Backwards Never Quotes

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You never come back, not all the way. Always there is an odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you meet, a barrier thin as the glass of a mirror, you never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand, for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and no one in another, where everything is upside down and backward and sad.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
Just that dwelling and planning is bullshit, you dwell on the past, you can’t move forward. Spend too much time planning for the future and you just push yourself backwards, or you stay stagnant in the same place all your life. Live in the moment, where everything is just right, take your time and limit your bad memories and you’ll get wherever it is you’re going a lot faster and with less bumps in the road along the way.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
Mara, I have never felt about anyone the way I feel about you. And when you're ready for me to show you," he said, brushing my hair to the side, "I'm going to kiss you." His thumb grazed my ear and his hand curved around my neck. He leaned me backward and my eyes fluttered closed. I breathed in the scent of him as he leaned in and kissed the hollow under my ear. My pulse raced under his lips. "And I won't settle for anything less.
Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1))
Grief was not a line, carrying you infinitely further from loss. You never knew when you would be sling-shot backward into its grip. —
Brit Bennett (The Mothers)
People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France)
A sail boat that sails backwards can never see the sun rise.
Bill Cosby
dive for dreams or a slogan may topple you (trees are their roots and wind is wind) trust your heart if the seas catch fire (and live by love though the stars walk backward) honour the past but welcome the future (and dance your death away at this wedding) never mind a world with its villains or heroes (for god likes girls and tomorrow and the earth)
E.E. Cummings
She sighed, annoyed at her restlessness. “So,” she said, disrupting Wolf in another backward glance. “Who would win in a fight—you or a pack of wolves?” He frowned at her, all seriousness. “Depends,” he said, slowly, like he was trying to figure out her motive for asking. “How big is the pack?” “I don’t know, what’s normal? Six?” “I could win against six,” he said. “Any more than that and it could be a close call.” Scarlet smirked. “You’re not in danger of low self-esteem, at least.” “What do you mean?” “Nothing at all.” She kicked a stone from their path. “How about you and … a lion?” “A cat? Don’t insult me.” She laughed, the sound sharp and surprising. “How about a bear?” “Why, do you see one out there?” “Not yet, but I want to be prepared in case I have to rescue you.” The smile she’d been waiting for warmed his face, a glint of white teeth flashing. “I’m not sure. I’ve never had to fight a bear before.
Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
Son,'he said,' ye cannot in your present state understand eternity...That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, "No future bliss can make up for it," not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say "Let me have but this and I'll take the consequences": little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin. Both processes begin even before death. The good man's past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man's past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why...the Blessed will say "We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven, : and the Lost, "We were always in Hell." And both will speak truly.
C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)
It was a movie about American bombers in World War II and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this: American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France, a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation. The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers , and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans though and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new. When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There's plenty of movement, but you never know if it's going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.
H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Going backwards is never an option.
Melissa Marr (Ink Exchange (Wicked Lovely, #2))
Since the moment I saw you. Since the moment you smiled at me, I felt like I was falling backward off a cliff. The feeling has never stopped. I’ve been trying to drag you down with me. In the worst, most ill-conceived and socially stunted way possible.
Sally Thorne (The Hating Game)
You - will - never - touch - our - children - again!' screamed Mrs. Weasley. Bellatrix laughed, the same exhilarated laugh her cousin Sirius had given as he toppled backwards through the veil, and suddenly Harry knew what was going to happen before it did. Molly's curse soared beneath Bellatrix's outstretched arm and hit her squarely in the chest, directly over her heart. Bellatrix's gloating smile froze, her eyes seemed to bulge: for the tiniest space of time she knew what had happened, and then she toppled, and the watching crowd roared, and Voldemort screamed.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
I do not think that all who choose wrong roads perish; but their rescue consists in being put back on the right road. A sum can be put right: but only by going back til you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on. Evil can be undone, but it cannot 'develop' into good. Time does not heal it. The spell must be unwound, bit by bit, 'with backward mutters of dissevering power' --or else not.
C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)
I think, that you can meet someone one day, who possesses the eyes you never had but always needed; the vision to see backwards and forwards and all around, the other wing that you need to complete your flight. And I think it can just happen, suddenly, without explanation! And then I think, it would be good to keep that person, you'll always have those eyes, and always have two wings.
C. JoyBell C.
I know there were no guaratnees. No way of knowing what came next for me, or him, or anything. Some things dont last forever, but some things do. Like a great song, or a good book, or a good memory you can take out and unfold in your darkest times, pressing down the corners and peering close, hoping you still see the person you see there . . . That was the thing, you just never knew. Right now, though, I wanted not to think forward or backward, but only to lose myself in the words.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
Wonderful", the Flatline said, "I never did like to do anything simple when I could do it ass-backwards.
William Gibson
Do you love me, Westley? Is that it?’ He couldn’t believe it. ‘Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches. If your love were—‘ ‘I don’t understand the first one yet,’ Buttercup interrupted. She was starting to get very excited now. ‘Let me get this straight. Are you saying my love is the size of a grain of sand and yours is this other thing? Images just confuse me so—is this universal business of yours bigger than my sand? Help me, Westley. I have the feeling we’re on the verge of something just terribly important.’ ‘I have stayed these years in my hovel because of you. I have taught myself languages because of you. I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body. I have lived my life with only the prayer that some sudden dawn you might glance in my direction. I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids….Is any of this getting through to you, Buttercup, or do you want me to go on for a while?’ ‘Never stop.’ ‘There has not been—‘ ‘If you’re teasing me, Westley, I’m just going to kill you.’ ‘How can you even dream I might be teasing?’ ‘Well, you haven’t once said you loved me.’ ‘That’s all you need? Easy. I love you. Okay? Want it louder? I love you. Spell it out, should I? I ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love I.’ ‘You are teasing now; aren’t you?’ ‘A little maybe; I’ve been saying it so long to you, you just wouldn’t listen. Every time you said ‘Farm boy do this’ you thought I was answering ‘As you wish’ but that’s only because you were hearing wrong. ‘I love you’ was what it was, but you never heard, and you never heard.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
Lily and James only made you Secret-Keeper because I suggested it,” Black hissed, so venomously that Pettigrew took a step backward. “I thought it was the perfect plan... a bluff... Voldemort would be sure to come after me, would never dream they’d use a weak, talentless thing like you... It must have been the finest moment of your miserable life, telling Voldemort you could hand him the Potters.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
What if you were wrong? What if everything you ever believed was a lie? What if you missed your opportunity because you didn't know your worth? What if you settled on familiar, but God was trying to give you something better? What if you decided not to go backwards, but forward? What if doing what you have never done before was the answer to everything that didn't make sense? What if the answer wasn't to be found in words, but in action? What if you found the courage to do what you really wanted to do and doing it changed your whole life?
Shannon L. Alder
Time never runs backward when I need it to. Not for me, and not for anyone else.
Seanan McGuire (Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1))
Young Sally Owens: He will hear my call a mile away. He will whistle my favorite song. He can ride a pony backwards. Young Gillian Owens: What are you doing? Young Sally Owens: Summoning up a true love spell called Amas Veritas. He can flip pancakes in the air. He'll be marvelously kind. And his favorite shape will be a star. And he'll have one green eye and one blue. Young Gillian Owens: Thought you never wanted to fall in love. Young Sally Owens: That's the point. The guy I dreamed of doesn't exist. And if he doesn't exist I'll never die of a broken heart.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
He who jokes in the executioners face can be destroyed, but never defeated.
Tom Robbins (Wild Ducks Flying Backward)
Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to never was there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it. Where is there a place for you to be? No place. Nothing outside you can give you any place," he said. "You needn't look at the sky because it's not going to open up and show no place behind it. You needn't to search for any hole in the ground to look through into somewhere else. You can't go neither forwards nor backwards into your daddy's time nor your children's if you have them. In yourself right now is all the place you've got. If there was any Fall, look there, if there was any Redemption, look there, and if you expect any Judgment, look there, because they all three will have to be in your time and your body and where in your time and your body can they be?
Flannery O'Connor (Wise Blood)
I don't know where we're going, he and I, but I know I want to get there. We are hours and minutes reaching for the same second, holding hands as we spin forward into new days and the promise of something better. But though we'll know forward and we've known backward, we will never know the present. This moment and the next one and even the one that would've been right now are gone, already passed, and all we're left with are these tired bodies, the only proof that we've lived through time and survived it. It'll be worth it, though, in the end. Fighting for a lifetime of this.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
I’m not good at talking,” Naoko said. “Haven’t been for the longest while. I start to say something and the wrong words come out. Wrong or sometimes completely backward. I try to go back and correct it, but things get even more complicated and confused, so that I don’t even remember what I started to say in the first place. Like I was split into two or something, one half chasing the other. And there’s this big pillar in the middle and they go chasing each other around and around it. The other me always latches onto the right word and this me absolutely never catches up
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Never presume to know a person based on the one dimensional window of the internet. A soul can’t be defined by critics, enemies or broken ties with family or friends. Neither can it be explained by posts or blogs that lack facial expressions, tone or insight into the person’s personality and intent. Until people “get that”, we will forever be a society that thinks Beautiful Mind was a spy movie and every stranger is really a friend on Facebook.
Shannon L. Alder
I believe that we have reached a stage in life in the economic development of Africa where moving forward is perilous, moving backwards is cowardice and standing still is suicidal but we must persevere because winners do not quit and quitter never win.
Patrick L.O. Lumumba
We can stick anything into the fog and make it look like a ghost but tonight let us not become tragedies. We are not funeral homes with propane tanks in our windows, lookin’ like cemeteries. Cemeteries are just the Earth’s way of not letting go. Let go. Tonight let’s turn our silly wrists so far backwards the razor blades in our pencil tips can’t get a good angle on all that beauty inside. Step into this with your airplane parts. Move forward and repeat after me with your heart: “I no longer need you to fuck me as hard as I hated myself.” Make love to me like you know I am better than the worst thing I ever did. Go slow. I’m new to this. But I have seen nearly every city from a rooftop without jumping. I have realized that the moon did not have to be full for us to love it, that we are not tragedies stranded here beneath it, that if my heart really broke every time I fell from love I’d be able to offer you confetti by now. But hearts don’t break, y’all, they bruise and get better. We were never tragedies. We were emergencies. You call 9 – 1 – 1. Tell them I’m having a fantastic time.
