If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.
When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.
When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
Talking to a drunk person was like talking to an extremely happy, severely brain-damaged three-year-old.
John Green (Paper Towns)
She talks like you. It’s not every day you hear a four-year-old say Prince Charming is a douchebag who’s only holding Cinderella back.”
"That’s my girl.
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
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))
Of all sound of all bells... most solemn and touching is the peal which rings out the Old Year.
I met an old lady once, almost a hundred years old, and she told me, 'There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? And Who's in charge?
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
By the way, my name's Rose Hathaway. I'm seventeen years old, training to protect and kill vampires, in love with a completely unsuitable guy, and have a best friend whose weird magic could drive her crazy.
Hey, no one said high school was easy.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
My voice softens. 'How old are you?'
'I'll be eleven next year.'
I grin. 'So you're ten years old?'
He crosses his arms. Frowns. 'I'll be twelve in two years.'
I think I already love this kid.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. I was in the Hunger Games. I escaped. The Capitol hates me........
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize. For all those men who say, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?", here's an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!
Does she still love you?"
"I don't think so," Magnus said dryly. "She wasn't very pleasant the last time I saw her. Of course, that could be because I've got an eighteen year-old boyfriend with a stamina rune and she doesn't."
Alec sputtered. "As the person being objectified, I ... object to that description of me.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
When kids hit 1 year old, it's like hanging out with a miniature drunk. You have to hold onto them. They bump into things. They laugh and cry. They urinate. They vomit.
In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people's home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ....
enough money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own even if she never wants
to or needs to...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ....
something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her
dreams wants to see her in an hour...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...
a youth she's content to leave behind....
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ....
a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to
retelling it in her old age....
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .....
a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ....
one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who
lets her cry...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ....
a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone
else in her family...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ....
eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a
recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ....
a feeling of control over her destiny...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
how to fall in love without losing herself..
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
HOW TO QUIT A JOB,
BREAK UP WITH A LOVER,
AND CONFRONT A FRIEND WITHOUT RUINING THE FRIENDSHIP...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
that she can't change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
that her childhood may not have been perfect...but it's over...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
whom she can trust,
whom she can't,
and why she shouldn't
take it personally...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
where to go...
be it to her best friend's kitchen table...
or a charming inn in the woods...
when her soul needs soothing...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
what she can and can't accomplish in a day...
a month...and a year...
Pamela Redmond Satran
I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
Lissa and I had been friends ever since kindergarten, when our teacher had paired us up together for writing lessons. Forcing five-year-olds to spell Vasilisa Dragomir and Rosemarie Hathaway was beyond cruel, and we’d—or rather, I’d—responded appropriately. I’d chucked my book at out teacher and called her a fascist bastard. I hadn’t known what those words meant, but I’d known how to hit a moving target.
Lissa and I had been inseparable ever since.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.
This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Collected Poems and Translations)
The way I wrestle five-year-olds makes me think if I were ever attacked by a pack of midgets, I’d be OK.
Jarod Kintz ($3.33 (the title is the price))
Oh, my sweet summer child," Old Nan said quietly, "what do you know of fear?
Fear is for the winter, my little lord, when the snows fall a hundred feet
deep and the ice wind comes howling out of the north. Fear is for the long
night, when the sun hides its face for years at a time, and little children
are born and live and die all in darkness while the direwolves grow gaunt and
hungry, and the white walkers move through the woods
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death! What’s that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you’re too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating …and you finish off as an orgasm.
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life:
The Lord of the Rings
and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."
[Kung Fu Monkey -- Ephemera, blog post, March 19, 2009]
I think all of us are always five years old in the presence and absence of our parents.
Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)
Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
Studies have shown that an ant can carry one hundred times its own weight, but there is no known limit to the lifting power of the average tiny eighty-year-old Spanish peasant grandmother.
Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2))
I am convinced that most people do not grow up...We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.
Maya Angelou (Letter to My Daughter)
No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax — This won't hurt
Hunter S. Thompson
I was eleven years old, and I'd lost my mother, and my soul, and the Crucible gave me you.
Rainbow Rowell (Carry On (Simon Snow, #1))
My inner goddess is jumping up and down, clapping her hands like a five year old.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1))
Things are what they are, and whatever will be, will be.
Jonas Jonasson (The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared (The Hundred-Year-Old Man, #1))
Our lives can't be measured by our final years, of this I am sure.
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook)
If for one minute you think you're better than a sixteen year old girl in a Green Day t-shirt, you are sorely mistaken. Remember the first time you went to a show and saw your favorite band. You wore their shirt, and sang every word. You didn't know anything about scene politics, haircuts, or what was cool. All you knew was that this music made you feel different from anyone you shared a locker with. Someone finally understood you. This is what music is about.
She'd secretly had a crush on him since they were twelve years old. Last summer, she'd fallen for him hard.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
Goddamn it, do it yourself. You’re five hundred years old and you can’t use a telephone? Read the directions. What are you, an immortal idiot?
Anne Rice (The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles, #3))
Do you want a cookie?
- A cookie. Like an Oreo. Do you want one?
- How can you not want a cookie?
- I just don't.
- Okay, fine,let's say you did want a cookie. Let's say you were dying for a cookie, and there were cookies in the cupboard. What would you do?
- I'd eat a cookie?
- Exactly. That's all I'm saying.
- What are you saying?
- That if people want cookies, they should get a cookie. It's what people do.
- Let me guess. Dad won't let you have a
- No. Even though I'm practically starving to death, he won't even consider it. He says I have to have a sandwich first.
- And you don't think that's fair.
- You just said you'd get a cookie if you wanted one. So why can't I? I'm not a little kid. I can make my own decisions.
- Hmm. I can see why this bothers you so
- It's not fair. If he wants a cookie, he can have one. If you want a cookie,
you can have one. But if I want a cookie, the rules don't count. Like you
said, it's not fair.
- So what are you going to do?
- I'm going to eat a sandwich. Because I have to. Because the world isn't fair
Nicholas Sparks (The Last Song)
Peter, you're twelve years old. I'm ten. They have a word for people our age. They call us children and they treat us like mice.
Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1))
But that's the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don't want to know what people are talking about. I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can't read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can't even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
I'm just a regular 16 year old kid. I make good grilled cheese and I like girls.
I drank coffee and read old books and waited for the year to end.
Richard Brautigan (Trout Fishing in America)
And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning——
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
When I wake up in the morning, I feel like any other insecure 24-year-old girl. Then I say,'Bitch, you're Lady Gaga, you get up and walk the walk today.
My heart is a thousand years old. I am not like other people.
I muttered a swear word to myself. After I heard Angel cussing like a sailor when she stubbed her toe, my new resolution was to watch my language. All I needed was a six-year-old mutant with a potty mouth
James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
Time Does Not Bring Relief
Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go,—so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, “There is no memory of him here!”
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (Collected Poems)
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)
When God Created Mothers"
When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of "overtime" when the angel appeared and said. "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."
And God said, "Have you read the specs on this order?" She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts...all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands."
The angel shook her head slowly and said. "Six pairs of hands.... no way."
It's not the hands that are causing me problems," God remarked, "it's the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have."
That's on the standard model?" asked the angel. God nodded.
One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, 'What are you kids doing in there?' when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. 'I understand and I love you' without so much as uttering a word."
God," said the angel touching his sleeve gently, "Get some rest tomorrow...."
I can't," said God, "I'm so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick...can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger...and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower."
The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It's too soft," she sighed.
But tough!" said God excitedly. "You can imagine what this mother can do or endure."
Can it think?"
Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise," said the Creator.
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.
There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model."
It's not a leak," said the Lord, "It's a tear."
What's it for?"
It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride."
You are a genius, " said the angel.
Somberly, God said, "I didn't put it there.
Erma Bombeck (When God Created Mothers)
I've been thinking with my guts since I was fourteen years old, and frankly speaking, between you and me, I have come to the conclusion that my guts have shit for brains.
Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)
A genius. A criminal mastermind. A millionaire. And he is only twelve years old.
Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1))
I suspect he's sweet on Sophie and doesn't like to see her work too hard.'
Tessa was glad to hear it. She'd felt awful about her reaction to Sophie's scar, and the thought that Sophie had a male admirer - and a handsome one like that- eased her conscience slightly. 'Perhaps he's in love with Agatha', she said.
'I hope not. I intend to marry Agatha myself. She may be a thousand years old, but she makes an incomparable jam tart. Beauty fades, but cooking is eternal.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
I had been old and stern for so long, carved with regrets and years like a monolith. But that was only a shape I had been poured into. I did not have to keep it.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
Can you giggle while racing for your life and protecting a six-year-old? I can.
James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride #1))
Great. Now I have to go back and tell Haymitch I want an eighty-year-old and Nuts and Volts for my allies. He'll love that.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
Bryn, when you were six years old, you tried to bungee jump off a jungle gym by connecting the straps of your overalls to the bars with your shoelaces. Caution has never been your strong suit.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Raised by Wolves (Raised by Wolves, #1))
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Alfred Tennyson (In Memoriam)
He was waving. "Saukerl," she laughed, and as she held up her hand, she knew completely that he was simultaneously calling her a Saumensch. I think that's as close to love as eleven-year-olds can get.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, ‘Oh, why can’t you remain like this for ever!’ This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
You are old beyond your years Zoeybird. Believe in yourself and you will find a way. But remember darkness does not always equate to evil just like light does not always bring good.
P.C. Cast (Marked (House of Night, #1))
And I began to feel sorry for myself; for so many years, my drawer full of memories had held the same old stories.
Paulo Coelho (By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept)
Racism isn’t born, folks. It’s taught. I have a 2-year-old son. Know what he hates? Naps. End of list.
The secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude.
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
Have you ever held a three-year-old by the hand on the way home from preschool?"
"You're never more important that you are then.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
When you're young, you always feel that life hasn't yet begun—that "life" is always scheduled to begin next week, next month, next year, after the holidays—whenever. But then suddenly you're old and the scheduled life didn't arrive. You find yourself asking, 'Well then, exactly what was it I was having—that interlude—the scrambly madness—all that time I had before?
Douglas Coupland (Life After God)
She dropped her shyness like a nightgown, and in the liquid glare of sunlight on old boards she held up her hands-as if, in the terror of the upcoming skirmish, she had at last understood that she was beautiful. In her own way.
Gregory Maguire (Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1))
The truth is, part of me is every age. I’m a three-year-old, I’m a five-year-old, I’m a thirty-seven-year-old, I’m a fifty-year-old. I’ve been through all of them, and I know what it’s like. I delight in being a child when it’s appropriate to be a child. I delight in being a wise old man when it’s appropriate to be a wise old man. Think of all I can be! I am every age, up to my own.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
My name is Magnus Chase. I’m sixteen years old. This is the story of how my life went downhill after I got myself killed.
