T Mills Quotes

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The problem with doing nothing is not knowing when you are finished.
Nelson DeMille
It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … I’m neither smart nor stupid, but I don’t think I’m a run-of-the-mill person. I’ve been in business without being a businesswoman, I’ve loved without being a woman made only for love. The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.
Coco Chanel
They're book addicts.
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4))
Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.
John Stuart Mill (Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867 (Collected Works))
A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.
John Stuart Mill
Je t'aime. Aujourd'hui. Ce soir. Demain. Pour toujours. Si je vivais mille ans, je t'appartiendrais pour tous. Si je vivais mille vies, je te ferais mienne dans chacune d'elles. I love you. Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever. If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If I were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one.
Michelle Hodkin (The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3))
I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it. [John Stuart Mill, in a Parliamentary debate with the Conservative MP, John Pakington, May 31, 1866.]
John Stuart Mill
I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the horses the new strength of fear for the last mill so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.
C.S. Lewis
The problem with doing nothing is that you never know when you're finished.
Nelson DeMille
I am not imposed upon by fine words; I can see what actions mean.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking
Agnes De Mille
If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
There are a great many opinions in this world, and a good half of them are professed by people who have never been in trouble." (The Mill)
Anton Chekhov (The Portable Chekhov)
Don't judge a book by its cover
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
Basically, all women are nurturers and healers, and all men are mental patients to varying degrees.
Nelson DeMille (The General's Daughter)
We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it, if it were not the earth where the same flowers come up again every spring that we used to gather with our tiny fingers as we sat lisping to ourselves on the grass, the same hips and haws on the autumn hedgerows, the same redbreasts that we used to call ‘God’s birds’ because they did no harm to the precious crops. What novelty is worth that sweet monotony where everything is known and loved because it is known?
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
I desire no future that will break the ties of the past.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
Poetry and art and knowledge are sacred and pure.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
Nobody's cut out for this town," Shane said. "Nobody sane anyway." "Says the kid who came back." "Yeah, kind of proves my point.
Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion... Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them...he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
I carried the books to my room and read through the night. I loved the fiery pages of Mary Wollstonecraft, but there was a single line written by John Stuart Mill that, when I read it, moved the world: “It is a subject on which nothing final can be known.” The subject Mill had in mind was the nature of women. Mill claimed that women have been coaxed, cajoled, shoved and squashed into a series of feminine contortions for so many centuries, that it is now quite impossible to define their natural abilities or aspirations.
Tara Westover (Educated)
Tu n’es encore pour moi qu’un petit garçon tout semblable à cent mille petits garcons. Et je n’ai pas besoin de toi. Et tu n’as pas besoin de moi non plus. Je ne suis pour toi qu’un renard semblable à cent mille renards. Mais, si tu m’apprivoises, nous aurons besoin l’un de l’autre. Tu seras pour moi unique au monde. Je serai pour toi unique au monde.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Le Petit Prince)
You're much shorter than my mom." "Brat," she said, surprised into a giggle. "That's no way to talk to a vampire." "Bloodsucking brat." "Better" he said.
Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
No anguish I have had to bear on your account has been too heavy a price to pay for the new life into which I have entered in loving you.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
Some people think God puts difficult people in our lives for a reason, to make us better people as we sharpen ourselves on the knife of their shortcomings.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Dirty English (English, #1))
Love is a knife that cuts out your heart piece by piece, feeding it to the boy you love.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Dirty English (English, #1))
It is not because men's desires are strong that they act ill; it is because their consciences are weak.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Those bitter sorrows of childhood!-- when sorrow is all new and strange, when hope has not yet got wings to fly beyond the days and weeks, and the space from summer to summer seems measureless.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
She was my queen and I wanted to be her king. I wanted to sit at the throne of her body and love her forever,
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Dirty English (English, #1))
But this girl, she lived in a bubble, and seeing her out at a frat party was like spotting a unicorn.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Dirty English (English, #1))
Jealousy is never satisfied with anything short of an omniscience that would detect the subtlest fold of the heart.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
When once we quit the basis of sensation, all is in the wind. To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by Locke, Tracy, and Stewart. {Letter to John Adams, from Monticello, 15 August 1820}
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
His understanding of the theme of the book made me hot. Right then and there, I wanted to toss him down on the floor, crawl on top of him like the Jane Austen reader I was.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Dirty English (English, #1))
I came up for air. “It’s you, always you, my Mr. Darcy.” “I love you too, Elizabeth Bennett.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Dirty English (English, #1))
Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small; Though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Clarity happens to all of us when our heart jumps ship, and mine was no different.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Dirty English (English, #1))
But why diminish your soul being run-of-the-mill at something? Mediocrity: now there is ugliness for you. Mediocrity's a hairball coughed up on the Persian carpet of Creation.
Tom Robbins (Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas)
She was my queen and I wanted to be her king.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Dirty English (English, #1))
Big moments happen with the smallest actions, and sometimes it's not until later we connect the dots, but in that instant, I knew that somehow, someway Declan was going to own my heart.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Dirty English (English, #1))
I know what is going on," said Sir. "I am the Boss! Of course I know!
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4))
It is indisputable that the being whose capacities of enjoyment are low, has the greatest chance of having them fully satisfied; and a highly endowed being will always feel that any happiness which he can look for, as the world is constituted, is imperfect. But he can learn to bear its imperfections, if they are at all bearable; and they will not make him envy the being who is indeed unconscious of the imperfections, but only because he feels not at all the good which those imperfections qualify. It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, is of a different opinion, it is only because they only know their own side of the question.
John Stuart Mill (Utilitarianism)
The thing to remember about a kick is you go for his twigs and berries" ~Declan~
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Dirty English (English, #1))
Alright, the next pretty bird that walks through that door is up for grabs.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Dirty English (English, #1))
You wanted to look at life for yourself - but you were not allowed; you were punished for your wish. You were ground in the very mill of the conventional!
Henry James (The Portrait of a Lady)
Je t’ai aimée pendant mille et un. –R.
Darynda Jones (The Dirt on Ninth Grave (Charley Davidson, #9))
Stupidity is much the same all the world over. A stupid person's notions and feelings may confidently be inferred from those which prevail in the circle by which the person is surrounded. Not so with those whose opinions and feelings are an emanation from their own nature and faculties.
John Stuart Mill (The Subjection of Women)
I’d like to pet that jungle cat, rub his silky fur and make him purr … I slapped myself mentally. Jungle cat? Make him purr? What was wrong with me tonight?
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Dirty English (English, #1))
Daddy, will you take me to the mill, again?
Trenton Lee Stewart (The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1))
In this age, the mere example of non-conformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service. Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric. Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage which it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
I was putting my foot down with my new neighbor.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Dirty English (English, #1))
As far as I knew, Nadia was still with her new guy, some fancy tennis player from Brazil. Donatello or Michelangelo or something. Ninja Turtle? Yeah.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Dirty English (English, #1))
The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
The story of my life can be told in silver: in chocolate mills, serving spoons, and services for twelve. The story of my life has nothing to do with me. The story of my life is things. Things that aren’t mine, that won’t ever be mine. It’s all I’ve ever known. I wish it wasn’t.
Elizabeth Scott
Every man who says frankly and fully what he thinks is so far doing a public service. We should be grateful to him for attacking most unsparingly our most cherished opinions.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
No marshmallows. "I don't believe this! I'm going to write the president of General Mills! Don't they have any quality control?" "I'm sure it's just a fluke" "Doesn't make any difference whether it's a fluke or not. It shouldn't have happened. When a person buys a box of lucky charms he's got expectations
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Nobody's Baby But Mine (Chicago Stars, #3))
Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo, sì perché le presenti osservazioni spogliano d'autorità i decreti de' passati scrittori, i quali se vedute l'avessero, avrebbono diversamente determinato. For in the sciences the authority of thousands of opinions is not worth as much as one tiny spark of reason in an individual man. Besides, the modern observations deprive all former writers of any authority, since if they had seen what we see, they would have judged as we judge.
