Am Simple Quotes

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

I'm in love with you," he said quietly. "Augustus," I said. "I am," he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. "I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best.
Winston S. Churchill
I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
I turned to Dionysus. "You cured him?" "Madness is my specialty. It was quite simple." "But...you did something nice. Why?" He raised and eyebrow. "I am nice! I simple ooze niceness, Perry Johansson. Haven't you noticed?
Rick Riordan (The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4))
Heard joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, "Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. Says, "But doctor...I am Pagliacci.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
i want to apologize to all the women i have called beautiful before i’ve called them intelligent or brave i am sorry i made it sound as though something as simple as what you’re born with is all you have to be proud of when you have broken mountains with your wit from now on i will say things like you are resilient, or you are extraordinary not because i don’t think you’re beautiful but because i need you to know you are more than that
Rupi Kaur
He awoke each morning with the desire to do right, to be a good and meaningful person, to be, as simple as it sounded and as impossible as it actually was, happy. And during the course of each day his heart would descend from his chest into his stomach. By early afternoon he was overcome by the feeling that nothing was right, or nothing was right for him, and by the desire to be alone. By evening he was fulfilled: alone in the magnitude of his grief, alone in his aimless guilt, alone even in his loneliness. I am not sad, he would repeat to himself over and over, I am not sad. As if he might one day convince himself. Or fool himself. Or convince others--the only thing worse than being sad is for others to know that you are sad. I am not sad. I am not sad. Because his life had unlimited potential for happiness, insofar as it was an empty white room. He would fall asleep with his heart at the foot of his bed, like some domesticated animal that was no part of him at all. And each morning he would wake with it again in the cupboard of his rib cage, having become a little heavier, a little weaker, but still pumping. And by the midafternoon he was again overcome with the desire to be somewhere else, someone else, someone else somewhere else. I am not sad.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything is Illuminated)
I'm tired of living unable to love anyone. I don't have a single friend - not one. And, worst of all, I can't even love myself. Why is that? Why can't I love myself? It's because I can't love anyone else. A person learns how to love himself through the simple acts of loving and being loved by someone else. Do you understand what I am saying? A person who is incapable of loving another cannot properly love himself.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3))
A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
I am not one and simple, but complex and many.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
They think I’m simpleminded because I seem to be happy. Why shouldn’t I be happy? I have everything I ever wanted and more. Maybe I am simpleminded. Maybe that’s the key: simple.
Dolly Parton (Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business)
I am not a genius, I am just curious. I ask many questions. and when the answer is simple, then God is answering.
Albert Einstein
I'm THAT complicated, mysterious, yet content with the "simple" things in life. Don't try to understand me; you won't figure me out. But you're free to like me the way I am.
Marwa Ayad
Symptom Recital I do not like my state of mind; I'm bitter, querulous, unkind. I hate my legs, I hate my hands, I do not yearn for lovelier lands. I dread the dawn's recurrent light; I hate to go to bed at night. I snoot at simple, earnest folk. I cannot take the gentlest joke. I find no peace in paint or type. My world is but a lot of tripe. I'm disillusioned, empty-breasted. For what I think, I'd be arrested. I am not sick, I am not well. My quondam dreams are shot to hell. My soul is crushed, my spirit sore; I do not like me any more. I cavil, quarrel, grumble, grouse. I ponder on the narrow house. I shudder at the thought of men.... I'm due to fall in love again.
Dorothy Parker
All my life, I have made it complicated, but it is so simple. I love when I love. And when I love, I am myself.
Hugh Prather (Notes to Myself: My Struggle to Become a Person)
Life is such unutterable hell, solely because it is sometimes beautiful. If we could only be miserable all the time, if there could be no such things as love or beauty or faith or hope, if I could be absolutely certain that my love would never be returned: how much more simple life would be. One could plod through the Siberian salt mines of existence without being bothered about happiness. Unfortunately the happiness is there. There is always the chance (about eight hundred and fifty to one) that another heart will come to mine. I can't help hoping, and keeping faith, and loving beauty. Quite frequently I am not so miserable as it would be wise to be.
T.H. White (Ghostly, Grim and Gruesome)
Because I don’t care what anyone says or how often or winningly they say it: no one will ever, ever be able to persuade me that life is some awesome, rewarding treat. Because, here’s the truth: life is a catastrophe. The basic fact of existence – of walking around trying to feed ourselves and find friends and whatever else we do – is a catastrophe. Forget all this ridiculous ‘Our Town’ nonsense everyone talks: the miracle of a newborn babe, the joy of one simple blossom, Life You Are Too Wonderful To Grasp, &c. For me – and I’ll keep repeating it doggedly till I die, till I fall over on my ungrateful nihilistic face and am too weak to say it: better never born, than born into this cesspool. Sinkhole of hospital beds, coffins, and broken hearts. No release, no appeal, no “do-overs” to employ a favored phrase of Xandra’s, no way forward but age and loss, and no way out but death.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
People often ask me why my style is so simple. It is, in fact, deceptively simple, for no two sentences are alike. It is clarity that I am striving to attain, not simplicity. Of course, some people want literature to be difficult and there are writers who like to make their readers toil and sweat. They hope to be taken more seriously that way. I have always tried to achieve a prose that is easy and conversational. And those who think this is simple should try it for themselves.
Ruskin Bond (Best Of Ruskin Bond)
My world is broken down into one simple principle: I believe I’m powerful, therefore I am.
Kerri Maniscalco (Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked, #1))
All the things that are wrong in the world seem conquered by a library’s simple unspoken promise: Here I am, please tell me your story; here is my story, please listen.
Susan Orlean (The Library Book)
I used to think I knew everything. I was a "smart person" who "got things done," and because of that, the higher I climbed, the more I could look down and scoff at what seemed silly or simple, even religion. But I realized something as I drove home that night: that I am neither better nor smarter, only luckier. And I should be ashamed of thinking I knew everything, because you can know the whole world and still feel lost in it. So many people are in pain-no matter how smart or accomplished-they cry, they yearn, they hurt.But instead of looking down on things, they look up, which is where I should have been looking, too. Because when the world quiets to the sound of your own breathing, we all want the same things:comfort, love, and a peaceful heart.
Mitch Albom (Have a Little Faith: a True Story)
I am a complicated person with a simple life and I am the reason for everything that ever happened to me.
Charlotte Eriksson
Uncontradicting solitude Supports me on its giant palm; And like a sea-anemone Or simple snail, there cautiously Unfolds, emerges, what I am.
Philip Larkin (Collected Poems)
Ed?" Ritchie says later. We're still standing in the water. "There's only one thing I want." "What's that, Ritchie?" His answer is simple. "To want.
Markus Zusak (I Am the Messenger)
The most important words a man can say are, “I will do better.” These are not the most important words any man can say. I am a man, and they are what I needed to say. The ancient code of the Knights Radiant says “journey before destination.” Some may call it a simple platitude, but it is far more. A journey will have pain and failure. It is not only the steps forward that we must accept. It is the stumbles. The trials. The knowledge that we will fail. That we will hurt those around us. But if we stop, if we accept the person we are when we fall, the journey ends. That failure becomes our destination. To love the journey is to accept no such end. I have found, through painful experience, that the most important step a person can take is always the next one. I’m certain some will feel threatened by this record. Some few may feel liberated. Most will simply feel that it should not exist. I needed to write it anyway.
Brandon Sanderson (Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3))
Even Socrates, who lived a very frugal and simple life, loved to go to the market. When his students asked about this, he replied, "I love to go and see all the things I am happy without.
Jack Kornfield
The ones who are not soul-mated – the ones who have settled – are even more dismissive of my singleness: It’s not that hard to find someone to marry, they say. No relationship is perfect, they say – they, who make do with dutiful sex and gassy bedtime rituals, who settle for TV as conversation, who believe that husbandly capitulation – yes, honey, okay, honey – is the same as concord. He’s doing what you tell him to do because he doesn’t care enough to argue, I think. Your petty demands simply make him feel superior, or resentful, and someday he will fuck his pretty, young coworker who asks nothing of him, and you will actually be shocked. Give me a man with a little fight in him, a man who calls me on my bullshit. (But who also kind of likes my bullshit.) And yet: Don’t land me in one of those relationships where we’re always pecking at each other, disguising insults as jokes, rolling our eyes and ‘playfully’ scrapping in front of our friends, hoping to lure them to our side of an argument they could not care less about. Those awful if only relationships: This marriage would be great if only… and you sense the if only list is a lot longer than either of them realizes. So I know I am right not to settle, but it doesn’t make me feel better as my friends pair off and I stay home on Friday night with a bottle of wine and make myself an extravagant meal and tell myself, This is perfect, as if I’m the one dating me. As I go to endless rounds of parties and bar nights, perfumed and sprayed and hopeful, rotating myself around the room like some dubious dessert. I go on dates with men who are nice and good-looking and smart – perfect-on-paper men who make me feel like I’m in a foreign land, trying to explain myself, trying to make myself known. Because isn’t that the point of every relationship: to be known by someone else, to be understood? He gets me. She gets me. Isn’t that the simple magic phrase? So you suffer through the night with the perfect-on-paper man – the stutter of jokes misunderstood, the witty remarks lobbed and missed. Or maybe he understands that you’ve made a witty remark but, unsure of what to do with it, he holds it in his hand like some bit of conversational phlegm he will wipe away later. You spend another hour trying to find each other, to recognise each other, and you drink a little too much and try a little too hard. And you go home to a cold bed and think, That was fine. And your life is a long line of fine.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
I am not wrong: Wrong is not my name My name is my own my own my own and I can’t tell you who the hell set things up like this but I can tell you that from now on my resistance my simple and daily and nightly self-determination may very well cost you your life
June Jordan (Directed by Desire: The Collected Poems)
I am in fact a Hobbit in all but size. I like gardens, trees, and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humor (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late (when possible). I do not travel much.
J.R.R. Tolkien
I am convinced that grandkids are inherently evil people who tell their grandparents to "just go to the library and open up an e-mail account - it's free and so simple.
Scott Douglas (Quiet, Please: Dispatches From A Public Librarian)
I am a human Rube Goldberg machine," he said. "I do simple things in complicated ways
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games, #1))
I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. You, with all your un-dumb letters, would never write so elementary a phrase as that; perhaps you wouldn’t even feel it. And yet I believe you’ll be sensible of a little gap. But you’d clothe it in so exquisite a phrase that it would lose a little of its reality. Whereas with me it is quite stark: I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal. So this letter is just really a squeal of pain. It is incredible how essential to me you have become. I suppose you are accustomed to people saying these things. Damn you, spoilt creature; I shan’t make you love me any the more by giving myself away like this —But oh my dear, I can’t be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly. You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don’t love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defences. And I don’t really resent it.
Vita Sackville-West (The Letters of Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf)
Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be. Disappointment’ s cousin is Frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.
Chetan Bhagat
The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered...We know that. And yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.
Elizabeth Edwards
I love the book. I love the feel of a book in my hands, the compactness of it, the shape, the size. I love the feel of paper. The sound it makes when I turn a page. I love the beauty of print on paper, the patterns, the shapes, the fonts. I am astonished by the versatility and practicality of The Book. It is so simple. It is so fit for its purpose. It may give me mere content, but no e-reader will ever give me that sort of added pleasure.
Susan Hill (Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home)
Since then your sere Majesty and your Lordships seek a simple answer, I will give it in this manner, neither horned nor toothed. Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen." (Reply to the Diet of Worms, April 18, 1521)
Martin Luther (Luther's Works: Career of the Reformer III (Luther's Works, Volume 33))
Who are you? You don't belong to the police?' 'I am better than the police,' said Poirot. He said it without conscious arrogance. It was, to him, a simple statement of fact.
Agatha Christie (The A.B.C. Murders (Hercule Poirot, #12))
I’m in love with you,” he said quietly. "Augustus," I said. "I am," he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. "I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
To all the ships at sea, and all the ports of call. To my family and to all friends and strangers. This is a message, and a prayer. The message is that my travels taught me a great truth. I already had what everyone is searching for and few ever find. The one person in the world who I was born to love forever. A person, like me, of the outer banks and the blue Atlantic mystery. A person rich in simple treasures. Self-made. Self-taught. A harbor where I am forever home. And no wind, or trouble or even a little death can knock down this house. The prayer is that everyone in the world can know this kind of love and be healed by it. If my prayer is heard, there will be an erasing of all guilt and all regret and an end to all anger. Please, God. Amen.
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
...there occurred to me the simple epitaph which, when I am no more, I intend to have inscribed on my tombstone. It was this: "He was a man who acted from the best motives. There is one born every minute.
P.G. Wodehouse (My Man Jeeves (Jeeves, #1))
If you imagine the 4,500-bilion-odd years of Earth's history compressed into a normal earthly day, then life begins very early, about 4 A.M., with the rise of the first simple, single-celled organisms, but then advances no further for the next sixteen hours. Not until almost 8:30 in the evening, with the day five-sixths over, has Earth anything to show the universe but a restless skin of microbes. Then, finally, the first sea plants appear, followed twenty minutes later by the first jellyfish and the enigmatic Ediacaran fauna first seen by Reginald Sprigg in Australia. At 9:04 P.M. trilobites swim onto the scene, followed more or less immediately by the shapely creatures of the Burgess Shale. Just before 10 P.M. plants begin to pop up on the land. Soon after, with less than two hours left in the day, the first land creatures follow. Thanks to ten minutes or so of balmy weather, by 10:24 the Earth is covered in the great carboniferous forests whose residues give us all our coal, and the first winged insects are evident. Dinosaurs plod onto the scene just before 11 P.M. and hold sway for about three-quarters of an hour. At twenty-one minutes to midnight they vanish and the age of mammals begins. Humans emerge one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight. The whole of our recorded history, on this scale, would be no more than a few seconds, a single human lifetime barely an instant. Throughout this greatly speeded-up day continents slide about and bang together at a clip that seems positively reckless. Mountains rise and melt away, ocean basins come and go, ice sheets advance and withdraw. And throughout the whole, about three times every minute, somewhere on the planet there is a flash-bulb pop of light marking the impact of a Manson-sized meteor or one even larger. It's a wonder that anything at all can survive in such a pummeled and unsettled environment. In fact, not many things do for long.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
The aim of science is to make difficult things understandable in a simpler way; the aim of poetry is to state simple things in an incomprehensible way. The two are incompatible.
Paul A.M. Dirac
But here I am blocking the view of this simple scene, like a director who accidentally walks in front of his own projector, then stands there, oblivious to the snoring around him.
Dennis Cooper (My Mark)
None of your knowledge, your reading, your connections will be of any use here: two legs suffice, and big eyes to see with. Walk alone, across mountains or through forests. You are nobody to the hills or the thick boughs heavy with greenery. You are no longer a role, or a status, not even an individual, but a body, a body that feels sharp stones on the paths, the caress of long grass and the freshness of the wind. When you walk, the world has neither present nor future: nothing but the cycle of mornings and evenings. Always the same thing to do all day: walk. But the walker who marvels while walking (the blue of the rocks in a July evening light, the silvery green of olive leaves at noon, the violet morning hills) has no past, no plans, no experience. He has within him the eternal child. While walking I am but a simple gaze.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
Lucius paused, turning on his heel to face me. "I grow weary of your ignorance." He moved closer to me, leaning down and peering into my eyes. "Because your parents refuse to inform you, I will deliver the news myself,and I shall make this simple for you." He pointed to his chest and announced, as though talking to a child, "I am a vampire." He pointed to my chest. "You are a vampire. And we are to be married, the moment you come of age. This has been decreed since our births." I couldn't even process the "getting married" part, or the thing about "decreed." He'd lost me at "vampire." Nuts. Lucius Vladescu is completely nuts. And I'm alone with him, in an empty barn. So I did what any sane person would do. I jammed the pitchfork in the general direction of his foot and ran like hell for the house, ignoring his yowl of pain.
Beth Fantaskey (Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1))
I am a man of simple tastes easily satisfied with the best
Winston S. Churchill
The worst thing about this particular end (of my youth) and the beginning (of middle age) is that for the first time in my life, I realize I don't know where I'm going. My wants are simple: a job that I like and a guy whom I love. And on the eve of my thirteth, I must face that I am 0 for 2.
Emily Giffin
I am a complicated person with a simple life.
Charlotte Eriksson
Today I feel that I shall win through. I have come to the gateway of the simple; I am now content to see things as they are. I have gained freedom myself; I shall allow freedom to others. In my work will be my salvation.
Rabindranath Tagore (The Home and the World)
My breathing is controlled, but all the fear and anger within me. Fear is too simple a word. Terror. That's what I feel.
Pittacus Lore (I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1))
It's this simple: If I never try anything, I never learn anything. If I never take a risk, I stay where I am.
Hugh Prather (I Touch the Earth, the Earth Touches Me)
And I know that I am. I am his moon, and his brightly shining star. I am his life, his heart. I am all that and the answer to every unspoken question, the comfort for every hurt, the companion who will walk beside him from now until the end of our lives, reveling in the bliss of each simple chore done in his name, overflowing with beauty because I am blessed to spend my life with my love.
