Remote Place Quotes

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Intelligence is like four-wheel drive. It only allows you to get stuck in more remote places.
Garrison Keillor
After the bitching I'd done to Abe about going to remote, crappy places, I should have been excited about the prospect of going to Sin City.
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
I have my own set of survival techniques. I am patient. I know how to pack light. But my one might travel talent is that I can make friends with anybody. I can make friends with the dead. If there isn’t anyone else around to talk to, I could probably make friends with a four-foot-tall pile of sheetrock. That is why I’m not afraid to travel to the most remote places in the world, not if there are human beings there to meet. People asked me before I left, “do you have friends [there]?’ and I would just shake my head no, thinking to myself, But I will.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Hinduism comes closest to being a nature religion. Rivers, rocks, trees, plants, animals, and birds all play their part, both in mythology and everyday worship. This harmony is most evident in remote places like this, and I hope it does not loose its unique character in the ruthless urban advance.
Ruskin Bond (Rain in the Mountains: Notes from the Himalayas)
Solitude in the city is about the lack of other people or rather their distance beyond a door or wall, but in remote places it isn’t an absence but the presence of something else, a kind of humming silence in which solitude seems as natural to your species as to any other, words strange rocks you may or may not turn over.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
I love going out of my way, beyond what I know, and finding my way back a few extra miles, by another trail, with a compass that argues with the map…nights alone in motels in remote western towns where I know no one and no one I know knows where I am, nights with strange paintings and floral spreads and cable television that furnish a reprieve from my own biography, when in Benjamin’s terms, I have lost myself though I know where I am. Moments when I say to myself as feet or car clear a crest or round a bend, I have never seen this place before. Times when some architectural detail on vista that has escaped me these many years says to me that I never did know where I was, even when I was home.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
To live (as I understand it) is to exist within a conception of time. But to remember is to vacate the very notion of time. Every memory, no matter how remote its subject, takes place 'Now,' at the moment it's called to the mind. The more something is recalled, the more the brain has a chance to refine the original experience. Because every memory is a re-creation, not a playback.
David Mazzucchelli (Asterios Polyp)
You remember the fairy tales you were told when you were very small - 'once upon a time...' Why do you think they always began like that?" "Because they weren't true," Simon said promptly. Jane said, caught up in the unreality of the high remote place, "Because perhaps they were true once, but nobody could remember when.
Susan Cooper (Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising, #1))
How can I keep my soul in me, so that it doesn’t touch your soul? How can I raise it high enough, past you, to other things? I would like to shelter it, among remote lost objects, in some dark and silent place that doesn’t resonate when your depths resound. Yet everything that touches us, me and you, takes us together like a violin’s bow, which draws one voice out of two separate strings. Upon what instrument are we two spanned? And what musician holds us in his hand? Oh sweetest song. - Love Song
Rainer Maria Rilke (Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose)
Maybe that's what growing up means, in the end - you go far enough in the direction of - somewhere - and you realise that you've neutered the capacity of the term home to mean anything. [...] We don't get an endless number of orbits away from the place where meaning first arises, that treasure-house of first experiences. What we learn, instead, is that our adventures secure us in our isolation. Experience revokes our licence to return to simpler times. Sooner or later, there's no place remotely like home.
Gregory Maguire (Out of Oz (The Wicked Years, #4))
For every remote miss who becomes stronger, there are countless near misses who are crushed by what they have been through. There are times and places, however, when all of us depend on people who have been hardened by their experiences.
Malcolm Gladwell (David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants)
He who travels much has this advantage over others – that the things he remembers soon become remote, so that in a short time they acquire the vague and poetical quality which is only given to other things by time. He who has not traveled at all has this disadvantage – that all his memories are of things present somewhere, since the places with which all his memories are concerned are present.
Giacomo Leopardi
In the life of each of us, I said to myself, there is a place remote and islanded, and given to endless regret or secret happiness; we are each the uncompanioned hermit and recluse of an hour or a day; we understand our fellows of the cell to whatever age of history they may belong.
Sarah Orne Jewett (The Country of the Pointed Firs)
For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled. Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten. The open road still softly calls, like a nearly forgotten song of childhood. We invest far-off places with a certain romance. This appeal, I suspect, has been meticulously crafted by natural selection as an essential element in our survival. Long summers, mild winters, rich harvests, plentiful game—none of them lasts forever. It is beyond our powers to predict the future. Catastrophic events have a way of sneaking up on us, of catching us unaware. Your own life, or your band’s, or even your species’ might be owed to a restless few—drawn, by a craving they can hardly articulate or understand, to undiscovered lands and new worlds. Herman Melville, in Moby Dick, spoke for wanderers in all epochs and meridians: “I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas…” Maybe it’s a little early. Maybe the time is not quite yet. But those other worlds— promising untold opportunities—beckon. Silently, they orbit the Sun, waiting.
Carl Sagan
Long ago, when an early galaxy began to pour light out into the surrounding darkness, no witness could have known that billions of years later some remote clumps of rock and metal, ice and organic molecules would fall together to make place called Earth; or that life would arise and thinking beings evolve who would one day capture a little of that galactic light, and try to puzzle out what had sent it on its way. And after the earth dies, some 5 billion years from now, after it's burned to a crisp, or even swallowed by the Sun, there will be other worlds and stars and galaxies coming into being -- and they will know nothing of a place once called Earth.
Carl Sagan
We tend to think of landscapes as affecting us most strongly when we are in them or on them, when they offer us the primary sensations of touch and sight. But there are also the landscapes we bear with us in absentia, those places that live on in memory long after they have withdrawn in actuality, and such places -- retreated to most often when we are most remote from them -- are among the most important landscapes we possess.
Robert Macfarlane (The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot)
what he sought was always something lying ahead, and even if it was a matter of the past it was a past that changed gradually as he advanced on his journey, because the traveller's past changes according to the route he has followed: not the immediate past, that is, to which each day that goes by adds a day, but the more remote past. Arriving at each new city, the traveller finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.
Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities)
Afterwards, in bed with a book, the spell of television feels remote compared to the journey into the page. To be in a book. To slip into the crease where two pages meet, to live in the place where your eyes alight upon the words to ignite a world of smoke and peril, colour and serene delight. That is a journey no one can end with the change of a channel. Enduring magic.
Ann-Marie MacDonald (The Way the Crow Flies)
That’s why hiring consultants doesn’t work. Part-time employees don’t work. Even working remotely should be avoided, because misalignment can creep in whenever colleagues aren’t together full-time, in the same place, every day. If you’re deciding whether to bring someone on board, the decision is binary. Ken Kesey was right: you’re either on the bus or off the bus.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future)
In America, alas, beauty has become something you drive to, and nature an either/or proposition--either you ruthlessly subjugate it, as at Tocks Dam and a million other places, or you deify it, treat it as something holy and remote, a thing apart, as along the Appalachian Trail. Seldom would it occur to anyone on either side that people and nature could coexist to their mutual benefit--that, say, a more graceful bridge across the Delaware River might actually set off the grandeur around it, or that the AT might be more interesting and rewarding if it wasn't all wilderness, if from time to time it purposely took you past grazing cows and till fields.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that color of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go. For the blue is not in the place those miles away at the horizon, but in the atmospheric distance between you and the mountains. “Longing,” says the poet Robert Hass, “because desire is full of endless distances.” Blue is the color of longing for the distances you never arrive in, for the blue world.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
For every man there are certain words that are as if closer and more intimate to him than any others. And often, unexpectedly, in some remote, forsaken backwater, some deserted desert, one meets a man whose warming conversation makes you forget the pathlessness of your paths, the homelessness of your nights, and the contemporary world full of people's stupidity, of deceptions for deceiving man. Forever and always an evening spent in this way will vividly remain with you, and all that was and that took place then will be retained by the faithful memory: who was there, and who stood where, and what he was holding--the walls, the corners, and every trifle.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
The Search for reason ends at the known; on the immense expanse beyond it only the sense of the ineffable can glide. It alone knows the route to that which is remote from experience and understanding. Neither of them is amphibious: reason cannot go beyond the shore, and the sense of the ineffable is out of place where we measure, where we weigh. We do not leave the shore of the known in search of adventure or suspense or because of the failure of reason to answer our questions. We sail because our mind is like a fantastic seashell, and when applying our ear to its lips we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore. Citizens of two realms, we all must sustain a dual allegiance: we sense the ineffable in one realm, we name and exploit reality in another. Between the two we set up a system of references, but we can never fill the gap. They are as far and as close to each other as time and calendar, as violin and melody, as life and what lies beyond the last breath.
Abraham Joshua Heschel (Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion)
It is no secret that the greatest treasures are found in the most remote, inaccessible and difficult places where we must pursue them with great energy and even greater risk. It’s the same with our lives.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
I was secretly convinced that with such a marvel one would be able to write anything, from novels to encyclopedias, and letters whose supernatural power would surpass any postal limitations--a letter written with that pen would reach the most remote corners of the world, even that unknowable place to which my father said my mother had gone and from where she would never return.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1))
Women can go mad with insomnia. The sleep-deprived roam houses that have lost their familiarity. With tea mugs in hand, we wander rooms, looking on shelves for something we will recognize: a book title, a photograph, the teak-carved bird -- a souvenir from what place? A memory almost rises when our eyes rest on a painting's grey sweep of cloud, or the curve of a wooden leg in a corner. Fingertips faintly recall the raised pattern on a chair cushion, but we wonder how these things have come to be here, in this stranger's home. Lost women drift in places where time has collapsed. We look into our thoughts and hearts for what has been forgotten, for what has gone missing. What did we once care about? Whom did we love? We are emptied. We are remote. Like night lilies, we open in the dark, breathe in the shadowy world. Our soliloquies are heard by no one.
Cathy Ostlere (Lost: A Memoir)
It did not look remotely like a place that might host a party. It looked like a place old ladies might go to die and remain undiscovered until the neighbors noticed a strange smell.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
Some people think 1963's a long time ago; when a dead American in the jungle was an event, a grim thrilling novelty. It was spookwar then, adventure; not exactly soldiers, not even advisors yet, but Irregulars, working in remote places with little direct authority, acting out their fantasies with more freedom than most men ever know.
