Practical Magic Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Practical Magic. Here they are! All 100 of them:

Sometimes the right thing feels all wrong until it is over and done with.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Just because something isn't practical doesn't mean it's not worth creating. Sometimes beauty and real-life magic are enough.
Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2))
There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Aunt Frances
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
It doesn't matter what people tell you. It doesn't matter what they might say. Sometimes you have to leave home. Sometimes, running away means you're headed in the exact right direction.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Trouble is just like love, after all; it comes in unannounced and takes over before you've had a chance to reconsider, or even to think.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
I dream of a love that even time will lie down and be still for.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Pride is a funny thing; it can make what is truly worthless appear to be a treasure.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Do you ever just put your arms out and just spin and spin and spin? Well, that's what love is like; everything inside of you tells you to stop before you fall, but for some reason you just keep going.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Unrequited love is so boring. Weeping under a blue-black sky is for suckers or maniacs.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Some things, when they change, never do return to the way they once were. Butterflies for instance, and women who've been in love with the wrong man too often.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Every problem has a solution, although it may not be the outcome that was originally hoped for or expected.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
I believe that the combination of pencil and memory creates a kind of practical magic, and magic is dangerous.
Stephen King (The Green Mile)
Men and swords. My father said that if you put any able-bodied man, no matter how peaceful, into a room with a sword and a practice dummy and leave him alone, eventually the man would pick up the sword and try to stab the dummy. It is human nature.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1))
It’s a simple and generous rule of life that whatever you practice, you will improve at.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
No one knows you like a person with whom you've shared a childhood. No one will ever understand you in quite the same way.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Oh, are you doing magic? Let’s see it, then.” She sat down. Ron looked taken aback. “Er — all right.” He cleared his throat. “Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow, Turn this stupid, fat rat yellow.” He waved his wand, but nothing happened. Scabbers stayed gray and fast asleep. “Are you sure that’s a real spell?” said the girl. “Well, it’s not very good, is it? I’ve tried a few simple spells just for practice and it’s all worked for me. I’ve learned all our course books by heart, of course.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
Other people’s judgments were meaningless unless you allowed them to mean something.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
Know that the only remedy for love is to love more.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
Avoid men who call you Baby, and women who have no friends, and dogs that scratch at their bellies and refuse to lie down at your feet. Wear dark glasses; bathe with lavender oil and cool fresh water. Seek shelter from the sun at noon.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Do as you will, but harm no one. What you give will be returned to you threefold. Fall in love whenever you can.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
Holding a tear back makes them drain upward, higher and higher, until one day your head just explodes and you're left with a stub of a neck and nothing more.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Love is worth the sum of itself, and nothing more.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Some fates are guaranteed, no matter who tries to intervene.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Like most modern people, I don't believe in prophecy or magic and then spend half my time practicing it.
John Steinbeck (The Winter of Our Discontent)
Life is a mystery, and it should be so, for the sorrow that accompanies being human and the choices one will have to make are a burden, too heavy for most to know before their time comes.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
Love and magic have a great deal in common. they enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice.
Nora Roberts
I’m fated to lose everyone I ever love,” April said. “I already know that.” “Of course you are,” Jet responded in her calm, measured tone. “That’s what it means to be alive.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
You can never tell about a person by guessing...that's why language was invented. Otherwise, we'd all be like dogs, sniffing each other to find out where we stood.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Writing itself was a magical act in which imagination altered reality and gave form to power.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
This is how you begin in this world. These are the lessons to be learned. Drink chamomile tea to calm the spirit. Feed a cold and starve a fever. Read as many books as you can. Always choose courage. Never watch another woman burn. Know that love is the only answer.
Alice Hoffman (Magic Lessons (Practical Magic, #0.1))
People want to ignore what they can't understand. They're looking for logic at any cost.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Magic is natural. It is a harmonious movement of energies to create needed change. If you wish to practice magic, all thoughts of it being paranormal or supernatural must be forgotten.
