Apartment Home Quotes

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We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.
Francis of Assisi
Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. The greatest pain comes from leaving. When the child leaves home, when the husband or wife leaves for a long period of time or for good, when the beloved friend departs to another country or dies … the pain of the leaving can tear us apart. Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Somewhere someone is thinking of you. Someone is calling you an angel. This person is using celestial colors to paint your image. Someone is making you into a vision so beautiful that it can only live in the mind. Someone is thinking of the way your breath escapes your lips when you are touched. How your eyes close and your jaw tightens with concentration as you give pleasure a home. These thoughts are saving a life somewhere right now. In some airless apartment on a dark, urine stained, whore lined street, someone is calling out to you silently and you are answering without even being there. So crystalline. So pure. Such life saving power when you smile. You will never know how you have cauterized my wounds. So sad that we will never touch. How it hurts me to know that I will never be able to give you everything I have
Henry Rollins
My daughter is seven, and some of the other second-grade parents complain that their children don't read for pleasure. When I visit their homes, the children's rooms are crammed with expensive books, but the parent's rooms are empty. Those children do not see their parents reading, as I did every day of my childhood. By contrast, when I walk into an apartment with books on the shelves, books on the bedside tables, books on the floor, and books on the toilet tank, then I know what I would see if I opened the door that says 'PRIVATE--GROWNUPS KEEP OUT': a child sprawled on the bed, reading.
Anne Fadiman (Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader)
A man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to save them from starving. They all have food in their own homes. When we gather together in the moonlit village ground it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so.
Chinua Achebe (Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1))
When we’re apart whatever are you thinking of? If this is what I call home, why does it feel so alone? So tell me darling, do you wish we’d fall in love? All the time, all the time
Owl City
<…>When I was done speaking I felt his body had gone still again, stone still. And silent. Then he asked quietly, "Nightmare?" "Nightmare," I replied firmly. Ty didn't move. By a miracle, I held it together. Then he moved but it was to rest his chin on my shoulder and I closed my eyes because I needed him to go, go, go so I could fall apart again on my own. Then he said, "Your nightmare, mama, was my dream." My heart clenched. He kept going. "Never had a home until you gave me one." My breath started sticking. "Never had anyone give to me the way you gave to me." My breath stopped sticking and clogged. "Never thought of findin' a woman who I wanted to have my baby." Oh God. "Never had light in my life, never, not once, I lived wild but I didn't burn bright until you shined your light on me." Oh God. "Whacked, fuckin' insane, but, at night, you curled in front of me, didn't mind I did that time that wasn't mine 'cause it meant I walked out to you." He had to stop. He had to. He didn't. "Your nightmare," he whispered, turned his head and against my neck he finished, "my dream."<…>
Kristen Ashley (Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3))
I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college “adult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin. And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin. I love movies about “The Big Moment” – the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event, something that will change everything and grab me out of this waiting game into the whirlwind in front of me. I cry and cry at these movies, because I am still waiting for my own big moment. I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies. John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat. The Big Moment, unfortunately, is an urban myth. Some people have them, in a sense, when they win the Heisman or become the next American Idol. But even that football player or that singer is living a life made up of more than that one moment. Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies. But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
He kissed the palm of her hand. "It means, you stupid woman, that I am learning too. Now you listen to me. I never stop thinking about you. You're with me everywhere I go but I miss you when we're apart. I've already shown that I will kill for you. I would also die for you. You make me laugh. You make me happy. You're my miracle and my home...I will always come for you, always want you, and always need you. We clear?" She had begun to glow. "Sounds a lot love love to me.
Thea Harrison (Dragon Bound (Elder Races, #1))
This much I'm certain of: it doesn't happen immediately. You'll finish [the book] and that will be that, until a moment will come, maybe in a month, maybe a year, maybe even several years. You'll be sick or feeling troubled or deeply in love or quietly uncertain or even content for the first time in your life. It won't matter. Out of the blue, beyond any cause you can trace, you'll suddenly realize things are not how you perceived them to be at all. For some reason, you will no longer be the person you believed you once were. You'll detect slow and subtle shifts going on all around you, more importantly shifts in you. Worse, you'll realize it's always been shifting, like a shimmer of sorts, a vast shimmer, only dark like a room. But you won't understand why or how. You'll have forgotten what granted you this awareness in the first place ... You might try then, as I did, to find a sky so full of stars it will blind you again. Only no sky can blind you now. Even with all that iridescent magic up there, your eye will no longer linger on the light, it will no longer trace constellations. You'll care only about the darkness and you'll watch it for hours, for days, maybe even for years, trying in vain to believe you're some kind of indispensable, universe-appointed sentinel, as if just by looking you could actually keep it all at bay. It will get so bad you'll be afraid to look away, you'll be afraid to sleep. Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you'll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You'll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all of your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you'll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you've got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name. And then the nightmares will begin.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
To be an outlaw you must first have a base in law to reject and get out of, I never had such a base. I never had a place I could call home that meant any more than a key to a house, apartment or hotel room. … Am I alien? Alien from what exactly? Perhaps my home is my dream city, more real than my waking life precisely because it has no relation to waking life…
William S. Burroughs
They will tell you home is safe zone. No, bitch face is safe zone. Bitch face is home. Bitch face is cutting off the ladder, willing to burn in the apartment, if it means he can't get in.
Olivia Gatwood (New American Best Friend)
It's sad if people think that's (homemaking) a dull existance, [but] you can't just buy an apartment and furnish it and walk away. It's the flowers you choose, the music you play, the smile you have waiting. I want it to be gay and cheerful, a haven in this troubled world. I don't want my husband and children to come home and find a rattled woman. Our era is already rattled enough, isn't it?
Audrey Hepburn
Now he got out of bed and wrapped his blanket around himself, yawning. That evening, he'd talk to Jude. He didn't know where he was going, but he knew he would be safe; he would keep them both safe. He went to the kitchen to make himself coffee, and as he did, he whispered the lines back to himself, those lines he thought of whenever he was coming home, coming back to Greene Street after a long time away - "And tell me this: I must be absolutely sure. This place I've reached, is it truly Ithaca?"- as all around him, the apartment filled with light.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
However strenuously the world pulls us apart, however long the absence, we are not changed for being dashed upon the rocks. I knew you then, I know you now, I shall know you again when you come home.
Rachel Hartman (Shadow Scale (Seraphina, #2))
Thing were falling apart. We just could not slow down. We were evolving into something greater, perhaps too much for our own good. And one thing always remained as I moved on. I saved a little bit of love just in case you would ever return home.
Robert M. Drake (Beautiful Chaos)
For me a house or an apartment becomes a home when you add one set of four legs, a happy tail, and that indescribable measure of love that we call a dog.
Roger A. Caras
We don't fall in love with people because they're good people. We fall in love with people whose darkness we recognise. You can fall in love with a person for all of the right reasons, but that kind of love can still fall apart. But when you fall in love with a person because your monsters have found a home in them-- that's the kind of love that owns your skin and bones. Love, I am convinced, is found in the darkness. It is the candle in the night.
C. JoyBell C.
I thought about how my great-grandparents had starved to death. I thought about their wasted bodies being fed to incinerators because people they didn’t know hated them. I thought about how the children who lived in this house had been burned up and blown apart because a pilot who didn’t care pushed a button. I thought about how my grandfather’s family had been taken from him and how because of that my dad grew up feeling like he didn’t have a dad. And how I had acute stress and nightmares and was sitting alone in a falling down house and crying hot stupid tears all over my shirt. All because of a seventy year old hurt that had somehow been passed down to me like some poisonous heirloom.
Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1))
It's made me realize that imperfect is perfectly comfortable to me. Whether it's a city or my apartment, I feel most at home when things are somewhat flawed.
Hoda Kotb (Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee)
This apartment isn't home for either of us, but we're home for each other, and that's what makes every small wall fall away so I only focus on him.
Adam Silvera (What If It's Us (What If It's Us, #1))
I'll cab it home." "Naw. I'll hang until you're through. Then I'll drag you back to your apartment. Watch you throw up for an hour. Push you into bed. Before I leave I'll get the coffee machine set up. Aspirin will be right next to the sugar bowl." "I don't have a sugar bowl." "So it'll be next to the bag." Butch smiled. "You'd have made a great wife, Jose." "That's what mine tells me.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
Fathers, do not let your sons forget Do not let your sons forget where their essence was just formed, when their bodies were most vulnerable, they were protected by the womb of a woman. If they ever call all women weak, remind them of the strength of their mother who pulled her whole body apart to give theirs a home.
Nikita Gill (Your Soul is a River)
Love isn't just wanting another person the way you want to own an object you see in a store. That's just desire. You want to have it around, take it home and set it up somewhere in the apartment like a lamp.
Philip K. Dick (Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said)
THAT’S HOW MY STORY ENDS. With the loss of everyone I have ever loved. With me, in a big, beautiful Upper East Side apartment, missing everyone who ever meant anything to me. When you write the ending, Monique, make sure it’s clear that I don’t love this apartment, that I don’t care about all my money, that I couldn’t give a rat’s ass if people think I’m a legend, that the adoration of millions of people never warmed my bed. When you write the ending, Monique, tell everyone that it is the people I miss. Tell everyone that I got it wrong. That I chose the wrong things most of the time. When you write the ending, Monique, make sure the reader understands that all I was ever really looking for was family. Make sure it’s clear that I found it. Make sure they know that I am heartbroken without it. Spell it out if you have to. Say that Evelyn Hugo doesn’t care if everyone forgets her name. Evelyn Hugo doesn’t care if everyone forgets she was ever alive. Better yet, remind them that Evelyn Hugo never existed. She was a person I made up for them. So that they would love me. Tell them that I was confused, for a very long time, about what love was. Tell them that I understand it now, and I don’t need their love anymore. Say to them, “Evelyn Hugo just wants to go home. It’s time for her to go to her daughter, and her lover, and her best friend, and her mother.” Tell them Evelyn Hugo says good-bye.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
Redd Towers Apartments, whose advertising slogan, 'If you lived here, you'd be home by now,' did little to fill vacancies.
Frank Beddor
Mademoiselle, I beseech you, do not do what you are doing.” “Leave dear Linnet alone, you mean!” “It is deeper than that. Do not open your heart to evil.” Her lips fell apart; a look of bewilderment came into her eyes. Poirot went on gravely: “Because—if you do—evil will come…Yes, very surely evil will come…It will enter in and make its home within you, and after a little while it will no longer be possible to drive it out.
Agatha Christie (Death on the Nile)
When I was fourteen, I thought a lot about killing myself—it’s a hobby today, but at age fourteen it was a vocation. On a September morning, just after school started, I’d gotten Diane’s .44 Magnum and held it, babylike, in my lap for hours. What an indulgence it would be, to just blow off my head, all my mean spirits disappearing with a gun blast, like blowing a seedy dandelion apart. But I thought about Diane, and her coming home to my small torso and a red wall, and I couldn’t do it. It’s probably why I was so hateful to her, she kept me from what I wanted the most.
Gillian Flynn (Dark Places)
Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you'll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You'll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And for better or worse you'll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you've got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name. And then the nightmares will begin.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
I have dwelt ever in realms apart from the visible world; spending my youth and adolescence in ancient and little-known books, and in roaming the fields and groves of the region near my ancestral home. I do not think that what I read in these books or saw in these fields and groves was exactly what other boys read and saw there; but of this I must say little, since detailed speech would but confirm those cruel slanders upon my intellect which I sometimes overhear from the whispers of the stealthy attendants around me.
H.P. Lovecraft
taciturn, adj. There are days you come home silent. You say words, but you're still silent. I used to bombard you with conversational crowbars, but now I simply let the apartment fall mute. I hear you in the room -- turning on music, typing on the keys, getting up for a drink, shifting in your chair. I try to have my conversation with those sounds.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
THE RIDE TO MY APARTMENT is an exercise in stunt driving. Trying desperately to keep my mouth on Kate and not get us killed. She sits on my lap straddling my waist, kissing my neck, tonguing my ear— driving me out of my frigging mind. I’ve got one hand on the steering wheel and the other wedged between us, gliding over her stomach, her neck, and those perfect breasts that tease me through her half-open shirt. Do not try this at home, kids.
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
Dear sir: twelve hours is as twelve years to me. I imagine you in your home, smiling, thinking of me. That I am your heart's secret fills me with song. I wish I could sing of you here in my cage. You are my heart's hidden poem. I reread you, memorize you, every moment we're apart.
Laura Whitcomb (A Certain Slant of Light (Light, #1))
When the power of the shift rips the human body apart and transforms it into its new shape, there lives a second, less than a second, a mere shimmer of time when the mind is without a home, no body to call its own. Existence is painless in there, nothing but formlessness beyond understanding. A secret place, it contains nothing but the essence of self, a lost self. In the fire of pain, Colton found a whisper of that place, its ghost, its echo, and from that echo he withdrew a thread of deepest black.
Finn Marlowe (A Thread of Deepest Black)
All the lines that held me to my life were sliced apart in swift cuts, like clipping the strings of a bunch of balloons. Everything that made me who I was - my love for the dead girl upstairs, my love for my father, my loyalty to my new pack, the love for my other brothers, my hatred for my enemies, my home, my name, my self - disconnected from me in that second - snip, snip, snip - and floated up into space.
Stephenie Meyer (Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, #4))
I now know exactly why they started the tradition of being apart the night before your wedding. It's nothing about romance, or sex, or being chaste, or whatever. It's so you don't have a row and stomp up the aisle seething at your bridegroom, planning all the home truths you're going to tell him as soon as you get this wedding bit out of the way.
Sophie Kinsella (I've Got Your Number)
Because at the end of the day, we’re all lost. We’re all cracked. We’re all scarred. We’re all broken. We’re all just trying to figure out this thing called life, you know? Sometimes it feels so lonely, but then you remember your core tribe. The people who sometimes hate you, but never stop loving you. The people who always show up, no matter how many times you’ve fucked up and pushed them away. That’s your tribe. These people, these struggles, this is my tribe. So yeah, we fall apart, but we’ll fall together. We’ll stand up—together. Then, at the end of all the bullshit, all of the tears, all of the hurt, we’ll take a few steps at a time. Then we’ll take a few deep breaths, and we’ll walk each other home.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Fire Between High & Lo (Elements, #2))
Franny has the measles, for one thing. Incidentally, did you hear her last week? She went on at beautiful length about how she used to fly all around the apartment when she was four and no one was home. The new announcer is worse than Grant - if possible, even worse than Sullivan in the old days. He said she surely dreamt that she was able to fly. The baby stood her ground like an angel. She said she knew she was able to fly because when she came down she always had dust on her fingers from touching the light bulbs.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction)
Home always shrinks in times of absence, always bleeds away some of its majesty, because what is home, after all, apart from the place one returns to when the adventure is over? Home is an end to glory, a stopping point when the tale is done.
Seanan McGuire (In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children, #4))
Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of, the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied only by the last words of the looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends, and a more-than minor life. And then i screwed up and the Colonel screwed up and Takumi screwed up and she slipped through our fingers. And there's no sugar-coating it: She deserved better friends. When she fucked up, all those years ago, just a little girl terrified. into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself. And I could have done that, but I saw where it led for her. So I still believe in the Great Perhaps, and I can believe in it spite of having lost her. Beacause I will forget her, yes. That which came together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly, and I will forget, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and everyone but herself and her mom in those last moments she spent as a person. I know that she forgives me for being dumb and sacred and doing the dumb and scared thing. I know she forgives me, just as her mother forgives her. And here's how I know: I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something's meal. What was her-green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs-would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just a matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirety. There is a part of her knowable parts. And that parts has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, One thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself -those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Eidson's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
For Jenn At 12 years old I started bleeding with the moon and beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts. I fought with my knuckles white as stars, and left bruises the shape of Salem. There are things we know by heart, and things we don't. At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke. I'd watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos, but I could never make dying beautiful. The sky didn't fill with colors the night I convinced myself veins are kite strings you can only cut free. I suppose I love this life, in spite of my clenched fist. I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree, and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers, and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath the first time his fingers touched the keys the same way a soldier holds his breath the first time his finger clicks the trigger. We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe. But my lungs remember the day my mother took my hand and placed it on her belly and told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister's heartbeat. And I knew life would tremble like the first tear on a prison guard's hardened cheek, like a prayer on a dying man's lips, like a vet holding a full bottle of whisky like an empty gun in a war zone… just take me just take me Sometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much, the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood. We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways, but you still have to call it a birthday. You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recess and hope she knows you can hit a baseball further than any boy in the whole third grade and I've been running for home through the windpipe of a man who sings while his hands playing washboard with a spoon on a street corner in New Orleans where every boarded up window is still painted with the words We're Coming Back like a promise to the ocean that we will always keep moving towards the music, the way Basquait slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain. Beauty, catch me on your tongue. Thunder, clap us open. The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks. Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert, then wake us washing the feet of pregnant women who climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun. I know a thousand things louder than a soldier's gun. I know the heartbeat of his mother. Don't cover your ears, Love. Don't cover your ears, Life. There is a boy writing poems in Central Park and as he writes he moves and his bones become the bars of Mandela's jail cell stretching apart, and there are men playing chess in the December cold who can't tell if the breath rising from the board is their opponents or their own, and there's a woman on the stairwell of the subway swearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn, and I'm remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrun with strip malls and traffic and vendors and one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it. Ya'll, I know this world is far from perfect. I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon. I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic. But every ocean has a shoreline and every shoreline has a tide that is constantly returning to wake the songbirds in our hands, to wake the music in our bones, to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river that has to run through the center of our hearts to find its way home.
Andrea Gibson
I draw a line down the middle of a chalkboard, sketching a male symbol on one side and a female symbol on the other. Then I ask just the men: What steps do you guys take, on a daily basis, to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? At first there is a kind of awkward silence as the men try to figure out if they've been asked a trick question. The silence gives way to a smattering of nervous laughter. Occasionally, a young a guy will raise his hand and say, 'I stay out of prison.' This is typically followed by another moment of laughter, before someone finally raises his hand and soberly states, 'Nothing. I don't think about it.' Then I ask women the same question. What steps do you take on a daily basis to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? Women throughout the audience immediately start raising their hands. As the men sit in stunned silence, the women recount safety precautions they take as part of their daily routine. Here are some of their answers: Hold my keys as a potential weapon. Look in the back seat of the car before getting in. Carry a cell phone. Don't go jogging at night. Lock all the windows when I sleep, even on hot summer nights. Be careful not to drink too much. Don't put my drink down and come back to it; make sure I see it being poured. Own a big dog. Carry Mace or pepper spray. Have an unlisted phone number. Have a man's voice on my answering machine. Park in well-lit areas. Don't use parking garages. Don't get on elevators with only one man, or with a group of men. Vary my route home from work. Watch what I wear. Don't use highway rest areas. Use a home alarm system. Don't wear headphones when jogging. Avoid forests or wooded areas, even in the daytime. Don't take a first-floor apartment. Go out in groups. Own a firearm. Meet men on first dates in public places. Make sure to have a car or cab fare. Don't make eye contact with men on the street. Make assertive eye contact with men on the street.
Jackson Katz (The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and and How All Men Can Help)
He had learned some of the things that every man must find out for himself, and he had found out about them as one has to find out--through error and through trial, through fantasy and illusion, through falsehood and his own damn foolishness, through being mistaken and wrong and an idiot and egotistical and aspiring and hopeful and believing and confused. Each thing he learned was so simple and obvious, once he grasped it, that he wondered why he had not always known it. And what had he learned? A philosopher would not think it much, perhaps, and yet in a simple human way it was a good deal. Just by living, my making the thousand little daily choices that his whole complex of heredity, environment, and conscious thought, and deep emotion had driven him to make, and by taking the consequences, he had learned that he could not eat his cake and have it, too. He had learned that in spite of his strange body, so much off scale that it had often made him think himself a creature set apart, he was still the son and brother of all men living. He had learned that he could not devour the earth, that he must know and accept his limitations. He realized that much of his torment of the years past had been self-inflicted, and an inevitable part of growing up. And, most important of all for one who had taken so long to grow up, he thought he had learned not to be the slave of his emotions.
Thomas Wolfe (You Can't Go Home Again)
So apart from writing letters home to your fantasy girlfriends,"Ben says, walking backwards, "what do you guys do out here without television and phones?" "Men's business. Bit confidential," Griggs says patronisingly. "Wow, wish I were you," Ben says, shaking his head with mock regret. "All I'll be doing tonight is hanging out in Taylor's bedroom, lying on her bed, sharing my earphones with her, hoping she won't hog all the room because it's such a tiny space.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
Yes, the sky was now a devastating, home-cooked red. The small German town had been flung apart one more time. Snowflakes of ash fell so lovelily you were tempted to stretch out your tongue to catch them, taste them. Only, they would have scorched your lips. They would have cooked your mouth.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
You think you’re indebted to your parents because they gave you everything you have. But they didn’t give you what fucking mattered. They owe you. They owe you for not asking why their daughter isn’t home. Why she looks distant and sad. Why she has barricaded herself in a fucking apartment with her boyfriend. They have failed you, and if they tell you to get on a fucking plane or go to rehab – where we all know you shouldn’t be – then you need to tell them to go to hell. And if you don’t, Lo and I will. I promise you that.
