Words To Describe Quotes

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Damn it," I muttered. "What?" asked Adrian. "I hate when you're the sane one. That's my job." "Rose," he said, forcibly trying to keep a serious tone, "I can think of many words to describe you, sexy and hot being at the top of the list. You know what's not on the list? Sane.
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
A living poem" had always been the words that came to mind when he tried to describe her to others.
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook)
Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." I'd like to show how "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" connects with "the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age." I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar." I've never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I've entered my story, I need them more than ever.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
She didn't quite know what the relationship was between lunatics and the moon, but it must be a strong one, if they used a word like that to describe the insane.
Paulo Coelho (Veronika Decides to Die)
We need to reclaim the word 'feminism'. We need the word 'feminism' back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist - and only 42% of British women - I used to think, What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of 'liberation for women' is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? 'Vogue' by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
. . .There are certain people who come into your life, and leave a mark. . . Their place in your heart is tender; a bruise of longing, a pulse of unfinished business. Just hearing their names pushes and pulls at you in a hundred ways, and when you try to define those hundred ways, describe them even to yourself, words are useless.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
It is hard to describe loss to someone who has never experienced it, impossible to explain all the ways it changes you. But for those who have, not a single word is needed.
Marie Lu (Warcross (Warcross, #1))
Indeed, the only truly serious questions are ones that even a child can formulate. Only the most naive of questions are truly serious. They are the questions with no answers. A question with no answer is a barrier that cannot be breached. In other words, it is questions with no answers that set the limit of human possibilities, describe the boundaries of human existence.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
Because even if I sometimes use the word abuse to describe certain things that were done to me, in someone else’s mouth the word turns ugly and absolute. It swallows up everything that happened.
Kate Elizabeth Russell (My Dark Vanessa)
I am not the first person you loved. You are not the first person I looked at with a mouthful of forevers. We have both known loss like the sharp edges of a knife. We have both lived with lips more scar tissue than skin. Our love came unannounced in the middle of the night. Our love came when we’d given up on asking love to come. I think that has to be part of its miracle. This is how we heal. I will kiss you like forgiveness. You will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms will bandage and we will press promises between us like flowers in a book. I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat on your skin. I will write novels to the scar of your nose. I will write a dictionary of all the words I have used trying to describe the way it feels to have finally, finally found you. And I will not be afraid of your scars. I know sometimes it’s still hard to let me see you in all your cracked perfection, but please know: whether it’s the days you burn more brilliant than the sun or the nights you collapse into my lap your body broken into a thousand questions, you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I will love you when you are a still day. I will love you when you are a hurricane.
Clementine von Radics
Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of spring?
Neltje Blanchan
We are all a volume on a shelf of a library, a story unto ourselves, never possibly described with one word or even very accurately with thousands. A person is never as quiet or unrestrained as they seem, or as bad or good, as vulnerable or as strong, as sweet or as fiesty; we are thickly layered, page upon lying page, behind simple covers. And love - it is not the book itself, but the binding. It can rip us apart or hold us together.
Deb Caletti (Honey, Baby, Sweetheart)
I want to tell you exactly how I feel but there isn't a single goddamned word in the entire dictionary that can describe this point between liking you and loving you, but I need that word. I need it because I need you to hear me say it.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
There are all sorts of experiences we can't really put a name to...The birth of a child, for one. Or the death of a parent. Falling in love. Words are like nets--we hope they'll cover what we mean, but we know they can't possibly hold that much joy, grief, or wonder. Finding God is like that, too. If it's happened to you, you know what it feels like. But try to describe it to someone else--and language only takes you so far.
Jodi Picoult (Change of Heart)
If you've lived through it, you already know there are no words that will ever come close to describing it, and if you didn't - you will never understand.
Jodi Picoult (The Storyteller)
Fondness was the best word she could think of to describe what they felt for each other. Fondness was warm but not tepid, the color of amber, more affectionate than friendship but less complicated than love.
Coco Mellors (Cleopatra and Frankenstein)
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word home means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name just by the way you describe your bedroom when you were eight. See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate, and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain or bounce in the bellies of snow? And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms or would leave your snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree? And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek? Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad even if it makes your lover mad? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name, and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel. Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old beating up little boys at school. If you were walking by a chemical plant where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud or would you whisper “That cloud looks like a fish, and that cloud looks like a fairy!” Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea? And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me — how would you explain the miracle of my life to me? See, I wanna know if you believe in any god or if you believe in many gods or better yet what gods believe in you. And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you asked come true? And if they didn’t, did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? Would you think less of me if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key? And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me who have learned the wisdom of silence. Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence? And if you do — I want you to tell me of a meadow where my skateboard will soar. See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving, and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes from other people’s wounds, and if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon — that if you wanted to, you could pop, but you never would ‘cause you’d never want it to stop. If a tree fell in the forest and you were the only one there to hear — if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound, would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist, or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness? And lastly, let me ask you this: If you and I went for a walk and the entire walk, we didn’t talk — do you think eventually, we’d… kiss? No, wait. That’s asking too much — after all, this is only our first date.
Andrea Gibson
Many Spirit-filled authors have exhausted the thesaurus in order to describe God with the glory He deserves. His perfect holiness, by definition, assures us that our words can't contain Him. Isn't it a comfort to worship a God we cannot exaggerate?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
I don't make myself disagreeable; it is you who find me so. Disagreeable is a word that describes your feelings and not my actions.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
But there isn't a single word in the universe that you can think of that would describe the way you feel right now.
Kathleen Glasgow (How to Make Friends with the Dark)
Poor Sasha. Poor girls. The world fattens them on the promise of love. How badly they need it, and how little most of them will ever get. The treacled pop songs, the dresses described in the catalogs with words like 'sunset' and 'Paris.' Then the dreams are taken away with such violent force; the hand wrenching the buttons of the jeans, nobody looking at the man shouting at his girlfriend on the bus
Emma Cline (The Girls)
Crush’ is too weak a word to describe how I feel. It doesn’t do you justice, but maybe it works for me. I am the one who is crushed. I’m crushed that we have only ever regarded each other as enemies. I’m crushed when the day ends and I haven’t said anything to you that isn’t cloaked in five layers of sarcasm.
Rachel Lynn Solomon (Today Tonight Tomorrow (Rowan & Neil, #1))
I meet those fierce yellow-green eyes. Even in the wake of my pain, she has this resilience that's more beautiful than words can describe. It's fire to my water. And I want her to burn me alive.
Krista Ritchie (Kiss the Sky (Calloway Sisters, #1))
This is why there was music. There were some feelings that just didn't have words big enough to describe them.
Jodi Picoult
Nothing has really happened unless it's been described [in words].
Virginia Woolf
There's a word like overprotective to describe some parents, but no word that means the opposite. What word do you use to describe parents who don't protect enough? Underprotective? Neglectful? Self-involved? Lame? All of the above.
R.J. Palacio (Wonder (Wonder, #1))
Life is too deep for words, so don't try to describe it, just live it. Actually this quote doesn't sound like C.S. Lewis at all. Can anyone provide a source?
C.S. Lewis
if you told me to describe myself in one word, it would be “not very good at following directions.
Lemony Snicket (Poison for Breakfast)
Witch. The word slithers from the mouth like a serpent, drips from the tongue as thick and black as tar. We never thought of ourselves as witches, my mother and I. For this was a word invented by men, a word that brings power to those that speak it, not those that it describes. A word that builds gallows and pyres, turns breathing women into corpses.
Emilia Hart (Weyward)
Elodin pointed down the street. "What color is that boy's shirt?" "Blue." "What do you mean by blue? Describe it." I struggled for a moment, failed. "So blue is a name?" "It is a word. Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man's will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself." My head was swimming by this point. "I still don't understand." He laid a hand on my shoulder. "Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating." He lifted his hands high above his head as if stretching for the sky. "But there are other ways to understanding!" he shouted, laughing like a child. He threw both arms to the cloudless arch of sky above us, still laughing. "Look!" he shouted tilting his head back. "Blue! Blue! Blue!