Scott Cunningham (Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner)
when you truly love someone and they love you in return, you ruin your lives together. That is not a curse, it’s what life is, my girl. We all come to ruin, we turn to dust, but whom we love is the thing that lasts.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
Always keep mint on your windowsill in August, to ensure that buzzing flies will stay outside, where they belong. Don't think the summer is over, even when roses droop and turn brown and the stars shift position in the sky. Never presume August is a safe or reliable time of the year.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
I just do the best I can to face what life brings. That’s the secret, you know. That’s the way you change your fate.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
Anything whole can be broken,” Isabelle told her. “And anything broken can be put back together again. That is the meaning of Abracadabra. I create what I speak.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
I’ve had a lot of practice. The Pack contains thirty-two species in seven tribes, each with their own hang-up. Jackals and coyotes pick fights with wolves, because they have an inferiority complex and think they’ve got something to prove. Wolves believe themselves to be superior, marry the wrong people, and then refuse to divorce them because they cling to their ‘mating for life’ idiocy. Hyenas listen to nobody, screw everything, and break out in berserk rages at some perceived slight against one of their own. Cats randomly refuse to follow orders to prove they can. That’s my life. I’ve been at this for fifteen years now. You’re easy by comparison.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
It had made her too helpless, because that's what love did. There was no way around it and no way to fight it. Now if she lost, she lost everything.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
All this kissing was making her crazy; it was reminding her of what she could feel, and how it could be when you wanted someone as much as he wanted you.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Young Sally Owens: He will hear my call a mile away. He will whistle my favorite song. He can ride a pony backwards. Young Gillian Owens: What are you doing? Young Sally Owens: Summoning up a true love spell called Amas Veritas. He can flip pancakes in the air. He'll be marvelously kind. And his favorite shape will be a star. And he'll have one green eye and one blue. Young Gillian Owens: Thought you never wanted to fall in love. Young Sally Owens: That's the point. The guy I dreamed of doesn't exist. And if he doesn't exist I'll never die of a broken heart.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Unable are the loved to die for love is immortality.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
He grinned. "You're jealous." I considered it. "No. But when you stared at that woman like she was made of diamonds, it didn't feel very good." "I stared at her because she smelled strange." "Strange how?" "She smelled like rock dust. Very strong dry smell." Curran put his arms around me. "I love it when you get all fussy and possessive." "I never get fussy and possessive." He grinned, showing his teeth. His face was practically glowing. "So you're cool if I go over and chat her up?" "Sure. Are you cool if I go and chat up that sexy werewolf on the third floor?" He went from casual and funny to deadly serious in half a blink. "What sexy werewolf?" I laughed. Curran's eyes focused. He was concentrating on something. "You're taking a mental inventory of all people working on the third floor, aren't you?" His expression went blank. I'd hit the nail on the head. I slid off him and put my head on his biceps. The shaggy carpet was nice and comfortable under my back. "Is it Jordan?" "I just picked a random floor," I told him. "You're nuts, you know that?" He put his arm around me. "Look who is talking.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Gifts (Kate Daniels, #5.6))
I never even believed in happiness. I didn't think it existed. Now look at me. I'm ready to believe in just about anything.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
For what you can fix, there are a hundred remedies. For what cannot be cured, not even words will do.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
Think of all the stories you've heard, Bast. You have a young boy, the hero. His parents are killed he sets out for vengeance. What next?" Bast hesitated, his expression puzzled. Chronicler answered the question instead. "He finds help. A clever talking squirrel. An old drunken swordsman. A mad hermit in the woods. That sort of thing." Kvothe nodded. "Exactly! He finds the mad hermit in the woods, proves himself worthy, and learns the names of all things, just like Taborlin the Great. Then with these powerful magics at his beck and call, what does he do?" Chronicler shrugged. "He finds the villains and kills them." "Of course," Kvothe said grandly. "Clean, quick, and easy as lying. We know how it ends practically before it starts. That's why stories appeal to us. They give us the clarity and simplicity our real lives lack.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Sometimes, running away means you're headed in the exact right direction.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Some stories begin at the beginning and others begin at the end, but all the best stories begin in a library.
Alice Hoffman (The Book of Magic (Practical Magic, #2))
This is what happens when you repudiate who you are. Once you do that, life works against you, and your fate is no longer your own.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
You watch teenage girls and feel shivers up and down your arms -- those poor creatures don't know the first thing about time or agony or the price they're going to have to pay for just about everything.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
People who have recently lost someone have a certain look, recognizable maybe only to those who have seen that look on their own faces. I have noticed it on my face and I notice it now on others. The look is one of extreme vulnerability, nakedness, openness. It is the look of someone who walks from the ophthalmologist's office into the bright daylight with dilated eyes, or of someone who wears glasses and is suddenly made to take them off. These people who have lost someone look naked because they think themselves invisible. I myself felt invisible for a period of time, incorporeal. I seemed to have crossed one of those legendary rivers that divide the living from the dead, entered a place in which I could be seen only by those who were themselves recently bereaved. I understood for the first time the power in the image of the rivers, the Styx, the Lethe, the cloaked ferryman with his pole. I understood for the first time the meaning in the practice of suttee. Widows did not throw themselves on the burning raft out of grief. The burning raft was instead an accurate representation of the place to which their grief (not their families, not the community, not custom, their grief) had taken them.