Michael Herr (Dispatches)
In the life of each of us there is a place remote and islanded, and given to endless regret or secret happiness.
Sarah Orne Jewett (The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories)
If people had true knowledge of the world perhaps they would not take up arms and so perhaps he could be an aggregator of information from distant places and then the world would be a more peaceful place. He had been perfectly serious. That illusion had lasted from age forty-nine to age sixty-five. And then he had come to think that what people needed, at bottom, was not only information but tales of the remote, the mysterious, dressed up as hard information. And he, like a runner, immobile in his smeared printing apron bringing it to them. Then the listeners would for a small space of time drift away into a healing place like curative waters.
Paulette Jiles (News of the World)
The passion for travelling is, I believe, instinctive in some natures. We have seen men persevere in their enterprises against the most formidable obstacles; and, without means or friends, and even ignorant of the languages of the various countries through which they passed, pursue their perilous journeys into remote places, until, like the knight in the Arabian tale, they succeeded in snatching a memorial from every shrine they visited.
James Holman
Wilderness is not a place of isolation but contemplation. Refuge. Refugees.....Wilderness is a knife that cuts through pretense and exposes fear. Even in remote country, you cannot escape your mind.
Terry Tempest Williams (The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks)
But Nature granted to gold and silver no function with which we cannot easily dispense. Human folly has made them precious because they are rare. In contrast, Nature, like a most indulgent mother, has placed her best gifts out in the open, like air, water and the earth itself; vain and unprofitable things she has hidden away in remote places.
Thomas More
Every memory no matter how remote its subject takes place "now " at the moment it's called up in the mind. The more something is recalled the more the brain has a chance to refine the original experience because every memory is a re-creation not a playback.
David Mazzucchelli (Asterios Polyp)
He talked about terrible meetings in lonely places, of cyclopean ruins in the heart of the Maine woods beneath which vast staircases led down to abysses of nighted secrets, of complex angles that led through invisible walls to other regions of space and time, and of hideous exchanges of personality that permitted explorations in remote and forbidden places, on other worlds, and in different space-time continua.
H.P. Lovecraft (The Thing on the Doorstep)
In every remote corner of the world there are people like Carl Jones and Don Merton who have devoted their lives to saving threatened species. Very often, their determination is all that stands between an endangered species and extinction. But why do they bother? Does it really matter if the Yangtze river dolphin, or the kakapo, or the northern white rhino, or any other species live on only in scientists' notebooks? Well, yes, it does. Every animal and plant is an integral part of its environment: even Komodo dragons have a major role to play in maintaining the ecological stability of their delicate island homes. If they disappear, so could many other species. And conservation is very much in tune with our survival. Animals and plants provide us with life-saving drugs and food, they pollinate crops and provide important ingredients or many industrial processes. Ironically, it is often not the big and beautiful creatures, but the ugly and less dramatic ones, that we need most. Even so, the loss of a few species may seem irrelevant compared to major environmental problems such as global warming or the destruction of the ozone layer. But while nature has considerable resilience, there is a limit to how far that resilience can be stretched. No one knows how close to the limit we are getting. The darker it gets, the faster we're driving. There is one last reason for caring, and I believe that no other is necessary. It is certainly the reason why so many people have devoted their lives to protecting the likes of rhinos, parakeets, kakapos, and dolphins. And it is simply this: the world would be a poorer, darker, lonelier place without them.
Mark Carwardine (Last Chance to See)
It was a great peace, as if the earth had been one grave, and for a time I stood there thinking mostly of the living who, buried in remote places out of the knowledge of mankind, are still fated to share in its tragic or grotesque miseries. In its noble struggles too -- who knows? The human heart is vast enough to contain all the world. It is valient enough to bear the burden, but where is the courage that would cast it off?
Joseph Conrad (Lord Jim)
A story that began with, and exists because of, my love of the remoter parts of Scotland, where the bones of the Earth show through, and the sky is a pale white, and it's all astoundingly beautiful, and it feels about as remote as any place can possibly be.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
We boast our light; but if we look not wisely on the run itself, it smites us into darkness. Who can discern those planets that are oft combust, and those starts of brightest magnitude that rise and set with the sun, until the opposite motion of their orbs bring them to such a place in the firmament where they may be seen evening or morning? The light which we have gained was given us, not to be ever staring on, but by it to discover onward things more remote from our knowledge.
John Milton (Areopagitica)
Already, Cullum felt a stirring of interest. The name Horace and the mention of an oakleaf symbol struck a chord in his memory. Sir Horace, the Oakleaf Knight, was a legendary figure in Araluen, even in a place as remote as Norgate. Of course, the more remote the location, the more garbled and fantastic the legends became. As Cullum had hear tell, Sir Horace had been a youth of sixteen when he defeated the tyrant Morgarath in single combat, slicing the head off the evil lord's shoulders with one might strocke of a massive broadsword. Then, in the company of the equally legendary Ranger Halt, Sir Horace had traveled across the Stormwhite Sea to defeat the Riders from the East and rescue Princess Cassandra and her companion, the apprentice Ranger known as Will. Will! The significance of the name suddenly registered with the innkeeper. The jongleur's name was Will. Now here he was, in a cowled cloak, festooned with recurve bow and a quiver of arrows. He looked more closely and saw the hilt of a heavy saxe knife just visible at his waist. No doubt about it, Cullum thought, these cheerful young men were two of Araluen's greatest heroes!
John Flanagan (The Siege of Macindaw (Ranger's Apprentice, #6))
It's remote! It's remote! It's uncontaminated! It's pure! It's a place where we can rule out that Muhammad got his ideas from others than God!
Patricia Crone
A new remote and unfamiliar place can make the prior remote and unfamiliar place seem like home.
Jennifer Egan (The Candy House)
Ma was heavy, but not fat; thick with child-bearing and work. She wore a loose Mother Hubbard of gray cloth in which there had once been colored flowers, but the color was washed out now, so that the small flowered pattern was only a little lighter gray than the background. The dress came down to her ankles, and he strong, broad, bare feet moved quickly and deftly over the floor. Her thin, steel-gray hair was gathered in a sparse wispy knot at the back of her head. Strong, freckled arms were bare to the elbow, and her hands were chubby and delicate, like those of a plump little girl. She looked out into the sunshine. Her full face was not soft; it was controlled, kindly. Her hazel eyes seemed to have experienced all possible tragedy and to have mounted pain and suffering like steps into a high calm and a superhuman understanding. She seemed to know, to accept, to welcome her position, the citadel of the family, the strong place that could not be taken. And since old Tom and the children could not know hurt or fear unless she acknowledged hurt and fear, she had practiced denying them in herself. And since, when a joyful thing happened, they looked to see whether joy was on her, it was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials. But better than joy was calm. Imperturbability could be depended upon. And from her great and humble position in the family she had taken dignity and a clean calm beauty. From her position as healer, her hands had grown sure and cool and quiet; from her position as arbiter she had become as remote and faultless in judgment as a goddess. She seemed to know that if she swayed the family shook, and if she ever really deeply wavered or despaired the family would fall, the family will to function would be gone.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
Battles against Rome have been lost and won before, but hope was never abandoned, since we were always here in reserve. We, the choicest flower of Britain's manhood, were hidden away in her most secret places. Out of sight of subject shores, we kept even our eyes free from the defilement of tyranny. We, the most distant dwellers upon earth, the last of the free, have been shielded till today by our very remoteness and by the obscurity in which it has shrouded our name. Now, the farthest bounds of Britain lie open to our enemies; and what men know nothing about they always assume to be a valuable prize.... A rich enemy excites their cupidity; a poor one, their lust for power. East and West alike have failed to satisfy them. They are the only people on earth to whose covetousness both riches and poverty are equally tempting. To robbery, butchery and rapine, they give the lying name of 'government'; they create a desolation and call it peace...
Tacitus
I dreamed of going to the most remote places on this earth to dig for old bones, older than people. Before humans and their stupid ideas. Before hate. Maybe even before love, too. Dinosaurs just existed. No lectures, no books, no language. No world-conquering Europeans and no defeated everybody else. Just those powerful, unrestrained creatures roaming the planet.
Ibi Zoboi (Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America)
The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue. The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue. For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that color of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go. For the blue is not in the place those miles away at the horizon, but in the atmospheric distance between you and the mountains.
Rebecca Solnit
Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where—as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen—even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their meetings. I still haven't submitted that expenses claim. The misgivings I had were of two types, both of them ineradicable. The first and the simplest was the encounter with everyday injustice: by all means the traffic cops were Jews but so, it turned out, were the colonists and ethnic cleansers and even the torturers. It was Jewish leftist friends who insisted that I go and see towns and villages under occupation, and sit down with Palestinian Arabs who were living under house arrest—if they were lucky—or who were squatting in the ruins of their demolished homes if they were less fortunate. In Ramallah I spent the day with the beguiling Raimonda Tawil, confined to her home for committing no known crime save that of expressing her opinions. (For some reason, what I most remember is a sudden exclamation from her very restrained and respectable husband, a manager of the local bank: 'I would prefer living under a Bedouin muktar to another day of Israeli rule!' He had obviously spent some time thinking about the most revolting possible Arab alternative.) In Jerusalem I visited the Tutungi family, who could produce title deeds going back generations but who were being evicted from their apartment in the old city to make way for an expansion of the Jewish quarter. Jerusalem: that place of blood since remote antiquity. Jerusalem, over which the British and French and Russians had fought a foul war in the Crimea, and in the mid-nineteenth century, on the matter of which Christian Church could command the keys to some 'holy sepulcher.' Jerusalem, where the anti-Semite Balfour had tried to bribe the Jews with the territory of another people in order to seduce them from Bolshevism and continue the diplomacy of the Great War. Jerusalem: that pest-house in whose environs all zealots hope that an even greater and final war can be provoked. It certainly made a warped appeal to my sense of history.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
It didn’t matter. I loved him. I loved him so much that I couldn’t see anything else for a while. Danny filled the cracks inside me, blotted out the cold, empty places in the world. It didn’t take long before Danny was the only thing that mattered. Love like that is what they make movies about. It’s the thing you’re supposed to want, the answer to every question, the song that you’re supposed to sing. But love like that can be too big, too. It can be something you shouldn’t be trusted to hold when you’re the kind of person who drops the eggs and breaks the remote control. Love doesn’t break easily, I found. But people do.
