Accidents Do Happen Quotes

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Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn't care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely. The only sense to make of tragedies like this is that terrible things can happen to perfectly innocent people. This understanding inspires compassion. Religious faith, on the other hand, erodes compassion. Thoughts like, 'this might be all part of God’s plan,' or 'there are no accidents in life,' or 'everyone on some level gets what he or she deserves' - these ideas are not only stupid, they are extraordinarily callous. They are nothing more than a childish refusal to connect with the suffering of other human beings. It is time to grow up and let our hearts break at moments like this.
Sam Harris
LADY LAZARUS I have done it again. One year in every ten I manage it-- A sort of walking miracle, my skin Bright as a Nazi lampshade, My right foot A paperweight, My face a featureless, fine Jew linen. Peel off the napkin O my enemy. Do I terrify?-- The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth? The sour breath Will vanish in a day. Soon, soon the flesh The grave cave ate will be At home on me And I a smiling woman. I am only thirty. And like the cat I have nine times to die. This is Number Three. What a trash To annihilate each decade. What a million filaments. The peanut-crunching crowd Shoves in to see Them unwrap me hand and foot-- The big strip tease. Gentlemen, ladies These are my hands My knees. I may be skin and bone, Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman. The first time it happened I was ten. It was an accident. The second time I meant To last it out and not come back at all. I rocked shut As a seashell. They had to call and call And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls. Dying Is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I've a call. It's easy enough to do it in a cell. It's easy enough to do it and stay put. It's the theatrical Comeback in broad day To the same place, the same face, the same brute Amused shout: 'A miracle!' That knocks me out. There is a charge For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge For the hearing of my heart-- It really goes. And there is a charge, a very large charge For a word or a touch Or a bit of blood Or a piece of my hair or my clothes. So, so, Herr Doktor. So, Herr Enemy. I am your opus, I am your valuable, The pure gold baby That melts to a shriek. I turn and burn. Do not think I underestimate your great concern. Ash, ash-- You poke and stir. Flesh, bone, there is nothing there-- A cake of soap, A wedding ring, A gold filling. Herr God, Herr Lucifer Beware Beware. Out of the ash I rise with my red hair And I eat men like air. -- written 23-29 October 1962
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
I think that everyone's life is controlled by a series of events. They choose what they want and if it is in their control they can reach it. Sometimes luck shines on them and sometimes it doesn't. I also think accidents happen and we are placed in situations where we have to do things for those we love that we don't want to do.
Abbi Glines (Simple Perfection (Rosemary Beach, #6; Perfection, #2))
I am a strong believer that fate exists. That everything happens for a reason. That the people we have in our lives are in our lives without accident. There is always meaning. Explainable or unexplainable. There is no such thing as luck. We are all here for a purpose. All we have to do is believe.
Juansen Dizon (Confessions of a Wallflower)
Nineteenth-century preacher Henry Ward Beecher's last words were "Now comes the mystery." The poet Dylan Thomas, who liked a good drink at least as much as Alaska, said, "I've had eighteen straight whiskeys. I do believe that's a record," before dying. Alaska's favorite was playwright Eugene O'Neill: "Born in a hotel room, and--God damn it--died in a hotel room." Even car-accident victims sometimes have time for last words. Princess Diana said, "Oh God. What's happened?" Movie star James Dean said, "They've got to see us," just before slamming his Porsche into another car. I know so many last words. But I will never know hers.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
You know, it would be very easy for Gilmore to break his neck on these stairs," Matt offered with a hopeful air. "Accidents do happen." "That won't be necessary, thank you," Virginia said. "Just a leg perhaps?
Amanda Quick (Quicksilver (Arcane Society, #11; Looking Glass Trilogy, #2))
Oh Lord Most High, Creator of the Cosmos, Spinner of Galaxies, Soul of Electromagnetic Waves, Inhaler and Exhaler of Inconceivable Volumes of Vacuum, Spitter of Fire and Rock, Trifler with Millennia — what could we do for Thee that Thou couldst not do for Thyself one octillion times better? Nothing. What could we do or say that could possibly interest Thee? Nothing. Oh, Mankind, rejoice in the apathy of our Creator, for it makes us free and truthful and dignified at last. No longer can a fool point to a ridiculous accident of good luck and say, 'Somebody up there likes me.' And no longer can a tyrant say, 'God wants this or that to happen, and anyone who doesn't help this or that to happen is against God.' O Lord Most High, what a glorious weapon is Thy Apathy, for we have unsheathed it, have thrust and slashed mightily with it, and the claptrap that has so often enslaved us or driven us into the madhouse lies slain!" -The prayer of the Reverend C. Horner Redwine
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (The Sirens of Titan)
My mom says . . . there are bad people who hurt others for fun . . . and there are good people who do it by accident. Like, they make a mistake? I think you're a good person.
Svetlana Chmakova (Awkward (Berrybrook Middle School, #1))
World events do not occur by accident. They are made to happen, whether it is to do with national issues or commerce; and most of them are staged and managed by those who hold the purse strings.
Denis Healey
They looked for one another when nothing else was happening, the way you pick up a magazine or look in the cupboard for a snack. Not exactly by accident and not exactly on purpose. You could go out in the world and do new things and meet new people, and then you could come home and just sit on the stoop with someone you had never not known, and watch lightning bugs blink on and off.
Lynne Rae Perkins (Criss Cross)
I guess accidents do happen, know what I mean? A blown tire here, failed brakes around a curve there. Perhaps the vehicle’s computer system goes haywire and results in an explosion. Those types of things send a clear message.
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal High (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #5))
When two things occur successively we call them cause and effect if we believe one event made the other one happen. If we think one event is the response to the other, we call it a reaction. If we feel that the two incidents are not related, we call it a mere coincidence. If we think someone deserved what happened, we call it retribution or reward, depending on whether the event was negative or positive for the recipient. If we cannot find a reason for the two events' occurring simultaneously or in close proximity, we call it an accident. Therefore, how we explain coincidences depends on how we see the world. Is everything connected, so that events create resonances like ripples across a net? Or do things merely co-occur and we give meaning to these co-occurrences based on our belief system? Lieh-tzu's answer: It's all in how you think.
Liezi (Lieh-tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living (Shambhala Dragon Editions))
If you grew up in a house where you weren't loved, you didn't know there was an alternative. If you grew up with emotionally stunted parents, who were unhappy in their marriage and prone to visit that unhappiness on their children, you didn't know they were doing this. It was just your life. If you had an accident, at the age of four, when you were supposed to be a big boy, and were later served a plate of feces at the dinner table - if you were told to eat it because you liked it, didn't you, you must like it or you wouldn't have so many accidents - you didn't know that this wasn't happening in the other houses in your neighborhood. If your father left your family, and disappeared, never to return, and your mother seemed to resent you, as you grew older, for being the same sex as your father, you had no one to turn to. In all these cases, the damage was done before you knew you were damaged. The worst part was that, as the years passed, these memories became, in the way you kept them in a secret box in your head, taking them out every so often to turn them over and over, something like dear possessions. They were the key to your unhappiness. The were the evidence that life wasn't fair. If you weren't a lucky child, you didn't know you weren't lucky until you got older. And then it was all you ever thought about.
Jeffrey Eugenides (The Marriage Plot)
I do not think God makes bad things happen just so that people can grow spiritually. Bad parents do that, my mother said. Bad parents make things hard and painful for their children and then say it was to help them grow. Growing and living are hard enough already; children do not need things to be harder. I think this is true even for normal children. I have watched little children learning to walk; they all struggle and fall down many times. Their faces show that it is not easy. It would be stupid to tie bricks on them to make it harder. If that is true for learning to walk, then I think it is true for other growing and learning as well. God is suppose to be the good parent, the Father. So I think God would not make things harder than they are. I do not think I am autistic because God thought my parents needed a challenge or I needed a challenge. I think it is like if I were a baby and a rock fell on me and broke my leg. Whatever caused it was an accident. God did not prevent the accident, but He did not cause it, either.... I think my autism is an accident, but what I do with it is me.
Elizabeth Moon (The Speed of Dark)
Sometimes we’re on a collision course, and we just don’t know it. Whether it’s by accident or by design, there’s not a thing we can do about it. A woman in Paris was on her way to go shopping, but she had forgotten her coat - went back to get it. When she had gotten her coat, the phone had rung, so she’d stopped to answer it; talked for a couple of minutes. While the woman was on the phone, Daisy was rehearsing for a performance at the Paris Opera House. And while she was rehearsing, the woman, off the phone now, had gone outside to get a taxi. Now a taxi driver had dropped off a fare earlier and had stopped to get a cup of coffee. And all the while, Daisy was rehearsing. And this cab driver, who dropped off the earlier fare; who’d stopped to get the cup of coffee, had picked up the lady who was going to shopping, and had missed getting an earlier cab. The taxi had to stop for a man crossing the street, who had left for work five minutes later than he normally did, because he forgot to set off his alarm. While that man, late for work, was crossing the street, Daisy had finished rehearsing, and was taking a shower. And while Daisy was showering, the taxi was waiting outside a boutique for the woman to pick up a package, which hadn’t been wrapped yet, because the girl who was supposed to wrap it had broken up with her boyfriend the night before, and forgot. When the package was wrapped, the woman, who was back in the cab, was blocked by a delivery truck, all the while Daisy was getting dressed. The delivery truck pulled away and the taxi was able to move, while Daisy, the last to be dressed, waited for one of her friends, who had broken a shoelace. While the taxi was stopped, waiting for a traffic light, Daisy and her friend came out the back of the theater. And if only one thing had happened differently: if that shoelace hadn’t broken; or that delivery truck had moved moments earlier; or that package had been wrapped and ready, because the girl hadn’t broken up with her boyfriend; or that man had set his alarm and got up five minutes earlier; or that taxi driver hadn’t stopped for a cup of coffee; or that woman had remembered her coat, and got into an earlier cab, Daisy and her friend would’ve crossed the street, and the taxi would’ve driven by. But life being what it is - a series of intersecting lives and incidents, out of anyone’s control - that taxi did not go by, and that driver was momentarily distracted, and that taxi hit Daisy, and her leg was crushed.
Eric Roth (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay)
When we learn to work with our own Inner Nature, and with the natural laws operating around us, we reach the level of Wu Wei. Then we work with the natural order of things and operate on the principle of minimal effort. Since the natural world follows that principle, it does not make mistakes. Mistakes are made–or imagined–by man, the creature with the overloaded Brain who separates himself from the supporting network of natural laws by interfering and trying too hard. When you work with Wu Wei, you put the round peg in the round hole and the square peg in the square hole. No stress, no struggle. Egotistical Desire tries to force the round peg into the square hole and the square peg into the round hole. Cleverness tries to devise craftier ways of making pegs fit where they don’t belong. Knowledge tries to figure out why round pegs fit into round holes, but not square holes. Wu Wei doesn’t try. It doesn’t think about it. It just does it. And when it does, it doesn’t appear to do much of anything. But Things Get Done. When you work with Wu Wei, you have no real accidents. Things may get a little Odd at times, but they work out. You don’t have to try very hard to make them work out; you just let them. [...] If you’re in tune with The Way Things Work, then they work the way they need to, no matter what you may think about it at the time. Later on you can look back and say, "Oh, now I understand. That had to happen so that those could happen, and those had to happen in order for this to happen…" Then you realize that even if you’d tried to make it all turn out perfectly, you couldn’t have done better, and if you’d really tried, you would have made a mess of the whole thing. Using Wu Wei, you go by circumstances and listen to your own intuition. "This isn’t the best time to do this. I’d better go that way." Like that. When you do that sort of thing, people may say you have a Sixth Sense or something. All it really is, though, is being Sensitive to Circumstances. That’s just natural. It’s only strange when you don’t listen.
Benjamin Hoff (The Tao of Pooh)
Has she accepted you?" "Not yet.She wants to discuss it with you first." "Thank God.Because I'll tell her that it's the worst idea I've ever heard." Leo arched a brow."You doubt I could protect her?" "I doubt you could keep from murdering each other!I doubt she could ever be happy in such volatile circumstances.I,I won't bother listing all my concerns,it would take too bloody long." Harry's eyes were ice-cold. "The answer is no,Ramsay.I'll do what is necessary to take care of Cat.You can return to Hampshire." "I'm afraid it won't be that easy to get rid of me," Leo said."Perhaps you didn't notice that I haven't asked for your permission.There is no choice.Certain things have happened that can't be undone.Do you understand?" He saw from Harry's expression that only a few fragile constraints stood between him and certain death. "You seduced her deliberately," Harry managed to say. "Would you be happier if I claimed it was an accident?" "The only thing that would make me happy is to weight you with rocks and toss you into the Thames." "I understand.I even sympathize.I can't imagine what it would be like to face a man who's compromised your sister,how difficult it would be to keep from murdering him on the spot.Oh, but wait.." Leo tapped a forefinger thoughtfully on his chin. "I can imagine.Because I went through it two bloody months ago." Harry's eyes narrowed."That wasn't the same.Your sister was still a virgin when I married her." Leo gave him an unrepenting glance. "When I compromise a woman,I do it properly." "That does it," Harry muttered, leaping for his throat.
Lisa Kleypas (Married by Morning (The Hathaways, #4))
She shook her head. 'Look. We both know life is short, Macy. Too short to waste a single second with anyone who doesn't appreciate and value you.' 'You said the other day life was long,' I shot back. 'Which is it?' ' It's both,' she said, shrugging. 'IT all depends on how you choose to live it. It's like forever, always changing.' 'Nothing can be two opposite things at once,' I said. 'It's impossible.' 'No,' she replied, squeezing my hand,' what's impossible is that we actually think it could be anything other than that. Look, when I was in the hosptal, right after the accident, they thought I was going to die. I was really fucked up, big time.' 'Uh-huh,' Monica said, looking at her sister. 'Then,' Kristy continued, nodding at her, 'life was very short, literally. but now that I'm better it seems so long I have to squint to see even the edges of it. It's all in the view, Macy. That's what I mean about forever, too. For any one of us our forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. You can never know for sure, so you'd better make every second count.' Monica, lighting another cigarette, nodded. 'Mmm-hmm,' she said. 'What you have to decide,' Kristy said to me, leaning foreward, 'is how you want your life to be. If your forever was ending tomorrow, would this be how you'd want to have spent it? It seemed like it was a choice I had already made. I'd spent the last year and a half with Jason, shaping my life to fit his, doing what I had to in order to make sure I had a plae in his perfect world, where things made sense. But it hadn't worked. 'Listen,' Kristy said,' the truth is, nohing is guaranteed. You know that more than anybody.' She looed at me hard, making sure I knew what she meant. I did. 'So don't be afraid. Be alive.' But then, I couldn't imagine, after everything that had happened, how you could live and not constantly be worrying about the dangers all around you. Especially when you'd already gotten teh scare of your life. 'It's the same thing,' I told her. 'What is?' 'Being afraid and being alive.' 'No,' she said slowly, and now it was as if she was speaking a language she knew at first I wouldn't understand, the very words, not to mention the concept, being foreign to me. 'Macy, no. It's not.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
The mistake we make is in thinking rape isn’t premeditated, that it happens by accident somehow, that you’re drunk and you run into a girl who’s also drunk and half-asleep on a bench and you sidle up to her and things get out of hand and before you know it, you’re being accused of something you’d never do. But men who rape are men who watch for the signs of who they believe they can rape. Rape culture isn’t a natural occurrence; it thrives thanks to the dedicated attention given to women in order to take away their security. Rapists exist on a spectrum, and maybe this attentive version is the most dangerous type: women are so used to being watched that we don’t notice when someone’s watching us for the worst reason imaginable. They have a plan long before we even get to the bar to order our first drink.
Scaachi Koul (One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter)
How did your mother die?” asked Delk. “Car accident,” Katie replied, gazing out over the water. “She’d been to mass. A tire blew on the way home, and she was gone. I was nineteen, Pather’s age, when it happened. My brother was only eleven.” She paused. “I do know what you’re going through.” Katie looked at her. “Pather told you?” Katie nodded. Delk was glad Pather had told his sister; she was relieved not to have to tell the story again. “Does it ever . . . you know . . . get any better?” Katie shrugged her narrow shoulders and smiled. “In some ways it does, but it’s a bit like running a long race with a rock in your shoe. You get used to it, but it always hurts a little.
Suzanne Supplee (When Irish Guys Are Smiling)
We have a bad habit of seeing books as sort of cheaply made movies where the words do nothing but create visual narratives in our heads. So too often what passes for literary criticism is "I couldn't picture that guy", or "I liked that part", or "this part shouldn't have happened." That is, we've left language so far behind that sometimes we judge quality solely based on a story's actions. So we can appreciate a novel that constructs its conflicts primarily through plot - the layered ambiguity of a fatal car accident caused by a vehicle owned by Gatsby but driven by someone else, for instance. But in this image-drenched world, sometimes we struggle to appreciate and celebrate books where the quality arises not exclusively from plot but also from the language itself.
John Green
It’s just an accident that we happen to be on earth, enjoying our silly little moments, distracting ourselves as often as possible so we don’t have to really face up to the fact that, you know, we’re just temporary people with a very short time in a universe that will eventually be completely gone. And everything that you value, whether it’s Shakespeare, Beethoven, da Vinci, or whatever, will be gone. The earth will be gone. The sun will be gone. There’ll be nothing. The best you can do to get through life is distraction. Love works as a distraction. And work works as a distraction. You can distract yourself a billion different ways. But the key is to distract yourself.
Woody Allen
But we have soothed ourselves into imagining sudden change as something that happens outside the normal order of things. An accident, like a car crash. Or beyond our control, like a fatal illness. We do not conceive of sudden, radical, irrational change as built into the very fabric of existence. Yet it is.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))
They fell to, on the ground. You’ve seen a baker rolling dough. He kneads it gently at first, then more roughly. He pounds it on the board. It softly groans under his palms. Now he spreads it out and rolls it flat. Then he bunches it, and rolls it all the way out again, thin. Now he adds water and mixes it well. Now salt, and a little more salt. Now he shapes itdelicately to its final shape and slides itinto the oven, which is already hot. You remember breadmaking! This is how your desire tangles with a desired one. And it’s not justa metaphor for a man and a woman making love. Warriors in battle do this too. A great mutual embrace is always happening between the eternal and what dies, between essence and accident.
Rumi (The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing)
We all have certain desires and undesired outcomes related to whatever possible course and attitude we take in life, whether it be at the larger macro scale (what shall I do with the rest of my life?) or at the micro level (as in, what route shall I take to work this morning). These include all the myriad choices we make each hour and each day. These choices determine our karma and our destiny. It's no accident, nor any great mystery, how this evolves; although one would have to utterly omniscient to understand all the many gross and subtle interconnections and causative links that determine happenings and outcomes.
Surya Das (Letting Go Of The Person You Used To Be: lessons on change, love and spiritual transformation from highly revered spiritual leader Lama Surya Das)
Be happy because no one is seeing what you do, no one is listening to you, no one really cares what may be achieved, but sometimes accidents happen and beauty is born.
William H. Gass
It is never too early to start thinking about your own death and the deaths of those you love. I don’t mean thinking about death in obsessive loops, fretting that your husband has been crushed in a horrific car accident, or that your plane will catch fire and plummet from the sky. But rational interaction, that ends with you realizing that you will survive the worst, whatever the worst may be. Accepting death doesn’t mean that you won’t be devastated when someone you love dies. It means you will be able to focus on your grief, unburdened by bigger existential questions like “Why do people die?” and “Why is this happening to me?” Death isn’t happening to you. Death is happening to us all.
Caitlin Doughty
She's come to realize that life is a bit like doing laundry--you have to separate the darks from the lights. One's not necessarily better than the other--they're just different. They have different needs, require different levels of care. She knows plenty of customers who don't give it much thought and throw all their laundry in together, and maybe that's the chaotic part of life that just happens, that no matter how hard you try, you can't always keep things separate. A red sock gets mixed in with a load of whites, or a delicate black top gets washed in hot water by accident. These things happen. All you can do is learn from it and move on. Tell your husband to enjoy his pink underwear, give your shrunken top to your little sister or niece. But it doesn't mean that you stop sorting your laundry. You keep sorting--lights from darks, darks from lights--and hope for the best.
Darien Gee (Friendship Bread)
He stared back at me so blatantly I wanted to smack him. “I know. Like I said, that… was never my intention. It was an accident.” My mouth dropped open. “Did you slip and fall on my bed? Because I don’t understand how you’ve accidentally ended up there.” Red stained the tips of his cheeks. “I check the outside, and then I check the inside just to be sure. Hybrids can get into your house, Katy, as you already know. So could Daedalus if they wanted.” What would he have done if Daemon had been there? Then it struck me and I felt sick all over again. “How long do you watch at night?” He shrugged. “A couple of hours.” So he’d have known if Daemon had come over most of the time, and the rest was just sheer dumb luck. Part of me wished he’d tried it just once when Daemon was there. He wouldn’t be walking right for months. There was a good chance he may leave this stairwell with a limp. Blake seemed to sense where my mind went. “After I checked inside your house, I… I don’t know what happened. You have bad dreams.” I wondered why. I had perverts sleeping in the bed with me.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opal (Lux, #3))
British politician and co-founder of the Bilderberg Group, Denis Healy, said: World events do not occur by accident. They are made to happen, whether it is to do with national issues or commerce; and most of them are staged and managed by those who hold the purse strings
Michael Tsarion (Atlantis, Alien Visitation and Genetic Manipulation)
A man in his early sixties told me, “I used to think the best way to go through life was to expect the worst. That way, if it happened, you were prepared, and if it didn’t happen, you were pleasantly surprised. Then I was in a car accident and my wife was killed. Needless to say, expecting the worst didn’t prepare me at all. And worse, I still grieve for all of those wonderful moments we shared and that I didn’t fully enjoy. My commitment to her is to fully enjoy every moment now. I just wish she was here, now that I know how to do that.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Jim waited for us at the Gold Gate. His teeth were bared. “What happened to barely winning?” “You said sloppy! Look, I didn’t even use my sword; I hit him with my head like a moron.” “A man with a sword attacked you and you disarmed him and knocked him out cold in under two seconds.” He turned to Curran. The Beast Lord shrugged. “It’s not my fault that he didn’t know how to fall.” Jim’s gaze slid from Curran to Dali. “What the hell was that?” “Crimson Jaws of Death.” “And were you planning on letting me know that you can turn people’s elbows backwards?” “I told you I did curses.” “You said they don’t work!” “I said they don’t always work. This one worked apparently.” Dali wrinkled her forehead. “It’s not like I ever get to use them against live opponents anyway. It was an accident.” Jim looked at us. The clipboard snapped in his hands. He turned around and very deliberately walked away. “I think we hurt his feelings.” Dali looked at his retreating back, sighed, and went after him. Curran looked at me. “What the hell was I supposed to do, catch the werebison as he was falling?
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
We do not see our hand in what happens, so we call certain events melancholy accidents when they are the inevitabilities of our projects, and we call other events necessities merely because we will not change our minds.
Stanley Cavell (The Senses of Walden)
This is really disturbing. I think I'm being scarred as we speak. It's like paranormal porn." Alexis did look a little pale. "Do you want me to turn it off?" "No, are you kidding? I have to see what happens. It's like a car accident, but with tongue. You don't want to look, but you have to.
Erin McCarthy (High Stakes (Vegas Vampires, #1))
Dear Madam Vorsoisson, I am sorry. This is the eleventh draft of this letter. They’ve all started with those three words, even the horrible version in rhyme, so I guess they stay. You once asked me never to lie to you. All right, so. I’ll tell you the truth now even if it isn’t the best or cleverest thing, and not abject enough either. I tried to be the thief of you, to ambush and take prisoner what I thought I could never earn or be given. You were not a ship to be hijacked, but I couldn’t think of any other plan but subterfuge and surprise. Though not as much of a surprise as what happened at dinner. The revolution started prematurely because the idiot conspirator blew up his secret ammo dump and lit the sky with his intentions. Sometimes these accidents end in new nations, but more often they end badly, in hangings and beheadings. And people running into the night. I can’t be sorry that I asked you to marry me, because that was the one true part in all the smoke and rubble, but I’m sick as hell that I asked you so badly. Even though I’d kept my counsel from you, I should have at least had the courtesy to keep it from others as well, till you’d had the year of grace and rest you’d asked for. But I became terrified that you’d choose another first. So I used the garden as a ploy to get near you. I deliberately and consciously shaped your heart’s desire into a trap. For this I am more than sorry, I am ashamed. You’d earned every chance to grow. I’d like to pretend I didn’t see it would be a conflict of interest for me to be the one to give you some of those chances, but that would be another lie. But it made me crazy to watch you constrained to tiny steps, when you could be outrunning time. There is only a brief moment of apogee to do that, in most lives. I love you. But I lust after and covet so much more than your body. I wanted to possess the power of your eyes, the way they see form and beauty that isn’t even there yet and draw it up out of nothing into the solid world. I wanted to own the honor of your heart, unbowed in the vilest horrors of Komarr. I wanted your courage and your will, your caution and your serenity. I wanted, I suppose, your soul, and that was too much to want. I wanted to give you a victory. But by their essential nature triumphs can’t be given. They must be taken, and the worse the odds and the fiercer the resistance, the greater the honor. Victories can’t be gifts. But gifts can be victories, can’t they. It’s what you said. The garden could have been your gift, a dowry of talent, skill, and vision. I know it’s too late now, but I just wanted to say, it would have been a victory most worthy of our House. Yours to command, Miles Vorkosigan
Lois McMaster Bujold (A Civil Campaign (Vorkosigan Saga, #12))
Isn’t everyone on the planet or at least everyone on the planet called me stuck between the two impulses of wanting to walk away like it never happened and wanting to be a good person in love, loving, being loved, making sense, just fine? I want to be that person, part of a respectable people, but I also want nothing to do with being people, because to be people is to be breakable, to know that your breaking is coming, any day now and maybe not even any day but this day, this moment, right now a plane could fall out of the sky and crush you or the building you’re in could just crumble and kill you or kill the someone you love— and to love someone is to know that one day you’ll have to watch them break unless you do first and to love someone means you will certainly lose that love to something slow like boredom or festering hate or something fast like a car wreck or a freak accident or flesh-eating bacteria— and who knows where it came from, that flesh-eating bacteria, he was such a nice-looking fellow, it is such a shame— and your wildebeest, everyone’s wildebeest, just wants to get it over with, can’t bear the tension of walking around the world as if we’re always going to be walking around the world, because we’re not, because here comes a cancer, an illness a voice in your head that wants to jump out a window, a person with a gun, a freak accident, a wild wad of flesh-eating bacteria that will start with your face.