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
Read as many books as you can. Choose courage over caution. Take time to visit libraries. Look for light in the darkness. Have faith in yourself. Know that love is what matters most.
Alice Hoffman (The Book of Magic (Practical Magic, #2))
The dress was a deep red, strapless and practically backless, and I was almost positive my maids had used magic to make it stay up at all.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
There's a little witch in all of us.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
We never know the end of the story until we get there.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
That's a depressing and practical thought," Sam said. "I'd rather it was something magical.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
The core practice of magic is: The execution of a willed intent to create change in the material world, which either defies, hastens or purifies the consequences of natural cause and effect.
Zeena Schreck
People who love us do black magic on us, but they don’t know what they do. That is why we must forgive them; they don’t know what they do.
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
Always love someone who will love you back.
Alice Hoffman (Magic Lessons (Practical Magic, #0.1))
Raphael was a bouda and they viewed sex as a fun recreational activity that should be practiced vigorously and often.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5))
When you are young you are looking forward and when you are old you are looking back.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
He knew exactly how to hit a woman, so that the marks hardly showed. He knew how to kiss her, too, so that her heart began to race and she'd start to think forgiveness with every breath. It's amazing the places that love will carry you. It's astounding to discover just how far you're willing to go.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Although she'd never believe it, those lines in Gillian's face are the most beautiful part about her. They reveal what she's gone through and what she's survived and who exactly she is, deep inside.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
The lonelier you are, the more you pull away, until humans seem an alien race, with customs and a language you can't begin to understand.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Take those frauds who practice pseudoscience - do you know who they're most afraid of?" "Scientists, of course." "No. Many of the best scientists can be fooled by pseudoscience and sometimes devote their lives to it. But pseudoscience is afraid of one particular type of people who are very hard to fool: stage magicians. In fact, many pseudoscience hoaxes were exposed by stage magicians.
Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1))
Unseen University was much bigger on the inside. Thousands of years as the leading establishment of practical magic in a world where dimensions were largely a matter of chance in any case had left it bulging in places where it shouldn't have places. There were rooms containing rooms which, if you entered them, turned out to contain the room you'd started with, which can be a problem if you are in a conga line.
Terry Pratchett (The Last Continent (Discworld, #22; Rincewind, #6))
He has the ability to catch someone by the way that he looks at her, and make her wish he would go on looking.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
I know that life is busy and hard and that there's crushing pressure to just settle down and get a real job and khaki pants and a haircut. But don't. Please don't. Please keep believing that life can be better, brighter, broader because of the art that you make. Please keep demonstrating the courage that it takes to swim upstream in a world that prefers putting away for retirement to putting pen to paper, that chooses practicality over poetry, that values you more for going to the gym than going to the deepest places in your soul. Please keep making your art for people like me, people who need the magic and imagination and honesty of great art to make the day-to-day world a little more bearable.
Shauna Niequist
When you fall in love like that, time doesn’t matter. This was the secret he told Maria, the last words he ever said. What belonged to you once, will always belong to you. Be grateful if you have walked through the world with another’s heart in your hand.
Alice Hoffman (Magic Lessons (Practical Magic, #0.1))
Helplessness and anger make for predictable behavior: Children are certain to shove each other and pull hair, teenagers will call each other names and cry, and grown women who are sisters will say words so cruel that each syllable will take on the form of a snake, although such a snake often circles in on itself to eat its own tail once the words are said aloud.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Her one salvation was the novels she read. On nights when she thought it might be better not to be alive without Levi in the world, she opened a book and was therefore saved, discovering that a novel was as great an escape as any spell.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
I nodded, disappointed, but then I got an idea. "Hey, Grover. You want a magic item?" His eyes lit up. "Me?" Pretty soon we'd laced the sneakers over his fake feet, and the world's first flying goat boy was ready for launch. "Maia!" he shouted. He got off the ground okay, but then fell over sideways so his backpack dragged through the grass. The winged shoes kept bucking up and down like tiny broncos. "Practice," Chiron called after him. "You just need practice!" "Aaaaa!" Grover went flying sideways down the hill like a possessed lawn mower, heading toward the van.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
Rising from the ashes of my earlier life, I learned that our thoughts, words, and deeds are unified through spiritual practice. They are made whole within us. And when our thoughts, words, and deeds are aligned with our most positive intentions, magic happens.
Tina Turner (Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good)
Jenks kept me alive for two years through two death threats, a crazy banshee, and at least two serial killers. Its about time I return the favor! And if I can't, then I can sit by his bed and hold his hand as he dies, 'cause I've had plenty of practice doing that, too!