Rick Riordan (The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1))
People could behave how they liked, but Allan considered that in general it was quite unnecessary to be grumpy if you had the chance not to.
Jonas Jonasson (The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared (The Hundred-Year-Old Man, #1))
So you’re suggesting we take the train up to York, meet a ninety-year-old man, leap on him, and yank out his hair? I’m sure the Clave will be
“They’ll just say you’re mad,” said Jessamine. “They already think it, so what’s the difference, really?
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
Dr. Armonson stitched up her wrist wounds. Within five minutes of the transfusion he declared her out of danger. Chucking her under the chin, he said, "What are you doing here, honey? You're not even old enough to know how bad life gets."
And it was then Cecilia gave orally what was to be her only form of suicide note, and a useless one at that, because she was going to live: "Obviously, Doctor," she said, "you've never been a thirteen-year-old girl.
Jeffrey Eugenides (The Virgin Suicides)
I told you how I grew up. I never had to share my toys; I don’t plan on sharing my clients. Ask any four-year-old—sharing sucks.
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
[T]hat old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air ... Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year's mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.
Wallace Stegner (Angle of Repose)
I’m thirty,” I said. “I’m five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
I want to try with someone who loves me enough to try with me. I want to grow old looking at the same face every morning. I want to grow old looking at the same face every night at the dinner table. I want to be one of those old couples you see still holding hands and laughing after fifty years of marriage. That's what I want. I want to be someone's forever.
Rachel Gibson (The Trouble With Valentine's Day (Chinooks Hockey Team, #3))
An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old one leaves.
As he fell toward the highway, a horrible scenario flashed through his mind: his body smashing against an SUV's windshield, some annoyed commuter trying to push him off with the wipers. "Stupid 16-year-old kid falling from the sky! I'm late!
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
It’s harder to talk about, but what I really, really, really want for Christmas is just this: I want to be 5 years old again for an hour. I want to laugh a lot and cry a lot. I want to be picked or rocked to sleep in someone’s arms, and carried up to be just one more time. I know what I really want for Christmas: I want my childhood back. People who think good thoughts give good gifts.
Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)
Although I have felt compelled to write things down since I was five years old, I doubt that my daughter ever will, for she is a singularly blessed and accepting child, delighted with life exactly as life presents itself to her, unafraid to go to sleep and unafraid to wake up. Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss.
She was surprised that her hands had not forgotten, that somewhere in her mind, after a year of darkness and slavery, music was still alive and breathing. That somewhere, between the notes, was Sam. She forgot about time as she drifted between pieces, voicing the unspeakable, opening old wounds, playing and playing as the sound forgave and saved her.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
I doubt if I shall ever have time to read the book again -- there are too many new ones coming out all the time which I want to read. Yet an old book has something for me which no new book can ever have -- for at every reading the memories and atmosphere of other readings come back and I am reading old years as well as an old book.
L.M. Montgomery (The Selected Journals Of L.M. Montgomery, Vol. 3: 1921-1929)
Wear that scarf," he said, pointing to a blue cashmere scarf hanging on a peg. "It matches your eyes."
Alec looked at it. Suddenly he was filled with hate - for the scarf, for Magnus, and most of all for himself. "Don't tell me," he said. "The scarf's a hundred years old, and it was given to you by Queen Victoria right before she died, for special services to the Crown or something."
Magnus sat up. "What's gotten into you?"
Alec stared at him. "Am I the newest thing in this apartment?"
"I think that honor goes to Chairman Meow. He's only two."
"I said newest, not youngest," Alec snapped.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
…tomorrow was her birthday, and she was thinking how fast the years went by, how old she was getting, and how little she seemed to have accomplished. Almost twenty-five and nothing to show for it.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
But these weren't the kind of monsters that had tentacles and rotting skin, the kind a seven-year-old might be able to wrap his mind around--they were monsters with human faces, in crisp uniforms, marching in lockstep, so banal you don't recognize them for what they are until it's too late.
Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1))
It’s not proper for seventeen-year-old princesses to be alone with young men who have questionable intentions.”
She laughed. “And what about young men who she’s been best friends with since she was barely old enough to walk?”
He shook his head. “Those are the worst.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
The future of our relationship hinged on advice from a fifteen-year old girl, a probably untrue story from a one-eyed Chihuahua trainer, and me unromantically – yet skillfully – kissing you on top of silverware and china?
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
Reading is my passion and my escape since I was 5 years old. Overall, children don't realize the magic that can live inside their own heads. Better even then any movie.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
The male who'd just arrived laughed as he embraced Qhuinn. "You have such a way with words, cousin. I would say...trucker meets sailor crossed with a twelve-year-old.
J.R. Ward (Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8))
The Darkling just stared out into the waves. I considered shoving him over the railing. Sure, he was hundreds of years old, but could he swim?
Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2))
And now I am here, as alone as I've ever been. I am seventeen years old. This is not how it's suppose to be. This is not how my life is suppose to turn out.
Gayle Forman (If I Stay (If I Stay, #1))
It is those who are successful, in other words, who are most likely to be given the kinds of special opportunities that lead to further success. It’s the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It’s the best students who get the best teaching and most attention. And it’s the biggest nine- and ten-year-olds who get the most coaching and practice. Success is the result of what sociologists like to call “accumulative advantage.
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all, I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in our family is dead.
Shirley Jackson (We Have Always Lived in the Castle)
Do you have any idea how hard it is to tail an eighty year-old woman Its hard. Really hard. Really...slow.
Ally Carter (Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society, #2))
Never, ever stop believing in magic, no matter how old you get. Because if you keep looking long enough and don't give up, sooner or later you're going to find Mary Poppins.
Steve Kluger (My Most Excellent Year)
But I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom—Beyoncé brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
Kenji is a walking paradox of Unflinchingly Serious Person and 12-Year-Old Boy Going Through Puberty all rolled into one.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
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)
I haven't fought with anyone else in over two thousand years. (Kyrian)
Well, you're never too old to learn. (Amanda)
You can't teach an old dog new tricks. (Kyrian)
There's no time like the present. (Amanda)
Time is of the essence. (Kyrian)
God helps those who help themselves. (Amanda)
You're not going to let me win this, are you? (Kyrian)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Pleasures (Dark-Hunter #1))
Some day soon, perhaps in forty years, there will be no one alive who has ever known me. That's when I will be truly dead - when I exist in no one's memory. I thought a lot about how someone very old is the last living individual to have known some person or cluster of people. When that person dies, the whole cluster dies, too, vanishes from the living memory. I wonder who that person will be for me. Whose death will make me truly dead?
Irvin D. Yalom (Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy)
Will's face turned grave. "Be careful with it, though. It's six hundred years old and the only copy of its kind. Losing or damaging it is punishable by death under the Law."
Tessa thrust the book away from her as if it were on fire. "You can't be serious."
"You're right. I'm not." Will leapt down from the ladder and landed lightly in front of her. "You do believe everything I say, though, don't you? Do I seem unusually trustworthy to you, or are you just a naive sort?
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
Mr. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way? You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion for my poor nerves.
"You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They
are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration
these last twenty years at least.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
She couldn’t have been more than twelve years old. In her hands was a sign that said RED-HEADS RULE! with a little crown painted in the corner and tiny stars everywhere. I knew I was the only redhead in the competition, and I noticed that her hair and mine were very nearly the same shade.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
She felt one thousand years old. She also felt like maybe she was a condescending brat. She wanted her bike. She wanted her friends, who were also one-thousand-year-old condescending brats. She wanted to live in a world where she was surrounded by one-thousand-year-old condescending brats.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
I don't let anyone touch me," I finally said.
Why not? Because I was tired of men. Hanging in doorways, standing too close, their smell of beer or fifteen-year-old whiskey. Men who didn't come to the emergency room with you, men who left on Christmas Eve. Men who slammed the security gates, who made you love them then changed their minds. Forests of boys, their ragged shrubs full of eyes following you, grabbing your breasts, waving their money, eyes already knocking you down, taking what they felt was theirs. (...) It was a play and I knew how it ended, I didn't want to audition for any of the roles. It was no game, no casual thrill. It was three-bullet Russian roulette.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.
Chris Van Allsburg (The Polar Express)
I want you back here now. I want you next to me now. I cannot believe that my family, your brother, all our friends, and an entire police force can't keep tabs on one twenty-six year old graphic designer who thinks he's fuckin' Batman.
--Detective Sam Kage in A Matter Of Time (vol 2 or part 4)
Next year he did not come for her. She waited in a new frock because the old one simply would not meet, but he never came.
"Perhaps he is ill," Michael said.
"You know he is never ill."
Michael came close to her and whispered, with a shiver, "Perhaps there is no such person, Wendy!" and then Wendy would have cried if Michael had not been crying.
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
If you're 50 years old or younger, give every book about 50 pages before you decide to commit yourself to reading it, or give it up.
If you're over 50, which is when time gets shorter, subtract your age from 100 - the result is the number of pages you should read before deciding whether or not to quit. If you're 100 or over you get to judge the book by its cover, despite the dangers in doing so.
Sometime years before, I had dragged an old bean bag chair to that place. I watched Zach sink onto it, and then he pulled me down to lean against him. I felt his arms go around me, holding me tight.
I was safe.
I was warm.
I was home.
Ally Carter (United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6))
I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be... This does not mean that I ought to be trapped or enclosed in any of these ages...the delayed adolescent, the childish adult, but that they are in me to be drawn on; to forget is a form of suicide... Far too many people misunderstand what *putting away childish things* means, and think that forgetting what it is like to think and feel and touch and smell and taste and see and hear like a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old or a twenty-three-year-old means being grownup. When I'm with these people I, like the kids, feel that if this is what it means to be a grown-up, then I don't ever want to be one. Instead of which, if I can retain a child's awareness and joy, and *be* fifty-one, then I will really learn what it means to be grownup.
Perhaps the biggest tragedy of our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old patterns...We may want to love other people without holding back, to feel authentic, to breathe in the beauty around us, to dance and sing. Yet each day we listen to inner voices that keep our life small.
Tara Brach (Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha)
How can a fifteen-year old girl defend her love when that love is dismissed by everyone? It’s impossible to defend yourself against inexperience and age. And maybe they’re right. Maybe we don’t know love like an adult knows love, but we sure as hell feel it.
Colleen Hoover (Confess)
Are not lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it.