Stacey Jay (Juliet Immortal (Juliet Immortal, #1))
emptying out of my mother's belly was my first act of disappearance learning to shrink for a family who likes their daughters invisible was the second the art of being empty is simple believe them when they say you are nothing repeat it to yourself like a wish i am nothing i am nothing i am nothing so often the only reason you know you're still alive is from the heaving of your chest
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
I’m good at science because I’m not good at listening. I have been told that I am intelligent, and I have been told that I am simple-minded. I have been told that I am trying to do too much, and I have been told that what I have done amounts to very little. I have been told that I can’t do what I want to do because I am a woman, and I have been told that I have only been allowed to do what I have done because I am a woman. I have been told that I can have eternal life, and I have been told that I will burn myself out into an early death. I have been admonished for being too feminine and I have been distrusted for being too masculine. I have been warned that I am far too sensitive and I have been accused of being heartlessly callous. But I was told all of these things by people who can’t understand the present or see the future any better than I can. Such recurrent pronouncements have forced me to accept that because I am a female scientist, nobody knows what the hell I am, and it has given me the delicious freedom to make it up as I go along. I don’t take advice from my colleagues, and I try not to give it. When I am pressed, I resort to these two sentences: You shouldn’t take this job too seriously. Except for when you should.
Hope Jahren (Lab Girl)
You ask me why I don’t love you, but surely you must believe I am very fond of you and if to desire to possess a person wholly, to admire and honour that person deeply, and to seek to secure that person’s happiness in every way is to “love” then perhaps my affection for you is a kind of love. I will tell you this that your soul seems to me to be the most beautiful and simple soul in the world and it may be because I am so conscious of this when I look at you that my love or affection for you loses much of its violence.
James Joyce (Pyhä, rivo rakkaus – Kirjeitä Noralle)
Today, my love, I am too tired to write for you. You will find in your heart a letter, several pages, full of silence. Read it slowly. The light of this day wrote it for me. In it, it si just about you and the rest coming to me each time I look to you, far away, hundreds kilometers from here.
Christian Bobin (L'Enchantement simple : suivi de, Le Huitième Jour De La Semaine, Le Colporteur, L'Éloignement du monde)
He's charmed by her as if she were some fairy!" continued Arabella. "See how he looks round at her, and lets his eyes rest on her. I am inclined to think that she don't care for him quite so much as he does for her. She's not a particular warm-hearted creature to my thinking, though she cares for him pretty middling much-- as much as she's able to; and he could make her heart ache a bit if he liked to try--which he's too simple to do.
Thomas Hardy (Jude the Obscure)
Then what good is he? (Maggie) I ask myself every friggin’ day exactly what you did. What good am I? The answer is simple. There’s nothing good about me and I like it that way. Pride myself on it, in fact. (Savitar)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Unleash the Night (Dark Hunter, #8; Were-Hunter, #2))
I am a worried person with a stressed out soul, living a simple life with no capital.
Charlotte Eriksson
I am living a simple life with a complicated mind and I have yet to find a state of mind where I feel safe with who I am, where I am, with what I do.
Charlotte Eriksson
I believe when I am in the mood that all nature is full of people whom we cannot see, and that some of these are ugly or grotesque, and some wicked or foolish, but very many beautiful beyond any one we have ever seen, and that these are not far away....the simple of all times and the wise men of ancient times have seen them and even spoken to them.
W.B. Yeats
How often since then has she wondered what might have happened if she'd tried to remain with him; if she’d returned Richard's kiss on the corner of Bleeker and McDougal, gone off somewhere (where?) with him, never bought the packet of incense or the alpaca coat with rose-shaped buttons. Couldn’t they have discovered something larger and stranger than what they've got. It is impossible not to imagine that other future, that rejected future, as taking place in Italy or France, among big sunny rooms and gardens; as being full of infidelities and great battles; as a vast and enduring romance laid over friendship so searing and profound it would accompany them to the grave and possibly even beyond. She could, she thinks, have entered another world. She could have had a life as potent and dangerous as literature itself. Or then again maybe not, Clarissa tells herself. That's who I was. This is who I am--a decent woman with a good apartment, with a stable and affectionate marriage, giving a party. Venture too far for love, she tells herself, and you renounce citizenship in the country you've made for yourself. You end up just sailing from port to port. Still, there is this sense of missed opportunity. Maybe there is nothing, ever, that can equal the recollection of having been young together. Maybe it's as simple as that. Richard was the person Clarissa loved at her most optimistic moment. Richard had stood beside her at the pond's edge at dusk, wearing cut-off jeans and rubber sandals. Richard had called her Mrs. Dalloway, and they had kissed. His mouth had opened to hers; (exciting and utterly familiar, she'd never forget it) had worked its way shyly inside until she met its own. They'd kissed and walked around the pond together. It had seemed like the beginning of happiness, and Clarissa is still sometimes shocked, more than thirty years later to realize that it was happiness; that the entire experience lay in a kiss and a walk. The anticipation of dinner and a book. The dinner is by now forgotten; Lessing has been long overshadowed by other writers. What lives undimmed in Clarissa's mind more than three decades later is a kiss at dusk on a patch of dead grass, and a walk around a pond as mosquitoes droned in the darkening air. There is still that singular perfection, and it's perfect in part because it seemed, at the time, so clearly to promise more. Now she knows: That was the moment, right then. There has been no other.
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
Betrayal is too kind a word to describe a situation in which a father says he loves his daughter but claims he must teach her about the horrors of the world in order to make her a stronger person; a situation in which he watches or participates in rituals that make her feel like she is going to die. She experiences pain that is so intense that she cannot think; her head spins so fast she can't remember who she is or how she got there. All she knows is pain. All she feels is desperation. She tries to cry out for help, but soon learns that no one will listen. No matter how loud she cries, she can't stop or change what is happening. No matter what she does, the pain will not stop. Her father orders her to be tortured and tells her it is for her own good. He tells her that she needs the discipline, or that she has asked for it by her misbehavior. Betrayal is too simple a word to describe the overwhelming pain, the overwhelming loneliness and isolation this child experiences. As if the abuse during the rituals were not enough, this child experiences similar abuse at home on a daily basis. When she tries to talk about her pain, she is told that she must be crazy. "Nothing bad has happened to you;' her family tells her Each day she begins to feel more and more like she doesn't know what is real. She stops trusting her own feelings because no one else acknowledges them or hears her agony. Soon the pain becomes too great. She learns not to feel at all. This strong, lonely, desperate child learns to give up the senses that make all people feel alive. She begins to feel dead. She wishes she were dead. For her there is no way out. She soon learns there is no hope. As she grows older she gets stronger. She learns to do what she is told with the utmost compliance. She forgets everything she has ever wanted. The pain still lurks, but it's easier to pretend it's not there than to acknowledge the horrors she has buried in the deepest parts of her mind. Her relationships are overwhelmed by the power of her emotions. She reaches out for help, but never seems to find what she is looking for The pain gets worse. The loneliness sets in. When the feelings return, she is overcome with panic, pain, and desperation. She is convinced she is going to die. Yet, when she looks around her she sees nothing that should make her feel so bad. Deep inside she knows something is very, very wrong, but she doesn't remember anything. She thinks, "Maybe I am crazy.
Margaret Smith (Ritual Abuse: What It Is, Why It Happens, and How to Help)
Tea is an act complete in its simplicity. When I drink tea, there is only me and the tea. The rest of the world dissolves. There are no worries about the future. No dwelling on past mistakes. Tea is simple: loose-leaf tea, hot pure water, a cup. I inhale the scent, tiny delicate pieces of the tea floating above the cup. I drink the tea, the essence of the leaves becoming a part of me. I am informed by the tea, changed. This is the act of life, in one pure moment, and in this act the truth of the world suddenly becomes revealed: all the complexity, pain, drama of life is a pretense, invented in our minds for no good purpose. There is only the tea, and me, converging.
Thich Nhat Hanh
I am grateful to realize that my desires do not entitle me to add to another's suffering.
Zoe Weil (Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life)
But recently I have learned from discussions with a variety of scientists and other non-philosophers (e.g., the scientists participating with me in the Sean Carroll workshop on the future of naturalism) that they lean the other way: free will, in their view, is obviously incompatible with naturalism, with determinism, and very likely incoherent against any background, so they cheerfully insist that of course they don't have free will, couldn’t have free will, but so what? It has nothing to do with morality or the meaning of life. Their advice to me at the symposium was simple: recast my pressing question as whether naturalism (materialism, determinism, science...) has any implications for what we may call moral competence. For instance, does neuroscience show that we cannot be responsible for our choices, cannot justifiably be praised or blamed, rewarded or punished? Abandon the term 'free will' to the libertarians and other incompatibilists, who can pursue their fantasies untroubled. Note that this is not a dismissal of the important issues; it’s a proposal about which camp gets to use, and define, the term. I am beginning to appreciate the benefits of discarding the term 'free will' altogether, but that course too involves a lot of heavy lifting, if one is to avoid being misunderstood.
Daniel C. Dennett (Consciousness Explained)
I keep my kindness in my eyes Gently folded around my iris Like a velvety, brown blanket That warms my vision I keep my shyness in my hair Tucked away into a ponytail Looking for a chance to escape On a few loose strands in the air I keep my anger on my lips Just waiting to unleash into the world But trust me; it’s never in my heart It evaporates into words I keep my dignity upon my chin Like a torch held up high For those who have betrayed me Radiating a silent, strong message I keep my gratitude in my smile A glistening waterfall in the sun Gently splashing at that person Who made me happy for some reason I keep my sensitivity in my hands Reaching out for your wet cheek Holding you, with all the love The love I want to share, and feel I keep my passion in my writing My words breathing like fire Screeching against an endless road As I continue to be inspired I keep my simplicity in my soul Spread over me like a clear sky Reflecting all that I am And all that’s ever passed me by And I hope you will look Beyond my ordinary face My simple, tied hair My ordinary tastes And I hope you will see me From everyone...apart As I keep my beauty in my heart.
Sanober Khan
I think it was Donald Mainstock, the great amateur squash player who pointed out how lovely I was. Until that time I think it was safe to say that I had never really been aware of my own timeless brand of loveliness. But his words smote me, because of course you see, I am lovely in a fluffy moist kind of way and who would have it otherwise? I walk, and let’s be splendid about this, in a highly accented cloud of gorgeousness that isn't far short of being, quite simply terrific. The secret of smooth almost shiny loveliness, of the order of which we are discussing, in this simple, frank, creamy sort of way, doesn't reside in oils, unguents, balms, ointments, creams, astringents, milks, moisturizers, liniments, lubricants, embrocations or balsams, to be rather divine for just one noble moment, it resides, and I mean this in a pink slightly special way, in ones attitude of mind. To be gorgeous, and high and true and fine and fluffy and moist and sticky and lovely, all you have to do is believe that one is gorgeous and high and true and fine and fluffy and moist and sticky and lovely. And I believe it of myself, tremulously at first and then with rousing heat and passion, because, stopping off for a second to be super again, I’m so often told it. That’s the secret really.
Stephen Fry (A Bit of Fry & Laurie)
I am no friend of probability theory, I have hated it from the first moment when our dear friend Max Born gave it birth. For it could be seen how easy and simple it made everything, in principle, everything ironed and the true problems concealed. Everybody must jump on the bandwagon [Ausweg]. And actually not a year passed before it became an official credo, and it still is.
Erwin Schrödinger
I am a few years older now and I know this: There are tastes of mouths I could not have lived without; there are times I’ve pretended it was just about the sex because I couldn’t stand the way my heart was about to burst with happiness and awe and I couldn’t be that vulnerable, not again, not with this one. That waiting to have someone’s stolen seconds can burn you alive. That the shittiest thing you can do in the world is lie to someone you love; also that there are certain times you have no other choice – not honoring this fascination, this car crash of desire, is also a lie. That there is power in having someone risk everything for you. That there is nothing more frightening than being willing to take this freefall. That it is not as simple as we were always promised. Love – at least the pair-bonded, prescribed love – does not conquer all.
Daphne Gottlieb (Homewrecker: An Adultery Anthology)
Am I a storm-waster? For it is within the fury of the very storms within which I cower that I find resources for my growth that are entirely absent on calmer days.
Craig D. Lounsbrough (Flecks of Gold on a Path of Stone: Simple Truths for Profound Living)
It is so simple, yet so hard for some people to do. If you want someone out of your life then you and only “you” must tell him or her to leave. This can only be done by you. Otherwise, your silence shouts, “I am undecided.” When other people get involved it sends mixed signals. If only more people would be so bold, hearts would not linger so long.
Shannon L. Alder
I heard joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Life seems harsh, and cruel. Says he feels all alone in threatening world. Doctor says: "Treatment is simple. The great clown - Pagliacci - is in town. Go see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. "But doctor..." he says "I am Pagliacci." Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum. Curtains.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. "There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough..
Nicholas Sparks
Style is a very simple matter; it is all rhythm. Once you get that, you can't use the wrong words. But on the other hand here am I sitting after half the morning, crammed with ideas, and visions, and so on, and can't dislodge them, for lack of the right rhythm. Now this is very profound, what rhythm is, and goes far deeper than any words. A sight, an emotion, creates this wave in the mind, long before it makes words to fit it.
Virginia Woolf
The sweet smile of a young woman. There is nothing better in the world. It is worth more than salt. Something in us sickens and dies without it. I am sure of this. Such a simple thing. How strange. How wonderful and strange.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
You don't need my kind of strength. A simple look from you alone cripples ,e. I am at your mercy." -Marcus
Courtney Allison Moulton (Shadows in the Silence (Angelfire, #3))
The story of the young woman whose death I witnessed in a concentration camp. It is a simple story. There is little to tell and it may sound as if I had invented it; but to me it seems like a poem. This young woman knew that she would die in the next few days. But when I talked to her she was cheerful in spite of this knowledge. "I am grateful that fate has hit me so hard," she told me. "In my former life I was spoiled and did not take spiritual accomplishments seriously." Pointing through the window of the hut, she said, "This tree here is the only friend I have in my loneliness." Through that window she could see just one branch of a chestnut tree, and on the branch were two blossoms. "I often talk to this tree," she said to me. I was startled and didn't quite know how to take her words. Was she delirious? Did she have occasional hallucinations? Anxiously I asked her if the tree replied. "Yes." What did it say to her? She answered, "It said to me, 'I am here-I am here-I am life, eternal life.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception…. If any one, upon serious and unprejudic'd reflection thinks he has a different notion of himself, I must confess I can reason no longer with him. All I can allow him is, that he may be in the right as well as I, and that we are essentially different in this particular. He may, perhaps, perceive something simple and continu'd, which he calls himself; tho' I am certain there is no such principle in me.
David Hume (A Treatise of Human Nature)
I won’t ask for forgiveness, but I am so very sorry,” he said, with the simple brevity she was learning to expect. She pressed her lips into his soft, dark hair. “I know.” He
Renée Ahdieh (The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1))
I am not a snob, because I know opulence doesn't stamp out ignorance and unhappiness.
Sarina Bowen (Him (Him, #1))
I am pleased," he said with a rich throaty accent. My heart melted. Simple as they were, those three little words meant the world to me.
Red Phoenix (Socrates Inspires Cherry to Blossom)
Love"I'm in love with you," he said quietly. "Augustus,"I said. "I am," he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. "I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you." "Augustus," I said again, not knowing what else to say. It felt like everything was rising up in me, like I was drowning in this weirdly painful joy, but I couldn't say it back. I couldn't say anything back. I just looked at him and let him look at me until he nodded, lips pursed, and turned away, placing the side of his head against the window.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
My Master... Say all you wish of me. It does not matter to me:Shallow.. Stupid.. Crazy.. Simple minded. It does not concern me anymore. For whoever writes about her concerns. in the logic of Men is called a stupid woman. and didn't I tell you in the beginning that I am a stupid woman?
نزار قباني
Q.Why don't you write about nice people? Haven't you ever known any nice people in your life? A.My theory about nice people is so simple that I am embarrassed to say it. Q.Please say it. A.Well, I've never met one that I couldn't love if I completely knew him and understood him, and in my work I have at least tried to arrive at knowledge and understanding. I don't believe in 'original sin'. I don't believe in 'guilt'. I don't believe in villains or heroes - only right or wrong ways that individuals have taken, not by choice but by necessity or by certain still-uncomprehended influences in themselves, their circumstances, and their antecedents. This is so simple I'm ashamed to say it, but I'm sure it's true. In fact, I would bet my life on it! And that's why I don't understand why our propaganda machines are always trying to teach us, to persuade us, to hate and fear other people on the same little world that we live in. Why don't we meet these people and get to know them as I try to meet and know people in my plays?