Buddy Wakefield
But somebody else had spoken Snape’s name, quite softly. “Severus . . .” The sound frightened Harry beyond anything he had experienced all evening. For the first time, Dumbledore was pleading. Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face. “Severus . . . please . . .” Snape raised his wand and pointed it directly at Dumbledore. “Avada Kedavra!” A jet of green light shot from the end of Snape’s wand and hit Dumbledore squarely in the chest. Harry’s scream of horror never left him; silent and unmoving, he was forced to watch as Dumbledore was blasted into the air. For a split second, he seemed to hang suspended beneath the shining skull, and then he fell slowly backward, like a great rag doll, over the battlements and out of sight.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
Stop!” His voice rings out sharply, hard as a slap. He releases me and I stumble backward. “Alex is dead, do you hear me? All of that—what we felt, what it meant—that’s done now, okay? Buried. Blown away.” “Alex!” He has started to turn away; now he whirls around. The moon lights him stark white and furious, a camera image, two-dimensional, gripped by the flash. “I don’t love you, Lena. Do you hear me? I never loved you.” The air goes. Everything goes. “I don’t believe you.” I’m crying so hard, I can hardly speak. He takes one step toward me. And now I don’t recognize him at all. He has transformed entirely, turned into a stranger. “It was a lie. Okay? It was all a lie. Craziness, like they always said. Just forget about it. Forget it ever happened.
Lauren Oliver (Requiem (Delirium, #3))
There are two goddesses in your heart,” he told them. “The Goddess of Wisdom and the Goddess of Wealth. Everyone thinks they need to get wealth first, and wisdom will come. So they concern themselves with chasing money. But they have it backwards. You have to give your heart to the Goddess of Wisdom, give her all your love and attention, and the Goddess of Wealth will become jealous, and follow you.” Ask nothing from your running, in other words, and you’ll get more than you ever imagined.
Christopher McDougall (Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen)
It's just one thing after another. Cars that won't run. Planes that will never fly again. Computer systems we can barely use, let alone re-create. It's like...time is flowing backward. We're caveman archeologists in the ruins of the future.
Dan Wells (Fragments (Partials Sequence, #2))
When you focus on lack and scarcity and what you don’t have, you fuss about it with your family, you discuss it with your friends, you tell your children that you don’t have enough - “We don’t have enough for that, we can’t afford that” - then you’ll never be able to afford it, because you begin to attract more of what you don’t have. If you want abundance, if you want prosperity, then focus on abundance. Focus on prosperity. (Lisa Nichols) Many people in Western culture are striving for success. They want the great home, they want their business to work, they want all these outer things. But what we found in our research is that having these outer things does not necessarily guarantee what we really want, which is happiness. So we go for these outer things thinking they’re going to bring us happiness , but it’s backward. You need to go for the inner joy, the inner peace, the inner vision first, and then all of the outer things appear. (Marci Shimoff)
Rhonda Byrne (The Secret (The Secret, #1))
A Radical is a man with both feet firmly planted--in the air. A Conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward. A Reactionary is a somnambulist walking backwards. A Liberal is a man who uses his legs and his hands at the behest--at the command--of his head.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
We are kissing like crazy. Like our lives depend on it. His tongue slips inside my mouth, gentle but demanding, and it’s nothing like I’ve ever experienced, and I suddenly understand why people describe kissing as melting because every square inch of my body dissolves into his. My fingers grip his hair, pulling him closer. My veins throb and my heart explodes. I have never wanted anyone like this before. Ever. He pushes me backward and we’re lying down, making out in front of the children with their red balloons and the old men with their chess sets and the tourists with their laminated maps and I don’t care, I don’t care about any of that. All I want is Étienne. The weight of his body on top of mine is extraordinary. I feel him—all of him—pressed against me, and I inhale his shaving cream, his shampoo, and that extra scent that’s just . . . him. The most delicious smell I could ever imagine. I want to breathe him, lick him, eat him, drink him. His lips taste like honey. His face has the slightest bit of stubble and it rubs my skin but I don’t care, I don’t care at all. He feels wonderful. His hands are everywhere, and it doesn’t matter that his mouth is already on top of mine, I want him closer closer closer.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
I got schooled this year. By everyone. By my little brother... by The Avett Brothers... by my mother, my best friend, my teacher, my father, and by a boy. a boy that I'm seriously, deeply, madly, incredibly, and undeniably in love with... I got so schooled this year. By a nine-year-old. He taught me that it's okay to live life a little backwards. And how to laugh At what you would think is un-laughable. I got schooled this year By a Band! They taught me how to find that feeling of feeling again. They taught me how to decide what to be And go be it. I got schooled this year. By a cancer patient. She taught me so much. She's still teaching me so much. She taught me to question. To never regret. She taught me to push my boundaries, Because that's what they're there for. She told me to find a balance between head and heart And then she taught me how... I got schooled this year By a Foster Kid She taught me to respect the hand that I was dealt. And to be grateful I was even dealt a hand. She taught me that family Doesn't have to be blood. Sometimes your family are your friends. I got schooled this year By my teacher He taught me That the points are not the point, The point is poetry... I got schooled this year By my father. He taught me that hero's aren't always invincible And that the magic is within me.. I got schooled this year by a Boy. a boy that I'm seriously, deeply, madly, incredibly, and undeniably in love with. And he taught me the most important thing of all... To put the emphasis On life.
Colleen Hoover
XI I sang his name instead of song; Over and over I sang his name: Backward and forward I sang it along, With my sweetest notes, it was still the same! I sang it low, that the slave-girls near Might never guess, from what they could hear, That all the song was a name.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
She had resolved to never take another step backward.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening)
I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.
Abraham Lincoln
It is quite true what Philosophy says: that Life must be understood backwards. But that makes one forget the other saying: that it must be lived—forwards. The more one ponders this, the more it comes to mean that life in the temporal existence never becomes quite intelligible, precisely because at no moment can I find complete quiet to take the backward- looking position.
Søren Kierkegaard (The Diary Of Soren Kierkegaard)
Grief was not a line, carrying you infinitely further from loss. You never knew when you would be sling-shot backward into its grip.
Brit Bennett (The Mothers)
I never knew that a relationship could be so mental, so emotional before all the physical. I wonder if we're doing this backwards or if this has been the right way all along.
Krista Ritchie (Hothouse Flower (Calloway Sisters #2))
I am, and always have been - first, last, and always - a child of America. You raised me. I grew up in the pastures and hills of Texas, but I had been to thirty-four states before I learned how to drive. When I caught the stomach flu in the fifth grade, my mother sent a note to school written on the back of a holiday memo from Vice President Biden. Sorry, sir—we were in a rush, and it was the only paper she had on hand. I spoke to you for the first time when I was eighteen, on the stage of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, when I introduced my mother as the nominee for president. You cheered for me. I was young and full of hope, and you let me embody the American dream: that a boy who grew up speaking two languages, whose family was blended and beautiful and enduring, could make a home for himself in the White House. You pinned the flag to my lapel and said, “We’re rooting for you.” As I stand before you today, my hope is that I have not let you down. Years ago, I met a prince. And though I didn’t realize it at the time, his country had raised him too. The truth is, Henry and I have been together since the beginning of this year. The truth is, as many of you have read, we have both struggled every day with what this means for our families, our countries, and our futures. The truth is, we have both had to make compromises that cost us sleep at night in order to afford us enough time to share our relationship with the world on our own terms. We were not afforded that liberty. But the truth is, also, simply this: love is indomitable. America has always believed this. And so, I am not ashamed to stand here today where presidents have stood and say that I love him, the same as Jack loved Jackie, the same as Lyndon loved Lady Bird. Every person who bears a legacy makes the choice of a partner with whom they will share it, whom the American people will “hold beside them in hearts and memories and history books. America: He is my choice. Like countless other Americans, I was afraid to say this out loud because of what the consequences might be. To you, specifically, I say: I see you. I am one of you. As long as I have a place in this White House, so will you. I am the First Son of the United States, and I’m bisexual. History will remember us. If I can ask only one thing of the American people, it’s this: Please, do not let my actions influence your decision in November. The decision you will make this year is so much bigger than anything I could ever say or do, and it will determine the fate of this country for years to come. My mother, your president, is the warrior and the champion that each and every American deserves for four more years of growth, progress, and prosperity. Please, don’t let my actions send us backward. I ask the media not to focus on me or on Henry, but on the campaign, on policy, on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans at stake in this election. And finally, I hope America will remember that I am still the son you raised. My blood still runs from Lometa, Texas, and San Diego, California, and Mexico City. I still remember the sound of your voices from that stage in Philadelphia. I wake up every morning thinking of your hometowns, of the families I’ve met at rallies in Idaho and Oregon and South Carolina. I have never hoped to be anything other than what I was to you then, and what I am to you now—the First Son, yours in actions and words. And I hope when Inauguration Day comes again in January, I will continue to be.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
It is perfectly true, as philosophers say, that life must be understood backwards. But they forget the other proposition, that it must be lived forwards. And if one thinks over that proposition it becomes more and more evident that life can never really be understood in time because at no particular moment can I find the necessary resting-place from which to understand it. There
Sarah Bakewell (At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others)
Looking backward through life, one can see the points of change like great locks through which one glides on a flood wave, so smoothly, on such irresistible power that one is hardly aware of any movement. But life is never the same again. One has gone through the lock and lives on a new level.
Mary O'Hara (Green Grass of Wyoming (My Friend Flicka #3))
For anyone who insists that taking one step forward and two steps backward will never get you anywhere , I protest: It will if you're walking backwards.
George Watsky (How to Ruin Everything: Essays)
Stories never start at the beginning, Benny. They differ from life in that regard. Life is lived from birth to death, from the beginning into an unknowable future. But stories are told in hindsight. Stories are life lived backward.
