cymry: (Calvin snowman)
A "bit of student doggerel" that caught my eye:

The old Germanic tribesmen on both banks of the
Lay spread out bearskins, drinking their wine,
When, with German greeting, a Roman entered
their midst
"Heil Hitler, you Germans, 'tis I - Tacitus."

- from "The Hitler Salute: On the meaning of a gesture" by Tilman Allert, p. 58.

An interesting commentary on the Hitler salute and why it became so prevalent; for the most part, the book was dry and too focused on sociological themes, but a few bits of information managed to spark through. The poem above speaks to the belief that the Nazi party tried to say the salute was rooted in Germanic history, while the Italian Fascists maintained that it was copying their own salute. (Yup, I'm a history geek).

a poem

Oct. 11th, 2010 04:26 pm
cymry: (Girl in the Wood)
A Monstrous Manifesto - by Catherynne M. Valente

If you are a monster, stand up.
If you are a monster, a trickster, a fiend,
If you’ve built a steam-powered wishing machine
If you have a secret, a dark past, a scheme,
If you kidnap maidens or dabble in dreams
Come stand by me.

If you have been broken, stand up.
If you have been broken, abandoned, alone
If you have been starving, a creature of bone
If you live in a tower, a dungeon, a throne
If you weep for wanting, to be held, to be known,
Come stand by me.

If you are a savage, stand up.
If you are a witch, a dark queen, a black knight,
If you are a mummer, a pixie, a sprite,
If you are a pirate, a tomcat, a wright,
If you swear by the moon and you fight the hard fight,
Come stand by me.

If you are a devil, stand up.
If you are a villain, a madman, a beast,
If you are a strowler, a prowler, a priest,
If you are a dragon come sit at our feast,
For we all have stripes, and we all have horns,
We all have scales, tails, manes, claws and thorns
And here in the dark is where new worlds are born.
Come stand by me.


Jun. 6th, 2009 02:27 pm
cymry: (grace)
"An image I find useful is the cross - not the Christian cross, but an ordinary cross. One beam of the cross is horizontal, which stands for the historical dimension: our life amid observable events and calendar time. The other beam, the vertical, thrusts upward toward heaven and suggests the sacred dimension: our lives amid timeless truths. We live in time and timelessness simultaneously, just as we are simultaneously body, mind, and spirit." (page xx)

"Why do I have to do everything before I can do anything!" (page 85)

"The proper response to a work of art is to enter into it as though there were nothing else in the world. The proper response to a major spiritual tradition, if you can truly see it, may be to practice it." (page 113)

from "Tales of Wonder: Adventures Chasing the Divine" by Huston Smith with Jeffery Paine


Jul. 19th, 2008 10:15 pm
cymry: (doorway)
Hellboy II is full of pretty monsters.

spoiler warning )
cymry: (scholar)
while the following was written by a feminist advocating women's rights in the late 1800s, there's something to be found there even today...

"No matter how much women prefer to lean, to be protected and supported, nor how much men desire to have them do so, they must make the voyage of life alone, and for safety in an emergency, they must know something of the laws of navigation. To guide our own craft, we must be captain, pilot, engineer; with chart and compass to stand at the wheel; to watch the winds and waves, and know when to take in the sail, and to read the signs in the firmament over all. It matters not whether the solitary voyager is man or woman; nature, having endowed them equally, leaves them to their own skill and judgment in the hour of danger, and, if not equal to the occasion, alike they perish.(...)

Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another. (...) Seeing, then, what must be the infinite diversity in human character, we can in a measure appreciate the loss to a nation when any large class of the people is uneducated and unrepresented in the government."

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) "The Solitude of Self" (1892, USA)
cymry: (doorway)
thanks [ profile] sorceror for posting this originally...