Catherine Lacey (Nobody Is Ever Missing)
Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss. Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we've never lost an astronaut in flight. We've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle. But they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together. For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge, and I'll meet it with joy." They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us. We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for twenty-five years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and, perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers. And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's take-off. I know it's hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them. I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program. And what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA, or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it." There's a coincidence today. On this day three hundred and ninety years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today, we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete. The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God." Thank you.
Ronald Reagan
A report had asked us what combat felt like...It's like a car accident. You know? That instant between knowing that it's gonna happen and actually slamming into the other car. Feels pretty helpless actually, like you've been riding along same as always, then it's there staring you in the face and you don't have the power to do shit about it
Kevin Powers (The Yellow Birds)
And they got blackout drunk one night and it just happened. It was basically an accident, and he gave me the most sincere and moving confession of all time, swore to God he loved me so much and would do anything to convince me, blah blah blah, but it didn’t matter, I kept thinking about it and running it through my head and just burning with it. I cried every night for weeks. Practically wore the binary off all my saddest Mp3s.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
We do not see our hand in what happens, and so we call certain events melancholy accidents...
Stanley Cavell
Don't be a scaredy-human," called Emerald. "Gran-Doyen says I can't burn you up, so I won't." Then under her breath, she added, "Though accidents do happen." (Emerald to Ethan)
Jackie Castle (Emanate (White Road Chronicles #3))
Accidents do happen, and they especially happen to drunks, but mother and son, eight weeks apart? In fiction, that would never stand.
Paula Hawkins (A Slow Fire Burning)
This is going to sound trite, I suppose, but you never know when it’s going to be the last time. That you hug someone. That you kiss. That you say goodbye. I don’t know what my last words were to Ty. Probably something like, Smell you later , as I went out the door that morning. I can’t remember. It wasn’t significant, is all I know. We were never one of those families that says “I love you” at the end of every conversation, just in case. Steven’s parents do that. When he calls to tell them he’s going to be late or something, he always ends by saying “I love you, too.” Even if he’ll see them in 10 minutes. I used to think that was the tiniest bit lame. If you say something that often, it loses its meaning, doesn’t it? But now I understand. If the unthinkable happens—a car accident, a heart attack, whatever—at least you’ll know your last words were something positive. There’s a security in that. A comfort.
Cynthia Hand (The Last Time We Say Goodbye)
No man ever stood the lower in my estimation for having a patch in his clothes... I sometimes try my acquaintances by such tests as this, -- who could wear a patch, or two extra seams only, over the knee? Most behave as if they believed that their prospects for life would be ruined if they should do it. It would be easier for them to hobble to town with a broken leg than with a broken pantaloon. Often if an accident happens to a gentleman's legs, they can be mended, but if a similar accident happens to the legs of his pantaloon's, there is no help for it.
Henry David Thoreau
Is there a difference between happiness and inner peace? Yes. Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive; inner peace does not. Is it not possible to attract only positive conditions into our life? If our attitude and our thinking are always positive, we would manifest only positive events and situations, wouldn’t we? Do you truly know what is positive and what is negative? Do you have the total picture? There have been many people for whom limitation, failure, loss, illness, or pain in whatever form turned out to be their greatest teacher. It taught them to let go of false self-images and superficial ego-dictated goals and desires. It gave them depth, humility, and compassion. It made them more real. Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it, although you may not see it at the time. Even a brief illness or an accident can show you what is real and unreal in your life, what ultimately matters and what doesn’t. Seen from a higher perspective, conditions are always positive. To be more precise: they are neither positive nor negative. They are as they are. And when you live in complete acceptance of what is — which is the only sane way to live — there is no “good” or “bad” in your life anymore. There is only a higher good — which includes the “bad.” Seen from the perspective of the mind, however, there is good-bad, like-dislike, love-hate. Hence, in the Book of Genesis, it is said that Adam and Eve were no longer allowed to dwell in “paradise” when they “ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
We do not suffer by accident. It does not often happen that the interference of friends will persuade a young man of independent fortune to think no more of a girl whom he was violently in love with only a few days before
Jane Austen
I lost something after Hailey died. I'm not sure what to call it, but it's the device that stops ypu from telling the truth when people ask you how you're doing, that vital valve that keeps you deeper, truer emotions under lock and key. I don't know exactly when I lost it, or how to get it back, but for now when it comes to tact, civility, and discretion, I'm an accident waiting to happen, over and over again. Socially, that makes me something of a liability.
Jonathan Tropper (How to Talk to a Widower)
I am only thirty And like the cat I have nine times to die. This is Number Three. What a trash To annihilate each decade What a million filaments. The peanut-crunching crowd Shoves in to see Them unwrap me hand and foot— The big strip tease. Gentleman, ladies These are my hands My knees I may be skin and bone, Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman The first time it happened I was ten. It was an accident. The second time I meant To last it out and not come back at all. I rocked shut As a seashell They had to call and call And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls. Dying Is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I've a call. It's easy enough to do it in a cell. It's easy enough to do it and stay put. It's the theatrical Comeback in broad day To that same place, the same face, the same brute Amused shout: 'A miracle!' That knocks me out. -- from "Lady Lazarus", written 23-29 October 1962
Sylvia Plath (Ariel: The Restored Edition)
KRIT "Fuck," Matty whispered. He'd heard her. It was me who couldn't breathe now. I had thought it was an accident. But she'd fucking done it on purpose. To protect me. Holy hell. "I'm gonna go . . . ," Matty trailed off. I listened to his footsteps until he was gone before pulling back and looking down at Blythe. "You got in front of a six-foot-three one hundred and eighty pounds of muscle because he was going to hit me?" She nodded. "It was my fault he was going to hit you. I was just going to stop him." She was going to stop him. This girl. Never in all my life did I imagine there was anyone like her. Never. "Sweetheart, how did you intend to stop him? I could handle him. I've kicked his ass many, many times." I cupped her chin in my hand. "I had rather had him kick my ass than to have anything happen to you. That was fucking unbearable. You can't do that to me. If you get hurt, I won't be able to handle it." She signed, and her eyes locked back toward the stage. " I made this worse. I'm sorry. Can you go fix things with the two of you so you can get back onstage?" The distressed look on her face meant I wasn't going to be able to leave. I wanted nothing more than to take her back home and hold her all night. But she was really upset about this. I had overreacted. She had been sitting over here staring at the floor with the saddest lost expression, and I couldn't think straight. I had to get to her. "I'll get Green, and we'll go back onstage. But you have to promise me that you won't try and save me again. I take care of you. Not the other way around," I told her. She reached up and touched my face. "Then who will take care of you?" No one had ever cared about that before. That wasn't something I was going to tell her, though. "You safe in my arms is all I need. Okay?" She frowned and glanced away from me. "I'm not agreeing to that," she said. God, she was adorable. I pressed a kiss to her head. "Come with me to get the guys," I told her as I stood up and brought her with me. "You won't do anything to Green then?" she said, sounding hopeful. "No." Until you're asleep tonight. And then I'm beating his ass.
Abbi Glines (Bad for You (Sea Breeze, #7))
I took a little walk outside for a while. I was surprised that I wasn't feeling what I thought people were supposed to feel under the circumstances. May be I was fooling myself. I wasn't delighted, but I didn't feel terribly upset, perhaps because we had known for a long time that it was going to happen. It's hard to explain. If a Martian(who, we'll imagine never dies except by accident) came to Earth and saw this peculiar race of creatures-these humans who live about seventy or eighty years, knowing that death is going to come--it would look to hi like a terrible problem of psychology to live under those circumstances, knowing that life is only temporary Well, we humans somehow figure out how to live despite this problem: we laugh, we joke, we live. The only difference for me and Arlene was, instead of fifty years, it was five years. It was only a quantitative difference--the psychological problem was just the same. The only way it would have become any different is if we had said to ourselves, "But those other people have it better, because they might live fifty years." But that's crazy. Why make yourself miserable saying things like, "Why do we have such bad luck? What has God done to us? What have we done to deserve this?"--all of which, if you understand reality and take it completely into your heart, are irrelevant and unsolvable. They are just things that nobody can know. Your situation is just an accident of life.. We had a hell of good time together...
Richard P. Feynman
Another analogy: imagine if you were walking down the street and every few minutes someone would punch you in the arm. You don’t know who will be punching you, and you don’t know why. You are hurt and wary and weary. You are trying to protect yourself, but you can’t get off this street. Then imagine somebody walks by, maybe gesticulating wildly in interesting conversation, and they punch you in the arm on accident. Now imagine that this is the last straw, that this is where you scream. That person may not have meant to punch you in the arm, but the issue for you is still the fact that people keep punching you in the arm. Regardless of why that last person punched you, there’s a pattern that needs to be addressed, and your sore arm is testimony to that. But what often happens instead is that people demand that you prove that each person who punched you in the arm in the past meant to punch you in the arm before they’ll acknowledge that too many people are punching you in the arm. The real tragedy is that you get punched in the arm constantly, not that one or two people who accidentally punched you in the arm might be accused of doing it on purpose. They still contributed to the pain that you have endured—a pain bigger than that one punch—and they are responsible for being a part of that, whether they meant to or not.
Ijeoma Oluo (So You Want to Talk About Race)
Livingstone,” Gavin said again, almost stubbornly. “I call him Livingstone. Not Dad. I had….” “You had,” I said, squeezing his hand. He glanced at me quickly before looking back down at the table. “I had Dad. Mom too. Not real parents. But still good.” “What happened to them?” Robbie asked quietly. “Dead,” Gavin said in a dull voice. “Long time ago. Still human when it happened. Car accident. I didn’t know what to do. After. Then I was wolf. Then I was Omega. And now I’m here.” All those years broken down into a few short sentences. I wondered if I would ever know all that had happened to him or if it would be locked away in his mind. Memories hurt when you let them.
T.J. Klune (Brothersong (Green Creek, #4))
The Prince who establishes himself in a Province whose laws and language differ from those of his own people, ought also to make himself the head and protector of his feebler neighbours, and endeavour to weaken the stronger, and must see that by no accident shall any other stranger as powerful as himself find an entrance there. For it will always happen that some such person will be called in by those of the Province who are discontented either through ambition or fear; as we see of old the Romans brought into Greece by the Aetolians, and in every other country that they entered, invited there by its inhabitants. And the usual course of things is that so soon as a formidable stranger enters a Province, all the weaker powers side with him, moved thereto by the ill-will they bear towards him who has hitherto kept them in subjection. So that in respect of these lesser powers, no trouble is needed to gain them over, for at once, together, and of their own accord, they throw in their lot with the government of the stranger. The new Prince, therefore, has only to see that they do not increase too much in strength, and with his own forces, aided by their good will, can easily subdue any who are powerful, so as to remain supreme in the Province. He who does not manage this matter well, will soon lose whatever he has gained, and while he retains it will find in it endless troubles and annoyances.
Niccolò Machiavelli (The Prince)
We use the word cross in our hymns, in our piety, in our prayers, and in our pastoral language. But we use it too cheaply. We say that a person has to live with some sort of suffering in life: a sickness that cannot be cured, an unresolvable personality conflict within the family, poverty, or some other unexplainable or unchangeable suffering. Then we say, “That person has a cross to bear.” Granted, whatever kind of suffering we have is suffering that we can bear in confidence that God is with us. But the cross that Jesus had to face, because he chose to face it, was not—like sickness—something that strikes you without explanation. It was not some continuing difficulty in his social life. It was not an accident or catastrophe that just happened to hit him when it could have hit somebody else. Jesus’ cross was the price to pay for being the kind of person he was in the kind of world he was in; the cross that he chose was the price of his representing a new way of life in a world that did not want a new way of life. That is what he called his followers to do.
John Howard Yoder (Radical Christian Discipleship (John Howard Yoder's Challenge to the Church, # 1))
When we commit our lives to the Lord, what happens to us happens by way of appointment and not by accident.
Warren W. Wiersbe (Be Committed (Ruth & Esther): Doing God's Will Whatever the Cost (The BE Series Commentary))
Aren’t you a little young to be a captain? Not that I’m sure you weren’t wonderful at it,” I added hastily, “but Frank’s got to be your same age, and Mr. Graces and Mr. Liu are both older than you. How on earth did it happen?” He shut down. It was like a curtain being pulled across a window. This was a subject he definitely did not wish to discuss. “The title is honorary,” he said, not meeting my gaze. “I can’t stop them calling me that, even though I’ve asked them not to. I was the highest-ranking officer to survive the…accident.” Accident? I supposed this was another one of those things he didn’t want to tell me because it would make me hate him. Recognizing that dropping that particular topic-for now at least-would probably be best. I said, “John, I can warn you about the Furies. And I know exactly where the coffin is. All you have to do is take me back to Isla Huesos-just this one time, to help Alex-and I’ll never mention going there again. I’ll even,” I said, reaching up to straighten the collar of his leather jacket, which had gone askew, “forgive you for the waffles-“ John seized me by both shoulders, pulling me towards him so abruptly that Hope gave an alarmed flap of her wings. “Pierce,” he said. “Do you mean that?” When I pushed back some of the hair that had tumbled into my face and raised my dark eyes to meet his light ones, I saw that he was staring down at me with an intensity that burned. “You’ll never mention going back to Isla Huesos again if I take you there right now, this once, to talk to your cousin Alex?” he demanded. “You’ll give…cohabitation another chance?” His sudden fierceness was making me nervous. “Of course, John,” I said. “But it’s not like I have a choice.” “What if you did?” he asked, his grip tightening. I blinked. “But I can’t. You said-“ He gave me a little shake. “Never mind what I said. What if I was wrong?” I reached up to lay a hand on his cheek. It felt a little scratchy, because he hadn’t shaved. I didn’t care about stubble. What I cared about was the desperate need I saw in his eyes. The need for me. “I’d come back,” I said, simply, “to stay with you.” A second later, the late-and everything around it-was gone.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
Her breasts were nudging out of her bodice. And . . . he had his hand on one of them. When did that happen? God. He jerked away fast and took hold of her shoulder instead. That was neutral ground up there. “Sorry. Don’t mean anything by that. An accident.” Fine pair of breasts she had. White as split almonds. Round as peaches. The nipples peeked out, since the fichu wasn’t doing its job. A pair of dark little roses, pulled up into buds. Tasty looking. And if he got any closer he could put his mouth down and lick them. That’s going to reassure her—you slavering at her tits.
Joanna Bourne (The Forbidden Rose (Spymasters, #3))
Nothing Twice     Nothing can ever happen twice. In consequence, the sorry fact is that we arrive here improvised and leave without the chance to practice.   Even if there is no one dumber, if you’re the planet’s biggest dunce, you can’t repeat the class in summer: this course is only offered once.   No day copies yesterday, no two nights will teach what bliss is in precisely the same way, with exactly the same kisses.   One day, perhaps, some idle tongue mentions your name by accident: I feel as if a rose were flung into the room, all hue and scent.   The next day, though you’re here with me, I can’t help looking at the clock: A rose? A rose? What could that be? Is it a flower or a rock?   Why do we treat the fleeting day with so much needless fear and sorrow? It’s in its nature not to stay: today is always gone tomorrow.   With smiles and kisses, we prefer to seek accord beneath our star, although we’re different (we concur) just as two drops of water are.
Wisława Szymborska (Map: Collected and Last Poems)
Sometimes in life, accidents do happen; sometimes in life, certain incidents do occur. Certain accidents can be an incident and certain incident can be an accident. In all things, our ability to get a good understanding of what to regard as a true or mere incident, or an accident will truly help us to know how to handle situations in life in the best way, and with an utmost understanding for growth and satisfaction.
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
Henry flopped onto his bed, and his steam leaked slowly out. He began telling himself a story in his head. It was about how just and kind and understanding he was. It was about right he had been, how necessary his tone and word choice. It was about a girl who just didn't understand, who was completely ignorant. Then, for some reason, the narrator of the story included an incident in which Henry ha pushed an envelope into a strange place just to see what would happen. It hadn't even been an accident. The incident did not fit with the rest of the story, so Henry tried to ignored it. He couldn't ignore it, so he tried to explain it. Completely different things. The post office was obviously not dangerous. It was yellow. I just wanted to see what the mailman would do. The flashlight was stupid. I didn't shine a flashlight into the post office. She didn't even act sorry. I would have acted sorry. I always act sorry when people get upset. She didn't even care that I probably saved her life. She didn't know. She was unconscious. Oh, shut up.
N.D. Wilson (100 Cupboards (100 Cupboards, #1))
And why do we measure the progress of economies by gross domestic product? GDP is simply the total annual value of all goods and services transacted in a country. It rises not only when lives get better and economies progress but also when bad things happen to people or to the environment. Higher alcohol sales, more driving under the influence, more accidents, more emergency-room admissions, more injuries, more people in jail—GDP goes up. More illegal logging in the tropics, more deforestation and biodiversity loss, higher timber sales—again, GDP goes up. We know better, but we still worship high annual GDP growth rate, regardless of where it comes from.
Vaclav Smil (Numbers Don't Lie: 71 Things You Need to Know About the World)
Further, all men are to be loved equally. But since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special regard to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstance, are brought into closer connection with you. For, suppose that you had a great deal of some commodity, and felt bound to give it away to somebody who had none, and that it could not be given to more than one person; if two persons presented themselves, neither of whom had either from need or relationship a greater claim upon you than the other, you could do nothing fairer than choose by lot to which you would give what could not be given to both. Just so among men: since you cannot consult for the good of them all, you must take the matter as decided for you by a sort of lot, according as each man happens for the time being to be more closely connected with you. Book 1, Chapter 28 - How we are to decide whom to aid
Augustine of Hippo (Saint Augustine: On Christian Doctrine)
So I think where people tend to end up results from a combination of encouragement, accident, and lucky break, etc. etc. Like many others, my career happened like it did because certain doors opened and certain doors closed. You know, at a certain point I thought it would be great to make film documentaries. Well, in fact, I found that to be incredibly hard and very expensive to do and I didn’t really have the courage to keep battling away at that. In another age, I might have been an academic in a university, if the university system had been different. So it's all about trying to find the best fit between your talents and what the world can offer at that point in time.
Alain de Botton
You always planned to do something. Write a screenplay. Travel. Start a business. Approach a possible mentor. Launch a movement. Well, now something has happened—some disruptive event like a failure or an accident or a tragedy. Use it.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph)
Whatever you tolerate will continue. If he’s doing something wrong—not just something that’s irritating—you need to stop tolerating it. This is not the same as trying to change him. It simply means that you change how you react to him.
Sheila Wray Gregoire (Nine Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage: Because a Great Relationship Doesn't Happen by Accident)
What a skeletal wreck of man this is. Translucent flesh and feeble bones, the kind of temple where the whores and villains try to tempt the holistic domes. Running rampid with free thought to free form, and the free and clear. When the matters at hand are shelled out like lint at a laundry mat to sift and focus on the bigger, better, now. We all have a little sin that needs venting, virtues for the rending and laws and systems and stems are ripped from the branches of office, do you know where your post entails? Do you serve a purpose, or purposely serve? When in doubt inside your atavistic allure, the value of a summer spent, and a winter earned. For the rest of us, there is always Sunday. The day of the week the reeks of rest, but all we do is catch our breath, so we can wade naked in the bloody pool, and place our hand on the big, black book. To watch the knives zigzag between our aching fingers. A vacation is a countdown, T minus your life and counting, time to drag your tongue across the sugar cube, and hope you get a taste. WHAT THE FUCK IS ALL THIS FOR? WHAT THE HELL’S GOING ON? SHUT UP! I can go on and on but lets move on, shall we? Say, your me, and I’m you, and they all watch the things we do, and like a smack of spite they threw me down the stairs, haven’t felt like this in years. The great magnet of malicious magnanimous refuse, let me go, and punch me into the dead spout again. That’s where you go when there’s no one else around, it’s just you, and there was never anyone to begin with, now was there? Sanctimonious pretentious dastardly bastards with their thumb on the pulse, and a finger on the trigger. CLASSIFIED MY ASS! THAT’S A FUCKING SECRET, AND YOU KNOW IT! Government is another way to say better…than…you. It’s like ice but no pick, a murder charge that won’t stick, it’s like a whole other world where you can smell the food, but you can’t touch the silverware. Huh, what luck. Fascism you can vote for. Humph, isn’t that sweet? And we’re all gonna die some day, because that’s the American way, and I’ve drunk too much, and said too little, when your gaffer taped in the middle, say a prayer, say a face, get your self together and see what’s happening. SHUT UP! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! I’m sorry, I could go on and on but their times to move on so, remember: you’re a wreck, an accident. Forget the freak, your just nature. Keep the gun oiled, and the temple cleaned shit snort, and blaspheme, let the heads cool, and the engine run. Because in the end, everything we do, is just everything we’ve done.
Stone Sour (Stone Sour)
Shirt off.” Neil stared at her. “Why?” “I can’t check track marks through cotton, Neil.” “I don’t do drugs.” “Good on you,” Abby said. “Keep it that way. Now take it off.” […] “I want to make this as painless as possible, but I can’t help you if you can’t help me. Tell me why you won’t take off your shirt.” Neil looked for a delicate way to say it. The best he managed was, “I’m not okay.” She put a finger to his chin and turned his face back toward her. “Neil, I work for the Foxes. None of you are okay. Chances are I’ve seen a lot worse than whatever it is you’re trying to hide from me.” Neil’s smile was humorless. “I hope not. “Trust me,” Abby said. “I’m not going to judge you. I’m here to help, remember? I’m your nurse now. That door is closed, and it comes with a lock. What happens in here stays in here.” […] “You can’t ask me about them,” he said at last. “I won’t talk to you about it. Okay?” “Okay,” Abby agreed easily. “But know that when you want to, I’m here, and so is Betsy.” Neil wasn’t going to tell that psychiatrist a thing, but he nodded. Abby dropped her hand and Neil pulled his shirt over his head before he could lose his nerve. Abby thought she was ready. Neil knew she wouldn’t be, and he was right. Her mouth parted on a silent breath and her expression went blank. She wasn’t fast enough to hide her flinch, and Neil saw her shoulders go rigid with tension. He stared at her face as she stared at him, watching her gaze sweep over the brutal marks of a hideous childhood. It started at the base of his throat, a looping scar curving down over his collarbone. A pucker with jagged edges was a finger-width away, courtesy of a bullet that hit him right on the edge of his Kevlar vest. A shapeless patch of pale skin from his left shoulder to his navel marked where he’d jumped out of a moving car and torn himself raw on the asphalt. Faded scars crisscrossed here and there from his life on the run, either from stupid accidents, desperate escapes, or conflicts with local lowlifes. Along his abdomen were larger overlapping lines from confrontations with his father’s people while on the run. His father wasn’t called the butcher for nothing; his weapon of choice was a cleaver. All of his men were well-versed in knife-fighting, and more than one of them had tried to stick Neil like a pig. And there on his right shoulder was the perfect outline of half a hot iron. Neil didn’t remember what he’s said or done to irritate his father so much.
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
I believe in God. But I do not believe the same things about Him that I did years ago, when I was growing up or when I was a theological student. I recognize His limitations. He is limited in what He can do by laws of nature and by the evolution of human nature and human moral freedom. I no longer hold God responsible for illnesses, accidents, and natural disasters, because I realize that I gain little and I lose so much when I blame God for those things. I can worship a God who hates suffering but cannot eliminate it, more easily than I can worship a God who chooses to make children suffer and die, for whatever exalted reason. Some years ago, when the "death of God" theology was a fad, I remember seeing a bumper sticker that read "My God is not dead; sorry about yours." I guess my bumper sticker reads "My God is not cruel; sorry about yours.
Harold S. Kushner (When Bad Things Happen to Good People)
I believe that You Reap What You Sow. I believe that we don't meet people by accident; everything happens for a reason. I believe that standing for what you believe in isn’t an easy thing but it’s the right thing to do; be brave to stand for what you believe in even if you stand alone.
Roy Bennett
She means," Nate said, turning away from the books, "That David has gone full weird." "He was always that way<' Janelle said in a low voice. "Yeah, but now he's completed his journey. Our little caterpillar has turned into a freaky butterfly." "Tell her about the screaming," Janelle said. "Because I can't." "The screaming? Stevie repeated. "The other morning he started something called 'screaming meditation'," Nate said. "Guess what happens in screaming meditation? Did you guess screaming? For fifteen minutes? Because that's what happens in screaming meditation. Fifteen. Minutes. Outside. At five in the morning. Do you know what happens when someone screams outside for fifteen minutes at five in the morning at a remote location in the mountains, especially after a . . ." The implied dot dot dot was "student dies in a terrible accident or maybe murder and another one goes missing." "When security got to him he claimed it was his new religion and that it is something he needs to do every morning now as a way to talk to the sun." So this is what Edward King had been referring to. "Sometimes," Nate went on, tapping the books into place so that the spines lined up perfectly, "he sleeps on the roof. Or somewhere else. Sometimes the green." "Naked," Janelle added. "He sleeps on the green naked." "Or in classrooms," Nate said. "Someone said they went into differential equations and he was asleep in the corner of the room under a Pokémon comforter." "Your boy has not been well," Janelle said.