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
I don't have the words to describe it, but it was like going on a journey with someone. Where didn't matter. To outer space. It went on for a long time. I started to fold down the corners of pages when there was a bit I really liked, and he started to write little comments in the margins. Just the odd word. 'Beautiful.' 'True.' That's the power of literature, you know, it can act like little love letters between people who can only explain their feelings by pointing at other people's.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
Once the quietness arrived, it stayed and spread in Estha. It reached out of his head and enfolded him in its swampy arms. It rocked him to the rhythm of an ancient, fetal heartbeat. It sent its stealthy, suckered tentacles inching along the insides of his skull, hoovering the knolls and dells of his memory; dislodging old sentences, whisking them off the tip of his tongue. It stripped his thoughts of the words that described them and left them pared and naked. Unspeakable. Numb. And to an observer therefore, perhaps barely there. Slowly, over the years, Estha withdrew from the world. He grew accustomed to the uneasy octopus that lived inside him and squirted its inky tranquilizer on his past. Gradually the reason for his silence was hidden away, entombed somewhere deep in the soothing folds of the fact of it.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
The word hope first appeared in English about a thousand years ago, denoting some combination of confidence and desire. But what I desired—life—was not what I was confident about—death. When I talked about hope, then, did I really mean “Leave some room for unfounded desire?” No. Medical statistics not only describe numbers such as mean survival, they measure our confidence in our numbers, with tools like confidence levels, confidence intervals, and confidence bounds. So did I mean “Leave some room for a statistically improbable but still plausible outcome—a survival just above the measured 95 percent confidence interval?” Is that what hope was? Could we divide the curve into existential sections, from “defeated” to “pessimistic” to “realistic” to “hopeful” to “delusional”? Weren’t the numbers just the numbers? Had we all just given in to the “hope” that every patient was above average? It occurred to me that my relationship with statistics changed as soon as I became one.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
That thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you is usually what you need to find, and finding it is a matter of getting lost. The word ‘lost’ comes from the old Norse ‘los’ meaning the disbanding of an army…I worry now that people never disband their armies, never go beyond what they know. Advertising, alarmist news, technology, incessant busyness, and the design of public and private life conspire to make it so. A recent article about the return of wildlife to suburbia described snow-covered yards in which the footprints of animals are abundant and those of children are entirely absent. Children seldom roam, even in the safest places… I wonder what will come of placing this generation under house arrest.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
The return of the voices would end in a migraine that made my whole body throb. I could do nothing except lie in a blacked-out room waiting for the voices to get infected by the pains in my head and clear off. Knowing I was different with my OCD, anorexia and the voices that no one else seemed to hear made me feel isolated, disconnected. I took everything too seriously. I analysed things to death. I turned every word, and the intonation of every word over in my mind trying to decide exactly what it meant, whether there was a subtext or an implied criticism. I tried to recall the expressions on people’s faces, how those expressions changed, what they meant, whether what they said and the look on their faces matched and were therefore genuine or whether it was a sham, the kind word touched by irony or sarcasm, the smile that means pity. When people looked at me closely could they see the little girl in my head, being abused in those pornographic clips projected behind my eyes? That is what I would often be thinking and such thoughts ate away at the façade of self-confidence I was constantly raising and repairing. (describing dissociative identity disorder/mpd symptoms)
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
It is of course perfectly natural to assume that everyone else is having a far more exciting time than you. Human beings, for instance, have a phrase that describes this phenomenon, ‘The other man’s grass is always greener.’ The Shaltanac race of Broopkidren 13 had a similar phrase, but since their planet is somewhat eccentric, botanically speaking, the best they could manage was, ‘The other Shaltanac's joopleberry shrub is always a more mauvy shade of pinky-russet.’ And so the expression soon fell into disuse, and the Shaltanacs had little option but to become terribly happy and contented with their lot, much to the surprise of everyone else in the Galaxy who had not realized that the best way not to be unhappy is not to have a word for it.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
I think sexy is a grown-up word to describes a person who's confident that she is already exactly who she was made to be. A sexy woman knows herself and she likes the way she looks, thinks & feels. She doesn't try to change to match anybody else. She's a good friend herself kind and patient. and she knows how to use her words to tell people she trusts about what's going on inside of her-her fears and anger, love, dreams the mistakes, and needs. When she's angry she expresses her anger in healthy ways. When she's joyful, she does the same thing. She doesn't hide her true self because she is not ashamed. She knows she's just human-exactly how God made her and that's good enough. She's brave enough to be honest and kind enough to except others when they're honest. When two people are sexy enough to be brave and kind with each other, that's love. Sexy is more about how you feel and how you look. Real sexy is letting your true self come out of hiding and find love in safe places. That kind of sexy is good, really good, because we all we want and need love more than anything else
Glennon Doyle Melton (Love Warrior)
There were some feelings that just didn’t have words big enough to describe them.
Jodi Picoult (Between the Lines (Between the Lines, #1))
Where am I?" Magnus croaked. "Nazca." "Oh, so we went on a little trip." "You broke into a man's house," Catarina said. "You stole a carpet and enchanted it to fly. Then you sped off into the night air. We pursued you on foot." "Ah," said Magnus. "You were shouting some things." "What things?" "I prefer not to repeat them," Catarina said. "I also prefer not to remember the time we spent in the desert. It is a mammoth desert, Magnus. Ordinary deserts are quite large. Mammoth deserts are so called because they are larger than ordinary deserts." "Thank you for that interesting and enlightening information," Magnus croaked. "You told us to leave you in the desert, because you planned to start a new life as a cactus," Catarina said, her voice flat. "Then you conjured up tiny needles and threw them at us. With pinpoint accuracy." "Well," he said with dignity. "Considering my highly intoxicated state, you must have been impressed with my aim." "'Impressed' is not the word to use to describe how I felt last night, Magnus." "I thank you for stopping me there," Magnus said. "It was for the best. You are a true friend. No harm done. Let's say no more about it. Could you possibly fetch me - " "Oh, we couldn't stop you," Catarina interrupted. "We tried, but you giggled, leaped onto the carpet, and flew away again. You kept saying that you wanted to go to Moquegua." "What did I do in Moquegua?" "You never got there," Catarina said. "But you were flying about and yelling and trying to, ahem, write messages for us with your carpet in the sky." "We then stopped for a meal," Catarina said. "You were most insistent that we try a local specialty that you called cuy. We actually had a very pleasant meal, even though you were still very drunk." "I'm sure I must have been sobering up at that point," Magnus argued. "Magnus, you were trying to flirt with your own plate." "I'm a very open-minded sort of fellow!" "Ragnor is not," Catarina said. "When he found out that you were feeding us guinea pigs, he hit you over the head with your plate. It broke." "So ended our love," Magnus said. "Ah, well. It would never have worked between me and the plate anyway. I'm sure the food did me good, Catarina, and you were very good to feed me and put me to bed - " Catarina shook her head."You fell down on the floor. Honestly, we thought it best to leave you sleeping on the ground. We thought you would remain there for some time, but we took our eyes off you for one minute, and then you scuttled off. Ragnor claims he saw you making for the carpet, crawling like a huge demented crab.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
I will say it one last time: Demonation! The feeling of it! There are no words -how can there be?- to describe what it feels like to become words, to feel your life encoded, and laid out in black ink on white paper. All my love and hatred, melted into words. It was like the End of the World.
Clive Barker (Mister B. Gone)
And just like that, something inside shifted very subtly, so that all the empty spaces in him suddenly disappeared, so that his breath timed to hers, so that his blood sang. This is why there was music, he realized. There were some feelings that just didn’t have words big enough to describe them.
Jodi Picoult (Between the Lines (Between the Lines, #1))
A sphinx. A mystery. A blank. Unknown. Undefined. Unknowable. Indefinable. Those were all the words Brandy used to describe me in my veils. Not just a story that goes and then, and then, and then, and then until you die.
Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
I cannot think of a single word to describe what we feel. I think we all feel it, to varying degrees. Perhaps in some other language there is a word for 'the world is terribly wrong.' That feeling of stun and unbelief and abandonment and shock and horror and distress.
David Levithan (Love Is the Higher Law)
We believe in an aristocracy... Not an aristocracy of power, based on rank or wealth, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate, and the plucky. Our members are found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret understanding between us when we meet... We represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory over cruelty and chaos. We're an invincible army, but not a victorious one. We've had different names throughout history, but all the words that describe us are false and all attempts to organize us fail. Right now we're called V.F.D., but all our schisms and arguments might cause us to disappear. It won't matter. People like us always slip through the net. Our true home is the imagination, and our kingdom is the wide-open world.
Lemony Snicket (Shouldn't You Be in School? (All the Wrong Questions, #3))
People walk the paths of the gardens below, and the wind sings anthems in the hedges, and the big old cedars at the entrance to the maze creak. Marie-Laure imagines the electromagnetic waves traveling into and out of Michel’s machine, bending around them, just as Etienne used to describe, except now a thousand times more crisscross the air than when he lived - maybe a million times more. Torrents of text conversations, tides of cell conversations, of televisions programs, of e-mails, vast networks of fiber and wire interlaced above and beneath the city, passing through buildings, arcing between transmitters in Metro tunnels, between antennas atop buildings, from lampposts with cellular transmitters in them, commercials for Carrefour and Evian and prebaked toaster pastries flashing into space and back to earth again, I am going to be late and Maybe we should get reservations? and Pick up avocados and What did he say? and ten thousand I miss yous, fifty thousand I love yous, hate mail and appointment reminders and market updates, jewelry ads, coffee ads, furniture ads flying invisibly over the warrens of Paris, over the battlefields and tombs, over the Ardennes, over the Rhine, over Belgium and Denmark, over the scarred and ever-shifting landscape we call nations. And is it so hard to believe that souls might also travel those paths? That her father and Etienne and Madame Manec and the German boy named Werner Pfennig might harry the sky in flocks, like egrets, like terns, like starlings? That great shuttles of souls might fly about, faded but audible if you listen closely enough? They flow above the chimneys, ride the sidewalks, slip through your jacket and shirt and breastbone and lungs, and pass out through the other side, the air a library and the record of every life lived, every sentence spoken, every word transmitted still reverberating within it. Every hour, she thinks, someone for whom the war was memory falls out of the world. We rise again in the grass. In the flowers. In songs.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
Mouthful of Forevers I am not the first person you loved. You are not the first person I looked at with a mouthful of forevers. We have both known loss like the sharp edges of a knife. We have both lived with lips more scar tissue than skin. Our love came unannounced in the middle of the night. Our love came when we’d given up on asking love to come. I think that has to be part of its miracle.   This is how we heal. I will kiss you like forgiveness. You will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms will bandage and we will press promises between us like flowers in a book. I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat on your skin. I will write novels to the scar on your nose. I will write a dictionary of all the words I have used trying to describe the way it feels to have finally, finally found you.   And I will not be afraid of your scars.   I know sometimes it’s still hard to let me see you in all your cracked perfection, but please know: Whether it’s the days you burn more brilliant than the sun or the nights you collapse into my lap, your body broken into a thousand questions, you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I will love you when you are a still day. I will love you when you are a hurricane.
Clementine von Radics (Mouthful of Forevers)
The white cat symbolizes the silvery moon prying into corners and cleansing the sky for the day to follow. The white cat is "the cleaner" or "the animal that cleans itself," described by the Sanskrit word Margaras, which means "the hunter who follows the track; the investigator; the skip tracer." The white cat is the hunter and the killer, his path lighted by the silvery moon. All dark, hidden places and beings are revealed in that inexorably gentle light. You can't shake your white cat because your white cat is you. You can't hide from your white cat because your white cat hides with you.
