A Year Ago Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to A Year Ago. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Sometimes when I look at you, I feel I'm gazing at a distant star. It's dazzling, but the light is from tens of thousands of years ago. Maybe the star doesn't even exist any more. Yet sometimes that light seems more real to me than anything.
Haruki Murakami (South of the Border, West of the Sun)
My name is Percy Jackson. I'm twelve years old. Until a few months ago, I was a boarding student at Yancy Academy, a private school for troubled kids in upstate New York. Am I a troubled kid? Yeah. You could say that.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active - not more happy - nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.
Edgar Allan Poe
There were five others before they got to him. He smiled a little when his turn came. His voice was low, smoky, and dead sexy. “My name is Augustus Waters,” he said. “I’m seventeen. I had a little touch of osteosarcoma a year and a half ago, but I’m just here today at Isaac’s request.” “And how are you feeling?” asked Patrick. “Oh, I’m grand.” Augustus Waters smiled with a corner of his mouth. “I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
I can believe things that are true and things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen - I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W. I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never.
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
I made a wish on this tree years ago," Marco says. "What did you wish for?" Bailey asks. Marco leans forward and whispers in Bailey's ear. "I wished for her.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of ANNABEL LEE; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea; But we loved with a love that was more than love- I and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her highborn kinsman came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea. The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and me- Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we- Of many far wiser than we- And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee. For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea.
Edgar Allan Poe
Part of me aches at the thought of her being so close yet so untouchable, but her story and mine are different now. It wasn't easy for me to accept this simple truth, because there was a time when our stories were the same, but that was six years and two lifetimes ago.
Nicholas Sparks (Dear John)
Your hand and your mouth agreed many years ago that, as far as chocolate is concerned, there is no need to involve your brain.
Dave Barry
Percy smiled at her - that sarcastic troublemaker smile that had annoyed her for years but eventually had become endearing. His sea-green eyes were as gorgeous as she remembered. His dark hair was swept to one side, like he'd just come from a walk on the beach. He looked even better than he had six months ago - tanner and taller, leaner and more muscular. Percy threw his arms around her. They kissed and for a moment nothing else mattered. An asteroid could have hit the planet and wiped out all life, and Annabeth wouldn't have cared.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
I knew I was different. I thought that I might be gay or something because I couldn't identify with any of the guys at all. None of them liked art or music. They just wanted to fight and get laid. It was many years ago but it gave me this real hatred for the average American macho male.
Kurt Cobain
Whether or not you find your own way, you're bound to find some way. If you happen to find my way, please return it, as it was lost years ago. I imagine by now it's quite rusty.
Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth)
Sections in the bookstore - Books You Haven't Read - Books You Needn't Read - Books Made for Purposes Other Than Reading - Books Read Even Before You Open Them Since They Belong to the Category of Books Read Before Being Written - Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered - Books You Mean to Read But There Are Others You Must Read First - Books Too Expensive Now and You'll Wait 'Til They're Remaindered - Books ditto When They Come Out in Paperback - Books You Can Borrow from Somebody - Books That Everybody's Read So It's As If You Had Read Them, Too - Books You've Been Planning to Read for Ages - Books You've Been Hunting for Years Without Success - Books Dealing with Something You're Working on at the Moment - Books You Want to Own So They'll Be Handy Just in Case - Books You Could Put Aside Maybe to Read This Summer - Books You Need to Go with Other Books on Your Shelves - Books That Fill You with Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified - Books Read Long Ago Which It's Now Time to Re-read - Books You've Always Pretended to Have Read and Now It's Time to Sit Down and Really Read Them
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
Hair the color of lemons,'" Rudy read. His fingers touched the words. "You told him about me?" At first, Liesel could not talk. Perhaps it was the sudden bumpiness of love she felt for him. Or had she always loved him? It's likely. Restricted as she was from speaking, she wanted him to kiss her. She wanted him to drag her hand across and pull her over. It didn't matter where. Her mouth, her neck, her cheek. Her skin was empty for it, waiting. Years ago, when they'd raced on a muddy field, Rudy was a hastily assembled set of bones, with a jagged, rocky smile. In the trees this afternoon, he was a giver of bread and teddy bears. He was a triple Hitler Youth athletics champion. He was her best friend. And he was a month from his death. Of course I told him about you," Liesel said.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Long ago, men went to sea, and women waited for them, standing on the edge of the water, scanning the horizon for the tiny ship. Now I wait for Henry. He vanishes unwillingly, without warning. I wait for him. Each moment that I wait feels like a year, an eternity. Each moment is as slow and transparent as glass. Through each moment I can see infinite moments lined up, waiting. Why has he gone where I cannot follow?
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
Horace Mann
I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.
Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums)
I don't know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'Well, if I'd known better I'd have done better,' that's all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, 'I'm sorry,' and then you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry.' If we all hold on to the mistake, we can't see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can't see what we're capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one's own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that's rough. But you can overcome that. The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don't have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach.
Maya Angelou
Years ago, it had occurred to me that Darwin and Nietzsche agreed on one thing: the defining characteristic of the organism is striving.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Abraham Lincoln (The Gettysburg Address)
When my mate died, it took me a very, very long time to come back." It took her a moment to think of what to say. "How long?" "Two hundred three years, twenty-seven days ago.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d, I stand and look at them long and long. They do not sweat and whine about their condition, They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass: The Death-Bed Edition)
The only time I really think is when I smoke, and I quit smoking years ago.
Jarod Kintz (There are Two Typos of People in This World: Those Who Can Edit and Those Who Can't)
Remember this also: it’s always easy to look back and see what we were, yesterday, ten years ago. It is hard to see what we are. If you can master that trick, you’ll get along.
Harper Lee (Go Set a Watchman)
If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.
Lenny Bruce
The only reason you say that race was not an issue is because you wish it was not. We all wish it was not. But it’s a lie. I came from a country where race was not an issue; I did not think of myself as black and I only became black when I came to America. When you are black in America and you fall in love with a white person, race doesn’t matter when you’re alone together because it’s just you and your love. But the minute you step outside, race matters. But we don’t talk about it. We don’t even tell our white partners the small things that piss us off and the things we wish they understood better, because we’re worried they will say we’re overreacting, or we’re being too sensitive. And we don’t want them to say, Look how far we’ve come, just forty years ago it would have been illegal for us to even be a couple blah blah blah, because you know what we’re thinking when they say that? We’re thinking why the fuck should it ever have been illegal anyway? But we don’t say any of this stuff. We let it pile up inside our heads and when we come to nice liberal dinners like this, we say that race doesn’t matter because that’s what we’re supposed to say, to keep our nice liberal friends comfortable. It’s true. I speak from experience.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
When I was your age — about, ooh, a thousand years ago — I loved a good bedtime story. The Three Little Sontarans. The Emperor Dalek's New Clothes. Snow White and the Seven Keys to Doomsday, eh? All the classics.
Mark Gatiss
Fear is a phoenix. Words Liliyana had spoken to her years ago and that Zoya had repeated to others many times. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return.
Leigh Bardugo (King of Scars (King of Scars, #1))
The pain started years ago, but I'd lived with it for so long at that point that I'd accepted it as an inevitable part of me.
Ashley D. Wallis (Leaping)
As the Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel warned years ago, to forget a holocaust is to kill twice.
Iris Chang (The Rape of Nanking)
I can feel that photo of Anna staring at me from sixty years ago, and I can’t help myself from wanting to protect her, wanting to save her from becoming what she already is.
Kendare Blake (Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1))
He’d learned years ago it was better not to dwell too much on who was related to whom on the godly side of things. After Tyson the Cyclops adopted him as a brother, Percy decided that that was about as far as he wanted to extend the family.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
You may be the biggest news to hit the academy since The Great Gulon Incident three years ago—which, by the way, I had nothing to do with. -Keeper of the Lost Cities
Shannon Messenger
Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.
Bernard Berenson
The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he'd had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
Please stop putting quotes from Nietzsche at the end of your emails. Five years ago you were laughing your guts out over American Pie 2. What — suddenly you’ve magically turned into Noam Chomsky?
Douglas Coupland (JPod)
Lets dedicate ourselves to what the ancient greeks wrote so many years ago, to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that
Robert F. Kennedy
I will love you as a thief loves a gallery and as a crow loves a murder, as a cloud loves bats and as a range loves braes. I will love you as misfortune loves orphans, as fire loves innocence and as justice loves to sit and watch while everything goes wrong. I will love you as a battlefield loves young men and as peppermints love your allergies, and I will love you as the banana peel loves the shoe of a man who was just struck by a shingle falling off a house. I will love you as a volunteer fire department loves rushing into burning buildings and as burning buildings love to chase them back out, and as a parachute loves to leave a blimp and as a blimp operator loves to chase after it. I will love you as a dagger loves a certain person’s back, and as a certain person loves to wear dagger proof tunics, and as a dagger proof tunic loves to go to a certain dry cleaning facility, and how a certain employee of a dry cleaning facility loves to stay up late with a pair of binoculars, watching a dagger factory for hours in the hopes of catching a burglar, and as a burglar loves sneaking up behind people with binoculars, suddenly realizing that she has left her dagger at home. I will love you as a drawer loves a secret compartment, and as a secret compartment loves a secret, and as a secret loves to make a person gasp, and as a gasping person loves a glass of brandy to calm their nerves, and as a glass of brandy loves to shatter on the floor, and as the noise of glass shattering loves to make someone else gasp, and as someone else gasping loves a nearby desk to lean against, even if leaning against it presses a lever that loves to open a drawer and reveal a secret compartment. I will love you until all such compartments are discovered and opened, and until all the secrets have gone gasping into the world. I will love you until all the codes and hearts have been broken and until every anagram and egg has been unscrambled. I will love you until every fire is extinguised and until every home is rebuilt from the handsomest and most susceptible of woods, and until every criminal is handcuffed by the laziest of policemen. I will love until M. hates snakes and J. hates grammar, and I will love you until C. realizes S. is not worthy of his love and N. realizes he is not worthy of the V. I will love you until the bird hates a nest and the worm hates an apple, and until the apple hates a tree and the tree hates a nest, and until a bird hates a tree and an apple hates a nest, although honestly I cannot imagine that last occurrence no matter how hard I try. I will love you as we grow older, which has just happened, and has happened again, and happened several days ago, continuously, and then several years before that, and will continue to happen as the spinning hands of every clock and the flipping pages of every calendar mark the passage of time, except for the clocks that people have forgotten to wind and the calendars that people have forgotten to place in a highly visible area. I will love you as we find ourselves farther and farther from one another, where we once we were so close that we could slip the curved straw, and the long, slender spoon, between our lips and fingers respectively. I will love you until the chances of us running into one another slip from slim to zero, and until your face is fogged by distant memory, and your memory faced by distant fog, and your fog memorized by a distant face, and your distance distanced by the memorized memory of a foggy fog. I will love you no matter where you go and who you see, no matter where you avoid and who you don’t see, and no matter who sees you avoiding where you go. I will love you no matter what happens to you, and no matter how I discover what happens to you, and no matter what happens to me as I discover this, and now matter how I am discovered after what happens to me as I am discovering this.
Lemony Snicket
So many things I had thought forgotten Return to my mind with stranger pain: Like letters that arrive addressed to someone Who left the house so many years ago. from “Why Did I Dream of You Last Night?,
Philip Larkin (Collected Poems)
All my life I used to wonder what I would become when I grew up. Then, about seven years ago, I realized that I was never going to grow up--that growing is an ever ongoing process.
M. Scott Peck
A thousand years ago five minutes were Equal to forty ounces of fine sand. Outstare the stars. Infinite foretime and Infinite aftertime: above your head They close like giant wings, and you are dead.
Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire)
I wonder sometimes whether you've exploded already, like a star, and what I'm seeing you is three million years into the past, and you're not here anyore. How can we be together here, now, when you are so far away. When you are so far ago? I'm shouting so loudly, but you never turn around to see me. Perhaps it is I who have already exploded. Either way, we are going to bring beautiful things into the universe.
Alice Oseman (Radio Silence)
I believe everything happens for a reason. Whether it is decided by the Mother, or the Cauldron, or some sort of tapestry of Fate, I don't know. I don't really care. But I am grateful for it, whatever it is. Grateful that it brought you all into my life. If it hadn't... I might have become as awful as that prick we're going to face today. If I had not met an Illyrian warrior-in-training," he said to Cassian, "I would not have known the true depths of strength, of resilience, of honor and loyalty." Cassian's eyes gleamed bright. Rhys said to Azriel, "If I had not met a shadowsinger, I would not have known that it is the family you make, not the one you are born into, that matters. I would not have known what it is to truly hope, even when the world tells you to despair." Azriel bowed his head in thanks. Mor was already crying when Rhys spoke to her. "If I had not met my cousin, I would neer have learned that light can be found in even the darkest of hells. That kidness can thrive even amongst cruelty." She wiped away her teas as she nodded. I waited for Amren to offer a retort. But she was only waiting. Rhys bowed his head to her. "If I had not met a tiny monster who hoards jewels more fiercely than a firedrake..." A quite laugh from all of us at that. Rhys smiled softly. "My own power would have consumed me long ago." Rhys squeezed my hand as he looked to me at last. "And if I had not met my mate..." His words failed him as silver lined his eyes. He said down the bond, I would have waited five hundred more years for you. A thousand years. And if this was all the time we were allowed to have... The wait was worth it. He wiped away the tears sliding down my face. "I believe that everything happened, exactly the way it had to... so I could find you." He kissed another tear away.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when you almost broke it eight years and a half ago.
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
He thinks I suffer from depression. But I’m just quiet. Solitude and depression are like swimming and drowning. In school many years ago, I learned that flowers sometimes unfold inside themselves.
Simon Van Booy (Love Begins in Winter: Five Stories)
Help" is a prayer that is always answered. It doesn't matter how you pray--with your head bowed in silence, or crying out in grief, or dancing. Churches are good for prayer, but so are garages and cars and mountains and showers and dance floors. Years ago I wrote an essay that began, "Some people think that God is in the details, but I have come to believe that God is in the bathroom.
Anne Lamott (Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith)
I wrote about the person I love most, my older brother, Noah. We don't live together so I wrote what I imagine he does when we're not together." "And what is that?" prodded the stout man. "He's a superhero who saves people in danger, because he saved me and my brother from dying in a fire a couple of years ago. Noah is better than Batman." The crowd chuckled. "I love you, too, lil'bro.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Because nine years ago, I walked up to the most beautiful girl in the bar, and tonight she's still the only person I want to talk to.