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Lazarus Long, Time Enough For Love
cymry: (coliseum)
"La tristesse est notre destin: mais c'est pour cela que nos vies seront chantées à jamais, par tous les hommes qui viendront."
- "Homère, Iliade" de Alessandro Baricco
cymry: (prey)
"You're not the most sensitive person in the world, are you."
"Gimme some quarters. I see a b33r machine."
cymry: (saturn-soar)
Ce temps étrange avait ses caprices. Tout à coup, avec la rapidité sautillante des films, l'une de ses tantes s'habilla de blanc, se laissa entourer de parents qui se rassemblèrent autour d'elle avec la même hâte du cinéma d'époque, pour se diriger d'un pas alerte et saccadé à l'église où la tante se retrouva à côté d'un homme à moustache, aux cheveux lisses, huilés. Et presque aussitôt - dans la mémoire de Charlotte ils n'eurent même pas le temps de quitter l'église - la jeune mariée se couvrait de noir et ne pouvait plus lever ses yeux alourdis de larmes. On aurait pu croire, tant le changement fut rapide, que déjà en sortant de l'église elle était seule, portait le grand deuil et cachait du soleil ses yeux rougis. Les deux journées n'en faisait qu'une - colorée d'un ciel radieux, animée du carillon et du vent d'été qui semblait accélérer plus encore le va-et-vient des invités. Et son souffle chaud collait au visage de la jeune femme tantôt le voile blanc de mariée, tantôt le voile noir de veuve. (p. 79)

Tous les hommes qu'elle rencontrait semblaient ou bien se ruer vers un but inconnu, en assiégeant les trains, en s'écrasant sur les embarcadères, ou bien attendre, on ne savait pas qui - devant les portes fermées des boutiques, à côté des portails gardés par des soldats et, parfois, tout simplement au bord de la route. (p. 83)

D'ailleurs, depuis des mois déjà, j'éprouvais cette angoise bizarre: celle d'avoir trop appris... Je ressemblais à cet homme économe qui espère voir la masse de son épargne lui procurer bientôt une façon de vivre toute différente, lui ouvrir un horizon prodigieux, changer sa vision des choses - jusqu'à sa manière de marcher, de respirer, de parler aux femmes. La masse ne cesse pas de gonfler, mais la métamorphose radicale tarde à venir.
(...) J'espérais plutôt un mystérieux déclic, pareil à celui du ressort dans une boîte à musique, un cliquetis qui annonce le début d'un menuet que vont danser les figurines sur leur estrade. J'aspirais à ce que ce fouillis de dates, de noms, d'événements, de personnages se refonde en une matière vitale jamais vue, se cristallise en un monde foncièrement nouveau.
(p. 167-168)

Non, ce qui m'avait bouleversé, c'était l'invraisemblance de la vie. (...) C'était trop à la fois. Cet excès me confondait. La coïncidence gratuite, absurdement évidente embrouillait mes pensées. Je me disais que dans un roman, après cette histoire atroce des femmes enlevées en plein Moscou, on aurait laissé le lecteur reprendre ses esprits pendant de longues pages. Il aurait pu se préparer à l'apparition d'un héros qui terrasserait le tyran. Mais la vie ne se souciat pas de la cohérence du sujet. Elle déversait son contenu en désordre, pêle-mêle. Par sa maladresse, elle gâchait la pureté de notre compassion et compromettait notre juste colère. La vie était en fait un interminable brouillon où les événements, mal disposés, empiétaient les uns sur les autres, où les personnages, trop nombreux, s'empêchaient de parler, de souffrir, d'être aimés ou haïs individuellement. (p. 215)


Dec. 9th, 2005 07:54 am
cymry: (Default)
"Yes, we've been spoiled by technology. We can't accept doing without loudspeakers or rotary presses. Handwritten placards and whispered proclamations just don't carry the same weight. Technology has devalued the impact of our speech and writing. In the old days one man's call to arms was enough to set off an uprising - a few hand-printed leaflets, ninety-five theses nailed to a church door in Wittenberg. But today we need more, we need bigger and better, wider repercussions, mass-produced by the machines and multiplied exponentially. A woman reading the placards summed it up nicely: "Well, just look what those two [Hitler and Goebbels] have come to."
-page 20

"The man spins around, stares at me in amazement. I sense I've taken him aback. He doesn't understand. Evidently he's never heard one of us "mutes" address him in his own language. Because the Russian word for Germans, nemtsy, means "mutes". Presumably it dates from the Hanseatic League, over five hundred years ago, when German merchants used sign language to trade textiles and lace for beeswax and furs in Novgorod and elsewhere."
-page 47

"A Woman in Berlin", anonymous. An educated woman's account of life in Berlin from April 20th to June 16th, 1945 - the bombings, the surrender, famine, mass rape, and despair, all told in a singularly unsentimental, almost harsh light, a statement of facts to keep herself sane. A sobering read, but a necessary one.


