Small In Size Quotes

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No Difference Small as a peanut, Big as a giant, We're all the same size When we turn off the light. Rich as a sultan, Poor as a mite, We're all worth the same When we turn off the light. Red, black or orange, Yellow or white, We all look the same When we turn off the light. So maybe the way, To make everything right Is for god to just reach out And turn off the light!
Shel Silverstein
You will have to make up for the smallness of your size by your courage and selfless devotion to duty, for it is not life that matters, but the courage, fortitude and determination you bring to it.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
But I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom—Beyoncé brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
Maybe they know what I know, that the true way to a man's heart is six inches of metal between his ribs. Sometimes four inches will do the job, but to be really sure, I like to have six. Funny how phallic objects are always more useful the bigger they are. Anyone who tells you size doesn't matter has been seeing too many small knives.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #10))
People make mistakes all the time. Small ones, like you get in the wrong checkout line. The one with the lady with a hundred coupons and a checkbook. Sometimes you make medium-sized ones. You go to medical school instead of pursuing you passion. Sometimes you make big ones. You give up.
Nicola Yoon (The Sun Is Also a Star)
Most mothers worry when their daughters reach adolescence but I was the opposite. I relaxed, I sighed with relief. Little girls are cute and small only to adults. To one another they are not cute. They are life sized.
Margaret Atwood (Cat's Eye)
The Hobbits are just rustic English people, made small in size because it reflects the generally small reach of their imagination.
J.R.R. Tolkien
You don't have to look away," he says. He says it with a small smile the size of Jupiter.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
Little girls are cute and small only to adults. To one another they are not cute. They are life sized.
Margaret Atwood (Cat's Eye)
And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day
Dr. Seuss (How the Grinch stole Christmas! And other stories)
Our followers are like bees which live among birds. None of the birds recognize the bees because of their small size and weakness. They would not treat them this way if they realized that these very small bees can carry honey which is very valuable in their stomachs.
Ali ibn Abi Talib
Now and then, an inch below the water's surface, the muscles of his stomach tightened involuntarily as he recalled another detail. A drop of water on her upper arm. Wet. An embroidered flower, a simple daisy, sewn between the cups of her bra. Her breasts wide apart and small. On her back, a mole half covered by a strap. When she climbed out of the pond a glimpse of the triangular darkness her knickers were supposed to conceal. Wet. He saw it, he made himself see it again. The way her pelvic bones stretched the material clear of the skin, the deep curve of her waist, her startling whiteness. When she reached for her skirt, a carelessly raised foot revealed a patch of soil on each pad of her sweetly diminished toes. Another mole the size of a farthing on her thigh and something purplish on her calf--a strawberry mark, a scar. Not blemishes. Adornments.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
No matter how tiny you look, you can lead huge men if you have what the huge men don't have.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Travis: I didn’t know they made permanent makeup. I looked like a clown for a month. Connor: Yeah. They put a curse on me so that no matter what I wore, my clothes were two sizes too small and I felt like a geek. Travis: You are a geek.
Rick Riordan (The Demigod Files (Percy Jackson and the Olympians))
The truth is that even big collections of ordinary books distort space, as can readily be proved by anyone who has been around a really old-fashioned secondhand bookshop, one that looks as though they were designed by M. Escher on a bad day and has more stairways than storeys and those rows of shelves which end in little doors that are surely too small for a full-sized human to enter. The relevant equation is: Knowledge = power = energy = matter = mass; a good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.
Terry Pratchett (Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch, #1))
Anyone who tells you size doesn't matter has been seeing too many small knives.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #10))
The point is, Mrs. MacDonagh, that the universe is exactly the size that your soul can encompass. Some people live in extremely small worlds, and some live in a world of infinite possibility.
Kevin Hearne (Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1))
Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion human beings have walked the planet Earth. Now this is an interesting number, for by a curious coincidence there are approximately a hundred billion stars in our local universe, the Milky Way. So for every man who has ever lived, in this Universe there shines a star. But every one of those stars is a sun, often far more brilliant and glorious than the small, nearby star we call the Sun. And many--perhaps most--of those alien suns have planets circling them. So almost certainly there is enough land in the sky to give every member of the human species, back to the first ape-man, his own private, world-sized heaven--or hell. How many of those potential heavens and hells are now inhabited, and by what manner of creatures, we have no way of guessing; the very nearest is a million times farther away than Mars or Venus, those still remote goals of the next generation. But the barriers of distance are crumbling; one day we shall meet our equals, or our masters, among the stars. Men have been slow to face this prospect; some still hope that it may never become reality. Increasing numbers, however are asking; 'Why have such meetings not occurred already, since we ourselves are about to venture into space?' Why not, indeed? Here is one possible answer to that very reasonable question. But please remember: this is only a work of fiction. The truth, as always, will be far stranger.
Arthur C. Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey)
Practice giving things away, not just things you don't care about, but things you do like. Remember, it is not the size of a gift, it is its quality and the amount of mental attachment you overcome that count. So don't bankrupt yourself on a momentary positive impulse, only to regret it later. Give thought to giving. Give small things, carefully, and observe the mental processes going along with the act of releasing the little thing you liked. (53) (Quote is actually Robert A F Thurman but Huston Smith, who only wrote the introduction to my edition, seems to be given full credit for this text.)
Huston Smith (The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Liberation Through Understanding the Between)
Some things come with their own punishments. Like bedrooms with built-in cupboards. They would all learn more about punishments soon. That they came in different sizes. That some were so big they were like cupboards with built-in bedrooms. You could spend your whole life in them, wandering through dark shelving.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
The smaller the creature, the bolder its spirit.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size?
Sydney J. Harris
Don’t let small thinking cut your life down to size. Think big, aim high, act bold. And see just how big you can blow up your life.
Gary Keller (The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results)
You mean that because I have no name I cannot die and that you cannot be held answerable for death even if you kill me?" "That is about the size of it," said the Sergeant. I felt so sad and so entirely disappointed that tears came into my eyes and a lump of incommunicable poignancy swelled tragically in my throat. I began to feel intensely every fragment of my equal humanity. The life that was bubbling at the end of my fingers was real and nearly painful in intensity and so was the beauty of my warm face and the loose humanity of my limbs and the racy health of my red rich blood. To leave it all without good reason and to smash the little empire into small fragments was a thing too pitiful even to refuse to think about.
Flann O'Brien (The Third Policeman)
You could try making sense out of the universe, but you were too small and the parts you needed to see were too large or even smaller.
Kathryn Davis
the universe is exactly the size that your soul can encompass. Some people live in extremely small worlds, and some live in a world of infinite possibility.
Kevin Hearne (Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1))
Andrea turned her back to Desandra and rolled her eyes. Raphael grimaced. They both looked scandalized. Dear God, what could she have said to scandalize a bouda... “No, really!” Desandra nodded. “Okay, so most guys don’t have a nice ball sack, right? It looks all hairy and wrinkled like some small animal died between their legs, but Gerardo’s is like two plums in a velvet bag...” Derek, who’d been lingering in the doorway, took a careful step to the left behind the wall and disappeared from my view. Kill me, somebody. I raised my hand. “Hold that thought. I need to borrow Andrea for a minute.” I grabbed her arm and pulled her into the hallway. Behind us Raphael growled, “Don’t leave me!” Andrea leaned towards me. “Plums.” “Listen...” Andrea raised her hands, imitating holding plums the size of small coconuts, and moved them up and down.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Rises (Kate Daniels, #6 & #5.8))
There it is; the light across the water. Your story. Mine. His. It has to be seen to be believed. And it has to be heard. In the endless babble of narrative, in spite of the daily noise, the story waits to be heard. Some people say that the best stories have no words. They weren't brought up to Lighthousekeeping. It is true that words drop away, and that the important things are often left unsaid. The important things are learned in faces, in gestures, not in our locked tongues. The true things are too big or too small, or in any case is always the wrong size to fit in the template called language.
Jeanette Winterson (Lighthousekeeping)
The gardener had a dread of small women; he'd always imagined them to have an anger disproportionate to their size.
John Irving (A Widow for One Year)
I buy my shoes a size too small. I like the way it feels.
Karl Lagerfeld
The male ego is a curious thing. It’s about the size of a small continent but it’s extremely brittle.
Charles Stross (The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files, #1))
But there is a limit to thinking about even a small piece of something monumental. You still see the shadow of the whole rearing up behind you, and you become lost in your thoughts in part from the panic of realizing the size of that imagined leviathan.
Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation)
The person with a secular mentality feels himself to be the center of the universe. Yet he is likely to suffer from a sense of meaninglessness and insignificance because he knows he’s but one human among five billion others - all feeling themselves to be the center of things - scratching out an existence on the surface of a medium-sized planet circling a small star among countless stars in a galaxy lost among countless galaxies. The person with the sacred mentality, on the other hand, does not feel herself to be the center of the universe. She considers the Center to be elsewhere and other. Yet she is unlikely to feel lost or insignificant precisely because she draws her significance and meaning from her relationship, her connection, with that center, that Other.
M. Scott Peck (A World Waiting to Be Born: Civility Rediscovered)
Never look down on someone because they offering a gift which is small in size; that same gift might be big in love that the person is offering with.
Unarine Ramaru
I know what the majority of you think about all this. All this sex and money and drugs. You think: people who live like that never end up happy. You need to think that in just the way men with small penises need to think size doesn't matter. It's understandable. The rich, the famous, the big-dicked, the slim-and-gorgeous - they can incite an envy so urgent that you can escape it only by translating it into pity. People who live like that never end up happy. Yes, you're right. But neither do you. And in the meantime, they've had all the sex and drugs and money.
Glen Duncan (I, Lucifer)
Not being able to fully understand God is frustrating but it is ridiculous for us to think we have the right to limit God to something we are capable of comprehending. What a stunted, insignificant god that would be! If my mind is the size of a soda can and God is the size of all the oceans, it would be stupid for me to say He is only the small amount of water I can scoop into my little can. God is so much bigger, so far beyond our time-encased, air/food/sleep-dependent lives.
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
Mayflower-Plymouth is a company, and it's an ecosystem. We are an Investment Holdings company that holds mostly small and medium sized businesses in our portfolio. And we also provide a variety of resources and business services such as consulting - in the interest of helping businesses to be better.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr, CEO of Mayflower-Plymouth
The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason. It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right. It could be, perhaps his shoes were too tight. But I think that the most likely reason of all May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.
Dr. Seuss
Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of, the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied only by the last words of the looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends, and a more-than minor life. And then i screwed up and the Colonel screwed up and Takumi screwed up and she slipped through our fingers. And there's no sugar-coating it: She deserved better friends. When she fucked up, all those years ago, just a little girl terrified. into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself. And I could have done that, but I saw where it led for her. So I still believe in the Great Perhaps, and I can believe in it spite of having lost her. Beacause I will forget her, yes. That which came together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly, and I will forget, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and everyone but herself and her mom in those last moments she spent as a person. I know that she forgives me for being dumb and sacred and doing the dumb and scared thing. I know she forgives me, just as her mother forgives her. And here's how I know: I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something's meal. What was her-green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs-would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just a matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirety. There is a part of her knowable parts. And that parts has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, One thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself -those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Eidson's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
My particular dread--the vivid possibility that left me staring at tree shadows on the bedroom ceiling night after night--was having to lie in a small tent, alone in an inky wilderness, listening to a foraging bear outside and wondering what its intentions were. I was especially riveted by an amateur photograph in Herrero's book, taken late at night by a camper with a flash at a campground out West. The photograph caught four black bears as they puzzled over a suspended food bag. The bears were clearly startled but not remotely alarmed by the flash. It was not the size or demeanor of the bears that troubled me--they looked almost comically nonaggressive, like four guys who had gotten a Frisbee caught up a tree--but their numbers. Up to that moment it had not occurred to me that bears might prowl in parties. What on earth would I do if four bears came into my camp? Why, I would die, of course. Literally shit myself lifeless. I would blow my sphincter out my backside like one of those unrolling paper streamers you get at children's parties--I daresay it would even give a merry toot--and bleed to a messy death in my sleeping bag.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
Critter: I was fairly relieved when Sea took off on her own. She was wearing some two-sizes-too-small T-shirt, practically forcing my eyes to home in on “the girls,” and all I could think was I’m going to turn into a pillar of salt.
Lara Deloza (Anyone but You)
It always comes back to our insecurities, as we say, "Oh, I'm not as good as you." So instead of accepting that perhaps I am not as good as someone else in some ways and being comfortable with who I am as I am, I spend all my time denigrating you, trying to cut you down to my self-perceived size. The sad problem is that we see ourselves as being quite terribly small. Instead of spending my time being envious, I need to celebrate your and my different gifts, even if mine are perhaps less spectacular than yours.
Desmond Tutu (God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time)
The little I have, I share with you; the little you have, you also share with me. Together we all have a full share of everything. Share with me your Love as I share with you my Peace; together we have full share of Unity!
Israelmore Ayivor
I had been hobbled, perhaps even crippled by a pervasive internet society I had come to depend on and take for granted... hit enter and let Google, that twenty-first century Big Brother, take care of the rest. In the Derry of 1958, the most up-to-date computers were the size of small housing developments, and the local paper was no help. What did that leave? I remembered a sociology prof I’d had in college - a sarcastic old bastard - who used to say, When all else fails, give up and go to the library.
Stephen King (11/22/63)
The heart had a tendency to harden off after being forced to survive inside a life two sizes too small, deprived of the oxygen of dreams.
Luanne G. Smith (The Vine Witch (The Vine Witch, #1))
But there’s always been just a little tiny piece of me inside the size of a small slice of angel cake that knew somewhere somehow That I deserved better than someone like you.
Lana Del Rey (Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass)
Today I wondered why my eyelashes aren't thick enough and why my feet aren't small enough. Then it hit me. Why do we take these insignificant things like millimeters on lashes and shoeboxes and then try to fit ourselves into those stupid molds? Why do I take the beauty that is me, and measure it up to a shoe size? A length of hair on my eyes? Am I not the more wonderful creation, far more great than those stupid things? Why do we take ourselves and desecrate ourselves daily? Pushing ourselves into cubicles because we think we are supposed to fit into them? Are we ice cubes? And suddenly I just don't understand the inadequacies anymore! Because they're not even inadequacies, at all! I will laugh and be beautiful.
C. JoyBell C.
You don't notice the dead leaving when they really choose to leave you. You're not meant to. At most you feel them as a whisper or the wave of a whisper undulating down. I would compare it to a woman in the back of a lecture hall or theater whom no one notices until she slips out.Then only those near the door themselves, like Grandma Lynn, notice; to the rest it is like an unexplained breeze in a closed room. Grandma Lynn died several years later, but I have yet to see her here. I imagine her tying it on in her heaven, drinking mint juleps with Tennessee Williams and Dean Martin. She'll be here in her own sweet time, I'm sure. If I'm to be honest with you, I still sneak away to watch my family sometimes. I can't help it, and sometimes they still think of me. They can't help it.... It was a suprise to everyone when Lindsey found out she was pregnant...My father dreamed that one day he might teach another child to love ships in bottles. He knew there would be both sadness and joy in it; that it would always hold an echo of me. I would like to tell you that it is beautiful here, that I am, and you will one day be, forever safe. But this heaven is not about safety just as, in its graciousness, it isn't about gritty reality. We have fun. We do things that leave humans stumped and grateful, like Buckley's garden coming up one year, all of its crazy jumble of plants blooming all at once. I did that for my mother who, having stayed, found herself facing the yard again. Marvel was what she did at all the flowers and herbs and budding weeds. Marveling was what she mostly did after she came back- at the twists life took. And my parents gave my leftover possessions to the Goodwill, along with Grandma Lynn's things. They kept sharing when they felt me. Being together, thinking and talking about the dead, became a perfectly normal part of their life. And I listened to my brother, Buckley, as he beat the drums. Ray became Dr. Singh... And he had more and more moments that he chose not to disbelieve. Even if surrounding him were the serious surgeons and scientists who ruled over a world of black and white, he maintained this possibility: that the ushering strangers that sometimes appeared to the dying were not the results of strokes, that he had called Ruth by my name, and that he had, indeed, made love to me. If he ever doubted, he called Ruth. Ruth, who graduated from a closet to a closet-sized studio on the Lower East Side. Ruth, who was still trying to find a way to write down whom she saw and what she had experienced. Ruth, who wanted everyone to believe what she knew: that the dead truly talk to us, that in the air between the living, spirits bob and weave and laugh with us. They are the oxygen we breathe. Now I am in the place I call this wide wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort. So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wide roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
I don't feel the least humble before the vastness of the heavens. The stars may be large, but they cannot think or love; and these are qualities which impress me far more than size does. My picture of the world is drawn in perspective, and not like a model to scale. The foreground is occupied by human beings and the stars are all as small as threepenny bits.