Galileo Galilei (Frammenti e lettere)
I'm sure you have heard it said that appearance does not matter so much, and that it is what's on the inside that counts. This is, of course, utter nonsense, because if it were true then people who were good on this inside would would never have to comb their hair or take a bath, and the whole world would smell even worse than it already does.
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4))
He was a nice guy, middle-aged, a little tired, like most doctors usually seemed to be, but he just nodded and said, "Let me take a look at him. Shane?" "I'm not dropping my pants," Shane said. "I just thought I'd say that up front.
Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
A state which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes--will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Behind every beautiful thing is a world of pain.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1))
I travelled across the world. From the ruins of New York, to the fusion mills of China, right across the radiation pits of Europe. And everywhere I went I saw people just like you, living as slaves! But if Martha Jones became a legend then that's wrong, because my name isn't important. There's someone else. The man who sent me out there, the man who told me to walk the Earth. And his name is The Doctor. He has saved your lives so many times and you never even knew he was there. He never stops. He never stays. He never asks to be thanked. But I've seen him, I know him... I love him... And I know what he can do. - Martha Jones
Russell T. Davies
A thousand electric cars could run on how you feel when you know that the person you like likes you back. It feels incredible. Like it shouldn't be possible. Of all the happy coincidences to ever exist, it's one of the happiest.
Emma Mills (First & Then)
Even despotism does not produce its worst effects, so long as individuality exists under it; and whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called, and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
I will call no being good who is not what I mean when I apply that epithet to my fellow creatures; and if such a creature can sentence me to hell for not so calling him, to hell I will go .
John Stuart Mill (An examination of Sir William Hamilton's philosophy, and of the principal philosophical questions discussed in his writings)
There, written in French, were the words Je t’ai aimée pendant mille et un. –R. I stilled. Read it again. And again. Je t’ai aimée pendant mille et un. –R. I’ve loved you for a thousand and one. –R.
Darynda Jones (The Dirt on Ninth Grave (Charley Davidson, #9))
What a wee little part of a person's life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself. All day long, the mill of his brain is grinding, and his thoughts, not those of other things, are his history. These are his life, and they are not written. Everyday would make a whole book of 80,000 words -- 365 books a year. Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man -- the biography of the man himself cannot be written.
Mark Twain
I can't forget the words you've never said.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1))
He was my Prince Charming, but I wasn't his Cinderella.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1))
Christian morality (so called) has all the characters of a reaction; it is, in great part, a protest against Paganism. Its ideal is negative rather than positive; passive rather than action; innocence rather than Nobleness; Abstinence from Evil, rather than energetic Pursuit of Good: in its precepts (as has been well said) 'thou shalt not' predominates unduly over 'thou shalt.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Does it give you deja voodoo how alike the houses are?" "That's deja vu, and I hate you right now." "For narcing on you to your mom? Wait until you hear what I tell your dad." From the sly grin on his face, she knew what he was thinking. "Don't you even think about it." "I could tell him about the time we-" "Hell, no.
Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice, — is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.
John Stuart Mill (Principles of Political Economy)
Persons of genius, it is true, are, and are always likely to be, a small minority; but in order to have them, it is necessary to preserve the soil in which they grow.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Saints and martyrs had never interested Maggie so much as sages and poets.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
It still remains unrecognised, that to bring a child into existence without a fair prospect of being able, not only to provide food for its body, but instruction and training for its mind, is a moral crime, both against the unfortunate offspring and against society; and that if the parent does not fulfil this obligation, the State ought to see it fulfilled, at the charge, as far as possible, of the parent.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
If you deliver an opinion at all, it is mere stupidity not to do it with an air of conviction and well-founded knowledge. You make it your own in uttering it, and naturally get fond of it.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
No one can be a great thinker who does not recognize that as a thinker it is his first duty to follow his intellect to whatever conclusions it may lead.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made known silently.
Agnes De Mille
Just knowing that they could read made the Baudelaire orphans feel as if their wretched lives could be a little brighter.
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4))
Sometime during your life—in fact, very soon—you may find yourself reading a book, and you may notice that a book’s first sentence can often tell you what sort of story your book contains.
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4))
So long as an opinion is strongly rooted in the feelings, it gains rather than loses in stability by having a preponderating weight of argument against it.
John Stuart Mill (The Subjection of Women)
I flutter all ways, and fly in none.
George Eliot
A party of order or stability, and a party of progress or reform, are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Eleanor looked up, surprised; the little girl was sliding back in her chair, sullenly refusing her milk, while her father frowned and her brother giggled and her mother said calmly, 'She wants her cup of stars.' Indeed yes, Eleanor thought; indeed, so do I; a cup of stars, of course. 'Her little cup,' the mother was explaining, smiling apologetically at the waitress, who was thunderstruck at the thought that the mill's good country milk was not rich enough for the little girl. 'It has stars in the bottom, and she always drinks her milk from it at home. She calls it her cup of stars because she can see the stars while she drinks her milk.' The waitress nodded, unconvinced, and the mother told the little girl, 'You'll have your milk from your cup of stars tonight when we get home. But just for now, just to be a very good little girl, will you take a little milk from this glass?' Don't do it, Eleanor told the little girl; insist on your cup of stars; once they have trapped you into being like everyone else you will never see your cup of stars again; don't do it; and the little girl glanced at her, and smiled a little subtle, dimpling, wholly comprehending smile, and shook her head stubbornly at the glass. Brave girl, Eleanor thought; wise, brave girl.
Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House)
Let every man be his own methodologist, let every man be his own theorist
C. Wright Mills (The Sociological Imagination)
When you love something, you can't be happy all the time, can you? Like, that's why you love it. It makes you feel all kinds of things, not just happy. It can hurt, it can make you fucking mad, but... it makes you feel something, you know?
Emma Mills (First & Then)
I carried the books to my room and read through the night. I loved the fiery pages of Mary Wollstonecraft, but there was a single line written by John Stuart Mill that, when I read it, moved the world: "It is a subject on which nothing final can be known." The subject Mill had in mind was the nature of women. Mill claimed that women have been coaxed, cajoled, shoved and squashed into a series of feminine contortions for so many centuries, that it is now quite impossible to define their natural abilities or aspirations. Blood rushed to my brain; I felt an animating surge of adrenaline, of possibility, of a frontier being pushed outward. Of the nature of women, nothing final can be known. Never had I found such comfort in a void, in the black absence of knowledge. It seemed to say: whatever you are, you are woman.
Tara Westover (Educated)
It was one of those dangerous moments when speech is at once sincere and deceptive - when feeling, rising high above its average depth, leaves flood-marks which are never reached again.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
A lot of our perception of history is influenced by inaccurate movies.
Nelson DeMille (Plum Island (John Corey, #1))
Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.
Agnes De Mille
People with advantages are loath to believe that they just happen to be people with advantages.
