Actually, there is a word for that. It’s love. I’m in love with her, okay? If you’re looking for the word that means caring for someone beyond all rationality and wanting them to have everything they want no matter how much it destroys you, its love! And when you love someone y-you just don’t stop. Ever. Even when people roll their eyes or call you crazy. Even then. Especially then. You just- you don’t give up because if I could give up… If I could just, you know, take the whole world’s advice and- and move on and find someone else, that wouldn’t be love. That would be… That would be some other disposable thing that is not worth fighting for. But that is not what this is.
Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother Season 9, Episode 17
“Are any of the levers marked?” said Ponder, scrabbling through Leonard’s sketches. “Yes, but I don’t understand them! Here’s one marked ‘Troba’!” Ponder scanned the pages, covered in Leonard’s backwards writing. “Er… er…” he muttered. “Do not pull the lever marked ‘Troba’!” snapped Lord Vetinari, leaning forward. “My lord!” said Ponder, and went red as Lord Vetinari’s gaze fell upon him. “I’m sorry, my lord, but this is rather technical, it is about machinery, and it would perhaps be better if those whose education had been more in the field of the arts did not…” His voice faded under the Patrician’s stare. “This one’s got a normal label! It’s called ‘Prince Haran’s Tiller’!” said a desperate voice from the omniscope. Lord Vetinari patted Ponder Stibbons on the shoulder. “I quite understand,” he said. “The last thing a trained machinery person wants at a time like this is well-meant advice from ignorant people. I do apologize. And what is it that you intend to do?” “Well, I, er, I…” “As the Kite and all our hopes plunge towards the ground, I mean,” Lord Vetinari went on. “I, er, I, let’s see, we’ve tried…” Ponder stared at the omniscope, and at his notes. His mind had become a huge, white, sticky field of hot fluff. “I imagine we have at least a minute left,” said Lord Vetinari. “No rush.” “I, er, perhaps we, er…” The Patrician leaned down towards the omniscope. “Rincewind, pull Prince Haran’s Tiller,” he said. “We don’t know what it does–” Ponder began. “Do tell me if you have a better idea,” said Lord Vetinari. “In the meantime, I suggest that the lever is pulled.” On the Kite, Rincewind decided to respond to the voice of authority. “Er… there’s a lot of clicking and whirring…” he reported. “And… some of the levers are moving by themselves… now the wings are unfolding… we’re sort of flying in a straight line, at least… quite gently, really…” “Good. I suggest you apply yourself to waking up Leonard,” said the Patrician. He turned and nodded at Ponder. “You yourself have not studied the classics, young man? I know Leonard has.” “Well… no, sir.” “Prince Haran was a legendary Klatchian hero who sailed around the world on a ship with a magical tiller,” said Lord Vetinari. “It steered the ship while he slept. If I can be of any further help, don’t hesitate to ask.”
– never let the imminent destruction of the world stop you from being dramatic: the Havelock Vetinari story |
Terry Pratchett, The Last Hero
And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.
Writing a novel is a tiny candle in a dark, swirling world. It brings light and warmth and hope to the lucky few who, against insufferable odds and despite a juggernaut of irritations, find themselves in the right place to hold it. Blow it out, so our eyes will not be drawn to its power. Extinguish it so we can get some sleep.
-Lemony Snicket, NaNoWriMo Pep Talk, November 23, 2010
“Two dwarfs getting married each buy the other dwarf off their parents.” “Buy?” said William. “How can you buy people?” “See? Cultural misunderstanding once again, lad. It costs a lot of money to raise a young dwarf to marriageable age. Food, clothes, chain mail… it all adds up over the years. It needs repaying. After all, the other dwarf is getting a valuable commodity. And it has to be paid for in gold. That’s traditional. Or gems. They’re fine, too. You must’ve heard our saying ‘worth his weight in gold’? Of course, if a dwarf’s been working for his parents, that gets taken into account on the other side of the ledger. Why, a dwarf who’s left off marrying till late in life is probably owed quite a tidy sum in wages – You’re still looking at me in that funny way…” “It’s just that we don’t do it like that…” mumbled William. Goodmountain gave him a sharp look. “Don’t you, now?” he said. “Really? What do you use instead, then?” “Er… gratitude, I suppose,” said William. He wanted this conversation to stop, right now. It was heading out over thin ice. “And how’s that calculated?” “Well… it isn’t, as such…” “Doesn’t that cause problems?” “Sometimes.” “Ah. Well, we know about gratitude, too. but our way means the couple start their new lives in a state of… g’daraka… er, free, unencumbered, new dwarfs. Then their parents might well give them a huge wedding present, much bigger than the dowry. But it is between dwarf and dwarf, out of love and respect, not between debtor and creditor… though I have to say these human words are not really the best way of describing it. It works for us. It has worked for a thousand years.” “I suppose to a human it sounds a bit… chilly,” said William. Goodmountain gave him another studied look. “You mean by comparison to the warm and wonderful ways humans conduct their affairs?” he said. “You don’t have to answer that one. Anyway, me and Boddony want to open up a mine together, and we’re expensive dwarfs. We know how to work lead, so we thought a year or two of this would see us right.”
– on cultural differences |
Terry Pratchett, The Truth