Tennessee Williams
In art, in history man fights his fears, he wants to live forever, he is afraid of death, he wants to work with other men, he wants to live forever. He is like a child afraid of death. The child is afraid of death, of darkness, of solitude. Such simple fears behind all the elaborate constructions. Such simple fears as hunger for light, warmth, love. Such simple fears behind the elaborate constructions of art. Examine them all gently and quietly through the eyes of a boy. There is always a human being lonely, a human being afraid, a human being lost, a human being confused. Concealing and disguising his dependence, his needs, ashamed to say: I am a simple human being in a too vast and complex world. Because of all we have discovered about a leaf...it is still a leaf. Can we relate to a leaf, on a tree, in a park, a simple leaf: green, glistening, sun-bathed or wet, or turning white because the storm is coming. Like the savage, let us look at the leaf wet or shining with sun, or white with fear of the storm, or silvery in the fog, or listless in too great heat, or falling in autumn, dying, reborn each year anew. Learn from the leaf: simplicity. In spite of all we know about the leaf: its nerve structure phyllome cellular papilla parenchyma stomata venation. Keep a human relation -- leaf, man, woman, child. In tenderness. No matter how immense the world, how elaborate, how contradictory, there is always man, woman, child, and the leaf. Humanity makes everything warm and simple. Humanity...
Anaïs Nin (Children of the Albatross (Cities of the Interior #2))
The simple fact is that we live in a world of conflict and opposites because we live in a world of boundaries. Since every boundary line is also a battle line, here is the human predicament: the firmer one’s boundaries, the more entrenched are one’s battles. The more I hold onto pleasure, the more I necessarily fear pain. The more I pursue goodness, the more I am obsessed with evil. The more I seek success, the more I must dread failure. The harder I cling to life, the more terrifying death becomes. The more I value anything, the more obsessed I become with its loss. Most of our problems, in other words, are problems of boundaries and the opposites they create.
Ken Wilber (No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth)
Here is a simple formula for successful fishing. First decide what it is you want to express or possess. This is essential. You must definitely know what you want of life before you can fish for it. After your decision is made, turn from the world of sense, remove your attention from the problem and place it on just being by repeating quietly but with feeling, “I AM.” As your attention is removed from the world round about you and placed upon the I AM so that you are lost in the feeling of simply being, you will find yourself slipping the anchor that tied you to the shallows of your problem; and effortlessly you will find yourself moving out into the deep.
Neville Goddard (Your Faith is Your Fortune)
Relationships are complicated." "Not all of them. For instance, our relationship is very simple. You are annoying; I am annoyed. See? Totally uncomplicated.
Lauren Stewart (Hyde (Hyde, #1))
To make it quite practical I have a very simple test. After I have explained the way of Christ to somebody I say “Now, are you ready to say that you are a Christian?” And they hesitate. And then I say, “What’s the matter? Why are you hesitating?” And so often people say, “I don’t feel like I’m good enough yet. I don’t think I’m ready to say I’m a Christian now.” And at once I know that I have been wasting my breath. They are still thinking in terms of themselves. They have to do it. It sounds very modest to say, “Well, I don’t think I’ good enough,” but it’s a very denial of the faith. The very essence of the Christian faith is to say that He is good enough and I am in Him. As long as you go on thinking about yourself like that and saying, “I’m not good enough; Oh, I’m not good enough,” you are denying God – you are denying the gospel – you are denying the very essence of the faith and you will never be happy. You think you’re better at times and then again you will find you are not as good at other times than you thought you were. You will be up and down forever. How can I put it plainly? It doesn’t matter if you have almost entered into the depths of hell. It does not matter if you are guilty of murder as well as every other vile sin. It does not matter from the standpoint of being justified before God at all. You are no more hopeless than the most moral and respectable person in the world.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure)
The law presides over things of this world, finally. The world where shadow is shadow and light is light, yin is yin and yang is yang, I'm me and he's him. 'I am me and / He is him/ Autumn eve.' But you don't belong to that world, sonny. The world you belong to is above that or below that." Which is better?" I asked, out of simple curiosity. "Above or below?" It's not that either one is better," he said. After a brief coughing fit, he spat a glob of phlegm onto a tissue and studied it closely before crumpling the tissue and throwing it into a wastebasket. "It's not a question of better or worse. The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you're supposed to go up and down when you're supposed to go down. When you're supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top. When you're supposed to go down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom. When there is no flow, stay still. If you resist the flow, everything dries up. If everything dries up, the world is darkness. 'I am he and/ He is me:/ Spring nightfall.' Abandon the self, and there you are.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
In everything that can be called art there is a quality of redemption. It may be pure tragedy, if it is high tragedy, and it may be pity and irony, and it may be the raucous laughter of the strong man. But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. The detective in this kind of story must be such a man. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor -- by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world. I do not care much about his private life; he is neither a eunuch nor a satyr; I think he might seduce a duchess and I am quite sure he would not spoil a virgin; if he is a man of honor in one thing, he is that in all things. He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job. He will take no man's money dishonestly and no man's insolence without due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him. He talks as the man of his age talks -- that is, with rude wit, a lively sense of the grotesque, a disgust for sham, and a contempt for pettiness. The story is the man's adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure. He has a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to him by right, because it belongs to the world he lives in. If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in.
Raymond Chandler (The Simple Art of Murder)
I know that life is not simple because I am not simple. In fact, I am learning that I am more than simple and less than normal. To fall in love with a boy is one thing, but to fall in love with you best friend's boy because of a dream is . . . well, I'm fucked.
Tarryn Fisher (F*ck Love)
The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is, I am not afraid to die on a treadmill. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me. But if we get on the treadmill together, there's two things. You are getting off first. Or I am going to die. It's that simple.
Will Smith
I tried hard to forget, but there remained inside me a vague knot of air. And as time went by, the knot began to take on a clear and simple form, a form that I am able to put into words, like this: Death exists, not as the opposite but as a part of life. It's a cliché translated into words, but at the time I felt it not as words but as that knot of air inside me. Death exists - in a paperweight, in four red and white balls on a pool table - and we go on living and breathing it into our lungs like fine dust.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality. We can know that reality is good just as it is, because when we argue with it, we experience tension and frustration. We don’t feel natural or balanced. When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind, and fearless.
Byron Katie (Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life)
If a society permits one portion of its citizenry to be menaced or destroyed, then, very soon, no one in that society is safe. The forces thus released in the people can never be held in check, but run their devouring course, destroying the very foundations which it was imagined they would save. But we are unbelievably ignorant concerning what goes on in our country--to say nothing of what goes on in the rest of the world--and appear to have become too timid to question what we are told. Our failure to trust one another deeply enough to be able to talk to one another has become so great that people with these questions in their hearts do not speak them; our opulence is so pervasive that people who are afraid to lose whatever they think they have persuade themselves of the truth of a lie, and help disseminate it; and God help the innocent here, that man or womn who simply wants to love, and be loved. Unless this would-be lover is able to replace his or her backbone with a steel rod, he or she is doomed. This is no place for love. I know that I am now expected to make a bow in the direction of those millions of unremarked, happy marriages all over America, but I am unable honestly to do so because I find nothing whatever in our moral and social climate--and I am now thinking particularly of the state of our children--to bear witness to their existence. I suspect that when we refer to these happy and so marvelously invisible people, we are simply being nostalgic concerning the happy, simple, God-fearing life which we imagine ourselves once to have lived. In any case, wherever love is found, it unfailingly makes itself felt in the individual, the personal authority of the individual. Judged by this standard, we are a loveless nation. The best that can be said is that some of us are struggling. And what we are struggling against is that death in the heart which leads not only to the shedding of blood, but which reduces human beings to corpses while they live.
James Baldwin (nothing personal)
In the end there is nothing to be done but to state clearly what has been done, without shame or regret, and say: Here I am, and this is what I am. Now deal with me as you see fit. That is your right. Mine is to stand by the act, and pay the price. You do what you must do, and pay for it. So in the end all things are simple.
Ellis Peters (Brother Cadfael's Penance (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #20))
The temptation to second-guess is strong. But I must remember one thing. Life is simple. You are healthy or you are sick. You are faithful to your wife or you aren't. You are alive or you are dead. I am alive.
Greg Iles
I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
I still remember the day I got my first calculator Teacher: All right, children, welcome to fourth grade math. Everyone take a calculator out of the bin. Me: What are these? Teacher: From now on we'll be using calculators. Me: What do these things do? Teacher: Simple operations, like multiplication and division. Me: You mean this device just...does them? By itself? Teacher: Yes. You enter in the problem and press equal. Me: You...you knew about this machine all along, didn't you? This whole time, while we were going through this...this charade with the pencils and the line paper and the stupid multiplication tables!...I'm sorry for shouting...It's just...I'm a little blown away. Teacher: Okay, everyone, today we're going to go over some word problems. Me: What the hell else do you have back there? A magical pen that writes book reports by itself? Some kind of automatic social studies worksheet that...that fills itself out? What the hell is going on? Teacher: If a farmer farms five acres of land a day-- Me: So that's it, then. The past three years have been a total farce. All this time I've been thinking, "Well, this is pretty hard and frustrating but I guess these are useful skills to have." Meanwhile, there was a whole bin of these things in your desk. We could have jumped straight to graphing. Unless, of course, there's some kind of graphing calculator! Teacher: There is. You get one in ninth grade. Me: Is this...Am I on TV? Is this a prank show? Teacher: No.
Simon Rich (Ant Farm and Other Desperate Situations)
I feel so unhappy.” I am sure that this one phrase whispered to me would arouse my sympathy more than the longest, most painstaking account of a woman’s life. It amazes and astonishes me that I have never once heard a woman make this simple statement. This woman did not say, “I feel so unhappy” in so many words, but something like a silent current of misery an inch wide flowed over the surface of her body. When I lay next to her my body was enveloped in her current, which mingled with my own harsher current of gloom like a “withered leaf settling to rest on the stones at the bottom of a pool.” I had freed myself from fear and uneasiness.
Osamu Dazai (No Longer Human)
It's so easy to find reasons for why I am excused to be unsatisfied with the moment. As people, we often look to the future saying I'll be happy when… I'll be happy when I graduate, I'll be happy when I am thin, I'll be happy when I get a car… and so on. But why postpone happiness. Why not find joy in the journey of life. We need to find joy in the simple, ordinary events that make up the everyday because that is what we get the most of.
Lindsey Stirling
What do I win?” she whispered in his ear. He grinned. “What would you like?” “You.” So simple. So perfect. “I am yours,” he said, kissing her. “As you are mine.” She laughed. “Always.” And it was the truth.
Sarah MacLean (No Good Duke Goes Unpunished (The Rules of Scoundrels, #3))
When my husband had an affair with someone else I watched his eyes glaze over when we ate dinner together and I heard him singing to himself without me, and when he tended the garden it was not for me. He was courteous and polite; he enjoyed being at home, but in the fantasy of his home I was not the one who sat opposite him and laughed at his jokes. He didn't want to change anything; he liked his life. The only thing he wanted to change was me. It would have been better if he had hated me, or if he had abused me, or if he had packed his new suitcases and left. As it was he continued to put his arm round me and talk about being a new wall to replace the rotten fence that divided our garden from his vegetable patch. I knew he would never leave our house. He had worked for it. Day by day I felt myself disappearing. For my husband I was no longer a reality, I was one of the things around him. I was the fence which needed to be replaced. I watched myself in the mirror and saw that I was mo longer vivid and exciting. I was worn and gray like an old sweater you can't throw out but won't put on. He admitted he was in love with her, but he said he loved me. Translated, that means, I want everything. Translated, that means, I don't want to hurt you yet. Translated, that means, I don't know what to do, give me time. Why, why should I give you time? What time are you giving me? I am in a cell waiting to be called for execution. I loved him and I was in love with him. I didn't use language to make a war-zone of my heart. 'You're so simple and good,' he said, brushing the hair from my face. He meant, Your emotions are not complex like mine. My dilemma is poetic. But there was no dilemma. He no longer wanted me, but he wanted our life Eventually, when he had been away with her for a few days and returned restless and conciliatory, I decided not to wait in my cell any longer. I went to where he was sleeping in another room and I asked him to leave. Very patiently he asked me to remember that the house was his home, that he couldn't be expected to make himself homeless because he was in love. 'Medea did,' I said, 'and Romeo and Juliet and Cressida, and Ruth in the Bible.' He asked me to shut up. He wasn't a hero. 'Then why should I be a heroine?' He didn't answer, he plucked at the blanket. I considered my choices. I could stay and be unhappy and humiliated. I could leave and be unhappy and dignified. I could Beg him to touch me again. I could live in hope and die of bitterness. I took some things and left. It wasn't easy, it was my home too. I hear he's replaced the back fence.
Jeanette Winterson (Sexing the Cherry)
For so long, I gave in to my self-loathing. I refused to allow myself the simple pleasure of accepting who I am and how I live and love and think and see the world. But then, I got older and I cared less about what other people think.
Roxane Gay (Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body)
Alas, I was unable to transcend the simple human fact that whatever spiritual solace I might find, whatever lithophanic eternities might be provided for me, nothing could make my Lolita forget the foul lust I had inflicted upon her. Unless it can be proven to me -to me as I am now, today, with my heart and my beard, and my putrefaction- that in the infinitue run it does not matter a jot that a North American girl-child names Dolores Haze had been deprived of her childhood by a maniac, unless this can be proven (and if it can, then life is a joke), I see nothing for the treatment of my misery but the melancholy and very local palliative of articulate art. To quote an old poet: The moral sense in mortals is the duty We have to pay on mortal sense of beauty.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
Nowhere to be touched or explored, not here and not in distance. It’s just a tingle that overflows my brightest dreams. Am I wise or simple-minded to believe that non–existent evidence is not an evidence of non–existence?
Tatjana Ostojic (Cacophony of My Soul: When Love Becomes Poetry)
I've never understood why mortals make things so complicated. Am's story for men and women has always been simple: You are equals, built to work side by side. But when it comes to power, mortals have always loathed simplicity.
Jordan Ifueko (Raybearer (Raybearer, #1))
I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Anybody who says "I know how to get to God and you don't, do this and do that and go here and go there" is going to become 1. very powerful and 2. very rich. The simple truth is, if I am with God, no less can you be with God at the same time as I am.
C. JoyBell C.
Life, authentic life, is supposed to be all struggle, unflagging action and affirmation, the will butting its blunt head against the world's wall, suchlike, but when I look back I see that the greater part of my energies was always given over to the simple search for shelter, for comfort, for, yes, I admit it, for cosiness. This is a surprising, not to say shocking, realisation. Before, I saw myself as something of a buccaneer, facing all-comers with a cutlass in my teeth, but now I am compelled to acknowledge that this was a delusion. To be concealed, protected, guarded, that is all I have ever truly ever wanted, to burrow down into a place of womby warmth and cower there, hidden from the sky's indifferent gaze and the air's harsh damagings. That is why the past is just such a retreat for me, I go there eagerly, rubbing my hands and shaking off the cold present and the colder future. And yet, what existence, really, does it have, the past? After all, it is only what the present was, once, the present that is gone, no more than that. And yet.
John Banville (The Sea)
When I Am Among the Trees" When I am among the trees, especially the willows and the honey locust, equally the beech, the oaks and the pines, they give off such hints of gladness. I would almost say that they save me, and daily. I am so distant from the hope of myself, in which I have goodness, and discernment, and never hurry through the world but walk slowly, and bow often. Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out, “Stay awhile.” The light flows from their branches. And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say, “and you too have come into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.
Mary Oliver (Evidence: Poems)
He holds my gaze, and the look in his eyes is a love letter in itself. When he speaks, his voice is rough. "Will you marry me, Cate?" I go still, the question hanging in the air. I have never felt more accepted 'for the girl I am, not the girl I want to be' never more loved and respected than I am in this moment. It's a choice, and it's mine to make. "Yes," I breathe. Finn slides the simple gold band onto my ring finger. I tilt it, and the ruby sparkles, catching the sunlight. He leans down and brushes his lips against mine, sealing the promise. 'I can't wait to make you my wife.' 'Cate Belastra.' I try it out and despite the solemnity of the moment, despite knowing what this will cost him, I can't help smiling.
Jessica Spotswood (Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1))
To encapsulate the notion of Mardi Gras as nothing more than a big drunk is to take the simple and stupid way out, and I, for one, am getting tired of staying stuck on simple and stupid. Mardi Gras is not a parade. Mardi Gras is not girls flashing on French Quarter balconies. Mardi Gras is not an alcoholic binge. Mardi Gras is bars and restaurants changing out all the CD's in their jukeboxes to Professor Longhair and the Neville Brothers, and it is annual front-porch crawfish boils hours before the parades so your stomach and attitude reach a state of grace, and it is returning to the same street corner, year after year, and standing next to the same people, year after year--people whose names you may or may not even know but you've watched their kids grow up in this public tableau and when they're not there, you wonder: Where are those guys this year? It is dressing your dog in a stupid costume and cheering when the marching bands go crazy and clapping and saluting the military bands when they crisply snap to. Now that part, more than ever. It's mad piano professors converging on our city from all over the world and banging the 88's until dawn and laughing at the hairy-shouldered men in dresses too tight and stalking the Indians under Claiborne overpass and thrilling the years you find them and lamenting the years you don't and promising yourself you will next year. It's wearing frightful color combination in public and rolling your eyes at the guy in your office who--like clockwork, year after year--denies that he got the baby in the king cake and now someone else has to pony up the ten bucks for the next one. Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighborhoods, and our joy of living. All at once.