Julie James (About That Night (FBI/US Attorney, #3))
Tristan was silent for a few moments, looking at the leaves before them. "Life isn't about the past and the future. It's about today." He paused. "It's about five minutes from now and two seconds ago. It's moments, you know? Not years. Years aren't what define us.
Chelsea Fine (Anew (The Archers of Avalon, #1))
I'm not saying I'm glad it happened. Not exactly. But I'm not sorry to be the person I am today, and to have the life I have now. Even though it's not what I thought I wanted for my future, a year ago, it is what I want now. ...
Nancy Werlin (Impossible (Impossible, #1))
You gave me hyacinths first a year ago; They called me the hyacinth girl.' —Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden, Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither Living nor dead, and I knew nothing, Looking into the heart of light, the silence. Od' und leer das Meer.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Writings)
I figured out years ago that the human species is totally fucked and has been for a long time. I also know that the sick, media-consumer culture in America continues to make this so-called problem worse. But the trick, folks, is not to give a fuck. Like me. I really don't care. I stopped worrying about all this temporal bullshit a long time ago. It's meaningless.
George Carlin
I act and react, and suddenly I wonder, ‘Where is the girl that I was last year? Two years ago? What would she think of me now?
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Every single cell in the human body replaces itself over a period of seven years. That means there's not even the smallest part of you now that was part of you seven years ago.
Steven Hall (The Raw Shark Texts)
Eternity ended ten years ago.
Brandon Sanderson
I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
Each of us is all the sums he has not counted: subtract us into the nakedness and night again, and you shall see begin in Crete four thousand years ago the love that ended yesterday in Texas.
Thomas Wolfe (Look Homeward, Angel)
Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing; education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
Will Durant
Well, I always know what I want. And when you know what you want--you go toward it. Sometimes you go very fast, and sometimes only an inch a year. Perhaps you feel happier when you go fast. I don't know. I've forgotten the difference long ago, because it really doesn't matter, so long as you move.
Ayn Rand (We the Living)
Seventeen's not so young. A hundred years ago people got married when they were practically our age." "Yeah, that was before electricity and the Internet. A hundred years ago eighteen-year-old guys were out there fighting wars with bayonets and holding a man's life in their hands! They lived a lot of life by the time they were our age. What do kids our age know about love and life?
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
Keeping a journal has taught me that there is not so much new in your life as you sometimes think. When you re-read your journal you find out that your latest discovery is something you already found out five years ago. Still, it is true that one penetrates deeper and deeper into the same ideas and the same experiences.
Thomas Merton (The Sign of Jonas)
I remember Christian teachers telling me long ago that I must hate a bad man's actions but not hate the bad man: or, as they would say, hate the sin but not the sinner. ...I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life -- namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it. In fact the very reason why I hated the things was that I loved the man. Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
No, Harry, you listen," said Hermione. "We're coming with you. That was decided months ago - years, really.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
100 years ago, buying something you could make was considered wasteful; now making something you could buy is considered wasteful. I am not convinced this is a step in the right direction.
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin)
Apparently being a mermaid is dead dull. I watched The Little Mermaid with her once a few years ago—she thought it was freaking hilarious. She couldn’t stop laughing about the shell-bra thing, given that mermaids aren’t mammals. Plus, as she put it, Prince Eric was far too hairy and “peach colored” for her taste. I always thought he was pretty hot, but then again, I am a mammal.
Kiersten White (Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1))
Okay. He had a point but it wasn’t like I could tell him anything. I could see me now: Guess what? You ever watch Clash of the Titans or read any Greek fables? Well those gods are real and yeah, I’m sort of a descendant of them. Kind of like the stepchild no one wants to claim. Oh, and I hadn’t even been around mortals until three years ago. Can we still be friends?
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Daimon (Covenant, #0.5))
I don't want to see you. I don't like you. I don't like your face. You look like an insufferable egotist. You're impertinent. You're too sure of yourself. Twenty years ago I would have punched your face with the greatest of pleasure.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
What is it about the moment you fall in love? How can such a small measure of time contain such enormity? I suddenly realize why people believe in déjà vu, why people believe they've lived past lives, because there is no way the years I've spent on this earth could possibly encapsulate what I'm feeling. The moment you fall in love feels like it has centuries behind it, generations—all of them rearranging themselves so that this precise, remarkable intersection could happen. In you heart, in your bones, no matter how silly you know it is, you feel that everything has been leading to this, all the secret arrows were pointing here, the universe and time itself crafted this long ago, and you are just now realizing it, you are now just arriving at the place you were always meant to be.
David Levithan (Every Day (Every Day, #1))
A long time ago, before I even met you, someone replaced my chest with a broken record. For years, it’s been stammering through the same old tune. I want you to know I’m trying. I quit smoking. I’m doing yoga. And those days I wake up wishing for death are getting fewer and farther apart. No, I’m not ok. But I haven’t been ok since I was 11, maybe 12. I am still here though. I’m still breathing. For me, sometimes, that will have to be enough
Clementine von Radics
One glance and I knew exactly who and what he was. The classic alpha male, the kind who had spurred evolution forward about five million years ago by nailing every female in sight. They charmed, seduced, and behaved like bastards, and yet women were biologically incapable of resisting their magic DNA.
Lisa Kleypas (Smooth Talking Stranger (Travises, #3))
If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago and a racist today.
Thomas Sowell
Curran and Kate stood by the door. “I can’t believe you decided to come down here and check on me,” she said. “The guy once handed you a fan and told you to fan yourself if the sight of his naked torso was too much.” “That was like a year ago. Will you let it go already?” “No.” Curran grabbed her and pulled her to him, kissing her. “Never.” She kissed him back and smiled. Awww. Kate and the Beast Lord sitting in a tree…
Ilona Andrews (Gunmetal Magic (World of Kate Daniels, #6 & #6.5; Andrea Nash, #1, Kate Daniels, #5.5))
You and the tree in your backyard come from a common ancestor. A billion and a half years ago, the two of you parted ways. But even now, after an immense journey in separate directions, that tree and you still share a quarter of your genes. . . .
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
I see no advantage in these new clocks. They run no faster than the ones made 100 years ago.
Henry Ford
I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass. 32. I think I could turn and live with animals, they're so placid and self-contained, I stand and look at them and long. They do not sweat and whine about their condition. They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins. They do not make me sick discussiong their duty to God, Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, Not one is respectable or unhappy over the earth. 52. The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains of my gab and loitering. I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world.
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
SERIOUSLY? Is it because of Jesus? Are you, like, saving yourself for him?” Sex seemed simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie and the sexually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I said. “It would be a little difficult to save myself for someone who died over two thousand years ago.
Cora Carmack (Losing It (Losing It, #1))
When you start thinking about what your life was like 10 years ago--and not in general terms, but in highly specific detail--it's disturbing to realize how certain elements of your being are completely dead. They die long before you do. It's astonishing to consider all the things from your past that used to happen all the time but (a) never happen anymore, and (b) never even cross your mind. It's almost like those things didn't happen. Or maybe it seems like they just happened to someone else. To someone you don't really know. To someone you just hung out with for one night, and now you can't even remember her name.
Chuck Klosterman (Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story)
When she fucked up, all those years ago, just a little girl terrified into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself. And that could have happened to me, but I saw where it led for her. So I still believe in the Great Perhaps, and I can believe in it in spite of having lost her.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
People you love never die. That is what Omai had said, all those years ago. And he was right. They don't die. Not completely. They live in your mind, the way they always lived inside you. You keep their light alive. If you remember them well enough, they can still guide you, like the shine of long-extinguished stars could guide ships in unfamiliar waters.
Matt Haig (How to Stop Time)
Do you know how long a year takes when it's going away?' Dunbar repeated to Clevinger. 'This long.' He snapped his fingers. 'A second ago you were stepping into college with your lungs full of fresh air. Today you're an old man.' 'Old?' asked Clevinger with surprise. 'What are you talking about?' 'Old.' 'I'm not old.' 'You're inches away from death every time you go on a mission. How much older can you be at your age? A half minute before that you were stepping into high school, and an unhooked brassiere was as close as you ever hoped to get to Paradise. Only a fifth of a second before that you were a small kid with a ten-week summer vacation that lasted a hundred thousand years and still ended too soon. Zip! They go rocketing by so fast. How the hell else are you ever going to slow down?' Dunbar was almost angry when he finished. 'Well, maybe it is true,' Clevinger conceded unwillingly in a subdued tone. 'Maybe a long life does have to be filled with many unpleasant conditions if it's to seem long. But in that event, who wants one?' 'I do,' Dunbar told him. 'Why?' Clevinger asked. 'What else is there?
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
Thousands of years ago the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burnt at the stake he'd taught his brothers to light, but he left them a gift they had not conceived and he lifted darkness from the face of the Earth.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
I learned years ago that it’s okay to do this. To seek out small spaces for me, to stop and imagine myself alone. People are too much sometimes. Friends, acquaintances, enemies, strangers. It doesn’t matter; they all crowd. Even if they’re all the way across the room, they crowd. I take a moment of silence and think: I am here. I am okay.
Francesca Zappia (Eliza and Her Monsters)
[Professor] Frank recalled my idle remark some years ago: 'Never pass up the opportunity to have sex or appear on television.' Advice I would never give today in the age of AIDS and its television equivalent Fox News.
Gore Vidal (Point to Point Navigation)
If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.
Edward O. Wilson
Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
Eugene V. Debs
That was the thrill of youth, the idea that you could be anyone. That was what had captured her in the charm shop, all those years ago. Then adulthood came, your choices solidifying, and you realize that everything you are had been set in motion years before. The rest was aftermath.
Brit Bennett (The Vanishing Half)
Today we are fighting Communism. Okay. If I'd been alive fifty years ago, the brand of Conservatism we have today would have been damn near called Communism and we should have been told to go and fight that. History is moving pretty quickly these days and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.
Ian Fleming (Casino Royale (James Bond, #1))
I told you before, Jem, that you would not leave me," Will said, his bloody hand on the hilt of the dagger. " And you are still with me. When I breath, I will think of you, for without you I would have been dead years ago. When I wake up and when I sleep, when I lift up my hands to defend myself or when I lie down to die, you will be with me. You say we are born again. I say there is a river that divides the dead and the living. What I do know is that if we are born again, I will meet you in another life, if there is a river, you will wait on the shores for me to come to you, so we can cross together." Will took a deep breath and let go of the knife. He drew his hand back. The cut on his palm was already healing- the result of the half dozen iratzes on his skin. " You hear that, James Carstairs? We are bound, you and I, over the divide of death, down through whatever generations may come. Forever." He rose to his feet and looked down at the knife. The knife was Jem's, the blood was his. This spot of ground, whether he could ever find it again, whether he lived to try, would be theirs. He turned around to walk to Balios, towards Wales and Tessa. He did not look back.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
One of the saddest realities is that we never know when our lives are at their peak. Only after it is over and we have some kind of perspective do we realize how good we had it a day, a month, five years ago.
Jonathan Carroll
Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood: and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago: and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days.
Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)
How can a three-pound mass of jelly that you can hold in your palm imagine angels, contemplate the meaning of infinity, and even question its own place in the cosmos? Especially awe inspiring is the fact that any single brain, including yours, is made up of atoms that were forged in the hearts of countless, far-flung stars billions of years ago. These particles drifted for eons and light-years until gravity and change brought them together here, now. These atoms now form a conglomerate- your brain- that can not only ponder the very stars that gave it birth but can also think about its own ability to think and wonder about its own ability to wonder. With the arrival of humans, it has been said, the universe has suddenly become conscious of itself. This, truly, it the greatest mystery of all.
V.S. Ramachandran (The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human)
My mother died yesterday, yesterday many years ago. You know, what amazed me the most the next day after her leaving was the fact that the buildings were still in place, the streets were still full of cars running, full of people who were walking, seemingly ignoring that my whole world has just disappeared." (rough translation)
Marc Levy (If Only It Were True)
If I show up at your house ten years from now and find nothing in your living room but The Readers Digest, nothing on your bedroom night table but the newest Dan Brown novel, and nothing in your bathroom but Jokes for the John, I’ll chase you down to the end of your driveway and back, screaming ‘Where are your books? You graduated college ten years ago, so how come there are no damn books in your house? Why are you living on the intellectual equivalent of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese?
Stephen King
You love me?” he asked quietly. I dipped my face close and answered quietly, “On a cold night, a long time ago, you put your hands almost exactly where they are right now and, I might have been six years old, but I fell hard. So, yeah. For over twenty-seven years, every day, every minute, every second, I’ve loved you, Tucker Creed.
Kristen Ashley (Creed (Unfinished Hero, #2))
A number of years ago, when I was a freshly-appointed instructor, I met, for the first time, a certain eminent historian of science. At the time I could only regard him with tolerant condescension. I was sorry of the man who, it seemed to me, was forced to hover about the edges of science. He was compelled to shiver endlessly in the outskirts, getting only feeble warmth from the distant sun of science- in-progress; while I, just beginning my research, was bathed in the heady liquid heat up at the very center of the glow. In a lifetime of being wrong at many a point, I was never more wrong. It was I, not he, who was wandering in the periphery. It was he, not I, who lived in the blaze. I had fallen victim to the fallacy of the 'growing edge;' the belief that only the very frontier of scientific advance counted; that everything that had been left behind by that advance was faded and dead. But is that true? Because a tree in spring buds and comes greenly into leaf, are those leaves therefore the tree? If the newborn twigs and their leaves were all that existed, they would form a vague halo of green suspended in mid-air, but surely that is not the tree. The leaves, by themselves, are no more than trivial fluttering decoration. It is the trunk and limbs that give the tree its grandeur and the leaves themselves their meaning. There is not a discovery in science, however revolutionary, however sparkling with insight, that does not arise out of what went before. 'If I have seen further than other men,' said Isaac Newton, 'it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.
