Madame, it is an old word and each one takes it new and wears it out himself. It is a word that fills with meaning as a bladder with air and the meaning goes out of it as quickly. It may be punctured as a bladder is punctured and patched and blown up again and if you have not had it does not exist for you. All people talk of it, but those who have had it are marked by it, and I would not wish to speak of it further since of all things it is the most ridiculous to talk of and only fools go through it many times.
But she had slept, she was positive. She knew it because of the dreams. Despite the comfort of her bed she had tossed and turned all night, her sleep punctured by images and disjointed flashes of battle. She thought she had also dreamt of a handsome stranger with dark hair and a charming smile. Upon waking, however, the unknown man's features were indistinct in her memory.
Katie Lynn Johnson
Bernard Williams has been a distinctive presence on the intellectual scene for more than three decades. . . . His writings do not offer the dubious exhilaration of grand philosophical theory, in which messy reality is tamed and caged, but the thrill of seeing pretension punctured by a kind of high-voltage common sense (backed up by impressive erudition). . . . There is no one in philosophy quite like him.
I've always loved silent movies. I recently saw 'Tilly's Punctured Romance' at the Academy, which is the first comedy made with Charlie Chaplin in 1914, and I sat there, and I couldn't believe that the entire audience of 2,000 people were laughing that hard from a movie made in 1914 - and there were no words; it was all faces.
New Orleans is 5 feet below sea level, which means that holes dug in the ground immediately fill with water. Coffins were punctured and sunk with weights, which didn't stop them from floating up out of the cemeteries and down the streets of the French Quarter on stormy nights. The solution was to bury people above ground, in what are called vaults.
IThe epiphany in this thought is that we simply cannot and do not create in isolation. As I paint my blank canvas others leave their mark on my masterpiece. Many have added colors and textures I knew not existed, greatly improving my creation..and yet... and yet... There are those who have punctured the fine leather and scraped at the rainbows of my mind... creating stormy patches where there were once colors beaming from the page.
So many humans. So many colours. They keep triggering inside me. They harass my memory. I see them tall in their heaps, all mounted on top of each other. There is air like plastic, a horizon like setting glue. There are skies manufactured by people, punctured and leaking, and there are soft, coal-coloured clouds, beating, like black hearts. And then. There is death. Making his way through all of it. On the surface: unflappable, unwavering. Below: unnerved, untied, and undone.
It's the leftover humans. The survivors. They're the ones I can't stand to look at, although on many occasions I still fail. I deliberately seek out the colors to keep my mind off them, but now and then, I witness the ones who are left behind, crumbling among the jigsaw puzzle of realization, despair, and surprises. They have punctured hearts. They have beaten lungs. Which in turn brings me to the subject I am telling you about tonight, or today, or whatever the hour and color. It's the story of one of those perpetual survivors ""an expert at being left behind.
Tucked inside the moments of this great sadness - this feeling of being punctured, scrambling and stricken - were also moments of the brightest, most swollen and logic shattering happiness I've ever experienced. One moment would be a wall of happiness so tall it could not be scaled; the next felt like falling into a pit of sadness that had no bottom. I realized you could not have one without the other, that this great capacity to love and be happy can be experienced only with this great risk of having happiness taken from you - to tremble, always, on the edge of loss.
Trying to exhaust himself, Vaughan devised an endless almanac of terrifying wounds and insane collisions: The lungs of elderly men punctured by door-handles; the chests of young women impaled on steering-columns; the cheek of handsome youths torn on the chromium latches of quarter-lights. To Vaughan, these wounds formed the key to a new sexuality, born from a perverse technology. The images of these wounds hung in the gallery of his mind, like exhibits in the museum of a slaughterhouse.
J. G. Ballard
Proof then, has retreated in the face of belief. Science, once heralded as the arbiter of truth, has had its facade of objectivity punctured. Intellectuals may point to the uncertainty of Heisenberg, but generally this has more to do with the growing distrust of statistics and the knowledge that scientists in the pay of governments and multi-nationals are no more objective than their masters. Science, once the avowed enemy of religion, now sees books BT Christian physicists and Taoist mathematicians. Science sells washing powders and status symbols and comes in the form of icons of technological nostalgia.
