The Passion of Artemesia
I had to read this for an Italian literature in translation class many years ago. It was good to re-read and there were some really nice exerpts:

Paint it out of you, carissima. Paint out the pain until there's none left. Don't take on shame from their mockery.

In Artemesia's own words:
If Rome craved spectacle, then I would give them spectacle.

"You've given your Judith a hard face," Cosimo said.

"She is concentrating. Like all heroines, she feels profoundly her task."

"As you, no doubt, have felt about yours," he said with a chuckle. "And who, may I ask, was your male model who deserved such revenge?"

"It is not personal vendetta, Your Highness." Santa Maria, let me not offend him. "If it is to be called revenge at all, it's revenge against tyranny."

"An artist's feeling is the white-hot core of painting...You've got to use your own emotions and paint with your own blood if need be in order to discover and prove the truth of your vision."

( I don't know exactly the meaning of 'vendetta.' does it mean, or is it a synonym for, revenge? )

I couldn't make the greenish gray face look like anything other than Agostino's. That bothered me. I didn't want to paint out of hate.

If that man has not separated you from the love of God, and he has not, then the only thing keeping hate of him alive is your thought about him. Only your pride keeps him in your memory and in your brush.

On the Penitent Magdalena: I want to display another side than the conventional belief of a sinner struck by unpremeditated conversion or spontaneous repentance. I think it must have been deep, prolonged, painful reflection that caused her great personal upheaval.

Down the sweep of years and centuries, would what I'd done matter? I had to believe that there was a purpose in painting every Judith, Lucretia, Susanna. Not thinking so would mean a lifetime of futile work.

   He blinked at me with eyes the deep brown color of need.
   "We've been lucky," I said. "We've been able to live by what we love. And to live painting, as we have, wherever we have, is to live passion and imagination and connection and adoration, all the best of life--to be more alive than the rest.

Songs My Father Never Taught Me
I hope to visit! Topkapi Palace, and Camlica, which draws the morning ezan from the city mosques like a magnet.

Ottoman mansions with the symmetrical facade and ornate carvings

Being shoved into? a vortex of distress

Graph theory.

Everytime she whispered in my ear, you're very fortunate to be the son of a genius..I would repeat my vow that I would never be a genius when I grew up.

An all-out war against the socio-economic defect of shallowness that sticks to this country like tar.

A certain attitude to those around him seemed to indicate that you owed him respect for sharing the same time zone with you. His merciless wit would wound anyone who talked nonsense. He was tall, green eyed, attractive and cynical.

Queen of Tarlabasi.

Always reading to the accompaniment of classical music.

Books became my only friends, and I read every one in the school library.

After the holy Bible and Koran, the most intelligent and worthwhile books are detective novels. The particular characteristic of the Holy Books is their immunity to misinterpretation.

Respectfully I limited myself to reading it line by line. I found that when my eyes recited the music of the sentences, peace and calm embraced my soul. Every reading meant the discovery of new spiritual strength. Absorbing it did not change my attitude but perhaps my self confidence increased. I was determined to come to terms with myself but I couldn't shake off my loneliness.

The visual resistance to time lingers on in several dwellings.

What sad days those were, the happiest of my life!

Shall I ask you a riddle you can't unravel, or a puzzle you can't answer?

Greek Poet who won the Nobel? Seferis.

Dvorak's Songs my Mother taught me. When I realized the depth of love and yearning in those melancholy lines, of which I understood not a word, my heart grew sad. For the first time listening to a song, I felt I must close my eyes. Maybe because I didn't know how to laugh, I knew I wasn't going to cry.

Aphorisms of Elias Canetti.

Conversation with the Meditteranean Medlar Tree: On the peak of Mt Cal behind Dikmen grows an old Mediterranean medlar tree. A tree where the vows of so many simple longings hang on dry branches along with the faded red and green prayer rags. I love that tree.

Three apples are said to fall from the sky. One for the storyteller, one for the listeners, and the last for the one who understands.

The prisoner is not the one who has committed a crime, but the one who clings to his crime and lives it over and over. We are all guilty of crime, the great crime of not living life to the fullest.

Emotional indigestion. / a painful inner world had been concealed under a blanket of external dilemmas, nevertheless he had managed to enjoy travelling to exotic climates.

The Kariye museum

Cellatlar, the executioners' graveyard

Kiztasi, the Maiden Stone

The Imrahor Mosque

The Atik Ali Pasa Mosque

The Karacaahmet Cemetery / Efendi fountain

crazy beautiful
a fun and swift read, i've been lately really into YA romance stories with darker themes...eep, does it make me a vampire! just kidding of course. but then again..has anyone read the vampire diaries books, and if so - are they any good?

~ I related so well to Lucius's emotions. ' i want to be reminded all the time. I know the world won't let me forget, so i can't let myself forget.'

Everything feels too new, like I'm being forced into a costume for a play I want no part in.

How long does it take a thing or a place or even a person to feel like home?

Did you know that starfish can generate new limbs?

It's pointless to be nervous when you know what the outcome of a thing will be. nervous is only for when you don't know.