Frank Plumpton Ramsey
We have become obsessed with what is good about small classrooms and oblivious about what also can be good about large classes. It’s a strange thing isn't it, to have an educational philosophy that thinks of the other students in the classroom with your child as competitors for the attention of the teacher and not allies in the adventure of learning.
Malcolm Gladwell (David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants)
Maybe what makes life so terribly fatiguing is nothing other than the enormous effort we make for twenty years, forty years, and more, to be reasonable, to avoid being simply, profoundly ourselves, that is, vile, ghastly, absurd. It’s the nightmare of having to represent the halt subhuman we were fobbed off with as a small-size universal ideal, a superman from morning to night.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
Doing something, he had discovered, anything, however small, that contributed to your meaningfulness of self and surroundings—well, that was the trick. That was the trick to not feel like shit.
Sunil Yapa (Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist)
The ceiling was curved, giving the space a cave-like feel, and it was either very large, very small, or sort of normal-sized.
John Stephens (The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning, #1))
Sir, people never wanted me to make it to squire. They won't like it any better if I become a knight. I doubt I'll ever get to command a force larger than, well, just me.' Raoul shook his head. 'You're wrong.' As she started to protest, he raised a hand. 'Hear me out. I have some idea of what you've had to bear to get this far, and it won't get easier. But there are larger issues than your fitness for knighthood, issues that involve lives and livelihoods. Attend,' he said, so much like Yayin, one of her Mithran teachers, that Kel had to smile. 'At our level, there are four kids of warrior,' he told Kel. He raised a fist and held up one large finger. 'Heroes, like Alanna the Lioness. Warriors who find dark places and fight in them alone. This is wonderful, but we live in the real world. There aren't many places without any hope or light.' He raised a second finger. 'We have knights- plain, everyday knights, like your brothers. They patrol their borders and protect their tenants, or they go into troubled areas at the king's command and sort them out. They fight in battles, usually against other knights. A hero will work like an everyday knight for a time- it's expected. And most knights must be clever enough to manage alone.' Kel nodded. 'We have soldiers,' Raoul continued, raising a third finger. 'Those warriors, including knights, who can manage so long as they're told what to do. These are more common, thank Mithros, and you'll find them in charge of companies in the army, under the eye of a general. Without people who can take orders, we'd be in real trouble. 'Commanders.' He raised his little finger. 'Good ones, people with a knack for it, like, say, the queen, or Buri, or young Dom, they're as rare as heroes. Commanders have an eye not just for what they do, but for what those around them do. Commanders size up people's strengths and weaknesses. They know where someone will shine and where they will collapse. Other warriors will obey a true commander because they can tell that the commander knows what he- or she- is doing.' Raoul picked up a quill and toyed with it. 'You've shown flashes of being a commander. I've seen it. So has Qasim, your friend Neal, even Wyldon, though it would be like pulling teeth to get him to admit it. My job is to see if you will do more than flash, with the right training. The realm needs commanders. Tortall is big. We have too many still-untamed pockets, too curse many hideyholes for rogues, and plenty of hungry enemies to nibble at our borders and our seafaring trade. If you have what it takes, the Crown will use you. We're too desperate for good commanders to let one slip away, even a female one. Now, finish that'- he pointed to the slate- 'and you can stop for tonight.
Tamora Pierce (Squire (Protector of the Small, #3))
IF YOU are a relatively small woman, and a man at least twice your size is bellowing at you in anger, and you’re wearing a prisoner’s uniform, and he has a pair of handcuffs on his belt, I don’t care how much of a badass you think you are, you’ll be fucking scared
Piper Kerman (Orange Is the New Black)
It is true that words drop away, and that the important things are often left unsaid. The important things are learned in faces, in gestures, not in our locked tongues. The true things are too big or too small, or in any case is always the wrong size to fit in the template called language.
Jeanette Winterson (Lighthousekeeping)
The universe is exactly the size that your soul can encompass. Some people live in extremely small worlds, and some live in a world of infinite possibilities. you have just received some sensory input that suggest its bigger than you previously thought. What are you going to do with that information? Will you deny it or embrace it?
Atticus Hounded The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne
I didn't fit. I was a different size, a different shape. I kept trying to squeeze into a body, a skin suit, that was too small. It rubbed me the wrong way. I blistered. I callused. I scarred over and it kept hurting. I would never fit. But, really, I didn't want to fit. That's why it was hard.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Twisted)
I suppose the fundamental distinction between Shakespeare and myself is one of treatment. We get our effects differently. Take the familiar farcical situation of someone who suddenly discovers that something unpleasant is standing behind them. Here is how Shakespeare handles it in "The Winter's Tale," Act 3, Scene 3: ANTIGONUS: Farewell! A lullaby too rough. I never saw the heavens so dim by day. A savage clamour! Well may I get aboard! This is the chase: I am gone for ever. And then comes literature's most famous stage direction, "Exit pursued by a bear." All well and good, but here's the way I would handle it: BERTIE: Touch of indigestion, Jeeves? JEEVES: No, Sir. BERTIE: Then why is your tummy rumbling? JEEVES: Pardon me, Sir, the noise to which you allude does not emanate from my interior but from that of that animal that has just joined us. BERTIE: Animal? What animal? JEEVES: A bear, Sir. If you will turn your head, you will observe that a bear is standing in your immediate rear inspecting you in a somewhat menacing manner. BERTIE (as narrator): I pivoted the loaf. The honest fellow was perfectly correct. It was a bear. And not a small bear, either. One of the large economy size. Its eye was bleak and it gnashed a tooth or two, and I could see at a g. that it was going to be difficult for me to find a formula. "Advise me, Jeeves," I yipped. "What do I do for the best?" JEEVES: I fancy it might be judicious if you were to make an exit, Sir. BERTIE (narrator): No sooner s. than d. I streaked for the horizon, closely followed across country by the dumb chum. And that, boys and girls, is how your grandfather clipped six seconds off Roger Bannister's mile. Who can say which method is superior?" (As reproduced in Plum, Shakespeare and the Cat Chap )
P.G. Wodehouse (Over Seventy: An Autobiography with Digressions)
One thing I’ve learnt about humans: you can’t judge their strength by the size of their actions, but by the devotion of an act, no matter how small.
Dianna Hardy (The Last Dragon)
Do you know how old the earth is, Quinn?” “No, but I bet I'm about to find out.” “Four and a half billion years old,” he says. His voice is full of wonder, like this is his absolute favorite thing to talk about. “Do you know how long ago our specific species appeared?” “No idea.” “Only two hundred thousand years ago,” he says. “Only two hundred thousand years out of four and a half billion years. It's unbelievable.” He grabs my hand and lays it palm down on his thigh. He begins tracing over the back of my hand with a lazy finger. “If the back of your hand represented the age of this earth and every species that has ever lived, the entire human race wouldn't even be visible to the naked eye. We are that insignificant.” He drags his finger to the center of the back of my hand and points to a small freckle. “From the beginning of time until now, we could combine every single human that has ever walked this earth, and all their problems and concerns as a whole wouldn't even amount to the size of this freckle right here.” He taps my hand. “Every single one of your life experiences could fit right here in this tiny freckle. So would mine. So would Beyonce's.
Colleen Hoover (All Your Perfects)
You must try to have a positive attitude. It does not matter how small a person is. One can still change the future. Size is only a state of mind. You know – it is how you use your wits that counts. Nothing can stop us, if we put our hearts into it. Anything is achievable girls, anything at all!
Nathalie M. Leblanc (Shrinking Forward)
I need to start thinking more like an engineer and less like a scientist: I need to think about what works, not about why. The problem was me. I was it. That's what I believed. I believed I was the everything. The largeness of my disaster dragged others- frankly, everyone- down with me. I was certain that entire rooms of people became vertiginously joyous when I was high and having fun, and that anyone who got near me when I was morose and coming down would have to feel my pain as potently as I did. Whether I was high or low, the intensity was so great and the world became so small- no larger than the size of me and my mood of the moment- that it was hard to imagine that anything else was going on. It was hard to believe that there were things happening in the world that were not about me.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (More, Now, Again: A Memoir of Addiction)
Well," Ben went on,"someone should just tell her to come on home, because she can find the world's largest balls right here in Orlando, Florida. They're located in a special display case known as 'my scrotum.'" Radar laughed, and Ben continued. "I mean seriously. My balls are so big that when you order french fries from McDonald's, you can choose one of four sizes: small, medium,large, and my balls.
John Green (Paper Towns)
Towards that small and ghostly hour, [Mr. Cruncher] rose up from his chair, took a key out of his pocket, opened a locked cupboard, and brought forth a sack, a crowbar of convenient size, a rope and chain, and other fishing tackle of that nature.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
All space is relative. There is no such thing as size. The telescope and the microscope have produced a deadly leveling of great and small, far and near. The only little thing is sin, the only great thing is fear! ("The Jelly-Fish")
David H. Keller (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from Poe to the Pulps)
I took his hand, he took a friend. All he has done is bite and claw for his own survival. Watching him now, so small and plain in a world of gods, it's almost as if he's the hero nobly struggling against a father who rejected him, against a Society that laughs at his size, his weakness, and scorns him as a cannibal even though it was they who told him to do whatever he had to do to win.
Pierce Brown (Golden Son (Red Rising Saga, #2))
Imagine a speck of dust next to a planet a billion times the size of the earth. The speck of dust represents the odds in favor of your being born; the huge planet would be the odds against it. So stop sweating the small stuff. Don’t be like the ingrate who got a castle as a present and worried about the mildew in the bathroom. Stop looking the gift horse in the mouth—remember that you are a Black Swan.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
And there in the snow lay the pictures, like jewels bedded in white silk. They were paper-thin sheets of colored transparent isin glass of every size and shape, some round, some square, some damaged, some intact, some as large as church windows, others as small as snuffbox miniatures.
Michael Ende (The Neverending Story)
Anyway, now she thinks of Estha and Rahel as Them, because, separately, the two of them are no longer what They were or ever thought They would be. Ever. Their lives have a size and a shape now. Estha has his and Rahel hers. Edges, Borders, Boundaries, Brinks and Limits have appeared like a team of trolls on their separate horizons. Short creatures with long shadows, patrolling the Blurry End. Gentle half-moons have gathered under their eyes and they are as old as Ammu was when she died.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
I thought about how the past can become so small. An entire day, 24 separate, heavy hours, becomes the size of a tiny brown leaf falling from a tree. Before you know it, a whole year is just a pile of dead leaves on the ground. The year or so I’d spent in love with Chad was starting to feel so long ago, swept away by the wind. I knew that this year would soon feel far away too.
Kimberly Novosel (Loved)
Try not to have a very small sample size. Because if your sample size is very small, you will end up excluding a lot of people from your studies who should form a part of it.
Pooja Agnihotri (Market Research Like a Pro)
Imagination magnifies small objects with fantastic exaggeration until they fill our soul, and with bold insolence cuts down great things to its own size, as when speaking of God.
Blaise Pascal (Pensées)
Not that I want to be thin. Heaven forbid. I do not want to take up less space in the world. I should like to take up more...
Ellen Hart (A Small Sacrifice (Jane Lawless, #5))
The world is a mysterious place. On the one hand, its size can be measured and recorded and verified. Its marvels and oddities captured in complex, empirical detail. On the other hand, its size is relative to our mind’s perception of it. Its marvels and oddities only extending to how far our vision goes. For some of us, this means the world is small, including only those we see as belonging to it. People related to us, people who look like us, dress like us, think like us. For others, it’s medium-size and includes those we connect to through some similarity, some trait that pings familiarity within, which then allows us to overlook the differences between us and them. And then there are those who see the world as huge, as the actual size it measurably is. Huge enough to include vast differences, people with nothing in common with one another except a beating heart and a feeling soul, these two—heart, soul—being the strongest connection between us all.
S.K. Ali (Love From A to Z)
Now in those days, my brothers, the teaming up was mostly by fours and fives, these being like auto-teams, for being a comfy number for an auto, and six being the outside limit for gang-size. Sometimes gangs would gang up so as to make like malenky armies for big nightwar, but mostly it was best to roam in these like small numbers.
Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)
The huge round lunar clock was a gristmill. Shake down all the grains of Time—the big grains of centuries, and the small grains of years, and the tiny grains of hours and minutes—and the clock pulverized them, slid Time silently out in all directions in a fine pollen, carried by cold winds to blanket the town like dust, everywhere. Spores from that clock lodged in your flesh to wrinkle it, to grow bones to monstrous size, to burst feet from shoes like turnips. Oh, how that great machine…dispensed Time in blowing weathers.
Ray Bradbury (Farewell Summer (Green Town, #3))
And, most important of all," added the Mathemagician, "here is your own magic staff. Use it well and there is nothing it cannot do for you." He placed in Milo's breast pocket a small gleaming pencil which, except for the size, was much like his own.
Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth)
When Ben unfurls the T-shirts, there are two small problems. First, it turns out that a large T-shirt in a Georgia gas station is not the same size as a large T-shirt at, say, Old Navy. The gas station shirt is gigantic-more garbage bag than shirt. It is smaller than the graduation robes, but not by much. But this problem pales in comparison to the other problem, which is that both T-shirts are embossed with huge Confederate flags. Printed over the flag are the words HERITAGE NOT HATE. "Oh no you didn't," Radar says when I show him why we're laughing. "Ben Starling, you better not have bought your token black friend a racist shirt." "I just grabbed the first shirts I saw, bro." "Don't bro me right now," Radar says, but he's shaking his head and laughing. I hand him his shirt and he wiggles into it while driving with his knees. "I hope I get pulled over," he says. "I'd like to see how the cop responds to a black man wearing a Confederate T-shirt over a black dress.
John Green (Paper Towns)
The size and height of the tree determines how heavily the ground will shake when it falls. The cassava tree falls and not even the pests in the forest are aware. The baobab tree falls and the whole forest looks empty! Such is human life!
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
When he[Thresh] shouts, I jump, never having heard him speak above a mutter. "What'd you do to that little girl? You kill her?" Clove is scrambling backwards on all fours, like a frantic insect, too shocked to even call for Cato. "No! No, it wasn't me!" "You said her name. I heard you. You kill her?" Another thought brings a fresh wave of rage to his features. "You cut her up like you were about to do to this girl here?" "No! No, I-" Clove sees the stone, about the size of a small loaf of bread in Thresh's hand and loses it. "Cato!" she screeches. "Cato!" "Clove!" I hear Cato's answer, but he's too far away, I can tell that much, to do her any good. What was he doing? Trying to get Foxface or Peeta? Or had he been lying in wait for Thresh and just badly misjudged his location? Thresh brings the rock down hard against Clove's temple. It's not bleeding, but I can see the dent in her skull and I know that she's a goner.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
It's just that life felt the right size in there... not too big and not too small. Wasn't so hard to work up a bit of courage. It's got so bloody complicated since then.
Athol Fugard (Master Harold...and the boys)
In life there is really no great or small thing. All things are of equal value and of equal size.
Oscar Wilde (De Profundis)
Look- here's a table covered with red cloth. On it is a cage the size of a small fish aquarium. In the cage is a white rabbit with a pink nose and pink-rimmed eyes. [...] On its back, clearly marked in blue ink, is the numeral 8. [...] The most interesting thing here isn't even the carrot-munching rabbit in the cage, but the number on its back. Not a six, not a four, not nineteen-point-five. It's an eight. This is what we're looking at, and we all see it. I didn't tell you. You didn't ask me. I never opened my mouth and you never opened yours. We're not even in the same year together, let alone the same room... except we are together. We are close. We're having a meeting of the minds. [...] We've engaged in an act of telepathy. No mythy-mountain shit; real telepathy.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
My voice of reason is always Lola. "You're a jackass." "You only say that when I'm being your voice of reason." "Out of my head, witch. And don't piss me off, I tell her. "I'll buy you underwear one size too small for Christmas and make you hate life.
Christina Lauren (Dirty Rowdy Thing (Wild Seasons, #2))
After Years Today, from a distance, I saw you walking away, and without a sound the glittering face of a glacier slid into the sea. An ancient oak fell in the Cumberlands, holding only a handful of leaves, and an old woman scattering corn to her chickens looked up for an instant. At the other side of the galaxy, a star thirty-five times the size of our own sun exploded and vanished, leaving a small green spot on the astronomer's retina as he stood on the great open dome of my heart with no one to tell.
