Go out of the house to see the moon, and 't is mere tinsel; it will not please as when its light shines upon your necessary journey. The beauty that shimmers in the yellow afternoons of October, who could ever clutch it? Go forth to find it, and it is gone: 't is only a mirage as you look from the windows of diligence.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Though I have been busy, perhaps overbusy, all my life, it seems to me now that I have accomplished little that matters, that the books have never come up to what was in my head, and that the rewards-the comfortable income, the public notice, the literary prizes, and the honorary degrees-have been tinsel, not what a grown man should be content with.
Sometimes I though about killing myself. The idea of it circled my head, shining and lovely like a tinsel halo. How beautiful it would be if everything could just stop. If I could stop. If I didn't have to feel like this. Yes, I thought about it and thought about it, but I was too exhausted to do anything about it. That should have been funny, right?
After church on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, my family would go chop down our Christmas tree. Once it was home and placed in its stand, Mom and I would painstakingly decorate our tree. It took hours to place the tinsel, string the lights, find the perfect spot for my favorite macaroni and felt ornaments from kindergarten.
I miss family and friends, and I'd like to get back to work more in Scotland, and do more things like theatre and 'Red Road.' But over here you have the beach and the mountains and the climate. A lot of people diss L.A. as being all tinsel town, fake this and fake that, but a place is only as good as the people you know.
If you choose the liberty and pride and strength of the single soul, and the free fraternization of men, as the purpose which your life is to make manifest then do not sell it for tinsel. Think that your soul is strong and will hold its way; and slowly, through bitter struggle perhaps the strength will grow.
Voltairine de Cleyre
WELL, I GUESS YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED, GOD, I NEVER BEEN SO CLEAN. YES, I FEEL LIKE I'M WORKING IN A HOLLYWOOD MOVIE OR LIVING OUT A GOOD BAD DREAM. AND ALL THEM PINUP GIRLS IN THAT TINSEL WORLD NEVER TOUCHED ME LIKE SHE CAN; IT TOOK ANOTHER MAN'S WIFE IN THE REAL WORLD LIFE TO MAKE THIS BOY A MAN.
In our worship of certainty we must distinguish between the sound certainty and the sham, between what is gold and what is tinsel; and then, when certainty is attained, we must remember that it is not the only good; that we can buy it at too high a price; that there is danger in perpetual quiescence as well as in perpetual motion; and that a compromise must be found in a principle of growth.
Unfortunately, the headlights of the car were bright enough for them to see Mae's outfit quite clearly. "Oh my God," said Nick, and shut his eyes. Jamie gave a small, nervous laugh. "What?" Mae demanded. "Alan told us that we were supposed to dress as we truly are!" "And you felt that what you truly are is a Christmas tree with too much tinsel." Nick grinned. "Huh.
Sarah Rees Brennan
She's not my type,' Carter says. 'So what is your type?' 'Tall, skinny, black hair, blue eyes, freckly nose. Blue tinsel wig and snowflakes optional.' 'Skinny?' I squeal. 'Definitely. Pretending to be shy, sensible and stand-offish when really you're mad about me.' 'You sure about that?' 'No, but I'm hoping.
She's not my type, ' Carter says. 'So what is your type?' 'Tall, skinny, black hair, blue eyes, freckly nose. Blue tinsel wig and snowflakes optional.' 'Skinny?' I squeal. 'Definitely. Pretending to be shy, sensible and stand-offish when really you're mad about me.' 'You sure about that?' 'No, but I'm hoping.
Colored lights blink on and off, racing across the green boughs. Their reflections dance across exquisite glass globes and splinter into shards against tinsel thread and garlands of metallic filaments that disappear underneath the other ornaments and finery. Shadows follow, joyful, laughing sprites. The tree is rich with potential wonder. All it needs is a glance from you to come alive.
For instance," said the boy again, "if Christmas trees were people and people were Christmas trees, we'd all be chopped down, put up in the living room, and covered in tinsel, while the trees opened our presents." "What does that have to do with it?" asked Milo. "Nothing at all," he answered, "but it's an interesting possibility, don't you think?
Bach felt the beauty and sadness of the moment. These men who defied the power of the Russian heavy artillery, these coarse, hardened soldiers who were dispirited by their lack of ammunition and tormented by vermin and hunger had all understood at once that what they needed more than anything in the world was not bread, not bandages, not ammunition, but these tiny branches twined with useless tinsel, these orphanage toys.
How is Christmas regarded today? The legend of Santa Claus, the Christmas tree, the decorations of tinsel and mistletoe, and the giving of gifts all express to us the spirit of the day we celebrate; but the true spirit of Christmas lies much deeper than these. It is found in the life of the Savior, in the principles He taught, in His atoning sacrifice-which become our great heritage.
