Love won't be tampered with, love won't go away. Push it to one side and it creeps to the other.
No human relation gives one possession in another—every two souls are absolutely different. In friendship or in love, the two side by side raise hands together to find what one cannot reach alone.
Do you know what it’s like to like someone so much you can’t stand it and know that they’ll never feel the same way?
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps . . . perhaps . . . love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.
The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
He knew one of the women well, and had shared his universe with her. They had seen the same mountains, and the same trees, although each of them had seem them differently. She knew his weaknesses, his moments of hatred, of despair. Yet she was there at his side. They shared the same universe.
Paulo Coelho (The Valkyries)
America, my love, you are sunlight falling through trees. You are laughter that breaks through sadness. You are the breeze on a too-war day. You are clarity in the midst of confusion.
You are not the world, but you are everything that makes the world good. Without you, my life would still exist, but that's all it would manage to do.
You said that to get things right one of us would have to take a leap of faith. I think I've discovered the canyon that must be leaped, and I hope to find you waiting for me on the other side.
I love you, America.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
Fang: "There is one bright side to this."
Max: "Yeah? What's that?" The new and improved Erasers would mutilate us before they killed us?
Fang: *grins* You looove me. (holds out arms) You love me this much.
Max: My shriek of appalled rage would probably be heard in California, or maybe Hawaii.
James Patterson (Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride, #3))
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.
These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...
Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.
Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
Bob Moorehead (Words Aptly Spoken)
I fucking love you!” He grabbed each side of my face,
slamming his lips against mine. “I love you so much,
Pigeon,” he said, kissing me over and over.
“Just remember that in fifty years when I’m still kicking
your ass in poker,” I giggled.
He smiled, triumphant. “If it means sixty or seventy
years with you, Baby…you have my full permission to
do your worst.”
I raised one eyebrow, “You’re gonna regret that.”
“You wanna bet?”
I smiled with as much deviance as I could muster.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
He nods, as if to acknowledge that endings are almost always a little sad, even when there is something to look forward to on the other side.
Emily Giffin (Love the One You're With)
I have come from the End of the World. From the River of Dreams, through the gauntlet and the Briar and the Deep Wyld, in order to stand before you today. I have but one request—to take my place at your side. To resume my duty as your knight, and to protect you and your kingdom for as long as I draw breath.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey, #4))
It's not enough to believe! Don't you see that, you stupid girl? You could spend your whole life hoping and believing! If a love affair is one-sided, then it's only ever a question, never an answer. You can't live your life waiting for an answer.
Sophie Kinsella (Twenties Girl)
Albert Camus wrote that the only serious question is whether to kill yourself or not.
Tom Robbins wrote that the only serious question is whether time has a beginning and an end.
Camus clearly got up on the wrong side of bed, and Robbins must have forgotten to set the alarm.
There is only one serious question. And that is: Who knows how to make love stay?
Answer me that and I will tell you whether or not to kill yourself.
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
And then there was you. You changed everything I believed in. You know that line from Dante that I quoted to you in the park? 'L'amor che move il sole e l'altre stelle'?"
Her lips curled a little at the sides as she looked up at him. "I still don't speak Italian."
"It's a bit of the very last verse from Paradiso - Dante's Paradise. 'My will and my desire were turned by love, the love that moves the sun and the other stars.' Dante was trying to explain faith, I think, as an overpowering love, and maybe it's blasphemous, but that's how I think of the way I love you. You came into my life and suddenly I had one truth to hold on to - that I loved you, and you loved me.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
I will not let her speak because I love her, and when you love someone, you do not make them tell war stories. A war story is a black space. On the one side is before and on the other side is after, and what is inside belongs only to the dead.
Catherynne M. Valente (Deathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1))
I was sentimental about many things: a woman’s shoes under the bed; one hairpin left behind on the dresser; the way they said, 'I’m going to pee.' hair ribbons; walking down the boulevard with them at 1:30 in the afternoon, just two people walking together; the long nights of drinking and smoking; talking; the arguments; thinking of suicide; eating together and feeling good; the jokes; the laughter out of nowhere; feeling miracles in the air; being in a parked car together; comparing past loves at 3am; being told you snore; hearing her snore; mothers, daughters, sons, cats, dogs; sometimes death and sometimes divorce; but always carring on, always seeing it through; reading a newspaper alone in a sandwich joint and feeling nausea because she’s now married to a dentist with an I.Q. of 95; racetracks, parks, park picnics; even jails; her dull friends; your dull friends; your drinking, her dancing; your flirting, her flirting; her pills, your fucking on the side and her doing the same; sleeping together
Charles Bukowski (Women)
When I saw her I was in love with her. Everything turned over inside of me. She looked toward the door, saw there was no one, then she sat on the side of the bed and leaned over and kissed me.
Ernest Hemingway (A Farewell to Arms)
Love is on every side, and no one's side. Don't ask what Love can do for you.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Then she did something so unexpected Nico would later think he dreamed it. She walked up to Nico, who was standing to one side in the shadows, as usual. She grabbed his hand and pulled him gently into the firelight. ‘We had one home,’ she said. ‘Now we have two.’ She gave Nico a big hug and the crowd roared with approval. For once, Nico didn’t feel like pulling away. He buried his face in Reyna’s shoulder and blinked the tears out of his eyes.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
1) I love you not for whom you are,
but who i am when i'm by your side.
2) No person deserves your tears,
and who deserves them won't make you cry.
3) Just because someone doesn't love you as you wish,
it doesn't mean you're not loved with all his/her being.
4) A true friend is the one,
who hold your hand and touches your heart.
5) The worst way to miss someone is,
to be seated by him/her and know you'll never have him/her.
6) Never stop smiling not even when you're sad,
someone might fall in love with your smile.
7) You may only be a person in this world,
but for someone you're the world.
8) Don't spend time with someone,
who doesn't care spending it with you.
9) Maybe God wants you to meet many wrong people,
before you meet the right one,so when it happens you'll be thankful.
10) Dont cry because it came to an end,
smile because it happened.
11) There will always be people who'll hurt you,
so you need to continue trusting, just be careful.
12) Become a better person and be sure to know who you are,
before meeting someone new and hoping that person knows who you are.
13) Don't struggle so much,
best things happen when not expected.
Gabriel García Márquez
Love is on every side, Cupid said. And no one's side. Don't ask what Love can do for you.
"Great," Jason said. "Now he's spouting greeting card messages.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
If you walked away from a
toxic, negative, abusive,
relationship or friendship
— you won.
For a moment Anne's heart fluttered queerly and for the first time her eyes faltered under Gilbert's gaze and a rosy flush stained the paleness of her face. It was as if a veil that had hung before her inner consciousness had been lifted, giving to her view a revelation of unsuspected feelings and realities. Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one's life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one's side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps. . . perhaps. . .love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables, #2))
I didn't know what to say to her - I was caught in a love triangle with one dead side.
I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times...
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it's age old pain,
It's ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star, piercing the darkness of time.
You become an image of what is remembered forever.
You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers,
Shared in the same shy sweetness of meeting,
the distressful tears of farewell,
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.
Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man's days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours -
And the songs of every poet past and forever.
Rabindranath Tagore (Selected Poems)
Did last night really happen?" One side of his lips tipped up, and my chest swelled. I'd missed that smile. "Depends on what you think happend." "I took my shirt off for you?" His eyes deepened. "Yes. Lovely moment.
J. Lynn (Wait for You (Wait for You, #1))
Jessica. For god's sake," he said. "Allow me to do at least one common courtesy for you. In spite ow what 'women's lib' teaches you, chivalry does not imply that women are powerless. On the contrary, chivalry is an admission of women's superiority. An acknowledgment of your power over us. This is the only form of servitude a Vladescu ever practices, and I perform it gladly for you. You, in turn, are obligated to accept graciously.
Beth Fantaskey (Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1))
Hate can be a deeply stimulating emotion. The world becomes easier to understand and much less terrifying if you divide everything and everyone into friends and enemies, we and they, good and evil. The easiest way to unite a group isn't through love, because love is hard, It makes demands. Hate is simple. So the first thing that happens in a conflict is that we choose a side, because that's easier than trying to hold two thoughts in our heads at the same time. The second thing that happens is that we seek out facts that confirm what we want to believe - comforting facts, ones that permit life to go on as normal. The third is that we dehumanize our enemy.
Fredrik Backman (Beartown (Beartown, #1))
There is one bright side to this," said Fang.
Yeah? What's that?" The new and improved Erasers would mutilate us before they killed us?
He grinned at me so unexpectedly I forgot to flap for a second and dropped several feet. "You looove me," he crooned smugly. Holding his arms out wide he added, "You love me this much."
My shriek of appalled rage could probably be heard in California, or maybe Hawaii.
James Patterson (Max (Maximum Ride, #5))
How does one hate a country, or love one? Tibe talks about it; I lack the trick of it. I know people, I know towns, farms, hills and rivers and rocks, I know how the sun at sunset in autumn falls on the side of a certain plowland in the hills; but what is the sense of giving a boundary to all that, of giving it a name and ceasing to love where the name ceases to apply? What is love of one's country; is it hate of one's uncountry? Then it's not a good thing. Is it simply self-love? That's a good thing, but one mustn't make a virtue of it, or a profession... Insofar as I love life, I love the hills of the Domain of Estre, but that sort of love does not have a boundary-line of hate. And beyond that, I am ignorant, I hope.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4))
There is one side. That is the side of friendship and trust and love and that is the side that everyone should be on, and I am refusing to acknowledge that any other side could exist.
Alexandra Bracken (In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3))
anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did
Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain
children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more
when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her
someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream
stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)
one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was
all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.
Women and men (both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain
E.E. Cummings (Selected Poems)
And everyone saw me. Tobias saw me.
I hear footsteps. Tobias marches toward me and wrenches me to my feet.
"What the hell was that, Stiff?"
"I..." My breath comes in a hiccup. "I didn't-"
"Get yourself together! This is pathetic."
Something within me snaps. My tears stop. Heat races through my body, driving the weakness out of me, and I smack him so hard my knuckles burn with the impact. He stares at me, one side of his face bright with blush-blood, and I stare back.
"Shut up," I say. I yank my arm from his grasp and walk out of the room.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Patch tipped my chin up. "If I could make this go away, I would. If I could stand in your place, I wouldn't hesitate. But I'm left with one choice, and that's to stand by your side through the end. I won't waver, Angel, I can promise you that.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
I drew him in my world;
I write him in my lines,
I want to be his girl,
he was never meant as mine.
I drew him in my world;
He is always on my mind;
I draw his every line.
It hurts when he's unkind.
I drew him in my world;
I draw him all the time,
but I don't know where to draw the line.
Lang Leav (Lullabies)
No one should have to pay for love in flesh or blood. (Acheron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Side of the Moon (Dark-Hunter, #9; Were-Hunter, #3))
You know, unrequited love is very difficut? It's not just having this one-sided love of someone who's far away. Being close, talking daily, liking a guy who's constantly near me is harder than it would be under different circumstances.
So Hee Park
Passion is bright and warm... But passion has a dark side too. It links with fear. Our hearts fill with terror at the thought of harm coming to our loved ones, don't they?
Marie Lu (The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1))
I want you to know, if you ever read this, there was a time when I would rather have had you by my side than any one of these words; I would rather have had you by my side than all the blue in the world.
But now you are talking as if love were a consolation. Simone Weil warned otherwise. 'Love is not consolation,' she wrote. 'It is light.'
All right then, let me try to rephrase. When I was alive, I aimed to be a student not of longing but of light.
Maggie Nelson (Bluets)
Alec isn’t happy,” said Magnus, as if she hadn’t spoken.
“Of course he isn’t,” Isabelle snapped. “Jace—”
“Jace,” said Magnus, and his hands made fists at his sides. Isabelle stared at him. She had always thought that he didn’t mind Jace; liked him, even, once the question of Alec’s affections had been settled. Out loud, she said:
“I thought you were friends.”
“It’s not that,” said Magnus. “There are some people — people the universe seems to have singled out for special destinies. Special favors and special torments. God knows we’re all drawn toward what’s beautiful and broken; I have been, but some people cannot be fixed. Or if they can be, it’s only by love and sacrifice so great it destroys the giver.”
Isabelle shook her head slowly. “You’ve lost me. Jace is our brother, but for Alec — he’s Jace’s parabatai too —”
“I know about parabatai,” said Magnus, his voice rising in pitch. “I’ve known parabatai so close they were almost the same person; do you know what happens, when one of them dies, to the one that’s left—”
“Stop it!” Isabelle clapped her hands over her ears, then lowered them slowly. “How dare you, Magnus Bane,” she said.
“How dare you make this worse than it is —”
“Isabelle.” Magnus’ hands loosened; he looked a little wide-eyed, as if his outburst had startled even him. “I am sorry. I forget, sometimes . . . that with all your self-control and strength, you possess the same vulnerability that Alec does.”
“There is nothing weak about Alec,” said Isabelle.
“No,” said Magnus. “To love as you choose, that takes strength. The thing is, I wanted you here for him. There are things I can’t do for him, can’t give him . . .” For a moment Magnus looked oddly vulnerable. “You have known Jace as long as he has. You can give him understanding I can’t. And he loves you.”
“Of course he loves me. I’m his sister.”
“Blood isn’t love,” said Magnus, and his voice was bitter. “Just ask Clary.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Laurent wasn't loved. Laurent wasn't liked. Even among his own men, who would follow him off a cliff, there was the unequivocal consensus that Laurent was, as Orlant had once described him, a cast iron bitch, that it was a very bad idea to get on his bad side, and that as for his good side, he didn't have one.
C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince: Volume Two (Captive Prince, #2))
By declaring that man is responsible and must actualize the potential meaning of his life, I wish to stress that the true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his own psyche, as though it were a closed system. I have termed this constitutive characteristic "the self-transcendence of human existence." It denotes the fact that being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself--be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself--by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love--the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself. What is called self-actualization is not an attainable aim at all, for the simple reason that the more one would strive for it, the more he would miss it. In other words, self-actualization is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
There was a magic about the sea. People were drawn to it. People wanted to love by it, swim in it, play in it, look at it. It was a living thing that as as unpredictable as a great stage actor: it could be calm and welcoming, opening its arms to embrace it's audience one moment, but then could explode with its stormy tempers, flinging people around, wanting them out, attacking coastlines, breaking down islands. It had a playful side too, as it enjoyed the crowd, tossed the children about, knocked lilos over, tipped over windsurfers, occasionally gave sailors helping hands; all done with a secret little chuckle
Cecelia Ahern (The Gift)
...what nobody seems to understand is that love can only be one-sided, that no other love exists, that in any other form it is not love. If it involves less than total giving, it is not love. It is impotent; for the moment it is nothing.
She recognized it at once: love, one-way deep adoration that bounced off and did not bounce back; careful, quiet love that didn't care and went on anyway.
Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You)
Oh, Will," she said, "What can we do? Whatever can we do? I want to live with you forever. I want to kiss you and lie down with you and wake up with you every day of my life till I die, years and years and years away. I don't want a memory, just a memory..."
"No," he said. "Memory's a poor thing to have. It's your own real hair and mouth and arms and eyes and hands I want. I didn't know I could ever love anything so much. Oh, Lyra, I wish this night would never end! If only we could stay here like this, and the world could stop turning, and everyone else could fall into a sleep..."
"Everyone except us! And you and I could live here forever and just love each other."
"I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I'll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again..."
"I'll be looking for you, Will, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we'll cling together so tight that nothing and no one'll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you...We'll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pin trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams...And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won't just be able to take one, they'll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we'll be joined so tight..."
They lay side by side, hand in hand, looking at the sky.
Philip Pullman (The Amber Spyglass)
In Blackwater Woods
Look, the trees
their own bodies
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
the long tapers
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
Mary Oliver (New and Selected Poems, Volume One)
The ones who are not soul-mated – the ones who have settled – are even more dismissive of my singleness: It’s not that hard to find someone to marry, they say. No relationship is perfect, they say – they, who make do with dutiful sex and gassy bedtime rituals, who settle for TV as conversation, who believe that husbandly capitulation – yes, honey, okay, honey – is the same as concord. He’s doing what you tell him to do because he doesn’t care enough to argue, I think. Your petty demands simply make him feel superior, or resentful, and someday he will fuck his pretty, young coworker who asks nothing of him, and you will actually be shocked.
Give me a man with a little fight in him, a man who calls me on my bullshit. (But who also kind of likes my bullshit.) And yet: Don’t land me in one of those relationships where we’re always pecking at each other, disguising insults as jokes, rolling our eyes and ‘playfully’ scrapping in front of our friends, hoping to lure them to our side of an argument they could not care less about. Those awful if only relationships: This marriage would be great if only… and you sense the if only list is a lot longer than either of them realizes.
So I know I am right not to settle, but it doesn’t make me feel better as my friends pair off and I stay home on Friday night with a bottle of wine and make myself an extravagant meal and tell myself, This is perfect, as if I’m the one dating me. As I go to endless rounds of parties and bar nights, perfumed and sprayed and hopeful, rotating myself around the room like some dubious dessert. I go on dates with men who are nice and good-looking and smart – perfect-on-paper men who make me feel like I’m in a foreign land, trying to explain myself, trying to make myself known. Because isn’t that the point of every relationship: to be known by someone else, to be understood? He gets me. She gets me. Isn’t that the simple magic phrase?
So you suffer through the night with the perfect-on-paper man – the stutter of jokes misunderstood, the witty remarks lobbed and missed. Or maybe he understands that you’ve made a witty remark but, unsure of what to do with it, he holds it in his hand like some bit of conversational phlegm he will wipe away later. You spend another hour trying to find each other, to recognise each other, and you drink a little too much and try a little too hard. And you go home to a cold bed and think, That was fine. And your life is a long line of fine.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
We would be outnumbered a couple hundred to two, by something worse than Erasers. I had no idea if the rest of the Flock would be able to help.
It was pretty much a suicide mission.
'There is one bright side to this,' said Fang.
'Yeah? What's that?' The new and improved Erasers would mutilate us before they killed us?
He grinned at me so unexpectedly that I forgot to flap for a second and dropped several feet. 'You looove me,' he crooned smugly. Holding his arms out wide, he added, 'You love me this much.'
My shriek of appalled rage could probably be heard in California, or maybe Hawaii.
James Patterson (Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride, #3))
Gansey leaned back, head thrown to the side, drunken and silly with happiness. "I love this car," he said, loud enough to be heard over the engine. "I should buy four more of them. I'll just open the door of one to fall in to the other. One can be a living room, one can be my kitchen, I'll sleep in one..."
"And the fourth? Butler's pantry?" Blue shouted.
"Don't be so selfish. Guest room.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
No love is fully requited. No love is equal. No love is fair. There is always one side that loves more. And you better not be that side—because it suffers.
L.J. Shen (The Kiss Thief)
I don't know what it is about death that makes it so hard. I suppose it's the one-sided communication; the fact that we never get to ask our loved one if she suffered, if she is happy wherever she is now...if she is somewhere. It's the question mark that comes with death that we can't face, not the period.
Jodi Picoult (The Storyteller)
They say that a part of you dies when a special Loved One passes away...I disagree...I say a part of you lives with your Loved One on the other side.
Virginia Woolf wrote, "Across the broad continent of a woman's life falls the shadow of a sword." On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where all is correct. But on the other side of that sword, if you're crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, "all is confusion." Nothing follows a regular course. Her argument was that the crossing of the shadow of that sword may bring a more interesting existence to a woman, but you can bet it will be more perilous.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
The kiss I like the most is one of the slow ones. It’s as much breath as touch, as much no as yes. You lean in from the side, and I have to turn a little to make it happen.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I want you to love me.” I said softly. “But if not, then I want to be the closest thing to you loving me. I want your loyalty. I want your honesty. I want you by my side and no one else’s. I want your body. I want your mind. I want to know your hopes and dreams so I could one day make them reality.