Ted Kooser (Delights and Shadows)
I can't wear this,” she said from inside the dressing room. “It's too small.” “Let's see,” Nick said. “Come on out.” “Get me a bigger size. A lot bigger.” Nick opened the door and looked in at Kate. “Whoa,” he said on a gush of air. His pupils dilated to the point where his brown eyes were almost totally black, and Kate decided the dress must look better than she'd first thought. “Well?” she asked. “I think I'm in love,” Nick said. “But then my brain isn't completely engaged right now. That's not where the blood is flowing.” “Too much information” Kate said. “It would have been enough to tell me I look okay.” “Honey you look a lot better than okay.” “You don't think I look slutty?” “Not at these prices,” Nick said.
Janet Evanovich (The Heist (Fox and O'Hare, #1))
Kim lifted the lid. Inside, on a small pillow covered in white velvet, lay a gold sunburst the size of her thunbnail, hung on a delicate chain. It looked a little like the first spell she had ever cast, a small explosion of light re-created in metal, and she was not really surprised to find the card with the single word "Mairelon" scrawled across it.
Patricia C. Wrede (A Matter of Magic (Mairelon, #1-2))
Loki was convinced everyone loathed the feasts but no one dared say so for fear of appearing small-minded. Being quite confident of the size of his mind-large-and his ability to walk in heels, he was comfortable saying it.
Mackenzi Lee (Loki: Where Mischief Lies)
Your heart is the size of an ocean— Go find the gem hidden in your depths! Your open mouth cries like a seashell: 'That heart is too small for me!' That heart contains the whole universe, How could it be too small for you?
Rumi (Rumi: In the Arms of the Beloved)
The things we do to eat! Running from scorpions the size of small dogs, dodging 10 foot long rattlesnakes and squashing monster spiders - all in a days work
Gail Saunders-Smith
I'm visualizing the letters that make up your name, but my brain has written it in Courier and the font size is too small and I feel irritated by it.
Chelsea Martin (Even Though I Don't Miss You)
The ultimate social law, the law of respect. In some ways, a large offense done with respect was more easily overlooked than a small offense done with disrespect.
Sunil Yapa (Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist)
My world was very limited in size and experience. Small things took on extra importance, at least to a child.
Dan Groat (An Enigmatic Escape: A Trilogy)
I preferred my brand of beauty where Norah was more beautiful than any bimbette, and Mom was beautiful whether sized extra-small or extra-large. Where Peony could look at herself in the mirror and murmur, wow, look at me. Just look at me.
Justina Chen (North of Beautiful)
In hospital they ask you to rate your discomfort on a scale of ten. I guess it’s the best they can come up with, but it fails to capture the nature of the beast. Pain can stay the same while you change around it. And, like a thumb of constant size, what it blocks out depends on how close it gets to you. At arm’s length a thumb obscures a small fragment of the day. Held close enough to your eye it can blind you to everything that matters, relegating the world to a periphery.
Mark Lawrence (One Word Kill (Impossible Times #1))
People make mistakes all the time. Small ones, like you get in the wrong checkout line. The one with the lady with a hundred coupons and a checkbook. Sometimes you make medium-sized ones. You go to medical school instead of pursuing your passion. Sometimes you make big ones. You give up.
Nicola Yoon (The Sun Is Also a Star)
I need to slow down because I want to explain how my world slowed down. I also need to talk about how life has a shape and a size, and how it can be made to fit into something small – like a house.
Nathan Filer (The Shock of the Fall)
I have over a decade’s worth of eating disorder experience at this point. There were the anorexic years, the binge-eating ones, and the current bulimic ones. The more experience I’ve got, the more I recognize that the body is hardly a reliable reflection of what’s going on inside it. My body has fluctuated frequently and drastically throughout this decade, and no matter how it’s fluctuated, no matter whether my body is a kids’ size 10 slim or an adult size 6, I’ve had an issue underneath it. People don’t seem to get that unless they have a history with eating disorders. People seem to assign thin with “good,” heavy with “bad,” and too thin also with “bad.” There’s such a small window of “good.” It’s a window that I currently fall into, even though my habits are so far from good. I’m abusing my body every day. I’m miserable. I’m depleted. And yet the compliments keep pouring in.
Jennette McCurdy (I'm Glad My Mom Died)
Watching the hole in the ever-fading light. It’s the size of a baby now, closing all the time. Narrower and narrower, until there’s barely room to fit an arm through. I’m thinking about quenching the light before the hole shuts—this is just torture—when a face suddenly appears. It’s Bran. The spell has passed and he’s come back. He wants to get through, to be with me. But the hole’s too small. He punches it, pulls at it, slips his fingers into the gap and strains with all his might—but it’s no good. The rock continues to grind together. The hole gets smaller, the width of a finger now. At the last moment, Bran presses his mouth up to the hole and roars with raw pain and loss, at the top of his voice, “Bec!” It’s the only time he’s ever uttered my name. Anyone’s name. His anguished cry stabs at my heart and tears spring to my eyes. I open my mouth to shout his own name back, to offer whatever small shred of comfort I can… but then the rock closes all the way and a fierce rumbling drowns out the echoes of Bran’s cry. I stare at the solid rock. My mouth closes. The light fades. Darkness.
Darren Shan (Bec (The Demonata, #4))
Nor do the females of our closest primate cousins offer much reason to believe the human female should be sexually reluctant due to purely biological concerns. Instead, primatologist Meredith Small has noted that female primates are highly attracted to novelty in mating. Unfamiliar males appear to attract females more than known males with any other characteristic a male might offer (high status, large size, coloration, frequent grooming, hairy chest, gold chains, pinky ring, whatever). Small writes, "The only consistent interest seen among the general primate population is an interest in novelty and variety...In fact," she reports, "the search for the unfamiliar is documented as a female preference more often than is any other characteristic our human eyes can perceive.
Christopher Ryan (Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality)
A part of me was disdainful of the newfound attention I was receiving. You see me now? I’m attractive now? Receiving the congratulations, the praises in some small way felt like accepting that what I’d been before—all of my life—was wrong. Even though I’d often felt that way myself, I resented that the size of my body was correlated to my value, my worth as a person.
Andie Mitchell (It Was Me All Along: A Memoir)
To go back home was to play with impressions in this way, the way I played with the first pair of glasses I had, looking at a world now sharp and small and not quite real, now standard in size and real but blurred.
V.S. Naipaul (A Way in the World)
...[at the Constitutional Convention] the States were divided into different interests not by their difference of size, but principally from their having or not having slaves. It did not lie between the large and small States: it lay between the Northern and Southern.
James Madison
The 'bath' was almost the size of a small swimming pool, the steam curling off it pure, sensual temptation. A shower stood to her right, but it had no glass walls, the area defined only by an expanse of gold-flecked tile. A lightbulb went off in her head. 'Wings,' she whispered. 'It’s all to accommodate those beautiful wings.
Nalini Singh (Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1))
VII From my village I see as much of the universe as can be seen from the earth, And so my village is as large as any town, For I am the size of what I see And not the size of my height . . . In the cities life is smaller Than here in my house on top of this hill. The big buildings of cities lock up the view, They hide the horizon, pulling our gaze far away from the open sky. They make us small, for they take away all the vastness our eyes can see, And they make us poor, for our only wealth is seeing.
Fernando Pessoa (A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems)
Humph.” She peered down suspiciously as he parted the leaves to reveal the choke. “That doesn’t look very tasty.” “That’s because it isn’t,” he said. “Pay heed: the artichoke is a shy vegetable. She covers herself in spine-tipped leaves that must be carefully peeled away, and underneath shields her treasure with a barricade o’ soft needles. They must be tenderly, but firmly, scraped aside. Ye must be bold, for if yer not, she’ll never reveal her soft heart.” He finished cutting away the thistles and placed the small, tender heart on the center of her plate. She wrinkled her nose. “That’s it? But it’s so small.” “Ah, and d’ye judge a thing solely upon size alone?” She made a choking sound.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane, #3))
I squatted by the water as it flowed over the tumbled rocks, thought how far they must've come to have settled in the concrete channel, the stream clear and melodious, the smell of fresh water. I didn't want to think about my mother anymore. I'd rather think about the way the willows and the cottonwoods and palms broke their way through the concrete, growing right out of the flood control channel, how the river struggled to re-establish itself. A little silt was carried down, settled. A seed dropped into it, sprouted. Little roots shot downward. The next thing you had trees, shrubs, birds. My mother once wrote a poem about rivers. They were women, she wrote. Starting out small girls, tiny streams decorated with wildflowers. They were torrents, gouging paths through sheer granite, flinging themselves off cliffs, fearless and irresistible. Later, they grew fat servicable, broad slow curves carrying commerce and sewage, but in their unconscious depths catfish gorged, grew the size of barges, and in the hundred-year storms, they rose up, forgetting the promises they made, the wedding vows, and drowned everything for miles around. Finally they gave out, birth-emptied, malarial, into a fan of swamps that met the ocean.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
All right, my hope—but I am not saying the rest of it—I have something you need to feel.” She feigned the sound of outrage. “But we barely know each other, sir!” He laughed softly. “But you must hold it in your hand and feel it change,” he urged, in her ear. “I insist. I can wait no longer.” She knew they were on a serious subject, but the flutter of his breath on her skin, the low drawl of his words—heat raced along all her nerve endings. “Will I like it?” “Well, I do have to apologize for its size. It is rather small.” And with that, he pressed something rather small into her hand.
Sherry Thomas (The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy, #2))
I am sometimes taken aback by how people can have a miserable day or get angry because they feel cheated by a bad meal, cold coffee, a social rebuff or a rude reception. We are quick to forget that just being alive is an extraordinary piece of good luck, a remote event, a chance of occurrence of monstrous proportions. Imagine a speck of dust next to a planet a billion times the size of earth. The speck of dust represents the odds in favor of your being born; the huge planet would be the odds against it. So stop sweating the small stuff. Don’t be like the ingrate who got a castle as a present and worried about the mildew in the bathroom. Stop looking at the gift horse in the mouth – remember you are a Black Swan.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Such a study indicates that the greatest investment reward comes to those who by good luck or good sense find the occasional company that over the years can grow in sales and profits far more than industry as a whole. It further shows that when we believe we have found such a company we had better stick with it for a long period of time. It gives us a strong hint that such companies need not necessarily be young and small. Instead, regardless of size, what really counts is a management having both a determination to attain further important growth and an ability to bring its plans to completion.
Philip A. Fisher (Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings (Wiley Investment Classics))
Her curvy hips and small waist, her perfectly sized breasts and round ass are imploring me to corrupt every inch of her. Her decadent body was built to be fucked in the most scandalous and wanton ways imaginable and I’m just the man to do it.
Ella Dominguez (Continental Beginnings (Continental Affair, #2))
Fat" is a small word which belies its size in the girth of its connotations. Fat implies a certain ungainliness, an inefficiency, a sense of immobility, a lack of industry, an unpleasant, unaesthetic quality; unmotivated, unloved, unnatural, unusual, uninspired, unhappy, unlikely to go places or to fit, under the ground with a heart attack at fifty-five. In short, fat somewhat paradoxically involves the lack of many attributes which, you must concede, are generally held to be good.
Mohsin Hamid (Moth Smoke)
When pain bites, men bargain. Boys too. We twist and turn, we plead and beg, we offer our tormentor what he wants so that the hurting will stop. And when there is no torturer to placate, no hooded man with hot irons and tongs, just a burn you can't escape, we bargain with God, or ourselves, depending on the size of our egos.... Take the pain, I said, and I will be a good man. Or if not that, a better man. We all become weasels with enough hurt on us. But I think a small part of it was more than that. A small part was the terrible two-edged sword called experience, cutting away at the cruel child I was, carving out whatever man might yet to come. I promised a better one. Thought I have been known to lie.
Mark Lawrence (King of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #2))
I shook my head. "it's not about living in a city." It wasn't. Back then, it wasn't just getting away. It was about not coming back. It wasn't just the size and sensibility of this place that made in unbearable, but its pull - the weird magnetism that could sap your ambition, clip your wings, leave you inert and fascinated and sinking ever deeper into the choking quicksand of small-town life.
Kat Rosenfield (Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone)
She had doll-like, almost delicate limbs, small hands, and hardly any hips. But she now had breasts. All her life she had been flat-chested, as if she had never reached puberty. She thought it had looked ridiculous, and she was always uncomfortable showing herself naked. Now, all of a sudden, she had breasts. They were by no means gigantic - that was not what she had wanted, and they would have looked ridiculous on her otherwise skinny body - but they were two solid, round breasts of medium size. The enlargements had been well done, and the proportions were reasonable. But the difference was dramatic.
Stieg Larsson (The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2))
I found myself facing a man and a woman who looked so much alike, they could only be twins, or two people who had been married for a very long time. They both had pear-shaped bodies with short, thick legs and grumpy-looking arms, and it looked like they had both tried on heads that were too small for them, and were about to ask the head clerk for a larger size.
Lemony Snicket (Who Could That Be at This Hour? (All the Wrong Questions, #1))
But, if you've decided to go out on a limb and kill one, for goodness' sake, be prepared. We all read, with dismay, the sad story of a good woman wronged in south Mississippi who took that option and made a complete mess of the entire thing. See, first she shot him. Well, she saw right off the bat that that was a mistake because then she had this enormous dead body to deal with. He was every bit as much trouble to her dead as he ever had been alive, and was getting more so all the time. So then, she made another snap decision to cut him up in pieces and dispose of him a hunk at a time. More poor planning. First, she didn't have the proper carving utensils on hand and hacking him up proved to be just a major chore, plus it made just this colossal mess on her off-white shag living room carpet. It's getting to be like the Cat in the Hat now, only Thing Two ain't showing up to help with the clean-up. She finally gets him into portable-size portions, and wouldn't you know it? Cheap trash bags. Can anything else possible go wrong for this poor woman? So, the lesson here is obvious--for want of a small chain saw, a roll of Visqueen and some genuine Hefty bags, she is in Parchman Penitentiary today instead of New Orleans, where she'd planned to go with her new boyfriend. Preparation is everything.
Jill Conner Browne (The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love)
Forest air is the epitome of healthy air. People who want to take a deep breath of fresh air or engage in physical activity in a particularly agreeable atmosphere step out into the forest. There's every reason to do so. The air truly is considerably cleaner under the trees, because the trees act as huge air filters. Their leaves and needles hang in a steady breeze, catching large and small particles as they float by. Per year and square mile this can amount to 20,000 tons of material. Trees trap so much because their canopy presents such a large surface area. In comparison with a meadow of a similar size, the surface area of the forest is hundreds of times larger, mostly because of the size difference between trees and grass. The filtered particles contain not only pollutants such as soot but also pollen and dust blown up from the ground. It is the filtered particles from human activity, however, that are particularly harmful. Acids, toxic hydrocarbons, and nitrogen compounds accumulate in the trees like fat in the filter of an exhaust fan above a kitchen stove. But not only do trees filter materials out of the air, they also pump substances into it. They exchange scent-mails and, of course, pump out phytoncides, both of which I have already mentioned.
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World)
The claims which the difficult work of love lays upon our development are more than life-sized, and as beginners we are not equal to them. But if we continue to hold out and take this love upon ourselves as a burden and apprenticeship, instead of losing ourselves in all the light and frivolous play behind which mankind have concealed themselves from the most serious gravity of their existence,-then perhaps some small progress and some alleviation will become perceptible to those who come long after us; that would be much.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
Catharine’s office had two plants, three chairs, two desks, one hutch, six personal photos in standing frames, one of those clichéd motivational posters on the wall that had two crows tearing out the insides of a reasonably sized forest cat with the cheesy inspirational caption, “Unremittingly, you must stare into the sun,” and a clay paperweight most likely made by Catharine’s daughter (it was signed by your seed in adorable small-child handwriting).
Joseph Fink (Welcome to Night Vale (Welcome to Night Vale, #1))
My unhappiness was something deep inside me, and when i closed my eyes i could even see it. it sat somehwere - maybe in my belly, maybe in my heart; i could not exactly tell - and it took the shape of a small black ball, all wrapped up in cobwebs. i would look at it and look at it until i had burned the cobwebs away, and then i would see that the ball was no bigger than a thimble, even though it weighed worlds. at that moment, just when i saw its size and felt its weight, i was beyond feeling sorry for myself, which is to say i was beyond tears. i could only just sit and look at myself, feeling like the oldest person who had ever lived and who had not learned a single thing.