William S. Burroughs (The Cat Inside)
If there exist fortunate people, if from time to time the wild sun of joy soars towards foreign lands in a sweet whirling of ecstasy — then where are the words which might tell of this? And if in the world there exists a beauty for enchantment, then how might one describe it? ("The Poison Garden")
Valery Bryusov (Silver Age of Russian Culture (An Anthology))
When God brought the first man his spouse, he brought him not just a lover but the friend his heart had been seeking. Proverbs 2:17 speaks of one's spouse as your "'allup," a unique word that the lexicons define as your "special confidant" or "best friend." In an age where women were often seen as the husband's property, and marriages were mainly business deals and transactions seeking to increase the family's social status and security, it was startling for the Bible to describe a spouse in this way. But in today's society, with its emphasis on romance and sex, it is just as radical to insist that your spouse should be your best friend, though for a different reason. In tribal societies, romance doesn't matter as much as social status, and in individualistic Western societies, romance and great sex matter far more than anything else. The Bible, however, without ignoring the importance of romance, puts great emphasis on marriage as companionship.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
The public make use of the classics of a country as a means of checking the progress of Art. They degrade the classics into authorities.... A fresh mode of Beauty is absolutely distasteful to them, and whenever it appears they get so angry and bewildered that they always use two stupid expressions--one is that the work of art is grossly unintelligible; the other, that the work of art is grossly immoral. What they mean by these words seems to me to be this. When they say a work is grossly unintelligible, they mean that the artist has said or made a beautiful thing that is new; when they describe a work as grossly immoral, they mean that the artist has said or made a beautiful thing that is true.
Oscar Wilde
In other words, some people in our culture want too much out of a marriage partner. They do not see marriage as two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love, and consolation—a “haven in a heartless world,” as Christopher Lasch describes it.37 This will indeed require a woman who is “a novelist/astronaut with a background in fashion modeling”38 or the equivalent in a man.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
One of my constant preoccupations is trying to understand how it is that other people exist, how it is that there are souls other than mine and consciousnesses not my own, which, because it is a consciousness, seems to me unique. I understand perfectly that the man before me uttering words similar to mine and making the same gestures I make, or could make, is in some way my fellow creature. However, I feel just the same about the people in illustrations I dream up, about the characters I see in novels or the dramatis personae on the stage who speak through the actors representing them. I suppose no one truly admits the existence of another person. One might concede that the other person is alive and feels and thinks like oneself, but there will always be an element of difference, a perceptible discrepancy, that one cannot quite put one's finger on. There are figures from times past, fantasy-images in books that seem more real to us than these specimens of indifference-made-flesh who speak to us across the counters of bars, or catch our eye in trams, or brush past us in the empty randomness of the streets. The others are just part of the landscape for us, usually the invisible landscape of the familiar. I feel closer ties and more intimate bonds with certain characters in books, with certain images I've seen in engravings, that with many supposedly real people, with that metaphysical absurdity known as 'flesh and blood'. In fact 'flesh and blood' describes them very well: they resemble cuts of meat laid on the butcher's marble slab, dead creatures bleeding as though still alive, the sirloin steaks and cutlets of Fate. I'm not ashamed to feel this way because I know it's how everyone feels. The lack of respect between men, the indifference that allows them to kill others without compunction (as murderers do) or without thinking (as soldiers do), comes from the fact that no one pays due attention to the apparently abstruse idea that other people have souls too.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
I wanted to dash myself against your rocks like a wave, to obliterate my old self and see what rose shining and new from the sea foam. The only words I had to describe you in those early days were plunging cliffside or primordial sea, crystal-cold stars or a black expanse of sky. I dove down deep into your psyche, turning over every world you gave me like a jewel. Looking for meaning, seeking out the mysteries of you. I didn’t care if I lost myself in the process. I wanted to be brought by the hand into your world and disappear into your kiss until us two could no longer be told apart.
S.T. Gibson (A Dowry of Blood (A Dowry of Blood, #1))
As we will see, finding words to describe what has happened to you can be transformative, but it does not always abolish flashbacks or improve concentration, stimulate vital involvement in your life or reduce hypersensitivity to disappointments and perceived injuries.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
Who is the true god.” “Chaos,” he says. That’s the closest the Hesperians will ever come to understanding the Pantheon. They’ll never grasp the depths of it; the terrifying swirl of forces that constitute all that is. Their minds can’t handle its incoherence; the fact that the sixty-four gods do not will and do not care. They can’t fathom a world without intention. The only word they might accept is chaos. But Nezha knows divinity. It’s fathomless. It is not something that can be measured or studied; can’t be described through meticulously constructed logic. The forces that dreamed up this world are the opposite of rational. Divinity isn’t knowable. It’s the Dragon in the grotto. It’s the Dragon inside him. It’s the three madmen who united a nation and tore themselves apart. It’s pain, eternity, and terror. It’s endless, all-consuming fire. It’s her.
R.F. Kuang (The Drowning Faith (The Poppy War, #2.5))
Defining itself is a passion for the Qur’an, whose formal name signifies the blossoming of new life. Other evocative terms it employs to describe itself include: • Hayah: a source of life; • Ruh: an inspired fresh breath of life; • Shifa: a source of internal healing; • Furqan: an intelligent being capable of discernment; • Hakim: a wise and self-aware counselor.
Mohamad Jebara (The Life of the Qur'an: From Eternal Roots to Enduring Legacy)
When we were little, Eric and Fitz and I invented a language. I've forgotten most of it, with the exception of a few words: valyango, which meant pirate; palapala, which meant rain; and ruskifer, which had no translation to English but described the dimpled bottom of a woven basket, all the reeds coming together to form one joint spot, and that we sometimes used to explain our friendship.
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
This story happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. It is already over. Nothing can be done to change it. It is a story of love and loss, brotherhood and betrayal, courage and sacrifice and the death of dreams. It is a story of the blurred line between our best and our worst. It is the story of the end of an age. A strange thing about stories— Though this all happened so long ago and so far away that words cannot describe the time or the distance, it is also happening right now. Right here. It is happening as you read these words. This is how twenty-five millennia come to a close. Corruption and treachery have crushed a thousand years of peace. This is not just the end of a republic; night is falling on civilization itself. This is the twilight of the Jedi. The end starts now.
Matthew Woodring Stover (Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Star Wars: Novelizations #3))
I once heard the word 'conversation' described as a progression of exchanges but there is no progress here so maybe I will instead compare this to the bullet drop—the idea that if you shoot a gun & drop a bullet from the same location they will hit the floor at the same time, hundreds of feet apart. ("The Lover as a Dream")
Olivia Gatwood (Life of the Party)
I have instructed myself, over and over, to keep my notebook handy at all times, but if you told me to describe myself in one word, it would be "not very good at following directions.
Lemony Snicket (Poison for Breakfast)
The truths Phaedrus began to pursue were lateral truths; no longer the frontal truths of science, those toward which the discipline pointed, but the kind of truth you see laterally, out of the corner of your eye. In a laboratory situation, when your whole procedure goes haywire, when everything goes wrong or is indeterminate or is so screwed up by unexpected results you can't make head or tail out of anything, you start looking laterally. That's a word he later used to describe a growth of knowledge that doesn't move forward like an arrow in flight, but expands sideways, like an arrow enlarging in flight, or like the archer, discovering that although he has hit the bull's-eye and won the prize, his head is on a pillow and the sun is coming in the window. Lateral knowledge is knowledge that's from a wholly unexpected direction, from a direction that's not even understood as a direction until the knowledge forces itself upon one. Lateral truths point to the falseness of axioms and postulates underlying one's existing system of getting at truth.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1))
I wanted to describe to him how the emotional intimacy growing between us was shattering my heart in the most life-affirming ways, but I didn’t have the right words, except to say that I loved him, which wasn’t nearly enough. We spent that night, and every night together after, in a closeness I had never known, or even thought possible with another person. I was happy. Truly content. Drifting to sleep in Bilal’s arms, I thought about the hills beyond the terrace. Soon wild plum, peach, pear, fig, medlar, mulberry, date, and almond trees would bloom.
Susan Abulhawa (Against the Loveless World)
Smell is of all senses by far the most evocative: perhaps because we have no vocabulary for it – nothing but a few poverty-stricken approximations to describe the whole vast complexity of odour – and therefore the scent, unnamed and unnamable, remains pure of association; it cannot be called upon again and again, and blunted, by the use of a word; and so it strikes afresh every time, bringing with it all the circumstances of its first perception.
Patrick O'Brian (Post Captain (Aubrey & Maturin, #2))
...and Věra said that every time we reached the page which described the snow falling through the branches of the trees, soon to shroud the entire forest floor, I would look up at her and ask: But if it's all white, how do the squirrels know where they've buried their hoard?... Those were your very words, the question which constantly troubled you. How indeed do the squirrels know, what do we know ourselves, how do we remember, and what it is we find in the end?
W.G. Sebald (Austerlitz)
I found it strange that no word exists for a parent who loses a child. If children lose their parents, they are orphans. If a husband loses his wife, he’s a widower. But there’s no word for a parent who loses a child. I’ve come to believe that the event is just too big, too monstrous, too overwhelming for words. No word could ever describe the feeling, so we leave it unsaid.
Amanda Peters (The Berry Pickers)
The truly transformative power of language occurs when these descriptive root terms are used to form words that convey abstract concepts. A three-letter root compound used to name the spine (Q-W-M) is adapted to describe “flexibility.” The root term for a heated pot boiling over (Gh-Dh-B) constructs a word meaning “hot-headed.” A root term describing the process of carefully separating grains (D-R-S) evolves to express “analyzing” or “interpreting.” From physical sources emerge words for the intangible, like the Qur’an’s parable of the healthy tree with roots anchored in the ground while branches stretch toward the heavens.