Ruth Ozeki (The Book of Form and Emptiness)
...watching a midforties Wonder Woman stumble backward into Hannah's net stack of Traveler magazines made me wonder if the very idea of Growing Up was a sham, the bus out of town you're so busy waiting for, you don't notice it never actually comes.
Marisha Pessl (Special Topics in Calamity Physics)
It's never over. Not really. Not when you stay down there as long as I did, not when you've lived in the netherworld longer than you've lived in this material one, where things are very bright and large and make such strange noises. You never come back, not all the way. Always, there is an odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you meet, a barrier, thin as the glass of a mirror. You never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand, for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and one in another, where everything is upside down and backward and sad. It is the distance of marred memory, of a twisted and shape-shifting past. When people talk about their childhood, their adolescence, their college days, I laugh along and try not to think: that was when I was throwing up in my elementary school bathroom, that was when I was sleeping with strangers to show off the sharp tips of my bones, that was when I lost sight of my soul and died. And it is the distance of the present, as well - the distance that lies between people in general because of the different lives we have lived. I don't know who I would be, now, if I had not lived the life I have, and so I cannot alter my need for distance - nor can I lessen the low and omnipresent pain that that distance creates. The entirety of my life is overshadowed by one singular and near-fatal obsession.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
You said you wanted an in-your-face, overjoyed kind of love that knocks you backwards.” He takes a beat. “But our love is that and better. Our love is headstrong. It never yields, never dies. And when it knocks you backwards, it pulls you upright again.
Krista Ritchie (Alphas Like Us (Like Us, #3))
Where are you going?" I asked, as Frank swung his feet off the bed. "I'd hate the dear old thing to be disappointed in us," he answered. Sitting up on the side of the ancient bed, he bounced gently up and down, creating a piercing rhythmic squeak. The Hoovering in the hall stopped abruptly. After a minute or two of bouncing, he gave a loud, theatrical groan and collapsed backward with a twang of protesting springs. I giggled helplessly into a pillow, so as not to disturb the breathless silence outside. Frank waggled his eyebrows at me. "You're supposed to moan ecstatically, not giggle," he admonished in a whisper. "She'll think I'm not a good lover." "You'll have to keep it up for longer than that, if you expect ecstatic moans," I answered. "Two minutes doesn't deserve any more than a giggle." "Inconsiderate little wench. I came here for a rest, remember?" "Lazybones. You'll never manage the next branch on your family tree unless you show a bit more industry than that.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
I never reasoned on what I should do, but what I had done; as if my Reason had her eyes behind, and could only see backwards.
Henry Fielding
Maybe what I admired most about John Steinbeck is that he never mortgaged his 45-acre heart for a suite in an ivory tower.
Tom Robbins (Wild Ducks Flying Backward)
Don't look backwards. That never does any good. Think about the future instead.
Abigail Strom (Cross My Heart (Landry, #2))
Before Layne, I saw everything in strict black and white. He was every beautiful shade of color on the wheel, as well as many that had never been seen before.
Mark Lanegan (Sing Backwards and Weep: A Memoir)
I tend to walk around convinced that any amount of forgiveness that I could extend could never possibly compensate for the offenses that I’ve had to endure. Yet, maybe the greater offense is that I’ve got that backwards.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
When he[Thresh] shouts, I jump, never having heard him speak above a mutter. "What'd you do to that little girl? You kill her?" Clove is scrambling backwards on all fours, like a frantic insect, too shocked to even call for Cato. "No! No, it wasn't me!" "You said her name. I heard you. You kill her?" Another thought brings a fresh wave of rage to his features. "You cut her up like you were about to do to this girl here?" "No! No, I-" Clove sees the stone, about the size of a small loaf of bread in Thresh's hand and loses it. "Cato!" she screeches. "Cato!" "Clove!" I hear Cato's answer, but he's too far away, I can tell that much, to do her any good. What was he doing? Trying to get Foxface or Peeta? Or had he been lying in wait for Thresh and just badly misjudged his location? Thresh brings the rock down hard against Clove's temple. It's not bleeding, but I can see the dent in her skull and I know that she's a goner.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
that i pray that i may always keep my eyes level to your eye line never downcast at the table cloth too nervous to share my innermost thoughts with you
Lana Del Rey (Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass)
I didn't want him to move on. I wanted to go backwards, back in time and hug him. Never let him go.
Penelope Ward (RoomHate)
Tell them I came, and no one answered, That I kept my word," he said. Never the least stir made the listeners, Though every word he spake Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house From the one man left awake: Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup, And the sound of iron on stone, And how the silence surged softly backward, When the plunging hoofs were gone.
Walter de la Mare (The Listeners and Other Poems)
Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable.
Robert Louis Stevenson (The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde)
First, the line of progress is never straight. For a period a movement may follow a straight line and then it encounters obstacles and the path bends. It is like curving around a mountain when you are approaching a city. Often if feels as though you were moving backwards, and you lose sight of your goal: but in fact you are moving ahead, and soon you will see the city again, closer by.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?)
I tried not to lose hope and remembered a popular mantra from my country: “Forward ever, backward never.
Ousman Umar (North to Paradise)
A book is like a woman. She should leave your bed with her hair tangled and her clothes on backward. A book without creases is a book that has never known passion.
Terri-Lynne DeFino (The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses))
A spirit of innovation is generally the result of a selfish temper, and confined views. People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France)
On the thought a blessed silence came, an empty clarity. He took it a first for utter desolation, but desolation was a type of free fall, perpetual and without ground below. This was stillness: balanced, solid, weirdly serene. No momentum to it at all, forward or backwards or sideways. He lay drained of tension, not moving, and content to be so. The oddly stretched moment was like a bite of eternity, eaten on the run. Was this quiet place inside something new-grown, or had he just never stumbled upon it before? How could so vast a thing lay undiscovered for so long? His breathing slowed and deepened.
Lois McMaster Bujold (Memory (Vorkosigan Saga, #10))
The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday--but never jam to-day.'
 'It MUST come sometimes to "jam to-day,"' Alice objected.
 'No, it can't,' said the Queen. ' It's jam every OTHER day: to-day isn't any OTHER day, you know.'
 'I don't understand you,' said Alice. 'It's dreadfully confusing!'
 'That's the effect of living backwards,' the Queen said kindly: 'it always makes one a little giddy at first--'
 'Living backwards!' Alice repeated in great astonishment. 'I never heard of such a thing!'
 '--but there's one great advantage in it, that one's memory works both ways.'
 ‘I'm sure MINE only works one way,' Alice remarked. 'I can't remember things before they happen.'
 'It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,' the Queen remarked.
Lewis Carroll (Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #2))
You never meet the right people at the wrong time because the right people are timeless. The right people make you want to throw away the plans you originally had for one and follow them into the hazy, unknown future without a glance backwards.
Heidi Priebe (This Is Me Letting You Go)
The critics say that epics have died out with Agamemnon and the goat-nursed gods; I'll not believe it. I could never deem as Payne Knight did, that Homer's heroes measured twelve feet high. They were but men: -his Helen's hair turned grey like any plain Miss Smith's who wears a front; And Hector's infant whimpered at a plume as yours last Friday at a turkey-cock. All heroes are essential men, and all men possible heroes: every age, heroic in proportions, double faced, looks backward and before, expects a morn and claims an epos.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
Steve Jobs
Then my sole relief was to walk along the corridor of the third storey, backwards and forwards, safe in the silence and solitude of the spot, and allow my mind's eye to dwell on whatever bright visions rose before it - and, certainly, they were many and glowing; to let my heart be heaved by the exultant movement, which, while it swelled it in trouble, expanded it with life; and, best of all, to open my inward ear to a tale that was never ended - a tale my imagination created, and narrated continuously; quickened with all of incident, life, fire, feeling, that I desired and had not in my actual existence.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
People, he had said, were always being looked at as points, and they ought to be looked at as lines. There weren't any points, it was false to assume that a person ever was anything. He was always becoming something, always changing, always continuous and moving, like the wiggly line on a machine used to measure earthquake shocks. He was always what he was in the beginning, but never quite exactly what he was; he moved along a line dictated by his heritage and his environment, but he was subject to every sort of variation within the narrow limits of his capabilities. ... She shut her mind on that too. There was danger in looking at people as lines. The past spread backward and you saw things in perspective that you hadn't seen then, and that made the future ominous, more ominous than if you just looked at the point, at the moment. There might be truth in what Bruce said, but there was not much comfort.
Wallace Stegner (The Big Rock Candy Mountain)
Derk was sick of falling backward into his trench, but he never had time to invent a different way of being killed.
Diana Wynne Jones (Dark Lord of Derkholm (Derkholm, #1))
True leaders are like statues, whether it rains or it shines, they never bend their necks to look backwards! They never run away from challenges!
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
It seems obvious to me now – though I have been slow, I must say, in coming to the conclusion – that the institution of private property is one of the main things that have given man that limited amount of free-and-equalness that Marx hoped to render infinite by abolishing this institution. Strangely enough Marx was the first to see this. He is the one who informed us, looking backwards, that the evolution of private capitalism with its free market had been a precondition for the evolution of all our democratic freedoms. It never occurred to him, looking forward, that if this was so, these other freedoms might disappear with the abolition of the free market.
Max Eastman
Edmund Burke argued that people who have never looked backward to their ancestors will not be able to look forward and plan for the future. People who look backward to see the heroism and the struggle that came before see themselves as debtors who owe something, who have some obligation to pay it forward.
David Brooks (The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life)
In everything you do, refine your skills and knowledge about fundamental concepts and simple cases. Once is never enough. As you revisit fundamentals, you will find new insights. It may appear that returning to basics is a step backward and requires additional time and effort; however, by building on firm foundations you will soon see your true abilities soar higher and faster.
