Ageing Gracefully Quotes

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The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole,but true beauty in a Woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows.
Audrey Hepburn
And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows!
Audrey Hepburn
When You Are Old" WHEN you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true, But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face; And bending down beside the glowing bars, Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
W.B. Yeats
You don't stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.
George Bernard Shaw
How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true; But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face.
W.B. Yeats (The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats)
The heads of strong old age are beautiful / Beyond all grace of youth
Robinson Jeffers
Hera: Ohh, Thalia Grace, when I get out of here, you'll be sorry you were ever born. Thalia: Save it! You've been nothing but a curse to every child of Zeus for ages. You sent a bunch of intestinally challenged cows after my friend Annabeth Hera: She was disrespectful! Thalia: You dropped a statue on my legs. Hera: It was an accident! Thalia: AND you took my brother
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
It had to be a mad dream, one that would give her the courage she would need to discard the prejudices of a class that had not always been hers but had become hers more than anyone’s. It had to teach her to think of love as a state of grace: not the means to anything but the alpha and omega, an end in itself.
Gabriel García Márquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)
It`s not how old you are, it`s how you are old.
Jules Renard
Your face is marked with lines of life, put there by love and laughter, suffering and tears. It's beautiful.
Lynsay Sands
I was tired of seeing the Graces always depicted as beautiful young things. I think wisdom comes with age and life and pain. And knowing what matters.
Louise Penny (A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2))
In his extreme youth Stoner had thought of love as an absolute state of being to which, if one were lucky, one might find access; in his maturity he had decided it was the heaven of a false religion, toward which one ought to gaze with an amused disbelief, a gently familiar contempt, and an embarrassed nostalgia. Now in his middle age he began to know that it was neither a state of grace nor an illusion; he saw it as a human act of becoming, a condition that was invented and modified moment by moment and day by day, by the will and the intelligence and the heart.
John Williams (Stoner)
Grow old with me! The best is yet to be.
Robert Browning
It's not very easy to grow up into a woman. We are always taught, almost bombarded, with ideals of what we should be at every age in our lives: "This is what you should wear at age twenty", "That is what you must act like at age twenty-five", "This is what you should be doing when you are seventeen." But amidst all the many voices that bark all these orders and set all of these ideals for girls today, there lacks the voice of assurance. There is no comfort and assurance. I want to be able to say, that there are four things admirable for a woman to be, at any age! Whether you are four or forty-four or nineteen! It's always wonderful to be elegant, it's always fashionable to have grace, it's always glamorous to be brave, and it's always important to own a delectable perfume! Yes, wearing a beautiful fragrance is in style at any age!
C. JoyBell C.
Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess: Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity. Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples' affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends. Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains -- they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing. I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn't agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong. Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint -- it is so hard to live with some of them -- but a harsh old person is one of the devil's masterpieces. Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so. Amen
Anonymous
It seemed to take Sirius an age to fall: his body curved in a graceful arc as he sank backwards through the ragged veil hanging from the arch.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
We have forgotten the age-old fact that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions.
C.G. Jung
Our age not only does not have a very sharp eye for the almost imperceptible intrusions of grace, it no longer has much feeling for the nature of the violences which precede and follow them.
Flannery O'Connor (Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose (FSG Classics))
When you have dogs, you witness their uncomplaining acceptance of suffering, their bright desire to make the most of life in spite of the limitations of age and disease, their calm awareness of the approaching end when their final hours come. They accept death with a grace that I hope I will one day be brave enough to muster.
Dean Koontz (A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog)
I don't see why there should be a point where everyone decides you're too old. I'm not too old, and until I decide I'm too old I'll never be too fucking old.
Lemmy Kilmister
As for the age of electronics, Selena, I really don't want to get personal with something that comes with a warning label and batteries. (Grace)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Fantasy Lover (Hunter Legends, #1))
Where lies the strangling fruit that came from the hand of the sinner I shall bring forth the seeds of the dead to share with the worms that gather in the darkness and surround the world with the power of their lives while from the dimlit halls of other places forms that never were and never could be writhe for the impatience of the few who never saw what could have been. In the black water with the sun shining at midnight, those fruit shall come ripe and in the darkness of that which is golden shall split open to reveal the revelation of the fatal softness in the earth. The shadows of the abyss are like the petals of a monstrous flower that shall blossom within the skull and expand the mind beyond what any man can bear, but whether it decays under the earth or above on green fields, or out to sea or in the very air, all shall come to revelation, and to revel, in the knowledge of the strangling fruit—and the hand of the sinner shall rejoice, for there is no sin in shadow or in light that the seeds of the dead cannot forgive. And there shall be in the planting in the shadows a grace and a mercy from which shall blossom dark flowers, and their teeth shall devour and sustain and herald the passing of an age. That which dies shall still know life in death for all that decays is not forgotten and reanimated it shall walk the world in the bliss of not-knowing. And then there shall be a fire that knows the naming of you, and in the presence of the strangling fruit, its dark flame shall acquire every part of you that remains.
Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1))
Jason turned to Leo. “Do you think you can fly this thing?” “Um…” Leo put his hand on the side of the helicopter, concentrating hard, as if listening to the machine. “Bell 412HP utility helicopter,” Leo said. “Composite four-blade main rotor, cruising speed twenty-two knots, service ceiling twenty-thousand feet. The tank is near full. Sure, I can fly it.” Piper smiled at the ranger again. “You din’t have a problem with an under-aged unlicensed kid borrowing your copter, do you? We’ll return it.” “I-“ The pilot nearly choked on the words, but she got them out: “I don’t have a problem with that.” Leo grinned. “Hop in kids, Uncle Leo’s gonna take you for a ride.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
You will come to know things that can only be known with the wisdom of age and the grace of years. Most of those things will have to do with forgiveness.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
We shall not adjust our Bible to the age; but before we have done with it, by God’s grace, we shall adjust the age to the Bible.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
And Grace calls out, 'You are not just a disillusioned old man who may die soon, a middle-aged woman stuck in a job and desperately wanting to get out, a young person feeling the fire in the belly begin to grow cold. You may be insecure, inadequate, mistaken or potbellied. Death, panic, depression, and disillusionment may be near you. But you are not just that. You are accepted.' Never confuse your perception of yourself with the mystery that you really are accepted.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel)
She’s only seventeen years old,” Llarimar said. “I can’t imagine being married to the God King at her age.” “I can’t imagine you being married to the God King at any age, Scoot,” Lightsong said. Then he pointedly cringed. “Actually, yes I can imagine it, and the dress looks painfully inelegant on you. Make a note to have my imagination flogged for its insolence in showing me that par tic u lar sight.” “I’ll put it in line right behind your sense of decorum, Your Grace,” Llarimar said dryly. “Don’t be silly,” Lightsong said, taking a sip of wine. “I haven’t had one of those in years.