Krista Ritchie (Addicted for Now (Addicted, #3))
Ty Walker opened the backdoor to his house and walked in to a big, seriously pissed off black man with tree trunk legs planted apart and beefy arms crossed on his chest. He knew he’d get that when he got home. He also didn’t give a fuck. He closed the door and looked Julius in the eye. “She gone?” he asked. “You are one serious dumb fuck.
Kristen Ashley (Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3))
This is the most beautiful place on earth. There are many such places. Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary. A houseboat in Kashmir, a view down Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, a gray gothic farmhouse two stories high at the end of a red dog road in the Allegheny Mountains, a cabin on the shore of a blue lake in spruce and fir country, a greasy alley near the Hoboken waterfront, or even, possibly, for those of a less demanding sensibility, the world to be seen from a comfortable apartment high in the tender, velvety smog of Manhattan, Chicago, Paris, Tokyo, Rio, or Rome — there's no limit to the human capacity for the homing sentiment.
Edward Abbey
A man walks into a bar and says: Take my wife–please. So you do. You take her out into the rain and you fall in love with her and she leaves you and you’re desolate. You’re on your back in your undershirt, a broken man on an ugly bedspread, staring at the water stains on the ceiling. And you can hear the man in the apartment above you taking off his shoes. You hear the first boot hit the floor and you’re looking up, you’re waiting because you thought it would follow, you thought there would be some logic, perhaps, something to pull it all together but here we are in the weeds again, here we are in the bowels of the thing: your world doesn’t make sense. And then the second boot falls. And then a third, a fourth, a fifth. A man walks into a bar and says: Take my wife–please. But you take him instead. You take him home, and you make him a cheese sandwich, and you try to get his shoes off, but he kicks you and he keeps kicking you. You swallow a bottle of sleeping pills but they don’t work. Boots continue to fall to the floor in the apartment above you. You go to work the next day pretending nothing happened. Your co-workers ask if everything’s okay and you tell them you’re just tired. And you’re trying to smile. And they’re trying to smile. A man walks into a bar, you this time, and says: Make it a double. A man walks into a bar, you this time, and says: Walk a mile in my shoes. A man walks into a convenience store, still you, saying: I only wanted something simple, something generic… But the clerk tells you to buy something or get out. A man takes his sadness down to the river and throws it in the river but then he’s still left with the river. A man takes his sadness and throws it away but then he’s still left with his hands.
Richard Siken
Together they’d run away. Together they could find a place to call home. Together they’d finally form their own constellation and never break apart again. He would be her starlight again and she his sun.
Hella Grichi (Fae Visions of the Mediterranean)
The two stand in the fast-thinning throng of victims, but they speak as if they were alone. Eye to eye, voice to voice, hand to hand, heart to heart, these two children of the Universal Mother, else so wide apart and differing, have come together on the dark highway, to repair home together and to rest in her bosom.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
Clare snores, quiet animal snores that feel like bulldozers running through my head. I want my own bed, in my own apartment. Home sweet home. No place like home. Take me home, country roads. Home is where the heart is. But my heart is here. So I must be home. Clare sighs, turns her head, and is quiet. Hi, honey, I'm home. I'm home.
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
Unsettled, a bird lost from the flock -- Keeps flying by itself in the dusk. Back and forth, it has no resting place, Night after night, more anguished its cries. Its shrill sound yearns for the pure and distant -- Coming from afar, how anxiously it flutters! It chances to find a pine tree growing all apart; Folding its wings, it has come home at last. In the gusty wind there is no dense growth; This canopy alone does not decay. Having found a perch to roost on, In a thousand years it will not depart.
Tao Yuanming
Let me tell you the truth about the world to which you so desperately want to return. It is a place of pain and suffering and grief. When you left it, cities were being attacked. Women and children were being blasted to pieces or burned alive by bombs dropped from planes flown by men with wives and children of their own. People were being dragged from their homes and shot in the street. Your world is tearing itself apart, and the most amusing thing of all is that it was little better before the war started. War merely gives people an excuse to indulge themselves further, to murder with impunity. There were wars before it, and there will be wars after it, and in between people will fight one another and hurt one another and maim one another and betray one another, because that is what they have always done. And even if you avoid warfare and violent death, little boy, what else do you think life has in store for you? You have already seen what it is capable of doing. It took your mother from you, drained her of health and beauty, and then cast her aside like the withered, rotten husk of a fruit. It will take others from you too, mark me. Those whom you care about--lovers, children--will fall by the wayside, and your love will not be enough to save them. Your health will fail you. You will become old and sick. Your limbs will ache, your eyesight will fade, and your skin will grow lined and aged. There will be pains deep within that no doctor will be able to cure. Diseases will find a warm, moist place inside you and there they will breed, spreading through your system, corrupting it cell by cell until you pray for the doctors to let you die, to put you out of your misery, but they will not. Instead you will linger on, with no one to hold your hand or soothe your brow, as Death comes and beckons you into his darkness. The life you left behind you is no life at all. Here, you can be king, and I will allow you to age with dignity and without pain, and when the time comes for you to die, I will send you gently to sleep and you will awaken in the paradise of your choosing, for each man dreams his own heaven.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
We get a lot of calls where the person is murdered at home, but is not found for a period of time. And so the animals have already started to take the body apart because they haven't been fed in that period. So your evidence is being chewed up by the family pet. I tell you - Dogs are more loyal than cats. Cats will wait only a certain period of time and they'll start chewing on you. Dogs will wait a day or two before they just can't take the starving anymore. So, keep that in mind when choosing a pet. You know how a cat just stares at you, maybe at the top of the TV, from across the room? That's because they're watching to see if you're gonna stop breathing.
Connie Fletcher (Every Contact Leaves a Trace)
i miss the days my friends knew every mundane detail about my life and i knew every ordinary detail about theirs adulthood has starved me of that consistency that us the walks around the block the long conversations when we were too lost in the moment to care what time it was when we won and celebrated when we failed and celebrated harder when we were just kids now we have our very important jobs that fill up our very busy schedules we compare calendars just to plan coffee dates that one of us eventually cancels cause adulthood is being too exhausted to leave our apartment most days i miss knowing i once belonged to a group of people bigger than myself that belonging made life easier to live - friendship nostalgia
Rupi Kaur (Home Body)
Kota!” I said, stepping away from my sisters and Lucy. “You can sleep on the couch or in the garage or in the tree house for all I care; but if you don’t check your attitude, I’ll send you back to your apartment right now! Have some gratitude for the security you’ve been offered. Need I remind you that tomorrow we’re burying our father? Either stop the bickering or go home.” I turned on my heel and headed down the hall. Without checking, I knew Lucy was right behind me, suitcase in hand. I opened the door to my room, waiting for her to come in with me. Once her skirts swished past the frame, I slammed it shut, heaving a sigh. “Was that too much?” I asked. “It was perfect!” she replied with delight. “You might as well be the princess already, miss. You’re ready for it.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
Dear Josh, Thank you for giving me the most amazing memories. My life growing up was so full because you were in it. Having your love and loving you was always just right. It made sense. You were my home. When I was with you I knew everything would be okay. You dried my tears for me when I was sad. You held my hand when we buried my mother. You made me laugh when the world seemed like it was falling apart. You were every special memory a girl could have. That first kiss will forever be embedded in my brain. It was as funny as it was sweet. Our life together molded me into the woman I’ve become. I understand what it feels like to be loved and cherished because I had that with you. I never doubted my worth because you taught me I was worthy. When you said that one day I would heal I didn’t believe that was possible. Life couldn’t go one without my best friend. There was no room for another guy in my heart. It turns out you were right. You always were. I found him. He is incredible. He is nothing at all like I would have planned. He doesn’t fit into a perfect package. He managed to wiggle into my heart and take over before I knew what was happening. I found that happiness you told me would come along. I’m going to go live that life. I’m sure it will be a wilder ride than I ever imagined and I can’t wait to live it. He’s my home now. I’ll always love you. I’ll never forget you. But this is my goodbye. I wasn’t ready before to let you go. Now, I can move on. Your memory will live on in my heart always. Love, Your Eva Blue
Abbi Glines (While It Lasts (Sea Breeze, #3))
I want to go home. But not to my apartment home, to my thirteen‑years‑ago home, to my hug‑my‑mother home, say I will make her proud, apologize, explain I can do better this time, be in my bed, be in my room, look at a magazine, plan my day, start not from scratch but just a little bit back, make different decisions, try to cultivate confidence, try not to coddle bad thoughts, be better, take the right things seriously, not say the things I said to James, try to hold on to a job, monitor my expectations earlier. Bring them way down.
Halle Butler (The New Me)
The rooms of his apartment were full with the dog home again, convalescing. He was satisfied to know, even when she was out of sight, that somewhere in the apartment she was sleeping or eating or sitting watchfully. It was family, he guessed, more or less. Did most people want a house of living things at night, to know that in the dark around them other warm bodies slept? Such a house could even be the whole world.
Lydia Millet (How the Dead Dream)
I’ll bring boys home if I haven’t cleaned my apartment. I’ll let them see the dishes in my sink, the mascara rubbed into my pillowcases, my unswept floors. Think, if we are seeing each other undressed and blemished from the sun, what is a dirty fork?
Kristina Haynes
I want my own bed, in my own apartment. Home sweet home. No place like home. Take me home, country roads. Home is where the heart is. But my heart is here. So I must be home.
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
Ranger picked up and there was a moment of silence as if he was sensing me at the other end, taking my body temperature and heart rate long distance. “Babe,” he finally said. “Do you know the slum apartment building Bobby Sunflower owns on Stark?” “Yes. It’s on the same block as his funeral home.” “That’s the one. I’m going in to look for someone. If you don’t hear from me in a half hour maybe you could send someone to check.” “Is this a smart thing to do?” “Probably not.” “As long as you know,” Ranger said. And he disconnected.
Janet Evanovich (Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum, #16))
No relationship is perfect, but if you soften up and allow yourselves to mold into one person, instead of two separate people sharing a home, you will find it much easier and more beautiful. Be one and let no one tear you apart.
Marilyn Grey (Down from the Clouds (Unspoken #2))
The Voyager We are all lonely voyagers sailing on life's ebb tide, To a far off place were all stripling warriors have died, Sometime at eve when the tide is low, The voices call us back to the rippling water's flow, Even though our boat sailed with love in our hearts, Neither our dreams or plans would keep heaven far apart, We drift through the hush of God's twilight pale, With no response to our friendly hail, We raise our sails and search for majestic light, While finding company on this journey to the brighten our night, Then suddenly he pulls us through the reef's cutting sea, Back to the place that he asked us to be, Friendly barges that were anchored so sweetly near, In silent sorrow they drop their salted tears, Shall our soul be a feast of kelp and brine, The wasted tales of wishful time, Are we a fish on a line lured with bait, Is life the grind, a heartless fate, Suddenly, "HUSH", said the wind from afar, Have you not looked to the heavens and seen the new star, It danced on the abyss of the evening sky, The sparkle of heaven shining on high, Its whisper echoed on the ocean's spray, From the bow to the mast they heard him say, "Hope is above, not found in the deep, I am alive in your memories and dreams when you sleep, I will greet you at sunset and with the moon's evening smile, I will light your path home.. every last lonely mile, My friends, have no fear, my work was done well, In this life I broke the waves and rode the swell, I found faith in those that I called my crew, My love will be the compass that will see you through, So don't look for me on the ocean's floor to find, I've never left the weathered docks of your loving mind, For I am in the moon, the wind and the whale's evening song, I am the sailor of eternity whose voyage is not gone.
Shannon L. Alder
How To Tell If Somebody Loves You: Somebody loves you if they pick an eyelash off of your face or wet a napkin and apply it to your dirty skin. You didn’t ask for these things, but this person went ahead and did it anyway. They don’t want to see you looking like a fool with eyelashes and crumbs on your face. They notice these things. They really look at you and are the first to notice if something is amiss with your beautiful visage! Somebody loves you if they assume the role of caretaker when you’re sick. Unsure if someone really gives a shit about you? Fake a case of food poisoning and text them being like, “Oh, my God, so sick. Need water.” Depending on their response, you’ll know whether or not they REALLY love you. “That’s terrible. Feel better!” earns you a stay in friendship jail; “Do you need anything? I can come over and bring you get well remedies!” gets you a cozy friendship suite. It’s easy to care about someone when they don’t need you. It’s easy to love them when they’re healthy and don’t ask you for anything beyond change for the parking meter. Being sick is different. Being sick means asking someone to hold your hair back when you vomit. Either love me with vomit in my hair or don’t love me at all. Somebody loves you if they call you out on your bullshit. They’re not passive, they don’t just let you get away with murder. They know you well enough and care about you enough to ask you to chill out, to bust your balls, to tell you to stop. They aren’t passive observers in your life, they are in the trenches. They have an opinion about your decisions and the things you say and do. They want to be a part of it; they want to be a part of you. Somebody loves you if they don’t mind the quiet. They don’t mind running errands with you or cleaning your apartment while blasting some annoying music. There’s no pressure, no need to fill the silences. You know how with some of your friends there needs to be some sort of activity for you to hang out? You don’t feel comfortable just shooting the shit and watching bad reality TV with them. You need something that will keep the both of you busy to ensure there won’t be a void. That’s not love. That’s “Hey, babe! I like you okay. Do you wanna grab lunch? I think we have enough to talk about to fill two hours!" It’s a damn dream when you find someone you can do nothing with. Whether you’re skydiving together or sitting at home and doing different things, it’s always comfortable. That is fucking love. Somebody loves you if they want you to be happy, even if that involves something that doesn’t benefit them. They realize the things you need to do in order to be content and come to terms with the fact that it might not include them. Never underestimate the gift of understanding. When there are so many people who are selfish and equate relationships as something that only must make them happy, having someone around who can take their needs out of any given situation if they need to. Somebody loves you if they can order you food without having to be told what you want. Somebody loves you if they rub your back at any given moment. Somebody loves you if they give you oral sex without expecting anything back. Somebody loves you if they don’t care about your job or how much money you make. It’s a relationship where no one is selling something to the other. No one is the prostitute. Somebody loves you if they’ll watch a movie starring Kate Hudson because you really really want to see it. Somebody loves you if they’re able to create their own separate world with you, away from the internet and your job and family and friends. Just you and them. Somebody will always love you. If you don’t think this is true, then you’re not paying close enough attention.
Ryan O'Connell
The lamplight was warm and the apartment still and snug. At home in bed, in my private abyss of longing, the scenes I dreamed of always began like this. I could lose myself forever in that singular little face, in the pessimism of her beautiful mouth. When I imagined these phrases cast in her voice, they were almost intolerably sweet; now, sitting right beside her, it was unthinkable that I should voice them myself.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
We are better together than apart, and no matter what happens in our lives, I know that waking up and seeing you each morning will always be the best part of my day.
Tillie Cole (Sweet Rome (Sweet Home, #1.5))
Ruth said, "Love isn't just wanting another person the way you want to own an object you see in a store. That's just desire. You want to have it around, take it home and set it up somewhere in the apartment like a lamp. Love is"-she paused, reflecting-"like a father saving his children from a burning house, getting them out and denying himself. When you love you cease to live for yourself; you live for another person.
Philip K. Dick (Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said)
My apartment's only about a block away." "Isn't that handy." "Fate," he countered as he took a seat on the sofa and made himself at home. "Fantasic, isn't it?" "One day very soon, I'm going to tell you what you can do with that fate of yours.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Serena & Caine (The MacGregors, #1 -2))
You might try then, as I did, to find a sky so full of stars it will blind you again. Only no sky can blind you now. Even with all that iridescent magic up there, your eye will no longer linger on the light, it will no longer trace constellations. You'll care only about the darkness and you'll watch it for hours, for days, maybe even for years, trying in vain to believe you're some kind of indispensable, universe-appointed sentinel, as if just by looking you could actually keep it all at bay. It will get so bad you'll be afraid to look away, you'll be afraid to sleep. Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you'll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You'll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all of your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you'll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you've got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name. And then the nightmares will begin.
Mark Z. Danielewski
Do you ever feel lost?” The question hangs between us, intimate, awkward only on my end. He doesn’t scoff as Tactus and Fitchner would, or scratch his balls like Sevro, or chuckle like Cassius might have, or purr as Victra would. I’m not sure what Mustang might have done. But Roque, despite his Color and all the things that make him different, slowly slides a marker into the book and sets it on the nightstand beside the four-poster, taking his time and allowing an answer to evolve between us. Movements thoughtful and organic, like Dancer’s were before he died. There’s a stillness in him, vast and majestic, the same stillness I remember in my father. “Quinn once told me a story.” He waits for me to moan a grievance at the mention of a story, and when I don’t, his tone sinks into deeper gravity. “Once, in the days of Old Earth, there were two pigeons who were greatly in love. In those days, they raised such animals to carry messages across great distances. These two were born in the same cage, raised by the same man, and sold on the same day to different men on the eve of a great war. “The pigeons suffered apart from each other, each incomplete without their lover. Far and wide their masters took them, and the pigeons feared they would never again find each other, for they began to see how vast the world was, and how terrible the things in it. For months and months, they carried messages for their masters, flying over battle lines, through the air over men who killed one another for land. When the war ended, the pigeons were set free by their masters. But neither knew where to go, neither knew what to do, so each flew home. And there they found each other again, as they were always destined to return home and find, instead of the past, their future.
Pierce Brown (Golden Son (Red Rising Saga, #2))
I start to cross the street, stop, turn back. "You are not what I thought." He smiles. A devastatingly beautiful smile. I race across the street to my apartment building, to home, to safety. Because that smile scares me for reasons I can't explain. I only know that it makes me want to see him smile again.
J.A. London (Darkness Before Dawn (Darkness Before Dawn #1))
And in that moment, Grace understood something that she would never forget: Home wasn't just a building or an apartment with a roof and beds and chairs inside. Home was with her family, wherever they were.
Priscilla Cummings (Saving Grace)
Hell is eternal apartness. What had she done that she must spend the rest of her years reaching out with yearning for them, making secret trips to long ago, making no journey to the present? I am their blood and bones, I have dug in this ground, this is my home. But I am not their blood, the ground doesn’t care who digs it, I am a stranger at a cocktail party.
Harper Lee (Go Set a Watchman)
There is no life apart from Christ. Perhaps the reason you are dissatisfied with life is because you’ve been seeking it apart from Him and all you have been getting is an imitation.
Grace Livingston Hill (Homing)
The Christmas after Mom & Dad split up, they both went crazy buying us presents. Matt, Jonny, and I were showered with gifts at home and at Dads apartment. I thought that was great. I was all in favor of my love being paid for with presents. This year all I got was a diary and a secondhand watch. Okay, I know this is corny, but this really is what Christmas is all about.
Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1))
Sara knew that behind its locked front door no home was routine. Not the house of her childhood, not the apartment of her husband's. not the world they were building together with Willow and Patrick. All households had their mysteries, their particular forms of dysfunction.
Chris Bohjalian (Before You Know Kindness)
Generally office and home were far apart, and home was much more important than office. I was not ashamed of valuing my private life more highly than my work; that, to my mind, is what everyone ought to do.
Diana Athill (Stet: An Editor's Life)
On a long flight, after periods of crisis and many hours of fatigue, mind and body may become disunited until at times they seem completely different elements, as though the body were only a home with which the mind has been associated but by no means bound. Consciousness grows independent of the ordinary senses. You see without assistance from the eyes, over distances beyond the visual horizon. There are moments when existence appears independent even of the mind. The importance of physical desire and immediate surroundings is submerged in the apprehension of universal values. For unmeasurable periods, I seem divorced from my body, as though I were an awareness spreading out through space, over the earth and into the heavens, unhampered by time or substance, free from the gravitation that binds to heavy human problems of the world. My body requires no attention. It's not hungry. It's neither warm or cold. It's resigned to being left undisturbed. Why have I troubled to bring it here? I might better have left it back at Long Island or St. Louis, while the weightless element that has lived within it flashes through the skies and views the planet. This essential consciousness needs no body for its travels. It needs no plane, no engine, no instruments, only the release from flesh which circumstances I've gone through make possible. Then what am I – the body substance which I can see with my eyes and feel with my hands? Or am I this realization, this greater understanding which dwells within it, yet expands through the universe outside; a part of all existence, powerless but without need for power; immersed in solitude, yet in contact with all creation? There are moments when the two appear inseparable, and others when they could be cut apart by the merest flash of light. While my hand is on the stick, my feet on the rudder, and my eyes on the compass, this consciousness, like a winged messenger, goes out to visit the waves below, testing the warmth of water, the speed of wind, the thickness of intervening clouds. It goes north to the glacial coasts of Greenland, over the horizon to the edge of dawn, ahead to Ireland, England, and the continent of Europe, away through space to the moon and stars, always returning, unwillingly, to the mortal duty of seeing that the limbs and muscles have attended their routine while it was gone.