J.J. McAvoy (Ruthless People (Ruthless People, #1))
He fell to the seat, she by his side. There were no more words. The stars were beginning to shine. How was it that the birds sing, that the snow melts, that the rose opens, that May blooms, that the dawns whitens behind the black trees on the shivering summit of the hills?
One kiss, and that was all.
Both trembled, and they looked at each other in the darkness with brilliant eyes.
They felt neither the cool night, nor the cold stone, nor the damp ground, nor the wet grass; they looked at each other, and their hearts were full of thought. They had clasped hands, without knowing it.
She did not ask him; did not even think where and how he had managed to get into the garden. It seemed so natural to her that he should be there.
From time to time Marius’ knee touched Cosette’s. A touch that thrilled.
At times, Cosette faltered out a word. Her soul trembled on her lips like a drop of dew on a flower.
Gradually, they began to talk. Overflow succeeded to silence, which is fullness. The night was serene and glorious above their heads. These two beings, pure as spirits, told each other everything, their dreams, their frenzies, their ecstasies, their chimeras, their despondencies, how they had adored each other from afar, how they had longed for each other, their despair when they had ceased to see each other. They had confided to each other in an intimacy of the ideal, which already, nothing could have increased, all that was most hidden and most mysterious in themselves. They told each other, with a candid faith in their illusions, all that love, youth and the remnant of childhood that was theirs, brought to mind. These two hearts poured themselves out to each other, so that at the end of an hour, it was the young man who had the young girl’s soul and the young girl who had the soul of the young man. They interpenetrated, they enchanted, they dazzled each other.
When they had finished, when they had told each other everything, she laid her head on his shoulder, and asked him: "What is your name?"
My name is Marius," he said. "And yours?"
My name is Cosette.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
I loved him the way some people are to be loved - from a distance.
Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come
Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
And you won’t leave me?”
“No.” Alec said. “No, we won’t ever leave you. You know that.”
“Never.” Isabelle took his hand, the one Alec wasn’t holding, and pressed it fiercely. “Lightwoods, all together.” She whispered. Jace's hand was suddenly damp where she was holding it, and he realized she was crying, her tears splashing down crying for him, because she loved him; even after everything that had happened, she still loved him. They both did. He fell asleep like that, with Isabelle on one side of him and Alec on the other, as the sun came up with the dawn.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
One day she marched around the side of the house and confronted me. "I've seen you out there every day for the past week, and everyone knows you stare at me all day in school, if you have something you want to say to me why don't you just say it to my face instead of sneaking around like a crook?" I considered my options. Either I could run away and never go back to school again, maybe even leave the country as a stowaway on a ship bound for Australia. Or I could risk everything and confess to her. The answer was obvious: I was going to Australia. I opened my mouth to say goodbye forever. And yet. What I said was: I want to know if you'll marry me.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
Because hate's just the flip side of love. Like heads and tails on a dime. If you don't know what it feels like to love someone, how would you know what hate is? One can't exist without the other.
Jodi Picoult (Lone Wolf)
Though life has fated that we never cross paths again, don’t ever feel alone. For we are parallel …. and I will always be by your side.
I was caught in a love triangle with one dead side.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Let us say in passing, to be blind and to be loved, is in fact--on this earth where nothing is complete--one of the most strangely exquisite forms of happiness. To have continually at your side a woman, a girl, a sister, a charming being, who is there because you need her, and because she cannot do without you, to know you are indispensable to someone necessary to you, to be able at all times to measure her affection by the degree of the presence that she gives you, and to say to yourself: She dedicates all her time to me, because I possess her whole love; to see the thought if not the face; to be sure of the fidelity of one being in a total eclipse of the world; to imagine the rustling of her dress as the rustling of wings; to hear her moving to and fro, going out, coming in, talking, singing, to think that you are the cause of those steps, those words, that song; to show your personal attraction at every moment; to feel even more powerful as your infirmity increases; to become in darkness, and by reason of darkness, the star around which this angel gravitates; few joys can equal that. The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves--say rather, loved in spite of ourselves; the conviction the blind have. In their calamity, to be served is to be caressed. Are they deprived of anything? No. Light is not lost where love enters. And what a love! A love wholly founded in purity. There is no blindness where there is certainty.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
But love is much like a dam: if you allow a tiny crack to form through which
only a trickle of water can pass, that trickle will quickly bring down the whole structure, and soon no one will be able to control the force of the current. For when those walls come down, then love takes over, and it no longer matters what is possible or impossible; it doesn't even matter whether we can keep the loved one at our side. To love is to lose control.
Paulo Coelho (By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept)
You destroy me."
"Juliette," he says and he mouths the name, barely speaking at all, and he's pouring molten lava into my limbs and I never even knew I could melt straight to death.
"I want you," he says. He says "I want all of you. I want you inside and out and catching your breath and aching for me like I ache for you." He says it like it's a lit cigarette lodged in his throat, like he wants to dip me in warm honey and he says "It's never been a secret. I've never tried to hide that from you. I've never pretended I wanted anything less."
"You-you said you wanted f-friendship-"
"Yes," he says, he swallows, "I did. I do. I do want to be your friend. He nods and I register the slight movement in the air between us. "I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world you keep trapped in your head. I want to be that kind of friend," he says. "The one who will memorize the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them. I want to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body, Juliette-"
"No," I gasp. "Don't-don't s-say that-"
"I want to know where to touch you," he says. "I want to know how to touch you. I want to know how to convince you to design a smile just for me." I feel his chest rising, falling, up and down and up and down and "Yes," he says. "I do want to be your friend." He says "I want to be your best friend in the entire world."
"I want so many things," he whispers. "I want your mind. Your strength. I want to be worth your time." His fingers graze the hem of my top and he says "I want this up." He tugs on the waist of my pants and says "I want these down." He touches the tips of his fingers to the sides of my body and says, "I want to feel your skin on fire. I want to feel your heart racing next to mine and I want to know it's racing because of me, because you want me. Because you never," he says, he breathes, "never want me to stop. I want every second. Every inch of you. I want all of it."
And I drop dead, all over the floor.
I can't understand why I can still hear him speaking because I'm dead, I'm already dead, I've died over and over and over again.
He swallows, hard, his chest heaving, his words a breathless, shaky whisper when he says "I'm so-I'm so desperately in love with you-
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
In a hundred years, no one would know us, but this moment for us would last as long as we did.
Julie Murphy (Side Effects May Vary)
Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a Friend. The rest of us know that though we can have erotic love and friendship for the same person yet in some ways nothing is less like a Friendship than a love-affair. Lovers are always talking to one another about their love; Friends hardly ever about their Friendship. Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest. Above all, Eros (while it lasts) is necessarily between two only. But two, far from being the necessary number for Friendship, is not even the best. And the reason for this is important.
... In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets... Hence true Friendship is the least jealous of loves. Two friends delight to be joined by a third, and three by a fourth, if only the newcomer is qualified to become a real friend. They can then say, as the blessed souls say in Dante, 'Here comes one who will augment our loves.' For in this love 'to divide is not to take away.
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
He went on for some time while I sat listening in silence because I knew he was right, and like two people who have loved each other however imperfectly, who have tried to make a life together, however imperfectly, who have lived side by side and watched the wrinkles slowly form at the corner of the other's eyes, and watched a little drop of gray, as if poured from a jug, drop into the other's skin and spread itself evenly, listening to the other's coughs and sneezes and little collected mumblings, like two people who'd had one idea together and slowly allowed that idea to be replaced with two separate, less hopeful, less ambitious ideas, we spoke deep into the night, and the next day, and the next night. For forty days and forty nights, I want to say, but the fact of the matter is it only took three. One of us had loved the other more perfectly, had watched the other more closely, and one of us listened and the other hadn't, and one of us held on to the ambition of the one idea far longer than was reasonable, whereas the other, passing a garbage can one night, had casually thrown it away.
How does one hate a country, or love one?... I know people, I know towns, farms, hills and rivers and rocks, I know how the sun at sunset in autumn falls on the side of a certain plowland in the hills; but what is the sense of giving a boundary to all that, of giving a name and ceasing to love where the name ceases to apply? What is the love of one's country; is it hate of one's uncountry? Then it's not a good thing.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4))
You and I
Again and again
- A world of almosts
Ayushee Ghoshal (4 AM Conversations (with the ghosts of old lovers))
She knew exactly how he was feeling, because experience had taught her that the kind of excitement she was feeling at that moment was never, ever one-sided. On the contrary, she knew that it was born of acute and mutual anticipation, and she knew, too, that it would not be denied.
Jack Whyte (Uther (Camulod Chronicles, #7))
Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn’t. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted. “A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle. “ Sounds like a wrestling match, I say. “A wrestling match.” He laughs. “Yes, you could describe life that way.” So which side wins, I ask? “Which side wins?” He smiles at me, the crinkled eyes, the crooked teeth. “Love wins. Love always wins.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
all those nights with the phone warming the side of my face like the sun. you made jokes and sure, i may have even laughed a little but mostly you were not funny. mostly you were beautiful. mostly you were unremarkable, even your mediocrity was unremarkable. when friends would ask ‘what do you like about him?” i would think of you holding a bouquet against the denim of your shirt. i mean, you had my face as your screensaver for gods sake, do you know what that does for the self-esteem of girl with an apparition for a father?
hey, do you remember the quiet between us in all those restaurants? all the other couples engrossed in deep conversation and us, as quiet as a closed mouth.
that one afternoon when i asked ‘why do you love me?’ and you replied as quick as a toin coss ‘because you’re mad, because you’re crazy’ and i said ‘why else?’ and you said ‘that mouth, i love that mouth’ and i collapsed into myself like a sheet right out of the dryer.
you clean, beautiful, unremarkable boy, raised by a pleasant mother, was i just a riot you loved to watch up close? there were times i picked arguments just so that we could have something to talk about.
last week, i walked through the part of the city i loved when i still loved you, our old haunts. you know, even the ghosts have moved on.
We gallop through our lives like circus performers balancing on two speeding side-by-side horses--one foot is on the horse called "fate," the other on the horse called "free will." And the question you have to ask every day is--which horse is which? Which horse do I need to stop worrying about because it's not under my control, and which do I need to steer with concentrated effort?
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Will. For a moment her heart hesitated. She remembered when Will had died, her agony, the long nights alone, reaching across the bed every morning when she woke up, for years expecting to find him there, and only slowly growing accustomed to the fact that side of the bed would always be empty. The moments when she had found something funny and turned to share the joke with him, only to be shocked anew that he was not there. The worst moments, when, sitting alone at breakfast, she had realized that she had forgotten the precise blue of his eyes or the depth of his laugh; that, like the sound of Jem's violin music, they had faded into the distance where memories are silent.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Claire: Dear Claire, "What" and "If" are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: What if? What if? What if? I don't know how your story ended but if what you felt then was true love, then it's never too late. If it was true then, why wouldn't it be true now? You need only the courage to follow your heart. I don't know what a love like Juliet's feels like - love to leave loved ones for, love to cross oceans for but I'd like to believe if I ever were to feel it, that I will have the courage to seize it. And, Claire, if you didn't, I hope one day that you will. All my love, Juliet
Lise Friedman (Letters to Juliet: Celebrating Shakespeare's Greatest Heroine, the Magical City of Verona, and the Power of Love)
Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?
Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
If there are two clones, one good and one evil, I can’t kill on sight alone. It’s the same with love. Some love hurts, and some love elevates, but as to which one is which, they are two sides to the same sandwich.
Jarod Kintz (This Book Has No Title)
You must know that I do not love and that I love you,
because everything alive has its two sides;
a word is one wing of silence,
fire has its cold half.
I love you in order to begin to love you,
to start infinity again
and never to stop loving you:
that’s why I do not love you yet.
I love you, and I do not love you, as if I held
keys in my hand: to a future of joy-
a wretched, muddled fate-
My love has two lives, in order to love you.
Now we'd known each other for two years, the side of my calf was touching his shins, and his stomach was against my ribs. He said, "I don't think it's end of world to be my girlfriend." I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. It took seven languages to make me; it would be nice if I could have spoken just one.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
Why do you look?” I mutter.
I half expect Magiano to tease me, spitting back one of his sarcastic phrases. But he doesn’t smile. “We are drawn to stories," he says in a soft voice, “and every scar carries one.” He lifts a hand and places his palm gently against the ruined side of my face, covering the scar.
I look down, embarrassed now. Instinctively, I reach up to brush some of my hair over my face—only to remember that I no longer have long locks.
“Hiding it makes you more beautiful,” Magiano says. Then he takes his hand away, exposing my scar again. “But revealing it makes you you.” He nods at me. “So wear it proudly.
Marie Lu (The Rose Society (The Young Elites, #2))
We could say that love is a tenacious adventure. The adventurous side is necessary, but equally so is the need for tenacity. To give up at the first hurdle, the first quarrel, is only to distort love. Real love is one that triumphs lastingly, sometimes painfully, over the hurdles erected by time, space and the world.
Alain Badiou (In Praise of Love)
Fire's tears were real now, and there was no helping them, for there was no time. Everything was moving too fast. She crossed the room to him, put her arms around him, clung to him, turning her face to the side, learning all at once that it was awkward to show a person all of one's love when one's nose was broken.
His arms came around her tightly, his breath short and hard against her hair. He held on to the silk of her hair and she pressed herself against him until her panic calmed to something desperate, but bearable.
Yes, she thought to him, understanding now what he'd been about to ask. If you die in the war, I'll keep Hanna in my heart. I promise I won't leave her.
Kristin Cashore (Fire (Graceling Realm, #2))
She loved me-
And inspired me-
With transcending devotion.
It was a blessing-
To have been her son,
To have been loved-
Her words of wisdom-
Opened my eyes-
To the world-
And to myself.
By seeing the best in me,
She empowered me.
By believing in me,
She transformed me.
She grew old-
And floated away,
But her love remains standing-
Eternally by my side.
Giorge Leedy (Uninhibited From Lust To Love)
It was easy to be good and kind in times of plenty. The trying times were the moments that defined a man.
And love? Love was something that did much to change a person. It brought joy as it brought suffering, and in turn brought about those moments that defined one’s character. Love gave life to the lifeless. It was the greatest of all living powers.
But, as with all things, love had a dark side to it.
Renée Ahdieh (The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn, #2))
Being human always points, and is directed, to something, or someone, other than oneself—be it meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself—by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love—the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself. ... What is called self-actualization is not an attainable aim at all, for the simple reason that the more one would strive for it, the more he would miss it. In other words, self-actualization is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
I think falling in love should come with a warning label: CAUTION—side effects may include breaking up, accompanied by heartache, severe mood swings, withdrawal from people and life itself, wasted hours obsessing over bitter reflections, a need to destroy something (preferably something expensive that shatters), uncontrollable tear ducts, stress, a loss of appetite (Cheetos and Dr. Pepper exempt), a bleak and narrow outlook on the future, and an overall hatred of everyone and everything (especially all the happy couples you see strolling hand-in-hand, placed on your path only to exacerbate your isolation and misery). All above reactions will be intensified with the consumption of one or more alcoholic beverages.
Katie Kacvinsky (Second Chance (First Comes Love, #2))
Voicemail #1: “Hi, Isabel Culpeper. I am lying in my bed, looking at the ceiling. I am mostly naked. I am thinking of … your mother. Call me.”
Voicemail #2: The first minute and thirty seconds of “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” by the Bee Gees.
Voicemail #3: “I’m bored. I need to be entertained. Sam is moping. I may kill him with his own guitar. It would give me something to do and also make him say something. Two birds with one stone! I find all these old expressions unnecessarily violent. Like, ring around the rosy. That’s about the plague, did you know? Of course you did. The plague is, like, your older cousin. Hey, does Sam talk to you? He says jack shit to me. God, I’m bored. Call me.”
Voicemail #4: “Hotel California” by the Eagles, in its entirety, with every instance of the word California replaced with Minnesota.
Voicemail #5: “Hi, this is Cole St. Clair. Want to know two true things? One, you’re never picking up this phone. Two, I’m never going to stop leaving long messages. It’s like therapy. Gotta talk to someone. Hey, you know what I figured out today? Victor’s dead. I figured it out yesterday, too. Every day I figure it out again. I don’t know what I’m doing here. I feel like there’s no one I can —”
Voicemail #6: “So, yeah, I’m sorry. That last message went a little pear-shaped. You like that expression? Sam said it the other day. Hey, try this theory on for size: I think he’s a dead British housewife reincarnated into a Beatle’s body. You know, I used to know this band that put on fake British accents for their shows. Boy, did they suck, aside from being assholes. I can’t remember their name now. I’m either getting senile or I’ve done enough to my brain that stuff’s falling out. Not so fair of me to make this one-sided, is it? I’m always talking about myself in these things. So, how are you, Isabel Rosemary Culpeper? Smile lately? Hot Toddies. That was the name of the band. The Hot Toddies.”
Voicemail #20: “I wish you’d answer.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
4. Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion... shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy and Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine therefore candidly what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis as the earth does, should have stopped, should not by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven; and 2, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile, or death in fureâ.
...Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you... In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it... I forgot to observe, when speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us, to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration, as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, and not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost...
[Letter to his nephew, Peter Carr, advising him in matters of religion, 1787]
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
Life isn’t a linear journey. Sometimes it’s one step backwards, two steps forward and then a jump out to the side. It’s kind of like the “Time Warp”, when you think about it.
Life follows many directions and hopefully, eventually, your mind and body and life and love, all catch up with each other.
Karina Halle (The Pact)
There will always be a part of you that misses her. You'll see something that reminds you of her and want to tell her about it, only to realize she's not there anymore. Then you'll feel her loss all over again. (Ravyn)
You're not helping me, Ravyn. (Jack)
I know, buddy. But you will eventually make peace with yourself, and that's the most important thing. Eventually, you'll even be able to smile again when you think about her. (Ravyn)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Side of the Moon (Dark-Hunter, #9; Were-Hunter, #3))
But where was God now, with heaven full of astronauts, and the Lord overthrown? I miss God. I miss the company of someone utterly loyal. I still don't think of God as my betrayer. The servants of God, yes, but servants by their very nature betray. I miss God who was my friend. I don't even know if God exists, but I do know that if God is your emotional role model, very few human relationships will match up to it. I have an idea that one day it might be possible, I thought once it had become possible, and that glimpse has set me wandering, trying to find the balance between earth and sky. If the servants hadn't rushed in and parted us, I might have been disappointed, might have snatched off the white samite to find a bowl of soup.
As it is, I can't settle, I want someone who is fierce and will love me until death and know that love is as strong as death, and be on my side for ever and ever. I want someone who will destroy and be destroyed by me. There are many forms of love and affection, some people can spend their whole lives together without knowing each other's names. Naming is a difficult and time-consuming process; it concerns essences, and it means power. But on the wild nights who can call you home? Only the one who knows your name. Romantic love has been diluted into paperback form and has sold thousands and millions of copies. Somewhere it is still in the original, written on tablets of stone. I would cross seas and suffer sunstroke and give away all I have, but not for a man, because they want to be the destroyer and never the destroyed.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
And your will shall decide your destiny," he said: "I offer you my hand, my heart, and a share of all my possessions."
You play a farce, which I merely laugh at."
I ask you to pass through life at my side--to be my second self, and best earthly companion."
For that fate you have already made your choice, and must abide by it."
Jane, be still a few moments: you are over-excited: I will be still too."
A waft of wind came sweeping down the laurel-walk, and trembled through the boughs of the chestnut: it wandered away--away--to an indefinite distance--it died. The nightingale's song was then the only voice of the hour: in listening to it, I again wept. Mr. Rochester sat quiet, looking at me gently and seriously. Some time passed before he spoke; he at last said -
Come to my side, Jane, and let us explain and understand one another."
I will never again come to your side: I am torn away now, and cannot return."
But, Jane, I summon you as my wife: it is you only I intend to marry."
I was silent: I thought he mocked me.
Come, Jane--come hither."
Your bride stands between us."
He rose, and with a stride reached me.
My bride is here," he said, again drawing me to him, "because my equal is here, and my likeness. Jane, will you marry me?