The wrinkled man in the wheelchair with the legs wrapped, the girl with her face punctured deep with the teeth marks of a dog, the mess of the world, and I see - this, all this, is what the French call d'un beau affreux, what the Germans call hubsch-hasslich - the ugly-beautiful. That which is perceived as ugly transfigures into beautiful. What the postimpressionist painter Paul Gauguin expressed as 'Le laid peut etre beau' - The ugly can be beautiful. The dark can give birth to life; suffering can deliver grace.
See, forgiveness doesn't happen all at once. It's not an event - it's a process. Forgiveness happens while you're asleep, while you're dreaming, while you're inline at the coffee shop, while you're showering, eating, farting, jerking off. It happens in the back of your mind, and then one day you realize that you don't hate the person anymore, that your anger has gone away somewhere. And you understand. You've forgiven them. You don't know how or why. It sneaked up on you. It happened in the small spaces between thoughts and in the seconds between ideas and blinks. That's where forgiveness happens. Because anger and hatred, when left unfed, bleed away like air from a punctured tire, over time and days and years. Forgiveness is stealth. At least, that's what I hope.
Although it was only six o'clock, the night was already dark. The fog, made thicker by its proximity to the Seine, blurred every detail with its ragged veils, punctured at various distances by the reddish glow of lanterns and bars of light escaping from illuminated windows. The road was soaked with rain and glittered under the street-lamps, like a lake reflecting strings of lights. A bitter wind, heavy with icy particles, whipped at my face, its howling forming the high notes of a symphony whose bass was played by swollen waves crashing into the piers of the bridges below. The evening lacked none of winter's rough poetry.
The question was whether an ape which was being used to develop a poliomyelitis serum, and for this reason punctured again and again, would ever be able to grasp the meaning of its suffering. Unanimously, the group replied that of course it would not; with its limited intelligence, it could not enter into the world of man, i.e., the only world in which the meaning of its suffering would be understandable. Then I pushed forward with the following question: 'And what about man? Are you sure that the the human world is a terminal point in the evolution of the cosmos? Is it not conceivable that there is still another dimension, a world beyond man's world; a world in which the question of an ultimate meaning of human suffering would find an answer?
Viktor E. Frankl
I came to feel a tenderness for them all. This was something new to me. It gave me a curious pleasure to touch them, to help them in and out of the chair, to shave their weather-toughened old faces. They had known hard use, nearly all of them. You could tell it by the way they held themselves and moved. Most of all you could tell it by their hands, which were shaped by wear and often by the twists and swellings of arthritis. They had used their hands forgetfully, as hooks and pliers and hammers, and in every kind of weather. The backs of their hands showed a network of little scars where they had been cut, nicked, thornstuck, pinched, punctured, scraped, and burned. Their faces told that they had suffered things they did not talk about.Every one of them had a good knife in his pocket, sharp, the blades whetted narrow and concave, the horn of the handle worn smooth.
He looked at them and saw their faces did not fit. The skin on the skulls crawled and twitched like half-solid paste. All the heads in his angle of vision seemed irregular lumps, like potatoes but without a potato's repose: potatoes with crawling surfaces punctured by holes which opened and shut, holes blocked with coloured jelly or fringed with bone stumps, elastic holes through which air was sucked or squirted, holes secreting salt, wax, spittle and snot. He grasped a pencil in his trouser pocket, wishing it were a knife he could thrust through his cheek and use to carve his face down to the clean bone. But that was foolish. Nothing clean lay under the face. He thought of sectioned brains, palettes, eyeballs and ears seen in medical diagrams and butcher's shops. He thought of elastic muscle, pulsing tubes, gland sacks full of lukewarm fluid, the layers of cellular and fibrous and granular tissues inside a head. What was felt as tastes, caresses, dreams and thoughts could be seen as a cleverly articulated mass of garbage.