Mohamad Jebara (The Life of the Qur'an: From Eternal Roots to Enduring Legacy)
Generally certain symptoms appear, among them a peculiar use of language: one wants to speak forcefully in order to impress one's opponent, so one employs a special, "bombastic" style full of neologisms which might be described as "power-words." This symptom is observable not only in the psychiatric clinic but also among certain modern philosophers, and, above all, whenever anything unworthy of belief has to be insisted on in the teeth of inner resistance: the language swells up, overreaches itself, sprouts grotesque words distinguished only by their needless complexity. The word is charged with the task of achieving what cannot be done by honest means.
C.G. Jung (Alchemical Studies (Collected Works 13))
Do you really love me?” ‘Do I love her? God. What a pedestrian question, one that feels like it doesn’t encompass all the feelings I have for her. It doesn’t seem like enough, but I’ll keep telling her, keep showing her, until I figure out better words to describe the way I feel about her.
Elsie Silver (Hopeless (Chestnut Springs, #5))
Well, Espen, you're no drug addict, so why do you beg?" "Because it's my mission to be mirror for mankind so that they can see which actions are great and which are small." "And which are great?" Espen sighed in despair, as though weary of repeating the obvious. "Charity. Sharing and helping your neighbor. The Bible deals with nothing else. In fact, you have to search extremely hard to find anything about sex before marriage, abortion, homosexuality, or a woman's right to speak in public. But, of course, it is easier for Pharisees to talk aloud about subordinate clauses than to describe and perform the great actions the Bible leaves us in no doubt about: You have to give half of what you own to someone who has nothing. Thousands of people are dying every day without hearing the words of God because these Christians will not let go of their earthly goods. I'm giving them a chance to reflect.
Jo Nesbø (Frelseren (Harry Hole, #6))
You make me feel cared for, feel listened to, and the other stuff I don’t even know how to put into words properly. You make me feel valued, for who I am as me, not who I am as team captain or whatever.” “I do value you.” “That isn’t a feeling I’ve had in a long time. Not since my mom was alive. I love the guys, but it’s not the same thing. I can’t think how to describe it… it’s like there’s a spot in your life you keep just for me. One I don’t have to share, one where you don’t expect anything from me. Do you know how amazing it is? How lucky I feel to know you? You make me want to be the best I can be.
Hannah Grace (Icebreaker (Maple Hills, #1))
We never thought of ourselves as witches, my mother and I. For this was a word invented by men, a word that brings power to those who speak it, not those it describes.
Emilia Hart (Weyward)
If you told me to describe myself in one word, it would be: not very good at following directions.
Lemony Snicket (Poison for Breakfast)
Lucy commits to the rhetoric; she describes it as a business and tenses up whenever anyone says that specific word. So out of respect, I won't use it. I'll just say the Egyptians built them.
Benjamin Stevenson (Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone (Ernest Cunningham, #1))
In other words, positive matter and energy that we see in stars can warp space-time so that it perfectly describes the motion of heavenly bodies. But negative matter and energy warp space-time in bizarre ways, creating an antigravitational force that can stabilize wormholes and prevent them from collapsing and propel warp bubbles to faster-than-light velocities by compressing space-time in front of them.
Michio Kaku (The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality and Our Destiny Beyond Earth)
The words used to describe us define our value to society and determine our capacity to contribute. They also’ – and again she poked at the translations – ‘tell others how to feel about us, how to judge us.
Pip Williams (The Bookbinder of Jericho)
My eye, then, sky-wards, relaxed, all cloudless, mind as non-reflective as possible, (where will I find the words to describe it), my wakeful awareness . . . non-blue, near gold of it, God in it, flakes of God-gold of it falling as if down from it into my eyes. In non-chicken-littleness, my eye opening out to it, now hedging wording it, mind’s eye narrowing down to it, destroying it. Imagine the headline: THE SKY ISN’T BLUE, discovered by— on—while—etc. Impossibility of all of it. I sky-hypno- tized, my eye involved without view, seeing thru the so-called color of it, discovering light, now sighting it down to “flakes,” “God-gold,” “falling,” “down.” Metaphors—feathers, snow, reign, all golden. My best descriptive is still the negative—“non-blue.” Best sense of it—“discovering light.” Best sentence—“im- possibility of it all.
Stan Brakhage
In other words, our conscious representations are sometimes ordered (or arranged in a pattern) before they have become conscious to us. The 18th-century German mathematician Karl Friedrich Gauss gives an example of an experience of such an unconscious order of ideas: He says that he found a certain rule in the theory of numbers "not by painstaking research, but by the Grace of God, so to speak. The riddle solved itself as lightning strikes, and I myself could not tell or show the connection between what I knew before, what I last used to experiment with, and what produced the final success." The French scientist Henri Poincare is even more explicit about this phenomenon; he describes how during a sleepless night he actually watched his mathematical representations colliding in him until some of them "found a more stable connection. One feels as if one could watch one's own unconscious at work, the unconscious activity partially becoming manifest to consciousness without losing its own character. At such moments one has an intuition of the difference between the mechanisms of the two egos.
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
In the Qur’an’s telling, Abraham after much reflection declares himself a Hanifam-Muslima (3:67). Typically translated as “a pure Muslim,” both words were archaic Arabic terms at the time of the Qur’an’s revelation and together constituted a dynamic new identity for young Abraham. The root Hanif (cited twelve times in the Qur’an) originally described a tree precariously balanced atop eroding soil in a volatile climate, forced to constantly adjust its roots and branches—and was also used to describe traversing a perilous lava formation. The term connoted the need to constantly rebalance in order to stay safe in unstable situations: remaining true to core roots while having the courage to confront reality. In essence, a Hanif is a healthy skeptic who honestly evaluates inherited traditions. In Abraham’s formula, the Hanif interrogates reality not as a cynic but as a healer, diagnosing injuries in order to repair them. Indeed, Muslim derived from the ancient Semitic root S-L-M, literally “to repair cracks in city walls.” As the integrity of monotheism erodes over time, repairers need to assess the damage and then get to work restoring the fractures.
Mohamad Jebara (The Life of the Qur'an: From Eternal Roots to Enduring Legacy)
I believe, if you played your cards right, you could still marry her, Pongo.’ ‘Aren’t you overlooking the trifling fact that I happen to be engaged to Hermione?’ ‘Slide out of it.’ ‘Ha!’ ‘It is what your best friends would advise. You are a moody, introspective young man, all too prone to look on the dark side of things. I shall never forget you that day at the dog races. Sombre is the only word to describe your attitude as the cop’s fingers closed on your coat collar.
P.G. Wodehouse (Uncle Dynamite)
We divided the bar of chocolate and tried to console ourselves with Batman, but he was really a bad man. Not only, as the cover had promised, did he climb up the outsides of houses; one of his chief pleasures was evidently to frighten women in their sleep; he could also fly off through the air by spreading out his cloak, taking millions of dollars with him, and his deeds were described in an English such as is taught neither in Continental schools nor in the schools of England and Ireland; Batman was strong and terribly just, but hard, and toward the wicked he could even be cruel, for now and again he would bash in someone’s teeth, a procedure fittingly rendered with the word “Screech.” There was no comfort in Batman.
Heinrich Böll (Irisches Tagebuch (German Edition))
If you lack confidence in setting one word after another and sense that you are stuck in a place from which you will never be set free, if you feel sure that you will never make it and were not cut out to do this, if your prose seems stillborn and you completely lack confidence, you must be a writer. If you say you see things differently and describe your efforts positively, if you tell people that you “just love to write,” you may be delusional. How could anyone ever know that something is good before it exists?
John McPhee (Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process)
Swan, my mother said, sensing my excitement. It pattered the bright water, flapping its great wings, and lifted into the sky. The word alone hardly attested to its magnificence nor conveyed the emotion it produced. The sight of it generated an urge I had no words for, a desire to speak of the swan, to say something of its whiteness, the explosive nature of its movement, and the slow beating of its wings. The swan became one with the sky. I struggled to find words to describe my own sense of it. Swan, I repeated, not entirely satisfied, and I felt a twinge, a curious yearning, imperceptible to passersby, my mother, the trees, or the clouds.
Patti Smith (Just Kids)
The Word of God makes me happy. Psalm 1 describes a happy man as one “who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night” (vv. 1, 2). A happy person is someone who studies the Bible.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (The Keys to Spiritual Growth: Unlocking the Riches of God)
I'm aware that it is difficult to grasp this concept, because I'm trying to use words to describe something who's very nature makes it incapable of precise definition. But since so many people have chosen to treat archetypes as if they were part of a mechanical system that can be learned by rote, it is essential to insist that they are not mere names, or even philosophical Concepts. They are pieces of life itself-- images that are integrally connected to the living individual by the bridge of the emotions. That is why it is impossible to give an arbitrary (or universal) interpretation of any archetype. It must be explained in the manner indicated by the whole life situation of the particular individual to whom it relates.
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
The fundamental text of the Hindu tradition is, of course, the Bhagavad Gītā; and there four basic yogas are described. The word yoga itself, from a Sanskrit verbal root yuj, meaning “to yoke, to link one thing to another,” refers to the act of linking the mind to the source of mind, consciousness to the source of consciousness; the import of which definition is perhaps best illustrated in the discipline known as knowledge yoga, the yoga, that is to say, of discrimination between the knower and the known, between the subject and the object in every act of knowing, and the identification of oneself, then, with the subject. “I know my body. My body is the object. I am the witness, the knower of the object. I, therefore, am not my body.” Next: “I know my thoughts; I am not my thoughts.” And so on: “I know my feelings; I am not my feelings.” You can back yourself out of the room that way. And the Buddha then comes along and adds: “You are not the witness either. There is no witness.” So where are you now? Where are you between two thoughts? That is the way known as jñāna yoga, the way of sheer knowledge.
Joseph Campbell (Myths to Live By)
That’s why I found it strange that no word exists for a parent who loses a child. If children lose their parents, they are orphans. If a husband loses his wife, he’s a widower. But there’s no word for a parent who loses a child. I’ve come to believe that the event is just too big, too monstrous, too overwhelming for words. No word could ever describe the feeling, so we leave it unsaid.