Kim Harrison (Black Magic Sanction (The Hollows, #8))
Although she was a logical, practical person, she believed that in books there existed a kind of magic. Between the aging covers on these shelves, contained in tiny, abstract black marks on sheets of paper, were voices from the past. Voices that reached into the future, into Claire's own heart and mind, to tell her what they knew, what they'd learned, what they'd seen, what they'd felt. Wasn't that magic?
Christi Phillips (The Devlin Diary (Claire Donovan #2))
Never look back, that's what she's told herself. Don't think about swans or being alone in the dark. Don't think of storms, or lightning and thunder, or the true love you won't ever have. Life is brushing your teeth and making breakfast for your children and not thinking about things, and as it turns out, Sally is first-rate at all of this. She gets things done and done on time.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Fourth time's the charm," she says to people who ask her what the secret of a happy marriage is, but that's not the way she feels about it. She knows now that when you don't lose yourself in the bargain, you find you have double the love you started with, and that's one recipe that can't be tampered with.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
As they were falling asleep, Gillian could have sworn she heard Ben say Fate--as if they were meant to be together from the start and every single thing they'd ever done in their lives had been leading to this moment. If you thought that way, you could fall asleep without regret. You could put your whole life in place, with all the sadness and the sorrow, and still feel that at last you had everything you ever wanted. In spite of the lousy odds and all the wrong turns, you might actually discover that you were the one who'd won.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
To the extent that we believe we can skip steps, avoid the process, magically gain power through political connections or easy formulas, or depend on our natural talents, we move against this grain and reverse our natural powers. We become slaves to time – as it passes, we grow weaker, less capable, trapped in some dead end career. We become captive to the opinions and fears of others.” (9) “This intense connection and desires allows them to withstand the pain of the process – the self-doubts, the tedious hours of practice and study, the inevitable setbacks, the endless barbs from the envious. They develop a resiliency and confidence that others lack.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
I thought you guys could detect witches." Jonathan muttered as soon as he got over his shock at seeing two people materialise in front of him. The wiccan sat on the floor, his shoulder being strapped with a makeshift bandage, by the ever-practical Ian. "We detect magic, not witches." Hunter clarified. "We can't feel anything out of the ordinary, unless they start casting." "Oh fantastic!" Jonathan groaned. "I'll remember that excuse later.
K.S. Marsden (The Shadow Reigns (Witch-Hunter, #2))
He is quiet and small, he is black From his ears to the tip of his tail; He can creep through the tiniest crack He can walk on the narrowest rail. He can pick any card from a pack, He is equally cunning with dice; He is always deceiving you into believing That he's only hunting for mice. He can play any trick with a cork Or a spoon and a bit of fish-paste; If you look for a knife or a fork And you think it is merely misplaced - You have seen it one moment, and then it is gawn! But you'll find it next week lying out on the lawn. And we all say: OH! Well I never! Was there ever A Cat so clever As Magical Mr. Mistoffelees!
T.S. Eliot (Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats)
Maria Owens did what she did for a reason. She was young and she thought damning anyone who loved us would protect us. But what she had with that terrible man wasn't love. She didn't understand that when you truly love someone and they love you in return, you ruin your lives together. That is not a curse, it's what life is, my girl. We all come to ruin, we turn to dust, but whom we love is the thing that lasts.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
Faith is more like being faithful to your husband or wife than it is like believing in magic. Fidelity is key. You may fall in love with someone because of how well they complement your story, but you’ll prove yourself faithful to them only when you care more for the flawed, difficult, and unplotted life you end up sharing with them. Faith isn’t the opposite of knowledge. Rather, like love, faith perfects knowledge by practicing fidelity to it.
Adam S. Miller
I urge you to find a way to immerse yourself fully in the life that you’ve been given. To stop running from whatever you’re trying to escape, and instead to stop, and turn, and face whatever it is. Then I dare you to walk toward it. In this way, the world may reveal itself to you as something magical and awe-inspiring that does not require escape. Instead, the world may become something worth paying attention to. The rewards of finding and maintaining balance are neither immediate nor permanent. They require patience and maintenance. We must be willing to move forward despite being uncertain of what lies ahead. We must have faith that actions today that seem to have no impact in the present moment are in fact accumulating in a positive direction, which will be revealed to us only at some unknown time in the future. Healthy practices happen day by day. My patient Maria said to me, “Recovery is like that scene in Harry Potter when Dumbledore walks down a darkened alley lighting lampposts along the way. Only when he gets to the end of the alley and stops to look back does he see the whole alley illuminated, the light of his progress.