Amy Garvey (Cold Kiss (Cold Kiss, #1))
There are places in life that seep into your soul, becoming forever a part of it. You need encounter such places only once for your life to be unsuspectingly, and perhaps subtly, altered. Profound conversations and transcendental decisions are found in such places, moments forever inhabiting the deepest corners of memory: a bench in a remote park, a dark street corner, a small plaza, a doorstep. They are there, these places, in the soul, to be called up when one’s ability to carry on, to persevere, is tested.
Jaume Sanllorente
...Bhutan all but bases its identity upon its loneliness, and its refusal to b assimilated into India, or Tibet, or Nepal. Vietnam, at present, is a pretty girl with her face pressed up against the window of the dance hall, waiting to be invited in; Iceland is the mystic poet in the corner, with her mind on other things. Argentina longs to be part of the world it left and, in its absence, re-creates the place it feels should be its home; Paraguay simply slams the door and puts up a Do Not Disturb sign. Loneliness and solitude, remoteness and seclusion, are many worlds apart.
Pico Iyer
Many will argue that there is nothing remotely spiritual in combat. Consider this. Mystical or religious experiences have four common components: constant awareness of one's own inevitable death, total focus on the present moment, the valuing of other people's lives above one's own, and being part of a larger religious community such as the Sangha, ummah, or church. All four of these exist in combat. The big difference is that the mystic sees heaven and the warrior sees hell. Whether combat is the dark side of the same version, or only something equivalent in intensity, I simply don't know. I do know that at the age of fifteen I had a mystical experience that scared the hell out of me and both it and combat put me into a different relationship with ordinary life and eternity. Most of us, including me, would prefer to think of a sacred space as some light-filled wonderous place where we can feel good and find a way to shore up our psyches against death. We don't want to think that something as ugly and brutal as combat could be involved in any way with the spiritual. However, would any practicing Christian say that Calvary Hill was not a sacred space?
Karl Marlantes (What It is Like to Go to War)
The earth's vegetation is part of a web of life in which there are intimate and essential relations between plants the the earth, between plants and other plants, between plants and animals. Sometimes we have no choice but to disturb these relationships, but we should do so thoughtfully, with full awareness that what we do may have consequences remote in time and place.
Rachel Carson (Silent Spring)
. . . I had found the edge. The place where you unstrap all your fastenings to the earth, to what you are what you have been, where you flame out on the edge of the spheres, and the sun and moon become eclipsed and the world below is as dead and remote and without interest as if it were glazed with ice.
James Lee Burke (Black Cherry Blues (Dave Robicheaux, #3))
Her long hair is loosely tied back, her face very refined and intelligent-looking, with beautiful eyes and a shadowy smile playing over her lips, a smile whose sense of completeness is indescribable. It reminds me of a small, sunny spot, the special patch of sunlight you find only in some remote, secluded place.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
It is worse, much worse, than you think. The slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says it isn’t happening at all, and comes to us bundled with several others in an anthology of comforting delusions: that global warming is an Arctic saga, unfolding remotely; that it is strictly a matter of sea level and coastlines, not an enveloping crisis sparing no place and leaving no life undeformed; that it is a crisis of the “natural” world, not the human one; that those two are distinct, and that we live today somehow outside or beyond or at the very least defended against nature, not inescapably within and literally overwhelmed by it; that wealth can be a shield against the ravages of warming; that the burning of fossil fuels is the price of continued economic growth; that growth, and the technology it produces, will allow us to engineer our way out of environmental disaster; that there is any analogue to the scale or scope of this threat, in the long span of human history, that might give us confidence in staring it down. None of this is true. But let’s begin with the speed of change. The earth has experienced five mass extinctions before the one we are living through now, each so complete a wiping of the fossil record that it functioned as an evolutionary reset, the planet’s phylogenetic tree first expanding, then collapsing, at intervals, like a lung: 86 percent of all species dead, 450 million years ago; 70 million years later, 75 percent; 125 million years later, 96 percent; 50 million years later, 80 percent; 135 million years after that, 75 percent again. Unless you are a teenager, you probably read in your high school textbooks that these extinctions were the result of asteroids. In fact, all but the one that killed the dinosaurs involved climate change produced by greenhouse gas. The most notorious was 250 million years ago; it began when carbon dioxide warmed the planet by five degrees Celsius, accelerated when that warming triggered the release of methane, another greenhouse gas, and ended with all but a sliver of life on Earth dead. We are currently adding carbon to the atmosphere at a considerably faster rate; by most estimates, at least ten times faster. The rate is one hundred times faster than at any point in human history before the beginning of industrialization. And there is already, right now, fully a third more carbon in the atmosphere than at any point in the last 800,000 years—perhaps in as long as 15 million years. There were no humans then. The oceans were more than a hundred feet higher.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts. Not ignoring what is good, I am quick to perceive a horror, and could still be social with it—would they let me—since it is but well to be on friendly terms with all the inmates of the place one lodges in. By
Herman Melville (Moby Dick: or, the White Whale)
Nearly everywhere I've been, popular wisdom has it that the location of humanity's original planet is unknown, mysterious. In fact it isn't, as anyone who troubles to read on the subject will discover, but it is very, very, very far away from nearly anywhere, and not a tremendously interesting place. Or at the very least, not nearly as interesting as the enchanting idea that your people are not newcomers to their homes but in fact only recolonized the place they had belonged from the beginning of time. One meets this claim anywhere one finds a remotely human-habitable planet.
Ann Leckie (Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch, #1))
Will robot teachers replace human teachers? No, but they can complement them. Moreover, the could be sufficient in situations where there is no alternative––to enable learning while traveling, or while in remote locations, or when one wishes to study a topic for which there is not easy access to teachers. Robot teachers will help make lifelong learning a practicality. They can make it possible to learn no matter where one is in the world, no matter the time of day. Learning should take place when it is needed, when the learner is interested, not according to some arbitrary, fixed schedule
Donald A. Norman (Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things)
What was it - this implacable remoteness, this inability to surrender herself to the warmth and comradely feelings of others? Could being an academic star, being applauded over and over again as a prodigy, take the place of all that? She shuddered with a feeling she couldn't have put a name to. It was the congenital human fear of isolation.
Tom Wolfe (I Am Charlotte Simmons)
Our ability to leave our physical bodies and travel to other places has been demonstrated in controlled laboratory experiments by researchers with good academic credentials. These include Charles Tart at the University of California in Davis, and Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff at the Stanford Reesearch Institute. Russell Targ's research of "remote viewing" involves two people. The "viewer" stays in a carefully controlled laboratory environment while a "beacon" person is located somewhere outside that vicinity. A computer then selects a location that is unknown to the viewer. The beacon person is secretly notified where he or she is to go, based on the computer's random selection of a site. After the beacon person gets to the site, the viewer is asked to describe what the beacon person is seeing. The distance between the beacon person and the viewer appears to have no significant effect on the viewer's ability to accurately describe the site; the distance between them can be a few blocks or many thousand miles. In several successful attempts, a Soviet psychic not only accurately described the location of Targ's associate Keith Harary who acted as a beacon, he also described what Harary would see at the next computer-selected site--even before he got there or knew what he would see!
Stanislav Grof (The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives)
The Amy of today was abrasive enough to want to hurt, sometimes. I speak specifically of the Amy of today, who was only remotely like the woman I fell in love with. It had been an awful fairy-tale reverse transformation. Over just a few years, the old Amy, the girl of the big laugh and the east ways, literally shed herself, a pile of skin and soul on the floor, and out stepped this new, brittle, bitter Amy. My wife was no longer my wife but a razor-wire knot daring me to unloop her, and I was not up to the job with my thick, numb, nervous fingers. Country fingers. Flyover fingers untrained in the intricate, dangerous work of solving Amy. When I'd hold up the bloody stumps, she'd sigh and turn to her secret mental notebook on which she tallied all my deficiencies, forever noting disappointments, frailties, shortcomings. My old Amy, damn, she was fun. She was fun. She made me laugh. I'd forgotten that. And she laughed, From the bottom of her throat, from right behind that small finger-shaped hollow, which is the best place to laugh from. She released her grievances like handfuls of birdseed: They are there, and they are gone.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Some people have used this song as evidence that I worship the devil, which is another chapter for the big book of stupid. It's really just laughable. But the sad part is that it's not even remotely a song about devil worship! It's a song about the intersection of some basic human emotions, the place where sadness meets rage, where our need to mourn meets our lust for justice, where our faith meets our inclination to take matters into our own hands, like karmic vigilantes. People who hear the word Lucifer and start making accusations are just robbing themselves of an opportunity to get in touch with something deeper than that, something inside their own souls.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
The canyon is a ladder to the plain. The valley is pale in the end of July, when the corn and melons come of age and slowly the fields are made ready for the yield, and a faint, false air of autumn—an illusion still in the land—rises somewhere away in the high north country, a vague suspicion of red and yellow on the farthest summits. And the town lies out like a scattering of bones in the heart of the land, low in the valley, where the earth is a kiln and the soil is carried here and there in the wind and all harvests are a poor survival of the seed. It is a remote place, and divided from the rest of the world by a great forked range of mountains on the north and west; by wasteland on the south and east, a region of dunes and thorns and burning columns of air; and more than these by time and silence.
N. Scott Momaday (House Made of Dawn)
Bludgeoning, but the puppy is only to be hit exactly 7 times, and once this is completed, exactly 33.55 kg of Kingsford brand charcoal is to be placed on the puppy. 3 Samsung Galaxy s6 mobile phones are to placed around the puppy in a triangular formation, and each phone is to have both "Premium Tetris" and "Dog Barking Translator" installed on them. Once this is done, put a thermonuclear bomb inside the machine that is exactly 3 cm in width and 10 cm in height, and it is to be placed on the second Samsung Galaxy s6 placed in there. It is to be detonated using a functioning remote control made entirely out of sausages.
