Mystery is what happens to us when we allow life to evolve rather than having to make it happen all the time. It is the strange knock at the door, the sudden sight of an unceremoniously blooming flower, an afternoon in the yard, a day of riding the midtown bus. Just to see. Just to notice. Just to be there.
Joan D. Chittister
I looked at the campers, all of them grim and determined. I tried not to feel like this was the last time I'd ever see them all together. 'You're the greatest heroes of this millennium, ' I told them. 'It doesn't matter how many monsters come at you. Fight bravely, and we will win.' I raised Riptide and shouted, 'FOR OLYMPUS!' They shouted in response, and our forty voices echoed off the buildings of Midtown.
I looked at the campers, all of them grim and determined. I tried not to feel like this was the last time I'd ever see them all together. 'You're the greatest heroes of this millennium,' I told them. 'It doesn't matter how many monsters come at you. Fight bravely, and we will win.' I raised Riptide and shouted, 'FOR OLYMPUS!' They shouted in response, and our forty voices echoed off the buildings of Midtown.
My office is in a building in midtown Chicago. It's an older building, and not in the best of shape, especially since there was that problem with the elevator last year. I don't care what anyone says, that wasn't my fault. when a giant scorpion the size of an Irish wolfhound is tearing its way through the roof of your elevator car, you get real willing to take desperate measures.
Scheduled shipping is one of many inventions that has made New York a global capital of innovation and creativity - from Willis Carrier's invention of air conditioning in Buffalo and George Eastman's breakthrough film technology in Rochester to the rise of hip-hop in the South Bronx and the world's first cell phone call in Midtown Manhattan.
My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. I'm a wizard. I work out of an office in midtown Chicago. As far as I know, I'm the only openly practicing professional wizard in the country. You can find me in the yellow pages, under "Wizards." Believe it or not, I'm the only one there. My ad looks like this: HARRY DRESDEN "" WIZARD Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, Parties, or Other Entertainment You'd be surprised how many people call just to ask me if I'm serious.
Home. Home was BAMA, the Sprawl, the Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis. Program a map to display frequency of data exchange, every thousand megabytes a single pixel on a very large screen. Manhattan and Atlanta burn solid white. Then they start to pulse, the rate of traffic threatening to overload your simulation. Your map is about to go nova. Cool it down. Up your scale. Each pixel a million megabytes. At a hundred million megabytes per second, you begin to make out certain blocks in midtown Manhattan, outlines of hundred-year-old industrial parks ringing the old core of Atlanta...
And I wonder, therefore, how James Atlas can have been so indulgent in his recent essay 'The Changing World of New York Intellectuals.' This rather shallow piece appeared in the New York Times magazine, and took us over the usual jumps. Gone are the days of Partisan Review, Delmore Schwartz, Dwight MacDonald etc etc. No longer the tempest of debate over Trotsky, The Waste Land, Orwell, blah, blah. Today the assimilation of the Jewish American, the rise of rents in midtown Manhattan, the erosion of Village life, yawn, yawn. The drift to the right, the rediscovery of patriotism, the gruesome maturity of the once iconoclastic Norman Podhoretz, okay, okay! I have one question which Atlas in his much-ballyhooed article did not even discuss. The old gang may have had regrettable flirtations. Their political compromises, endlessly reviewed, may have exhibited naivety or self-regard. But much of that record is still educative, and the argument did take place under real pressure from anti-semitic and authoritarian enemies. Today, the alleged 'neo-conservative' movement around Jeane Kirkpatrick, Commentary and the New Criterion can be found in unforced alliance with openly obscurantist, fundamentalist and above all anti-intellectual forces. In the old days, there would at least have been a debate on the proprieties of such a united front, with many fine distinctions made and brave attitudes struck. As I write, nearness to power seems the only excuse, and the subject is changed as soon it is raised. I wait for the agonised, self-justifying neo-conservative essay about necessary and contingent alliances. Do I linger in vain?
What we have here is a war-the war of matter and spirit. In the classical era, spirit was in harmony with matter. Matter used to condense spirit. What was unseen-the ghost of Hamlet's father-was seen-in the conscience of the king. The spirit was trapped in the matter of theater. The theater made the unseen, seen. In the Romantic era, spirit overwhelms matter. The glass of champagne can't contain the bubbles. But never in the history of humanity has spirit been at war with matter. And that is what we have today. The war of banks and religion. It's what I wrote in Prayers of the Dawn, that in New York City, banks tower over cathedrals. Banks are the temples of America. This is a holy war. Our economy is our religion. When I came back to midtown a week after the attack-I mourned-but not in a personal way-it was a cosmic mourning-something that I could not specify because I didn't know any of the dead. I felt grief without knowing its origin. Maybe it was the grief of being an immigrant and of not having roots. Not being able to participate in the whole affair as a family member but as a foreigner, as a stranger-estranged in myself and confused-I saw the windows of Bergdorf and Saks-what a theater of the unexpected-my mother would have cried-there were only black curtains, black drapes-showing the mourning of the stores-no mannequins, just veils-black veils. When the mannequins appeared again weeks later-none of them had blond hair. I don't know if it was because of the mourning rituals or whether the mannequins were afraid to be blond-targets of terrorists. Even they didn't want to look American. They were out of fashion after the Twin Towers fell. To the point, that even though I had just dyed my hair blond because I was writing Hamlet and Hamlet is blond, I went back to my coiffeur immediately and told him-dye my hair black. It was a matter of life and death, why look like an American. When naturally I look like an Arab and walk like an Egyptian.