Anna Lembke (Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence)
Are you sure that’s a real spell?’ said the girl. ‘Well, it’s not very good, is it? I’ve tried a few simple spells just for practice and its all worked for me. Nobody in my family’s magic at all. It was ever such a surprise when I got my letter, but I was ever so pleased, of course, I mean, it’s the very best school of witchcraft there is, I’ve heard – I’ve learnt all our set books off by heart, of course, I just hope it will be enough – I’m Hermione Granger, by the way, who are you?’ She said all this very fast. Harry looked at Ron, and was relieved to see by his stunned face that he hadn’t learned all the course books by heart either. ‘I’m Ron Weasley,’ Ron muttered. ‘Harry Potter,’ said Harry. ‘Are you really?’ said Hermione. ‘I know all about you, of course – I got a few extra books for background reading, and you’re in Modern Magical History and The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts and Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century.’ ‘Am I?’ said Harry, feeling dazed. ‘Goodness, didn’t you know, I’d have found out everything I could if it was me,’ said Hermione.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
An illusion has three stages. "First there is the setup, in which the nature of what might be attempted at is hinted at, or suggested, or explained. The apparatus is seen. volunteers from the audience sometimes participate in preparation. As the trick is being setup, the magician will make use of every possible use of misdirection. "The performance is where the magician's lifetime of practice, and his innate skill as a performer, cojoin to produce the magical display. "The third stage is sometimes called the effect, or the prestige, and this is the product of magic. If a rabbit is pulled from a hat, the rabbit, which apparently did not exist before the trick was performed, can be said to be the prestige of that trick.
Christopher Priest (The Prestige)
The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep. They could see how love might control you, from your head to your toes, not to mention every single part of you in between. A woman could want a man so much she might vomit in the kitchen sink or cry so fiercly blood would form in the corners of her eyes. She put her hand to her throat as though someone were strangling her, but really she was choking on all that love she thought she’d needed so badly. What had she thought, that love was a toy, something easy and sweet, just to play with? Real love was dangerous, it got you from inside and held on tight, and if you didn’t let go fast enough you might be willing to do anything for it’s sake. She refused to believe in superstition, she wouldn’t; yet it was claiming her. Some fates are guaranteed, no matter who tries to intervene. After all I’ve done for you is lodged somewhere in her brain, and far worse, it’s in her heart as well. She was bad luck, ill-fated and unfortunate as the plague. She is not worth his devotion. She wishes he would evaporate into thin air. Maybe then she wouldn’t have this feeling deep inside, a feeling she can deny all she wants, but that won’t stop it from being desire. Love is worth the sum of itself and nothing more. But that’s what happens when you’re a liar, especially when you’re telling the worst of these lies to yourself. He has stumbled into love, and now he’s stuck there. He’s fairly used to not getting what he wants, and he’s dealt with it, yet he can’t help but wonder if that’s only because he didn’t want anything so badly. It’s music, it’s a sound that is absurdly beautiful in his mouth, but she won’t pay attention. She knows from the time she spent on the back stairs of the aunts’ house that most things men say are lies. Don’t listen, she tells herself. None if it’s true and none of it matters, because he’s whispering that he’s been looking for her forever. She can’t believe it. She can’t listen to anything he tells her and she certainly can’t think, because if she did she might just think she’d better stop. What good would it do her to get involved with someone like him? She’d have to feel so much, and she’s not that kind. The greatest portion of grief is the one you dish out for yourself. She preferred cats to human beings and turned down every offer from the men who fell in love with her. They told her how sticks and stones could break bones, but taunting and name-calling were only for fools. — & now here she is, all used up. Although she’d never believe it, those lines in *’s face are the most beautiful part about her. They reveal what she’s gone through and what she’s survived and who exactly she is, deep inside. She’s gotten back some of what she’s lost. Attraction, she now understands, is a state of mind. If there’s one thing * is now certain of, it’s house you can amaze yourself by the things you’re willing to do. You really don’t know? That heart-attack thing you’ve been having? It’s love, that’s what it feels like. She knows now that when you don’t lose yourself in the bargain, you find you have double the love you started with, and that’s one recipe that can’t be tampered with. Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Well-being has been cast aside for wealth; success favored over sanity. In the process, some have turned cold toward life, and toward others. Where is the energized, heightened, exhilarated pulse one would expect from such a chosen and capable people? Why do we not hear more laughter and life? Where is the vibrant, mad fury and passion of the fully engaged human? Where are the people burning with charisma and joy and magnetism? Where is the appreciation for life’s spark? We must reexamine our attitude toward life. Our supreme duty must be to rekindle the magic of life. For this, we now declare: WE SHALL PRACTICE JOY AND GRATITUDE.