Isaac Asimov (Adding a Dimension: Seventeen Essays on the History of Science)
They made a major mistake," he blurted out, "the dumb bastards, when they didn't start by killing you first." "Benjamin Thomas Parish, that was the sweetest and most bizarre compliment anyone's ever given me." I kissed him on the cheek. He kissed me on the mouth. "You know," I whispered, "a year ago, I would have sold my soul for that." He shook his head. "Not worth it." And, for one-ten thousandth of a second, all of it fell away, the despair and grief and anger and pain and hunger, and the old Ben Parish rose from the dead. The eyes that impaled. The smile that slayed. In another moment, he would fade, slide back into the new Ben, the one called Zombie, and I understood something I hadn't before: He was dead, the object of my schoolgirl desires, just as the schoolgirl who desired him was dead.
Rick Yancey (The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, #2))
I find myself thinking back to something I saw on the local news about a year ago. A teen football player had died in a car accident. The cameras showed all his friends after the funeral—these big hulking guys, all in tears, saying, “I loved him. We all loved him so much.” I started crying, too, and I wondered if these guys had told the football player they loved him while he was alive, or whether it was only with death that this strange word, love, could be used. I vowed then and there that I would never hesitate to speak up to the people I loved. They deserved to know they gave meaning to my life. They deserved to know I thought the world of them.
David Levithan (Boy Meets Boy)
You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight and a half years ago. Dare not say that a man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.
Jane Austen
It happened in New York, April 10th, nineteen years ago. Even my hand balks at the date. I had to push to write it down, just to keep the pen moving on the paper. It used to be a perfectly ordinary day, but now it sticks up on the calendar like a rusty nail.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
I wrote the song 'Down to Earth' a few years ago, and i was really excited to record it for My World album. It's a huge fan favourite. So many people feel where i'm coming from. It doesn't need any spectacular stage effects in the touring show; the best thing i can do is just sing it straight from my heart. I'm not afraid to show my emotions; if you love someone, you should tell them. If you think a girl is beautiful, you should say that. Usher says some songs work best when there's a sob in the singer's voice. You gotta let that deep feeling come through. And that's how i felt about this song. Sometimes the emotion of it is enough to bring tears to my eyes.
Justin Bieber
I found something" Simon said as he walked in. He whipped out an old-fashioned key from his pocket and grinned at me. "It was taped to the back of my dresser drawer. What do you think? Buried treasure? Secret passageway? Locked room where they keep crazy old Aunt Edna?" "It probaly unlocks another dresser," Tori said. "One they threw out fifty years ago." "Its tragic, being born without an imagination. Do they hold telethons for that?
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
Because you have no memory for things that happened ten or twenty years ago, you're still mouthing the same nonsense as two thousand years ago. Worse, you cling with might and main to such absurdities as 'race,' 'class,' 'nation,' and the obligation to observe a religion and repress your love.
Wilhelm Reich (Listen, Little Man!)
There will come a time when man is no longer concerned only with survival, when he will once more be curious as to who came before him, what life was like a thousand years ago, and he will seek out answers for a hundred years or so, but humans' curiosity has always driven them to find answers.
Julie Kagawa (The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1))
But I don't know, maybe it's just as well I never got there. I dreamed about it for so many years. I used to go to English movies just to look at the streets. I remember years ago a guy I knew told me that people going to England find exactly what they go looking for. I said I'd go looking for the England of English Literature, and he nodded and said: "It's there.
Helene Hanff (84, Charing Cross Road)
I was learning the craft of poetry, which really was an intensive version of what my mother had taught me all those years ago—the craft of writing as the art of thinking. Poetry aims for an economy of truth—loose and useless words must be discarded, and I found that these loose and useless words were not separate from loose and useless thoughts.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
I wish someone had just told me the truth right up front, as soon as I was old enough to understand it. I wish someone had just said: “Here’s the deal, Wade. You’re something called a ‘human being.’ That’s a really smart kind of animal. Like every other animal on this planet, we’re descended from a single-celled organism that lived millions of years ago. This happened by a process called evolution, and you’ll learn more about it But trust me, that’s really how we all got here. There’s proof of it everywhere, buried in the rocks. That story you heard? About how we were all created by a super-powerful dude named God who lives up in the sky? Total bullshit. The whole God thing is actually an ancient fairy tale that people have been telling one another for thousands of years. We made it all up. Like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. “Oh, and by the way … there’s no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny. Also bullshit. Sorry, kid Deal with it.
Ernest Cline (Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1))
Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
Eugene V. Debs (Debs: His Life, Writings and Speeches)
Most things, even the greatest movements on earth, have their beginnings in something small. An earthquake that shatters a city with a tremor, a tremble, a breath. Music begins with a vibration. The flood that rushed into Portland twenty years ago after nearly two months of straight rain, that hurtled up beyond the labs and damaged more than a thousand houses, swept up tire and trash bags and old, smelly shoes and floated them through the streets like prizes, that left a thin film of green mold behind, a stench of rotting and decay that didn't go away for months, began with a trickle of water, no wider than a finger, lapping up onto the docks. And God created the whole universe from an atom no bigger than a thought. Grace's life fell apart because of a single word: sympathizer. My world exploded because of a different word: suicide. Correction: That was the first time my world exploded. The second time my world exploded, it was also because of a word. A word that worked its way out of my throat and danced onto and out of my lips before I could think about it, or stop it. The question was: Will you meet me tomorrow? And the word was: Yes.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
Emma swallowed. She was remembering Julian, two years ago, standing in the overlapping circles of fire where the parabatai ritual was performed. The look on his face as they each stepped into the central circle and the fire rose up around them, and he unbuttoned his shirt to let her touch the stele to his skin and carve the rune that would bind them together for their whole lives. She knew if she just reached out now, she could touch it, touch the rune cut into his shoulder, the rune she had put there …
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
I am frequently asked if I have visited Israel, whereas yet, it is simply assumed that I have. Well, I don’t travel. I really don’t, and if I did, I probably wouldn’t visit Israel. I remember how it was in 1948 when Israel was being established and all my Jewish friends were ecstatic, I was not. I said: what are we doing? We are establishing ourselves in a ghetto, in a small corner of a vast Muslim sea. The Muslims will never forget nor forgive, and Israel, as long as it exists, will be embattled. I was laughed at, but I was right. I can’t help but feel that the Jews didn’t really have the right to appropriate a territory only because 2000 years ago, people they consider their ancestors, were living there. History moves on and you can’t really turn it back. (#92 ff.)
Isaac Asimov (Asimov Laughs Again: More Than 700 Jokes, Limericks and Anecdotes)
Then I realize from the hollow sound of her gun's click that her gun isn't loaded. Apparently she just wants to slap me around with it. The Girl doesn't move her gun away. "How old are you?" "Fifteen." "That's better." The Girl lowers her gun a little. "Time for a few confessions.Were you responsible for the break-in at the Arcadia bank?" The ten-second place. "Yes." "Then you must be responsible for stealing sixteen thousand five hundred Notes from there as well." "You got that right." "Were you responsible for vandalizing the Department of Intra-Defense two years ago, and destroying the engines of two warfront airships?" "Yes." "Did you set fire to a series of ten F-472 fighter jets parked at the Burbank air force base right before they were to head out to the warfront?" "I'm kinda proud of that one." "Did assault a cadet standing guard at the edge of the Alta sector's quarantine zone?" "I tied him up and delivered food to some quarantined families.Bite me.
Marie Lu (Legend (Legend, #1))
Halfway through the meal, while we were all laughing and telling stories, I made the mistake of placing my hand on Kaidan's upper thigh without thinking. He let out a groan loud enough to silence the room. I slipped my hand back into my own lap, and Kaidan cleared his throat. “Wow,” he said. “The corn pudding is fantastic.” I snorted, which started a round of snickers. Patti smiled at Kaidan like he was a precious boy. "Isn't it good? Anna found the recipe a few years ago. She's a great cook." "Mm-hm." Kaidan gave a tight-lipped smile. "That she is.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Reckoning (Sweet, #3))
A few years ago it dawned on me that everybody past a certain age ... pretty much constantly dreams of being able to escape from their lives. They don't want to be who they are any more. They want out. This list includes Thurston Howell the Third, Ann-Margret, the cat members of Rent, Václav Havel, space shuttle astronauts and Snuffleupagus. It's universal.
Douglas Coupland (The Gum Thief)
It's like you took a bottle of ink and you threw it at a wall. Smash! And all that ink spread. And in the middle, it's dense, isn't it? And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets get finer and finer and make more complicated patterns, see? So in the same way, there was a big bang at the beginning of things and it spread. And you and I, sitting here in this room, as complicated human beings, are way, way out on the fringe of that bang. We are the complicated little patterns on the end of it. Very interesting. But so we define ourselves as being only that. If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlique, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time. Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you're a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don't feel that we're still the big bang. But you are. Depends how you define yourself. You are actually--if this is the way things started, if there was a big bang in the beginning-- you're not something that's a result of the big bang. You're not something that is a sort of puppet on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are. When I meet you, I see not just what you define yourself as--Mr so-and- so, Ms so-and-so, Mrs so-and-so--I see every one of you as the primordial energy of the universe coming on at me in this particular way. I know I'm that, too. But we've learned to define ourselves as separate from it.
Alan W. Watts
I laid back the lounge chair and rolled to my stomach, content. Sounds of splashing faded as I dozed. And then I heard a beautiful voice. . . . “Cover your arse, and nobody gets hurt.” I lifted my head to see Kaidan crouched next to me. He was here! Just as I was about to get up and throw my arms around him, his gaze slid down my body to my butt and stayed there. Hello, stormy eyes. I felt twice as hot under the sun as I had one minute ago. I threw the towel over my body, which forced his eyes back to mine. “Hey,” I whispered. He touched my face, and I leaned into his palm. “I feel like it’s been a year since I saw you,” he said softly. “I’ve missed you.” I reached up and cupped his hand. “I’ve missed you, too.” “But you’re still in trouble.” His voice was low and gravelly.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Reckoning (Sweet, #3))
In the ordinary jumble of my literary drawer, I sometimes find texts I wrote ten, fifteen, or even more years ago. And many of them seem to me written by a stranger: I simply do not recognize myself in them. There was a person who wrote them, and it was I. I experienced them, but it was in another life, from which I just woke up, as if from someone else's dream.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
More than a decade ago, a Supreme Court decision literally wiped off the books of fifty states statutes protecting the rights of unborn children. Abortion on demand now takes the lives of up to 1.5 million unborn children a year. Human life legislation ending this tragedy will some day pass the Congress, and you and I must never rest until it does. Unless and until it can be proven that the unborn child is not a living entity, then its right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness must be protected.
Ronald Reagan
Aelin braced her forearms on the bar, crossing one ankle over the other. "Hello, Tern." Arobynn's second in command-or he had been two years ago. A vicious, calculating little prick who had always been more than eager to do Arobynn's dirty work. "I figured it was only a matter of time before one of Arobynn's dogs sniffed me out." Tern flashed a too-bright smile. "If memory serves, you were always his favorite bitch.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
I did some research on this a couple years ago," Augustus continued. "I was wondering if everybody could be remembered. Like, if we got organized, and assigned a certain number of corpses to each living person, would there be enough living people to remember all the dead people?" "And are there?" "Sure, anyone can name fourteen dead people. But we're disorganized mourners, so a lot of people end up remembering Shakespeare and no one ends up remembering the person he wrote Sonnet Fifty-five about
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
It is obvious that art cannot teach anyone anything, since in four thousand years humanity has learnt nothing at all. We should long ago have become angels had we been capable of paying attention to the experience of art, and allowing ourselves to be changed in accordance with the ideals it expresses. Art only has the capacity, through shock and catharsis, to make the human soul receptive to good. It’s ridiculous to imagine that people can be taught to be good…Art can only give food – a jolt – the occasion – for psychical experience.
Andrei Tarkovsky
I wasn't good at pretending, that was the thing. After what had happened in that burning house, given what went on there, I could see no point in being anything other than truthful with the world. I had, literally, nothing left to lose. But, by careful observation from the sidelines, I'd worked out that social success is often built on pretending just a little. Popular people sometimes have to laugh at things they don't find very funny, or do things they don't particularly want to, with people whose company they don't particularly enjoy. Not me. I had decided, years ago, that if the choice was between that or flying solo, then I'd fly solo. It was safer that way. Grief is the price we pay for love, so they say. The price is far too high.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
Marianne wanted her life to mean something then, she wanted to stop all violence committed by the strong against the weak, and she remembered a time several years ago when she had felt so intelligent and young and powerful that she almost could have achieved such a thing, and now she knew she wasn’t at all powerful, and she would live and die in a world of extreme violence against the innocent, and at most she could only help a few people. It was so much harder to reconcile herself to the idea of helping a few, like she would rather help no one than do something so small and feeble
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
I couldn’t trust my own emotions. Which emotional reactions were justified, if any? And which ones were tainted by the mental illness of BPD? I found myself fiercely guarding and limiting my emotional reactions, chastising myself for possible distortions and motivations. People who had known me years ago would barely recognize me now. I had become quiet and withdrawn in social settings, no longer the life of the party. After all, how could I know if my boisterous humor were spontaneous or just a borderline desire to be the center of attention? I could no longer trust any of my heart felt beliefs and opinions on politics, religion, or life. The debate queen had withered. I found myself looking at every single side of an issue unable to come to any conclusions for fear they might be tainted. My lifelong ability to be assertive had turned into a constant state of passivity.
Rachel Reiland (Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder)
It is said that what is called "the spirit of an age" is something to which one cannot return. That this spirit gradually dissipates is due to the world's coming to an end. For this reason, although one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation.
Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)
Many years have passed since that night. The wall of the staircase up which I had watched the light of his candle gradually climb was long ago demolished. And in myself, too, many things have perished which I imagined would last for ever, and new ones have arisen, giving birth to new sorrows and new joys which in those days I could not have foreseen, just as now the old are hard to understand.
Marcel Proust (Swann's Way)
I was dying, of course, but then we all are. Every day, in perfect increments, I was dying of loss. The only help for my condition, then as now, is that I refused to let go of what I loved. I wrote everything down, at first in choppy fragments; a sentence here, a few words there, it was the most I could handle at the time. Later I wrote more, my grief muffled but not eased by the passage of time. When I go back over my writing now I can barely read it. The happiness is the worst. Some days I can't bring myself to remember. But I will not relinquish a single detail of the past. What remains of my life depends on what happened six years ago. In my brain, in my limbs, in my dreams, it is still happening.