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
It is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great struggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to which side because appearances are endlessly deceptive. Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name....That is the fairy tale of the Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still.
Frederick Buechner (Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale)
I have spoken here of heavenly help, of angels dispatched to bless us in time of need. But when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind.
Jeffrey R. Holland
The abuser’s mood changes are especially perplexing. He can be a different person from day to day, or even from hour to hour. At times he is aggressive and intimidating, his tone harsh, insults spewing from his mouth, ridicule dripping from him like oil from a drum. When he’s in this mode, nothing she says seems to have any impact on him, except to make him even angrier. Her side of the argument counts for nothing in his eyes, and everything is her fault. He twists her words around so that she always ends up on the defensive. As so many partners of my clients have said to me, “I just can’t seem to do anything right.”
At other moments, he sounds wounded and lost, hungering for love and for someone to take care of him. When this side of him emerges, he appears open and ready to heal. He seems to let down his guard, his hard exterior softens, and he may take on the quality of a hurt child, difficult and frustrating but lovable. Looking at him in this deflated state, his partner has trouble imagining that the abuser inside of him will ever be back. The beast that takes him over at other times looks completely unrelated to the tender person she now sees. Sooner or later, though, the shadow comes back over him, as if it had a life of its own. Weeks of peace may go by, but eventually she finds herself under assault once again. Then her head spins with the arduous effort of untangling the many threads of his character, until she begins to wonder whether she is the one whose head isn’t quite right.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
The wish of death had been palpably hanging over this otherwise idyllic paradise for a good many years.
All business and politics is personal in the Philippines.
If it wasn't for the cheap beer and lovely girls one of us would spend an hour in this dump.
They [Jehovah's Witnesses] get some kind of frequent flyer points for each person who signs on.
I'm not lazy. I'm just motivationally challenged.
I'm not fat. I just have lots of stored energy.
You don't get it do you? What people think of you matters more than the reality. Marilyn.
Despite standing firm at the final hurdle Marilyn was always ready to run the race.
After answering the question the woman bent down behind the stand out of sight of all, and crossed herself.
It is amazing what you can learn in prison. Merely through casual conversation Rick had acquired the fundamentals of embezzlement, fraud and armed hold up.
He wondered at the price of honesty in a grey world whose half tones changed faster than the weather.
The banality of truth somehow always surprises the news media before they tart it up.
You've ridden jeepneys in peak hour. Where else can you feel up a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl without even trying? [Ralph Winton on the Philippines finer points]
Life has no bottom. No matter how bad things are or how far one has sunk things can always get worse.
You could call the Oval Office an information rain shadow.
In the Philippines, a whole layer of criminals exists who consider that it is their right to rob you unhindered. If you thwart their wicked desires, to their way of thinking you have stolen from them and are evil.
There's honest and dishonest corruption in this country.
Don't enjoy it too much for it's what we love that usually kills us.
The good guys don't always win wars but the winners always make sure that they go down in history as the good guys.
The Philippines is like a woman. You love her and hate her at the same time.
I never believed in all my born days that ideas of truth and justice were only pretty words to brighten a much darker and more ubiquitous reality.
The girl was experiencing the first flushes of love while Rick was at least feeling the methadone equivalent.
Although selfishness and greed are more ephemeral than the real values of life their effects on the world often outlive their origins.
Miriam's a meteor job. Somewhere out there in space there must be a meteor with her name on it.
Tsismis or rumours grow in this land like tropical weeds.
Surprises are so common here that nothing is surprising.
A crooked leader who can lead is better than a crooked one who can't.
Although I always followed the politics of Hitler I emulate the drinking habits of Churchill.
It [Australia] is the country that does the least with the most.
Rereading the brief lines that told the story in the manner of Fox News reporting the death of a leftist Rick's dark imagination took hold.
Didn't your mother ever tell you never to trust a man who doesn't drink?
She must have been around twenty years old, was tall for a Filipina and possessed long black hair framing her smooth olive face. This specter of loveliness walked with the assurance of the knowingly beautiful. Her crisp and starched white uniform dazzled in the late-afternoon light and highlighted the natural tan of her skin. Everything about her was in perfect order. In short, she was dressed up like a pox doctor’s clerk. Suddenly, she stopped, turned her head to one side and spat comprehensively into the street. The tiny putrescent puddle contrasted strongly with the studied aplomb of its all-too-recent owner, suggesting all manner of disease and decay.
John Richard Spencer
Sometimes it's your fragrance that comes to me, out of the blue, on a crowded road in a Sunday afternoon.
But more often, it's memories of us that cross my mind almost every lone evening.
All I want is to lessen the pain I feel every night.
But every morning I wake up is another day, hopeless and miserable, with nothing but a deafening silence, a wave of tears, memories and your absence.
The stars are brilliant at this time of night
and I wander these streets like a ritual I don’t dare to break
for darling, the times are quite glorious.
I left him by the water’s edge,
still waving long after the ship was gone
and if someone would have screamed my name I wouldn’t have heard for I’ve said goodbye so many times in my short life that farewells are a muscular task and I’ve taught them well.
There’s a place by the side of the railway near the lake where I grew up and I used to go there to burry things and start anew.
I used to go there to say goodbye.
I was young and did not know many people but I had hidden things inside that I never dared to show and in silence I tried to kill them,
one way or the other,
leaving sin on my body
scrubbing tears off with salt
and I built my rituals in farewells.
Endings I still cling to.
So I go to the ocean to say goodbye.
He left that morning, the last words still echoing in my head
and though he said he’d come back one day I know a broken promise from a right one
for I have used them myself and there is no coming back.
Minds like ours are can’t be tamed and the price for freedom is the price we pay.
I turned away from the ocean
as not to fall for its plea
for it used to seduce and consume me
and there was this one night
a few years back and I was not yet accustomed to farewells
and just like now I stood waving long after the ship was gone.
But I was younger then and easily fooled
and the ocean was deep and dark and blue
and I took my shoes off to let the water freeze my bones.
I waded until I could no longer walk and it was too cold to swim but still I kept on walking at the bottom of the sea for I could not tell the difference between the ocean and the lack of someone I loved and I had not yet learned how the task of moving on is as necessary as survival.
Then days passed by and I spent them with my work
and now I’m writing letters I will never dare to send.
But there is this one day every year or so
when the burden gets too heavy
and I collect my belongings I no longer need
and make my way to the ocean to burn and drown and start anew
and it is quite wonderful, setting fire to my chains and flames on written words
and I stand there, starring deep into the heat until they’re all gone.
Nothing left to hold me back.
You kissed me that morning as if you’d never done it before and never would again and now I write another letter that I will never dare to send, collecting memories of loss
like chains wrapped around my veins,
and if you see a fire from the shore tonight
it’s my chains going up in flames.
The time of moon i quite glorious.
We could have been so glorious.
Charlotte Eriksson (You're Doing Just Fine)
I want to ask you – in this place where we were promised to one another by mandate – to marry me not because doing so is required of you, but because you love me as I love you,” he says. “I ask you to choose me of your own free will, because that is how I choose YOU, Antanasia. Not to fulfill a pact, but to follow my heart, which will settle for nothing less than a life with you by my side.”
- lucius valeriu valdescu
I know the world is crazy. I know love is not always the way it’s meant to be. I know sometimes, things hurt. But I also know that we’ll get through this. That our hearts will arrive on the other side, in one piece. That everything is beautiful, if we give it the chance to be. I’ve tried to write down what I saw and what you told me and I sincerely don’t think I missed anything. Let me know if I have. I love you. I miss you.
pleasefindthis (I Wrote This For You)
Ralston looked down his long, elegant nose at the vile creature at his feet, and said, “You just impugned the honor of my future marchioness. Choose your seconds. I will see you at dawn.”
Leaving Oxford sputtering on the ground, Ralston spun on one elegant heel to face Benedick. “When I am done with him, I am coming for your sister. And, if you intend to keep me from her, you had better have an army at your side.
Sarah MacLean (Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1))
I could not hold my breath for seven minutes. I couldn’t even make it to one. I once tried to run a mile in seven minutes after hearing some athletes could do it in four but failed spectacularly when a side stitch crippled me about halfway in.
However, there was one thing I managed to do in seven minutes that most would say is quite impressive: I became queen.
By seven tiny minutes I beat my brother, Ahren, into the world, so the throne that ought to have been his was mine. Had I been born a generation earlier, it wouldn’t have mattered. Ahren was the male, so Ahren would have been the heir.
Alas, Mom and Dad couldn’t stand to watch their firstborn be stripped of a title by an unfortunate but rather lovely set of breasts. So they changed the law, and the people rejoiced, and I was trained day by day to become the next ruler of Illéa.
Kiera Cass (The Heir (The Selection, #4))
They’d been forged of the same ore, two sides of the same golden, scarred coin. She’d know it when she spied him atop the execution plataform. She couldn’t explain it. No one could understand that instant bond, that soul-deep assurance and rightness, unless they, too, had experienced it. But she owned no explanations to anyone - not about Aedion.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
Love isn't suppose to be easy, I know that. Nothing worth having is ever easy. But it is supposed to be honest; it is supposed to be true and unconditional. Love is messy and painful and joyous and not without sacrifice. Love is supposed to conquer all. Is it enough if the love only comes from one side? Is the love of one person enough to conquer the hurt of two?
Quinn Loftis (Elfin (The Elfin, #1))
I am running and singing and when it’s raining I’m the only one left on the open street, smiling with my eyes fixed on the sky because it’s cleaning me. I’m the one on the other side of the party, hearing laughter and the emptying of bottles while I peacefully make my way to the river, a lonely road, following the smell of the ocean. I’m the one waking up at 4am to witness the sunrise, where the sky touches the sea, and I hold my elbows, grasping tight to whatever I’ve made of myself.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
--and then you're in serious trouble, very serious trouble, and you know it, finally, deadly serious trouble, because this Substance you thought was your one true friend, that you gave up all for, gladly, that for so long gave you relief from the pain of the Losses your love of that relief caused, your mother and lover and god and compadre, has finally removed its smily-face mask to reveal centerless eyes and a ravening maw, and canines down to here, it's the Face In The Floor, the grinning root-white face of your worst nightmares, and the face is your own face in the mirror, now, it's you, the Substance has devoured or replaced and become you, and the puke-, drool- and Substance-crusted T-shirt you've both worn for weeks now gets torn off and you stand there looking and in the root-white chest where your heart (given away to It) should be beating, in its exposed chest's center and centerless eyes is just a lightless hole, more teeth, and a beckoning taloned hand dangling something irresistible, and now you see you've been had, screwed royal, stripped and fucked and tossed to the side like some stuffed toy to lie for all time in the posture you land in. You see now that It's your enemy and your worst personal nightmare and the trouble It's gotten you into is undeniable and you still can't stop. Doing the Substance now is like attending Black Mass but you still can't stop, even though the Substance no longer gets you high. You are, as they say, Finished. You cannot get drunk and you cannot get sober; you cannot get high and you cannot get straight. You are behind bars; you are in a cage and can see only bars in every direction. You are in the kind of a hell of a mess that either ends lives or turns them around.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Then one morning she’d begun to feel her sorrow easing, like something jagged that had cut into her so long it had finally dulled its edges, worn itself down. That same day Rachel couldn’t remember which side her father had parted his hair on, and she’d realized again what she’d learned at five when her mother left – that what made losing someone you loved bearable was not remembering but forgetting. Forgetting the small things first, the smell of the soap her mother had bathed with, the color of the dress she’d worn to church, then after a while the sound of her mother’s voice, the color of her hair. It amazed Rachel how much you could forget, and everything you forgot made that person less alive inside you until you could finally endure it. After more time passed you could let yourself remember, even want to remember. But even then what you felt those first days could return and remind you the grief that was still there, like old barbed wire embedded in a tree’s heartwood.
Ron Rash (Serena)
I controlled the jealousy I feel because of you, and I’m happy with that. You know why? Because I always have to show I’m worthy of your love. I have to fight for our marriage, for our union, in ways that have nothing to do with our children. I love you. I would endure anything, absolutely anything, to always have you by my side. But I can’t stop you from leaving one day. So if that day comes, you are free to leave and seek your happiness. My love for you is stronger than anything, and I would never stop you from being happy.
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
Year of Our Lord 1878
“Mother, Father, my chwaer fach,
It’s my seventeenth birthday today. I know that to write to you is to break the law, I know that I will likely tear this letter into pieces when it is finished. As I have done on all my birthdays past since I was twelve. But I write anyway, to commemorate the occasion - the way some make yearly pilgrimages to a grave, to remember the death of a loved one. For are we not dead to each other?
I wonder if when you woke this morning you remembered that today, seventeen years ago, you had a son? I wonder if you think of me and imagine my life here in the Institute in London? I doubt you could imagine it. It is so very different from our house surrounded by mountains, and the great clear blue sky and the endless green. Here, everything is black and gray and brown, and the sunsets are painted in smoke and blood. I wonder if you worry that I am lonely or, as Mother always used to, that I am cold, that I have gone out into the rain again without a hat? No one here worries about those details. There are so many things that could kill us at any moment; catching a chill hardly seems important.
I wonder if you knew that I could hear you that day you came for me, when I was twelve. I crawled under the bed to block out the sound of you crying my name, but I heard you. I heard mother call for her fach, her little one. I bit my hands until they bled but I did not come down. And, eventually, Charlotte convinced you to go away. I thought you might come again but you never did. Herondales are stubborn like that.
I remember the great sighs of relief you would both give each time the Council came to ask me if I wished to join the Nephilim and leave my family, and each time I said no and I send them away. I wonder if you knew I was tempted by the idea of a life of glory, of fighting, of killing to protect as a man should. It is in our blood - the call to the seraph and the stele, to marks and to monsters.
I wonder why you left the Nephilim, Father? I wonder why Mother chose not to Ascend and to become a Shadowhunter? Is it because you found them cruel or cold? I have no fathom side. Charlotte, especially, is kind to me, little knowing how much I do not deserve it. Henry is mad as a brush, but a good man. He would have made Ella laugh. There is little good to be said about Jessamine, but she is harmless. As little as there is good to say about her, there is as much good to say about Jem: He is the brother Father always thought I should have. Blood of my blood - though we are no relation. Though I might have lost everything else, at least I have gained one thing in his friendship.
And we have a new addition to our household too. Her name is Tessa. A pretty name, is it not? When the clouds used to roll over the mountains from the ocean? That gray is the color of her eyes.
And now I will tell you a terrible truth, since I never intend to send this letter. I came here to the Institute because I had nowhere else to go. I did not expect it to ever be home, but in the time I have been here I have discovered that I am a true Shadowhunter. In some way my blood tells me that this is what I was born to do.If only I had known before and gone with the Clave the first time they asked me, perhaps I could have saved Ella’s life. Perhaps I could have saved my own.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
238. I want you to know, if you ever read this, there was a time when I would rather have had you by my side than any one of these words; I would rather have had you by my side than all the blue in the world.
239. But now you are talking as if love were a consolation. Simone Weil warned otherwise. “Love is not consolation,” she wrote. “It is light.”
240. All right then, let me try to rephrase. When I was alive, I aimed to be a student not of longing but of light.
Maggie Nelson (Bluets)
Love hinders death. Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source." These thoughts seemed to him comforting. But they were only thoughts. Something was lacking in them, they were not clear, they were too one-sidedly personal and brain-spun. And there was the former agitation and obscurity.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Now you’re going to get it,” I said, guessing Al was coming when the ones in the back scattered. “You should have been nice.”
With a weird cry, the closest surface demon fell back, but it was too late. A flash of red light exploded overhead, smashing the buildings away as if I were at the center of an atomic explosion. The surface demons scattered like brown leaves, the remnants of their clothes and auras fluttering. It was Al, and he burst into existence in a grand mood, an old-fashioned lantern in his hand and a walking cane at his side.
“Rachel Mariana Morgan!” he shouted enthusiastically, raising the lantern high, and I painfully rose from my crouch, breaking my bubble with a small thought. “I’ve come to save you, love!
Kim Harrison (Pale Demon (The Hollows, #9))
I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what's really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.
The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
- The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused - nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.
This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast, moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear - no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anasthetic from which none come round.
And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small, unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.
Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can't escape,
Yet can't accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.
The Times Literary Supplement (December 23, 1977)
A complete sharing between two people is an impossibility and whenever it seems, nevertheless, to exist, it is a narrowing, a mutual agreement which robs either one member or both of his fullest freedom and development. But, once the realization is accepted that, even between the closest human beings, infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole and against a wide sky!
Rainer Maria Rilke
Ayden and Blake stared each other down.
"Oh. My. God," Luna blurted from Ayden's back seat. "It's a love triangle."
We all looked at her like she'd sprouted an alien from her head. "it's just like in a book. Two guys after one girl and-"
I groaned. "That's ridiculous, Luna, this is not a love triangle."
"Says the girl in the middle of a love triangle. Luna ignored my protests and prattled on. "Not one Hexy Boy but two. I've got to call Danica. Oooo," she squealed and clapped her hands,"We could have teams. Team Ayden and Team Blake. With T-shirt and buttons and-"
"I could make a website," Lucian offered.
"No!" My voice pitched with panic. "No teams. No shirts. No-"
"I'll get you some headshots," Blake said, turning his profile towards Luna and Lucian. "I've been told the left is my best side. What do you think?"
"Aurora's right," Ayden said. "This is buts. Blake you can follow us-"
"Dude, you know no one would pick Team Ayden. You're just jealous."
"That's not true. My team would be way bigger than yours."
"Dare to dream, little man, dare to dream."
"Care to make a wager on it?"
"Fine. How about-"
"You two shut up!" I shoved myself out of the car.
A. Kirk (Demons at Deadnight (Divinicus Nex Chronicles, #1))
Though no one notices at the time, in-loveness obliterates the humanity of the beloved. One does a curious kind of insult to another by falling in love with him, for we are really looking at our own projection of God, not at the other person. If two people are in love, they tread on star dust for a time and live happily ever after—that is so long as this experience of divinity has obliterated time for them. Only when they come down to earth do they have to look at each other realistically and only then does the possibility of mature love exist. If one person is in love and the other not, the cooler one is likely to say, "We would have something better between us if you would look at me rather than at your image of me.
Robert A. Johnson (Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche)
Pick a leader who will make their citizens proud. One who will stir the hearts of the people, so that the sons and daughters of a given nation strive to emulate their leader's greatness. Only then will a nation be truly great, when a leader inspires and produces citizens worthy of becoming future leaders, honorable decision makers and peacemakers. And in these times, a great leader must be extremely brave. Their leadership must be steered only by their conscience, not a bribe.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Sometimes I do. Sometimes I look at him...and I remember how it was when I kissed him and felt that love. It makes me want that back. I want to feel it again. I want to return to it. Other times though...other times, I'm so scared. I listen to these guys...and to Jerome...and then the doubts gnaw at me. I can't get them out of my head. We've been sleeping together, you know. Literally. It hasn't been a problem so far, but sometimes I lie awake watching him, thinking this can't last. The longer it does...I feel like...like I'm standing on a high wire, with Seth at one end and me at the other. We're trying to reach each other, but one misstep, one breeze, one side-glance, and I'll fall over the edge. And keep falling and falling."
Carter leaned toward me and brushed the hair away from the side of my face. "Don't look down then," he whispered.
Richelle Mead (Succubus on Top (Georgina Kincaid, #2))
You okay with all of this?" I whispered to Daemon.
He shrugged. "Not like I can stop her."
I knew he could if he wanted, which meant he didn't have a problem with it.
"Cookie?" he offered, holding a cookie full of chocolate chips.
Upset tummy or not, there was no way I could refuse that. "Sure."
His lips tipped up one side and he leaned toward me, his mouth inches from mine. "Come and get it."
Come and get...? Daemon placed half the cookie between those full, totally kissable lips.
Oh, holy alien babies everywhere...
My mouth dropped open. Several of the girls at the table made sounds that had me wondering if they were turning into puddles under the table, but I couldn't bring myself to check out what they really were doing.
That cookie—those lips—were right there.