Brendon Burchard (The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power)
Blue must be worn for protection. Moonstones were useful in connecting with the living, topaz to contact the dead. Copper, sacred to Venus, will call a man to you, and black tourmaline will eliminate jealousy. When it came to love, you must always be careful. If you dropped something belonging to the man you loved into a candle flame, then added pine needles and marigold flowers, he would arrive on your doorstep by morning, so you would do well to be certain you wanted him there. The most basic and reliable love potion was made from anise, rosemary, honey, and cloves boiled for nine hours on the back burner of the old stove. It had always cost $9.99 and was therefore called Love Potion Number Nine, which worked best on the ninth hour of the ninth day of the ninth month.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
I think a lot of people quit pursuing creative lives because they’re scared of the word interesting. My favorite meditation teacher, Pema Chödrön, once said that the biggest problem she sees with people’s meditation practice is that they quit just when things are starting to get interesting. Which is to say, they quit as soon as things aren’t easy anymore, as soon as it gets painful, or boring, or agitating. They quit as soon as they see something in their minds that scares them or hurts them. So they miss the good part, the wild part, the transformative part—the part when you push past the difficulty and enter into some raw new unexplored universe within yourself. And maybe it’s like that with every important aspect of your life. Whatever it is you are pursuing, whatever it is you are seeking, whatever it is you are creating, be careful not to quit too soon. As my friend Pastor Rob Bell warns: “Don’t rush through the experiences and circumstances that have the most capacity to transform you.” Don’t let go of your courage the moment things stop being easy or rewarding. Because that moment? That’s the moment when interesting begins.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
The principle I always go on in writing a novel is to think of the characters in terms of actors in a play. I say to myself, if a big name were playing this part, and if he found that after a strong first act he had practically nothing to do in the second act, he would walk out. Now, then, can I twist the story so as to give him plenty to do all the way through? I believe the only way a writer can keep himself up to the mark is by examining each story quite coldly before he starts writing it and asking himself it is all right as a story. I mean, once you go saying to yourself, "This is a pretty weak plot as it stands, but if I'm such a hell of a writer that my magic touch will make it okay," you're sunk. If they aren't in interesting situations, characters can't be major characters, not even if you have the rest of the troop talk their heads off about them." (Interview, The Paris Review, Issue 64, Winter 1975)
P.G. Wodehouse
We have all heard such stories of expert intuition: the chess master who walks past a street game and announces “White mates in three” without stopping, or the physician who makes a complex diagnosis after a single glance at a patient. Expert intuition strikes us as magical, but it is not. Indeed, each of us performs feats of intuitive expertise many times each day. Most of us are pitch-perfect in detecting anger in the first word of a telephone call, recognize as we enter a room that we were the subject of the conversation, and quickly react to subtle signs that the driver of the car in the next lane is dangerous. Our everyday intuitive abilities are no less marvelous than the striking insights of an experienced firefighter or physician—only more common. The psychology of accurate intuition involves no magic. Perhaps the best short statement of it is by the great Herbert Simon, who studied chess masters and showed that after thousands of hours of practice they come to see the pieces on the board differently from the rest of us. You can feel Simon’s impatience with the mythologizing of expert intuition when he writes: “The situation has provided a cue; this cue has given the expert access to information stored in memory, and the information provides the answer. Intuition is nothing more and nothing less than recognition.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
POCKET-SIZED FEMINISM The only other girl at the party is ranting about feminism. The audience: a sea of rape jokes and snapbacks and styrofoam cups and me. They gawk at her mouth like it is a drain clogged with too many opinions. I shoot her an empathetic glance and say nothing. This house is for wallpaper women. What good is wallpaper that speaks? I want to stand up, but if I do, whose coffee table silence will these boys rest their feet on? I want to stand up, but if I do, what if someone takes my spot? I want to stand up, but if I do, what if everyone notices I’ve been sitting this whole time? I am guilty of keeping my feminism in my pocket until it is convenient not to, like at poetry slams or my women’s studies class. There are days I want people to like me more than I want to change the world. There are days I forget we had to invent nail polish to change color in drugged drinks and apps to virtually walk us home at night and mace disguised as lipstick. Once, I told a boy I was powerful and he told me to mind my own business. Once, a boy accused me of practicing misandry. You think you can take over the world? And I said No, I just want to see it. I just need to know it is there for someone. Once, my dad informed me sexism is dead and reminded me to always carry pepper spray in the same breath. We accept this state of constant fear as just another part of being a girl. We text each other when we get home safe and it does not occur to us that our guy friends do not have to do the same. You could saw a woman in half and it would be called a magic trick. That’s why you invited us here, isn’t it? Because there is no show without a beautiful assistant? We are surrounded by boys who hang up our naked posters and fantasize about choking us and watch movies we get murdered in. We are the daughters of men who warned us about the news and the missing girls on the milk carton and the sharp edge of the world. They begged us to be careful. To be safe. Then told our brothers to go out and play.