C. Wright Mills
To Beatrice- My love flew like a butterfly Until death swooped down like a bat As the poet Emma Montana McElroy said: 'That's the end of that
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4))
She thought it was part of the hardship of her life that there was laid upon her the burthen of larger wants than others seemed to feel – that she had to endure this wide hopeless yearning for that something, whatever it was, that was greatest and best on this earth.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. —written for the Pennsylvania Assembly in its Reply to the Governor, 11 November 1755
Benjamin Franklin (Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Benjamin Franklin Volume 2)
Every morning the maple leaves. Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out You will be alone always and then you will die. So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog of non-definitive acts, something other than the desperation. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party and seduced you and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing. You want a better story. Who wouldn’t? A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing. Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on. What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon. Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly flames everywhere. I can tell already you think I’m the dragon, that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon. I’m not the princess either. Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure, I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow glass, but that comes later. Let me do it right for once, for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes, you know the story, simply heaven. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing and when you open your eyes only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer. Inside your head the sound of glass, a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion. Hello darling, sorry about that. Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud. Especially that, but I should have known. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up in a stranger’s bathroom, standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away from the dirtiest thing you know. All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly darkness, suddenly only darkness. In the living room, in the broken yard, in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of unnatural light, my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away. I arrived in the city and you met me at the station, smiling in a way that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade, up the stairs of the building to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things, I looked out the window and said This doesn’t look that much different from home, because it didn’t, but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights. We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too, smiling and crying in a way that made me even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I just couldn’t say it out loud. Actually, you said Love, for you, is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s terrifying. No one will ever want to sleep with you. Okay, if you’re so great, you do it— here’s the pencil, make it work … If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing river water. Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently we have had our difficulties and there are many things I want to ask you. I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again, years later, in the chlorinated pool. I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have these luxuries. I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together. I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes. Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you. Quit milling around the yard and come inside.
Richard Siken
Truth gains more even by the errors of one who, with due study and preparation, thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think…
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Okay, that was, I have to say, about the cheesiest thing I ever heard in my life,” I say to Angela as we’re milling around afterward. We hug, so Billy can take our picture. “I mean, seriously. Just be? You should write ads for Nike.
Cynthia Hand (Hallowed (Unearthly, #2))
Tu sei come una pietra preziosa che viene violentemente frantumata in mille schegge per poter essere ricostruita di una materiale più duraturo di quello della vita, cioè il materiale della poesia.
Pier Paolo Pasolini
A dog is not a thing. A thing is replaceable. A dog is not. A thing is disposable. A dog is not. A thing doesn’t have a heart. A dog’s heart is bigger than any “thing” you can ever own.
Elizabeth Parker (Paw Prints in the Sand)
Sometimes I wish I had a lower IQ so I could enjoy your company.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1))
Appearance matters a great deal because you can often tell a lot about people by looking at how they present themselves.
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4))
The worst thing is not that the world is unfree, but that people have unlearned their liberty. The more indifferent people are to politics, to the interests of others, the more obsessed they become with their own faces. The individualism of our time. Not being able to fall asleep and not allowing oneself to move: the marital bed. If high culture is coming to an end, it is also the end of you and your paradoxical ideas, because paradox as such belongs to high culture and not to childish prattle. You remind me of the young men who supported the Nazis or communists not out of cowardice or out of opportunism but out of an excess of intelligence. For nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought… You are the brilliant ally of your own gravediggers. In the world of highways, a beautiful landscape means: an island of beauty connected by a long line with other islands of beauty. How to live in a world with which you disagree? How to live with people when you neither share their suffering nor their joys? When you know that you don’t belong among them?... our century refuses to acknowledge anyone’s right to disagree with the world…All that remains of such a place is the memory, the ideal of a cloister, the dream of a cloister… Humor can only exist when people are still capable of recognizing some border between the important and the unimportant. And nowadays this border has become unrecognizable. The majority of people lead their existence within a small idyllic circle bounded by their family, their home, and their work... They live in a secure realm somewhere between good and evil. They are sincerely horrified by the sight of a killer. And yet all you have to do is remove them from this peaceful circle and they, too, turn into murderers, without quite knowing how it happened. The longing for order is at the same time a longing for death, because life is an incessant disruption of order. Or to put it the other way around: the desire for order is a virtuous pretext, an excuse for virulent misanthropy. A long time a go a certain Cynic philosopher proudly paraded around Athens in a moth-eaten coat, hoping that everyone would admire his contempt for convention. When Socrates met him, he said: Through the hole in your coat I see your vanity. Your dirt, too, dear sir, is self-indulgent and your self-indulgence is dirty. You are always living below the level of true existence, you bitter weed, you anthropomorphized vat of vinegar! You’re full of acid, which bubbles inside you like an alchemist’s brew. Your highest wish is to be able to see all around you the same ugliness as you carry inside yourself. That’s the only way you can feel for a few moments some kind of peace between yourself and the world. That’s because the world, which is beautiful, seems horrible to you, torments you and excludes you. If the novel is successful, it must necessarily be wiser than its author. This is why many excellent French intellectuals write mediocre novels. They are always more intelligent than their books. By a certain age, coincidences lose their magic, no longer surprise, become run-of-the-mill. Any new possibility that existence acquires, even the least likely, transforms everything about existence.
Milan Kundera
Her future, she thought, was likely to be worse than her past, for after her years of contented renunciation, she had slipped back into desire and longing; she found joyless days of distasteful occupation harder and harder; she found the image of the intense and varied life she yearned for, and despaired of, becoming more and more importunate.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
Ask yourself whether you are happy', observed the philosopher John Stuart Mill, 'and you cease to be so.' At best, it would appear, happiness can only be glimpsed out of the corner of an eye, not stared at directly.
Oliver Burkeman (The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking)
Wow, top five percent of your class at Northwestern. Nice!" Joel said and then looked over at me. "Bet you're glad to have someone so amazing working under you, huh?" Chloe coughed slightly, bringing her napkin up from her lap to cover her mouth. I smiled as I quickly glanced over to her and then back to Joel. "Yes, its absolutely amazing having Miss Mills under me. She always gets the job done.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard, #1))
The gossip mill runs on estrogen.
Kim Harrington (Perception (Clarity, #2))
Women need a reason to have sex; men need only a place.
Nelson DeMille (Wild Fire (John Corey, #4))
Both teachers and learners go to sleep at their post as soon as there is no enemy in the field.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
What a different result one gets by changing the metaphor!
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
The human faculties of perception, judgment, discriminative feeling, mental activity, and even moral preference, are exercised only in making a choice. He who does anything because it is the custom, makes no choice.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
It's really scary when you have a moment of temporary sanity.
Nelson DeMille (The Lion (John Corey, #5))
Optimist" is a word which here refers to a person, such as Phil, who thinks hopeful and pleasant thoughts about nearly everything. For instance, if an optimist had his left arm chewed off by an alligator, he might say, in a pleasant and hopeful voice, "Well, this isn't too bad. I don't have my left arm anymore, but at least nobody will ever ask me whether I am right-handed or left-handed," but most of us would say something more along the lines of "Aaaaah! My arm! My arm!
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4))
If you have ever had a miserable experience, then you have probably had it said to you that you would feel better in the morning. This, of course, is utter nonsense, because a miserable experience remains a miserable experience even on the loveliest of morning.
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4))
The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest-Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure.
John Stuart Mill (Utilitarianism)
To think that because those who wield power in society wield in the end that of government, therefore it is of no use to attempt to influence the constitution of the government by acting on opinion, is to forget that opinion is itself one of the greatest active social forces. One person with a belief is a social power equal to ninety-nine who have only interests.
John Stuart Mill (Considerations on Representative Government)
Truth can be awful and even excruciating, but once it's released, it's like a bird that's been caged too long who finally flies to freedom. I felt a little like that. Free
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1))
There were patterns in the way people moved, the way they clustered around power. They thought they were drifting, milling aimlessly, but really they were being drawn towards people of status.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
the not-so-bookish librarian was half angel, half she-devil, so sayeth the rumor mill.
Ellen Hopkins
No enthusiasm will ever stand the strain that Jesus Christ will put upon His worker, only one thing will, and that is a personal relationship to Himself which has gone through the mill of His spring-cleaning until there is only one purpose left--I am here for God to send me where He will.