Meg Rosoff (How I Live Now)
Tony poured wine into each glass and handed one to Claire. “Do you remember when we had wine at the Red Wing?” Claire closed her eyes, recalling the scene from a lifetime ago, and nodded. “I do.” “I’d been watching you for years. I was so nervous that night. I thought I was planning your acquisition.” He looked into his red liquid. Her stance straightened, “If you’re using business metaphors, may I suggest hostile takeover. It’s more appropriate.
Aleatha Romig (Truth (Consequences, #2))
He had never liked October. Ever since he had first lay in the autumn leaves before his grandmother's house many years ago and heard the wind and saw the empty trees. It had made him cry, without a reason. And a little of that sadness returned each year to him. It always went away with spring. But, it was a little different tonight. There was a feeling of autumn coming to last a million years. There would be no spring. ("The October Game")
Ray Bradbury (Long After Midnight)
APD is primarily defined as a lack of empathy,' I said. I'd looked it up too, a few months ago. Empathy is what allows people to interpret emotion, the same way ears interpret sounds; without it you become emotionally deaf. 'It means I don't connect emotionally with other people. I wondered if he was going to pick that one.' 'How do you even know that?' she said. 'You're fifteen years old, for goodness' sake. You should be ... I don't know, chasing girls or playing video games.' 'You're telling a sociopath to chase girls?
Dan Wells (I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver #1))
And secondly, losing your virginity doesn't make you a slut. I slept with your father when I was your age. . . ' 'Mia,' my father roared from the other room. 'What? So we're going to lie to her now,?' she shouted back. He walked in. 'What if your mother finds out? Or my mother?' 'Robert, it was twenty years ago. I don't think there's much they can do.' He looked at me, pointing a finger. 'No sex for you.' He used the Soup Nazi's accent from Seinfeld.
Melina Marchetta (Saving Francesca)
Why are you not smarter? It's only the rich who can't afford to be smart. They're compromised. They got locked years ago into privilege. They have to protect their belongings. No one is meaner than the rich. Trust me. But they have to follow the rules of their shitty civilised world. They declare war, they have honour, and they can't leave. But you two. We three. We're free.
Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient)
My dear Rosie, Unbeknownst to you I took this chance before, many, many years ago. You never received that letter and I'm glad because my feelings since then have changed dramatically. They have intensified with every passing day. I'll get straight to the point because if I don't say what I have to say now, I fear it will never be said. And I need to say it. Today I love you more than ever; I want you more than ever. I'm a man of fifty years of age coming to you, feeling like a teenager in love, asking you to give me a chance and love me back. Rosie Dunne, I love you with all my heart. I have always loved you, even when I was seven years old and I lied about falling asleep on Santa watch, when I was ten years old and didn't invite you to my birthday party, when I was eighteen and had to move away, even on my wedding days, on your wedding day, on christenings, birthdays and when we fought. I loved you through it all. Make me the happiest man on this earth by being with me. Please reply to me. All my love, Alex
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you.
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
Brittany Ellis, I'm goin' to prove to you I'm the guy you believed in ten months ago, and I'm gonna be the successful man you dreamed I could be. My plan is to ask you to marry me four years from now, the day we graduate."'And I guarantee you a lifetime of fun, probably one with no lack of fightin', for you are one passionate mamacita . . . but I definitely look forward to some great make-up sessions. Maybe one day we can even go back to Fairfield and help make it the place my dad always hoped it would be. You, me, and Shelley. And any other Fuentes or Ellis family member who wants to be a part of our lives. We'll be one big, crazy Mexican-American family. What do you think? Mujer, you own my soul.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
Halt! How are you? What have you been doing? Where's Abelard? How's Crowley? What's this all about?" "I'm glad to see you rate my horse more important than our Corps Commandant," Halt said, one eyebrow rising in the expression that Will knew so well. Early in their relationship, he had thought it was an expression of displeasure. He had learned years ago that it was, for Halt, the equivalent of a smile.
John Flanagan (The Sorcerer of the North (Ranger's Apprentice, #5))
The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality and my life, as I write this, is vital even when sad. I may wake up sometime next year without my mind again; it is not likely to stick around all the time. Meanwhile, however, I have discovered what I would have to call a soul, a part of myself I could never have imagined until one day, seven years ago, when hell came to pay me a surprise visit. It's a precious discovery. Almost every day I feel momentary flashes of hopelessness and wonder every time whether I am slipping. For a petrifying instant here and there, a lightning-quick flash, I want a car to run me over...I hate these feelings but, but I know that they have driven me to look deeper at life, to find and cling to reasons for living, I cannot find it in me to regret entirely the course my life has taken. Every day, I choose, sometimes gamely, and sometimes against the moment's reason, to be alive. Is that not a rare joy?
Andrew Solomon (The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression)
But Harry . . . even if we had met and married three years ago, you’d still say it wasn’t enough time.” “You’re right. I can’t think of a single day of my life that wouldn’t have been improved with you in it.” “Darling,” she whispered, her fingertips coming up to stroke his jaw, “that’s lovely. Even more romantic than comparing me to watch parts.” Harry nipped at her finger. “Are you mocking me?” “Not at all,” Poppy said, smiling. “I know how you feel about gears and mechanisms.
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
In a perfect Friendship this Appreciative love is, I think, often so great and so firmly based that each member of the circle feels, in his secret heart, humbled before the rest. Sometimes he wonders what he is doing there among his betters. He is lucky beyond desert to be in such company. Especially when the whole group is together; each bringing out all that is best, wisest, or funniest in all the others. Those are the golden sessions; when four or five of us after a hard day's walk have come to our inn; when our slippers are on, our feet spread out toward the blaze and our drinks are at our elbows; when the whole world, and something beyond the world, opens itself to our minds as we talk; and no one has any claim on or any responsibility for another, but all are freemen and equals as if we had first met an hour ago, while at the same time an Affection mellowed by the years enfolds us. Life — natural life — has no better gift to give. Who could have deserved it?
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
I told you before, Jem, that you would not leave me. And you are still with me. When I breathe, I will think of you, for without you I would have been dead years ago. When I wake up and when I sleep, when I lift up my hands to defend myself or when I lie down to die, you will be with me. You say we are born and born again. I say there is a river that divides the dead and the living. What I do know is that if we are born again, I will meet you in another life, and if there is a river, you will wait on the shores for me to come to you, so that we can cross together.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
I’ve fought in three campaigns,” he began. “In seven pitched battles. In countless raids and skirmishes and desperate defences, and bloody actions of every kind. I’ve fought in the driving snow, the blasting wind, the middle of the night. I’ve been fighting all my life, one enemy or another, one friend or another. I’ve known little else. I’ve seen men killed for a word, for a look, for nothing at all. A woman tried to stab me once for killing her husband, and I threw her down a well. And that’s far from the worst of it. Life used to be cheap as dirt to me. Cheaper. “I’ve fought ten single combats and I won them all, but I fought on the wrong side and for all the wrong reasons. I’ve been ruthless, and brutal, and a coward. I’ve stabbed men in the back, burned them, drowned them, crushed them with rocks, killed them asleep, unarmed, or running away. I’ve run away myself more than once. I’ve pissed myself with fear. I’ve begged for my life. I’ve been wounded, often, and badly, and screamed and cried like a baby whose mother took her tit away. I’ve no doubt the world would be a better place if I’d been killed years ago, but I haven’t been, and I don’t know why.” He looked down at his hands, pink and clean on the stone. “There are few men with more blood on their hands than me. None, that I know of. The Bloody-Nine they call me, my enemies, and there’s a lot of ’em. Always more enemies, and fewer friends. Blood gets you nothing but more blood. It follows me now, always, like my shadow, and like my shadow I can never be free of it. I should never be free of it. I’ve earned it. I’ve deserved it. I’ve sought it out. Such is my punishment.
Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1))
I imagine the feelings of two people meeting again after many years. In the past they spent some time together, and therefore they think they are linked by the same experience, the same recollections. The same recollections? That's where the misunderstanding starts: they don't have the same recollections; each of them retains two or three small scenes from the past, but each has his own; their recollections are not similar; they don't intersect; and even in terms of quantity they are not comparable: one person remembers the other more than he is remembered; first because memory capacity varies among individuals (an explanation that each of them would at least find acceptable), but also (and this is more painful to admit) because they don't hold the same importance for each other. When Irena saw Josef at the airport, she remembered every detail of their long-ago adventure; Josef remembered nothing. From the very first moment their encounter was based on an unjust and revolting inequality.
Milan Kundera
She took me to her room and stood me in front of her dresser, which was covered in a pillowcase with pretty colors. She lifted off the pillowcase, and there I was, standing in my old suit, looking at an old typewriter with a fresh ribbon. Inside the typewriter was a piece of white paper. On that piece of white paper, Sam wrote, "Write about me sometime." And I typed something back to her, standing right there in her bedroom. I just typed. "I will." And I felt good that those were the first two words that I ever typed on my new old typewriter that Sam gave me. We just sat there quiet for a moment, and she smiled. And I moved to the typewriter again, and I wrote something. "I love you, too." And Sam looked at the paper, and she looked at me. "Charlie . . . have you ever kissed a girl?" I shook my head no. It was so quiet. "Not even when you were little?" I shook my head no again. And she looked very sad. She told me about the first time she was kissed. She told me that it was with one of her dad's friends. She was seven. And she told nobody about it except for Mary Elizabeth and then Patrick a year ago. And she started to cry. And she said something that I won't forget. Ever. "I know that you know that I like Craig. And I know that I told you not to think of me that way. And I know that we can't be together like that. But I want to forget all those things for a minute. Okay?" "Okay." "I want to make sure that the first person you kiss loves you. Okay?" Okay." She was crying harder now. And I was, too, because when I hear something like that I just can't help it. "I just want to make sure of that. Okay?" "Okay." And she kissed me. It was the kind of kiss that I could never tell my friends about out loud. It was the kind of kiss that made me know that I was never so happy in my whole life.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
I wish I could say when Michael's dark eyes met mind, I was completely cool and collected about seeing him again after all this time, and that I laughed airily and said all the right things. I wish I could say after having pretty much single-handedly brought democracy to a country I happen to be a princess of, and written a four-hundred-page romance novel, and gotten into every college to which I applied (even if it's just because I'm a princess), that I handled meeting Michael for the first time again after throwing my snowflake necklace in his face almost two years ago with total grace and aplomb. But I totally didn't.
Meg Cabot (Forever Princess (The Princess Diaries, #10))
You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity. Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There's been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away -- all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in Arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. It might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety. Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears the earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It's powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. Do you think this is the first time that's happened? Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive glass, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park / Congo)
Taylor: “Show me your craftiness. I’ll give you one question.” Jeremy: “I’m a big believer in first impressions,” he finally said. “Tell me what your first thought was when Jason walked into the courtroom.” Taylor: “I vowed to hate him forever.” Jeremy: “That’s exactly what I said nineteen years ago, five minutes after he first walked into our dorm room.” .... Jason : “Did I miss something?” Taylor: “You’re a bit older than I thought, Jason Andrews.” Jason glanced quickly at Jeremy, who held up his hands innocently. Jeremy: “I swear, she forced it out of me.
Julie James (Just the Sexiest Man Alive)
Pretty fucking tragic twist of fate, but you don’t seem to remember that we first met years ago. An issue, since I remember a little too well. I like no one, absolutely no one, but I liked you from the start. I liked you when I didn’t know you, and now that I do know you it’s only gotten worse. Sometimes, often, always, I think about you before falling asleep. Then I dream of you, and when I wake up my head’s still there, stuck on something funny, beautiful, filthy, intelligent that’s all about you. It’s been going on for a while, longer than you think, longer than you can imagine, and I should have told you, but I have this impression, this certainty that you’re half a second from running away, that I should give you enough reasons to stay. Is there anything I can do for you? I’ll take you grocery shopping and fill your fridge when we’re back home. Buy you a new bike and a case of decent reagent and that sludge you drink. Kill the people who made you cry. Is there something you need? Name it. It’s yours. If I have it, it’s yours.
Ali Hazelwood (The Love Hypothesis)
The Saddest Thing There was someone I knew, a long time ago. I was so in love with him I couldn’t see straight. The saddest thing is, he felt the same way about me. It was easy in the beginning. All we had to do was laugh at the same things and love took care of the rest. I had never felt so connected to another person. He would always say it felt as though I was made for him. How glad he was to have met me. We were so sure of what we felt. We should have held tight, onto that certainty. There is never one particular reason why two people are pulled apart. All these years later, I have stopped looking for answers. I know better now, that love is never a guarantee. Not when you have the rest of the world to contend with. Sometimes you have to step back and look at these things from a philosophical standpoint. And I know loving him has taught me something about myself, it has broadened my understanding of the world. And if it has done the same for him, then it wasn’t all in vain.
Lang Leav (Lullabies)
Where have you been?" she cried. "Damn you, where have you been?" She took a few steps toward Schmendrick, but she was looking beyond him, at the unicorn. When she tried to get by, the magician stood in her way. "You don't talk like that," he told her, still uncertain that Molly had recognized the unicorn. "Don't you know how to behave, woman? You don't curtsy, either." But Molly pushed him aside and went up to the unicorn, scolding her as though she were a strayed milk cow. "Where have you been?" Before the whiteness and the shining horn, Molly shrank to a shrilling beetle, but this time it was the unicorn's old dark eyes that looked down. "I am here now," she said at last. Molly laughed with her lips flat. "And what good is it to me that you're here now? Where where you twenty years ago, ten years ago? How dare you, how dare you come to me now, when I am this?" With a flap of her hand she summed herself up: barren face, desert eyes, and yellowing heart. "I wish you had never come. Why did you come now?" The tears began to slide down the sides of her nose. The unicorn made no reply, and Schmendrick said, "She is the last. She is the last unicorn in the world." "She would be." Molly sniffed. "It would be the last unicorn in the world to come to Molly Grue." She reached up then to lay her hand on the unicorn's cheek; but both of them flinched a little, and the touch came to rest on on the swift, shivering place under the jaw. Molly said, "It's all right. I forgive you.
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1))
Cristina looked after Emma, her hand going to the pendant at her own throat. It was silver, in the shape of a circle with a rose inside it. The rose was wrapped around with thorny briars. Words were written in Latin on the back: she didn’t need to look at them to know them. She’d known them all her life. Blessed be the Angel my strength who teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. The rose for Rosales, the words for Raziel, the Angel who had created the Shadowhunters a thousand years ago. Cristina had always thought Emma fought for her parabatai and for revenge, while she fought for family and faith. But maybe it was all the same thing: maybe it was all love, in the end.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really had something to be thankful for -- annually, not oftener -- if they had succeeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the previous twelve months instead of getting exterminated by their neighbors, the Indians. Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was perceived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was all on the white man's side, consequently on the Lord's side; hence it was proper to thank the Lord for it and extend the usual annual compliments.