Maureen Johnson (The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious, #2))
I have learned,” Douglas explained, “first through my wife’s illness and then especially through the accident, not to confuse God with life. I’m no stoic. I am as upset about what happened to me as anyone could be. I feel free to curse the unfairness of life and to vent all my grief and anger. But I believe God feels the same way about the accident as I do—grieved and angry. I don’t blame Him for what happened… . We tend to think, ‘Life should be fair because God is fair.’ But God is not life. And if I confuse God with the physical reality of life—by expecting constant good health, for example—then I set myself up for a crashing disappointment.”3
Pat Williams (What Are You Living For?: Investing Your Life in What Matters Most)
In the final analysis, the question of why bad things happen to good people translates itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it has happened. Are you capable of forgiving and accepting in love a world which has disappointed you by not being perfect, a world in which there is so much unfairness and cruelty, disease and crime, earthquake and accident? Can you forgive its imperfections and love it because it is capable of containing great beauty and goodness, and because it is the only world we have? Are you capable of forgiving and loving the people around you, even if they have hurt you and let you down by not being perfect? Can you forgive them and love them, because there aren't any perfect people around, and because the penalty for not being able to love imperfect people is condemning oneself to loneliness? Are you capable of forgiving and loving God even when you have found out that He is not prefect, even when He has let you down and disappointed you by permitting bad luck and sickness and cruelty in His world, and permitting some of those things to happen to you? Can you learn to love and forgive Him despite His limitations, as Job does, and as you once learned to forgive and love your parents even though they were not as wise, as strong, or as perfect as you needed them to be? And if you can do these things, will you be able to recognize that the ability to forgive and the ability to love are the weapons God has given us to enable us to live fully, bravely and meaningfully in this less-than-perfect world?
Harold S. Kushner (When Bad Things Happen to Good People)
The very worst strategy is to try to hide a gun. Children are remarkably adept at finding things that Mom and Dad don’t want them to find, and burglars make their living by doing so. No matter how well hidden you think it is, a gun that’s not secured is an accident or crime waiting to happen. If they’re not on you, lock ‘em up.
Grant Cunningham (Gun Digest Shooter's Guide to Handguns)
We may think our lives are great the way they are. We may be comfortable and think we have it all under control. We may even think that our lives are beautiful. And then out of nowhere a big black streak gets painted right across our lives, and we panic. “Where are you, Jesus? What are you doing? Why are you letting this happen? You’re ruining my life!” But if we just hang on a little longer, we see that God knew what he was doing all along. That black mark was no accident. God wasn’t asleep at the wheel. He knew just what he was doing. And he did not leave us in our mess. God is into completing things, and when he does that he makes them beautiful. Know
Rich Wilkerson Jr. (Sandcastle Kings: Meeting Jesus in a Spiritually Bankrupt World)
Black Rook in Rainy Weather On the stiff twig up there Hunches a wet black rook Arranging and rearranging its feathers in the rain. I do not expect a miracle Or an accident To set the sight on fire In my eye, nor seek Any more in the desultory weather some design, But let spotted leaves fall as they fall, Without ceremony, or portent. Although, I admit, I desire, Occasionally, some backtalk From the mute sky, I can't honestly complain; A certain minor light may still Lean incandescent Out of the kitchen table or chair As if a celestial burning took Possession of the most obtuse objects now and then -- Thus hallowing an interval Otherwise inconsequent By bestowing largesse, honor, One might say love. At any rate, I now walk Wary (for it could happen Even in this dull, ruinous landscape); skeptical, Yet politic; ignorant Of whatever angel may choose to flare Suddenly at my elbow. I only know that a rook Ordering its black feathers can so shine As to seize my senses, haul My eyelids up, and grant A brief respite from fear Of total neutrality. With luck, Trekking stubborn through this season Of fatigue, I shall Patch together a content Of sorts. Miracles occur, If you dare to call those spasmodic Tricks of radiance miracles. The wait's begun again, The long wait for the angel, For that rare, random descent.
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
I need to know how you can be so certain,' Daniel said, his voice dropping into a furious hush. 'Well...' Hugh brought his glass to his lips and took something deeper than a sip. 'If you must know, I told him that if anything happens to you, I would kill myself.' If Daniel had been holding anything, anything at all, it would have crashed to the ground. It was a remarkable thing that *he* did not crash to the ground. 'My father knows me well enough to know that I do not say such a thing lightly,' Hugh said, lightly. Daniel couldn't speak. 'So if you would...' Hugh took another drink, this time barely touching his lips to the liquid. 'I would appreciate if you would endeavor not to get yourself killed in an unhappy accident. I'm sure to blame it on my father, and honestly, I'd rather not see myself off unnecessarily.' 'You're mad,' Daniel whispered ... 'Why would you do such a thing?' Daniel could not imagine anyone else - not even Marcus, who was truly a brother to him - making the same sort of threat.
Julia Quinn (A Night Like This (Smythe-Smith Quartet, #2))
There are three ways you can live life—three again—remember that the great writers almost always do things in threes. You can live life as though it’s all a cosmic accident; we’re nothing but an irritating skin disease on the face of the earth. Maybe you can live your life as though everything’s a bad joke. I can’t.” They couldn’t, either, though for some of the kids who sat around the table that day not much had happened to make them think that life is anything else. “Or you can go out at night and look at the stars and think, yes, they were created by a prime mover, and so were you, but he’s aloof perfection, impassible, indifferent to his creation. He doesn’t care, or, if he cares, he only cares about the ultimate end of his creation, and so what happens to any part of it on the way is really a matter of indifference. You don’t matter to him, I don’t matter to him, except possibly as a means to an end. I can’t live that way, either.” Again there was general agreement. “Then there’s a third way: to live as though you believe that the power behind the universe is a power of love, a personal power of love, a love so great that all of us really do matter to him. He loves us so much that every single one of our lives has meaning; he really does know about the fall of every sparrow, and the hairs of our head are really counted. That’s the only way I can live.
Madeleine L'Engle (The Crosswicks Journals: A Circle of Quiet, The Summer of the Great-Grandmother, The Irrational Season, and Two-Part Invention)
Fear seems to exist only in our imagination. Without imagination, without the ability to see our place in the future, to work out the consequence of a particular event in all its gruesome detail, we would be quite fearless. I suppose that is why serious violent accidents, such as car crashes, avalanches, and long bouncing falls are frequently described as not frightening while actually taking place. It’s as if so much is happening to you, so much information is rushing into your mind that you have no time to imagine what the outcome might be. Things seem to happen in slow motion, as if the speed at which your mind is operating is affecting your perception of time. The future is simply a matter of fact, an emotionless reality – you will be dead – and that is that. Only the present, what is happening to you at this very instant, concerns you. Because of this, you are unable to extrapolate what the future will be like as a result of what is happening to you now. All you can do is to experience the present, nothing more. Deprived of the ability to imagine the future, you are fearless; suddenly there is nothing to be scared about. You have no time to ponder on death’s significance or fear what it may feel like. In the cataclysmic violence of the accident you lose not only the future but the past as well. You lose all possible reasons for fear, unable as you are
Joe Simpson (This Game of Ghosts)
And I will not allow you to think that you make my decisions, or made them. I am myself, not an appendage to you. Now go away. I must finish these arrows if I am to have even a few shafts that will fly true. I do not mean to kill you, and I would not have it happen by accident.” Unstopping the glue pot, she bent over the table. “Do not forget to curtsy like a good girl on your way out.
Robert Jordan (The Fires of Heaven (The Wheel of Time, #5))
In stories of drift into failure, organizations fail precisely because they are doing well—on a narrow range of performance criteria, that is—the ones that they get rewarded on in their current political or economic or commercial configuration. In the drift into failure, accidents can happen without anything breaking, without anybody erring, without anybody violating the rules they consider relevant.
Ezra Klein (Why We're Polarized)
Make for yourself a world you can believe in. It sounds simple, I know. But it’s not. Listen, there are a million worlds you could make for yourself. Everyone you know has a completely different one—the woman in 5G, that cab driver over there, you. Sure, there are overlaps, but only in the details. Some people make their worlds around what they think reality is like. They convince themselves that they had nothing to do with their worlds’ creations or continuations. Some make their worlds without knowing it. Their universes are just sesame seeds and three-day weekends and dial tones and skinned knees and physics and driftwood and emerald earrings and books dropped in bathtubs and holes in guitars and plastic and empathy and hardwood and heavy water and high black stockings and the history of the Vikings and brass and obsolescence and burnt hair and collapsed souffles and the impossibility of not falling in love in an art museum with the person standing next to you looking at the same painting and all the other things that just happen and are. But you want to make for yourself a world that is deliberately and meticulously personalized. A theater for your life, if I could put it like that. Don’t live an accident. Don’t call a knife a knife. Live a life that has never been lived before, in which everything you experience is yours and only yours. Make accidents on purpose. Call a knife a name by which only you will recognize it. Now I’m not a very smart man, but I’m not a dumb one, either. So listen: If you can manage what I’ve told you, as I was never able to, you will give your life meaning.
Jonathan Safran Foer (A Convergence of Birds: Original Fiction and Poetry Inspired by Joseph Cornell)
It's annoying how we blame ourselves, you know when John died, I was a wreck feeling that somehow I caused the accident, It is probably just human nature, trying to make sense of things, random things. I think the scariest part is realizing, sometimes bad things just happen, no reason, no purpose, they just occur and we are left to pick up the pieces. I quess that is what we are all doing all the time. Just picking up the pieces the best we can.
Felicity Porter
I don’t know why I’ve always been interested in the evil things people do. I’m not alone, I know that. People who devour true crime stories. People who watch the horrors on the news every day or read about them in the paper. People who rubberneck at accidents. They want to see it, hear it, talk about it. The dark side of human nature is fascinating to people. We’re so obsessed with all the bad things that happen in the world and not with the good.
Sibel Hodge (Into the Darkness)
In the army, you dont ask what you are going to do: you just do it. In fact, the way to get along in any army is never even to wonder why they want something done or what they are going to do with it after it’s finished, but just do it and then get out of sight so that they cant just happen to see you by accident and then think up something for you to do, but instead they will have to have thought up something to be done, and then hunt for somebody to do it.
William Faulkner (A Fable (Vintage International))
Dear lady, ... dear gentleman, reader, [it's] not right ... to put down this writer on his writing ... And I'll tell you why, too: it hurts, that's why.... People try to understand why writers commit suicide by jumping off boats or by alcoholism or by being heroic continuously or by rope or gun or drug or knife or water, and ... I can tell you straight out, ... it is reading slurring remarks about their writing that drives writers to the grave. Dirty remarks passed by ... dirty but damned nicely educated and very highly-paid ladies and gentlemen have the effect of killing writers. Yes, that's right. Dirty words ... in slick paper magazines read by smart people do assassinate writers. ... And boy let me tell you I am all for it, even when by some ... misunderstanding the dirty words are directed to me rather than to the party really deserving them. Accidents happen, dear clever reviewer or critic, and let it not be said that William Saroyan is one not to see a situation from the point of view of the other party, ... and I shall be the first to defend your right to be critical and even sarcastic, knowing full well that it is not about me and my writing, although my name is by mistake taken in vain by you. ... But go on, go on, do your good clever writing, every one of you, I am home, your are home, and we are each of us not yet on Variety's Necrology list, so if we can't take it, who can?
William Saroyan
She hurt her hand.” Sabrina managed a frown. “Terrible, really. Awful accident. Sad. Horribly painful. She almost lost full use of her hand.” “Whatever happened?” he asked. “Happened?” Sabrina blinked at the question, her face going blank briefly, then filling with desperation. “She… er… she… er… pricked her finger doing embroidery!” she finished triumphantly, and Brinna nearly groaned aloud as what sounded suspiciously like a snort of laughter burst from Lord Thurleah.
Lynsay Sands (Three French Hens)
Nothing Twice Nothing can ever happen twice. In consequence, the sorry fact is that we arrive here improvised and leave without the chance to practice. Even if there is no one dumber, if you’re the planet’s biggest dunce, you can’t repeat the class in summer: this course is only offered once. No day copies yesterday, no two nights will teach what bliss is in precisely the same way, with precisely the same kisses. One day, perhaps some idle tongue mentions your name by accident: I feel as if a rose were flung into the room, all hue and scent. The next day, though you’re here with me, I can’t help looking at the clock: A rose? A rose? What could that be? Is it a flower or a rock? Why do we treat the fleeting day with so much needless fear and sorrow? It’s in its nature not to stay: Today is always gone tomorrow. With smiles and kisses, we prefer to seek accord beneath our star, although we’re different (we concur) just as two drops of water are.
Wisława Szymborska (Map: Collected and Last Poems)
I pulled my Taser and ordered him to stop.” “And he listened?” I asked. “Oh no,” Kevin said. “Not at all. He shoved me out of his way and tried to make a run for it.” “So what’d you do, chase him down and tackle him?” Summer asked. “Er . . . no,” Kevin replied. “When he pushed me, I tripped over a little kid and, uh, sort of accidentally fired my Taser.” “So you tasered James Van Amburg by accident?” Mom gasped. “No.” Kevin said. “I tasered a different guest by accident. But then she fell down and Van Amburg tripped over her and knocked himself unconscious on the curb.” Hoenekker cringed, looking mortified by this story. “Wow,” J.J. muttered. “This is a real crack staff we have here.” “Thanks!” Kevin said, failing to grasp J.J.’s sarcasm. “Any idea what this accidental tasing’s gonna cost me?” J.J. asked. “Well, the woman was pretty upset,” Kevin admitted. “Especially because it happened in front of her grandkids.” “You tased a grandmother?!” J.J. exclaimed, horrified.
Stuart Gibbs (Panda-monium (FunJungle, #4))
I had discovered something, discovered something by accident. That ewe’s life had been saved not by medicinal therapy but simply by stopping her pain and allowing nature to do its own job of healing. It was a lesson I have never forgotten; that animals confronted with severe continuous pain and the terror and shock that goes with it will often retreat even into death, and if you can remove that pain amazing things can happen. It is difficult to explain rationally but I know that it is so.
James Herriot (Three James Herriot Classics: All Creatures Great and Small / All Things Bright and Beautiful / All Things Wise and Wonderful)
It occurs to me that there are many other ideas that I understand perfectly, even though no such things exist in the World. For example I know that a garden is a place where one can refresh oneself with the sight of plants and trees. But a garden is not a thing that exists in the World nor is there any Statue representing that particular idea. (Indeed I cannot quite imagine what a Statue of a garden would look like.) Instead, scattered about the House are Statues in which People or Gods or Beasts are surrounded by Roses or Strands of Ivy, or shelter under the Canopies of Trees. In the Ninth Vestibule there is the Statue of a Gardener digging and in the Nineteenth South-Eastern Hall there is a Statue of a different Gardener pruning a Rose Bush. It is from these things that I deduce the idea of a garden. I do not believe this happens by accident. This is how the House places new ideas gently and naturally in the Minds of Men. This is how the House increases my understanding.
Susanna Clarke (Piranesi)
I’ve heard that when you’re in a life-or-death situation, like a car accident or a gunfight, all your senses shoot up to almost superhuman level, everything slows down, and you’re hyper-aware of what’s happening around you. As the shuttle careens toward the earth, the exact opposite is true for me. Everything silences, even the screams and shouts from the people on the other side of the metal door, the crashes that I pray aren’t bodies, the hissing of rockets, Elder’s cursing, my pounding heartbeat. I feel nothing—not the seat belt biting into my flesh, not my clenching jaw, nothing. My whole body is numb. Scent and taste disappear. The only thing about my body that works is my eyes,and they are filled with the image before them. The ground seems to leap up at us as we hurtle toward it. Through the blurry image of the world below us, I see the outline of land—a continent. And at once, my heart lurches with the desire to know this world, to make it our home. My eyes drink up the image of the planet—and my stomach sinks with the knowledge that this is a coastline I’ve never seen before. I could spin a globe of Earth around and still be able to recognize the way Spain and Portugal reach into the Atlantic, the curve of the Gulf of Mexico, the pointy end of India. But this continent—it dips and curves in ways I don’t recognize, swirls into an unknown sea, creating peninsulas in shapes I do not know, scattering out islands in a pattern I cannot connect. And it’s not until I see this that I realize: this world may one day become our home,but it will never be the home I left behind.
Beth Revis (Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3))
Kyran stretched his legs out and crossed them at the ankles. “You’re needed, River. It’s not by accident that you know what you do about the Fae and were put in our path. You’re destined to aid us in this.” When she didn’t respond, he tried again. “Think of all the innocents, like your family and Jordyn’s, who were killed. You have a chance to help us put an end to such things for everyone. The half-Fae will no longer need to fear for their lives. And I promise you I’ll figure out who has hunted your family and end it.” Her resigned look cut through him. “You can’t do that. You work for Death. I doubt you’ll be given leave to help me.” “Let me deal with that. Whether you help me or not, I’m going to find out why the Dark are hunting your family. And then I’m going to make sure it never happens again.” River swung her gaze to him. She tucked a long length of hair behind her ear. “Do I have your word you’ll stop whoever is after me?” “Aye.” Kyran held out his hand. River stared at it a moment before she leaned up and took it. They shook, her small hand in his. “Then I’ll help you.
Donna Grant (Dark Alpha's Embrace (Reaper #2; Dark World #24))
Part 2 Etienne: I cheated on her every day. In my mind, I thought of you in ways I shouldn’t have, again and again. She was nothing compared to you. I’ve never felt this way about anybody before… Anna: But… Etienne: The first day of school. We weren’t physics partners by accident. I saw Professeur Wakefield assigning lab parnters based on where people were sitting, so I leaned forward to borrow a pencil form you at just the right moment so he’dt think we were next to each other. Anna, I wanted to be your partner the first day. Anna: But … Etienne: I bought you love poetry! „I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul.“ Neruda. I starred the pasasge. God. Why didn’t you open it? Anna: Because you said it was for school Etienne: I said you were beautiful. I slept in your bed! Anna: You never made a move! You had a girlfriend! Etienne: No matter what a terrible boyfriend I was, I wouldn’t actually cheat on her. But I thought you’d know. With me being there, I thought you’d know. Anna: How could I know if you never said anything? Etienne: How could I know if you never said anything? Anna: You had Ellie! Etienne: You had Toph! And Dave! Anna. I’m sorry for what happened in Luxembourg Gardens. Not because of the kiss – I’ve never had a kiss like that in my life – but because I didn’t tell you why I was running away. I chased after Meredith because of you. All I could think about was what that bastard did to you last Christmas. Toph never tired to explain or apologize. How could I do that to Mer? And I ought to have called you before I went to Ellie’s, but I was so anxious to just end it, once and for all, that i wasn’t thinking straight.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
What happened to your arm?" she asked me one night in the Gentleman Loser, the three of us drinking at a small table in a corner. Hang-gliding," I said, "accident." Hang-gliding over a wheatfield," said Bobby, "place called Kiev. Our Jack's just hanging there in the dark, under a Nightwing parafoil, with fifty kilos of radar jammed between his legs, and some Russian asshole accidentally burns his arm off with a laser." I don't remember how I changed the subject, but I did. I was still telling myself that it wasn't Rikki who getting to me, but what Bobby was doing with her. I'd known him for a long time, since the end of the war, and I knew he used women as counters in a game, Bobby Quine versus fortune, versus time and the night of cities. And Rikki had turned up just when he needed something to get him going, something to aim for. So he'd set her up as a symbol for everything he wanted and couldn't have, everything he'd had and couldn't keep. I didn't like having to listen to him tell me how much he loved her, and knowing he believed it only made it worse. He was a past master at the hard fall and the rapid recovery, and I'd seen it happen a dozen times before. He might as well have had next printed across his sunglasses in green Day-Glo capitals, ready to flash out at the first interesting face that flowed past the tables in the Gentleman Loser. I knew what he did to them. He turned them into emblems, sigils on the map of his hustler' s life, navigation beacons he could follow through a sea of bars and neon. What else did he have to steer by? He didn't love money, in and of itself , not enough to follow its lights. He wouldn't work for power over other people; he hated the responsibility it brings. He had some basic pride in his skill, but that was never enough to keep him pushing. So he made do with women. When Rikki showed up, he needed one in the worst way. He was fading fast, and smart money was already whispering that the edge was off his game. He needed that one big score, and soon, because he didn't know any other kind of life, and all his clocks were set for hustler's time, calibrated in risk and adrenaline and that supernal dawn calm that comes when every move's proved right and a sweet lump of someone else's credit clicks into your own account.
William Gibson (Burning Chrome (Sprawl, #0))
People judge the unknown with their knowledge of the known. . Fear is the most prized illusion that we create for ourselves. . Human beings are designed in a way that they always live with one half of their self in the past and the other half in the present. . Love doesn't always happen to strengthen our beliefs. Sometimes it happens to destroy all our previous beliefs and faith and gives us a chance to re-look at our own conclusions. . We all are designed to remember things. So, if you try to forget, you will suffer. Accept and you shall shine like never before. The greatest lesson love can give you is how to live a complete life by accepting its incomplete ways. If you can’t hope in love, you can’t live. . Accidents happen Mini but that doesn't mean you stop travelling. . Sometimes we confuse need and necessity, I guess. Necessity is common to all but need is person-specific. . What to do when you are in love with the journey but at the same time scared of the undesirable destination which you know is going to arrive sooner or later? . Sometimes we lie not to cover the truth but to cover that side of us which the truth may strip to bareness.
Novoneel Chakraborty (Marry Me, Stranger)
Degan struck the wall with the back of his head, bounced off, and fell to his knees. Hadrian felt the pain in his knuckles and only then realized he had hit him. Gaunt glared up, his eyes watering, his hands cupping his face. “Crazy fool! Are you mad?” “What’s going on?” Arista called back down the line. “This idiot just punched me in the face! My nose is bleeding!” “Hadrian did?” the princess said, stunned. “It was… an accident,” Hadrian replied, knowing it sounded feeble, but not knowing how else to describe his actions. He had not meant to hit Gaunt; it had just happened. “You accidentally punched him?” Wyatt asked, suppressing a chuckle. “I’m not sure you have a full understanding of the whole bodyguard thing.” “Hadrian!” Royce called. “What?” he shouted back, irritated that even Royce was going to join in this embarrassing moment. “Come up here. I need you to look at something.” Degan was still on his knees in a pool of water. “Um—sorry ’bout that.” “Get away from me!” Hadrian moved up the line as Wyatt, Elden, and Myron pressed themselves against the walls to let him pass, each one looking at him curiously. “What did he do?” Arista whispered as he reached her. “Nothing, really.” Her eyebrows rose. “You punched him for no reason?” “Well, no, but—it’s complicated. I’m not even sure I understand it. It was sort of like a reflex, I guess.” “A… reflex?” she said. “I told him I was sorry.” “Anytime today would be nice,” Royce said. Arista stepped aside, looking at him suspiciously as he passed. “What was all that about?” Alric asked as he approached. “I, ah—I punched Gaunt in the face.” “Good for you,” Alric told him. “About time someone did,” Mauvin said. “I’m just sorry you beat me to it.
Michael J. Sullivan (Heir of Novron (The Riyria Revelations, #5-6))
Here's my suggestion to musicians: When you're about to reach for whatever musical tools you use, virtual or real, guitar or computer, ask yourself if you're doing so to save time or because you don't feel like straining your brain. Or, more important, ask yourself if you have anything to say yet. If not, keep working (or playing) upstairs, in your brain. Sure, it's okay to react to what happens when playing with the tools -- or the way a chord sounds, a loop, or even an accident. But make sure you express what you wanted to say or what you imagined. Don't let your tools make you their bitch.
Ben Folds (A Dream About Lightning Bugs: A Life of Music and Cheap Lessons)
Mental toughness is the ability to focus on and execute solutions, especially in the face of adversity. Greatness rarely happens on accident. If you want to achieve excellence, you will have to act like you really want it. How? Quite simply: by dedicating time and energy into consistently doing what needs to be done. Excuses are the antithesis of accountability. Important decisions aren’t supposed to be easy, but don’t let that stop you from making them. When it comes to decisions, decide to always decide. The second we stop growing, we start dying. Stagnation easily morphs into laziness, and once a person stops trying to grow and improve, he or she is nothing more than mediocre. Develop the no-excuse mentality. Do not let anything interrupt those tasks that are most critical for growth in the important areas of your life. Find a way, no matter what, to prioritize your daily process goals, even when you have a viable excuse to justify not doing it. “If you don’t evaluate yourself, how in the heck are you ever going to know what you are doing well and what you need to improve? Those who are most successful evaluate themselves daily. Daily evaluation is the key to daily success, and daily success is the key to success in life. If you want to achieve greatness, push yourself to the limits of your potential by continuously looking for improvements. Within 60 seconds, replace all problem-focused thought with solution-focused thinking. When people focus on problems, their problems actually grow and reproduce. When you train your mind to focus on solutions, guess what expands? Talking about your problems will lead to more problems, not to solutions. If you want solutions, start thinking and talking about your solutions. Believe that every problem, no matter how large, has at the very least a +1 solution, you will find it easier to stay on the solution side of the chalkboard. When you set your mind to do something, find a way to get it done…no matter what! If you come up short on your discipline, keep fighting, kicking, and scratching to improve. Find the nearest mirror and look yourself in the eye while you tell yourself, “There is no excuse, and this will not happen again.” Get outside help if needed, but never, ever give up on being disciplined. Greatness will not magically appear in your life without significant accountability, focus, and optimism on your part. Are you ready to commit fully to turning your potential into a leadership performance that will propel you to greatness. Mental toughness is understanding that the only true obstacles in life are self-imposed. You always have the choice to stay down or rise above. In truth, the only real obstacles to your ultimate success will come from within yourself and fall into one of the following three categories: apathy, laziness and fear. Laziness breeds more laziness. When you start the day by sleeping past the alarm or cutting corners in the morning, you’re more likely to continue that slothful attitude later in the day.