Oswald Chambers
The thing about fic is that is comes from love. Characters you love so much, that you feel so deeply for, you'll watch them fall in love a thousand different ways, over and over.
Emma Mills (This Adventure Ends)
Happiness. I believed few people ever achieved it.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1))
If I got places, sir, it was because I made myself fit for 'em. If you want to slip into a round hole, you must first make a ball of yourself; that's where it is.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence.
Joan Mills
Now, public libraries are most admirable institutions, but they have one irritating custom. They want their books back.
Cecil B. DeMille (The Autobiography of Cecil B. Demille)
Creativity is a drug I cannot live without.
Cecil B. DeMille
Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.
C. Wright Mills (The Sociological Imagination)
Stranded in this mill town railroad yard while the whole world was converging elsewhere, we seemed to be nothing but children playing among heroic men.
John Knowles (A Separate Peace)
Every man who repeats the dogma of Mill that one country is no fit to rule another country must admit that one class is not fit to rule another class.
B.R. Ambedkar
So true is that unnatural generally means only uncustomary, and that everything which is usual appears natural.
John Stuart Mill (The Subjection of Women)
Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases; neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives. Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices, to argue over them -- and then, the opportunity to choose.
C. Wright Mills
I said he kissed me. Really kissed me. It rocked me to my soul. It was brutal. It was brilliant. It was horrible. I thought I was going to die.
Margaret Way (Genni's Dilemma (Mills & Boon 100th Birthday Collection))
Never mind what my name is,” the man said. “No one can pronounce it anyway. Just call me Sir.
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4))
The meaning of life has not much to do with good and evil, right and wrong, duty, honor, country, or any of that. It has to do with cutting the right deal.
Nelson DeMille
…made me promise to cut down on the drinking and swearing, which I have. Unfortunately, this has left me dim-witted and nearly speechless.
Nelson DeMille (The Lion (John Corey, #5))
I fucking hated pity. It was a wasted emotion.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1))
This knowledge sits in my heart, heavy as a paperweight.
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4))
A worshiper without knowledge is like the mill donkey it rotates but it does not leave its place. المتعبد بغير علم كحمار الطاحونة يدور ولا يبرح من مكانه
علي بن أبي طالب
Sir Isaac Newton, renowned inventor of the milled-edge coin and the catflap!" "The what?" said Richard. "The catflap! A device of the utmost cunning, perspicuity and invention. It is a door within a door, you see, a ..." "Yes," said Richard, "there was also the small matter of gravity." "Gravity," said Dirk with a slightly dismissed shrug, "yes, there was that as well, I suppose. Though that, of course, was merely a discovery. It was there to be discovered." ... "You see?" he said dropping his cigarette butt, "They even keep it on at weekends. Someone was bound to notice sooner or later. But the catflap ... ah, there is a very different matter. Invention, pure creative invention. It is a door within a door, you see.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
Books are better than television, the internet, or the computer for educating and maintaining freedom. Books matter because they state ideas and then attempt to thoroughly prove them. They have an advantage precisely because they slow down the process, allowing the reader to internalize, respond, react and transform. The ideas in books matter because time is taken to establish truth, and because the reader must take the time to consider each idea and either accept it or, if he rejects it, to think through sound reasons for doing so. A nation of people who write and read is a nation with the attention span to earn an education and free society if they choose.
Oliver DeMille
You look so out of your element. (Savitar) I am out of my element. Much like you in a Seattle Goth club. (Acheron) I’m never out of my element, Atlantean. And it must be dire indeed to get you in shorties, and on a board. One day I’m actually going to get you to say ‘Rad four-mill steamer, dude! (Savitar)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
Is it not first through the voice that one becomes animal?
Gilles Deleuze (Mille plateaux)
Loving people hurt; losing them could destroy you.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1))
...the most common cause of death among alpha males was ego.
Nelson DeMille (The Lion (John Corey, #5))
After the primary necessities of food and raiment, freedom is the first and strongest want of human nature.
John Stuart Mill (The Subjection of Women)
As far as I was concerned, physical education was evil. You take a bunch of teenagers, make them strip down in front of each other in a locker room, have them don hideous matching uniforms, and then measure their worth based on their ability to chuck balls at a net, into a hoop, or at each other. It was just. Evil.
Emma Mills (First & Then)
the only way in which a human being can make some approach to knowing the whole of a subject, is by hearing what can be said about it by persons of every variety of opinion, and studying all modes in which it can be looked at by every character of mind. No wise man ever acquired his wisdom in any mode but this; nor is it in the nature of human intellect to become wise in any other manner.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
General Motors, General Mills, General Foods, general ignorance, general apathy, and general cussedness elect presidents and Congressmen and maintain them in power.
Herbert M. Shelton
I am no more lonely than a single mullein or dandelion in a pasture, or a bean leaf, or sorrel, or a horse-fly, or a bumblebee. I am no more lonely than the Mill Brook, or a weathercock, or the north star, or the south wind, or an April shower, or a January thaw, or the first spider in a new house.
Henry David Thoreau
We stood there for a long moment before he said, "You know, we still have like, half an hour down here. Seems a shame to waste it." I poked him in the ribs, and he gave an exaggerated wince. "No way, dude. My days of cellar, mill, and dungeon lovin' are over. Go castle or go home.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
If they want to flirt or initiate a friendship, they should carefully avoid giving the impression they are taking the initiative; men do not like tomboys, nor bluestockings, nor thinking women; too much audacity, culture, intelligence, or character frightens them. In most novels, as George Eliot observes, it is the dumb, blond heroine who outshines the virile brunette; and in The Mill on the Floss, Maggie tries in vain to reverse the roles; in the end she dies and it is blond Lucy who marries Stephen. In The Last of the Mohicans, vapid Alice wins the hero’s heart and not valiant Cora; in Little Women kindly Jo is only a childhood friend for Laurie; he vows his love to curly-haired and insipid Amy. To be feminine is to show oneself as weak, futile, passive, and docile. The girl is supposed not only to primp and dress herself up but also to repress her spontaneity and substitute for it the grace and charm she has been taught by her elder sisters. Any self-assertion will take away from her femininity and her seductiveness.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
A person whose desires and impulses are his own—are the expression of his own nature, as it has been developed and modified by his own culture—is said to have a character. One whose desires and impulses are not his own, has no character, no more than a steam-engine has character…
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Nature repairs her ravages, but not all. The uptorn trees are not rooted again; the parted hills are left scarred; if there is a new growth, the trees are not the same as the old, and the hills underneath their green vesture bear the marks of the past rending. To the eyes that have dwelt on the past, there is no thorough repair.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
You ask me why I don't speak Not a word at will But write so much worth well over a mill' Well I value words like I value kisses A sober one, a closer one penetrates the heart Darling it's how it mends it
Criss Jami (Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality)
Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it -- namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that would turn it into work and then they would resign.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
It's hardly possible to overstate the value, in the present state of human improvement, of placing human beings in contact with other persons dissimilar to themselves, and with modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar. Such communication has always been... one of the primary sources of progress.
John Stuart Mill
Those only are happy (I thought) who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness; on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit, followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way. The enjoyments of life (such was now my theory) are sufficient to make it a pleasant thing, when they are taken en passant, without being made a principal object. Once make them so, and they are immediately felt to be insufficient. They will not bear a scrutinizing examination. Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so. The only chance is to treat, not happiness, but some end external to it, as the purpose of life. Let your self-consciousness, your scrutiny, your self-interrogation, exhaust themselves on that; and if otherwise fortunately circumstanced you will inhale happiness with the air you breathe, without dwelling on it or thinking about it, without either forestalling it in imagination, or putting it to flight by fatal questioning.
