Midnight Light
Mostly lost wandering in my mind, or suing for peace with long dead nations in my spare time. I like knowing how things work and improving them. Rockets and Electricity. Semi mythical stories of Atlantis, Arundel, Cahokia, and Syracuse are my particular favorites. 500 Days of Summer in Texas, Snow, reading, some political ranting, inventing,socially inept, pyromaniac, generally misunderstood, and everything else.

reblog if you want a cute message right now. no matter if it’s anon or not.

quotes from Orson Scott Card’s Xenocide


"The husband longs for his whole self, which was made of the husband and wife together. Thus he never believes any of his own thoughts, because there is always a question in his mind to which his wife’s thoughts were the only possible answer. Thus the whole world seems dead to him because he cannot trust anything to keep its meaning before the onslaught of this unanswerable question." (page 4)

“‘I understand belief.’ ‘No - you desire belief.’ ‘I desire it enough to act as if I believed. Maybe that’s what faith is.’ ‘Or deliberate insanity.’” (page 53)

"Can life-and-death decisions only be made by strangers?" (page 72)

"You living creatures, you think that because you want something very much, it has to happen. That wishing something with all your heart will make it so." (page 74)

"How can you search for something if you don’t believe that it exists?" (page 74)

"The only conclusion they reached was that while the future couldn’t be known, it would probably be a good deal better than their worst fears and nowhere near as good as their best hopes. Wasn’t that how the world always worked?" (page 77)

"Grief, she reminded herself, is almost always for the mourner’s loss." (page 79)

"When you hear a true story, there is a part of you that responds to it regardless of art, regardless of evidence. Let it be clumsily told and you will still love the tale, if you love truth. Let it be the most obvious fabrication and you will still believe whatever truth is in it, because you cannot deny truth no matter how shabbily it is dressed." (page 89)

"The only way to retrieve a secret, once it is known, is to replace it with a lie; then the knowledge of the truth is once again your secret." (page 90)

"The wise are not wise because they make no mistakes. They are wise because they correct their mistakes as soon as they recognize them." (page 96)

"To stop a human being from doing something, you must find a way to make the person stop wanting to do it." (page 103)

"That was how human beings satisfied their sense of responsibility - checking again even when they knew it was unnecessary." (page 109)

"Every day all people judge all other people. The question is whether we judge wisely." (page 149)

"There can be no greater honor to a parent than to have a child who is greater." (page 150)

“‘What is the question?’ ‘One word: Why?’ ‘And how does God answer them?’ ‘With life. Rooter says that life is how God gives purpose to the universe.” (page 160)

"I don’t know anybody, and nobody knows me. We spend our lives guessing at what’s going on inside everybody else, and when we happen to get lucky and guess right, we think we ‘understand’. Such nonsense. Even a monkey at a computer will type a word now and then." (page 166)

"The illusion of comprehension allowed people to think they were more alike than they really were." (page 192)

“‘All those people who get their colds cured, who get their migraines miraculously taken from them - are you telling me they deserve more from God than I do?’ ‘Maybe it isn’t based on what you deserve. Maybe it’s based on what you need.’” (page 201)

"Most communities attempting to survive under irresistible pressure from a dominant culture develop a myth that allows them to believe that they are somehow a special people. Chosen. Favored by the gods." (page 206)

"No matter how well you know what a person has done and what he thought he was doing when he did it and what he now thinks of what he did, it is impossible to be certain of what he will do next." (pages 232-233)

"Even though it was impossible at least it was conceivable, it could be imagined and therefore it might just be real.” (page 276)

"I love you anyway, because you have told me the truth all my life." (page 281)

"It’s a foolish man who thinks a story can only mean one thing." (page 291)

"We pretend to be whatever we must in order to survive." (page 296)

"The highest beings of all are the ones who are willing to pay any personal cost for the good of those who need them." (page 309)

"[Humans] never know anything. They don’t have enough years in their little lives to come to an understanding of anything at all. And yet they think they understand. From earliest childhood, they delude themselves into thinking they comprehend the world, while all that’s really going on is that they’ve got some primitive assumptions and prejudices. As they get older they learn a more elevated vocabulary in which to express their mindless pseudo-knowledge and bully other people into accepting their prejudices as if they were truth, but it all amounts to the same thing. individually, human beings are all dolts.” (page 316)

"Maybe we’re the fools, for thinking we can know things. Maybe humans are the only ones who can deal with the fact that nothing can ever be known at all." (page 317)

"Happiness can depend as easily on useless things as on useful ones." (page 363)

"The future is a hundred thousand threads, but the past is a fabric that can never be rewoven." (page 366)

"Isn’t it possible, he wondered, for one person to love another without trying to own each other? Or is that buried so deep in our genes that we can never get it out?" (page 380)

"Free will doesn’t exist. Only the illusion of free will, because the causes of our behavior are so complex that we can’t trace them back.” (page 384)

"It’s all a made-up story, but when everybody believes that everybody’s actions are the result of free choice, and takes and gives responsibility accordingly, the result is civilization." (page 384)

"When you have wisdom that another person knows that he needs, you give it freely. But when th other person doesn’t yet know that he needs your wisdom, you keep it to yourself. Food only looks good to a hungry man." (page 396)

"Just because your former understanding of the purpose of your life is contradicted doesn’t mean that you have to decide there is no purpose.” (page 411)