Mark Twain
Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened." Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Rosie, I'm returning to Boston tomorrow but before I go I wanted to write this letter to you. All the thoughts and feelings that have been bubbling up inside me are finally overflowing from this pen and I'm leaving this letter for you so that you don't feel that I'm putting you under any great pressure. I understand that you will need to take your time trying to decide on what I am about to say. I no what's going on, Rosie. You're my best friend and I can see the sadness in your eyes. I no that Greg isn't away working for the weekend. You never could lie to me; you were always terrible at it. Your eyes betray you time and time again. Don't pretend that everything is perfect because I see it isn't. I see that Greg is a selfish man who has absolutely no idea just how lucky he is and it makes me sick. He is the luckiest man in the world to have you, Rosie, but he doesn't deserve you and you deserve far better. You deserve someone who loves you with every single beat of his heart, someone who thinks about you constantly, someone who spends every minute of every day just wondering what you're doing, where you are, who you're with and if you're OK. You need someone who can help you reach your dreams and who can protect you from your fears. You need someone who will treat you with respect, love every part of you, especially your flaws. You should be with someone who can make you happy, really happy, dancing-on-air happy. Someone who should have taken the chance to be with you years ago instead of becoming scared and being too afraid to try. I am not scared any more, Rosie. I am not afraid to try. I no what the feeling was at your wedding - it was jealousy. My heart broke when I saw the woman I love turning away from me to walk down the aisle with another man, a man she planned to spend the rest of her life with. It was like a prison sentence for me - years stretching ahead without me being able to tell you how I feel or hold you how I wanted to. Twice we've stood beside each other at the altar, Rosie. Twice. And twice we got it wrong. I needed you to be there for my wedding day but I was too stupid to see that I needed you to be the reason for my wedding day. I should never have let your lips leave mine all those years ago in Boston. I should never have pulled away. I should never have panicked. I should never have wasted all those years without you. Give me a chance to make them up to you. I love you, Rosie, and I want to be with you and Katie and Josh. Always. Please think about it. Don't waste your time on Greg. This is our opportunity. Let's stop being afraid and take the chance. I promise I'll make you happy. All my love, Alex
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
To the most inconsiderate asshole of a friend, I’m writing you this letter because I know that if I say what I have to say to your face I will probably punch you. I don’t know you anymore. I don’t see you anymore. All I get is a quick text or a rushed e-mail from you every few days. I know you are busy and I know you have Bethany, but hello? I’m supposed to be your best friend. You have no idea what this summer has been like. Ever since we were kids we pushed away every single person that could possibly have been our friend. We blocked people until there was only me and you. You probably haven’t noticed, because you have never been in the position I am in now. You have always had someone. You always had me. I always had you. Now you have Bethany and I have no one. Now I feel like those other people that used to try to become our friend, that tried to push their way into our circle but were met by turned backs. I know you’re probably not doing it deliberately just as we never did it deliberately. It’s not that we didn’t want anyone else, it’s just that we didn’t need them. Sadly now it looks like you don’t need me anymore. Anyway I’m not moaning on about how much I hate her, I’m just trying to tell you that I miss you. And that well . . . I’m lonely. Whenever you cancel nights out I end up staying home with Mum and Dad watching TV. It’s so depressing. This was supposed to be our summer of fun. What happened? Can’t you be friends with two people at once? I know you have found someone who is extra special, and I know you both have a special “bond,” or whatever, that you and I will never have. But we have another bond, we’re best friends. Or does the best friend bond disappear as soon as you meet somebody else? Maybe it does, maybe I just don’t understand that because I haven’t met that “somebody special.” I’m not in any hurry to, either. I liked things the way they were. So maybe Bethany is now your best friend and I have been relegated to just being your “friend.” At least be that to me, Alex. In a few years time if my name ever comes up you will probably say, “Rosie, now there’s a name I haven’t heard in years. We used to be best friends. I wonder what she’s doingnow; I haven’t seen or thought of her in years!” You will sound like my mum and dad when they have dinner parties with friends and talk about old times. They always mention people I’ve never even heard of when they’re talking about some of the most important days of their lives. Yet where are those people now? How could someone who was your bridesmaid 20 years ago not even be someone who you are on talking terms with now? Or in Dad’s case, how could he not know where his own best friend from college lives? He studied with the man for five years! Anyway, my point is (I know, I know, there is one), I don’t want to be one of those easily forgotten people, so important at the time, so special, so influential, and so treasured, yet years later just a vague face and a distant memory. I want us to be best friends forever, Alex. I’m happy you’re happy, really I am, but I feel like I’ve been left behind. Maybe our time has come and gone. Maybe your time is now meant to be spent with Bethany. And if that’s the case I won’t bother sending you this letter. And if I’m not sending this letter then what am I doing still writing it? OK I’m going now and I’m ripping these muddled thoughts up. Your friend, Rosie
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
I've had more difficulty accepting myself as bisexual than I ever did accepting that I was a lesbian. It felt traitorous. A few years ago, I admitted to myself that I was still interested in men in more than a "Brad Pitt is slick hot sexy" kind of way. But I worried whatmy friends, exes, and the Community would think. I never even broached the subject with my parents. Because what bothered me the most was that people would think that being a lesbian had been a phase for me, when that was so very not the case. What I feared was that I would no longer be part of a community, that I might be seen with my boyfriend and not be recognized as something not the same.
R. Gay (First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far))
So here's how it went in God's heart: The six or seven or ten of us walked/wheeled in, grazed at a decrepit selection of cookies and lemonade, sat down in the Circle of Trust, and listened to Patrick recount for the thousandth time his depressingly miserable life story-how he had cancer in his balls and they thought he was going to die but he didn't die and now here he is, a full-grown adult in a church basement in the 137th nicest city in America, divorced, addicted to video games, mostly friendless, eking out a meager living by exploiting his cancertastic past, slowly working his way toward a master's degree that will not improve his career prospects, waiting, as we all do, for the sword of Damocles to give him the relief that he escaped lo those many years ago when cancer took both of his nuts but spared what only the most generous soul would call his life. AND YOU TOO MIGHT BE SO LUCKY!
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Some 2,600 years ago the ancient Greek poet Pindar wrote, “Become who you are by learning who you are.” What he meant is the following: You are born with a particular makeup and tendencies that mark you as a piece of fate. It is who you are to the core. Some people never become who they are; they stop trusting in themselves; they conform to the tastes of others, and they end up wearing a mask that hides their true nature. If you allow yourself to learn who you really are by paying attention to that voice and force within you, then you can become what you were fated to become—an individual, a Master.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
For the first time in years the tears were streaming down his face. But they were for himself now. He did not care about mouth and eyes and moving hands. He wanted to care, and he could not care. For he had gone away and he could never go back any more. The gates were closed, the sun was gone down, and there was no beauty but the gray beauty of steel that withstands all time. Even the grief he could have borne was left behind in the country of illusion, of youth, of the richness of life, where his winter dreams had flourished. "Long ago," he said, "long ago, there was something in me, but now that thing is gone. Now that thing is gone, that thing is gone. I cannot cry. I cannot care. That thing will come back no more.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Winter Dreams)
I’m convinced that people come across others in life whose souls are completely compatible with their own. Some refer to them as soul mates. Some refer to it as true love. Some people believe their souls are compatible with more than one person, and I’m beginning to understand how true that might be. I’ve known since the moment I met Maggie years ago that our souls were compatible, and they are. That’s not even a question. However, I also know that my soul is compatible with Sydney’s, but it’s also so much more than that. Our souls aren’t just compatible—they’re perfectly attuned. I
Colleen Hoover (Maybe Someday (Maybe, #1))
Christ, don't go to the Haunted Houses with Ally and Indy. A few years ago, Indy went berserk and broke through the hay bales they had set up to make the haunted trail and headed into the cornfields. All the employees chased after her but since they were dressed like monsters, Indy lost her mind. They had to call the cops to settle her down." I lost him at "cornfields". "Cornfields?" I whispered. "Yeah." "They have a haunted trail through cornfields?" "Yeah, up in Thornton. Best Haunted House in Denver. Indy and Ally go every year. Why?" "Cornfields freak me out," I admitted. Hank was silent. Then, he said, "You're from Indiana. How in the fuck can cornfields freak you out?" "Cornfields don't freak me out. Cornfields at night freak me out. Haunted cornfields at night freak me out." "You been to many haunted cornfields?" "Dude," I said low. "All cornfields are haunted. Trust me. I know... They whisper to you.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Redemption (Rock Chick, #3))
However, there is a way to know for certain that Noah’s Flood and the Creation story never happened: by looking at our mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA).  Mitochondria are the “cellular power plants” found in all of our cells and they have their own DNA which is separate from that found in the nucleus of the cell.  In humans, and most other species that mitochondria are found in, the father’s mtDNA normally does not contribute to the child’s mtDNA; the child normally inherits its mtDNA exclusively from its mother.  This means that if no one’s genes have mutated, then we all have the same mtDNA as our brothers and sisters and the same mtDNA as the children of our mother’s sisters, etc. This pattern of inheritance makes it possible to rule out “population bottlenecks” in our species’ history.  A bottleneck is basically a time when the population of a species dwindled to low numbers.  For humans, this means that every person born after a bottleneck can only have the mtDNA or a mutation of the mtDNA of the women who survived the bottleneck. This doesn’t mean that mtDNA can tell us when a bottleneck happened, but it can tell us when one didn’t happen because we know that mtDNA has a rate of approximately one mutation every 3,500 years (Gibbons 1998; Soares et al 2009). So if the human race were actually less than 6,000 years old and/or “everything on earth that breathed died” (Genesis 7:22) less than 6,000 years ago, which would be the case if the story of Adam and the story of Noah’s flood were true respectively, then every person should have the exact same mtDNA except for one or two mutations.  This, however, is not the case as human mtDNA is much more diverse (Endicott et al 2009), so we can know for a fact that the story of Adam and Eve and the story of Noah are fictional.   There
Alexander Drake (The Invention of Christianity)
The leaves were long, the grass was green, The hemlock-umbels tall and fair, And in the glade a light was seen Of stars in shadow shimmering. Tinuviel was dancing there To music of a pipe unseen, And light of stars was in her hair, And in her raiment glimmering. There Beren came from mountains cold, And lost he wandered under leaves, And where the Elven-river rolled. He walked along and sorrowing. He peered between the hemlock-leaves And saw in wonder flowers of gold Upon her mantle and her sleeves, And her hair like shadow following. Enchantment healed his weary feet That over hills were doomed to roam; And forth he hastened, strong and fleet, And grasped at moonbeams glistening. Through woven woods in Elvenhome She lightly fled on dancing feet, And left him lonely still to roam In the silent forest listening. He heard there oft the flying sound Of feet as light as linden-leaves, Or music welling underground, In hidden hollows quavering. Now withered lay the hemlock-sheaves, And one by one with sighing sound Whispering fell the beechen leaves In the wintry woodland wavering. He sought her ever, wandering far Where leaves of years were thickly strewn, By light of moon and ray of star In frosty heavens shivering. Her mantle glinted in the moon, As on a hill-top high and far She danced, and at her feet was strewn A mist of silver quivering. When winter passed, she came again, And her song released the sudden spring, Like rising lark, and falling rain, And melting water bubbling. He saw the elven-flowers spring About her feet, and healed again He longed by her to dance and sing Upon the grass untroubling. Again she fled, but swift he came. Tinuviel! Tinuviel! He called her by her elvish name; And there she halted listening. One moment stood she, and a spell His voice laid on her: Beren came, And doom fell on Tinuviel That in his arms lay glistening. As Beren looked into her eyes Within the shadows of her hair, The trembling starlight of the skies He saw there mirrored shimmering. Tinuviel the elven-fair, Immortal maiden elven-wise, About him cast her shadowy hair And arms like silver glimmering. Long was the way that fate them bore, O'er stony mountains cold and grey, Through halls of iron and darkling door, And woods of nightshade morrowless. The Sundering Seas between them lay, And yet at last they met once more, And long ago they passed away In the forest singing sorrowless.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln (The Gettysburg Address)
One day many years ago a man walked along and stood in the sound of the ocean on a cold sunless shore and said, "We need a voice to call across the water, to warn ships; I'll make one. I'll make a voice like all of time and all of the fog that ever was; I'll make a voice that is like an empty bed beside you all night long, and like an empty house when you open the door, and like trees in autumn with no leaves. A sound like the birds flying south, crying, and a sound like November wind and the sea on the hard, cold shore. I'll make a sound that's so alone that no one can miss it, that whoever hears it will weep in their souls, and hearths will seem warmer, and being inside will seem better to all who hear it in the distant towns. I'll make me a sound and an apparatus and they'll call it a Fog Horn and whoever hears it will know the sadness of eternity and the briefness of life." The Fog Horn blew.
Ray Bradbury (The Fog Horn (Classics Stories of Ray Bradbury))
Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. This was a definition of feminism I offered in Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center more than 10 years ago. It was my hope at the time that it would become a common definition everyone would use. I liked this definition because it did not imply that men were the enemy. By naming sexism as the problem it went directly to the heart of the matter. Practically, it is a definition which implies that all sexist thinking and action is the problem, whether those who perpetuate it are female or male, child or adult. It is also broad enough to include an understanding of systemic institutionalized sexism. As a definition it is open-ended. To understand feminism it implies one has to necessarily understand sexism.
bell hooks (Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics)
Imagine that you were on the threshold of this fairytale, sometime billions of years ago when everything was created. And you were able to choose whether you wanted to be born to a life on this planet at some point. You wouldn’t know when you were going to be born, nor how long you’d live for, but at any event it wouldn’t be more than a few years. All you’d know was that, if you chose to come into the world at some point, you’d also have to leave it again one day and go away from everything. This might cause you a good deal of grief, as lots of people think that life in the great fairytale is so wonderful that the mere thought of it ending can bring tears to their eyes. Things can be so nice here that it’s terribly painful to think that at some point the days will run out. What would you have chosen, if there had been some higher power that had gave you the choice? Perhaps we can imagine some sort of cosmic fairy in this great, strange fairytale. What you have chosen to live a life on earth at some point, whether short or long, in a hundred thousand or a hundred million years? Or would you have refused to join in the game because you didn’t like the rules? (...) I asked myself the same question maybe times during the past few weeks. Would I have elected to live a life on earth in the firm knowledge that I’d suddenly be torn away from it, and perhaps in the middle of intoxicating happiness? (...) Well, I wasn’t sure what I would have chosen. (...) If I’d chosen never to the foot inside the great fairytale, I’d never have known what I’ve lost. Do you see what I’m getting at? Sometimes it’s worse for us human beings to lose something dear to us than never to have had it at all.