John Stuart Mill (Autobiography)
Silence. It flashed from the woodwork and the walls; it smote him with an awful, total power, as if generated by a vast mill. It rose from the floor, up out of the tattered gray wall-to-wall carpeting. It unleashed itself from the broken and semi-broken appliances in the kitchen, the dead machines which hadn’t worked in all the time Isidore had lived here. From the useless pole lamp in the living room it oozed out, meshing with the empty and wordless descent of itself from the fly-specked ceiling. It managed in fact to emerge from every object within his range of vision, as if it—the silence—meant to supplant all things tangible. Hence it assailed not only his ears but his eyes; as he stood by the inert TV set he experienced the silence as visible and, in its own way, alive. Alive! He had often felt its austere approach before; when it came it burst in without subtlety, evidently unable to wait. The silence of the world could not rein back its greed. Not any longer. Not when it had virtually won.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner, #1))
He said to people: you’re free. And they said hooray, and then he showed them what freedom costs and they called him a tyrant and, as soon as he’d been betrayed, they milled around a bit like barn-bred chickens who’ve seen the big world outside for the first time, and then they went back into the warm and shut the door...
Terry Pratchett (Feet of Clay (Discworld, #19; City Watch, #3))
Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Close your eyes, real tight, and then count to three hundred. That’s all you have to do. You just count to three hundred, and when you open your eyes, five minutes will have passed. And even if it hurts or things are shitty or you don’t know what to do, you just made it through five whole minutes. And when it feels like you can’t go on, you just close your eyes and do it again. That’s all you need. Just five minutes at a time.
Emma Mills (First & Then)
You think you know what is just and what is not. I understand. We all think we know." I had no doubt, myself, then, that at each moment each one of us, man, woman, child, perhaps even the poor old horse turning the mill-wheel, knew what was just: all creatures come into the world bringing with them the memory of justice. "But we live in a world of laws," I said to my poor prisoner, "a world of the second-best. There is nothing we can do about that. We are fallen creatures. All we can do is to uphold the laws, all of us, without allowing the memory of justice to fade.
J.M. Coetzee (Waiting for the Barbarians)
I continued, “The painting shows this fish with a big eye and a halo, floating in air, and underneath the fish are all these Native Americans having sex.” “What? What does that have to do with Custer’s Last Stand?” “Well, the painting is titled, Holy Mackerel, Look at All Those Fucking Indians.
Nelson DeMille (Wild Fire (John Corey, #4))
The tendency has always been strong to believe that whatever received a name must be an entity or being, having an independent existence of its own. And if no real entity answering to the name could be found, men did not for that reason suppose that none existed, but imagined that it was something peculiarly abstruse and mysterious.
John Stuart Mill
I consider it presumption in anyone to pretend to decide what women are or are not, can or cannot be, by natural constitution. They have always hitherto been kept, as far as regards spontaneous development, in so unnatural a state, that their nature cannot but have been greatly distorted and disguised; and no one can safely pronounce that if women’s nature were left to choose its direction as freely as men’s, and if no artificial bent were attempted to be given to it except that required by the conditions of human society, and given to both sexes alike, there would be any material difference, or perhaps any difference at all, in the character and capacities which would unfold themselves.
John Stuart Mill (The Subjection of Women)
Falling for someone can be a lot like playing roulette. You don't know what will happen when you place that bet, but you can take a deep breath anyway and put all the chips out there. And when the ball spins around and around, you pray it lands on your number. Probability says you'll likely lose, and in this game of love with Leo, odds were I would lose, too, but I had to try.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1))
Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus, rumoresque senum severiorum omnes unius aestimemus assis! soles occidere et redire possunt; nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux, nox est perpetua una dormienda. da mi basia mille, deinde centum, dein mille altera, dein secunda centum, deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum; dein, cum milia multa fecerimus, conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus, aut ne quis malus invidere possit cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.
Catullus (The Complete Poems)
There is something sustaining in the very agitation that accompanies the first shocks of trouble, just as an acute pain is often a stimulus, and produces an excitement which is transient strength. It is in the slow, changed life that follows--in the time when sorrow has become stale, and has no longer an emotive intensity that counteracts its pain--in the time when day follows day in dull unexpectant sameness, and trial is a dreary routine--it is then that despair threatens; it is then that the peremptory hunger of the soul is felt, and eye and ear are strained after some unlearned secret of our existence, which shall give to endurance the nature of satisfaction.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
So you got fired?” “I quit.” “When I quit the Order, you told me I was besmirched.” “That’s because you quit in a huff over some silliness like trying to save people’s lives. I quit to maximize my earning potential. Don’t you know being a hero is a losing bet? The pay is shit and people hate you for it.” Luther looked at Curran. “Who is the male specimen?” Curran offered Luther his hand. “Lennart.” Luther grabbed Curran’s hand and smelled it. “Shapeshifter, feline, probably a lion, but not the run-of-the-mill African Simba. You’ve got an odd scent about you.” He glanced at me. “Why do you always hang out with weirdos?
Ilona Andrews (Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8))
In a badly designed book, the letters mill and stand like starving horses in a field. In a book designed by rote, they sit like stale bread and mutton on the page. In a well-made book, where designer, compositor and printer have all done their jobs, no matter how many thousands of lines and pages, the letters are alive. They dance in their seats. Sometimes they rise and dance in the margins and aisles.
Robert Bringhurst (The Elements of Typographic Style)
Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives... I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it. Suppose any party, in addition to whatever share it may possess of the ability of the community, has nearly the whole of its stupidity, that party must, by the law of its constitution, be the stupidest party; and I do not see why honorable gentlemen should see that position as at all offensive to them, for it ensures their being always an extremely powerful party . . . There is so much dense, solid force in sheer stupidity, that any body of able men with that force pressing behind them may ensure victory in many a struggle, and many a victory the Conservative party has gained through that power." John Stuart Mill ( British philosopher, economist, and liberal member of Parliament for Westminster from 1865 to 68 )
John Stuart Mill
L'union libre [Freedom of Love]" My wife with the hair of a wood fire With the thoughts of heat lightning With the waist of an hourglass With the waist of an otter in the teeth of a tiger My wife with the lips of a cockade and of a bunch of stars of the last magnitude With the teeth of tracks of white mice on the white earth With the tongue of rubbed amber and glass My wife with the tongue of a stabbed host With the tongue of a doll that opens and closes its eyes With the tongue of an unbelievable stone My wife with the eyelashes of strokes of a child's writing With brows of the edge of a swallow's nest My wife with the brow of slates of a hothouse roof And of steam on the panes My wife with shoulders of champagne And of a fountain with dolphin-heads beneath the ice My wife with wrists of matches My wife with fingers of luck and ace of hearts With fingers of mown hay My wife with armpits of marten and of beechnut And of Midsummer Night Of privet and of an angelfish nest With arms of seafoam and of riverlocks And of a mingling of the wheat and the mill My wife with legs of flares With the movements of clockwork and despair My wife with calves of eldertree pith My wife with feet of initials With feet of rings of keys and Java sparrows drinking My wife with a neck of unpearled barley My wife with a throat of the valley of gold Of a tryst in the very bed of the torrent With breasts of night My wife with breasts of a marine molehill My wife with breasts of the ruby's crucible With breasts of the rose's spectre beneath the dew My wife with the belly of an unfolding of the fan of days With the belly of a gigantic claw My wife with the back of a bird fleeing vertically With a back of quicksilver With a back of light With a nape of rolled stone and wet chalk And of the drop of a glass where one has just been drinking My wife with hips of a skiff With hips of a chandelier and of arrow-feathers And of shafts of white peacock plumes Of an insensible pendulum My wife with buttocks of sandstone and asbestos My wife with buttocks of swans' backs My wife with buttocks of spring With the sex of an iris My wife with the sex of a mining-placer and of a platypus My wife with a sex of seaweed and ancient sweetmeat My wife with a sex of mirror My wife with eyes full of tears With eyes of purple panoply and of a magnetic needle My wife with savanna eyes My wife with eyes of water to he drunk in prison My wife with eyes of wood always under the axe My wife with eyes of water-level of level of air earth and fire
André Breton (Poems of André Breton: A Bilingual Anthology)
The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to someone else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
There were oil wells everywhere. The soil had been abandoned to dust and lizards, and the backyard of every wind-blistered bungalow in town had thrown over ideas of shade or geraniums in favor of the whiskey promise in the mutter of those green grasshopper pumps...A dozen ravenous steel insects sucked at the shit-caked loam in the mile-square meatfield of empty pens where the beeves, when there were beeves, milled waiting for the knife. (125)
Katherine Dunn (Geek Love)
War, not peace, produces virtue. War, not peace, purges vice. War, and preparation for war, call forth all that is noble and honorable in a man. It unites him with his brothers and binds them in selfless love, eradicating in the crucible of necessity all which is base and ignoble. There in the holy mill of murder the meanest of men may seek and find that part of himself, concealed beneath the corrupt, which shines forth brilliant and virtuous, worthy of honor before the gods. Do not despise war, my young friend, nor delude yourself that mercy and compassion are virtues superior to andreia, to manly valor.