Brandon Sanderson (Warbreaker)
Don't be afraid. Change is such a beautiful thing", said the Butterfly.
Sabrina Newby
We are now living in an age which doubts both fact and value. It is the life of this age that we wish to see and judge.
Flannery O'Connor (Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose (FSG Classics))
Paris was a universe whole and entire unto herself, hollowed and fashioned by history; so she seemed in this age of Napoleon III with her towering buildings, her massive cathedrals, her grand boulevards and ancient winding medieval streets--as vast and indestructible as nature itself. All was embraced by her, by her volatile and enchanted populace thronging the galleries, the theaters, the cafes, giving birth over and over to genius and sanctity, philosophy and war, frivolity and the finest art; so it seemed that if all the world outside her were to sink into darkness, what was fine, what was beautiful, what was essential might there still come to its finest flower. Even the majestic trees that graced and sheltered her streets were attuned to her--and the waters of the Seine, contained and beautiful as they wound through her heart; so that the earth on that spot, so shaped by blood and consciousness, had ceased to be the earth and had become Paris.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
He had never looked forward to the wisdom and other vaunted benefits of old age. Would he be able to die young—and if possible free of all pain? A graceful death—as a richly patterned kimono, thrown carelessly across a polished table, slides unobtrusively down into the darkness of the floor beneath. A death marked by elegance.
Yukio Mishima (Spring Snow (The Sea of Fertility, #1))
The land of easy mathematics where he who works adds up and he who retires subtracts.
Núria Añó
Young love is so ridiculous, as is middle-aged and old love. And it’s also hilarious. When have you ever felt so vulnerable and wonderful and terrible at the same time?
Grace Helbig
As our body journeys through life, and life journeys on our body….life will leave marks on us too. From the creases of our wrinkles to the birthmarks on our bodies to the tattoos we decide to place.
lauren klarfeld
Scent is such a powerful tool of attraction, that if a woman has this tool perfectly tuned, she needs no other. I will forgive her a large nose, a cleft lip, even crossed-eyes; and I’ll bathe in the jouissance of her intoxicating odour.
Roman Payne
It has been my face. It's got older still, or course, but less, comparatively, than it would otherwise have done. It's scored with deep, dry wrinkles, the skin is cracked. But my face hasn't collapsed, as some with fine feature have done. It's kept the same contours, but its substance has been laid waste. I have a face laid waste.
Marguerite Duras (The Lover)
The high road of grace will get you somewhere a whole lot faster then the freeway of spite.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
We live in an age when there is a false glare on the things of time and a great mist over the things of eternity.
J.C. Ryle (Free Grace Broadcaster - Issue 211 - Hell)
Stop whining about getting old. It's a privilege.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
When you’re seventy-five, you are still going to be you.
Linda Gray (The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction)
Originality must compound with inheritance.
Harold Bloom (The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages)
We are no longer in the dispensation of age and experience. We are in the era of knowledge and information. Information leads a true leader and a true leader leads others.
Israelmore Ayivor
Certainly we should be very active in seeking God, and Jesus himself called us to 'ask, seek, knock' in order to find him. Yet those who enter a relationship with God inevitably look back and recognize that God's grace had sought them out, breaking them open to new realities.
Timothy J. Keller (The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism)
God’s grace does not come to people who morally outperform others, but to those who admit their failure to perform and who acknowledge their need for a Savior.
Timothy J. Keller (The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism)
Youth. I don't seek it through another because I have it within; it's a state of mind, a spirit that is free, and a mind that is playful. The shell of my being is altered by the effects of time, but nothing will tarnish a soul that will never forget what its like to experience creation with endless wonder and appreciation. Each time I see the first snowfall of the season I feel it's the first time I've seen it at all.
Donna Lynn Hope
What a luxury a cat is, the moments of shocking and startling pleasure in a day, the feel of the beast, the soft sleekness under your palm, the warmth when you wake on a cold night, the grace and charm even in a quite ordinary workaday puss. Cat walks across your room, and in that lonely stalk you see leopard or even panther, or it turns its head to acknowledge you and the yellow blaze of those eyes tells you what an exotic visitor you have here, in this household friend, the cat who purrs as you stroke, or rub his chin, or scratch his head.
Doris Lessing (The Old Age of El Magnifico)
Those who believe they have pleased God by the quality of their devotion and moral goodness naturally feel that they and their group deserve deference and power over others. The God of Jesus and the prophets, however, saves completely by grace. He cannot be manipulated by religious and moral performance--he can only be reached through repentance, through the giving up of power. If we are saved by sheer grace we can only become grateful, willing servants of God and of everyone around us.
Timothy J. Keller (The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism)
I like the woman you became better than the girl you were. I like the story you’ve written on your face
Joanna Bourne (The Black Hawk (Spymasters, #4))
Grace was one of those types who never changed but only aged and had no apparent expectations or ambitions other than the wish that her life should remain the same.
Candace Bushnell (One Fifth Avenue)
It behooves me to remember as I advance in age that death is an inevitable part of the life cycle rather than a medical failure.
Lisa J. Shultz (A Chance to Say Goodbye: Reflections on Losing a Parent)
The Age of Chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished for ever. Never, never more, shall we behold the generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom. The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprize is gone!
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France)
When You Are Old When you are old and grey and full of sleep And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true; But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face. And bending down beside the glowing bars, Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead, And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
W.B. Yeats (The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats)
I call the Change of Life "Orchids" because menopause is such an ugly word. It's got men in it for goddsakes.
Lisa Jey Davis (Getting Over Your Ovaries: How to Make 'The Change of Life' Your Bitch)
.. at a certain age we learned to see right through it, and that age is now.
Anna Quindlen
In an age when nations and individuals routinely exchange murder for murder, when the healing grace of authentic spirituality is usurped by the divisive politics of religious organizations, and when broken hearts bleed pain in darkness without the relief of compassion, the voice of an exceptional poet producing exceptional work is not something the world can afford to dismiss.
Aberjhani (The American Poet Who Went Home Again)
For myself, hand on heart, those things never bothered me. It is one of the graces of married life that for some magical reason we always look the same to each other. Even our friends never seem to grow old. What a boon that is, and never suspected by me when I was young. But I suppose, otherwise, what would we do? There has never been a person in an old people’s home that hasn’t looked around dubiously at the other inhabitants. They are the old ones, they are the club that no one wants to join. But we are never old to ourselves. That is because at close of day the ship we sail in is the soul, not the body.