SCP Foundation (SCP Series Two Field Manual (SCP Field Manuals Book 2))
One time I listened to Farmer give a talk on HIV to a class at the Harvard School of Public Health, and in the midst of reciting data, he mentioned the Haitian phrase “looking for life, destroying life,” Then he explained, “It’s an expression Haitians use if a poor woman selling mangoes falls off a truck and dies.” I felt as if for that moment I could see a little way into his mind, It seemed like a place of hyperconnectivity, At moments like that, I thought that what he wanted was to erase both time and geography, connecting all parts of his life and tying them instrumentally to a world in which he saw intimate, inescapable connections between the gleaming corporate offices of Paris and New York and a legless man lying on the mud floor of a hut in the remotest part of remote Haiti. Of all the world’s errors, he seemed to feel, the most fundamental was the “erasing” of people, the “hiding away” of suffering. “My big struggle is how people can not care, erase, not remember.
Tracy Kidder (Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World)
In short order, I became America’s foremost “irregardless” apologist. I recorded a short video for Merriam-Webster’s website refuting the notion that “irregardless” wasn’t a word; I took to Twitter and Facebook and booed naysayers who set “irregardless” up as the straw man for the demise of English. I continued to find evidence of the emphatic “irregardless” in all sorts of places—even in the oral arguments of a Supreme Court case. One incredulous e-mail response to my video continued to claim “irregardless” wasn’t a real word. “It’s a made-up word that made it into the dictionary through constant use!” the correspondent said, and I cackled gleefully before responding. Of course “irregardless” is a made-up word that was entered into the dictionary through constant use; that’s pretty much how this racket works. All words are made-up: Do you think we find them fully formed on the ocean floor, or mine for them in some remote part of Wales? I began telling correspondents that “irregardless” was much more complex than people thought, and it deserved a little respectful respite, even if it still was not part of Standard English. My mother was duly horrified. “Oh, Kory,” she tutted. “So much for that college education.” —
Kory Stamper (Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries)
I once met a traveler who told me he would live to see the end of time. He laid out all his vitamins before me and told me he slept seven hours every night, no more or less. All the life you want, he said. It's all within the palm of your hand now. He said he would outlast all the wars and all the diseases, long enough to remember everything, and long enough to forget everything. He'd be the last man still standing when the sun decides to collapse upon itself and history ends. He said he had found the safest place on earth, where he could stay until the gateway to the beyond opened before him. A thousand generations from today. I pictured him there, atop a remote and snowy mountain. The heavens opening and God congratulating him for his perseverance. Asking him to join Him and watch as the sun burns down to a dull orange cinder and everything around it breaks is orbit and goes tumbling tumbling away, everything that once seemed permanent pulled apart so effortlessly, like a ball of yarn. A life into divinity. But I knew it was a lie. I've always known it was a lie. You can not hide from the world. It will find you. It always does. And now it has found me. My split second of immortality is over. All that's left now is the end, which is all any of us ever has.
Drew Magary (The Postmortal)
The right use of the exercise of the will is a condition of salvation, necessary without a doubt, but remote, inferior, very subordinated, purely negative. Muscular effort pulls up weeds, but only the sun and water can make wheat grow. The will cannot produce any good in the soul. The efforts of the will are only in place for accomplishing specific obligations. Wherever there is no specific obligation, we must follow our natural inclination or our vocation, which to say the commandment of God. The acts proceeding from inclination are evidently not efforts of the will. And in acts of obedience to God, we remain passive. Whatever pains might accompany it, whatever deployment of activity might be apparent, they produce nothing analogous in the soul to muscular effort. There is only expectant waiting, attentiveness, silence and immobility through suffering and joy. The crucifixion of Christ is the model of all acts of obedience.
Simone Weil (Waiting for God)
It comforted her, in the confused unhappy welter of her emotions, to see the mountains always tranquil, remote, in their lonely splendour; untouchable, serenely inviolate. It was an obscure comfort to her to know that man's hectic world wasn't the only one — that there were others, where agitation and passion and bewilderment had no place. When her love turned into a chaotic fever-dream, in which she was tossing, hallucinated, frightened and miserable, she had longed to escape to the cold, austere, changeless beauty and peace of the snow.
Anna Kavan
The psychologist Daniel Wegner has this beautiful concept called transactive memory, which is the observation that we don’t just store information in our minds or in specific places. We also store memories and understanding in the minds of the people we love. You don’t need to remember your child’s emotional relationship to her teacher because you know your wife will; you don’t have to remember how to work the remote because you know your daughter will. That’s transactive memory. Little bits of ourselves reside in other people’s minds. Wegner has a heartbreaking riff about what one member of a couple will often say when the other one dies—that some part of him or her died along with the partner. That, Wegner says, is literally true. When your partner dies, everything that you have stored in that person’s brain is gone.
Malcolm Gladwell (The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War)
There are sins or (let us call them as the world calls them) evil memories which are hidden away by man in the darkest places of the heart but they abide there and wait. He may suffer their memory to grow dim, let them be as though they had not been and all but persuade himself that they were not or at least were otherwise. Yet a chance word will call them forth suddenly and they will rise up to confront him in the most various circumstances, a vision or a dream, or while timbrel and harp soothe his senses or amid the cool silver tranquility of the evening or at the feast, at midnight, when he is now filled with wine. Not to insult over him will the vision come as over one that lies under her wrath, not for vengeance to cut him off from the living but shrouded in the piteous vesture of the past, silent, remote, reproachful.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
I believe that the reason there are millions of planets is the same reason there are millions of eggs. To allow for failure. There must be countless experimental stations like this one. The only thing that is not expendable is the experiment itself. Our notions of our own uniqueness are precisely that. Our notions. We will not be missed. When we have slaughtered and poisoned everything in sight and finally incinerated the earth itself then that black and lifeless lump of slag will simply revolve in the void forever. There is a place for it too. A nameless cinder of no consequence even to god. That man can halt this disaster now seems so remote a possibility as to hardly bear consideration.
Cormac McCarthy (Whales and Men)
I like you, Mallory. And God knows you deserve a hell of a lot better than me.” He dipped his chin, laughing as he thrust his hand through his hair. “God. I suck at this. Can we just forget—” I snapped out of it. “You like me?” His gaze flew to mine. “Yeah, I do. And I know I’ve been with Paige and I’m not going to pretend that meant nothing, but it’s not how I feel for you. Not remotely like how I feel for you. And it’s not because of our past—because of you and I knowing each other for so long,” he said, and the words kept coming out in a rush. “At first, I thought that was why—this attraction I have to you. I thought it was because of everything we’d shared. And then the night I came to your place and you fixed me up, I thought it was just this physical thing.” Pink raced across his cheeks. “And it is most definitely a physical thing, but it wasn’t just that. I think part of me knew that from the very first time you said my name.” Now my pulse was pounding. He liked-liked me. Oh my God, this was unexpected. This was totally unplanned. It was an infinite, vast sea of unknown. “I know you deserve better, but I want to be better. I want to be that for you.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Problem with Forever)
I maintain, then, that scientific psychology (and, it may be added, the psychology of the same kind that we all unconsciously practise when we try to "figure to ourselves" the stirrings of our own or others' souls) has, in its inability to discover or even to approach the essence of the soul, simply added one more to the symbols that collectively make up the Macrocosm of the culture-man. Like everything else that is no longer becoming but become, it has put a mechanism in place of an organism. We miss in its picture that which fills our feeling of life (and should surely be " soul " if anything is) the Destiny-quality, the necessary directedness of existence, the possibility that life in its course actualizes. I do not believe that the word "Destiny" figures in any psychological system whatsoever — and we know that nothing in the world could be more remote from actual life-experience and knowledge of men than a system without such elements. Associations, apperceptions, affections, motives, thought, feeling, will — all are dead mechanisms, the mere topography of which constitutes the insignificant total of our "soul-science." One looked for Life and one found an ornamental pattern of notions. And the soul remained what it was, something that could neither be thought nor represented, the secret, the ever-becoming, the pure experience.
Oswald Spengler (The Decline of the West, Vol 1: Form and Actuality)
To regard all things and principles of things as inconstant modes or fashions has more and more become the tendency of modern thought. Let us begin with that which is without - our physical life. Fix upon it in one of its more exquisite intervals, the moment, for instance, of delicious recoil from the flood of water in summer heat. What is the whole physical life in that moment but a combination of natural elements to which science gives their names? But these elements, phosphorus and lime and delicate fibres, are present not in the human body alone: we detect them in places most remote from it. Our physical life is a perpetual motion of them - the passage of the blood, the wasting and repairing of the lenses of the eye, the modification of the tissues of the brain by every ray of light and sound - processes which science reduces to simpler and more elementary forces. Like the elements of which we are composed, the action of these forces extends beyond us; it rusts iron and ripens corn. Far out on every side of us those elements are broadcast, driven by many forces; and birth and gesture and death and the springing of violets from the grave are but a few out of ten thousand resultant combinations. That clear, perpetual outline of face and limb is but an image of ours, under which we group them - a design in a web, the actual threads of which pass out beyond it. This at least of flame-like our life has, that it is but the concurrence, renewed from moment to moment, of forces parting sooner or later on their ways.
Walter Pater (The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry)
She took a puff, put the cigarette in the ashtray and stared at it. Without looking up, she said, But do you believe in love, Mr Evans? She rolled the cigarette end around in the ash tray. Do you? Outside, he thought, beyond this mountain and its snow, there was a world of countless millions of people. He could see them in their cities, in the heat and the light. And he could see this house, so remote and isolated, so far away, and he had a feeling that it once must have seemed to her and Jack, if only for a short time, like the universe with the two of them at its centre. And for a moment he was at the King of Cornwall with Amy in the room they thought of as theirs—with the sea and the sun and the shadows, with the white paint flaking off the French doors and with their rusty lock, with the breezes late of an afternoon and of a night the sound of the waves breaking—and he remembered how that too had once seemed the centre of the universe. I don’t, she said. No, I don’t. It’s too small a word, don’t you think, Mr Evans? I have a friend in Fern Tree who teaches piano. Very musical, she is. I’m tone-deaf myself. But one day she was telling me how every room has a note. You just have to find it. She started warbling away, up and down. And suddenly one note came back to us, just bounced back off the walls and rose from the floor and filled the place with this perfect hum. This beautiful sound. Like you’ve thrown a plum and an orchard comes back at you. You wouldn’t believe it, Mr Evans. These two completely different things, a note and a room, finding each other. It sounded … right. Am I being ridiculous? Do you think that’s what we mean by love, Mr Evans? The note that comes back to you? That finds you even when you don’t want to be found? That one day you find someone, and everything they are comes back to you in a strange way that hums? That fits. That’s beautiful. I’m not explaining myself at all well, am I? she said. I’m not very good with words. But that’s what we were. Jack and me. We didn’t really know each other. I’m not sure if I liked everything about him. I suppose some things about me annoyed him. But I was that room and he was that note and now he’s gone. And everything is silent.