Jason Selk (Executive Toughness: The Mental-Training Program to Increase Your Leadership Performance)
To understand hardware and software (as applied to the human brain) perform the following meditation. Sit in a room where you will not be disturbed for a half hour and begin thinking, “I am sitting in this room doing this exercize because . . .“ and list as many of the “causes” as you can think of. For instance, you are doing this exercize because, obviously, you read about it in this book. Why did you buy this book? Did somebody recommend it? How did that person come into your life? If you just picked the book up in a store, why did you happen to be in just that store on just that day? Why do you read books of this sort — on psychology, consciousness, evolution etc.? How did you get interested in those fields? Who turned you on, and how long ago? What factors in your childhood inclined you to be interested in these subjects later? Why are you doing this exercize in this room and not elsewhere? Why did you buy or rent this house or apartment? Why are you in this city and not another? Why on this continent and not another? Why are you here at all — that is, how did your parents meet? Did they consciously decide to have a child, do you happen to know, or were you an accident? What cities were they born in? If in different cities, why did they move in space-time so that their paths would intersect? Why is this planet capable of supporting life, and why did it produce the kind of life that would dream up an exercize of this sort? Repeat this exercize a few days later, trying to ask and answer fifty questions you didn’t think of the first time. (Note that you cannot ever ask all possible questions.) Avoid all metaphysical speculations (e.g., karma, reincarnation, “destiny” etc.). The point of the exercize will be mind-blowing enough without introducing “occult” theories, and it will be more startling if you carefully avoid such overtly “mystical” speculations.
Robert Anton Wilson (Prometheus Rising)
I have sometimes looked at old photographs of the smiling faces of victims, and searched them desperately for some sign that they knew. Surely they must have known that within hours or days their life was to end in that car crash, in that aeroplane disaster, or in domestic tragedy. But I can find no sign whatever. Nothing. They look out serenely, a terrible warning to us all. 'No I didn't know. Just like you ... there were no signs.' 'I who died at thirty... I too had planned my forties.' 'I who died at twenty had dreamed, as you do, of the roses round the cottage someday. It could happen to you. Why not? Why me? Why you? Why not?
Josephine Hart (Damage)
How long will the Gilgamesh Project – the quest for immortality – take to complete? A hundred years? Five hundred years? A thousand years? When we recall how little we knew about the human body in 1900, and how much knowledge we have gained in a single century, there is cause for optimism. Genetic engineers have recently managed to double the average life expectancy of Caenorhabditis elegans worms.12 Could they do the same for Homo sapiens? Nanotechnology experts are developing a bionic immune system composed of millions of nano-robots, who would inhabit our bodies, open blocked blood vessels, fight viruses and bacteria, eliminate cancerous cells and even reverse ageing processes.13 A few serious scholars suggest that by 2050, some humans will become a-mortal (not immortal, because they could still die of some accident, but a-mortal, meaning that in the absence of fatal trauma their lives could be extended indefinitely). Whether or not Project Gilgamesh succeeds, from a historical perspective it is fascinating to see that most late-modern religions and ideologies have already taken death and the afterlife out of the equation. Until the eighteenth century, religions considered death and its aftermath central to the meaning of life. Beginning in the eighteenth century, religions and ideologies such as liberalism, socialism and feminism lost all interest in the afterlife. What, exactly, happens to a Communist after he or she dies? What happens to a capitalist? What happens to a feminist? It is pointless to look for the answer in the writings of Marx, Adam Smith or Simone de Beauvoir. The only modern ideology that still awards death a central role is nationalism. In its more poetic and desperate moments, nationalism promises that whoever dies for the nation will for ever live in its collective memory. Yet this promise is so fuzzy that even most nationalists do not really know what to make of it. The
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
He studied the boulders, then pushed against one until it began to move. When she gasped, he stopped. “Seems I could free you, after all.” She gave him a tentative touch on his chest. “What would it take to get you to finish moving those?” “What are you offering?” he asked, his voice rougher. “Money? Would you take money to push these free?” “I’ve plenty of my own. More than enough for both of us.” She scowled at that. “What do you want, then?” “I want”—he ran his hand over his face—“to . . . touch you. Not here, but tonight . . .” “Not going to happen.” She crossed her arms over her chest, and his gaze landed on her damp cleavage. As he had that night on the coast, he looked like he was considering throwing her over his shoulder and tracing her back to his bed. “I do so wish my breasts would stop staring at your eyes.” His head jerked up, and he had to clear his throat to rasp, “Kiss me. Kiss me, and I’ll free you.” “The last time that happened you bit me, and you could do it again.” Kissing Sebastian always seemed to lead to more. Last time, it had led to his taking her blood. And possibly her memories. “I never bit you. I grazed your skin. Accidently.” “Then tell me you haven’t contemplated doing it again.” “I” –he exhaled heavily—“cannot. The pleasure was too intense to ignore.
Kresley Cole (No Rest for the Wicked (Immortals After Dark, #2))
The inventory of your scars, in particular the ones on your face, which are visible to you each morning when you look into the bathroom mirror to shave or comb you hair. You seldom think about them, but whenever you do, you understand that they are marks of life, that the assorted jagged lines etched into the skin of your face are letters from the secret alphabet that tells the story of who you are, for each scar is the trace of a healed wound, and each wound was caused by an unexpected collision with the world – that is to say, an accident, or something that need not have happened, since by definition an accident is something that need not to happen.
Paul Auster (Winter Journal)
Sam: There's no collisions out there, Hally. Nobody trips or stumbles or bumps into anybody else. That's what that moment is all about. To be one of those finalists on that dance floor is like... like being in a dream about a world in which accidents don't happen. Hally: [Genuinely moved by Sam's image.] Jesus, Sam! That's beautiful! Willie: [Can endure waiting no longer.] I'm starting! [Willie dances while Sam talks.] Sam: Of course it is. That's what I've been trying to say to you all afternoon. And it's beautiful because that is what we want life to be like. But instead, like you said, Hally, we're bumping into each other all the time. Look at the three of us this afternoon. I've bumped into Willie, the two of us have bumped into you, you've bumped into your mother, she bumping into your Dad... None of us knows the steps and there's no music playing. And it doesn't stop with us. The whole world is doing it all the time. Open a newspaper and what do you read? America has bumped into Russia, England is bumping into India, rich man bumps into poor man. Those are big collisions, Hally. They make for a lot of bruises. People get hurt in all that bumping, and we're sick and tired of it now. It's been going on for too long. Are we never going to get it right? ... Learn to dance life like champions instead of always being just a bunch of beginners at it? Hally: [Deep and sincere admiration of the man.] You've got a vision, Sam! Sam: Not just me. What I'm saying to you is that everybody's got it. That's why there's only standing room left for the Centenery Hall in two weeks' time. For as long as the music lasts, we are going to see six couples get it right, the way we want life to be. Hally: But is that the best we can do, Sam... watch six finalists dreaming about the way it should be? Sam: I don't know. But it starts with that. Without the dream we won't know what we're going for. And anyway I reckon there are a few people who have got past just dreaming about it and are trying for something real.
Athol Fugard (Master Harold...and the boys)
Certain things have happened that can't be undone. Do you understand?" He saw from Harry's expression that only a few fragile constraints stood between him and certain death. "You seduced her deliberately," Harry managed to say. "Would you be happier if I claimed it was an accident?" "The only thing that would make me happy is to weight you with rocks and toss you into the Thames." "I understand. I even sympathize. I can't imagine what it would be like to face a man who's compromised your sisterhood, how difficult it would be to keep from murdering him on the spot. Oh, but wait..." Leo tapped a forefinger thoughtfully on his chin. "I can imagine. Because I went through it two bloody months ago.
Lisa Kleypas (Married by Morning (The Hathaways, #4))
And suddenly I think: nothing is fine. It’s never fine. It’s always an illusion. Happy smiles, assurances, jokes, laughter—there’s no way to tell if it is real, or a mask. There’s always something terrible hurtling toward you, something that will destroy all that you love and alter your life forever. You may not know it, but it’s coming and there’s nothing you can do. No amount of hammering, or holy water, or screaming will change that. You can scream no, and stop, and please, you can reach out and try to bend fate to your will with your own two hands, but it has already been decided. In every moment, a thousand accidents wait to happen, already in place and poised to strike, and we don’t even know it
Andra Brynn (Where I End and You Begin)
We do not like what happens when we are awake, because it too closely resembles what happens when we are asleep. We understand the ordinary business of living, We know how to work the machine, We can usually avoid accidents, We are insured against fire, Against larceny and illness, Against defective plumbing, But not against the act of God. We know various spells and enchantments. And minor forms of sorcery, Divination and chiromancy, Specifics against insomnia, Lumbago, and the loss of money. But the circle of our understanding Is a very restricted area. Except for a limited number Of strictly practical purposes We do not know what we are doing; And even, when you think of it, We do not know much about thinking
T.S. Eliot (The Complete Poems and Plays)
Imagine being able to plot in advance, in systematic fashion, the approach of all meaningful coincidences. Is that a priori, by the very meaning of the word, not a contradiction? After all, a coincidence, or as Pauli called it, a manifestation of synchronicity, is by its very nature not dependent on the past; hence nothing exists as a harbinger of it (cf. David Hume on the topic; in particular the train whistle versus the train). This state, not knowing what is going to happen next and therefore having no way of controlling it, is the sine qua non of the unhappy world of the schizophrenic; he is helpless, passive, and instead of doing things, he is done to. Reality happens to him -- a sort of perpetual auto accident, going on and on without relief.
Philip K. Dick
What wishes would you like? You get three, you know.’ No way was I going to fall for that trick. Anyone with a scrap of intelligence knew to steer clear of anyone offering wishes. ‘I’m good,’ I told him with a definite edge to my voice. ‘I don’t care whether you’re good or bad. What do you wish for first?’ ‘Nothing. I don’t need anything.’ ‘Hah!’ he scoffed. ‘Everyone needs something. Go on. You can tell Bob everything. I can make it happen.’ ‘No thank you,’ I said primly. He gazed at me, disappointed. ‘Why ever not?’ ‘I know how these things work,’ I told him. ‘I ask for money and the next thing I know I’m receiving compensation for having my leg chopped off in a freak accident. I’ve read the stories. Everyone’s read the stories.’ He pouted. ‘You’re no fun.
Helen Harper (Gifted Thief (Highland Magic, #1))
The next thing you do is center yourself, get to that Effortless Action place, and then you present yourself in the middle of the environment you want to Create a Cause in, from a perfectly centered position. And then you place your Intention on the desired Result. As soon as you do that, "accidents" begin to happen. Jung calls them "synchronicities". Be prepared for those accidents to happen. You know they're going to happen. You don't know when or what they're going to be. Every one is a surprise. But every time an accident occurs in a situation, you pick it up and say Thank you to Mother Nature for creating this accident. And place it on the focus of your Intention. The causation thus begins, and your idea begins to become manifested. You're building a bridge, you're building a house, you're building a relationship with your girl friend or boy friend. You're bombarded with chaos and accidents, but every time something happens that aligns with your intention, thank the universe for it, position it, stroke it, mould it, "kiss it", as Blake would say. And go back to the beginning. I'm drawing a closed loop to fulfil your intention. Correct things to be sure that the results you're getting are what you really want. Get centered again. Be alert for more "accidents". And Mother Nature will produce what you desire. And She'll thank you for it. Mother Nature is a living principle that is dedicated to your well being, but you've got to ask before She can do it. So She's sitting there begging for you to try some tricks.
Dean Brown
But we have soothed ourselves into imagining sudden change as something that happens outside the normal order of things. An accident, like a car crash. Or beyond our control, like a fatal illness. We do not conceive of sudden, radical, irrational change as built into the very fabric of existence. Yet it is. And chaos theory teaches us,” Malcolm said, “that straight linearity, which we have come to take for granted in everything from physics to fiction, simply does not exist. Linearity is an artificial way of viewing the world. Real life isn’t a series of interconnected events occurring one after another like beads strung on a necklace. Life is actually a series of encounters in which one event may change those that follow in a wholly unpredictable, even devastating way.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))
That night, lying exhausted in my swag, covered with salt water and river mud, I had a single thought running through my mind over and over. Thank God that Steve was there. Wherever I was in the Australian bush, whatever I was doing, I resolved that Steve had to be with me. I felt that as long as he was there, no matter what accident or incident happened, I knew I would be fine. It wasn’t just that I knew Steve would protect me and that his knowledge of the bush was so complete. I was beginning to sense something we would both come to feel and talk about seriously. When we were together, nothing bad would happen. Apart, we might be vulnerable. It was hard to explain, but it was as if the universe had brought us together and now we were as one. Whatever it was, we both felt it.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
The principal reason that districts within states often differ markedly in per-pupil expenditures is that school funding is almost always tied to property taxes, which are in turn a direct function of local wealth. Having school funding depend on local wealth creates a situation in which poor districts must tax themselves far more heavily than wealthy ones, yet still may not be able to generate adequate income. For example, Baltimore City is one of the poorest jurisdictions in Maryland, and the Baltimore City Public Schools have the lowest per-pupil instructional expenses of any of Maryland's 24 districts. Yet Baltimore's property tax rate is twice that of the next highest jurisdiction.(FN2) Before the funding equity decision in New Jersey, the impoverished East Orange district had one of the highest tax rates in the state, but spent only $3,000 per pupil, one of the lowest per-pupil expenditures in the state.(FN3) A similar story could be told in almost any state in the U.S.(FN4) Funding formulas work systematically against children who happen to be located in high-poverty districts, but also reflect idiosyncratic local circumstances. For example, a factory closing can bankrupt a small school district. What sense does it make for children's education to suffer based on local accidents of geography or economics? To my knowledge, the U.S. is the only nation to fund elementary and secondary education based on local wealth. Other developed countries either equalize funding or provide extra funding for individuals or groups felt to need it. In the Netherlands, for example, national funding is provided to all schools based on the number of pupils enrolled, but for every guilder allocated to a middle-class Dutch child, 1.25 guilders are allocated for a lower-class child and 1.9 guilders for a minority child, exactly the opposite of the situation in the U.S. where lower-class and minority children typically receive less than middle-class white children.(FN5) Regional differences in per-pupil costs may exist in other countries, but the situation in which underfunded urban or rural districts exist in close proximity to wealthy suburban districts is probably uniquely American. Of course, even equality in per-pupil costs in no way ensures equality in educational services. Not only do poor districts typically have fewer funds, they also have greater needs.
Robert E. Slavin
It marked a turning point for me. It marked the point where I recognized that I must never - not even when he was 'well' again - expect from Didi what one normally expects from a friend. When he gave anything to other people - as he often did, as he had done earlier to me and was to do again - it was by the happy accident of their chancing to appreciate what he chanced to be 'giving off'. If he happened to be in a mood to charm, to find things amusing, to respond lovingly, to use his intuition (which could be sharp) on people's behaviour, to apply his intelligence, then whoever was around would benefit; but he was so hermetically walled up in himself that he was unablee to discover inother people any constant reason to attend to them, still less to be considerate of them, and he couldn't answer their demands.
Diana Athill
Pham Nuwen spent years learning to program/explore. Programming went back to the beginning of time. It was a little like the midden out back of his father’s castle. Where the creek had worn that away, ten meters down, there were the crumpled hulks of machines—flying machines, the peasants said—from the great days of Canberra’s original colonial era. But the castle midden was clean and fresh compared to what lay within the Reprise’s local net. There were programs here that had been written five thousand years ago, before Humankind ever left Earth. The wonder of it—the horror of it, Sura said—was that unlike the useless wrecks of Canberra’s past, these programs still worked! And via a million million circuitous threads of inheritance, many of the oldest programs still ran in the bowels of the Qeng Ho system. Take the Traders’ method of timekeeping. The frame corrections were incredibly complex—and down at the very bottom of it was a little program that ran a counter. Second by second, the Qeng Ho counted from the instant that a human had first set foot on Old Earth’s moon. But if you looked at it still more closely. . .the starting instant was actually some hundred million seconds later, the 0-second of one of Humankind’s first computer operating systems. So behind all the top-level interfaces was layer under layer of support. Some of that software had been designed for wildly different situations. Every so often, the inconsistencies caused fatal accidents. Despite the romance of spaceflight, the most common accidents were simply caused by ancient, misused programs finally getting their revenge. “We should rewrite it all,” said Pham. “It’s been done,” said Sura, not looking up. She was preparing to go off-Watch, and had spent the last four days trying to root a problem out of the coldsleep automation. “It’s been tried,” corrected Bret, just back from the freezers. “But even the top levels of fleet system code are enormous. You and a thousand of your friends would have to work for a century or so to reproduce it.” Trinli grinned evilly. “And guess what—even if you did, by the time you finished, you’d have your own set of inconsistencies. And you still wouldn’t be consistent with all the applications that might be needed now and then.” Sura gave up on her debugging for the moment. “The word for all this is ‘mature programming environment.’ Basically, when hardware performance has been pushed to its final limit, and programmers have had several centuries to code, you reach a point where there is far more signicant code than can be rationalized. The best you can do is understand the overall layering, and know how to search for the oddball tool that may come in handy—take the situation I have here.” She waved at the dependency chart she had been working on. “We are low on working fluid for the coffins. Like a million other things, there was none for sale on dear old Canberra. Well, the obvious thing is to move the coffins near the aft hull, and cool by direct radiation. We don’t have the proper equipment to support this—so lately, I’ve been doing my share of archeology. It seems that five hundred years ago, a similar thing happened after an in-system war at Torma. They hacked together a temperature maintenance package that is precisely what we need.” “Almost precisely.
Vernor Vinge (A Deepness in the Sky (Zones of Thought, #2))
that’s how things are. A day is like a whole life. You start out doing one thing, but end up doing something else, plan to run an errand, but never get there.… And at the end of your life, your whole existence has that same haphazard quality, too. Your whole life has the same shape as a single day.” “I guess it’s one way to look at things,” Grant said. “No,” Malcolm said. “It’s the only way to look at things. At least, the only way that is true to reality. You see, the fractal idea of sameness carries within it an aspect of recursion, a kind of doubling back on itself, which means that events are unpredictable. That they can change suddenly, and without warning.” “Okay …” “But we have soothed ourselves into imagining sudden change as something that happens outside the normal order of things. An accident, like a car crash. Or beyond our control, like a fatal illness. We do not conceive of sudden, radical, irrational change as built into the very fabric of existence. Yet it is. And chaos theory teaches us,” Malcolm said, “that straight linearity, which we have come to take for granted in everything from physics to fiction, simply does not exist. Linearity is an artificial way of viewing the world. Real life isn’t a series of interconnected events occurring one after another like beads strung on a necklace. Life is actually a series of encounters in which one event may change those that follow in a wholly unpredictable, even devastating way.” Malcolm sat back in his seat, looking toward the other Land Cruiser, a few yards ahead. “That’s a deep truth about the structure of our universe. But, for some reason, we insist on behaving as if it were not true.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))
If she dies, you’re all to blame,” he said, turning accusing eyes on his family and hers. “This damned feud has to stop. Here. Now. For good.” He turned his gaze to Sam and said, “I’m sorry for what happened to you. It was an accident, plain and simple. I love your sister and I am, by God, going to make her my wife.” He turned to the rest of them and said, “And we’re going to be showing up for the holidays, and you’d better damned well make us welcome.” Owen was crying, the tears streaming unashamedly town his face. “I love Bayleigh Creed. Do you hear me? I love her!” “I think everyone can hear you just fine,” Bay murmured. “Oh, God, Red,” he said, smiling down at her through the blur of tears. “I thought you were dying.” She lifted a shaky hand to her head, but he caught it before she could touch the wound. “My head hurts like hell. But I enjoyed the speech, Owe.
Joan Johnston (The Texan (Bitter Creek, #2))
What happened?” Dallas asked immediately, his hand reaching out toward Louie. I didn’t miss how Lou took his hand instantly. “She called me a brat,” Louie blurted out, his other little hand coming up to meet with the one already clutching our neighbor’s. I blinked and told myself I was not going to look at Christy until I had the full story. “Why?” Dallas was the one who asked. “He spilled some of his hot chocolate on her purse,” it was Josh who explained. “He said sorry, but she called him a brat. I told her not to talk to my brother like that, and she told me I should have learned to respect my elders.” For the second time around this woman, I went to ten. Straight through ten, past Go, and collected two hundred dollars. “I tried to wipe it up,” Louie offered, those big blue eyes going back and forth between Dallas and me for support. “You should teach these boys to watch where they’re going,” Christy piped up, taking a step back. Be an adult. Be a role model, I tried telling myself. “It was an accident,” I choked out. “He said he was sorry… and your purse is leather and black, and it’ll be fine,” I managed to grind out like this whole thirty-second conversation was jabbing me in the kidneys with sharp knives. “I’d like an apology,” the woman, who had gotten me suspended and made me cry, added quickly. I stared at her long face. “For what?” “From Josh, for being so rude.” My hand started moving around the outside of my purse, trying to find the inner compartment when Louie suddenly yelled, “Mr. Dallas, don’t let her get her pepper spray!” The fuck? Oh my God. I glared at Louie. “I was looking for a baby wipe to offer her one, Lou. I wasn’t getting my pepper spray.” “Nuh-uh,” he argued, and out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Christy take a step back. “I heard you on the phone with Vanny. You said, you said if she made you mad again you were gonna pepper spray her and her mom and her mom’s mom in the—” “Holy sh—oot, Louie!” My face went red, and I opened my mouth to argue that he hadn’t heard me correctly. But… I had said those words. They had been a joke, but I’d said them. I glanced at Dallas, the serious, easygoing man who happened to look in that instant like he was holding back a fart but was hopefully just a laugh, and finally peeked at the woman who I’d like to think brought this upon herself. “Christy, I would never do that—” ... I cleared my throat and popped my lips. “Well, that was awkward.” “I’m not a brat.” Louie was still hung up and outraged. I pointed my finger at him. “You’re a tattletale, that’s what you are. Nosey Rosie. What did I tell you about snitches?” “You love them?
Mariana Zapata (Wait for It)
I CAN’T ABIDE CLUTTER,” TOM said. “That includes long dusty curtains, and china figurines, and those little tablemats with holes in them—” “Doilies?” “Yes, those. And fringe trimming. I hate fringe.” Cassandra blinked as she saw him write, 7D: No doilies or fringe. “Wait,” she said. “No fringe at all? Not even on lampshades? Or pillows?” “Especially not pillows.” Cassandra rested her crossed arms on the table and gave him a mildly exasperated glance. “Was there an accident involving fringe? Why do you hate it?” “It’s ugly and waggly. It dangles like caterpillar legs.” Her brows lowered. “I reserve the right to wear fringe trim on my hats or clothing. It happens to be fashionable this year.” “Can we exclude it from nightwear and robes? I’d rather not have it touching me.” Faced with her baffled annoyance, Tom looked down at the paper somewhat sheepishly. “Some quirks can’t be overcome.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
I know it's crazy. But is the idea of El Cuco any more inexplicable than some of the terrible things that happen in the world? Not natural disasters or accidents, I'm talking about the things some people do to others. Wasn't Ted Bundy just a version of El Cuco, a shapeshifter with one face for the people he knew and another for the women he killed? The last thing those women saw was his face, his inside face, the face of El Cuco. There are others. They walk among us. You know they do. They're aliens. Monsters beyond our understanding. Yet you believe in them [...] Suppose it had been Terry Maitland who killed that child, and tore off his flesh, and put a branch up inside him? Would he be any less inexplicable than the thing that might be hiding in that cave? Would you be able to say, 'I understand the darkness and evil that was hiding behind the mask of the boys' athletic coach and good community citizen. I know exactly what made him do it'?
Stephen King (The Outsider)
Bible Passage: Proverbs 27:1-3   "Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both."   ------------------------------------------------ People many times are inclined to boast about what they will or will not do and even to boast about when they will or will not do it.  But Solomon had warned about falling into that trap.  The simple fact as he pointed out is that no one knows for certain any part of the future.  One moment before having a devastating medical emergency, the individual that will have it probably has no clue about what will soon happen.  Similarly a serious automobile accident or some other kind of serious accident might be just a few moments away.  But the person or people that will suffer through that experience do not have any idea about that either.  As everyone knows, the unknown is simply a very big part of this life.