Amanda Peters (The Berry Pickers)
In the Aramaic translations of the Hebrew scriptures known as the targums, which were being composed at this time, the term Memra (word) is used to describe God’s activity in the world. It performs the same function as other technical terms like “glory,” “Holy Spirit” and “Shekinah” which emphasized the distinction between God’s presence in the world and the incomprehensible reality of God itself. Like the divine Wisdom, the “Word” symbolized God’s original plan for creation. When Paul and John spoke about Jesus as though he had some kind of preexistent life, they were not suggesting that he was a second divine “person” in the later Trinitarian sense. They were indicating that Jesus had transcended temporal and individual modes of existence. Because the “power” and “wisdom” that he represented were activities that derived from God, he had in some way expressed “what was there from the beginning.”25
Karen Armstrong (A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam)
Has any one at the end of the nineteenth century any distinct notion of what poets of a stronger age understood by the word inspiration? If not, I will describe it. If one had the smallest vestige of superstition left in one, it would hardly be possible completely to set aside the idea that one is the mere incarnation, mouthpiece, or medium of an almighty power. The idea of revelation, in the sense that something which profoundly convulses and upsets one becomes suddenly visible and audible with indescribable certainty and accuracy―describes the simple fact. One hears―one does not seek; one takes―one does not ask who gives. A thought suddenly flashes up like lightening; it comes with necessity, without faltering. I have never had any choice in the matter. There is an ecstasy so great that the immense strain of it is sometimes relaxed by a flood of tears, during which one's steps now involuntarily rush and anon involuntarily lag. There is the feeling that one is utterly out of hand, with the very distinct consciousness of an endless number of fine thrills and titillations descending to one's very toes. There is a depth of happiness in which the most painful and gloomy parts do not act as antitheses to the rest, but are produced and required as necessary shades of color in such an overflow of light. There is an instinct of rhythmic relations which embraces a whole world of forms (length, the need of a wide-embracing rhythm, is almost the measure of the force of an inspiration, a sort of counterpart to its pressure and tension). Everything happens quite involuntary, as if in a tempestuous outburst of freedom, of absoluteness, of power and divinity. The involuntary nature of the figures and similes is the most remarkable thing; everything seems to present itself as the readiest, the truest, and simplest means of expression. It actually seems, to use one of Zarathustra's own phrases, as if all things came to one, and offered themselves as similes. . . .
Friedrich Nietzsche (Ecce Homo)
We would also like to point out that “Monkey Man” was the westernised version of the name, a clever, polite, convenient media translation of the kind applied once to the words of a famous Indian leader when he described Muslims as “kutte ke bachche” and found it rendered as the Hallmark-sanitised “puppies”. If one were to reverse the translation, and go from English to Hindi, New Delhi Monkey Man would, in the exquisitely racist, casteist and classist way of Indians, become Black Monkey or Kala Bandar.
Siddhartha Deb (The Light at the End of the World)
When I was very young, my mother took me for walks in Humboldt Park, along the edge of the Prairie River. I have vague memories, like impressions on glass plates, of an old boathouse, a circular band shell, an arched stone bridge. The narrows of the river emptied into a wide lagoon and I saw upon its surface a singular miracle. A long curving neck rose from a dress of white plumage. Swan, my mother said, sensing my excitement. It pattered the bright water, flapping its great wings, and lifted into the sky. The word alone hardly attested to its magnificence nor conveyed the emotion it produced. The sight of it generated an urge I had no words for, a desire to speak of the swan, to say something of its whiteness, the explosive nature of its movement, and the slow beating of its wings. The swan became one with the sky. I struggled to find words to describe my own sense of it. Swan, I repeated, not entirely satisfied, and I felt a twinge, a curious yearning, imperceptible to paasersby, my mother, the trees, or the clouds.
Patti Smith (Just Kids)
Too often when a publisher entertains an author at the midday meal a rather sombre note tinges the table talk. The host is apt to sigh a good deal and to choose as the theme of his remarks the hardness of the times, the stagnant condition of the book trade and the growing price of pulp paper. And when his guest tries to cheer him up by suggesting that these disadvantages may be offset by a spirited policy of publicity, he sighs again and says that eulogies of an author’s work displayed in the press at the publisher’s expense are of little or no value, the only advertising that counts being—how shall he put it—well, what he might perhaps describe as word-of-mouth advertising.
P.G. Wodehouse (Uncle Dynamite)
Don Juan had said that any habit was, in essence, a “doing,” and that a doing needed all its parts in order to function. If some parts were missing, a doing was disassembled. By doing, he meant any coherent and meaningful series of actions. In other words, a habit needed all its component actions in order to be a live activity. La Gorda then described how she had stalked her own weakness of eating excessively. She said that the Nagual had suggested she first tackle the biggest part of that habit, which was connected with her laundry work; she ate whatever her customers fed her as she went from house to house delivering her wash. She expected the Nagual to tell her what to do, but he only laughed and made fun of her, saying that as soon as he would mention something for her to do, she would fight not to do it. He said that that was the way human beings are; they love to be told what to do, but they love even more to fight and not do what they are told, and thus they get entangled in hating the one who told them in the first place. For many years she could not think of anything to do to stalk her weakness. One day, however, she got so sick and tired of being fat that she refused to eat for twenty-three days. That was the initial action that broke her fixation. She then had the idea of stuffing her mouth with a sponge to make her customers believe that she had an infected tooth and could not eat. The subterfuge worked not only with her customers, who stopped giving her food, but with her as well, as she had the feeling of eating as she chewed on the sponge. La Gorda laughed when she told me how she had walked around with a sponge stuffed in her mouth for years until her habit of eating excessively had been broken. “Was that all you needed to stop your habit?” I asked. “No. I also had to learn how to eat like a warrior.” “And how does a warrior eat?” “A warrior eats quietly, and slowly, and very little at a time. I used to talk while I ate, and I ate very fast, and I ate lots and lots of food at one sitting. The Nagual told me that a warrior eats four mouthfuls of food at one time. A while later he eats another four mouthfuls and so on.
Carlos Castaneda (Second Ring of Power)
All three symbols are phenomena of assimilation that are in themselves of a numinous nature and therefore have a certain degree of autonomy. Indeed, had they never made their appearance, it would have meant that the annunciation of the Christ-figure was ineffective. These phenomena not only prove the effectiveness of the annunciation, but provide the necessary conditions in which the annunciation can take effect. In other words, the symbols represent the prototypes of the Christ-figure that were slumbering in man’s unconscious and were then called awake by his actual appearance in history and, so to speak, magnetically attracted. That is why Meister Eckhart uses the same symbolism to describe Adam’s relation to the Creator on the one hand and to the lower creatures on the other.13
C.G. Jung (Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self (Collected Works, Vol 9ii))
She’s crazy. I wore a moustache my last year at Oxford, and it looked frightful. Nearly as loathsome as yours. Moustache forsooth!” said Stilton, which surprised me, for I hadn’t supposed he knew words like ‘forsooth’. “‘I wouldn’t grow a moustache to please a dying grandfather,’ I told her. ‘A nice fool I’d look with a moustache,’ I said. ‘It’s how you look without one,’ she said. ‘Is that so?’ I said. ‘Yes, it is,’ she said. ‘Oh?’ I said. ‘Yes,’ she said. ‘Ho!’ I said, and she said ‘Ho to you!'” If she would have added ‘With knobs on’, it would, of course, have made it stronger, but I must say I was rather impressed by Florence’s work as described in this slice of dialogue. It seemed to me snappy and forceful. I suppose girls learn this sort of cut-and-thrust stuff at their finishing schools.
P.G. Wodehouse
Do you think he’d describe himself as unhappy in his work?” “No,” Dahlia said, “because I think people like him think work is supposed to be drudgery punctuated by very occasional moments of happiness, but when I say happiness, I mostly mean distraction. You know what I mean?” “No, please elaborate.” “Okay, say you go into the break room,” she said, “and a couple people you like are there, say someone’s telling a funny story, you laugh a little, you feel included, everyone’s so funny, you go back to your desk with a sort of, I don’t know, I guess afterglow would be the word? You go back to your desk with an afterglow, but then by four or five o’clock the day’s just turned into yet another day, and you go on like that, looking forward to five o’clock and then the weekend and then your two or three annual weeks of paid vacation time, day in day out, and that’s what happens to your life.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
The muezzins were calling the faithful to their early morning prayers when Averroes entered his library again. (In the harem, the dark-haired slave girls had tortured a red-haired slave girl, but he would not know it until the afternoon.) Something had revealed to him the meaning of the two obscure words. With firm and careful calligraphy he added these lines to the manuscript : 'Aristu (Aristotle) gives the name of tragedy to panegyrics and that of comedy to satires and anathemas. Admirable tragedies and comedies abound in the pages of the Koran and in the mohalacas of the sanctuary.' He felt sleepy, he felt somewhat cold. Having unwound his turban, he looked at himself in a metal mirror. I do not know what his eyes saw, because no historian has ever described the forms of his face. I do know that he disappeared suddenly, as if fulminated by an invisible fire, and with him disappeared the houses and the unseen fountain and the books and the manuscript and the doves and the many dark-haired slave girls and the tremulous red-haired slave girl and Farach and Abulcasim and the rose bushes and perhaps the Guadalquivir.
Jorge Luis Borges (Labyrinths: Selected Stories & Other Writings)
In view of this magical, absolute significance of words, which presupposes that words also imply the objective behaviour of things, the Sophist critique was very much in place. It offered a striking proof of the impotence of language. In so far as ideas are merely names—a supposition that remains to be proved—the attack upon Plato was justified. But generic concepts cease to be mere names when they designate the similarities or conformities of things. The question then arises whether these conformities are objective realities or not. These conformities actually exist, hence the generic concept also corresponds with some kind of reality. It contains as much reality as does the exact description of a thing. The generic concept differs from the description only in that it describes or designates the conformities of things. The weakness, therefore, lies neither in the generic concept nor in the Platonic idea, but in its verbal expression, which obviously under no circumstances adequately reproduces either the thing or the conformity. The nominalist attack on the doctrine of ideas was thus in principle an unwarrantable encroachment, and Plato’s exasperated counterstroke was fully justified.