Sebastian Barry (The Secret Scripture (McNulty Family))
Four years with no sex? Don’t tell me that you’ve forgotten this is the Age of Electronics? I mean, really, do any of your patients know how long you’ve gone without sex? (Selena) Keep your voice down. I don’t think it’s the business of my patients whether or not I’m a born-again virgin. And as for the Age of Electronics, I really don’t want to get personal with something that comes with a warning label and batteries. (Grace)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Fantasy Lover (Hunter Legends, #1))
But if there was ever a time for us to go to extremes for our God, it is now. The truth of the gospel is being diluted, dumbed down, and trampled upon by the very ones entrusted to keep it sacred and whole. It may seem 'unnecessary' to get on your knees for multiple hours each and every day, but, may I remind you that unless someone rises up and says, 'Lord, I'm willing to travail,' there are lives, promises, and spiritual realities that will not be born into our day and age. Effectual, fervent prayer is how God changes this world and bestows upon it the beauty, grace and power that He purchased at the cross.
Leslie Ludy (Wrestling Prayer: A Passionate Communion with God)
(from: Age Sixty-nine) Often, lately, the night is a cold maw and stars the scattered white teeth of the gods, which spare none of us. At dawn I have birds, clearly divine messengers that I don't understand yet day by day feel the grace of their intentions.
Jim Harrison (In Search of Small Gods)
After all, this is how you learned how to walk. You didn't just jump up from your crib one day and waltz gracefully across the room. You stumbled and fell on your face and got up and tried again. At what age are you suddenly expected to know everything and never make any more mistakes? If you can love and respect yourself in failure, worlds of adventure and new experiences will open up before you, and your fears will vanish.
David D. Burns
I'm not opposed to aging - even though society is kinder on men than women when it comes to getting old. How can I look at aging as the enemy? It happens whether I like it or not and no one is set apart from growing old; it comes to us all. Youth passes from everyone, so why deny it? I'm proud of my age. I'm proud that I've survived this planet for as long as I have, and should I end up withered, wrinkled and with a lifetime of great wisdom, I'll trade the few years of youth for the sophistication of a great mind...for however long it lasts.
Donna Lynn Hope
Dear Son, I would call you by name, but I’m waiting for your mother to decide. I only hope she is joking when she calls you Albert Dalbert. For weeks now I have watched your mother zealously gather her tokens for this box. She’s so afraid of you not knowing anything about her, and it bothers me greatly that you’ll never know her strength firsthand. I’m sure by the time you read this, you’ll know everything I do about her. But you’ll never know her for yourself and that pains me most of all. I wish you could see the look on her face whenever she talks to you. The sadness she tries so hard to hide. Every time I see it, it cuts through me. She love you so much. You’re all she talks about. I have so many orders from her for you. I’m not allowed to make you crazy the way I do your Uncle Chris. I’m not allowed to call the doctors every time you sneeze and you are to be allowed to tussle with your friends without me having a conniption that someone might bruise you. Nor am I to bully you about getting married or having kids. Ever. Most of all, you are allowed to pick your own car at sixteen. I’m not supposed to put you in a tank. We’ll see about that one. I refuse to promise her this last item until I know more about you. Not to mention, I’ve seen how other people drive on the roads. So if you have a tank, sorry. There’s only so much changing man my age can do. I don’t know what our futures will hold. I only hope that when all is said and done, you are more like your mother than you are like me. She’s a good woman. A kind woman. Full of love and compassion even though her life has been hard and full of grief. She bears her scars with a grace, dignity, and humor that I lack. Most of all, she has courage the likes of which I haven’t witnessed in centuries. I hope with every part of me that you inherit all her best traits and none of my bad ones. I don’t really know what more to say. I just thought you should have something of me in here too. Love, Your father (Wulf)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Kiss of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #4))
Intelligence, goodness, humanity, excitement, serenity. Over time, these are the things that change the musculature of your face, as do laughter, and animation, and especially whatever peace you can broker with the person inside. It's furrow, pinch, and judgement that make us look older - our mothers were right. They said that if you made certain faces, they would stick, and they do. But our mothers forgot that faces of kindness and integrity stick as well.
Anne Lamott (Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith)
I’m losing the appetite for strangers. Once I would have focused on the excitement, the hazard; now it’s the mess, the bother. Getting your clothes off gracefully, always such an impossibility; thinking up what to say afterwards, without setting the echoes going in your head. Worse, the encounter with another set of particularities: the toenails, the ear-holes, the nosehairs. Perhaps at this age we return to the prudishness we had as children.
Margaret Atwood (Cat’s Eye)
No age of life is inglorious. Youth has its merits, but living to a ripe old age is the true statement of value. Aging is the road that we take to discern our character. Fame and fortune can elude us, but character is immortal. We must encounter a sufficient variety of experiences including both failures and accomplishments in order to gain nobility of character.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Night's winged horses No one can outpace But midnight is no moment Midnight is a place. Meet me at Midnight, Among the Queen Anne's Lace Midnight is not a moment, Midnight is a place— When, when shall I meet you When shall I see your face For I am living in time at present But you are living in space. Time is only a corner Age is only a fold A year is merely a penny Spent from a century's gold. So meet me, meet me at midnight (With sixty seconds' grace) Midnight is not a moment; Midnight is a place.
Joan Aiken (Midnight is a Place)
Planetary exploration satisfies our inclination for great enterprises and wanderings and quests that has been with us since our days as hunters and gatherers on the East African savannahs a million years ago. By chance—it is possible, I say, to imagine many skeins of historical causality in which this would not have transpired—in our age we are able to begin again. Exploring other worlds employs precisely the same qualities of daring, planning, cooperative enterprise, and valor that mark the finest in military tradition. Never mind the night launch of an Apollo spacecraft bound for another world. That makes the conclusion foregone. Witness mere F-14s taking off from adjacent flight decks, gracefully canting left and right, afterburners flaming, and there’s something that sweeps you away—or at least it does me. And no amount of knowledge of the potential abuses of carrier task forces can affect the depth of that feeling. It simply speaks to another part of me. It doesn’t want recriminations or politics. It just wants to fly.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
And it shall come to pass that what man made shall be shattered, and the Shadow shall lie across the Pattern of Age, and the Dark One shall once more lay his hand upon the world of man. Women shall weep and men quail as the nations of the earth are rent like rotting cloth. Neither shall anything stand nor abide... Yet one shall be born to face the Shadow, born once more as he was born before and shall be born again, time without end. The Dragon shall be Reborn, and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth at his rebirth. In sackcloth and ashes shall he clothe the people, and he shall break the world again by his coming, tearing apart all ties that bind. Like the unfettered dawn shall he blind us, and burns us, yet shall the Dragon Reborn confront the Shadow at the Last battle, and his blood shall give us the Light. Let tears flow, O ye people of the world. Weep for your salvation. -from The Karaethon Cycle: The Prophecies of the Dragon, as translated by Ellaine Marise'idin Alshinn, Chief Librarian at the Court of Arafel, in the Year of Grace 231 of the New Era, the Third Age
Robert Jordan (The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, #2))
At the round earth's imagined corners blow Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise From death, you numberless infinities Of souls, and to your scattered bodies go ; All whom the flood did, and fire shall o'erthrow, All whom war, dea[r]th, age, agues, tyrannies, Despair, law, chance hath slain, and you, whose eyes Shall behold God, and never taste death's woe. But let them sleep, Lord, and me mourn a space ; For, if above all these my sins abound, 'Tis late to ask abundance of Thy grace, When we are there. Here on this lowly ground, Teach me how to repent, for that's as good As if Thou hadst seal'd my pardon with Thy blood.