Jostein Gaarder (The Orange Girl)
London The Institute 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. Your Son, Will
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
We may be only one of millions of advanced civilizations. Unfortunately, space being spacious, the average distance between any two of these civilizations is reckoned to be at least two hundred light-years, which is a great deal more than merely saying it makes it sound. It means for a start that even if these beings know we are here and are somehow able to see us in their telescopes, they're watching light that left Earth two hundred years ago. So, they're not seeing you and me. They're watching the French Revolution and Thomas Jefferson and people in silk stockings and powdered wigs--people who don't know what an atom is, or a gene, and who make their electricity by rubbing a rod of amber with a piece of fur and think that's quite a trick. Any message we receive from them is likely to begin "Dear Sire," and congratulate us on the handsomness of our horses and our mastery of whale oil. Two hundred light-years is a distance so far beyond us as to be, well, just beyond us.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Not too long ago thousands spent their lives as recluses to find spiritual vision in the solitude of nature. Modern man need not become a hermit to achieve this goal, for it is neither ecstasy nor world-estranged mysticism his era demands, but a balance between quantitative and qualitative reality. Modern man, with his reduced capacity for intuitive perception, is unlikely to benefit from the contemplative life of a hermit in the wilderness. But what he can do is to give undivided attention, at times, to a natural phenomenon, observing it in detail, and recalling all the scientific facts about it he may remember. Gradually, however, he must silence his thoughts and, for moments at least, forget all his personal cares and desires, until nothing remains in his soul but awe for the miracle before him. Such efforts are like journeys beyond the boundaries of narrow self-love and, although the process of intuitive awakening is laborious and slow, its rewards are noticeable from the very first. If pursued through the course of years, something will begin to stir in the human soul, a sense of kinship with the forces of life consciousness which rule the world of plants and animals, and with the powers which determine the laws of matter. While analytical intellect may well be called the most precious fruit of the Modern Age, it must not be allowed to rule supreme in matters of cognition. If science is to bring happiness and real progress to the world, it needs the warmth of man's heart just as much as the cold inquisitiveness of his brain.
Franz Winkler
Listen, twenty years ago, it wasn’t so cool to have a calculator watch, right? And spending all day inside playing with your calculator watch sent a clear message that you weren’t doing so well socially. And judgments like ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ and ‘smiles’ and ‘frowns’ were limited to junior high. Someone would write a note and it would say, ‘Do you like unicorns and stickers?’ and you’d say, ‘Yeah, I like unicorns and stickers! Smile!’ That kind of thing. But now it’s not just junior high kids who do it, it’s everyone, and it seems to me sometimes I’ve entered some inverted zone, some mirror world where the dorkiest shit in the world is completely dominant. The world has dorkified itself.
Dave Eggers (The Circle)
In the shop window you have promptly identified the cover with the title you were looking for. Following this visual trail, you have forced your way through the shop past the thick barricade of Books You Haven't Read, which were frowning at you from the tables and shelves, trying to cow you. But you know you must never allow yourself to be awed, that among them there extend for acres and acres the Books You Needn't Read, the Books Made For Purposes Other Than Reading, Books Read Even Before You Open Them Since They Belong To The Category Of Books Read Before Being Written. And thus you pass the outer girdle of ramparts, but then you are attacked by the infantry of the Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered. With a rapid maneuver you bypass them and move into the phalanxes of the Books You Mean To Read But There Are Others You Must Read First, the Books Too Expensive Now And You'll Wait Till They're Remaindered, the Books ditto When They Come Out In Paperback, Books You Can Borrow From Somebody, Books That Everybody's Read So It's As If You Had Read Them, Too. Eluding these assaults, you come up beneath the towers of the fortress, where other troops are holding out: the Books You've Been Planning To Read For Ages, the Books You've Been Hunting For Years Without Success, the Books Dealing With Something You're Working On At The Moment, the Books You Want To Own So They'll Be Handy Just In Case, the Books You Could Put Aside Maybe To Read This Summer, the Books You Need To Go With Other Books On Your Shelves, the Books That Fill You With Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified, Now you have been able to reduce the countless embattled troops to an array that is, to be sure, very large but still calculable in a finite number; but this relative relief is then undermined by the ambush of the Books Read Long Ago Which It's Now Time To Reread and the Books You've Always Pretended To Have Read And Now It's Time To Sit Down And Really Read Them.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
Yet each disappointment Ted felt in his wife, each incremental deflation, was accompanied by a seizure of guilt; many years ago, he had taken the passion he felt for Susan and folded it in half, so he no longer had a drowning, helpless feeling when he glimpsed her beside him in bed: her ropy arms and soft, generous ass. Then he’d folded it in half again, so when he felt desire for Susan, it no longer brought with it an edgy terror of never being satisfied. Then in half again, so that feeling desire entailed no immediate need to act. Then in half again, so he hardly felt it. His desire was so small in the end that Ted could slip it inside his desk or a pocket and forget about it, and this gave him a feeling of safety and accomplishment, of having dismantled a perilous apparatus that might have crushed them both. Susan was baffled at first, then distraught; she’d hit him twice across the face; she’d run from the house in a thunderstorm and slept at a motel; she’d wrestled Ted to the bedroom floor in a pair of black crotchless underpants. But eventually a sort of amnesia had overtaken Susan; her rebellion and hurt had melted away, deliquesced into a sweet, eternal sunniness that was terrible in the way that life would be terrible, Ted supposed, without death to give it gravitas and shape. He’d presumed at first that her relentless cheer was mocking, another phase in her rebellion, until it came to him that Susan had forgotten how things were between them before Ted began to fold up his desire; she’d forgotten and was happy — had never not been happy — and while all of this bolstered his awe at the gymnastic adaptability of the human mind, it also made him feel that his wife had been brainwashed. By him.
Jennifer Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad)
Tikkun olam.” Exactly. Basically, it says that the world has been broken into pieces. All this chaos, all this discord. And our job - everyone’s job - is to try to put the pieces back together. To make things whole again.” And you believe that?” I guess I do. I mean, I don’t know how the world broke. And I don’t know if there’s a God who can help us fix it. But the fact that the world is broken - I absolutely believe that. Just look around us. Every minute - every single second - there are a million things you could be thinking about. A million things you could be worrying about. Our world - don’t you feel we’re becoming more and more fragmented? I used to think that when I got older, the world would make so much more sense. But you know what? The older I get, the more confusing it is to me. The more complicated it is. Harder. You’d think we’d be getting better at it. But there’s just more and more chaos. The pieces - they’re everywhere. And nobody knows what to do about it. I find myself grasping, Nick. You know that feeling? That feeling when you just want the right thing to fall into the right place, not only because it’s right, but because it will mean that such a thing is still possible? I want to believe in that.” Do you really think it’s getting worse? I mean, aren’t we better off than we were twenty years ago? Or a hundred?” We’re better off. But I don’t know if the world’s better off. I don’t know if the two are the same thing.” You’re right.” Excuse me?” I said, ‘You’re right.’” But nobody ever says, ‘You’re right.’ Just like that.” Really?” Really.” …Then it hits me. Maybe we’re the pieces,” What?” Maybe that’s it. With what you were talking about before. The world being broken. Maybe it isn’t that we’re supposed to find the pieces and put them back together. Maybe we’re the pieces. Maybe, what we’re supposed to do is come together. That’s how we stop the breaking.” Tikkun olam.
David Levithan (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist)
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
Herman Melville
You swallow hard when you discover that the old coffee shop is now a chain pharmacy, that the place where you first kissed so-and-so is now a discount electronics retailer, that where you bought this very jacket is now rubble behind a blue plywood fence and a future office building. Damage has been done to your city. You say, ''It happened overnight.'' But of course it didn't. Your pizza parlor, his shoeshine stand, her hat store: when they were here, we neglected them. For all you know, the place closed down moments after the last time you walked out the door. (Ten months ago? Six years? Fifteen? You can't remember, can you?) And there have been five stores in that spot before the travel agency. Five different neighborhoods coming and going between then and now, other people's other cities. Or 15, 25, 100 neighborhoods. Thousands of people pass that storefront every day, each one haunting the streets of his or her own New York, not one of them seeing the same thing.
Colson Whitehead (The Colossus of New York)
Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of, the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied only by the last words of the looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends, and a more-than minor life. And then i screwed up and the Colonel screwed up and Takumi screwed up and she slipped through our fingers. And there's no sugar-coating it: She deserved better friends. When she fucked up, all those years ago, just a little girl terrified. into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself. And I could have done that, but I saw where it led for her. So I still believe in the Great Perhaps, and I can believe in it spite of having lost her. Beacause I will forget her, yes. That which came together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly, and I will forget, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and everyone but herself and her mom in those last moments she spent as a person. I know that she forgives me for being dumb and sacred and doing the dumb and scared thing. I know she forgives me, just as her mother forgives her. And here's how I know: I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something's meal. What was her-green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs-would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just a matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirety. There is a part of her knowable parts. And that parts has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, One thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself -those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Eidson's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
I believe that the universe was formed around 15 billion years ago and that humans have evolved from their apelike ancestors over the past few million years. I believe we are more likely to live a good life if all humans try to work together in a world community, preserving planet earth. When decisions for groups are made in this world, I believe that the democratic process should be used. To protect the individual, I believe in freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom from religion, freedom of inquiry, and a wall of separation between church and state. When making decisions about what is right or wrong, I believe I should use my intelligence to reason about the likely consequences of my actions. I believe that I should try to increase the happiness of everyone by caring for other people and finding ways to cooperate. Never should my actions discriminate against people simply because of their race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, or national origin. I believe that ideas about what is right and wrong will change with education, so I am prepared to continually question ideas using evidence from experience and science. I believe there is no valid evidence to support claims for the existence of supernatural entities and deities. I will use these beliefs to guide my thinking and my actions until I find good reasons for revising them or replacing them with other beliefs that are more valid.
Ronald P. Carver
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)
Then I thought of the drive back, late at night, along the starlit river to this rickety antique New England hotel on a shoreline that I hoped would remind us both of the bay of B., and of Van Gogh's starry nights, and of the night I joined him on the rock and kissed him on the neck, and of the last night when we walked together on the coast road, sensing we'd run out of last-minute miracles to put off his leaving. I imagined being in his car asking myself, Who knows, would I want to, would he want to, perhaps a nightcap at the bar would decide, knowing that, all through dinner that evening, he and I would be worrying about the same exact thing, hoping it might happen, praying it might not, perhaps a nightcap would decide - I could just read it on his face as I pictured him looking away while uncorking a bottle of wine or while changing the music, because he too would catch the thought racing through my mind and want me to know he was debating the exact same thing, because, as he'd pour the wine for his wife, for me, for himself, it would finally dawn on us both that he was more me than I had ever been myself, because when he became me and I became him in bed so many years ago, he was and would forever remain, long after every forked road in life had done its work, my brother, my friend, my father, my son, my husband, my lover, myself. In the weeks we'd been thrown together that summer, our lives had scarcely touched, but we had crossed to the other bank, where time stops and heaven reaches down to earth and gives us that ration of what is from birth divinely ours. We looked the other way. We spoke of everything but. But we've always known, and not saying anything now confirmed it all the more. We had found the stars, you and I. And this is given once only.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
They're both convinced that a sudden passion joined them. Such certainty is beautiful, but uncertainty is more beautiful still. Since they'd never met before, they're sure that there'd been nothing between them. But what's the word from the streets, staircases, hallways-- perhaps they've passed by each other a million times? I want to ask them if they don't remember-- a moment face to face in some revolving door? perhaps a "sorry" muttered in a crowd? a curt "wrong number" caught in the receiver? but I know the answer. No, they don't remember. They'd be amazed to hear that Chance has been toying with them now for years. Not quite ready yet to become their Destiny, it pushed them close, drove them apart, it barred their path, stifling a laugh, and then leaped aside. There were signs and signals, even if they couldn't read them yet. Perhaps three years ago or just last Tuesday a certain leaf fluttered from one shoulder to another? Something was dropped and then picked up. Who knows, maybe the ball that vanished into childhood's thicket? There were doorknobs and doorbells where one touch had covered another beforehand. Suitcases checked and standing side by side. One night, perhaps, the same dream, grown hazy by morning. Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.
