"I have refused to transit through roads of grace. Let darkness be. I will conform to my nature like the sunflower to the flame. I will be an arc docile to the tensions. I will fill myself with servitude at the demand of weak imposition. But I want within me a flowering, insurmountable, ductile angle where I might reign undisturbed, to retreat there when the temporal liquor is tasteless and there are no more confines to trespass. Sheltered by such limits I will open my house to travelers."
The Exile Notebooks, Rafael Cadenas (Barquisimeto, 1930)
"You are a great man; but how am I to know it, if fortune gives you no opportunity of showing your virtue? You have entered the arena of the Olympic games, but no one else has done so: you have the crown, but not the victory: I do not congratulate you as I would a brave man, but as one who has obtained a consulship or praetorship. You have gained dignity. I may say the same of a good man, if troublesome circumstances have never given him a single opportunity of displaying the strength of his mind. I think you unhappy because you never have been unhappy: you have passed through your life without meeting an antagonist: no one will know your powers, not even you yourself."
Seneca, De Providentia
"The shadow that bred them can only mock, it cannot make: not real new things of its own. I don’t think it gave life to the orcs, it only ruined them and twisted them; and if they are to live al all, they have to live like other living creatures."
Tolkien, The Return of the King (The Tower of Cirith Ungol)
For the world is full of that which is ruined and twisted.
"You must make the coward know that the things which generally frighten us out of our wits are less to be feared than rumour advertises them to be, whether the object of fear be suffering or death; that when death comes – fixed by law for us all to suffer – it is often a great solace to reflect that it can never come again; that in the midst of suffering resoluteness of soul will be as good as a cure, for the soul renders lighter any burden that it endures with stubborn defiance."
Seneca, Letter 94 (On the Value of Advice)
"Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps 20. And yet it all seems limitless."
Paul Bowles (via sometimesanokaynotion)
"In the higher stages of skill, there is a constant interplay between tacit knowledge and self-conscious awareness, the tactic knowledge serving as an anchor, the explicit awareness serving as critique and corrective."
Richard Sennett, The Craftsman
The Three Swords Monument, Norway
This monument commemorates the Battle of Hafrsfjord in 872, after which King Harald Fair Hair united the three districts of Norway into one kingdom.The crowns on the swords represent the different districts which took part in the battle.