Chris Rose (1 Dead in Attic: Post-Katrina Stories)
Everything comes down to this: the reason for every word I have written and every word I will write. I am recounting my life for you so that you may know this secret without the pain of discovering it: We are unhappy because we think that love is something we require from someone else. Our salvation depends on a simple gesture that is nonetheless the most difficult act we can perform: We must give away the thing we most long for. Not to receive but to give.
Arthur Japin (In Lucia's Eyes)
Hence this life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of the entire existence, but is in a certain sense the whole; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins express in that sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear: Tat tvam asi, this is you. Or, again, in such words as 'I am in the east and in the west, I am below and above, I am this whole world'. Thus you can throw yourself flat on the ground, stretched out upon Mother Earth, with the certain conviction that you are one with her and she with you. You are as firmly established, as invulnerable as she, indeed a thousand times firmer and more invulnerable. As surely she will engulf you tomorrow, so surely will she bring you forth anew to new striving and suffering. And not merely 'some day': now, today, every day she is bringing you forth, not once but thousands upon thousands of times, just as every day she engulfs you a thousand times over. For eternally and always there is only now, one and the same now; the present is the only thing that has no end.
Erwin Schrödinger (My View of the World)
I have spent a lifetime looking for remedies to all manner of life's problems -- personal, social, political, global. I am deeply suspicious of those who offer simple solutions and statements of absolute certainty or who claim full possession of the truth. Yet I have grown equally skeptical of those who suggest that all is too nuanced and complex for us to learn any lessons, that there are so many sides to every thing that we can pursue knowledge every day of our lives and still know nothing for sure. I believe we can recognize truth when we see it, just not a first and not without ever relenting in our efforts to learn more. This is because the goal we seek, and the good we hope for, comes not as some final reward but as the hidden companion to our quest. It is not what we find, but the reason we cannot stop looking and striving, that tells us why we are here.
Madeleine K. Albright (Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948)
With a deep sigh, Lucius resumed pacing. "Honestly, I can't stand this going around anymore. The story is quite simple. You, Antanasia, are the last of a long line of powerful vampires. The Dragomirs. Vampire royalty." Now that made me laugh, a squeaky, kind of hysterical laugh. "Vampire royalty. Right." Yes. Royalty. And that is the last part of the story, which your parents still seem reluctant to relate." Lucius leaned over the table across from me, bracing his arms, staring me down. "You are a vampire princess—the heir to the Dragomir leadership. I am a vampire prince. The heir to an equally powerful clan, the Vladescus. More powerful, I would say, but that's not the point. We were pledged to each other in an engagement ceremony shortly after our births.
Beth Fantaskey (Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1))
Now this court will learn that I am the greatest in wit and courage. I am he whose writing the blind see and whose words grant hearing to the deaf. Content with complete verses, I sleep, while others strain for simple rhymes. I laughed at the frauds and their ignorance until, with discerning hand and mouth, I destroy them. If you see the lion bare his teeth, do not assume he is smiling!
أبو الطيب المتنبي
Still perfect,” he said. “Read to me.” “This isn’t really a poem to read aloud when you are sitting next to your sleeping mother. It has, like, sodomy and angel dust in it,” I said. “You just named two of my favorite pastimes,” he said. “Okay, read me something else then?” “Um,” I said. “I don’t have anything else?” “That’s too bad. I am so in the mood for poetry. Do you have anything memorized?” “‘Let us go then, you and I,’” I started nervously, “‘When the evening is spread out against the sky / Like a patient etherized upon a table.’” “Slower,” he said. I felt bashful, like I had when I’d first told him of An Imperial Affliction. “Um, okay. Okay. ‘Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, / The muttering retreats / Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels / And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells: / Streets that follow like a tedious argument / Of insidious intent / To lead you to an overwhelming question . . . / Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” / Let us go and make our visit.’” “I’m in love with you,” he said quietly. “Augustus,” I said. “I am,” he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.” “Augustus,” I said again, not knowing what else to say. It felt like everything was rising up in me, like I was drowning in this weirdly painful joy, but I couldn’t say it back. I
John Green
When I was a child, I thought, Casually, that solitude Never needed to be sought. Something everybody had, Like nakedness, it lay at hand, Not specially right or specially wrong, A plentiful and obvious thing Not at all hard to understand. Then, after twenty, it became At once more difficult to get And more desired -- though all the same More undesirable; for what You are alone has, to achieve The rank of fact, to be expressed In terms of others, or it's just A compensating make-believe. Much better stay in company! To love you must have someone else, Giving requires a legatee, Good neighbours need whole parishfuls Of folk to do it on -- in short, Our virtues are all social; if, Deprived of solitude, you chafe, It's clear you're not the virtuous sort. Viciously, then, I lock my door. The gas-fire breathes. The wind outside Ushers in evening rain. Once more Uncontradicting solitude Supports me on its giant palm; And like a sea-anemone Or simple snail, there cautiously Unfolds, emerges, what I am." (Best Company)
Philip Larkin (Collected Poems)
Are you sure that’s a real spell?’ said the girl. ‘Well, it’s not very good, is it? I’ve tried a few simple spells just for practice and its all worked for me. Nobody in my family’s magic at all. It was ever such a surprise when I got my letter, but I was ever so pleased, of course, I mean, it’s the very best school of witchcraft there is, I’ve heard – I’ve learnt all our set books off by heart, of course, I just hope it will be enough – I’m Hermione Granger, by the way, who are you?’ She said all this very fast. Harry looked at Ron, and was relieved to see by his stunned face that he hadn’t learned all the course books by heart either. ‘I’m Ron Weasley,’ Ron muttered. ‘Harry Potter,’ said Harry. ‘Are you really?’ said Hermione. ‘I know all about you, of course – I got a few extra books for background reading, and you’re in Modern Magical History and The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts and Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century.’ ‘Am I?’ said Harry, feeling dazed. ‘Goodness, didn’t you know, I’d have found out everything I could if it was me,’ said Hermione.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
Say the planet is born at midnight and it runs for one day. First there is nothing. Two hours are lost to lava and meteors. Life doesn’t show up until three or four a.m. Even then, it’s just the barest self-copying bits and pieces. From dawn to late morning—a million million years of branching—nothing more exists than lean and simple cells. Then there is everything. Something wild happens, not long after noon. One kind of simple cell enslaves a couple of others. Nuclei get membranes. Cells evolve organelles. What was once a solo campsite grows into a town. The day is two-thirds done when animals and plants part ways. And still life is only single cells. Dusk falls before compound life takes hold. Every large living thing is a latecomer, showing up after dark. Nine p.m. brings jellyfish and worms. Later that hour comes the breakout—backbones, cartilage, an explosion of body forms. From one instant to the next, countless new stems and twigs in the spreading crown burst open and run. Plants make it up on land just before ten. Then insects, who instantly take to the air. Moments later, tetrapods crawl up from the tidal muck, carrying around on their skin and in their guts whole worlds of earlier creatures. By eleven, dinosaurs have shot their bolt, leaving the mammals and birds in charge for an hour. Somewhere in that last sixty minutes, high up in the phylogenetic canopy, life grows aware. Creatures start to speculate. Animals start teaching their children about the past and the future. Animals learn to hold rituals. Anatomically modern man shows up four seconds before midnight. The first cave paintings appear three seconds later. And in a thousandth of a click of the second hand, life solves the mystery of DNA and starts to map the tree of life itself. By midnight, most of the globe is converted to row crops for the care and feeding of one species. And that’s when the tree of life becomes something else again. That’s when the giant trunk starts to teeter.
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
If I should sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I am sure that for me there would be nothing left worth living for. I trust that I shall never thus sell my birthright for a mess of pottage. I wish to suggest that a man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living.
Henry David Thoreau (Life Without Principle)
My letters! all dead paper, mute and white! And yet they seem alive and quivering Against my tremulous hands which loose the string And let them drop down on my knee to-night. This said, -- he wished to have me in his sight Once, as a friend: this fixed a day in spring To come and touch my hand ... a simple thing, Yet I wept for it! -- this, ... the paper's light ... Said, Dear I love thee; and I sank and quailed As if God's future thundered on my past. This said, I am thine -- and so its ink has paled With lying at my heart that beat too fast. And this ... O Love, thy words have ill availed If, what this said, I dared repeat at last!
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Sonnets from the Portuguese)
Christ, it's defeaning. why can't the world hear? I ask myself. Within a few moments I ask it many times. Because it doesn't care, I finally answer, and I know I'm right. It's like I have been chosen. But chosen for what? I ask. The answer's quite simple: To Care.... How do people live like this? How do they survive? And maybe that's why I am here. What if they can't anymore?
Markus Zusak (I Am the Messenger)
The website didn't say how much brains--or even how many--I should eat, only that I should eat them in 48 hours OR ELSE. Why doesn't anyone pay attention to details anymore? Would it be so hard to add a simple line like, BTW, Maddy, 3 pounds of brains per week is plenty? Seriously, am I the first new zombie ever to ask?
Rusty Fischer (Zombies Don't Cry (Living Dead Love Story, #1))
i want to apologize to all the women i have called pretty before i’ve called them intelligent or brave i am sorry i made it sound as though something as simple as what you’re born with is the most you have to be proud of when your spirit has crushed mountains from now on i will say things like you are resilient or you are extraordinary not because i don’t think you’re pretty but because you are so much more than that
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
I am not worried if scientists go and explain everything. This is for a very simple reason: an impala sprinting across the Savannah can be reduced to biomechanics, and Bach can be reduced to counterpoint, yet that does not decrease one iota our ability to shiver as we experience impalas leaping or Bach thundering. We can only gain and grow with each discovery that there is structure underlying the most accessible levels of things that fill us with awe. But there is an even stronger reason why I am not afraid that scientists will inadvertently go and explain everything--it will never happen. While in certain realms, it may prove to be the case that science can explain anything, it will never explain everything. As should be obvious after all these pages, as part of the scientific process, for every question answered, a dozen newer ones are generated. And they are usually far more puzzling, more challenging than than the prior problems. This was stated wonderfully in a quote by a geneticist named Haldane earlier in the century: "Life is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine." We will never have our flames extinguished by knowledge. The purpose of science is not to cure us of our sense of mystery and wonder, but to constantly reinvent and reinvigorate it.
Robert M. Sapolsky (The Trouble with Testosterone and Other Essays on the Biology of the Human Predicament)
The cause of human conflict is simple: one person dehumanizes another. One side sees the other side as unworthy. As long as people who disagree perceive each other this way, even the simplest details cannot be negotiated. But let each person bring to the other the attitude of respect and acceptance, and even difficult details can be resolved.
Paul Ferrini (I am the Door)
As it is, we are merely bolting our lives—gulping down undigested experiences as fast as we can stuff them in—because awareness of our own existence is so superficial and so narrow that nothing seems to us more boring than simple being. If I ask you what you did, saw, heard, smelled, touched and tasted yesterday, I am likely to get nothing more than the thin, sketchy outline of the few things that you noticed, and of those only what you thought worth remembering. Is it surprising that an existence so experienced seems so empty and bare that its hunger for an infinite future is insatiable? But suppose you could answer, “It would take me forever to tell you, and I am much too interested in what’s happening now.” How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such a fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself as anything less than a god? And, when you consider that this incalculably subtle organism is inseparable from the still more marvelous patterns of its environment—from the minutest electrical designs to the whole company of the galaxies—how is it conceivable that this incarnation of all eternity can be bored with being?
Alan W. Watts (The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are)
Am I making something worth while? I’m not sure. I write and I sing and I hear words from time to time about my life and choices making ways, into other lives, other hearts, but am I making something worth while? I’m not sure. There was a boy last night who I never spoke to because I was too drunk and still shy, but mostly lonely, and I couldn’t find anything lightly to say, so I simply walked away but still wondered what he did with his life because he didn’t even speak to me or look at me but still made me wonder who he was and I walked away asking Am I making something worth while? I am not sure. I am a complicated person with a simple life and I am the reason for everything that ever happened to me.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
My mother says when I get older my dusty hair will settle and my blouse will learn to stay clean, but I have decided not to grow up tame like the others who lay their necks on the threshold waiting for the ball and chain…I have begun my own quiet war. Simple. Sure. I am the one who leaves the table like a man, without putting back the chair or picking up the plate.
SandraCisneros
My problem is I love sex. No joking I really love sex. Life without sex is unbearable for me. As a child my mum says I loved men and hated women. I use to smile at men when I was in the pram and offer them lollipops or sweeties. I guess it is in my genes, my little weakness. I can live without the Valium and Vodka but not my sex. To me my choice is simple men or Paradise and I love them both. I cannot make that choice. It is like there is some evil force driving me to flirt and sleep around. No one man has ever been enough for me and now I have to live like a nun in rehab. I am not bold I am just misunderstood. No, don’t laugh it is an illness and an exhausting one I am so tired, so very tired.
Annette J. Dunlea
What is love? Great minds have been grappling with this question through the ages, and in the modern era, they have come up with many different answers. According to the Western philosopher Pat Benatar, love is a battlefield. Her paisan Frank Sinatra would add the corollary that love is a tender trap. The stoner kids who spent the summer of 1978 looking cool on the hoods of their Trans Ams in the Pierce Elementary School parking lot used to scare us little kids by blasting the Sweet hit “Love Is Like Oxygen”—you get too much, you get too high, not enough and you’re gonna die. Love hurts. Love stinks. Love bites, love bleeds, love is the drug. The troubadours of our times all agree: They want to know what love is, and they want you to show them. But the answer is simple. Love is a mix tape.
Rob Sheffield (Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time)
It seemed to work at first. I tried hard to forget, but there remained inside me a vague knot-of-air kind of thing. And as time went by, the knot began to take on a clear and simple form, a form that I am able to put into words, like this: Death exists, not as the opposite but as a part of life. Translate into words, it's a cliche, but at the time I felt it not as words but as that knot of air inside me. Death exists - in a paperweight, in four red and white balls on a billiard table - and we go on living and breathing it into our lungs like fine dust. Until that time, I had understood death as something entirely separate from and independent of life. The hand of death is bound to take us, I had felt, but until the day it reaches out for us, it leaves us alone. This had seemed to me the simple, logical truth. Life is here, death is over there. I am here, not over there. The night Kizuki died, however, I lost the ability to see death (and life) in such simple terms. Death was not the opposite of life. It was already here, within my being, it had always been here, and no struggle would permit me to forget that... I lived through the following spring...with that kind knot of air in my chest, but I struggled all the while against becoming serious. Becoming serious was not the same thing as approaching truth, I sensed, however vaguely. But death was a fact, a serious fact, no matter how you looked at it. stuck inside this suffocating contradiction, I went on endlessly spinning in circles...In the midst of life, everything revolved around death.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
If employees are doing something wrong or are making a mistake, I am doubly careful not to hurt their feelings and make them feel small or embarrassed. I just use four simple steps: “First, I talk to them privately. “Second, I praise them for what they are doing well. “Third, I point out the one thing at the moment that they could do better and I help them find the way. “Fourth, I praise them again on their good points.
David J. Schwartz (The Magic of Thinking Big)
I am a collection of water, calcium and organic molecules called Carl Sagan. You are a collection of almost identical molecules with a different collective label. But is that all? Is there nothing in here but molecules? Some people find this idea somehow demeaning to human dignity. For myself, I find it elevating that our universe permits the evolution of molecular machines as intricate and subtle as we. But the essence of life is not so much the atoms and simple molecules that make us up as the way in which they are put together. Every now and then we read that the chemicals which constitute the human body cost ninety-seven cents or ten dollars or some such figure; it is a little depressing to find our bodies valued so little. However, these estimates are for human beings reduced to our simplest possible components. We are made mostly of water, which costs almost nothing; the carbon is costed in the form of coal; the calcium in our bones as chalk; the nitrogen in our proteins as air (cheap also); the iron in our blood as rusty nails. If we did not know better, we might be tempted to take all the atoms that make us up, mix them together in a big container and stir. We can do this as much as we want. But in the end all we have is a tedious mixture of atoms. How could we have expected anything else?
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
No matter what I attempt, even if it’s the most simple of tasks, it always ends in failure. Unfortunately, I find that my life is one big regret after another. Yet, after all these years, I still don’t know when to give up. Is it my fault to keep trying when the results are always the same? Is it impossible for me to make things right? Even if I’d try to give up, I don’t think I could. It’s not in my nature to sumbit in the face of disappointment. In the end, I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment. I really am an idiot…
Katsura Hoshino
By now you must have guessed: I come from another planet. But I will never say to you, Take me to your leaders. Even I - unused to your ways though I am - would never make that mistake. We ourselves have such beings among us, made of cogs, pieces of paper, small disks of shiny metal, scraps of coloured cloth. I do not need to encounter more of them. Instead I will say, Take me to your trees. Take me to your breakfasts, your sunsets, your bad dreams, your shoes, your nouns. Take me to your fingers; take me to your deaths. These are worth it. These are what I have come for.
Margaret Atwood (Good Bones and Simple Murders)
Even the strongest and bravest must sometimes weep. It shows they have a great heart, one that can feel compassion for others. You are brave, Matthias. Already you have done great things for one so young. I am only a simple country-bred fieldmouse, but even I can see the courage and leadership in you. A burning brand shows the way, and each day your flame grows brighter. There is none like you, Matthias. You have the sign of greatness upon you. One day Redwall and all the land will be indebted to you. Matthias, you are a true Warrior.