C.G. Jung (Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 6: Psychological Types (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Book 16))
Freud’s incest theory describes certain fantasies that accompany the regression of libido and are especially characteristic of the personal unconscious as found in hysterical patients. Up to a point they are infantile-sexual fantasies which show very clearly just where the hysterical attitude is defective and why it is so incongruous. They reveal the shadow. Obviously the language used by this compensation will be dramatic and exaggerated. The theory derived from it exactly matches the hysterical attitude that causes the patient to be neurotic. One should not, therefore, take this mode of expression quite as seriously as Freud himself took it. It is just as unconvincing as the ostensibly sexual traumata of hysterics. The neurotic sexual theory is further discomfited by the fact that the last act of the drama consists in a return to the mother’s body. This is usually effected not through the natural channels but through the mouth, through being devoured and swallowed (pl. LXII), thereby giving rise to an even more infantile theory which has been elaborated by Otto Rank. All these allegories are mere makeshifts. The real point is that the regression goes back to the deeper layer of the nutritive function, which is anterior to sexuality, and there clothes itself in the experiences of infancy. In other words, the sexual language of regression changes, on retreating still further back, into metaphors derived from the nutritive and digestive functions, and which cannot be taken as anything more than a façon de parler. The so-called Oedipus complex with its famous incest tendency changes at this level into a “Jonah-and-the-Whale” complex, which has any number of variants, for instance the witch who eats children, the wolf, the ogre, the dragon, and so on. Fear of incest turns into fear of being devoured by the mother. The regressing libido apparently desexualizes itself by retreating back step by step to the presexual stage of earliest infancy. Even there it does not make a halt, but in a manner of speaking continues right back to the intra-uterine, pre-natal condition and, leaving the sphere of personal psychology altogether, irrupts into the collective psyche where Jonah saw the “mysteries” (“représentations collectives”) in the whale’s belly. The libido thus reaches a kind of inchoate condition in which, like Theseus and Peirithous on their journey to the underworld, it may easily stick fast. But it can also tear itself loose from the maternal embrace and return to the surface with new possibilities of life.
C.G. Jung (Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 5: Symbols of Transformation (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Book 7))
He: "I mean, are you happy and are you fully alive?" I laughed: ''As you can see, you wove witty jokes into the lecture to please your listeners. You heaped up learned expressions to impress them. You were restless and hasty, as if still compelled to snatch up all knowledge. You are not in yourself" Although these words at first seemed laughable to me, they still made an impression on me, and reluctantly I had to / credit the old man, since he was right. Then he said: "Dear Ammonius, I have delightful tidings for you: God has become flesh in his son and has brought us all salvation." ""What are you saying," I called, "you probably mean Osiris, who shall appear in the mortal body?" "No," he replied, "this man lived in Judea and was born from a virgin." I laughed and answered: "I already know about this; a Jewish trader has brought tidings of our virgin queen to Judea, whose image appears on the walls of one of our temples, and reported it as a fairy tale." "No," the old man insisted, "he was the Son of God." "Then you mean Horus the son of Osiris, don't you?" I answered. "No,hewasnotHorus,butarealman,andhewashung from a cross." "Oh, but this must be Seth, surely; whose punishments our old ones have often described." But the old man stood by his conviction and said: "He died and rose up on the third day." "Well, then he must be Osiris," I replied impatiently. "No," he cried, "he is called Jesus the anointed one." ''Ah, you really mean this Jewish God, whom the poor honor at the harbor, and whose unclean mysteries they celebrate in cellars." "He was a man and yet the Son of God," said the old man staring at me intently. "That's nonsense, dear old man," I said, and showed him to the door. But like an echo from distant rock faces the words returned to me: a man and yet the Son of God. It seemed significant to me, and this phrase was what brought me to Christianity. I: "But don't you think that Christianity could ultimately be a transformation ofyour Egyptian teachings?" A: "If you say that our old teachings were less adequate expressions of Christianity, then I'm more likely to agree with you." I: "Yes, but do you then assume that the history of religions is aimed at a final goal?" A: "My father once bought a black slave at the market from the region of the source of the Nile. He came from a country that had heard ofneither Osiris nor the other Gods; he told me many things in a more simple language that said the same as we believed about Osiris and the other Gods. I learned to understand that those uneducated Negroes unknowingly already possessed most of what the religions of the cultured peoples had developed into complete doctrines. Those able to read that language correctly could thus recognize in it not only the pagan doctrines but also the doctrine of Jesus. And it's with this that I now occupy myself I read the gospels and seek their meaning which is yet to come.We know their meaning as it lies before us, but not their hidden meaning which points to the future. It's erroneous to believe that religions differ in their innermost essence. Strictly speaking, it's always one and the same religion. Every subsequent form of religion is the meaning of the antecedent." I: "Have you found out the meaning which is yet to come?" A: "No, not yet; it's very difficult, but I hope I'll succeed. Sometimes it seems to me that I need the stimulation of others, but I realize that those are temptations of Satan." I: "Don't you believe that you'd succeed ifyou were nearer men?" A: "maybeyoureright." He looks at me suddenly as if doubtful and suspicious. "But, I love the desert, do you understand? This yellow, sun-glowing desert. Here you can see the countenance of the sun every day; you are alone, you can see glorious Helios-no, that is - pagan-what's wrong with me? I'm confused-you are Satan- I recognize you-give way; adversary!" He jumps up incensed and wants to lunge at me. But I am far away in the twentieth century.
C.G. Jung
Her fingers still cold, she lifted the receiver. “Still reading Proust?” “But not making much progress,” Aomame replied. It was like an exchange of passwords. “You don’t like it?” “It’s not that. How should I put it—it’s a story about a different place, somewhere totally unlike here.” Tamaru was silent, waiting for her to go on. He was in no hurry. “By different place, I mean it’s like reading a detailed report from a small planet light-years away from this world I’m living in. I can picture all the scenes described and understand them. It’s described very vividly, minutely, even. But I can’t connect the scenes in that book with where I am now. We are physically too far apart. I’ll be reading it, and I find myself having to go back and reread the same passage over again.” Aomame searched for the next words. Tamaru waited as she did. “It’s not boring, though,” she said. “It’s so detailed and beautifully written, and I feel like I can grasp the structure of that lonely little planet. But I can’t seem to go forward. It’s like I’m in a boat, paddling upstream. I row for a while, but then when I take a rest and am thinking about something, I find myself back where I started. Maybe that way of reading suits me now, rather than the kind of reading where you forge ahead to find out what happens. I don’t know how to put it exactly, but there is a sense of time wavering irregularly when you try to forge ahead. If what is in front is behind, and what is behind is in front, it doesn’t really matter, does it. Either way is fine.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (Vintage International))
Joël describes here, in unmistakable symbolism, the merging of subject and object as the reunion of mother and child. The symbols agree with those of mythology even in their details. There is a distinct allusion to the encircling and devouring motif. The sea that devours the sun and gives birth to it again is an old acquaintance. The moment of the rise of consciousness, of the separation of subject and object, is indeed a birth. It is as though philosophical speculation hung with lame wings on a few primordial figures of human speech, beyond whose simple grandeur no thought can fly. The image of the jelly-fish is far from accidental. Once when I was explaining to a patient the maternal significance of water, she experienced a very disagreeable sensation at this contact with the mother-complex. “It makes me squirm,” she said, “as if I’d touched a jelly-fish.” The blessed state of sleep before birth and after death is, as Joël observes, rather like an old shadowy memory of that unsuspecting state of early childhood, when there is as yet no opposition to disturb the peaceful flow of slumbering life. Again and again an inner longing draws us back, but always the life of action must struggle in deadly fear to break free lest it fall into a state of sleep. Long before Joël, an Indian chieftain had expressed the same thing in the same words to one of the restless white men: “Ah, my brother, you will never know the happiness of thinking nothing and doing nothing. This is the most delightful thing there is, next to sleep. So we were before birth, and so we shall be after death.”34
C.G. Jung (Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 5: Symbols of Transformation (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Book 7))
Everything and Nothing* There was no one inside him; behind his face (which even in the bad paintings of the time resembles no other) and his words (which were multitudinous, and of a fantastical and agitated turn) there was no more than a slight chill, a dream someone had failed to dream. At first he thought that everyone was like him, but the surprise and bewilderment of an acquaintance to whom he began to describe that hollowness showed him his error, and also let him know, forever after, that an individual ought not to differ from its species. He thought at one point that books might hold some remedy for his condition, and so he learned the "little Latin and less Greek" that a contemporary would later mention. Then he reflected that what he was looking for might be found in the performance of an elemental ritual of humanity, and so he allowed himself to be initiated by Anne Hathaway one long evening in June. At twenty-something he went off to London. Instinctively, he had already trained himself to the habit of feigning that he was somebody, so that his "nobodiness" might not be discovered. In London he found the calling he had been predestined to; he became an actor, that person who stands upon a stage and plays at being another person, for an audience of people who play at taking him for that person. The work of a thespian held out a remarkable happiness to him—the first, perhaps, he had ever known; but when the last line was delivered and the last dead man applauded off the stage, the hated taste of unreality would assail him. He would cease being Ferrex or Tamerlane and return to being nobody. Haunted, hounded, he began imagining other heroes, other tragic fables. Thus while his body, in whorehouses and taverns around London, lived its life as body, the soul that lived inside it would be Cassar, who ignores the admonition of the sibyl, and Juliet, who hates the lark, and Macbeth, who speaks on the moor with the witches who are also the Fates, the Three Weird Sisters. No one was as many men as that man—that man whose repertoire, like that of the Egyptian Proteus, was all the appearances of being. From time to time he would leave a confession in one corner or another of the work, certain that it would not be deciphered; Richard says that inside himself, he plays the part of many, and Iago says, with curious words, I am not what I am. The fundamental identity of living, dreaming, and performing inspired him to famous passages. For twenty years he inhabited that guided and directed hallucination, but one morning he was overwhelmed with the surfeit and horror of being so many kings that die by the sword and so many unrequited lovers who come together, separate, and melodiously expire. That very day, he decided to sell his theater. Within a week he had returned to his birthplace, where he recovered the trees and the river of his childhood and did not associate them with those others, fabled with mythological allusion and Latin words, that his muse had celebrated. He had to be somebody; he became a retired businessman who'd made a fortune and had an interest in loans, lawsuits, and petty usury. It was in that role that he dictated the arid last will and testament that we know today, from which he deliberately banished every trace of sentiment or literature. Friends from London would visit his re-treat, and he would once again play the role of poet for them. History adds that before or after he died, he discovered himself standing before God, and said to Him: I , who have been so many men in vain, wish to be one, to be myself. God's voice answered him out of a whirlwind: I, too, am not I; I dreamed the world as you, Shakespeare, dreamed your own work, and among the forms of my dream are you, who like me, are many, yet no one.