Richard Flanagan (The Narrow Road to the Deep North)
The Gunner's Dream (From The Final Cut) Floating down through the clouds Memories come rushing up to meet me now. In the space between the heavens and in the corner of some foreign field I had a dream. I had a dream. Good-bye Max. Good-bye Ma. After the service when you're walking slowly to the car And the silver in her hair shines in the cold November air You hear the tolling bell And touch the silk in your lapel And as the tear drops rise to meet the comfort of the band You take her frail hand And hold on to the dream. A place to stay Enough to eat Somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street Where you can speak out loud About your doubts and fears And what's more no-one ever disappears You never hear their standard issue kicking in your door. You can relax on both sides of the tracks And maniacs don't blow holes in bandsmen by remote control And everyone has recourse to the law And no-one kills the children anymore. And no one kills the children anymore. Night after night Going round and round my brain His dream is driving me insane. In the corner of some foreign field The gunner sleeps tonight. What's done is done. We cannot just write off his final scene. Take heed of his dream.
Roger Waters
Close to the road a cow would stand knee-deep in the mist, with horns damp enough to have a pearly shine in the starlight, and it would look at the black blur we were as we went whirling into the blazing corridor of light which we could never quite get into for it would be always splitting the dark just in front of us. The cow would stand there knee-deep in the mist and look at the black blur and the blaze and then, not turning his head, at the place where the black blur and blaze had been, with the remote, massive, unvindictive indifference of God-All-Mighty or Fate or me, if I were standing there knee-deep in the mist, and the blur and the blaze whizzed past and withered on off between the fields and the patches of woods.
Robert Penn Warren (All the King’s Men)
With what meditations did Bloom accompany his demonstration to his companion of various constellations? Meditations of evolution increasingly vaster: of the moon invisible in incipient lunation, approaching perigee: of the infinite lattiginous scintillating uncondensed milky way, discernible by daylight by an observer placed at the lower end of a cylindrical vertical shaft 5000 ft deep sunk from the surface towards the centre of the earth: of Sirius (alpha in Canis Maior) 10 lightyears (57,000,000,000,000 miles) distant and in volume 900 times the dimension of our planet: of Arcturus: of the precession of equinoxes: of Orion with belt and sextuple sun theta and nebula in which 100 of our solar systems could be contained: of moribund and of nascent new stars such as Nova in 1901: of our system plunging towards the constellation of Hercules: of the parallax or parallactic drift of socalled fixed stars, in reality evermoving wanderers from immeasurably remote eons to infinitely remote futures in comparison with which the years, threescore and ten, of allotted human life formed a parenthesis of infinitesimal brevity.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
It's like this,' began the elder. 'All these sentences of hard labour in Siberian prisons, and formerly with flogging, too, do not reform anyone and, what's more, scarcely deter even one criminal, and, far from diminishing, the number of crimes are steadily increasing. You have to admit that. It therefore follows that society is not in the least protected, for though a harmful member is cut off automatically and exiled to some remote spot just to get rid of him, another criminal takes his place at once, and often, two, perhaps. If anything does protect society even today and indeed reforms the criminal himself and brings about his regeneration, it is, again, only the law of Christ, which reveals itself in the awareness of one's own consciousness. Only by recognizing his own guilt as a son of a Christian society, that is, of the Church, does the criminal recognize his guilt towards society itself, that is, towards the Church. The criminal today, therefore, is capable of recognizing his guilt only towards the Church, and not towards the State.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
All around him, for as far as he could see, lay a rough land strewn with rocks, with not a drop of water, nor a blade of grass. Colorless, with no light to speak of. No sun, no moon or stars. No sense of direction, either. At a set time, a mysterious twilight and a bottomless darkness merely exchanged places. A remote border on the edges of consciousness. At the same time, it was a place of strange abundance. At twilight birds with razor-sharp beaks came to relentlessly scoop out his flesh. But as darkness covered the land, the birds would fly off somewhere, and that land would silently fill in the gaps in his flesh with something else, some other indeterminate material.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
While my library contains the works of travel writers, I have mostly searched for those who speak about their own place in the world. But the world is changing and many people have no place to call home. Some of the most important kinds of travel writing now are stories of flight, written by people who belong to the millions of asylum seekers in the world. These are stories that are almost too hard to tell, but which, once read, will never be forgotten. Some of these stories had to be smuggled out of detention centres, or were caught covertly on smuggled mobiles in snatches of calls on weak connections from remote and distant prisons. Why is this writing important? Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist and human rights campaigner who has been detained on Manus Island for over three years with no hope for release yet in sight, puts it plainly in a message to the world in the anthology Behind the Wire. It is, he wrote, ‘because we need to change our imagination’.
Alexis Wright
She means," Nate said, turning away from the books, "That David has gone full weird." "He was always that way<' Janelle said in a low voice. "Yeah, but now he's completed his journey. Our little caterpillar has turned into a freaky butterfly." "Tell her about the screaming," Janelle said. "Because I can't." "The screaming? Stevie repeated. "The other morning he started something called 'screaming meditation'," Nate said. "Guess what happens in screaming meditation? Did you guess screaming? For fifteen minutes? Because that's what happens in screaming meditation. Fifteen. Minutes. Outside. At five in the morning. Do you know what happens when someone screams outside for fifteen minutes at five in the morning at a remote location in the mountains, especially after a . . ." The implied dot dot dot was "student dies in a terrible accident or maybe murder and another one goes missing." "When security got to him he claimed it was his new religion and that it is something he needs to do every morning now as a way to talk to the sun." So this is what Edward King had been referring to. "Sometimes," Nate went on, tapping the books into place so that the spines lined up perfectly, "he sleeps on the roof. Or somewhere else. Sometimes the green." "Naked," Janelle added. "He sleeps on the green naked." "Or in classrooms," Nate said. "Someone said they went into differential equations and he was asleep in the corner of the room under a Pokémon comforter." "Your boy has not been well," Janelle said.
Maureen Johnson (The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious, #2))
Nature is infinitely rich and diverse in her ways. She can be seen to break her most unchanging laws. She has made self-interest the motive of all human action, but in the great host of men she produces ones who are strangely constituted, in whom selfishness is scarcely perceptible because they do not place their affections in themselves. Some are passionate about the sciences, others about the public good. They are as attached to the discoveries of others as if they themselves had made them, or to the institutions of public welfare and the state as if they derived benefit from them. This habit of not thinking of themselves influences the whole course of their lives. They don't know how to use other men for their profit. Fortune offers them opportunities which they do not think of taking up. In nearly all men the self is almost never inactive. You will detect their self-interest in nearly all the advice they give you, in the services they do for you, in the contacts they make, in the friendships they form. They are deeply attached to the things which affect their interests however remotely, and are indifferent to all others. When they encounter a man who is indifferent to personal interest they cannot understand him. They suspect him of hidden motives, of affectation, or of insanity. They cast him from their bosom, revile him.
Jan Potocki (The Manuscript Found in Saragossa)
During the school year, I practically lived in Dongguk’s modern, glass-walled library, with its stacks of tantalizing books and its high-speed Internet access. It became my playground, my dining room, and sometimes my bedroom. I liked the library best late at night, when there were fewer students around to distract me. When I needed a break, I took a walk out to a small garden that had a bench overlooking the city. I often bought a small coffee from a vending machine for a few cents and just sat there for a while, staring into the sea of lights that was metropolitan Seoul. Sometimes I wondered how there could be so many lights in this place when, just thirty-five miles north of here, a whole country was shrouded in darkness. Even in the small hours of the morning, the city was alive with flashing signs and blinking transmission towers and busy roadways with headlights traveling along like bright cells pumping through blood vessels. Everything was so connected, and yet so remote. I would wonder: Where is my place out there? Was I a North Korean or a South Korean? Was I neither?
Yeonmi Park (In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom)
We go quiet as the next episode picks up exactly where it left off. Antoine manages to subdue Marie-Thérèse, and the two proceed to argue for ten minutes. Don’t ask me about what, because it’s in French, but I do notice that the same word—héritier—keeps popping up over and over again during their fight. “Okay, we need to look up that word,” I say in aggravation. “I think it’s important.” Allie grabs her cell phone and swipes her finger on the screen. I peek over her shoulder as she pulls up a translation app. “How do you think you spell it?” she asks. We get the spelling wrong three times before we finally land on a translation that makes sense: heir. “Oh!” she exclaims. “They’re talking about the father’s will.” “Shit, that’s totally it. She’s pissed off that Solange inherited all those shares of Beauté éternelle.” We high five at having figured it out, and in the moment our palms meet, pure clarity slices into me and I’m able to grasp precisely what my life has become. With a growl, I snatch the remote control and hit stop. “Hey, it’s not over yet,” she objects. “Allie.” I draw a steady breath. “We need to stop now. Before my balls disappear altogether and my man-card is revoked.” One blond eyebrow flicks up. “Who has the power to revoke it?” “I don’t know. The Man Council. The Stonemasons. Jason Statham. Take your pick.” “So you’re too much of a manly man to watch a French soap opera?” “Yes.” I chug the rest of my margarita, but the salty flavor is another reminder of how low I’ve sunk. “Jesus Christ. And I’m drinking margaritas. You’re bad for my rep, baby doll.” I shoot her a warning look. “Nobody can ever know about this.” “Ha. I’m going to post it all over the Internet. Guess what, folks—Dean Sebastian Kendrick Heyward-Di Laurentis is over at my place right now watching soaps and drinking girly drinks.” She sticks her tongue out at me. “You’ll never get laid again.” She’s right about that. “Can you at least add that the night ended with a blowjob?” I grumble. “Because then everyone will be like, oh, he suffered through all that so he could get his pole waxed.” “Your pole waxed? That’s such a gross description.” But her eyes are bright and she’s laughing as she says it.