Charles A. Lindbergh (The Spirit of St. Louis)
He says that woman speaks with nature. That she hears voices from under the earth. That wind blows in her ears and trees whisper to her. That the dead sing through her mouth and the cries of infants are clear to her. But for him this dialogue is over. He says he is not part of this world, that he was set on this world as a stranger. He sets himself apart from woman and nature. And so it is Goldilocks who goes to the home of the three bears, Little Red Riding Hood who converses with the wolf, Dorothy who befriends a lion, Snow White who talks to the birds, Cinderella with mice as her allies, the Mermaid who is half fish, Thumbelina courted by a mole. (And when we hear in the Navaho chant of the mountain that a grown man sits and smokes with bears and follows directions given to him by squirrels, we are surprised. We had thought only little girls spoke with animals.) We are the bird's eggs. Bird's eggs, flowers, butterflies, rabbits, cows, sheep; we are caterpillars; we are leaves of ivy and sprigs of wallflower. We are women. We rise from the wave. We are gazelle and doe, elephant and whale, lilies and roses and peach, we are air, we are flame, we are oyster and pearl, we are girls. We are woman and nature. And he says he cannot hear us speak. But we hear.
Susan Griffin (Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her)
You’re the bravest person I know, little Sister.” I couldn’t stop myself from snorting. I was a sniffling, teary mess—hardly the mark of bravery. Thomas had held me the entire carriage ride home just so I wouldn’t break apart. I’d siphoned his strength and missed it terribly now. Nathaniel shook his head, easily reading my thoughts. Well, I hope not the one regarding Thomas with his arms around me.
Kerri Maniscalco (Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1))
Foreign behavior? What the fuck are you talking about? Foreign behavior? Have you read Things Fall Apart? Ifemulu asked, wishing she had not told Ranyinudo about Dike. She was angrier with Ranyinudo than she had ever been, yet she knew that Ranyinudo meant well, and had said what many other Nigerians would say, which was why she had not told anyone else about Dike's suicide attempt since she came back.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
I'd forgotten that all runaway stories end like this. Everyone goes home. Dorothy clicks her way back to Kansas, Ulysses sails his way home to his wife, Holden Caulfield breaks into his own apartment ... Here I was, just like Ian, just like Dorothy and everyone else, heading back home at last ... You think you can't go home again? It's the only place you can *ever* go.
Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower)
Ruth said, "Love isn't just wanting another person the way you want to own an object you see in a store. That's just desire. You want to have it around, take it home and set it up somewhere in the apartment like a lamp. Love is"-she paused, reflecting-"like a father saving his children from a burning house, getting them out and dying himself. When you love you cease to live for yourself; you live for another person.
Philip K. Dick (Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said)
You will. I promise. There’s a lockup. Each apartment has one. Like a big storage cage. Come with me.” An image of me being locked in a cage in some kind of creepy cellar came into my head. I didn’t even know Toby. Not really. And he said himself he was jealous of me. Maybe he would lock me in this basement and nobody in the world would ever guess where I was. Toby’s shoulders drooped, and he cocked his head to one side and said, “Please,” in the most pathetic voice ever. Then he perked back up. “Look, truly, June. You won’t be sorry.” I thought about it for a few seconds and came to the conclusion that a real psycho wouldn’t have mentioned the cage. A real psycho would have lured me down there by telling me there was a puppy or something.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
So rest and relax and grow stronger, Let go and let God share your load, Your work is not finished or ended, You’ve just come to “a bend in the road”. “When you ask God for a gift, be thankful if He sends, not diamonds, pearls or riches, but the love of real true friends.” “It takes a Mother’s Love to make a house a home, a place to be remembered, no matter where we roam.” “When you are in troubled and worried and sick at heart And your plans are upset and your world falls apart, Remember God’s ready and waiting to share The burden you find much to heavy to bear– So with faith, “Let Go and Let GOD” lead your way.
Helen Steiner Rice
EDMUND *Then with alcoholic talkativeness You've just told me some high spots in your memories. Want to hear mine? They're all connected with the sea. Here's one. When I was on the Squarehead square rigger, bound for Buenos Aires. Full moon in the Trades. The old hooker driving fourteen knots. I lay on the bowsprit, facing astern, with the water foaming into spume under me, the masts with every sail white in the moonlight, towering high above me. I became drunk with the beauty and signing rhythm of it, and for a moment I lost myself -- actually lost my life. I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, within something greater than my own life, or the life of Man, to Life itself! To God, if you want to put it that way. Then another time, on the American Line, when I was lookout on the crow's nest in the dawn watch. A calm sea, that time. Only a lazy ground swell and a slow drowsy roll of the ship. The passengers asleep and none of the crew in sight. No sound of man. Black smoke pouring from the funnels behind and beneath me. Dreaming, not keeping looking, feeling alone, and above, and apart, watching the dawn creep like a painted dream over the sky and sea which slept together. Then the moment of ecstatic freedom came. the peace, the end of the quest, the last harbor, the joy of belonging to a fulfillment beyond men's lousy, pitiful, greedy fears and hopes and dreams! And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience. Became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like a veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see -- and seeing the secret, are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on toward nowhere, for no good reason! *He grins wryly. It was a great mistake, my being born a man, I would have been much more successful as a sea gull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a a little in love with death! TYRONE *Stares at him -- impressed. Yes, there's the makings of a poet in you all right. *Then protesting uneasily. But that's morbid craziness about not being wanted and loving death. EDMUND *Sardonically The *makings of a poet. No, I'm afraid I'm like the guy who is always panhandling for a smoke. He hasn't even got the makings. He's got only the habit. I couldn't touch what I tried to tell you just now. I just stammered. That's the best I'll ever do, I mean, if I live. Well, it will be faithful realism, at least. Stammering is the native eloquence of us fog people.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
I find myself drunk in the streets again. A glass of wine and so my thoughts begin. I smile at passersby to and fro, Faces like blank slates minutes ago, Now emotions readily painted on canvases: Grief, despair, joy, and madnesses. At this time, the clouds are sweating sweet water And you can smell the scent of each corner: Fish, dirt, rotten apples, and burning tires. Close your eyes here to smell all your heart desires. Everything is more colourful when you're not yourself. So long as you’re sound body and mind, you have your wealth. I am now treading almost fleeting. Birds singing, bicycle bells ringing. I have lost my way but not my heart. Have my head, those two are apart. Take care dear city, I must soon head home. Until tomorrow evening when again I will roam.
Kamand Kojouri
A BRIEF INTERLUDE It’s been three years since I’ve spent the night with someone who liked me enough to get breakfast in the morning. Still, I spread my heart thin like butter on toast, hoping someone else will come along and snatch it off my plate. Still, I stumble half-dressed out of other people’s apartments and treat myself to coffee on the way home. This is not a poem that seeks to make a spectacle of loneliness.
Trista Mateer ([redacted])
Bleak as the scene was, though, there was growing joy in Inman's heart. He was nearing home; he could feel it in the touch of thin air on skin, in his longing to see the lead of hearth smoke from the houses of people he had known all his life. People he would not be called upon to hate or fear. He rose and took a wide stance on the rock and stood and pinched down his eyes to sharpen the view across the vast propect to one far mountain. It stood apart from the sky only as the stroke of a poorly inked pen, a line thin and quick and gestural. But the shape slowly grew plain and unmistakable. It was to Cold Mountain he looked. He had achieved a vista of what for him was homeland.
Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain)
It's hot,' [Mulder] said, dropping on the bench beside [Scully]. 'It's July, Mulder,' Garson reminded him. 'It's New Mexico. What did you expect?' 'Heat I can get at home. An oven I already have in my apartment.
Charles Grant (The X-Files: Whirlwind)
The homes are so far apart," Snow says. Now that we're off the motorway, we can hear each other speak again. "It seems a bit greedy, doesn't it? Just to take up as much space as you can?" "They're not that far apart," I say. "Not to you; you grew up in a mansion." "I grew up at the top of a tower," I say. "With you.
Rainbow Rowell (Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2))
If Los Angeles is a woman reclining billboard model and the San Fernando Valley is her teenybopper sister, then New York is their cousin. Her hair is dyed autumn red or aubergine or Egyptian henna, depending on her mood. Her skin is pale as frost and she wears beautiful Jil Sander suits and Prada pumps on which she walks faster than a speeding taxi (when it is caught in rush hour, that is). Her lips are some unlikely shade of copper or violet, courtesy of her local MAC drag queen makeup consultant. She is always carrying bags of clothes, bouquets of roses, take-out Chinese containers, or bagels. Museum tags fill her pockets and purses, along with perfume samples and invitations to art gallery openings. When she is walking to work, to ward off bums or psychos, her face resembles the Statue of Liberty, but at home in her candlelit, dove-colored apartment, the stony look fades away and she smiles like the sterling roses she has brought for herself to make up for the fact that she is single and her feet are sore.
Francesca Lia Block (I Was a Teenage Fairy)
After reading the salary, I've decided that I must refuse. The reason I have to refuse a salary like that is I would be able to do what I've always wanted to do- -get a wonderful mistress, put her up in an apartment, buy her nice things.. . With the salary you have offered, I could actually do that, and I know what would happen to me. I'd worry about her, what she's doing; I'd get into arguments when I come home, and so on. All this bother would make me uncomfortable and unhappy. I wouldn't be able to do physics well, and it would be a big mess! What I've always wanted to do would be bad for me, so I've decided that I can't accept your offer.
Richard P. Feynman
His hand was a claw, sharp enough to open her. She would be like all the others—Ruta Badowski, in her broken dancing shoes. Tommy Duffy, still with the dirt of his last baseball game under his nails. Gabriel Johnson, taken on the best day of his life. Or even Mary White, holding out for a future that never arrived. She’d be like all those beautiful, shining boys marching off to war, rifles at their hips and promises on their lips to their best girls that they’d be home in time for Christmas, the excitement of the game showing in their bright faces. They’d come home men, heroes with adventures to tell about, how they’d walloped the enemy and put the world right side up again, funneled it into neat lines of yes and no. Black and white. Right and wrong. Here and there. Us and them. Instead, they had died tangled in barbed wire in Flanders, hollowed by influenza along the Western Front, blown apart in no-man’s-land, writhing in trenches with those smiles still in place, courtesy of the phosgene, chlorine, or mustard gas. Some had come home shell-shocked and blinking, hands shaking, mumbling to themselves, following orders in some private war still taking place in their minds. Or, like James, they’d simply vanished, relegated to history books no one bothered to read, medals put in cupboards kept closed. Just a bunch of chess pieces moved about by unseen hands in a universe bored with itself.
Libba Bray (The Diviners (The Diviners, #1))
He called her on the road From a lonely cold hotel room Just to hear her say I love you one more time But when he heard the sound Of the kids laughing in the background He had to wipe away a tear from his eye A little voice came on the phone Said "Daddy when you coming home" He said the first thing that came to his mind I'm already there Take a look around I'm the sunshine in your hair I'm the shadow on the ground I'm the whisper in the wind I'm your imaginary friend And I know I'm in your prayers Oh I'm already there She got back on the phone Said I really miss you darling Don't worry about the kids they'll be alright Wish I was in your arms Lying right there beside you But I know that I'll be in your dreams tonight And I'll gently kiss your lips Touch you with my fingertips So turn out the light and close your eyes I'm already there Don't make a sound I'm the beat in your heart I'm the moonlight shining down I'm the whisper in the wind And I'll be there until the end Can you feel the love that we share Oh I'm already there We may be a thousand miles apart But I'll be with you wherever you are I'm already there Take a look around I'm the sunshine in your hair I'm the shadow on the ground I'm the whisper in the wind And I'll be there until the end Can you feel the love that we share Oh I'm already there Oh I'm already There
Lonestar
IF I HAD a dime for every time I’ve heard “We’re all going to die” or “I’ll kill you,” I could afford a better apartment. You can only listen to so many threats of destruction, doom, or death before you start tuning them all out. So I followed the wolf out of the building, then went home.
J.C. Nelson (Free Agent (Grimm Agency, #1))
Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where—as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen—even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their meetings. I still haven't submitted that expenses claim. The misgivings I had were of two types, both of them ineradicable. The first and the simplest was the encounter with everyday injustice: by all means the traffic cops were Jews but so, it turned out, were the colonists and ethnic cleansers and even the torturers. It was Jewish leftist friends who insisted that I go and see towns and villages under occupation, and sit down with Palestinian Arabs who were living under house arrest—if they were lucky—or who were squatting in the ruins of their demolished homes if they were less fortunate. In Ramallah I spent the day with the beguiling Raimonda Tawil, confined to her home for committing no known crime save that of expressing her opinions. (For some reason, what I most remember is a sudden exclamation from her very restrained and respectable husband, a manager of the local bank: 'I would prefer living under a Bedouin muktar to another day of Israeli rule!' He had obviously spent some time thinking about the most revolting possible Arab alternative.) In Jerusalem I visited the Tutungi family, who could produce title deeds going back generations but who were being evicted from their apartment in the old city to make way for an expansion of the Jewish quarter. Jerusalem: that place of blood since remote antiquity. Jerusalem, over which the British and French and Russians had fought a foul war in the Crimea, and in the mid-nineteenth century, on the matter of which Christian Church could command the keys to some 'holy sepulcher.' Jerusalem, where the anti-Semite Balfour had tried to bribe the Jews with the territory of another people in order to seduce them from Bolshevism and continue the diplomacy of the Great War. Jerusalem: that pest-house in whose environs all zealots hope that an even greater and final war can be provoked. It certainly made a warped appeal to my sense of history.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Why didn't you call?" Taylor asked. "I did. No one answered." Roo bent to refill her handbag. Ah. "So how were going to get in the house?" "I thought I'd just wait for you to come back." She started to tap her foot. "Why didn't you go home and call a locksmith?" Taylor asked. Roo glared. "What is this? The Spanish Inquisition?" Then she grinned. "Oh, I've waited years to say that." Taylor bit back his laugh.
Barbara Elsborg (Worlds Apart)
Astfgl peered around through the swirling gas clouds. At least he was in the right place. The whole point about the end of the universe was that you couldn’t go past it accidentally. The last few embers winked out. Time and space collided silently, and collapsed. Astfgl coughed. It can get so very lonely, when you’re twenty million light-years from home. “Anyone there?” he said. YES. The voice was right by his ear. Even demon kings can shiver. “Apart from you, I mean,” he said. “Have you seen anybody?” YES. “Who?” EVERYONE. Astfgl sighed. “I mean anyone recently.” IT’S BEEN VERY QUIET, said Death.
Terry Pratchett (Eric (Discworld, #9; Rincewind, #4))
In the harsh veracity of the real world, he was rich, successful, and one of the most desired bachelors in New York—and I was, well, me. A world I hoped wouldn’t tear us apart by pointing out just how different our lives were. “You’re probably eager to get home,” Jett whispered in my ear so the flight attendant serving coffee wouldn’t hear us, “but will you stay with me one more night? I’m not quite ready to let this go.
J.C. Reed (Surrender Your Love (Surrender Your Love, #1))
It is so hard for a queer person to become an adult. Deprived of the markers of life's passage, they lolled about in a neverland dreamworld. They didn't get married. They didn't have children. They didn't buy homes or have job-jobs. The best that could be aimed for was an academic placement and a lover who eventually tired of pansexual sport-fucking and settled down with you to raise a rescue animal in a rent-controlled apartment.
Michelle Tea (Black Wave)
By the time I walked down the aisle—or rather, into a judge’s chambers—I had lived fourteen independent years, early adult years that my mother had spent married. I had made friends and fallen out with friends, had moved in and out of apartments, had been hired, fired, promoted, and quit. I had had roommates I liked and roommates I didn’t like and I had lived on my own; I’d been on several forms of birth control and navigated a few serious medical questions; I’d paid my own bills and failed to pay my own bills; I’d fallen in love and fallen out of love and spent five consecutive years with nary a fling. I’d learned my way around new neighborhoods, felt scared and felt completely at home; I’d been heartbroken, afraid, jubilant, and bored. I was a grown-up: a reasonably complicated person. I’d become that person not in the company of any one man, but alongside my friends, my family, my city, my work, and, simply, by myself. I was not alone.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
The historical problems with Luke are even more pronounced. For one thing, we have relatively good records for the reign of Caesar Augustus, and there is no mention anywhere in any of them of an empire-wide census for which everyone had to register by returning to their ancestral home. And how could such a thing even be imagined? Joesph returns to Bethlehem because his ancestor David was born there. But David lived a thousand years before Joseph. Are we to imagine that everyone in the Roman Empire was required to return to the homes of their ancestors from a thousand years earlier? If we had a new worldwide census today and each of us had to return to the towns of our ancestors a thousand years back—where would you go? Can you imagine the total disruption of human life that this kind of universal exodus would require? And can you imagine that such a project would never be mentioned in any of the newspapers? There is not a single reference to any such census in any ancient source, apart from Luke. Why then does Luke say there was such a census? The answer may seem obvious to you. He wanted Jesus to be born in Bethlehem, even though he knew he came from Nazareth ... there is a prophecy in the Old Testament book of Micah that a savior would come from Bethlehem. What were these Gospel writer to do with the fact that it was widely known that Jesus came from Nazareth? They had to come up with a narrative that explained how he came from Nazareth, in Galilee, a little one-horse town that no one had ever heard of, but was born in Bethlehem, the home of King David, royal ancestor of the Messiah.
Bart D. Ehrman (Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible & Why We Don't Know About Them)
He had hundreds of monsters inside him wearing his face as a mask. Screaming and trying to tear him apart and take his place. He always fought furiously to hold them back and it created an unending chaos inside him. Eventually, in the end, he lost all his strength and battles. He was dragged down into the abyss. He cried and fought hard to find his way back home. To get out from there again and to be himself. But among all these masks, the real he was lost forever. He never made it back again, and he was not himself anymore.
Akshay Vasu (The Abandoned Paradise: Unraveling the beauty of untouched thoughts and dreams)
She wanted to touch him, to throw her arms around him — but something held her back. Maybe it was the fear that her arms would pass right through him, that she would have come all this way only to find a ghost after all. As though he’d been able to read her thoughts, he slowly angled toward her. He raised his hands and held his palms out to her. Isobel lifted her own hands to mirror his. He pressed their palms together, his fingers folding down to lace through hers. She felt a rush of warmth course through her, a relief as pure and sweet as spring rain. He was real. This was real. She had found him. She could touch him. She could feel him. Finally they were together. Finally, finally, they could forget this wasted world and go home. "I knew it wasn’t true," she whispered. "I knew you wouldn’t stop believing." He drew her close. Leaning into him, she felt him press his lips to her forehead in a kiss. As he spoke, the cool metal of his lip ring grazed her skin, causing a shudder to ripple through her. "You..." His voice, low and breathy, reverberated through her, down to the thin soles of her slippers. "You think you’re different," he said. She felt his hands tighten around hers, gripping hard, too hard. A streak of violet lightning split the sky, striking close behind them. The house, Isobel thought. It had been struck. She could hear it cracking apart. She looked for only a brief moment, long enough to watch it split open. "But you’re not," Varen said, calling her attention back to him. Isobel winced, her own hands surrendering under the suddenly crushing pressure of his hold. A face she did not recognize stared down at her, one twisted with anger — with hate. "You," he scarcely more than breathed, "are just like every. Body. Else." He moved so fast. Before she could register his words or the fact that she had once spoken them to him herself, he jerked her to one side. Isobel felt her feet part from the rocks. Weightlessness took hold of her as she swung out and over the ledge of the cliff. As he let her go. The wind whistled its high and lonely song in her ears. She fell away into the oblivion of the storm until she could no longer see the cliff — could no longer see him. Only the slip of the pink ribbon as it unraveled from her wrist, floating up and away from her and out of sight forever.
Kelly Creagh (Enshadowed (Nevermore, #2))
I'm angry because you think everything happened by chance but there are billions of people on this planet and I found you so if you're saying I could just as well have found someone else then I can't bear your bloody mathematics!" Her fists had been clenched. He stood there looking at her for several minutes. Then he said that he loved her. It was the first time. They never stopped arguing and they never slept apart; he spent an entire working life calculating probabilities and she was the most improbable person he ever met. She turned him upside-down.