Wisława Szymborska (View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems)
The word hope first appeared in English about a thousand years ago, denoting some combination of confidence and desire. But what I desired—life—was not what I was confident about—death. When I talked about hope, then, did I really mean “Leave some room for unfounded desire?” No. Medical statistics not only describe numbers such as mean survival, they measure our confidence in our numbers, with tools like confidence levels, confidence intervals, and confidence bounds. So did I mean “Leave some room for a statistically improbable but still plausible outcome—a survival just above the measured 95 percent confidence interval?” Is that what hope was? Could we divide the curve into existential sections, from “defeated” to “pessimistic” to “realistic” to “hopeful” to “delusional”? Weren’t the numbers just the numbers? Had we all just given in to the “hope” that every patient was above average? It occurred to me that my relationship with statistics changed as soon as I became one.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
My name is Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as "quothe." Names are important as they tell you a great deal about a person. I've had more names than anyone has a right to. The Adem call me Maedre. Which, depending on how it's spoken, can mean The Flame, The Thunder, or The Broken Tree. "The Flame" is obvious if you've ever seen me. I have red hair, bright. If I had been born a couple of hundred years ago I would probably have been burned as a demon. I keep it short but it's unruly. When left to its own devices, it sticks up and makes me look as if I have been set afire. "The Thunder" I attribute to a strong baritone and a great deal of stage training at an early age. I've never thought of "The Broken Tree" as very significant. Although in retrospect, I suppose it could be considered at least partially prophetic. My first mentor called me E'lir because I was clever and I knew it. My first real lover called me Dulator because she liked the sound of it. I have been called Shadicar, Lightfinger, and Six-String. I have been called Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. I have earned those names. Bought and paid for them. But I was brought up as Kvothe. My father once told me it meant "to know." I have, of course, been called many other things. Most of them uncouth, although very few were unearned. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
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, And location By 17 She’s already chosen a gown 2 bridesmaids And a maid of honor By 23 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 Someone 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 I imagine Her smile 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 I say 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
Rudy Francisco
Where is the graveyard of dead gods? What lingering mourner waters their mounds? There was a time when Jupiter was the king of the gods, and any man who doubted his puissance was ipso facto a barbarian and an ignoramus. But where in all the world is there a man who worships Jupiter today? And who of Huitzilopochtli? In one year - and it is no more than five hundred years ago - 50,000 youths and maidens were slain in sacrifice to him. Today, if he is remembered at all, it is only by some vagrant savage in the depths of the Mexican forest. Huitzilopochtli, like many other gods, had no human father; his mother was a virtuous widow; he was born of an apparently innocent flirtation that she carried out with the sun. When he frowned, his father, the sun, stood still. When he roared with rage, earthquakes engulfed whole cities. When he thirsted he was watered with 10,000 gallons of human blood. But today Huitzilopochtli is as magnificently forgotten as Allen G. Thurman. Once the peer of Allah, Buddha and Wotan, he is now the peer of Richmond P. Hobson, Alton B. Parker, Adelina Patti, General Weyler and Tom Sharkey. Speaking of Huitzilopochtli recalls his brother Tezcatlipoca. Tezcatlipoca was almost as powerful; he consumed 25,000 virgins a year. Lead me to his tomb: I would weep, and hang a couronne des perles. But who knows where it is? Or where the grave of Quetzalcoatl is? Or Xiuhtecuhtli? Or Centeotl, that sweet one? Or Tlazolteotl, the goddess of love? Of Mictlan? Or Xipe? Or all the host of Tzitzimitl? Where are their bones? Where is the willow on which they hung their harps? In what forlorn and unheard-of Hell do they await their resurrection morn? Who enjoys their residuary estates? Or that of Dis, whom Caesar found to be the chief god of the Celts? Of that of Tarves, the bull? Or that of Moccos, the pig? Or that of Epona, the mare? Or that of Mullo, the celestial jackass? There was a time when the Irish revered all these gods, but today even the drunkest Irishman laughs at them. But they have company in oblivion: the Hell of dead gods is as crowded as the Presbyterian Hell for babies. Damona is there, and Esus, and Drunemeton, and Silvana, and Dervones, and Adsullata, and Deva, and Bellisima, and Uxellimus, and Borvo, and Grannos, and Mogons. All mighty gods in their day, worshipped by millions, full of demands and impositions, able to bind and loose - all gods of the first class. Men labored for generations to build vast temples to them - temples with stones as large as hay-wagons. The business of interpreting their whims occupied thousands of priests, bishops, archbishops. To doubt them was to die, usually at the stake. Armies took to the field to defend them against infidels; villages were burned, women and children butchered, cattle were driven off. Yet in the end they all withered and died, and today there is none so poor to do them reverence. What has become of Sutekh, once the high god of the whole Nile Valley? What has become of: Resheph Anath Ashtoreth El Nergal Nebo Ninib Melek Ahijah Isis Ptah Anubis Baal Astarte Hadad Addu Shalem Dagon Sharaab Yau Amon-Re Osiris Sebek Molech? All there were gods of the highest eminence. Many of them are mentioned with fear and trembling in the Old Testament. They ranked, five or six thousand years ago, with Yahweh Himself; the worst of them stood far higher than Thor. Yet they have all gone down the chute, and with them the following: Bilé Ler Arianrhod Morrigu Govannon Gunfled Sokk-mimi Nemetona Dagda Robigus Pluto Ops Meditrina Vesta You may think I spoof. That I invent the names. I do not. Ask the rector to lend you any good treatise on comparative religion: You will find them all listed. They were gods of the highest standing and dignity-gods of civilized peoples-worshiped and believed in by millions. All were omnipotent, omniscient and immortal. And all are dead.
H.L. Mencken (A Mencken Chrestomathy)
A thousand years or more ago, When I was newly sewn, There lived four wizards of renown, Whose name are still well-known: Bold Gryffindor from wild moor, Fair Ravlenclaw from glen, Sweet Hufflepuff from valley broad, Shrewd Slytherin from fen. They share a wish, a hope, a dream, They hatched a daring plan, To educate young sorcerers, Thus Hogwarts school began. Now each of these four founders Formed their own house, for each Did value different virtues, In the ones they had to teach. By Gryffindor, the bravest were Prized far beyond the rest; For Ravenclaw, the cleverest Would always be the best; For Hufflepuff, hardworkers were Most worthy of admission; And power-hungry Slytherin Loved those of great ambition. While still alive they did divide Their favourates from the throng, Yet how to pick the worthy ones When they were dead and gone? 'Twas Gryffindor who found the way, He whipped me off his head The founders put some brains in me So I could choose instead! Now slip me snug around your ears, I've never yet been wrong, I'll have alook inside your mind And tell where you belong!
J.K. Rowling
I don’t ever remember being afraid of “oldness”. There are things I miss about being younger - chiefly the ability to pull all-nighters and keep working and working well; and being smiled at by girls I didn’t know who thought I was cute; and I wish I had the eyesight I had even five years ago… but that stuff feels pretty trivial. I’m happier than I’ve been at any time in my life these days. I have a wonderful wife whom I adore, watched three amazing kids grow into two delightful adults and my favourite teenager, an astonishing number of grand life experiences, I’ve made art I’m proud of, I have real, true, glorious friends, and I’ve been able to do real good for things I care about, like freedom of speech, like libraries. Sometimes I’ll do something like An Evening With Neil and Amanda, or the 8 in 8 project, and completely surprise myself. I miss friends who have died, but then, I’m glad that time gave them to me, to befriend, even for a while, and that I was alive to know them. I knew Douglas Adams, and I knew Roger Zelazny, and I knew John M Ford, and I knew Diana Wynne Jones… do you know how lucky that makes me? Ah, I’m rabbiting on, and I sound a bit more Pollyannaish than I’m intending to sound: I know the downside of age and the downside of time, and I am sure that the view from age 51 is not the view from age 71. I wish the time hadn’t gone so fast, though. And sometimes I wish I’d enjoyed it more on the way, and worried about it less.
Neil Gaiman
Christmas Amnesty. You can fall out of contact with a friend, fail to return calls, ignore e-mails, avoid eye contact at the Thrifty-Mart, forget birthdays, anniversaries, and reunions, and if you show up at their house during the holidays (with a gift) they are socially bound to forgive you—act like nothing happened. Decorum dictates that the friendship move forward from that point, without guilt or recrimination. If you started a chess game ten years ago in October, you need only remember whose move it is—or why you sold the chessboard and bought an Xbox in the interim. (Look, Christmas Amnesty is a wonderful thing, but it’s not a dimensional shift. The laws of time and space continue to apply, even if you have been avoiding your friends. But don’t try using the expansion of the universe an as excuse—like you kept meaning to stop by, but their house kept getting farther away. That crap won’t wash. Just say, “Sorry I haven’t called. Merry Christmas” Then show the present. Christmas Amnesty protocol dictates that your friend say, “That’s okay,” and let you in without further comment. This is the way it has always been done.)
Christopher Moore (The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror (Pine Cove, #3))
I am, and always have been - first, last, and always - a child of America. You raised me. I grew up in the pastures and hills of Texas, but I had been to thirty-four states before I learned how to drive. When I caught the stomach flu in the fifth grade, my mother sent a note to school written on the back of a holiday memo from Vice President Biden. Sorry, sir—we were in a rush, and it was the only paper she had on hand. I spoke to you for the first time when I was eighteen, on the stage of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, when I introduced my mother as the nominee for president. You cheered for me. I was young and full of hope, and you let me embody the American dream: that a boy who grew up speaking two languages, whose family was blended and beautiful and enduring, could make a home for himself in the White House. You pinned the flag to my lapel and said, “We’re rooting for you.” As I stand before you today, my hope is that I have not let you down. Years ago, I met a prince. And though I didn’t realize it at the time, his country had raised him too. The truth is, Henry and I have been together since the beginning of this year. The truth is, as many of you have read, we have both struggled every day with what this means for our families, our countries, and our futures. The truth is, we have both had to make compromises that cost us sleep at night in order to afford us enough time to share our relationship with the world on our own terms. We were not afforded that liberty. But the truth is, also, simply this: love is indomitable. America has always believed this. And so, I am not ashamed to stand here today where presidents have stood and say that I love him, the same as Jack loved Jackie, the same as Lyndon loved Lady Bird. Every person who bears a legacy makes the choice of a partner with whom they will share it, whom the American people will “hold beside them in hearts and memories and history books. America: He is my choice. Like countless other Americans, I was afraid to say this out loud because of what the consequences might be. To you, specifically, I say: I see you. I am one of you. As long as I have a place in this White House, so will you. I am the First Son of the United States, and I’m bisexual. History will remember us. If I can ask only one thing of the American people, it’s this: Please, do not let my actions influence your decision in November. The decision you will make this year is so much bigger than anything I could ever say or do, and it will determine the fate of this country for years to come. My mother, your president, is the warrior and the champion that each and every American deserves for four more years of growth, progress, and prosperity. Please, don’t let my actions send us backward. I ask the media not to focus on me or on Henry, but on the campaign, on policy, on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans at stake in this election. And finally, I hope America will remember that I am still the son you raised. My blood still runs from Lometa, Texas, and San Diego, California, and Mexico City. I still remember the sound of your voices from that stage in Philadelphia. I wake up every morning thinking of your hometowns, of the families I’ve met at rallies in Idaho and Oregon and South Carolina. I have never hoped to be anything other than what I was to you then, and what I am to you now—the First Son, yours in actions and words. And I hope when Inauguration Day comes again in January, I will continue to be.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
You are not you--you have no body, no blood, no bones, you are but a thought. I myself have no existence; I am but a dream--your dream, a creature of your imagination. In a moment you will have realized this, then you will banish me from your visions and I shall dissolve into the nothingness out of which you made me. I am perishing already, I am failing, I am passing away. In a little while you will be alone in shoreless space, to wander its limitless solitudes without friend or comrade forever—for you will remain a thought, the only existent thought, and by your nature inextinguishable, indestructible. But I, your poor servant, have revealed you to yourself and set you free. Dream other dreams, and better! Strange! that you should not have suspected years ago—centuries, ages, eons, ago!—for you have existed, companionless, through all the eternities. Strange, indeed, that you should not have suspected that your universe and its contents were only dreams, visions, fiction! Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane—like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell—mouths mercy and invented hell—mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him! You perceive, now, that these things are all impossible except in a dream. You perceive that they are pure and puerile insanities, the silly creations of an imagination that is not conscious of its freaks—in a word, that they are a dream, and you the maker of it. The dream-marks are all present; you should have recognized them earlier. "It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream—a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought—a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!
Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger)
But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education sucks, and it’s the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It’s never gonna get any better. Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now, the real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don’t want: They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests. Thats right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table to figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you, sooner or later, 'cause they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club. And by the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head in their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged, and nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people -- white collar, blue collar, it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on -- good honest hard-working people continue -- these are people of modest means -- continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about them. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don't care about you at all -- at all -- at all. And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. That's what the owners count on; the fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that's being jammed up their assholes everyday. Because the owners of this country know the truth: it's called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.
George Carlin
Let's say that the consensus is that our species, being the higher primates, Homo Sapiens, has been on the planet for at least 100,000 years, maybe more. Francis Collins says maybe 100,000. Richard Dawkins thinks maybe a quarter-of-a-million. I'll take 100,000. In order to be a Christian, you have to believe that for 98,000 years, our species suffered and died, most of its children dying in childbirth, most other people having a life expectancy of about 25 years, dying of their teeth. Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery, all of that for 98,000 years. Heaven watches this with complete indifference. And then 2000 years ago, thinks 'That's enough of that. It's time to intervene,' and the best way to do this would be by condemning someone to a human sacrifice somewhere in the less literate parts of the Middle East. Don't lets appeal to the Chinese, for example, where people can read and study evidence and have a civilization. Let's go to the desert and have another revelation there. This is nonsense. It can't be believed by a thinking person. Why am I glad this is the case? To get to the point of the wrongness of Christianity, because I think the teachings of Christianity are immoral. The central one is the most immoral of all, and that is the one of vicarious redemption. You can throw your sins onto somebody else, vulgarly known as scapegoating. In fact, originating as scapegoating in the same area, the same desert. I can pay your debt if I love you. I can serve your term in prison if I love you very much. I can volunteer to do that. I can't take your sins away, because I can't abolish your responsibility, and I shouldn't offer to do so. Your responsibility has to stay with you. There's no vicarious redemption. There very probably, in fact, is no redemption at all. It's just a part of wish-thinking, and I don't think wish-thinking is good for people either. It even manages to pollute the central question, the word I just employed, the most important word of all: the word love, by making love compulsory, by saying you MUST love. You must love your neighbour as yourself, something you can't actually do. You'll always fall short, so you can always be found guilty. By saying you must love someone who you also must fear. That's to say a supreme being, an eternal father, someone of whom you must be afraid, but you must love him, too. If you fail in this duty, you're again a wretched sinner. This is not mentally or morally or intellectually healthy. And that brings me to the final objection - I'll condense it, Dr. Orlafsky - which is, this is a totalitarian system. If there was a God who could do these things and demand these things of us, and he was eternal and unchanging, we'd be living under a dictatorship from which there is no appeal, and one that can never change and one that knows our thoughts and can convict us of thought crime, and condemn us to eternal punishment for actions that we are condemned in advance to be taking. All this in the round, and I could say more, it's an excellent thing that we have absolutely no reason to believe any of it to be true.