Heat swept over my cheeks. I could feel the eyes of everyone on else, and Daemon... dear God, Daemon arched his brows, daring me.
Dee gagged. "I think I'm going to hurl."
Mortified, I wanted to crawl into a hole. What did he think I was going to do? Take the cookie from his mouth like something straight out of an R rated version of Lady and the Tramp? Heck, I kind of wanted to and I wasn't sure what that said about me.
Daemon reached up and took the cookie. There was a gleam to his eyes, as if he just won some battle. "Times up, Kitten."
I stared at him.
Breaking the cookie into two, he handed me the larger piece. I snatched it away, half tempted to throw it back in his face, but it was... it was chocolate chip. So I ate it and loved it.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Onyx (Lux, #2))
Look, the trees
their own bodies
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
the long tapers
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
Mary Oliver (New and Selected Poems, Volume One)
Have I told you about the tension of opposites? he says. The tension of opposites? Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn't.
You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted.
A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.Sounds like a wrestling match, I say.
A wrestling match. He laughs. Yes, you could describe life that way.
So which side wins, I ask?
Which side wins? He smiles at me, the crinkled eyes, the crooked teeth.
Love wins. Love always wins.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
G took another gulp, and thought about the best way to break the equestrian news. My dear, you know those four-legged majestical beasts of the land? Well, you married one!
No. That could not be the right approach. My sweet, have you ever had a difficult time deciding between man or beast? Well, now you don’t have to!
Again, he thought better of this tactic. Sweet lady, there are those of us who sleep lying down, and those of us who sleep standing up. I can do both.
No. You know how some men claim to have another, perhaps hairier side? Have you ever cursed the fact that your loved one has just the two legs?Did you know that horses have incredible balance? Hey! What’s that over there? And then he would gallop away.
Cynthia Hand (My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1))
When Vanity kissed Vanity, a hundred happy Junes ago, he pondered o'er her breathlessly, and, that all men might ever know, he rhymed her eyes with life and death:
"Thru Time I'll save my love!" he said. . . yet Beauty vanished with his breath, and, with her lovers, she was dead. . .
-Ever his wit and not her eyes, ever his art and not her hair:
"Who'd learn a trick in rhyme, be wise and pause before his sonnet there". . . So all my words, however true, might sing you to a thousandth June, and no one ever know that you were Beauty for an afternoon.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
As it is, I can't settle, I want someone who is fierce and will love me until death and know that love is as strong as death, and be on my side for ever and ever. I want someone who will destroy and be destroyed by me. There are many forms of love and affection, some people spend their whole lives together without knowing each other's names. Naming is a difficult and time-consuming process; it concerns essences, and it means power. But on the wild nights who can you call home? Only the one who knows your name.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
Under the plan of heaven, the husband and the wife walk side by side as companions, neither one ahead of the other, but a daughter of God and a son of God walking side by side. Let your families be families of love and peace and happiness. Gather your children around you and have your family home evenings, teach your children the ways of the Lord, read to them from the scriptures, and let them come to know the great truths of the eternal gospel as set forth in these words of the Almighty.
Gordon B. Hinckley
Please,” I gasped out.
He just brushed his lips against my jaw, my neck, my mouth.
“Tamlin,” I begged. He palmed my breast, his thumb flicking over my nipple. I cried out, and he buried himself in me with a mighty stroke.
For a moment, I was nothing, no one.
Then we were fused, two hearts beating as one, and I promised myself it always would be that way as he pulled out a few inches, the muscles of his back flexing beneath my hands, and then slammed back into me. Again and again.
I broke and broke against him as he moved, as he murmured my name and told me he loved me. And when that lightning once more filled my veins, my head, when I gasped out his name, his own release found him. I gripped him through each shuddering wave, savoring the weight of him, the feel of his skin, his strength.
For a while, only the rasp of our breathing filled the room.
I frowned as he withdrew at last—but he didn’t go far. He stretched out on his side, head propped on a fist, and traced idle circles on my stomach, along my breasts.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
A moment later, Helen had returned; she was walking slowly now, and carefully, her hand on the back of a thin boy with a mop of wavy brown hair. He couldn’t have been older than twelve, and Clary recognized him immediately. Helen, her hand firmly clamped around the wrist of a younger boy whose hands were covered with blue wax. He must have been playing with the tapers in the huge candelabras that decorated the sides of the nave. He looked about twelve, with an impish grin and the same wavy, bitter-chocolate hair as his sister.
Jules, Helen had called him. Her little brother.
The impish grin was gone now. He looked tired and dirty and frightened. Skinny wrists stuck out of the cuffs of a white mourning jacket whose sleeves were too long for him. In his arms he was carrying a little boy, probably not more than two years old, with the same wavy brown hair that he had; it seemed to be a family trait. The rest of his family wore the same borrowed mourning clothes: following Julian was a brunette girl about ten, her hand firmly clasped in the hold of a boy the same age: the boy had a sheet of tangled black hair that nearly obscured his face. Fraternal twins, Clary guessed. After them came a girl who might have been eight or nine, her face round and very pale between brown braids.
The misery on their faces cut at Clary’s heart. She thought of her power with runes, wishing that she could create one that would soften the blow of loss. Mourning runes existed, but only to honor the dead, in the same way that love runes existed, like wedding rings, to symbolize the bond of love. You couldn’t make someone love you with a rune, and you couldn’t assuage grief with it, either. So much magic, Clary thought, and nothing to mend a broken heart.
“Julian Blackthorn,” said Jia Penhallow, and her voice was gentle. “Step forward, please.”
Julian swallowed and handed the little boy he was holding over to his sister. He stepped forward, his eyes darting around the room. He was clearly scouring the crowd for someone. His shoulders had just begun to slump when another figure darted out onto the stage. A girl, also about twelve, with a tangle of blond hair that hung down around her shoulders: she wore jeans and a t-shirt that didn’t quite fit, and her head was down, as if she couldn’t bear so many people looking at her. It was clear that she didn’t want to be there — on the stage or perhaps even in Idris — but the moment he saw her, Julian seemed to relax. The terrified look vanished from his expression as she moved to stand next to him, her face ducked down and away from the crowd.
“Julian,” said Jia, in the same gentle voice, “would you do something for us? Would you take up the Mortal Sword?
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
December 27, 11:00 p.m.
My Dear America,
I’ve never written a love letter, so forgive me if I fail now. . . .
The simple thing would be to say that I love you. But, in truth, it’s so much more than that. I want you, America. I need you.
I’ve held back so much from you out of fear. I’m afraid that if I show you everything at once, it will overwhelm you, and you’ll run away. I’m afraid that somewhere in the back of your heart is a love for someone else that will never die. I’m afraid that I will make a mistake again, something so huge that you retreat into that silent world of yours. No scolding from a tutor, no lashing from my father, no isolation in my youth has ever hurt me so much as you separating yourself from me.
I keep thinking that it’s there, waiting to come back and strike me. So I’ve held on to all my options, fearing that the moment I wipe them away, you will be standing there with your arms closed, happy to be my friend but unable to be my equal, my queen, my wife.
And for you to be my wife is all I want in the world. I love you. I was afraid to admit it for a long time, but I know it now.
I would never rejoice in the loss of your father, the sadness you’ve felt since he passed, or the emptiness I’ve experienced since you left. But I’m so grateful that you had to go. I’m not sure how long it would have taken for me to figure this out if I hadn’t had to start trying to imagine a life without you. I know now, with absolute certainty, that is nothing I want.
I wish I was as true an artist as you so that I could find a way to tell you what you’ve become to me. America, my love, you are sunlight falling through trees. You are laughter that breaks through sadness. You are the breeze on a too-warm day. You are clarity in the midst of confusion.
You are not the world, but you are everything that makes the world good. Without you, my life would still exist, but that’s all it would manage to do.
You said that to get things right one of us would have to take a leap of faith. I think I’ve discovered the canyon that must be leaped, and I hope to find you waiting for me on the other side.
I love you, America.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.
"The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.
Margery Williams Bianco (The Velveteen Rabbit)
He sang “I wish I weren’t me” over and over again just flat of the key of love until he forgot the words and could only hum along. Everyday was the same. The same stupid smile on the same stupid boy. Until the days blurred into a haze and the boy dropped into a depression. Not a cool dark room and cigarette depression like the songs he loved, but one that felt like he was being smothered by a safe, suburban, monotonous blanket. Everything felt like a headache to the boy. Every face, every stupid stuttered sentence all wrapped up into the biggest headache ever. So the boy took an aspirin. And another and another and then went to sleep, lullabyed by hopes he would never wake up to.
Pete Wentz (The Boy With The Thorn In His Side)
I love you.” My heart almost stopped beating in my chest.
She hadn’t spoken those words since the last time I held her in my arms.
“And you did leave me. But... but you came back. No one’s ever come back. They leave me and that’s it. They want to leave me. You didn’t. And you came back.” I wanted to stand up and reach across the table and jerk her into my arms but I wasn’t sure I could stand up just yet. I needed to hear everything she had to say.
“Yes, I came back. My heart never left you.”
“I miss you.”
This time I stood up and walked around the table.
“I miss you. Every second of every day,” I whispered. Her eyes followed me until I was inches from her.
“I trust you.”
I needed more than that.
“You trust me,” I repeated.
She nodded and her hand came up and caressed the side of my arm.
“I want to try again.”
Those were the words I needed to hear.
Abbi Glines (Because of Low (Sea Breeze, #2))
Carol raised her hand slowly and brushed her hair back, once on either side, and Therese smiled because the gesture was Carol, and it was Carol she loved and would always love. Oh, in a different way now because she was a different person, and it was like meeting Carol all over again, but it was still Carol and no one else. It would be Carol, in a thousand cities, a thousand houses, in foreign lands where they would go together, in heaven and in hell. Therese waited. Then as she was about to go to her, Carol saw her, seemed to stare at her incredulously a moment while Therese watched the slow smile growing, before her arm lifted suddenly, her hand waved a quick, eager greeting that Therese had never seen before. Therese walked toward her.
Patricia Highsmith (The Price of Salt)
THE TAME BIRD WAS IN A CAGE
THE tame bird was in a cage, the free bird was in the forest.
They met when the time came, it was a decree of fate.
The free bird cries, "O my love, let us fly to the wood."
The cage bird whispers, "Come hither, let us both live in the cage."
Says the free bird, "Among bars, where is there room to spread one's wings?"
"Alas," cries the caged bird, "I should not know where to sit perched in the sky."
The free bird cries, "My darling, sing the songs of the woodlands."
The cage bird sings, "Sit by my side, I'll teach you the speech of the learned."
The forest bird cries, "No, ah no! songs can never be taught."
The cage bird says, "Alas for me, I know not the songs of the woodlands."
There love is intense with longing, but they never can fly wing to wing.
Through the bars of the cage they look, and vain is their wish to know each other.
They flutter their wings in yearning, and sing, "Come closer, my love!"
The free bird cries, "It cannot be, I fear the closed doors of the cage."
The cage bird whispers, "Alas, my wings are powerless and dead.
I was told
The average girl begins to plan her wedding at the age of 7
She picks the colors and the cake first
By the age of 10
She knows time,
She’s already chosen a gown
And a maid of honor
She’s waiting for a man
Who wont break out in hives when he hears the word “commitment”
Someone who doesn’t smell like a Band-Aid drenched in lonely
Someone who isn’t a temporary solution to the empty side of the bed
Who’ll hold her hand like it’s the only one they’ve ever seen
To be honest
I don’t know what kind of tux I’ll be wearing
I have no clue what want my wedding will look like
But I imagine
The women who pins my last to hers
Will butterfly down the aisle
Like a 5 foot promise
Will be so large that you’ll see it on google maps
And know exactly where our wedding is being held
The woman that I plan to marry
Will have champagne in her walk
And I will get drunk on her footsteps
When the pastor asks
If I take this woman to be my wife
I will say yes before he finishes the sentence
I’ll apologize later for being impolite
But I will also explain him
That our first kiss happened 6 years ago
And I’ve been practicing my “Yes”
For past 2, 165 days
When people ask me about my wedding
I never really know what to say
But when they ask me about my future wife
I always tell them
Her eyes are the only Christmas lights that deserve to be seen all year long
She thinks too much
Misses her father
Loves to laugh
And she’s terrible at lying
Because her face never figured out how to do it correctl
I tell them
If my alarm clock sounded like her voice
My snooze button would collect dust
I tell them
If she came in a bottle
I would drink her until my vision is blurry and my friends take away my keys
If she was a book
I would memorize her table of contents
I would read her cover-to-cover
Hoping to find typos
Just so we can both have a few things to work on
Because aren’t we all unfinished?
Don’t we all need a little editing?
Aren’t we all waiting to be proofread by someone?
Aren’t we all praying they will tell us that we make sense
She don’t always make sense
But her imperfections are the things I love about her the most
I don’t know when I will be married
I don’t know where I will be married
But I do know this
Whenever I’m asked about my future wife
I always say
…She’s a lot like you
My brother asked the birds to forgive him: that sounds senseless, but it is right; for all is like an ocean, all is flowing and blending; a touch in one place sets up movement at the other end of the earth. It may be senseless to beg forgiveness of the birds, but birds would be happier at your side –a little happier, anyway– and children and all animals, if you yourself were nobler than you are now. It’s all like an ocean, I tell you. Then you would pray to the birds too, consumed by an all-embracing love in a sort of transport, and pray that they too will forgive you your sin.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
I KNEW IT WAS OVER
when tonight you couldn't make the phone ring
when you used to make the sun rise
when trees used to throw themselves
in front of you
to be paper for love letters
that was how i knew i had to do it
swaddle the kids we never had
against january's cold slice
bundle them in winter
clothes they never needed
so i could drop them off at my mom's
even though she lives on the other side of the country
and at this late west coast hour is
assuredly east coast sleeping
her house was lit like a candle
the way homes should be
warm and golden
and the kids ran in
and jumped at the bichon frise
that she never had
they hugged the dog
and the kids were happy
yours and mine
the ones we never had
and my mom was
grand maternal, which is to say, with style
that only comes when you've seen
enough to know grace
like when to pretend it's christmas or
a birthday so
she lit her voice with tiny
lights and pretended
she didn't see me crying
as i drove away
to the hotel connected to the bar
where i ordered the cheapest whisky they had
just because it shares your first name
because they don't make a whisky
and i only thought what i got
i toasted the hangover
inevitable as sun
that used to rise
in your name
i toasted the carnivals
we never went to
and the things you never won
the ferris wheels we never
kissed on and all the dreams
that sat there
like balloons on a carney's board
waiting to explode with passion
but slowly deflated
under the pin-
prick of a tack
when it doesn't
work, like me
at last call
after too many cheap
too many sweet
whisky makes me
sick, like the smell of cheap,
like the smell of
like the cheap, dead flowers
you never sent
that i never threw
out of the window
of a car
Daphne Gottlieb (Final Girl)
Destiny, I feel is also a relationship-a play between grace and willful self-effort. Half of it you have no control over, half of it is absolutely in your hands and your actions will show measurable consequences. Man is neither entirely a puppet of the gods, nor is he entirely the captain of his own destiny; he’s a little of both. We gallop through our lives like circus performers balancing on two speeding side-by-side horses-one foot is on the horse called “fate” the other on the horse called “free will”. And the question you have to ask everyday is, Which horse is which? Which horse do I need to stop worrying about because it’s not under my control, and which do I need to steer with concentrated effort?
Despite her apparent freedom, her life consisted of endless hours spent waiting for a miracle, for true love, for an adventure with the same romantic ending she had seen in films and read about in books. A writer once said that it is not time that changes man, nor knowledge; the only thing that can change someone's mind is love. What nonsense!
The person who wrote that clearly knew only one side of the coin.
Love was undoubtedly one of the things capable of changing a person's whole life, from one moment to the next. But there was the other side of the coin, the second thing that could make a human being take a totally different course from the one he or she had planned; and that was called despair. Yes, perhaps love really could transform someone, but despair did the job more quickly.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
To become a true global citizen, one must abandon all notions of 'otherness' and instead embrace 'togetherness'. The world is no longer white, black, yellow and brown. Through love, tribes have been intermixing colors to reveal a new rainbow world. And as more time passes, this racial and cultural blending will make it harder for humans to side with one race, nation or religion over another. Therefore, practical wisdom should be used to abandon any cultural, social, religious, tribal, and national beliefs of alterity altogether. This is the only way mankind will truly evolve. Segregation is a word of the past. Unity is the key to a peaceful future.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Time is a funny thing, it can give and it can take away; and a single moment in time can truly change one’s life forever!
The best kind of love is unexpected, unexplainable, undeniable, and unimaginable.
Your sweet scent will forever be with me, reminding me of the love we once shared. I will breathe in the memories until we meet again.
Before you act on what you have been told, consider your source. It may simply be assumption on their part, and that can be far from fact.
Why stand back and wait for someone to fail when you can stand up and offer your support?
Love is when the sound of your partner’s snoring lulls you to sleep, and it acts as a reminder that they are there by your side.
Building a wall around your heart is a voluntary imprisonment to which only you have the key. Open your heart to life’s possibilities!
Donna L. Jones
When two members of a family or two intimate friends are separated, and one goes abroad and one remains at home, the return of the relative or friend who has been travelling always seems to place the relative or friend who has been staying at home at a painful disadvantage when the two first meet. The sudden encounter of the new thoughts and new habits eagerly gained in the one case, with the old thoughts and old habits passively preserved in the other, seems at first to part the sympathies of the most loving relatives and the fondest friends, and to set a sudden strangeness, unexpected by both and uncontrollable by both, between them on either side.
Wilkie Collins (The Woman in White)
The white liberal is the worst enemy to America, and the worst enemy to the black man. Let me explain what I mean by the white liberal. In America there is no such thing as Democrat or Republican anymore. In America you have liberals and conservatives. The only people living in the past who think in terms of I’m a Democrat or Republican, is the American Negro. He’s the one that runs around bragging about party affiliation. He’s the one that sticks to the Democrat or sticks to the Republican. But white people are divided into two groups, liberals and conservative. The Democrats who are conservative, vote with the Republicans who are conservative. The Democrats who are liberal vote with the Republicans that are liberal. The white liberal aren’t white people who are for independence, who are moral and ethical in their thinking. They are just a faction of white people that are jockeying for power. The same as the white conservative is a faction of white people that are jockeying for power. They are fighting each other for power and prestige, and the one that is the football in the game is the Negro, 20 million black people. A political football, a political pawn, an economic football, and economic pawn. A social football, a social pawn. The liberal elements of whites are those who have perfected the art of selling themselves to the Negro as a friend of the Negro. Getting sympathy of the Negro, getting the allegiance of the Negro, and getting the mind of the Negro. Then the Negro sides with the white liberal, and the white liberal use the Negro against the white conservative. So that anything that the Negro does is never for his own good, never for his own advancement, never for his own progress, he’s only a pawn in the hands of the white liberal. The worst enemy that the Negro have is this white man that runs around here drooling at the mouth professing to love Negros, and calling himself a liberal, and it is following these white liberals that has perpetuated problems that Negros have. If the Negro wasn’t taken, tricked, or deceived by the white liberal then Negros would get together and solve our own problems. I only cite these things to show you that in America the history of the white liberal has been nothing but a series of trickery designed to make Negros think that the white liberal was going to solve our problems. Our problems will never be solved by the white man. The only way that our problem will be solved is when the black man wakes up, clean himself up, stand on his own feet and stop begging the white man, and take immediate steps to do for ourselves the things that we have been waiting on the white man to do for us. Once we do for self then we will be able to solve our own problems’ "The white conservatives aren't friends of the Negro either, but they at least don't try to hide it. They are like wolves; they show their teeth in a snarl that keeps the Negro always aware of where he stands with them. But the white liberals are foxes, who also show their teeth to the Negro but pretend that they are smiling. The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives; they lure the Negro, and as the Negro runs from the growling wolf, he flees into the open jaws of the "smiling" fox. One is the wolf, the other is a fox. No matter what, they’ll both eat you.