Fredrik Backman (And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer)
The morning Julia found the phone, my parents were over for brunch. Everything was falling apart around Benjy, although I'll never know what he knew at the time, and neither will he. The adults were talking when he reentered the kitchen and said, "The sound of time. What happened to it?" "What are you talking about?" "You know," he said, waving his tiny hand about, "the sound of time." It took time - about five frustrating minutes - to figure out what he was getting at. Our refigerator was being repaired, so the kitchen lacked its omnipresent, nearly imperceptible buzzing sound. He spent virtually all his home life within reach of that sound, and so had come to associate it with life happening. I loved his misunderstanding, because it wasn't a misunderstanding. My grandfather heard the cries of his dead brothers. That was the sound of his time. My father heard attacks. Julia heard the boys' voices. I heard silences. Sam heard betrayals and the sounds of Apple products turning on. Max heard Argus's whining. Benjy was the only one still young enough to hear home.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Here I Am)
...Bhutan all but bases its identity upon its loneliness, and its refusal to b assimilated into India, or Tibet, or Nepal. Vietnam, at present, is a pretty girl with her face pressed up against the window of the dance hall, waiting to be invited in; Iceland is the mystic poet in the corner, with her mind on other things. Argentina longs to be part of the world it left and, in its absence, re-creates the place it feels should be its home; Paraguay simply slams the door and puts up a Do Not Disturb sign. Loneliness and solitude, remoteness and seclusion, are many worlds apart.
Pico Iyer
the shooting and killing weren’t as black-and-white as most people think. The actions live in that hazy area of blown-apart stone walls and hesitations. Sometimes I shot when I shouldn’t have; other times I didn’t shoot when I should have. There was no way to explain why I did either. Everything happened so fast. Decisions had to be made. After I got home I began to see things in slow motion, see the actions that might’ve been mistakes.
Clint Van Winkle (Soft Spots: A Marine's Memoir of Combat and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Were you always good at locks?” “No.” “How did you learn?” “The way you learn about anything. Take it apart.” “And the magic tricks?” Kaz snorted. “So you don’t think I’m a demon anymore?” “I know you’re a demon, but your tricks are human.” “Some people see a magic trick and say, ‘Impossible!’ They clap their hands, turn over their money, and forget about it ten minutes later. Other people ask how it worked. They go home, get into bed, toss and turn, wondering how it was done. It takes them a good night’s sleep to forget all about it. And then there are the ones who stay awake, running through the trick again and again, looking for that skip in perception, the crack in the illusion that will explain how their eyes got duped; they’re the kind who won’t rest until they’ve mastered that little bit of mystery for themselves. I’m that kind.” “You love trickery.” “I love puzzles. Trickery is just my native tongue.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
I really like your room,' Arthur says. 'This entire apartment. I hope this doesn't come off as wrong, but I really love it because it feels more like home than my own house does. Everything here feels like it matters. If something broke or got lost, you would notice. So many things in my house feel so replaceable.
Becky Albertalli (What If It's Us (What If It's Us, #1))
Well, my dear sisters, the gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt. We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It's our faith that he experienced everything- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don't think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don't experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced Napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism. Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced as a woman that he does not also know and recognize. On a profound level, he understands the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy. He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy. He knows about PMS and cramps and menopause. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion. His last recorded words to his disciples were, "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20) He understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two-year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He's been there. He's been lower than all that. He's not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don't need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief. You know that people who live above a certain latitude and experience very long winter nights can become depressed and even suicidal, because something in our bodies requires whole spectrum light for a certain number of hours a day. Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light. Jesus is the light of the world. We know that this world is a dark place sometimes, but we need not walk in darkness. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion. We need him, and He is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him.
Chieko N. Okazaki
Mademoiselle, I beseech you, do not do what you are doing.” “Leave dear Linnet alone, you mean!” “It is deeper than that. Do not open your heart to evil.” Her lips fell apart; a look of bewilderment came into her eyes. Poirot went on gravely: “Because—if you do—evil will come…Yes, very surely evil will come…It will enter in and make its home within you, and after a little while it will no longer be possible to drive it out.” Jacqueline stared at him. Her glance seemed to waver, to flicker uncertainly. She said: “I—don’t know—” Then she cried out definitely, “You can’t stop me.” “No,” said Hercule Poirot. “I cannot stop you.” His voice was sad.
Agatha Christie (Death on the Nile)
I had always wondered if Cole would believe me if I ever did manage to tell him everything; or if Dad was right and everyone would believe him. As much as I wanted to believe Cole would choose to have faith in me, I could never risk it. In just over two years, I would be eighteen and could leave home. There was no point in ripping my family apart and hurting so many people when I would leave soon anyway.
Natasha Preston (Silence (Silence, #1))
Whenever I’m home for a few days, I start to feel this despair at being back in the place where I had spent so many afternoons dreaming of getting away, so many late nights fantasizing about who I would be once I was allowed to be someone apart from my family, once I was free to commit mistakes on my own. How strange it is to return to a place where my childish notions of freedom are everywhere to be found—in my journals and my doodles and the corners of the room where I sat fuming for hours, counting down the days until I could leave this place and start my real life. But now that trying to become someone on my own is no longer something to dream about but just my ever-present reality, now that my former conviction that I had been burdened with the responsibility of taking care of this household has been revealed to be untrue, that all along, my responsibilities had been negligible, illusory even, that all along, our parents had been the ones watching over us—me and my brother—and now that I am on my own, the days of resenting my parents for loving me too much and my brother for needing me too intensely have been replaced with the days of feeling bewildered by the prospect of finding some other identity besides “daughter” or “sister.” It turns out this, too, is terrifying, all of it is terrifying. Being someone is terrifying. I long to come home, but now, I will always come home to my family as a visitor, and that weighs on me, reverts me back into the teenager I was, but instead of insisting that I want everyone to leave me alone, what I want now is for someone to beg me to stay. Me again. Mememememememe.
Jenny Zhang (Sour Heart)
There is a mirror across from me, and I check my reflection in it before heading home. Despite the bone-deep fatigue and the growing fear and frustration, I look…fine. Da always said he’d teach me to play cards. Said I’d take the bank, the way things never reach my eyes. There should be something—a tell, a crease between my eyes, or a tightness in my jaw. I’m too good at this. Behind my reflection I see the painting of the sea, slanting as if the waves crashing on the rocks have hit with enough force to tip the picture. I turn and straighten it. The frame makes a faint rattling sound when I do. Everything in this place seems to be falling apart.
Victoria Schwab (The Archived (The Archived, #1))
Zen has been called the "religion before religion," which is to say that anyone can practice, including those committed to another faith. And that phrase evokes that natural religion of our early childhood, when heaven and a splendorous earth were one. But soon the child's clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions and abstractions. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines, and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day, at the bottom of each breath, there is a hollow place filled with longing. We become seekers without knowing that we seek, and at first, we long for something "greater" than ourselves, something apart and far away. It is not a return to childhood, for childhood is not a truly enlightened state. Yet to seek one's own true nature is "a way to lead you to your long lost home." To practice Zen means to realize one's existence moment after moment, rather than letting life unravel in regret of the past and daydreaming of the future. To "rest in the present" is a state of magical simplicity...out of the emptiness can come a true insight into our natural harmony all creation. To travel this path, one need not be a 'Zen Buddhist', which is only another idea to be discarded like 'enlightenment,' and like 'the Buddha' and like 'God.
Peter Matthiessen (Nine-Headed Dragon River: Zen Journals, 1969-1982)
If I were you, Mr. Lascelles," said Childermass, softly, "I would speak more guardedly. You are in the north now. In John Uskglass's own country. Our towns and cities and abbeys were built by him. Our laws were made by him. He is our minds and hearts and speech. Were it summer you would see a carpet of tiny flowers beneath every hedgerow, of a bluish-white colour. We call them John’s Farthings. When the weather is contrary and we have warm weather in winter or it rains in summer the country people say that John Uskglass is in love again and neglects his business. And when we are sure of something we say it is as safe as a pebble in John Uskglass’s pocket.” Lascelles laughed. “Far be it from me, Mr. Childermass, to disparage your quaint country sayings. But surely it is one thing to pay lip-service to one’s history and quite another to talk of bringing back a King who numbered Lucifer himself among his allies and overlords? No one wants that, do they? I mean apart from a few Jihannites and madmen?” “I am a North Englishman, Mr. Lascelles,” said Childermass. “Nothing would please me better than that my King should come home. It is what I have wished for all my life.
Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)
When Seymour and I were five and three, Les and Bessie played on the same bill for a couple of weeks with Joe Jackson -- the redoubtable Joe Jackson of the nickel-plated trick bicycle that shone like something better than platinum to the very last row of the theater. A good many years later, not long after the outbreak of the Second World War, when Seymour and I had just recently moved into a small New York apartment of our own, our father -- Les, as he'll be called hereafter -- dropped in on us one evening on his way home from a pinochle game. He quite apparently had held very bad cards all afternoon. He came in, at any rate, rigidly predisposed to keep his overcoat on. He sat. He scowled at the furnishings. He turned my hand over to check for cigarette-tar stains on my fingers, then asked Seymour how many cigarettes he smoked a day. He thought he found a fly in his highball. At length, when the conversation -- in my view, at least -- was going straight to hell, he got up abruptly and went over to look at a photograph of himself and Bessie that had been newly tacked up on the wall. He glowered at it for a full minute, or more, then turned around, with a brusqueness no one in the family would have found unusual, and asked Seymour if he remembered the time Joe Jackson had given him, Seymour, a ride on the handle bars of his bicycle, all over the stage, around and around. Seymour, sitting in an old corduroy armchair across the room, a cigarette going, wearing a blue shirt, gray slacks, moccasins with the counters broken down, a shaving cut on the side of his face that I could see, replied gravely and at once, and in the special way he always answered questions from Les -- as if they were the questions, above all others, he preferred to be asked in his life. He said he wasn't sure he had ever got off Joe Jackson's beautiful bicycle.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
Peachy. Alrighty, then. She’d just get in her car, run home to check her clothes, hair, and makeup, walk across the street to Jason’s apartment, knock on his door, stare at his masculine hotness in stupid adoration, probably insert her foot into her mouth fifty-five times in under five minutes, then go back to her place and relive the embarrassment all night long while replaying what she should’ve done or said had she been a sophisticated woman, instead of a blundering moron. Done and done. Piece of cake.
Kelly Moran (Residual Burn (Redwood Ridge, #4))
But it wasn't the right season to lift off. Not yet. I sat in my apartment and looked out over the city, and I just didn't feel any passion to write about the place. I didn't give a damn about local politics; I wasn't moved by the issues. I missed home. And I was frustrated by people who actually thought the world was a centre and that centre was here. ‘The world's a sphere, everyone,’ I wanted to say. ‘The centre of a sphere doesn't lie on its surface. Look up the word 'superficial', when you have a chance.
Mohsin Hamid (Moth Smoke)
Quinn once told me a story.” He waits for me to moan a grievance at the mention of a story, and when I don’t, his tone sinks into deeper gravity. “Once, in the days of Old Earth, there were two pigeons who were greatly in love. In those days, they raised such animals to carry messages across great distances. These two were born in the same cage, raised by the same man, and sold on the same day to different men on the eve of a great war. “The pigeons suffered apart from each other, each incomplete without their lover. Far and wide their masters took them, and the pigeons feared they would never again find each other, for they began to see how vast the world was, and how terrible the things in it. For months and months, they carried messages for their masters, flying over battle lines, through the air over men who killed one another for land. When the war ended, the pigeons were set free by their masters. But neither knew where to go, neither knew what to do, so each flew home. And there they found each other again, as they were always destined to return home and find, instead of the past, their future.” He folds his hands gently, a teacher arriving at his point. “So do I feel lost? Always. When Lea died at the Institute …” His lips slip gently downward. “… I was in a dark woods, blind and lost as Dante before Virgil. But Quinn helped me. Her voice calling me out of misery. She became my home. As she puts it, ‘Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.’ ” He grasps the top of my hand. “Find your home, Darrow. It may not be in the past. But find it, and you’ll never be lost again.
Pierce Brown (Golden Son (Red Rising Saga, #2))
unsolicited advice to adolescent girls with crooked teeth and pink hair When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boys call asking your cup size, say A, hang up. When he says you gave him blue balls, say you’re welcome. When a girl with thick black curls who smells like bubble gum stops you in a stairwell to ask if you’re a boy, explain that you keep your hair short so she won’t have anything to grab when you head-butt her. Then head-butt her. When a guidance counselor teases you for handed-down jeans, do not turn red. When you have sex for the second time and there is no condom, do not convince yourself that screwing between layers of underwear will soak up the semen. When your geometry teacher posts a banner reading: “Learn math or go home and learn how to be a Momma,” do not take your first feminist stand by leaving the classroom. When the boy you have a crush on is sent to detention, go home. When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boy with the blue mohawk swallows your heart and opens his wrists, hide the knives, bleach the bathtub, pour out the vodka. Every time. When the skinhead girls jump you in a bathroom stall, swing, curse, kick, do not turn red. When a boy you think you love delivers the first black eye, use a screw driver, a beer bottle, your two good hands. When your father locks the door, break the window. When a college professor writes you poetry and whispers about your tight little ass, do not take it as a compliment, do not wait, call the Dean, call his wife. When a boy with good manners and a thirst for Budweiser proposes, say no. When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boys tell you how good you smell, do not doubt them, do not turn red. When your brother tells you he is gay, pretend you already know. When the girl on the subway curses you because your tee shirt reads: “I fucked your boyfriend,” assure her that it is not true. When your dog pees the rug, kiss her, apologize for being late. When he refuses to stay the night because you live in Jersey City, do not move. When he refuses to stay the night because you live in Harlem, do not move. When he refuses to stay the night because your air conditioner is broken, leave him. When he refuses to keep a toothbrush at your apartment, leave him. When you find the toothbrush you keep at his apartment hidden in the closet, leave him. Do not regret this. Do not turn red. When your mother hits you, do not strike back.
Jeanann Verlee
I realized that “being prepared” can sometimes be a euphemism for being scared to let go. How much we carry—whether it is on our bicycle, in our bag, or in our home—is often directly related to how little we trust in life to guide us well, and in others to help us out in a pinch. To this day, I have found that traveling light yields a far richer experience.
Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan (Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure)
Late at night, when they lay together, as much of their bodies touching as possible, Anna and Parker had the conversations they could have only with each other. They tried to remember the before, when they were children and there was only one place to call home, one country, the flag billowing on windy days in front of homes up and down every street—bands of red and white, fifty stars, one nation, indivisible until it wasn’t, how quickly it all came apart.
Roxane Gay (Difficult Women)
For a while it was forever, and then things started to fall apart. There isn't a story to tell, because a relationship is a story you construct together and take up residence in, a story as sheltering as a house. You invent this story of how your destinies were made to entwine like porch vines, you adjust to a big view in this direction and no view in that, the doorway that you have to duck through and the window that is jammed, how who you think you are becomes a factor of who you think he is and who he thinks you are, a castle in the clouds made out of the moist air exhaled by dreamers. It's a shock to find yourself outdoors and alone again, hard to imagine that you could ever live in another house, big where this one was small, small where it was big, hard when your body has learned all the twists and turns of the staircase so that you could walk it in your sleep, hard when you have built it from scratch and called it home, hard to imagine building again. But you lit the fire that burned it down yourself.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
Home is to be a safe place, a refuge for all who enter, a protection from the harm and storms of the world. Yet often or even daily we open our doors -- usually via television or the internet -- to ideas and images that can damage our faith, abuse our hearts and minds, sear our psyches, and tear apart our peace. Home should be a place where, behind its doors, one should expect to find protection and safety from all the harms of life, including voices that do not speak truth or wisdom. Only the foolish would invite just anyone to enter the door of their home.
Sally Clarkson (The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming)
Six month of sitting home, six month of doing absolutely nothing but watching TV, going out, sleeping, getting drunk and sleeping again. Oh no, wait, I was busy with something, I was doing some renovations in my new apartment. Which legally became mine only a month ago. Yep, that's what all my life has been about, spontaneous decisions and living in the moment. Because right now technically I'm a 25-year-old illegal immigrant from Russia, four years in New York, no papers, no work authorization, no work itself. Only a crazy life filled with restaurants, shops, beauty salons, clubs and restaurants again. How is it all possible? Very simple. I used to be a stripper.
Ellie Midwood (The New York Doll)
Hitherto, the Palestinians had been relatively immune to this Allahu Akhbar style. I thought this was a hugely retrograde development. I said as much to Edward. To reprint Nazi propaganda and to make a theocratic claim to Spanish soil was to be a protofascist and a supporter of 'Caliphate' imperialism: it had nothing at all to do with the mistreatment of the Palestinians. Once again, he did not exactly disagree. But he was anxious to emphasize that the Israelis had often encouraged Hamas as a foil against Fatah and the PLO. This I had known since seeing the burning out of leftist Palestinians by Muslim mobs in Gaza as early as 1981. Yet once again, it seemed Edward could only condemn Islamism if it could somehow be blamed on either Israel or the United States or the West, and not as a thing in itself. He sometimes employed the same sort of knight's move when discussing other Arabist movements, excoriating Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party, for example, mainly because it had once enjoyed the support of the CIA. But when Saddam was really being attacked, as in the case of his use of chemical weapons on noncombatants at Halabja, Edward gave second-hand currency to the falsified story that it had 'really' been the Iranians who had done it. If that didn't work, well, hadn't the United States sold Saddam the weaponry in the first place? Finally, and always—and this question wasn't automatically discredited by being a change of subject—what about Israel's unwanted and ugly rule over more and more millions of non-Jews? I evolved a test for this mentality, which I applied to more people than Edward. What would, or did, the relevant person say when the United States intervened to stop the massacres and dispossessions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo? Here were two majority-Muslim territories and populations being vilely mistreated by Orthodox and Catholic Christians. There was no oil in the region. The state interests of Israel were not involved (indeed, Ariel Sharon publicly opposed the return of the Kosovar refugees to their homes on the grounds that it set an alarming—I want to say 'unsettling'—precedent). The usual national-security 'hawks,' like Henry Kissinger, were also strongly opposed to the mission. One evening at Edward's apartment, with the other guest being the mercurial, courageous Azmi Bishara, then one of the more distinguished Arab members of the Israeli parliament, I was finally able to leave the arguing to someone else. Bishara [...] was quite shocked that Edward would not lend public support to Clinton for finally doing the right thing in the Balkans. Why was he being so stubborn? I had begun by then—belatedly you may say—to guess. Rather like our then-friend Noam Chomsky, Edward in the final instance believed that if the United States was doing something, then that thing could not by definition be a moral or ethical action.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
When You Return Fallen leaves will climb back into trees. Shards of the shattered vase will rise and reassemble on the table. Plastic raincoats will refold into their flat envelopes. The egg, bald yolk and its transparent halo, slide back in the thin, calcium shell. Curses will pour back into mouths, letters un-write themselves, words siphoned up into the pen. My gray hair will darken and become the feathers of a black swan. Bullets will snap back into their chambers, the powder tamped tight in brass casings. Borders will disappear from maps. Rust revert to oxygen and time. The fire return to the log, the log to the tree, the white root curled up in the un-split seed. Birdsong will fly into the lark’s lungs, answers become questions again. When you return, sweaters will unravel and wool grow on the sheep. Rock will go home to mountain, gold to vein. Wine crushed into the grape, oil pressed into the olive. Silk reeled in to the spider’s belly. Night moths tucked close into cocoons, ink drained from the indigo tattoo. Diamonds will be returned to coal, coal to rotting ferns, rain to clouds, light to stars sucked back and back into one timeless point, the way it was before the world was born, that fresh, that whole, nothing broken, nothing torn apart.
Ellen Bass (Like a Beggar)
Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you'll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You'll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all of your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you'll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you've got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name. and then the nightmares will begin.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
She looked over the bins of tinselly junk and felt despair, trying to find one single thing that wouldn't fall apart before you got it home. Maybe her father was lucky to die young with his pride of craftsmanship intact. What would he make of this world? Realistically, it probably wasn't slave children, but there had to be armies of factory workers making this slapdash stuff, underpaid people cranking out things for underpaid people to buy and use up, living their lives mostly to cancel each other out.