Howard W. Hunter
A life of mere pleasure! A little while, in the spring-time of the senses, in the sunshine of prosperity, in the jubilee of health, it may seem well enough. But how insufficient, how mean, how terrible when age comes, and sorrow, and death! A life of pleasure! What does it look like when these great changes beat against it--when the realities of eternity stream in? It looks like the fragments of a feast, when the sun shines upon the withered garlands, and the tinsel, and the overturned tables, and the dead lees of wine.
Edwin Hubbel Chapin
Silent night, holy night, when the bough flies from the tree and is hung everywhere, when from tables the crusts fly, when the gifts begin to tremble because lovelessness walks through the world, because it snarls at you, barks at you from the snow, and the silver ribbons rip and the tinsel rustles silvery, and the silver and gold, and a golden word come to you on which you choke because you have been sold and betrayed, and because it does not suffice that for you one is redeemed who once died.
I fight against the gluttony of time with so many very amusing weapons with gestures and with three attitudes and with charming phrases; with tears and with tinsel, and with sugar-coated pills, and with platitudes slightly regilded. Yes, and I fight him also with little mirrors wherein gleam confusedly the corruptions of lust, and ruddy loyalty, and a bit of moonshine, and the pure diamond of the heart's desire, and the opal cloudings of human compromise: but, above all, I fight that ravening dotard with the strength of my own folly.
James Branch Cabell
God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of "parties" with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter - they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship - but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.
Obstinate are the trammels, but my heart aches when I try to break them. Freedom is all I want, but to hope for it I feel ashamed. I am certain that priceless wealth is in thee, and that thou art my best friend, but I have not the heart to sweep away the tinsel that fills my room. The shroud that covers me is a shroud of dust and death; I hate it, yet hug it in love. My debts are large, my failures great, my shame secret and heavy; yet when I come to ask for my good, I quake in fear lest my prayer be granted.
The fusty showman fumbles, must Fit in a particle of dust The universe, for fear it gain Its freedom from my cube of brain. Yet dust bears seeds that grow to grace Behind my crude-striped wooden face As I, a puppet tinsel-pink Leap on my springs, learn how to think- Till like the trembling golden stalk Of some long-petalled star, I walk Through the dark heavens, and the dew Falls on my eyes and sense thrills through.
Now I myself, I cheerfully admit, feel that enormity in Kensington Gardens as something quite natural. I feel it so because I have been brought up, so to speak, under its shadow; and stared at the graven images of Raphael and Shakespeare almost before I knew their names; and long before I saw anything funny in their figures being carved, on a smaller scale, under the feet of Prince Albert. I even took a certain childish pleasure in the gilding of the canopy and spire, as if in the golden palace of what was, to Peter Pan and all children, something of a fairy garden. So do the Christians of Jerusalem take pleasure, and possibly a childish pleasure, in the gilding of a better palace, besides a nobler garden, ornamented with a somewhat worthier aim. But the point is that the people of Kensington, whatever they might think about the Holy Sepulchre, do not think anything at all about the Albert Memorial. They are quite unconscious of how strange a thing it is; and that simply because they are used to it. The religious groups in Jerusalem are also accustomed to their coloured background; and they are surely none the worse if they still feel rather more of the meaning of the colours. It may be said that they retain their childish illusion about their Albert Memorial. I confess I cannot manage to regard Palestine as a place where a special curse was laid on those who can become like little children. And I never could understand why such critics who agree that the kingdom of heaven is for children, should forbid it to be the only sort of kingdom that children would really like; a kingdom with real crowns of gold or even of tinsel. But that is another question, which I shall discuss in another place; the point is for the moment that such people would be quite as much surprised at the place of tinsel in our lives as we are at its place in theirs. If we are critical of the petty things they do to glorify great things, they would find quite as much to criticise (as in Kensington Gardens) in the great things we do to glorify petty things. And if we wonder at the way in which they seem to gild the lily, they would wonder quite as much at the way we gild the weed.
In every Christian's Heart, there is a cross and a throne, and the Christian is on the throne till he puts himself on the cross; if he refuses the cross, he remains on the throne. Perhaps this is at the bottom of the backsliding and worldliness among Gospel believers today. We want to be saved, but we insist that Christ do all the dying. No cross for us, no dethronement, no dying. We remain king within the little kingdom of man's soul and wear our tinsel crown with all the pride of a caesar; but we doom ourselves to shadows and weakness and spiritual sterility.
