“It's not always easy to distinguish between existentialism and a bad mood.”
“A tale is told of twin boys born to different mothers.
One is dark by nature, the other light. One is rich, the other poor. One is harsh, the other gentle. One is forever youthful, the other old before his time.
One is mortal.
They share no bond of blood or sympathy, but they are twins nonetheless.
They each live without ever knowing that they are brothers.
They each die fighting the blind god.”
“It is a truism that when one is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The glory of art is that it can show this proverbial hammer how everything looks to a screwdriver--and to a plowshare, and to an earthenware pot. If reality is the sum of our perceptions, to acquire more varying points of view is to acquire, literally, more reality.”
“I won, goddammit. I beat Kollberg. I beat you. I got everything I goddamn wanted: fame, wealth, power. Shit, I even got the girl."
"The problem with happy endings," Tan'elKoth said,"is that nothing is ever truly over."
"Fuck that," Hari said."I am living happily ever goddamn after. I am.”
“There are some who say that Time is itself a hammer; that each slow second marks another tap that makes big rocks into little rocks, waterfalls into canyons, cliffs into beaches.
There are some who say that Time is instead a blade. They see the dance of its razored tip, poised like a venomous snake, forever ready to slay faster than the eye can see.
And there are some who say that Time is both hammer and blade.
They say the hammer is a sculptor's mallet, and the blade is a sculptor's chisel: that each stroke is a refinement, a perfecting, a discovery of truth and beauty within what would otherwise be blank and lifeless stone.
And I name this saying wisdom.”
“I fear Michaelson not at all. Michaelson is a fiction, you fools. The truth of him is Caine. You do not comprehend the distinction; and so he will destroy you.”
“Don't care about gods. Gods are irrelevant. What counts is people. What counts is having respect for each other.”
“I read once, somewhere, that the way you know you've grown up is when your future death becomes a stone in your shoe: when you feel it with every step.”
“The capacity for personal freedom is a rare talent. Talent exists to be used. We do not ask sheep to be wolves; we, the wolves, do not ask ourselves to be sheep. Sheep can make such rules as happen to suit them--but it's foolishly naive to expect wolves to obey.”
“The problem with happy endings,” Tan’elKoth said, “is that nothing is ever truly over.”
“We can each sit and wait to die, from the very day of our births. Those of us who do not do so, choose to ask--and to answer--the two questions that define every conscious creature: What do I want? and What will I do to get it? Which are, finally, only one question: What is my will? Caine teaches us that the answer is always found within our own experience; our lives provide the structure of the question, and a properly phrased question contains its own answer”
“When you eat, eat. When you sleep, sleep. When you fight, fight.”
“Shit, kid, thinking about that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside, like I just ate a kitten.”
“If i listen hard enough, i can hear that voice: that small quiet whisper in the back of my head that keeps on insisting "My will, or i won't".”