It's good to be nice to the underdogs in this life. The wheel of fortune is always spinning. and just because you're at the top today doesn't mean it will always be so. when you're at the bottom, you'll want someone to be there for you too.

We go each night, my father and I, to discuss books and life ( to the diner ) I wish my dad and I could have this kind of relationship.

So much of life can be divided into before and after. it's as though when there is a significant event, there's a picture with two sides that look remarkably similar, but not quite, and right down the center is an invisible line representing that event...this is Lucius before, and This is Lucias after.

Snow quotations.
Happiness is holding someone in your arms and knowing you hold the whole world.

How much can we ever know about the love and pain in another heart? How much can we hope to understand those who have suffered deeper anguish, greater deprivation, and more crushing disappointments than we ourselves have known?

In a brutal country like ours, where human life is 'cheap', it's stupid to destroy yourself for the sake of your beliefs. Beliefs? High ideas? Only people in rich countries can enjoy such luxuries.

Suddenly Ka realized he was in love with İpek. And realizing that this love would determine the rest of his life, he was filled with dread.”
It's such a shame that we know so little about our own country, that we can't find it in our hearts to love our own kind. Instead we admire those who show our country disrespect and betray its people

Heaven was the place where you kept alive the dreams of your memories

Immersing oneself in the problems of a book is a good way to keep from thinking of love.

Snow reminds Ka of God! But I’m not sure it would be accurate. What brings me close to God is the silence of snow.

Now listen to me, please: On a winter day, when you were a lycée student, it was snowing, and you were lost in thought. You could hear God inside you, and you were trying to forget him. You could see that the world was one, but you thought that if you could close your eyes to this vision, you could be more unhappy and also more intelligent. And you were right. Only people who are very intelligent and very unhappy can write good poems. So you heroically undertook to endure the pains of faithlessness, just to be able to write good poems. But you didn’t realize then that when you lost that voice inside you, you’d end up all alone in the empty universe.

every person had a star, every star had a friend, and for every person carrying a star there was someone else who reflected it, and everyone carried this reflection as a secret confidant in his heart.

every life is like a snowflake: individual existences might look identical from afar, but to understand one´s own eternally mysterious uniqueness one had only to plot the mysteries of one´s own snowflake.

Orhan Pamuk - Snow
This was the first novel I read of the Turkish nobel prize winner for literature. It was so beautiful! A few of my favourite quotes, and i'm going to see / try to insert the image i would like, of the snowflake of life as he portrays in the book: do you agree?

Snowflake from Orhan Pamuk’s “Snow”

The Blood of Flowers
After reading this, there's so much I wish to know and learn more about, concerning Persia - Iran, the history!

~ The late 16th and early 17th centuries are the time period, the setting for this novel.

Shah Abbas - the great ruler of Iran, who would disguise himself go into town in order to know what the locals were thinking.

He had the ideas that are seen today in the urban layout of the Image of the World: The UNESCO heritage site in Isfahan.

The idea that comets, occurrences with the night skies and the patterns of the stars can influence the outcome of our lives was really startling to me. I wonder if many people in the middle east and south Asia still feel strongly that this is true or possible?

The story really made me think about carpets, the beautiful woven tapestries, and it's fascinating that they were / are still made as art in Persia as well as Turkey. The latter of course, I know quite a bit regarding only because of my current Turkish classes. But I would love to learn more with the history, culture, and stories quite literally and metaphorically 'woven' into these carpets!

Our response to cruelty, suffering, and sorrow is to remind the world of the face of beauty, which can best restore a man's tranquility, cleanse his hear of evil, and lead him to the path of truth.

Just as when we step into a mosque and its high open dome leads our minds up , up , to greater things , so a great carpet seeks to do the same under the feet .Such a carpet directs us to the magnificence of the infinite , veiled , yet never near , closer than the pulse of jugular , the sunburst that explodes at the center of a carpet signals this boundless radiance . Flowers and trees evoke the pleasures of paradise, and there is always a spot at the center of the carpet that brings calm to the heart. A single white lotus flower floats in a turquoise pool , and in this tiniest of details, there it is : a call to the best within , summoning us to the joy of union .in carpets , I now saw not just intricacies of nature and color , not just mastery of space , but a sign of the infinite design . In each pattern lay the work of a weaver of the world, complete and whole ; and in each knot of daily existence lay mine.

My mother had comforted me with tales ever since I was small. Sometimes they helped me peel a problem like an onion, or gave me ideas about what to do; other times, they calmed me so much that I would fall into a soothing sleep. My father used to say that her tales were better than the best medicine. Sighing, I burrowed into my mother's body like a child, knowing that the sound of her voice would be a balm on my heart

Look in the face of your beloved,
For in that mirror, you will see yourself

I felt as if I had more to learn than I had time on earth

Garden Spells
You are who you are, whether you like it or not, so why not like it?

It was like the way you wanted sunshine on Saturdays, or pancakes for breakfast. They just made you feel good.