Brian Jacques (Redwall (Redwall, #1))
Through life, I want to walk gently. I want to treat all of life – the earth and its people – with reverence. I want to remove my shoes in the presence of holy ground. As much as possible, I want to walk in peace. I want to walk lightly, even joyfully, through whatever days I am given. I want to laugh easily. I want to step carefully in and out of people's lives and relationships. I don't want to tread any heavier than necessary. And throughout life, I think I would like to walk with more humility and less anger, more love and less fear. I want to walk confidently, but without arrogance. I want to walk in deep appreciation. I want to be genuinely thankful for life's extravagant, yet simple, gifts – a star-splattered night sky or a hot drink on an ice-cold day. If life is a journey, then how I make that journey is important. How I walk through life.
Steve Goodier
And even beyond the flaws, there are just some simple differences between Felipe and me that we will both have to accept. He will never—I promise you—attend a yoga class with me, no matter how many times I may try to convince him that he would absolutely love it. (He would absolutely not love it.) We will never meditate together on a weekend spiritual retreat. I will never get him to cut back on all the red meat, or to do some sort of faddish fasting cleanse with me, just for the fun of it. I will never get him to smooth out his temperament, which burns at sometimes exhausting extremes. He will never take up hobbies with me, I am certain of this. We will not stroll through the farmer’s market hand in hand or go on a hike together specifically to identify wildflowers. And although he is happy to sit and listen to me talk all day long about why I love Henry James, he will never read the collected works of Henry James by my side—so this most exquisite pleasure of mine must remain a private one.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
Dogs don't like me. It is a simple law of the universe, like gravity. I am not exaggerating when I say that I have never passed a dog that didn't act as if it thought I was about to take its Alpo. Dogs that have not moved from the sofa in years will, at the sniff of me passing outside, rise in fury and hurl themselves at shut windows. I have seen tiny dogs, no bigger than a fluffy slipper, jerk little old ladies off their feet and drag them over open ground in a quest to get at my blood and sinew. Every dog on the face of the earth wants me dead.
Bill Bryson (In a Sunburned Country)
We are all women you assure me? Then I may tell you that the very next words I read were these – ‘Chloe liked Olivia …’ Do not start. Do not blush. Let us admit in the privacy of our own society that these things sometimes happen. Sometimes women do like women. ‘Chloe liked Olivia,’ I read. And then it struck me how immense a change was there. Chloe liked Olivia perhaps for the first time in literature. Cleopatra did not like Octavia. And how completely Antony and Cleopatra would have been altered had she done so! As it is, I thought, letting my mind, I am afraid, wander a little from Life’s Adventure, the whole thing is simplified, conventionalized, if one dared say it, absurdly. Cleopatra’s only feeling about Octavia is one of jealousy. Is she taller than I am? How does she do her hair? The play, perhaps, required no more. But how interesting it would have been if the relationship between the two women had been more complicated. All these relationships between women, I thought, rapidly recalling the splendid gallery of fictitious women, are too simple. So much has been left out, unattempted. And I tried to remember any case in the course of my reading where two women are represented as friends. There is an attempt at it in Diana of the Crossways. They are confidantes, of course, in Racine and the Greek tragedies. They are now and then mothers and daughters. But almost without exception they are shown in their relation to men.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
But, Ashley, what are you afraid of?' 'Oh, nameless things. Things which sound very silly when they are put into words. Mostly of having life suddenly become too real, of being brought into personal, too personal, contact with some of the simple facts of life. It isn't that I mind splitting logs here in the mud, but I do mind what it stands for. I do mind, very much, the loss of the beauty of the old life I loved. Scarlett, before the war, life was beautiful. There was a glamor to it, a perfection and a completeness and a symmetry to it like Grecian art. Maybe it wasn't so to everyone. I know that now. But to me, living at Twelve Oaks, there was a real beauty to living. I belonged in that life. I was a part of it. And now it is gone and I am out of place in this new life, and I am afraid. Now, I know that in the old days it was a shadow show I watched. I avoided everything which was not shadowy, people and situations which were too real, too vital. I resented their intrusion.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
Occasionally, I get a letter from someone who is in “contact” with extraterrestrials. I am invited to “ask them anything.” And so over the years I’ve prepared a little list of questions. The extraterrestrials are very advanced, remember. So I ask things like, “Please provide a short proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem.” Or the Goldbach Conjecture. And then I have to explain what these are, because extraterrestrials will not call it Fermat’s Last Theorem. So I write out the simple equation with the exponents. I never get an answer. On the other hand, if I ask something like “Should we be good?” I almost always get an answer.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
You'll be all right, Cassie." "No! I won't be! I need you-" "Why? What can I give you that others can't?" "What?" Green eyes suddenly burned into mine. "It's a simple question. You said you need me. Why?" "I-I told you. This job-" "Which you're handling admirably." "I am not! I couldn't even get to my parents without help!" "There are other demon experts-Jonas for one." "But I need you!" (...) "Then give me a reason." "I...there's so many-" "Name one." "I can name a hundred-" "I didn't ask for a hundred; I asked for one. And you can't give it to me." "Yes, I can!" "Then do it!" "I..." I stared at him, because he looked like there was a lot riding on my answer. Maybe everything.
Karen Chance (Tempt the Stars (Cassandra Palmer, #6))
And when the hour of his departure drew near-- "Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry." "It is your own fault," said the little prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you . . ." "Yes, that is so," said the fox. "But now you are going to cry!" said the little prince. "Yes, that is so," said the fox. "Then it has done you no good at all!" "It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the color of the wheat fields." And then he added: "Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret." The little prince went away, to look again at the roses. .... And he went back to meet the fox. "Goodbye," he said. "Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." "What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember. "It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important." "It is the time I have wasted for my rose--" said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember. "Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose . . ." "I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
No parent should have to bury a child ... No mother should have to bury a son. Mothers are not meant to bury sons. It is not in the natural order of things. I buried my son. In a potter's field. In a field of Blood. In empty, acrid silence. There was no funeral. There were no mourners. His friends all absent. His father dead. His sisters refusing to attend. I discovered his body alone, I dug his grave alone, I placed him in a hole, and covered him with dirt and rock alone. I was not able to finish burying him before sundown, and I'm not sure if that affected his fate ... I begrudge God none of this. I do not curse him or bemoan my lot. And though my heart keeps beating only to keep breaking--I do not question why. I remember the morning my son was born as if it was yesterday. The moment the midwife placed him in my arms, I was infused with a love beyond all measure and understanding. I remember holding my son, and looking over at my own mother and saying, "Now I understand why the sun comes up at day and the stars come out at night. I understand why rain falls gently. Now I understand you, Mother" ... I loved my son every day of his life, and I will love him ferociously long after I've stopped breathing. I am a simple woman. I am not bright or learn-ed. I do not read. I do not write. My opinions are not solicited. My voice is not important ... On the day of my son's birth I was infused with a love beyond all measure and understanding ... The world tells me that God is in Heaven and that my son is in Hell. I tell the world the one true thing I know: If my son is in Hell, then there is no Heaven--because if my son sits in Hell, there is no God.
Stephen Adly Guirgis (The Last Days of Judas Iscariot)
Journalists can sound grandiose when they talk about their profession. Some of us are adrenaline junkies; some of us are escapists; some of us do wreck our personal lives and hurt those who love us most. This work can destroy people. I have seen so many friends and colleagues become unrecognizable from trauma: short-tempered, sleepless, and alienated from friends. But after years of witnessing so much suffering in the world, we find it hard to acknowledge that lucky, free, prosperous people like us might be suffering, too. We feel more comfortable in the darkest places than we do back home, where life seems too simple and too easy. We don’t listen to that inner voice that says it is time to take a break from documenting other people’s lives and start building our own. Under it all, however, are the things that sustain us and bring us together: the privilege of witnessing things that others do not; an idealistic belief that a photograph might affect people’s souls; the thrill of creating art and contributing to the world’s database of knowledge. When I return home and rationally consider the risks, the choices are difficult. But when I am doing my work, I am alive and I am me. It’s what I do. I am sure there are other versions of happiness, but this one is mine.
Lynsey Addario (It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War)
In the book of Alma is a story that has fascinated e since I first read it. it is about a very colorful character named Moroni--not to be confused with the last survivor of the Nephites, who was also named Moroni. This man was a brilliant military commander, and he rose to be supreme commander of all the Nephite forces at the age of twenty-five. For the next fourteen years he was off to the wars continuously except for two very short periods of peace during which he worked feverishly at reinforcing the Nephite defenses. When peace finally came, he was thirty-nine years old, and the story goes that at the age of forty-three he died. Sometime before this he had given the chief command of the armies of the Nephites to his son Moronihah. Now, if he had a son, he had a wife. I've often wondered where she was and how she fared during those fourteen years of almost continuous warfare, and how she felt to have him die so soon after coming home. I am sure there are many, many stories of patience and sacrifice that have never been told. We each do our part, and we each have our story.
Marjorie Pay Hinckley (Small and Simple Things)
[I am] someone who represents a very complex country which insists on being simple-minded. And simplicity, it occurs to me, it has occurred to me more than once, in my somewhat stormy life, simplicity is taken to be a great American virtue, along with sincerity. And the result of this is, if you are simple-minded enough, you can become—I didn’t want to go that far [laughs]. And as long as you’re sincere in what you say, you haven’t got to know what you’re talking about. These are the American virtues—two of them anyway. One of the results of this is that immaturity is taken to be a virtue too.
James Baldwin
In most books, the I, or first person, is omitted; in this it will be retained; that, in respect to egotism, is the main difference. We commonly do not remember that it is, after all, always the first person that is speaking. I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience. Moreover, I, on my side, require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men's lives; some such account as he would send to his kindred from a distant land; for if he has lived sincerely, it must have been in a distant land to me. Perhaps these pages are more particularly addressed to poor students. As for the rest of my readers, they will accept such portions as apply to them. I trust that none will stretch the seams in putting on the coat, for it may do good service to him whom it fits.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
I never told you that, Dad, but I was drunk out of my mind one night, I had just vomited in front of the statue of the Pasquino and couldn't have been more dazed in my life yet here as I leaned against this very wall, I knew, drunk as I was, that this, with Oliver holding me, was my life, that everything that had come beforehand with others was not even a rough sketch or the shadow of a draft of what was happening to me. And now, ten years later, when I look at this wall under this old streetlamp, I am back with him and I swear to you, nothing has changed. In thirty, forty, fifty years I will feel no differently. I have met many women and more men in my life, but what is watermarked on this very wall overshadows everyone I've known. When I come to be here, I can be alone or with people, with you for instance, but I am always with him. If I stood for an hour staring at this wall, I'd be with him for an hour. If I spoke to this wall, it would speak back." "What would it say?" asked Miranda, totally taken in by the thought of Elio and the wall. "What would it say? Simple: 'Look for me, find me.'" "And what do you say?" "I say the same thing. 'Look for me, find me.' And we were both happy. Now you know.
André Aciman (Find Me (Call Me By Your Name, #2))
My Creed To live as gently as I can; To be, no matter where, a man; To take what comes of good or ill And cling to faith and honor still; To do my best, and let that stand The record of my brain and hand; And then, should failure come to me, Still work and hope for victory. To have no secret place wherein I stoop unseen to shame or sin; To be the same when I'm alone As when my every deed is known; To live undaunted, unafraid Of any step that I have made; To be without pretense or sham Exactly what men think I am. To leave some simple mark behind To keep my having lived in mind; If enmity to aught I show, To be an honest, generous foe, To play my little part, nor whine That greater honors are not mine. This, I believe, is all I need For my philosophy and creed.
Edgar A. Guest
When King Lear dies in Act V, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He’s written “He dies.” That’s all, nothing more. No fanfare, no metaphor, no brilliant final words. The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is “He dies.” It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with “He dies.” And yet every time I read those two words, I find myself overwhelmed with dysphoria. And I know it’s only natural to be sad, but not because of the words “He dies,” but because of the life we saw prior to the words. I’ve lived all five of my acts, Mahoney, and I am not asking you to be happy that I must go. I’m only asking that you turn the page, continue reading… and let the next story begin. And if anyone asks what became of me, you relate my life in all its wonder, and end it with a simple and modest “He died.
Dustin Hoffman
I am responsible for my personal happiness. One of the characteristics of immaturity is the belief that it is someone else’s job to make me happy—much as it was once my parents’ job to keep me alive. If only someone would love me, then I would love myself. If only someone would take care of me, then I would be contented. If only someone would spare me the necessity of making decisions, then I would be carefree. If only someone would make me happy. Here’s a simple but powerful stem to wake one up to reality: If I take full responsibility for my personal happiness—. Taking responsibility for my happiness is empowering. It places my life back in my own hands. Ahead of taking this responsibility, I may imagine it will be a burden. What I discover is that it sets me free.
Nathaniel Branden (The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem)
Should i even bother scanning the crowd for my parents? I could turn around and go back to the dormitory. Then I see her. My mother stands alone near the railing with her hands clasped in front of her. she has never looked more out of place, with her gray slacks and gray jacket buttoned at the throat, her hair in its simple twist and her face placid. I start toward her, tears jumping into my eyes. She came. She came for me. I walk faster. She sees me, and for a second her expression is blank, like she doesn't know who I am. Then her eyes light up, and she opens her arms. She smells like soap and laundry detergent.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
I wish someone had told me this simple but confusing truth: Even when everything’s going your way you can still be sad. Or anxious. Or uncomfortably numb. Because you can’t always control your brain or your emotions even when things are perfect. The really scary thing is that sometimes that makes it worse. You’re supposed to be sad when things are shitty, but if you’re sad when you have everything you’re ever supposed to want? That’s utterly terrifying. Why am I curled in a ball in my hotel room bed, too self-conscious to enjoy life? Feeling like a failure and a fraud while a party in my honor rages on? How can I feel so awful and sick and guilty and sweaty with panic when things are so perfect? If everything is perfect and I’m miserable, then is this as good as it gets? And the answer is no. It gets better. You get better. You learn to appreciate the fact that what drives you is very different from what you’re told should make you happy. You learn that it’s okay to prefer your personal idea of heaven (live-tweeting zombie movies from under a blanket of kittens) rather than someone else’s idea that fame/fortune/parties are the pinnacle we should all reach for. And there’s something surprisingly freeing about that. *   *   * It is an amazing gift to be able to recognize that the things that make you the happiest are so much easier to grasp than you thought. There is such freedom in being able to celebrate and appreciate the unique moments that recharge you and give you peace and joy. Sure, some people want red carpets and paparazzi. Turns out I just want banana Popsicles dipped in Malibu rum. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure at appreciating the good things in life. It means I’m successful in recognizing what the good things in life are for me.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
My task is to explain to you as quickly as possible my essence, that is, what sort of man I am, what I believe in, and what I hope for, is that right? And therefore I declare that I accept God pure and simple. But this, however, needs to be noted: if God exists and if he indeed created the earth, then, as we know perfectly well, he created it in accordance with Euclidean geometry, and he created human reason with a conception of only three dimensions of space. At the same time there were and are even now geometers and philosophers, even some of the most outstanding among them, who doubt that the whole universe, or, even more broadly, the whole of being, was created purely in accordance with Euclidean geometry; they even dare to dream that two parallel lines, which according to Euclid cannot possibly meet on earth, may perhaps meet somewhere in infinity. I, my dear, have come to the conclusion that if I cannot understand even that, then it is not for me to understand about God. I humbly confess that I do not have any ability to resolve such questions, I have a Euclidean mind, an earthly mind, and therefore it is not for us to resolve things that are not of this world. And I advise you never to think about it, Alyosha my friend, and most especially about whether God exists or not. All such questions are completely unsuitable to a mind created with a concept of only three dimensions. And so, I accept God, not only willingly, but moreover I also accept his wisdom and his purpose, which are completely unknown to us; I believe in order, in the meaning of life, I believe in eternal harmony, in which we are all supposed to merge, I believe in the Word for whom the universe is yearning, and who himself was 'with God,' who himself is God, and so on and so forth, to infinity. Many words have been invented on the subject. It seems I'm already on a good path, eh? And now imagine that in the final outcome I do not accept this world of God's, created by God, that I do not accept and cannot agree to accept. With one reservation: I have a childlike conviction that the sufferings will be healed and smoothed over, that the whole offensive comedy of human contradictions will disappear like a pitiful mirage, a vile concoction of man's Euclidean mind, feeble and puny as an atom, and that ultimately, at the world's finale, in the moment of eternal harmony, there will occur and be revealed something so precious that it will suffice for all hearts, to allay all indignation, to redeem all human villainy, all bloodshed; it will suffice not only to make forgiveness possible, but also to justify everything that has happened with men--let this, let all of this come true and be revealed, but I do not accept it and do not want to accept it! Let the parallel lines even meet before my own eyes: I shall look and say, yes, they meet, and still I will not accept it.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Can’t you make yourself likeable? Can’t you even try?” Something shifted in Tavi then. She was always so flippant, trailing sarcasm behind her like a duchess trailing furs. But not this time. Hugo had pierced her armor and blood was dripping from the wound. “Try for whom, Hugo?” she repeated, her voice raw. “For the rich boys who get to go to the Sorbonne even though they’re too stupid to solve a simple quadratic equation? For the viscount I was seated next to at a dinner who tried to put his hand up my skirt through all five courses? For the smug society ladies who look me up and down and purse their lips and say no, I won’t do for their sons because my chin is too pointed, my nose is too large, I talk too much about numbers?” “Tavi …” Isabelle whispered. She went to her, tried to put an arm around her, but Tavi shook her off. “I wanted books. I wanted maths and science. I wanted an education,” Tavi said, her eyes bright with emotion. “I got corsets and gowns and high-heeled slippers instead. It made me sad, Hugo. And then it made me angry. So no, I can’t make myself likeable. I’ve tried. Over and over. It doesn’t work. If I don’t like who I am, why should you?