No matter how old you are now. You are never too young or too old for success or going after what you want. Here’s a short list of people who accomplished great things at different ages
1) Helen Keller, at the age of 19 months, became deaf and blind. But that didn’t stop her. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
2) Mozart was already competent on keyboard and violin; he composed from the age of 5.
3) Shirley Temple was 6 when she became a movie star on “Bright Eyes.”
4) Anne Frank was 12 when she wrote the diary of Anne Frank.
5) Magnus Carlsen became a chess Grandmaster at the age of 13.
6) Nadia Comăneci was a gymnast from Romania that scored seven perfect 10.0 and won three gold medals at the Olympics at age 14.
7) Tenzin Gyatso was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama in November 1950, at the age of 15.
8) Pele, a soccer superstar, was 17 years old when he won the world cup in 1958 with Brazil.
9) Elvis was a superstar by age 19.
10) John Lennon was 20 years and Paul Mcartney was 18 when the Beatles had their first concert in 1961.
11) Jesse Owens was 22 when he won 4 gold medals in Berlin 1936.
12) Beethoven was a piano virtuoso by age 23
13) Issac Newton wrote Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica at age 24
14) Roger Bannister was 25 when he broke the 4 minute mile record
15) Albert Einstein was 26 when he wrote the theory of relativity
16) Lance E. Armstrong was 27 when he won the tour de France
17) Michelangelo created two of the greatest sculptures “David” and “Pieta” by age 28
18) Alexander the Great, by age 29, had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world
19) J.K. Rowling was 30 years old when she finished the first manuscript of Harry Potter
20) Amelia Earhart was 31 years old when she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean
21) Oprah was 32 when she started her talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind
22) Edmund Hillary was 33 when he became the first man to reach Mount Everest
23) Martin Luther King Jr. was 34 when he wrote the speech “I Have a Dream."
24) Marie Curie was 35 years old when she got nominated for a Nobel Prize in Physics
25) The Wright brothers, Orville (32) and Wilbur (36) invented and built the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight
26) Vincent Van Gogh was 37 when he died virtually unknown, yet his paintings today are worth millions.
27) Neil Armstrong was 38 when he became the first man to set foot on the moon.
28) Mark Twain was 40 when he wrote "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", and 49 years old when he wrote "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"
29) Christopher Columbus was 41 when he discovered the Americas
30) Rosa Parks was 42 when she refused to obey the bus driver’s order to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger
31) John F. Kennedy was 43 years old when he became President of the United States
32) Henry Ford Was 45 when the Ford T came out.
33) Suzanne Collins was 46 when she wrote "The Hunger Games"
34) Charles Darwin was 50 years old when his book On the Origin of Species came out.
35) Leonardo Da Vinci was 51 years old when he painted the Mona Lisa.
36) Abraham Lincoln was 52 when he became president.
37) Ray Kroc Was 53 when he bought the McDonalds Franchise and took it to unprecedented levels.
38) Dr. Seuss was 54 when he wrote "The Cat in the Hat".
40) Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III was 57 years old when he successfully ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009. All of the 155 passengers aboard the aircraft survived
41) Colonel Harland Sanders was 61 when he started the KFC Franchise
42) J.R.R Tolkien was 62 when the Lord of the Ring books came out
43) Ronald Reagan was 69 when he became President of the US
44) Jack Lalane at age 70 handcuffed, shackled, towed 70 rowboats
45) Nelson Mandela was 76 when he became President
Still, despite all this, traveling is the great true love of my life. I have always felt, ever since I was sixteen years old and first went to Russia with my saved-up babysitting money, that to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice. I am loyal and constant in my love for travel, as I have not always been loyal and constant in my other loves. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless, newborn baby--I just don't care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it's mine. Because it looks exactly like me. It can barf all over me if it wants to--I just don't care.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
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))
There is a difference between saying goodbye and letting go. Goodbye is not permanent. You can meet years later as old friends and share what happened in your life. You can smile and laugh about all the nonsense that you both went through. However, letting go is being okay with never seeing this person ever again…being okay with never knowing how their life turned out…being okay with fifty or more years of silence… being okay with running into that person at a grocery store and having them not acknowledge your presence. This is the part of life that doesn’t sit well with me and never will. It tears my heart in pieces, robs me of gratitude, drains me of anything positive and eats at the faith that holds on. It goes against kindness.
Shannon L. Alder
Reyna marvelled at how peaceful he looked. The worry lines vanished. His face became strangely angelic…like his surname, di Angelo. She could almost believe he was a regular fourteen-year-old boy, not a son of Hades who had been pulled out of time from the 1940s and forced to endure more tragedy and danger than most demigods would in a lifetime.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. There is no District 12. I am the Mockingjay. I brought down the Capitol. President Snow hates me. He killed my sister. Now I will kill him. And then the Hunger Games will be over....
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
You had every right to be. He raised his eyes to look at her and she was suddenly and strangely reminded of being four years old at the beach, crying when the wind came up and blew away the castle she had made. Her mother had told her she could make another one if she liked, but it hadn't stopped her crying because what she had thought was permanent was not permanent after all, but only made out of sand that vanished at the touch of wind and water.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
This is what I know. I look like my father. My father disappeared when he was seventeen years old. Hannah once told me that there is something unnatural about being older than your father ever got to be. When you can say that at the age of seventeen, it's a different kind of devastating.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
When I was young I was depressed all the time. But suicide no longer seemed a possibility in my life. At my age there was very little left to kill. It was good to be old, no matter what they said. It was reasonable that a man had to be at least 50 years old before he could write with anything like clarity.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess:
Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.
Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples' affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.
Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.
Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains -- they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.
I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn't agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.
Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint -- it is so hard to live with some of them -- but a harsh old person is one of the devil's masterpieces.
Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.
I am almost a hundred years old; waiting for the end, and thinking about the beginning.
There are things I need to tell you, but would you listen if I told you how quickly time passes?
I know you are unable to imagine this.
Nevertheless, I can tell you that you will awake someday to find that your life has rushed by at a speed at once impossible and cruel. The most intense moments will seem to have occurred only yesterday and nothing will have erased the pain and pleasure, the impossible intensity of love and its dog-leaping happiness, the bleak blackness of passions unrequited, or unexpressed, or unresolved.
Meg Rosoff (What I Was)
You know what my mother said to me when she came to say good-bye, as if to cheer me up, she says maybe District Twelve will finally have a winner. Then I realized she didn't mean me, she meant you!" bursts out Peeta.
"Oh, she meant you," I say with a wave of dismissal.
"She said, 'She's a survivor, that one.' She is," says Peeta.
That pulls me up short. Did his mother really say that about me? Did she rate me over her son? I see the pain in Peeta's eyes and know he isn't lying.
Suddenly I'm behind the bakery and I can feel the chill of the rain running down my back, the hollowness in my belly. I sound eleven years old when I speak. "But only because someone helped me.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
I'm not going to pretend to know what's going on with you," he says. "But if you senselessly risk your life again -- "
"I am not senselessly risking my life. I am trying to make sacrifices, like my parents would have, like -- "
"You are not your parents You are a sixteen-year-old girl --"
I grit my teeth. "How dare you -- "
"-- who doesn't understand that the value of a sacrifice lies in its necessity, not in throwing your life away! And if you do that again, you and I are done.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
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
Sleep felt productive. Something was getting sorted out. I knew in my heart—this was, perhaps, the only thing my heart knew back then—that when I'd slept enough, I'd be okay. I'd be renewed, reborn. I would be a whole new person, every one of my cells regenerated enough times that the old cells were just distant, foggy memories. My past life would be but a dream, and I could start over without regrets, bolstered by the bliss and serenity that I would have accumulated in my year of rest and relaxation.
Ottessa Moshfegh (My Year of Rest and Relaxation)
It's funny, but certain faces seem to go in and out of style. You look at old photographs and everybody has a certain look to them, almost as if they're related. Look at pictures from ten years later and you can see that there's a new kind of face starting to predominate, and that the old faces are fading away and vanishing, never to be seen again.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
After the last shovel of dirt was patted in place, I sat down and let my mind drift back through the years. I thought of the old K. C. Baking Powder can, and the first time I saw my pups in the box at the depot. I thought of the fifty dollars, the nickels and dimes, and the fishermen and blackberry patches.
I looked at his grave and, with tears in my eyes, I voiced these words: "You were worth it, old friend, and a thousand times over.
Wilson Rawls (Where the Red Fern Grows)
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?'
'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)
The lesson here is very simple. But it is striking how often it is overlooked. We are so caught in the myths of the best and the brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally from the earth. We look at the young Bill Gates and marvel that our world allowed that thirteen-year-old to become a fabulously successful entrepreneur. But that's the wrong lesson. Our world only allowed one thirteen-year-old unlimited access to a time sharing terminal in 1968. If a million teenagers had been given the same opportunity, how many more Microsofts would we have today?
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
I'm seven hundred years old, Alexander. I know when something isn't going to work. You won't even admit I exist to your parents."
Alec stared at him. "I thought you were three hundred! You're seven huundred years old?"
"Well," Magnus amended, "eight hundred. But I dont look it. Anyway, you're missing the point. The point is-"
But Alec never found out what the point was because at that moment a dozen more Iblis demons flooded into the square. He felt his jaw drop. "Damn it."
Magnus followed his gaze. the demons were already fanning out into a half circle around them, their yellow eyes glowing. "Way to change the subject, Lightwood.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
We’re so self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of f-ing Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.
The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are!
We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas.
The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?”
I don’t put up with the shit you’ve handed me the last week because you’re some fuckin’ piece I want to conquer. I put up with it because I’ve liked you since you were eight years old. You made me laugh. You understood me. You looked out for me when no one else fuckin’ bothered and you acted like you thought I could move mountains and I needed someone who thought that about me because my Dad sure as fuck didn’t.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Revenge (Rock Chick, #5))
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing everyday that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.
Mary Schmich (Wear Sunscreen: A Primer for Real Life)
Live your life like you're 80 looking back on your teenager years. You know if your dad calls you at eight in the morning and asks if you want to go out for breakfast. As a teenager you're like no, I want to sleep. But as an eighty year old looking back you have that breakfast with your dad. It just little things like that, that helped me when I was a teenager in terms of making choices you won't regret.
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift)
Wish You Were Here
So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell,
Blue skys from pain.
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade
Your heros for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?
How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.