Edward B. Burger (The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking)
I’M SORRY I am developing a new board game. It’s called “I’m Sorry.” It’s also a form of “Self-Help Psychological Therapy!” You take turns moving around the board like Monopoly. But if you land on a Yellow or Green “I’m Sorry Space”… you have to make a Phone call. Both green and yellow cards are labeled- the same with things like: Your Ex, Parental figure, friend, co-worker, boss, children, etc. You get the point… If you land on the yellow space, the game stops, everyone gets quiet and you have to call that person up – on speakerphone. You apologize for something you’ve done in your past. Come on you know you are not perfect and you probably screwed up, hurt or disappointed everyone in your past at one time or another. So you call and you apologize. You explain what you did to them wrong if they forgive you, you move forward 10 places and everyone cheers! No forgiveness back- you move back to the beginning. If you land on the green space- it’s similar. But you call the person up and you try to explain to them how, in someway, they hurt you in the past. If they apologize… cheers and you move forward 10 spaces. No apology… move backward ten spaces. They curse at you- game over. In the original packaging of the yellow and green cards, are mixed in a set of “I’m Sorry Cards.” If you are lucky enough to get to pick up an “I’m Sorry Card,” it’s like a Get Out of Jail Free Card, and you don’t have to make the call. The only catch is that the cards come hermetically sealed. After opening up the package, and the cards are exposed to air, all of the “I’m Sorry Cards,” magically turn into “Deal With it Cards!” And so, you really never get a free ride. In reality, every time you pick up a yellow or green card, you have to- Deal with It! Of course you can always order a new factory set of sealed of “I’m Sorry Cards.” But they only last about 30 minutes and are very expensive, so you’ll have to play fast. Cute Game? Hey, don’t steal my idea!!!
José N. Harris (Mi Vida)
Anna Sergeyevna looked at Bazarov. A bitter smile played over his pale features. "This man loved me!" she thought - and she felt sorry for him and held out her hand to him in sympathy. But he understood her. "No!" he said and took a step backwards. "I'm a poor man but I've never yet taken charity. Goodbye and good luck.
Ivan Turgenev (Fathers and Sons)
The door flew open, almost smacking me in my face. I opened my mouth to yell at the asshole busting the door, but stopped the moment i came face-to-face with my own personal siren, my nymph-Echo. This time, she wouldn't walk away. Wrapping my arms around her, I walked her backward into the brick. "Tell me you chose me, Echo." She licked her lips. Those green eyes smoldered, calling me to her. "I chose you." For the first time in three years, the coil forever tightened in my gut relaxed. "You will never regret it. I promise." I wanted her. All of her, but Echo deserved more than a quick thrill and better than a guy like me. Everything needed to be slow and deliberate. I wanted to blow her mind with every touch and every kiss so her every thought always came back to me. I would never touch anyone else again without thinking about her. I'd promised she would be more and i needed to keep that promise. Tearing my self away, i took her delicate hand in mine and headed toward my car. "Come on." "Where are we going?" I opened the passenger door and turned to face her. Echo's innocent eyes were wide with comfusion. She wouldn't be with me. We'd both been through hell, but Echo deserved better. Still, i wasn't all bad. I used to be good, like her, She needed to know that. "Someplace special.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Billy looked at the clock on the gas stove. He had an hour to kill before the saucer came. He went into the living room, swinging the bottle like a dinner bell, turned on the television. He came slightly unstuck in time, saw the late movie backwards, then forwards again. It was a movie about American bombers in the Second World War and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this: American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation. The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new. When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground., to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again. The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn't in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve, he supposed.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
And she leaves. She opens the door and, without a backward glance, goes out and shuts the door. I stand at the window and watch her go. She vanishes in the shadow of a building. Hands resting on the sill, I gaze for the longest time at where she disappeared. Maybe she forgot something she wanted to say and will come back. But she never does. All that’s left is an absence that’s like a hollow space.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze. A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that? Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind. In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday. Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us. It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral. All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
Life is always new, mind is always old. Life is never old, mind is never new. Hence they never meet, they can’t meet. Mind moves backward, life moves forward. So those who try to live life through the mind are simply doing something so utterly stupid that the day they recognize what they have been doing to themselves, they will not be able to believe that they could have been so stupid, so ridiculous, so absurd.
Osho (First in the Morning: 365 Uplifting Moments to Start the Day Consciously)
It was all so clear now, so terrifyingly obvious. I was the villain; I always had been. It explained everything—why I’d never gotten what I wanted, no matter how hard I’d tried. It wasn’t because life was unfair, or not working the way it should. I’d had it backwards my whole life: I wasn’t the princess, set upon by misfortune; I was the witch. And life had unfolded the way it was supposed to, giving me what I deserved.
Ashley Winstead (In My Dreams I Hold a Knife)
Some pasts exist as a fog that rolls in and out of the present, formed not by air that condenses into mist but memories that condense into tiny doors that open to forgotten moments. Maybe you glance at a stranger on a crowded street who reminds you of a childhood friend or hear a song that was popular the first summer you fell in love, and in the space of that single beat of time you are flung backward to a who or when long past. And yet it is only for that one beat. Those tiny doors never remain open for long for most of us. They ensure our former times are kept as relics, and the dust upon them is wiped clean only occasionally
Billy Coffey (The Devil Walks in Mattingly)
You never come back, not all the way. Always, there is an odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you meet, a barrier, thin as the glass of a mirror. You never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand, for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and one in another, where everything is upside down and backward and sad.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
I love you, and it's driving me crazy to see you so upset. I want to fix it, and I know I can't. But what I want to do is rewrite this whole world so you can fix it. I want to come up with a story that all the world will choose to celebrate, and in it, the people we love will never get sick, and the people we love will never be sad for long, and there would be unlimited frozen hot chocolate. Maybe if it were up to me I wouldn't have the whole world collectively believe in Santa Claus, but I would definitely have them collectively believe in something, because there is a messed-up kind of beauty in the way we can bend over backward to make life seem magical when we want to. In other words, after giving it some thought , I think that reality has the distinct potential to complete suck, and the way to get around that is to step out of reality with someone you completely, unadulteratedly enjoy. In my life, that's you. And if it takes dressing up like Santa to get that across to you, then so be it.
David Levithan (The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily (Dash & Lily, #2))
I am sure they will make the road to recovery seem clean. They’ll use words to make healing seem pretty and pretend the bandages don’t feel heavy and still cause pain. Your sadness is never going to be near and tidy, and on some days you might even wonder how you’re going to pick up every shattered piece on the floor when burying your soul seems much easier. There will be moments where you have to convince yourself that feeling is better than being numb and that your aching bones are strong enough to carry on. There will be times things feel upside down and you are spinning on an axis that is never balanced. There will be days where you take steps backward and those new steps forward feel very far away. But even in the difficulty you are still taking steps, you are still making progress. And for every bump along the way, just remember you have come this far; might as well keep going.
Courtney Peppernell (Pillow Thoughts (Pillow Thoughts #1))
I realized that I was living my life backwards. I had to be a grown-up when I’d been a little boy, and now I was tending to the little boy who’d never had the chance to properly play… Had I not had the childhood I did, would these traits not be so at the forefront of my personality? Who knows? All I know is that I am the product of all the experiences I have had, good and bad.
Alan Cumming (Not My Father's Son)
Every achievement of man is a value in itself, but it is also a stepping-stone to greater achievements and values. Life is growth; not to move forward, is to fall backward; life remains life, only so long as it advances. Every step upward opens to man a wider range of action and achievement--and creates the need for that action and achievement. There is no final, permanent "plateau". The problem of survival is never "solved", once and for all, with no further thought or motion required. More precisely, the problem of survival is solved, by recognizing that survival demands constant growth and creativeness.
Ayn Rand (The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism)
Bottom line: you never ever saw him looking wrong. Knowing this, I felt a cold shiver down my spine when I read in the Minneapolis StarTribune that when his body was found in the elevator at Paisley Park, "Prince was wearing a black shirt and pants - both were on backward - and his socks were inside out." This made no sense to me. The sheer irony of it broke my heart all over again.
Mayte Garcia (The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince)
For Marius to arrive at this flourishing condition had required years. Hard years, and difficult ones; those to get through, these to climb. Marius had never given up for a single day. He had undergone everything, in the shape of privation; he had done everything, except get into debt. He gave himself this credit, that he had never owed a sou to anybody. For him a debt was the beginning of slavery. He felt even that a creditor is worse than a master; for a master owns only your person, a creditor owns your dignity and can belabour that. Rather than borrow, he did not eat. He had had many days of fasting. Feeling that all extremes meet, and that if we do not take care, abasement of fortune may lead to baseness of soul, he watched jealously over his pride. Such a habit or such a carriage as, in any other condition, would have appeared deferential, seemed humiliating and he braced himself against it. He risked nothing, not wishing to take a backward step. He had a kind of stern blush upon his face. He was timid even to rudeness. In all his trials he felt encouraged and sometimes even upborne by a secret force within. The soul helps the body, and at certain moments uplifts it. It is the only bird which sustains its cage.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
The Listeners 'Is there anybody there?' said the Traveller, Knocking on the moonlit door; And his horse in the silence champed the grasses Of the forest's ferny floor. And a bird flew up out of the turret, Above the Traveller's head: And he smote upon the door again a second time; 'Is there anybody there?' he said. But no one descended to the Traveller; No head from the leaf-fringed sill Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes, Where he stood perplexed and still. But only a host of phantom listeners That dwelt in the lone house then Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight To that voice from the world of men: Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair, That goes down to the empty hall, Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken By the lonely Traveller's call. And he felt in his heart their strangeness, Their stillness answering his cry, While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf, 'Neath the starred and leafy sky; For he suddenly smote on the door, even Louder, and lifted his head:-- 'Tell them I came, and no one answered, That I kept my word,' he said. Never the least stir made the listeners, Though every word he spake Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house From the one man left awake: Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup, And the sound of iron on stone, And how the silence surged softly backward, When the plunging hoofs were gone.
Walter de la Mare
Climbing hills was never one of my great ambitions. Perhaps I was just lazy, but I admit--now that I've been climbing a hill every other day--that it's very difficult to think about the stresses in your life while you're trying to avoid falling backwards when a goat with large horns is chasing you because you came too close to the little patch of grass he was planning to eat for breakfast.