Jennifer Donnelly (Stepsister)
What a happy woman I am living in a garden, with books, babies, birds, and flowers, and plenty of leisure to enjoy them! Yet my town acquaintances look upon it as imprisonment, and I don't know what besides, and would rend the air with their shrieks if condemned to such a life. Sometimes I feel as if I were blest above all my fellows in being able to find my happiness so easily. I believe I should always be good if the sun always shone, and could enjoy myself very well in Siberia on a fine day. And what can life in town offer in the way of pleasure to equal the delight of any one of the calm evenings I have had this month sitting alone at the foot of the verandah steps, with the perfume of young larches all about, and the May moon hanging low over the beeches, and the beautiful silence made only more profound in its peace by the croaking of distant frogs and hooting of owls?
Elizabeth von Arnim (Elizabeth and Her German Garden)
When we say, "God is love," we are saying something very great and true. But it would be senseless to grasp this saying in a simple-minded way as a simple definition, without analyzing what love is. For love is a distinguishing of two, who nevertheless are absolutely not distinguished for each other. The consciousness or feeling of the identity of the two - to be outside of myself and in the other - this is love. I have my self-consciousness not in myself but in the other. I am satisfied and have peace with myself only in this other - and I am only because I have peace with myself; if I did not have it, then I would be a contradiction that falls to pieces. This other, because it likewise exists outside itself, has its self-consciousness only in me, and both the other and I are only this consciousness of being-outside-ourselves and of our identity; we are only this intuition, feeling, and knowledge of our unity. This is love, and without knowing that love is both a distinguishing and the sublation of the distinction, one speaks emptily of it. This is the simple, eternal idea.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Sour Milk You can't make it turn sweet again. Once it was an innocent color like the flowers of wild strawberries, and its texture was simple would pass through a clean cheesecloth, its taste was fresh. And now with nothing more guilty that the passage of time to chide it with, the same substance has turned sour and lumpy. The sour milk makes interesting & delicious doughs, can be carried to a further state of bacterial action to create new foods, can in its own right be considered complicated and more interesting in texture to one who studies it closely, like a map of the world. But to most of us: it is spoiled. Sour. We throw it out, down the drain-not in the backyard- careful not to spill any because the smell is strong. A good cook would be shocked with the waste. But we do not live in a world of good cooks. I am the milk. Time passes. You cannot make it turn sweet again. I sit guiltily on the refrigerator shelf trembling with hope for a cook who dreams of waffles, biscuits, dumplings and other delicious breads fearing the modern housewife who will lift me off the shelf and with one deft twist of a wrist... you know the rest. You are the milk. When it is your turn remember, there is nothing more than the passage of time we can chide you with.
Diane Wakoski (Emerald Ice: Selected Poems, 1962 1987)
The moment we met, I saw it. I saw you. You are such a wonderfully kind person, but you don't want anyone to know it. You have secret depths of passion that you hide within yourself out of fear. You love too deeply, but you try to deny it, because you know that the deeper you love, the more you hurt. Your heart is so fragile, which is why you keep it locked in an iron cage. But I am pretty sure that this cage has a lock. And if it takes me five years, or ten, or fifty… I am determined to find the key. Because I will never break something so precious, just to find out what is inside. I could give you a thousand words, and describe you a thousand ways. But in the end it is very simple. I want you because I love you. No one else. You are the only one. You are my only one.” “You'd wait that long?” “Forever, mi corazón.
George DeValier
The Hierarch of Rak Urga drew himself up. “This is not a request, Urgit. I’m not asking you.” “Good. Because I’m not going.” “I command you to go.” “I don’t think so.” “Do you realize to whom you’re talking?” “Perfectly, old boy. You’re the same tiresome old Grolim who’s been boring me to tears ever since I inherited the throne from that fellow who used to chew on the carpets back in Rak Goska. Listen carefully, Agachak. I’ll use short words and simple sentences so I don’t confuse you. I am not going to Mallorea. I’ve never had any intention of going to Mallorea. There’s nothing I want to see in Mallorea. There’s nothing I want to do there. I most definitely do not intend to put myself anywhere near Kal Zakath, and he’s gone back to Mal Zeth. Not only that, they have demons in Mallorea. Have you ever seen a demon, Agachak?” “Once or twice,” the Hierarch replied sullenly. “Are you’re still going to Mallorea? Agachak, you’re as crazy as Taur Urgas was.
David Eddings (Sorceress of Darshiva (The Malloreon, #4))
What does Christian know about love? Seems he didn’t get the unconditional love he was entitled to during his very early years. My heart twists, and my mother’s words waft like a zephyr through my mind: Yes, Ana. Hell, what do you need? A neon sign flashing on his forehead? She thinks Christian loves me, but then she’s my mother, of course she’d think that. She thinks I deserve the best of everything. I frown. It’s true, and in a moment of startling clarity, I see it. It’s very simple; I want his love. I need Christian Grey to love me. This is why I am so reticent about our relationship – because on some basic, fundamental level, I recognize within me a deep-seated compulsion to be loved and cherished.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2))
Because I grew up around Danny and Phillip, I discovered the truth about the male language very early in life. What I learned is there are three basic responses that most guys will use when shouldered with the major task of having to answer the question, How do I look? by the fairer sex. Although I have never confirmed it, I am convinced that boys are taken aside in school, probably in fifth grade when the girls watch the film about getting their periods, and are taught the following three responses: You look like shit. (Translation: You look bad. Just go back to bed and start over tomorrow. I really shouldn't be seen with you like this.) You look fine. (Translation: You look good enough to be seen with.) You look hot. (Translation: I want you.) They also must teach them there is only one acceptable variation to these responses and to use it sparingly. The variation is simple. They just throw a REALLY into the sentence. The following are examples I have witnessed: JJ, you REALLY look like shit. (Translation: You must be very hung over, or sick, or having an extremely bad hair day. I really don't want to be seen with you.) REALLY, JJ, your hair looks fine. (Translation: Your hair looks the same to me as it always does, even though you spent an hour fixing it, so stop messing with it and lets go because you look good enough to be seen with.) And… (Insert cheerleader's name here) looks REALLY Hot. (Translation: I REALLY want her.)
Jillian Dodd (That Boy (That Boy, #1))
We had a little slave boy whom we had hired from some one, there in Hannibal. He was from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and had been brought away from his family and his friends, half way across the American continent, and sold. He was a cheery spirit, innocent and gentle, and the noisiest creature that ever was, perhaps. All day long he was singing, whistling, yelling, whooping, laughing - it was maddening, devastating, unendurable. At last, one day, I lost all my temper, and went raging to my mother, and said Sandy had been singing for an hour without a single break, and I couldn't stand it, and wouldn't she please shut him up. The tears came into her eyes, and her lip trembled, and she said something like this - 'Poor thing, when he sings, it shows that he is not remembering, and that comforts me; but when he is still, I am afraid he is thinking, and I cannot bear it. He will never see his mother again; if he can sing, I must not hinder it, but be thankful for it. If you were older, you would understand me; then that friendless child's noise would make you glad.' It was a simple speech, and made up of small words, but it went home, and Sandy's noise was not a trouble to me any more.
Mark Twain (The Autobiography of Mark Twain)
... Anyway, you put too much stock in hierarchy and fear.” “Me?” “Who else? I could spot it a mile away. All you cared about was your mission, whatever it is. You’re like a driven arrow with a very depressing shadow. First time I met you, I knew you’d cut my throat to get whatever it is you want.” She waits for a moment. “What is it that you want, by the way?” “To win,” I say. “Oh, please. You’re not that simple.” “You think you know me?” The rabbit hisses out fat over the fire. “I know you cry in your sleep for a girl named Eo. Sister? Or a girl you loved? It is a very offColor name. Like yours.” “I’m a farplanet hayseed. Didn’t they tell you?” “They wouldn’t tell me anything. I don’t get out much.” She waves a hand. “Anyway, doesn’t matter. All that matters is that no one trusts you because it’s obvious you care more about your goal than you do about them.” “And you’re something different?” “Oh, very much so, Sir Reaper. I like people more than you do. You are the wolf that howls and bites. I am the mustang that nuzzles the hand. People know they can work with me. With you? Hell, kill or be killed.
Pierce Brown (Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1))
He also said that I would never get an apology out of you.” There was a long pause. “I want one. Now.” Xcor put aside his soup and found himself searching the wounds he had given himself, recalling all that pain, all that blood—which had dried brown on the floorboards beneath him. “And then what,” he said in a rough voice. “You’ll have to find out.” Fair enough, Xcor thought. Without grace—not that he had any, anyway—he rose to his feet. At his full height, he was unsteady for too many reasons to count, and the off-balance feeling got even worse as he met the eyes of his… friend. Looking Throe in the face, he stepped up and put out his palm. “I am sorry.” Three simple words spoken loud and clear. And they didn’t go nearly far enough. “I was wrong to treat you as I did. I am… not as much of the Bloodletter as I thought—as I have e’er wanted to be.
J.R. Ward (Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10))
Over and over again I sail towards joy, which is never in the room with me, but always near me, across the way, like those rooms full of gayety one sees from the street, or the gayety in the street one sees from a window. Will I ever reach joy? It hides behind the turning merry-go-round of the traveling circus. As soon as I approach it, it is no longer joy. Joy is a foam, an illumination. I am poorer and hungrier for the want of it. When I am in the dance, joy is outside in the elusive garden. When I am in the garden, I hear it exploding from the house. When I am traveling, joy settles like an aurora borealis over the land I leave. When I stand on the shore I see it bloom on the flag of a departing ship. What joy? Have I not possessed it? I want the joy of simple colours, street organs, ribbons, flags, not a joy that takes my breath away and throws me into space alone where no one else can breathe with me, not the joy that comes from a lonely drunkenness. There are so many joys, but I have only known the ones that come like a miracle, touching everything with light.
Anaïs Nin (Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin (1939-1947))
Living is made up of these little things - a day to day business punctuated with things seen, seen best when we weren't looking for them, or things that just happened to us while we were walking "dully along" and that we ought to notice these things. It is very easy to bandage the eyes and tell everyone that life is dull. But I am called odd by these people because I really don't think so. I try to make the day have a THING in it, and it usually does whether I try or not. And that makes the day. Period. But I am purposeless. I am talking of this far too seriously, but it rather hurts when I think that I was once very vulnerable to the charges that come my way. I have tried so damned hard to put a thing as simply as it appeared to me, and tried too damned hard not to let myself blow up a simple happening into a symbol of unrequited love but to leave it as it is. shit.
Lew Welch (I Remain, Vol. 1: 1949-1960)
Can I see him again? Could I bear it? Do I want to see him? I close my eyes and tilt my head back as grief and longing lance through me. Of course I do. Perhaps-perhaps I can tell him I’ve changed my mind … No, no, no. I cannot be with someone who takes pleasure in inflicting pain on me, someone who can’t love me. Torturous memories flash through my mind-the gliding, holding hands, kissing, the bathtub, his gentleness, his humor, and his dark, brooding, sexy stare. I miss him. It’s been five days, five days of agony that has felt like an eternity. I cry myself to sleep at night, wishing I hadn’t walked out, wishing that he could be different, wishing that we were together. How long will this hideous overwhelming feeling last? I am in purgatory. I wrap my arms around my body, hugging myself tightly, holding myself together. I miss him. I really miss him…I love him. Simple.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2))
There’s no reason, on paper at least, why I need these pills to get through life. I had a great childhood, loving parents, the whole package. I wasn’t beaten, abused, or expected to get nothing but As. I had nothing but love and support, but that wasn’t enough somehow. My friend Erin says we all have demons inside us, voices that whisper we’re no good, that if we don’t make this promotion or ace that exam we’ll reveal to the world exactly what kind of worthless sacks of skin and sinew we really are. Maybe that’s true. Maybe mine just have louder voices. But I don’t think it’s as simple as that. The depression I fell into after university wasn’t about exams and self-worth, it was something stranger, more chemical, something that no talking cure was going to fix. Cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling, psychotherapy—none of it really worked in the way that the pills did. Lissie says she finds the notion of chemically rebalancing your mood scary, she says it’s the idea of taking something that could alter how she really is. But I don’t see it that way; for me it’s like wearing makeup—not a disguise, but a way of making myself more how I really am, less raw. The best me I can be.
Ruth Ware (The Woman in Cabin 10)
Clare could bear this no longer. His eyes were full of tears, which seemed like drops of molten lead. He bade a quick good-night to these sincere and simple souls whom he loved so well; who knew neither the world, the flesh, or the devil in their own hearts; only as something vague and external to themselves. He went to his own chamber. His mother followed him, and tapped at his door. Clare opened it to discover her standing without, with anxious eyes. "Angel," she asked, "is there something wrong that you must go away so soon? I am quite certain you are not yourself." "I am not, quite, mother," said he. "About her? Now, my son, I know it is that--I know it is about her! Have you quarreled in these three weeks?" "We have not exactly quarreled," he said. "But we have had a difference--" "Angel--is she a young woman whose history will bear investigation?" With a mother's instinct Mrs. Clare had put her finger on the kind of trouble that would cause such a disquiet as seemed to agitate her son. "She is spotless!" he replied; and he felt that if it had sent him to eternal hell there and then he would have told that lie.
Thomas Hardy (Tess of the D’Urbervilles)
I have found that there are three key steps to identifying your own core personal projects. First, think back to what you loved to do when you were a child. How did you answer the question of what you wanted to be when you grew up? The specific answer you gave may have been off the mark, but the underlying impulse was not. If you wanted to be a fireman, what did a fireman mean to you? A good man who rescued people in distress? A daredevil? Or the simple pleasure of operating a truck? If you wanted to be a dancer, was it because you got to wear a costume, or because you craved applause, or was it the pure joy of twirling around at lightning speed? You may have known more about who you were then than you do now. Second, pay attention to the work you gravitate to. At my law firm I never once volunteered to take on an extra corporate legal assignment, but I did spend a lot of time doing pro bono work for a nonprofit women’s leadership organization. I also sat on several law firm committees dedicated to mentoring, training, and personal development for young lawyers in the firm. Now, as you can probably tell from this book, I am not the committee type. But the goals of those committees lit me up, so that’s what I did. Finally, pay attention to what you envy. Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth. You mostly envy those who have what you desire.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
She talks. People talk easily to me. They think a bald albino hunchback can’t hide anything. My worst is all out in the open. It makes it necessary for people to tell you about themselves. They begin out of simple courtesy. Just being visible is my biggest confession, so they try to set me at ease by revealing our equality, by dragging out their apparent deformities. That’s how it starts. But I am like a stranger on the bus and they get hooked on having a listener. They go too far because I am one listener who is in no position to judge or find fault. They stretch out their dampest secrets because a creature like me has no values or morals. If I am “good" (and they assume that I am), it’s obviously for lack of opportunity to be otherwise. And I listen. I listen eagerly, warmly, because I care. They tell me everything eventually.
Katherine Dunn (Geek Love)
That a work of the imagination has to be “really” about some problem is, again, an heir of Socialist Realism. To write a story for the sake of storytelling is frivolous, not to say reactionary. The demand that stories must be “about” something is from Communist thinking and, further back, from religious thinking, with its desire for self-improvement books as simple-minded as the messages on samplers. The phrase “political correctness” was born as Communism was collapsing. I do not think this was chance. I am not suggesting that the torch of Communism has been handed on to the political correctors. I am suggesting that habits of mind have been absorbed, often without knowing it. There is obviously something very attractive about telling other people what to do: I am putting it in this nursery way rather than in more intellectual language because I see it as nursery behavior. Art — the arts generally — are always unpredictable, maverick, and tend to be, at their best, uncomfortable. Literature, in particular, has always inspired the House committees, the Zhdanovs, the fits of moralizing, but, at worst, persecution. It troubles me that political correctness does not seem to know what its exemplars and predecessors are; it troubles me more that it may know and does not care. Does political correctness have a good side? Yes, it does, for it makes us re-examine attitudes, and that is always useful. The trouble is that, with all popular movements, the lunatic fringe so quickly ceases to be a fringe; the tail begins to wag the dog. For every woman or man who is quietly and sensibly using the idea to examine our assumptions, there are 20 rabble-rousers whose real motive is desire for power over others, no less rabble-rousers because they see themselves as anti-racists or feminists or whatever.
