"Tell me, sir, what is a butterfly?""It's what you are meant to become. It flies with beautiful wings and joins the earth to heaven. It drinks only nectar from the flowers and carries the seeds of love from one flower to another. Without butterflies, the world would soon have few flowers.
Comparing what we're looking for misses the point. It's wanting to know that makes us matter. Otherwise we're going out the way we came in. That's why you can't believe in the afterlife, Valentine. Believe in the after, by all means, but not the life. Believe in God, the soul, the spirit, the infinite, believe in angels if you like, but not in the great celestial get-together for an exchange of views. If the answers are in the back of the book I can wait, but what a drag. Better to struggle on knowing that failure is final.
What is it that separates human beings from the so-called lower animals? Well, as I see it, its exactly one half-dozen significant things: Humor, Imagination, Eroticism- as opposed to the mindless, instinctive mating of glowworms or raccoons- Spirituality, Rebelliousness, and Aesthetics, an appreciation of beauty for its own sake.
Keesha looked at me for a long time. "I did leave you alone. We all did. But you didn't get better. You didn't stop. You're still doin' all your weird shit. And I think it's time to stop.""You think it's time to stop!" I exploded, and lunged at her with my hands outstretched. I pushed her real hard. She almost fell down. "I don't care what time you think it is!" I screamed. "Do you think I want to do this! Do you think I like it?""You pushed me!""Yeah. So what?""You're so afraid of being interrupted that you pushed me!""I'm not scared of being interrupted, you jerk! I'm . . . I'm scared . . . I'm scared of being." I crumpled into a ball and sat down where I was standing. I sat on a crack. Unevenly."Who are you anymore, Tara?"Tears spilled over my frozen lashes and disappeared across my cheekbones. I had never felt so defeated. "I don't know.
Oh, what had she done?"He'd startled her; that was the problem. It was all his fault he was lying on the ground, looking rather cherub like, his blond hair curling about his ears, his bright blue eyes closed now, his masculine lips parted slightly as he slept the sleep of the dead.She studied his masculine lips. And thought just how much havoc she could wreak if she kissed him. Served him right for startling her so.Without analyzing whether she should do it, and just because she could, she pressed her mouth against his and gently kissed his lips, meaning only to give a quick peck and that was it.... His lips curved up under hers and for a second, she thought he was awake, smiling at her kissing him....Her thoughts reverted to the kiss and immediately the human faery tale Sleeping Beauty and the prince giving the princess a kiss to wake her sprang to mind. Why ever did humans make up such nonsense anyway?
Very well. He'd lighten up. As a matter of fact, he felt as light as the bubbly froth that flew from the lips of the waves. Whatever else his long, unprecedented life might have been, it had been fun. Fun! If others should find that appraisal shallow, frivolous, so be it. To him, it seemed now to largely have been some form of play. And he vowed that in the future he would strive to keep that sense of play more in mind, for he'd grown convinced that play--more than piety, more than charity or vigilance--was what allowed human beings to transcend evil.
Beauty! Wasn't that what mattered? Beauty was hardly a popular ideal at that jumpy moment in history. The masses had been desensitized to it, the intelligentsia regarded it with suspicion. To most of her peers, 'beauty' smacked of the rarefied, the indulgent, the superfluous, the effete. How could persons of good conscience pursue the beautiful when there was so much suffering and injustice in the world? Ellen Cherry's answer was that if one didn't cultivate beauty, soon he or she wouldn't be able to recognize ugliness. The prevalence of social ugliness made commitment to physical beauty all the more essential. And the very presence in life of double-wide mobile homes, Magic Marker graffiti, and orange shag carpeting had the effect of making ills such as poverty, crime, repression, pollution, and child abuse seem tolerable. In a sense, beauty was the ultimate protest, and, in that it generally lasted longer than an orgasm, the ultimate refuge. The Venus de Milo screamed 'No!' at evil, whereas the Spandex stretch pant, the macrame plant holder were compliant with it. Ugly bedrooms bred ugly habits. Of course, it wasn't required of beauty that it perform a social function. That was what was valuable about it.
ERIC: What are you always writin' in that book anyway?RODNEY: Poetry.TYRONE: Poetry?Rodney stops sketching and sentimentally flips through a few dozen pages of sketches and handwritten poems and notes.RODNEY: Poetry and pictures. Snapshots of our lives developed in the darkrooms of our souls."From CENTRAL PARK SONG -- a screenplay