Gene Wilder (The Woman Who Wouldn't)
Niphon, standing with a glass of wine, regarded me with curious amusement as I headed straight for him.Considering I usually avoided him if it all possible, my approach undoubtedly astonished him. But not as much as when I punched him. I didn’t even need to shape-shift much bulk into my fist. I’d caught him by surprise. The wineglass fell out of his hand, hitting the carpet and spilling its contents like blood. The imp flew backward, hitting Peter’s china cabinet with a crash. Niphon slumped to the floor, eyes wide with shock. I kept coming. Kneeling, I grabbed his designer shirt and jerked him toward me. “Stay the fuck out of my life, or I will destroy you,” I hissed. Terror filled his features. “Are you out of your fucking mind? What do you—” Suddenly, the fear disappeared. He started laughing. “He did it, didn’t he? He broke up with you. I didn’t know if he could do it, even after giving him the spiel about how it’d be better for both of you. Oh my. This is lovely. All your so-called charms weren’t enough to—ahh!” I’d pulled him closer to me, digging my nails into him, and finally, I felt an emotion. Fury. Niphon’s role had been greater than I believed. My face was mere inches from his. “Remember when you said I was nothing but a backwoods girl from some gritty fishing village? You were right. And I had to survive in gritty circumstances—in situations you’d never be able to handle. And you know what else? I spent most of my childhood gutting fish and other animals.” I ran a finger down his neck. “I can do it for you too. I could slit you from throat to stomach. I could rip you open, and you’d scream for death. You’d wish you weren’t immortal. And I could do it over and over again.” That wiped the smirk off Niphon’s face.
Richelle Mead (Succubus Dreams (Georgina Kincaid, #3))
I disentangled myself and flopped backward on the bed. “You sure about this, man?” “Positive.” David climbed right on top, straddling me. He knew I’d never throw him off, even if I’d threatened to do so a hundred times in the past. Maybe he knew how much I liked it.
Santino Hassell (Sunset Park (Five Boroughs, #2))
He asked her out and she told him she wouldnt go out with a man that drank. He looked her straight in the eye and told her he didnt drink. She like to fell over backwards. I guess it come as somethin of a shock to her to meet a even bigger liear than what she was. But he told the naked truth. Of course she called hishand on it. Said she knew for a fact he drank. Said everbody in Jeff Davis County knew he drank and drank plenty and was wild as a buck. He never batted a eye. Said he used to but he quit. She asked him when did he quit and he said I just now did. And she went out with him. And as far as I know he never took another drink. Till she quit him of course. By then he had a lot of catchin up to do. Tell me about the evils of liquor. Liquor aint nothin. But he was changed from that day.
Cormac McCarthy (Cities of the Plain (The Border Trilogy, #3))
Stagnated mind is the root of all hate, war and disorder. Mind, never rigid, is the source of senility and sapience.
Abhijit Naskar (Honor He Wrote: 100 Sonnets For Humans Not Vegetables)
I must go forward where I have never been instead of backwards where I have
A.A. Milne
wanted more than that even though I’ve never had anything. Not one person to call if I changed my dollar in for quarters to ask what they thought about it.
Lana Del Rey (Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass)
I walk slowly, but I never walk backwards.
Abraham Lincon
the doorframes were about six feet, seven inches high. To navigate, I would discreetly bob my head down as if nodding to an unseen companion as I walked. I had no idea how finely calibrated my ducking was until I got new soles and heels on a pair of dress shoes during the George W. Bush administration. Apparently, this refurbished footwear made me about a half-inch taller than usual. Rushing so as not to be late to a Situation Room meeting with the president, I did the usual bob and smacked my head so hard that I rocked backward, stunned. A Secret Service agent asked me if I was okay. I said yes, and continued walking, stars in my eyes. As I sat at the table with the president and his national security team, I began to feel liquid on my scalp and realized I was bleeding. So I did the obvious thing: I kept tilting my head in different directions to keep the running blood inside my hairline. Heaven only knows what President Bush thought was wrong with me, but he never saw my blood.
James B. Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
Her dad brought his hands together and popped a knuckle. “Trevor,” Frances said soothingly, rubbing her hand on his back. But she was looking hard at me over her glasses, telling me upstanding citizens did not act this way. When we were kids, that look from Frances could make Lori and her brother behave, and sometimes even my brothers, but I never seemed to get the message. “I saw you coming out of the woods,” Lori’s dad shouted at me. “Together!” “We weren’t rolling in the leaves or anything. Look, no evidence.” I put my other hand on Lori’s other shoulder and turned her around backward, hoping against hope she didn’t have scratches from the tree on her bare back, or bark on her butt. “Get your hands off my daughter.
Jennifer Echols (Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door, #1-2))
The Hand roused. It lumbered to its feet, reeking of ionized air and dry metallic bones, revealing a level of functionality Alif had not detected. He reeled backward, recalibrating. Breaching the confines of the State intranet, the Hand began to attack the base of Alif's tower, slicing away layers of code through a mirroring protocol of a kind Alif had never seen before.
G. Willow Wilson (Alif the Unseen)
Fear was a poison. Fear was a prison. Fear was the bridesmaid of regret, the butcher of amibition. The bleak forever between forward and backward. Fear was can't. Fear was won't. But fear wasn't ever a choice. To never fear was to never hope, never love, never live. To never fear the dark was to never smile as the dawn kissed your face. To never fear solitude was to never know the joy of a beauty in your arms. Part of having is the fear of losing. Part of creating is the fear of it breaking. Part of beginning is the fear of your ending. Fear is never a choice.
Jay Kristoff (Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3))
He had never seen fly-fishing like this before. There were wet flies, and there were dry flies, but this fly augured into the water with a saw-toothed whine and dragged the fish out backwards.
Terry Pratchett (Mort (Discworld, #4))
Throughout the South for fifty years there would be bitter-eyed women who looked backward, to dead times, to dead men, evoking memories that hurt and were futile, bearing poverty with bitter pride because they had those memories. But Scarlett was never to look back. She gazed at the blackened stones and, for the last time, she saw Twelve Oaks rise before her eyes as it had once stood, rich and proud, symbol of a race and a way of living. Then she started down the road toward Tara, the heavy basket cutting into her flesh. Hunger gnawed at her empty stomach again and she said aloud: “As God is my witness, as God is my witness, the Yankees aren’t going to lick me. I’m going to live through this, and when it’s over, I’m never going to be hungry again. No, nor any of my folks. If I have to steal or kill–as God is my witness, I’m never going to be hungry again.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
Well. Well? What are you going to do? What are you going to say? What are you going to say when you’re drowning in your own dung and they keep booting you back into it, when all the screams in hell wouldn’t be as loud as you want to scream, when you’re at the bottom of the pit and the whole world’s at the top, when it has but one face, a face without eyes or ears, and yet it watches and listens…. What are you going to do and say? Why, pardner, that’s simple. It’s easy as nailing your balls to a stump and falling off backwards. Snow again, pardner, and drift me hard, because that’s an easy one. You’re gonna say, they can’t keep a good man down. You’re gonna say, a winner never quits and a quitter never wins. You’re gonna smile, boy, you’re gonna show ’em the ol’ fightin’ smile. And then you’re gonna get out there an’ hit ’em hard and fast and low, an’—an’ Fight!
Jim Thompson (The Killer Inside Me)
I believed in the existence of other and more vivid kinds of goodness, and what I believed in I wished to behold. Who blames me? Many, no doubt: and I shall be called discontented. I could not help it: the restlessness was in my nature; it agitated me to pain sometimes. Then my sole relief was to walk along the corridor of the third story, backwards and forwards, safe in the silence and solitude of the spot, and allow my mind’s eye to dwell on whatever bright visions rose before it—and, certainly, they were many and glowing; to let my heart be heaved by the exultant movement, which, while it swelled it in trouble, expanded it with life; and, best of all, to open my inward ear to a tale that was never ended—a tale my imagination created, and narrated continuously; quickened with all of incident, life, fire, feeling, that I desired and had not in my actual existence.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
STORY OF THE DOOR Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable. At friendly meetings, and when the wine was to his taste, something
Robert Louis Stevenson (The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde)
What Ye disliked most was seeing the waves that slowly crawled across the display, a visual record of the meaningless noise Red Coast picked up from space. Ye felt this interminable wave was an abstract view of the universe: one end connected to the endless past, the other to the endless future, and in the middle only the ups and downs of random chance—without life, without pattern, the peaks and valleys at different heights like uneven grains of sand, the whole curve like a one-dimensional desert made of all the grains of sand lined up in a row, lonely, desolate, so long that it was intolerable. You could follow it and go forward or backward as long as you liked, but you’d never find the end. On
Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1))
I didn't understand her being gone, either. I had seen her fall. Now her part of any conversation would always be unsaid, and the direction she would have gone walking would always be empty. Her absence extended in lines of numbers made of smoke, backward in memory and forward in futures never to occur.
Gordon Dahlquist (The Different Girl)
I raised my hand to wave in case he looked back; but he did not. He rode straight backed, looking forward. He rode like a Howard. We never look back. We have no time for regrets or second thoughts. If a plan goes awry we make another, if one weapon breaks in our hands, we find a second. If the steps fall down before us we overleap them and go up. It is always onwards and upwards for the Howards; and my father was on his way back to court and to the company of the King without a backwards glance for me.
Philippa Gregory (The Other Boleyn Girl (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #9))
Mr. J. Hudson Taylor well reminds us that while in nature the normal order of growth is from childhood to manhood and so to maturity, in grace the true development is perpetually backward toward the cradle: we must become and continue as little children, not losing, but rather gaining, childlikeness of spirit. The disciple's maturest manhood is only the perfection of his childhood. George Müller was never so really, truly, fully a little child in all his relations to his Father, as when in the ninety-third year of his age.