I declare in the name of Jesus that I am a pioneer of new territories. I walk in favor with God and man, and I will possess all the land God has given me. There will be no holdups, no holdouts, no setbacks or delays. I will not look back to return to the old. Father, cause me to ascend into new realms of power and authority and access new dimensions of divine revelation. Breathe new life into every dormant dream. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
It would be inappropiate, undignified, at 38, to conduct friendships or love affairs with the ardour or intensity of a 22 year old. Falling in love like that? Writing poetry? Crying at pop songs? Dragging people into photobooths? Taking a whole day to make a compilation tape? Asking people if they wanted to share your bed, just for company? If you quoted Bob Dylan or TS Eliot or, god forbid, Brecht at someone these days they would smile politely and step quietly backwards, and who would blame them? Ridiculous, at 38, to expect a song or book or film to change your life.
David Nicholls (One Day)
Living in the earth-deposits of our history
Today a backhoe divulged out of a crumbling flank of earth
one bottle amber perfect a hundred-year-old
cure for fever or melancholy a tonic
for living on this earth in the winters of this climate.
Today I was reading about Marie Curie:
she must have known she suffered from radiation sickness
her body bombarded for years by the element
she had purified
It seems she denied to the end
the source of the cataracts on her eyes
the cracked and suppurating skin of her finger-ends
till she could no longer hold a test-tube or a pencil
She died a famous woman denying
her wounds came from the same source as her power.
Adrienne Rich (The Dream of a Common Language)
Here's the news: I am going to sue the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company, manufacturers of Pall Mall cigarettes, for a billion bucks! Starting when I was only twelve years old, I have never chain-smoked anything but unfiltered Pall Malls. And for many years now, right on the package, Brown & Williamson have promised to kill me.
But I am eighty-two. Thanks a lot, you dirty rats. The last thing I ever wanted was to be alive when the three most powerful people on the whole planet would be named Bush, Dick and Colon.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with.
Tell me why you loved them,
then tell me why they loved you.
Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through.
Tell me what the word home means to you
and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name
just by the way you describe your bedroom
when you were eight.
See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate,
and if that day still trembles beneath your bones.
Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain
or bounce in the bellies of snow?
And if you were to build a snowman,
would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms
or would leave your snowman armless
for the sake of being harmless to the tree?
And if you would,
would you notice how that tree weeps for you
because your snowman has no arms to hug you
every time you kiss him on the cheek?
Do you kiss your friends on the cheek?
Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad
even if it makes your lover mad?
Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion
or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain?
See, I wanna know what you think of your first name,
and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy
when she spoke it for the very first time.
I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind.
Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel.
Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old
beating up little boys at school.
If you were walking by a chemical plant
where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds
would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud
or would you whisper
“That cloud looks like a fish,
and that cloud looks like a fairy!”
Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin?
Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea?
And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me —
how would you explain the miracle of my life to me?
See, I wanna know if you believe in any god
or if you believe in many gods
or better yet
what gods believe in you.
And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself,
have the prayers you asked come true?
And if they didn’t, did you feel denied?
And if you felt denied,
denied by who?
I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror
on a day you’re feeling good.
I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror
on a day you’re feeling bad.
I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty
could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass.
If you ever reach enlightenment
will you remember how to laugh?
Have you ever been a song?
Would you think less of me
if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key?
And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry
I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me
who have learned the wisdom of silence.
Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence?
And if you do —
I want you to tell me of a meadow
where my skateboard will soar.
See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living.
I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving,
and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes.
I wanna know if you bleed sometimes
from other people’s wounds,
and if you dream sometimes
that this life is just a balloon —
that if you wanted to, you could pop,
but you never would
‘cause you’d never want it to stop.
If a tree fell in the forest
and you were the only one there to hear —
if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound,
would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist,
or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness?
And lastly, let me ask you this:
If you and I went for a walk
and the entire walk, we didn’t talk —
do you think eventually, we’d… kiss?
That’s asking too much —
this is only our first date.
Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars - mere globs of gas atoms. I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination - stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one - million - year - old light. A vast pattern - of which I am a part... What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?
Richard P. Feynman
When we lost something precious, and we'd looked and looked and still couldn't find it, then we didn't have to be completely heartbroken. We still had that last bit of comfort, thinking one day, when we grow up, and we were free to travel around the counry, we would always go and find it in Norfolk...And that's why years and years later, that day Tommy and I found another copy of that lost tape of mine in a town on the Norfolk coast, we didn't just think it pretty funny; we both felt deep down some tug, some old wish to believe again in something that was once close to our hearts.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
We're so young. We're so young. We're twenty-two years old. We have so much time. There's this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lie alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out - that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it's too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement.
Marina Keegan (The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories)
You are constantly told in depression that your judgment is compromised, but a part of depression is that it touches cognition. That you are having a breakdown does not mean that your life isn't a mess. If there are issues you have successfully skirted or avoided for years, they come cropping back up and stare you full in the face, and one aspect of depression is a deep knowledge that the comforting doctors who assure you that your judgment is bad are wrong. You are in touch with the real terribleness of your life. You can accept rationally that later, after the medication sets in, you will be better able to deal with the terribleness, but you will not be free of it. When you are depressed, the past and future are absorbed entirely by the present moment, as in the world of a three-year-old. You cannot remember a time when you felt better, at least not clearly; and you certainly cannot imagine a future time when you will feel better.
Andrew Solomon (The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression)
Nothing, in truth, can ever replace a lost companion. Old comrades cannot be manufactured. There is nothing that can equal the treasure of so many shared memories, so many bad times endured together, so many quarrels, reconciliations, heartfelt impulses. Friendships like that cannot be reconstructed. If you plant an oak, you will hope in vain to sit soon under its shade.
For such is life. We grow rich as we plant through the early years, but then come the years when time undoes our work and cuts down our trees. One by one our comrades deprive us of their shade, and within our mourning we always feel now the secret grief of growing old.
If I search among my memories for those whose taste is lasting, if I write the balance sheet of the moments that truly counted, I surely find those that no fortune could have bought me. You cannot buy the friendship of a companion bound to you forever by ordeals endured together.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wind, Sand and Stars)
The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself. I suppose that it begins or does not begin in the cradle. Although I have felt compelled to write things down since I was five years old, I doubt that my daughter ever will, for she is a singularly blessed and accepting child, delighted with life exactly as life presents itself to her, unafraid to go to sleep and unafraid to wake up. Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss.
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
You should not take old people who are already dead seriously. It does them injustice. We immortals do not like things to be taken seriously. We like joking. Seriousness, young man, is an accident of time. It consists, I don't mind telling you in confidence, in putting too high a value on time. I, too, once put too high a value on time. For that reason I wished to be a hundred years old. In eternity, however, there is no time, you see. Eternity is a mere moment, just long enough for a joke.
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
You really miss him don't you?"
The Ranger nodded. "More than I realized," he said. Alyss urged her horse close beside his and learned over to kiss him on the cheek.
That's for Will when you see him." A ghost of a smile touched Halt's face.
You'll understand if I don't pass it on in person?" he said. Alyss smiled and leaned over and kissed him again.
And that's for you, you jaded, bad-tempered old Ranger."
A little surprised by her own impulsivness, she urged her horse ahead of him. Halt touched his cheek and looked at the slim blonde figure.
If I were twenty years younger...he began.
The he sighed and had to be honest with himself. Make that thirty years, he thought.
John Flanagan (The Burning Bridge (Ranger's Apprentice, #2))
My name is Olivia King
I am five years old.
My mother bought me a balloon. I remember the day she walked through the front door with it. The curly hot pink ribbon trickling down her arm, wrapped around her wrist. She was smiling at me as she untied the ribbon and wrapped it around my hand.
“Here Livie, I bought this for you.”
She called me Livie.
I was so happy. I’d never had a balloon before. I mean, I always saw balloons wrapped around other kids wrists in the
parking lot of Wal-Mart, but I never dreamed I would have my
My very own pink balloon.
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid…. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer…. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you, or shoot at you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand.
Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.
Martin Luther King Jr.
You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread. You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words: but most of your friends do not see it at all, and often wonder why, liking this, you should also like that. Again, you have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life; and then turned to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw -- but at the first words a gulf yawns between you, and you realise that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for the ineffable suggestion by which you are transported. Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of -- something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat's side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it -- tantalising glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest -- if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself -- you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say "Here at last is the thing I was made for". We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
It won't work,' Mr. Bentley continued, sipping his tea. 'No matter how hard you try to be what you once were, you can only be what you are here and now. Time hypnotizes. When you're nine, you think you've always been nine years old and will always be. When you're thirty, it seems you've always been balanced there on that bright rim of middle life. And then when you turn seventy, you are always and forever seventy. You're in the present, you're trapped in a young now or an old now, but there is no other now to be seen.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1))
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. . . .
History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened.
My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder's jacket . . . booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change) . . . but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that. . . .
There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. . . . You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . .
And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .
So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
She fit her head under his chin, and he could feel her weight settle into him. He held her tight and words spilled out of him without prior composition. And this time he made no effort to clamp them off. He told her about the first time he had looked on the back of her neck as she sat in the church pew. Of the feeling that had never let go of him since. He talked to her of the great waste of years between then and now. A long time gone. And it was pointless, he said, to think how those years could have been put to better use, for he could hardly have put them to worse. There was no recovering them now. You could grieve endlessly for the loss of time and the damage done therein. For the dead, and for your own lost self. But what the wisdom of the ages says is that we do well not to grieve on and on. And those old ones knew a thing or two and had some truth to tell, Inman said, for you can grieve your heart out and in the end you are still where you are. All your grief hasn't changed a thing. What you have lost will not be returned to you. It will always be lost. You're left with only your scars to mark the void. All you can choose to do is go on or not. But if you go on, it's knowing you carry your scars with you. Nevertheless, over all those wasted years, he had held in his mind the wish to kiss her on the back of her neck, and now he had done it. There was a redemption of some kind, he believed, in such complete fulfillment of a desire so long deferred.
Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain)
Night flight to San Francisco; chase the moon across America. God, it’s been years since I was on a plane. When we hit 35,000 feet we’ll have reached the tropopause, the great belt of calm air, as close as I’ll ever get to the ozone. I dreamed we were there. The plane leapt the tropopause, the safe air, and attained the outer rim, the ozone, which was ragged and torn, patches of it threadbare as old cheesecloth, and that was frightening. But I saw something that only I could see because of my astonishing ability to see such things: Souls were rising, from the earth far below, souls of the dead, of people who had perished, from famine, from war, from the plague, and they floated up, like skydivers in reverse, limbs all akimbo, wheeling and spinning. And the souls of these departed joined hands, clasped ankles, and formed a web, a great net of souls, and the souls were three-atom oxygen molecules of the stuff of ozone, and the outer rim absorbed them and was repaired. Nothing’s lost forever. In this world, there’s a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we’ve left behind, and dreaming ahead. At least I think that’s so.