Oct. 14th, 2005 10:05 am
cymry: (inara-serenity)
My turn today - yours tomorrow.
Thus passes the glory of the world.

- gravestone, Scotland


Oct. 14th, 2005 07:56 am
cymry: (big damn hero)
one of my all-time favorite moments.

RIVER: They say the snow on the roof is too heavy. They say the ceiling will cave in. His brains are in terrible danger.
BOOK: River? Please, why don't you come on out?
RIVER: No! I can't! Too much hair.
BOOK: Is-- is that it?
ZOE: Hell yes, Preacher. If I didn't have stuff to get done, I'd be in there with her.
BOOK: It's the rules of my order. Like the book, it symbolizes--
ZOE: Uh-huh. River, honey, he's putting the hair away now.
RIVER: Doesn't matter. It'll still be there. Waiting.
cymry: (el dorado)
"What do you want?"
"Nothing, sir," said Corporal Colon.
"Then you can push off!"
"Can't do that, sir. I'm under orders."
"Orders to do
what, mister," said one of them, looming over Colon.
There was a sigh and a soft thud behind him.
"Be a decoy?" quavered Colon.

- "Night Watch," Terry Pratchett
cymry: (aimer-seul)
"Sans doute chaque être a-t-il, dans l'univers de l'écrit, une oeuvre qui le transformera en lecteur, à supposer que le destin favorise leur rencontre. Ce que Platon dit de la moitié amoureuse, cet autre qui circule quelque part et qu'il convient de trouver, sauf à demeurer incomplet jusqu'au jour du trépas, est encore plus vrai pour les livres."

"Dans la bibliothèque du grand-père, elle avait pris une encyclopédie du siècle précédent. On y trouvait des prénoms fantasmagoriques qui présageaient des destins hirsutes. Lucette les notaient consciencieusement sur des bouts de papier qu'elle perdait parfois. Plus tard, quelqu'un découvrait, ça et là, un lambeau chiffoné sur lequel était inscrit "Eleuthère" ou "Lutegarde", et personne ne comprenait le sens de ces cadavres exquis."

- Amélie Nothomb, "Robert des noms propres"
cymry: (aimer-seul)
"Over the last thirty centuries of religious propaganda, (...) paganism has been painted as a parade of horribles. We are instructed to regard paganism as an "abomination," as the biblical authors so insistently put it, a dark and demonic force compounded of harlotry, idolatry, sorcery and human sacrifice. (...) The core value of paganism was religious tolerance - a man or woman in ancient Rome was at liberty to offer worship to whatever god or goddess seemed most likely to grant a prayerful request, with or without the assistance of priests or priestesses, so long as he or she didn't do it in the streets, as a Victorian-era wit once said of women preachers, and scare the horses."
- "God against the gods" by Jonathan Kirsch

"What does it matter by which wisdom each of us arrives at truth?" muses Symmachus, a pagan prefect of the fourth century. "It is not possible that only one road leads to so sublime a mystery."
- quoted in "A Chronicle of the Last Pagans" by Pierre Chuvin.

borrowing non-fiction doesn't work for me. 9 pages in, and i already want to highlight. *adds book to long, long list of things i can't afford*


Jul. 29th, 2005 05:55 pm
cymry: (crossed swords)
i'm not sure what it is exactly that draws me to these characters, over and over again, like some sort of fatal beauty. i have distinctive leanings towards villainy, but intelligent villainy. whether it be fictional or historical, most of the people who earn my admiration tend to be the villains. not because they're evil, you see, but because they're cunning.

i focus on the Roman Empire because it neatly combines two key elements: temple architecture and people who were given such a staggering amount of power that it would make or break them. Caesar was a military genius who subjugated hundreds of tribes of very angry Celts, Gauls and Goths in a few short years. Augustus built an empire on the ashes of civil war, manipulating the whole of Rome like helpless puppets to achieve his aims. Marius and Sulla were the first Romans to realize that "he who holds the army, holds the power". and while these men were only human, they achieved greatness through control and careful manipulation.

there is something to be said for the concept of honored enemies. this system appeals to something primal in me, a savage and fierce part of my soul that i keep locked up tight. i'm just not up to that level of battle-hardened hatred, much as i admire it.

perhaps it's just longing for strength, or control, or just the depth of emotion required to hate the perfect enemy. i don't presume to analyse it any further than this.