George Müller (GEORGE MULLER COLLECTION (5-in-1): Biography, Autobiography, Answers to Prayer, Counsel to Christians, Preaching Tours and Missionary Labours)
The question is, are you going to grow or are you going to just stay as you are out of fear and waste your precious human life by status quo-ing instead of being willing to break the sound barrier? Break the glass ceiling, or whatever it is in your own life? Are you willing to go forward? I suggest finding the willingness to go forward instead of staying still, which is essentially going backward, particularly when you have a calling in some direction. That calling needs to be answered. And it’s not necessarily going to work out the way you want it to work out, but it is taking you forward, and you are leaving the nest. And that never can be a mistake—to fly instead of staying in the nest with all the poop and everything that’s in there. TS:
Pema Chödrön (Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better: Wise Advice for Leaning into the Unknown)
I. My first thought was, he lied in every word, That hoary cripple, with malicious eye Askance to watch the workings of his lie On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby. II. What else should he be set for, with his staff? What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare All travellers who might find him posted there, And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare. III. If at his counsel I should turn aside Into that ominous tract which, all agree, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he pointed, neither pride Now hope rekindling at the end descried, So much as gladness that some end might be. IV. For, what with my whole world-wide wandering, What with my search drawn out through years, my hope Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope With that obstreperous joy success would bring, I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring My heart made, finding failure in its scope. V. As when a sick man very near to death Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end The tears and takes the farewell of each friend, And hears one bit the other go, draw breath Freelier outside, ('since all is o'er,' he saith And the blow fallen no grieving can amend;') VI. When some discuss if near the other graves be room enough for this, and when a day Suits best for carrying the corpse away, With care about the banners, scarves and staves And still the man hears all, and only craves He may not shame such tender love and stay. VII. Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest, Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ So many times among 'The Band' to wit, The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed Their steps - that just to fail as they, seemed best, And all the doubt was now - should I be fit? VIII. So, quiet as despair I turned from him, That hateful cripple, out of his highway Into the path he pointed. All the day Had been a dreary one at best, and dim Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim Red leer to see the plain catch its estray. IX. For mark! No sooner was I fairly found Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two, Than, pausing to throw backwards a last view O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round; Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound. I might go on, naught else remained to do. X. So on I went. I think I never saw Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve: For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove! But cockle, spurge, according to their law Might propagate their kind with none to awe, You'd think; a burr had been a treasure trove. XI. No! penury, inertness and grimace, In some strange sort, were the land's portion. 'See Or shut your eyes,' said Nature peevishly, It nothing skills: I cannot help my case: Tis the Last Judgement's fire must cure this place Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.
Robert Browning
We gotta have a toast." Rocky on her pins, Peabody used the table for balance. She managed to raise her glass without spilling more than half its contents on Eve's head. "To the best fucking cop in the whole stinking city, who's gonna marry the sexiest sumbitch I, personally, have ever laid eyes on, and who, because she's so goddamn smart, has seen to it that I'm perman'ly attached to Homicide. Which is where any half-blind asshole could tell you I belong. So there." She downed the rest of her drink, fell backward into her chair, and grinned foolishly. "Peabody," Eve said and flicked a finger under her eyes. "I've never been more touched." "I'm shit faced. Dallas." "The evidence points to it.
J.D. Robb (Immortal in Death (In Death, #3))
Can you read this word, Peter?' ...'It says GOD.' 'Yes, that's right. Now write it backward and see what you find.' ...'DOG! Mamma! It says DOG!' 'Yes. It says dog.' The sadness in her voice quenched Peter's excitement at once. His mother pointed from GOD to DOG. 'These are the two natures of man,' she said. 'Never forget them... Our preachers say that our natures are partly of God and partly of Old Man Splitfoot... But there are few devils outside of made-up stories, Pete -- most bad people are more like dogs than devils. Dogs are friendly and stupid, and that's the way most men and women are when they are drunk. When dogs are excited and confused, they may bite; when men are excited and confused, they may fight. Dogs are great pets because they are loyal, but if a pet is all a man is, he is a bad man, I think. Dogs can be brave, but they may also be cowards that will howl in the dark or run away with their tails between their legs. A dog is just as eager to lick the hand of a bad master as he is to lick the hand of a good one, because dogs don't know the difference between good and bad.
Stephen King (The Eyes of the Dragon)
Mr. Pontellier had been a rather courteous husband so long as he met a certain tacit submissiveness in his wife. But her new and unexpected line of conduct completely bewildered him. It shocked him. Then her absolute disregard for her duties as a wife angered him. When Mr. Pontellier became rude, Edna grew insolent. She had resolved never to take another step backward.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening and Selected Stories)
Q: Do you have any advice for upcoming writers who want to pen weird stories? A: READ, damn it. Fill your brain to the bursting point with the good stuff, starting with writers that you truly enjoy, and then work your way backward and outward, reading those writers who inspired the writers you love best. That was my path as far as Weird/Horror Fiction, starting with Lovecraft, and then working my way backward/outward on the Weird Fiction spiderweb. And don’t limit your reading. Read it all, especially non-fiction and various news outlets. You’d be surprised by how many of my story ideas were born while listening to NPR, perusing a blog, or paging through Vanity Fair. Once you have your fuel squared away, just write what you love, in whatever style and genre. You’ll never have fun being someone you’re not, so be yourself. When a singer opens their mouth, what comes out is what comes out. Also, don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t be afraid to walk away. Writing isn’t for everyone, and that’s totally fine. One doesn’t need to be a writer to enjoy being a reader and overall fan of genre or wider fiction.
T.E. Grau
The next real literary "rebels" in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles. Who treat of plain old untrendy human troubles and emotions in U.S. life with reverence and conviction. Who eschew self-consciousness and hip fatigue. These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Dead on the page. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naive, anachronistic. Maybe that'll be the point. Maybe that's why they'll be the next real rebels. Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today's risks are different. The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the "Oh how banal". To risk accusations of sentimentality, melodrama. Of overcredulity. Of softness. Of willingness to be suckered by a world of lurkers and starers who fear gaze and ridicule above imprisonment without law. Who knows
David Foster Wallace (A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments)
The Marie bit is easy enough to understand, then. The Laura thing takes a bit more explaining, but what it is, I think, is this: sentimental music has this great way of taking you back somewhere at the same time that it takes you forward, so you feel nostalgic and hopeful all at the same time. Marie’s the hopeful, forward part of it – maybe not her, necessarily, but somebody like her, somebody who can turn things around for me. (Exactly that: I always think that women are going to save me, lead me through to a better life, that they can change and redeem me.) And Laura’s the backward part, the last person I loved, and when I hear those sweet, sticky acoustic guitar chords I reinvent our time together, and, before I know it, we’re in the car trying to sing the harmonies on “Sloop John B” and getting it wrong and laughing. We never did that in real life. We never sang in the car, and we certainly never laughed when we got something wrong. This is why I shouldn’t be listening to pop music at the moment.
Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)
Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity. There’s a natural balance in things. If you go too far to one extreme, life kindly brings you back toward the center. What goes up must come down, and what comes down must go up. Up and down are different aspects of the same thing. So are inside and outside. Most people think that the world is outside them. They live life backward, running after security and approval, as if by making enough money or getting enough praise they could be happy once and for all. But nothing outside us can give us what we’re really looking for. I do my work and don’t even need to step back from it, because it never belonged to me in the first place. Nothing belongs to me. Everything comes and goes. Serenity is an open door.
Byron Katie (A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are)
I think," says Professor Carl Hermann, who never left his homeland, "that even now the outside world does not realize how surprised we non-Nazis were in 1933. When mass dictatorship occurred in Russia, then in Italy, we said to one another, 'That is what happens in backward countries. We are fortunate, for all our troubles, that it cannot happen here.' But it did, worse even than elsewhere, and I think that all the explanations leave some mystery. When I think of it at all, I still say, with unbelief, 'Germany—no, not Germany.
Milton Sanford Mayer (They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933–45)
This year there will be an eclipse of the Moon on the fourth day of August.9 Saturn will be retrograde; Venus, direct; Mercury, variable. And a mass of other planets will not proceed as they used to.10 As a result, crabs this year will walk sideways, rope-makers work backwards, stools end up on benches, and pillows be found at the foot of the bed;11 many men’s bollocks will hang down for lack of a game-bag;12 the belly will go in front and the bum be the first to sit down; nobody will find the bean in their Twelfth Night cake; not one ace will turn up in a flush; the dice will never do what you want, however much you may flatter them;13 and the beasts will talk in sundry places.
François Rabelais (Gargantua and Pantagruel)
Bellatrix was still fighting too, fifty yards away from Voldemort, and like her master she dueled three at once: Hermione, Ginny, and Luna, all battling their hardest, but Bellatrix was equal to them, and Harry’s attention was diverted as a Killing Curse shot so close to Ginny that she missed death by an inch — He changed course, running at Bellatrix rather than Voldemort, but before he had gone a few steps he was knocked sideways. “NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!” Mrs. Weasley threw off her cloak as she ran, freeing her arms. Bellatrix spun on the spot, roaring with laughter at the sight of her new challenger. “OUT OF MY WAY!” shouted Mrs. Weasley to the three girls, and with a swipe of her wand she began to duel. Harry watched with terror and elation as Molly Weasley’s wand slashed and twirled, and Bellatrix Lestrange’s smile faltered and became a snarl. Jets of light flew from both wands, the floor around the witches’ feet became hot and cracked; both women were fighting to kill. “No!” Mrs. Weasley cried as a few students ran forward, trying to come to her aid. “Get back! Get back! She is mine!” Hundreds of people now lined the walls, watching the two fights, Voldemort and his three opponents, Bellatrix and Molly, and Harry stood, invisible, torn between both, wanting to attack and yet to protect, unable to be sure that he would not hit the innocent. “What will happen to your children when I’ve killed you?” taunted Bellatrix, as mad as her master, capering as Molly’s curses danced around her. “When Mummy’s gone the same way as Freddie?” “You — will — never — touch — our — children — again!” screamed Mrs. Weasley. Bellatrix laughed, the same exhilarated laugh her cousin Sirius had given as he toppled backward through the veil, and suddenly Harry knew what was going to happen before it did. Molly’s curse soared beneath Bellatrix’s outstretched arm and hit her squarely in the chest, directly over her heart. Bellatrix’s gloating smile froze, her eyes seemed to bulge: For the tiniest space of time she knew what had happened, and then she toppled, and the watching crowd roared, and Voldemort screamed.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Emptiness is such a familiar yet terrifying sensation for me, scorched into my physical memory so deep it drags me backward through time to when it wasn't in my power to feed myself. A time when I and no money, a time when I was alone even when my mother was with me. A time in which I couldn't make myself loveable and I didn't know to love. A time when it seemed as if I was never going to fill the deep all encompassing void in my soul.