Barbara Kingsolver (Flight Behavior)
It always has to end, doesn't it? We always have to separate.' 'Yes,' I said. He was insistent, 'But it doesn't always have to be that way. We could be together some day for always.' 'Oh, no,' I told him, wondering if he knew it was all over. 'We keep running till we die. We separate, get further apart, till we are dead.' He has no home; he is unhappy. I could be the source of his joy, the refuge of his life. And I can only pass on. Something in me wants more. I can't rest. Perhaps some day I'll crawl back home, beaten, defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
The problem, David, is your cynicism only runs one direction. If somebody comes on TV and says everything is great and wonderful, you don’t believe it, you say they’re blowing smoke up your butt. You demand proof. But if one second later, some guy comes on and says everything is falling apart, you automatically believe it, no questions asked. If those people had told you that this mine monster situation was no big deal and that we should just go home, you wouldn’t have believed them, not for a second. But the moment they said it was a Class G apocalypse, you were on board. As if nobody ever has motivation to tell you things are worse than they really are. And you know for a fact that’s not true! Nothing controls people like fear.
David Wong (What the Hell Did I Just Read (John Dies at the End, #3))
We had fun, didn’t we?” she said, her eyes glinting. “Well, apart from the last bit.” Fun? He remembered burying himself inside her and thinking he’d finally come home. He remembered pillowing his head on her breasts and coming apart in her arms. Fun? She took a step closer, her body language shouting that she was going to lean over the bed rail and kiss him. A long, bittersweet goodbye kiss, no doubt. Jesus, he couldn’t bear it.
Norah Wilson (Lauren's Eyes)
I suppose there may be a branch president or a high councilor or an elders quorum president or a visiting teacher in the room who wants to know what it is we are to accomplish as Church members when we get together, even if it's only in a home evening group or an opportunity to pray together. Well, this passage indicates that it may have something to do with remembering each other. We all count. Everyone matters. We have a name and it's recorded and we need to remember that here. No one must get lost. "And their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God. . . to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ . . . to fast and to speak with one another concerning the welfare of their souls . . . to observe that there should be no iniquity among them"--what a great thought about meetings and what they are supposed to do, what a Sunday School class can be, what a scriptural discussion in an apartment can be.
Jeffrey R. Holland
I just want to say one thing. If I ever write a novel again, it's going to be in defense of weak women, inept and codependent women. I'm going to talk about all the great movies and songs and poetry that focus on such women. I'm going to toast Blanche DuBois. I'm going to celebrate women who aren't afraid to show their need and their vulnerabilities. To be honest about how hard it can be to plow your way through a life that offers no guarantees about anything. I'm going to get on my metaphorical knees and thank women who fall apart, who cry and carry on and wail and wring their hands because you know what, Midge? We all need to cry. Thank God for women who can articulate their vulnerabilities and express what probably a lot of other people want to say and feel they can't. Those peoples' stronghold against falling apart themselves is the disdain they feel for women who do it for them. Strong. I'm starting to think that's as much a party line as anything else ever handed to women for their assigned roles. When do we get respect for our differences from men? Our strength is our weakness. Our ability to feel is our humanity. You know what? I'll bet if you talk to a hundred strong women, 99 of them would say 'I'm sick of being strong. I would like to be cared for. I would like someone else to make the goddamn decisions, I'm sick of making decisions.' I know this one woman who's a beacon of strength. A single mother who can do everything - even more than you, Midge. I ran into her not long ago and we went and got a coffee and you know what she told me? She told me that when she goes out to dinner with her guy, she asks him to order everything for her. Every single thing, drink to dessert. Because she just wants to unhitch. All of us dependent, weak women have the courage to do all the time what she can only do in a restaurant.
Elizabeth Berg (Home Safe)
When tomorrow starts without me, And I’m not there to see, If the sun should rise and find your eyes All filled with tears for me; I wish so much you wouldn’t cry The way you did today, While thinking of the many things, We didn’t get to say. I know how much you love me, As much as I love you, And each time you think of me, I know you’ll miss me too; But when tomorrow starts without me, Please try to understand, That an angel came and called my name, And took me by the hand, And said my place was ready, In heaven far above And that I’d have to leave behind All those I dearly love. But as I turned to walk away, A tear fell from my eye For all my life, I’d always thought, I didn’t want to die. I had so much to live for, So much left yet to do, It seemed almost impossible, That I was leaving you. I thought of all the yesterdays, The good ones and the bad, The thought of all the love we shared, And all the fun we had. If I could relive yesterday Just even for a while, I’d say good-bye and kiss you And maybe see you smile. But then I fully realized That this could never be, For emptiness and memories, Would take the place of me. And when I thought of worldly things I might miss come tomorrow, I thought of you, and when I did My heart was filled with sorrow. But when I walked through heaven’s gates I felt so much at home When God looked down and smiled at me, From His great golden throne, He said, “This is eternity, And all I’ve promised you. Today your life on earth is past But here it starts anew. I promise no tomorrow, But today will always last, And since each day’s the same way, There’s no longing for the past. You have been so faithful, So trusting and so true. Though there were times You did some things You knew you shouldn’t do. But you have been forgiven And now at last you’re free. So won’t you come and take my hand And share my life with me?” So when tomorrow starts without me, Don’t think we’re far apart, For every time you think of me, I’m right here, in your heart.
Eben Alexander (Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife)
I come to call you Home. Those who resonate with my words and follow them internally, will find that place and know It's completeness, its joy and fullness. I have come to call you away from suffering, from fear and from a life of sorrow and into your own, divine Being. I did not come here to give you decorative stories, to excite your imagination, or sign you up for some long program but to show you how available Truth is, and to remind you that you are never separate from It. No person on this planet is apart from the Truth in the Heart and yet the world is so vast and varied in expression. The greatest good and greatest evil is here. In this forest of duality and complexity you must find your way Home. You must win your Self back. Wisdom and trust will be your compass. Many voices came to call us but we are here today because we are freshly called by the voice of God, Love, Truth. Do not come half way home, but fully home. I know the voice that called you is true and Truth and that where you are being called to is also Real. It is inside your own Heart. It is what gives me the strength to be here. I love to see the beings being set free from the hypnosis of conditioning; from fears, false projection and the grip of ego. And I know that to be liberated is not difficult. It requires only openness and the sincere desire to be free. I don't need to hear anything about your past. Your stories are of no interest to me. That is not how I know you. I know you only through your Heart. That is my true connection with you - the living power of God. It is That which I respond to in you and it is only This that I know. I can only keep reminding you of It by pointing you again and again to the obvious in yourself. Now you must respond to my pointing. This will complete this yoga of seeing. Find and be one with That which is imperishable. Be merged in the Absolute. Don't go to sleep.
Mooji
All those summer drives, no matter where I was going, to a person, a project, an adventure, or home, alone in the car with my social life all before and behind me, I was suspended in the beautiful solitude of the open road, in a kind of introspection that only outdoor space generates, for inside and outside are more intertwined than the usual distinctions allow. The emotion stirred by the landscape is piercing, a joy close to pain when the blue is deepest on the horizon or the clouds are doing those spectacular fleeting things so much easier to recall than to describe. Sometimes I thought of my apartment in San Francisco as only a winter camp and home as the whole circuit around the West I travel a few times a year and myself as something of a nomad (nomads, contrary to current popular imagination, have fixed circuits and stable relationships to places; they are far from beign the drifters and dharma bums that the word nomad often connotes nowadays). This meant that it was all home, and certainly the intense emotion that, for example, the sequence of mesas alongside the highway for perhaps fifty miles west of Gallup, N.M., and a hundred miles east has the power even as I write to move me deeply, as do dozens of other places, and I have come to long not to see new places but to return and know the old ones more deeply, to see them again. But if this was home, then I was both possessor of an enchanted vastness and profoundly alienated.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
It was knock or go home and die. Rase knocked. The door opened with such alacrity that Rase wondered whether Gabriel had been standing on the other side, drawn to the door by the same uncanny instinct that had inspired him to torment Rase. "You said anytime," Rase said, before Gabriel could say anything. "I did." Gabriel seemed unperturbed at having his employer show up at his door. He stepped back to let Rase in. Rase had been expecting something in keeping with the rest of the building. Instead, Gabriel's apartment was shabby but spotless. It was one main room with a niche for the kitchen and a tiny bathroom that Rase could see through a narrow door that stood ajar. He walked to the center of the room and found himself only feet from Gabriel's bed, a sizable bed with a heavy iron frame. That stopped him in his tracks, and he stood there, wondering what to do with himself. "Beer?" Gabriel was so close that Rase could feel Gabriel's breath on his hair. "This isn't a social call," Rase said, not even trying to keep his voice steady. "Then why are your clothes still on?
Anah Crow (Uneven)
Otis, on the other hand, didn't miss home a bit. He had always hated the stairs in our house in Massachusetts. He was now five years old and very large for a golden retriever. I thought he was fat, but Bruce insisted he was just "big-boned". Either way, climbing the steep stairs at home was a challenge. Whenever Bruce and I went upstairs, Otis would sit near the bottom step, carefully calculating whether we would be on the second floor long enough to make it worthwhile to heave himself up the stairs. And on the way down the stairs, Otis was like a fully loaded eighteen-wheeler barreling down a steep hill. We just got out of his way. But in the new Washington apartment building, Otis had an elevator. As far as he was concerned, life was sweet.
Elizabeth Warren
Prison left me with some strange little tics.' She has taken all the door off their hinges in all the apartments she has lived in since. It's not that she has anxiety attacks about small spaces, she says, it's just that she starts to sweat and go cold. 'This apartment is perfect for me,' she says, looking around the open space. 'How about elevators?' I ask, recalling the schlepp up the stairs. 'Exactly,' she replies, 'I don't like them much either.' One day, years later, her husband Charlie was fooling around at home, playing the guitar. Miriam said something provocative and he stood up suddenly, lifting his arm to take off the guitar strap. He was probably just going to say 'That's outrageous', or tickle her or tackle her. But she was gone. She was already down in the courtyard of the building. She does not remember getting down the stairs-it was an automatic flight reaction.
Anna Funder (Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall)
By not talking about death with our loved ones, not being clear through advanced directives, DNR (do not resuscitate) orders, and funeral plans, we are directly contributing to this future ... and a rather bleak present, at that. Rather than engage in larger societal discussions about dignified ways for the terminally ill to end their lives, we accept intolerable cases like that of Angelita, a widow in Oakland who covered her head with a plastic bag because the arthritic pain of her gnarled joints was too much to bear. Or that of Victor in Los Angeles, who hung himself from the rafters of his apartment after his third unsuccessful round of chemotherapy, leaving his son to discover his body. Or the countless bodies with decubitus ulcers, more painful for me to care for them even babies or suicides. When these bodies come into the funeral home, I can only offer my sympathy to their living relatives, and promise to work to ensure that more people are not robbed of a dignified death by a culture of silence.
Caitlin Doughty (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory)
I know I get crazy when it comes to you, but God knows I’m tryin’, Pidge. I don’t wanna screw this up.” “Then don’t.” “This is hard for me, ya know. I feel like any second you’re going to figure out what a piece of shit I am and leave me. When you were dancing last night, I saw a dozen different guys watching you. You go to the bar, and I see you thank that guy for your drink. Then that douchebag on the dance floor grabs you.” “You don’t see me throwing punches every time a girl talks to you. I can’t stay locked up in the apartment all the time. You’re going to have to get a handle on your temper.” “I will. I’ve never wanted a girlfriend before, Pigeon. I’m not used to feeling this way about someone…about anyone. If you’ll be patient with me, I swear I’ll get it figured out.” “Let’s get something straight; you’re not a piece of shit, you’re amazing. It doesn’t matter who buys me drinks, or who asks me to dance, or who flirts with me. I’m going home with you. You’ve asked me to trust you, and you don’t seem to trust me.” He frowned. “That’s not true.” “If you think I’m going to leave you for the next guy that comes along, then you don’t have much faith in me.” He tightened his grip. “I’m not good enough for you, Pidge. That doesn’t mean I don’t trust you, I’m just bracing for the inevitable.” “Don’t say that. When we’re alone, you’re perfect. We’re perfect. But then you let everyone else ruin it. I don’t expect a one-eighty, but you have to pick your battles. You can’t come out swinging every time someone looks at me.” He nodded. “I’ll do anything you want. Just…tell me you love me.” “You know I do.” “I need to hear you say it,” he said, his brows pulling together. “I love you,” I said, touching my lips to his. “Now quit being such a baby.” He laughed, crawling into the bed with me. We spent the next hour in the same spot under the covers, giggling and kissing, barely noticing when Kara returned from the shower.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
When one has apparently made up one’s mind to spend the evening at home and has donned one’s house-jacket and sat down at the lamplit table after supper and do the particular job or play the particular game on completion of which one is in the habit of going to bed, when the weather out is so unpleasant as to make staying in the obvious choice, when one has been sitting quietly at the table for so long already that one’s leaving must inevitably provoke general astonishment, when the stairwell is in any case in darkness and the street door locked, and when in spite of all this one stands up, suddenly ill at ease, changes one’s coat, reappears immediately in street clothes, announces that one has to go out and after a brief farewell does so, feeling that one has left behind one a degree of irritation commensurate with the abruptness with which one slammed the apartment door, when one then finds oneself in the street possessed of limbs that respond to the quite unexpected freedom one has procured for them with out-of-the-ordinary agility, when in the wake of this one decision one feels capable, deep down, of taking any decision, when one realizes with a greater sense of significance than usual that one has, after all, more ability than one has need easily to effect and endure the most rapid change, and when in this frame of mind one walks the long city streets—then for that evening one has stepped completely outside one’s family, which veers into inessentiality, while one’s own person, rock solid, dark with definition, thighs thrusting rhythmically, assumes it true form. The whole experience is enhanced when at that late hour one looks up a friend to see how he is.
Franz Kafka (The Complete Stories)
Addicts are good at lying, but never as good as their children. It's their sons and daughters who have to come up with excuses, never too outlandish or incredible, always mundane enough for no one to want to check them. An addict's child's homework never gets eaten by the dog, they just forgot their backpack at home. Their mom didn't miss parents' evening because she was kidnapped by ninjas, but because she had to work overtime. The child doesn't remember the name of the place she's working, it's only a temporary job. She does her best, Mom does, to support us now that Dad's gone, you know. You soon learn how to phrase things in such a way as to preclude any follow-up questions. You learn that the women in the welfare office can take you away from her if they find out she managed to set fire to your last apartment when she fell asleep with a cigarette in her hand, or if they find out she stole the Christmas ham from the supermarket. So you lie when the security guard comes, you take the ham off her, and confess: 'It was me who took it.' No one calls the police for a child, not when it's Christmas. So they let you go home with your mom, hungry but not alone.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
And, of course, there is the person you come back to: his face and body and voice and scent and touch, his way of waiting until you finish whatever you're saying, no matter how lengthy, before he speaks, the way his smile moves so slowly across his face that it reminds you of moonrise, how clearly he has missed you and how clearly happy he is to have you back. Then there are the things, if you are particularly lucky, that this person has done for you while you're away: how in the pantry, in the freezer, in the refrigerator will be all the food you like to eat, the scotch you like to drink. There will be the sweater you thought you lost the previous year at the theater, clean and folded and back on its shelf. There will be the shirt with its dangling buttons, but the buttons will be sewn back in place...And there will be no mention of it, and you will know that it was done with genuine pleasure, and you will know that part of the reason—a small part, but a part—you love being in this apartment and in this relationship is because this other person is always making a home for you, and that when you tell him this, he won't be offended but pleased, and you'll be glad, because you meant it with gratitude. And in these moments—almost a week back home—you will wonder why you leave so often, and you will wonder whether, after the next year's obligations are fulfilled, you ought not just stay here for a period, where you belong.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Nostos algos. I want to go home. A phrase that's stuck on a loop, that I hear before falling asleep, waiting in line for my coffee, tapping the elevator button and rising through the sky to my apartment...and yet my desire is not attached to a particular place...I want to go home but what I mean, what I'm grasping for, is not a place. It's a feeling. I want to go back. But back where? Maybe to the first time I heard Stevie Nicks, to watching the snow fall outside the window with a paperback folded open in my lap, to the moment before I tasted alcohol, to virginity and not really knowing that things die, back to believing that something great is still up ahead, back to before I made the choices that would hem me in to the life I live now. A life that I regret sometimes, I think, only because it's mine, because it's turned out this way and not some other way, because I can't go back and change what will happen.
Julie Buntin (Marlena)
All over Atlanta that fall, in the blue twilights, girls came clicking home from their jobs in their clunky heels and miniskirts and opened their apartment windows to the winesap air, and got out ice cubes, and put on Petula Clark singing 'Downtown', and sat down to wait. Soon the young men would come, drifting out of their bachelor apartments in Bermuda shorts and Topsiders, carrying beers and gin and tonics, looking for a refill and a a date and the keeping of promises that hung in the bronze air like fruit on the eve of ripeness.
Anne Rivers Siddons (Downtown)
They had pulled me from the hemorrhaging, dying body of my mother and turned me over to the care of the man who was not my father. He had taken me home to their tiny apartment above the old hardware store and done what little he knew to take care of me. It took less than six weeks for him to realize his mistake. Maybe even less than six hours, but he never abandoned me. He clung to me as though I was the last remnant of some great and powerful love. And that gave me hope that maybe my mother was really something else and not just some girl who got knocked up by a guy whose name she didn’t even know. She was something special, someone worthy of a man’s loyalty and devotion. --Rocky Evans
Gwenn Wright (Filter (The Von Strassenberg Saga, #1))
Apart from the peace and emptiness of the landscape, there is a special smell about winter in Provence which is accentuated by the wind and the clean, dry air. Walking in the hills, I was often able to smell a house before I could see it, because of the scent of woodsmoke coming from an invisible chimney. It is one of the most primitive smells in life, and consequently extinct in most cities, where fire regulations and interior decorators have combined to turn fireplaces into blocked-up holes or self-consciously lit "architectural features." The fireplace in Provence is still used - to cook on, to sit around, to warm the toes, and to please the eye - and fires are laid in the early morning and fed throughout the day with scrub oak from the Luberon or beech from the foothills of Mont Ventoux. Coming home with the dogs as dusk fell, I always stopped to look from the top of the valley at the long zigzag of smoke ribbons drifting up from the farms that are scattered along the Bonnieux road. It was a sight that made me think of warm kitchens and well-seasoned stews, and it never failed to make me ravenous.
Peter Mayle (A Year in Provence)
My name is CRPS, or so they say But I actually go by; a few different names. I was once called causalgia, nearly 150 years ago And then I had a new name It was RSD, apparently so. I went by that name because the burn lived inside of me. Now I am called CRPS, because I have so much to say I struggle to be free. I don't have one symptom and this is where I change, I attack the home of where I live; with shooting/burning pains. Depression fills the mind of the body I belong, it starts to speak harsh to self, negativity growing strong. Then I start to annoy them; with the issues with sensitivity, You'd think the pain enough; but no, it wants to make you aware of its trembling disability. I silently make my move; but the screams are loud and clear, Because I enter your physical reality and you can't disappear. I confuse your thoughts; I contain apart of your memory, I cover your perspective, the fog makes it sometimes unbearable to see. I play with your temperature levels, I make you nervous all the time - I take away your independance and take away your pride. I stay with you by the day & I remind you by the night, I am an awful journey and you will struggle with this fight. Then there's a side to me; not many understand, I have the ability to heal and you can be my friend. Help yourself find the strength to fight me with all you have, because eventually I'll get tired of making you grow mad. It will take some time; remember I mainly live inside your brain, Curing me is hard work but I promise you, You can beat me if you feed love to my pain. Find the strength to carry on and feed the fears with light; hold on to the seat because, like I said, it's going to be a fight. But I hope to meet you, when your healthy and healed, & you will silenty say to me - I did this, I am cured is this real? That day could possibly come; closer than I want- After all I am a disease and im fighting for my spot. I won't deny from my medical angle, I am close to losing the " incurable " battle.
Nikki Rowe
Elites everywhere tend to worry about places where the lower orders congregate, and – though there was certainly a rough side and some rude talk – the reality of the normal bar was tamer than its reputation. For bars were not just drinking dens but an essential part of everyday life for those who had, at best, limited cooking facilities in their lodgings. As with the arrangement of apartment blocks, the Roman pattern is precisely the reverse of our own: the Roman rich, with their kitchens and multiple dining rooms, ate at home; the poor, if they wanted much more than the ancient equivalent of a sandwich, had to eat out. Roman towns were full of cheap bars and cafés, and it was here that a large number of ordinary Romans spent many hours of their non-working lives.