Tony Kushner (Perestroika (Angels in America #2))
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))
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))
If you lack the iron and the fuzz to take control of your own life, if you insist on leaving your fate to the gods, then the gods will repay your weakness by having a grin or two at your expense. Should you fail to pilot your own ship, don't be surprised at what inappropriate port you find yourself docked. The dull and prosaic will be granted adventures that will dice their central nervous systems like an onion, romantic dreamers will end up in the rope yard. You may protest that it is too much to ask of an uneducated fifteen-year-old girl that she defy her family, her society, her weighty cultural and religious heritage in order to pursue a dream that she doesn't really understand. Of course it is asking too much. The price of self-destiny is never cheap, and in certain situations it is unthinkable. But to achieve the marvelous, it is precisely the unthinkable that must be thought.
Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)
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?"
"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?"
"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))
You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves.
After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm.
That’s what I believe.
The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled. People lose their way, for one reason or another. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. It’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you “sir.” It just happens.
These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.
Robert R. McCammon (Boy's Life)
On how to make boys like you:
the third way is to be come something called "hot"
Now Katie I would argue that there are at least two
of hot. There is the like normal
human definition which is that individual seems
suitable for mating. And then theirs the weird culturally
constructed definition of hot which is that individual is
malnourished and has probably had plastic bags inserted
into her breasts. Now boys might find that hot now but I don't think there's anything inherently hot about it like if you went back to the 18th century and ask a fifteen year old boy would you like to marry a woman who has had plastic bags needlessly inserted into her breasts that fifteen year old boy would probably be like: "What's plastic?
Wanting to Die
Since you ask, most days I cannot remember.
I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage.
Then the almost unnameable lust returns.
Even then I have nothing against life.
I know well the grass blades you mention,
the furniture you have placed under the sun.
But suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build.
Twice I have so simply declared myself,
have possessed the enemy, eaten the enemy,
have taken on his craft, his magic.
In this way, heavy and thoughtful,
warmer than oil or water,
I have rested, drooling at the mouth-hole.
I did not think of my body at needle point.
Even the cornea and the leftover urine were gone.
Suicides have already betrayed the body.
Still-born, they don't always die,
but dazzled, they can't forget a drug so sweet
that even children would look on and smile.
To thrust all that life under your tongue!—
that, all by itself, becomes a passion.
Death's a sad Bone; bruised, you'd say,
and yet she waits for me, year after year,
to so delicately undo an old wound,
to empty my breath from its bad prison.
Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet,
raging at the fruit, a pumped-up moon,
leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss,
leaving the page of the book carelessly open,
something unsaid, the phone off the hook
and the love, whatever it was, an infection.
Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me that she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last 'trick', whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school.
'But how?' we ask.
Then the voice says, 'They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'
There they are. There *we* are - the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life's tribulations, but through it all clung to faith.
My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
A proverb in the Old Testament states: 'He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city'.
It is when we become angry that we get into trouble. The road rage that affects our highways is a hateful expression of anger. I dare say that most of the inmates of our prisons are there because they did something when they were angry. In their wrath they swore, they lost control of themselves, and terrible things followed, even murder. There were moments of offense followed by years of regret. . . .
So many of us make a great fuss of matters of small consequence. We are so easily offended. Happy is the man who can brush aside the offending remarks of another and go on his way.
Gordon B. Hinckley
My 'morals' were sound, even a bit puritanic, but when a hidebound old deacon inveighed against dancing I rebelled. By the time of graduation I was still a 'believer' in orthodox religion, but had strong questions which were encouraged at Harvard. In Germany I became a freethinker and when I came to teach at an orthodox Methodist Negro school I was soon regarded with suspicion, especially when I refused to lead the students in public prayer. When I became head of a department at Atlanta, the engagement was held up because again I balked at leading in prayer. I refused to teach Sunday school. When Archdeacon Henry Phillips, my last rector, died, I flatly refused again to join any church or sign any church creed. From my 30th year on I have increasingly regarded the church as an institution which defended such evils as slavery, color caste, exploitation of labor and war. I think the greatest gift of the Soviet Union to modern civilization was the dethronement of the clergy and the refusal to let religion be taught in the public schools.
W.E.B. Du Bois (The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century)
Damon: I wanted to apologize.
Damon: Let me finish. I said I wanted to. And then I realized, I’m not sorry.
Elena: You would rather die than be human, and you expect me to be okay with that?
Damon: I didn’t say you were supposed to be okay with it, I just said I’m not sorry. But you know what I really am? Selfish, because I make bad choices that hurt you. Yes, I would rather have died than be human. I’d rather die right now than spend a handful of years with you, only to lose you when I’m too old and sick and miserable and you’re still you. I’d rather die right now than spend my last final years remembering how good I had it and how happy I was, because that’s who I am, Elena, and I’m not gonna change. And there’s no apology in the world that encompasses all the reasons that I’m wrong for you.
Elena: Fine, then I’m not sorry either. I’m not sorry that I met you. I’m not sorry that knowing you has made me question everything, that in death you’re the one that made me feel most alive. You’ve been a terrible person, you’ve made all the wrong choices, and of all the choices that I’ve made this will prove to be the worst one. But I am not sorry that I’m in love with you. I love you, Damon. I love you.
I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, Eyes;
I wonder if It weighs like Mine,
Or has an Easier size.
I wonder if They bore it long,
Or did it just begin?
I could not tell the Date of Mine,
It feels so old a pain.
I wonder if it hurts to live,
And if They have to try,
And whether, could They choose between,
It would not be, to die.
I note that Some --
gone patient long --
At length, renew their smile.
An imitation of a Light
That has so little Oil.
I wonder if when Years have piled,
Some Thousands -- on the Harm
Of early hurt -- if such a lapse
Could give them any Balm;
Or would they go on aching still
Through Centuries above,
Enlightened to a larger Pain
By Contrast with the Love.
The Grieved are many,
I am told;
The reason deeper lies, --
Death is but one
and comes but once,
And only nails the eyes.
There's Grief of Want
and Grief of Cold, --
A sort they call "Despair";
There's Banishment from native Eyes,
In sight of Native Air.
And though I may not guess the kind
Correctly, yet to me
A piercing Comfort it affords
In passing Calvary,
To note the fashions of the Cross,
And how they're mostly worn,
Still fascinated to presume
That Some are like My Own.
Emily Dickinson (I'm Nobody! Who Are You?)
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,
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
you must wear it like she wears disappointment on her face
you must hide the surprise of tasting other men on your lips
your mother is a woman and women like her cannot be contained.
you find the black tube inside her beauty case, where she keeps
your fathers old prison letters,
you desperately want to look like her
film star beauty, you hold your hand against your throat
your mother was most beautiful when sprawled out on the floor
half naked and bleeding.
you go to the bathroom to apply the lipstick,
somewhere no one can find you
your teeth look brittle against the deep red slickness
you smile like an infant, your mouth is a wound
you look nothing like your mother
you look everything like your mother.
you call your ex boyfriend, sit on the toilet seat and listen to
the phone ring, when he picks up you say his name slow
he says i thought i told you to stop calling me
you lick your lips, you taste like years of being alone.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not
understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and
recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you
imagine. Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing
bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm
on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you Sing Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with
people who are reckless with yours. Floss Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes
you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with
yourself. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you
succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements. Stretch Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe
you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky
chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t
congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your
choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body,
use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people
think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever
own.. Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for
good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the
people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you
should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and
lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you
knew when you were young.
The thing about old friends is not that they love you, but that they know you. They remember that disastrous New Year's Eve when you mixed White Russians and champagne, and how you wore that red maternity dress until everyone was sick of seeing the blaze of it in the office, and the uncomfortable couch in your first apartment and the smoky stove in your beach rental. They look at you and don't really think you look older because they've grown old along with you, and, like the faded paint in a beloved room, they're used to the look. And then one of them is gone, and you've lost a chunk of yourself. The stories of the terrorist attacks of 2001, the tsunami, the Japanese earthquake always used numbers, the deaths of thousands a measure of how great the disaster. Catastrophe is numerical. Loss is singular, one beloved at a time.
Anna Quindlen (Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake)
Lieutenant Chatrand: I don’t understand this omnipotent-benevolent thing.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: You are confused because the Bible describes God as an omnipotent and benevolent deity.
Lieutenant Chatrand: Exactly.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Omnipotent-benevolent simply means that God is all-powerful and well-meaning.
Lieutenant Chatrand: I understand the concept. It’s just... there seems to be a contradiction.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Yes. The contradiction is pain. Man’s starvation, war, sickness...
Lieutenant Chatrand: Exactly! Terrible things happen in this world. Human tragedy seems like proof that God could not possibly be both all-powerful and well-meaning. If He loves us and has the power to change our situation, He would prevent our pain, wouldn’t he?
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Would He?
Lieutenant Chatrand: Well... if God Loves us, and He can protect us, He would have to. It seems He is either omnipotent and uncaring, or benevolent and powerless to help.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Do you have children?
Lieutenant Chatrand: No, signore.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Imagine you had an eight-year-old son... would you love him?
Lieutenant Chatrand: Of course.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Would you let him skateboard?
Lieutenant Chatrand: Yeah, I guess. Sure I’d let him skateboard, but I’d tell him to be careful.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: So as this child’s father, you would give him some basic, good advice and then let him go off and make his own mistakes?
Lieutenant Chatrand: I wouldn’t run behind him and mollycoddle him if that’s what you mean.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: But what if he fell and skinned his knee?
Lieutenant Chatrand: He would learn to be more careful.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: So although you have the power to interfere and prevent your child’s pain, you would choose to show you love by letting him learn his own lessons?
Lieutenant Chatrand: Of course. Pain is part of growing up. It’s how we learn.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Exactly.
Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called ‘being in love’ usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending ‘They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean ‘They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,’ then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from ‘being in love’ — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. it is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash.
And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder.
When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes.
When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby."
And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet.
My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth.
But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed.
My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible.
And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection.
There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth.
When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all.
So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in.
This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share.
But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
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.
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?"
"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?"
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)
Annabelle’s eyes stung as she stared at him, while need and inexhaustible tenderness gathered like an ache in her body. “I realized something,” she said huskily, “when I was standing outside the foundry, watching it burn and knowing you were inside.” She swallowed hard against the thickness in her throat. “I would rather have died in your arms, Simon, than face a lifetime without you. All those endless years… all those winters, summers… a hundred seasons of wanting you and never having you. Growing old, while you stayed eternally young in my memories.” She bit her lip and shook her head, while her eyes flooded. “I was wrong when I told you that I didn’t know where I belonged. I do. With you, Simon. Nothing matters except being with you. You’re stuck with me forever, and I’ll never listen when you tell me to go.” She managed a tremulous smile. “So you may as well stop complaining and resign yourself to it.