** today's ramblings brought to you by the k'airth.
A personal vendetta which has been allowed to dominate the lives of both parties. It is essentially a military campaign in miniature. Just as troops must prepare themselves to face the enemy, the k'airth-v'sa, or "honored mate of the private war", must focus his entire being upon gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to defeat his opponent. The more one devotes oneself to the contest, the more worthy one will be of eventual triumph. Since it is assumed that one's opponent is undergoing the same process, the k'airth is as much about the perfection of two opposing warriors as it is about the question of who wins what.
cymry: (Default)
nabbed from [ profile] methexis, who in turn nabbed it from here
While you are young you will be oppressed, and angry, and increasingly disagreeable. When you reach middle age, at five-and-thirty, you will become complacent and, in your turn, an oppressor; those whom you oppress will find you still disagreeable; and so will all the people whose toes you trod upon in youth. It will seem to you then that you grow wiser every day, as you learn more and more of the reasons why things should not be done, and understand more fully the peculiarities of powerful persons, which make it quixotic even to attempt them without first going through an amount of squaring and lobbying sufficient to sicken any but the most hardened soul. If you persist to the threshold of old age -- your fiftieth year, let us say -- you will be a powerful person yourself, with an accretion of peculiarities which other people will have to study in order to square you. The toes you will have trodden on by this time will be as the sands on the sea-shore; and from far below you will mount the roar of a ruthless multitude of young men in a hurry. You may perhaps grow to be aware what they are in a hurry to do. They are in a hurry to get you out of the way.


Mar. 2nd, 2005 11:22 pm
cymry: (Default)
it's amazing how i'd forgotten this.

A Daughter of Eve ~ Christina Rossetti

A fool I was to sleep at noon,
And wake when night is chilly
Beneath the comfortless cold moon;
A fool to pluck my rose too soon,
A fool to snap my lily.

My garden-plot I have not kept;
Faded and all-forsaken,
I weep as I have never wept:
Oh it was summer when I slept,
It's winter now I waken.

Talk what you please of future spring
And sun-warm'd sweet to-morrow:--
Stripp'd bare of hope and everything,
No more to laugh, no more to sing,
I sit alone with sorrow.

a quote.

Jan. 25th, 2005 08:31 pm
cymry: (Default)
"As a man, I am only good insofar as life means nothing to me. I have enough physical energy left to hack my way into a solid square of enemy troops and either overrun them or fall in battle - I know that. I'm glad there's something for which I can lay down my life, which I do not want and am heartily sick of. Let it be of use to someone."
-- Vronsky, "Anna Karenina"

you know, i've had days like that.


Dec. 6th, 2004 07:57 pm
cymry: (Default)
"The individual completes the creative work vastly relieved and more a person than before - but also maimed. We often hear the statement after a harrowing task which took years, "I'll never be the same again." It is the hurt after the struggle, the imminence of a neurotic or schizophrenic break, though the person may simultaneously be more a person after the wrestling. Van Gogh was maimed; Nietzsche was maimed; Kierkegaard was maimed. It is the danger of the razor-blade edge of heightened consciousness on which the creative person lives. No man shall see God and live; but Jacob did see God - and had to - and, though he lived, he was maimed. This is the paradox of consciousness. How much self-awareness can a man bear? Does not creativity take one to the frontiers of consciousness and push one beyond them? Does not this require an effort and courage beyond human capacities? but doesn't it also push back the frontiers of consciousness so that those who follow, like the explorers in early America, may erect cities and live there? This is the mystery."
~ Rollo May, "Love and Will"


cymry: (Default)

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