Elle Kennedy (The Score (Off-Campus, #3))
Are you falling asleep before midnight?" Cassie leaned over the edge of the couch to look at Jack. He was stretched out on the floor, his head resting against a pillow near the center of the couch, his eyes closed. She was now wide awake and headache free. He wasn't in so good a shape. "The new year is eighteen minutes away." "Come kiss me awake in seventeen minutes." She blinked at that lazy suggestion, gave a quick grin, and dropped Benji on his chest. He opened one eye to look up at her as he settled his hand lightly on the kitten. "That's a no?" She smiled. She was looking forward to dating him, but she was smart enough to know he'd value more what he had to work at. He sighed. "That was a no. How much longer am I going to be on the fence with you?" "Is that a rhetorical question or do you want an answer?" If this was the right relationship God had for her future, time taken now would improve it, not hurt it. She was ready to admit she was tired of being alone. He scratched Benji under the chin and the kitten curled up on his chest and batted a paw at his hand. "Rhetorical. I'd hate to get my hopes up." She leaned her chin against her hand, looking down at him. "I like you, Jack." "You just figured that out?" "I'll like you more when you catch my mouse." "The only way we are going to catch T.J. is to turn this place into a cheese factory and help her get so fat and slow that she can no longer run and hide." Or you could move your left hand about three inches to the right right and catch her." Jack opened one eye and glanced toward his left. The white mouse was sitting motionless beside the plate he had set down earlier. "Let her have the cheeseburger. You put mustard on it." "You're horrible." He smiled. "I'm serious." "So am I." Jack leaned over, caught Cassie's foot, and tumbled her to the floor. "Oops." "That wasn't fair. You scared my mouse." Jack set the kitten on the floor. "Benji, go get her mouse." The kitten took off after it. "You're teaching her to be a mouser." "Working on it. Come here. You owe me a kiss for the new year." "Do I?" She reached over to the bowl of chocolates on the table and unwrapped a kiss. She popped the chocolate kiss into his mouth. "I called your bluff." He smiled and rubbed his hand across her forearm braced against his chest. "That will last me until next year." She glanced at the muted television. "That's two minutes away." "Two minutes to put this year behind us." He slid one arm behind his head, adjusting the pillow. She patted his chest with her hand. "That shouldn't take long." She felt him laugh. "It ended up being a very good year," she offered. "Next year will be even better." "Really? Promise?" "Absolutely." He reached behind her ear and a gold coin reappeared. "What do you think? Heads you say yes when I ask you out, tails you say no?" She grinned at the idea. "Are you cheating again?" She took the coin. "This one isn't edible," she realized, disappointed. And then she turned it over. "A real two-headed coin?" "A rare find." He smiled. "Like you." "That sounds like a bit of honey." "I'm good at being mushy." "Oh, really?" He glanced over her shoulder. "Turn up the TV. There's the countdown." She grabbed for the remote and hit the wrong button. The TV came on full volume just as the fireworks went off. Benji went racing past them spooked by the noise to dive under the collar of the jacket Jack had tossed on the floor. The white mouse scurried to run into the jacket sleeve. "Tell me I didn't see what I think I just did." "I won't tell you," Jack agreed, amused. He watched the jacket move and raised an eyebrow. "Am I supposed to rescue the kitten or the mouse?
Dee Henderson (The Protector (O'Malley, #4))
The sudden and uncalled for coldness with which you treated me just before I left last night, both surprised and deeply hurt me - surprised because I could not have believed that such sullen and inflexible obstinacy could exist in the breast of any girl in whose heart love had found place; and hurt me, because I feel for you more than I have ever professed and feel a slight from you more than I care to tell. My object in writing to you is this: if hasty temper produces this strange behaviour, acknowledge it when I give you the opportunity - not once or twice, but again and again. If a feeling of you know not what - a capricious restlessness of you can't tell what, and a desire to tease, you don't know why, give rise to it - overcome it; it will never make you more amiable, I more fond or either of us, more happy. Depend upon it, whatever be the cause of your unkindness - whatever gives rise to these wayward fancies - that what you do not take the trouble to conceal from a Lover's eyes, will be frequently acted before those of a husband's. I know as well, as if I were by your side at this moment, that your present impulse on reading this letter is one of anger - pride perhaps, or to use a word more current with your sex - 'spirit'. My dear girl, I have not the most remote intention of awakening any such feeling, and I implore you, not to entertain it for an instant.... I have written these few lines in haste, but not anger.... If you knew but half the anxiety with which I watched your recent illness, the joy with which I hailed your recovery, and the eagerness with which I would promote your happiness, you could more readily understand the extent of the pain so easily inflicted, but so difficult to be forgotten. - Excerpts from a letter by Charles Dickens to his fiancee of three weeks, 1835
Charles Dickens
We went through the Happy Valley to the little cove. The azaleas were finished now, the petals lay brown and crinkled on the moss. The bluebells had not faded yet, they made a solid carpet in the woods above the valley, and the young bracken was shooting up, curling and green. The moss smelt rich and deep, and the bluebells were earthy, bitter. I lay down in the long grass beside the bluebells with my hands behind my head, and Jasper at my side. He looked down at me panting, his face foolish, saliva dripping from his tongue and his heavy jowl. There were pigeons somewhere in the trees above. It was very peaceful and quiet. I wondered why it was that places are so much lovelier when one is alone. How commonplace and stupid it would be if I had a friend now, sitting beside me, someone I had known at school, who would say “By the way, I saw old Hilda the other day. You remember her, the one who was so good at tennis. She’s married, with two children.” And the bluebells beside us unnoticed, and the pigeons overhead unheard. I did not want anyone with me. Not even Maxim. If Maxim had been there I should not be lying as I was now, chewing a piece of grass, my eyes shut. I should have been watching him, watching his eyes, his expression. Wondering if he liked it, if he was bored. Wondering what he was thinking. Now I could relax, none of these things mattered. Maxim was in London. How lovely it was to be alone again. No, I did not mean that. It was disloyal, wicked. It was not what I meant. Maxim was my life and my world. I got up from the bluebells and called sharply to Jasper. We set off together down the valley to the beach. The tide was out, the sea very calm and remote. It looked like a great placid lake out there in the bay. I could not imagine it rough now, any more than I could imagine winter in summer. There was no wind, and the sun shone on the lapping water where it ran into the little pools in the rocks.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
One of the most frightening aspects of this alleged technology is the possibility of mind control by “remote control,” that is, through such technology as microwaves and radio waves. There are many stories about this, coming primarily from survivors, although we do know from a variety of reliable websites and mainstream news that such technology is being developed, or at least the technological groundwork laid. Once again, however, we do not know whether this was in place when today's survivors were programmed. It is difficult at this point to determine how much of this is genuine, and how much comes from false beliefs deliberately induced to make survivors feel powerless, much like the “one huge and invincible cult” of whose existence survivors convinced therapists twenty years ago. I know that one of my mind control survivor clients was convinced of technological monitoring during a psychotic period several years ago, but as he healed he discarded such beliefs, along with many other bizarre ones in favor of recognizing that he had been abused by real human beings whose identity he knew. If some of this remote control it is genuine, we may need to develop technological means to combat it. However, we should not be intimidated. Even if “voices” are induced in the head by remote control rather than through alters doing jobs, survivors can learn to disobey such voices just as they do those of alters. Competent and compassionate therapy for the dissociation can help survivors to heal. Meanwhile, there are numerous survivors whose mind control is of the kind that can be treated through psychotherapy. p205-206
Alison Miller (Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control)
4. Or else: Rough draft of a letter I think of you, often sometimes I go back into a cafe, I ist near the door, I order a coffee I arrange my packet of cigarettes, a box of matches, a writing pad, my felt-pen on the fake marble table I Spend a long time stirring my cup of coffee with the teasspoon (yet I don't put any sugar in my coffee, I drink it allowing the sugar to melt in my mouth, like the people of North, like the Russians and Poles when they drink tea) I pretend to be precoccupied, to be reflecting, as if I had a decision to make At the top and to the right of the sheet of paaper, I inscribe the date, sometimes the place, sometimes the time, I pretend to be writing a letter I write slowly, very slowly, as slowly as I can, I trace, I draw each letter, each accent, I check the punctuation marks I stare attentively at a small notice, the price-list for ice-creams, at a piece of ironwork, a blind, the hexagonal yellow ashtray (in actual fact, it's an equilaterial triangle, in the cutoff corners of which semi-circular dents have been made where cigarettes can be rested) (...) Outside there's a bit of sunlight the cafe is nearly empty two renovatior's men are having a rum at the bar, the owner is dozing behind his till, the waitress is cleaning the coffee machine I am thinking of you you are walking in your street, it's wintertime, you've turned up your foxfur collar, you're smiling, and remote (...)
Georges Perec
[The Edfu Building Texts in Egypt] take us back to a very remote period called the 'Early Primeval Age of the Gods'--and these gods, it transpires, were not originally Egyptian, but lived on a sacred island, the 'Homeland of the Primeval Ones,' and in the midst of a great ocean. Then, at some unspecified time in the past, an immense cataclysm shook the earth and a flood poured over this island, where 'the earliest mansions of the gods' had been founded, destroying it utterly, submerging all its holy places, and killing most of its divine inhabitants. Some survived, however, and we are told that this remnant set sail in their ships (for the texts leave us in no doubt that these 'gods' of the early primeval age were navigators) to 'wander' the world. Their purpose in doing so was nothing less than to re-create and revive the essence of their lost homeland, to bring about, in short: 'The resurrection of the former world of the gods ... The re-creation of a destroyed world.' [...] The takeaway is that the texts invite us to consider the possibility that the survivors of a lost civilization, thought of as 'gods' but manifestly human, set about 'wandering' the world in the aftermath of an extinction-level global cataclysm. By happenstance it was primarily hunter-gatherer populations, the peoples of the mountains, jungles, and deserts--'the unlettered and the uncultured,' as Plato so eloquently put it in his account of the end of Atlantis--who had been 'spared the scourge of the deluge.' Settling among them, the wanderers entertained the desperate hope that their high civilization could be restarted, or that at least something of its knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual ideas could be passed on so that mankind in the post-cataclysmic world would not be compelled to 'begin again like children, in complete ignorance of what happened in early times.