Jamaica Kincaid (Annie John)
Clent's expression had set up camp somewhere between amusement and pain. "Sometimes I forget that your small size is the result of youth, not pickling. You are... young, Mosca. "To be young is to be powerless, but to have delusions of power. To believe that one can really change things, make the world better and simpler in good and simple ways. To grow old is to realize that nobody is ever good, nothing is ever simple. That truth is cruel at first, but finally comforting." "But...," Mosca broke in, then halted. Clent was right- she knew that he was. And yet her bones screamed that he was also wrong, utterly wrong. "But sometimes things /are/ simple. Just now and then. Just like now and then people /are/ good." "Yes." Clent gave a deep sigh. "Yes, I know. Innocent people force one to remember that. For you see, there is a cruelty in all innocence." Mosca remained silent for a few moments, daunted by the colossal sadness in his voice. "I'll never understand you, Mr. Clent," she said at last. "Mosca," he replied simply, "I truly hope you never do.
Frances Hardinge (Fly Trap)
Pain can stay the same while you change around it. And, like a thumb of constant size, what it blocks out depends on how close it gets to you. At arm’s length a thumb obscures a small fragment of the day. Held close enough to your eye it can blind you to everything that matters, relegating the world to a periphery.
Mark Lawrence (One Word Kill (Impossible Times #1))
Old Sam Hamilton saw this coming. He said there couldn’t be any more universal philosophers. The weight of knowledge is too great for one mind to absorb. He saw a time when one man would know only one little fragment, but he would know it well.” “Yes,” Lee said from the doorway, “and he deplored it. He hated it.” “Did he, now?” Adam asked... “Now you question it, I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know whether he hated it or I hate it for him... Maybe the knowledge is too great and maybe men are growing too small... Maybe kneeling down to atoms, they’re becoming atom-sized in their souls. Maybe a specialist is only a coward, afraid to look out of his little cage. And think what any specialist misses! The whole world over his fence!” “We’re only talking about making a living.” “A living? Or money?” Lee said excitedly. “Money’s easy to make if it’s money you want. But with a few exceptions people don’t want money. They want luxury, and they want love, and they want admiration.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
The Poem About Taking out the Trash In the vast emptiness of darkness, Stars are being born and are burning out; Galaxies expand, into what I have no idea, And dark matter fills the infinite space That has no bounds and no limits. In the middle of all this, I stand In a single moment and know how small I am. A group of atoms, the size of nothing in comparison. I am the observer of the play on a tiny stage. The onlooker who watches the painting Of a picture that few stop to see. The listener of a song where I hear only a fraction Of a fraction of a note in a song that will be forever sung And that has been being sung for eternity upon eternity, Before I knew breath and sound. I am but dust, stardust, a breath of a life, smoke Rising into oblivion, here then gone as quickly. Under all of this, I take out the trash.
Eric Overby (Senses)
In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction.
Ray Bradbury
He set the RAM on the desk, then reached into his back pocket to pull out his grimoire. The size of a small paperback novel, it'd been a gift from Ambrose to help him understand some of the madness that surrounded him, and to answer some of the "other" questions that came up. "All right, Nashira," Nick said in a low tone. "Talk to me. What the heck is watching me?" He slid his knife out of his pocket, opened the book, and pricked his finger, allowing three drops of blood to touch a blank page. "Dredanya eire coulet" he whispered, waking the female spirit who lived inside the enchanted pages. The moment he finished speaking, his blood began swirling until it formed words: Do not fear that which cannot be seen. For they are lost in between. 'Tis the ones who come alive That your blood will allow to thrive. Nick snorted at the cryptic stanzas. "Not really useful, Nashira. Doesn't answer my question." His blood crawled over to the next page. Answer, answer, you always say, But it doesn't work that way. In time, the truth you shall find. And then you will understand my rhyme. "I'm such a masochist to even try talking to you" Underneath the words, a picture of an obscene gesture formed. "Oh very nice, Nashira. Very nice. Wherever did you learn that?" In your pocket I reside. Ever privy to your deride. But more than that, I can see. And that includes bathroom stall graffiti Nick screwed his face up in distaste. "Oh my God, no. Tell me you haven't been spying on me in the rest room. You perv!" Calm yourself, you evil troll. My job is not to console. But if it is privacy you seek, Leave me in your backpack so I can't peek. Now he understood why other people got so aggravated with his attitude disorder. He wanted to strangle his book.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Inferno (Chronicles of Nick, #4))
You turned into a cat! A SMALL cat! You violated Conservation of Energy! That's not just an arbitrary rule, it's implied by the form of the quantum Hamiltonian! Rejecting it destroys unitarity and then you get FTL signalling! And cats are COMPLICATED! A human mind can't just visualise a whole cat's anatomy and, and all the cat biochemistry, and what about the neurology? How can you go on thinking using a cat-sized brain?
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
It’s like the kitchen in that movie where evil rich Michael Douglas tries to have Gwyneth Paltrow murdered because she falls for a poor artist. Everything is stainless steel or marble and the island in the center is the size of a small car. I can’t remember if the poor guy gets Gwyneth in the end of the movie and it feels like it matters a lot right now.
Caroline Kepnes (You (You, #1))
It just hangs there. This little... flap of flesh. And there's so much fuss that we make about it. I think the reason we fight wars is because we wear clothes. Because no one knows–between the men, I mean–who has the bigger... weenie. So. if I’m a guy with a small one, I’m going to build a really big building or take over a really big piece of land or write a really long book so the other men don’t know, right? But see, it never really works, that's the problem. I mean, you conquer the country, or whatever, but you’re still wearing clothes, so there’s no way to prove absolutely whose is bigger or smaller. And that’s what we call a civilized society. The whole world run by a bunch of men with pricks the size of pins.
David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly)
When a young tree is injured it grows around that injury. As the tree continues to develop, the wound becomes relatively small in proportion to the size of the tree. Gnarly burls and misshapen limbs speak of injuries and obstacles encountered through time and overcome. The way a tree grows around its past contributes to its exquisite individuality, character, and beauty. I certainly don't advocate for traumatization to build character, but since trauma is almost a given at some point in our lives, the image of the tree can be a valuable mirror.
Peter A. Levine (Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma)
What’s the best practical joke you’ve ever played on another camper? Connor: The golden mango! Travis: Oh, dude, that was awesome. Connor: So anyway, we took this mango and spray painted it gold, right? We wrote: “For the hottest” on it and left it in the Aphrodite cabin while they were at archery class. When they came back, they started fighting over it, trying to figure out which of them was the hottest. It was so funny. Travis: Gucci shoes were flying out the windows. The Aphrodite kids were ripping each other’s clothes and throwing lipstick and jewelry. It was like a rabid herd of wild Bratz. Connor: Then they figured out what we’d done, and they tracked us down. Travis: That was not cool. I didn’t know they made permanent makeup. I looked like a clown for a month. Connor: Yeah. They put a curse on me so that no matter what I wore, my clothes were two sizes too small and I felt like a geek. Travis: You are a geek.
Rick Riordan (The Demigod Files (Percy Jackson and the Olympians))
In my dreams a small wolf slept inside of me and it wasn’t comfortable. It moved it’s heels and elbows and paws, struggled to make space between my lungs, stomach, bladder. Occasionally a scrabbling claw punctured something and I woke. What were you dreaming? Arabella wanted to know. I knew what it was dreaming. It was dreaming of being born. The form and scale of its occupancy shifted. Sometimes its legs were in my legs, its head in my head, its paws in my hands. Other times it was barely the size of a kitten, heartburn hot and fidgety under my sternum. I’d wake and for a moment feel my face changed, reach up and touch the muzzle that wasn’t there.
Glen Duncan (The Last Werewolf (The Last Werewolf, #1))
If the stars are sublime, why should the earth be therefore petty? It is part of a sublime system. If the earth is to be called petty, then the stars must be called petty too. They may not even be inhabited. Perhaps they mean the movement of the vast system going on for ever, while men die. The indestructibility of matter. But if matter is indestructible, it is not what the people who use the phrase mean by matter. If matter is not conscious, man is more than matter. If a small, no matter how small, conscious thing is called petty in comparison with big, no matter how big, unconscious things, everything is made a question of size, which is absurd....
Dorothy M. Richardson
After even the first few steps, the disadvantages of the bus ride seemed like small potatoes. 'Small potatoes' is a phrase which has nothing to do with root vegetables that happen to be tiny in size. Instead, it refers to the change in one's feelings for something when it is compared with something else. If you were walking in the rain, for instance, you might be worried about getting wet, but if you turned the corner and saw a pack of vicious dogs, getting wet would suddenly become small potatoes next to getting chased down an alley and barked at, or possibly eaten.
Lemony Snicket (The Vile Village (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #7))
It was around this time that I’d begun trying to perfect the art of fucking with people’s minds. I’d figured out that when someone else was hogging the limelight, you could cut him down to size by bringing up a subject he didn’t know anything about. If the other person knew a lot about literature, I’d talk about the Velvet Underground; if he knew a lot about rock, I’d talk about Messiaen; if he knew a lot about classical music, I’d talk about Roy Lichtenstein; if he knew a lot about pop art, I’d talk about Jean Genet; and so on. Do that in a small provincial city and you never lose an argument.
Ryū Murakami (69)
Then they wondered if there were men in the stars. Why not? And as creation is harmonious, the inhabitants of Sirius ought to be huge, those of Mars middle-sized, those of Venus very small. Unless it is the same everywhere. There are businessmen, police up there; people trade, fight, dethrone their kings. Some shooting stars suddenly slid past, describing a course in the sky like the parabola of a monstrous rocket. ‘My Word,’ said Bouvard, ‘look at those worlds disappearing.’ Pecuchet replied: ‘If our world in its turn danced about, the citizens of the stars would be no more impressed than we are now. Ideas like that are rather humbling.’ ‘What is the point of it all?’ ‘Perhaps there isn’t a point.’ ‘Yet…’ and Pecuchet repeated the word two or three times, without finding anything more to say.
Gustave Flaubert (Bouvard and Pecuchet)
untrue. The truth is that even big collections of ordinary books distort space, as can readily be proved by anyone who has been around a really old-fashioned secondhand bookshop, one of those that look as though they were designed by M. Escher on a bad day and has more staircases than storys and those rows of shelves which end in little doors that are surely too small for a full-sized human to enter. The
Terry Pratchett (Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8))
Land and sea. We may think of them as opposites; as complements. But there is a difference in how we think of them; the sea, and the land. If we are walking around in a forest, a meadow or a town, we see our surroundings as being made up of individual elements. There are many different kinds of trees in varying sizes, those buildings, these streets. The meadow, the flowers, the bushes. Our gaze lingers on details, and if we are standing in a forest in the autumn, we become tongue-tied if we try to describe the richness around us. All this exists on land. But the sea. The sea is something completely different. The sea is one. We may note the shifting moods of the sea. What the sea looks like when the wind is blowing, how the sea plays with the light, how it rises and falls. But still it is always the sea we are talking about. We have given different parts of the sea different names for navigation and identification, but if we are standing before the sea, there is only one whole. The Sea. If we are taken so far out in a small boat that no land is visible in any direction, we may catch sight of the sea. It is not a pleasant experience. The sea is a god, an unseeing, unhearing deity that does not even know we exist. We mean less than a grain of sand on an elephant's back, and if the sea wants us, it will take us. That's just the way it is. The sea knows no limits, makes no concessions. It has given us everything and it can take everything away from us. To other gods we send our prayer: Protect us from the sea.
John Ajvide Lindqvist (Harbor)
Everything was damp and rife and hot as though the jungle were an immense collection of oily rags growing hotter and hotter under the dark stifling vaults of a huge warehouse. Heat licked at everything, and the foliage, responding, grew to prodigious sizes. In the depths, in the heat and the moisture, it was never silent. The birds cawed, the small animals and occasional snakes rustled and squealed, and beneath it all was a hush, almost palpable, in which could be heard the rapt absorbed sounds of vegetation growing.
Norman Mailer (The Naked and the Dead)
We twist and turn, we plead and beg, we offer our tormentor what he wants so that the hurting will stop. And when there is no torturer to placate, no hooded man with hot irons and tongs, just a burn you can't escape, we bargain with God, or ourselves, depending on the size of our egos. I made mock of the dying at Mabberton and now their ghosts watched me burn. Take the pain, I said, and I will be a good man. Or if not that, a better man. We all become weasels with enough hurt on us. But I thing a small part of it was more than that. A small part was that terrible two-edged sword called experience, cutting away at the cruel child I was, carving out whatever man might be yet to come. I promised a better one. Though I have been known to lie.
Mark Lawrence (King of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #2))
The rainbow comes and goes. Enjoy it while it lasts. Don’t be surprised by its departure, and rejoice when it returns. There is so much to be joyful about, so many different kinds of rainbows in one’s life: making love is an incredible rainbow, as is falling in love; knowing friendship; being able to really talk with someone who has a problem and say something that will help; waking up in the morning, looking out, and seeing a tree that has suddenly blossomed, like the one I have outside my window—what joy that brings. It may seem a small thing, but rainbows come in all sizes. I think about Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz singing, about where “bluebirds fly,” and Jan Peerce singing about “a bluebird of happiness.” Well, they may never find it, they may never reach it, and that’s okay. The searching, that’s what I think life is really all about. Don’t you? I
Anderson Cooper (The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss)
A board of three is ideal. Your board should never exceed five people, unless your company is publicly held. (Government regulations effectively mandate that public companies have larger boards—the average is nine members.) By far the worst you can do is to make your board extra large. When unsavvy observers see a nonprofit organization with dozens of people on its board, they think: “Look how many great people are committed to this organization! It must be extremely well run.” Actually, a huge board will exercise no effective oversight at all; it merely provides cover for whatever microdictator actually runs the organization. If you want that kind of free rein from your board, blow it up to giant size. If you want an effective board, keep it small.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future)
I'm getting chocolate. I need you. Come over." She hung up, hoping he would get the message. A binge was coming, get help. Inside the store, she blew past the small plastic shopping baskets not made for heavy lifting, and wheeled the full-sized grocery cart over to the holiday aisle. One of the wheels dragged like a conscience, pulling the cart halfheartedly in the direction of the fresh produce. The other wheels squealed in protest.
Ann Wertz Garvin (The Dog Year)
Sometimes when I get really sad and depressed, you know, I lie in bed and think about you. I don’t mean in a sexual way. I just think about the goodness of you as a person. And since you like me, or you love me, I must be okay. I can feel that feeling inside myself even now while I’m describing it to you. It’s like, when everything is really bad, it’s this one small feeling the size of an acorn, and it’s inside me, here. She gestured to the base of her breastbone, between her ribs. It’s like the way, when I’m upset, I know I can call you, and you’ll say soothing things to me, she said. And when I think about that, most of the time I don’t even need to call you, because I can feel it, the way I’m describing. I can feel that you’re with me. I know that probably sounds stupid. But if we got together and then broke up, would I not be able to feel that anymore? And what would I have inside here instead? She tapped the base of her breastbone again with anxious fingers. Nothing? she asked.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
Here there is space for families to play, grow, expand. Space that doesn’t exist where life is circumscribed by commutes and high costs and the presence of thousands, of millions of other people. If you keep a fish in a small crowded tank it will grow up stunted and tiny, never attaining its true natural size. Part of me believes that people are the same way, that we need space, room to explore and grow, a certain distance from our neighbors.
Christopher Ingraham (If You Lived Here You'd Be Home By Now: Why We Traded the Commuting Life for a Little House on the Prairie)
It had grown cold in the night but he was numb with other weathers. An equinox in the heart, ill change, unluck. Suttree held his face in his hands. Child of darkness and familiar of small dooms. He himself used to wake in terror to find whole congregations of the uninvited attending his bed, protean figures slouched among the room's dark corners in all multiplicity of shapes, gibbons and gargoyles, arachnoids of outrageous size, a batshaped creature hung by some cunning in a high corner from whence clicked and winked like bone chimes its incandescent teeth.
Cormac McCarthy
Birds sold as free-range or free-roaming must be given access to the outside, however that is the ony requirement; the area to which they have access may be small, and consist of gravel and no forage of any kind. The term pastured or pasture-raised tends to be more meaningful, as this practice can affect the flavor and size of the birds...The term "natural" is unregulated and essentially meaningless. According to the current USDA standards, no poultry may be given hormones; thus, poultry labeled as "hormone-free" is akin to labeling bottled water "no carbs" or "fat free.
Irma S. Rombauer (Joy of Cooking)
It was long before they moved, and when they moved it was with great reluctance. They stood together in front of the looking-glass, and with a brush tried to make themselves look as if they had been feeling nothing all the morning, neither pain nor happiness. But it chilled them to see themselves in the glass, for instead of being vast and indivisible they were really very small and separate, the size of the glass leaving a large space for the reflection of other things.
