boa-ate-an-elephant
[On death] I like to think about the first law of thermodynamics, that no energy in the universe is created and none is destroyed. That means that every bit of energy inside us, every particle will go on to be a part of something else, maybe live as a dragonfish, a microbe, maybe burn in a supernova 10 billion years from now. And every part of us now was once a part of some other thing … a moon, a storm cloud, a mammoth. A monkey. Thousands and thousands of other beautiful things that were just as terrified to die as we are. We gave them new life … a good one, I hope.
It’s fitting we’re down here together, Fitz. This is where all life began on our planet, anyway…

Jemma Simmons, Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Episode 22 (via johnpornstachewatson)

This is exactly how I think of death.

hermionesbookshelf

‘Fat’ is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her.

I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I’m not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain…

I went to the British Book Awards that evening. After the award ceremony I bumped into a woman I hadn’t seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? ‘You’ve lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!’

‘Well,’ I said, slightly nonplussed, ‘the last time you saw me I’d just had a baby.’

What I felt like saying was, ‘I’ve produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Aren’t either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size?’ But no – my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate!

I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.

J. K. Rowling (via vablatsky)
hermionesbookshelf
‘There are all kinds of courage,’ said Dumbledore, smiling. ‘It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends. I therefore award ten points to Mr. Neville Longbottom.’
I just realized today how much more meaningful this quote is when you remember Dumbledore’s backstory. For years, Albus remained at Gellert Grindelwald’s side even as Grindelwald became more and more corrupt, simply because he was his friend. He turned a blind eye to the immorality of Gellert’s plans. He couldn’t bring himself to stand up to Grindelwald because he didn’t want to jeopardize their friendship. Even as an adult, he didn’t confront Grindelwald until it was nearly too late. Those ten points weren’t awarded to Neville just so Gryffindor would win the house cup. They were awarded because Dumbledore recognized that Neville, at the age of 11, was far braver than the young Albus had ever been. (via cobbledstories)
heleth
Commodified fantasy takes no risks; it invents nothing, but imitates and trivializes. It proceeds by depriving the old stories of their intellectual and ethical complexity, turning their action to violence, their actors to dolls, and their truth-telling to sentimental platitude. Heroes brandish their swords, lasers, wands, as mechanically as combine harvesters, reaping profits. Profoundly disturbing moral choices are sanitized, made cute, made safe. The passionately conceived ideas of the great story-tellers are copied, stereotyped, reduced to toys, molded in bright-colored plastic, advertised, sold, broken, junked, replaceable, interchangeable.

What the commodifiers of fantasy count on and exploit is the insuperable imagination of of the reader, child or adult, which gives even these dead things life — of a sort, for a while.

Imagination, like all living things, lives now, and it lives with, from, on true change. Like all we do and have, it can be co-opted and degraded; but it survives commercial and didactic exploitation. The land outlasts the empires. The conquerors may leave desert where there was forest and meadow, but the rain will fall, the rivers will run to the sea. The unstable, mutable, untruthful realms of Once-upon-a-time are as much a part of human history and thoughts as the nations in our kaleidoscopic atlases, and some are more enduring.
Ursula Le Guin, “Introduction,” Tales from Earthsea
(via: bibliophile.martini)
heleth
Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake. It is not easy. It is not a gift given, but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one. The road goes ever upward towards the light; but the laden traveler may never reach the end of it.

narration in Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Tombs of Atuan

I would have liked this better had it come from one of the characters instead of appearing as author moralizing. (EDIT: I fear this is going to get reblogged a lot, so preemptively reminding everyone that if you remove my commentary from a post you reblog from me, I will send you an ask asking you to put it back or take down the post.)

from heleth:

But the style of these books is in sufficient way removed from the characters that the narrator is a major voice, rather than an incidental one. 

One of my favorite quotes from the whole series. I’m not very fond of author moralizing either, but this works with the writing style of Earthsea.

Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

— Sarah Williams, in the poem The Old Astronomer.

I’ve always loved this quote, though I only just got around to searching where it came from. The poem is basically a dying astronomer’s request to his pupil to continue his research “in the service of their science”.

I’ve always thought the quote very beautiful, and now with the context of the poem, it is even more so.