Graham Hancock (America Before: The Key to Earth's Lost Civilization)
The central fact of biblical history, the birth of the Messiah, more than any other, presupposes the design of Providence in the selecting and uniting of successive producers, and the real, paramount interest of the biblical narratives is concentrated on the various and wondrous fates, by which are arranged the births and combinations of the 'fathers of God.' But in all this complicated system of means, having determined in the order of historical phenomena the birth of the Messiah, there was no room for love in the proper meaning of the word. Love is, of course, encountered in the Bible, but only as an independent fact and not as an instrument in the process of the genealogy of Christ. The sacred book does not say that Abram took Sarai to wife by force of an ardent love, and in any case Providence must have waited until this love had grown completely cool for the centenarian progenitors to produce a child of faith, not of love. Isaac married Rebekah not for love but in accordance with an earlier formed resolution and the design of his father. Jacob loved Rachel, but this love turned out to be unnecessary for the origin of the Messiah. He was indeed to be born of a son of Jacob - Judah - but the latter was the offspring, not of Rachel but of the unloved wife, Leah. For the production in the given generation of the ancestor of the Messiah, what was necessary was the union of Jacob precisely with Leah; but to attain this union Providence did not awaken in Jacob any powerful passion of love for the future mother of the 'father of God' - Judah. Not infringing the liberty of Jacob's heartfelt feeling, the higher power permitted him to love Rachel, but for his necessary union with Leah it made use of means of quite a different kind: the mercenary cunning of a third person - devoted to his own domestic and economic interests - Laban. Judah himself, for the production of the remote ancestors of the Messiah, besides his legitimate posterity, had in his old age to marry his daughter-in-law Tamar. Seeing that such a union was not at all in the natural order of things, and indeed could not take place under ordinary conditions, that end was attained by means of an extremely strange occurrence very seductive to superficial readers of the Bible. Nor in such an occurrence could there be any talk of love. It was not love which combined the priestly harlot Rahab with the Hebrew stranger; she yielded herself to him at first in the course of her profession, and afterwards the casual bond was strengthened by her faith in the power of the new God and in the desire for his patronage for herself and her family. It was not love which united David's great-grandfather, the aged Boaz, with the youthful Moabitess Ruth, and Solomon was begotten not from genuine, profound love, but only from the casual, sinful caprice of a sovereign who was growing old.
Vladimir Sergeyevich Solovyov (The Meaning of Love)
While women suffer from our relative lack of power in the world and often resent it, certain dimensions of this powerlessness may seem abstract and remote. We know, for example, that we rarely get to make the laws or direct the major financial institutions. But Wall Street and the U.S. Congress seem very far away. The power a woman feels in herself to heal and sustain, on the other hand--"the power of love"--is, once again, concrete and very near: It is like a field of force emanating from within herself, a great river flowing outward from her very person. Thus, a complex and contradictory female subjectivity is constructed within the relations of caregiving. Here, as elsewhere, women are affirmed in some way and diminished in others, this within the unity of a single act. The woman who provides a man with largely unreciprocated emotional sustenance accords him status and pays him homage; she agrees to the unspoken proposition that his doings are important enough to deserve substantially more attention than her own. But even as the man's supremacy in the relationship is tacitly assumed by both parties to the transaction, the man reveals himself to his caregiver as vulnerable and insecure. And while she may well be ethically and epistemically disempowered by the care she gives, this caregiving affords her a feeling that a mighty power resides within her being. The situation of those men in the hierarchy of gender who avail themselves of female tenderness is not thereby altered: Their superordinate position is neither abandoned, nor their male privilege relinquished. The vulnerability these men exhibit is not a prelude in any way to their loss of male privilege or to an elevation in the status of women. Similarly, the feeling that one's love is a mighty force for the good in the life of the beloved doesn't make it so, as Milena Jesenka found, to her sorrow. The feeling of out-flowing personal power so characteristic of the caregiving woman is quite different from the having of any actual power in the world. There is no doubt that this sense of personal efficacy provides some compensation for the extra-domestic power women are typically denied: If one cannot be a king oneself, being a confidante of kings may be the next best thing. But just as we make a bad bargain in accepting an occasional Valentine in lieu of the sustained attention we deserve, we are ill advised to settle for a mere feeling of power, however heady and intoxicating it may be, in place of the effective power we have every right to exercise in the world.
Sandra Lee Bartky (Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression (Thinking Gender))
One Autumn night, in Sudbury town, Across the meadows bare and brown, The windows of the wayside inn Gleamed red with fire-light through the leaves Of woodbine, hanging from the eaves Their crimson curtains rent and thin.” “As ancient is this hostelry As any in the land may be, Built in the old Colonial day, When men lived in a grander way, With ampler hospitality; A kind of old Hobgoblin Hall, Now somewhat fallen to decay, With weather-stains upon the wall, And stairways worn, and crazy doors, And creaking and uneven floors, And chimneys huge, and tiled and tall. A region of repose it seems, A place of slumber and of dreams, Remote among the wooded hills! For there no noisy railway speeds, Its torch-race scattering smoke and gleeds; But noon and night, the panting teams Stop under the great oaks, that throw Tangles of light and shade below, On roofs and doors and window-sills. Across the road the barns display Their lines of stalls, their mows of hay, Through the wide doors the breezes blow, The wattled cocks strut to and fro, And, half effaced by rain and shine, The Red Horse prances on the sign. Round this old-fashioned, quaint abode Deep silence reigned, save when a gust Went rushing down the county road, And skeletons of leaves, and dust, A moment quickened by its breath, Shuddered and danced their dance of death, And through the ancient oaks o'erhead Mysterious voices moaned and fled. These are the tales those merry guests Told to each other, well or ill; Like summer birds that lift their crests Above the borders of their nests And twitter, and again are still. These are the tales, or new or old, In idle moments idly told; Flowers of the field with petals thin, Lilies that neither toil nor spin, And tufts of wayside weeds and gorse Hung in the parlor of the inn Beneath the sign of the Red Horse. Uprose the sun; and every guest, Uprisen, was soon equipped and dressed For journeying home and city-ward; The old stage-coach was at the door, With horses harnessed, long before The sunshine reached the withered sward Beneath the oaks, whose branches hoar Murmured: "Farewell forevermore. Where are they now? What lands and skies Paint pictures in their friendly eyes? What hope deludes, what promise cheers, What pleasant voices fill their ears? Two are beyond the salt sea waves, And three already in their graves. Perchance the living still may look Into the pages of this book, And see the days of long ago Floating and fleeting to and fro, As in the well-remembered brook They saw the inverted landscape gleam, And their own faces like a dream Look up upon them from below.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
One Autumn night, in Sudbury town, Across the meadows bare and brown, The windows of the wayside inn Gleamed red with fire-light through the leaves Of woodbine, hanging from the eaves Their crimson curtains rent and thin. As ancient is this hostelry As any in the land may be, Built in the old Colonial day, When men lived in a grander way, With ampler hospitality; A kind of old Hobgoblin Hall, Now somewhat fallen to decay, With weather-stains upon the wall, And stairways worn, and crazy doors, And creaking and uneven floors, And chimneys huge, and tiled and tall. A region of repose it seems, A place of slumber and of dreams, Remote among the wooded hills! For there no noisy railway speeds, Its torch-race scattering smoke and gleeds; But noon and night, the panting teams Stop under the great oaks, that throw Tangles of light and shade below, On roofs and doors and window-sills. Across the road the barns display Their lines of stalls, their mows of hay, Through the wide doors the breezes blow, The wattled cocks strut to and fro, And, half effaced by rain and shine, The Red Horse prances on the sign. Round this old-fashioned, quaint abode Deep silence reigned, save when a gust Went rushing down the county road, And skeletons of leaves, and dust, A moment quickened by its breath, Shuddered and danced their dance of death, And through the ancient oaks o'erhead Mysterious voices moaned and fled. These are the tales those merry guests Told to each other, well or ill; Like summer birds that lift their crests Above the borders of their nests And twitter, and again are still. These are the tales, or new or old, In idle moments idly told; Flowers of the field with petals thin, Lilies that neither toil nor spin, And tufts of wayside weeds and gorse Hung in the parlor of the inn Beneath the sign of the Red Horse. Uprose the sun; and every guest, Uprisen, was soon equipped and dressed For journeying home and city-ward; The old stage-coach was at the door, With horses harnessed,long before The sunshine reached the withered sward Beneath the oaks, whose branches hoar Murmured: "Farewell forevermore. Where are they now? What lands and skies Paint pictures in their friendly eyes? What hope deludes, what promise cheers, What pleasant voices fill their ears? Two are beyond the salt sea waves, And three already in their graves. Perchance the living still may look Into the pages of this book, And see the days of long ago Floating and fleeting to and fro, As in the well-remembered brook They saw the inverted landscape gleam, And their own faces like a dream Look up upon them from below.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A slave, Marcus Cato said, should be working when he is not sleeping. It does not matter whether his work in itself is good in itself—for slaves, at least. This sentiment still survives, and it has piled up mountains of useless drudgery. I believe that this instinct to perpetuate useless work is, at bottom, simply fear of the mob. The mob (the thought runs) are such low animals that they would be dangerous if they had leisure; it is safer to keep them too busy to think. A rich man who happens to be intellectually honest, if he is questioned about the improvement of working conditions, usually says something like this: "We know that poverty is unpleasant; in fact, since it is so remote, we rather enjoy harrowing ourselves with the thought of its unpleasantness. But don’t expect us to do anything about it. We are sorry fort you lower classes, just as we are sorry for a cat with the mange, of your condition. We feel that you are much safer as you are. The present state of affairs suits us, and we are not going to take the risk of setting you free, even by an extra hour a day. So, dear brothers, since evidently you must sweat to pay for our trips to Italy, sweat and be damned to you.” This is particularly the attitude of intelligent, cultivated people; one can read the substance if it in a hundred essays. Very few cultivated people have less than (say) four hundred pounds a year, and naturally they side with the rich, because they imagine that any liberty conceded to the poor is a threat to their own liberty. foreseeing some dismal Marxian Utopia as the alternative, the educated man prefers to keep things as they are. Possibly he does not like his fellow-rich very much, but he supposes that even the vulgarest of them are less inimical to his pleasures, more his kind of people, than the poor, and that he had better stand by them. It is this fear of a supposedly dangerous mob that makes nearly all intelligent people conservative in their opinions. Fear of the mob is a superstitious fear. It is based on the idea that there is some mysterious, fundamental difference between rich and poor, as though they were two different races, like negroes and white men. But in reality there is no such difference. The mass of the rich and the poor are differentiated by their incomes and nothings else, and the average millionaire is only the average dishwasher dressed in a new suit. Change places, and handy dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? Everyone who has mixed on equal terms with the poor knows this quite well. But the trouble is that intelligent, cultivated people, the very people who might be expected to have liberal opinions, never do mix with the poor. For what do the majority of educated people know about poverty? In my copy of Villon’s poems the editor has actually thought it necessary to explain the line “Ne pain ne voyent qu'aux fenestres” by a footnote; so remote is even hunger from the educated man’s experience. From this ignorance a superstitious fear of the mob results quite naturally. The educated man pictures a horde of submen, wanting only a day’s liberty to loot his house, burn his books, and set him to work minding a machine or sweeping out a lavatory. “Anything,” he thinks, “any injustice, sooner than let that mob loose.