Steven Pressfield (Gates of Fire)
And did those feet in ancient time Walk upon England's mountains green? And was the holy Lamb of God On England's pleasant pastures seen? And did the Countenance Divine Shine forth upon our clouded hills? And was Jerusalem builded here, Among these dark Satanic Mills? Bring me my Bow of burning gold: Bring me my Arrows of desire: Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold! Bring me my Chariot of fire! I will not cease from Mental Fight, Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand, Till we have built Jerusalem In England's green & pleasant Land.
William Blake (Milton: A Poem (The Illuminated Books of William Blake, Vol 5))
But then, Cap'n Crunch in a flake form would be suicidal madness; it would last about as long, when immersed in milk, as snowflakes sifting down into a deep fryer. No, the cereal engineers at General Mills had to find a shape that would minimize surface area, and, as some sort of compromise between the sphere that is dictated by Euclidean geometry and whatever sunken treasure related shapes that the cereal aestheticians were probably clamoring for, they came up with this hard -to-pin-down striated pillow formation.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another; and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the dominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, an aristocracy, or a majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency to one over the body.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
We ignore the blackness of outer space and pay attention to the stars, especially if they seem to order themselves into constellations. “Common as the air” meant something worthless, but Hackworth knew that every breath of air that Fiona drew, lying in her little bed at night, just a silver flow in the moonlight, was used by her body to make skin and hair and bones. The air became Fiona, and deserving—no, demanding—of love. Ordering matter was the sole endeavor of Life, whether it was a jumble of self-replicating molecules in the primordial ocean, or a steam-powered English mill turning weeds into clothing, or Fiona lying in her bed turning air into Fiona.
Neal Stephenson (The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer)
Your generation - you've not heard the Verve or Jimi Hendrix or Eminem, you've not read The Catcher in the Rye, you've not seen a classic film like Terminator or Blade Runner. All you've done is read dross, listen to crap and watch Disney movies with happy endings. And what kind of generation have we produced? A slow, simple, dull one who never questions anything. A stunted generation. It's devolution because in order for society to progress, you need to be able to debate ideas, to question, to see the dark and the light in things
Sam Mills
he would now have comprehended that work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that play consists of whaterver a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him to understand why construcing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill, is work, whilst rolling nine-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service that would turn it into work, then they would resign.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
I have watched them all day and they are the same men that we are. I believe that I could walk up to the mill and knock on the door and I would be welcome except that they have orders to challenge all travelers and ask to see their papers. It is only orders that come between us. Those men are not fascists. I call them so, but they are not. They are poor men as we are. They should never be fighting against us and I do not like to think of the killing.
Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
76. David Hume – Treatise on Human Nature; Essays Moral and Political; An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding 77. Jean-Jacques Rousseau – On the Origin of Inequality; On the Political Economy; Emile – or, On Education, The Social Contract 78. Laurence Sterne – Tristram Shandy; A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy 79. Adam Smith – The Theory of Moral Sentiments; The Wealth of Nations 80. Immanuel Kant – Critique of Pure Reason; Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals; Critique of Practical Reason; The Science of Right; Critique of Judgment; Perpetual Peace 81. Edward Gibbon – The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; Autobiography 82. James Boswell – Journal; Life of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D. 83. Antoine Laurent Lavoisier – Traité Élémentaire de Chimie (Elements of Chemistry) 84. Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison – Federalist Papers 85. Jeremy Bentham – Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation; Theory of Fictions 86. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Faust; Poetry and Truth 87. Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier – Analytical Theory of Heat 88. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel – Phenomenology of Spirit; Philosophy of Right; Lectures on the Philosophy of History 89. William Wordsworth – Poems 90. Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Poems; Biographia Literaria 91. Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice; Emma 92. Carl von Clausewitz – On War 93. Stendhal – The Red and the Black; The Charterhouse of Parma; On Love 94. Lord Byron – Don Juan 95. Arthur Schopenhauer – Studies in Pessimism 96. Michael Faraday – Chemical History of a Candle; Experimental Researches in Electricity 97. Charles Lyell – Principles of Geology 98. Auguste Comte – The Positive Philosophy 99. Honoré de Balzac – Père Goriot; Eugenie Grandet 100. Ralph Waldo Emerson – Representative Men; Essays; Journal 101. Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter 102. Alexis de Tocqueville – Democracy in America 103. John Stuart Mill – A System of Logic; On Liberty; Representative Government; Utilitarianism; The Subjection of Women; Autobiography 104. Charles Darwin – The Origin of Species; The Descent of Man; Autobiography 105. Charles Dickens – Pickwick Papers; David Copperfield; Hard Times 106. Claude Bernard – Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine 107. Henry David Thoreau – Civil Disobedience; Walden 108. Karl Marx – Capital; Communist Manifesto 109. George Eliot – Adam Bede; Middlemarch 110. Herman Melville – Moby-Dick; Billy Budd 111. Fyodor Dostoevsky – Crime and Punishment; The Idiot; The Brothers Karamazov 112. Gustave Flaubert – Madame Bovary; Three Stories 113. Henrik Ibsen – Plays 114. Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace; Anna Karenina; What is Art?; Twenty-Three Tales 115. Mark Twain – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; The Mysterious Stranger 116. William James – The Principles of Psychology; The Varieties of Religious Experience; Pragmatism; Essays in Radical Empiricism 117. Henry James – The American; The Ambassadors 118. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche – Thus Spoke Zarathustra; Beyond Good and Evil; The Genealogy of Morals;The Will to Power 119. Jules Henri Poincaré – Science and Hypothesis; Science and Method 120. Sigmund Freud – The Interpretation of Dreams; Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis; Civilization and Its Discontents; New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis 121. George Bernard Shaw – Plays and Prefaces
Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading)
What a wee little part of a person's life are his acts and his words! His real life is lead in his head, and is known to none but himself. All day long, and every day, the mill of his brain is grinding, and his thoughts, (which are but the mute articulation of his feelings,) not those other things are his history. His acts and his words are merely the visible thin crust of his world, with its scattered snow summits and its vacant wastes of water-and they are so trifling a part of his bulk! a mere skin enveloping it. The mass of him is hidden-it and its volcanic fires that toss and boil, and never rest, night nor day. These are his life, and they are not written, and cannot be written.
