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Old 10-27-2018, 07:50 PM   #3856
BenG
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Are we surprised by joy or by sorrow? The world in which we live wants to surprise us by sorrow. Newspapers keep telling us about traffic accidents, murders, conflicts between individuals, groups and nations, and the television fills our minds with images of hatred, violence, and destruction...But these surprises paralyze us and seduce us to an existence in which our main concern becomes survival in the midst of a sea of sorrows. By making us think about ourselves as survivors of a shipwreck, anxiously clinging to a piece of driftwood, we gradually accept the role of victims doomed by the cruel circumstances of our lives.

The great challenge of faith is to be surprised by joy.

- Henri Nouwen, Here and Now
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Old 10-27-2018, 08:07 PM   #3857
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BenG, I read the Henri Nouwen quote and immediately thought of Pratchett's Wen the Eternally Surprised:

Quote:
The first words that are read by seekers of enlightenment in the secret, gong-banging, yeti-haunted valleys near the hub of the world, are when they look into The Life of Wen the Eternally Surprised.

The first question they ask is: 'Why was he eternally surprised?'

And they are told: 'Wen considered the nature of time and understood that the universe is, instant by instant, recreated anew. Therefore, he understood, there is in truth no past, only a memory of the past. Blink your eyes, and the world you see next did not exist when you closed them. Therefore, he said, the only appropriate state of the mind is surprise. The only appropriate state of the heart is joy. The sky you see now, you have never seen before. The perfect moment is now. Be glad of it.'
-- Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time (2001)
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:51 PM   #3858
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“It was a communion of pain, and no one in the city could pretend not to have heard it. The women had made witnesses of us, even those of us who had chosen to close our eyes."
― Laila Lalami, The Moor's Account
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Old 11-03-2018, 12:03 AM   #3859
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From "European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club Book 2)" by Theodora Goss -

"BEATRICE: That is very kind of him to say, but also a little patronizing, is it not?

CATHERINE: Clarence is one of the good ones, but he’s not a saint. Don’t expect him to be. I once had to listen to him explain the Peloponnesian War while I was trying to mend my cat costume. That was before Justine came and started doing all the sewing. You know how I feel about sewing! Do you have any idea how boring the Peloponnesian War is?

MRS. POOLE: That’s men for you. I find the best course of action, when they start explaining, is to just nod your head, and maybe tilt it to the side a little. At the end you say, “My, how fascinating. Whoever would have thought?” And then they’re convinced you’re a very clever woman.

BEATRICE: But surely it should not be like that! Surely one should be able to have a rational discussion with a member of the opposite sex without resorting to such subterfuges. Clarence and I have wonderful conversations, and when I disagree with him, he truly listens. Even Giovanni did not listen to me in that way.

CATHERINE: I told you, he’s one of the good ones. Just don’t let him get started on the Peloponnesian War!"
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Old 11-03-2018, 08:46 AM   #3860
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SETI pick up a signal:
Quote:
"So what do you think the signal is? Some kind of super-encyclopaedia?"

He snorted. "Maybe. That's the fond hope among the contact optimists. But when the European colonists turned up on foreign shores, their first impulse wasn't to hand over encyclopaedias or histories, but—"

"Bibles."
-- Stephen Baxter, Turing's Apples (2008) - short story found in the Eclipse 2 anthology.
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Old 11-03-2018, 08:49 AM   #3861
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He might marry her and then spend the rest of his life nobly forgiving her. Nothing can be more infuriating than being forgiven over and over again.
-- Barbara Mertz writing as Elizabeth Peters, Crocodile on the Sandbank (1975)
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:36 PM   #3862
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Even at the Drones Club, where the average of intellect is not high, it was often said of Archibald that, had his brain been constructed of silk, he would have been hard put to it to find sufficient material to make a canary a pair of cami-knickers.
―P. G. Wodehouse, Mr. Mulliner Speaking
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:57 PM   #3863
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He might marry her and then spend the rest of his life nobly forgiving her. Nothing can be more infuriating than being forgiven over and over again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
-- Barbara Mertz writing as Elizabeth Peters, Crocodile on the Sandbank (1975)
Precisely why it too Lord Peter Wimsey so long to woo Harriet Vane! She didn't want to marry him just because she was grateful to him.
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:51 PM   #3864
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"...character is not cut in marble - it is not something solid and unalterable. It is something living and changing, and may become diseased as our bodies do."

from Middlemarch, by George Eliot.
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:13 PM   #3865
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An Irish Airman foresees his Death
BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
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Old 11-12-2018, 04:36 PM   #3866
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From Chilling Adventures of Sabrina -

Sabrina: But I want both. I want freedom and power.

Prudence: He'll never give you that. The Dark Lord. The thought of you, of any of us, having both terrifies him.

Sabrina: Why is that?

Prudence: He's a man, isn't he?
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Old 11-12-2018, 05:43 PM   #3867
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
―P. G. Wodehouse, Mr. Mulliner Speaking
Excellent!
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