John Donne
I am sorry for your girl, Ned. Truly. About the wolf, I mean. My son was lying, I’d stake my soul on it. My son … you love your children, don’t you?” “With all my heart,” Ned said. “Let me tell you a secret, Ned. More than once, I have dreamed of giving up the crown. Take ship for the Free Cities with my horse and my hammer, spend my time warring and whoring, that’s what I was made for. The sellsword king, how the singers would love me. You know what stops me? The thought of Joffrey on the throne, with Cersei standing behind him whispering in his ear. My son. How could I have made a son like that, Ned?” “He’s only a boy,” Ned said awkwardly. He had small liking for Prince Joffrey, but he could hear the pain in Robert’s voice. “Have you forgotten how wild you were at his age?” “It would not trouble me if the boy was wild, Ned. You don’t know him as I do.” He sighed and shook his head. “Ah, perhaps you are right. Jon despaired of me often enough, yet I grew into a good king.” Robert looked at Ned and scowled at his silence. “You might speak up and agree now, you know.” “Your Grace …” Ned began, carefully. Robert slapped Ned on the back. “Ah, say that I’m a better king than Aerys and be done with it. You never could lie for love nor honor, Ned Stark. I’m still young, and now that you’re here with me, things will be different. We’ll make this a reign to sing of, and damn the Lannisters to seven hells.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
Like most things in the story the natural sciences can tell about the world, it’s all so beautiful, so gracefully simple, yet so rewardingly complex, so neatly connected—not to mention true—that I can’t even begin to imagine why anyone would ever want to believe some New Age ‘alternative’ nonsense instead. I would go so far as to say that even if we are all under the control of a benevolent God, and the whole of reality turns out to be down to some flaky spiritual ‘energy’ that only alternative therapists can truly harness, that’s still neither so interesting nor so graceful as the most basic stuff I was taught at school about how plants work.
Ben Goldacre (Bad Science)
Without self-knowledge you have no root in yourselves personally; you may endure for a time, but under affliction or persecution your faith will not last. This is why many in this age (and in every age) become infidels, heretics, schismatics, disloyal despisers of the Church. They cast off the form of truth, because it never has been to them more than a form. They endure not, because they never have tasted that the Lord is gracious; and they never have had experience of His power and love, because they have never known their own weakness and need.
John Henry Newman (Parochial and Plain Sermons)
...As she grew older, she was aware of her changing position on mortality. In her youth, the topic of death was philosophical; in her thirties it was unbearable and in her forties unavoidable. In her fifties, she had dealt with it in more rational terms, arranging her last testament, itemizing assets and heirlooms, spelling out the organ donation, detailing the exact words for her living will. Now, in her sixties, she was back to being philosophical. Death was not a loss of life, but the culmination of a series of releases. It was devolving into less and less. You had to release yourself from vanity, desire, ambition, suffering, and frustration - all the accoutrements of the I, the ego. And if you die, you would disappear, leave no trace, evaporate into nothingness...
Amy Tan (Saving Fish from Drowning)
[E]very man hath liberty to write, but few ability. Heretofore learning was graced by judicious scholars, but now noble sciences are vilified by base and illiterate scribblers, that either write for vain-glory, need, to get money, or as Parasites to flatter and collogue with some great men, they put out trifles, rubbish and trash. Among so many thousand Authors you shall scarce find one by reading of whom you shall be any whit better, but rather much worse; by which he is rather infected than any way perfected… What a catalogue of new books this year, all his age (I say) have our Frankfurt Marts, our domestic Marts, brought out. Twice a year we stretch out wits out and set them to sale; after great toil we attain nothing…What a glut of books! Who can read them? As already, we shall have a vast Chaos and confusion of Books, we are oppressed with them, our eyes ache with reading, our fingers with turning. For my part I am one of the number—one of the many—I do not deny it...
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
Homer, in the second book of the Iliad says with fine enthusiasm, "Give me masturbation or give me death." Caesar, in his Commentaries, says, "To the lonely it is company; to the forsaken it is a friend; to the aged and to the impotent it is a benefactor. They that are penniless are yet rich, in that they still have this majestic diversion." In another place this experienced observer has said, "There are times when I prefer it to sodomy." Robinson Crusoe says, "I cannot describe what I owe to this gentle art." Queen Elizabeth said, "It is the bulwark of virginity." Cetewayo, the Zulu hero, remarked, "A jerk in the hand is worth two in the bush." The immortal Franklin has said, "Masturbation is the best policy." Michelangelo and all of the other old masters--"old masters," I will remark, is an abbreviation, a contraction--have used similar language. Michelangelo said to Pope Julius II, "Self-negation is noble, self-culture beneficent, self-possession is manly, but to the truly great and inspiring soul they are poor and tame compared with self-abuse." Mr. Brown, here, in one of his latest and most graceful poems, refers to it in an eloquent line which is destined to live to the end of time--"None knows it but to love it; none name it but to praise.