"A real god doesn’t care about control. A real god already has control of everything that needs controlling. Real gods would want to teach you how to be just like them.” (page 412)

"I think you don’t grow up until you stop worrying about what other people’s purposes or lack of them and find the purposes you believe in for yourself." (page 413)

“‘You can twist anything with the right story,’ said Valentine. ‘You can deny any sacrifice by claiming that it made the sufferer feel so good to do it that it really wasn’t a sacrifice at all, but just another selfish act.’” (page 426)

"People should only be blamed or praised for what they meant to do." (page 430)

"How can I tell the good people from the bad, if the bad people all have some way of convincing themselves that they’re trying to do good even though they’re doing something terrible? And the good people can believe that they’re actually very bad even though they’re doing something good? Maybe you can only do good if you think you’re bad, and if you think you’re good then you can only do bad." (page 431)

"He wasn’t telling her what the gods were, he was telling her what goodness was. To want other people to grow. To want other people to have all the good things that you have. And to spare them the bad things if you can. That was goodness." (page 432)

"That was it. That was what the gods would be, if there were gods. They would want everyone else to have all that was good in life, just like good parents. But unlike parents or any other people, the gods would actually know what was good and have the power to cause good things to happen, even when nobody else understood that they were good.” (page 433)

"It’s intelligence that makes you unhappy." (page 437)

"And I thought: this is so much more important than science. Or politics, either. Or any particular profession or accomplishment or thing you can make. I thought: if I could just make a good family, if I could just learn to be to other children, their whole lives, what Andrew was, coming so late into ours, then that would mean more in the long run, it would be a finer accomplishment than anything I could ever do with my mind or my hands. […] I learned how to be a father from him, and I’m a damned good one.” (pages 448-449)

"You don’t protect the truth by keeping other people from knowing it." (page 452)

“‘The only difference between a warning and a threat is whether you’re the person giving it or the person receiving it,’ said Ouara. ‘No,’ said Miro, ‘The difference is how the person means it.’” (page 459)

"Civilization is only a pretense; in the crisis, we become mere apes again, forgetting the rational biped of our pretensions and becoming instead the hairy primate at the mouth of the cave, screeching at the enemy, wishing it would go away, fingering the heavy stone that we’ll use the moment it comes close enough." (page 489)

"We’re all unsure of breath, and the sun stays in its same place, day and night, neither rising nor falling. We are the ones who rise and fall." (page 525)

“‘It’s the worst thing you’ll ever do in your life,’ she said, ‘helping the people you love to do something that you in your heart you believe is deeply wrong.’” (page 542)

"Others find humanity by looking in their own hearts. Only lost souls need to search for it outside themselves." (page 558)

"Everyone is chaste in the end. Everyone ends up out of the reach of all the deadly sins." (page 571)

“‘It may be a cliché,’ said Jane, ‘but that doesn’t mean it can’t be true.’” (page 572)



For her beauty, as we are told, was in itself not altogether incomparable, nor such as to strike those who saw her; but converse with her had an irresistible charm, and her presence, combined with the persuasiveness of her discourse and the character which was somehow diffused about her behaviour towards others, had something stimulating about it. There was sweetness also in the tones of her voice; and her tongue, like an instrument of many strings, she could readily turn to whatever language she pleased…
Plutarch, Life of Antony (XXVII.2-3) on Cleaopatra

Herbert Gustave Schmalz: Zenobia’s last look on Palmyra, 1888.


Herbert Gustave Schmalz: Zenobia’s last look on Palmyra, 1888.

The inhabitant of the United States attaches himself to goods of this world as if he were assured of not dying, and he rushes so precipitately to grasp those that pass within his reach that one would say he fears at each instant he will cease to live before he has enjoyed them. He grasps them all but without clutching them, and he soon allows them to escape from his hands so as to run after new enjoyments… Death finally comes, and it stops him before he has grown weary of this useless pursuit of a complete felicity that always flees from him. One is at first astonished to contemplate the singular agitation displayed by so many happy men in the very midst of their abundance. This spectacle is, however, as old as the world; what is new is to see a whole people show it.
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (via hierarchical-aestheticism)

Herbert Schmalz: Denise, 1885.


Herbert Schmalz: Denise, 1885.


 La fille de Jairus( Daughter of Jairus) par Herbert Schmalz (1856–1935)
" Jairus, a patron of the synagogue, asks Jesus to heal his dying daughter. However, according to Matthew, his daughter is already dead, not dying. As they travel to Jairus’s house, a sick woman in the crowd touches Jesus’ cloak and is healed of her sickness. This is called the miracle of Christ healing the bleeding woman. Meanwhile the daughter dies, but Jesus continues to the house and brings her back to life, or in his own words, awakens her.” read more


La fille de Jairus( Daughter of Jairus) par Herbert Schmalz (1856–1935)

" Jairus, a patron of the synagogue, asks Jesus to heal his dying daughter. However, according to Matthew, his daughter is already dead, not dying. As they travel to Jairus’s house, a sick woman in the crowd touches Jesus’ cloak and is healed of her sickness. This is called the miracle of Christ healing the bleeding woman. Meanwhile the daughter dies, but Jesus continues to the house and brings her back to life, or in his own words, awakens her.” read more


"Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness."

• The Book Thief, Mark Zusak