Doris Lessing
And, increasingly, I find myself fixing on that refusal to pull back. Because I don’t care what anyone says or how often or winningly they say it: no one will ever, ever be able to persuade me that life is some awesome, rewarding treat. Because, here’s the truth: life is catastrophe. The basic fact of existence—of walking around trying to feed ourselves and find friends and whatever else we do—is catastrophe. Forget all this ridiculous ‘Our Town’ nonsense everyone talks: the miracle of a newborn babe, the joy of one simple blossom, Life You Are Too Wonderful To Grasp, &c. For me—and I’ll keep repeating it doggedly till I die, till I fall over on my ungrateful nihilistic face and am too weak to say it: better never born, than born into this cesspool. Sinkhole of hospital beds, coffins, and broken hearts. No release, no appeal, no “do-overs” to employ a favored phrase of Xandra’s, no way forward but age and loss, and no way out but death. [“Complaints bureau!” I remember Boris grousing as a child, one afternoon at his house when we had got off on the vaguely metaphysical subject of our mothers: why they—angels, goddesses—had to die? while our awful fathers thrived, and boozed, and sprawled, and muddled on, and continued to stumble about and wreak havoc, in seemingly indefatigable health? “They took the wrong ones! Mistake was made! Everything is unfair! Who do we complain to, in this shitty place? Who is in charge here?”] And—maybe it’s ridiculous to go on in this vein, although it doesn’t matter since no one’s ever going to see this—but does it make any sense at all to know that it ends badly for all of us, even the happiest of us, and that we all lose everything that matters in the end—and yet to know as well, despite all this, as cruelly as the game is stacked, that it’s possible to play it with a kind of joy?
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
You may set your mind at rest, Miss Anstruther-Wetherby." He glanced down, the planes of his face granite-hard. "I'm not marrying you because of any social stricture. That, if you consider it, is a nonsensical idea. Cynsters, as you well know, do not give a damn about social strictures. Society, as far as we're concerned, can think what it pleases—it does not rule us." "But… if that's the case—and given your reputation I can readily believe it is—why insist on marrying me?" "Because I want to." The words were delivered as the most patently obvious answer to a simple question. Honoria held on to her temper. "Because you want to?" He nodded. "That's it? Just because you want to?" The look he sent her was calculated to quell. "For a Cynster, that's a perfectly adequate reason. In fact, for a Cynster, there is no better reason." He looked ahead again; Honoria glanced at his profile. "This is ridiculous. You only set eyes on me yesterday, and now you want to marry me?" Again he nodded. "Why?" The glance he shot her was too brief for her to read. "It so happens I need a wife, and you're the perfect candidate." With that, he altered their direction and lengthened his stride even more. "I am not a racehorse." His lips thinned, but he slowed--just enough so she didn't have to run. They'd gained the graveled walk that circled the house. It took her a moment to replay his words, another to see their weakness. "That's still ridiculous. You must have half the female population of the ton waiting to catch your handkerchief every time you blow your nose." He didn't even glance her way. "At least half." "So why me?" Devil considered telling her--in graphic detail. Instead, he gritted his teeth and growled: "Because you're unique." "Unique?" Unique in that she was arguing.
Stephanie Laurens (Devil's Bride (Cynster, #1))
And then a man of forty or so, with a French accent, asked, "How do you achieve the presence of mind to initiate the writing of a poem?" And something cracked open in me, and I finally stopped hoarding and told them my most useful secret. The only secret that has helped me consistently over all the years that I've written. I said, "Well, I'll tell you how. I ask a simple question. I ask myself: What was the very best moment of your day??" The wonder of it was, I told them that this one question could lift out from my life exactly what I will want to write a poem about. Something I hadn't known was important will leap out and hover there in front of me, saying I am— I am the best moment of the day. I noticed two people were writing down what I was saying. Often, I went on, it's a moment when you're waiting for someone, or you're driving somewhere, or maybe you're just walking across a parking lot and admiring the oil stains and the dribbled tar patterns. One time it was when I was driving past a certain house that was screaming with sunlitness on its white clapboards, and then I plunged through tree shadows that splashed and splayed across the windshield. I thought, Ah, of course— I'd forgotten. You, windshield shadows, you are the best moment of the day. "And that's my secret, such as it is," I said.
Nicholson Baker (The Anthologist (The Paul Chowder Chronicles #1))
Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to each other, it will unriddle many riddles, it will make clear and simple many things which are involved in haunting and harassing difficulties and obscurities now. That is a simple rule, and easy to remember. When I, a thoughtful and unbiased Presbyterian, examine the Koran, I know that beyond any question every Mohammedan is insane; not in all things, but in religious matters. When a thoughtful and unbiased Mohammedan examines the Westminster Catechism, he knows that beyond any question I am spiritually insane. I cannot prove to him that he is insane, because you never can prove anything to a lunatic--for that is part of his insanity and the evidence of it. He cannot prove to me that I am insane, for my mind has the same defect that afflicts his. All democrats are insane, but not one of them knows it; none but the republicans and mugwumps know it. All the republicans are insane, but only thee democrats and mugwumps can perceive it. The rule is perfect; in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane. When I look around me I am often troubled to see how many people are mad. This should move us to be charitable toward one anothers lunacies.
Mark Twain
Într-o aşa serioasă măsură mi se pare de negîndită viaţa, încît dacă m-aş gîndi efectiv ce să răspund la o întrebare uzuală ca: "ce mai faci?" aş constata că întrebarea aceasta e printre cele mai grele cu putinţă. Căci „fac“ o mie de lucruri: aş putea să spun că gîndesc, că sînt bine, că gîndesc ceva, că gîndesc altceva, că am fost pe stradă, că nu fac nimic. Ce să spun? Care e lucrul pe care trebuie să-l spun celui care mă întreabă? Şi nu numai atît. Care e lucrul pe care trebuie să i-l spun lui, acum? Şi mai mult: ce trebuie să-i spun lui,acum, despre mine?Aşadar ar trebui să respect mai multe serii de adevăruri: a) adevărul lucrului, să aleg, adică, un lucru dintre cele o mie pe care le-am făcut realmente; b) să aleg adevărat pentru cel care mă întreabă, adică să aleg unul dintre lucrurile acelea care privesc raporturile mele cu el; c) să aleg un lucru adevărat pentru clipa de faţă, pentru ceea ce se întîmplă acum între el şi mine; d) să fie totuşi un lucru al meu.Şi credeţi că astea sînt singurele adevăruri de respectat? Atunci ce să-i răspund? Mă cuprinde o panică, panica mea formală…
Constantin Noica (Mathesis sau bucuriile simple)
Is six a.m. too early to watch The Bachelor and mock all the giggly, desperate women?" "Go for it. Though I bet it'd work better as a drinking game," Laurel said. "One shot for the flirty arm touch. Chug if they strip and bum-rush the pool." Anne hit play. "Like they'd get their hair wet." Laurel stared at the screen, laughed at Anne's comments but felt another weird pang upset her insides. "Would you say this show makes something incredibly complex--you know, relationships--into something mind-numbingly vapid? Or does it make something actually rather simple into a big fucking circus?" "Both. That's why I love it." "I couldn't stand competing for a man like that," Laurel murmured. "I don't have the right...programming for it. Like to fight like that. Some people get an adrenaline rush and they're like foosh, give me somebody to beat down. I just, like curl up into a ball and want to hide." "I'm somewhere in the middle," Anne said. "I'm like a ninja. I'll like, come out of my shadowy hiding space and beat you down, bitches. You won't even see me.
Cara McKenna (Willing Victim (Flynn and Laurel, #1))
Superstition is the need to view the world in terms of simple cause and effect. As I have already said, religious fundamentalism was on the rise, but that is not the type of superstition I am referring to. The superstition that held sway at the time was a belief in simple causes. Even the plainest of events is tied down by a thick tangle of permutation and possibility, but the human mind struggles with such complexity. In times of trouble, when the belief in simple gods breaks down, a cult of conspiracy arises. So it was back then. Unable to attribute misfortune to chance, unable to accept their ultimate insignificance within the greater scheme, the people looked for monsters in their midst. The more the media peddled fear, the more the people lost the ability to believe in one another. For every new ill that befell them, the media created an explanation, and the explanation always had a face and a name. The people came to fear even their closest neighbors. At the level of the individual, the community, and the nation, people sought signs of others’ ill intentions; and everywhere they looked, they found them, for this is what looking does. This was the true challenge the people of this time faced. The challenge of trusting one another. And they fell short
Bernard Beckett
What is love? Is it a lightning bolt that instantaneously unites two souls in utter infatuation and admiration through the meeting of a simple innocent stare? Or is it a lustful seed that is sown in a dark dingy bar one sweaty summer's night only to be nurtured with romantic rendezvous as it matures into a beautiful flower? Is it a river springing forth, creating lifelong bonds through experiences, heartaches, and missed opportunities? Or is it a thunderstorm that slowly rolls in, climaxing with an awesome display of unbridled passion, only to succumb to its inevitable fade into the distance? I define love as education.... It teaches us to learn from our opportunities, and made the stupidest of decisions for the rightest of reasons. It gives us a hint of what "it" should be and feel like, but then encourages us to think outside the box and develop our own understanding of what "it" could be. Those that choose to embrace and learn from love's educational peaks and valleys are the ones that will eventually find true love, that one in a million. Those that don't are destined to be consumed with the inevitable ring around the rosy of fake I love you's and failed relationships. I have been lucky enough to have some of the most amazing teachers throughout my romantic evolution and it is to them that I dedicate this book. The lessons in life, passion and love they taught me have helped shape who I am today and who I will be tomorrow. To the love that stains my heart, but defines my soul....I thank you.....
Ivan Rusilko (Appetizers (The Winemaker's Dinner, #1))
Jonathan Sacks; “One way is just to think, for instance, of biodiversity. The extraordinary thing we now know, thanks to Crick and Watson’s discovery of DNA and the decoding of the human and other genomes, is that all life, everything, all the three million species of life and plant life—all have the same source. We all come from a single source. Everything that lives has its genetic code written in the same alphabet. Unity creates diversity. So don’t think of one God, one truth, one way. Think of one God creating this extraordinary number of ways, the 6,800 languages that are actually spoken. Don’t think there’s only one language within which we can speak to God. The Bible is saying to us the whole time: Don’t think that God is as simple as you are. He’s in places you would never expect him to be. And you know, we lose a bit of that in English translation. When Moses at the burning bush says to God, “Who are you?” God says to him three words: “Hayah asher hayah.”Those words are mistranslated in English as “I am that which I am.” But in Hebrew, it means “I will be who or how or where I will be,” meaning, Don’t think you can predict me. I am a God who is going to surprise you. One of the ways God surprises us is by letting a Jew or a Christian discover the trace of God’s presence in a Buddhist monk or a Sikh tradition of hospitality or the graciousness of Hindu life. Don’t think we can confine God into our categories. God is bigger than religion.
Krista Tippett (Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living)
Once I am sure there's nothing going on I step inside, letting the door thud shut. Another church: matting, seats, and stone, And little books; sprawlings of flowers, cut For Sunday, brownish now; some brass and stuff Up at the holy end; the small neat organ; And a tense, musty, unignorable silence, Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off My cycle-clips in awkward reverence. Move forward, run my hand around the font. From where I stand, the roof looks almost new - Cleaned, or restored? Someone would know: I don't. Mounting the lectern, I peruse a few Hectoring large-scale verses, and pronounce 'Here endeth' much more loudly than I'd meant. The echoes snigger briefly. Back at the door I sign the book, donate an Irish sixpence, Reflect the place was not worth stopping for. Yet stop I did: in fact I often do, And always end much at a loss like this, Wondering what to look for; wondering, too, When churches will fall completely out of use What we shall turn them into, if we shall keep A few cathedrals chronically on show, Their parchment, plate and pyx in locked cases, And let the rest rent-free to rain and sheep. Shall we avoid them as unlucky places? Or, after dark, will dubious women come To make their children touch a particular stone; Pick simples for a cancer; or on some Advised night see walking a dead one? Power of some sort will go on In games, in riddles, seemingly at random; But superstition, like belief, must die, And what remains when disbelief has gone? Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky, A shape less recognisable each week, A purpose more obscure. I wonder who Will be the last, the very last, to seek This place for what it was; one of the crew That tap and jot and know what rood-lofts were? Some ruin-bibber, randy for antique, Or Christmas-addict, counting on a whiff Of gown-and-bands and organ-pipes and myrrh? Or will he be my representative, Bored, uninformed, knowing the ghostly silt Dispersed, yet tending to this cross of ground Through suburb scrub because it held unspilt So long and equably what since is found Only in separation - marriage, and birth, And death, and thoughts of these - for which was built This special shell? For, though I've no idea What this accoutred frowsty barn is worth, It pleases me to stand in silence here; A serious house on serious earth it is, In whose blent air all our compulsions meet, Are recognized, and robed as destinies. And that much never can be obsolete, Since someone will forever be surprising A hunger in himself to be more serious, And gravitating with it to this ground, Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in, If only that so many dead lie round.
Philip Larkin
THE ORGANIC FOODS MYTH A few decades ago, a woman tried to sue a butter company that had printed the word 'LITE' on its product's packaging. She claimed to have gained so much weight from eating the butter, even though it was labeled as being 'LITE'. In court, the lawyer representing the butter company simply held up the container of butter and said to the judge, "My client did not lie. The container is indeed 'light in weight'. The woman lost the case. In a marketing class in college, we were assigned this case study to show us that 'puffery' is legal. This means that you can deceptively use words with double meanings to sell a product, even though they could mislead customers into thinking your words mean something different. I am using this example to touch upon the myth of organic foods. If I was a lawyer representing a company that had labeled its oranges as being organic, and a man was suing my client because he found out that the oranges were being sprayed with toxins, my defense opening statement would be very simple: "If it's not plastic or metallic, it's organic." Most products labeled as being organic are not really organic. This is the truth. You pay premium prices for products you think are grown without chemicals, but most products are. If an apple is labeled as being organic, it could mean two things. Either the apple tree itself is free from chemicals, or just the soil. One or the other, but rarely both. The truth is, the word 'organic' can mean many things, and taking a farmer to court would be difficult if you found out his fruits were indeed sprayed with pesticides. After all, all organisms on earth are scientifically labeled as being organic, unless they are made of plastic or metal. The word 'organic' comes from the word 'organism', meaning something that is, or once was, living and breathing air, water and sunlight. So, the next time you stroll through your local supermarket and see brown pears that are labeled as being organic, know that they could have been third-rate fare sourced from the last day of a weekend market, and have been re-labeled to be sold to a gullible crowd for a premium price. I have a friend who thinks that organic foods have to look beat up and deformed because the use of chemicals is what makes them look perfect and flawless. This is not true. Chemical-free foods can look perfect if grown in your backyard. If you go to jungles or forests untouched by man, you will see fruit and vegetables that look like they sprouted from trees from Heaven. So be cautious the next time you buy anything labeled as 'organic'. Unless you personally know the farmer or the company selling the products, don't trust what you read. You, me, and everything on land and sea are organic. Suzy Kassem, Truth Is Crying
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Long black hair and deep clean blue eyes and skin pale white and lips blood red she's small and thin and worn and damaged. She is standing there. What are you doing here? I was taking a walk and I saw you and I followed you. What do you want. I want you to stop. I breathe hard, stare hard, tense and coiled. There is still more tree for me to destroy I want that fucking tree. She smiles and she steps towards me, toward toward toward me, and she opens he r arms and I'm breathing hard staring hard tense and coiled she puts her arms around me with one hand not he back of my head and she pulls me into her arms and she holds me and she speaks. It's okay. I breathe hard, close my eyes, let myself be held. It's okay. Her voice calms me and her arms warm me and her smell lightens me and I can feel her heart beat and my heart slows and I stop shaking an the Fury melts into her safety an she holds me and she says. Okay. Okay. Okay. Something else comes and it makes me feel weak and scared and fragile and I don't want to be hurt and this feeling is the feeling I have when I know I can be hurt and hurt deeper and more terribly than anything physical and I always fight it and control it and stop it but her voice calms me and her arms warm me and her smell lightens me and I can feel her heart beat and if she let me go right now I would fall and the need and confusion and fear and regret and horror and shame and weakness and fragility are exposed to the soft strength of her open arms and her simple word okay and I start to cry. I start to cry. I want to cry. It comes in waves. THe waves roll deep and from deep the deep within me and I hold her and she holds me tighter and i let her and I let it and I let this and I have not felt this way this vulnerability or allowed myself to feel this way this vulnerability since I was ten years old and I don't know why I haven't and I don't know why I am now and I only know that I am and that it is scary terrifying frightening worse and better than anything I've ever felt crying in her arms just crying in her ams just crying. She guides me to the ground, but she doesn't let me go. THe Gates are open and thirteen years of addiction, violence, hell and their accompaniments are manifesting themselves in dense tears and heavy sobs and a shortness of breath and a profound sense of loss. THe loss inhabits, fills and overwhelms me. It is the loss of a childhood of being a Teeenager of normalcy of happiness of love of trust anon reason of God of Family of friends of future of potential of dignity of humanity of sanity f myself of everything everything everything. I lost everything and I am lost reduced to a mass of mourning, sadness, grief, anguish and heartache. I am lost. I have lost. Everything. Everything. It's wet and Lilly cradles me like a broken Child. My face and her shoulder and her shirt and her hair are wet with my tears. I slow down and I start to breathe slowly and deeply and her hair smells clean and I open my eyes because I want to see it an it is all that I can see. It is jet black almost blue and radiant with moisture. I want to touch it and I reach with one of my hands and I run my hand from the crown along her neck and her back to the base of her rib and it is a thin perfect sheer and I let it slowly drop from the tips of my fingers and when it is gone I miss it. I do it again and again and she lets me do it and she doesn't speak she just cradles me because I am broken. I am broken. Broken. THere is noise and voices and Lilly pulls me in tighter and tighter and I know I pull her in tighter and tighter and I can feel her heart beating and I know she can feel my heart beating and they are speaking our hearts are speaking a language wordless old unknowable and true and we're pulling and holding and the noise is closer and the voices louder and Lilly whispers. You're okay. You're okay. You're okay.