Raft and Net To cross a river you need a raft; once the river has been crossed, the raft can be left behind. To catch fish you need a net; once the fish are caught, the net may be put away. What I realize as I observe this is the Tao of using techniques to extend life. Techniques are methods, methods of cultivating reality. Once yang has peaked in people, giving rise to yin, every day a hole is punctured in their completeness - the six senses rebel, the five forces damage each other, the three parasites make trouble within, the seven feelings run amok outside. This cuts away at the spiritual root day by day, until it is nearly gone. Unless you have the great method of overcoming the dragon and conquering the tiger, the expert skill to turn the dipper handle, how can you destroy aberrant energy, how can you restore sane energy to wholeness? This is why the method is necessary. The great Tao is natural and spontaneous, without artifice - why is it necessary to use a method of deliberate action? The reason it is indeed necessary to use the method is to get rid of degeneracy. When all degenerations are effectively done away with, then the method is not needed, just as a raft needed to cross a river is to be left behind once the river is crossed, and a net needed to catch fish is to be put away once the fish have been caught. This is the meaning of using a method and not using a method. The same thing is true of using techniques to extend life - when life has been extended, then the techniques are no longer used. It is only before life has been extended that it is necessary to use techniques to take over Creation, reverse the working of energy, and shift the polar star. Only then can essence and life depend on oneself and not on heaven, so that one transcends the world and its forces.
I used to read in books how our fathers persecuted mankind. But I never appreciated it. I did not really appreciate the infamies that have been committed in the name of religion, until I saw the iron arguments that Christians used. I saw the Thumbscrew-two little pieces of iron, armed on the inner surfaces with protuberances, to prevent their slipping; through each end a screw uniting the two pieces. And when some man denied the efficacy of baptism, or may be said, 'I do not believe that a fish ever swallowed a man to keep him from drowning, ' then they put his thumb between these pieces of iron and in the name of love and universal forgiveness, began to screw these pieces together. When this was done most men said, 'I will recant.' Probably I should have done the same. Probably I would have said: 'Stop; I will admit anything that you wish; I will admit that there is one god or a million, one hell or a billion; suit yourselves; but stop.' But there was now and then a man who would not swerve the breadth of a hair. There was now and then some sublime heart, willing to die for an intellectual conviction. Had it not been for such men, we would be savages to-night. Had it not been for a few brave, heroic souls in every age, we would have been cannibals, with pictures of wild beasts tattooed upon our flesh, dancing around some dried snake fetich. Let us thank every good and noble man who stood so grandly, so proudly, in spite of opposition, of hatred and death, for what he believed to be the truth. Heroism did not excite the respect of our fathers. The man who would not recant was not forgiven. They screwed the thumbscrews down to the last pang, and then threw their victim into some dungeon, where, in the throbbing silence and darkness, he might suffer the agonies of the fabled damned. This was done in the name of love-in the name of mercy, in the name of Christ. I saw, too, what they called the Collar of Torture. Imagine a circle of iron, and on the inside a hundred points almost as sharp as needles. This argument was fastened about the throat of the sufferer. Then he could not walk, nor sit down, nor stir without the neck being punctured, by these points. In a little while the throat would begin to swell, and suffocation would end the agonies of that man. This man, it may be, had committed the crime of saying, with tears upon his cheeks, 'I do not believe that God, the father of us all, will damn to eternal perdition any of the children of men.' I saw another instrument, called the Scavenger's Daughter. Think of a pair of shears with handles, not only where they now are, but at the points as well, and just above the pivot that unites the blades, a circle of iron. In the upper handles the hands would be placed; in the lower, the feet; and through the iron ring, at the centre, the head of the victim would be forced. In this condition, he would be thrown prone upon the earth, and the strain upon the muscles produced such agony that insanity would in pity end his pain. I saw the Rack. This was a box like the bed of a wagon, with a windlass at each end, with levers, and ratchets to prevent slipping; over each windlass went chains; some were fastened to the ankles of the sufferer; others to his wrists. And then priests, clergymen, divines, saints, began turning these windlasses, and kept turning, until the ankles, the knees, the hips, the shoulders, the elbows, the wrists of the victim were all dislocated, and the sufferer was wet with the sweat of agony. And they had standing by a physician to feel his pulse. What for? To save his life? Yes. In mercy? No; simply that they might rack him once again. This was done, remember, in the name of civilization; in the name of law and order; in the name of mercy; in the name of religion; in the name of Christ.
Robert G. Ingersoll