Virginia Woolf (The Voyage Out)
To the mind (Geist), good and evil, above and below, are not skeptical, relative concepts, but terms of a function, values that depend on the context they find themselves in…. It regards nothing as fixed, no personality, no order of things: because our knowledge may change from day to day, it regards nothing as binding: everything has the value it has only until the next act of creation, as a face changes with the words we are speaking to it. And so the mind or spirit is the great opportunist, itself impossible to pin down, take hold of, anywhere: on is tempted to believe that of all its influence nothing is left but decay. Every advance is a gain in particular and a separation in general; it is an increase in power leading only to a progressive increase in impotence, but there is no way to quit. Ulrich thought of that body of facts and discoveries, growing almost by the hour, out of which the mind must peer today if it wishes to scrutinize any given problem closely. This body grows away from its inner life. Countless views, opinions, systems of ideas from every age and latitude, from all sorts of sick and sound, waking and dreaming brains run through it like thousands of small sensitive nerve strands, but the central nodal point tying them all together is missing. Man feels dangerously close to repeating the fate of those gigantic primeval species that perished because of their size; but he cannot stop himself.
Robert Musil (The Man Without Qualities: Volume I)
Because of the size of this body, I must concentrate much harder than I usually do. Even the small things -- my foot on the gas pedal, the amount of space I have to leave around me in the halls -- require major adjustment. And there are the looks I get -- such undisguised disgust. Not just from other students. From teachers. From strangers. The judgment flows freely. It's possible that they're reacting to the thing that Finn has allowed himself to become. But there's also something more primal, something more defensive in their disgust. I am what they fear becoming. I've worn black today, because I've heard so often that it's supposed to be slimming. But instead I am this sphere of darkness submarining through the halls.
David Levithan (Every Day (Every Day, #1))
It was that summer, too, that I began the cutting, and was almost as devoted to it as to my newfound loveliness. I adored tending to myself, wiping a shallow red pool of my blood away with a damp washcloth to magically reveal, just above my naval: queasy. Applying alcohol with dabs of a cotton ball, wispy shreds sticking to the bloody lines of: perky. I had a dirty streak my senior year, which I later rectified. A few quick cuts and cunt becomes can't, cock turns into back, clit transforms to a very unlikely cat, the l and i turned into a teetering capital A. The last words I ever carved into myself, sixteen years after I started: vanish. Sometimes I can hear the words squabbling at each other across my body. Up on my shoulder, panty calling down to cherry on the inside of my right ankle. On the underside of a big toe, sew uttering muffled threats to baby, just under my left breast. I can quiet them down by thinking of vanish, always hushed and regal, lording over the other words from the safety of the nape of my neck. Also: At the center of my back, which was too difficult to reach, is a circle of perfect skin the size of a fist. Over the years I've made my own private jokes. You can really read me. Do you want me to spell it out for you? I've certainly given myself a life sentence. Funny, right? I can't stand to look myself without being completely covered. Someday I may visit a surgeon, see what can be done to smooth me, but now I couldn't bear the reaction. Instead I drink so I don't think too much about what I've done to my body and so I don't do any more. Yet most of the time that I'm awake, I want to cut. Not small words either. Equivocate. Inarticulate. Duplicitous. At my hospital back in Illinois they would not approve of this craving. For those who need a name, there's a gift basket of medical terms. All I know is that the cutting made me feel safe. It was proof. Thoughts and words, captured where I could see them and track them. The truth, stinging, on my skin, in a freakish shorthand. Tell me you're going to the doctor, and I'll want to cut worrisome on my arm. Say you've fallen in love and I buzz the outlines of tragic over my breast. I hadn't necessarily wanted to be cured. But I was out of places to write, slicing myself between my toes - bad, cry - like a junkie looking for one last vein. Vanish did it for me. I'd saved the neck, such a nice prime spot, for one final good cutting. Then I turned myself in.
Gillian Flynn (Sharp Objects)
They could then see the faint summer fogs in layers, woolly, level, and apparently no thicker than counterpanes, spread about the meadows in detached remnants of small extent. On the gray moisture of the grass were marks where the cows had lain through the night—dark-green islands of dry herbage the size of their carcasses, in the general sea of dew. From each island proceeded a serpentine trail, by which the cow had rambled away to feed after getting up, at the end of which trail they found her;
Thomas Hardy (Tess of the D'Urbervilles)
And so, because business leadership is still so dominated by men, modern workplaces are riddled with these kind of gaps, from doors that are too heavy for the average woman to open with ease, to glass stairs and lobby floors that mean anyone below can see up your skirt, to paving that’s exactly the right size to catch your heels. Small, niggling issues that aren’t the end of the world, granted, but that nevertheless irritate. Then there’s the standard office temperature. The formula to determine standard office temperature was developed in the 1960s around the metabolic resting rate of the average forty-year-old, 70 kg man.1 But a recent study found that ‘the metabolic rate of young adult females performing light office work is significantly lower’ than the standard values for men doing the same type of activity. In fact, the formula may overestimate female metabolic rate by as much as 35%, meaning that current offices are on average five degrees too cold for women. Which leads to the odd sight of female office workers wrapped up in blankets in the New York summer while their male colleagues wander around in summer clothes.
Caroline Criado Pérez (Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men)
She reaches down into her bulging tote bag and pulls out a small plastic box with a hinged lid. It contains a round pill box with a threaded lid from which she tips out a vitamin pill, a fish-oil pill, and the enzyme tablet that lets her stomach digest milk. Inside the hinged plastic box she also carries packets of salt, pepper, horseradish, and hand-wipes, a doll size bottle of Tabasco sauce, chlorine pills for treating drinking water, Pepto-Bismol chews, and God knows what else. If you go to a concert, Bina has opera glasses. If you need to sit on the grass, she whips out a towel. Ant traps, a corkscrew, candles and matches, a dog muzzle, a penknife, a tiny aerosol can of freon, a magnifying glass - Landsman has seen everything come out of that overstuffed cowhide at one time or another.
Michael Chabon (The Yiddish Policemen's Union)
Paper: Some inexpensive plain bond paper A pad of Strathmore Drawing Paper, 80 lb., 11" × 14" Pencils: A #2 ordinary yellow writing pencil with an eraser at the top A #4 drawing pencil—Faber-Castell, Prismacolor Turquoise, or other brand Marking pens: Sharpie (or other brand) fine point non-permanent black A second marker, fine point permanent black Graphite stick: #4 General’s is a good brand, or other brand Pencil sharpener: A small handheld sharpener is fine Erasers: A Pink Pearl eraser A Staedtler Mars white plastic eraser A kneaded eraser—Lyra, Design, or other brand Masking tape: 3M Scotch Low Tack Artist Tape Clips: Two 1-inch-wide black clips Drawing board: A firm surface large enough to hold your 11" × 14" drawing paper—about 15" × 18" is a good size. This can be improvised from a kitchen cutting board, a piece of foam board, a piece of Masonite, or thick cardboard. Picture plane: This too can be improvised using an 8" × 10" piece of glass (you will need to tape the edges), or an 8" × 10" piece of clear plastic, about 1⁄16" thick. Viewfinders: You will make these from black paper—“construction” paper is a good thickness, or you could use thin black cardboard. You will find instructions for making the viewfinders here A small mirror: About 5" × 7" that can be taped to a wall, or any available wall mirror.
Betty Edwards (Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive Edition)
There, I saw Adam messing around with a container of tic tacs. I had found the source of the cinnamon taste of his kisses. He looked up. "Want one?" he offered. "Sure, thanks," I replied. He proceeded to knock exactly one tic tac into his palm and hand it to me. "Are you sure you can spare this?" I asked solemnly. "How many did you want?" "Well, more than one. Who gives somebody one tic tac? Would it kill to be a little more generous? some psychologist somewhere probably has some theory about one tic tac givers and fear of commitment." "Fear of commitment, my ass. You should be committed, you loon. If you were intended to have more than one tic tac, they would have just made tic tacs bigger. This is regulation sized tic tac, and it should be more than enough to satisfy your breath freshening needs," he said, sounding affronted. "A tic tac is not merely a breath freshener, it is a candy," I pointed out, voice rising in anger. Who was he calling a loon? "And they make them small on purpose, so you'll think you're getting more, and so you'll run out faster when someone asks for one, and you will give them a few!" "Why would someone ask for A tic tac when they really wanted several tic tacs? What does that say about their psychology?! Why not be honest from the get-go about what you want?!" he shouted back at me. " I didn't ask for one! You offered me one, God damn it!" "And as for your other points, it is primarily a breath freshener, and maybe you should alert the media about your great tic tac size conspiracy!" "I can't believe we're fighting about motherfucking tic tacs!" I screamed and the two of us glowered each other across my desk for several seconds before smiles slowly appeared on both of our faces. "Want to have make-up sex?" he asked. "Yeah, let's go," I said, getting up and heading for the bedroom.
N.M. Silber (Legal Briefs (Lawyers in Love, #3))
In that moment, I feel the Prophet's canvas ceiling lift away from my head, walls flying off me, and a pressure I've never put into words hisses somewhere at the back of my mind as the size of the universe assembles itself in my mind. If I close my eyes, I can see it, the endlessness beyond my ears, and knowing I'm only in a corner of that vastness doesn't make me feel tiny. It is amazing that, though I am small and ungifted and barely educated, even I can appreciate the scale of the universe. And from this perch in space, for this moment at least, it seems unimportant whether someone made it, or if it made itself.
Stephanie Oakes (The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly)
Molly wondered this: Could the size of man’s soul be small? She marveled that she would ask herself this question, for the obvious answer was yes. After all, if John’s was infinitely large, then his polar opposite must also surely exist. Her ex-husband’s soul was very small indeed. He was forever spinning his wheels to enlarge his soul, to fill its emptiness, with things. The luxury car, the large house, the high-paying but unimaginative job, the respect of people he didn’t even like. Like so many men, he needed a boy’s toy box of things to feel whole. John was the opposite. He didn’t need anything to feel whole besides a hammock, a beer, and her.
Ray Smith (The Magnolia That Bloomed Unseen)
It goes something like this: I am one person among 6.5 billion people on Earth at the moment. That's one person among 6,500,000,000 people. That'a lot of Wembley Stadiums full of people, and even more double-decker buses (apparently the standard British measurements for size). And we live on an Earth that is spinning at 67,000 miles an hour through space around a sun that is the centre of our solar system (and our solar system is spinning around the centre of the Milky Way at 530,000 mph). Just our solar system (which is a tiny speck within the entire universe) is very big indeed. If Earth was a peppercorn and Jupiter was a chestnut (the standard American measurements), you'd have to place them 100 metres apart to get a sense of the real distance between us. And this universe is only one of many. In fact, the chances are that there are many, many more populated Earths - just like ours - in other universes. And that's just space. Have a look at time, too. If you're in for a good run, you may spend 85 years on this Earth. Man has been around for 100,000 years, so you're going to spend just 0.00085 percent of man's history living on this Earth. And Man's stay on Earth has been very short in the context of the life of the Earth (which is 4.5 billion years old): if the Earth had been around for the equivalent of a day (with the Big Bang kicking it all off at midnight), humans didn't turn up until 11.59.58 p.m. That means we've only been around for the last two seconds. A lifetime is gone in a flash. There are relatively few people on this Earth that were here 100 years ago. Just as you'll be gone (relatively) soon. So, with just the briefest look at the spatial and temporal context of our lives, we are utterly insignificant. As the Perspective Machine lifts up so far above the woods that we forget what the word means, we see just one moving light. It is beautiful. A small, gently glowing light. It is a firefly lost somewhere in the cosmos. And a firefly - on Earth - lives for just one night. It glows beautifully, then goes out. And up there so high in our Perspective Machine we realize that our lives are really just like that of the firefly. Except the air is full of 6.5 billion fireflies. They're glowing beautifully for one night. Then they are gone. So, Fuck It, you might as well REALLY glow.
John C. Parkin (F**k It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way)
You could buy individual boxes of detergent and fabric softener, even bleach, and there was nothing that made me grind my teeth with pleasure more than a real thing shrunken down small. The first time my dad showed me a toothache kit from a box of equipment from the Korean War and I saw the tiny cotton balls (the size of very small ball bearings), I nearly swooned. "Let me hold one of those," I said, almost mad at him. He gave it to me with a tiny pair of tweezers. I let it float in my palm a moment and then made him take it back. Miniaturization was a gift from God, no doubt about it, and there it was, right in a vending machine in the place we used to do our laundry.
Haven Kimmel (She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana)
Latro, California: "Terrible diarrhea, Doctor, and I feel so weak!" "Take these pills and come back in three days if you're not better." Parkington, Texas: "Terrible diarrhea..." "Take these pills..." Hainesport, Louisiana: "Terrible..." "Take..." Baker Bay, Florida... Washington, DC... Philadelphia, Pennsylvania... New York, New York... Boston, Massachusetts... Chicago, Illinois: "Doctor, I know it's Sunday, but the kid's in such a terrible state - you've got to help me!" "Give him some junior aspirin and bring him to my office tomorrow. Goodbye." EVERYWHERE, USA: a sudden upswing in orders for very small coffins, the right size to take a baby dead from acute infantile enteritis.
John Brunner (The Sheep Look Up)
Look. I will not be told what size to be. I do not care about anyone else’s judgment about my body. I am not interested in anyone else’s ideas of what I’m supposed to look like. I believe everyone’s body is theirs and everyone has a right to love their body in whatever size and shape and package it comes in. I will fight for anyone’s right to do so. I will kick ass and take names if I have to. Your body is yours. My body is mine. No one’s body is up for comment. No matter how small, how large, how curvy, how flat. If you love you, then I love you. But this is not about loving me. I don’t FEEL good. And while part of me means it emotionally, I mostly mean it physically. I don’t FEEL GOOD.
Shonda Rhimes (Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person)
Life is a great big beautiful three-ring circus. There are those on the floor making their lives among the heads of lions and hoops of fire, and those in the stands, complacent and wowed, their mouths stuffed with popcorn. I know less now than ever about life, but I do know its size. Life is enormous. Much grander than what we’ve taken for ourselves, so far. When the show is over and the tent is packed, the elephants, lions and dancing poodles are caged and mounted on trucks to caravan to the next town. The clown’s makeup has worn, and his bright, red smile has been washed down a sink. All that is left is another performance, another tent and set of lights. We rest in the knowledge: the show must go on. Somewhere, behind our stage curtain, a still, small voice asks why we haven’t yet taken up juggling. My seminars were like this. Only, instead of flipping shiny, black bowling balls or roaring chainsaws through the air, I juggled concepts. The world is intrinsically tied together. All things march through time at different intervals but move ahead in one fashion or another. Though we may never understand it, we are all part of something much larger than ourselves—something anchoring us to the spot we have mentally chosen. We sniff out the rules, through spiritual quests and the sciences. And with every new discovery, we grow more confused. Our inability to connect what seems illogical to unite and to defy logic in our understanding keeps us from enlightenment. The artists and insane tiptoe around such insights, but lack the compassion to hand-feed these concepts to a blind world. The interconnectedness of all things is not simply a pet phrase. It is a big “T” truth that the wise spend their lives attempting to grasp.
Christopher Hawke (Unnatural Truth)
The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree.I believe this simile largely speaks the truth. The green and budding twigs may represent existing species; and those produced during former years may represent the long succession of extinct species. At each period of growth all the growing twigs have tried to branch out on all sides, and to overtop and kill the surrounding twigs and branches, in the same manner as species and groups of species have at all times overmastered other species in the great battle for life. The limbs divided into great branches, and these into lesser and lesser branches, were themselves once, when the tree was young, budding twigs; and this connection of the former and present buds by ramifying branches may well represent the classification of all extinct and living species in groups subordinate to groups. Of the many twigs which flourished when the tree was a mere bush, only two or three, now grown into great branches, yet survive and bear the other branches; so with the species which lived during long-past geological periods, very few have left living and modified descendants. From the first growth of the tree, many a limb and branch has decayed and dropped off; and these fallen branches of various sizes may represent those whole orders, families, and genera which have now no living representatives, and which are known to us only in a fossil state. As we here and there see a thin straggling branch springing from a fork low down in a tree, and which by some chance has been favoured and is still alive on its summit, so we occasionally see an animal like the Ornithorhynchus or Lepidosiren, which in some small degree connects by its affinities two large branches of life, and which has apparently been saved from fatal competition by having inhabited a protected station. As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these, if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever-branching and beautiful ramifications.