Mark Twain (The Autobiography of Mark Twain)
Leo, I know it’s unexplainable because I barely know you, but being with you makes me feel good inside and happy. I’ve never had that. When I see you, I feel like I’m home. Like we’re pieces of a puzzle that have finally come together. And . . . and I think being happy isn’t about the big moments, like when you graduate from college or get that job you’ve been wanting. It’s the small moments that take your breath away and make you truly happy, like the first time you see your newborn’s face or . . . or when you meet someone who could be your soulmate.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1))
It's a strange thing, but somehow we expect more of girls than of boys. It is the sisters and wives and mothers, you know, Caddie, who keep the world sweet and beautiful. What a rough world it would be if there were only men and boys in it, doing things in their rough way! A woman's task is to teach them gentleness and courtesy and love and kindness. It's a big task, too, Caddie--harder than cutting trees or building mills or damming rivers. It takes nerve and courage and patience, but good women have those things. They have them just as much as the men who build bridges and carve roads through the wilderness. A woman's work is something fine and noble to grow up to, and it is just as important as a man's.
Carol Ryrie Brink (Caddie Woodlawn (Caddie Woodlawn, #1))
In books there were people who were always agreeable or tender, and delighted to do things that made one happy, and who did not show their kindness by finding fault. The world outside the books was not a happy one, Maggie felt: it seemed to be a world where people behaved the best to those they did not pretend to love and that did not belong to them. And if life had no love in it, what else was there for Maggie? Nothing but poverty and the companionship of her mother’s narrow griefs—perhaps of her father’s heart-cutting childish dependence. There is no hopelessness so sad as that of early youth, when the soul is made up of wants, and has no long memories, no super-added life in the life of others; though we who look on think lightly of such premature despair, as if our vision of the future lightened the blind sufferer’s present.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
When it rains, the moisture in the humid air blankets our town with the smell of damp coffee grounds wafting in from the Nescafé factory at the town’s eastern edge. I don’t like coffee but I like that smell. It’s comforting; it unites the town in a common sensory experience; it’s good industry, like the roaring rug mill that fills our ears, brings work and signals our town’s vitality. There is a place here—you can hear it, smell it—where people make lives, suffer pain, enjoy small pleasures, play baseball, die, make love, have kids, drink themselves drunk on spring nights and do their best to hold off the demons that seek to destroy us, our homes, our families, our town.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
All health, beauty, intelligence, and social grace has been teased from a vast butcher’s yard of unbounded carnage, requiring incalculable eons of massacre to draw forth even the subtlest of advantages. This is not only a matter of the bloody grinding mills of selection, either, but also of the innumerable mutational abominations thrown up by the madness of chance, as it pursues its directionless path to some negligible preservable trait, and then — still further — of the unavowable horrors that ‘fitness’ (or sheer survival) itself predominantly entails. We are a minuscule sample of agonized matter, comprising genetic survival monsters, fished from a cosmic ocean of vile mutants, by a pitiless killing machine of infinite appetite. (This is still, perhaps, to put an irresponsibly positive spin on the story, but it should suffice for our purposes here.)
Nick Land
And all those boys of Europe born in those times, and thereabouts those times, Russian, French, Belgian, Serbian, Irish, English, Scottish, Welsh, Italian, Prussian, German, Austrian, Turkish – and Canadian, Australian, American, Zulu, Gurkha, Cossack, and all the rest – their fate was written in a ferocious chapter in the book of life, certainly. Those millions of mothers and their million gallons of mother’s milk, millions of instances of small talk and baby talk, beatings and kisses, ganseys and shoes, piled up in history in great ruined heaps, with a loud and broken music, human stories told for nothing, for ashes, for death’s amusement, flung on the mighty scrapheap of souls, all those million boys in all their humours to be milled by the millstones of a coming war.
Sebastian Barry (A Long Long Way (Dunne Family #3))
What is the price of Experience? Do men buy it for a song? Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price Of all that a man hath, his house, his wife, his children Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy And in the wither'd field where the farmer ploughs for bread in vain It is an easy thing to triumph in the summer's sun And in the vintage and to sing on the waggon loaded with corn It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted To speak the laws of prudence to the homeless wanderer To listen to the hungry raven's cry in wintry season When the red blood is fill'd with wine and with the marrow of lambs It is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements To hear the dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughterhouse moan; To see a god on every wind and a blessing on every blast To hear sounds of love in the thunderstorm that destroys our enemies' house; To rejoice in the blight that covers his field and the sickness that cuts off his children While our olive and vine sing and laugh round our door and our children bring fruits and flowers Then the groan and the dolour are quite forgotten and the slave grinding at the mill And the captive in chains and the poor in the prison and the soldier in the field When the shatter'd bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity: Thus could I sing and thus rejoice: but it is not so with me.
William Blake
Alexandra drew her shawl closer about her and stood leaning against the frame of the mill, looking at the stars which glittered so keenly through the frosty autumn air. She always loved to watch them, to think of their vastness and distance, and of their ordered march. It fortified her to reflect upon the great operations of nature, and when she thought of the law that lay behind them, she felt a sense of personal security. That night she had a new consciousness of the country, felt almost a new relation to it. Even her talk with the boys had not taken away the feeling that had overwhelmed her when she drove back to the Divide that afternoon. She had never known before how much the country meant to her. The chirping of the insects down in the long grass had been like the sweetest music. She had felt as if her heart were hiding down there, somewhere, with the quail and the plover and all the little wild things that crooned or buzzed in the sun. Under the long shaggy ridges, she felt the future stirring.
Willa Cather (O Pioneers! (Great Plains Trilogy, #1))
Oh,Mercer," he murmured against my temple once we'd come up for air, "we are so screwed." I pressed my face against his neck, breathing him in. "I know." "So what do we do?" Reluctantly, I tried to move away. It was hard to think when he was so close to me. "If we were good people, we'd never see each other again." His arms locked around my waist, pulling me back. "Okay,well, that's not happening. Plan B?" I smiled up at him, feeling ridiculously giddy for someone on the verge of ruining her life. "I don't have one.You?" He shook his head. "Nothing.But...look. I've spent basically my whole life pretending to be someone I'm not, faking some feelings, hiding others." Reaching down, he clasped my hand and lifted it so that our joined hands were trapped between our chests. "This thing with us is the only real thing I've had in a long time.You're the only real thing." He raised our hands and kissed my knuckles. "And I'm done pretending I don't want you." I had read a lot about swooning in the romance novels Mom had tried to hide from me,but I'd never felt in danger of doing it until now. Which was why a snarky comment was definitely called for. "Wow,Cross.I think you missed your calling.Screw demon hunting: you should clearly be writing Hallmark cards." His face broke into that crooked grin that was maybe my favorite sight in the whole world. "Shut up," he muttered before lowering his head and kissing me again. "Why is it," I said against his lips several moments later, "that we're always kissing in gross, dirty places like cellars and abandoned mills?" He laughed, pressing kisses to my jaw, then my neck. "Next time it'll be a castle, I promise.This is England, after all. Can't be too hard to find one.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
If you want to see philosophy in action, pay a visit to a robo-rat laboratory. A robo-rat is a run-ofthe-mill rat with a twist: scientists have implanted electrodes into the sensory and reward areas in the rat’s brain. This enables the scientists to manoeuvre the rat by remote control. After short training sessions, researchers have managed not only to make the rats turn left or right, but also to climb ladders, sniff around garbage piles, and do things that rats normally dislike, such as jumping from great heights. Armies and corporations show keen interest in the robo-rats, hoping they could prove useful in many tasks and situations. For example, robo-rats could help detect survivors trapped under collapsed buildings, locate bombs and booby traps, and map underground tunnels and caves. Animal-welfare activists have voiced concern about the suffering such experiments inflict on the rats. Professor Sanjiv Talwar of the State University of New York, one of the leading robo-rat researchers, has dismissed these concerns, arguing that the rats actually enjoy the experiments. After all, explains Talwar, the rats ‘work for pleasure’ and when the electrodes stimulate the reward centre in their brain, ‘the rat feels Nirvana’. To the best of our understanding, the rat doesn’t feel that somebody else controls her, and she doesn’t feel that she is being coerced to do something against her will. When Professor Talwar presses the remote control, the rat wants to move to the left, which is why she moves to the left. When the professor presses another switch, the rat wants to climb a ladder, which is why she climbs the ladder. After all, the rat’s desires are nothing but a pattern of firing neurons. What does it matter whether the neurons are firing because they are stimulated by other neurons, or because they are stimulated by transplanted electrodes connected to Professor Talwar’s remote control? If you asked the rat about it, she might well have told you, ‘Sure I have free will! Look, I want to turn left – and I turn left. I want to climb a ladder – and I climb a ladder. Doesn’t that prove that I have free will?