Jorge Luis Borges
Twenty percent of Americans describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” Although the claim seems to annoy believers and atheists equally, separating spirituality from religion is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. It is to assert two important truths simultaneously: Our world is dangerously riven by religious doctrines that all educated people should condemn, and yet there is more to understanding the human condition than science and secular culture generally admit. One purpose of this book is to give both these convictions intellectual and empirical support. Before going any further, I should address the animosity that many readers feel toward the term spiritual. Whenever I use the word, as in referring to meditation as a “spiritual practice,” I hear from fellow skeptics and atheists who think that I have committed a grievous error. The word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, which is a translation of the Greek pneuma, meaning “breath.” Around the thirteenth century, the term became entangled with beliefs about immaterial souls, supernatural beings, ghosts, and so forth. It acquired other meanings as well: We speak of the spirit of a thing as its most essential principle or of certain volatile substances and liquors as spirits. Nevertheless, many nonbelievers now consider all things “spiritual” to be contaminated by medieval superstition. I do not share their semantic concerns.[1] Yes, to walk the aisles of any “spiritual” bookstore is to confront the yearning and credulity of our species by the yard, but there is no other term—apart from the even more problematic mystical or the more restrictive contemplative—with which to discuss the efforts people make, through meditation, psychedelics, or other means, to fully bring their minds into the present or to induce nonordinary states of consciousness. And no other word links this spectrum of experience to our ethical lives.
Sam Harris (Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion)
A:Surely you· know that one can read a book many times-perhaps you almost know it by heart, and nevertheless it can be that, when you look again at the lines before you, certain things appear new or even new thoughts occur to you that you did not have before. Every word can work productively in your spirit. And finally if you have once left the book for a week and you take it up again after your spirit has experienced various different changes, then a number ofthings will dawn on you. On the higher levels of insight into divine thoughts, you recognize that the sequence of words has more than one valid meaning. Only to the all-knowing is it given to know all the meanings of the sequence of words. Increasingly we try to grasp a few more meanings." .... I: "But Philo Judeaus, if this is who you mean, was a serious philosopher and a great thinker. Even John the Evangelist included some of Philo's thoughts in the gospe!." A: "You are right. It is to Philo's credit that he furnished language like so many other philosophers. He belongs to the language artists. But words should not become Gods." I: "I fail to understand you here. Does it not say in the gospel according to John: God was the Word. It appears to make quite explicit the point which you have just now rejected." A: "Guard against being a slave to words. Here is the gospel: read from that passage where it says: In him was the life. "What does John say there?" I: "'And life was the light of men and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not understood it. But it became a person sent from God, by the name of John, who came as a witness and to be a witness of the light. The genuine light, which That is what I readh ere. But what do you make of this?" A: "I ask you, was this AorOL [Logos] a concept, a word? It was a light, indeed a man, and lived among men. You see, Philo only lent John the word so that John would have at his disposal the word 'AorOL' alongside the word 'light' to describe the son of man. John gave to living men the meaning of the AorOL, but Philo gave AorOL as the dead concept that usurped life, even the divine life. Through this the dead does not gain life, and the living is killed. And this was also my atrocious error." I:"Iseewhatyoumean.Thisthoughtisnewtomeandseems worth consideration. Until now it always seemed to me / as if it were exactly that which was meaningful in John, namely that the son of man is the AorOL, in that he thus elevates the lower to the higher spirit, to the world of the AorOL. But you lead me to see the matter conversely; namely that John brings the meaning of the AorOL down to man." A: "I learned to see that John has in fact even done the great service of having brought the meaning of the AorOL up to man." I: "You have peculiar insights that stretch my curiosity to the utmost. How is that? Do you think that the human stands higher than the logos?" A: "I want to answer this question within the scope of your understanding: if the human God had not become important above everything, he would not have appeared as the son in the flesh, but as Logos.
C.G. Jung
Everywhere something could be detected that seemed to be on the point of betraying some secret, something elusively subtle oh, how subtle!...'No,' Chichikov said to himself, 'women are a subject such as...' Here he dismissed it with the wave of a hand: 'What's the use of talking!' Just try and describe or put into words everything that is flitting over their faces, all the subtle twists of meaning, all the hints- and you simply won't be able to put into words. Their eyes alone are such a vast realm that if a man ventured to enter it he'd be as good as done for! You won't drag him out of there by hook or by crook. Just try describing, for instance, their glitter alone: moist, velvety, sugary. Goodness only knows what else you may not find there. Harsh and soft, and quite languishing, or as some say, voluptuous or not voluptuous but a hundred times worse than voluptuous- and it clutches your heart and plays upon your souls, as though a violin bow. No, one simply can't find the right words: the 'ever so refined' half of the human species, and that's all there is to it.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
In the welter of horror and haste that was Dunkirk, someone paused to put the hands of the two dead boys together, so that even in their death, they were not divided. “Such good boys they was,” the old woman repeated sorrowfully. “But, there, miss,” she added more cheerfully, “we must all make sacrifices in these days, mustn’t we?” I said, I hope with some humility, that we must. And I have often wondered since if the brotherhood of man has ever been more movingly described than in those words, “We did the best we could. We left them side by side, with their hands touching.
Ida Cook (The Bravest Voices: A Memoir of Two Sisters' Heroism During the Nazi Era)
Significantly, the overwhelming Arab majority of the population (around 94 percent at that time) went unmentioned by Balfour, except in a backhanded way as the “existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” They were described in terms of what they were not, and certainly not as a nation or a people—the words “Palestinian” and “Arab” do not appear in the sixty-seven words of the declaration. This overwhelming majority of the population was promised only “civil and religious rights,” not political or national rights. By way of contrast, Balfour ascribed national rights to what he called “the Jewish people,” who in 1917 were a tiny minority—6 percent—of the country’s inhabitants.
Rashid Khalidi (The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017)
He grabs my throat, pulling my head back even farther. “I can’t let you out of my sight. Obsessed isn’t a big enough word to describe the way I need to possess you.” He presses his lips against mine, the kiss hard and punishing, and I wonder if it’s because of what he just admitted.
Albany Walker (Created in Chaos (Corrupt Credence #2))
It is well known that the term ‘Pakistan’, an acronym, was originally thought up in England by a group of Muslim intellectuals. P for the Punjabis, A for the Afghans, K for the Kashmiris, S for Sind and the ‘tan’, they say, for Baluchistan. (No mention of the East Wing, you notice; Bangladesh never got its name in the tide, and so, eventually, it took the hint and seceded from the secessionists. Imagine what such a double secession does to people!) – So it was a word born in exile which then went East, was borne-across or translated, and imposed itself on history; a returning migrant, settling down on partitioned land, forming a palimpsest on the past. A palimpsest obscures what lies beneath. To build Pakistan it was necessary to cover up Indian history, to deny that Indian centuries lay just beneath the surface of Pakistani Standard Time. The past was rewritten; there was nothing else to be done. Who commandeered the job of rewriting history? – The immigrants, the mohajirs. In what languages? – Urdu and English, both imported tongues, although one travelled less distance than the other. It is possible to see the subsequent history of Pakistan as a duel between two layers of time, the obscured world forcing its way back through what-had-been-imposed. It is the true desire of every artist to impose his or her vision on the world; and Pakistan, the peeling, fragmenting palimpsest, increasingly at war with itself, may be described as a failure of the dreaming mind. Perhaps the pigments used were the wrong ones, impermanent, like Leonardo’s; or perhaps the place was just insufficiently imagined, a picture full of irreconcilable elements, midriffbaring immigrant saris versus demure, indigenous Sindhi shalwar-kurtas, Urdu versus Punjabi, now versus then: a miracle that went wrong.
Salman Rushdie (Shame)
What was the word to describe the feeling of existing in a reality that had all colors sucked out of it? Of sometimes realizing four hours went by without a single coherent thought? Oh, she was sure therapists would call it depression, but that couldn’t be right. She wasn’t depressed. She just needed her daughter back.
Mike Omer (Please Tell Me)
The word automaton first appears in Western literature in Homer’s Iliad, where it’s used to describe the “self-moving and intelligent machines fabricated by Hephaestus,” the blacksmith god of technology, according to the Stanford folklorist and historian of ancient science Adrienne Mayor. Around 700 BCE, Homer wrote about Hephaestus’s various automated inventions, which included “a fleet of driverless three-wheeled carts that delivered nectar and ambrosia to the god’s banquets,” automatic gates, bellows that self-adjusted their trumpet blasts as needed, and a crew of artificially intelligent golden female androids that could anticipate the blacksmith god’s every need. And the Greeks were drawing on even older oral traditions.