When you're happy for yourself, it fills you. When you're happy for someone else, it pours over. It was almost too bright to watch.

Life is about experience... You can't hold on to everything

When you have to do something, you have to do it. Putting it off only makes it worse. Believe me, I know

Love always hurts. That’s one thing I know you know. But it’s worth it. That’s what you don’t know. Yet.

There, in the cluster of Queen Anne’s lace, tiny leaves of ivy were sprouting.  Ivy in the garden. Overnight.  The garden was saying that something was trying to get in, something that was pretty and looked harmless but would take over everything if given a chance.

The Art of Arranging Flowers
( Live...)
As if you were on fire from within. The moon lives in the lining of your skin.

I was crazy. I was broken. I was dead.
And then, one day I wasn't. It took months and it took grace and it took some unexpected slight shift of sadness that slipped just enough, just barely enough to make room for beauty.

But really it's the children who touch me the most. They seem to unfold the easiest. They're the ones who love with abandon, the ones who keep putting their hearts out there to be broken. They're the ones who teach the rest of us what it is to love.

the decorations at the banquet. 'It was like little gardens of rhapsody on every table. It was divine.”

Sometimes we think there is supposed to be this great spiritual awakening that happens before we make a change in our lives. We expect some 'aha' moment, some beautiful enlightening experience to shape us into the people we want to be, but sometimes it just happens from the circumstances in our lives that present themselves. We become who we are meant to be because of the things along our edges that pull us into existence.

Can empathy over-extend into self-neglect?

from hemingway: we become strong in the broken places.

can flowers be like people? when arranging flowers, can this be a sacred practice?

It turns out that the instabilities that shape roots and blossoms often come about when certain cells become longer than others. The rapid growth causes strain, which bends the soft tissues...

I liked this book a lot; it taught me much about botany and even some Greek, for the linguaphiles in all of us =)

eros, agape, philia and storge (in short: romantic love, spiritual love, friendship and familial love).

The Language of Hoofbeats
Lately I've been really interested in horses and I've been reading books mainly kids books, but still all the same, very rewarding and enjoyable to read =) and well, after a book like All the Light we Cannot See, and The Book Thief, some lighter reading I feel is in order.

~ It’s a choice between getting the crap beaten out of you for being exactly what you are, or avoiding the beating by selling out and pretending you’re not, which is like pretending there’s something wrong with what you are. I’m not sure which is worse.

There are some things it doesn’t feel good to do, but there shouldn’t be things you can’t do. It gives the world too much power over you.

if you meet someone you don’t like, or who doesn’t treat you right, try to reserve judgment, because you don’t know what that person’s going through

I realized I’d been on pins and needles waiting to see how he’d react to being penned up again. I’ll never understand that. How can I be on pins and needles and not even know it? It sounds like a thing that shouldn’t exist in the world at all, but there it is. It’s discouraging to be in the middle of a life that’s impossible to explain

The horse has a way of communicating pain without words.

bruised, a battered internal condition that figuratively showed on the outside. Like someone had beaten her within an inch of her life in some ingenious way that left no marks

I’m trying to learn to be a nicer person

It was after two in the morning, I would later learn, and I was having a dream that was nothing but hoofbeats. No visuals at all. Just a gray screen of nothingness, and the sound of hoofbeats

Why be given hours and days if all you want to do is make them go away again?

Phantom of the Opera
A vivid, almost visceral recollection of the tale of a disfigured musical genius and his unrequited love for a beautiful young singer.

The Masque of Read Death, the masked ball, the magnificent chandelier crashing down upon patrons of the Paris Opera House.
A dark, labyrinthine world...

The beauty or darkness of a human soul should not be measured by outward appearances or deformities.

are we always the product of our environments?

Your soul is a beautiful thing, child, and I thank you. No emperor ever received so fair a gift. The angels wept tonight.

Everyone looked cheerful as is the paris way. None will ever be true Parisian who has not learned to wear a mask of gaiety over his sorrow and one of sadness, boredom, or indifference over his inward joy.

In paris our lives are one masked ball...

I have not forgotten the little boy who went into the sea to rescue my scarf.

Raoul and Christine both had the same calm and dreamy little cast of mind. They delighted in stories, in old Breton legends, they would ask for stories at cottage doors...

Little Lotte thought of everything and nothing. Her hair was golden as the sun's rays and her soul as clear and blue as her eyes.

No one ever sees the Angel, but he is heard by those who are meant to hear him. He often comes when they least expect him, when they are sad nd disheartened. Then their ears suddenly perceive celestial harmonies, a divine voice, which they remember all their lives. Persons who are visited by the Angel quiver with a thrill unknown to the rest of mankind.

Resurrection of Lazarus

Romeo and Juliet ( music composed )

Is there a universal appeal to dark tragedies?

The one from long ago who captured her heart and the one holding her mentally captive in the present.

To be a protagonist, you can be tormented but you can't be a tormenter, that throws you right over the fence into the antagonist camp...

Trap doors, secret passage ways

Each showing courage and self-sacrifice for those they who is ultimately the hero/ heroine?


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