Aiden Wilson Tozer
I believe the message in the hymn 'Rise Up, O Men of God' (Hymns, no. 324) is a plea, a call, a divine invitation for us to rise above the telestial tinsel of our time; to deny ourselves of ungodliness and clothe ourselves in the mantle of holiness; to reach and stretch and grasp for that spiritual direction and sacred empowerment promised to the Lord's agents, to those charged to act in the name of our Principal, Jesus Christ; and to point the way to salvation and deliverance and peace in a world that finds itself enshrouded in darkness, a world that yearns for spiritual leadership.
Robert L. Millet
I believe the message in the hymn "Rise Up, O Men of God" (Hymns, no. 324) is a plea, a call, a divine invitation for us to rise above the telestial tinsel of our time; to deny ourselves of ungodliness and clothe ourselves in the mantle of holiness; to reach and stretch and grasp for that spiritual direction and sacred empowerment promised to the Lord's agents, to those charged to act in the name of our Principal, Jesus Christ; and to point the way to salvation and deliverance and peace in a world that finds itself enshrouded in darkness, a world that yearns for spiritual leadership.
Robert L. Millet
There is no living being on earth at this moment except myself. I could walk down the halls, and empty rooms would yawn mockingly at me from every side. God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of 'parties' with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter - they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship - but the loneliness of the soul in it's appalling self-consciousness, is horrible and overpowering.
Oho, now I know what you are. You are an advocate of Useful Knowledge... Well, allow me to introduce myself to you as an advocate of Ornamental Knowledge. You like the mind to be a neat machine, equipped to work efficiently, if narrowly, and with no extra bits or useless parts. I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt. Shake the machine and it goes out of order; shake the dustbin and it adjusts itself beautifully to its new position.
Oho, now I know what you are. You are an advocate of Useful Knowledge.... Well, allow me to introduce myself to you as an advocate of Ornamental Knowledge. You like the mind to be a neat machine, equipped to work efficiently, if narrowly, and with no extra bits or useless parts. I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt. Shake the machine and it goes out of order; shake the dustbin and it adjusts itself beautifully to its new position.
An Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman were invited to a Christmas party. The Englishman brought a bag of tinsel, the Scotsman brought a bag of holly and they asked the Irishman: "What have you brought?" He said: "I brought a pair of knickers." They asked: "What has that got to do with Christmas?" He said "They're Carol's."
I mean, by such flightiness, something that feels unsatisfied at the center of my life - that makes me shaky, fickle, inquisitive, and hungry. I could call it a longing for home and not be far wrong. Or I could call it a longing for whatever supersedes, if it cannot pass through, understanding. Other words that come to mind: faith, grace, rest. In my outward appearance and life habits I hardly change - there's never been a day that my friends haven't been able to say, and at a distance, 'There's Oliver, still standing around in the weeds. There she is, still scribbling in her notebook.' But, at the center: I am shaking; I am flashing like tinsel. Restless. I read about ideas. Yet I let them remain ideas. I read about the poet who threw his books away, the better to come to a spiritual completion. Yet I keep my books. I flutter; I am attentive, maybe I even rise a little, balancing; then I fall back.
Is there for honest Poverty That hings his head, an' a' that; The coward slave-we pass him by, We dare be poor for a' that! For a' that, an' a' that. Our toils obscure an' a' that, The rank is but the guinea's stamp, The Man's the gowd for a' that. What though on hamely fare we dine, Wear hoddin grey, an' a that; Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine; A Man's a Man for a' that: For a' that, and a' that, Their tinsel show, an' a' that; The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor, Is king o' men for a' that. Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord, Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that; Tho' hundreds worship at his word, He's but a coof for a' that: For a' that, an' a' that, His ribband, star, an' a' that: The man o' independent mind He looks an' laughs at a' that. A prince can mak a belted knight, A marquis, duke, an' a' that; But an honest man's abon his might, Gude faith, he maunna fa' that! For a' that, an' a' that, Their dignities an' a' that; The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth, Are higher rank than a' that. Then let us pray that come it may, (As come it will for a' that, ) That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth, Shall bear the gree, an' a' that. For a' that, an' a' that, It's coming yet for a' that, That Man to Man, the world o'er, Shall brothers be for a' that.
We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before us. Our details are important. Otherwise, if they are not, we can drop a bomb and it doesn't matter... Recording the details of our lives is a stance against bombs with their mass ability to kill, against too much speed and efficiency. A writer must say yes to life, to all of life: the water glasses, the Kemp's half-and-half, the ketchup on the counter. It is not a writer's task to say, "It is dumb to live in a small town or to eat in a cafe when you can eat macrobiotic at home." Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist - the real truth of who we are: several pounds overweight, the gray, cold street outside, the Christmas tinsel in the showcase, the Jewish writer in the orange booth across from her blond friend who has black children. We must become writers who accept things as they are, come to love the details, and step forward with a yes on our lips so there can be no more noes in the world, noes that invalidate life and stop these details from continuing.