Blythe Baird
No, not of course at all—it is really all hocus-pocus. The days lengthen in the winter-time, and when the longest comes, the twenty-first of June, the beginning of summer, they begin to go downhill again, toward winter. You call that ‘of course’; but if one once loses hold of the fact that it is of course, it is quite frightening, you feel like hanging on to something. It seems like a practical joke—that spring begins at the beginning of winter, and autumn at the beginning of summer. You feel you’re being fooled, led about in a circle, with your eye fixed on something that turns out to be a moving point. A moving point in a circle. For the circle consists of nothing but such transitional points without any extent whatever; the curvature is incommensurable, there is no duration of motion, and eternity turns out to be not ‘straight ahead’ but ‘merry-go-round’!
Thomas Mann (The Magic Mountain)
Of course, reading novels was just another form of escape. As soon as he closed their pages he had to come back to the real world. But at some point Tengo noticed that returning to reality from the world of a novel was not as devastating a blow as returning from the world of mathematics. Why should that have been? After much deep thought, he reached a conclusion. No matter how clear the relationships of things might become in the forest of story, there was never a clear-cut solution. That was how it differed from math. The role of a story was, in the broadest terms, to transpose a single problem into another form. Depending on the nature and direction of the problem, a solution could be suggested in the narrative. Tengo would return to the real world with that suggestion in hand. It was like a piece of paper bearing the indecipherable text of a magic spell. At times it lacked coherence and served no immediate practical purpose. But it would contain a possibility. Someday he might be able to decipher the spell. That possibility would gently warm his heart from within.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3))
Zen has been called the "religion before religion," which is to say that anyone can practice, including those committed to another faith. And that phrase evokes that natural religion of our early childhood, when heaven and a splendorous earth were one. But soon the child's clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions and abstractions. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines, and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day, at the bottom of each breath, there is a hollow place filled with longing. We become seekers without knowing that we seek, and at first, we long for something "greater" than ourselves, something apart and far away. It is not a return to childhood, for childhood is not a truly enlightened state. Yet to seek one's own true nature is "a way to lead you to your long lost home." To practice Zen means to realize one's existence moment after moment, rather than letting life unravel in regret of the past and daydreaming of the future. To "rest in the present" is a state of magical simplicity...out of the emptiness can come a true insight into our natural harmony all creation. To travel this path, one need not be a 'Zen Buddhist', which is only another idea to be discarded like 'enlightenment,' and like 'the Buddha' and like 'God.
Peter Matthiessen (Nine-Headed Dragon River: Zen Journals, 1969-1982)
We have gone sick by following a path of untrammelled rationalism, male dominance, attention to the visible surface of things, practicality, bottom-line-ism. We have gone very, very sick. And the body politic, like any body, when it feels itself to be sick, it begins to produce antibodies, or strategies for overcoming the condition of dis-ease. And the 20th century is an enormous effort at self-healing. Phenomena as diverse as surrealism, body piercing, psychedelic drug use, sexual permissiveness, jazz, experimental dance, rave culture, tattooing, the list is endless. What do all these things have in common? They represent various styles of rejection of linear values. The society is trying to cure itself by an archaic revival, by a reversion to archaic values. So when I see people manifesting sexual ambiguity, or scarifying themselves, or showing a lot of flesh, or dancing to syncopated music, or getting loaded, or violating ordinary canons of sexual behaviour, I applaud all of this; because it's an impulse to return to what is felt by the body -- what is authentic, what is archaic -- and when you tease apart these archaic impulses, at the very centre of all these impulses is the desire to return to a world of magical empowerment of feeling. And at the centre of that impulse is the shaman: stoned, intoxicated on plants, speaking with the spirit helpers, dancing in the moonlight, and vivifying and invoking a world of conscious, living mystery. That's what the world is. The world is not an unsolved problem for scientists or sociologists. The world is a living mystery: our birth, our death, our being in the moment -- these are mysteries. They are doorways opening on to unimaginable vistas of self-exploration, empowerment and hope for the human enterprise. And our culture has killed that, taken it away from us, made us consumers of shoddy products and shoddier ideals. We have to get away from that; and the way to get away from it is by a return to the authentic experience of the body -- and that means sexually empowering ourselves, and it means getting loaded, exploring the mind as a tool for personal and social transformation. The hour is late; the clock is ticking; we will be judged very harshly if we fumble the ball. We are the inheritors of millions and millions of years of successfully lived lives and successful adaptations to changing conditions in the natural world. Now the challenge passes to us, the living, that the yet-to-be-born may have a place to put their feet and a sky to walk under; and that's what the psychedelic experience is about, is caring for, empowering, and building a future that honours the past, honours the planet and honours the power of the human imagination. There is nothing as powerful, as capable of transforming itself and the planet, as the human imagination. Let's not sell it straight. Let's not whore ourselves to nitwit ideologies. Let's not give our control over to the least among us. Rather, you know, claim your place in the sun and go forward into the light. The tools are there; the path is known; you simply have to turn your back on a culture that has gone sterile and dead, and get with the programme of a living world and a re-empowerment of the imagination. Thank you very, very much.