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
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)
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))
Close your eyes, Maxon."
"Close your eyes.
Somewhere in this palace, there is a woman who will be your wife. This girl? Imagine that she depends on you. She needs you to cherish her and make her feel like the Selection didn't even happen. Like if you were dropped in your own out in the middle of the country to wander around door to door, she's still the one you would have found. She was always the one you would have picked. She needs you to provide for her and protect her. And if it came to a point where there was absolutely nothing to eat, and you couldn't even fall asleep at night because the sound of her stomach growling kept you awake—"
"Is that really what it's like? Out there... does that happen? Are people hungry like that a lot?"
"Tell me the truth."
"Yes. That happens. I know of families where people give up their share for their children or siblings. I know of a boy who was whipped in the town square for stealing food. Sometimes you do crazy things when you are desperate."
"A boy? How old?"
"Have you ever been like that? Starving?...How bad?"
"Maxon, it will only upset you more."
"Probably, but I'm only starting to realize how much I don't know about my own country. Please."
"We've been pretty bad. Most time if it gets to where we have to choose, we keep the food and lose electricity. The worst was when it happened near Christmas one year. May didn't understand why we couldn't exchange gifts. As a general rule, there are never any leftovers at my house. Someone always wants more. I know the checks we've gotten over the last few weeks have really helped, and my family is really smart about money. I'm sure they have already tucked it away so it will stretch out for a long time. You've done so much for us, Maxon."
"Good God. When you said that you were only here for the food, you weren't kidding, were you?"
"Really, Maxon, we've been doing pretty well lately. I—"
"I'll see you at dinner.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Being alone is not the most awful thing in the world. You visit your museums and cultivate your interests and remind yourself how lucky you are not to be one of those spindly Sudanese children with flies beading their mouths. You make out To Do lists - reorganise linen cupboard, learn two sonnets. You dole out little treats to yourself - slices of ice-cream cake, concerts at Wigmore Hall. And then, every once in a while, you wake up and gaze out of the window at another bloody daybreak, and think, I cannot do this anymore. I cannot pull myself together again and spend the next fifteen hours of wakefulness fending off the fact of my own misery.
People like Sheba think that they know what it's like to be lonely. They cast their minds back to the time they broke up with a boyfriend in 1975 and endured a whole month before meeting someone new. Or the week they spent in a Bavarian steel town when they were fifteen years old, visiting their greasy-haired German pen pal and discovering that her hand-writing was the best thing about her. But about the drip drip of long-haul, no-end-in-sight solitude, they know nothing. They don't know what it is to construct an entire weekend around a visit to the laundrette. Or to sit in a darkened flat on Halloween night, because you can't bear to expose your bleak evening to a crowd of jeering trick-or-treaters. Or to have the librarian smile pityingly and say, ‘Goodness, you're a quick reader!’ when you bring back seven books, read from cover to cover, a week after taking them out. They don't know what it is to be so chronically untouched that the accidental brush of a bus conductor's hand on your shoulder sends a jolt of longing straight to your groin. I have sat on park benches and trains and schoolroom chairs, feeling the great store of unused, objectless love sitting in my belly like a stone until I was sure I would cry out and fall, flailing, to the ground. About all of this, Sheba and her like have no clue.
Zoë Heller (What Was She Thinking? [Notes on a Scandal])
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.
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
people used to tell me that i had beautiful hands
told me so often, in fact, that one day i started to believe them until i asked my photographer father, “hey daddy could i be a hand model”
to which he said no way,
i dont remember the reason he gave me and i wouldve been upset,
but there were far too many stuffed animals to hold
too many homework assignment to write,
too many boys to wave at
too many years to grow,
we used to have a game, my dad and i about holding hands cus we held hands everywhere, and every time either he or i would whisper a great
big number to the other, pretending that we were keeping track of how many times we had held hands that we were sure, this one had to be 8 million 2 thousand 7 hundred and fifty three.
hands learn more than minds do,
hands learn how to hold other hands,
how to grip pencils and mold poetry,
how to tickle pianos and dribble a basketball,
and grip the handles of a bicycle
how to hold old people, and touch babies ,
i love hands like i love people,
they're the maps and compasses in which we navigate our way through life, some people read palms to tell your future,
but i read hands to tell your past,
each scar marks the story worth telling,
each calloused palm,
each cracked knuckle is a missed punch
or years in a factory,
now ive seen middle eastern hands clenched in middle eastern fists pounding against each other like war drums, each country sees theyre fists as warriors and others as enemies.
even if fists alone are only hands. but this is not about politics, no hands arent about politics, this is a poem about love, and fingers. fingers interlock like a beautiful zipper of prayer.
one time i grabbed my dads hands so that our fingers interlocked perfectly but he changed positions, saying no that hand hold is for your mom.
kids high five, but grown ups, we learn how to shake hands, you need a firm hand shake,but dont hold on too tight, but dont let go too soon, but dont hold down for too long,
but hands are not about politics, when did it become so complicated. i always thought its simple.
the other day my dad looked at my hands, as if seeing them for the first time, and with laughter behind his eye lids, with all the seriousness a man of his humor could muster, he said you know you got nice hands, you could’ve been a hand model, and before the laughter can escape me, i shake my head at him, and squeeze his hand, 8 million 2 thousand 7hundred and fifty four.
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)
Death. The only thing inevitable in life.
People don't like to talk about death because it makes them sad.
They don't want to imagine how life will go on without them,
all the people they love will briefly grieve
but continue to breathe.
They don't want to imagine how life will go on without them,
Their children will still grow
They don't want to imagine how life will continue to go on without them
Their material things will be sold
Their medical files stamped "closed"
Their name becoming a memory to everyone they
They don't want to imagine how life will go on without them, so instead of accepting it head on, they avoid the subject all together,
hoping and praying it will somehow...
pass them by.
Forget about them,
moving on to the next one in line.
no, they didn't want to imagine how life would
continue to go on....
Instead they were met head-on by death,
disguised as an 18-wheeler
behind a cloud of fog.
Death didn't forget about them.
If only they had been prepared, accepted the inevitable, laid out their plans, understood that it
wasn't just their lives at hand.
I may have legally been considered an adult at the age
of nineteen, but still i felt very much
of just nineteen.
to suddenly have the entire life of a seven-year-old
in my realm.
Death. The only thing inevitable in life.
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
I got schooled this year.
By my little brother...
by The Avett Brothers...
by my mother, my best friend, my teacher, my father,
a boy that I'm seriously, deeply, madly, incredibly, and undeniably in love with...
I got so schooled this year.
By a nine-year-old.
He taught me that it's okay to live life
a little backwards.
And how to laugh
At what you would think
I got schooled this year
By a Band!
They taught me how to find that feeling of feeling again.
They taught me how to decide what to be
And go be it.
I got schooled this year.
By a cancer patient.
She taught me so much. She's still teaching me so much.
She taught me to question.
To never regret.
She taught me to push my boundaries,
Because that's what they're there for.
She told me to find a balance between head and heart
she taught me how...
I got schooled this year
By a Foster Kid
She taught me to respect the hand that I was dealt.
And to be grateful I was even dealt a hand.
She taught me that family
Doesn't have to be blood.
Sometimes your family
are your friends.
I got schooled this year
By my teacher
He taught me
That the points are not the point,
The point is poetry...
I got schooled this year
By my father.
He taught me that hero's aren't always invincible
And that the magic
is within me..
I got schooled this year
a boy that I'm seriously, deeply, madly, incredibly, and undeniably in love with.
And he taught me the most important thing of all...
To put the emphasis
The whole time I pretend I have mental telepathy. And with my mind only, I’ll say — or think? — to the target, 'Don’t do it. Don’t go to that job you hate. Do something you love today. Ride a roller
coaster. Swim in the ocean naked. Go to the airport and get on the next flight to anywhere just for the fun of it. Maybe stop a spinning globe with your finger and then plan a trip to that very spot; even if it’s in the middle of the ocean you can go by boat. Eat some type of ethnic food you’ve never even
heard of. Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being. Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose—allow smells
to be your vision. Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreign film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take. Just don’t go back to thatmiserable place you go every day. Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want. That’s what they tell us at school, but if you keep getting on that train and going to the place you hate I’m going to start thinking the people at school are liars like the Nazis who told the Jews they were just being relocated to work factories. Don’t do that to us. Tell us the truth. If adulthood is working some death-camp job you hate for the rest of your life, divorcing your secretly criminal husband, being disappointed in your son, being stressed and miserable, and dating a poser and pretending he’s a hero when he’s really a lousy person and anyone can tell that just by shaking his slimy hand — if it doesn’t get any better, I need to know right now. Just tell me. Spare me from some awful fucking fate. Please.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.
Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.
Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
Constantinos P. Cavafy (C.P. Cavafy: Collected Poems)
The wish of death had been palpably hanging over this otherwise idyllic paradise for a good many years.
All business and politics is personal in the Philippines.
If it wasn't for the cheap beer and lovely girls one of us would spend an hour in this dump.
They [Jehovah's Witnesses] get some kind of frequent flyer points for each person who signs on.
I'm not lazy. I'm just motivationally challenged.
I'm not fat. I just have lots of stored energy.
You don't get it do you? What people think of you matters more than the reality. Marilyn.
Despite standing firm at the final hurdle Marilyn was always ready to run the race.
After answering the question the woman bent down behind the stand out of sight of all, and crossed herself.
It is amazing what you can learn in prison. Merely through casual conversation Rick had acquired the fundamentals of embezzlement, fraud and armed hold up.
He wondered at the price of honesty in a grey world whose half tones changed faster than the weather.
The banality of truth somehow always surprises the news media before they tart it up.
You've ridden jeepneys in peak hour. Where else can you feel up a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl without even trying? [Ralph Winton on the Philippines finer points]
Life has no bottom. No matter how bad things are or how far one has sunk things can always get worse.
You could call the Oval Office an information rain shadow.
In the Philippines, a whole layer of criminals exists who consider that it is their right to rob you unhindered. If you thwart their wicked desires, to their way of thinking you have stolen from them and are evil.
There's honest and dishonest corruption in this country.
Don't enjoy it too much for it's what we love that usually kills us.
The good guys don't always win wars but the winners always make sure that they go down in history as the good guys.
The Philippines is like a woman. You love her and hate her at the same time.