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
I am made to sow the thistle for wheat; the nettle for a nourishing dainty I have planted a false oath in the earth, it has brought forth a poison tree I have chosen the serpent for a councellor & the dog for a schoolmaster to my children I have blotted out from light & living the dove & the nightingale And I have caused the earthworm to beg from door to door I have taught the thief a secret path into the house of the just I have taught pale artifice to spread his nets upon the morning My heavens are brass my earth is iron my moon a clod of clay My sun a pestilence burning at noon & a vapor of death in night What is the price of Experience do men buy it for a song Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No it is bought with the price Of all that a man hath his house his wife his children Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy And in the withered field where the farmer plows for bread in vain It is an easy thing to triumph in the summers sun And in the vintage & to sing on the waggon loaded with corn It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted To speak the laws of prudence to the houseless wanderer To listen to the hungry ravens cry in wintry season When the red blood is filled with wine & with the marrow of lambs It is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements To hear a dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughter house moan To see a god on every wind & a blessing on every blast To hear the sounds of love in the thunder storm that destroys our enemies house To rejoice in the blight that covers his field, & the sickness that cuts off his children While our olive & vine sing & laugh round our door & our children bring fruits and flowers Then the groans & the dolor are quite forgotten & the slave grinding at the mill And the captive in chains & the poor in the prison, & the soldier in the field When the shattered bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity Thus could I sing & thus rejoice, but it is not so with me!
William Blake (The Complete Poems)
Tutta quella città… non se ne vedeva la fine… / La fine, per cortesia, si potrebbe vedere la fine? / E il rumore / Su quella maledettissima scaletta… era molto bello, tutto… e io ero grande con quel cappotto, facevo il mio figurone, e non avevo dubbi, era garantito che sarei sceso, non c’era problema / Col mio cappello blu / Primo gradino, secondo gradino, terzo gradino / Primo gradino, secondo gradino, terzo gradino / Primo gradino, secondo / Non è quel che vidi che mi fermò / È quel che non vidi / Puoi capirlo, fratello?, è quel che non vidi… lo cercai ma non c’era, in tutta quella sterminata città c’era tutto tranne / C’era tutto / Ma non c’era una fine. Quel che non vidi è dove finiva tutto quello. La fine del mondo / Ora tu pensa: un pianoforte. I tasti iniziano. I tasti finiscono. Tu sai che sono 88, su questo nessuno può fregarti. Non sono infiniti, loro. Tu, sei infinito, e dentro quei tasti, infinita è la musica che puoi fare. Loro sono 88. Tu sei infinito. Questo a me piace. Questo lo si può vivere. Ma se tu / Ma se io salgo su quella scaletta, e davanti a me / Ma se io salgo su quella scaletta e davanti a me si srotola una tastiera di milioni di tasti, milioni e miliardi / Milioni e miliardi di tasti, che non finiscono mai e questa è la vera verità, che non finiscono mai e quella tastiera è infinita / Se quella tastiera è infinita, allora / Su quella tastiera non c’è musica che puoi suonare. Ti sei seduto su un seggiolino sbagliato: quello è il pianoforte su cui suona Dio / Cristo, ma le vedevi le strade? / Anche solo le strade, ce n’era a migliaia, come fate voi laggiù a sceglierne una / A scegliere una donna / Una casa, una terra che sia la vostra, un paesaggio da guardare, un modo di morire / Tutto quel mondo / Quel mondo addosso che nemmeno sai dove finisce / E quanto ce n’è / Non avete mai paura, voi, di finire in mille pezzi solo a pensarla, quell’enormità, solo a pensarla? A viverla… / Io sono nato su questa nave. E qui il mondo passava, ma a duemila persone per volta. E di desideri ce n’erano anche qui, ma non più di quelli che ci potevano stare tra una prua e una poppa. Suonavi la tua felicità, su una tastiera che non era infinita. Io ho imparato così. La terra, quella è una nave troppo grande per me. È un viaggio troppo lungo. È una donna troppo bella. È un profumo troppo forte. È una musica che non so suonare.
Alessandro Baricco (Novecento. Un monologo)
Interbeing: If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-” with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, inter-be. Without a cloud and the sheet of paper inter-are. If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see the wheat. We know the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist. Looking even more deeply, we can see we are in it too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, the sheet of paper is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. You cannot point out one thing that is not here-time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything co-exists with this sheet of paper. That is why I think the word inter-be should be in the dictionary. “To be” is to inter-be. You cannot just be by yourself alone. You have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is. Suppose we try to return one of the elements to its source. Suppose we return the sunshine to the sun. Do you think that this sheet of paper will be possible? No, without sunshine nothing can be. And if we return the logger to his mother, then we have no sheet of paper either. The fact is that this sheet of paper is made up only of “non-paper elements.” And if we return these non-paper elements to their sources, then there can be no paper at all. Without “non-paper elements,” like mind, logger, sunshine and so on, there will be no paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.
Thich Nhat Hanh
How are you giving it magic?” he said, through his teeth. “I already found the path!” I said. “I’m just staying on it. Can’t you—feel it?” I asked abruptly, and held my hand cupping the flower out towards him; he frowned and put his hands around it, and then he said, “Vadiya rusha ilikad tuhi,” and a second illusion laid itself over mine, two roses in the same space—his, predictably, had three rings of perfect petals, and a delicate fragrance. “Try and match it,” he said absently, his fingers moving slightly, and by lurching steps we brought our illusions closer together until it was nearly impossible to tell them one from another, and then he said, “Ah,” suddenly, just as I began to glimpse his spell: almost exactly like that strange clockwork on the middle of his table, all shining moving parts. On an impulse I tried to align our workings: I envisioned his like the water-wheel of a mill, and mine the rushing stream driving it around. “What are you—” he began, and then abruptly we had only a single rose, and it began to grow. And not only the rose: vines were climbing up the bookshelves in every direction, twining themselves around ancient tomes and reaching out the window; the tall slender columns that made the arch of the doorway were lost among rising birches, spreading out long finger-branches; moss and violets were springing up across the floor, delicate ferns unfurling. Flowers were blooming everywhere: flowers I had never seen, strange blooms dangling and others with sharp points, brilliantly colored, and the room was thick with their fragrance, with the smell of crushed leaves and pungent herbs. I looked around myself alight with wonder, my magic still flowing easily. “Is this what you meant?” I asked him: it really wasn’t any more difficult than making the single flower had been. But he was staring at the riot of flowers all around us, as astonished as I was. He looked at me, baffled and for the first time uncertain, as though he had stumbled into something, unprepared. His long narrow hands were cradled around mine, both of us holding the rose together. Magic was singing in me, through me; I felt the murmur of his power singing back that same song. I was abruptly too hot, and strangely conscious of myself. I pulled my hands free.
Naomi Novik (Uprooted)