Mark Twain (On Masturbation)
Cruelty is a mystery, and the waste of pain. But if we describe a world to compass these things, a world that is a long, brute game, then we bump against another mystery: the inrush of power and light…unless all ages and races of men have been deluded by the same mass hypnotist (who?), there seems to be such a thing as beauty, a grace wholly gratuitous…we don’t know what’s going on here. If these tremendous events are random combinations of matter run amok, the yield of millions of monkeys at millions of typewriters, then what is it in us, hammered out of those same typewriters, that they ignite? We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what’s going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
A Rock, A River, A Tree Hosts to species long since departed, Mark the mastodon. The dinosaur, who left dry tokens Of their sojourn here On our planet floor, Any broad alarm of their of their hastening doom Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages. But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully, Come, you may stand upon my Back and face your distant destiny, But seek no haven in my shadow. I will give you no hiding place down here. You, created only a little lower than The angels, have crouched too long in The bruising darkness, Have lain too long Face down in ignorance. Your mouths spelling words Armed for slaughter. The rock cries out today, you may stand on me, But do not hide your face. Across the wall of the world, A river sings a beautiful song, Come rest here by my side. Each of you a bordered country, Delicate and strangely made proud, Yet thrusting perpetually under siege. Your armed struggles for profit Have left collars of waste upon My shore, currents of debris upon my breast. Yet, today I call you to my riverside, If you will study war no more. Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs The Creator gave to me when I And the tree and stone were one. Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow And when you yet knew you still knew nothing. The river sings and sings on. There is a true yearning to respond to The singing river and the wise rock. So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew, The African and Native American, the Sioux, The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek, The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh, The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher, The privileged, the homeless, the teacher. They hear. They all hear The speaking of the tree. Today, the first and last of every tree Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the river. Plant yourself beside me, here beside the river. Each of you, descendant of some passed on Traveller, has been paid for. You, who gave me my first name, You Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, You Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, Then forced on bloody feet, Left me to the employment of other seekers-- Desperate for gain, starving for gold. You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot... You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, Bought, sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare Praying for a dream. Here, root yourselves beside me. I am the tree planted by the river, Which will not be moved. I, the rock, I the river, I the tree I am yours--your passages have been paid. Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need For this bright morning dawning for you. History, despite its wrenching pain, Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage, Need not be lived again. Lift up your eyes upon The day breaking for you. Give birth again To the dream. Women, children, men, Take it into the palms of your hands. Mold it into the shape of your most Private need. Sculpt it into The image of your most public self. Lift up your hearts. Each new hour holds new chances For new beginnings. Do not be wedded forever To fear, yoked eternally To brutishness. The horizon leans forward, Offering you space to place new steps of change. Here, on the pulse of this fine day You may have the courage To look up and out upon me, The rock, the river, the tree, your country. No less to Midas than the mendicant. No less to you now than the mastodon then. Here on the pulse of this new day You may have the grace to look up and out And into your sister's eyes, Into your brother's face, your country And say simply Very simply With hope Good morning.
Maya Angelou
Youth is not a curse, but a fleeting blessing. Youth enables us to cavort freely unconcerned with the larger issues in life. Aging and the accompanying responsibilities that come with added maturity is what augments, vexes, and then excises us. Maturation represents the accumulation of supplanting changes happening in a person over time including physical, mental, and social growth and development. Growing old gracefully entails submission to biological alterations and witnessing unsettling changes in cultural and societal conventions.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
A human life is a beautiful thing," he said. "You humans.... you feel. You feel so deeply that it consumes you. There were humans I kept a watch over, though I would blink and they'd be fifty, sixty years older—and the time would come for me to meet them. For the longest time, I pitied them for their short lives. And I admit, Signa, that I have grown more callous with my age. But I have also grown to admire humans. They've such a short time to experience their lives, and so they must feel deeply. They must experience in one life-time things it's taken me an eternity to experience. When I see men like Elijah, rather than feel guilt for what I've done, I remember that he feels sorrow because he loved so deeply. And were I not real, Little Bird, were I not Death, he would never have experienced that love. So which is better? To live forever, or to live and love?
Adalyn Grace (Belladonna (Belladonna, #1))
I think timing is better left up to God to decide then religious leaders. I once met a man that brought his wife flowers in the hospital. They held hands, kissed and were as affectionate as any cute couple could be. They were both in their eighties. I asked them how long they were married. I expected them to tell me fifty years or longer. To my surprise, they said only five years. He then began to explain to me that he was married thirty years to someone that didn’t love him, and then he remarried a second time only to have his second wife die of cancer, two years later. I looked at my patient (his wife) sitting in the wheelchair next to him smiling. She added that she had been widowed two times. Both of her marriages lasted fifteen years. I was curious, so I asked them why they would even bother pursuing love again at their age. He looked at me with astonishment and said, “Do you really think that you stop looking for a soulmate at our age? Do you honestly believe that God would stop caring about how much I needed it still, just because I am nearing the end of my life? No, he left the best for last. I have lived through hell, but if I only get five years of happiness with this woman then it was worth the years of struggle I have been through.
Shannon L. Alder
To Selene (Moon) Hear, Goddess queen, diffusing silver light, bull-horn'd and wand'ring thro' the gloom of Night. With stars surrounded, and with circuit wide Night's torch extending, thro' the heav'ns you ride: Female and Male with borrow'd rays you shine, and now full-orb'd, now tending to decline. Mother of ages, fruit-producing Moon [Mene], whose amber orb makes Night's reflected noon: Lover of horses, splendid, queen of Night, all-seeing pow'r bedeck'd with starry light. Lover of vigilance, the foe of strife, in peace rejoicing, and a prudent life: Fair lamp of Night, its ornament and friend, who giv'st to Nature's works their destin'd end. Queen of the stars, all-wife Diana hail! Deck'd with a graceful robe and shining veil; Come, blessed Goddess, prudent, starry, bright, come moony-lamp with chaste and splendid light, Shine on these sacred rites with prosp'rous rays, and pleas'd accept thy suppliant's mystic praise.
Orpheus
When Sterling’s eyesight did finally fail him completely, we were up in years, content to sit in our garden and reflect on what a wondrous and exciting life we’d led. He did not see my hair fade into silver. For him it was always a vibrant red. I watched him age gracefully and with dignity. He leaned on me much more than he did his walking stick, which was how it should be, because when I needed him most, he was always there for me. Each day I thought I could love him no more than I already did—and the following morning I was always proven wrong, for I awoke loving him just a little bit more.
Lorraine Heath (Surrender to the Devil (Scoundrels of St. James, #3))
Dina, I’m bored,” Caldenia announced. Too bad. I guaranteed her safety, not entertainment. “What about your game?” Her Grace gave me a shrug. “I’ve beaten it five times on the Deity setting. I’ve reduced Paris to ashes because Napoleon annoyed me. I’ve eradicated Gandhi. I’ve crushed George Washington. Empress Wu had potential, so I eliminated her before we even cleared Bronze Age. The Egyptians are my pawns. I dominate the planet. Oddly, I find myself mildly fascinated by Genghis Khan. A shrewd and savage warrior, possessing a certain magnetism. I left him with a single city, and I periodically make ridiculous demands that I know he can’t meet so I can watch him squirm.
Ilona Andrews (Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2))
The work of Christ on the cross did not influence God to love us, did not increase that love by one degree, did not open any fount of grace or mercy in His heart. He had loved us from old eternity and needed nothing to stimulate that love. The cross is not responsible for God's love; rather it was His love which conceived the cross as the one method by which we could be saved. God felt no different toward us after Christ had died for us, for in the mind of God Christ had already died before the foundation of the world. God never saw us except through atonement. The human race could not have existed one day in its fallen state had not Christ spread His mantle of atonement over it. And this He did in eternal purpose long ages before they led Him out to die on the hill above Jerusalem. All God's dealings with man have been conditioned upon the cross.