Charles Darwin
Now, no complaining, Waxillium. It will help. I’ve put the list in this little book,” Steris said, producing a palm-sized notebook, “for ease of reference. Each page contains a conversation opener, indexed to the people it will likely work best upon. The numbers below list ways you could segue the conversation into useful areas and perhaps figure out what our targets are up to, and what their connection is to the Bands of Mourning.” “I’m not socially incompetent, Steris,” Wax said. “I can make small talk.” “I know that,” Steris said, “but I’d rather avoid an incident like the Cett party.…” “Which Cett party?” “The one where you head-butted someone.” He cocked his head. “Oh, right. That smarmy little man with the ridiculous mustache.
Brandon Sanderson (The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn, #6))
Would it be an indiscretion to ask to see those precious pills?" continued Beauchamp, hoping to take him at a disadvantage. "No, Monsieur," returned the count; and he drew from his pocket a marvelous bonbonniere, formed out of a single emerald, and closed by a golden lid, which unscrewed and gave passage to a small of greenish color, and about the size of a pea." ..."this is a magnificent emerald, and the largest I have ever seen," said Chateu-Renaud... "I had three similar ones," returned Monte Cristo; "I gave one to the Grand Signior, who mounted it in his saber; another to our holy father the pope, who had it set in his tiara, opposite to nearly as large, though not so fine a one, given by Emperor Napolen to his predecessor Pius VII. I kept the third for myself, and I had it hollowed out, which reduced its value, but rendered it more commodious for the purpose I intended it for." Every one looked at Monte Cristo with astonishment...
Alexandre Dumas
We have talked at length of individual rights; but what, it may be asked, of the “rights of society”? Don’t they supersede the rights of the mere individual? The libertarian, however, is an individualist; he believes that one of the prime errors in social theory is to treat “society” as if it were an actually existing entity. “Society” is sometimes treated as a superior or quasi-divine figure with overriding “rights” of its own; at other times as an existing evil which can be blamed for all the ills of the world. The individualist holds that only individuals exist, think, feel, choose, and act; and that “society” is not a living entity but simply a label for a set of interacting individuals. Treating society as a thing that chooses and acts, then, serves to obscure the real forces at work. If, in a small community, ten people band together to rob and expropriate three others then this is clearly and evidently a case of a group of individuals acting in concert against another group. In this situation, if the ten people presumed to refer to themselves as “society” acting in “its” interest, the rationale would be laughed out of court; even the ten robbers would probably be too shamefaced to use this sort of argument. But let their size increase, and this kind of obfuscation becomes rife and succeeds in duping the public.
Murray N. Rothbard (For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto)
What you see is what I am. I've not had my boobs done or my arse lifted, no nips, no tucks. No ribs removed, nothing. Those little strumpets we see on the silver screen today are mostly bathroom sealant. They buy breasts over the counter. What would you like, honey, small, medium or large? They give us stick insects and tell us it's beauty. If someone of their size went for an audition jn my day she'd have been shown a square meal and told to come back when she was a stone heavier. What's wring with curves? Anyone over a ten these days is regarded not as an average-sized woman but a marketing opportunity. Cream for this, pills for that, superfluous hair, collagen injection, quick weight-loss diets. Where's it going to end? We're pressured to expend so much money and effort ti be the 'perfect' shape when that shape is physically attainable by only one woman in a million. It's the cold face of capitalism, boys and girls, preying in misguided expectations. Besides, I always found perfection an overrated commodity
Jasper Fforde
To the one and only Alex Jenkins Reid: Thank you for understanding why this book was so important to me and for being so into it. But more important, thank you for being the kind of man who encourages me to shout louder, dream bigger, and take less shit. Thank you for never making me feel as if I should make myself smaller to make anyone else feel better. It brings me an absolutely unparalleled amount of pride and joy to know that our daughter is growing up with a father who will stick by her side no matter who she is, who will show her how she should expect to be treated by modeling it for her. Evelyn did not have that. I did not have that. But she will. Because of you. And lastly, to my baby girl. You were teeny teeny tiny—I believe the size of half the period on the end of this sentence—when I started writing this book. And when I finished it, you were mere days away from making your entrance. You were with me every step of the way. I suspect it was, in no small part, you who gave me the strength to write it. I promise that I will repay the favor by loving you unconditionally and accepting you always, so that you feel strong enough and safe enough to do anything you set your mind to. Evelyn would want that for you. She would say, “Lilah, go out there, be kind, and grab what you want out of this world with both hands.” Well, she might not have put as big an emphasis on being kind. But as your mother, I must insist.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
I never knew him. We both knew this place, apparently, this literal small backwater, looked at it long enough to memorize it, our years apart. How strange. And it's still loved, or its memory is (it must have changed a lot). Our visions coincided--'visions' is too serious a word--our looks, two looks: art 'copying from life' and life itself, life and the memory of it so compressed they've turned into each other. Which is which? Life and the memory of it cramped, dim, on a piece of Bristol board, dim, but how live, how touching in detail --the little that we get for free, the little of our earthly trust. Not much. About the size of our abidance along with theirs: the munching cows, the iris, crisp and shivering, the water still standing from spring freshets, the yet-to-be-dismantled elms, the geese.
Elizabeth Bishop (Geography III)
In here was the image of God. It isn't the devil in humanity that makes man a lonely creature, it's his God-likeness. It's the fullness of the Good that can't get out or can't find its proper "other place" that makes for loneliness.Anna's misery was for others. They just could not see the beauty of that broken iron stump, the colors, the crystalline shapes; they could not see the possibilities there. Anna wanted them to join with her in this exciting new world , but they could not imagine themselves to be so small that this jagged fracture could become a world of iron mountains, of iron plains with crystal trees.It was a new world to explore, a world of the imagination, a world where few people would or could follow her. In this broken-off stump was a whole new realm of possibilities to be explored and to be enjoyed. Mister God most certainly enjoyed it, but then Mister God didn't at all mind making himself small. People thought that Mister God was very big, and that's where they made a big mistake. Obviously Mister God could be any size he wanted to be. "If he couldn't be little, how could he know what it's like to be a lady -bird?" Indeed, how could he? So, like Alice in Wonderland, Anna ate of the cake of imagination and altered her size to fit the occasion.After all, Mister God did not have only one point of view but an infinity of viewing points, and the whole purpose of living was to be like Mister God. So far as Anna was concerned, being good, being generous, being kind, praying, and all that kind of stuff had very little to do with Mister God. They were, in the jargon of today, merely "spinoffs." This sort of thing was just "playing it safe," and Anna was going to have none of it. No! Religion was all about being like Mister God and it was here that things could get a little tough. The instructions weren't to be good and kind and loving, etc., and it therefore followed that you would be more like Mi ster God. No! The whole point of being alive was to be like Mister God and then you couldn't help but be good and kind and loving, could you?
Fynn (Mister God, This is Anna)
I opened the bag and pulled out a small box of chocolates. “Happy anniversary.” “Oh. Thanks.” She flashed me a huge smile that would have looked totally real … if I didn’t know her better. “Simon said that’s what I should get you. That or flowers. So you like it?” “Sure.” “Liar.” Her face went bright red now as she stammered, “N-no, really. It’s great. It’s—” “Completely and totally impersonal. Like something you’d buy in bulk for all your teachers.” “No, I like this kind. You know I do and—” She stopped as I held out the bag. “Your real gift,” I said. She looked in and let out a choking laugh. Then, still grinning, she reached in and pulled out a penlight, a Swiss army knife and a purse-sized can of mace. She sputtered another laugh. “This is …” “Practical?” I said. “In my life, it is definitely practical. But I was going to say thoughtful.” She smiled up at me. “The most thoughtful gift I’ve ever gotten.” “And the most completely unromantic? Simon almost had a heart attack when I showed him. He made me get the chocolates, as a backup.” “I’m sure he did. Which I suppose explains why I ended up with you instead.” She rose on tiptoes again and put her arms around my neck. “Because buying me gifts to keep me safe? That’s my idea of romantic.”
Kelley Armstrong (Belonging (Darkest Powers, #3.5))
But in dozens and dozens of studies, Latham and Locke found that setting goals increased performance and productivity 11 to 25 percent.5 That’s quite a boost. If an eight-hour day is our baseline, that’s like getting two extra hours of work simply by building a mental frame (aka a goal) around the activity. But not every goal is the same. “We found that if you want the largest increase in motivation and productivity,” says Latham, “then big goals lead to the best outcomes. Big goals significantly outperform small goals, medium-sized goals, and vague goals. It comes down to attention and persistence—which are two of the most important factors in determining performance. Big goals help focus attention, and they make us more persistent. The result is we’re much more effective when we work, and much more willing to get up and try again when we fail.
Peter H. Diamandis (Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World)
Peter, Adam's Son," said Father Christmas. "Here, sir," said Peter. "These are your presents," was the answer, "and they are tools, not toys. The time to use them is perhaps near at hand. Bear them well." With these words he handed to Peter a shield and a sword. The shield was the color of silver and across it there ramped a red lion, as bright as a ripe strawberry at the moment when you pick it. The hilt of the sword was of gold and it had a sheath and a sword belt and everything it needed, and it was just the right size and weight for Peter to use. Peter was silent and solemn as he received these gifts, for he felt they were a very serious kind of present. "Susan, Eve's Daughter," said Father Christmas. "These are for you," and he handed her a bow and a quiver full of arrows and a little ivory horn. "You must use the bow only in great need," he said, "for I do not mean you to fight in the battle. It does not easily miss. And when you put this horn to your lips and blow it, then, wherever you are, I think help of some kind will come to you." Last of all he said, "Lucy, Eve's Daughter," and Lucy came forward. He gave her a little bottle of what looked like glass (but people said afterwards that it was made of diamond) and a small dagger. "In this bottle," he said, "there is a cordial made of the juice of one of the fire-flowers that grow on the mountains of the sun. If you or any of your friends is hurt, a few drops of this will restore them. And the dagger is to defend yourself at great need. For you also are not to be in the battle." "Why, sir?" said Lucy. "I think- I don't know- but I think I could be brave enough." "That is not the point," he said. "But battles are ugly when women fight.
C.S. Lewis (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1))
My parents kept a small cabin the mountains. It was a simple thing, just four walls, and very dark inside. A heavy felt curtain blotted out whatever light made it through the canopy of huge pines and down into the cabin's only window. There was a queen-size bed in there, an armchair, and a wood-burning stove. It wasn't an old cabin. I think my parents built it in the seventies from a kit. In a few spots the wood beams were branded with the word HOME-RITE. But the spirit of the place me think of simpler times, olden days, yore, or whenever it was that people rarely spoke except to say there was a store coming or the berries were poisonous or whatnot, the bare essentials. It was deadly quiet up there. You could hear your own heart beating if you listened. I loved it, or at least I thought I ought to love it - I've never been very clear on that distinction.
Ottessa Moshfegh (Homesick for Another World)
The Manger of Incidentals " We are surrounded by the absurd excess of the universe. By meaningless bulk, vastness without size, power without consequence. The stubborn iteration that is present without being felt. Nothing the spirit can marry. Merely phenomenon and its physics. An endless, endless of going on. No habitat where the brain can recognize itself. No pertinence for the heart. Helpless duplication. The horror of none of it being alive. No red squirrels, no flowers, not even weed. Nothing that knows what season it is. The stars uninflected by awareness. Miming without implication. We alone see the iris in front of the cabin reach its perfection and quickly perish. The lamb is born into happiness and is eaten for Easter. We are blessed with powerful love and it goes away. We can mourn. We live the strangeness of being momentary, and still we are exalted by being temporary. The grand Italy of meanwhile. It is the fact of being brief, being small and slight that is the source of our beauty. We are a singularity that makes music out of noise because we must hurry. We make a harvest of loneliness and desiring in the blank wasteland of the cosmos.
Jack Gilbert (Refusing Heaven)
He moved to the trees. Where the bark was peeling from the trunks it lifted in tiny tendrils, almost fluffs. Brian plucked some of them loose, rolled them in his fingers. They seemed flammable, dry and nearly powdery. He pulled and twisted bits off the trees, packing them in one hand while he picked them with the other, picking and gathering until he had a wad close to the size of a baseball. Then he went back into the shelter and arranged the ball of birchbark peelings at the base of the black rock. As an afterthought he threw in the remains of the twenty-dollar bill. He struck and a stream of sparks fell into the bark and quickly died. But this time one spark fell on one small hair of dry bark—almost a thread of bark—and seemed to glow a bit brighter before it died. The material had to be finer. There had to be a soft and incredibly fine nest for the sparks. I must make a home for the sparks, he thought. A perfect home or they won’t stay, they won’t make fire. He started ripping the bark, using his fingernails at first, and when that didn’t work he used the sharp edge of the hatchet, cutting the bark in thin slivers, hairs so fine they were almost not there. It was painstaking work, slow work, and he stayed with it for over two hours. Twice he stopped for a handful of berries and once to go to the lake for a drink. Then back to work, the sun on his back, until at last he had a ball of fluff as big as a grapefruit—dry birchbark fluff.
Gary Paulsen (Hatchet (Hatchet, #1))
Jenks walked around the bench, standing where Ashby could see him. “Hi,” he said. Ashby turned his head. “Hi.” Jenks upturned the tub. The bolts clattered to the floor like heavy rain. “These are several hundred bolts. They are all different shapes and sizes, and Kizzy always keeps them in one communal tub. It drives me crazy.” Ashby blinked. “Why are they on the floor?” “Because we are going to sort them. We are going to sort them into nice, neat little piles. And then we’re going to take those piles and put them in smaller tubs, so that when I need a bolt, I don’t have to go digging.” “I see.” Ashby blinked again. “Why are we doing this?” “Because she jackass dumped them all over the floor, and they have to be cleaned up. And if they have to be cleaned up, we might as well sort them while we’re at it.” Jenks sat down, leaning comfortably against a planter. He began to pick through the bolts. “See, my best friend in the whole galaxy is currently on another ship, holed up in a wall, disarming hackjob explosives. … I want to do something, and it’s driving me…crazy that I can’t. I can’t even smoke because there are Aeluons around. So, fine. I’m going to sort bolts.” He swung his eyes up to Ashby. “And I think anybody who has similar feelings should join me.
Becky Chambers (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1))
Their conversation ceased abruptly with the entry of an oddly-shaped man whose body resembled a certain vegetable. He was a thickset fellow with calloused and jaundiced skin and a patch of brown hair, a frizzy upheaval. We will call him Bell Pepper. Bell Pepper sidled up beside The Drippy Man and looked at the grilled cheese in his hand. The Drippy Man, a bit uncomfortable at the heaviness of the gaze, politely apologized and asked Bell Pepper if he would like one. “Why is one of your legs fatter than the other?” asked Bell Pepper. The Drippy Man realized Bell Pepper was not looking at his sandwich but towards the inconsistency of his leg sizes. “You always get your kicks pointing out defects?” retorted The Drippy Man. “Just curious. Never seen anything like it before.” “I was raised not to feel shame and hide my legs in baggy pants.” “So you flaunt your deformity by wearing short shorts?” “Like you flaunt your pockmarks by not wearing a mask?” Bell Pepper backed away, kicking wide the screen door, making an exit to a porch over hanging a dune of sand that curved into a jagged upward jab of rock. “He is quite sensitive,” commented The Dry Advisor. “Who is he?” “A fellow who once manipulated the money in your wallet but now curses the fellow who does.