James Frey
The more obsessed with personal identity campus liberals become, the less willing they become to engage in reasoned political debate. Over the past decade a new, and very revealing, locution has drifted from our universities into the media mainstream: 'Speaking as an X' . . . This is not an anodyne phrase. It tells the listener that I am speaking from a privileged position on this matter. (One never says, 'Speaking as an gay Asian, I fell incompetent to judge on this matter'). It sets up a wall against questions, which by definition come from a non-X perspective. And it turns the encounter into a power relation: the winner of the argument will be whoever has invoked the morally superior identity and expressed the most outrage at being questioned. So classroom conversations that once might have begun, 'I think A, and here is my argument', now take the form, 'Speaking as an X, I am offended that you claim B'. This makes perfect sense if you believe that identity determines everything. It means that there is no impartial space for dialogue. White men have one "epistemology", black women have another. So what remains to be said? What replaces argument, then, is taboo. At times our more privileged campuses can seem stuck in the world of archaic religion. Only those with an approved identity status are, like shamans, allowed to speak on certain matters. Particular groups -- today the transgendered -- are given temporary totemic significance. Scapegoats -- today conservative political speakers -- are duly designated and run off campus in a purging ritual. Propositions become pure or impure, not true or false. And not only propositions but simple words. Left identitarians who think of themselves as radical creatures, contesting this and transgressing that, have become like buttoned-up Protestant schoolmarms when it comes to the English language, parsing every conversation for immodest locutions and rapping the knuckles of those who inadvertently use them.
Mark Lilla (The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)
...each day I sit down in purposeful concentration to write in a notebook, some sentences on a buried truth, an unnamed reality, things that happened but are denied. It is hard to describe the stillness it takes, the difficulty of this act. It requires an almost perfect concentration which I am trying to learn and there is no way to learn it that is spelled out anywhere or so I can understand it but I have a sense that it's completely simply, on the order of being able to sit still and keep your mind dead center in you without apology or fear. I squirm after some time but it ain't boredom, it's fear of what's possible, how much you can know if you can be quiet enough and simple enough. I move around, my mind wanders, I lose the ability to take words and roll them through my brain, move with them into their interiors, feel their colors, touch what's under them, where they come from long ago and way back. I get frightened seeing what's in my own mind if words get put to it. There's a light there, it's bright, it's wide, it could make you blind if you look direct into it and so I turn away, afraid; I get frightened and I run and the only way to run is to abandon the process altogether or compromise it beyond recognition. I think about Celine sitting with his shit, for instance; I don't know why he didn't run, he should've. It's a quality you have to have of being near mad and at the same time so quiet in your heart that you could pass for a spiritual warrior; you could probably break things with the power in your mind. You got to be able to stand it, because it's a powerful and disturbing light, not something easy and kind, it comes through your head to make its way onto the page and you get fucking scared so your mind runs away, it wanders, it gets distracted, it buckles, it deserts, it takes a Goddamn freight train if it can find one, it wants calming agents and sporifics, and you mask that you are betraying the brightest and the best light you will ever see, you are betraying the mind that can be host to it... ...Your mind does stupid tricks to mask that you are betraying something of grave importance. It wanders so you won't notice that you are deserting your own life, abandoning it to triviality and garbage, how you are too fucking afraid to use your own brain for what it's for, which is to be a host to the light, to use it, to focus it; let it shine and carry the burden of what is illuminated, everything buried there; the light's scarier than anything it shows, the pure, direct experience of it in you as if your mind ain't the vegetable thing it's generally conceived to be or the nightmare thing you know it to be but a capacity you barely imagined, real; overwhelming and real, pushing you out to the edge of ecstasy and knowing and then do you fall or do you jump or do you fly?
Andrea Dworkin (Mercy)
You may have read or heard about the so-called positive thinkers of the West. They say just the opposite -- they don't know what they are saying. They say, "When you breathe out, throw out all your misery and negativity; and when you breathe in, breathe in joy, positivity, happiness, cheerfulness." Atisha's method is just the opposite: when you breathe in, breathe in all the misery and suffering of all the beings of the world -- past, present and future. And when you breathe out, breathe out all the joy that you have, all the blissfulness that you have, all the benediction that you have. Breathe out, pour yourself into existence. This is the method of compassion: drink in all the suffering and pour out all the blessings. And you will be surprised if you do it. The moment you take all the sufferings of the world inside you, they are no longer sufferings. The heart immediately transforms the energy. The heart is a transforming force: drink in misery, and it is transformed into blissfulness... then pour it out. Once you have learned that your heart can do this magic, this miracle, you would like to do it again and again. Try it. It is one of the most practical methods -- simple, and it brings immediate results. Do it today, and see. That is one of the approaches of Buddha and all his disciples. Atisha is one of his disciples, in the same tradition, in the same line. Buddha says again and again to his disciples, "IHI PASSIKO: come and see!" They are very scientific people. Buddhism is the most scientific religion on the earth; hence, Buddhism is gaining more and more ground in the world every day. As the world becomes more intelligent, Buddha will become more and more important. It is bound to be so. As more and more people come to know about science, Buddha will have great appeal, because he will convince the scientific mind -- because he says, "Whatsoever I am saying can be practiced." And I don't say to you, "Believe it," I say, "Experiment with it, experience it, and only then if you feel it yourself, trust it. Otherwise there is no need to believe.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom)
For you, a thousand times over." "Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors." "...attention shifted to him like sunflowers turning to the sun." "But even when he wasn't around, he was." "When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal a wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing." "...she had a voice that made me think of warm milk and honey." "My heart stuttered at the thought of her." "...and I would walk by, pretending not to know her, but dying to." "It turned out that, like satan, cancer had many names." "Every woman needed a husband, even if he did silence the song in her." "The first time I saw the Pacific, I almost cried." "Proud. His eyes gleamed when he said that and I liked being on the receiving end of that look." "Make morning into a key and throw it into the well, Go slowly, my lovely moon, go slowly. Let the morning sun forget to rise in the East, Go slowly, lovely moon, go slowly." "Men are easy,... a man's plumbing is like his mind: simple, very few surprises. You ladies, on the other hand... well, God put a lot of thought into making you." "All my life, I'd been around men. That night, I discovered the tenderness of a woman." "And I could almost feel the emptiness in [her] womb, like it was a living, breathing thing. It had seeped into our marriage, that emptiness, into our laughs, and our lovemaking. And late at night, in the darkness of our room, I'd feel it rising from [her] and settling between us. Sleeping between us. Like a newborn child." "America was a river, roaring along unmindful of the past. I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far. Someplace with no ghosts, no memories, and no sins. If for nothing else, for that I embraced America." "...and every day I thank [God] that I am alive, not because I fear death, but because my wife has a husband and my son is not an orphan." "...lifting him from the certainty of turmoil and dropping him in a turmoil of uncertainty." "...sometimes the dead are luckier." "He walked like he was afraid to leave behind footprints. He moved as if not to stir the air around him." "...and when she locked her arms around my neck, when I smelled apples in her hair, I realized how much I had missed her. 'You're still the morning sun to me...' I whispered." "...there is a God, there always has been. I see him here, in the eys of the people in this [hospital] corridor of desperation. This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find Him... there is a God, there has to be, and now I will pray, I will pray that He will forgive that I have neglected Him all of these years, forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned with impunity only to turn to Him now in my hour of need. I pray that He is as merciful, benevolent, and gracious as His book says He is.
Khalid Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
I know this may be a disappointment for some of you, but I don’t believe there is only one right person for you. I think I fell in love with my wife, Harriet, from the first moment I saw her. Nevertheless, had she decided to marry someone else, I believe I would have met and fallen in love with someone else. I am eternally grateful that this didn’t happen, but I don’t believe she was my one chance at happiness in this life, nor was I hers. Another error you might easily make in dating is expecting to find perfection in the person you are with. The truth is, the only perfect people you might know are those you don’t know very well. Everyone has imperfections. Now, I’m not suggesting you lower your standards and marry someone with whom you can’t be happy. But one of the things I’ve realized as I’ve matured in life is that if someone is willing to accept me—imperfect as I am—then I should be willing to be patient with others’ imperfections as well. Since you won’t find perfection in your partner, and your partner won’t find it in you, your only chance at perfection is in creating perfection together. There are those who do not marry because they feel a lack of “magic” in the relationship. By “magic” I assume they mean sparks of attraction. Falling in love is a wonderful feeling, and I would never counsel you to marry someone you do not love. Nevertheless—and here is another thing that is sometimes hard to accept—that magic sparkle needs continuous polishing. When the magic endures in a relationship, it’s because the couple made it happen, not because it mystically appeared due to some cosmic force. Frankly, it takes work. For any relationship to survive, both parties bring their own magic with them and use that to sustain their love. Although I have said that I do not believe in a one-and-only soul mate for anyone, I do know this: once you commit to being married, your spouse becomes your soul mate, and it is your duty and responsibility to work every day to keep it that way. Once you have committed, the search for a soul mate is over. Our thoughts and actions turn from looking to creating. . . . Now, sisters, be gentle. It’s all right if you turn down requests for dates or proposals for marriage. But please do it gently. And brethren, please start asking! There are too many of our young women who never go on dates. Don’t suppose that certain girls would never go out with you. Sometimes they are wondering why no one asks them out. Just ask, and be prepared to move on if the answer is no. One of the trends we see in some parts of the world is our young people only “hanging out” in large groups rather than dating. While there is nothing wrong with getting together often with others your own age, I don’t know if you can really get to know individuals when you’re always in a group. One of the things you need to learn is how to have a conversation with a member of the opposite sex. A great way to learn this is by being alone with someone—talking without a net, so to speak. Dates don’t have to be—and in most cases shouldn’t be—expensive and over-planned affairs. When my wife and I moved from Germany to Salt Lake City, one of the things that most surprised us was the elaborate and sometimes stressful process young people had developed of asking for and accepting dates. Relax. Find simple ways to be together. One of my favorite things to do when I was young and looking for a date was to walk a young lady home after a Church meeting. Remember, your goal should not be to have a video of your date get a million views on YouTube. The goal is to get to know one individual person and learn how to develop a meaningful relationship with the opposite sex.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
DEAR MAMA, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write. Every time I try to write to you and Papa I realize I’m not saying the things that are in my heart. That would be O.K., if I loved you any less than I do, but you are still my parents and I am still your child. I have friends who think I’m foolish to write this letter. I hope they’re wrong. I hope their doubts are based on parents who loved and trusted them less than mine do. I hope especially that you’ll see this as an act of love on my part, a sign of my continuing need to share my life with you. I wouldn’t have written, I guess, if you hadn’t told me about your involvement in the Save Our Children campaign. That, more than anything, made it clear that my responsibility was to tell you the truth, that your own child is homosexual, and that I never needed saving from anything except the cruel and ignorant piety of people like Anita Bryant. I’m sorry, Mama. Not for what I am, but for how you must feel at this moment. I know what that feeling is, for I felt it for most of my life. Revulsion, shame, disbelief—rejection through fear of something I knew, even as a child, was as basic to my nature as the color of my eyes. No, Mama, I wasn’t “recruited.” No seasoned homosexual ever served as my mentor. But you know what? I wish someone had. I wish someone older than me and wiser than the people in Orlando had taken me aside and said, “You’re all right, kid. You can grow up to be a doctor or a teacher just like anyone else. You’re not crazy or sick or evil. You can succeed and be happy and find peace with friends—all kinds of friends—who don’t give a damn who you go to bed with. Most of all, though, you can love and be loved, without hating yourself for it.” But no one ever said that to me, Mama. I had to find it out on my own, with the help of the city that has become my home. I know this may be hard for you to believe, but San Francisco is full of men and women, both straight and gay, who don’t consider sexuality in measuring the worth of another human being. These aren’t radicals or weirdos, Mama. They are shop clerks and bankers and little old ladies and people who nod and smile to you when you meet them on the bus. Their attitude is neither patronizing nor pitying. And their message is so simple: Yes, you are a person. Yes, I like you. Yes, it’s all right for you to like me too. I know what you must be thinking now. You’re asking yourself: What did we do wrong? How did we let this happen? Which one of us made him that way? I can’t answer that, Mama. In the long run, I guess I really don’t care. All I know is this: If you and Papa are responsible for the way I am, then I thank you with all my heart, for it’s the light and the joy of my life. I know I can’t tell you what it is to be gay. But I can tell you what it’s not. It’s not hiding behind words, Mama. Like family and decency and Christianity. It’s not fearing your body, or the pleasures that God made for it. It’s not judging your neighbor, except when he’s crass or unkind. Being gay has taught me tolerance, compassion and humility. It has shown me the limitless possibilities of living. It has given me people whose passion and kindness and sensitivity have provided a constant source of strength. It has brought me into the family of man, Mama, and I like it here. I like it. There’s not much else I can say, except that I’m the same Michael you’ve always known. You just know me better now. I have never consciously done anything to hurt you. I never will. Please don’t feel you have to answer this right away. It’s enough for me to know that I no longer have to lie to the people who taught me to value the truth. Mary Ann sends her love. Everything is fine at 28 Barbary Lane. Your loving son, MICHAEL
Armistead Maupin (More Tales of the City (Tales of the City #2))
Things I've Learned in 18 Years of Life   1) True love is not something found, rather [sic] something encountered. You can’t go out and look for it. The person you marry and the person you love could easily be two different people. So have a beautiful life while waiting for God to bring along your once-in-a-lifetime love. Don't allow yourself to settle for anything less than them. Stop worrying about who you're going to marry because God's already on the front porch watching your grandchildren play.   2) God WILL give you more than you can handle, so you can learn to lean on him in times of need. He won't tempt you more than you can handle, though. So don't lose hope. Hope anchors the soul.   3) Remember who you are and where you came from. Remember that you are not from this earth. You are a child of heaven, you're invaluable, you are beautiful. Carry yourself that way.   4) Don't put your faith in humanity, humanity is inherently flawed. We are all imperfect people created and loved by a perfect God. Perfect. So put your faith in Him.   5) I fail daily, and that is why I succeed.   6) Time passes, and nothing and everything changes. Don't live life half asleep. Don't drag your soul through the days. Feel everything you do. Be there physically and mentally. Do things that make you feel this way as well.   7) Live for beauty. We all need beauty, get it where you can find it. Clothing, paintings, sculptures, music, tattoos, nature, literature, makeup. It's all art and it's what makes us human. Same as feeling the things we do. Stay human.   8) If someone makes you think, keep them. If someone makes you feel, keep them.   9) There is nothing the human brain cannot do. You can change anything about yourself that you want to. Fight for it. It's all a mental game.   10) God didn’t break our chains for us to be bound again. Alcohol, drugs, depression, addiction, toxic relationships, monotony and repetition, they bind us. Break those chains. Destroy your past and give yourself new life like God has given you.   11) This is your life. Your struggle, your happiness, your sorrow, and your success. You do not need to justify yourself to anyone. You owe no one an explanation for the choices that you make and the position you are in. In the same vein, respect yourself by not comparing your journey to anyone else's.   12) There is no wrong way to feel.   13) Knowledge is everywhere, keep your eyes open. Look at how diverse and wonderful this world is. Are you going to miss out on beautiful people, places, experiences, and ideas because you are close-minded? I sure hope not.   14) Selfless actions always benefit you more than the recipient.   15) There is really no room for regret in this life. Everything happens for a reason. If you can't find that reason, accept there is one and move on.   16) There is room, however, for guilt. Resolve everything when it first comes up. That's not only having integrity, but also taking care of your emotional well-being.   17) If the question is ‘Am I strong enough for this?’ The answer is always, ‘Yes, but not on your own.’   18) Mental health and sanity above all.   19) We love because He first loved us. The capacity to love is the ultimate gift, the ultimate passion, euphoria, and satisfaction. We have all of that because He first loved us. If you think about it in those terms, it is easy to love Him. Just by thinking of how much He loves us.   20) From destruction comes creation. Beauty will rise from the ashes.   21) Many things can cause depression. Such as knowing you aren't becoming the person you have the potential to become. Choose happiness and change. The sooner the better, and the easier.   22) Half of happiness is as simple as eating right and exercising. You are one big chemical reaction. So are your emotions. Give your body the right reactants to work with and you'll be satisfied with the products.
Scott Hildreth (Broken People)