I never believed in all my born days that ideas of truth and justice were only pretty words to brighten a much darker and more ubiquitous reality.
The girl was experiencing the first flushes of love while Rick was at least feeling the methadone equivalent.
Although selfishness and greed are more ephemeral than the real values of life their effects on the world often outlive their origins.
Miriam's a meteor job. Somewhere out there in space there must be a meteor with her name on it.
Tsismis or rumours grow in this land like tropical weeds.
Surprises are so common here that nothing is surprising.
A crooked leader who can lead is better than a crooked one who can't.
Although I always followed the politics of Hitler I emulate the drinking habits of Churchill.
It [Australia] is the country that does the least with the most.
Rereading the brief lines that told the story in the manner of Fox News reporting the death of a leftist Rick's dark imagination took hold.
Didn't your mother ever tell you never to trust a man who doesn't drink?
She must have been around twenty years old, was tall for a Filipina and possessed long black hair framing her smooth olive face. This specter of loveliness walked with the assurance of the knowingly beautiful. Her crisp and starched white uniform dazzled in the late-afternoon light and highlighted the natural tan of her skin. Everything about her was in perfect order. In short, she was dressed up like a pox doctor’s clerk. Suddenly, she stopped, turned her head to one side and spat comprehensively into the street. The tiny putrescent puddle contrasted strongly with the studied aplomb of its all-too-recent owner, suggesting all manner of disease and decay.
John Richard Spencer
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)
At 12 years old I started bleeding with the moon
and beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts.
I fought with my knuckles white as stars,
and left bruises the shape of Salem.
There are things we know by heart,
and things we don't.
At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke.
I'd watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos,
but I could never make dying beautiful.
The sky didn't fill with colors the night I convinced myself
veins are kite strings you can only cut free.
I suppose I love this life,
in spite of my clenched fist.
I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree,
and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers,
and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath
the first time his fingers touched the keys
the same way a soldier holds his breath
the first time his finger clicks the trigger.
We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe.
But my lungs remember
the day my mother took my hand and placed it on her belly
and told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister's heartbeat.
And I knew life would tremble
like the first tear on a prison guard's hardened cheek,
like a prayer on a dying man's lips,
like a vet holding a full bottle of whisky like an empty gun in a war zone…
just take me just take me
Sometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much,
the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood.
We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways,
but you still have to call it a birthday.
You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recess
and hope she knows you can hit a baseball
further than any boy in the whole third grade
and I've been running for home
through the windpipe of a man who sings
while his hands playing washboard with a spoon
on a street corner in New Orleans
where every boarded up window is still painted with the words
We're Coming Back
like a promise to the ocean
that we will always keep moving towards the music,
the way Basquait slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain.
Beauty, catch me on your tongue.
Thunder, clap us open.
The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks.
Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert,
then wake us washing the feet of pregnant women
who climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun.
I know a thousand things louder than a soldier's gun.
I know the heartbeat of his mother.
Don't cover your ears, Love.
Don't cover your ears, Life.
There is a boy writing poems in Central Park
and as he writes he moves
and his bones become the bars of Mandela's jail cell stretching apart,
and there are men playing chess in the December cold
who can't tell if the breath rising from the board
is their opponents or their own,
and there's a woman on the stairwell of the subway
swearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn,
and I'm remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrun
with strip malls and traffic and vendors
and one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it.
Ya'll, I know this world is far from perfect.
I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon.
I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic.
But every ocean has a shoreline
and every shoreline has a tide
that is constantly returning
to wake the songbirds in our hands,
to wake the music in our bones,
to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river
that has to run through the center of our hearts
to find its way home.
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)
We love men because they can never fake orgasms, even if they wanted to.
Because they write poems, songs, and books in our honor.
Because they never understand us, but they never give up.
Because they can see beauty in women when women have long ceased to see any beauty in themselves.
Because they come from little boys.
Because they can churn out long, intricate, Machiavellian, or incredibly complex mathematics and physics equations, but they can be comparably clueless when it comes to women.
Because they are incredible lovers and never rest until we’re happy.
Because they elevate sports to religion.
Because they’re never afraid of the dark.
Because they don’t care how they look or if they age.
Because they persevere in making and repairing things beyond their abilities, with the naïve self-assurance of the teenage boy who knew everything.
Because they never wear or dream of wearing high heels.
Because they’re always ready for sex.
Because they’re like pomegranates: lots of inedible parts, but the juicy seeds are incredibly tasty and succulent and usually exceed your expectations.
Because they’re afraid to go bald.
Because you always know what they think and they always mean what they say.
Because they love machines, tools, and implements with the same ferocity women love jewelry.
Because they go to great lengths to hide, unsuccessfully, that they are frail and human.
Because they either speak too much or not at all to that end.
Because they always finish the food on their plate.
Because they are brave in front of insects and mice.
Because a well-spoken four-year old girl can reduce them to silence, and a beautiful 25-year old can reduce them to slobbering idiots.
Because they want to be either omnivorous or ascetic, warriors or lovers, artists or generals, but nothing in-between.
Because for them there’s no such thing as too much adrenaline.
Because when all is said and done, they can’t live without us, no matter how hard they try.
Because they’re truly as simple as they claim to be.
Because they love extremes and when they go to extremes, we’re there to catch them.
Because they are tender they when they cry, and how seldom they do it.
Because what they lack in talk, they tend to make up for in action.
Because they make excellent companions when driving through rough neighborhoods or walking past dark alleys.
Because they really love their moms, and they remind us of our dads.
Because they never care what their horoscope, their mother-in-law, nor the neighbors say.
Because they don’t lie about their age, their weight, or their clothing size.
Because they have an uncanny ability to look deeply into our eyes and connect with our heart, even when we don’t want them to.
Because when we say “I love you” they ask for an explanation.
Like the most of you, I was raised among people who knew - who were certain. They did not reason or investigate. They had no doubts. They knew that they had the truth. In their creed there was no guess — no perhaps. They had a revelation from God. They knew the beginning of things. They knew that God commenced to create one Monday morning, four thousand and four years before Christ. They knew that in the eternity — back of that morning, he had done nothing. They knew that it took him six days to make the earth — all plants, all animals, all life, and all the globes that wheel in space. They knew exactly what he did each day and when he rested. They knew the origin, the cause of evil, of all crime, of all disease and death.
At the same time they knew that God created man in his own image and was perfectly satisfied with his work... They knew all about the Flood -- knew that God, with the exception of eight, drowned all his children -- the old and young -- the bowed patriarch and the dimpled babe -- the young man and the merry maiden -- the loving mother and the laughing child -- because his mercy endureth forever. They knew too, that he drowned the beasts and birds -- everything that walked or crawled or flew -- because his loving kindness is over all his works. They knew that God, for the purpose of civilizing his children, had devoured some with earthquakes, destroyed some with storms of fire, killed some with his lightnings, millions with famine, with pestilence, and sacrificed countless thousands upon the fields of war. They knew that it was necessary to believe these things and to love God. They knew that there could be no salvation except by faith, and through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.
Then I asked myself the question: Is there a supernatural power -- an arbitrary mind -- an enthroned God -- a supreme will that sways the tides and currents of the world -- to which all causes bow?
I do not deny. I do not know - but I do not believe. I believe that the natural is supreme - that from the infinite chain no link can be lost or broken — that there is no supernatural power that can answer prayer - no power that worship can persuade or change — no power that cares for man.
Is there a God?
I do not know.
Is man immortal?
I do not know.
One thing I do know, and that is, that neither hope, nor fear, belief, nor denial, can change the fact. It is as it is, and it will be as it must be.
We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know. We can tell the truth, and we can enjoy the blessed freedom that the brave have won. We can destroy the monsters of superstition, the hissing snakes of ignorance and fear. We can drive from our minds the frightful things that tear and wound with beak and fang. We can civilize our fellow-men. We can fill our lives with generous deeds, with loving words, with art and song, and all the ecstasies of love. We can flood our years with sunshine — with the divine climate of kindness, and we can drain to the last drop the golden cup of joy.
Robert G. Ingersoll (The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol 1: Lectures)
A moment later, Helen had returned; she was walking slowly now, and carefully, her hand on the back of a thin boy with a mop of wavy brown hair. He couldn’t have been older than twelve, and Clary recognized him immediately. Helen, her hand firmly clamped around the wrist of a younger boy whose hands were covered with blue wax. He must have been playing with the tapers in the huge candelabras that decorated the sides of the nave. He looked about twelve, with an impish grin and the same wavy, bitter-chocolate hair as his sister.
Jules, Helen had called him. Her little brother.
The impish grin was gone now. He looked tired and dirty and frightened. Skinny wrists stuck out of the cuffs of a white mourning jacket whose sleeves were too long for him. In his arms he was carrying a little boy, probably not more than two years old, with the same wavy brown hair that he had; it seemed to be a family trait. The rest of his family wore the same borrowed mourning clothes: following Julian was a brunette girl about ten, her hand firmly clasped in the hold of a boy the same age: the boy had a sheet of tangled black hair that nearly obscured his face. Fraternal twins, Clary guessed. After them came a girl who might have been eight or nine, her face round and very pale between brown braids.
The misery on their faces cut at Clary’s heart. She thought of her power with runes, wishing that she could create one that would soften the blow of loss. Mourning runes existed, but only to honor the dead, in the same way that love runes existed, like wedding rings, to symbolize the bond of love. You couldn’t make someone love you with a rune, and you couldn’t assuage grief with it, either. So much magic, Clary thought, and nothing to mend a broken heart.
“Julian Blackthorn,” said Jia Penhallow, and her voice was gentle. “Step forward, please.”
Julian swallowed and handed the little boy he was holding over to his sister. He stepped forward, his eyes darting around the room. He was clearly scouring the crowd for someone. His shoulders had just begun to slump when another figure darted out onto the stage. A girl, also about twelve, with a tangle of blond hair that hung down around her shoulders: she wore jeans and a t-shirt that didn’t quite fit, and her head was down, as if she couldn’t bear so many people looking at her. It was clear that she didn’t want to be there — on the stage or perhaps even in Idris — but the moment he saw her, Julian seemed to relax. The terrified look vanished from his expression as she moved to stand next to him, her face ducked down and away from the crowd.
“Julian,” said Jia, in the same gentle voice, “would you do something for us? Would you take up the Mortal Sword?
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
A man who seeks only the light, while shirking his responsibilities, will never find illumination. And one who keep his eyes fixed upon the sun ends up blind..."
"It doesn't matter what others think -because that's what they will think, in any case. So, relax. Let the universe move about. Discover the joy of surprising yourself."