You don't notice the dead leaving when they really choose to leave you. You're not meant to. At most you feel them as a whisper or the wave of a whisper undulating down. I would compare it to a woman in the back of a lecture hall or theater whom no one notices until she slips out.Then only those near the door themselves, like Grandma Lynn, notice; to the rest it is like an unexplained breeze in a closed room.
Grandma Lynn died several years later, but I have yet to see her here. I imagine her tying it on in her heaven, drinking mint juleps with Tennessee Williams and Dean Martin. She'll be here in her own sweet time, I'm sure.
If I'm to be honest with you, I still sneak away to watch my family sometimes. I can't help it, and sometimes they still think of me. They can't help it....
It was a suprise to everyone when Lindsey found out she was pregnant...My father dreamed that one day he might teach another child to love ships in bottles. He knew there would be both sadness and joy in it; that it would always hold an echo of me.
I would like to tell you that it is beautiful here, that I am, and you will one day be, forever safe. But this heaven is not about safety just as, in its graciousness, it isn't about gritty reality. We have fun.
We do things that leave humans stumped and grateful, like Buckley's garden coming up one year, all of its crazy jumble of plants blooming all at once. I did that for my mother who, having stayed, found herself facing the yard again. Marvel was what she did at all the flowers and herbs and budding weeds. Marveling was what she mostly did after she came back- at the twists life took.
And my parents gave my leftover possessions to the Goodwill, along with Grandma Lynn's things.
They kept sharing when they felt me. Being together, thinking and talking about the dead, became a perfectly normal part of their life. And I listened to my brother, Buckley, as he beat the drums.
Ray became Dr. Singh... And he had more and more moments that he chose not to disbelieve. Even if surrounding him were the serious surgeons and scientists who ruled over a world of black and white, he maintained this possibility: that the ushering strangers that sometimes appeared to the dying were not the results of strokes, that he had called Ruth by my name, and that he had, indeed, made love to me.
If he ever doubted, he called Ruth. Ruth, who graduated from a closet to a closet-sized studio on the Lower East Side. Ruth, who was still trying to find a way to write down whom she saw and what she had experienced. Ruth, who wanted everyone to believe what she knew: that the dead truly talk to us, that in the air between the living, spirits bob and weave and laugh with us. They are the oxygen we breathe.
Now I am in the place I call this wide wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort.
So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wide roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
When I put my hands on your body on your flesh I feel the history of that body. Not just the beginning of its forming in that distant lake but all the way beyond its ending. I feel the warmth and texture and simultaneously I see the flesh unwrap from the layers of fat and disappear. I see the fat disappear from the muscle. I see the muscle disappearing from around the organs and detaching iself from the bones. I see the organs gradually fade into transparency leaving a gleaming skeleton gleaming like ivory that slowly resolves until it becomes dust. I am consumed in the sense of your weight the way your flesh occupies momentary space the fullness of it beneath my palms. I am amazed at how perfectly your body fits to the curves of my hands. If I could attach our blood vessels so we could become each other I would. If I could attach our blood vessels in order to anchor you to the earth to this present time I would. If I could open up your body and slip inside your skin and look out your eyes and forever have my lips fused with yours I would. It makes me weep to feel the history of your flesh beneath my hands in a time of so much loss. It makes me weep to feel the movement of your flesh beneath my palms as you twist and turn over to one side to create a series of gestures to reach up around my neck to draw me nearer. All these memories will be lost in time like tears in the rain.
It is under all circumstances an advantage to be in full possession of one's personality, otherwise the repressed elements will only crop up as a hindrance elsewhere, not just at some unimportant point, but at the very spot where we are most sensitive. If people can be educated to see the shadow-side of their nature clearly, it may be hoped that they will also learn to understand and love their fellow men better. A little less hypocrisy and a little more self-knowledge can only have good results in respect for our neighbor; for we are all too prone to transfer to our fellows the injustice and violence we inflict upon our own natures.
Pick a leader who will keep jobs in your country by offering companies incentives to hire only within their borders, not one who allows corporations to outsource jobs for cheaper labor when there is a national employment crisis. Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Your weak side, my diabolic friend, is that you have always been a gull: you take Man at his own valuation. Nothing would flatter him more than your opinion of him. He loves to think of himself as bold and bad. He is neither one nor the other: he is only a coward. Call him tyrant, murderer, pirate, bully; and he will adore you, and swagger about with the consciousness of having the blood of the old sea kings in his veins. Call him liar and thief; and he will only take an action against you for libel. But call him coward; and he will go mad with rage: he will face death to outface that stinging truth. Man gives every reason for his conduct save one, every excuse for his crimes save one, every plea for his safety save one: and that one is his cowardice. Yet all his civilization is founded on his cowardice, on his abject tameness, which he calls his respectability. There are limits to what a mule or an ass will stand; but Man will suffer himself to be degraded until his vileness becomes so loathsome to his oppressors that they themselves are forced to reform it.
George Bernard Shaw
Cats don’t have dark sides. That’s all a shadow is—and though you might be prejudiced against the dark, you ought to remember that that’s where stars live, and the moon and raccoons and owls and fireflies and mushrooms and cats and enchantments and a rather lot of good, necessary things. Thieving, too, and conspiracies, sneaking, secrets, and desire so strong you might faint dead away with the punch of it. But your light side isn’t a perfectly pretty picture, either, I promise you. You couldn’t dream without the dark. You couldn’t rest. You couldn’t even meet a lover on a balcony by moonlight. And what would the world be worth without that? You need your dark side, because without it, you’re half gone. Cats, on the other hand, have a more sensible setup. We just have the one side, and it’s mostly the sneaking and sleeping side anyway. So the other Iago and I feel very companionable toward each other. Whereas I expect my drowsy mistress Above would loathe this version of herself, who is kind and quiet and lonely and rather dear, all the things the original is not. My love stands for both. This one pets me more; that one let me pounce on anything I wanted.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2))
The hardest part of letting go is the "uncertainty"--when you are afraid that the moment you let go of someone you will hate yourself when you find out how close you were to winning their affection. Every time you give yourself hope you steal away a part of your time, happiness and future. However, once in a while you wake up to this realization and you have to hold on tightly to this truth because your heart will tear away the foundation of your logic, by making excuses for why this person doesn't try as much as you. The truth is this: Real love is simple. We are the ones that make it complicated. A part of disconnecting is recognizing the difference between being desired and being valued. When someone loves you they will never keep you waiting, give their attention and affection away to others, allow you to continue hurting, or ignore what you have gone through for them. On the other hand, a person that desires you can't see your pain, only what they can get from you with minimal effort in return. They let you risk everything, while they guard their heart and reap the benefits of your feelings. We make so many excuses for the people we fall in love with and they make up even more to remain one foot in the door. However, the truth is God didn't create you to be treated as an option or to be disrespected repeatedly. He wants you to close the door. If someone loves you and wants to be in your life no obstacle will keep them from you. Remember, you are royalty, not a beggar.
Shannon L. Alder
It occurs to me," said Hodge, "that the dilemmas of power are
always the same." Clary glanced at him sideways. "What do you mean?"
She sat on the window seat in the library, Hodge in his chair with Hugo on
the armrest. The remains of breakfast—sticky jam, toast crumbs, and
smears of butter—clung to a stack of plates on the low table that no one
had seemed inclined to clear away. After breakfast they had scattered to
prepare themselves, and Clary had been the first one back. This was hardly
surprising, considering that all she had to do was pull on jeans and a shirt
and run a brush through her hair, while everyone else had to arm
themselves heavily. Having lost Jace's dagger in the hotel, the only
remotely supernatural object she had on her was the witchlight stone in her
"I was thinking of your Simon," Hodge said, "and of Alec and Jace,
She glanced out the window. It was raining, thick fat drops spattering
against the panes. The sky was an impenetrable gray. "What do they have
to do with each other?"
"Where there is feeling that is not requited," said Hodge, "there is an
imbalance of power. It is an imbalance that is easy to exploit, but it is not a
wise course. Where there is love, there is often also hate. They can exist
side by side."
"Simon doesn't hate me."
"He might grow to, over time, if he felt you were using him.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
It’s not just children who are childlike. Adults, too, are – beneath the bluster – intermittently playful, silly, fanciful, vulnerable, hysterical, terrified, and pitiful and in search of consolation and forgiveness.
We’re well versed at seeing the sweet and the fragile in children and offering them help and comfort accordingly. Around them, we know how to put aside the worst of our compulsions, vindictiveness and fury. We can recalibrate our expectations and demand a little less than we normally do; we’re slower to anger and a bit more aware of unrealised potential. We readily treat children with a degree of kindness that we are oddly and woefully reluctant to show to our peers.
It is a wonderful thing to live in a world where so many people are nice to children. It would be even better if we lived in one where we were a little nicer to the childlike sides of one another.
Alain de Botton (The Course of Love)
The window rattles without you, you bastard. The trees are the cause, rattling in the wind, you jerk, the wind scraping those leaves and twigs against my window. They'll keep doing this, you terrible husband, and slowly wear away our entire apartment building. I know all these facts about you and there is no longer any use for them. What will I do with your license plate number, and where you hid the key outside so we'd never get locked out of this shaky building? What good does it do me, your pants size and the blue cheese preference for dressing? Who opens the door in the morning now, and takes the newspaper out of the plastic bag when it rains? I'll never get back all the hours I was nice to your parents. I nudge my cherry tomatoes to the side of the plate, bastard, but no one is waiting there with a fork to eat them. I miss you and I love you, bastard bastard bastard, come and clean the onion skins out of the crisper and trim back the tree so I can sleep at night.
Daniel Handler (Adverbs)
He turned to leave, then hesitated. "One more thing."
He walked up to me. "I've also been thinking about your declaration of undying love or whatever."
"I didn't - it wasn't -"
He clamped his hands on the sides of my gooey face and kissed me.
I had to wonder: was it possible to dissolve into chocolate on a molecular level and melt into a puddle on the carpet? Because that's how I felt. I'm pretty sure Valhalla had to resurrect me several times during the course of that kiss. Otherwise, I don't know how I was still in one piece when Alex finally pulled away.
He studied me critically, his brown and amber eyes taking me in. He had a chocolate moustache and goatee now, and chocolate down the front of his sweater vest.
I'll be honest. A small part of my brain thought, Alex is male right now. I have just been kissed by a dude. How do I feel about that?
The rest of my brain answered: I have just been kissed by Alex Fierro. I am absolutely great with that.
In fact, I might have done something typically embarrassing and stupid, like making the aforementioned declaration of undying love, but Alex spared me.
"Eh." He shrugged. "I'll keep thinking about it. I'll get back to you. In the meantime, definitely take that shower."
He left, whistling a tune that might have been a Frank Sinatra song from the elevator, "Fly Me to the Moon".
Rick Riordan (The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3))
You once told me you could stand many things.” My voice was raspy from all the emotions battering against those well-honed inner defenses.
“So can I. I can stand whatever Apollyon dishes out, can take the bigotry from others over what I am, the freaky ghost juju from Marie, all the
craziness my mother can throw at me, and even the pain of my uncle dying. But the one thing that I would never, ever recover from would be losing
you. You made me promise before to go on if that happened, but Bones”—here my words broke and tears spilled down my cheeks—“I wouldn’t
He’d been near the side of the bed when I started talking, but was in my arms before the first tear fell. Very softly, his lips brushed over those wet
streaks, coming back pink from the drops still shimmering on them.
“No matter what happens, you will never lose me,” he whispered. “I am forever yours, Kitten, in this life or the next.
Jeaniene Frost (This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, #5))
It surprised me — surprises me still — that you were the first one to say it.
I was innocent, in a way, expecting those three words to appear boldface with music. But instead, it was such an ordinary moment: The movie
was over, and I stood up to turn off the TV. A few minutes had passed from the end of the final credits, and we’d been sitting there on the couch,
your legs over mine, the side of your hand touching the side of my hand. The video stopped and the screen turned blue. “I’ll get it,” I said, and was
halfway to the television when you said, “I love you.”
I never asked, but I’ll always wonder: What was it about that moment that made you realize it? Or, if you’d known it for awhile, what compelled
you to say it then? It was welcome, so welcome, and in my rush to say that I loved you, too, I left the television on, I let that light bathe us for a little
longer, as I returned to the couch, to you. We held there for awhile, not really sure what would happen next.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Perfectionism is a particularly evil lure for women, who, I believe, hold themselves to an even higher standard of performance than do men. There are many reasons why women’s voices and visions are not more widely represented today in creative fields. Some of that exclusion is due to regular old misogyny, but it’s also true that—all too often—women are the ones holding themselves back from participating in the first place. Holding back their ideas, holding back their contributions, holding back their leadership and their talents. Too many women still seem to believe that they are not allowed to put themselves forward at all, until both they and their work are perfect and beyond criticism. Meanwhile, putting forth work that is far from perfect rarely stops men from participating in the global cultural conversation. Just sayin’. And I don’t say this as a criticism of men, by the way. I like that feature in men—their absurd overconfidence, the way they will casually decide, “Well, I’m 41 percent qualified for this task, so give me the job!” Yes, sometimes the results are ridiculous and disastrous, but sometimes, strangely enough, it works—a man who seems not ready for the task, not good enough for the task, somehow grows immediately into his potential through the wild leap of faith itself. I only wish more women would risk these same kinds of wild leaps. But I’ve watched too many women do the opposite. I’ve watched far too many brilliant and gifted female creators say, “I am 99.8 percent qualified for this task, but until I master that last smidgen of ability, I will hold myself back, just to be on the safe side.” Now, I cannot imagine where women ever got the idea that they must be perfect in order to be loved or successful. (Ha ha ha! Just kidding! I can totally imagine: We got it from every single message society has ever sent us! Thanks, all of human history!) But we women must break this habit in ourselves—and we are the only ones who can break it. We must understand that the drive for perfectionism is a corrosive waste of time, because nothing is ever beyond criticism. No matter how many hours you spend attempting to render something flawless, somebody will always be able to find fault with it. (There are people out there who still consider Beethoven’s symphonies a little bit too, you know, loud.) At some point, you really just have to finish your work and release it as is—if only so that you can go on to make other things with a glad and determined heart. Which is the entire point. Or should be.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
First came bright Spirits, not the Spirits of men, who danced and scattered flowers. Then, on the left and right, at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys upon one hand, and girls upon the other. If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done.
I cannot now remember whether she was naked or clothed. If she were naked, then it must have been the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy which produces in my memory the illusion of a great and shining train that followed her across the happy grass. If she were clothed, then the illusion of nakedness is doubtless due to the clarity with which her inmost spirit shone through the clothes. For clothes in that country are not a disguise: the spiritual body lives along each thread and turns them into living organs. A robe or a crown is there as much one of the wearer's features as a lip or an eye.
But I have forgotten. And only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face.
“Is it?...is it?” I whispered to my guide.
“Not at all,” said he. “It's someone ye'll never have heard of. Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green.”
“She seems to be...well, a person of particular importance?”
“Aye. She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things.”
“And who are these gigantic people...look! They're like emeralds...who are dancing and throwing flowers before here?”
“Haven't ye read your Milton? A thousand liveried angels lackey her.”
“And who are all these young men and women on each side?”
“They are her sons and daughters.”
“She must have had a very large family, Sir.”
“Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.”
“Isn't that a bit hard on their own parents?”
“No. There are those that steal other people's children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives.”
“And how...but hullo! What are all these animals? A cat-two cats-dozens of cats. And all those dogs...why, I can't count them. And the birds. And the horses.”
“They are her beasts.”
“Did she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much.”
“Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.”
I looked at my Teacher in amazement.
“Yes,” he said. “It is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough int the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.
C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)
I intercepted Chaol, and he informed me of your ‘condition.’ You’d think a man in his position wouldn’t be so squeamish, especially after examining all of those corpses.”
Calaena opened an eye and frowned as Dorian sat on her bed. “I’m in a state of absolute agony and I can’t be bothered.”
“It can’t be that bad,” he said, fishing a deck of cards from his jacket. “Want to play?”
“I already told you that I don’t feel well.”
“You look fine to me.” He skillfully shuffled the deck. “Just one game.”
“Don’t you pay people to entertain you?”
He glowered, breaking the deck. “You should be honored by my company.”
“I’d be honored if you would leave.”
“For someone who relies on my good graces, you’re very bold.”
“Bold? I’ve barely begun.” Lying on her side, she curled her knees to her chest.
He laughed, pocketing the deck of cards. “Your new canine companion is doing well, if you wish to know.”
She moaned into her pillow. “Go away. I feel like dying.”
“No fair maiden should die alone,” he said, putting a hand on hers. “Shall I read to you in your final moments? What story would you like?”
She snatched her hand back. “How about the story of the idiotic prince who won’t leave the assassin alone?”
“Oh! I love that story! It has such a happy ending, too—why, the assassin was really feigning her illness in order to get the prince’s attention! Who would have guessed it? Such a clever girl. And the bedroom scene is so lovely—it’s worth reading through all of their ceaseless banter!”
“Out! Out! Out! Leave me be and go womanize someone else!” She grabbed a book and chucked it at him.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
<…>Tate fell silent.
"Since the day I was released, you knocked yourself out. You had my back, you took care of Lexie when we had our thing then you did what you could to help me sort that. It's important to me that you know I'm grateful. I've been tryin' to figure out how I can show how much but, keep thinkin' on it, nothin' comes to mind and I know why. I get it. You're a man who has everything so there is nothing I can hand you that you want or need. And I get that because I am now that same man. So the only thing I can give you are words and, my guess is, that'll be enough. If it isn't, you name it and it's yours."
"Friends do what I did for friends," Tate returned.
"No they don't, Tate. You did what you did for me because you're you. That's what I'm talkin' about."
Tate ws silent a moment then he said, "Well then, you guessed right. Words are enough."
Tate tipped his head to the side and asked jokingly, "We done with the near-midnight in the middle of fuckin' nowhere heart-to-heart?"
Ty didn't feel like joking and answered, "No."
"Then what -?"
"Love you, man," Ty interrupted quietly.
"Learned the hard way not to delay in expressing that sentiment so I'm not gonna delay. You call me brother and I got one who's blood who don't mean shit to me and today, all this shit done, rejoicing and reflecting, it hit me that I got two who aren't blood but who do mean something. And you're one of those two."
"Ty-" Tate murmured.
"I will never forget, until I die, what you did for me and my wife and until that day I will never stop bein' grateful."
"Fuck man," Tate whispered.
"Now, do those words work so you get what you did mean to me?"
Silence then, "Yeah, they work."
"Good, then now we're done with our near-midnight, middle of fuckin' nowhere heart-to-heart," Ty declared, turned, opened the door to the Viper and started folding in.
He stopped with his ass nearly to the seat and looked up over the door when Tate called his name.
"I don't have a blood brother," Tate said. "But you should know there's a reason I call you that."<…>
Kristen Ashley (Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3))
Think of my Pleasure in Solitude, in comparison of my commerce with the world - there I am a child - there they do not know me not even my most intimate acquaintance - I give into their feelings as though I were refraining from irritating a little child - Some think me middling, others silly, other foolish - every one thinks he sees my weak side against my will; when in thruth it is with my will - I am content to be thought all this because I have in my own breast so graet a resource. This is one great reason why they like me so; because they can all show to advantage in a room, and eclipese from a certain tact one who is reckoned to be a good Poet - I hope I am not here playing tricks 'to make the angels weep': I think not: for I have not the least contempt for my species; and though it may sound paradoxical: my greatest elevations of Soul leave me every time more humbled - Enough of this - though in your Love for me you will not think it enough.
Your daddy is standing in a swimming pool out a little bit from the edge. You are, let’s say, three years old and standing on the edge of the pool. Daddy holds out his arms to you and says, “Jump, I’ll catch you. I promise.” Now, how do you make your daddy look good at that moment? Answer: trust him and jump. Have faith in him and jump. That makes him look strong and wise and loving. But if you won’t jump, if you shake your head and run away from the edge, you make your daddy look bad. It looks like you are saying, “he can’t catch me” or “he won’t catch me” or “it’s not a good idea to do what he tells me to do.” And all three of those make your dad look bad.