Araminta Hall (Our Kind of Cruelty)
Do you even feel anything, Chad? Will you for once stop walking around, all in control and f'ing calm? Do you have any idea what you all have done. I lost everything, Chad. Everything, when Kyle died. I lost myself. I had finally begun to build a new life with new friends. With people I thought cared about me. I have started to be just a little bit happy again. Was it too much to ask? Did I ask for too much by just wanting to have a little bit of a life again? Now, it’s all screwed up again and you walk around here like you don’t feel anything about what’s happened.” Chad spun around, and for only the second time since she’d known him, she saw the flash of anger so fierce her breath caught in her throat and she took an involuntary step back, away from him. Jennie knew Chad would never hurt her on purpose, but the anger rolling off of him was palpable. It seemed to force her backwards as if it had a life of its own, a power of its own. “Not feel anything, Jennie? Are you f'ing kidding me? I walk around here every day and I ache every f'ing minute I’m with you. I’m so twisted up with loving you and hating you, I can’t breathe. I can’t keep my hands off you, but I can’t let myself kiss you because I might lose myself in you. I can’t make love to you because I’m afraid you’ll pretend I’m him. I know you want his arms around you, not mine. I know you want it to be his baby inside you, not mine. And I know you can’t love me back, no matter what I do, because you’re still so in love with your husband, you can’t even begin to see me.” Chad didn’t stop and Jennie didn’t try to stop him. “And every day, I have to sit here and wonder how I’ll be a part of my baby’s life. I wonder if you’ll let me be in the delivery room, if you’ll let me help you name the baby. I wonder how much money I’d have to offer the people who live across the street from you to get them to sell me their house, just so I can see my child grow up. If you’ll let me...” Chad stopped as if he’d run out of steam. They stood in uneasy silence for a long time before Chad spoke again. He sounded worn out and bitter and angry, mirroring Jennie’s chaos of emotions. “Am I feeling anything? Yeah. I’m feeling some f'ing sh**, Jen.
Lori Ryan (Negotiation Tactics (Sutton Capital #3))
Classic Ballet, Keep away, keep building your creaky fairy castles, keep cloning clones and meaningless manners, hang on to your beanstalk ballerinas and their midget male shadows, run yourself out of business with your tons of froufrou and costly clattery toe shoes that ruin all chances for illusions of lightness, keep on crowding the minds of blind balletomanes who prefer dainty poses to the eloquent strength of momentum, who have forgotten or never known the manings of gesture, who would nod their noses to barefoot embargos ("so grab me" spelt backwards). Continue to repolish your stiff technique and to ignore a public that hungers for something other than a bag of tricks and the empty-headedness of surface patterns. Just keep it up, keep imitating yourself, and, , go grow your own dance makers. Come on, don't keep trying to filter modern ones through your so-safe extablishment. We're to be seen undiluted, undistorted, not absorbed by your hollow world like blood into a sponge. Yours truly, A Different Leaf on Our Family Tree
Paul Taylor (Private Domain: An Autobiography)
I grabbed her by the waist and swung her around to face me. As I bent, I closed my eyes … and kissed air as she ducked out of my grasp. I opened my eyes to see her dancing backward along the path. I made a noise in my throat. “Don’t growl,” she said. “Aren’t you always complaining that you don’t get enough exercise?” I lunged. She backed away. I let out another growl and crossed my arms. “Better watch out. I might decide the prize isn’t worth the effort.” She grinned, blue eyes dancing. “Oh, you know it is. And you know it’s never as sweet as when you have to work for it.” She wheeled and ran. As I went after her, adrenaline pumped through me, like liquid fire. There was nothing quite like a chase, and one that ended with this reward was the best chase of all.
Kelley Armstrong (Belonging (Darkest Powers, #3.5))
I remember about the inside of the house,” Joel went on, “was that the radio wasn’t playing—it was buzzing, like it was picking up static. Anyway, we got out of the house and decided to run up to the university campus to call somebody. I’ll never forget that. There were dogs outside, and when they saw us running, they started to run with us too. But when they got close, they ran backwards! And the birds—as we ran along, the whole woods were full of screeching birds!
Gerald Brittle (The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren)
But if we go in for reservations on communal and caste basis, we swamp the bright and able people and remain second-rate or third-rate. I am grieved to learn of how far this business of reservation has gone based on communal considerations. It has amazed me to learn that even promotions are based sometimes on communal or caste considerations. This way lies not only folly, but disaster. Let us help the backward groups by all means, but never at the cost of efficiency.
Jawaharlal Nehru (Letters for a Nation: From Jawaharlal Nehru to His Chief Ministers 1947-1963)
Get the fuck out of my face, Jim." He pushed Rock backwards, fury filling him. "Don't you dare lecture me, you sorry son of a bitch! I have lived out here in this goddamned place without decent iced tea for years. Lived where I couldn't fucking touch you when I wanted to, where I can't even pretend to be your fuckbuddy, much less your lover. Then I'm out with fucking girls so that I could do the one thing I've never once done with you and MARINES jump me because I'm queer!
Sean Michael
done everything backward. She’d done everything, forever, by the book. The right way. Until then, I’d only learned this about grace: sometimes, like in my case, you get blessed for no reason. You get something wonderful that you don’t deserve. But on that day, I learned that the flip side is also true: sometimes you get screwed for no reason. You get something awful that you never, ever deserved. It all slips away. You cannot earn yourself an easy life or even a fair one. Soon
Glennon Doyle Melton (Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed)
I am going to take you every imaginable way,' he promised on a whisper, tugging her bodice lower. 'Excellent,' she murmured. She tugged his shirt from his trousers. 'Right side up, upside down, sideways, sitting, standing. You on top. Then me on top.' 'A brilliant plan.' His shirt fell from his shoulders. Oh, his shoulders. The vast glorious curve of them. She couldn't wait to lick one. 'Backward, forward. On the bed, on the table, on the settee.' He paused, and lifted her dress off over her head with all the ceremony of an unveiling. It fell to the floor. 'And then?' she whispered. 'And then we'll do it all over again.' It was the never-ending story!
Julie Anne Long (It Happened One Midnight (Pennyroyal Green, #8))
That looks cozy," I said in a timid voice. He turned at the sound and-taking in my appearance-immediately spit hot chocolate all over. "What?" I demanded. With an obvious effort to compose himself, he forced his lips into a frown and wiped his chin with the back of his hand. "Breathtaking." I raised an eyebrow,and his lips started to quiver, and then there was no stopping him. The laughter came in waves. "Well,that's not exactly the reaction I was going for," I said. "Isn't it?" he said, gasping for breath. I put my hand on my hip and tapped my foot as he inhaled deeply and rubbed his eyes with the palm of his hand. "Finished?" I asked. He shook his head. "I love you." "I'm sorry?" "You heard me." He stood and walked toward me. I glanced down at my sweats,and then back at his face. "Did you not notice my getup?" He halved the distance between us. "Oh yeah. I noticed," he said,like it was the sexiest thing he'd ever seen. His lips curled up into a smile. "Okay,so that's not the reaction I was going for either," I said,taking a small step backward as he closed the gap between us. He grabbed my hands in his and his grin disappeared. "Becks.I think I know what you're worried about,but I meant what I said.I love you. And I would never push you." My entire body turned red. "But don't you mythological higher beings-" I tried to remember how Jules had put it-"need...the...um..." Jack looked confused,and then he chuckled. "Please don't even try to finish that sentence.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
The president, the secretary of state, the businessman, the preacher, the vendor, the spies, the clients and managers—all walking around Wall Street like chickens with their heads cut off—rushing to escape bankruptcy—plotting to melt down the Statue of Liberty—to press more copper pennies—to breed more headless chickens—to put more feathers in their caps—medals, diplomas, stock certificates, honorary doctorates—eggs and eggs of headless chickens—multitaskers—system hackers—who never know where they’re heading--northward, backward, eastward, forward, and never homeward—(where is home)—home is in the head—(but the head is cut off)—and the nest is full of banking forms and Easter eggs with coins inside. Beheaded chickens, how do you breed chickens with their heads cut off? By teaching them how to bankrupt creativity.
Giannina Braschi
Love had no limbs at all. It could neither run nor grasp, couldn’t even push away though it tried and tried. Left lying on the ground, unable to move, crying like an abandoned baby – people could steal it; people could kick it until it bled, or nudge it down a hillside or over a cliff. They could smother it, drown it, set it on fire until it was ashes and charred bone. They could teach it how to want and want for ever, no matter how much it was fed. And sometimes, all love was, was something to be dragged behind on a chain, growing heavier with each step, and when the ground opened up under it, why, it pulled a person backwards and down, down to a place where the pain never ended.