Mary Beard (SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome)
Let me tell you the truth about the world to which you so desperately want to return. It is a place of pain and suffering and grief. When you left it, cities were being attacked. Women and children were being blasted to pieces or burned alive by bombs dropped from planes flown by men with wives and children of their own. People were being dragged from their homes and shot in the street. Your world is tearing itself apart, and the most amusing thing of all is that it was little better before the war started. War merely gives people an excuse to indulge themselves further, to murder with impunity. There were wars before it, and there will be wars after it, and in between people will still fight one another and betray one another, because that is what they have always done.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
On my way home from the junior high, I would sometimes stop at the edge of our property and watch my mother ride the ride-on mower, looping in and out among the pine trees, and I could remember then how she used to whistle in the mornings as she made her tea and how my father, rushing home on Thursdays, would bring her marigolds and her face would light up in yellowy in delight. They had been deeply, separately, wholly in love- apart from her children my mother could reclaim this love, but with them she began to drift. It was my father who grew toward us as the years went by; it was my mother who grew away. ~pg 153; love
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Somewhere someone is thinking of you. Someone is calling you an angel. This person is using celestial colors to paint your image. Someone is making you into a vision so beautiful that it can only live in the mind. Someone is thinking of the way your breath escapes your lips when you are touched. How your eyes close and your jaw tightens with concentration as you give pleasure a home. These thoughts are saving a life somewhere right now. In some airless apartment on a dark, urine stained, whore lined street, someone is calling out to you silently and you are answering without even being there. So crystalline. So pure. Such life saving power when you smile.
Henry Rollins (Solipsist)
It seems right now that all I’ve ever done in my life is making my way here to you.’ I could see that Rosie could not place the line from The Bridges of Madison County that had produced such a powerful emotional reaction on the plane. She looked confused. ‘Don, what are you…what have you done to yourself?’ ‘I’ve made some changes.’ ‘Big changes.’ ‘Whatever behavioural modifications you require from me are a trivial price to pay for having you as my partner.’ Rosie made a downwards movement with her hand, which I could not interpret. Then she looked around the room and I followed her eyes. Everyone was watching. Nick had stopped partway to our table. I realised that in my intensity I had raised my voice. I didn’t care. ‘You are the world’s most perfect woman. All other women are irrelevant. Permanently. No Botox or implants will be required. ‘I need a minute to think,’ she said. I automatically started the timer on my watch. Suddenly Rosie started laughing. I looked at her, understandably puzzled at this outburst in the middle of a critical life decision. ‘The watch,’ she said. ‘I say “I need a minute” and you start timing. Don is not dead. 'Don, you don’t feel love, do you?’ said Rosie. ‘You can’t really love me.’ ‘Gene diagnosed love.’ I knew now that he had been wrong. I had watched thirteen romantic movies and felt nothing. That was not strictly true. I had felt suspense, curiosity and amusement. But I had not for one moment felt engaged in the love between the protagonists. I had cried no tears for Meg Ryan or Meryl Streep or Deborah Kerr or Vivien Leigh or Julia Roberts. I could not lie about so important a matter. ‘According to your definition, no.’ Rosie looked extremely unhappy. The evening had turned into a disaster. 'I thought my behaviour would make you happy, and instead it’s made you sad.’ ‘I’m upset because you can’t love me. Okay?’ This was worse! She wanted me to love her. And I was incapable. Gene and Claudia offered me a lift home, but I did not want to continue the conversation. I started walking, then accelerated to a jog. It made sense to get home before it rained. It also made sense to exercise hard and put the restaurant behind me as quickly as possible. The new shoes were workable, but the coat and tie were uncomfortable even on a cold night. I pulled off the jacket, the item that had made me temporarily acceptable in a world to which I did not belong, and threw it in a rubbish bin. The tie followed. On an impulse I retrieved the Daphne from the jacket and carried it in my hand for the remainder of the journey. There was rain in the air and my face was wet as I reached the safety of my apartment.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1))
The story of the rapper and the story of the hustler are like rap itself, two kinds of rhythm working together, having a conversation with each other, doing more together than they could do apart. It's been said that the thing that makes rap special, that makes it different both from pop music and from written poetry, is that it's built around two kinds of rhythm. The first kind of rhythm is the meter. In poetry, the meter is abstract, but in rap, the meter is something you literally hear: it's the beat. The beat in a song never stops, it never varies. No matter what other sounds are on the track, even if it's a Timbaland production with all kinds of offbeat fills and electronics, a rap song is usually built bar by bar, four-beat measure by four-beat measure. It's like time itself, ticking off relentlessly in a rhythm that never varies and never stops. When you think about it like that, you realize the beat is everywhere, you just have to tap into it. You can bang it out on a project wall or an 808 drum machine or just use your hands. You can beatbox it with your mouth. But the beat is only one half of a rap song's rhythm. The other is the flow. When a rapper jumps on a beat, he adds his own rhythm. Sometimes you stay in the pocket of the beat and just let the rhymes land on the square so that the beat and flow become one. But sometimes the flow cops up the beat, breaks the beat into smaller units, forces in multiple syllables and repeated sounds and internal rhymes, or hangs a drunken leg over the last bap and keeps going, sneaks out of that bitch. The flow isn't like time, it's like life. It's like a heartbeat or the way you breathe, it can jump, speed up, slow down, stop, or pound right through like a machine. If the beat is time, flow is what we do with that time, how we live through it. The beat is everywhere, but every life has to find its own flow. Just like beats and flows work together, rapping and hustling, for me at least, live through each other. Those early raps were beautiful in their way and a whole generation of us felt represented for the first time when we heard them. But there's a reason the culture evolved beyond that playful, partying lyrical style. Even when we recognized the voices, and recognized the style, and even personally knew the cats who were on the records, the content didn't always reflect the lives we were leading. There was a distance between what was becoming rap's signature style - the relentlessness, the swagger, the complex wordplay - and the substance of the songs. The culture had to go somewhere else to grow. It had to come home.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you’ll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You’ll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all of your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you’ll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you’ve got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name. And then the nightmares will begin.
Mark Z. Danielewski
Hold Fast Your Dreams Hold fast your dreams! Within your heart Keep one still, secret spot Where dreams may go, And, sheltered so, May thrive and grow Where doubt and fear are not. O keep a place apart, Within your heart, For little dreams to go! Think still of lovely things that are not true. Let wish and magic work at will in you. Be sometimes blind to sorrow. Make believe! Forget the calm that lies In disillusioned eyes. Though we all know that we must die, Yes you and I May walk like gods and be Even now at home in immortality. We see so many ugly things— Deceits and wrongs and quarrelings; We know, alast we know How quickly fade The color in the west, The bloom upon the flower, The bloom upon the breast And youth's blind hour. Yet keep within your heart A place apart Where little dreams may go, May thrive and grow. Hold fast—hold fast your dreams!
Louise Driscoll
There is a folk-tale about a shoemaker and his wife who were so poor that they had to send their many children out into the world to make a living. The lads went through many a perilous adventure but came home in the end, unscathed, to help their mother. They had always remembered their mother's advice and wise words; they often quoted them when they were in trouble, and in fact they recognized one another by them in foreign lands. The countless peoples of the world may be looked upon as so many children sent out into the world. They have gone through many adventures and hardships. They have drifted apart and fallen out with one another, on many occasions. They have failed to realize soon enough that they are brothers. But now it seems that they are beginning to realize this -- at least to the extent that they are able to get acquainted with each other's fundamental natures -- through their stories and songs.
Gyula Illyés (Once Upon a Time: Forty Hungarian Folk-Tales)
If one has been absent for decades from a place that one once held dear, the wise would generally counsel that one should never return there again. History abounds with sobering examples: After decades of wandering the seas and overcoming all manner of deadly hazards, Odysseus finally returned to Ithaca, only to leave it again a few years later. Robinson Crusoe, having made it back to England after years of isolation, shortly thereafter set sail for that very same island from which he had so fervently prayed for deliverance. Why after so many years of longing for home did these sojourners abandon it so shortly upon their return? It is hard to say. But perhaps for those returning after a long absence, the combination of heartfelt sentiments and the ruthless influence of time can only spawn disappointments. The landscape is not as beautiful as one remembered it. The local cider is not as sweet. Quaint buildings have been restored beyond recognition, while fine old traditions have lapsed to make way for mystifying new entertainments. And having imagined at one time that one resided at the very center of this little universe, one is barely recognized, if recognized at all. Thus do the wise counsel that one should steer far and wide of the old homestead. But no counsel, however well grounded in history, is suitable for all. Like bottles of wine, two men will differ radically from each other for being born a year apart or on neighboring hills. By way of example, as this traveler stood before the ruins of his old home, he was not overcome by shock, indignation, or despair. Rather, he exhibited the same smile, at once wistful and serene, that he had exhibited upon seeing the overgrown road. For as it turns out, one can revisit the past quite pleasantly, as long as one does so expecting nearly every aspect of it to have changed.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
Every republic runs its greatest risk not so much from discontented soldiers as from discontented multi-millionaires. They are very rarely, if ever, content with a position of equality, and the larger the population which is said to be equal with them, the less content they are. Their natural desire is to be a class apart, and if they cannot have titles at home, they wish to be received as equals by titled people abroad. That is exactly our present position, and would be the end of the American dream. All past republics have been overthrown by rich men, or nobles, and we have plenty of Sons of the Revolution ready for the job, and plenty of successful soldiers deriding the Constitution, unrebuked by the Executive or by public opinion.
Kory Stamper (Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries)
Love is about control and loss of control. In love, we give ourselves up to each other. We lose control or, rather, we cede control to another, trusting in a way we would never otherwise trust, letting the other person hold the deepest part of our being in their hands, with the capacity to hurt it mortally. This cession of control is a deeply terrifying thing, which is why we crave it and are drawn to it like moths to the flame, and why we have to trust it unconditionally. In love, so many hazardous uncertainties in life are resolved: the constant negotiation with other souls, the fear and distrust that lie behind almost every interaction, the petty loneliness that we learned to live with as soon as we grew apart from our mother’s breast. We lose all this in the arms of another. We come home at last to a primal security, made manifest by each other’s nakedness… And with that loss of control comes mutual power, the power to calm, the power to redeem, and the power to hurt.
Andrew Sullivan (Love Undetectable: Notes on Friendship, Sex, and Survival)
As my wife saw it—as most people would see it, I imagine—an unwritten book was hardly a financial plan. “In other words,” she said, “you’ve got some magic beans in your pocket. That’s what you’re telling me. You have some magic beans, and you’re going to plant them, and overnight a huge beanstalk is going to grow high into the sky, and you’ll climb up the beanstalk, kill the giant who lives in the clouds, and then bring home a goose that lays golden eggs. Is that it?” “Something like that,” I said. Michelle shook her head and looked out the window. We both knew what I was asking for. Another disruption. Another gamble. Another step in the direction of something I wanted and she truly didn’t. “This is it, Barack,” Michelle said. “One last time. But don’t expect me to do any campaigning. In fact, you shouldn’t even count on my vote.” — AS A KID, I had sometimes watched as my salesman grandfather tried to sell life insurance policies over the phone, his face registering misery as he made cold calls in the evening from our tenth-floor apartment in a Honolulu high-rise. During the early months of 2003, I found myself thinking of him often as I sat at my desk in the sparsely furnished headquarters of my newly launched Senate campaign
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Every man whose business it is to think knows that he must for part of the day create about himself a pool of silence. But in that helter-skelter which we flatter by the name of civilization, the citizen performs the perilous business of government under the worst possible conditions. A faint recognition of this truth inspires the movement for a shorter work day, for longer vacations, for light, air, order, sunlight and dignity in factories and offices. But if the intellectual quality of our life is to be improved that is only the merest beginning. So long as so many jobs are an endless and, for the worker, an aimless routine, a kind of automatism using one set of muscles in one monotonous pattern, his whole life will tend towards an automatism using one set of muscles in one monotonous pattern, his whole life will tend towards an automatism in which nothing is particularly to be distinguished from anything else unless it is announced with a thunderclap. So long as he is physically imprisoned in crowds by day and even by night his attention will flicker and relax. It will not hold fast and define clearly where he is the victim of all sorts of pother, in a home which needs to be ventilated of its welter of drudgery, shrieking children, raucous assertions, indigestible food, bad air, and suffocating ornament. Occasionally perhaps we enter a building which is composed and spacious; we go to a theatre where modern stagecraft has cut away distraction, or go to sea, or into a quiet place, and we remember how cluttered, how capricious, how superfluous and clamorous is the ordinary urban life of our time. We learn to understand why our addled minds seize so little with precision, why they are caught up and tossed about in a kind of tarantella by headlines and catch-words, why so often they cannot tell things apart or discern identity in apparent differences.
Walter Lippmann (Public Opinion)
My mom guards me. Dad wraps his big hands around her throat, shaking her. “Huh, you still think he’s making the right choice?” I run over, grab his TV remote, and hit him so hard in the back of his head with it that the batteries pop out. He shoves my mom into the intercom phone and she falls to the floor, desperately trying to catch her breath. Before I can check on her, my dad—the man who fucking played catch with me—punches me in the back of my head, and I crash into a tower of Eric’s used games. He drags me by my shirt collar and leaves me outside the apartment door. “I’ll be damned if I’m alive the day you bring a boy home, you fucking faggot.” I hear the door lock and I cry harder than I ever have in my entire life because I can’t change the way I am, not as fast and as easily as my father just stopped being Dad. Last night I was left out in the hallway
Adam Silvera (More Happy Than Not)
But what did it matter what momins of the community said when they picked apart the behavior of her son? What was a believer meant to be like when all their rituals and practices were stripped away? Amar was kind. If one of his sisters came home carrying heavy textbooks, he rose to help them before they even asked. He was generous. He had very little of his own money but still he would bring home the coffee drinks Huda or Hadia liked, or a bag of cherries for Layla come cherry season, or a candle with a floral scent. Layla gossiped sometimes, everyone did, but she had never heard her son speak ill of anyone. Once when she spoke of someone from their community, he said to her, “You don’t know that, Mumma, don’t say that if you don’t fully know it.” Her heart had swelled. How her son was good in a way that she wasn’t, in a way that could instruct her. Layla had begun to think lately that there was no real way to quantify the goodness of a person—that religion gave templates and guidelines but there were ways it missed the mark entirely. And everything a momin should be in his heart, Amar was.
Fatima Farheen Mirza (A Place for Us)
We were already growing apart, in the weeks before she died - when I moved to New York, we almost certainly would have lost touch, become just another pair of girls who shared a brief and intense friendship that faded, as friendships usually do, with age and geography. But I believed every one of those old promises. I would have pitied any adult who told me that things would change. For you, I would have though, but not for us. I was going to leave, yes, but she was supposed to come, too. And didn't she? Those early days in New York, August, the city so hot I walked around drenched in its spit, she was with me all the time, in the things I did if not always in my thoughts. I got a job at a bar where all the waitstaff were Irish and wasn't it her who made me louder when I needed to be, who made me brave at night, walking home with all that cash? She's the way I swear and how I let men look at me or not, she's the bit of steel at my center, either her, herself, or the loss of her. Before that year I was nothing but a soft, formless girl, waiting for someone to come along and tell me who to be.
Julie Buntin (Marlena)
To begin with, at home I spent most of my time reading. I wanted to stifle all that was continuously boiling up inside me through external impressions. Out of all external impressions, reading was the only one possible for me. Of course, reading helped a lot - it excited, delighted and tormented me. But at times it bored me to death. For all that I still wanted to be doing things and I would suddenly plunge into dark, subterranean, vile, not so much depravity as petty dissipation. My mean, trivial, lusts were keen and fiery as a result of my constant, morbid irritability. The surges were hysterical, always accompanied by tears and convulsion. Apart from reading I had nowhere to turn - I mean, there was nothing in my surroundings that I could respect then or to which I might have been attracted. Moreover, dreadful ennui was seething within me, a hysterical craving for contradictions and contrasts would make its presence felt [...].
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
I envied the sons their life in the country. I wasn’t even jealous of how at home they were in the fields and woods and barns; of how they could do so many things I couldn’t, drive tractors, take apart and fix motors, pluck eggs from under a hen, shove their way into a stall with a stubborn horse pushing back: I just marveled at it all, and wanted it. They and the boys who lived on farms near them were also so enviably at ease in their bodies: what back in the city would be taken as a slouch of disinterest, here was an expression of physical grace. No need to be tense when everything so readily submitted to your efficiently minimal gestures: hoisting bales of hay into a loft, priming a recalcitrant pump … Something else there was as well, something more elusive: perhaps that they lived so much of the time in a world of wild, poignant odors—mown grass, the redolent pines, even the tang of manure and horse-piss-soaked hay. Just the thought of those sensory elations inflicted me with a feeling I still have to exert myself to repress that I was squandering my time, wasting what I knew already were irretrievable clutches of years, now hecatombs of years, trapped in my trivial, stifling life.
C.K. Williams (All at Once: Prose Poems)
Now the evening's at its noon, its meridian. The outgoing tide has simmered down, and there's a lull-like the calm in the eye of a hurricane - before the reverse tide starts to set in. The last acts of the three-act plays are now on, and the after-theater eating places are beginning to fill up with early comers; Danny's and Lindy's - yes, and Horn & Hardart too. Everybody has got where they wanted to go - and that was out somewhere. Now everybody will want to get back where they came from - and that's home somewhere. Or as the coffee-grinder radio, always on the beam, put it at about this point: 'New York, New York, it's a helluva town, The Bronx is up, the Battery's down, And the people ride around in a hole in the ground. Now the incoming tide rolls in; the hours abruptly switch back to single digits again, and it's a little like the time you put your watch back on entering a different time zone. Now the buses knock off and the subway expresses turn into locals and the locals space themselves far apart; and as Johnny Carson's face hits millions of screens all at one and the same time, the incoming tide reaches its crest and pounds against the shore. There's a sudden splurge, a slew of taxis arriving at the hotel entrance one by one as regularly as though they were on a conveyor belt, emptying out and then going away again. Then this too dies down, and a deep still sets in. It's an around-the-clock town, but this is the stretch; from now until the garbage-grinding trucks come along and tear the dawn to shreds, it gets as quiet as it's ever going to get. This is the deep of the night, the dregs, the sediment at the bottom of the coffee cup. The blue hours; when guys' nerves get tauter and women's fears get greater. Now guys and girls make love, or kill each other or sometimes both. And as the windows on the 'Late Show' title silhouette light up one by one, the real ones all around go dark. And from now on the silence is broken only by the occasional forlorn hoot of a bogged-down drunk or the gutted-cat squeal of a too sharply swerved axle coming around a turn. Or as Billy Daniels sang it in Golden Boy: While the city sleeps, And the streets are clear, There's a life that's happening here. ("New York Blues")
Cornell Woolrich (Night and Fear: A Centenary Collection of Stories)
reining yourself in because why ruin a good thing? why make it weird? and then you say goodbye, with a hug, with a snarky remark, and head home. you climb into bed and imagine them with you. you think about how their hair falls in their face, about how they breathe when they sleep. you think about them waking up and nudging you into consciousness with soft kisses down your torso. you sit in bed and think of all the ways you could make their soul dance. how you know their quirks and it all feels so right, but why? why is this happening? why can’t you just be content with what you have now? except even now you have to control the urge to kiss them, even though it is in your nature, even just on the cheek, because what if it breaks the relationship apart at the seams? you may not even mean it sexually or romantically, but what if? and there’s always the chance they have felt this way too. but it’s only a chance. and why risk it? so you lay there in bed and twist the sheets around your legs and text them back about another person they have feelings toward and coax them into something healthy. you put their happiness before your own. you watch as they stumble and help them rise mightily. you gush over them and try to snuff out the selfishness that builds whenever you see them with someone else. it wouldn’t be fair to them to impose your own wants on them and take away a good friendship. it isn’t always about you. and yet here you are, writing this. writing this and thinking of someone specific the entire time.
Taylor Rhodes (calloused: a field journal)
The travelers emerged into a spacious square. In the middle of this square were several dozen people on a wooden bandstand like in a public park. They were the members of a band, each of them as different from one another as their instruments. Some of them looked round at the approaching column. Then a grey-haired man in a colorful cloak called out and they reached for their instruments. There was a burst of something like cheeky, timid bird-song and the air – air that had been torn apart by the barbed wire and the howl of sirens, that stank of oily fumes and garbage – was filled with music. It was like a warm summer cloud-burst ignited by the sun, flashing as it crashed down to earth. People in camps, people in prisons, people who have escaped from prison, people going to their death, know the extraordinary power of music. No one else can experience music in quite the same way. What music resurrects in the soul of a man about to die is neither hope nor thought, but simply the blind, heart-breaking miracle of life itself. A sob passed down the column. Everything seemed transformed, everything had come together; everything scattered and fragmented -home, peace, the journey, the rumble of wheels, thirst, terror, the city rising out of the mist, the wan red dawn – fused together, not into a memory or a picture but into the blind, fierce ache of life itself. Here, in the glow of the gas ovens, people knew that life was more than happiness – it was also grief. And freedom was both painful and difficult; it was life itself. Music had the power to express the last turmoil of a soul in whose blind depths every experience, every moment of joy and grief, had fused with this misty morning, this glow hanging over their heads. Or perhaps it wasn't like that at all. Perhaps music was just the key to a man's feelings, not what filled him at this terrible moment, but the key that unlocked his innermost core. In the same way, a child's song can appear to make an old man cry. But it isn't the song itself he cries over; the song is simply a key to something in his soul.
