You don’t pass or fail at being a person, dear.
— Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
The writer’s job is to get the main character up a tree, and then once they are up there, throw rocks at them.
Vladimir Nabokov (via elucipher)
Billy Wilder also said (most likely, after Nabokov did) that in act one, you put the hero up a tree, and in act two, you set the tree on fire.
There is a fundamental reason why we look at the sky with wonder and longing — for the same reason that we stand, hour after hour, gazing at the distant swell of the open ocean. There is something like an ancient wisdom, encoded and tucked away in our DNA, that knows its point of origin as surely as a salmonid knows its creek. Intellectually, we may not want to return there, but the genes know, and long for their origins — their home in the salty depths. But if the seas are our immediate source, the penultimate source is certainly the heavens. […] The spectacular truth is — and this is something that your DNA has known all along — the very atoms of your body — the iron, calcium, phosphorus, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and on and on — were initially forged in long-dead stars. This is why, when you stand outside under a moonless, country sky, you feel some ineffable tugging at your innards. We are star stuff. Keep looking up.
— Jerry Waxman, professor of astronomy and environmental science at SRJC.
i always said you were as beautiful as the sun.
it was too late by the time i realized
that i was icarus.
— now i’m drowning at the bottom of the icarian sea, Ell Eli
The thing about planets is they need more than gravity and physics. They need things like love, and nurturing, and lights that don’t come from stars. They need things like forests, and seas, and skies, things that can’t be built in a day, things that can’t be destroyed in one either. They need things like people who care enough to not start wars over money or oil or God. They need things like people who care enough to plant trees they know they’ll never sit under. They need things like people who care enough to overcome fear for connection. They need people who care, because it’s worth caring.
Because everything has a future, and it’s not always the one they deserve.
Kiss your own fingertips
and hug your own curves.
You are made of waves and honey
and spicy peppers when it is necessary.
You are a goddess,
I hope you haven’t forgotten.
— Emery Allen (via psych-facts)
Years and years ago, there was a production of The Tempest, out of doors, at an Oxford college on a lawn, which was the stage, and the lawn went back towards the lake in the grounds of the college, and the play began in natural light. But as it developed, and as it became time for Ariel to say his farewell to the world of The Tempest, the evening had started to close in and there was some artificial lighting coming on. And as Ariel uttered his last speech, he turned and he ran across the grass, and he got to the edge of the lake and he just kept running across the top of the water — the producer having thoughtfully provided a kind of walkway an inch beneath the water. And you could see and you could hear the plish, plash as he ran away from you across the top of the lake, until the gloom enveloped him and he disappeared from your view.
And as he did so, from the further shore, a firework rocket was ignited, and it went whoosh into the air, and high up there it burst into lots of sparks, and all the sparks went out, and he had gone.
When you look up the stage directions, it says, ‘Exit Ariel.’
— Tom Stoppard, University of Pennsylvania, 1996 (via flameintobeing)