Literature Girl

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A by-chance-chronological stream of thoughts; a small but growing collection of things that I like or find poignant, such as novel excerpts, Bible verses and film quotes.

A collection of beautiful things.

2023/02/27 — 22:36

"Western civilisation is made entirely of the alphabet. Their literature, laws, history, castles, churches, looks, skies, clouds, mountains, rivers, even their thoughts, are all solely made of the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. Basically, it's Lego.

Creating Lego structures of our own design doesn't equal us creating something new. All we're doing is assembling prebuilt parts. In other words, it's not us who are the real creators, but the Lego company. Don't you think?

The alphabet's the same. Everything that people think about using words is nothing more than a rearrangement of the thoughts of the alphabet's creator. So, we'll be playing with Lego today."

— Kodama Maria Bungaku Shuusei

2023/03/07 — 21:33

"What does it mean to be righteous?"

"To do right by God."

2023/03/07 — 21:47

"Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame."

— 1 Corinthians 15:33-34, KJV

2023/03/20 — 21:33

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

— Galatians 6:7-8, KJV

2023/03/20 — 21:49

"To have faith in Christ means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.”

— C.S. Lewis, 'Mere Christianity'

2023/04/07 — 11:50

"If every second of our lives recurs an infinite number of times, we are nailed to eternity as Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross. It is a terrifying prospect. In the world of eternal return the weight of unbearable responsibility lies heavy on every move we make. That is why Nietzsche called the idea of eternal return the heaviest of burdens (das schwerste Gewicht).

If eternal return is the heaviest of burdens, then our lives can stand out against it in all their splendid lightness.

But is heaviness truly deplorable and lightness splendid?

The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the ground. But in the love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man's body. The heaviest of burdens is therefore simultaneously an image of life's most intense fulfillment. The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become.

Conversely, the absolute absence of a burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into the heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant.

What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?"

— Milan Kundera, 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being'

2023/04/07 — 11:56

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."

— Matthew 10:34, KJV

2023/04/07 — 12:05

"Most living things don’t need to remind themselves that life is precious. They simply pass the time. An old cat can sit in the window of a bookstore, whiling away the hours as people wander through. Blinking calmly, breathing in and out, idly watching a van being unloaded across the street, without thinking too much about anything. And that’s alright. It’s not such a bad way to live.

So much of life is spent this way, in ordinary time. There’s no grand struggle, no sacraments, no epiphanies. Just simple domesticity, captured in little images, here and there. All the cheap little objects. The jittering rattle of an oscillating fan; a pair of toothbrushes waiting in a cup by the sink. There’s the ragged squeal of an old screen door, the dry electronic screech of a receipt being printed, the ambient roar of someone showering upstairs. And the feeling of pulling on a pair of wool socks on a winter morning and peeling them off at the end of the day. These are sensations that pass without a second thought. So much of it is barely worth noting.

But in a couple hundred years, this world will turn over to a completely different cast of characters. They won’t look back and wonder who won the battles or when. Instead, they’ll try to imagine how we lived day to day, gathering precious artifacts of the world as it once was, in all its heartbreaking little details. They’ll look for the doodles left behind in the margins of our textbooks, and the dandelions pressed in the pages. They’ll try to imagine how our clothes felt on our bodies, and what we ate for lunch on a typical day, and what it might’ve cost. They’ll wonder about our superstitions, the weird little memes and phrases and jokes we liked to tell, the pop songs we hummed mindlessly to ourselves. They’ll try to imagine how it must’ve felt to stand on a street corner, looking around at the architecture, hearing old cars rumbling by. The smell in the air. What ketchup must have tasted like.

We rarely think to hold on to that part of life. We don’t build statues of ordinary people. We don’t leave behind little plaques to commemorate the milestones of ordinary time:






But it all still happened. All those cheap and disposable experiences are no less real than anything in our history books, no less sacred than anything in our hymnals. Perhaps we should try keeping our eyes open while we pray, and look for the meaning hidden in the things right in front of us: in the sound of Tic Tacs rattling in a box, the throbbing ache of hiccups, and the punky smell that lingers on your hands after doing the dishes. Each is itself a kind of meditation, a reminder of what is real.

We need these silly little things to fill out our lives, even if they don’t mean all that much. If only to remind us that the stakes were never all that high in the first place. It’s not always life-and-death. Sometimes it’s just life — and that’s alright."

— John Koenig, 'The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows'

2023/04/08 — 10:28

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

— Epicurus