A.W. Tozer (The Radical Cross: Living the Passion of Christ)
Beautiful surroundings, the society of learned men, the charm of noble women, the graces of art, could not make up for the loss of those light-hearted mornings of the desert, for that wind that made one a boy again. He had noticed that this peculiar quality in the air of new countries vanished after they were tamed by man and made to bear harvests. Parts of Texas and Kansas that he had first known as open range had since been made into rich farming districts, and the air had quite lost that lightness, that dry, aromatic odour. The moisture of plowed land, the heaviness of labour and growth and grain-bearing, utterly destroyed it; one could breathe that only on the bright edges of the world, on the great grass plains or the sage-brush desert.
Willa Cather (Death Comes for the Archbishop)
It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in,—glittering like the morning-star, full of life, and splendor, and joy. Oh! what a revolution! and what a heart must I have, to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall! Little did I dream that, when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fallen upon her in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult.—But the age of chivalry is gone.—That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Never, never more shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom. The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise, is gone! It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honour which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil by losing all its grossness.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France)
Dear Mr. Peter Van Houten (c/o Lidewij Vliegenthart), My name is Hazel Grace Lancaster. My friend Augustus Waters, who read An Imperial Affliction at my recommendationtion, just received an email from you at this address. I hope you will not mind that Augustus shared that email with me. Mr. Van Houten, I understand from your email to Augustus that you are not planning to publish any more books. In a way, I am disappointed, but I'm also relieved: I never have to worry whether your next book will live up to the magnificent perfection of the original. As a three-year survivor of Stage IV cancer, I can tell you that you got everything right in An Imperial Affliction. Or at least you got me right. Your book has a way of telling me what I'm feeling before I even feel it, and I've reread it dozens of times. I wonder, though, if you would mind answering a couple questions I have about what happens after the end of the novel. I understand the book ends because Anna dies or becomes too ill to continue writing it, but I would really like to mom-wether she married the Dutch Tulip Man, whether she ever has another child, and whether she stays at 917 W. Temple etc. Also, is the Dutch Tulip Man a fraud or does he really love them? What happens to Anna's friends-particularly Claire and Jake? Do they stay that this is the kind of deep and thoughtful question you always hoped your readers would ask-what becomes of Sisyphus the Hamster? These questions have haunted me for years-and I don't know long I have left to get answers to them. I know these are not important literary questions and that your book is full of important literally questions, but I would just really like to know. And of course, if you ever do decide to write anything else, even if you don't want to publish it. I'd love to read it. Frankly, I'd read your grocery lists. Yours with great admiration, Hazel Grace Lancaster (age 16)
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
I am not a well educated man except that I have educated myself, and, because I have educated myself, what I say will not stand up, for lack of recognized authority. This in turn leaves me free to say what I will, in the hope that, like those small forces that do not threaten empires and are thus not fully pursued, the things in which I believe can survive in some high and forgotten place until the power of empire subsides. And although I know that few will listen to or credit this, I think we are in a lost age, in which holiness and charity have been traded for the victory and penetration of knowledge, though all the knowledge in the world has not brought us any further than where we can go without it even in the outermost halls of grace. I believe that more is to be known and apprehended from the beauty of a face than in delving, no matter how deep, simply into how things work, no matter how marvelous that may be. The greatest substance of the world is immaterial, the province of the heart, and its study cannot be forced or reasoned. Merely to touch upon the edge of things in parsing their mechanics is to forswear their fullness, for the entry to this fullness lies not in science but in art. I cannot prove this, for it cannot be proven, but I claim, assert, and have seen it.
Mark Helprin
Although this detail has no connection whatever with the real substance of what we are about to relate, it will not be superfluous, if merely for the sake of exactness in all points, to mention here the various rumors and remarks which had been in circulation about him from the very moment when he arrived in the diocese. True or false, that which is said of men often occupies as important a place in their lives, and above all in their destinies, as that which they do. M. Myriel was the son of a councillor of the Parliament of Aix; hence he belonged to the nobility of the bar. It was said that his father, destining him to be the heir of his own post, had married him at a very early age, eighteen or twenty, in accordance with a custom which is rather widely prevalent in parliamentary families. In spite of this marriage, however, it was said that Charles Myriel created a great deal of talk. He was well formed, though rather short in stature, elegant, graceful, intelligent; the whole of the first portion of his life had been devoted to the world and to gallantry.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
The young man was sincerely but placidly in love. He delighted in the radiant good looks of his betrothed, in her health, her horsemanship, her grace and quickness at games, and the shy interest in books and ideas that she was beginning to develop under his guidance. She was straightforward, loyal, and brave; she had a sense of humour (chiefly proved by her laughing at his jokes); and he suspected, in the depths of her innocently-gazing soul, a glow of feeling that it would be a joy to waken. But when he had gone the brief round of her he returned discouraged by the thought that all this frankness and innocence were only an artificial product. Untrained human nature was not frank and innocent; it was full of the twists and defences of an instinctive guile. And he felt himself oppressed by this creation of factitious purity, so cunningly manufactured by a conspiracy of mothers and aunts and grandmothers and long-dead ancestresses, because it was supposed to be what he wanted, what he had a right to, in order that he might exercise his lordly pleasure in smashing it like an image made of snow.
Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence)
Poetic Terrorism WEIRD DANCING IN ALL-NIGHT computer-banking lobbies. Unauthorized pyrotechnic displays. Land-art, earth-works as bizarre alien artifacts strewn in State Parks. Burglarize houses but instead of stealing, leave Poetic-Terrorist objects. Kidnap someone & make them happy. Pick someone at random & convince them they're the heir to an enormous, useless & amazing fortune--say 5000 square miles of Antarctica, or an aging circus elephant, or an orphanage in Bombay, or a collection of alchemical mss. ... Bolt up brass commemorative plaques in places (public or private) where you have experienced a revelation or had a particularly fulfilling sexual experience, etc. Go naked for a sign. Organize a strike in your school or workplace on the grounds that it does not satisfy your need for indolence & spiritual beauty. Graffiti-art loaned some grace to ugly subways & rigid public monuments--PT-art can also be created for public places: poems scrawled in courthouse lavatories, small fetishes abandoned in parks & restaurants, Xerox-art under windshield-wipers of parked cars, Big Character Slogans pasted on playground walls, anonymous letters mailed to random or chosen recipients (mail fraud), pirate radio transmissions, wet cement... The audience reaction or aesthetic-shock produced by PT ought to be at least as strong as the emotion of terror-- powerful disgust, sexual arousal, superstitious awe, sudden intuitive breakthrough, dada-esque angst--no matter whether the PT is aimed at one person or many, no matter whether it is "signed" or anonymous, if it does not change someone's life (aside from the artist) it fails. PT is an act in a Theater of Cruelty which has no stage, no rows of seats, no tickets & no walls. In order to work at all, PT must categorically be divorced from all conventional structures for art consumption (galleries, publications, media). Even the guerilla Situationist tactics of street theater are perhaps too well known & expected now. An exquisite seduction carried out not only in the cause of mutual satisfaction but also as a conscious act in a deliberately beautiful life--may be the ultimate PT. The PTerrorist behaves like a confidence-trickster whose aim is not money but CHANGE. Don't do PT for other artists, do it for people who will not realize (at least for a few moments) that what you have done is art. Avoid recognizable art-categories, avoid politics, don't stick around to argue, don't be sentimental; be ruthless, take risks, vandalize only what must be defaced, do something children will remember all their lives--but don't be spontaneous unless the PT Muse has possessed you. Dress up. Leave a false name. Be legendary. The best PT is against the law, but don't get caught. Art as crime; crime as art.