Jeff Phillips (Turban Tan)
All the people within reach had suspended their business, or their idleness, to run to the spot and drink the wine. The rough, irregular stones of the street, pointing every way, and designed, one might have thought, expressly to lame all living creatures that approached them, had dammed it into little pools; these were surrounded, each by its own jostling group or crowd, according to its size. Some men kneeled down, made scoops of their two hands joined, and sipped, or tried to help women, who bent over their shoulders, to sip, before the wine had all run out between their fingers. Others, men and women, dipped in the puddles with little mugs of mutilated earthenware, or even with handkerchiefs from women’s heads, which were squeezed dry into infants’ mouths; others made small mud-embankments, to stem the wine as it ran; others, directed by lookers-on up at high windows, darted here and there, to cut off little streams of wine that started away in new directions; others devoted themselves to the sodden and lee-dyed pieces of the cask, licking, and even champing the moister wine-rotted fragments with eager relish. There was no drainage to carry off the wine, and not only did it all get taken up, but so much mud got taken up along with it, that there might have been a scavenger in the street, if anybody acquainted with it could have believed in such a miraculous presence.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
There is a story for children, There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon, by Jack Kent, that I really like. It’s a very simple tale, at least on the surface. I once read its few pages to a group of retired University of Toronto alumni, and explained its symbolic meaning.*2 It’s about a small boy, Billy Bixbee, who spies a dragon sitting on his bed one morning. It’s about the size of a house cat, and friendly. He tells his mother about it, but she tells him that there’s no such thing as a dragon. So, it starts to grow. It eats all of Billy’s pancakes. Soon it fills the whole house. Mom tries to vacuum, but she has to go in and out of the house through the windows because of the dragon everywhere. It takes her forever. Then, the dragon runs off with the house. Billy’s dad comes home—and there’s just an empty space, where he used to live. The mailman tells him where the house went. He chases after it, climbs up the dragon’s head and neck (now sprawling out into the street) and rejoins his wife and son. Mom still insists that the dragon does not exist, but Billy, who’s pretty much had it by now, insists, “There is a dragon, Mom.” Instantly, it starts to shrink. Soon, it’s cat-sized again. Everyone agrees that dragons of that size (1) exist and (2) are much preferable to their gigantic counterparts. Mom, eyes reluctantly opened by this point, asks somewhat plaintively why it had to get so big. Billy quietly suggests: “maybe it wanted to be noticed.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
I’ve been queen for ages and ages,” Sunny went on. She strutted across the cave floor. “No one dares challenge me for my throne! I am the strongest SandWing queen who ever lived!” “Don’t forget the treasure,” Tsunami hissed, pointing at a pile of loose rocks. “Oh, right,” Sunny said. “It’s probably because of all my treasure! I have so much treasure because I’m such an important queen!” She swept the rocks toward her and gathered them between her talons. “Did someone say treasure?” Clay bellowed, leaping out from behind a large rock formation. Sunny yelped with fright. “No!” Tsunami called. “You’re not scared! You’re Queen Oasis, the big, bad queen of the sand dragons.” “R-right,” Sunny said. “Rargh! What is this tiny scavenger doing in the Kingdom of Sand? I am not afraid of tiny scavengers! I shall go out there and eat him in one bite!” Glory started giggling so hard she had to lie down and cover her face with her wings. Even Tsunami was making faces like she was trying not to laugh. Clay swung his stalagmite in a circle. “Squeak squeak squeak!” he shouted. “And other annoying scavenger noises! I’m here to steal treasure away from a magnificent dragon!” “Not from me, you won’t,” Sunny said, bristling. She stamped forward, spread her wings, and raised her tail threateningly. Without the poisonous barb other SandWings had, Sunny’s tail was not very menacing. But nobody pointed that out. “Yaaaaaaah!” Clay shouted, lunging forward with his rock claw. Sunny darted out of the way, and they circled each other, feinting and jabbing. This was Clay’s favorite part. When Sunny forgot about trying to act queenly and focused on the battle, she was fun to fight. Her small size made it easy for her to dodge and slip under his defenses. But in the end Queen Oasis had to lose — that was how the story went. Clay drove Sunny back against the wall of the cave and thrust the fake claw between her neck and her wing, pretending it went right through her heart. “Aaaaaaaargh,” Sunny howled. “Impossible! A queen defeated by a lowly scavenger! The kingdom will fall apart! Oh, my treasure … my lovely treasure . . .” She collapsed to the ground and let her wings flop lifelessly on either side of her. “Ha ha ha!” Clay said. “And squeak squeak! The treasure is mine!” He scooped up all the rocks and paraded away, lashing his tail proudly.
Tui T. Sutherland (The Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire, #1))
Oh," he said again and picked up two petals of cherry blossom which he folded together like a sandwich and ate slowly. "Supposing," he said, staring past her at the wall of the house, "you saw a little man, about as tall as a pencil, with a blue patch in his trousers, halfway up a window curtain, carrying a doll's tea cup-would you say it was a fairy?" "No," said Arrietty, "I'd say it was my father." "Oh," said the boy, thinking this out, "does your father have a blue patch on his trousers?" "Not on his best trousers. He does on his borrowing ones." 'Oh," said the boy again. He seemed to find it a safe sound, as lawyers do. "Are there many people like you?" "No," said Arrietty. "None. We're all different." "I mean as small as you?" Arrietty laughed. "Oh, don't be silly!" she said. "Surely you don't think there are many people in the world your size?" "There are more my size than yours," he retorted. "Honestly-" began Arrietty helplessly and laughed again. "Do you really think-I mean, whatever sort of a world would it be? Those great chairs . . . I've seen them. Fancy if you had to make chairs that size for everyone? And the stuff for their clothes . . . miles and miles of it . . . tents of it ... and the sewing! And their great houses, reaching up so you can hardly see the ceilings . . . their great beds ... the food they eat ... great, smoking mountains of it, huge bogs of stew and soup and stuff." "Don't you eat soup?" asked the boy. "Of course we do," laughed Arrietty. "My father had an uncle who had a little boat which he rowed round in the stock-pot picking up flotsam and jetsam. He did bottom-fishing too for bits of marrow until the cook got suspicious through finding bent pins in the soup. Once he was nearly shipwrecked on a chunk of submerged shinbone. He lost his oars and the boat sprang a leak but he flung a line over the pot handle and pulled himself alongside the rim. But all that stock-fathoms of it! And the size of the stockpot! I mean, there wouldn't be enough stuff in the world to go round after a bit! That's why my father says it's a good thing they're dying out . . . just a few, my father says, that's all we need-to keep us. Otherwise, he says, the whole thing gets"-Arrietty hesitated, trying to remember the word-"exaggerated, he says-" "What do you mean," asked the boy, " 'to keep us'?
Mary Norton (The Borrowers (The Borrowers, #1))
Suppose you were to total up all the wars over the past two hundred years that occurred between very large and very small countries. Let’s say that one side has to be at least ten times larger in population and armed might than the other. How often do you think the bigger side wins? Most of us, I think, would put that number at close to 100 percent. A tenfold difference is a lot. But the actual answer may surprise you. When the political scientist Ivan Arreguin-Toft did the calculation a few years ago, what he came up with was 71.5 percent. Just under a third of the time, the weaker country wins. Arreguin-Toft then asked the question slightly differently. What happens in wars between the strong and the weak when the weak side […] refuses to fight the way the bigger side wants to fight, using unconventional or guerilla tactics? The answer: in those cases, the weaker party’s winning percentage climbs from 28.5 percent to 63.6 percent. To put that in perspective, the United Stats’ population is ten times the size of Canada’s. If the two countries went to war and Canada chose to fight unconventionally, history would suggest that you ought to put your money on Canada.
Malcolm Gladwell (David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants)
He was just a small church parson when the war broke out, and he Looked and dressed and acted like all parsons that we see. He wore the cleric's broadcloth and he hooked his vest behind. But he had a man's religion and he had a stong man's mind. And he heard the call to duty, and he quit his church and went. And he bravely tramped right with 'em every- where the boys were sent. He put aside his broadcloth and he put the khaki on; Said he'd come to be a soldier and was going to live like one. Then he'd refereed the prize fights that the boys pulled off at night, And if no one else was handy he'd put on the gloves and fight. He wasn't there a fortnight ere he saw the sol- diers' needs, And he said: "I'm done with preaching; this is now the time for deeds." He learned the sound of shrapnel, he could tell the size of shell From the shriek it make above him, and he knew just where it fell. In the front line trench he laboured, and he knew the feel of mud, And he didn't run from danger and he wasn't scared of blood. He wrote letters for the wounded, and he cheered them with his jokes, And he never made a visit without passing round the smokes. Then one day a bullet got him, as he knelt be- side a lad Who was "going west" right speedy, and they both seemed mighty glad, 'Cause he held the boy's hand tighter, and he smiled and whispered low, "Now you needn't fear the journey; over there with you I'll go." And they both passed out together, arm in arm I think they went. He had kept his vow to follow everywhere the boys were sent.
Edgar A. Guest
The Total Perspective Vortex derives its picture of the whole Universe on the principle of extrapolated matter analyses. To explain — since every piece of matter in the Universe is in some way affected by every other piece of matter in the Universe, it is in theory possible to extrapolate the whole of creation — every sun, every planet, their orbits, their composition and their economic and social history from, say, one small piece of fairy cake. The man who invented the Total Perspective Vortex did so basically in order to annoy his wife. Trin Tragula — for that was his name — was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher or, as his wife would have it, an idiot. And she would nag him incessantly about the utterly inordinate amount of time he spent staring out into space, or mulling over the mechanics of safety pins, or doing spectrographic analyses of pieces of fairy cake. “Have some sense of proportion!” she would say, sometimes as often as thirty-eight times in a single day. And so he built the Total Perspective Vortex — just to show her. And into one end he plugged the whole of reality as extrapolated from a piece of fairy cake, and into the other end he plugged his wife: so that when he turned it on she saw in one instant the whole infinity of creation and herself in relation to it. To Trin Tragula’s horror, the shock completely annihilated her brain; but to his satisfaction he realized that he had proved conclusively that if life is going to exist in a Universe of this size, then the one thing it cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion.
Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy omnibus 2: Tot ziens en bedankt voor de vis / Grotendeels ongevaarlijk / En dan nog iets… (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4-6))
Alma knelt in the tall grass and brought her face as near as she could to the stone. And there, rising no more than an inch above the surface of the boulder, she saw a great and tiny forest. Nothing moved within this mossy world. She peered at it so closely that she could smell it- dank and rich and old. Gently, Alma pressed her hand into this tight little timberland. It compacted itself under her palm and then sprang back to form without complaint. There was something stirring about its response to her. The moss felt warm and spongy, several degrees warmer than the air around it, and far more damp than she had expected. It appeared to have its own weather. Alma put the magnifying lens to her eye and looked again. Now the miniature forest below her gaze sprang into majestic detail. She felt her breath catch. This was a stupefying kingdom. This was the Amazon jungle as seen from the back of a harpy eagle. She rode her eye above the surprising landscape, following its paths in every direction. Here were rich, abundant valleys filled with tiny trees of braided mermaid hair and minuscule, tangled vines. Here were barely visible tributaries running through that jungle, and here was a miniature ocean in a depression in the center of the boulder, where all the water pooled. Just across this ocean- which was half the size of Alma's shawl- she found another continent of moss altogether. On this new continent, everything was different. This corner of the boulder must receive more sunlight than the other, she surmised. Or slightly less rain? In any case, this was a new climate entirely. Here, the moss grew in mountain ranges the length of Alma's arms, in elegant, pine tree-shaped clusters of darker, more somber green. On another quadrant of the same boulder still, she found patches of infinitesimally small deserts, inhabited by some kind of sturdy, dry, flaking moss that had the appearance of cactus. Elsewhere, she found deep, diminutive fjords- so deep that, incredibly, even now in the month of June- the mosses within were still chilled by lingering traces of winter ice. But she also found warm estuaries, miniature cathedrals, and limestone caves the size of her thumb. Then Alma lifted her face and saw what was before her- dozens more such boulders, more than she could count, each one similarly carpeted, each one subtly different. She felt herself growing breathless. 'This was the entire world.' This was bigger than a world. This was the firmament of the universe, as seen through one of William Herschel's mighty telescopes. This was planetary and vast. These were ancient, unexplored galaxies, rolling forth in front of her- and it was all right here!
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Signature of All Things)
Dogs don’t know what they look like. Dogs don’t even know what size they are. No doubt it’s our fault, for breeding them into such weird shapes and sizes. My brother’s dachshund, standing tall at eight inches, would attack a Great Dane in the full conviction that she could tear it apart. When a little dog is assaulting its ankles the big dog often stands there looking confused — “Should I eat it? Will it eat me? I am bigger than it, aren’t I?” But then the Great Dane will come and try to sit in your lap and mash you flat, under the impression that it is a Peke-a-poo… Cats know exactly where they begin and end. When they walk slowly out the door that you are holding open for them, and pause, leaving their tail just an inch or two inside the door, they know it. They know you have to keep holding the door open. That is why their tail is there. It is a cat’s way of maintaining a relationship. Housecats know that they are small, and that it matters. When a cat meets a threatening dog and can’t make either a horizontal or a vertical escape, it’ll suddenly triple its size, inflating itself into a sort of weird fur blowfish, and it may work, because the dog gets confused again — “I thought that was a cat. Aren’t I bigger than cats? Will it eat me?” … A lot of us humans are like dogs: we really don’t know what size we are, how we’re shaped, what we look like. The most extreme example of this ignorance must be the people who design the seats on airplanes. At the other extreme, the people who have the most accurate, vivid sense of their own appearance may be dancers. What dancers look like is, after all, what they do.” — Ursula Le Guin, in The Wave in the Mind (via fortooate)
Ursula K. Le Guin
The principal difference between childhood and the stages of life into which it invariably dissolves is that as children we occupy a limitless present. The past has scarcely room to exist, since, if it means anything at all, it means only the previous day. Similarly, the future is in abeyance; we are not meant to do anything at all until we reach a suitable size. Correspondingly, the present is enormous, mainly because it is all there is.... Walks are dizzying adventures; the days tingle with unknowns, waiting to be made into wonders. Living so utterly in the present, children have an infinite power to transform; they are able to make the world into anything they wish, and they do so, with alacrity. There are no preconceptions, which is why, when a child tells us he is Napoleon, we had better behave with the respect due to a small emperor. Later in life, the transformations are forbidden; they may prove dangerous. By then, we move into a context of expectations and precedents of past and future, and the present, whenever we manage to catch it and realize it, is a shifting, elusive question mark, not altogether comfortable, an oddness that the scheme of our lives does not allow us to indulge. Habit takes over, and days tend to slip into pigeonholes, accounted for because everything has happened before, because we know by then that life is long and has to be intelligently endured.
Alastair Reid
To his Own Beloved Self The Author Dedicates These Lines" Six. Ponderous. The chimes of a clock. “Render unto Caesar ... render unto God...” But where’s someone like me to dock? Where’11 I find a lair? Were I like the ocean of oceans little, on the tiptoes of waves I’d rise, I’d strain, a tide, to caress the moon. Where to find someone to love of my size, the sky too small for her to fit in? Were I poor as a multimillionaire, it’d still be tough. What’s money for the soul? – thief insatiable. The gold of all the Californias isn’t enough for my desires’ riotous horde. I wish I were tongue-tied, like Dante or Petrarch, able to fire a woman’s heart, reduce it to ashes with verse-filled pages! My words and my love form a triumphal arch: through it, in all their splendour, leaving no trace, will pass the inamoratas of all the ages! Were I as quiet as thunder, how I’d wail and whine! One groan of mine would start the world’s crumbling cloister shivering. And if I’d end up by roaring with all of its power of lungs and more – the comets, distressed, would wring their hands and from the sky’s roof leap in a fever. If I were dim as the sun, night I’d drill with the rays of my eyes, and also all by my lonesome, radiant self build up the earth’s shriveled bosom. On I’ll pass, dragging my huge love behind me. On what feverish night, deliria-ridden, by what Goliaths was I begot – I, so big and by no one needed?
Vladimir Mayakovsky
Except for my net, everything I have need of in the world is contained in that bag—including a second hat and a rather sizable jar of cold cream of roses. Do not tell me you couldn’t travel with as little. I have faith that men can be as reasonable and logical as women if they but try.” He shook his head. “I cannot seem to formulate a clear thought in the face of such original thinking, Miss Speedwell. You have a high opinion of your sex.” I pursed my lips. “Not all of it. We are, as a gender, undereducated and infantilized to the point of idiocy. But those of us who have been given the benefit of learning and useful occupation, well, we are proof that the traditional notions of feminine delicacy and helplessness are the purest poppycock.” “You have large opinions for so small a person.” “I daresay they would be large opinions even for someone your size,” I countered. “And where did you form these opinions? Either your school was inordinately progressive or your governess was a Radical.” “I never went to school, nor did I have a governess. Books were my tutors, Mr. Stoker. Anything I wished to learn I taught myself.” “There are limits to an autodidactic education,” he pointed out. “Few that I have found. I was spared the prejudices of formal educators." “And neither were you inspired by them. A good teacher can change the course of a life,” he said thoughtfully. “Perhaps. But I had complete intellectual freedom. I studied those subjects which interested me—to the point of obsession at times—and spent precious little time on things which did not.” “Such as?” “Music and needlework. I am astonishingly lacking in traditional feminine accomplishments.” He cocked his head. “I am not entirely astonished.” But his tone was mild, and I accepted the statement as nothing like an insult. In fact, it felt akin to a compliment. “And I must confess that between Jane Austen and Fordyce’s Sermons, I have developed a general antipathy for clergymen. And their wives,” I added, thinking of Mrs. Clutterthorpe. “Well, in that we may be agreed. Tell me, do you find many people to share your views?” “Shockingly few,” I admitted.