Vasily Grossman (Life and Fate)
I couldn't stop myself, so I thought about all the bad things and I fed it and fed it until I was crying so hard I had to gasp for breath between sobs. I thought about how my great-grandparents had starved to death. I thought about their wasted bodies being fed to incinerators because people they didn't know hated them. I thought about how the children who lived in this house had been burned up and blown apart because a pilot who didn't care pushed a button. I thought about how my grandfather's family had been taken from him, and how because of that my dad grew up feeling like he didn't have a dad, and now I had acute stress and nightmares and was sitting alone in a falling-down house and crying hot, stupid tears all over my shirt. All because of a seventy-year-old hurt that had somehow been passed down to me like some poisonous heirloom, and monsters I couldn't fight because they were all dead, beyond killing or punishing or any kind of reckoning. At least my grandfather had been able to join the army and go fight them. What could I do?
Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1))
In the early months of World War II, San Francisco's Fill-more district, or the Western Addition, experienced a visible revolution. On the surface it appeared to be totally peaceful and almost a refutation of the term “revolution.” The Yakamoto Sea Food Market quietly became Sammy's Shoe Shine Parlor and Smoke Shop. Yashigira's Hardware metamorphosed into La Salon de Beauté owned by Miss Clorinda Jackson. The Japanese shops which sold products to Nisei customers were taken over by enterprising Negro businessmen, and in less than a year became permanent homes away from home for the newly arrived Southern Blacks. Where the odors of tempura, raw fish and cha had dominated, the aroma of chitlings, greens and ham hocks now prevailed. The Asian population dwindled before my eyes. I was unable to tell the Japanese from the Chinese and as yet found no real difference in the national origin of such sounds as Ching and Chan or Moto and Kano. As the Japanese disappeared, soundlessly and without protest, the Negroes entered with their loud jukeboxes, their just-released animosities and the relief of escape from Southern bonds. The Japanese area became San Francisco's Harlem in a matter of months. A person unaware of all the factors that make up oppression might have expected sympathy or even support from the Negro newcomers for the dislodged Japanese. Especially in view of the fact that they (the Blacks) had themselves undergone concentration-camp living for centuries in slavery's plantations and later in sharecroppers' cabins. But the sensations of common relationship were missing. The Black newcomer had been recruited on the desiccated farm lands of Georgia and Mississippi by war-plant labor scouts. The chance to live in two-or three-story apartment buildings (which became instant slums), and to earn two-and even three-figured weekly checks, was blinding. For the first time he could think of himself as a Boss, a Spender. He was able to pay other people to work for him, i.e. the dry cleaners, taxi drivers, waitresses, etc. The shipyards and ammunition plants brought to booming life by the war let him know that he was needed and even appreciated. A completely alien yet very pleasant position for him to experience. Who could expect this man to share his new and dizzying importance with concern for a race that he had never known to exist? Another reason for his indifference to the Japanese removal was more subtle but was more profoundly felt. The Japanese were not whitefolks. Their eyes, language and customs belied the white skin and proved to their dark successors that since they didn't have to be feared, neither did they have to be considered. All this was decided unconsciously.
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
When I was done speaking I felt his body had gone still again, stone still. And silent. Then he asked quietly, "Nightmare?" "Nightmare," I replied firmly. Ty didn't move. By a miracle, I held it together. Then he moved but it was to rest his chin on my shoulder and I closed my eyes because I needed him to go, go, go so I could fall apart again on my own. Then he said, "Your nightmare, mama, was my dream." My heart clenched. He kept going. "Never had a home until you gave me one." My breath started sticking. "Never had anyone give to me the way you gave to me." My breath stopped sticking and clogged. "Never thought of findin' a woman who I wanted to have my baby." Oh God. "Never had light in my life, never, not once, I lived wild but I didn't burn bright until you shined your light on me." Oh God. "Whacked, fuckin' insane, but, at night, you curled in front of me, didn't mind I did that time that wasn't mine 'cause it meant I walked out to you." He had to stop. He had to. He didn't. "Your nightmare," he whispered, turned his head and against my neck he finished, "my dream.
Kristen Ashley (Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3))
The the street was quiet again. Country quiet. That's partly what took city natives like the Whitlams by surprise, Falk thought: the quiet. He could understand them seeking out the idyllic country lifestyle, a lot of people did. The idea had an enticing, wholesome glow when it was weighed out from the back of a traffic jam, or while crammed into a gardenless apartment. They all had the same visions of breathing fresh clean air and knowing their neighbors. The kids would eat home-grown veggies and learn the value of an honest day's work. On arrival, as the empty moving truck disappeared form sight, they looked around and were always taken aback by the crushing vastness of the open land. The space was the thing that hit them first. There was so much of it. There was enough to drown in. To look out and see not another soul between you and the horizon could be a strange and disturbing sight. Soon, they discovered that the veggies didn't grow as willingly as they had in the city window box. That every single green shoot had to be coaxed and prized from the reluctant soil, and the neighbors were too busy doing the same on an industrial scale to muster much cheer in their greetings. There was no daily bumper-to-bumper commute, but there was also nowhere much to drive to. Falk didn't blame the Whitlams, he'd seen it many times before when he was a kid. The arrivals looked around at the barrenness and the scale and the sheer bloody hardness of the land, and before long their faces all said exactly the same thing. "I didn't know it was like this." He turned away, remembering how the rawness of local life had seeped into the kids' paintings at the school. Sad faces and brown landscapes.
Jane Harper (The Dry (Aaron Falk, #1))
— If love wants you; if you’ve been melted down to stars, you will love with lungs and gills, with warm blood and cold. With feathers and scales. Under the hot gloom of the forest canopy you’ll want to breathe with the spiral calls of birds, while your lashing tail still gropes for the waes. You’ll try to haul your weight from simple sea to gravity of land. Caught by the tide, in the snail-slip of your own path, for moments suffocating in both water and air. If love wants you, suddently your past is obsolete science. Old maps, disproved theories, a diorama. The moment our bodies are set to spring open. The immanence that reassembles matter passes through us then disperses into time and place: the spasm of fur stroked upright; shocked electrons. The mother who hears her child crying upstairs and suddenly feels her dress wet with milk. Among black branches, oyster-coloured fog tongues every corner of loneliness we never knew before we were loved there, the places left fallow when we’re born, waiting for experience to find its way into us. The night crossing, on deck in the dark car. On the beach wehre night reshaped your face. In the lava fields, carbon turned to carpet, moss like velvet spread over splintered forms. The instant spray freezes in air above the falls, a gasp of ice. We rise, hearing our names called home through salmon-blue dusk, the royal moon an escutcheon on the shield of sky. The current that passes through us, radio waves, electric lick. The billions of photons that pass through film emulsion every second, the single submicroscopic crystal struck that becomes the phograph. We look and suddenly the world looks back. A jagged tube of ions pins us to the sky. — But if, like starlings, we continue to navigate by the rear-view mirror of the moon; if we continue to reach both for salt and for the sweet white nibs of grass growing closest to earth; if, in the autumn bog red with sedge we’re also driving through the canyon at night, all around us the hidden glow of limestone erased by darkness; if still we sish we’d waited for morning, we will know ourselves nowhere. Not in the mirrors of waves or in the corrading stream, not in the wavering glass of an apartment building, not in the looming light of night lobbies or on the rainy deck. Not in the autumn kitchen or in the motel where we watched meteors from our bed while your slow film, the shutter open, turned stars to rain. We will become indigestible. Afraid of choking on fur and armour, animals will refuse the divided longings in our foreing blue flesh. — In your hands, all you’ve lost, all you’ve touched. In the angle of your head, every vow and broken vow. In your skin, every time you were disregarded, every time you were received. Sundered, drowsed. A seeded field, mossy cleft, tidal pool, milky stem. The branch that’s released when the bird lifts or lands. In a summer kitchen. On a white winter morning, sunlight across the bed.
Anne Michaels
In a mass society where obtaining credit is as easy as it is, there’s probably no way to efficiently collect on delinquent accounts by writing real affidavits, filing legitimate, error-free lawsuits, and serving legitimate summonses in each and every individual case. Without the shortcuts, it doesn’t work. So techniques like robo-signing and sewer service are essential to the profitability of the business. Plenty of people—consumers and merchants both—are probably glad that so much credit is available, but they don’t realize that systematic fraud is part of what makes it available. Legally, there’s absolutely no difference between a woman on welfare who falsely declares that her boyfriend no longer lives in the home and a bank that uses a robo-signer to cook up a document swearing that he has kept regular records of your credit card account. But morally and politically, they’re worlds apart. When the state brings a fraud case against a welfare mom, it brings it with disgust, with rage, because in addition to committing the legal crime, she’s committed the political crime of being needy and an eyesore. Banks commit the legal crime of fraud wholesale; they do so out in the open, have entire departments committed to it, and have employees who’ve spent years literally doing nothing but commit, over and over again, the same legal crime that some welfare mothers go to jail for doing once. But they’re not charged, because there’s no political crime. The system is not disgusted by the organized, mechanized search for profit. It’s more like it’s impressed by it.
Matt Taibbi (The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap)
My parents constantly drummed into me the importance of judging people as individuals. There was no more grievous sin at our household than a racial slur or other evidence of religious or racial intolerance. A lot of it, I think, was because my dad had learned what discrimination was like firsthand. He’d grown up in an era when some stores still had signs at their door saying, NO DOGS OR IRISHMEN ALLOWED. When my brother and I were growing up, there were still ugly tumors of racial bigotry in much of America, including the corner of Illinois where we lived. At our one local movie theater, blacks and whites had to sit apart—the blacks in the balcony. My mother and father urged my brother and me to bring home our black playmates, to consider them equals, and to respect the religious views of our friends, whatever they were. My brother’s best friend was black, and when they went to the movies, Neil sat with him in the balcony. My mother always taught us: “Treat thy neighbor as you would want your neighbor to treat you,” and “Judge everyone by how they act, not what they are.” Once my father checked into a hotel during a shoe-selling trip and a clerk told him: “You’ll like it here, Mr. Reagan, we don’t permit a Jew in the place.” My father, who told us the story later, said he looked at the clerk angrily and picked up his suitcase and left. “I’m a Catholic,” he said. “If it’s come to the point where you won’t take Jews, then some day you won’t take me either.” Because it was the only hotel in town, he spent the night in his car during a winter blizzard and I think it may have led to his first heart attack.
Ronald Reagan (An American Life)
At the beginning of my illness, hospital visits couldn’t be avoided. I needed tests, I had to have my diet and insulin regulated, and once I fainted at school and went into insulin shock and the ambulance came and took me to St. Luke’s. If one of my friends got that sick, I would have called her in the hospital and sent her cards and visited her when she went home. But not Laine. She seemed almost afraid of me (although she tried to cover up by acting cool and snooty). And my other friends did what Laine did, because she was the leader. Their leader. My leader. And we were her followers. The school year grew worse and worse. I fainted twice more at school, each time causing a big scene and getting lots of attention, and every week, it seemed, I missed at least one morning while Mom and Dad took me to some doctor or clinic or other. Laine called me a baby, a liar, a hypochondriac, and a bunch of other things that indicated she thought my parents and I were making a big deal over nothing. But if she really thought it was nothing, why wouldn’t she come over to my apartment anymore? Why wouldn’t she share sandwiches or go to the movies with me? And why did she move her desk away from mine in school? I was confused and unhappy and sick, and I didn’t have any friends left, thanks to Laine. I hated Laine.
Ann M. Martin (The Truth About Stacey)
From a very early age Edison became used to doing things for himself, by necessity. His family was poor, and by the age of twelve he had to earn money to help his parents. He sold newspapers on trains, and traveling around his native Michigan for his job, he developed an ardent curiosity about everything he saw. He wanted to know how things worked—machines, gadgets, anything with moving parts. With no schools or teachers in his life, he turned to books, particularly anything he could find on science. He began to conduct his own experiments in the basement of his family home, and he taught himself how to take apart and fix any kind of watch. At the age of fifteen he apprenticed as a telegraph operator, then spent years traveling across the country plying his trade. He had no chance for a formal education, and nobody crossed his path who could serve as a teacher or mentor. And so in lieu of that, in every city he spent time in, he frequented the public library. One book that crossed his path played a decisive role in his life: Michael Faraday’s two-volume Experimental Researches in Electricity. This book became for Edison what The Improvement of the Mind had been for Faraday. It gave him a systematic approach to science and a program for how to educate himself in the field that now obsessed him—electricity. He could follow the experiments laid out by the great Master of the field and absorb as well his philosophical approach to science. For the rest of his life, Faraday would remain his role model. Through books, experiments, and practical experience at various jobs, Edison gave himself a rigorous education that lasted about ten years, up until the time he became an inventor. What made this successful was his relentless desire to learn through whatever crossed his path, as well as his self-discipline. He had developed the habit of overcoming his lack of an organized education by sheer determination and persistence. He worked harder than anyone else. Because he was a consummate outsider and his mind had not been indoctrinated in any school of thought, he brought a fresh perspective to every problem he tackled. He turned his lack of formal direction into an advantage. If you are forced onto this path, you must follow Edison’s example by developing extreme self-reliance. Under these circumstances, you become your own teacher and mentor. You push yourself to learn from every possible source. You read more books than those who have a formal education, developing this into a lifelong habit. As much as possible, you try to apply your knowledge in some form of experiment or practice. You find for yourself second-degree mentors in the form of public figures who can serve as role models. Reading and reflecting on their experiences, you can gain some guidance. You try to make their ideas come to life, internalizing their voice. As someone self-taught, you will maintain a pristine vision, completely distilled through your own experiences—giving you a distinctive power and path to mastery.
Robert Greene (Mastery (The Robert Greene Collection))
Women have always been the most important part of monster movies. As I walked home one night, I realized why. Making my way down dark city streets to my apartment in Brooklyn, I was alert and on edge. I was looking for suspicious figures, men that could be rapists, muggers or killers. I felt like Laurie Strode in Halloween. Horror is a pressure valve for society's fears and worries: monsters seeking to control our bodies, villains trying to assail us in the darkness, disease and terror resulting from the consequences of active sexuality, death. These themes are the staple of horror films. There are people who witness these problems only in scary movies. But for much of the population, what is on the screen is merely an exaggerated version of their everyday lives. These are forces women grapple with daily. Watching Nancy Thompson escape Freddy Krueger's perverted attacks reminds me of how I daily fend off creeps asking me to smile for them on the subway. Women are the most important part of horror because, by and large, women are the ones the horror happens to. Women have to endure it, fight it, survive it — in the movies and in real life. They are at risk of attack from real-life monsters. In America, a woman is assaulted every nine seconds. Horror films help explore these fears and imagine what it would be like to conquer them. Women need to see themselves fighting monsters. That’s part of how we figure out our stories. But we also need to see ourselves behind-the-scenes, creating and writing and directing. We need to tell our stories, too.
Mallory O'Meara (The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick)
I was never a child; I never had a childhood. I cannot count among my memories warm, golden days of childish intoxication, long joyous hours of innocence, or the thrill of discovering the universe anew each day. I learned of such things later on in life from books. Now I guess at their presence in the children I see. I was more than twenty when I first experienced something similar in my self, in chance moments of abandonment, when I was at peace with the world. Childhood is love; childhood is gaiety; childhood knows no cares. But I always remember myself, in the years that have gone by, as lonely, sad, and thoughtful. Ever since I was a little boy I have felt tremendously alone―and "peculiar". I don't know why. It may have been because my family was poor or because I was not born the way other children are born; I cannot tell. I remember only that when I was six or seven years old a young aunt of mind called me vecchio―"old man," and the nickname was adopted by all my family. Most of the time I wore a long, frowning face. I talked very little, even with other children; compliments bored me; baby-talk angered me. Instead of the noisy play of the companions of my boyhood I preferred the solitude of the most secluded corners of our dark, cramped, poverty-stricken home. I was, in short, what ladies in hats and fur coats call a "bashful" or a "stubborn" child; and what our women with bare heads and shawls, with more directness, call a rospo―a "toad." They were right. I must have been, and I was, utterly unattractive to everybody. I remember, too, that I was well aware of the antipathy I aroused. It made me more "bashful," more "stubborn," more of a "toad" than ever. I did not care to join in the games played by other boys, but preferred to stand apart, watching them with jealous eyes, judging them, hating them. It wasn't envy I felt at such times: it was contempt; it was scorn. My warfare with men had begun even then and even there. I avoided people, and they neglected me. I did not love them, and they hated me. At play in the parks some of the boys would chase me; others would laugh at me and call me names. At school they pulled my curls or told the teachers tales about me. Even on my grandfather's farm in the country peasant brats threw stones at me without provocation, as if they felt instinctively that I belonged to some other breed.
Giovanni Papini (Un uomo finito)
Do not fear the ghosts in this house; they are the least of your worries. Personally I find the noises they make reassuring. The creaks and footsteps in the night, their little tricks of hiding things, or moving them, I find endearing, not upsettling. It makes the place feel so much more like a home. Inhabited. Apart from ghosts nothing lives here for long. No cats no mice, no flies, no dreams, no bats. Two days ago I saw a butterfly, a monarch I believe, which danced from room to room and perched on walls and waited near to me. There are no flowers in this empty place, and, scared the butterfly would starve, I forced a window wide, cupped my two hands around her fluttering self, feeling her wings kiss my palms so gentle, and put her out, and watched her fly away. I've little patience with the seasons here, but your arrival eased this winter's chill. Please, wander round. Explore it all you wish. I've broken with tradition on some points. If there is one locked room here, you'll never know. You'll not find in the cellar's fireplace old bones or hair. You'll find no blood. Regard: just tools, a washing-machine, a drier, a water-heater, and a chain of keys. Nothing that can alarm you. Nothing dark. I may be grim, perhaps, but only just as grim as any man who suffered such affairs. Misfortune, carelessness or pain, what matters is the loss. You'll see the heartbreak linger in my eyes, and dream of making me forget what came before you walked into the hallway of this house. Bringing a little summer in your glance, and with your smile. While you are here, of course, you will hear the ghosts, always a room away, and you may wake beside me in the night, knowing that there's a space without a door, knowing that there's a place that's locked but isn't there. Hearing them scuffle, echo, thump and pound. If you are wise you'll run into the night, fluttering away into the cold, wearing perhaps the laciest of shifts. The lane's hard flints will cut your feet all bloody as you run, so, if I wished, I could just follow you, tasting the blood and oceans of your tears. I'll wait instead, here in my private place, and soon I'll put a candle in the window, love, to light your way back home. The world flutters like insects. I think this is how I shall remember you, my head between the white swell of your breasts, listening to the chambers of your heart.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
Oh I could be out, rollicking in the ripeness of my flesh and others’, could be drinking things and eating things and rubbing mine against theirs, speculating about this person or that, waving, indicating hello with a sudden upward jutting of my chin, sitting in the backseat of someone else’s car, bumping up and down the San Francisco hills, south of Market, seeing people attacking their instruments, afterward stopping at a bodega, parking, carrying the bottles in a paper bag, the glass clinking, all our faces bright, glowing under streetlamps, down the sidewalk to this or that apartment party, hi, hi, putting the bottles in the fridge, removing one for now, hating the apartment, checking the view, sitting on the arm of a couch and being told not to, and then waiting for the bathroom, staring idly at that ubiquitous Ansel Adams print, Yosemite, talking to a short-haired girl while waiting in the hallway, talking about teeth, no reason really, the train of thought unclear, asking to see her fillings, no, really, I’ll show you mine first, ha ha, then no, you go ahead, I’ll go after you, then, after using the bathroom she is still there, still in the hallway, she was waiting not just for the bathroom but for me, and so eventually we’ll go home together, her apartment, where she lives alone, in a wide, immaculate railroad type place, newly painted, decorated with her mother, then sleeping in her oversized, oversoft white bed, eating breakfast in her light-filled nook, then maybe to the beach for a few hours with the Sunday paper, then wandering home whenever, never- Fuck. We don't even have a baby-sitter.
