Walking between the old squatter cottages in The Jitties–in cold air and near dark, through mizzling rain–I hear a voice coming from a parked car. It’s American, intimate yet resonant, penetrating, conscious of an audience, and it’s reading from someone’s new novel, one of those clever first person deliveries designed to imply a listener in the text. There’s no driver in the car. There’s no one in the car at all. Its engine is running, it’s stopped at an angle at a corner in a billow of its own smoke. I walk past and go home thinking how much I’d like to win that Radio Four lottery and have my new book read that way, loudly but personably, to an empty lane at the end of November.
—M. John Harrison
Defy the voices.
Be the thing you want to be.
Remember that you are uniquely designed for the idea that is moving toward you.
You are good enough.
The idea is about to arrive.
The Red Hand Files, issue #9
Lord Nerevar Indoril, Hai Resdaynia!
Long forgotten, forged anew!
Three belied you, three betrayed you!
One you betrayed was three times true!
Lord Voryn Dagoth, Dagoth Ur
–steadfast liegeman, faithful friend–
bids you come and climb Red Mountain!
Beneath Red Mountain, once again,
break your bonds, shed cursed skin,
and purge the n'wah from Morrowind!
—The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
I want to become a spy like Joshua and Caleb. I've crossed the river and tangled with a few giants, but I want to go back and say to those who are hesitating: "Don't be afraid to cross over. The Promised Land is worth possessing, and we are not alone."
I want to be a spy for hope.
When a child draws, he doesn't intend to distort, but to set down exactly what he sees. And as his gaze is direct, he sees the lines that create motion.
—Flannery O'Connor, Mystery and Manners (paraphrased)
As a writer, she intends to see the lines of spiritual motion.
Sometimes when I pray, I utter the words but I do not feel or think them.
Sometimes when I pray, I utter the words thinking about what I say, but not feeling them.
Sometimes when I pray, I utter the words and I both think and feel what I say.
An act of will cannot make me feel, nor stop my mind from wandering. An act of will can only make me utter.
So, I shall utter the words and let the Spirit do the rest, guiding my mind and heart as he wills.
In the very earliest time
When both people and animals lived on earth
A person could become an animal if he wanted to
and an animal could become a human being.
Sometimes they were people
and sometimes animals
and there was no difference.
All spoke the same language
That was the time when words were like magic.
The human mind had mysterious powers.
A word spoken by chance might have strange consequences.
It would suddenly come alive
and what people wanted to happen could happen—
all you had to do was say it.
Nobody could explain this:
That’s the way it was.
Inuit woman interviewed by ethnologist Knud Rasmussen in the early twentieth century.