“Life is mere chance only when one allows it to be”
“universe.” Tan’elKoth’s tone remained dry and precise, but his face grew ever more grim. “Chambaraya is, one might say, a smaller knot of mind within the Worldmind: what the elves call T’nnalldion. Through Faith, the Bog can get its corporate fingers into that knot, unbind it, and tie it again in their own image.” Avery shook her head blankly, uncomprehending. Tan’elKoth’s expression was bleak as an open grave. “They’ll make of it a world like this one.” “Is that all?” Avery asked, frowning. “You make it sound like a catastrophe.” “It will be an Armageddon unimaginable; it will be genocide on a scale of which Stalin could not have dreamed.” “Wiping out magick doesn’t seem like such a bad thing.” “Businessman,” Tan’elKoth said patiently, “you don’t understand. Magick has not been wiped out on Earth; it is a function of Flow, which is the energy of existence itself. But its state can be altered. And it has been. Once, Earth was home to fully as many magickal creatures as was Overworld: dragons and sea serpents and mermaids, rocs and djann and primals and stonebenders and all. But creatures such as these require higher levels of certain frequencies of Flow than does humanity; as the pattern of Earth degraded, these creatures not only died, but their very bones gave up their integrity. They vanished into the background Flow of your universe.” “You’re saying magick works on Earth?” Avery said skeptically. “Magick works, as you say, everywhere. But the manner in which magick works on Earth is a local aberration; the physics of this planet and its spatial surrounds have been altered to conditions that favor the ascendance of humanity.” “And what’s wrong with that?” “I did not say it was wrong. I do not debate morality. In my zeal to protect my Children, I once favored such a fate for my own world. But it is unnatural. It is both the cause and the result of the ugly twisting of human nature that we see around”
“Earth’s not so bad—” “How would you know?” Tan’elKoth said acidly. “It is only in these past few days that you have had contact with the actual realities of Earth. Are you having fun?” He waved toward the window, where Kollberg now had one hand openly kneading his groin while he leaned one cheek and the side of his open mouth against the glass. Avery flinched and looked away. She hugged herself more tightly. “I don’t understand. If you hate what they’re going to do, why are you helping them?” “I am not helping them!” Suddenly he was on his feet, towering over her, shaking an enormous fist. “I am helping you. I am helping Faith. I am . . .” The passion drained out of him as swiftly as it had arisen. He let his fist open and fall limp against his thigh. “I am trying to go home.” Outside the window, Kollberg panted like an overheated dog. “Well,” Avery said finally. “I’m afraid you’re out of luck.” “How do you mean?” She shook her head. “You’re such a man, Professional. That’s why you can’t find this link of yours.” “I do not understand.” “Of course you don’t. That’s what I mean: You’re a man. You think this link is with the river. It wasn’t. Faith spoke of it, in the car on our way back to Boston when I first picked her up. She was quite clear about it. Her link was never with the river. It was with her mother.” “Her mother—?” “Her dead mother, now.” Tan’elKoth’s eyes narrowed. “I have been a fool,” he said. He spun and seated himself once again at Faith’s side, bending over her with redoubled energy. “Power,” he murmured. “All that is required is a usable source of power—” “What are you doing? She’s dead, Tan’elKoth. There is no link.” “Dead, yes—but the pattern of her consciousness persists, even as your son’s does within me. It was trapped at the instant of her passing. It is powerless, yes—having no body to inform it with will. It is analogous to a computer program stored on disk, you might say: a structure of information that requires only a computer on which to run, and the necessary power to activate.” “What kind of power?” From the doorway behind her, the soulless rasp of Arturo Kollberg said, “My kind of power.” DURING HIS YEARS of walking the world, the crooked knight came to find himself bemazed within a dark and trackless wood. In this wood, all paths led equally to death. The crooked knight did not lose hope; he turned to various guides for help and direction. His first guide was Youthful Dream. Later, he turned to Friendship, then Duty, and finally Reason, but each left him more lost than had the one before. So the crooked knight gave himself up for dead, and simply sat. He would be sitting there still, but for a breeze that came upon him then: a breeze that smelled of wide-open spaces, of limitless skies and bright sun, of ice and high mountains. It was the wind from the dark angel’s wings.”
“The king of the gods took away this man’s family, everyone that he loved—and still this particular man did not surrender.”
“But when you’re a kid it’s like you’re wearing these binoculars strapped to your eyes and you can’t see anything except what’s in the dead center of the lenses”
“A man who has never been hungry may possess a more refined palate, but he has no idea what it means to eat.”
“as the second hand continued to go around again and again; it would never stop, they would never stop coming, all the hours and days and years I would have to live without my dear boy,”
“Thanks to my ridiculous, sometimes tragic, and always unsteady upbringing, I was given the gift of bone-crushing insecurity. One thing you’ll notice about people with mental problems is constant self-absorbation. I think that’s because it’s such a struggle just to be who they are, so they have a hard time getting past it.”
“To believe with certainty, somebody said, one has to begin by doubting.”
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