James Thomas Lee Jr. (Daily Devotions from the Book of Proverbs)
How long does it last?" Said the other customer, a man wearing a tan shirt with little straps that buttoned on top of the shoulders. He looked as if he were comparing all the pros and cons before shelling out $.99. You could see he thought he was pretty shrewd. "It lasts for as long as you live," the manager said slowly. There was a second of silence while we all thought about that. The man in the tan shirt drew his head back, tucking his chin into his neck. His mind was working like a house on fire "What about other people?" He asked. "The wife? The kids?" "They can use your membership as long as you're alive," the manager said, making the distinction clear. "Then what?" The man asked, louder. He was the type who said things like "you get what you pay for" and "there's one born every minute" and was considering every angle. He didn't want to get taken for a ride by his own death. "That's all," the manager said, waving his hands, palms down, like a football referee ruling an extra point no good. "Then they'd have to join for themselves or forfeit the privileges." "Well then, it makes sense," the man said, on top of the situation now, "for the youngest one to join. The one that's likely to live the longest." "I can't argue with that," said the manager. The man chewed his lip while he mentally reviewed his family. Who would go first. Who would survive the longest. He cast his eyes around to all the cassettes as if he'd see one that would answer his question. The woman had not gone away. She had brought along her signed agreement, the one that she paid $25 for. "What is this accident waiver clause?" She asked the manager. "Look," he said, now exhibiting his hands to show they were empty, nothing up his sleeve, "I live in the real world. I'm a small businessman, right? I have to protect my investment, don't I? What would happen if, and I'm not suggesting you'd do this, all right, but some people might, what would happen if you decided to watch one of my movies in the bathtub and a VCR you rented from me fell into the water?" The woman retreated a step. This thought had clearly not occurred to her before.
Michael Dorris (A Yellow Raft in Blue Water)
First I’ll ask Totthill what he knows about the borrowed funds. Since he probably won’t have a satisfactory answer, I’ll have to go through the account ledgers to find out what happened. In either event, I’ll tell the land steward to estimate what it will take to make the land improvements.” “I don’t envy you,” West said casually, and paused. His tone changed, sharpening. “Nor do I understand you. Sell the damned estate, Devon. You owe nothing to those people. Eversby Priory isn’t your birthright.” Devon sent him a sardonic glance. “Then how did I end up with it?” “By bloody accident!” “Regardless, it’s mine. Now leave, before I flatten your skull with one of these ledgers.” But West stood unmoving, pinning him with a baleful stare. “Why is this happening? What has changed you?” Exasperated, Devon rubbed the corners of his eyes. He hadn’t slept well for weeks, and his cookmaid had brought him only burned bacon and weak tea for breakfast. “Did you think that we were going to go through life completely unaltered?” he asked. “That we would occupy ourselves with nothing but selfish pleasures and trivial amusements?” “I was counting on it!” “Well, the unexpected happened. Don’t trouble yourself over it; I’ve asked nothing of you.” West’s aggression weathered down to a core of resentment. He approached the desk, turned, and hoisted himself up with effort to sit next to Devon. “Maybe you should, you stupid bastard.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
Okay. Fine. Why are you disappointed in me, Cletus?” “Because I provided means and opportunity. All you had to do was exploit the situation.” “What are you talking about?” “On Friday? With the blankets and coffee? You think that was all by accident? That was arranged.” “Arranged?” I blinked at him while he tore off another piece of his doughnut. It smelled like it was strawberry flavored. “Yes. Arranged.” Leaning back in my chair, I crossed my arms and examined Cletus. I decided he was odd. “You’re odd.” “Yes. I am. But that doesn’t negate the fact that you fumbled my pass. If we’re going to make this thing happen with Jethro, I need you to bring your A-game.” “This is about Jethro?” I sat up straighter. “Of course. What’d you think I was talking about?” Apparently I wasn’t catching on quickly enough because he sighed loudly and rolled his eyes with great effect. “Do you want my help or not?” “Yes, yes, yes,” I said quickly, leaning forward at full attention. “Yes. I want your help.” “Fine then. We need to coordinate our attack.” Cletus punctuated this statement by popping the remainder of the first doughnut in his mouth. “Good. Yes. Attack synchronization.” My phone rang as he chewed. I glanced at the screen, saw it was Marta, and sent it to voicemail. Marta called back immediately, earning me a severe frown from Cletus. “You should get that.” He gestured to my phone. “You get that and I’ll ruminate while eating this other doughnut.
Penny Reid (Grin and Beard It (Winston Brothers, #2))
He stared down at her for a moment, wanting to heal every cut on her soft skin. But he couldn’t, not yet. He needed to get her, and her car, far from this place so neither he nor Kate would be implicated in any way with the gruesome murder site. It also meant he would have to drive. In all his years, he had never driven an automobile. The closest he had come was watching various assistants through the years as they chauffeured him. He wasn’t sure he could even remember how to start the car, but right now he had no choice. Grudgingly, he got into the driver’s seat, and finding the lever underneath, he pushed it back so he sat comfortably behind the wheel. After trying three different keys, he found one that slipped into the ignition. From what he had seen over the past hundred years, driving was not a complex operation, and he was an immortal with reflexes far more keen than a human man. How difficult could it be? He turned the key and nearly jerked the wheel off the steering column when the car surprised him by lurching forward. The car went silent. The engine wasn’t running. What was he doing wrong? He stared at the gearshift, wondering if he should move it. His frustration reared up, but his agitation would not make the car drive itself. He had to keep a cool head. Not knowing what else to try, he pushed one of the pedals at his feet to the floor and turned the key again. This time the car didn’t move, and it roared to life. Grasping the gearshift, he jammed it into the first position and glanced over at Kate. Why couldn’t she have owned a car with an automatic transmission? Shaking his head, he put some pressure on the gas pedal and slowly released the clutch. Thankfully the car rolled a few feet, but without warning it jumped forward. He pressed the clutch back to the floor before the engine lost power again. Calisto slammed his hand against the wheel, muttering under his breath in Spanish. At this rate it would take him all night to drive her home. The faded yellow convertible pitched forward again, threatening to stall as he continued out of the parking lot, thankful it was late. The streets were fairly empty. At least he wouldn’t get into an accident with another car. Her car staggered ahead, lurching each time he tried to release the clutch, bouncing and jostling them both until Kate finally stirred and woke up. § “Are we out of gas or something?” Calisto watched her with a tight smile. “Not exactly.” Kate winced in pain when she laughed. “You can’t drive a stickshift, can you?” “Does it show?” Calisto pulled over, finally allowing the engine to stall. She nodded her head slowly to avoid more pain. “Just a little. What happened?” “You don’t remember?” “I remember being mugged. And I remember seeing you, but everything after that is blank.” She watched his eyes as Calisto reached over to brush her hair back from her face, and his touch sent shivers through her body. This wasn’t how she had hoped she would run into him, but she learned a long time ago fate didn’t always work out the way you expected.
Lisa Kessler (Night Walker (Night, #1))
For with respect to those things which immediately concern the union, and for which the union was purposely established, and is intended to secure, each state is to the United States what each individual is to the state he lives in. And it is on this grand point, this movement upon one centre, that our existence as a nation, our happiness as a people, and our safety as individuals, depend. It may happen that some state or other may be somewhat over or under rated, but this cannot be much. The experience which has been had upon the matter, has nearly ascertained their several abilities. But even in this case, it can only admit of an appeal to the United States, but cannot authorize any state to make the alteration itself, any more than our internal government can admit an individual to do so in the case of an act of assembly; for if one state can do it, then may another do the same, and the instant this is done the whole is undone. Neither is it supposable that any single state can be a judge of all the comparative reasons which may influence the collective body in arranging the quotas of the continent. The circumstances of the several states are frequently varying, occasioned by the accidents of war and commerce, and it will often fall upon some to help others, rather beyond what their exact proportion at another time might be; but even this assistance is as naturally and politically included in the idea of a union as that of any particular assigned proportion; because we know not whose turn it may be next to want assistance, for which reason that state is the wisest which sets the best example.
Thomas Paine (The Crisis)
He’s a murdering chud,” Zil was yelling. “What do you want to do? Lynch him?” Astrid demanded. That stopped the flow for a second as kids tried to figure out what “lynch” meant. But Zil quickly recovered. “I saw him do it. He used his powers to kill Harry.” “I was trying to stop you from smashing my head in!” Hunter shouted. “You’re a lying mutant freak!” “They think they can do anything they want,” another voice shouted. Astrid said, as calmly as she could while still pitching her voice to be heard, “We are not going down that path, people, dividing up between freaks and normals.” “They already did it!” Zil cried. “It’s the freaks acting all special and like their farts don’t stink.” That earned a laugh. “And now they’re starting to kill us,” Zil cried. Angry cheers. Edilio squared his shoulders and stepped into the crowd. He went first to Hank, the kid with the shotgun. He tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Give me that thing.” “No way,” Hank said. But he didn’t seem too certain. “You want to have that thing fire by accident and blow someone’s face off?” Edilio held his hand out. “Give it to me, man.” Zil rounded on Edilio. “You going to make Hunter give up his weapon? Huh? He’s got powers, man, and that’s okay, but the normals can’t have any weapon? How are we supposed to defend ourselves from the freaks?” “Man, give it a rest, huh?” Edilio said. He was doing his best to sound more weary than angry or scared. Things were already bad enough. “Zil, you want to be responsible if that gauge goes off and kills Astrid? You want to maybe give that some thought?” Zil blinked. But he said, “Dude, I’m not scared of Sam.” “Sam won’t be your problem, I will be,” Edilio snapped, losing patience. “Anything happens to her, I’ll take you down before Sam ever gets the chance.” Zil snorted derisively. “Ah, good little boy, Edilio, kissing up to the chuds. I got news for you, dilly dilly, you’re a lowly normal, just like me and the rest of us." “I’m going to let that go,” Edilio said evenly, striving to regain his cool, trying to sound calm and in control, even though he could hardly take his eyes off the twin barrels of the shotgun. “But now I’m taking that shotgun.” “No way!” Hank cried, and the next thing was an explosion so loud, Edilio thought a bomb had gone off. The muzzle flash blinded him, like camera flash going off in his face. Someone yelled in pain. Edilio staggered back, squeezed his eyes shut, trying to adjust. When he opened them again the shotgun was on the ground and the boy who’d accidentally fired it was holding his bruised hand, obviously shocked. Zil bent to grab the gun. Edilio took two steps forward and kicked Zil in the face. As Zil fell back Edilio made a grab for the shotgun. He never saw the blow that turned his knees to water and filled his head with stars. He fell like a sack of bricks, but even as he fell he lurched forward to cover the shotgun. Astrid screamed and launched herself down the stairs to protect Edilio. Antoine, the one who had hit Edilio, was raising his bat to hit Edilio again, but on the back swing he caught Astrid in the face. Antoine cursed, suddenly fearful. Zil yelled, “No, no, no!” There was a sudden rush of running feet. Down the walkway, into the street, echoing down the block.
Michael Grant (Hunger (Gone, #2))
Jd_O wti d-d- God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. -GENESIS 1:31 As we look at life, are we bound to the idea that bad things happen to people? Look at all the bad news on television and radio. The newspapers are full of disasters: people dying of illness, accidents, drownings, fires destroying property, uprisings in countries abroad, and on and on. Do you sometimes ask God, "Why me?" As we look around, we get the idea that everything is falling apart, and our whole world is in a spiral downward. Charles L. Allen expressed this idea about our perspective: Our glasses aren't half-empty; they are really half-full. He says, It seems to be a general belief that the will of God is to make things distasteful for us, like taking medicine when we are sick or going to the dentist. Somebody needs to tell us that sunrise is also God's will. In fact, the good things in life far outweigh the bad. There are more sunrises than cyclones. His glass was certainly half-full. There's a story of a young boy who was on top of a pile of horse manure digging as fast and as hard as he could. His father, seeing his son work so hard on a pile of smelly waste, asked, "Weston, what are you doing on that pile of horse manure?" Weston replied, "Daddy, with this much horse manure there must be a pony here somewhere." This son certainly had his glass half-full. You, too, can choose to be positive in all events of life. There is goodness in everything-if we will only look for it. PRAYER Father God, thank You for helping me be a positive person. I appreciate You giving me
Emilie Barnes (The Tea Lover's Devotional)
Hiya, cutie! How was your first day of school?" She pops the oven shut with her hip. He shakes his head and pulls up a bar stool next to Rayna, who's sitting at the counter painting her nails the color of a red snapper. "This won't work. I don't know what I'm doing," he says. "Sweet pea, what happened? Can't be that bad." He nods. "It is. I knocked Emma unconscious." Rachel spits the wine back in her glass. "Oh, sweetie, uh...that sort of thing's been frowned upon for years now." "Good. You owed her one," Rayna snickers. "She shoved him at the beach," she explains to Rachel. "Oh?" Rachel says. "That how she got your attention?" "She didn't shove me; she tripped into me," he says. "And I didn't knock her out on purpose. She ran from me, so I chased her and-" Rachel holds up her hand. "Okay. Stop right there. Are the cops coming by? You know that makes me nervous." "No," Galen says, rolling his eyes. If the cops haven't found Rachel by now, they're not going to. Besides, after all this time, the cops wouldn't still be looking. And the other people who want to find her think she's dead. "Okay, good. Now, back up there, sweet pea. Why did she run from you?" "A misunderstanding." Rachel clasps her hands together. "I know, sweet pea. I do. But in order for me to help you, I need to know the specifics. Us girls are tricky creatures." He runs a hand through his hair. "Tell me about it. First she's being nice and cooperative, and then she's yelling in my face." Rayna gasps. "She yelled at you?" She slams the polish bottle on the counter and points at Rachel. "I want you to be my mother, too. I want to be enrolled in school." "No way. You step one foot outside this house, and I'll arrest you myself," Galen says. "And don't even think about getting in the water with that human paint on your fingers." "Don't worry. I'm not getting in the water at all." Galen opens his mouth to contradict that, to tell her to go home tomorrow and stay there, but then he sees her exasperated expression. He grins. "He found you." Rayna crosses her arms and nods. "Why can't he just leave me alone? And why do you think it's so funny? You're my brother! You're supposed to protect me!" He laughs. "From Toraf? Why would I do that?" She shakes her head. "I was trying to catch some fish for Rachel, and I sensed him in the water. Close. I got out as fast as I could, but probably he knows that's what I did. How does he always find me?" "Oops," Rachel says. They both turn to her. She smiles apologetically at Rayna. "I didn't realize you two were at odds. He showed up on the back porch looking for you this morning and...I invited him to dinner. Sorry." As Galen says, "Rachel, what if someone sees him?" Rayna is saying, "No. No, no, no, he is not coming to dinner." Rachel clears her throat and nods behind them. "Rayna, that's very hurtful. After all we've been through," Toraf says. Rayna bristles on the stool, growling at the sound of his voice. She sends an icy glare to Rachel, who pretends not to notice as she squeezes a lemon slice over the fillets. Galen hops down and greets his friend with a strong punch to the arm. "Hey there, tadpole. I see you found a pair of my swimming trunks. Good to see your tracking skills are still intact after the accident and all." Toraf stares at Rayna's back. "Accident, yes. Next time, I'll keep my eyes open when I kiss her. That way, I won't accidentally bust my nose on a rock again. Foolish me, right?" Galen grins.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
She's my mother. How do you say no to family?" Marie gets a dark look on her face. "There's a difference between relatives and family. You can be related to someone; that is an accident of genetics. Relatives are pure biology. But family is action. Family is attitude. That woman..." Marie's voice drips with venom. "Is NOT your family. WE are your family. That woman is just your relative." Hedy's mouth drops, and Caroline's eyes fly open so wide I think they might get stuck. "Don't hold back there, Marie," Hedy says, finding her voice. "I'm sorry, but..." Marie's eyes fill with tears. "Oh no!" Caroline leans over and takes Marie's hand. Marie shakes it off. "I hate her. I hate that she had the best daughter on the planet and never appreciated her and wasn't ever there for her and never once did anything for her. You guys don't know. She was the most self-absorbed narcissistic cold person..." "She gave me Joe." "But..." she says. I raise my hand. "She. Gave. Me. JOE. Whatever other bullshit happened, the most important thing in my life growing up was Joe. He made me who I am, he helped me find my calling, he was a gift, and everything else is just beyond my ability to get upset about." "You could get a little upset," Caroline says. "It takes nothing away from Joe, and how important he was to you, to acknowledge that your mother failed you in almost every way," Hedy says. "I think you should tell her to go fuck herself," Marie says, leaning back in her chair and crossing her arms like a petulant child. I don't know that I've ever seen her so furious. "You guys don't get it, I was THERE. I MET HER. Wanna know how she screws in a lightbulb? Holds it up in the air and lets the universe just revolve around her." This makes the three of us bust out laughing. "Oh, Marie, I love you. Thank you for being so on my side." It does mean the world to me that my oldest friend is so protective.
Stacey Ballis (Recipe for Disaster)
The chorus of criticism culminated in a May 27 White House press conference that had me fielding tough questions on the oil spill for about an hour. I methodically listed everything we'd done since the Deepwater had exploded, and I described the technical intricacies of the various strategies being employed to cap the well. I acknowledged problems with MMS, as well as my own excessive confidence in the ability of companies like BP to safeguard against risk. I announced the formation of a national commission to review the disaster and figure out how such accidents could be prevented in the future, and I reemphasized the need for a long-term response that would make America less reliant on dirty fossil fuels. Reading the transcript now, a decade later, I'm struck by how calm and cogent I sound. Maybe I'm surprised because the transcript doesn't register what I remember feeling at the time or come close to capturing what I really wanted to say before the assembled White House press corps: That MMS wasn't fully equipped to do its job, in large part because for the past thirty years a big chunk of American voters had bought into the Republican idea that government was the problem and that business always knew better, and had elected leaders who made it their mission to gut environmental regulations, starve agency budgets, denigrate civil servants, and allow industrial polluters do whatever the hell they wanted to do. That the government didn't have better technology than BP did to quickly plug the hole because it would be expensive to have such technology on hand, and we Americans didn't like paying higher taxes - especially when it was to prepare for problems that hadn't happened yet. That it was hard to take seriously any criticism from a character like Bobby Jindal, who'd done Big Oil's bidding throughout his career and would go on to support an oil industry lawsuit trying to get a federal court to lift our temporary drilling moratorium; and that if he and other Gulf-elected officials were truly concerned about the well-being of their constituents, they'd be urging their party to stop denying the effects of climate change, since it was precisely the people of the Gulf who were the most likely to lose homes or jobs as a result of rising global temperatures. And that the only way to truly guarantee that we didn't have another catastrophic oil spill in the future was to stop drilling entirely; but that wasn't going to happen because at the end of the day we Americans loved our cheap gas and big cars more than we cared about the environment, except when a complete disaster was staring us in the face; and in the absence of such a disaster, the media rarely covered efforts to shift America off fossil fuels or pass climate legislation, since actually educating the public on long-term energy policy would be boring and bad for ratings; and the one thing I could be certain of was that for all the outrage being expressed at the moment about wetlands and sea turtles and pelicans, what the majority of us were really interested in was having the problem go away, for me to clean up yet one more mess decades in the making with some quick and easy fix, so that we could all go back to our carbon-spewing, energy-wasting ways without having to feel guilty about it. I didn't say any of that. Instead I somberly took responsibility and said it was my job to "get this fixed." Afterward, I scolded my press team, suggesting that if they'd done better work telling the story of everything we were doing to clean up the spill, I wouldn't have had to tap-dance for an hour while getting the crap kicked out of me. My press folks looked wounded. Sitting alone in the Treaty Room later that night, I felt bad about what I had said, knowing I'd misdirected my anger and frustration. It was those damned plumes of oil that I really wanted to curse out.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
And yet, being surveilled with the intention of assault or rape is practically mundane, it happens so often. It’s such an ingrained part of the female experience that it doesn’t register as unusual. The danger of it, then, is in its routine, in how normalized it is for a woman to feel monitored, so much so that she might not know she’s in trouble until that invisible line is crossed from “typical patriarchy” to “you should run.” So now, when I drink, I’m far more cautious. I don’t like ordering draft beers from taps hidden from view. I don’t like pouring bottles into pint glasses. I don’t leave my drink with strangers, I don’t let people I don’t know order drinks for me without watching them do it, and I don’t drink excessively with people I don’t think I can trust with my sleepy body. I don’t turn my back on a cocktail, not just because I like drinking but because I can’t trust what happens to it when I’m not looking. The intersection of rape culture and surveillance culture means that being a guarded drinker is not only my responsibility, it is my sole responsibility. Any lapse in judgment could not only result in clear and present danger, but also set me up for a chorus of “Well, she should’ve known better.” The mistake we make is in thinking rape isn’t premeditated, that it happens by accident somehow, that you’re drunk and you run into a girl who’s also drunk and half-asleep on a bench and you sidle up to her and things get out of hand and before you know it, you’re being accused of something you’d never do. But men who rape are men who watch for the signs of who they believe they can rape. Rape culture isn’t a natural occurrence; it thrives thanks to the dedicated attention given to women in order to take away their security. Rapists exist on a spectrum, and maybe this attentive version is the most dangerous type: women are so used to being watched that we don’t notice when someone’s watching us for the worst reason imaginable. They have a plan long before we even get to the bar to order our first drink.
Scaachi Koul (One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter)
Nothing you've been through has been wasted. I know at times you feel you've wasted time, moments, and years over what you can't regain again — a job, a marriage, a relationship, your health, the sacrifices, your time and service, and giving up something you love for God, that broke your heart. You sit back and wonder, "Will I ever be happy again? Was everything I've been through worth the pain, the tears, the sleepless nights, the embarrassment." The Lord is saying, "It's just preparation." Where you are now is no accident. What has happened to you didn't take God by surprise. He already initiated a plan of escape before you were formed; mistakes, setbacks, disappointments, things outside your control.. The plan was already made! I don't know your story but only you and God know your story. He took you from bad company, He took you from suicide, He took you when you were at your lowest, He took you when nobody wanted you, He took you when your money was low, Why? Because He saw potential in you! As God as my witness it gets lonely at times. Life can be fearful when you don't know what to expect. When you feel everything has been stripped away...When you feel there's no hope... When you wonder how much longer do I have to wait. Who wants to feel rejection or disappointments.. But it's in those moments when we experience the faithfulness of God! I want to encourage whoever I'm speaking to, to hold on! Before Joseph became Prime Minister of Egypt he was in prison for years because of his brothers. He wasn't expecting that... In other words what God has for you is something bigger than you've imagined. It's so much greater and better than what you had at first. It's something you never thought about or even prayed for because nothing you've been through has been wasted. Your situation is going change suddenly because all it did was reposition you for a blessing. God is getting ready to move! You're frustrated because you're on the verge. You're restless because you're on the verge. Your moment is coming sooner than you think!
Susan Samaroo
One night, Kevin and I were at a pool hall where we saw a guy playing pool by himself; this guy looked like a hustler. He asked me if I wanted to play for twenty dollars. “I’ll tell you what,” I told him. “You can play my buddy Kevin. If you win two out of three games, I’ll give you twenty dollars. If he wins, you have to leave with us and go to a Bible study.” The guy looked at me like I was nuts. He walked around the pool table a few times, pondering my offer. I took a twenty-dollar bill out and placed it on the table. “Okay,” he said. “Let’s do it.” What he didn’t know was that Kevin is quite the player and that I don’t make bets with eternal consequences on the line unless I know we’re going to win! Of course, my buddy Kevin beat him. In fact, Kevin broke and ran the table in two straight games. The other guy never even took a shot! To my surprise, the guy followed through on his bet, although he didn’t seem too happy about it. As we walked to my truck to leave, he threw a full can of beer across the road and declared he was ready for a change in his life anyway. I thought that was a powerful statement since he didn’t even know what we were going to share with him. He knew how we rolled, despite our presence in such a rugged place. We studied the Bible with him for several hours and baptized him the same night. What I didn’t know was that the guy was sentenced to prison for an earlier crime the very next day! I wouldn’t see him again until he showed up unannounced with his Bible in hand at my house on Christmas Day a couple of years later. “Hey, I just got out of jail,” he told me. “Did they let you out or did you escape?” I asked him. “I was released,” he said. He then tearfully thanked me for sharing with him and let me know that was the best thing that could have happened to him before the two years of prison. Obviously, neither one of us believed our encounter had been an accident. He came to our church a couple of times over the next few months, and I continued to study with him. After a while, though, he quit coming around and I lost track of him.
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
Finding herself on the way to the village center again, she pulled over, intending to negotiate a three-point turn. The cottage was slightly out of the village, so she needed to get back onto the opposite side of the road and go back up the hill. Glancing over Hannah’s instructions again, she swung the car to the right—straight into the path of a motorcyclist. What happened next seemed to happen in slow motion. The rider tried to stop but couldn’t do so in time, although he did manage to avoid hitting her car. As he turned his handlebars hard to the right, his tires lost grip on the wet road and he flew off, sliding some way before coming to a halt. Layla sat motionless in her car, paralyzed temporarily by the shock. At last she managed to galvanize herself into action and fumbled for the door handle, her shaking hands making it hard to get a grip. When the door finally opened, another dilemma hit. What if she couldn’t stand? Her legs felt like jelly, surely they wouldn’t support her. Forcing herself upward, she was relieved to discover they held firm. Once she was sure they would continue to do so, she bolted over to where the biker lay, placed one hand on his soaking leather-clad shoulder and said, “Are you okay?” “No, I’m not bloody okay!” he replied, a pair of bright blue eyes meeting hers as he lifted his visor. “I’m a bit bruised and battered as it goes.” Despite his belligerent words, relief flooded through her: he wasn’t dead! “Oh, I’m so glad,” she said, letting out a huge sigh. “Glad?” he said, sitting up now and brushing the mud and leaves off his left arm. “Charming.” “Oh, no, no,” she stuttered, realizing what she’d just said. “I’m not glad that I knocked you over. I’m glad you’re alive.” “Only just, I think,” he replied, needing a helping hand to stand up. “Can I give you a lift somewhere, take you to the nearest hospital?” “The nearest hospital? That would be in Bodmin, I think, about fifteen miles from here. I don’t fancy driving fifteen miles with you behind the wheel.” Feeling a little indignant now, Layla replied, “I’m actually a very good driver, thank you. You’re the first accident I’ve ever had.” “Lucky me,” he replied sarcastically.
