If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And - which is more - you’ll be a Man my son!
This is one of those poems where my feminist self gets all, ‘damn, wish we could make this more inclusive across all genders’ but I just have to take a deep breath and appreciate the beauty of it and the historical context in which it was penned.
“A novel is not an allegory…. It is the sensual experience of another world. If you don’t enter that world, hold your breath with the characters and become involved in their destiny, you won’t be able to empathize, and empathy is at the heart of the novel. This is how you read a novel: you inhale the experience. So start breathing.”— Azar Nafisi (via thesearepeopleyouknow)
“An atheist?! But you are so nice!”—The implication being that the only possible way to be a good/moral/nice person is to have a religion. This is often followed up by statements such as “Are you sure?” or “No, you can’t be, because you don’t behave like an atheist” or “Well, have you ever considered [insert person’s religious denomination here].” Makes me feel frustrated, misunderstood, unheard. (via microaggressions)
A story is like a letter. ‘Dear You,’ I’ll say. Just ‘you’, without a name. Attaching a name attaches ‘you’ to the world of fact, which is riskier, more hazardous: who knows what the chances are out there, of survival, yours? I will say ‘you, you, you,’ like an old love song. ‘You’ can mean more than one.
“I’m a feminist…
Because I wear my politics on my body. Because gender is social structure. Because I’m wicked tough. Because I have a choice and I need to defend it. Because it’s ok to be a stay-at-home mom. Because emotions are fluid. Because I can attain enlightenment. Because I dance. Because my body is not me but we coincide and coexist. Because I will always question the status quo. Because naked is beautiful. Because I want a revolution. Because it’s ok be angry. Because the silence must be broken-life’s too short to not speak up. Because I’m “purty loud for such a little thing”. Because I can choose to get married. Because I stand for what I believe in. Because it’s not ok to label. Because I love myself. Because little boys can be pretty and little girls can be strong. Because no doctor should choose my sex. Because gender is complex. Because everything is complex. Because a short skirt doesn’t mean she’s asking for it. Because a woman gave birth to you. Because I’m radical. Because I’m a person. Because I’m still learning. Because no action is not an option. Because my scariest nightmare is the one where I can’t speak.”—
“'I know what you mean,' we'd say. Or, a quaint expression you sometimes hear, still, from older people: 'I hear where you're coming from,' as if the voice itself were a traveller, arriving from a distant place. Which it would be, which it is.”—The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
“'The Lord is my shepherd,' he recited softly. 'I shall not want for nothing. He makes me lie down in the green pastures. He greases up my head with oil. He gives me kung-fu in the face of my enemies. Amen.'”—Tom Cullen in The Stand, Stephen King
If you had a time machine, what date would you travel to?
Well, that depends. If the time machine is a *true* time machine, that is, it only moves in time, not space, I’d probably go backward around 100 million years or so, then try and get my footprints next to some dino footprints, for shits and giggles.
OR, I’d go forward about 1000 years to see if Earth is still around and how we’re dealing with it.
Of course, if I had some sort of machine that could travel in space AND time, that’s different…I would grab my camera and journalism notebook, then go to London in 1592 or so, track down the budding young playwright named William Shakespeare, and do an interview and get his photo!
Have you ever read a book that made you wish you could undo reading it? If so, what was it?
Not really. Even books I really don’t enjoy, I’m still glad I read them, because I can learn or experience something from each of them.
HOWEVER, I did recently struggle through Fahrenheit 451. I read it because it’s a classic, and because of its subject matter, but I really struggled. I felt the writing was pretentious, although I did enjoy the story itself. But that’s probably the closest I’ve come to wishing I hadn’t read a book. Luckily, it was my “handbag book” that I only read while to kill time, in waiting rooms etc, so it wasn’t like I had taken time I would have been doing something else to read it.
Oh, I just thought of one other - The Five People You Meet in Heaven. How sappy. Again, a book plenty of people talked about, but I couldn’t get past the glurge. Another handbag book though, so that was OK too!
“To follow one’s star is to concede the power of some greater Force, some Providence; yet is it still not possible that the act of following itself is the taproot of even greater Power? Your GOD, your DEVIL, owns the keys to the lighthouse…but to each of us he has given the responsibility of NAVIGATION.”—Harold Lauder in The Stand, Stephen King
OK, I’ve read 26 of them I don’t think that’s enough. Especially once my English major friends reblog this with 85 of them checked off. New goal for life: read more books that make these kids of lists.
Also, I had to correct the grammar of the instructions. On a list of books. *facepalm*
Andy Warhol once said “Weight isn’t important the way the magazines make you think it is. I know a girl who just looks at her face in the medicine cabinet mirror & never looks below her shoulders, & she’s four or five hundred pounds but she doesn’t see all that, she just sees a beautiful face & therefore she thinks she’s a beauty. & therefore I think she’s a beauty, too, because I usually accept people on the basis of their self-images, because their self-images have more to do with the way they think than their objective-images do. Maybe she’s six hundred pounds, who knows. If she doesn’t care, I don’t.”