Brian Merchant (Blood in the Machine: The Origins of the Rebellion Against Big Tech)
my clothes and Hijiri’s were so fundamentally different I couldn’t believe they could be described using the same words.
Mieko Kawakami (All The Lovers In The Night)
I think she was the last of her kind After she blew my mind I didn’t want to leave her behind As she walked through the door I swore that she was the one I had fallen for I always wanted you and more You always looked mesmerizing Just like when the sun is rising Even when you are crying But I always wished I could stop it Now everything reminds me of you And I don’t know what to do But your beauty is just irresistible And your smile is unforgettable I don’t have the words to describe it But I just can’t survive it Wherever you go, my heart will follow But when you’re not around my heart feels hollow I still feel like you are Hero and I am Leander But in your life, I shall be an Outlander A part of me wants to be in it not just a bystander But I think I will just meander Like the wind with no direction Wondering if I will ever see you again.
FORLORN
I'm not a poet, Miriam. But if I were, I'd write on a red heart Words to describe my love for you. You are the reason Gotte brought us to live Here among these rich valleys and hills. Will you share our life? Will you be my bride? I can offer you days filled with Geace And nights of love and peace. If you share my love, Marry me and share our humble home, Along the banks of Pebble Creek.
Vannetta Chapman
To describe risk aversion, I say most people prefer safety and disprefer risk—even though I’ve never seen the word “disprefer” in a dictionary. (There’s a big difference of opinion regarding the propriety of that word, with the linguistic establishment railing against it, but I think it’s a great word. If it doesn’t exist, it should.)
Howard Marks (Mastering The Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side)
Bertram Scudder seemed to be afraid of her. He clung to the microphone, spitting words into its delicate mesh, into the ears of the country, introducing the subject of his program. He was laboring to sound cynical, skeptical, superior and hysterical together, to sound like a man who sneers at the vanity of all human beliefs and thereby demands an instantaneous belief from his listeners. A small patch of moisture glistened on the back of his neck. He was describing in overcolored detail her month of convalescence in the lonely cabin of a sheepherder, then her heroic trudging down fifty miles of mountain trails for the sake of resuming her duties to the people in this grave hour of national emergency.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
I should have appealed to your nobleness and magnanimity at first, as I do now—opened to you plainly my life of agony—described to you my hunger and thirst after a higher and worthier existence—shown to you, not my resolution (that word is weak), but my resistless bent to love faithfully and well, where I am faithfully and well loved in return. Then I should have asked you to accept my pledge of fidelity and to give me yours. Jane—give it me now.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre: The Original 1847 Unabridged and Complete Edition (Charlotte Brontë Classics))
Although dozens defied subpoenas and refused to show up, the witnesses who did appear before the committee could be divided into three groups. The first, most of whom refused to answer questions, citing their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, were those I would describe as Trump-infected zombies. The man’s words had taken over their brains, like parasitic worms, rendering them pathologically loyal and incapable of independent thought.
Adam Kinzinger (Renegade: Defending Democracy and Liberty in Our Divided Country)
1 For some readers, the traditional Christian designation to describe the first half of the canon, the Old Testament, is problematic. The defining adjective, “old,” can denote something irrelevant or inferior or in need of completion—all meanings that work to diminish the collection’s role and importance on its own terms. As a result, some prefer the Jewish designation the “Hebrew Bible” or the “Tanak” (an acronym based on the beginning letters of the three sections of the Hebrew Bible: the Torah, the Nevi’im, and the Ketuvim). Others, perhaps attempting to retain a Christian interpretive identity, have proposed the First Testament or the Older Testament as a necessary corrective. Words and intentions matter, so I have a great deal of respect for those wishing to avoid any hint of Christian supersessionism through an adapted use of terminology. In this work, I will use the Hebrew Bible. 2
Joshua T. James (Psalms for Normal People: A Guide to the Most Relentlessly Theological Book in the Bible (The Bible for Normal People Book))
There's a theory that if we don't have the right words in our vocabularies, we can't even see the things that are right in front of our faces. If we can't describe our reality accurately, we can't see it. Not the other way around. ... Our own words make us blind.
Paolo Bacigalupi (The Water Knife)
Conversation of the Day - He: How do you describe yourself in two words? Me: You don't.
Sanhita Baruah
I had to make up all the words myself. The way they taste, the way they sound in the air. I passed through the narrow gate, stumbled in, stumbled around for a while, and stumbled back out. I made this place for you. A place for you to love me. If this isn't the kingdom then I don't know what is. So how would you catalog it? Dawn in the fields? Snow and dirty rain? Light brought in in buckets? I was trying to describe the kingdom, but the letters kept smudging as I wrote them: the hunter's heart, the hunter's mouth, the trees and the trees and the space between the trees, swimming in gold.
Richard Siken (Crush)
The dream of Strong Artificial Intelligence—and more specifically the growing interest in the idea that a computer can become conscious and have first-person subjective experiences—has led to a cultural shift. Prophets like Kurzweil believe that we are much closer to cyberconsciousness and superintelligence than most observers acknowledge, while skeptics argue that current AI systems are still extremely primitive and that hopes of conscious machines are pipedreams. Who is right? This book does not attempt to address this question, but points out some philosophical problems and asks some philosophical questions about machine consciousness. One fundamental problem is that we do not understand human consciousness. Many in science and artificial intelligence assume that human consciousness is based on information or computations. Several writers have tried to tackle this assumption, most notably the British physicist Roger Penrose, whose controversial theory suggests that consciousness is based upon noncomputable quantum states in some of the tiniest structures in the brain, called microtubules. Other, perhaps less esoteric thinkers, like Duke’s Miguel Nicolelis and Harvard’s Leonid Perlovsky, are beginning to challenge the idea that the brain is computable. These scientists lead their fields in man-machine interfacing and computer science. The assumption of a computable brain allows artificial intelligence researchers to believe they will create artificial minds. However, despite assuming that the brain is a computational system—what philosopher Riccardo Manzotti calls “the computational stance”—neuroscience is still discovering that human consciousness is nothing like we think it is. For me this is where LSD enters the picture. It turns out that human consciousness is likely itself a form of hallucination. As I have said, it is a very useful hallucination, but a hallucination nonetheless. LSD and psychedelics may help reveal our normal everyday experience for the hallucination that it is. This insight has been argued about for centuries in philosophy in various forms. Immanuel Kant may have been first to articulate it in modern form when he called our perception of the world “synthetic.” The fundamental idea is that we do not have direct knowledge of the external world. This idea will be repeated often in this book, and you will have to get used to it. We only have knowledge of our brain’s creation of that world for us. In other words, what we see, hear, and subsequently think are like movies that our brain plays for us after the fact. These movies are based on perceptions that come into our senses from the external world, but they are still fictions of our brain’s creation. In fact, you might put the disclaimer “based on a true story” in front of each experience you have. I do not wish to imply that I believe in the homunculus argument—what philosopher Daniel Dennett describes as the “Cartesian Theater”—the hypothetical place in the mind where the self becomes aware of the world. I only wish to employ the metaphor to illustrate the idea that there is no direct relationship between the external world and your perception of it.
Andrew Smart (Beyond Zero and One: Machines, Psychedelics, and Consciousness)
He’s moved by a desire to describe in words exactly how she looks and speaks. Her hair and clothing. The copy of Swann’s Way she reads at lunchtime in the school cafeteria, with a dark French painting on the cover and a mint-colored spine. Her long fingers turning the pages. She’s not leading the same kind of life as other people. She acts so worldly at times, making him feel ignorant, but then she can be so naive. He wants to understand how her mind works. If he silently decides not to say something when they’re talking, Marianne will ask “what?” within one or two seconds. This “what?” question seems to him to contain so much: not just the forensic attentiveness to his silences that allows her to ask in the first place, but a desire for total communication, a sense that anything unsaid is an unwelcome interruption between them. He writes these things down, long run-on sentences with too many dependent clauses, sometimes connected with breathless semicolons, as if he wants to re-create a precise copy of Marianne in print, as if he can preserve her completely for future review. Then he turns a new page in the notebook so he doesn’t have to look at what he’s done.
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
The eyes. Ada’s dark brown eyes. What (Ada asks) are eyes anyway? Two holes in the mask of life. What (she asks) would they mean to a creature from another corpuscle or milk bubble whose organ of sight was (say) an internal parasite resembling the written word ‘deified’? What, indeed, would a pair of beautiful (human, lemurian, owlish) eyes mean to anybody if found lying on the seat of a taxi? Yet I have to describe yours.
Vladimir Nabokov
Myers and Hustak suggest that the word involution—from the word involve—better describes this tendency: a “rolling, curling, turning inward.” In their view, the concept of involution better captures the entangled pushing and pulling of “organisms constantly inventing new ways to live with and alongside one another.
Merlin Sheldrake (Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures)
Trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain, and body. This imprint has ongoing consequences for how the human organism manages to survive in the present. It changes our very capacity to think. Helping victims find the words to describe what has happened to them is profoundly meaningful, but not enough. For real change, the body needs to learn that the danger has passed and to live in the reality of the present.
Bessel van der Kolk M.D. (Bertram The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma Paperback – 8 September 2015)
There is a word to describe someone who loses their spouse, and a word for children who are left without parents. There is no word, however, for a parent who loses their child.
Guadalupe Nettel (Still Born)
Hypomanics are brimming with infectious energy, irrational confidence, and really big ideas. They think, talk, move, and make decisions quickly. Anyone who slows them down with questions “just doesn’t get it.” Hypomanics are not crazy, but “normal” is not the first word that comes to mind when describing them. Hypomanics live on the edge, betweeen normal and abnormal.
John D. Gartner (The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (A Little) Craziness and (A Lot of) Success in America)
my friends—my family—had to hear all about it?” Nesta hated that word. The term Feyre used to describe her court. As if things had been so miserable with the Archeron family that Feyre had needed to find another one. Had chosen her own.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4))