Shani Struthers
In contemporary Western society, buying a magazine on astrology - at a newsstand, say - is easy; it is much harder to find one on astronomy. Virtually every newspaper in America has a daily column on astrology; there are hardly any that have even a weekly column on astronomy. There are ten times more astrologers in the United States than astronomers. At parties, when I meet people that do not know I’m a scientist, I am sometimes asked “Are you a Gemini?” (chances of success, one in twelve), or “What sign are you?” Much more rarely am I asked “Have you heard that gold is made in supernova explosions?” or “When do you think Congress will approve a Mars Rover?” (...) And personal astrology is with us still: consider two different newspaper astrology columns published in the same city on the same day. For example, we can examine The New York Post and the New York Daily News on September 21, 1979. Suppose you are a Libra - that is, born between September 23 and October 22. According to the astrologer for the Post, ‘a compromise will help ease tension’; useful, perhaps, but somewhat vague. According to the Daily News’ astrologer, you must ‘demand more of yourself’, an admonition that is also vague but also different. These ‘predictions’ are not predictions; rather they are pieces of advice - they tell you what to do, not what will happen. Deliberately, they are phrased so generally that they could apply to anyone. And they display major mutual inconsistencies. Why are they published as unapologetically as sport statistics and stock market reports? Astrology can be tested by the lives of twins. There are many cases in which one twin is killed in childhood, in a riding accident, say, or is struck by lightning, while the other lives to a prosperous old age. Each was born in precisely the same place and within minutes of the other. Exactly the same planets were rising at their births. If astrology were valid, how could two such twins have such profoundly different fates? It also turns out that astrologers cannot even agree among themselves on what a given horoscope means. In careful tests, they are unable to predict the character and future of people they knew nothing about except their time and place of birth.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
When I threw the stick at Jamie, I hadn't intended to hit him with it. But the moment it left my hand, I knew that's what was going to happen. I didn't yet know any calculus or geometry, but I was able to plot, with some degree of certainty, the trajectory of that stick. The initial velocity, the acceleration, the impact. The mathematical likelihood of Jamie's bloody cheek. It had good weight and heft, that stick. It felt nice to throw. And it looked damn fine in the overcast sky, too, flying end over end, spinning like a heavy, two-pronged pinwheel and (finally, indifferently, like math) connecting with Jamie's face. Jamie's older sister took me by the arm and she shook me. Why did you do that? What were you thinking? The anger I saw in her eyes. Heard in her voice. The kid I became to her then, who was not the kid I thought I was. The burdensome regret. I knew the word "accident" was wrong, but I used it anyway. If you throw a baseball at a wall and it goes through a window, that is an accident. If you throw a stick directly at your friend and it hits your friend in the face, that is something else. My throw had been something of a lob and there had been a good distance between us. There had been ample time for Jamie to move, but he hadn't moved. There had been time for him to lift a hand and protect his face from the stick, but he hadn't done that either. He just stood impotent and watched it hit him. And it made me angry: That he hadn't tried harder at a defense. That he hadn't made any effort to protect himself from me. What was I thinking? What was he thinking? I am not a kid who throws sticks at his friends. But sometimes, that's who I've been. And when I've been that kid, it's like I'm watching myself act in a movie, reciting somebody else's damaging lines. Like this morning, over breakfast. Your eyes asking mine to forget last night's exchange. You were holding your favorite tea mug. I don't remember what we were fighting about. It doesn't seem to matter any more. The words that came out of my mouth then, deliberate and measured, temporarily satisfying to throw at the bored space between us. The slow, beautiful arc. The spin and the calculated impact. The downward turn of your face. The heavy drop in my chest. The word "accident" was wrong. I used it anyway.
David Olimpio (This Is Not a Confession)
I tell Jack by accident. We’re talking on the phone about unprotected sex, how it isn’t good for people with our particular temperament, our anxiety like an incorrigible weed. He asks if I’ve had any sex that was “really stressful,” and out the story comes, before I can even consider how to share it. Jack is upset. Angry, though not at me. I’m crying, even though I don’t want to. It’s not cathartic, or helping me prove my point. I still make joke after joke, but my tears are betraying me, making me appear clear about my pain when I’m not. Jack is in Belgium. It’s late there, he’s so tired, and I’d rather not be having this conversation this way. “It isn’t your fault,” he tells me, thinking it’s what I need to hear. “There’s no version of this where it’s your fault.” I feel like there are fifty ways it’s my fault. I fantasized. I took the big pill and the small pill, stuffed myself with substances to make being out in the world with people my own age a little bit easier. To lessen the space between me and everyone else. I was hungry to be seen. But I also know that at no moment did I consent to being handled that way. I never gave him permission to be rough, to stick himself inside me without a barrier between us. I never gave him permission. In my deepest self I know this, and the knowledge of it has kept me from sinking. I curl up against the wall, wishing I hadn’t told him. “I love you so much,” he says. “I’m so sorry that happened.” Then his voice changes, from pity to something sharper. “I have to tell you something, and I hope you’ll understand.” “Yes?” I squeak. “I can’t wait to fuck you. I hope you know why I’m saying that. Because nothing’s changed. I’m planning how I’m going to do it.” “You’re going to do it?” “All different ways.” I cry harder. “You better.” I have to go put on a denim vest for a promotional appearance at Levi’s Haus of Strauss. I tell Jack I have to hang up now, and he moans “No” like I’m a babysitter wrenching him from the arms of his mother who is all dressed up for a party. He’s sleepy now. I can hear it. Emotions are exhausting to have. “I love you so much,” I tell him, tearing up all over again. I hang up and go to the mirror, prepared to see eyeliner dripping down my face, tracks through my blush and foundation. I’m in LA, so bring it on, universe: I can only expect to go down Lohan style. But I’m surprised to find that my face is intact, dewy even. Makeup is all where it ought to be. I look all right. I look like myself.
Lena Dunham (Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned")
We need to be humble enough to recognize that unforeseen things can and do happen that are nobody’s fault. A good example of this occurred during the making of Toy Story 2. Earlier, when I described the evolution of that movie, I explained that our decision to overhaul the film so late in the game led to a meltdown of our workforce. This meltdown was the big unexpected event, and our response to it became part of our mythology. But about ten months before the reboot was ordered, in the winter of 1998, we’d been hit with a series of three smaller, random events—the first of which would threaten the future of Pixar. To understand this first event, you need to know that we rely on Unix and Linux machines to store the thousands of computer files that comprise all the shots of any given film. And on those machines, there is a command—/bin/rm -r -f *—that removes everything on the file system as fast as it can. Hearing that, you can probably anticipate what’s coming: Somehow, by accident, someone used this command on the drives where the Toy Story 2 files were kept. Not just some of the files, either. All of the data that made up the pictures, from objects to backgrounds, from lighting to shading, was dumped out of the system. First, Woody’s hat disappeared. Then his boots. Then he disappeared entirely. One by one, the other characters began to vanish, too: Buzz, Mr. Potato Head, Hamm, Rex. Whole sequences—poof!—were deleted from the drive. Oren Jacobs, one of the lead technical directors on the movie, remembers watching this occur in real time. At first, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Then, he was frantically dialing the phone to reach systems. “Pull out the plug on the Toy Story 2 master machine!” he screamed. When the guy on the other end asked, sensibly, why, Oren screamed louder: “Please, God, just pull it out as fast as you can!” The systems guy moved quickly, but still, two years of work—90 percent of the film—had been erased in a matter of seconds. An hour later, Oren and his boss, Galyn Susman, were in my office, trying to figure out what we would do next. “Don’t worry,” we all reassured each other. “We’ll restore the data from the backup system tonight. We’ll only lose half a day of work.” But then came random event number two: The backup system, we discovered, hadn’t been working correctly. The mechanism we had in place specifically to help us recover from data failures had itself failed. Toy Story 2 was gone and, at this point, the urge to panic was quite real. To reassemble the film would have taken thirty people a solid year. I remember the meeting when, as this devastating reality began to sink in, the company’s leaders gathered in a conference room to discuss our options—of which there seemed to be none. Then, about an hour into our discussion, Galyn Susman, the movie’s supervising technical director, remembered something: “Wait,” she said. “I might have a backup on my home computer.” About six months before, Galyn had had her second baby, which required that she spend more of her time working from home. To make that process more convenient, she’d set up a system that copied the entire film database to her home computer, automatically, once a week. This—our third random event—would be our salvation. Within a minute of her epiphany, Galyn and Oren were in her Volvo, speeding to her home in San Anselmo. They got her computer, wrapped it in blankets, and placed it carefully in the backseat. Then they drove in the slow lane all the way back to the office, where the machine was, as Oren describes it, “carried into Pixar like an Egyptian pharaoh.” Thanks to Galyn’s files, Woody was back—along with the rest of the movie.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
Early on it is clear that Addie has a rebellious streak, joining the library group and running away to Rockport Lodge. Is Addie right to disobey her parents? Where does she get her courage? 2. Addie’s mother refuses to see Celia’s death as anything but an accident, and Addie comments that “whenever I heard my mother’s version of what happened, I felt sick to my stomach.” Did Celia commit suicide? How might the guilt that Addie feels differ from the guilt her mother feels? 3. When Addie tries on pants for the first time, she feels emotionally as well as physically liberated, and confesses that she would like to go to college (page 108). How does the social significance of clothing and hairstyle differ for Addie, Gussie, and Filomena in the book? 4. Diamant fills her narrative with a number of historical events and figures, from the psychological effects of World War I and the pandemic outbreak of influenza in 1918 to child labor laws to the cultural impact of Betty Friedan. How do real-life people and events affect how we read Addie’s fictional story? 5. Gussie is one of the most forward-thinking characters in the novel; however, despite her law degree she has trouble finding a job as an attorney because “no one would hire a lady lawyer.” What other limitations do Addie and her friends face in the workforce? What limitations do women and minorities face today? 6. After distancing herself from Ernie when he suffers a nervous episode brought on by combat stress, Addie sees a community of war veterans come forward to assist him (page 155). What does the remorse that Addie later feels suggest about the challenges American soldiers face as they reintegrate into society? Do you think soldiers today face similar challenges? 7. Addie notices that the Rockport locals seem related to one another, and the cook Mrs. Morse confides in her sister that, although she is usually suspicious of immigrant boarders, “some of them are nicer than Americans.” How does tolerance of the immigrant population vary between city and town in the novel? For whom might Mrs. Morse reserve the term Americans? 8. Addie is initially drawn to Tessa Thorndike because she is a Boston Brahmin who isn’t afraid to poke fun at her own class on the women’s page of the newspaper. What strengths and weaknesses does Tessa’s character represent for educated women of the time? How does Addie’s description of Tessa bring her reliability into question? 9. Addie’s parents frequently admonish her for being ungrateful, but Addie feels she has earned her freedom to move into a boardinghouse when her parents move to Roxbury, in part because she contributed to the family income (page 185). How does the Baum family’s move to Roxbury show the ways Betty and Addie think differently from their parents about household roles? Why does their father take such offense at Herman Levine’s offer to house the family? 10. The last meaningful conversation between Addie and her mother turns out to be an apology her mother meant for Celia, and for a moment during her mother’s funeral Addie thinks, “She won’t be able to make me feel like there’s something wrong with me anymore.” Does Addie find any closure from her mother’s death? 11. Filomena draws a distinction between love and marriage when she spends time catching up with Addie before her wedding, but Addie disagrees with the assertion that “you only get one great love in a lifetime.” In what ways do the different romantic experiences of each woman inform the ideas each has about love? 12. Filomena and Addie share a deep friendship. Addie tells Ada that “sometimes friends grow apart. . . . But sometimes, it doesn’t matter how far apart you live or how little you talk—it’s still there.” What qualities do you think friends must share in order to have that kind of connection? Discuss your relationship with a best friend. Enhance
Anita Diamant (The Boston Girl)
198 Lady Lazarus I have done it again. One year in every ten I manage it------- A sort of walking miracle, my skin Bright as a Nazi lampshade, My right foot A paperweight, My face a featureless, fine Jew linen. Peel off the napkin O my enemy. Do I terrify?------- The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth ? The sour breath Will vanish in a day. Soon, soon the flesh The grave cave ate will be At home on me And I a smiling woman. I am only thirty. And like the cat I have nine times to die. This is Number Three. What a trash To annihilate each decade. What a million filaments. The peanut-crunching crowd Shoves in to see Them unwrap me hand and foot The big strip tease. Gentlemen, ladies These are my hands My knees. I may be skin and bone, Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman. The first time it happened I was ten. It was an accident. The second time I meant To last it out and not come back at all. I rocked shut As a seashell. They had to call and call And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls. Dying Is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I’ve a call. It’s easy enough to do it in a cell. It’s easy enough to do it and stay put. It’s the theatrical Comeback in broad day To the same place, the same face, the same brute Amused shout : ‘A miracle!’ That knocks me out. There is a charge For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge For the hearing of my heart------- It really goes. And there is a charge, a very large charge For a word or a touch Or a bit of blood Or a piece of my hair or my clothes. So, so, Herr Doktor. So, Herr Enemy. I am your opus, I am your valuable, The pure gold baby That melts to a shriek. I turn and burn. Do not think I underestimate your great concern. Ash, ash — You poke and stir. Flesh, bone, there is nothing there——— A cake of soap, A wedding ring, A gold filling. Herr God, Herr Lucifer Beware Beware. Out of the ash I rise with my red hair And I eat men like air. 23–29 October 1962
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
Hence people find it the most difficult on holidays. For five days they work, hoping that on the weekend they are going to relax. But the weekend is the worst time in the whole world—more accidents happen on the weekend, more people commit suicide, more murders, more stealing, more rape. Strange … and these people were engaged for five days and there was no problem. But the weekend suddenly gives them a choice, either to be engaged in something or to relax—but relaxing is fearsome; the false personality disappears. Keep engaged, do anything stupid. People are running toward the beaches, bumper to bumper, miles-long traffic. And if you ask them where they are going, they are “getting away from the crowd”—and the whole crowd is going with them! They are going to find a solitary, silent space—all of them.
Osho (Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously)
Alice saw it now: all her life, she’d thought of death as the single moment, the heart stopping, the final breath, but now she knew that it could be much more like giving birth, with nine months of preparation. Her father was heavily pregnant with death, and there was little to do but wait—his doctors and nurses, her mother in California, his friends and neighbors, and most of all, the two of them. It could only end one way, and it would only happen once. No matter how many times a person was on a bumpy airplane, or in a car accident, or stepped out of traffic just in time, no matter how many times they fell and did not break their neck. This was how it went for most people—actual dying, over a period of time. The only surprise left would be when it happened, the actual day, and then all the days that followed, when he did not push away the boulder or stick his hand out of the ground. Alice knew all of this, and sometimes she felt okay with it, it being the way of the world, and sometimes she was so sad that she couldn’t keep her eyes open. He was only seventy-three years old. In a week, Alice would turn forty. She would feel immeasurably older when he was gone.
Emma Straub (This Time Tomorrow)
When you’re doing your own online research, you have to take note when your sources are copying other sources. When you find the wholesale lifting of texts, you should be worried, since it suggests that the research underlying the document hasn’t been checked carefully. Copying like that is the mark of a lazy researcher; don’t trust that article (but perhaps look around for the original). As I do my research, I’ll sometimes notice when particular phrases (especially clever and curious turns of language) keep reappearing as I read. Those are the sentences (or sentence fragments) you want to double check. One hint is to look for those repeated phrases. As you check for duplication, you don’t want to check for duplicate titles. But a well-chosen phrase (that is, one that’s central to the argument, and long enough to be unlikely to happen by accident) can be a useful way to see how far that article has spread. People often choose to copy rather than rewrite the central idea of an article.
Daniel M. Russell (The Joy of Search: A Google Insider's Guide to Going Beyond the Basics (Mit Press))
MAX KRZYZANOWSKI: I came out in 1993, the year that homosexuality was decriminalised, and that wasn’t an accident. It certainly, I think, helped. It was a tipping point thing for me. I was hating leading a double life and feeling very shamed about it. But it gave me a little bit of added courage to come out … I grew up during the AIDS epidemic as a teenager, so there were two things that I knew about being gay. One was that the world hated me, and the second was that I was probably going to die. So I was terrified of intimacy as well as terrified of what the world might say and do about me if they knew. So on the idea of equal rights like civil partnership or marriage and stuff like that, I'd sort of emotionally put that to bed. I thought that would never happen.
Una Mullally (In the Name of Love: The Movement for Marriage Equality in Ireland. An Oral History)
You’re the first people we ever saw without a death,” said the man, whose name, they’d learned, was Peter. “Since we come here, that is. We’re like you, we come here before we was dead, by some chance or accident. We got to wait till our death tells us it’s time.” “Your death tells you?” said Lyra. “Yes. What we found out when we come here, oh, long ago for most of us, we found we all brought our deaths with us. This is where we found out. We had ’em all the time, and we never knew. See, everyone has a death. It goes everywhere with ’em, all their life long, right close by. Our deaths, they’re outside, taking the air; they’ll come in by and by. Granny’s death, he’s there with her, he’s close to her, very close.” “Doesn’t it scare you, having your death close by all the time?” said Lyra. “Why ever would it? If he’s there, you can keep an eye on him. I’d be a lot more nervous not knowing where he was.” “And everyone has their own death?” said Will, marveling. “Why, yes, the moment you’re born, your death comes into the world with you, and it’s your death that takes you out.” “Ah,” said Lyra, “that’s what we need to know, because we’re trying to find the land of the dead, and we don’t know how to get there. Where do we go then, when we die?” “Your death taps you on the shoulder, or takes your hand, and says, ‘Come along o’ me, it’s time.’ It might happen when you’re sick with a fever, or when you choke on a piece of dry bread, or when you fall off a high building; in the middle of your pain and travail, your death comes to you kindly and says, ‘Easy now, easy, child, you come along o’ me,’ and you go with them in a boat out across the lake into the mist. What happens there, no one knows. No one’s ever come back.” The woman told a child to call the deaths in, and he scampered to the door and spoke to them. Will and Lyra watched in wonder, and the Gallivespians drew closer together, as the deaths—one for each of the family—came in through the door: pale, unremarkable figures in shabby clothes, just drab and quiet and dull. “These are your deaths?” said Tialys. “Indeed, sir,” said Peter. “Do you know when they’ll tell you it’s time to go?” “No. But you know they’re close by, and that’s a comfort.
Philip Pullman (The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials #3))
suppose that ability is spread through most of the world’s population by now, however diluted. I’ve often wondered what you could accomplish if you could focus and direct that ability.” “How would you do that?” said Philo. “There’s a method of influencing brain waves that was discovered by accident, about forty thousand years ago. Do you know what it is?” Philo tried to think of what could have happened forty thousand years ago, but he drew a blank. Prehistory wasn’t his strong suit. “That’s the age of the earliest bone flutes,” said Viridios. “The first true musical instruments, able to produce precise, repeatable tones. “Music evokes a powerful emotional response, ranging from joy to sadness to anger. It cannot be simulated or counterfeited. Any hint of insincerity breaks the spell. It’s almost like a form of telepathy, transferring emotions from one mind to another. I’ve spent years—centuries—trying to understand it. I don’t know if I ever will.
Fenton Wood (Five Million Watts (Yankee Republic Book 2))
When I was doing the research for Fall of Giants, I was shocked to realize that the First World War was a war that nobody wanted. No European leader on either side intended for it to happen. But the emperors and prime ministers, one by one, made decisions –logical, moderate decisions –each of which took us a small step closer to the most terrible conflict the world had ever known. I came to believe that it was all a tragic accident. And I wondered: Could that happen again?
Ken Follett (Never)
I think it’s not an accident that we often use the imagery of magic to describe programming. We speak of computing wizards and we think of things happening by magic or automagically. And I think that’s because being able to get a machine to do what you want is the closest thing we’ve got in technology to adolescent wish-fulfillment.
Guy Steele
Seeing the ugliness, whatever form it takes - malice, misery, aggression, negativity - constantly defeating the happiness of the people around me and seeing how much useless misery is born in the world and how much useful happiness is wasted, I grabbed in my hand the most eager "why" I could find and started writing, in the chance that I can defeat ugliness by explaining it. I wanted to understand how we've become so good at being sad, how we've become so good at not only at abandoning the beauty of our soul but asking its ugliness to show the world around us who we are. Every time I struggled with the question of who gives birth to my misery, I stumbled upon my own weaknesses. By writing for others, I learned myself. Nothing is accidental, not even anything that seems to happen by accident. It is no coincidence that there is so much sadness in the world. It exists because, by choosing to do what is easy and not what is right, we don't try to learn our weaknesses as well as we should to prevent them from producing misery or magnifying the misery someone else's weaknesses have produced. The more I wrote, the more I realized the value of the truth we should tell ourselves in achieving our happiness. Maybe it's time to say no to the lies we tell ourselves and finally tell the truth. This way, we will build self-knowledge, become as self-sufficient as we need to disarm our weaknesses and become happy. Every time we tell the truth to ourselves, we create self-knowledge and every time we lie, we tear it down. We all want to be happy, but we aren’t willing to do everything needed to deserve our happiness. Happiness is the disarming of misery. How can we feel happy though, when we aren't willing to defend our happiness from the onslaught of the ugliness of the world around us? How do we want to live a happy life when we fill it with ugliness? That's what we need to change. CALILO. Create a life you can fall in love with. However, the more we praise change, the more we remain the same, because we know that change often has more truth in it than we can bear. That's why we love to hide in the routine so much. Life doesn't come with an instruction book. We have to write it ourselves, one mistake at a time. Self-knowledge is the mother of happiness. When we get to know ourselves, we will feel as strong as we need to be to disarm our weaknesses and therefore be able to create beauty by neutralizing the ugliness within us and the ugliness around us. In this way, we will be able to change our lives for the better. When we learn ourselves well enough to disarm our weaknesses, we will allow our strengths to make us as successful and happy as they can. We will therefore create a life that has as little ugliness as possible, a life that has so much beauty that we will want to fall in love with. Let's tell ourselves the truth in order to drive away the ugliness we have been producing for so many years with our lies. The lies we tell ourselves create ugliness, which in turn, leads to misery. On the contrary, truth creates beauty that leads to happiness. We all have beauty in our souls, as long as we aren't afraid of the truth from which it is made. Let's live by translating the beauty of our soul into happiness, and not by translating its ugliness into the pain and misery of the people around us. We will then be able to create a world that is as real as it needs to be to feel so beautiful that it overflows with happiness.
Angelos Michalopoulos
The nomes are immortal; that is, they do not perish, as mortals do, unless they happen to come in contact with an egg. If an egg touches them—either the outer shell or the inside of the egg—the nomes lose their charm of perpetual life and thereafter are liable to die through accident or old age, just as all humans are.
L. Frank Baum (Rinkitink in Oz (Oz #10))
Darling, I know you are there. Your presence is precious to me.” If you do not express this while you are together, when she passes away or has an accident, you will only cry, because before the accident happened, you did not know how to be truly happy together.
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation)
After the storm and Wes’s accident, we re-evaluated the safety procedures at the zoo. But the circumstances had been so unusual that night, there wasn’t anything we could have done differently. Wes wore the spectacular scars from Graham’s attack. The bond between Wes and Steve only grew stronger. I don’t think there is a similar concept in the rest of the world as the traditional Australian ideal of “mateship.” “Best friends” just doesn’t do it. Mateship is deeper. It’s someone who has your back, always and forever. If there’s a storm coming in on the horizon, your first thought is, I wonder how the heavy weather is going to affect my best mate? Your thoughts go to him no matter what happens. That’s how it was with Wes and Steve. Wes started working at the zoo when he was fourteen and Steve was already in his twenties. Wes backed him up on croc captures. It was a friendship tested and retested in the bush. Through the years both men had numerous opportunities to save each other’s lives. But nothing had ever happened as dramatically as that night during the flood.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
Three days of frightful suffering and the death! Why, that might suddenly, at any time, happen to me,” he thought, and for a moment felt terrified. But — he did not himself know how — the customary reflection at once occurred to him that this had happened to Ivan Ilych and not to him, and that it should not and could not happen to him, and that to think that it could would be yielding to depressing which he ought not to do, as Schwartz’s expression plainly showed. After which reflection Peter Ivanovich felt reassured, and began to ask with interest about the details of Ivan Ilych’s death, as though death was an accident natural to Ivan Ilych but certainly not to himself.
Leo Tolstoy (The Death of Ivan Ilyich)
There’s a lot of water in the sea,* so probably no one will mind if you borrow a little. If your pool is below sea level, and you don’t mind a saltwater pool, this might be an option. All you need to do is dig a channel and let the sea flow in. This has actually happened in real life, by accident, very dramatically. Malaysia was once the world’s largest producer of tin. One of the mines that produced this tin was constructed near the western coast, just a few hundred feet from the ocean. After the tin market collapsed in the 1980s, the mine was abandoned. On October 21, 1993, the water broke through the narrow barrier separating the mine from the sea. The ocean rushed in, filling the mine in a matter of minutes. The lagoon created by the flood remains to this day, and can be seen on maps at 4.40°N, 100.59°E. The cataclysm was recorded by a bystander with a camcorder, and the footage has since been uploaded to the internet. Despite its low quality, it’s one of the most jaw-dropping pieces of video ever recorded.