But you don’t want to make God look bad. So you trust him. Then you make him look good–which he really is. And that is what we mean when we say, “Faith glorifies God” or “Faith gives God glory.” It makes him look as good as he really is. So trusting God is really important.
And the harder it seems for him to fulfill his promise, the better he looks when you trust him. Suppose that you are at the deep end of a pool by the diving board. You are four years old and can’t swim, and your daddy is at the other end of the pool. Suddenly a big, mean dog crawls under the fence and shows his teeth and growls at you and starts coming toward you to bite you. You crawl up on the diving board and walk toward the end to get away from him. The dog puts his front paws up on the diving board. Just then, your daddy sees what’s happening and calls out, “Johnny, jump in the water. I’ll get you.”
Now, you have never jumped from one meter high and you can’t swim and your daddy is not underneath you and this water is way over your head. How do you make your daddy look good in that moment? You jump. And almost as soon as you hit the water, you feel his hands under your arms and he treads water holding you safely while someone chases the dog away. Then he takes you to the side of the pool.
We give glory to God when we trust him to do what he has promised to do–especially when all human possibilities are exhausted. Faith glorifies God. That is why God planned for faith to be the way we are justified.
Real friendship or love is not manufactured or achieved by an act of will or intention. Friendship is always an act of recognition. This metaphor of friendship can be grounded in the clay nature of the human body. When you find the person you love, an act of ancient recognition brings you together. It is as if millions of years before the silence of nature broke, your lover’s clay and your clay lay side by side. Then in the turning of the seasons, your one clay divided and separated. You began to rise as distinct clay forms, each housing a different individuality and destiny. Without even knowing it, your secret memory mourned your loss of each other. While your clay selves wandered for thousands of years through the universe, your longing for each other never faded. This metaphor helps to explain how in the moment of friendship two souls suddenly recognize each other. It could be a meeting on the street, or at a party or a lecture, or just a simple, banal introduction, then suddenly there is the flash of recognition and the embers of kinship glow. There is an awakening between you, a sense of ancient knowing. Love opens the door of ancient recognition. You enter. You come home to each other at last. As Euripides said, “Two friends, one soul.
John O'Donohue (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)
When warm weather came, Baby Suggs, holy, followed by every black man, woman, and child who could make it through, took her great heart to the Clearing--a wide-open place cut deep in the woods nobody knew for what at the end of the path known only to deer and whoever cleared the land in the first place. In the heat of every Saturday afternoon, she sat in the clearing while the people waited among the trees.
After situating herself on a huge flat-sided rock, Baby Suggs bowed her head and prayed silently. The company watched her from the trees. They knew she was ready when she put her stick down. Then she shouted, 'Let the children come!' and they ran from the trees toward her.
Let your mothers hear you laugh,' she told them, and the woods rang. The adults looked on and could not help smiling.
Then 'Let the grown men come,' she shouted. They stepped out one by one from among the ringing trees.
Let your wives and your children see you dance,' she told them, and groundlife shuddered under their feet.
Finally she called the women to her. 'Cry,' she told them. 'For the living and the dead. Just cry.' And without covering their eyes the women let loose.
It started that way: laughing children, dancing men, crying women and then it got mixed up. Women stopped crying and danced; men sat down and cried; children danced, women laughed, children cried until, exhausted and riven, all and each lay about the Clearing damp and gasping for breath. In the silence that followed, Baby Suggs, holy, offered up to them her great big heart.
She did not tell them to clean up their lives or go and sin no more. She did not tell them they were the blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glorybound pure.
She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it.
Here,' she said, 'in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard...
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
I sought a soul that might resemble mine, and I could not find it. I scanned all the crannies of the earth: my perseverance was useless. Yet I could not remain alone. There had to be someone who would approve of my character; there had to be someone with the same ideas as myself. It was morning. The sun in all his magnificence rose on the horizon, and behold, there also appeared before my eyes a young man whose presence made flowers grow as he passed. He approached me and held out his hand: “I have come to you, you who seek me. Let us give thanks for this happy day.” But I replied: “Go! I did not summon you. I do not need your friendship… .” It was evening. Night was beginning to spread the blackness of her veil over nature. A beautiful woman whom I could scarcely discern also exerted her bewitching sway upon me and looked at me with compassion. She did not, however, dare speak to me. I said: “Come closer that I may discern your features clearly, for at this distance the starlight is not strong enough to illumine them.” Then, with modest demeanour, eyes lowered, she crossed the greensward and reached my side. I said as soon as I saw her: “I perceive that goodness and justice have dwelt in your heart: we could not live together. Now you are admiring my good looks which have bowled over more than one woman. But sooner or later you would regret having consecrated your love to me, for you do not know my soul. Not that I shall be unfaithful to you: she who devotes herself to me with so much abandon and trust — with the same trust and abandon do I devote myself to her. But get this into your head and never forget it: wolves and lambs look not on one another with gentle eyes.” What then did I need, I who rejected with disgust what was most beautiful in humanity!
Comte de Lautréamont (Maldoror and the Complete Works)
Her own awareness had risen like the dawn on her back.Like a leaden sunrise veiled in a swirl of storm clouds. It was no longer enough to have answers for Shiva's sake. Indeed, it had ceased to be about mere vengeance the moment Khalid's lips touched hers in the alley by the souk. She had wanted there to be a reason for this madness, needed there to be a reason, so that she could be with him. So that she could be by his side, make him smile as she laughed, weave tales by lamplight, and share secrets in the dark.So that she could fall asleep in his arms and awaken to a brilliant tomorrow.
But it was too late. He was the Mehrdad of her nightmares. She had opened the door. She had seen the bodies hanging from the walls, without explanation. Without justification.
And without one, Shahrzad knew what must be done. Khalid had to answer for such vile deeds. Such rampant death.
Even if he was her air.
Even if she loved him beyond words.
Renée Ahdieh (The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1))
Well, I'm glad you're so amused," I said, running my fingers across the railing.
Maxon hopped up to sit on the railing, looking very relaxed. "You're always amusing. Get used to it."
Hmm. He was almost being funny.
"So...about what you said...," he started tentatively.
"Which part? The part about me calling you names or fighting with my mom or saying food was my motivation?" I rolled my eyes.
He laughed once. "The part about me being good..."
"Oh. What about it?" Those few sentences suddenly seemed more embarrassing than anything else I'd said. I ducked my head down and twisted a piece of my dress.
"I appreciate you making things look authentic, but you didn't need to go that far."
My head snapped up. How could he think that?
"Maxon, that wasn't for the sake of the show. If you had asked me a month ago what my honest opinion of you was, it would have been very different. But now I know you, and I know the truth, and you are everything I said you were. And more."
He was quiet, but there was a small smile on his face.
"Thank you," he finally said.
Maxon cleared his throat. "He'll be lucky, too." He got down from his makeshift seat and walked to my side of the balcony.
"Your boyfriend. When he comes to his senses and begs you to take him back," Maxon said matter-of-factly.
I had to laugh. No such thing would happen in y world.
"he's not my boyfriend anymore. And he made it pretty clear he was gone with me." Even I could hear the tiny bit of hope in my voice.
"Not possible. He'll have seen you on TV by now and fallen for you all over again. Though, in my opinion, you're still much too good for the dog." Maxon spoke almost as if he was bored, like he'd seen this happen a million times.
"Speaking of which!" he said a bit louder. "If you don't want me to be in love with you, you're going to have to stop looking so lovely. First thing tomorrow I'm having your maids sew some potato sacks together for you."
I hit his arm. "Shut up, Maxon."
"I'm not kidding. You're too beautiful for your own good. Once you leave, we'll have to send some of the guards with you. You'll never survive on your own, poor thing." He said all this with mock pity.
"I can't help it." I sighed. "One can never help being born into perfection." I fanned my face as if being so pretty was exhausting.
"No, I don't suppose you can help it.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
For a while, I'll think obsessively about her, I'll become embittered, I'll bore my friend because all I ever talk about is my wife leaving me. I'll try to justify what happened, spend days and nights reviewing every moment spent by her side, I'll conclude that she was too hard on me, even though I always tried to do my best. I'll find other women. When I walk down the street, I'll keep seeing women who could be her. I'll suffer day and night, night and day. This could take weeks, months, possibly a year or more... Until one morning, I'll wake up and find I'm thinking about something else, and then I'll know the worst is over. My heart might be bruised, but it will recover and became capable of seeing the beauty of life once more. It's happened before, it will happen again, I'm sure. When someone leaves, it's because someone else is about to arrive--I'll find love again.
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
If you are very quiet and do not look away, you may see the brightest star in the constellation glow steadily brighter. It brightens until it overwhelms every other star in the sky, brightens until it seems to touch the ground, and then the glow is gone, and in its place is a girl.
Her hair and lashes are painted a shifting silver, and a scar crosses one side of her face. She is dressed in Sealand silk and a necklace of sapphire . Some say that, once upon a time, she had a prince, a father, a society of friends. Others say that she was once a wicked queen ,a worker of illusions, a girl who brought darkness across the lands. Stilll others say that she once had a sister, and that she loved her dearly. Perhaps all of these are true.
She walks to the boy, tilts her head up at him, and smiles. He bends down to kiss her. Then he helps her onto the horse, and she rides away with him to a faraway place, until they can no longer be seen.
These are only rumour,of course, and make little more than a story to tell round a fire. But it is told. And thus they live on.
—“The Midnight Star,” a folktale
Marie Lu (The Midnight Star (The Young Elites, #3))
Third-level, life-long relationships are generally few because “their existence implies that those involved have reached a stage simultaneously in which the teaching-learning balance is actually perfect.” That doesn’t mean, however, that we necessarily recognize our third-level assignments; in fact, generally we don’t. We may even feel hostility toward these particular people. Someone with whom we have a lifetime’s worth of lessons to learn is someone whose presence in our lives forces us to grow. Sometimes it represents someone with whom we participate lovingly all our lives, and sometimes it represents someone who we experience as a thorn in our side for years, or even forever. Just because someone has a lot to teach us, doesn’t mean we like them. People who have the most to teach us are often the ones who reflect back to us the limits to our own capacity to love, those who consciously or unconsciously challenge our fearful positions. They show us our walls. Our walls are our wounds—the places where we feel we can’t love any more, can’t connect any more deeply, can’t forgive past a certain point. We are in each other’s lives in order to help us see where we most need healing, and in order to help us heal.
Marianne Williamson (Return to Love)
To His Coy Mistress
Had we but world enough and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust;
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.
Andrew Marvell (The Complete Poems)
The Western States nervous under the beginning change.
Texas and Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas, New Mexico,
Arizona, California. A single family moved from the land.
Pa borrowed money from the bank, and now the bank wants
the land. The land company--that's the bank when it has land
--wants tractors, not families on the land. Is a tractor bad? Is
the power that turns the long furrows wrong? If this tractor
were ours it would be good--not mine, but ours. If our tractor
turned the long furrows of our land, it would be good.
Not my land, but ours. We could love that tractor then as
we have loved this land when it was ours. But the tractor
does two things--it turns the land and turns us off the land.
There is little difference between this tractor and a tank.
The people are driven, intimidated, hurt by both. We must think
One man, one family driven from the land; this rusty car
creaking along the highway to the west. I lost my land, a
single tractor took my land. I am alone and bewildered.
And in the night one family camps in a ditch and another
family pulls in and the tents come out. The two men squat
on their hams and the women and children listen. Here is the
node, you who hate change and fear revolution. Keep these
two squatting men apart; make them hate, fear, suspect each
other. Here is the anlarge of the thing you fear. This is the
zygote. For here "I lost my land" is changed; a cell is split
and from its splitting grows the thing you hate--"We lost our
land." The danger is here, for two men are not as lonely and
perplexed as one. And from this first "we" there grows a still
more dangerous thing: "I have a little food" plus "I have
none." If from this problem the sum is "We have a little
food," the thing is on its way, the movement has direction.
Only a little multiplication now, and this land, this tractor are
ours. The two men squatting in a ditch, the little fire, the side-
meat stewing in a single pot, the silent, stone-eyed women;
behind, the children listening with their souls to words their
minds do not understand. The night draws down. The baby
has a cold. Here, take this blanket. It's wool. It was my mother's
blanket--take it for the baby. This is the thing to bomb.
This is the beginning--from "I" to "we."
If you who own the things people must have could understand
this, you might preserve yourself. If you could separate
causes from results, if you could know Paine, Marx,
Jefferson, Lenin, were results, not causes, you might survive.
But that you cannot know. For the quality of owning freezes
you forever into "I," and cuts you off forever from the "we."
The Western States are nervous under the begining
change. Need is the stimulus to concept, concept to action.
A half-million people moving over the country; a million
more restive, ready to move; ten million more feeling the
And tractors turning the multiple furrows in the vacant land.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
Women made such swell friends. Awfully swell. In the first place, you had to be in love with a woman to have a basis of friendship. I had been having Brett for a friend. I had not been thinking about her side of it. I had been getting something for nothing. That only delayed the presentation of the bill. The bill always came. That was one of the swell things you could count on.
I thought I had paid for everything. Not like the woman pays and pays and pays. No idea of retribution or punishment. Just exchange of values. You gave up something and got something else. Or you worked for something. You paid some way for everything that was any good. I paid my way into enough things that I liked, so that I had a good time. Either you paid by learning about them, or by experience, or by taking chances, or by money. Enjoying living was learning to get your money’s worth. The world was a good place to buy in. It seemed like a fine philosophy. In five years, I though, it will seem just as silly as all the other fine philosophies I’ve had.
Ernest Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises (Fiesta))
There are moments in every relationship that define when two people start to fall in love.
A first glance
A first smile
A first kiss
A first fall…
(I remove the Darth Vader house shoes from my satchel and look down at them.)
You were wearing these during one of those moments.
One of the moments I first started to fall in love with you.
The way you gave me butterflies that morning
Had absolutely nothing to do with anyone else,
and everything to do with you.
I was falling in love with you that morning
because of you.
(I take the next item out of the satchel. When I pull it out and look up, she brings her hands to her mouth in shock.)
This ugly little gnome
With his smug little grin…
He's the reason I had an excuse to invite you into my house.
Into my life.
You took a lot of aggression out on him over those next few months.
I would watch from my window as you would kick him over every time you walked by him.
Poor little guy.
You were so tenacious.
That feisty, aggressive, strong-willed side of you….
The side of you that refused to take crap from this concrete gnome?
The side of you that refused to take crap from me?
I fell in love with that side of you
because of you.
(I set the gnome down on the stage and grab the CD)
This is your favorite CD
Although now I know you intended for shit to be possessive, rather than descriptive.
The banjo started playing through the speakers of your car
and I immediately recognized my favorite band.
Then when I realized it was your favorite band, too?
The fact that these same lyrics inspired both of us?
I fell in love with that about you.
That had absolutely nothing to do with anyone else.
I fell in love with that about you
because of you.
(I take a slip of paper out of the satchel and hold it up. When I look at her, I see Eddie slide her a napkin. I can’t tell from up here, but that can only mean she’s crying.)
This is a receipt I kept.
Only because the item I purchased that night was on the verge of ridiculous.
Chocolate milk on the rocks? Who orders that?
You were different, and you didn’t care.
You were being you.
A piece of me fell in love with you at that moment,
because of you.
This? (I hold up another sheet of paper.)
This I didn’t really like so much.
It’s the poem you wrote about me.
The one you titled 'mean?'
I don’t think I ever told you…
but you made a zero.
And then I kept it
to remind myself of all the things I never want to be to you.
(I pull her shirt from my bag. When I hold it into the light, I sigh into the microphone.)
This is that ugly shirt you wear.
It doesn’t really have anything to do with why I fell in love with you.
I just saw it at your house and thought I’d steal it.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
There is so much I hope to teach you, little one. I hope that I may do so by example, but I feel the need
to put the words to
paper as well. It is a quirk of mine, one which I expect you will recognize and find amusing by the time
you read this letter.
Be conscientious. There is never anything to be gained by taking the easy road. (Unless, of course, the
road is an easy one to begin with. Roads sometimes are. If that should be the case, do not forge a new,
more difficult one. Only martyrs go out
looking for trouble.)
Love your siblings. You have two already, and God willing, there will be more. Love them well, for they
are your blood,
and when you are unsure, or times are difficult, they will be the ones to stand by your side.
Laugh. Laugh out loud, and laugh often. And when circumstances call for silence, turn your laugh into a
Don't settle. Know what you want and reach for it. And if you don't know what you want, be patient.
The answers will
come to you in time, and you may find that your heart s desire has been right under your nose all the
And remember, always remember that you have a mother and a father who love each other and love
I feel you growing restless. Your father is making strange gasping sounds and will surely lose his temper
altogether if I
do not move from my escritoire to my bed.
Welcome to the world, little one. We are all so delighted to make your acquaintance.
Julia Quinn (To Sir Phillip, With Love (Bridgertons, #5))
As I walked out one harvest night
About the stroke of One,
The Moon attained to her full height
Stood beaming like the Sun.
She exorcised the ghostly wheat
To mute assent in Love's defeat
Whose tryst had now begun.
The fields lay sick beneath my tread,
A tedious owlet cried;
The nightingale above my head
With this or that replied,
Like man and wife who nightly keep
Inconsequent debate in sleep
As they dream side by side.
Your phantom wore the moon's cold mask,
My phantom wore the same,
Forgetful of the feverish task
In hope of which they came,
Each image held the other's eyes
And watched a grey distraction rise
To cloud the eager flame.
To cloud the eager flame of love,
To fog the shining gate:
They held the tyrannous queen above
Sole mover of their fate,
They glared as marble statues glare
Across the tessellated stair
Or down the Halls of State.
And now cold earth was Arctic sea,
Each breath came dagger keen,
Two bergs of glinting ice were we,
The broad moon sailed between;
There swam the mermaids, tailed and finned,
And Love went by upon the wind
As though it had not been.
- Full Moon
Robert Graves (Poems Selected by Himself)
I heard the bathroom door close and I kept my eyes screwed shut, but my heart skyrocketed into uncharted territories. I folded my arms around me and held my breath.
There was the slightest movement behind me. Skin brushed against mine. A fine shiver rolled up my spine. An infinite spark transferred between us, something that couldn’t be replicated or forced. How could I’ve forgotten that when connected with Seth? My heart turned over heavily.
Aiden brushed the mass of thick hair over one shoulder and his lips met the space between my neck and shoulder. His hands slid down the slick skin of my arms, cupping over my elbows and then to my wrists. Gently, slowly, he eased my arms to my sides.
I bit down on my lip and my legs started trembling. But he was there. Like always, holding me up when I couldn’t stand on and letting me go when he knew I needed him to. He was more than just a shelter. AIden was my other half, my equal. And he needed no weird Apollyon connection.
Aiden waited, still as a statue, patient as ever, until my muscles unlocked, one by one. Then his hands dropped to my waist and he turned me toward him. A heartbeat passed and he placed his fingers on my chin, tipping my head back.
I opened my eyes, blinking the wetness off my lashes, and the air hitched in my throat. Faint, purplish bruises shadowed his jaw. There was a cut over the bridge of his nose. No doubt injuries I had given him.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Apollyon (Covenant, #4))
Along with the trust issues, one of the hardest parts to deal with is the feeling of not being believed or supported, especially by your own grandparents and extended family. When I have been through so much pain and hurt and have to live with the scars every day, I get angry knowing that others think it is all made up or they brush it off because my cousin was a teenager. I was ten when I was first sexually abused by my cousin, and a majority of my relatives have taken the perpetrator's side. I have cried many times about everything and how my relatives gave no support or love to me as a kid when this all came out. Not one relative ever came up to that innocent little girl I was and said "I am sorry for what you went through" or "I am here for you." Instead they said hurtful things: "Oh he was young." "That is what kids do." "It is not like he was some older man you didn't know." Why does age make a difference? It is a sick way of thinking. Sexual abuse is sexual abuse. What is wrong with this picture? It brings tears to my eyes the way my relatives have reacted to this and cannot accept the truth. Denial is where they would rather stay.