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
In 1970, Alix Kates Shulman, a wife, mother, and writer who had joined the Women's Liberation Movement in New York, wrote a poignant account of how the initial equality and companionship of her marriage had deteriorated once she had children. "[N]ow I was restricted to the company of two demanding preschoolers and to the four walls of an apartment. It seemed unfair that while my husband's life had changed little when the children were born, domestic life had become the only life I had." His job became even more demanding, requiring late nights and travel out of town. Meanwhile it was virtually impossible for her to work at home. "I had no time for myself; the children were always there." Neither she nor her husband was happy with the situation, so they did something radical, which received considerable media coverage: they wrote up a marriage agreement... In it they asserted that "each member of the family has an equal right to his/her own time, work, values and choices... The ability to earn more money is already a privilege which must not be compounded by enabling the larger earner to buy out of his/her duties and put the burden on the one who earns less, or on someone hired from outside." The agreement insisted that domestic jobs be shared fifty-fifty and, get this girls, "If one party works overtime in any domestic job, she/he must be compensated by equal work by the other." The agreement then listed a complete job breakdown... in other worde, the agreement acknowledged the physical and the emotional/mental work involved in parenting and valued both. At the end of the article, Shulman noted how much happier she and her husband were as a result of the agreement. In the two years after its inception, Shulman wrote three children's books, a biography and a novel. But listen, too, to what it meant to her husband, who was now actually seeing his children every day. After the agreement had been in effect for four months, "our daughter said one day to my husband, 'You know, Daddy, I used to love Mommy more than you, but now I love you both the same.
Susan J. Douglas (The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women)
Looking into each other's eyes and speaking together in low tones, it becomes apparent that she hopes you will walk her through her troubles and show her that male-female relations can be lovely even in loveless union. She is looking for lust fulfilled but she searches also for respect, and in this she is out of luck because you do not know her or like her very much and you do not respect yourself and so the most you can offer this girl is time out of her life and an unsatisfactory meeting of bodies and, if the fates are generous, a couple of laughs and good feelings. At any rate there will unquestionably be a divot in your hearts before dawn and Peg seems to pick up on this after thirty minutes of groping and pawing (the car interior is damp with dew) she breaks away and with great exasperation says, "What do you think you're doing?" You are smiling, because it is an utterly stupid and boring question, and you say to her, "I am sitting in an American car, trying to make out in America," a piece of poetry that arouses something in her, and you both climb into the back seat for a meeting even less satisfactory than you feared it might be. Now she is crying and you are shivering and it is time to go home and if you had a watch you would snap your wrist to look meaningfully at it but she dabs at her face and says she wants you to come upstairs and share a special-occasion bottle of very old and expensive wine and as there is no way not to do this you follow her through the dusty lobby and into the lurching, diamond-gated elevator and into her cluttered apartment to scrutinize her furnishings and unread or improperly read paperbacks, and you wonder if there is anything more depressing than the habitats of young people, young and rudderless women in particular.
Patrick deWitt (Ablutions)
She pulled the shawl closer as a tall, lithe figure cut across the parking lot and joined her at the passenger door. “You’re already famous,” Colby Lane told her, his dark eyes twinkling in his lean, scarred face. “You’ll see yourself on the evening news, if you live long enough to watch it.” He jerked a thumb over his shoulder. “Tate’s on his way right now.” “Unlock this thing and get me out of here!” she squeaked. He chuckled. “Coward.” He unlocked the door and let her climb in. By the time he got behind the wheel and took off, Tate was striding across the parking lot with blood in his eye. Cecily blew him a kiss as Colby gunned the engine down the busy street. “You’re living dangerously tonight,” Colby told her. “He knows where you live,” he added. “He should. He paid for the apartment,” she added in a sharp, hurt tone. She wrapped her arms closer around her. “I don’t want to go home, Colby. Can I stay with you tonight?” She knew, as few other people did, that Colby Lane was still passionately in love with his ex-wife, Maureen. He had nothing to do with other women even two years after his divorce was final. He drank to excess from time to time, but he wasn’t dangerous. Cecily trusted no one more. He’d been a good friend to her, as well as to Tate, over the years. “He won’t like it,” he said. She let out a long breath. “What does it matter now?” she asked wearily. “I’ve burned my bridges.” “I don’t know why that socialite Audrey had to tell you,” he muttered irritably. “It was none of her business.” “Maybe she wants a big diamond engagement ring, and Tate can’t afford it because he’s keeping me,” she said bitterly. He glanced at her rigid profile. “He won’t marry her.” She made a sound deep in her throat. “Why not? She’s got everything…money, power, position and beauty-and a degree from Vassar.” “In psychology,” Colby mused. “She’s been going around with Tate for several months.” “He goes around with a lot of women. He won’t marry any of them.” “Well, he certainly won’t marry me,” she assured him. “I’m white.” “More of a nice, soft tan,” he told her. “You can marry me. I’ll take care of you.” She made a face at him. “You’d call me Maureen in your sleep and I’d lay your head open with the lamp. It would never work.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
My Darling, Where are you? And why, I wonder, have we been forced apart? I don’t know the answer to these questions, no matter how hard I try to understand. The reason is plain, but my mind forces me to dismiss it and I am torn by anxiety in all my waking hours. I am lost without you. I am soulless, a drifter without a home, a solitary bird in a flight to nowhere. I am all these things, and I am nothing at all. This, my darling, is my life without you. I long for you to show me how to live again. I try to remember the way we once were, It was times like those that I understood the meaning of true happiness. I would know in my heart that we’d be together forever. Is it always that way, I wonder, when two people are in love? I don’t know, but if my life since you were taken from me is any indication, then I think I know the answers. From now on, I know I will be alone. I think of you, I dream of you, I conjure you up when I need you most. This is all I can do, but to me it isn’t enough. It will never be enough, this I know, yet what else is there for me to do? If you were here, you would tell me, but I have been cheated of even that. You always knew the proper words to ease the pain I felt. You always knew how to make me feel good inside. Is it possible that you know how I feel without you? When I dream, I like to think you do. Before we came together, I moved through life without meaning, without reason. I know that somehow, every step I took since the moment I could walk was a step toward finding you. We were destined to be together. But now, alone, I have come to realize that destiny can hurt a person as much as it can bless them, and I find myself wondering why—out of all the people in all the world I could ever have loved—I had to fall in love with someone who was taken away from me.
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
Every generation of children instinctively nests itself in nature, no matter matter how tiny a scrap of it they can grasp. In a tale of one city child, the poet Audre Lord remembers picking tufts of grass which crept up through the paving stones in New York City and giving them as bouquets to her mother. It is a tale of two necessities. The grass must grow, no matter the concrete suppressing it. The child must find her way to the green, no matter the edifice which would crush it. "The Maori word for placenta is the same word for land, so at birth the placenta is buried, put back in the mothering earth. A Hindu baby may receive the sun-showing rite surya-darsana when, with conch shells ringing to the skies, the child is introduced to the sun. A newborn child of the Tonga people 'meets' the moon, dipped in the ocean of Kosi Bay in KwaZulu-Natal. Among some of the tribes of India, the qualities of different aspects of nature are invoked to bless the child, so he or she may have the characteristics of earth, sky and wind, of birds and animals, right down to the earthworm. Nothing is unbelonging to the child. "'My oldest memories have the flavor of earth,' wrote Frederico García Lorca. In the traditions of the Australian deserts, even from its time in the womb, the baby is catscradled in kinship with the world. Born into a sandy hollow, it is cleaned with sand and 'smoked' by fire, and everything -- insects, birds, plants, and animals -- is named to the child, who is told not only what everything is called but also the relationship between the child and each creature. Story and song weave the child into the subtle world of the Dreaming, the nested knowledge of how the child belongs. "The threads which tie the child to the land include its conception site and the significant places of the Dreaming inherited through its parents. Introduced to creatures and land features as to relations, the child is folded into the land, wrapped into country, and the stories press on the child's mind like the making of felt -- soft and often -- storytelling until the feeling of the story of the country is impressed into the landscape of the child's mind. "That the juggernaut of ants belongs to a child, belligerently following its own trail. That the twitch of an animal's tail is part of a child's own tale or storyline, once and now again. That on the papery bark of a tree may be written the songline of a child's name. That the prickles of a thornbush may have dynamic relevance to conscience. That a damp hollow by the riverbank is not an occasional place to visit but a permanent part of who you are. This is the beginning of belonging, the beginning of love. "In the art and myth of Indigenous Australia, the Ancestors seeded the country with its children, so the shimmering, pouring, circling, wheeling, spinning land is lit up with them, cartwheeling into life.... "The human heart's love for nature cannot ultimately be concreted over. Like Audre Lord's tufts of grass, will crack apart paving stones to grasp the sun. Children know they are made of the same stuff as the grass, as Walt Whitman describes nature creating the child who becomes what he sees: There was a child went forth every day And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became... The early lilacs became part of this child... And the song of the phoebe-bird... In Australia, people may talk of the child's conception site as the origin of their selfhood and their picture of themselves. As Whitman wrote of the child becoming aspects of the land, so in Northern Queensland a Kunjen elder describes the conception site as 'the home place for your image.' Land can make someone who they are, giving them fragments of themselves.
Jay Griffiths (A Country Called Childhood: Children and the Exuberant World)
Boney freckled knees pressed into bits of bark and stone, refusing to feel any more pain. Her faded t-shirt hugged her protruding ribs as she held on, hunched in silence. A lone tear followed the lumpy tracks down her cheek, jumped from her quivering jaw onto a thirsty browned leaf with a thunderous plop. Then the screen door squeaked open and she took flight. Crispy twigs snapped beneath her bare feet as she ran deeper and deeper into the woods behind the house. She heard him rumbling and calling her name, his voice fueling her tired muscles to go faster, to survive. He knew her path by now. He was ready for the hunt. The clanging unbuckled belt boomed in her ears as he gained on her. The woods were thin this time of year, not much to hide behind. If she couldn’t outrun him, up she would go. Young trees teased her in this direction, so she moved east towards the evergreens. Hunger and hurt left her no choice, she had to stop running soon. She grabbed the first tree with a branch low enough to reach, and up she went. The pine trees were taller here, older, but the branches were too far apart for her to reach. She chose the wrong tree. His footsteps pounded close by. She stood as tall as her little legs could, her bloodied fingers reaching, stretching, to no avail. A cry of defeat slipped from her lips, a knowing laugh barked from his. She would pay for this dearly. She didn’t know whether the price was more than she could bear. Her eyes closed, her next breath came out as Please, and an inky hand reached down from the lush needles above, wound its many fingers around hers, and pulled her up. Another hand, then another, grabbing her arms, her legs, firmly but gently, pulling her up, up, up. The rush of green pine needles and black limbs blurred together, then a flash of cobalt blue fluttered by, heading down. She looked beyond her dangling bare feet to see a flock of peculiar birds settle on the branches below her, their glossy feathers flickered at once and changed to the same greens and grays of the tree they perched upon, camouflaging her ascension. Her father’s footsteps below came to a stomping end, and she knew he was listening for her. Tracking her, trapping her, like he did the other beasts of the forest. He called her name once, twice. The third time’s tone not quite as friendly. The familiar slide–click sound of him readying his gun made her flinch before he had his chance to shoot at the sky. A warning. He wasn’t done with her. His feet crunched in circles around the tree, eventually heading back home. Finally, she exhaled and looked up. Dozens of golden-eyed creatures surrounded her from above. Covered in indigo pelts, with long limbs tipped with mint-colored claws, they seemed to move as one, like a heartbeat. As if they shared a pulse, a train of thought, a common sense. “Thank you,” she whispered, and the beasts moved in a wave to carefully place her on a thick branch.
Kim Bongiorno (Part of My World: Short Stories)
She realized at once that he expected trouble and that he was used to handling deadly situations. It was the first time she’d actually seen him do it, despite their long history. It gave her a new, adult perspective on his lifestyle. No wonder he couldn’t settle down and become a family man. She’d been crazy to expect it, even in her fantasies. He was used to danger and he enjoyed the challenges it presented. It would be like housing a tiger in an apartment. She sighed as she saw the last tattered dream of a future with him going up in smoke. Tate looked through the tiny peephole and took his hand away from the pistol. He glanced at Cecily with an expression she couldn’t define before he abruptly opened the door. Colby Lane walked in, eyebrows raised, new scars on his face and bone weariness making new lines in it. “Colby!” Cecily exclaimed with exaggerated delight. “Welcome home!” Tate’s face contracted as if he’d been hit. Colby noticed that, and smiled at Cecily. “Am I interrupting something?” he asked, looking from one tense face to the other. “No,” Tate said coolly as he reholstered his pistol. “We were discussing security options, but if you’re going to be around, they won’t be necessary.” “What?” “I’m fairly certain that the gambling syndicate tried to kill her,” Tate said somberly, nodding toward Cecily. “A car almost ran her down in her own parking lot. She ended up in the hospital. And decided not to tell anyone about it,” he added with a vicious glare in her direction. “Way to go, Cecily,” Colby said glumly. “You could have ended up floating in the Potomac. I told you before I left to be careful. Didn’t you listen?” She shot him a glare. “I’m not an idiot. I can call 911,” she said, insulted. Colby was still staring at Tate. “You’ve cut your hair.” “I got tired of braids,” came the short reply. “I have to get back to work. If you need me, I’ll be around.” He paused at the doorway. “Keep an eye on her,” Tate told Colby. “She takes risks.” “I don’t need a big strong man to look out for me. I can keep myself out of trouble, thank you very much,” she informed Tate. He gave her a long, pained last look and closed the door behind him. As he walked down the staircase from her apartment, he couldn’t shake off the way she looked and acted. Something was definitely wrong with her, and he was going to find out what.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Romantic literature often presents the individual as somebody caught in a struggle against the state and the market. Nothing could be further from the truth. The state and the market are the mother and father of the individual, and the individual can survive only thanks to them. The market provides us with work, insurance and a pension. If we want to study a profession, the government’s schools are there to teach us. If we want to open a business, the bank loans us money. If we want to build a house, a construction company builds it and the bank gives us a mortgage, in some cases subsidised or insured by the state. If violence flares up, the police protect us. If we are sick for a few days, our health insurance takes care of us. If we are debilitated for months, social security steps in. If we need around-the-clock assistance, we can go to the market and hire a nurse – usually some stranger from the other side of the world who takes care of us with the kind of devotion that we no longer expect from our own children. If we have the means, we can spend our golden years at a senior citizens’ home. The tax authorities treat us as individuals, and do not expect us to pay the neighbours’ taxes. The courts, too, see us as individuals, and never punish us for the crimes of our cousins. Not only adult men, but also women and children, are recognised as individuals. Throughout most of history, women were often seen as the property of family or community. Modern states, on the other hand, see women as individuals, enjoying economic and legal rights independently of their family and community. They may hold their own bank accounts, decide whom to marry, and even choose to divorce or live on their own. But the liberation of the individual comes at a cost. Many of us now bewail the loss of strong families and communities and feel alienated and threatened by the power the impersonal state and market wield over our lives. States and markets composed of alienated individuals can intervene in the lives of their members much more easily than states and markets composed of strong families and communities. When neighbours in a high-rise apartment building cannot even agree on how much to pay their janitor, how can we expect them to resist the state? The deal between states, markets and individuals is an uneasy one. The state and the market disagree about their mutual rights and obligations, and individuals complain that both demand too much and provide too little. In many cases individuals are exploited by markets, and states employ their armies, police forces and bureaucracies to persecute individuals instead of defending them. Yet it is amazing that this deal works at all – however imperfectly. For it breaches countless generations of human social arrangements. Millions of years of evolution have designed us to live and think as community members. Within a mere two centuries we have become alienated individuals. Nothing testifies better to the awesome power of culture.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
It is often said that what most immediately sets English apart from other languages is the richness of its vocabulary. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary lists 450,000 words, and the revised Oxford English Dictionary has 615,000, but that is only part of the total. Technical and scientific terms would add millions more. Altogether, about 200,000 English words are in common use, more than in German (184,000) and far more than in French (a mere 100,000). The richness of the English vocabulary, and the wealth of available synonyms, means that English speakers can often draw shades of distinction unavailable to non-English speakers. The French, for instance, cannot distinguish between house and home, between mind and brain, between man and gentleman, between “I wrote” and “I have written.” The Spanish cannot differentiate a chairman from a president, and the Italians have no equivalent of wishful thinking. In Russia there are no native words for efficiency, challenge, engagement ring, have fun, or take care [all cited in The New York Times, June 18, 1989]. English, as Charlton Laird has noted, is the only language that has, or needs, books of synonyms like Roget’s Thesaurus. “Most speakers of other languages are not aware that such books exist” [The Miracle of Language, page 54]. On the other hand, other languages have facilities we lack. Both French and German can distinguish between knowledge that results from recognition (respectively connaître and kennen) and knowledge that results from understanding (savoir and wissen). Portuguese has words that differentiate between an interior angle and an exterior one. All the Romance languages can distinguish between something that leaks into and something that leaks out of. The Italians even have a word for the mark left on a table by a moist glass (culacino) while the Gaelic speakers of Scotland, not to be outdone, have a word for the itchiness that overcomes the upper lip just before taking a sip of whiskey. (Wouldn’t they just?) It’s sgriob. And we have nothing in English to match the Danish hygge (meaning “instantly satisfying and cozy”), the French sang-froid, the Russian glasnost, or the Spanish macho, so we must borrow the term from them or do without the sentiment. At the same time, some languages have words that we may be pleased to do without. The existence in German of a word like schadenfreude (taking delight in the misfortune of others) perhaps tells us as much about Teutonic sensitivity as it does about their neologistic versatility. Much the same could be said about the curious and monumentally unpronounceable Highland Scottish word sgiomlaireachd, which means “the habit of dropping in at mealtimes.” That surely conveys a world of information about the hazards of Highland life—not to mention the hazards of Highland orthography. Of
Bill Bryson (The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way)
You weren’t supposed to choose me,” he said. Behind them, Ira approached, stunned and speechless for what must have been the first time in his life. He helped lift Samuel, whose cheeks had blanched as well. Camille prodded Oscar’s arms and stomach and face. It was truly him. The unbearable grief over losing him flipped inside out. Her joy ran so deep and strong she thought she might burst from it. “The night the Christina went down, you rowed to me,” she answered, her throat knotted as she thought of her father. She forced it down. “This time, I must have needed to row to you.” Oscar kissed her, his lips still cold but filled with life. She leaned into him and hung on as though he might disappear. Ira let out a playful high-pitched whistle. Samuel coughed. Oscar and Camille reluctantly pulled apart and blushed. “Holy gallnipper,” Ira said. Camille grinned, not minding in the least that he was using that annoying turn of phrase again. “I can’t believe that little rock…I mean you were dead, mate. Dead as this bloke right here.” Ira kicked McGreenery in the leg. Oscar nodded, rubbing his hand over the fading red mark, as if to feel for himself that the deadly wound was gone. “I was in the dory,” he whispered. Ira cocked his head. “Say again?” Camille lifted her ear from his chest, where she’d wanted to listen to the smooth rhythm of his heart. She looked up at him before hearing its strong beat. “The dory?” Oscar nodded again, eyebrows creased. “I heard your voice. At the cave,” he said to Camille. “This force kept pulling me backward, away from you, like I was being sucked into the ground.” So this was how it had felt for him to die. She remembered the way he’d looked right through her and how it had chilled her to the marrow. Her own brush with death had been different, and somehow better, if death could even be measured in levels of bad or good. The image of her father had drawn her to safety, making her forget her yearning for air. He had been there for her, but she hadn’t been able to do the same for him. All this time, all this trouble, and all she’d wanted was to bring him back, make him proud of the lengths to which she’d gone for him. In the end, she’d failed him miserably. “And then you were gone. Your voice faded, and I was in the dory, adrift in the Tasman, the dawn after the Christina went down,” Oscar continued. Samuel and Ira glanced at each other with marked expressions of doubt and confusion. “But I wasn’t alone.” He gently pulled Camille away from him and gripped her arms. “Your father was with me. He was sitting there, smiling. It all seemed so real. I could taste the salt air, and…and I remember touching the water, and it was cold. It wasn’t like in a dream, when you can’t do those things.” Camille sucked in a deep breath, trying to inflate her crushing lungs. Oscar had seen him, too. She’d give anything to see her father again, to hear his voice, to feel at home by just being in his presence. At least, that’s what she’d once believed. But Camille hadn’t been willing to give up Oscar. Did that mean she loved her father less? Never. She could never love her fatherless. So then why hadn’t her heart chosen him? "Did he say anything?" she asked, anxious to know yet afraid to hear. "It's all jumbled," Oscar said, again shaking his head and rubbing his chest. "I remember him saying a few things. Bits and pieces." Camille looked to Ira and Samuel. Their parted mouths and bugged eyes hung on Oscar's every word. Oscar squinted at the ground and seemed to be working hard to piece together what her father had said on the other side. "I'm still here to guide her?" he said, questioning his own memory. "It doesn't make any sense, I'm sorry." She shook her head, eyes tearing up again. It had been real. He really had come to her in the black water of the underground pool. "No, don't be sorry," she said, tears spilling. "It does make sense. It makes sense to me.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))