Randall Munroe (How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems)
But when he got to his office, after dropping Peter off at camp, Dakota wasn’t there. She’d left early the day before. He checked the machine to see if she’d called in sick, but there wasn’t any message. By ten, he was worried and wondering whom to talk to. Just when he picked up the phone to call Pia, Dakota walked in. She looked like hell. Her face was pale, her eyes red and swollen. There was an air of grief and loss about her, as if something important to her had been taken away from her. He was on his feet the second he saw her. “What happened?” he demanded. She shook her head. “Nothing.” “It’s not nothing. Were you in an accident? Did someone hurt you?” If she’d had a boyfriend, he would assume he’d beaten her or slept with her best friend. But as far as he knew, Dakota wasn’t dating. “I’m fine,” she said, her mouth trembling as she spoke. “You have to believe me.” “Then you need to be more convincing.” She forced a smile that was more ghoulish than happy. “How’s that?” “Frightening.” She sighed. “I’m fine. I know I look bad. I’m not hurt, I’m not sick.” She swallowed. “Everything is how it’s always been.” “Dakota, get real. Something happened.” “No, it didn’t.” Tears filled her eyes. “It didn’t.” The tears spilled down her cheeks. Instinctively, he walked toward her, but she shook her head and backed away. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I can’t do this. I can’t be here today. I need a day or two. Sick days, vacation days, whatever you want.” He felt helpless and confused. “Take whatever time you need. Can I call someone? One of your sisters? Your mom?” “No. No one. I’m fine. I have to go.” With that she grabbed her purse and practically ran out of the office. Raoul stared after her, not sure what he was supposed to do now. Let her go? Follow her? Call a friend? She wasn’t physically hurt—he could figure out that much. So what had happened? Had she heard bad news? But if there’d been a disaster in the family, he would have heard about it. News traveled fast in Fool’s Gold. He would give her time, he decided. If she wasn’t back at work in a couple of days, he would go talk to her. If she wouldn’t talk to him, he would insist she talk to someone else.
Susan Mallery (Finding Perfect (Fool's Gold #3))
Valujet flight 592 crashed after takeoff from Miami airport because oxygen generators in its cargo hold caught fire. The generators had been loaded onto the airplane by employees of a maintenance contractor, who were subsequently prosecuted. The editor of Aviation Week and Space Technology “strongly believed the failure of SabreTech employees to put caps on oxygen generators constituted willful negligence that led to the killing of 110 passengers and crew. Prosecutors were right to bring charges. There has to be some fear that not doing one’s job correctly could lead to prosecution.”13 But holding individuals accountable by prosecuting them misses the point. It shortcuts the need to learn fundamental lessons, if it acknowledges that fundamental lessons are there to be learned in the first place. In the SabreTech case, maintenance employees inhabited a world of boss-men and sudden firings, and that did not supply safety caps for expired oxygen generators. The airline may have been as inexperienced and under as much financial pressure as people in the maintenance organization supporting it. It was also a world of language difficulties—not only because many were Spanish speakers in an environment of English engineering language: “Here is what really happened. Nearly 600 people logged work time against the three Valujet airplanes in SabreTech’s Miami hangar; of them 72 workers logged 910 hours across several weeks against the job of replacing the ‘expired’ oxygen generators—those at the end of their approved lives. According to the supplied Valujet work card 0069, the second step of the seven-step process was: ‘If the generator has not been expended install shipping cap on the firing pin.’ This required a gang of hard-pressed mechanics to draw a distinction between canisters that were ‘expired’, meaning the ones they were removing, and canisters that were not ‘expended’, meaning the same ones, loaded and ready to fire, on which they were now expected to put nonexistent caps. Also involved were canisters which were expired and expended, and others which were not expired but were expended. And then, of course, there was the simpler thing—a set of new replacement canisters, which were both unexpended and unexpired.”14 These were conditions that existed long before the Valujet accident, and that exist in many places today. Fear of prosecution stifles the flow of information about such conditions. And information is the prime asset that makes a safety culture work. A flow of information earlier could in fact have told the bad news. It could have revealed these features of people’s tasks and tools; these longstanding vulnerabilities that form the stuff that accidents are made of. It would have shown how ‘human error’ is inextricably connected to how the work is done, with what resources, and under what circumstances and pressures.
Sidney Dekker (The Field Guide to Understanding Human Error)
In the cybernetic universe where everything is calculable, can't Evil in the sense of disorder and chaos slip into and penetrate the integral reality of the network? Isn't that what hackers do for example? Accidents are involved, certainly. Paul Virilio speaks of this much better than I can. But what I am saying is of another order: it is unpredictable. It is power turning against itself. It is not necessarily the apocalypse but it is a disaster in the sense of a form made irrepressible regardless of the will of the actors and their negative actions or sabotage. Certainly, many negative things can happen to the system, but it will always be an objective or objectal negativity related to the technology itself, not a symbolic irruption. I am afraid that this game remains internal to integral reality. Perhaps there are some who can penetrate the cracks in this cybernetic universe? I must say that I do not know the internal rules of the game for this world, and I do not have the means to play it. This is not a philosophical or moral disavowal or prejudice on my part. It is just that I am situated somewhere else and I cannot do otherwise. From the outside, I can see that everything works and that the machine allows everything to function. Let us allow that system to proceed normally - or abnormally- until it runs its course; let us leave to the machine what belongs to the machine without trying to humanize it or make it an anthropoid object. For me, I will always have an empty, perfectly nonfunctional and therefore free space where I can express my thoughts. Once the machine has exhausted all of its functions, I slip into what is left, without trying to judge or condemn it. Judgment is foreign to the radicality of thought. This thinking has nothing scientific, analytic or even critical about it, since those aspects are now all regulated by machines. And maybe a new spacetime domain for thought is now opening?
Jean Baudrillard (The Agony of Power)
Sometimes, it goes the other way, like the time sixteen-year-old Jared came in and told me about how he had accidently broken a video game he’d purchased at Best Buy. His mom, who happens to be lawyer, took him back to get a new one, and as they were walking in the door she turned to him and said, “Let me do the talking.” She then proceeded to lie to the store manager, claiming it was broken when they bought it. Her lie worked. He replaced it at no charge.
Jeffrey Leiken (Adolescence Is Not A Disease: Beyond Drinking, Drugs, and Dangerous Friends: The Journey to Adulthood)
In Schubert’s song “Fruhlingstraum,” you hear the singer, the voice of the wandered in the white wilderness, looking at the frost patterns, the ice blooms, on the window and wondering who placed them there, who is their author? Is it God? Is it man? Are they merely accident? It’s unanswered and unanswerable, and presents the mind again the essential question that winter raises for the Romantic mind, the Romantic imagination: who made winter, and why was it made? Do we project form and meaning onto something that is just an absence, a non-happening of the natural order of warmth and sunshine, or does winter offer some mysterious residual sign of divinity?...
Adam Gopnik (Winter: Five Windows on the Season (The CBC Massey Lectures))
We flew into the small airfield in Monrovia where we were met by Jimmy, Captain Duffy’s assistant. It didn’t take long, driving on the back streets to get to the city hospital. Jimmy carefully avoided many of the potholes that pockmarked the wet streets but without seatbelts it was a bumpy ride that I wouldn’t want to repeat! One German and two Liberian doctors along with some orderlies shared the responsibilities of running the hospital. A few local nurses and attendants completed the staff. These few people were all they had to do everything, and I guess the hospital was lucky to have them. One of the attendants wearing a bloodstained shirt accompanied us on our way to the morgue. As he opened the large swinging door I was hit by an unmistakable sweet pungent odor of death that nearly caused me to throw up right there on the spot. Not having as much as a handkerchief to keep out the smell, I simply covered my nose and mouth with my hand and followed the attendant into the metal building. It took a moment for my eyes to adjust from the still bright afternoon sun to the dark interior of the shed, but as they did, I witnessed a sight I can never forget. In the heat of this building were a few bloated, decaying naked cadavers lying on planks, with hundreds of flies swarming around them. If they didn’t have sheets for the living, it couldn’t be expected that there would be any for the dead. Turning on the single lightbulb hanging over a stainless-steel tray table with a corpse on it, allowed us to see the room better. The naked body directly in front of me, with its mutilated head propped up by a block of wood, was startling and is still vivid to this day. Although a part of his skull was crushed in, I could see where crabs had been eating the side of his face. Despite this mutilation I could instantly tell that it was Olaf. His ashen face had a stubble growth on it and the grey, gaping, bloodless wound on his forehead showed that he had either been in a terrible accident or murdered! There was no doubt as to what had happened to Olaf and I knew that it wasn’t an accident. Murder was commonplace in Liberia, especially in Monrovia.
Hank Bracker
In practical terms, the trick to successful participation in a high-risk sport is to acknowledge that bad things can happen, make every effort to prevent those things from happening, and be prepared to confront accidents when they do occur.
Bernie Chowdhury (The Last Dive: A Father and Son's Fatal Descent into the Ocean's Depths)
But now that the vivid consciousness of an earlier state had come back to him, the Professor felt that life with this Kansas boy, little as there had been of it, was the realest of his lives, and that all the years between had been accidental and ordered from the outside. His career, his wife, his family, were not his life at all, but the chain of events which had happened to him. All these things had nothing to do with the person he was in the beginning.
Willa Cather (The Professor's House)
Five months later Harry got off his leash and Rich ran into Riverside Drive to save him. I don’t look at Harry and think, If only we hadn’t got him. I don’t blame myself for this accident, or our dog, although I believe if it had been a child who was hurt I probably would. We were two adults living our lives and this terrible thing happened. I don’t find it ironic that the very reason Rich got hurt is the creature who comforts me. There is no irony here, no room for guilt or second-guessing. That would be a diversion, and indulgence. These are hard facts to be faced head-on. We are in this together, my husband and I, we have been thrown into this unfamiliar country with different weather, different rules. Everything I think and do matters now, in a way it never has before.
Abigail Thomas (A Three Dog Life)
There was nothing either of you could’ve done to prevent an accident. That’s what it was. An accident. And by their very definition, accidents are things that shouldn’t have happened. I’m not sure if you believe in fate or higher powers or anything like that, but I do. I believe there’s a grand plan for all of us, and we’re just along for the ride. Believing that helps me to understand there was nothing I could’ve done to save my family.” “I
Marie Force (Temptation After Dark (Gansett Island, #22))
Furthermore, it is often asked that sometimes we see people dying in accidents even in holy places. In addition to that, people including children often do not have normal capabilities to enjoy life to the fullest and even to exercise free will. The answer from the faith viewpoint is that those who are not able to exercise free will are not going to be held accountable for something in which they did not have an opportunity to exercise free will. Approximately, more than 150,000 human beings die every day. Natural catastrophes just bring isolated deaths together at one point in time and space. These events act as a reminder of death and fragility of life. It provides a chance for reflection and introspection. These circumstances sometimes test compassion in those who remain unscathed. If life in this cosmos happened by chance and will end for no other consequences beyond this life, then this life ends both for the rich and for the poor, for the outlaws and for the victims of injustice and for the honest as well as the dishonest. A faith-based worldview which has been outlined above makes the life of everyone meaningful as well as accords due justice to everyone.
Salman Ahmed Shaikh (Reflections on the Origins in the Post COVID-19 World)
Unfortunately for Jemma, all of this prevented me from doing what she probably wanted most: simply closing the bathroom door. It now swung all the way open, so that Jemma was still fully visible on the toilet when three more Secret Service agents came charging up the stairs. All of them had their weapons drawn, ready for action. Jemma screamed again, then kicked the bathroom door shut in their faces. The agents now shifted their attention to me, yanking me off the floor and shoving me up against the wall. Several pairs of hands roughly frisked me at once. I tried to explain what had happened, but the first Secret Service agent had knocked the wind out of me when she’d tackled me. All that came out was a wheeze of air. “Miss Stern?” the biggest of the agents called through the bathroom door. “Miss, is everything all right in there?” “No, everything isn’t all right!” Jemma yelled back. “That little pervert walked in on me!” “It was an accident,” I gasped. “She hadn’t locked the door.” “I shouldn’t have to lock the door in my own house!” Jemma cried. “This is the most secure building in the country! I wasn’t expecting a pervert to be on the loose here!” The Secret Service agents all looked at me accusingly. “I’m not a pervert,” I said quickly. “I’m a friend of Jason’s, here to hang out.” This didn’t seem to convince the agents of anything. “I wasn’t informed of any playdate today,” the big agent said. “It’s not a playdate,” I said quickly. “And it was kind of last-minute. Maybe they forgot to tell you.” “Or maybe you’re a pervert who snuck in here to see Jemma Stern on the toilet,” the agent replied suspiciously. The agent who’d tackled me was massaging her back where she’d been gouged by the stuffed eagle. She pounded on Jason’s door and said, “Jason, could you please come out here?” “I’m busy!” Jason shouted back. I figured he had certainly heard all the commotion in the hall but was willfully ignoring it. “It’s a matter of national security,” the wounded agent said. Jason groaned, and then the sound of his video game paused. His footsteps slowly thumped across the floor. “Could you all possibly handle this somewhere else?” Jemma asked through the bathroom door. “I could really use some privacy.” “We’re taking care of this as quickly as we can, miss,” the female agent informed her. “Feel free to go on with your business.” “You have got to be kidding me,” Jemma groaned.
Stuart Gibbs (Spy School Secret Service)
The way Bill was the other day, and with what’s happening at the farm I –’ ‘Dad talked to me about that after you left.’ Heather’s voice was sharp. ‘He said you’re imagining things, just like your mother.’ Ellie clenched her hands on her lap as anger surged through her. ‘It’s something to do with the Aboriginal council or the environmental committee, isn’t it?’ It was dark now and Ellie couldn’t see Heather’s expression. Kane reached over and squeezed her hand. ‘What happened the other day?’ ‘Bill warned me off when I asked him some questions.’ ‘Like he said, Ellie, just drop it. It was an accident.’ Heather’s voice was short. There was no more conversation until they got back to the lodge. Ellie pushed opened the door of her apartment. Kane raised his hand and stepped in first and flicked the lights on. ‘It’s okay. All good.’ ‘You can have my room. I’ve got an early start. I’ll sleep on the sofa.’ Ellie frowned as Heather nodded and walked past her into the bedroom. The door closed behind her with a loud click and Kane raised his eyebrows. Ellie crossed the living area and stood by the bedroom door. ‘Something sounded a bit off, didn’t it?’ ‘It did.’ ‘I’m not going to let it go.’ Ellie pushed open the door and sat beside her friend as she lay back on the pillow with her hand over her eyes. ‘What’s going on, Heather? I know there’s something. Why would someone do this to Bill? Has he been threatened?’ Heather’s eyes flew open and she stared at Ellie. ‘What?’ ‘I think I know what’s going on.’ Heather’s face closed. ‘You heard Dad at our place. He’s right. Just stay out of it.’ ‘For fuck’s sake, Heather. Someone tortured him tonight. They cut his finger off. What the hell is
Annie Seaton (Kakadu Sunset (The Porter Sisters #1))
A cheerful and helpful nurse followed them into the cubicle, once Aggie became fully alert. “Well, hon, what happened to you?” Without the sincere expression on the nurse’s face, her syrupy tone would have sounded contrived. “I was walking past my brother, and he swung his bat and hit my head.” The nurse looked concerned, and Aggie realized that she didn’t know what happened. “So, your brother hit you with his baseball bat? Was he mad at you?” The woman shot a disapproving look at Aggie. “Oh, no! They were playing softball, and I was walking to the swing out back and didn’t see them. Laird’s probably pretty mad at himself.” Embarrassment in Tavish’s face and manner made him look dishonest. “Didn’t you see them playing? How could you just walk into the middle of a ball game?” Doubt and suspicion laced the nurse’s words, and she surreptitiously pressed a buzzer on the wall. Aggie sighed. She knew they were in trouble now. Tavish, unaware of the tension growing in the room, answered automatically. “Well, I wasn’t watching where I was going. I was reading and looked up just in time to see the bat coming at me. I ducked, but I think that just kept me from getting it in the neck.” Aggie laughed. She couldn’t help it. This was the boy’s third accident stemming from walking while reading. “Tavish, I have to make it a rule now. You may not open your book if you are standing on your feet. Do you understand?” Tavish sheepishly nodded. The nurse watched the exchange and then smiled. “Well, hon, I used to be real klutzy when I was your age, but it wasn’t because I was reading. I didn’t have a good excuse like that.” She gave Aggie a knowing look. “I have to go stop the nurse from calling someone about the accident. You understand.” Relief washed Aggie’s face, and she smiled. “I appreciate it. Sorry to be a bother.” “I’ll be right back. Happy to stop this one!” The nurse walked out of the room, and Aggie overheard her telling the receptionist to cancel the Social Services call. “I was premature— I remembered hearing about the house with all the kids and the 9-1-1 calls and jumped the gun. Tell Linda I am sorry for bothering her.
Chautona Havig (Ready or Not (Aggie's Inheritance, #1))
First they warn everyone to wear a mask. Then we find out unless it's a special kind of mask it's not going to protect you at all." "It's not just a question of beds. There's not enough linen, not enough gloves, gowns, hypodermic needles, disinfectant, meds, you name it. Not enough ambulances, not enough ventilators or other equipment. Hospitals are even running out of food." "It's not like every other bad thing stopped happening to make room for the flu. People are still getting cancer and having heart attacks and strokes and road accidents. The idea that we could handle any kind of surge on top of that--whoever's fantasy that was, it was never going to happen." "The retired workers they were depending on to take over for the workers out sick? Very few of those people ever showed. The volunteer doctors and nurses and the other helping hands--they aren't showing up, either. It's not like 9/11. There aren't any heroes rushing toward the danger. The danger is everywhere, and everyone's running scared." "Let's face it, this is America. Anything that's bad for business, people don't want to hear. When it comes to money or doing the right thing, most people are going to choose money. Close up shop for months till they can make a new vaccine? How many businesses would still be alive after that?" "This disaster proves what some of us have been saying about America all along: everything is broken.
Sigrid Nunez (Salvation City)
But we have soothed ourselves into imagining sudden change as something that happens outside the normal order of things. An accident, like a car crash. Or beyond our control, like a fatal illness. We do not conceive of sudden, radical, irrational change as built into the very fabric of existence. Yet it is. And chaos theory teaches us,” Malcolm said, “that straight linearity, which we have come to take for granted in everything from physics to fiction, simply does not exist. Linearity is an artificial way of viewing the world. Real life isn’t a series of interconnected events occurring one after another like beads strung on a necklace. Life is actually a series of encounters in which one event may change those that follow in a wholly unpredictable, even devastating way.” Malcolm sat back in his seat, looking toward the other Land Cruiser, a few yards ahead. “That’s a deep truth about the structure of our universe. But, for some reason, we insist on behaving as if it were not true.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))
my glass as I spoke. “I can’t go into details, but Francis Allard is dead.” Monica Toups gasped out loud and almost dropped her glass. “He’s dead? But I just spoke with him last week. It…but what happened?” “Like I said, I can’t get into it, but I do need to ask you about a girl’s graduation ring he might’ve had in his possession.” “Oh, yeah, that was Sarah’s ring. He wouldn’t tell me how he came to have it, but he said it was in Derrick Landry’s possession.” “Did you find that suspicious?” “No, I knew about it.” She excused herself and went inside the house. When she returned, she was holding a boy’s graduation ring. She handed it to me. “This was Derrick’s graduation ring. He had Sarah’s ring and she had his. I didn’t find out about it until after we lost her. I’ve been tempted to approach him and get the ring back, but I don’t trust myself around him. If I wouldn’t hit him, I’d definitely spit in his face, because deep down in my heart, I know he’s responsible for what happened to Sarah.” I mulled over what I had learned. A possibility was starting to emerge. “Do you think she went out on the lake with Derrick?” “That’s what Phil thinks.” She frowned. “I’m just not sure how Derrick’s involved, but I know he is.” “What does Phil think?” “He thinks Derrick picked Sarah up at the front of the street and they went to the lake. He thinks they were in a boating accident and Derrick left Sarah to drown. He believes Derrick’s dad was called and they cleaned up the debris before the police could get to the lake and investigate.” “Why would he make such an effort to cover up an accident?” “Because he would go to jail for statutory rape, that’s why, and it would ruin any chances of him getting a football scholarship.” She grunted. “He used to walk around bragging that he would be the next Cajun Cannon and that he would play for the Saints someday.” “I’m guessing that didn’t happen.” “No, he ended up running his dad’s store. He never did go to college, and I’ve often wondered if the guilt was too much for him to bear.” I still didn’t have any evidence on Derrick Landry, and I knew Monica Toups didn’t have any answers, so I wrapped up my visit with her. “Will you please find out what happened to my daughter?” “I’ll do my best, ma’am,” I said, wondering if I should be making such a promise. After all, Francis Allard made a similar promise, and look what happened to him. CHAPTER 26 While it had started out nice and cool, the day had quickly turned hot. Despite the canopy over the boat, Susan was dripping sweat. She glanced over at Melvin. He was also swimming in his clothes. “I’m seeing shell casings behind every clump of mud,” Melvin mumbled as he turned away from the monitor on the endoscope and rubbed his tired eyes. “I think we’ve found all there is to find.” Susan was thoughtful. They had located a total of twenty-four casings and Clint and Amy had located one, so there were still
B.J. Bourg (But Not Foreknown (Clint Wolf #15))
We do not see our hand in what happens, and so we call certain events melancholy accidents… —Stanley Cavell
Jim Shepard (Phase Six)
The availability bias says this: We create a picture of the world using the examples that most easily come to mind. This is idiotic, of course, because in reality, things don’t happen more frequently just because we can conceive of them more easily. Thanks to the availability bias, we travel through life with an incorrect risk map in our heads. Thus, we systematically overestimate the risk of being the victims of a plane crash, a car accident, or a murder. And we underestimate the risk of dying from less spectacular means, such as diabetes or stomach cancer. The chances of bomb attacks are much rarer than we think, and the chances of suffering depression are much higher. We attach too much likelihood to spectacular, flashy, or loud outcomes. Anything silent or invisible we downgrade in our minds. Our brains imagine showstopping outcomes more readily than mundane ones. We think dramatically, not quantitatively. Doctors often fall victim to the availability bias. They have their favorite treatments, which they use for all possible cases. More appropriate treatments may exist, but these are in the recesses of the doctors’ minds. Consequently, they practice what they know. Consultants are no better. If they come across an entirely new case, they do not throw up their hands and sigh: “I really don’t know what to tell you.” Instead, they turn to one of their more familiar methods, whether or not it is ideal. If something is repeated often enough, it gets stored at the forefront of our minds. It doesn’t even have to be true.
Rolf Dobelli (The Art of Thinking Clearly)
In the relationship with your dog, you can have a bad moment. For whatever reason, it happens — an accident, a bad day at work, or whatever. You come home, and the dog is there barking at you, tail wagging, looking for your attention. You don’t feel like playing with the dog, but the dog is there. The dog will not feel hurt that you don’t want to play, because it doesn’t take it personally. Once the dog celebrates your arrival and finds out you don’t want to play, the dog goes and plays by itself. The dog doesn’t stay there and insist that you be happy. Sometimes you can feel more support from your dog than from a partner who wants to make you happy. If you don’t feel like being happy, and you only want to be quiet, it’s nothing personal. It has nothing to do with your partner. Perhaps you have a problem and you need to be quiet. But that silence can cause your partner to make a lot of assumptions: “What did I do now? It’s because of me.” It has nothing to do with your partner; it’s nothing personal. Left alone, the tension will go away, and you will return to happiness. That is why the key in the lock has to be a match, because if one of you has a bad moment or an emotional crisis, your agreement is to allow each other to be what you are. Then the relationship is another story; it’s another way of being, and the whole thing can be very beautiful.
Miguel Ruiz (The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship (A Toltec Wisdom Book))
I think stories have such power for us [because] they force us to consider the question, "Are stories true?" Not just, "Is this story true?" was there really an angel? Did he really say, "Do not be afraid"?—but are any stories true? Is the claim that all stories make a true claim? Every storyteller, whether he is Shakespeare telling about Hamlet or Luke telling about Mary, looks out at the world much as you and I look out at it and sees things happening—people being born, growing up, working, loving, getting old, and finally dying—only then, by the very process of taking certain of these events and turning them into a story, giving them form and direction, does he make a sort of claim about events in general, about the nature of life itself. And the storyteller's claim, I believe, is that life has meaning—that the things that happen to people happen not just by accident like leaves being blown off a tree by the wind but that there is order and purpose deep down behind them or inside them and that they are leading us not just anywhere but somewhere. The power of stories is that they are telling us that life adds up somehow, that life itself is like a story. And this grips us and fascinates us because of the feeling it gives us that if there is meaning in any life—in Hamlet's, in Mary's, in Christ's—then there is meaning also in our lives. And if this is true, it is of enormous significance in itself, and it makes us listen to the storyteller with great intensity because in this way all his stories are about us and because it is always possible that he may give us some clue as to what the meaning of our lives is.
Frederick Buechner (The Magnificent Defeat)
What we think of as economic growth is best understood as the rate at which we solve problems. But that rate is totally dependent upon how many problem solvers - diverse, able problem solvers - we have, and thus how many of our fellow citizens actively participate, both as entrepreneurs who can offer solutions, and as customers who consume them. But this maximizing participation thing doesn't happen by accident. It doesn't happen by itself. It requires effort and investment, which is why all highly prosperous capitalist democracies are characterized by massive investments in the middle class and the infrastructure that they depend on. We plutocrats need to get this trickle-down economics thing behind us, this idea that the better we do, the better everyone else will do. It's not true. How could it be? I earn 1,000 times the median wage, but I do not buy 1,000 times as much stuff, do I? I actually bought two pairs of these pants, what my partner Mike calls my manager pants. I could have bought 2,000 pairs, but what would I do with them? [Laughter]
Nick Hanauer
Life becomes impoverished and loses its interest when life itself, the highest stake in the game of living, must not be risked. It becomes as hollow and empty as an American flirtation in which it is understood from the beginning that nothing is to happen, in contrast to a continental love affair in which both partners must always bear in mind the serious consequences. Our emotional ties, the unbearable intensity of our grief, make us disinclined to court dangers for ourselves and those belonging to us. We do not dare to contemplate a number of undertakings that are dangerous but really indispensable, such as aeroplane flights, expeditions to distant countries, and experiments with explosive substances. We are paralyzed by the thought of who is to replace the son to his mother, the husband to his wife, or the father to his children, should an accident occur.