Erin Merryn (Living for Today: From Incest and Molestation to Fearlessness and Forgiveness)
My eyes had been closed for a few minutes when he said it: "I love you," he muttered, so quiet, like a prayer whispered into my neck.
"Hmm?" I was nearly asleep myself, edges blurring; I was one hundred percent sure I'd misheard.
"I love you." He said it again, clearer this time, right into my ear, breath tickling. I felt like a hydrogen bomb. I tried to be very still, but I knew he could feel my entire body tensing, a runner ready to begin a race --
I opened my mouth, shut it again.
I did love him, is the awfulness of it. I'd loved Sawyer since the seventh grade, when Allie and I began keeping a list of the places we spotted him. I loved his quick, blistered musician hands and the honest soul he kept hidden safe under all his bravado, and I loved how I was still, every day, learning him. I loved his silly, secret goofy side and the way he had of making me feel like I was a tall tree, just from the way he looked at my face. I loved Sawyer LeGrande so much that sometimes I couldn't sit still for the fullness of it, but when I opened up my mouth to tell him so, nothing came out.
I could do anything for him, I realized suddenly. I could give him anything. But not that. If I said that to him, I knew I could never get it back.
"Go to sleep," I whispered, and he didn't say it again.
Katie Cotugno (How to Love)
Sissy had two great failings. She was a great lover and a great mother. She had so much of tenderness in her, so much of wanting to give of herself to whoever needed what she had, whether it was her money, her time, the clothes off her back, her pity, her understanding, her friendship or her companionship and love. She was mother to everything that came her way. She loved men, yes. She loved women too, and old people and especially children. How she loved children! She loved loved the down-and-outers. She wanted to make everybody happy. She had tried to seduce the good priest who heard her infrequent confessions because she felt sorry for him. She thought he was missing the greatest joy on earth by being committed to a life of celibacy.
She loved all the scratching curs on the street and wept for the gaunt scavenging cats who slunk around Brooklyn corners with their sides swollen looking for a hole in which they might bring forth their young. She loved the sooty sparrows and thought that the very grass that grew in the lots was beautiful. She picked bouquets of white clover in the lots believing they were the most beautiful flowers God ever made...Yes, she listened to everybody's troubles but no one listened to hers. But that was right because Sissy was a giver and never a taker.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Afterwards, when we have slept, paradise-
comaed and woken, we lie a long time
looking at each other.
I do not know what he sees, but I see
eyes of surpassing tenderness
and calm, a calm like the dignity
of matter. I love the open ocean
blue-grey-green of his iris, I love
the curve of it against the white,
that curve the sight of what has caused me
to come, when he’s quite still, deep
inside me. I have never seen a curve
like that, except the earth from outer
space. I don’t know where he got
his kindness without self-regard,
almost without self, and yet
he chose one woman, instead of the others.
By knowing him, I get to know
the purity of the animal
which mates for life. Sometimes he is slightly
smiling, but mostly he just gazes at me gazing,
his entire face lit. I love
to see it change if I cry–there is no worry,
no pity, no graver radiance. If we
are on our backs, side by side,
with our faces turned fully to face each other,
I can hear a tear from my lower eye
hit the sheet, as if it is an early day on earth,
and then the upper eye’s tears
braid and sluice down through the lower eyebrow
like the invention of farmimg, irrigation, a non-nomadic people.
I am so lucky that I can know him.
This is the only way to know him.
I am the only one who knows him.
When I wake again, he is still looking at me,
as if he is eternal. For an hour
we wake and doze, and slowly I know
that though we are sated, though we are hardly
touching, this is the coming the other
coming brought us to the edge of–we are entering,
deeper and deeper, gaze by gaze,
this place beyond the other places,
beyond the body itself, we are making
Fifteen Ways to Stay Alive
1. Offer the wolves your arm only from the elbow down. Leave tourniquet space. Do not offer them your calves. Do not offer them your side. Do not let them near your femoral artery, your jugular. Give them only your arm.
2. Wear chapstick when kissing the bomb.
3. Pretend you don’t know English.
4. Pretend you never met her.
5. Offer the bomb to the wolves. Offer the wolves to the zombies.
6. Only insert a clean knife into your chest. Rusty ones will cause tetanus. Or infection.
7. Don’t inhale.
8. Realize that this love was not your trainwreck, was not the truck that flattened you, was not your Waterloo, did not cause massive haemorrhaging from a rusty knife. That love is still to come.
9. Use a rusty knife to cut through most of the noose in a strategic place so that it breaks when your weight is on it.
10. Practice desperate pleas for attention, louder calls for help. Learn them in English, French, Spanish: May Day, Aidez-Moi, Ayúdame.
11. Don’t kiss trainwrecks. Don’t kiss knives. Don’t kiss.
12. Pretend you made up the zombies, and only superheroes exist.
13. Pretend there is no kryptonite.
14. Pretend there was no love so sweet that you would have died for it, pretend that it does not belong to someone else now, pretend like your heart depends on it because it does. Pretend there is no wreck — you watched the train go by and felt the air brush your face and that was it. Another train passing. You do not need trains. You can fly. You are a superhero. And there is no kryptonite.
15. Forget her name.
There is an old Eastern fable about a traveler who is taken unawares on the steppes by a ferocious wild animal. In order to escape the beast the traveler hides in an empty well, but at the bottom of the well he sees a dragon with its jaws open, ready to devour him. The poor fellow does not dare to climb out because he is afraid of being eaten by the rapacious beast, neither does he dare drop to the bottom of the well for fear of being eaten by the dragon. So he seizes hold of a branch of a bush that is growing in the crevices of the well and clings on to it. His arms grow weak and he knows that he will soon have to resign himself to the death that awaits him on either side. Yet he still clings on, and while he is holding on to the branch he looks around and sees that two mice, one black and one white, are steadily working their way round the bush he is hanging from, gnawing away at it. Sooner or later they will eat through it and the branch will snap, and he will fall into the jaws of the dragon. The traveler sees this and knows that he will inevitably perish. But while he is still hanging there he sees some drops of honey on the leaves of the bush, stretches out his tongue and licks them. In the same way I am clinging to the tree of life, knowing full well that the dragon of death inevitably awaits me, ready to tear me to pieces, and I cannot understand how I have fallen into this torment. And I try licking the honey that once consoled me, but it no longer gives me pleasure. The white mouse and the black mouse – day and night – are gnawing at the branch from which I am hanging. I can see the dragon clearly and the honey no longer tastes sweet. I can see only one thing; the inescapable dragon and the mice, and I cannot tear my eyes away from them. And this is no fable but the truth, the truth that is irrefutable and intelligible to everyone.
The delusion of the joys of life that had formerly stifled my fear of the dragon no longer deceived me. No matter how many times I am told: you cannot understand the meaning of life, do not thinking about it but live, I cannot do so because I have already done it for too long. Now I cannot help seeing day and night chasing me and leading me to my death. This is all I can see because it is the only truth. All the rest is a lie.
Those two drops of honey, which more than all else had diverted my eyes from the cruel truth, my love for my family and for my writing, which I called art – I no longer found sweet.
Leo Tolstoy (A Confession and Other Religious Writings)
We live in a modern society. Husbands and wives don't
grow on trees, like in the old days. So where
does one find love? When you're sixteen it's easy,
like being unleashed with a credit card
in a department store of kisses. There's the first kiss.
The sloppy kiss. The peck.
The sympathy kiss. The backseat smooch. The we
shouldn't be doing this kiss. The but your lips
taste so good kiss. The bury me in an avalanche of tingles kiss.
The I wish you'd quit smoking kiss.
The I accept your apology, but you make me really mad
sometimes kiss. The I know
your tongue like the back of my hand kiss. As you get
older, kisses become scarce. You'll be driving
home and see a damaged kiss on the side of the road,
with its purple thumb out. If you
were younger, you'd pull over, slide open the mouth's
red door just to see how it fits. Oh where
does one find love? If you rub two glances, you get a smile.
Rub two smiles, you get a warm feeling.
Rub two warm feelings and presto-you have a kiss.
Now what? Don't invite the kiss over
and answer the door in your underwear. It'll get suspicious
and stare at your toes. Don't water the kiss with whiskey.
It'll turn bright pink and explode into a thousand luscious splinters,
but in the morning it'll be ashamed and sneak out of
your body without saying good-bye,
and you'll remember that kiss forever by all the little cuts it left
on the inside of your mouth. You must
nurture the kiss. Turn out the lights. Notice how it
illuminates the room. Hold it to your chest
and wonder if the sand inside hourglasses comes from a
special beach. Place it on the tongue's pillow,
then look up the first recorded kiss in an encyclopedia: beneath
a Babylonian olive tree in 1200 B.C.
But one kiss levitates above all the others. The
intersection of function and desire. The I do kiss.
The I'll love you through a brick wall kiss.
Even when I'm dead, I'll swim through the Earth,
like a mermaid of the soil, just to be next to your bones.
This election is about the past vs. the future. It's about whether we settle for the same divisions and distractions and drama that passes for politics today or whether we reach for a politics of common sense and innovation, a politics of shared sacrifice and shared prosperity. There are those who will continue to tell us that we can't do this, that we can't have what we're looking for, that we can't have what we want, that we're peddling false hopes. But here is what I know. I know that when people say we can't overcome all the big money and influence in Washington, I think of that elderly woman who sent me a contribution the other day, an envelope that had a money order for $3.01 along with a verse of scripture tucked inside the envelope. So don't tell us change isn't possible. That woman knows change is possible. When I hear the cynical talk that blacks and whites and Latinos can't join together and work together, I'm reminded of the Latino brothers and sisters I organized with and stood with and fought with side by side for jobs and justice on the streets of Chicago. So don't tell us change can't happen. When I hear that we'll never overcome the racial divide in our politics, I think about that Republican woman who used to work for Strom Thurmond, who is now devoted to educating inner city-children and who went out into the streets of South Carolina and knocked on doors for this campaign. Don't tell me we can't change. Yes, we can. Yes, we can change. Yes, we can.
Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can seize our future. And as we leave this great state with a new wind at our backs and we take this journey across this great country, a country we love, with the message we carry from the plains of Iowa to the hills of New Hampshire, from the Nevada desert to the South Carolina coast, the same message we had when we were up and when we were down, that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we will hope.
And where we are met with cynicism and doubt and fear and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of the American people in three simple words -- yes, we can.
We believe in the wrong things. That's what frustrates me the most. Not the lack of belief, but the belief in the wrong things. You want meaning? Well, the meanings are out there. We're just so damn good at reading them wrong.
I don't think meaning is something that can be explained. You have to understand it on your own. It's like when you're starting to read. First, you learn the letters. Then, once you know what sounds the letters make, you use them to sound out words. You know that c-a-t leads to cat and d-o-g leads to dog. But then you have to make that extra leap, to understand that the word, the sound, the "cat" is connected to an actual cat , and that "dog" is connected to an actual dog. It's that leap, that understanding, that leads to meaning. And a lot of the time in life, we're still just sounding things out. We know the sentences and how to say them. We know the ideas and how to present them. We know the prayers and which words to say in what order. But that's only spelling"
It's much harder to lie to someone's face. But. It is also much harder to tell the truth to someone's face.
The indefatigable pursuit of an unattainable perfection, even though it consist in nothing more than in the pounding of an old piano, is what alone gives a meaning to our life on this unavailing star. (Logan Pearsall Smith)
Being alone has nothing to do with how many people are around. (J.R. Moehringer)
You could be standing a few feet away...I could have sat next to you on the subway, or brushed beside you as we went through the turnstiles. But whether or not you are here, you are here- because these words are for you, and they wouldn't exist is you weren't here in some way.
At last I had it--the Christmas present I'd wanted all along, but hadn't realized. His words.
The dream was obviously a sign: he was too enticing to resist.
Wow. You must have a lot of faith in me. Which I appreciate. Even if I'm not sure I share it.
I could do this on my own, and not freak out that I had no idea what waited for me on the other side of this night.
Hope and belief. I'd always wanted hope, but never believed that I could have such an adventure on my own. That I could own it. And love it. But it happened.
Because I'm So uncool and so afraid.
If there was a clue, that meant the mystery was still intact
I fear you may have outmatched me, because not I find these words have nowhere to go. It's hard to answer a question you haven't been asked. It's hard to show that you tried unless you end up succeeding.
This was not a haystack. We were people, and people had ways of finding eachother.
It was one of those moments when you feel the future so much that is humbles the present.
Don't worry. It's your embarrassment at not having the thought that counts.
You think fairy tales are only for girls? Here's ahint- ask yourself who wrote them. I assure you, it wasn't just the women. It's the great male fantasy- all it takes is one dance to know that she's the one. All it takes is the sound of her song from the tower, or a look at her sleeping face. And right away you know--this is the girl in your head, sleeping or dancing or singing in front of you. Yes, girls want their princes, but boys want their princesses just as much. And they don't want a very long courtship. They want to know immediately.
Be careful what you;re doing, because no one is ever who you want them to be. And the less you really know them, the more likely you are to confuse them with the girl or boy in your head
You should never wish for wishful thinking
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
I don’t know if I’ve learned anything yet! I did learn how to have a happy home, but I consider myself fortunate in that regard because I could’ve rolled right by it. Everybody has a superficial side and a deep side, but this culture doesn’t place much value on depth — we don’t have shamans or soothsayers, and depth isn’t encouraged or understood. Surrounded by this shallow, glossy society we develop a shallow side, too, and we become attracted to fluff. That’s reflected in the fact that this culture sets up an addiction to romance based on insecurity — the uncertainty of whether or not you’re truly united with the object of your obsession is the rush people get hooked on. I’ve seen this pattern so much in myself and my friends and some people never get off that line.
But along with developing my superficial side, I always nurtured a deeper longing, so even when I was falling into the trap of that other kind of love, I was hip to what I was doing. I recently read an article in Esquire magazine called ‘The End of Sex,’ that said something that struck me as very true. It said: “If you want endless repetition, see a lot of different people. If you want infinite variety, stay with one.” What happens when you date is you run all your best moves and tell all your best stories — and in a way, that routine is a method for falling in love with yourself over and over.
You can’t do that with a longtime mate because he knows all that old material. With a long relationship, things die then are rekindled, and that shared process of rebirth deepens the love. It’s hard work, though, and a lot of people run at the first sign of trouble. You’re with this person, and suddenly you look like an asshole to them or they look like an asshole to you — it’s unpleasant, but if you can get through it you get closer and you learn a way of loving that’s different from the neurotic love enshrined in movies. It’s warmer and has more padding to it.
My mother's suffering grew into a symbol in my mind, gathering to itself all the poverty, the ignorance, the helplessness; the painful, baffling, hunger-ridden days and hours; the restless moving, the futile seeking, the uncertainty, the fear, the dread; the meaningless pain and the endless suffering. Her life set the emotional tone of my life, colored the men and women I was to meet in the future, conditioned my relation to events that had not yet happened, determined my attitude to situations and circumstances I had yet to face. A somberness of spirit that I was never to lose settled over me during the slow years of my mother's unrelieved suffering, a somberness that was to make me stand apart and look upon excessive joy with suspicion, that was to make me keep forever on the move, as though to escape a nameless fate seeking to overtake me.
At the age of twelve, before I had one year of formal schooling, I had a conception of life that no experience would ever erase, a predilection for what was real that no argument could ever gainsay, a sense of the world that was mine and mine alone, a notion as to what life meant that no education could ever alter, a conviction that the meaning of living came only when one was struggling to wring a meaning out of meaningless suffering.
At the age of twelve I had an attitude toward life that was to endure, that was to make me seek those areas of living that would keep it alive, that was to make me skeptical of everything while seeking everything, tolerant of all and yet critical. The spirit I had caught gave me insight into the sufferings of others, made me gravitate toward those whose feelings were like my own, made me sit for hours while others told me of their lives, made me strangely tender and cruel, violent and peaceful.
It made me want to drive coldly to the heart of every question and it open to the core of suffering I knew I would find there. It made me love burrowing into psychology, into realistic and naturalistic fiction and art, into those whirlpools of politics that had the power to claim the whole of men's souls. It directed my loyalties to the side of men in rebellion; it made me love talk that sought answers to questions that could help nobody, that could only keep alive in me that enthralling sense of wonder and awe in the face of the drama of human feeling which is hidden by the external drama of life.
Richard Wright (Black Boy (American Hunger))
There was nothing left for me to do, but go.
Though the things of the world were strong with me still.
Such as, for example: a gaggle of children trudging through a side-blown December flurry; a friendly match-share beneath some collision-titled streetlight; a frozen clock, a bird visited within its high tower; cold water from a tin jug; towering off one’s clinging shirt post-June rain.
Pearls, rags, buttons, rug-tuft, beer-froth.
Someone’s kind wishes for you; someone remembering to write; someone noticing that you are not at all at ease.
A bloody ross death-red on a platter; a headgetop under-hand as you flee late to some chalk-and-woodfire-smelling schoolhouse.
Geese above, clover below, the sound of one’s own breath when winded.
The way a moistness in the eye will blur a field of stars; the sore place on the shoulder a resting toboggan makes; writing one’s beloved’s name upon a frosted window with a gloved finger.
Tying a shoe; tying a knot on a package; a mouth on yours; a hand on yours; the ending of the day; the beginning of the day; the feeling that there will always be a day ahead.
Goodbye, I must now say goodbye to all of it.
Loon-call in the dark; calf-cramp in the spring; neck-rub in the parlour; milk-sip at end of day.
Some brandy-legged dog proudly back-ploughs the grass to cover its modest shit; a cloud-mass down-valley breaks apart over the course of a brandy-deepened hour; louvered blinds yield dusty beneath your dragging finger, and it is nearly noon and you must decide; you have seen what you have seen, and it has wounded you, and it seems you have only one choice left.
Blood-stained porcelain bowl wobbles face down on wood floor; orange peel not at all stirred by disbelieving last breath there among that fine summer dust-layer, fatal knife set down in pass-panic on familiar wobbly banister, later dropped (thrown) by Mother (dear Mother) (heartsick) into the slow-flowing, chocolate-brown Potomac.
None of it was real; nothing was real.
Everything was real; inconceivably real, infinitely dear.
These and all things started as nothing, latent within a vast energy-broth, but then we named them, and loved them, and in this way, brought them forth.
And now we must lose them.
I send this out to you, dear friends, before I go, in this instantaneous thought-burst, from a place where time slows and then stops and we may live forever in a single instant.
Goodbye goodbye good-
George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo)
Thank you, Mr. Secretary General, UNICEF Executive Director, Excellencies and distinguished guests from across the world.
My name is Kim Nam Jun, also known as RM, the leader of the group BTS. It’s an incredible honour to be invited to an occasion with such significance for today’s young generation.
Last November, BTS launched the “Love Myself” campaign with UNICEF, building on our belief that “true love first begins with loving myself.” We have been partnering with UNICEF’s #ENDviolence program to protect children and young people all over the world from violence.
Our fans have become a major part of this campaign with their action and enthusiasm. We truly have the best fans in the world!
I would like to begin by talking about myself.
I was born in Ilsan, a city near Seoul, South Korea. It’s a beautiful place, with a lake, hills, and even an annual flower festival. I spent a happy childhood there, and I was just an ordinary boy.
I would look up at the night sky in wonder and dream the dreams of a boy. I used to imagine that I was a superhero, saving the world.
In an intro to one of our early albums, there is a line that says, “My heart stopped…I was maybe nine or ten.”
Looking back, that’s when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes. I stopped looking up at the stars at night. I stopped daydreaming. I tried to jam myself into moulds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and started to listen to the voices of others. No one called out my name, and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. So, like this, I, we, all lost our names. We became like ghosts.
I had one sanctuary, and that was music. There was a small voice in me that said, ‘Wake up, man, and listen to yourself!” But it took me a long time to hear music calling my name.
Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were hurdles. Most people thought we were hopeless. Sometimes, I just wanted to quit.