Hakim Bey (TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone (New Autonomy))
I define hope as a narcotic. It courses through our veins, igniting ideas and feelings and emotions that all work in collaboration to produce a better tomorrow, while leaving today but a distant memory. The essence of its unknown and unseen promise is beautiful and addicting to those who are in need of its satiating grace. The dependence on the idea of possibility can become a crutch however; an excuse for ignoring the here and now. It can swiftly morph from a therapeutic escape to an addictive obsession that somewhere over the rainbow lies the answer that will make everything right again. I am thankful to call myself a true addict to hope's mind altering panacea. Its blissful nirvana can seem both inconceivably irrational yet entirely fathomable to anyone lost in a sea of uncertainty. Just as age brings wisdom, experience brings the understanding that no matter what pot of gold lies at the end of your hopeful rainbow, the relief it casts over tragedy and heartache is the power behind its true magic. To the hope that resides in the depths of my being, thank you.
Ivan Rusilko (Entrée (The Winemaker's Dinner, #2))
It was she made me acquainted with love. She went by the peaceful name of Ruth I think, but I can't say for certain. Perhaps the name was Edith. She had a hole between her legs, oh not the bunghole I had always imagined, but a slit, and in this I put, or rather she put, my so-called virile member, not without difficulty, and I toiled and moiled until I discharged or gave up trying or was begged by her to stop. A mug's game in my opinion and tiring on top of that, in the long run. But I lent myself to it with a good enough grace, knowing it was love, for she had told me so. She bent over the couch, because of her rheumatism, and in I went from behind. It was the only position she could bear, because of her lumbago. It seemed all right to me, for I had seen dogs, and I was astonished when she confided that you could go about it differently. I wonder what she meant exactly. Perhaps after all she put me in her rectum. A matter of complete indifference to me, I needn't tell you. But is it true love, in the rectum? That's what bothers me sometimes. Have I never known true love, after all? She too was an eminently flat woman and she moved with short stiff steps, leaning on an ebony stick. Perhaps she too was a man, yet another of them. But in that case surely our testicles would have collided, while we writhed. Perhaps she held hers tight in her hand, on purpose to avoid it. She favoured voluminous tempestuous shifts and petticoats and other undergarments whose names I forget. They welled up all frothing and swishing and then, congress achieved, broke over us in slow cascades. And all I could see was her taut yellow nape which every now and then I set my teeth in, forgetting I had none, such is the power of instinct. We met in a rubbish dump, unlike any other, and yet they are all alike, rubbish dumps. I don't know what she was doing there. I was limply poking about in the garbage saying probably, for at that age I must still have been capable of general ideas, This is life. She had no time to lose, I had nothing to lose, I would have made love with a goat, to know what love was. She had a dainty flat, no, not dainty, it made you want to lie down in a corner and never get up again. I liked it. It was full of dainty furniture, under our desperate strokes the couch moved forward on its castors, the whole place fell about our ears, it was pandemonium. Our commerce was not without tenderness, with trembling hands she cut my toe-nails and I rubbed her rump with winter cream. This idyll was of short duration. Poor Edith, I hastened her end perhaps. Anyway it was she who started it, in the rubbish dump, when she laid her hand upon my fly. More precisely, I was bent double over a heap of muck, in the hope of finding something to disgust me for ever with eating, when she, undertaking me from behind, thrust her stick between my legs and began to titillate my privates. She gave me money after each session, to me who would have consented to know love, and probe it to the bottom, without charge. But she was an idealist. I would have preferred it seems to me an orifice less arid and roomy, that would have given me a higher opinion of love it seems to me. However. Twixt finger and thumb tis heaven in comparison. But love is no doubt above such contingencies. And not when you are comfortable, but when your frantic member casts about for a rubbing-place, and the unction of a little mucous membrane, and meeting with none does not beat in retreat, but retains its tumefaction, it is then no doubt that true love comes to pass, and wings away, high above the tight fit and the loose.
Samuel Beckett (Molloy / Malone Dies / The Unnamable)
Millennials: We lost the genetic lottery. We graduated high school into terrorist attacks and wars. We graduated college into a recession and mounds of debt. We will never acquire the financial cushion, employment stability, and material possessions of our parents. We are often more educated, experienced, informed, and digitally fluent than prior generations, yet are constantly haunted by the trauma of coming of age during the detonation of the societal structure we were born into. But perhaps we are overlooking the silver lining. We will have less money to buy the material possessions that entrap us. We will have more compassion and empathy because our struggles have taught us that even the most privileged can fall from grace. We will have the courage to pursue our dreams because we have absolutely nothing to lose. We will experience the world through backpacking, couch surfing, and carrying on interesting conversations with adventurers in hostels because our bank accounts can't supply the Americanized resorts. Our hardships will obligate us to develop spiritual and intellectual substance. Maybe having roommates and buying our clothes at thrift stores isn't so horrible as long as we are making a point to pursue genuine happiness.
Maggie Georgiana Young
What is hope? Is it the ambition of discovering for the first time what the carnal definition of physical love is without understanding the concept of true passion? Or is it imagination running wild and free fueled by the dram that tonight will last forever and tomorrows will always come as you are blinded by the brilliance of another's smile? Is it a theory of inevitability that relies on fate or destiny bringing two souls together for their one shot at true and unbridled happiness? Or is it a plea to erase a past that used to hold the potential for limitless smiles and endless laughs? I define hope as a narcotic. It courses through our veins, igniting ideas and feelings and emotions that all work in collaboration to produce a better tomorrow, while leaving today, but a distant memory. The essence of its unknown and unseen promise is beautiful and addicting to those who are in need of its satiating grace. The dependence on the idea of possibility can become a crutch however; an excuse for ignoring the here and now. It can swiftly morph from a therapeutic escape to an addictive obsession that somewhere over the rainbow lies the answer that will make everything right again. I am thankful to call myself a true addict to hope's mind altering panacea. It's blissful nirvana can seem both inconceivably irrational yet entirely fathomable to anyone lost in a sea of uncertainty. Just as age brings wisdom, experience brings the understanding that no matter what pot of gold lies at the end of your hopeful rainbow, the relief it casts over tragedy and heartache is the power behind it's true magic. To the hope that resides in the depths of my being, thank you.......