Terence McKenna (The Archaic Revival)
How do you know when the Sarows is coming?" hummed Lila as she made her way down the ship's narrow hall, fingertips skimming either wall for balance. Right about the, Alucard's warning about Jasta was coming back in full force. "Never challenge that one to a drinking contest. Or a sword fight. Or anything else you might lose. Because you will." The boat rocked beneath her fee. Or maybe she was the one rocking. Hell. Lila was slight, but not short of practice, and even so, she'd never had so much trouble holding her liquor. When she got to her room, she found Kell hunched over the Inheritor, examining the markings on its side. "Hello, handsome," she said, bracing herself in the doorway. Kell looked up, a smile halfway to his lips before it fell away. "You're drunk," he said, giver her a long, appraising look. "And you're not wearing any shoes." "Your powers of observation are astonishing." Lila looked down at her bare feet. "I lost them." "How do you lose shoes?" Lila crinkled her brow. "I bet them. I lost." Kell rose. "To who?" A tiny hiccup. "Jasta." Kell sighed. "Stay here." He slipped past her into the hall, a hand alighting on her waist and then, too soon, the touch was gone. Lila make her way to the bed and collapsed onto it, scooping up the discarded Inheritor and holding it up to the light. The spindle at the cylinder's base was sharp enough to cut, and she turned the device carefully between her fingers, squinting to make out the words wrapped around it. Rosin, read one side. Cason, read the other. Lila frowned, mouthing the words as Kell reappeared in the doorway. "Give-- and Take," he translated, tossing her the boots. She sat up too fast, winced. "How did you manage that?" "I simply explained that she couldn't have them-- they wouldn't have fit-- and then I gave her mine." Lila looked down at Kell's bare feet, and burst into laughter.
V.E. Schwab (A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3))
It’s like we've been flung back in time," he said. "Here we are in the Stone Age, knowing all these great things after centuries of progress but what can we do to make life easier for the Stone Agers? Can we make a refrigerator? Can we even explain how it works? What is electricity? What is light? We experience these things every day of our lives but what good does it do if we find ourselves hurled back in time and we can’t even tell people the basic principles much less actually make something that would improve conditions. Name one thing you could make. Could you make a simple wooden match that you could strike on a rock to make a flame? We think we’re so great and modern. Moon landings, artificial hearts. But what if you were hurled into a time warp and came face to face with the ancient Greeks. The Greeks invented trigonometry. They did autopsies and dissections. What could you tell an ancient Greek that he couldn’t say, ‘Big Deal.’ Could you tell him about the atom? Atom is a Greek word. The Greeks knew that the major events in the universe can’t be seen by the eye of man. It’s waves, it’s rays, it’s particles." “We’re doing all right.” “We’re sitting in this huge moldy room. It’s like we’re flung back.” “We have heat, we have light.” “These are Stone Age things. They had heat and light. They had fire. They rubbed flints together and made sparks. Could you rub flints together? Would you know a flint if you saw one? If a Stone Ager asked you what a nucleotide is, could you tell him? How do we make carbon paper? What is glass? If you came awake tomorrow in the Middle Ages and there was an epidemic raging, what could you do to stop it, knowing what you know about the progress of medicines and diseases? Here it is practically the twenty-first century and you’ve read hundreds of books and magazines and seen a hundred TV shows about science and medicine. Could you tell those people one little crucial thing that might save a million and a half lives?” “‘Boil your water,’ I’d tell them.” “Sure. What about ‘Wash behind your ears.’ That’s about as good.” “I still think we’re doing fairly well. There was no warning. We have food, we have radios.” “What is a radio? What is the principle of a radio? Go ahead, explain. You’re sitting in the middle of this circle of people. They use pebble tools. They eat grubs. Explain a radio.” “There’s no mystery. Powerful transmitters send signals. They travel through the air, to be picked up by receivers.” “They travel through the air. What, like birds? Why not tell them magic? They travel through the air in magic waves. What is a nucleotide? You don’t know, do you? Yet these are the building blocks of life. What good is knowledge if it just floats in the air? It goes from computer to computer. It changes and grows every second of every day. But nobody actually knows anything.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)