George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
The dominant literary mode of the twentieth century has been the fantastic. This may appear a surprising claim, which would not have seemed even remotely conceivable at the start of the century and which is bound to encounter fierce resistance even now. However, when the time comes to look back at the century, it seems very likely that future literary historians, detached from the squabbles of our present, will see as its most representative and distinctive works books like J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, and also George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and The Inheritors, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat’s Cradle, Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot-49 and Gravity’s Rainbow. The list could readily be extended, back to the late nineteenth century with H.G. Wells’s The Island of Dr Moreau and The War of the Worlds, and up to writers currently active like Stephen R. Donaldson and George R.R. Martin. It could take in authors as different, not to say opposed, as Kingsley and Martin Amis, Anthony Burgess, Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, Don DeLillo, and Julian Barnes. By the end of the century, even authors deeply committed to the realist novel have often found themselves unable to resist the gravitational pull of the fantastic as a literary mode. This is not the same, one should note, as fantasy as a literary genre – of the authors listed above, only four besides Tolkien would find their works regularly placed on the ‘fantasy’ shelves of bookshops, and ‘the fantastic’ includes many genres besides fantasy: allegory and parable, fairy-tale, horror and science fiction, modern ghost-story and medieval romance. Nevertheless, the point remains. Those authors of the twentieth century who have spoken most powerfully to and for their contemporaries have for some reason found it necessary to use the metaphoric mode of fantasy, to write about worlds and creatures which we know do not exist, whether Tolkien’s ‘Middle-earth’, Orwell’s ‘Ingsoc’, the remote islands of Golding and Wells, or the Martians and Tralfa-madorians who burst into peaceful English or American suburbia in Wells and Vonnegut. A ready explanation for this phenomenon is of course that it represents a kind of literary disease, whose sufferers – the millions of readers of fantasy – should be scorned, pitied, or rehabilitated back to correct and proper taste. Commonly the disease is said to be ‘escapism’: readers and writers of fantasy are fleeing from reality. The problem with this is that so many of the originators of the later twentieth-century fantastic mode, including all four of those first mentioned above (Tolkien, Orwell, Golding, Vonnegut) are combat veterans, present at or at least deeply involved in the most traumatically significant events of the century, such as the Battle of the Somme (Tolkien), the bombing of Dresden (Vonnegut), the rise and early victory of fascism (Orwell). Nor can anyone say that they turned their backs on these events. Rather, they had to find some way of communicating and commenting on them. It is strange that this had, for some reason, in so many cases to involve fantasy as well as realism, but that is what has happened.
Tom Shippey (J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century)
Hymn to Mercury : Continued 11. ... Seized with a sudden fancy for fresh meat, He in his sacred crib deposited The hollow lyre, and from the cavern sweet Rushed with great leaps up to the mountain's head, Revolving in his mind some subtle feat Of thievish craft, such as a swindler might Devise in the lone season of dun night. 12. Lo! the great Sun under the ocean's bed has Driven steeds and chariot—the child meanwhile strode O'er the Pierian mountains clothed in shadows, Where the immortal oxen of the God Are pastured in the flowering unmown meadows, And safely stalled in a remote abode.— The archer Argicide, elate and proud, Drove fifty from the herd, lowing aloud. 13. He drove them wandering o'er the sandy way, But, being ever mindful of his craft, Backward and forward drove he them astray, So that the tracks which seemed before, were aft; His sandals then he threw to the ocean spray, And for each foot he wrought a kind of raft Of tamarisk, and tamarisk-like sprigs, And bound them in a lump with withy twigs. 14. And on his feet he tied these sandals light, The trail of whose wide leaves might not betray His track; and then, a self-sufficing wight, Like a man hastening on some distant way, He from Pieria's mountain bent his flight; But an old man perceived the infant pass Down green Onchestus heaped like beds with grass. 15. The old man stood dressing his sunny vine: 'Halloo! old fellow with the crooked shoulder! You grub those stumps? before they will bear wine Methinks even you must grow a little older: Attend, I pray, to this advice of mine, As you would 'scape what might appal a bolder— Seeing, see not—and hearing, hear not—and— If you have understanding—understand.' 16. So saying, Hermes roused the oxen vast; O'er shadowy mountain and resounding dell, And flower-paven plains, great Hermes passed; Till the black night divine, which favouring fell Around his steps, grew gray, and morning fast Wakened the world to work, and from her cell Sea-strewn, the Pallantean Moon sublime Into her watch-tower just began to climb. 17. Now to Alpheus he had driven all The broad-foreheaded oxen of the Sun; They came unwearied to the lofty stall And to the water-troughs which ever run Through the fresh fields—and when with rushgrass tall, Lotus and all sweet herbage, every one Had pastured been, the great God made them move Towards the stall in a collected drove. 18. A mighty pile of wood the God then heaped, And having soon conceived the mystery Of fire, from two smooth laurel branches stripped The bark, and rubbed them in his palms;—on high Suddenly forth the burning vapour leaped And the divine child saw delightedly.— Mercury first found out for human weal Tinder-box, matches, fire-irons, flint and steel. 19. And fine dry logs and roots innumerous He gathered in a delve upon the ground— And kindled them—and instantaneous The strength of the fierce flame was breathed around: And whilst the might of glorious Vulcan thus Wrapped the great pile with glare and roaring sound, Hermes dragged forth two heifers, lowing loud, Close to the fire—such might was in the God. 20. And on the earth upon their backs he threw The panting beasts, and rolled them o'er and o'er, And bored their lives out. Without more ado He cut up fat and flesh, and down before The fire, on spits of wood he placed the two, Toasting their flesh and ribs, and all the gore Pursed in the bowels; and while this was done He stretched their hides over a craggy stone.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley)
The biggest fear for homeschooled children is that they will be unable to relate to their peers, will not have friends, or that they will otherwise be unable to interact with people in a normal way. Consider this: How many of your daily interactions with people are solely with people of your own birth year?  We’re not considering interactions with people who are a year or two older or a year or two younger, but specifically people who were born within a few months of your birthday. In society, it would be very odd to section people at work by their birth year and allow you to interact only with persons your same age. This artificial constraint would limit your understanding of people and society across a broader range of ages. In traditional schools, children are placed in grades artificially constrained by the child’s birth date and an arbitrary cut-off day on a school calendar. Every student is taught the same thing as everyone else of the same age primarily because it is a convenient way to manage a large number of students. Students are not grouped that way because there is any inherent special socialization that occurs when grouping children in such a manner. Sectioning off children into narrow bands of same-age peers does not make them better able to interact with society at large. In fact, sectioning off children in this way does just the opposite—it restricts their ability to practice interacting with a wide variety of people. So why do we worry about homeschooled children’s socialization?  The erroneous assumption is that the child will be homeschooled and will be at home, schooling in the house, all day every day, with no interactions with other people. Unless a family is remotely located in a desolate place away from any form of civilization, social isolation is highly unlikely. Every homeschooling family I know involves their children in daily life—going to the grocery store or the bank, running errands, volunteering in the community, or participating in sports, arts, or community classes. Within the homeschooled community, sports, arts, drama, co-op classes, etc., are usually sectioned by elementary, pre-teen, and teen groupings. This allows students to interact with a wider range of children, and the interactions usually enhance a child’s ability to interact well with a wider age-range of students. Additionally, being out in the community provides many opportunities for children to interact with people of all ages. When homeschooling groups plan field trips, there are sometimes constraints on the age range, depending upon the destination, but many times the trip is open to children of all ages. As an example, when our group went on a field trip to the Federal Reserve Bank, all ages of children attended. The tour and information were of interest to all of the children in one way or another. After the tour, our group dined at a nearby food court. The parents sat together to chat and the children all sat with each other, with kids of all ages talking and having fun with each other. When interacting with society, exposure to a wider variety of people makes for better overall socialization. Many homeschooling groups also have park days, game days, or play days that allow all of the children in the homeschooled community to come together and play. Usually such social opportunities last for two, three, or four hours. Our group used to have Friday afternoon “Park Day.”  After our morning studies, we would pack a picnic lunch, drive to the park, and spend the rest of the afternoon letting the kids run and play. Older kids would organize games and play with younger kids, which let them practice great leadership skills. The younger kids truly looked up to and enjoyed being included in games with the older kids.
Sandra K. Cook (Overcome Your Fear of Homeschooling with Insider Information)