Deanna Raybourn (A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell, #1))
Think for a moment about the Agricultural Revolution from the viewpoint of wheat. Ten thousand years ago wheat was just a wild grass, one of many, confined to a small range in the Middle East. Suddenly, within just a few short millennia, it was growing all over the world. According to the basic evolutionary criteria of survival and reproduction, wheat has become one of the most successful plants in the history of the earth. In areas such as the Great Plains of North America, where not a single wheat stalk grew 10,000 years ago, you can today walk for hundreds upon hundreds of miles without encountering any other plant. Worldwide, wheat covers about 870,000 square miles of the globe’s surface, almost ten times the size of Britain. How did this grass turn from insignificant to ubiquitous? Wheat did it by manipulating Homo sapiens to its advantage. This ape had been living a fairly comfortable life hunting and gathering until about 10,000 years ago, but then began to invest more and more effort in cultivating wheat. Within a couple of millennia, humans in many parts of the world were doing little from dawn to dusk other than taking care of wheat plants. It wasn’t easy. Wheat demanded a lot of them. Wheat didn’t like rocks and pebbles, so Sapiens broke their backs clearing fields. Wheat didn’t like sharing its space, water and nutrients with other plants, so men and women laboured long days weeding under the scorching sun. Wheat got sick, so Sapiens had to keep a watch out for worms and blight. Wheat was attacked by rabbits and locust swarms, so the farmers built fences and stood guard over the fields. Wheat was thirsty, so humans dug irrigation canals or lugged heavy buckets from the well to water it. Sapiens even collected animal faeces to nourish the ground in which wheat grew.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Kuan Yin looks very traditional. Her hands are folded together. The thick cloth of her costume is folded perfectly," describes Lena. "Just as in the previous session, I’m reminded of the significance of the folds. I’m having an interesting vision that I haven’t thought about in many years. I see a beautiful tree where I used to go when I was a teenager. It stands majestic, atop the rolling hills behind the house where I grew up. Kuan Yin is at the tree looking very luminous. I see the bark of the tree, which looks very real, very three-dimensional. For some reason, Kuan Yin is touching the trunk of the tree. She suddenly seems very small next to me and she wants me to touch the tree. I’m not sure why. There is a tiny bird, with pretty feathers in its nest. It is about the size of a wren. I see the texture of the tree. I think it might be a birch. I’m not sure. ’Why should I touch the tree,’ I ask. She’s telling me that I created the tree, that it is another realm I was able to visit because life was too painful and lonely at home.” “You created the tree. You create your whole world with thoughts,” assures Kuan Yin. “Every time I try to touch the tree, Kuan Yin wants to help me touch it. There’s something different about this conversation. Usually we work on something about the earth. Because we’re revisiting my childhood, I get the impression Kuan Yin’s trying to show me something that maybe I created in my childhood.” “Well, do we all create our reality?” Kuan Yin asks of Lena. “I think she’s going to answer her own question,” comments Lena, from her trance. “Yes, you can create your reality. Once you free yourself from the negative effects of karma. I know it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between free will and karma. Focus upon your free will and your ability to create reality. I’m optimistic and hopeful you can do this.
Hope Bradford (Oracle of Compassion: The Living Word of Kuan Yin)
It as mathematical, marriage, not, as one might expect, additional; it was exponential. This one man, nervous in a suite a size too small for his long, lean self, this woman, in a green lace dress cut to the upper thigh, with a white rose behind her ear. Christ, so young. The woman before them was a unitarian minister, and on her buzzed scalp, the grey hairs shone in a swab of sun through the lace in the window. Outside, Poughkeepsie was waking. Behind them, a man in a custodian's uniform cried softly beside a man in pajamas with a Dachshund, their witnesses, a shine in everyone's eye. One could taste the love on the air, or maybe that was sex, or maybe that was all the same then. 'I do,' she said. 'I do,' he said. They did. They would. Our children will be so fucking beautiful, he thought, looking at her. Home, she thought, looking at him. 'You may kiss,' said the officiant. They did, would. Now they thanked everyone and laughed, and papers were signed and congratulations offered, and all stood for a moment, unwilling to leave this gentile living room where there was such softness. The newlyweds thanked everyone again, shyly, and went out the door into the cool morning. They laughed, rosy. In they'd come integers, out they came, squared. Her life, in the window, the parakeet, scrap of blue midday in the London dusk, ages away from what had been most deeply lived. Day on a rocky beach, creatures in the tide pool. All those ordinary afternoons, listening to footsteps in the beams of the house, and knowing the feeling behind them. Because it was so true, more than the highlights and the bright events, it was in the daily where she'd found life. The hundreds of time she'd dug in her garden, each time the satisfying chew of spade through soil, so often that this action, the pressure and release and rich dirt smell delineated the warmth she'd felt in the cherry orchard. Or this, each day they woke in the same place, her husband waking her with a cup of coffee, the cream still swirling into the black. Almost unremarked upon this kindness, he would kiss her on the crown of her head before leaving, and she'd feel something in her rising in her body to meet him. These silent intimacies made their marriage, not the ceremonies or parties or opening nights or occasions, or spectacular fucks. Anyway, that part was finished. A pity...
Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies)
Gregori stepped away from the huddled mass of tourists, putting distance between himself and the guide. He walked completely erect,his head high, his long hair flowing around him. His hands were loose at his sides, and his body was relaxed, rippling with power. "Hear me now, ancient one." His voice was soft and musical, filling the silence with beauty and purity. "You have lived long in this world, and you weary of the emptiness. I have come in anwer to your call." "Gregori.The Dark One." The evil voice hissed and growled the words in answer. The ugliness tore at sensitive nerve endings like nails on a chalkboard. Some of the tourists actually covered their ears. "How dare you enter my city and interfere where you have no right?" "I am justice,evil one. I have come to set your free from the bounaries holding you to this place." Gregori's voice was so soft and hypnotic that those listening edged out from their sanctuaries.It beckoned and pulled, so that none could resist his every desire. The black shape above their head roiled like a witch's cauldron. A jagged bolt of lightning slammed to earth straight toward the huddled group. Gregori raised a hand and redirected the force of energy away from the tourists and Savannah. A smile edged the cruel set of his mouth. "You think to mock me with display,ancient one? Do not attempt to anger what you do not understand.You came to me.I did not hunt you.You seek to threaten my lifemate and those I count as my friends.I can do no other than carry the justice of our people to you." Gregori's voice was so reasonable, so perfect and pure,drawing obedience from the most recalcitrant of criminals. The guide made a sound,somewhere between disbelief and fear.Gregori silenced him with a wave of his hand, needing no distractions. But the noise had been enough for the ancient one to break the spell Gregori's voice was weaving around him. The dark stain above their heads thrashed wildly, as if ridding itself ot ever-tightening bonds before slamming a series of lightning strikes at the helpless mortals on the ground. Screams and moans accompanied the whispered prayers, but Gregori stood his ground, unflinching. He merely redirected the whips of energy and light, sent them streaking back into the black mass above their heads.A hideous snarl,a screech of defiance and hatred,was the only warning before it hailed. Hufe golfball-sized blocks of bright-red ice rained down toward them. It was thick and horrible to see, the shower of frozen blood from the skies. But it stopped abruptly, as if an unseen force held it hovering inches from their heads. Gregori remained unchanged, impassive, his face a blank mask as he shielded the tourists and sent the hail hurtling back at their attacker.From out of the cemetery a few blocks from them, an army of the dead rose up. Wolves howled and raced along beside the skeletons as they moved to intercept the Carpathian hunter. Savannah. He said her name once, a soft brush in her mind. I've got it, she sent back instantly.Gregori had his hands full dealing with the abominations the vampire was throwing at him; he did't need to waste his energy protecting the general public from the apparition. She moved out into the open, a small, fragile figure, concentrating on the incoming threat. To those dwelling in the houses along the block and those driving in their cars, she masked the pack of wolves as dogs racing down the street.The stick=like skeletons, grotesque and bizarre, were merely a fast-moving group of people. She held the illusion until they were within a few feet of Gregori.Dropping the illusion, she fed every ounce of her energy and power to Gregori so he could meet the attack.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
Imagine you live on a planet where the dominant species is far more intellectually sophisticated than human beings but often keeps humans as companion animals. They are called the Gorns. They communicate with each other via a complex combination of telepathy, eye movements & high-pitched squeaks, all completely unintelligible & unlearnable by humans, whose brains are prepared for verbal language acquisition only. Humans sometimes learn the meaning of individual sounds by repeated association with things of relevance to them. The Gorns & humans bond strongly but there are many Gorn rules that humans must try to assimilate with limited information & usually high stakes. You are one of the lucky humans who lives with the Gorns in their dwelling. Many other humans are chained to small cabanas in the yard or kept in outdoor pens of varying size. They are so socially starved they cannot control their emotions when a Gorn goes near them. The Gorns agree that they could never be House-Humans. The dwelling you share with your Gorn family is filled with water-filled porcelain bowls.Every time you try to urinate in one,nearby Gorn attack you. You learn to only use the toilet when there are no Gorns present. Sometimes they come home & stuff your head down the toilet for no apparent reason. You hate this & start sucking up to the Gorns when they come home to try & stave this off but they view this as evidence of your guilt. You are also punished for watching videos, reading books, talking to other human beings, eating pizza or cheesecake, & writing letters. These are all considered behavior problems by the Gorns. To avoid going crazy, once again you wait until they are not around to try doing anything you wish to do. While they are around, you sit quietly, staring straight ahead. Because they witness this good behavior you are so obviously capable of, they attribute to “spite” the video watching & other transgressions that occur when you are alone. Obviously you resent being left alone, they figure. You are walked several times a day and left crossword puzzle books to do. You have never used them because you hate crosswords; the Gorns think you’re ignoring them out of revenge. Worst of all, you like them. They are, after all, often nice to you. But when you smile at them, they punish you, likewise for shaking hands. If you apologize they punish you again. You have not seen another human since you were a small child. When you see one you are curious, excited & afraid. You really don’t know how to act. So, the Gorn you live with keeps you away from other humans. Your social skills never develop. Finally, you are brought to “training” school. A large part of the training consists of having your air briefly cut off by a metal chain around your neck. They are sure you understand every squeak & telepathic communication they make because sometimes you get it right. You are guessing & hate the training. You feel pretty stressed out a lot of the time. One day, you see a Gorn approaching with the training collar in hand. You have PMS, a sore neck & you just don’t feel up to the baffling coercion about to ensue. You tell them in your sternest voice to please leave you alone & go away. The Gorns are shocked by this unprovoked aggressive behavior. They thought you had a good temperament. They put you in one of their vehicles & take you for a drive. You watch the attractive planetary landscape going by & wonder where you are going. You are led into a building filled with the smell of human sweat & excrement. Humans are everywhere in small cages. Some are nervous, some depressed, most watch the goings on on from their prisons. Your Gorns, with whom you have lived your entire life, hand you over to strangers who drag you to a small room. You are terrified & yell for your Gorn family to help you. They turn & walk away.You are held down & given a lethal injection. It is, after all, the humane way to do it.
Jean Donaldson (The Culture Clash)
Lake Natron resided in northern Tanzania near an active volcano known as Ol Doinyo Lengai. It was part of the reason the lake had such unique characteristics. The mud had a curious dark grey color over where Jack had been set up for observation, and he noted that there was now an odd-looking mound of it to the right of one of the flamingo’s nests. He zoomed in further and further, peering at it, and then realized what he was actually seeing. The dragon had crouched down beside the nests and blended into the mud. From snout to tail, Jack calculated it had to be twelve to fourteen feet long. Its wings were folded against its back, which had small spines running down the length to a spiky tail. It had a fin with three prongs along the base of the skull and webbed feet tipped with sharp black talons. He estimated the dragon was about the size of a large hyena. It peered up at its prey with beady red eyes, its black forked tongue darting out every few seconds. Its shoulder muscles bunched and its hind legs tensed. Then it pounced. The dark grey dragon leapt onto one of flamingoes atop its nest and seized it by the throat. The bird squawked in distress and immediately beat its wings, trying to free itself. The others around them took to the skies in panic. The dragon slammed it into the mud and closed its jaws around the animal’s throat, blood spilling everywhere. The flamingo yelped out its last breaths and then finally stilled. The dragon dropped the limp carcass and sniffed the eggs before beginning to swallow them whole one at a time. “Holy shit,” Jack muttered. “Have we got a visual?” “Oh, yeah. Based on the size, the natives and the conservationists were right to be concerned. It can probably wipe out a serious number of wildlife in a short amount of time based on what I’m seeing. There’s only a handful of fauna that can survive in these conditions and it could make mincemeat out of them.” “Alright, so what’s the plan?” “They told me it’s very agile, which is why their attempts to capture it haven’t worked. I’m going to see if it responds to any of the usual stimuli. So far, they said it doesn’t appear to be aggressive.” “Copy that. Be careful, cowboy.” “Ten-four.” Jack glanced down at his utility belt and opened the pocket on his left side, withdrawing a thin silver whistle. He put it to his lips and blew for several seconds. Much like a dog whistle, Jack couldn’t hear anything. But the dragon’s head creaked around and those beady red eyes locked onto him. Jack lowered the whistle and licked his dry lips. “If I were in a movie, this would be the part where I said, ‘I’ve got a bad feeling about this.’” The dragon roared, its grey wings extending out from its body, and then flew straight at him.
Kyoko M. (Of Claws and Inferno)
It’s dark as a tomb in here,” she said, unable to see more than shadows. “Will you light the candles, please,” she asked, “assuming there are candles in here?” “Aye, milady, right there, next to the bed.” His shadow crossed before her, and Elizabeth focused on a large, oddly shaped object that she supposed could be a bed, given its size. “Will you light them, please?” she urged. “I-I can’t see a thing in here.” “His lordship don’t like more’n one candle lit in the bedchambers,” the footman said. “He says it’s a waste of beeswax.” Elizabeth blinked in the darkness, torn somewhere between laughter and tears at her plight. “Oh,” she said, nonplussed. The footman lit a small candle at the far end of the room and left, closing the door behind him. “Milady?” Berta whispered, peering through the dark, impenetrable gloom. “Where are you?” “I’m over here,” Elizabeth replied, walking cautiously forward, her arms outstretched, her hands groping about for possible obstructions in her path as she headed for what she hoped was the outside wall of the bedchamber, where there was bound to be a window with draperies hiding its light. “Where?” Berta asked in a frightened whisper, and Elizabeth could hear the maid’s teeth chattering halfway across the room. “Here-on your left.” Berta followed the sound of her mistress’s voice and let out a terrified gasp at the sight of the ghostlike figure moving eerily through the darkness, arms outstretched. “Raise your arm,” she said urgently, “so I’ll know ‘tis you.” Elizabeth, knowing Berta’s timid nature, complied immediately. She raised her arm, which, while calming poor Berta, unfortunately caused Elizabeth to walk straight into a slender, fluted pillar with a marble bust upon it, and they both began to topple. “Good God!” Elizabeth burst out, wrapping her arms protectively around the pillar and the marble object upon it. “Berta!” she said urgently. “This is no time to be afraid of the dark. Help me, please. I’ve bumped into something-a bust and its stand, I think-and I daren’t let go of them until I can see how to set them upright. There are draperies over here, right in front of me. All you have to do is follow my voice and open them. Once we do, ‘twill be bright as day in here.” “I’m coming, milady,” Berta said bravely, and Elizabeth breathed a sigh of relief. “I’ve found them!” Berta cried softly a few minutes later. “They’re heavy-velvet they are, with another panel behind them.” Berta pulled one heavy panel back across the wall, and then, with renewed urgency and vigor, she yanked back the other and turned around to survey the room. “Light as last!” Elizabeth said with relief. Dazzling late-afternoon sunlight poured into the windows directly in front of her, blinding her momentarily. “That’s much better,” she said, blinking. Satisfied that the pillar was quite sturdy enough to stand without her aid, Elizabeth was about to place the bust back upon it, but Berta’s cry stopped her. “Saints preserve us!” With the fragile bust clutched protectively to her chest Elizabeth swung sharply around. There, spread out before her, furnished entirely in red and gold, was the most shocking room Elizabeth had ever beheld: Six enormous gold cupids seemed to hover in thin air above a gigantic bed clutching crimson velvet bed draperies in one pudgy fist and holding bows and arrows in the other; more cupids adorned the headboard. Elizabeth’s eyes widened, first in disbelief, and a moment later in mirth. “Berta,” she breathed on a smothered giggle, “will you look at this place!
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))