My mother used to say to me, ‘You can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you.’ And these words played and bothered me, I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume. It was something that I just had to be. And what my mother meant by saying that you can’t eat beauty is that you can’t rely on beauty to sustain you. What actually sustains us, what is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and those around you. That kind of beauty inflames the heart and enchants the soul.
— Lupita Nyong’o (via voguememoirs)
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