Stowaway.

“I love the way he looks at me. Shy and half-cocked as though he is caught off guard, like he is retracing his steps to remember all the ways to make me smile. He brings me flowers every Sunday and tells me stories about mermaids and sirens with their sharp claws and beguiling lips. He says I remind him of the sea and attaches me to a metaphor I’ve never heard before, when I thought I must have heard them all. I think someone broke his heart once and now he can’t bear to be apart from the ocean. He said it’s strange how the smallest things can wreck a ship. Like a rock, or a wave, or a hairline crack in the hull. He calls me his little stowaway and he says it sadly, tenderly, as though I can sink him.”

 – Memories by Lang Leav.

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The Ways of a Woman. 

“One of the men of the manor leans forward now. “What was it like to kiss such a lass?” There is a longing in his voice. This is more than lechery – those gathered here yearn for the touch of a woman tender and soft. I see in their faces an aching hunger for a woman’s grace, all her winsome ways.” 

 – Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes. 

The Days Pile Up.

“Down in her soul, the while, she was waiting for something to happen. Like a shipwrecked sailor, she perused her solitary world with hopeless eyes, searching for some white sail far away where the horizon turns to mist. She didn’t know what her luck might bring, what wind would blow it her way, what shore it would take her to, whether it was a sloop or a three-mastered schooner, laden with anguish or crammed to the portholes with happiness. But, every morning, when she awoke, she hoped it would happen that day, and she listened to every sound, jumping to her feet, surprised when nothing came; then, as the day came to its end, with an ever greater sadness, she was longing for the morrow.”

 – Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Love in real life.

“Before her wedding day, she had thought she was in love; but since she lacked the happiness that should have come from that love, she must have been mistaken, she fancied. And Emma sought to find out exactly what was meant in real life by the words felicity, passion and rapture, which had seemed so fine on the pages of books.”

 – Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.

The Institution of Money

“These guards here have been bribed – I can see that clearly – by such men to do this, for no institution has so harmed humanity as the creation of money. It’s destroyed even cities, it has expelled men from their homes; it teaches the minds of honest men to deviate and take up foul things. It has shown men to be villainous and to know every sort of godlessness.”

– Antigone by Sophocles.

Antigone against the world.

“I would not order you; and if you change your mind now, I would not have you do it with me. Be whatever you want, and I will bury him. It seems fair for me to die doing it. I will lie dear to him, with one dear to me, a holy outlaw, since I must please those below a longer time than people here, for I shall lie there forever. You, though, dishonor the gods’ commands, if you wish.”

 – Antigone by Sophocles. 

Only illusion is real, then.

“But the soul? How can the soul be an illusion? How can consciousness be just a mechanical play of atoms and molecules? Because I may be mistaken about what I see or feel or think or wish, but that I see, feel, think, or wish cannot be mistaken. I thought I was in the monastery of my youth, and I was mistaken, as I was having a dream. I may be having a dream now and be mistaken again. The world, myself, all life, all history, and all science may well be images and thoughts happening in a dream. But the dream itself is real. My consciousness, whether I am dreaming or awake, is real. If consciousness is an illusion, then only illusion is real, and the rest is conjecture. There is no explaining consciousness by atoms and the void.”

 – Phi by Guilio Tononi.

Chained to an Illusion.

“You are sure your will is powerful, your choices are guided by your conscience. Instead you are a mere servant of hordes of nerve cells – you follow their instructions to the letter, Frick had said. You are empty, Galileo, and have no spirit: nothing enters your immature body at conception, and nothing leaves your carcass at death. You are but a slave chained to a dying machine. Over it you have no power, and its end will be your end. It will be the end of an illusion.”

– Phi by Guilio Tononi.

The Sin of Projection.

“You know the sin I am speaking of – the same as when one falls in love: all men desire beauty, virtue, and grace. Just give a man the right time, when certain humors are receptive, a specimen of woman – a sketch that’s rough and draw – he’ll dress it head to toe with all his wishes, virtues that don’t exist but in imagination.”

– Phi by Guilio Tononi.