Sigmund Freud (Reflections on War and Death)
I once witnessed a fender bender in a grocery store parking lot. Two cars were backing up at the same time and their rear bumpers collided. The collision appeared to cause only minor damage to each vehicle. I watched as one driver jumped out of his vehicle and said, “Just what I needed. Why do these things always happen to me? As if I didn’t already have enough to deal with today!” Meanwhile, the other driver stepped out of his vehicle shaking his head. In a very calm voice he said, “Wow, we’re so lucky that no one got hurt. What a great day it is when you can get into an accident and walk away from it without a single injury.” Both men experienced the exact same event. However, their perception of the event was completely different. One man viewed himself as a victim of horrible circumstance while the other man viewed the event as good fortune. Their reaction was all about their differences in perception.
Amy Morin (13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success)
Is it not possible to attract only positive conditions into our life? If our attitude and our thinking are always positive, we would manifest only positive events and situations, wouldn’t we? Do you truly know what is positive and what is negative? Do you have the total picture? There have been many people for whom limitation, failure, loss, illness, or pain in whatever form turned out to be their greatest teacher. It taught them to let go of false self-images and superficial ego-dictated goals and desires. It gave them depth, humility, and compassion. It made them more real. Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it, although you may not see it at the time. Even a brief illness or an accident can show you what is real and unreal in your life, what ultimately matters and what doesn’t. Seen from a higher perspective, conditions are always positive. To be more precise: they are neither positive nor negative. They are as they are. And when you live in complete acceptance of what is — which is the only sane way to live — there is no “good” or “bad” in your life anymore. There is only a higher good — which includes the “bad.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
But here’s the thing: He didn’t get hung. The man climbed on a wooden watercraft and collided with North America by accident. It doesn’t matter what happened afterwards or what his motives were. He found it. It happened. He’s what history is. It was his destiny to be that particular man, and it was his destiny to do those specific things.
Chuck Klosterman (Downtown Owl)
Focus on being aware that I am literally the creator of what I experience. Do you think it just happened by accident? No! The thought is penetrating your conscious awareness from the depth of your mind that rests right next to the Mind of God. Therefore, the power to generate that very thought is the effect of God’s will entering into your field of being, penetrating the veils of distraction and shining forth as the thought, “That’s right, five minutes every hour.” Can you feel the awesomeness of that? For you are linked to the Mind of God, and God knows how to bring you back to complete freedom, perfect peace, and mastery of this entire realm.
Shanti Christo Foundation (The Way of Mastery ~ Part One: The Way of the Heart (The Way of Mastery))
The years move forward and everyone is attending to their life’s priorities, focusing on how to be happy, make a living, raise a family. The years turn into decades and sooner or later, (hopefully later) sickness or accidents happen and all are again confronted with the big questions: Why? What’s next? What has this life that I’ve lived been about? As one begins to consider their own eventual departure: What have I been able to do to make things a little better? What have I passed along to make others’ lives more beautiful?
Gene O'Neil (An Upraised Chalice: Adventures and Near-Death Adventures and Near-Death Encounters in my Search for the Brotherhood of Light - and What It Can Mean for You)
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 1 CORINTHIANS 16:13 SEPTEMBER 19 We live in an insecure world. Your body is no more secure than your ability to resist disease and infection. Accidents can happen to anyone at any time. This world is insecure. Yet you should never come to the point where you say, “Life is over for me; I am through. I can’t do anything anymore. I haven’t any confidence; I have no sense of security.” Remember that the Lord is faithful. He will strengthen you and guard you against all evil. Don’t live with too much caution. It may seem strange that a man would stand in a pulpit and advocate throwing yourself into life, even at the risk of getting hurt. But I have observed that people who try to keep from getting hurt never amount to anything. Only those who throw themselves into risky circumstances—regardless of whether they may get hurt—become really great people. When you live daringly, you do many stupid things; you often make a fool of yourself and people criticize you; and you may fail at one thing and another; but in the long run, you will accomplish great things.
Norman Vincent Peale (Positive Living Day by Day)
There are a lot of mysteries in the universe, but there are no miracles. Miracles are said to be impossible events which become possible. Even for a change the Sun and Moon do not think of rising or setting in the opposite direction. The planets do not stop their revolution. If such a thing happens we can certainly call it a Miracle. We hear about so many miracles like dumb and deaf started speaking or some diseases getting cured miraculously. But do we hear about a person who lost his limbs in accident got it grown back? All so-called miracle happenings are physical and material possibilities. People do not go beyond reading the news in media. That’s why they become easy pray to those who make claims with ulterior motives. None of our five senses are fully reliable. They can be cheated. That’s why we are able to enjoy a Magician’s performance. But we can certainly trust our common-sense, in case if we have it. Universe is full of mysteries. Man has unravelled many mysteries through scientific enquiries and he continue to unravel mysteries. It is wiser to consider mysteries as mysteries instead of colouring or shadowing with some supernatural beliefs.
V.A. Menon
For example, if you are dealt a 13-card hand and get all 13 spades, you might wonder if that was an accident or the result of a fixed deck because the odds against that happening by chance are 635-billion-to-one. Yet every specific randomized deal of 13 unique cards had the same odds against happening by chance. So unlikely events, like unlikely card hands, can and do happen by chance.
Cris Putnam (Exo-Vaticana: Petrus Romanus, Project LUCIFER, and the Vatican's Astonishing Exo-Theological Plan for the Arrival of an Alien Savior)
But unlike human children, dogs don’t dream about or obsess over past experiences the way we do. They live in the moment. Kane wasn’t spending his days worrying about shiny floors, and he naturally reacted to protect himself when the original accident happened. But since his owner intensified the traumatic experience with her overly excited, emotional energy, then nurtured that fear by giving him affection every time he got near a shiny floor, Kane now saw shiny floors as a very big deal indeed. Whenever an animal isn’t allowed to move through its fear, that fear can become a phobia. What Kane needed was a calm-assertive pack leader to recondition him and show him that
Cesar Millan (Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems)
When these accidents affect our customers, we seek to understand why it happened. The root cause is often deemed to be human error, and the all too common management response is to “name, blame, and shame” the person who caused the problem.† And, either subtly or explicitly, management hints that the person guilty of committing the error will be punished. They then create more processes and approvals to prevent the error from happening again. Dr. Sidney Dekker, who codified some of the key elements of safety culture and coined the term just culture, wrote, “Responses to incidents and accidents that are seen as unjust can impede safety investigations, promote fear rather than mindfulness in people who do safety-critical work, make organizations more bureaucratic rather than more careful, and cultivate professional secrecy, evasion, and self-protection.” These issues are especially problematic in the technology value stream—our work is almost always performed within a complex system, and how management chooses to react to failures and accidents leads to a culture of fear, which then makes it unlikely that problems and failure signals are ever reported. The result is that problems remain hidden until a catastrophe occurs.
Gene Kim (The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations)
How do you write a memory? For that matter, what is a memory? A remembrance, a dream of the past that floats into the present on occasion? What are memories? Are they illusion? For if memory is illusion, then how can we be sure of what is real? Illusions are fabricated, sometimes they are an accident, sometimes they are pure deception, and how do we tell the difference? Do you start with the person? Do you start with the idea? How can you begin with either if you can’t decide on one? How can you write a memory if you don’t even know what it is? How do you create something that has never before been created? If we don’t know what our memories are, do we know what the present is? Do we know what the future holds? If we don’t know what memories are then do we know what the past was? And if we question what we know, how can we be sure of anything? How can we be sure what’s currently happening is real, and not a vivid memory being relived over and over in painful remembrance?
Stephen Vaughn (M.I.N.D.)
done. Why did he stick around? Why would he force that encounter with you on the road, and that night at the diner . . .” He looked at Chris as though willing him to fill in the blanks, but Chris’s implacable eyes gave away nothing. “Wait,” Beck said, “I just remembered something. When Watkins came into the diner, I remember him looking surprised to see us there. But it was only me he was surprised to see, wasn’t it? He said he was there for a business . . . Ah,” he said with sudden enlightenment. “The payoff. He was meeting you there to get his money. “That was the night of Billy’s accident. I’d just come from the hospital. Our unscheduled meeting in the diner prevented you from conducting your transaction with Watkins. No wonder he was so angry that night on the road. He still hadn’t been paid. He was getting antsy. The heat was shifting from you onto him. In desperation, he went to Sayre and got Scott focused on the fratricide angle. That brought things to a head, so you arranged for a meeting with Watkins at the camp this morning.” Chris grinned. “I bet you aced law school, didn’t you? You’re actually very sharp. But, Beck, the only thing I would swear to under oath is that Slap Watkins came crashing through the door of the cabin, waving a knife and telling me he was going to kill his second Hoyle and how giddy he was at the prospect.” “I have no doubt that’s what happened, Chris. He just arrived earlier than you expected. He wanted to get the jump on you because he didn’t trust you. Justifiably. Even Watkins was smart enough to realize that you weren’t about to hand over money and let him walk away from that last meeting. He signed his own death warrant the minute he agreed to kill Danny.” “Please, Beck. Let’s not get sentimental over Slap. A double cross was his plan from the very beginning. Why do you think he left that matchbook in the cabin?” Beck mentally stepped back from himself and considered his options. He could leave now. Simply turn around and walk out. Go to Sayre. Live out the rest of his days loving her, and to hell with Chris and Huff, their treachery and corruption, to hell with their stinking, maiming, life-taking foundry. He was so damn weary of the struggle and the pretense. He longed to throw off this mantle of responsibility, to forget he ever knew the Hoyles and let the devil take them—if he would have them. That was what he wanted to do. Or he could stay and do what he had committed to do. As appealing as the former option was, the latter was preordained. “Slap Watkins didn’t plant the matchbook in the cabin, Chris.” He held Chris’s stare for several seconds, before adding, “I did.” • • • George
Sandra Brown (White Hot)
Broadcaster's Poem I used to broadcast at night alone in a radio station but I was never good at it partly because my voice wasn't right but mostly because my peculiar metaphysical stupidity made it impossible for me to keep believing their was somebody listening when it seemed I was talking only to myself in a room no bigger than an ordinary bathroom I could believe it for a while and then I'd get somewhat the same feeling as when you start to suspect you're the victim of a practical joke So one part of me was afraid another part might blurt out something about myself so terrible that even I had never until that moment suspected it This was like the fear of bridges and other high places: Will I take off my glasses and throw them into the water, although I'm half blind without them? Will I sneak up behind myself and push? Another thing: As a reporter I covered an accident in which a train ran into a car, killing three young men, one of whom was beheaded. The bodies looked boneless, as such bodies do More like mounds of rags and inside the wreckage where nobody could get at it the car radio was still playing I thought about places the disc jockey's voice goes and the things that happen there and of how impossible it would be for him to continue if he really knew.
Alden Nowlan
Are you okay, babe?” Steve asked. I told him I was. Shaken, but in one piece. Steve was okay, the python was okay, and even the cameraman seemed to have recovered. We returned the snake to its tree. “We might as well go back to camp,” Steve said, mock-sternly. “Thanks to you, we probably won’t catch that croc tonight. You probably scared the living daylights out of him, landing in the water like that.” That night, lying exhausted in my swag, covered with salt water and river mud, I had a single thought running through my mind over and over. Thank God that Steve was there. Wherever I was in the Australian bush, whatever I was doing, I resolved that Steve had to be with me. I felt that as long as he was there, no matter what accident or incident happened, I knew I would be fine. It wasn’t just that I knew Steve would protect me and that his knowledge of the bush was so complete. I was beginning to sense something we would both come to feel and talk about seriously. When we were together, nothing bad would happen. Apart, we might be vulnerable. It was hard to explain, but it was as if the universe had brought us together and now we were as one. Whatever it was, we both felt it. The next morning I would learn just how lucky I was to have Steve with me the night before, adrift in croc water.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
I immediately packed up Bindi and went to catch the next plane home. The family was in free fall. Steve was in shock, and Bob was even worse off. Lyn had always acted as the matriarch, the one who kept everything together. She was such a strong figure, a leader. Her death didn’t seem real. I sat on that plane and looked down at Bindi. Life is changed forever now, I thought. As we arrived home, I didn’t know what to expect. I had never dealt with grief like this before. Lyn was only in her fifties, and it seemed cruel to have her life cut short, as she was on the brink of a dream she had held in her heart forever. These were going to be her golden years. She and Bob could embark on the life they had worked so hard to achieve. They would be together, near their family, where they could take care of the land and enjoy the wildlife they loved. I couldn’t imagine what Steve, his dad, and his sisters were going through. My heart was broken. Bindi’s gran was gone just when they had most looked forward to spending time together. The aftermath of Lyn’s death was every bit as awful as I could have imagined. Steve was absolutely inconsolable, and Bob was very obviously unable to cope. Joy and Mandy were trying to keep things together, but they were distraught and heartbroken. Everyone at the zoo was somber. I felt I needed to do something, yet I felt helpless, sad, and lost. Steve’s younger sister Mandy performed the mournful task of sifting through the smashed items from the truck. One of the objects Lyn had packed was Bob’s teapot. There was nothing Bob enjoyed more than a cup of tea. As Mandy went to wash out the teapot, she noticed movement. Inside was Sharon, the bird-eating spider, the sole survivor of the accident. Although her tank had been smashed to bits, she had managed to crawl into the teapot to hide. After the funeral, time appeared to slow down and then stop entirely. Steve talked about moving out to Ironback Station. He couldn’t seem to order his thoughts. He no longer saw a reason for going on with all the projects on which we had worked so hard. Bindi was upset but didn’t have the understanding to know why. She was too young to get her head around what had happened. She simply cried when she saw her daddy crying. It would be a long time before life returned to anything like normalcy. Lyn’s death was something that Steve would never truly overcome. His connection with his mum, like that of so many mothers and sons, was unusually close. Lyn Irwin was a pioneer in wildlife rehabilitation work. She had given her son a great legacy, and eventually that gift would win out over death. But in the wake of her accident, all we could see was loss. Steve headed out into the bush alone, with just Sui and his swag. He reverted to his youth, to his solitary formative years. But grief trailed him. My heart broke for my husband. I was not sure he would ever find his way back.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
About the wedding . . .” Her mom tucked a stray lock behind her ear. “You shouldn’t have run away, but I’m sorry you felt like you couldn’t talk to anyone.” “I was lost and I didn’t know what to do,” Maddie said, clenching her hands in her lap. “I didn’t want to disappoint you all.” Shannon sighed and shook her head. “What am I going to do with you?” “I don’t think I ever really loved Steve,” Maddie spoke what she’d ignored for so long. “I’m sorry I couldn’t marry him. I know how much you wanted him for a son-in-law.” Shannon sighed, nodding. “I did. You scared me. You were always a little wild like your daddy. Steve was a nice, safe boy. He wanted to protect you. And after the accident, I couldn’t keep you safe enough.” Maddie sniffed and hiccupped, and confessed, “I met someone. A man.” “I figured that out as soon as I opened the door.” “How?” “I might be old, but I’m no fool.” Shannon patted her hand. “There’s only one thing that makes a woman cry like that. What happened?” “I love him and I wanted to help. I broke his trust and he told me to leave.” Shannon clucked her tongue and pulled her close. “This seems like a girlfriend problem. Do you want me to call them?” “Yes, please.” She
Jennifer Dawson (Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1))
I’m afraid I’m going to move too fast for you. You were with Chase and planning a future and family with him up until the accident. All I’ve been able to think about is you, I knew there wouldn’t ever be anyone else. Over the last couple months, I tried to only be your friend, and I would have stayed that way if you asked me to. That didn’t stop me from thinking of everything I would do if I ever got you back though. But now that I have you again, the only thing the time away from you did, was make me want you more. So now I’m right back to where I was before we broke up, wanting nothing more than to buy a house with you and marry you. But I don’t know when it would be okay to do any of that because of what happened. And I know what you said about raising him with you, but I don’t know if that’s all you actually want me to do when it comes to him, just be the guy that helps you raise him. I want to be the dad that raises him, his dad. I just don’t know if that’s okay with you or if you think I’ll be trying to take Chase’s place.” “Brandon,” I frowned a little, with what we’d been talking about earlier, I thought we were on the same page. Apparently not. “okay let’s clear this all up, so there’s no more confusion. Considering everything we had before, I think we are way beyond worrying about moving too fast. I want to marry you, more than anything. But I don’t care when that happens, it can happen tomorrow or it can happen two years from now. I had tried to explain it to Chase, but I don’t think he actually understood that I didn’t need to be married just because I was having a baby. With Chase though, I hadn’t been planning a future with him until after he found out about the baby, I had already known way before that, that I wanted to marry you. “I’ll admit I was worried just being with you would be moving too fast after the accident for other people, but with the way I feel, and after talking to Mom, Bree and Konrad, I don’t think we are. Mom was right, our situation is completely different, and it doesn’t matter what other people think. This is our life together, not theirs.” I laid down on my back, and put a hand over my eyes to shield the sun, “Answer me something before I continue. Being his dad, you really want that?” He turned onto his side, his face hovering over mine, “I do.” “Good.” I smiled and wrapped a hand around his neck, “I don’t want you to just be the guy that raises him. What you said this morning, was more than perfect. I want you to be his dad, I want him to be your son. I want you to be my husband and if we have more kids later on in life, I don’t want them to be our kids, and him” I pointed to my stomach, “be my kid. I agree he needs to know about Chase, but you’re going to be Dad to him, and he’s going to be ours. Just like any other child we have. “I want you to be at the rest of the appointments if you want to, and don’t worry, Dr. Lowdry already knows about you. She pulled me aside during my second appointment and asked about the father, I ended up breaking down and telling her the whole story. I swear those Doctors are trained to be therapists too. She knows that Chase died, and she knows you’ve been there for me. Honestly, she’s like Bree and Mom, I doubt she’ll be surprised to see you there. So if you want to be there, then I would love for you to come with me. I want you to help me name him, and if it’s okay, I want you in the room with me when I deliver. I’m telling you, I’m not going to pick and choose what you can and can’t do, I want you there for everything. I’ve wanted you there for everything, but I’ve been denying myself of what I want and pushing my emotions away. Now that we’re done pretending, I’m ready for it all, but you need to tell me if you’re uncomfortable with any of this.” “If you were any other girl, I would be. But you’re my world Harper, no matter how strange our situation may be, being with you and starting a family with you feels right.” “I
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
You have a good time with Mel today?” “Yes. Was Christopher a lot of trouble?” He shook his head with a chuckle. “Nah, he’s a kick. He wants to know everything. Every detail. ‘Why is it a quarter teaspoon of that?’ ‘What does the Crisco on the tray do?’ And man, yeast blows him away. I think he has a little scientist in him.” Paige thought, he couldn’t ask his father questions. Wes didn’t have the patience to answer them. “John, do you have family?” “Not anymore. I was an only child. And my folks were older, anyway—they didn’t think they were going to have kids. Then I surprised ’em. Boy, did I surprise ’em. My dad died when I was about six—a construction accident. And then my mom when I was seventeen, right before my senior year.” “I’m so sorry.” “Yeah, thanks. It’s okay. I’ve had a good life.” “What did you do when you lost your mother? Go live with aunts or something?” “No aunts,” he said, shaking his head. “My football coach took me in. It was good—he had a nice wife, good bunch of little kids. Might as well have lived with him. He acted like he owned me during football, anyway,” he said with a laugh. “Nah, kidding aside, that was a good thing he did. Good guy. We used to write—now we email.” “What happened to your mom?” “Heart attack.
Robyn Carr (Shelter Mountain (Virgin River, #2))
You’re really going to kick me out?” “Yes, I really am.” Mrs. Wattlesbrook folded her arms. Jane bit her lip and bent her head back to look at the sky. Funny that it looked so far away. It felt as if it were pressing down on her head, shoving her into the dirt. What a mean bully of a sky. Much of the household was present now. Miss Heartwright was huddled with the main actors, whispering, like rubberneckers shocked at a roadside accident but unable to look away. A couple of gardeners strolled up as well, tools in hand. Martin wiped his brow, confusion (sadness?) heavy on his face. Jane was embarrassed to see him, remembering how she’d ended things, and feeling less than appealing at the moment. The whole scene was rather Hester Prynne, and Jane imagined herself on a scaffold with a scarlet C for “cell phone” on her chest. She realized she was still holding her croquet mallet and wondered that no one felt threatened by her. She hefted it. Would it be fun to bash in a window? Nah. She handed it to Miss Charming. “Go get ‘em, Charming.” “Okay,” Miss Charming said uncertainly. “If you would be so kind as to step into the carriage,” said Mrs. Wattlesbrook. Curse the woman. Jane had just started to have such fun, too. Why didn’t one of the gentlemen come forward to defend her? Wasn’t that, like, their whole purpose of existence? She supposed they’d be fired if they did. The cowards. She stood on the carriage’s little step and turned to face the others. She’d never left a relationship with the last word, something poetic and timeless, triumphant amid her downfall. Oh, for a perfect line! She opened her mouth, hoping something just right would come to her, but Miss Heartwright spoke first. “Mrs. Wattlesbrook! Oh dear, I have only now realized what transpired.” She lifted the hem of her skirts and minced her way to the carriage. “Please wait, this is all my fault. Poor Miss Erstwhile was only doing me a favor. You see, the modern contraption was mine. I did not realize I had it until I arrived, and I was so distressed, Miss Erstwhile kindly offered to keep it for me among her own things where I would not have to look upon it.” Jane stood very still. She thought to wonder what instinct made her body rigid when shocked. Was she prey by nature? A rabbit afraid to move when a hawk wheels overhead? Mrs. Wattlesbrook had not moved either, not even to blink. A silent minute limped forward as everyone waited. “I see,” the proprietress said at last. She looked at Jane, at Miss Heartwright, then fumbled with the keys at her side. “Well, now, ahem, since it was an accident, I think we should forget it ever happened. I do hope, Miss Heartwright, that you will continue to honor us with your presence.” Ah, you old witch, Jane thought. “Yes, of course, thank you.” Miss Heartwright was in her best form, all proper feminine concern, artless and pleasant. Her eyes twinkled. They really did. Everyone began to move off, nothing disturbing left to view. Jane caught a glimpse of Martin smiling, pleased, before he turned away. “I’m so sorry, Jane. I do hope you will forgive me.” “Please don’t mention it, Miss Heartwright.” “Amelia.” She held Jane’s hand to help her descend from the carriage. “You must call me Amelia now.” “Thank you, Amelia.” It was such a sisterly moment, Jane thought they might actually embrace. They didn’t.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
Now tell me what you’re afraid of.” “Uncle Nathan is right about this tree. It’s got some kind of spirit in it. And it doesn’t want me to leave.” I saw my dad smile and shake his head. “I’m serious, Dad. You can’t send those guys up here again. The tree will try to kill them before it lets them take me down. Didn’t you see it happen?” “I saw a couple of accidents…” “And Ronnie fell yesterday, but somehow I’m able to be up in this tree no problem. I got up here without any ropes or ladders. Don’t you find that mysterious? Uncle Nathan doesn’t. Grandfather doesn’t.” “They are both superstitious, that’s all.” “I know,” I said. “And what about that, Dad? You’ve spouted all your legends and myths at me my whole life, and now you suddenly don’t care about them? That doesn’t make any sense.” He sighed so deeply I could hear it. “I study those legends to get to know our culture, our heritage. I don’t believe that they are literal truths.” “But what about the mermaids?” I pressed. “Remember the big story you told about the singing boat and the killer whale? It was you who told me that maybe the story was wrong and it wasn’t a singing boat; it was a mermaid under the boat.” “I remember, but I had a real mermaid staring me in the face at the time. There isn’t anything like that going on right now.” “I hear whispers coming from the tree. It moves on its own. It is warmer than it should be…” “You’ve been up there too long. You’re delirious.” I grunted at him. “It started before I climbed up! ” Dad rubbed a hand over his face. “I don’t know what you want me to do here.” I turned on the camera and flipped the digital pictures until I found that one with the face. I stuck it in the bucket and lowered it down to my dad and told him to take a look. “Is that as good as a mermaid right in front of you?” He studied the picture a moment and then replied, “I always see faces in the knots of trees. Who doesn’t? I think that’s why so many people create horror stories about them.
D.G. Driver
Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely. The only sense to make of tragedies like this is that terrible things can happen to perfectly innocent people. This understanding inspires compassion. Religious faith, on the other hand, erodes compassion. Thoughts like, “this might be all part of God’s plan,” or “there are no accidents in life,” or “everyone on some level gets what he or she deserves”—these ideas are not only stupid, they are extraordinarily callous. They are nothing more than a childish refusal to connect with the suffering of other human beings. It is time to grow up and let our hearts break at moments like this. —Sam Harris
Jerry DeWitt (Hope after Faith: An Ex-Pastor's Journey from Belief to Atheism)
Service, sales, and marketing do not happen by accident; they happen on purpose with everyone working together. 
Korbett Miller (De-Mythify: Finding freedom in your small business.)