"The master says: “Make use of every blessing that God gave you today. A blessing cannot be saved. There is no bank where we can deposit blessings received, to use them when we see fit. If you do not use them, they will be irretrievably lost. God knows that we are creative artists when it comes to our lives. On one day, he gives us clay for sculpting, on another, brushes and canvas, or a pen. But we can never use clay on our canvas, nor pens in sculpture. Each day has its own miracle. Accept the blessings, work, and create your minor works of art today. Tomorrow you will receive others.”
“You are together because a forest is always stronger than a solitary tree,” the master answered. "The forest conserves humidity, resists the hurricane and helps the soil to be fertile. But what makes a tree strong is its roots. And the roots of a plant cannot help another plant to grow. To be joined together in the same purpose is to allow each person to grow in his own fashion, and that is the path of those who wish to commune with God.”
“If you must cry, cry like a child. You were once a child, and one of the first things you learned in life was to cry, because crying is a part of life. Never forget that you are free, and that to show your emotions is not shameful. Scream, sob loudly, make as much noise as you like. Because that is how children cry, and they know the fastest way to put their hearts at ease. Have you ever noticed how children stop crying? They stop because something distracts them. Something calls them to the next adventure. Children stop crying very quickly. And that's how it will be for you. But only if you can cry as children do.”
“If you are traveling the road of your dreams, be committed to it. Do not leave an open door to be used as an excuse such as, 'Well, this isn't exactly what I wanted. ' Therein are contained the seeds of defeat. “Walk your path. Even if your steps have to be uncertain, even if you know that you could be doing it better. If you accept your possibilities in the present, there is no doubt that you will improve in the future. But if you deny that you have limitations, you will never be rid of them. “Confront your path with courage, and don't be afraid of the criticism of others. And, above all, don't allow yourself to become paralyzed by self-criticism. “God will be with you on your sleepless nights, and will dry your tears with His love. God is for the valiant.”
"Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing."
"There is a moment in every day when it is difficult to see clearly: evening time. Light and darkness blend, and nothing is completely clear nor completely dark."
"But it's not important what we think, or what we do or what we believe in: each of us will die one day. Better to do as the old Yaqui Indians did: regard death as an advisor. Always ask: 'Since I'm going to die, what should I be doing now?'”
"When we follow our dreams, we may give the impression to others that we are miserable and unhappy. But what others think is not important. What is important is the joy in our heart.”
“There is a work of art each of us was destined to create. That is the central point of our life, and -no matter how we try to deceive ourselves -we know how important it is to our happiness. Usually, that work of art is covered by years of fears, guilt and indecision. But, if we decide to remove those things that do not belong, if we have no doubt as to our capability, we are capable of going forward with the mission that is our destiny. That is the only way to live with honor.
Paulo Coelho (Maktub)
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:
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:
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)
Once there was a boy,” said Jace.
Clary interrupted immediately. “A Shadowhunter boy?”
“Of course.” For a moment a bleak amusement colored his voice. Then it was gone. “When the boy was six years old, his father gave him a falcon to train. Falcons are raptors – killing birds, his father told him, the Shadowhunters of the sky.
“The falcon didn’t like the boy, and the boy didn’t like it, either. Its sharp beak made him nervous, and its bright eyes always seemed to be watching him. It would slash at him with beak and talons when he came near: For weeks his wrists and hands were always bleeding. He didn’t know it, but his father had selected a falcon that had lived in the wild for over a year, and thus was nearly impossible to tame. But the boy tried, because his father told him to make the falcon obedient, and he wanted to please his father.
“He stayed with the falcon constantly, keeping it awake by talking to it and even playing music to it, because a tired bird was meant to be easier to tame. He learned the equipment: the jesses, the hood, the brail, the leash that bound the bird to his wrist. He was meant to keep the falcon blind, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it – instead he tried to sit where the bird could see him as he touched and stroked its wings, willing it to trust him. Hee fed it from his hand, and at first it would not eat. Later it ate so savagely that its beak cut the skin of his palm. But the boy was glad, because it was progress, and because he wanted the bird to know him, even if the bird had to consume his blood to make that happen.
“He began to see that the falcon was beautiful, that its slim wings were built for the speed of flight, that it was strong and swift, fierce and gentle. When it dived to the ground, it moved like likght. When it learned to circle and come to his wrist, he neary shouted with delight Sometimes the bird would hope to his shoulder and put its beak in his hair. He knew his falcon loved him, and when he was certain it was not just tamed but perfectly tamed, he went to his father and showed him what he had done, expecting him to be proud.
“Instead his father took the bird, now tame and trusting, in his hands and broke its neck. ‘I told you to make it obedient,’ his father said, and dropped the falcon’s lifeless body to the ground. ‘Instead, you taught it to love you. Falcons are not meant to be loving pets: They are fierce and wild, savage and cruel. This bird was not tamed; it was broken.’
“Later, when his father left him, the boy cried over his pet, until eventually his father sent a servant to take the body of the bird away and bury it. The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Gulls wheel through spokes of sunlight over gracious roofs and dowdy thatch, snatching entrails at the marketplace and escaping over cloistered gardens, spike topped walls and treble-bolted doors. Gulls alight on whitewashed gables, creaking pagodas and dung-ripe stables; circle over towers and cavernous bells and over hidden squares where urns of urine sit by covered wells, watched by mule-drivers, mules and wolf-snouted dogs, ignored by hunch-backed makers of clogs; gather speed up the stoned-in Nakashima River and fly beneath the arches of its bridges, glimpsed form kitchen doors, watched by farmers walking high, stony ridges. Gulls fly through clouds of steam from laundries' vats; over kites unthreading corpses of cats; over scholars glimpsing truth in fragile patterns; over bath-house adulterers, heartbroken slatterns; fishwives dismembering lobsters and crabs; their husbands gutting mackerel on slabs; woodcutters' sons sharpening axes; candle-makers, rolling waxes; flint-eyed officials milking taxes; etiolated lacquerers; mottle-skinned dyers; imprecise soothsayers; unblinking liars; weavers of mats; cutters of rushes; ink-lipped calligraphers dipping brushes; booksellers ruined by unsold books; ladies-in-waiting; tasters; dressers; filching page-boys; runny-nosed cooks; sunless attic nooks where seamstresses prick calloused fingers; limping malingerers; swineherds; swindlers; lip-chewed debtors rich in excuses; heard-it-all creditors tightening nooses; prisoners haunted by happier lives and ageing rakes by other men's wives; skeletal tutors goaded to fits; firemen-turned-looters when occasion permits; tongue-tied witnesses; purchased judges; mothers-in-law nurturing briars and grudges; apothecaries grinding powders with mortars; palanquins carrying not-yet-wed daughters; silent nuns; nine-year-old whores; the once-were-beautiful gnawed by sores; statues of Jizo anointed with posies; syphilitics sneezing through rotted-off noses; potters; barbers; hawkers of oil; tanners; cutlers; carters of night-soil; gate-keepers; bee-keepers; blacksmiths and drapers; torturers; wet-nurses; perjurers; cut-purses; the newborn; the growing; the strong-willed and pliant; the ailing; the dying; the weak and defiant; over the roof of a painter withdrawn first from the world, then his family, and down into a masterpiece that has, in the end, withdrawn from its creator; and around again, where their flight began, over the balcony of the Room of Last Chrysanthemum, where a puddle from last night's rain is evaporating; a puddle in which Magistrate Shiroyama observes the blurred reflections of gulls wheeling through spokes of sunlight. This world, he thinks, contains just one masterpiece, and that is itself.
David Mitchell (The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet)
The Frays had never been a religiously observant family, but Clary loved Fifth Avenue at Christmas time. The air smelled like sweet roasted chestnuts, and the window displays sparkled with silver and blue, green and red. This year there were fat round crystal snowflakes attached to each lamppost, sending back the winter sunlight in shafts of gold. Not to mention the huge tree at Rockefeller Center. It threw its shadow across them as she and Simon draped themselves over the gate at the side of the skating rink, watching tourists fall down as they tried to navigate the ice.
Clary had a hot chocolate wrapped in her hands, the warmth spreading through her body. She felt almost normal—this, coming to Fifth to see the window displays and the tree, had been a winter tradition for her and Simon for as long as she could remember.
“Feels like old times, doesn’t it?” he said, echoing her thoughts as he propped his chin on his folded arms.
She chanced a sideways look at him. He was wearing a black topcoat and scarf that emphasized the winter pallor of his skin. His eyes were shadowed, indicating that he hadn’t fed on blood recently. He looked like what he was—a hungry, tired vampire.
Well, she thought. Almost like old times. “More people to buy presents for,” she said. “Plus, the always traumatic what-to-buy-someone-for-the-first-Christmas-after-you’ve-started-dating question.”
“What to get the Shadowhunter who has everything,” Simon said with a grin.
“Jace mostly likes weapons,” Clary sighed. “He likes books, but they have a huge library at the Institute. He likes classical music …” She brightened. Simon was a musician; even though his band was terrible, and was always changing their name—currently they were Lethal Soufflé—he did have training. “What would you give someone who likes to play the piano?”
“A really huge metronome that could also double as a weapon?”
Clary sighed, exasperated.
“Sheet music. Rachmaninoff is tough stuff, but he likes a challenge.”
“Now you’re talking. I’m going to see if there’s a music store around here.” Clary, done with her hot chocolate, tossed the cup into a nearby trash can and pulled her phone out. “What about you? What are you giving Isabelle?”
“I have absolutely no idea,” Simon said. They had started heading toward the avenue, where a steady stream of pedestrians gawking at the windows clogged the streets.
“Oh, come on. Isabelle’s easy.”
“That’s my girlfriend you’re talking about.” Simon’s brows drew together. “I think. I’m not sure. We haven’t discussed it. The relationship, I mean.”
“You really have to DTR, Simon.”
“Define the relationship. What it is, where it’s going. Are you boyfriend and girlfriend, just having fun, ‘it’s complicated,’ or what? When’s she going to tell her parents? Are you allowed to see other people?”
Simon blanched. “What? Seriously?”
“Seriously. In the meantime—perfume!” Clary grabbed Simon by the back of his coat and hauled him into a cosmetics store that had once been a bank. It was massive on the inside, with rows of gleaming bottles everywhere. “And something unusual,” she said, heading for the fragrance area. “Isabelle isn’t going to want to smell like everyone else. She’s going to want to smell like figs, or vetiver, or—”
“Figs? Figs have a smell?” Simon looked horrified; Clary was about to laugh at him when her phone buzzed. It was her mother.
where are you? It’s an emergency.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))