"Turn your thoughts away from cold, unfeeling light and listen to the music of the night." Andrew Lloyd Webber - Music of the Night.
The music stopped. The shrill monotone resumed, unceasing. The Phantom, hands trembling, stood unmasked. The facade, fallen (should've known, most man-made things don't endure).
Alas, he realized -- the mask was never to hide behind but to practice apathy. Recalling his boundless cruelty, he wept.
"A lack of empathy is an acute failure of the imagination."
Two peasants on a pilgrimage Stepping across boulders and bridges, Guided by God's wind.
As they summited and saw A cathedral that scraped the stars, the one peasant submitted (equal parts awe and pity): "Nature taught me God was beyond Man, This structure reminds me God is scripture and sculpture."
Mused the other, Man-made Gods inspire awe And Mountains and Valleys are wondrous still, But the People I meet are the wonders of my world.
"Intelligence is an ability to appreciate beauty in many forms."
"Some quarrels last a lifetime."
Even the most brutal war ends eventually.
The default human condition is peace.
Is it a smiling peace that walks hand in hand with prosperity,
or is it a quiet peace that sulks over a cemetery?
"Poker is fun", she said, "Shall I teach you?"
The first hand was a comedy of errors, and she corrected him gently.
"Let's call that a practice hand", she grinned.
"Okay, I'm ready now", he responded.
Something must have lost its way in translation.
When he was dealt his second hand
(which, defying beginner's luck, was quite bad)
he blurted it out and went all in.
She blinked, confused. "You're bluffing. I'll call that".
Out came the flop, turn and river.
A royal flush for the lady!
She clapped her hands in delight "I win!"
"I'm curious. Seriously, what cards do you have?"
He was perplexed.
Why didn't she believe him?
He clenched his cards to his chest.
"No. You took my money, I'm keeping these cards."
She smiled protesting, "That's not how poker works!"
He pocketed the cards and made to leave.
"It's strange that one does not start to value things until one is about to lose them. There is a bridge from my heart to yours, spanning all the vastness of distance. Across that bridge I have been used to writing to you about our daily round and the world we live in out here. I wanted to tell you the truth when I came home, and then we would never have spoken of war again. Now you will learn the truth, the last truth, earlier than I intended. And now I can write no more.
There will always be bridges as long as there are shores; all we need is the courage to tread them. One of them now leads to you, the other into eternity -- which for me is ultimately the same thing.
Tomorrow morning I shall set foot on the last bridge. That's a literary way of describing death, but you know I always liked to write things differently because of the pleasure words and their sounds gave me. Lend me your hand, so that the way is not too hard."