I think I was very lucky that I didn’t give it all up.
I’m sure that I, and we, will keep stumbling and falling. We have become artists performing in huge stadiums and selling millions of albums.
But I am still an ordinary, twenty-four-year-old guy. If there’s anything that I’ve achieved, it was only possible because I had my other BTS members by my side, and because of the love and support of our ARMY fans.
Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. I am who I am today, with all my faults. Tomorrow I might be a tiny bit wiser, and that’s me, too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I was, who I am, and who I hope to become.
I would like to say one last thing.
After releasing the “Love Yourself” albums and launching the “Love Myself” campaign, we started to hear remarkable stories from our fans all over the world, how our message helped them overcome their hardships in life and start loving themselves. These stories constantly remind us of our responsibility.
So, let’s all take one more step. We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to "speak yourself".
I would like to ask all of you. What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat?
Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice, and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, gender identity: speak yourself.
Find your name, find your voice by speaking yourself.
I’m Kim Nam Jun, RM of BTS.
I’m a hip-hop idol and an artist from a small town in Korea.
Like most people, I made many mistakes in my life.
I have many faults and I have many fears, but I am going to embrace myself as hard as I can, and I’m starting to love myself, little by little.
What is your name? Speak Yourself!
She pressed her hands against my chest and tried to push me away. "I can't think straight when you 're this close."
I backed her up against the wall. "I don't like the thoughts running through your head. I plan on staying here until you look me in the eye and tell me you 're mine."
"This isn't going to work. It never would have."
"Bullshit. We belong together." Echo sniffed and the sound tore at me. I softened my voice. "Look at me, baby. I know you love me. Three nights ago you were willing to offer everything to me. There is no way you can walk away from us."
"God Noah..." Her voice broke. "I'm a mess."
A mess? "You 're beautiful."
"I'm a mental mess. In two months you 're going to face some judge and convince him that you are the best person to raise your brothers. I'm a liability."
"Not true. My brothers will love you and you 'll love them. You are not a liability."
"But how will the judge see me? Are you really willing too take that risk? [...] What happens if the judge find out about me? What if he discovers what a mess you 're dating?"
Breathing became a painful chore. Her lips turned down while her warm fingers caressed my cheek. That touch typically brought me to knees, but now it cut me open.
"Did you know that when you stop being stubborn and accept i may be right on something, your eyes widen a little and you tilt your head to the side?" she asked.
I forced my head straight and narrowed my eyes. "I love you."
She flashed her glorious smile and then it became the saddest smile in the world. "You love your brothers more. I'm okay with that. In fact, it's one of the things i love about you. You were right the other day. I do want to be a part of a family. But i'd never forgive myself if i was the reason you didn't get yours."
To my horror, tears pricked my eyes and my throat swelled shut. "No, you 're not pulling this sacrificial bullshit on me. I love you and you love me and we 're supposed to be together."
Echo pressed her body to mine and her fingers clung to my hair. Water glistened in her eyes. "I love you enough to never make you choose."
She pushed off her toes toward me, guiding my head down, and gently kissed my lips. No. This wouldn't be goudbye. I'd fill her up and make her realize she'd always be empty without me.
I made Echo mine. My hands claimed her hair, her back. My lips claimed her mouth, her tongue. Her body shook against mine and i tasted salty wetness on her skin. She forced her lips away and i latched tighter to her. "No, baby, no," i whispered into her hair.
She pushed her palms against my chest, then became a blur as she ran past. "I'm sorry.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
when she was 7, a boy pushed her on the playground
she fell headfirst into the dirt and came up with a mouthful of gravel and lines of blood chasing each other down her legs
when she told her teacher what happened, she laughed and said ‘boys will be boys honey don’t let it bother you
he probably just thinks you’re cute’
but the thing is,
when you tell a little girl who has rocks in her teeth and scabs on her knees that hurt and attention are the same
you teach her that boys show their affection through aggression
and she grows into a young woman who constantly mistakes the two
because no one ever taught her the difference
‘boys will be boys’
‘that’s how he shows his love’
and bruises start to feel like the imprint of lips
she goes to school with a busted mouth in high school and says she was hit with a basketball instead of his fist
the one adult she tells scolds her
‘you know he loses his temper easily
why the hell did you have to provoke him?’
so she shrinks
folds into herself, flinches every time a man raises his voice
by the time she’s 16 she’s learned her job well
be quiet, be soft, be easy
don’t give him a reason
but for all her efforts, he still finds one
‘boys will be boys’ rings in her head
‘boys will be boys
he doesn’t mean it
he can’t help it’
she’s 7 years old on the playground again
with a mouth full of rocks and blood that tastes like copper love
because boys will be boys baby don’t you know
that’s just how he shows he cares
she’s 18 now and they’re drunk
in the split second it takes for her words to enter his ears they’re ruined
like a glass heirloom being dropped between the hands of generations
she meant them to open his arms but they curl his fists and suddenly his hands are on her and her head hits the wall and all of the goddamn words in the world couldn’t save them in this moment
she touches the bruise the next day
boys will be boys
aggression, affection, violence, love
how does she separate them when she learned so early that they’re inextricably bound, tangled in a constant tug-of-war
she draws tally marks on her walls ratios of kisses to bruises
one entire side of her bedroom turns purple, one entire side of her body
boys will be boys will be boys will be boys
when she’s 20, a boy touches her hips and she jumps
he asks her who the hell taught her to be scared like that and she wants to laugh
doesn’t he know that boys will be boys?
it took her 13 years to unlearn that lesson from the playground
so I guess what I’m trying to say is
i will talk until my voice is hoarse so that my little sister understands that aggression and affection are two entirely separate things
baby they exist in different universes
my niece can’t even speak yet but I think I’ll start with her now
don’t ever accept the excuse that boys will be boys
don’t ever let him put his hands on you like that
if you see hate blazing in his eyes don’t you ever confuse it with love
baby love won’t hurt when it comes
you won’t have to hide it under long sleeves during the summer
the only reason he should ever reach out his hand
is to hold yours
How do you break up with your boyfriend in a way that tells him, "I don't want to sleep with you on a regular basis anymore, but please be available for late night booty calls if I run out of other options"?
The story's so old you can't tell it anymore without everyone groaning, even your oldest friends with the last of their drinks shivering around the ice in their dirty glasses. The music playing is the same album everyone has. Those shoes, everybody has the same shoes on. It looked a little like rain so on person brought an umbrella, useless now in the starstruck clouded sky, forgotten on the way home, which is how the umbrella ended up in her place anyway. Everyone gets older on nights like this.
And still it's a fresh slap in the face of everything you had going, that precarious shelf in the shallow closet that will certainly, certainly fall someday. Photographs slipping into a crack to be found by the next tenant, that one squinter third from the left laughing at something your roommate said, the coaster from that place in the city you used to live in, gone now. A letter that seemed important for reasons you can't remember, throw it out, the entry in the address book you won't erase but won't keep when you get a new phone, let it pass and don't worry about it. You don't think about them; "I haven't thought about them in forever," you would say if anybody brought it up, and nobody does."
You think about them all the time.
Close the book but forget to turn off the light, just sit staring in bed until you blink and you're out of it, some noise on the other side of the wall reminding you you're still here. That's it, that's everything. There's no statue in the town square with an inscription with words to live by. The actor got slapped this morning by someone she loved, slapped right across the face, but there's no trace of it on any channel no matter how late you watch. How many people--really, count them up--know where you are? How many will look after you when you don't show up? The churches and train stations are creaky and the street signs, the menus, the writing on the wall, it all feels like the wrong language. Nobody, nobody knows what you're thinking of when you lean your head against the wall.
Put a sweater on when you get cold. Remind yourself, this is the night, because it is. You're free to sing what you want as you walk there, the trees rustling spookily and certainly and quietly and inimitably. Whatever shoes you want, fuck it, you're comfortable. Don't trust anyone's directions. Write what you might forget on the back of your hand, and slam down the cheap stuff and never mind the bad music from the window three floors up or what the boys shouted from the car nine years ago that keeps rattling around in your head, because you're here, you are, for the warmth of someone's wrists where the sleeve stops and the glove doesn't quite begin, and the slant of the voice on the punch line of the joke and the reflection of the moon in the water on the street as you stand still for a moment and gather your courage and take a breath before stealing away through the door. Look at it there. Take a good look. It looks like rain.
A Faint Music by Robert Hass
Maybe you need to write a poem about grace.
When everything broken is broken,
and everything dead is dead,
and the hero has looked into the mirror with complete contempt,
and the heroine has studied her face and its defects
remorselessly, and the pain they thought might,
as a token of their earnestness, release them from themselves
has lost its novelty and not released them,
and they have begun to think, kindly and distantly,
watching the others go about their days—
likes and dislikes, reasons, habits, fears—
that self-love is the one weedy stalk
of every human blossoming, and understood,
therefore, why they had been, all their lives,
in such a fury to defend it, and that no one—
except some almost inconceivable saint in his pool
of poverty and silence—can escape this violent, automatic
life’s companion ever, maybe then, ordinary light,
faint music under things, a hovering like grace appears.
As in the story a friend told once about the time
he tried to kill himself. His girl had left him.
Bees in the heart, then scorpions, maggots, and then ash.
He climbed onto the jumping girder of the bridge,
the bay side, a blue, lucid afternoon.
And in the salt air he thought about the word “seafood,”
that there was something faintly ridiculous about it.
No one said “landfood.” He thought it was degrading to the rainbow perch
he’d reeled in gleaming from the cliffs, the black rockbass,
scales like polished carbon, in beds of kelp
along the coast—and he realized that the reason for the word
was crabs, or mussels, clams. Otherwise
the restaurants could just put “fish” up on their signs,
and when he woke—he’d slept for hours, curled up
on the girder like a child—the sun was going down
and he felt a little better, and afraid. He put on the jacket
he’d used for a pillow, climbed over the railing
carefully, and drove home to an empty house.
There was a pair of her lemon yellow panties
hanging on a doorknob. He studied them. Much-washed.
A faint russet in the crotch that made him sick
with rage and grief. He knew more or less
where she was. A flat somewhere on Russian Hill.
They’d have just finished making love. She’d have tears
in her eyes and touch his jawbone gratefully. “God,”
she’d say, “you are so good for me.” Winking lights,
a foggy view downhill toward the harbor and the bay.
“You’re sad,” he’d say. “Yes.” “Thinking about Nick?”
“Yes,” she’d say and cry. “I tried so hard,” sobbing now,
“I really tried so hard.” And then he’d hold her for a while—
Guatemalan weavings from his fieldwork on the wall—
and then they’d fuck again, and she would cry some more,
and go to sleep.
And he, he would play that scene
once only, once and a half, and tell himself
that he was going to carry it for a very long time
and that there was nothing he could do
but carry it. He went out onto the porch, and listened
to the forest in the summer dark, madrone bark
cracking and curling as the cold came up.
It’s not the story though, not the friend
leaning toward you, saying “And then I realized—,”
which is the part of stories one never quite believes.
I had the idea that the world’s so full of pain
it must sometimes make a kind of singing.
And that the sequence helps, as much as order helps—
First an ego, and then pain, and then the singing
Robert Hass (Sun under Wood)
A quiet but indomitable voice behind me said, “I believe this is my dance.”
It was Ren. I could feel his presence. The warmth of him seeped into my back, and I quivered all over like spring leaves in a warm breeze.
Kishan narrowed his eyes and said, “I believe it is the lady’s choice.”
Kishan looked down at me. I didn’t want to cause a scene, so I simply nodded and removed my arms from his neck. Kishan glared at his replacement and stalked angrily off the dance floor.
Ren stepped in front of me, took my hands gently in his, and placed them around his neck, bringing my face achingly close to his. Then he slid his hands slowly and deliberately over my bare arms and down my sides, until they encircled my waist. He traced little circles on my exposes lower back with his fingers, squeezed my waist, and drew my body up tightly against him.
He guided me expertly through the slow dance. He didn’t say anything, at least not with words, but he was still sending lots of signals. He pressed his forehead against mine and leaned down to nuzzle my ear. He buried his face in my hair and lifted his hand to stroke down the length of it. His fingers played along my bare arm and at my waist.
When the song ended, it took both of us a min to recover our senses and remember where we were. He traced the curve of my bottom lip with his finger then reached up to take my hand from around his neck and led me outside to the porch.
I thought he would stop there, but he headed down the stairs and guided me to a wooded area with stone benches. The moon made his skin glow. He was wearing a white shirt with dark slacks. The white made me think of him as the tiger.
He pulled me under the shadow of a tree. I stood very still and quiet, afraid that if I spoke I’d say something I’d regret.
He cupped my chin and tilted my face up so he could look in my eyes. “Kelsey, there’s something I need to say to you, and I want you to be silent and listen.”
I nodded my head hesitantly.
“First, I want to let you know that I heard everything you said to me the other night, and I’ve been giving your words some very serious thought. It’s important for you to understand that.”
He shifted and picked up a lock of hair, tucked it behind my ear, and trailed his fingers down my cheek to my lips. He smiled sweetly at me, and I felt the little love plant bask in his smile and turn toward it as if it contained the nourishing rays of the sun. “Kelsey,” he brushed a hand through his hair, and his smile turned into a lopsided grin, “the fact is…I’m in love with you, and I have been for some time.”
I sucked in a deep breath.
He picked up my hand and played with my fingers. “I don’t want you to leave.” He began kissing my fingers while looking directly into my eyes. It was hypnotic. He took something out of his pocket. “I want to give you something.” He held out a golden chain covered with small tinkling bell charms. “It’s an anklet. They’re very popular here, and I got this one so we’d never have to search for a bell again.”
He crouched down, wrapping his hand around the back of my calf, and then slid his palm down to my ankle and attached the clasp. I swayed and barely stopped myself from falling over. He trailed his warm fingers lightly over the bells before standing up. Putting his hands on my shoulders, he squeezed, and pulled me closer.
“Kells . . . please.” He kissed my temple, my forehead, and my cheek. Between each kiss, he sweetly begged, “Please. Please. Please. Tell me you’ll stay with me.” When his lips brushed lightly against mine, he said, “I need you,” then crushed his lips against mine.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Hi there, cutie."
Ash turned his head to find an extremely attractive college student by his side. With black curly hair, she was dressed in jeans and a tight green top that displayed her curves to perfection. "Hi."
"You want to go inside for a drink? It's on me."
Ash paused as he saw her past, present, and future simultaneously in his mind. Her name was Tracy Phillips. A political science major, she was going to end up at Harvard Med School and then be one of the leading researchers to help isolate a mutated genome that the human race didn't even know existed yet.
The discovery of that genome would save the life of her youngest daughter and cause her daughter to go on to medical school herself. That daughter, with the help and guidance of her mother, would one day lobby for medical reforms that would change the way the medical world and governments treated health care. The two of them would shape generations of doctors and save thousands of lives by allowing people to have groundbreaking medical treatments that they wouldn't have otherwise been able to afford.
And right now, all Tracy could think about was how cute his ass was in leather pants, and how much she'd like to peel them off him.
In a few seconds, she'd head into the coffee shop and meet a waitress named Gina Torres. Gina's dream was to go to college herself to be a doctor and save the lives of the working poor who couldn't afford health care, but because of family problems she wasn't able to take classes this year. Still Gina would tell Tracy how she planned to go next year on a scholarship.
Late tonight, after most of the college students were headed off, the two of them would be chatting about Gina's plans and dreams.
And a month from now, Gina would be dead from a freak car accident that Tracy would see on the news. That one tragic event combined with the happenstance meeting tonight would lead Tracy to her destiny. In one instant, she'd realize how shallow her life had been, and she'd seek to change that and be more aware of the people around her and of their needs. Her youngest daughter would be named Gina Tory in honor of the Gina who was currently busy wiping down tables while she imagined a better life for everyone.
So in effect, Gina would achieve her dream. By dying she'd save thousands of lives and she'd bring health care to those who couldn't afford it...
The human race was an amazing thing. So few people ever realized just how many lives they inadvertently touched. How the right or wrong word spoken casually could empower or destroy another's life.
If Ash were to accept Tracy's invitation for coffee, her destiny would be changed and she would end up working as a well-paid bank officer. She'd decide that marriage wasn't for her and go on to live her life with a partner and never have children.
Everything would change. All the lives that would have been saved would be lost.
And knowing the nuance of every word spoken and every gesture made was the heaviest of all the burdens Ash carried.
Smiling gently, he shook his head. "Thanks for asking, but I have to head off. You have a good night."
She gave him a hot once-over. "Okay, but if you change your mind, I'll be in here studying for the next few hours."
Ash watched as she left him and entered the shop. She set her backpack down at a table and started unpacking her books. Sighing from exhaustion, Gina grabbed a glass of water and made her way over to her...
And as he observed them through the painted glass, the two women struck up a conversation and set their destined futures into motion.
His heart heavy, he glanced in the direction Cael had vanished and hated the future that awaited his friend. But it was Cael's destiny.
"Imora thea mi savur," Ash whispered under his breath in Atlantean. God save me from love.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Side of the Moon (Dark-Hunter, #9; Were-Hunter, #3))
what is the expression which the age demands? the age demands no expression whatever. we have seen photographs of bereaved asian mothers. we are not interested in the agony of your fumbled organs. there is nothing you can show on your face that can match the horror of this time. do not even try. you will only hold yourself up to the scorn of those who have felt things deeply. we have seen newsreels of humans in the extremities of pain and dislocation.
you are playing to people who have experienced a catastrophe. this should make you very quiet. speak the words, convey the data, step aside. everyone knows you are in pain. you cannot tell the audience everything you know about love in every line of love you speak. step aside and they will know what you know because you know it already. you have nothing to teach them. you are not more beautiful than they are. you are not wiser.
do not shout at them. do not force a dry entry. that is bad sex. if you show the lines of your genitals, then deliver what you promise. and remember that people do not really want an acrobat in bed. what is our need? to be close to the natural man, to be close to the natural woman. do not pretend that you are a beloved singer with a vast loyal audience which has followed the ups and downs of your life to this very moment. the bombs, flame-throwers, and all the shit have destroyed more than just the trees and villages. they have also destroyed the stage. did you think that your profession would escape the general destruction? there is no more stage. there are no more footlights. you are among the people. then be modest. speak the words, convey the data, step aside. be by yourself. be in your own room. do not put yourself on.
do not act out words. never act out words. never try to leave the floor when you talk about flying. never close your eyes and jerk your head to one side when you talk about death. do not fix your burning eyes on me when you speak about love. if you want to impress me when you speak about love put your hand in your pocket or under your dress and play with yourself. if ambition and the hunger for applause have driven you to speak about love you should learn how to do it without disgracing yourself or the material.
this is an interior landscape. it is inside. it is private. respect the privacy of the material. these pieces were written in silence. the courage of the play is to speak them. the discipline of the play is not to violate them. let the audience feel your love of privacy even though there is no privacy. be good whores. the poem is not a slogan. it cannot advertise you. it cannot promote your reputation for sensitivity. you are students of discipline. do not act out the words. the words die when you act them out, they wither, and we are left with nothing but your ambition.
the poem is nothing but information. it is the constitution of the inner country. if you declaim it and blow it up with noble intentions then you are no better than the politicians whom you despise. you are just someone waving a flag and making the cheapest kind of appeal to a kind of emotional patriotism. think of the words as science, not as art. they are a report. you are speaking before a meeting of the explorers' club of the national geographic society. these people know all the risks of mountain climbing. they honour you by taking this for granted. if you rub their faces in it that is an insult to their hospitality. do not work the audience for gasps ans sighs. if you are worthy of gasps and sighs it will not be from your appreciation of the event but from theirs. it will be in the statistics and not the trembling of the voice or the cutting of the air with your hands. it will be in the data and the quiet organization of your presence.
avoid the flourish. do not be afraid to be weak. do not be ashamed to be tired. you look good when you're tired. you look like you could go on forever. now come into my arms. you are the image of my beauty.
Leonard Cohen (Death of a Lady's Man)