully.” Then she sticks out her tongue. Big mistake. Because it’s soft and pink and very wet . . . and it makes me want to suck on it. And then that makes me think of other pink, soft, and wet places on her sweet-smelling body . . . and then I’m hard. Painfully, achingly hard. Thank God for thick bedcovers. If this innocent, blushing bird realized there was a hot, hard, raging boner in her bed, mere inches away from her, she would either pass out from all the blood rushing to her cheeks or hit the ceiling in shock—clinging to it by her fingernails like a petrified cat over water. “Well, you learn something new every day.” She chuckles. “But you really know how to play the guitar?” “You sound doubtful.” She shrugs. “A lot has been written about you, but I’ve never once heard that you play an instrument.” I lean in close and whisper, “It’s a secret. I’m good at a lot of things that no one knows about.” Her eyes roll again. “Let me guess—you’re fantastic in bed . . . but everybody knows that.” Then she makes like she’s playing the drums and does the sound effects for the punch-line rim shot. “Ba dumb ba, chhhh.” And I laugh hard—almost as hard as my cock is. “Shy, clever, a naughty sense of humor, and a total nutter. That’s a damn strange combo, Titebottum.” “Wait till you get to know me—I’m definitely one of a kind.” The funny thing is, I’m starting to think that’s absolutely true. I rub my hands together, then gesture to the guitar. “Anyway, pass it here. And name a musician. Any musician.” “Umm . . . Ed Sheeran.” I shake my head. “All the girls love Ed Sheeran.” “He’s a great singer. And he has the whole ginger thing going for him,” she teases. “If you were born a prince with red hair? Women everywhere would adore you.” “Women everywhere already adore me.” “If you were a ginger prince, there’d be more.” “All right, hush now smartarse-bottum. And listen.” Then I play “Thinking Out Loud.” About halfway through, I glance over at Sarah. She has the most beautiful smile, and I think something to myself that I’ve never thought in all my twenty-five years: this is how it feels to be Ed Sheeran.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))