Ivan Rusilko (Entrée (The Winemaker's Dinner, #2))
The Louis XIII style in perfumery, composed of the elements dear to that period - orris-powder, musk, civet and myrtle-water, already known by the name of angel-water - was scarcely adequate to express the cavalierish graces, the rather crude colours of the time which certain sonnets by Saint-Amand have preserved for us. Later on, with the aid of myrrh and frankincense, the potent and austere scents of religion, it became almost possible to render the stately pomp of the age of Louis XIV, the pleonastic artifices of classical oratory, the ample, sustained, wordy style of Bossuet and the other masters of the pulpit. Later still, the blase, sophisticated graces of French society under Louis XV found their interpreters more easily in frangipane and marechale, which offered in a way the very synthesis of the period. And then, after the indifference and incuriosity of the First Empire, which used eau-de-Cologne and rosemary to excess, perfumery followed Victor Hugo and Gautier and went for inspiration to the lands of the sun; it composed its own Oriental verses, its own highly spiced salaams, discovered intonations and audacious antitheses, sorted out and revived forgotten nuances which it complicated, subtilized and paired off, and in short resolutely repudiated the voluntary decrepitude to which it had been reduced by its Malesherbes, its Boileaus, its Andrieux, its Baour-Lormians, the vulgar distillers of its poems.
Joris-Karl Huysmans (Against Nature)
I mean, we don’t have to worry about it until winter, anyway,” she said. “I was just wondering if you felt cured.” I didn’t know what to tell her. I didn’t feel cured. I felt like what Cole said —almost cured. A war survivor with a phantom limb. I still felt that wolf that I’d been: living in my cells, sleeping uneasily, waiting to be coaxed out by weather or a rush of adrenaline or a needle in my veins. I didn’t know if that was real or suggested. I didn’t know if one day I would feel secure in my skin, taking my human body for granted. “You look cured,” Grace said. Just her face was visible at the end of the shower curtain, looking in at me. She grinned and I yelled. Grace reached in just far enough to shut off the tap. “I’m afraid,” she said, whipping the shower curtain open all the way and presenting me with my towel, “this is the sort of thing you’ll have to put up with in your old age.” I stood there, dripping, feeling utterly ridiculous, Grace standing opposite, smiling with her challenge. There was nothing for it but to get over the awkwardness. Instead of taking the towel, I took her chin with my wet fingers and kissed her. Water from my hair ran down my cheeks and onto our lips. I was getting her shirt all wet, but she didn’t seem to mind. A lifetime of this seemed rather appealing. I said gallantly, “That better be a promise.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
My son, you are just an infant now, but on that day when the world disrobes of its alluring cloak, it is then that I pray this letter is in your hands. Listen closely, my dear child, for I am more than that old man in the dusty portrait beside your bed. I was once a little boy in my mother’s arms and a babbling toddler on my father's lap. I played till the sun would set and climbed trees with ease and skill. Then I grew into a fine young man with shoulders broad and strong. My bones were firm and my limbs were straight; my hair was blacker than a raven's beak. I had a spring in my step and a lion's roar. I travelled the world, found love and married. Then off to war I bled in battle and danced with death. But today, vigor and grace have forsaken me and left me crippled. Listen closely, then, as I have lived not only all the years you have existed, but another forty more of my own. My son, We take this world for a permanent place; we assume our gains and triumphs will always be; that all that is dear to us will last forever. But my child, time is a patient hunter and a treacherous thief: it robs us of our loved ones and snatches up our glory. It crumbles mountains and turns stone to sand. So who are we to impede its path? No, everything and everyone we love will vanish, one day. So take time to appreciate the wee hours and seconds you have in this world. Your life is nothing but a sum of days so why take any day for granted? Don't despise evil people, they are here for a reason, too, for just as the gift salt offers to food, so do the worst of men allow us to savor the sweet, hidden flavor of true friendship. Dear boy, treat your elders with respect and shower them with gratitude; they are the keepers of hidden treasures and bridges to our past. Give meaning to your every goodbye and hold on to that parting embrace just a moment longer--you never know if it will be your last. Beware the temptation of riches and fame for both will abandon you faster than our own shadow deserts us at the approach of the setting sun. Cultivate seeds of knowledge in your soul and reap the harvest of good character. Above all, know why you have been placed on this floating blue sphere, swimming through space, for there is nothing more worthy of regret than a life lived void of this knowing. My son, dark days are upon you. This world will not leave you with tears unshed. It will squeeze you in its talons and lift you high, then drop you to plummet and shatter to bits . But when you lay there in pieces scattered and broken, gather yourself together and be whole once more. That is the secret of those who know. So let not my graying hairs and wrinkled skin deceive you that I do not understand this modern world. My life was filled with a thousand sacrifices that only I will ever know and a hundred gulps of poison I drank to be the father I wanted you to have. But, alas, such is the nature of this life that we will never truly know the struggles of our parents--not until that time arrives when a little hand--resembling our own--gently clutches our finger from its crib. My dear child, I fear that day when you will call hopelessly upon my lifeless corpse and no response shall come from me. I will be of no use to you then but I hope these words I leave behind will echo in your ears that day when I am no more. This life is but a blink in the eye of time, so cherish each moment dearly, my son.
Shakieb Orgunwall
Jesus is the true and better Adam, who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us (1 Corinthians 15). Jesus is the true and better Abel, who, though innocently slain, has blood that cries out for our acquittal, not our condemnation (Hebrews 12:24). Jesus is the true and better Abraham, who answered the call of God to leave the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void “not knowing whither he went” to create a new people of God. Jesus is the true and better Isaac, who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us all. God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me, because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love, from me.” Now we can say to God, “Now we know that you love us, because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love, from us.” Jesus is the true and better Jacob, who wrestled with God and took the blow of justice we deserved so that we, like Jacob, receive only the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us. Jesus is the true and better Joseph, who at the right hand of the King forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them. Jesus is the true and better Moses, who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant (Hebrews 3). Jesus is the true and better rock of Moses, who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert. Jesus is the true and better Job—the truly innocent sufferer—who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends (Job 42). Jesus is the true and better David, whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves. Jesus is the true and better Esther, who didn’t just risk losing an earthly palace but lost the ultimate heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life but gave his life—to save his people. Jesus is the true and better Jonah, who was cast out into the storm so we could be brought in.
Timothy J. Keller (Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism)
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))