Christopher Hitchens
Not long ago, I advertised for perverse rules of grammar, along the lines of "Remember to never split an infinitive" and "The passive voice should never be used." The notion of making a mistake while laying down rules ("Thimk," "We Never Make Misteaks") is highly unoriginal, and it turns out that English teachers have been circulating lists of fumblerules for years. As owner of the world's largest collection, and with thanks to scores of readers, let me pass along a bunch of these never-say-neverisms: * Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read. * Don't use no double negatives. * Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn't. * Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed. * Do not put statements in the negative form. * Verbs has to agree with their subjects. * No sentence fragments. * Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. * Avoid commas, that are not necessary. * If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing. * A writer must not shift your point of view. * Eschew dialect, irregardless. * And don't start a sentence with a conjunction. * Don't overuse exclamation marks!!! * Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents. * Writers should always hyphenate between syllables and avoid un-necessary hyph-ens. * Write all adverbial forms correct. * Don't use contractions in formal writing. * Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided. * It is incumbent on us to avoid archaisms. * If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is. * Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language. * Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors. * Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky. * Never, ever use repetitive redundancies. * Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing. * If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole. * Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration. * Don't string too many prepositional phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. * Always pick on the correct idiom. * "Avoid overuse of 'quotation "marks."'" * The adverb always follows the verb. * Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives." (New York Times, November 4, 1979; later also published in book form)
William Safire (Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage)
At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln (Great Speeches / Abraham Lincoln: with Historical Notes by John Grafton)
The night before brain surgery, I thought about death. I searched out my larger values, and I asked myself, if I was going to die, did I want to do it fighting and clawing or in peaceful surrender? What sort of character did I hope to show? Was I content with myself and what I had done with my life so far? I decided that I was essentially a good person, although I could have been better--but at the same time I understood that the cancer didn't care. I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, I wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn't say, 'But you were never a Christian, so you're going the other way from heaven.' If so, I was going to reply, 'You know what? You're right. Fine.' I believed, too, in the doctors and the medicine and the surgeries--I believed in that. I believed in them. A person like Dr. Einhorn [his oncologist], that's someone to believe in, I thought, a person with the mind to develop an experimental treatment 20 years ago that now could save my life. I believed in the hard currency of his intelligence and his research. Beyond that, I had no idea where to draw the line between spiritual belief and science. But I knew this much: I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe--what other choice was there? We do it every day, I realized. We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery. To continue believing in yourself, believing in the doctors, believing in the treatment, believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing, I decided. It had to be. Without belief, we would be left with nothing but an overwhelming doom, every single day. And it will beat you. I didn't fully see, until the cancer, how we fight every day against the creeping negatives of the world, how we struggle daily against the slow lapping of cynicism. Dispiritedness and disappointment, these were the real perils of life, not some sudden illness or cataclysmic millennium doomsday. I knew now why people fear cancer: because it is a slow and inevitable death, it is the very definition of cynicism and loss of spirit. So, I believed.
Lance Armstrong (It's Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life)
There is evidence that the honoree [Leonard Cohen] might be privy to the secret of the universe, which, in case you're wondering, is simply this: everything is connected. Everything. Many, if not most, of the links are difficult to determine. The instrument, the apparatus, the focused ray that can uncover and illuminate those connections is language. And just as a sudden infatuation often will light up a person's biochemical atmosphere more pyrotechnically than any deep, abiding attachment, so an unlikely, unexpected burst of linguistic imagination will usually reveal greater truths than the most exacting scholarship. In fact. The poetic image may be the only device remotely capable of dissecting romantic passion, let alone disclosing the inherent mystical qualities of the material world. Cohen is a master of the quasi-surrealistic phrase, of the "illogical" line that speaks so directly to the unconscious that surface ambiguity is transformed into ultimate, if fleeting, comprehension: comprehension of the bewitching nuances of sex and bewildering assaults of culture. Undoubtedly, it is to his lyrical mastery that his prestigious colleagues now pay tribute. Yet, there may be something else. As various, as distinct, as rewarding as each of their expressions are, there can still be heard in their individual interpretations the distant echo of Cohen's own voice, for it is his singing voice as well as his writing pen that has spawned these songs. It is a voice raked by the claws of Cupid, a voice rubbed raw by the philosopher's stone. A voice marinated in kirschwasser, sulfur, deer musk and snow; bandaged with sackcloth from a ruined monastery; warmed by the embers left down near the river after the gypsies have gone. It is a penitent's voice, a rabbinical voice, a crust of unleavened vocal toasts -- spread with smoke and subversive wit. He has a voice like a carpet in an old hotel, like a bad itch on the hunchback of love. It is a voice meant for pronouncing the names of women -- and cataloging their sometimes hazardous charms. Nobody can say the word "naked" as nakedly as Cohen. He makes us see the markings where the pantyhose have been. Finally, the actual persona of their creator may be said to haunt these songs, although details of his private lifestyle can be only surmised. A decade ago, a teacher who called himself Shree Bhagwan Rajneesh came up with the name "Zorba the Buddha" to describe the ideal modern man: A contemplative man who maintains a strict devotional bond with cosmic energies, yet is completely at home in the physical realm. Such a man knows the value of the dharma and the value of the deutschmark, knows how much to tip a waiter in a Paris nightclub and how many times to bow in a Kyoto shrine, a man who can do business when business is necessary, allow his mind to enter a pine cone, or dance in wild abandon if moved by the tune. Refusing to shun beauty, this Zorba the Buddha finds in ripe pleasures not a contradiction but an affirmation of the spiritual self. Doesn't he sound a lot like Leonard Cohen? We have been led to picture Cohen spending his mornings meditating in Armani suits, his afternoons wrestling the muse, his evenings sitting in cafes were he eats, drinks and speaks soulfully but flirtatiously with the pretty larks of the street. Quite possibly this is a distorted portrait. The apocryphal, however, has a special kind of truth. It doesn't really matter. What matters here is that after thirty years, L. Cohen is holding court in the lobby of the whirlwind, and that giants have gathered to pay him homage. To him -- and to us -- they bring the offerings they have hammered from his iron, his lead, his nitrogen, his gold.
Tom Robbins
I saw thee once - only once - years ago: I must not say how many - but not many. It was a July midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber, Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared stir, unless on tiptoe - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light, Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in the parterre, enchanted By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence. Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half reclining; while the moon Fell upon the upturn'd faces of the roses, And on thine own, upturn'd - alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight - Was it not Fate, (whose name is also Sorrow,) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footsteps stirred: the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me. (Oh, Heaven! - oh, G**! How my heart beats in coupling those two words!) Save only thee and me. I paused - I looked - And in an instant all things disappeared. (Ah, bear in mind the garden was enchanted!) The pearly lustre of the moon went out: The mossy banks and the meandering paths, The happy flowers and the repining trees, Were seen no more: the very roses' odors Died in the arms of the adoring airs. All - all expired save thee - save less than thou: Save only divine light in thine eyes - Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes. I saw but them - they were the world to me. I saw but them - saw only them for hours - Saw only them until the moon went down. What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! How dark a wo! yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition! yet how deep - How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into a western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained. They would not go - they never yet have gone. Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, They have not left me (as my hopes have) since. They follow me - they lead me through the years. They are my ministers - yet I their slave. Their office is to illumine and enkindle - My duty, to be saved by their bright fire, And purified in their electric fire, And sanctified in their elysian fire. They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope,) And are far up in Heaven - the stars I kneel to In the sad, silent watches of my night; While even in the meridian glare of day I see them still - two sweetly scintillant Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!
Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven and Other Poems)
The problem is, it's just not enough to live according to the rules. Sure, you manage to live according to the rules. Sometimes it's tight, extremely tight, but on the whole you manage it. Your tax papers are up to date. Your bills paid on time. You never go out without your identity card (and the special little wallet for your Visa!). Yet you haven’t any friends. The rules are complex, multiform. There’s the shopping that needs doing out of working hours, the automatic dispensers where money has to be got (and where you so often have to wait). Above all there are the different payments you must make to the organizations that run different aspects of your life. You can fall ill into the bargain, which involves costs, and more formalities. Nevertheless, some free time remains. What’s to be done? How do you use your time? In dedicating yourself to helping people? But basically other people don’t interest you. Listening to records? That used to be a solution, but as the years go by you have to say that music moves you less and less. Taken in its widest sense, a spot of do-it-yourself can be a way out. But the fact is that nothing can halt the ever-increasing recurrence of those moments when your total isolation, the sensation of an all-consuming emptiness, the foreboding that your existence is nearing a painful and definitive end all combine to plunge you into a state of real suffering. And yet you haven’t always wanted to die. You have had a life. There have been moments when you were having a life. Of course you don't remember too much about it; but there are photographs to prove it. This was probably happening round about the time of your adolescence, or just after. How great your appetite for life was, then! Existence seemed so rich in new possibilities. You might become a pop singer, go off to Venezuela. More surprising still, you have had a childhood. Observe, now, a child of seven, playing with his little soldiers on the living room carpet. I want you to observe him closely. Since the divorce he no longer has a father. Only rarely does he see his mother, who occupies an important post in a cosmetics firm. And yet he plays with his little soldiers and the interest he takes in these representations of the world and of war seems very keen. He already lacks a bit of affection, that's for sure, but what an air he has of being interested in the world! You too, you took an interest in the world. That was long ago. I want you to cast your mind back to then. The domain of the rules was no longer enough for you; you were unable to live any longer in the domain of the rules; so you had to enter into the domain of the struggle. I ask you to go back to that precise moment. It was long ago, no? Cast your mind back: the water was cold.
Michel Houellebecq (Whatever)
History is ending because the dominator culture has led the human species into a blind alley, and as the inevitable chaostrophie approaches, people look for metaphors and answers. Every time a culture gets into trouble it casts itself back into the past looking for the last sane moment it ever knew. And the last sane moment we ever knew was on the plains of Africa 15,000 years ago rocked in the cradle of the Great Horned Mushroom Goddess before history, before standing armies, before slavery and property, before warfare and phonetic alphabets and monotheism, before, before, before. And this is where the future is taking us because the secret faith of the twentieth century is not modernism, the secret faith of the twentieth century is nostalgia for the archaic, nostalgia for the paleolithic, and that gives us body piercing, abstract expressionism, surrealism, jazz, rock-n-roll and catastrophe theory. The 20th century mind is nostalgic for the paradise that once existed on the mushroom dotted plains of Africa where the plant-human symbiosis occurred that pulled us out of the animal body and into the tool-using, culture-making, imagination-exploring creature that we are. And why does this matter? It matters because it shows that the way out is back and that the future is a forward escape into the past. This is what the psychedelic experience means. Its a doorway out of history and into the wiring under the board in eternity. And I tell you this because if the community understands what it is that holds it together the community will be better able to streamline itself for flight into hyperspace because what we need is a new myth, what we need is a new true story that tells us where we're going in the universe and that true story is that the ego is a product of pathology, and when psilocybin is regularly part of the human experience the ego is supressed and the supression of the ego means the defeat of the dominators, the materialists, the product peddlers. Psychedelics return us to the inner worth of the self, to the importance of the feeling of immediate experience - and nobody can sell that to you and nobody can buy it from you, so the dominator culture is not interested in the felt presence of immediate experience, but that's what holds the community together. And as we break out of the silly myths of science, and the infantile obsessions of the marketplace what we discover through the psychedelic experience is that in the body, IN THE BODY, there are Niagaras of beauty, alien beauty, alien dimensions that are part of the self, the richest part of life. I think of going to the grave without having a psychedelic experience like going to the grave without ever having sex. It means that you never figured out what it is all about. The mystery is in the body and the way the body works itself into nature. What the Archaic Revival means is shamanism, ecstacy, orgiastic sexuality, and the defeat of the three enemies of the people. And the three enemies of the people are hegemony, monogamy and monotony! And if you get them on the run you have the dominators sweating folks, because that means your getting it all reconnected, and getting it all reconnected means putting aside the idea of separateness and self-definition through thing-fetish. Getting it all connected means tapping into the Gaian mind, and the Gaian mind is what we're calling the psychedelic experience. Its an experience of the living fact of the entelechy of the planet. And without that experience we wander in a desert of bogus ideologies. But with that experience the compass of the self can be set, and that's the idea; figuring out how to reset the compass of the self through community, through ecstatic dance, through psychedelics, sexuality, intelligence, INTELLIGENCE. This is what we have to have to make the forward escape into hyperspace.
Terence McKenna
Citizens of Luna, I ask that you stop what you’re doing to listen to this message. My name is Selene Blackburn. I am the daughter of the late Queen Channary, niece to Princess Levana, and the rightful heir to Luna’s throne. You were told that I died thirteen years ago in a nursery fire, but the truth is that my aunt, Levana, did try to kill me, but I was rescued and taken to Earth. There, I have been raised and protected in preparation for the time when I would return to Luna and reclaim my birthright. In my absence, Levana has enslaved you. She takes your sons and turns them into monsters. She takes your shell infants and slaughters them. She lets you go hungry, while the people in Artemisia gorge themselves on rich foods and delicacies. But Levana’s rule is coming to an end. I have returned and I am here to take back what’s mine. Soon, Levana is going to marry Emperor Kaito of Earth and be crowned the empress of the Eastern Commonwealth, an honor that could not be given to anyone less deserving. I refuse to allow Levana to extend her tyranny. I will not stand aside while my aunt enslaves and abuses my people here on Luna, and wages a war across Earth. Which is why, before an Earthen crown can be placed on Levana’s head, I will bring an army to the gates of Artemisia. I ask that you, citizens of Luna, be that army. You have the power to fight against Levana and the people that oppress you. Beginning now, tonight, I urge you to join me in rebelling against this regime. No longer will we obey her curfews or forgo our rights to meet and talk and be heard. No longer will we give up our children to become her disposable guards and soldiers. No longer will we slave away growing food and raising wildlife, only to see it shipped off to Artemisia while our children starve around us. No longer will we build weapons for Levana’s war. Instead, we will take them for ourselves, for our war. Become my army. Stand up and reclaim your homes from the guards who abuse and terrorize you. Send a message to Levana that you will no longer be controlled by fear and manipulation. And upon the commencement of the royal coronation, I ask that all able-bodied citizens join me in a march against Artemisia and the queen’s palace. Together we will guarantee a better future for Luna. A future without oppression. A future in which any Lunar, no matter the sector they live in or the family they were born to, can achieve their ambitions and live without fear of unjust persecution or a lifetime of slavery. I understand that I am asking you to risk your lives. Levana’s thaumaturges are powerful, her guards are skilled, her soldiers are brutal. But if we join together, we can be invincible. They can’t control us all. With the people united into one army, we will surround the capital city and overthrow the imposter who sits on my throne. Help me. Fight for me. And I will be the first ruler in the history of Luna who will also fight for you.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))