Steven Erikson (Forge of Darkness (The Kharkanas Trilogy #1))
I melt and swell at the moment of landing when one wheel thuds on the runway but the plane leans to one side and hangs in the decision to right itself or roll. For this moment, nothing matters. Look up into the stars and you’re gone. Not your luggage. Nothing matters. Not your bad breath. The windows are dark outside and the turbine engines roar backward. The cabin hangs at the wrong angle under the roar of the turbines, and you will never have to file another expense account claim. Receipt required for items over twenty-five dollars. You will never have to get another haircut. A thud, and the second wheel hits the tarmac. The staccato of a hundred seat-belt buckles snapping open, and the single-use friend you almost died sitting next to says: I hope you make your connection. Yeah, me too. And this is how long your moment lasted. And life goes on.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
Their other hands flipped up, palm to palm, and Merik’s only consolation as he and the domna slid into the next movement of the dance was that her chest heaved as much as his did. Merik’s right hand gripped the girl’s, and with no small amount of ferocity, he twisted her around to face the same direction as he before wrenching her to his chest. His hand slipped over her stomach, fingers splayed. Her left hand snapped up—and he caught it. Then the real difficulty of the dance began. The skipping of feet in a tide of alternating hops and directions. The writhing of hips countered the movement of their feet like a ship upon stormy seas. The trickling tap of Merik’s fingers down the girl’s arms, her ribs, her waist—like the rain against a ship’s sail. On and on, they moved to the music until they were both sweating. Until they hit the third movement. Merik flipped the girl around to face him once more. Her chest slammed against his—and by the Wells, she was tall. He hadn’t realized just how tall until this precise moment when her eyes stared evenly into his and her panting breaths fought against his own. Then the music swelled once more, her legs twined into his, and he forgot all about who she was or what she was or why he had begun the dance in the first place. Because those eyes of hers were the color of the sky after a storm. Without realizing what he did, his Windwitchery flickered to life. Something in this moment awoke the wilder parts of his power. Each heave of his lungs sent a breeze swirling in. It lifted the girl’s hair. Kicked at her wild skirts. She showed no reaction at all. In fact, she didn’t break her gaze from Merik, and there was a fierceness there—a challenge that sent Merik further beneath the waves of the dance. Of the music. Of those eyes. Each leap backward of her body—a movement like the tidal tug of the sea against the river—led to a violent slam as Merik snatched her back against him. For each leap and slam, the girl added in an extra flourishing beat with her heels. Another challenge that Merik had never seen, yet rose to, rose above. Wind crashed around them like a growing hurricane, and he and this girl were at its eye. And the girl never looked away. Never backed down. Not even when the final measures of the song began—that abrupt shift from the sliding cyclone of strings to the simple plucking bass that follows every storm—did Merik soften how hard he pushed himself against this girl. Figuratively. Literally. Their bodies were flush, their hearts hammering against each other’s rib cages. He walked his fingers down her back, over her shoulders, and out to her hands. The last drops of a harsh rain. The music slowed. She pulled away first, slinking back the required four steps. Merik didn’t look away from her face, and he only distantly noticed that, as she pulled away, his Windwitchery seemed to settle. Her skirts stopped swishing, her hair fluttered back to her shoulders. Then he slid backward four steps and folded his arms over his chest. The music came to a close. And Merik returned to his brain with a sickening certainty that Noden and His Hagfishes laughed at him from the bottom of the sea.
Susan Dennard (Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1))
There is at least one species of jellyfish that can grow younger, which is something that pretty much no creature on Earth can do. Don't believe me? Look it up. Turritopsis dohrinii. The immortal jellyfish. When it's threatened, Turritopsis dohrinii can return from its adult medusa stage, the stage where a jellyfish looks like a jellyfish, all the way back into a younger stage, where it clings to the bottom of the ocean floor for safety. Theoretically, it can do this indefinitely: grow old, then young, old, then young, and never really die. It would be as if, when everything started going wrong, when it started getting stressful, we could have just gone backward. Imagine that. Imagine if we could have said, "Oops, this is too hard," and shrunk in size, returned to a place of being just kids, the way we always had been. And we could just stay there, tethered safely, forever.
Ali Benjamin (The Thing About Jellyfish)
Never mind what I know. You must go.” She pushes at his chest, putting air and space between them, feeling his arms slide off her, disentangling them. His face is crumpled, tense, uncertain. She smiles at him, drawing in breath. “I won’t say goodbye,” she says, keeping her voice steady. “Neither will I.” “I won’t watch you walk away.” “I’ll walk backwards,” he says, backing away, “so I can keep you in my sights.” “All the way to London?” “If I have to.” She laughs. “You’ll fall into a ditch. You’ll crash into a cart.” “So be it.
Maggie O'Farrell (Hamnet)
I became a vegan the day I watched a video of a calf being born on a factory farm. The baby was dragged away from his mother before he hit the ground. The helpless calf strained its head backwards to find his mother. The mother bolted after her son and exploded into a rage when the rancher slammed the gate on her. She wailed the saddest noise I’d ever heard an animal make, and then thrashed and dug into the ground, burying her face in the muddy placenta. I had no idea what was happening respecting brain chemistry, animal instinct, or whatever. I just knew that this was deeply wrong. I just knew that such suffering could never be worth the taste of milk and veal. I empathized with the cow and the calf and, in so doing, my life changed.
James McWilliams
Couples stray,” said Edgar. “Part of the breaking-in process.” “Not breaking in, breaking.” Nicola differed sharply. “You can glue people together again. But then your relationship’s like any other repaired object, with cracks, blobs of epoxy, a little askew. It’s never the same. I can see you haven’t a notion what I’m on about, so you’ll have to take my word for it.” “Christ, you’re a babe in the woods.” Edgar stopped slicing tomatoes. “You got it ass-backward. A marriage perched like porcelain on the mantelpiece is doomed. Sooner or later grown-ups treat each other like shit. You gotta be able to kick the thing around, less like china than an old shoe—bam, under the bed, or walk it through some puddles. No love’s gonna last it if can’t take abuse.
Lionel Shriver (The New Republic)
Only 1 percent of our respondents said that they never engage in such behavior—and fewer than 17 percent do it rarely. Meanwhile, about 43 percent report doing it frequently or all the time. In all, a whopping 82 percent say that this activity is at least occasionally part of their lives, making Americans far more likely to experience regret than they are to floss their teeth.[17]
Daniel H. Pink (The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward)
And they are dancing, the board floor slamming under the jackboots and the fiddlers grinning hideously over their canted pieces. Towering over them all is the judge and he is naked dancing, his small feet lively and quick and now in doubletime and bowing to the ladies, huge and pale and hairless, like an enormous infant. He never sleeps, he says. He says he’ll never die. He bows to the fiddlers and sashays backwards and throws back his head and laughs deep in his throat and he is a great favorite, the judge. He wafts his hat and the lunar dome of his skull passes palely under the lamps and he swings about and takes possession of one of the fiddles and he pirouettes and makes a pass, two passes, dancing and fiddling at once. His feet are light and nimble. He never sleeps. He says that he will never die. He dances in light and in shadow and he is a great favorite. He never sleeps, the judge. He is dancing, dancing. He says that he will never die.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or, the Evening Redness in the West)
He looks up. Our eyes lock,and he breaks into a slow smile. My heart beats faster and faster. Almost there.He sets down his book and stands.And then this-the moment he calls my name-is the real moment everything changes. He is no longer St. Clair, everyone's pal, everyone's friend. He is Etienne. Etienne,like the night we met. He is Etienne,he is my friend. He is so much more. Etienne.My feet trip in three syllables. E-ti-enne. E-ti-enne, E-ti-enne. His name coats my tongue like melting chocolate. He is so beautiful, so perfect. My throat catches as he opens his arms and wraps me in a hug.My heart pounds furiously,and I'm embarrassed,because I know he feels it. We break apart, and I stagger backward. He catches me before I fall down the stairs. "Whoa," he says. But I don't think he means me falling. I blush and blame it on clumsiness. "Yeesh,that could've been bad." Phew.A steady voice. He looks dazed. "Are you all right?" I realize his hands are still on my shoulders,and my entire body stiffens underneath his touch. "Yeah.Great. Super!" "Hey,Anna. How was your break?" John.I forget he was here.Etienne lets go of me carefully as I acknowledge Josh,but the whole time we're chatting, I wish he'd return to drawing and leave us alone. After a minute, he glances behind me-to where Etienne is standing-and gets a funny expression on hs face. His speech trails off,and he buries his nose in his sketchbook. I look back, but Etienne's own face has been wiped blank. We sit on the steps together. I haven't been this nervous around him since the first week of school. My mind is tangled, my tongue tied,my stomach in knots. "Well," he says, after an excruciating minute. "Did we use up all our conversation over the holiday?" The pressure inside me eases enough to speak. "Guess I'll go back to the dorm." I pretend to stand, and he laughs. "I have something for you." He pulls me back down by my sleeve. "A late Christmas present." "For me? But I didn't get you anything!" He reaches into a coat pocket and brings out his hand in a fist, closed around something very small. "It's not much,so don't get excited." "Ooo,what is it?" "I saw it when I was out with Mum, and it made me think of you-" "Etienne! Come on!" He blinks at hearing his first name. My face turns red, and I'm filled with the overwhelming sensation that he knows exactly what I'm thinking. His expression turns to amazement as he says, "Close your eyes and hold out your hand." Still blushing,I hold one out. His fingers brush against my palm, and my hand jerks back as if he were electrified. Something goes flying and lands with a faith dink behind us. I open my eyes. He's staring at me, equally stunned. "Whoops," I say. He tilts his head at me. "I think...I think it landed back here." I scramble to my feet, but I don't even know what I'm looking for. I never felt what he placed in my hands. I only felt him. "I don't see anything! Just pebbles and pigeon droppings," I add,trying to act normal. Where is it? What is it? "Here." He plucks something tiny and yellow from the steps above him. I fumble back and hold out my hand again, bracing myself for the contact. Etienne pauses and then drops it from a few inches above my hand.As if he's avoiding me,too. It's a glass bead.A banana. He clears his throat. "I know you said Bridgette was the only one who could call you "Banana," but Mum was feeling better last weekend,so I took her to her favorite bead shop. I saw that and thought of you.I hope you don't mind someone else adding to your collection. Especially since you and Bridgette...you know..." I close my hand around the bead. "Thank you." "Mum wondered why I wanted it." "What did you tell her?" "That it was for you,of course." He says this like, duh. I beam.The bead is so lightweight I hardly feel it, except for the teeny cold patch it leaves in my palm.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
In Poetry as Survival, Gregory Orr asks the survivor’s questions about violence: How could I have been that close and not been destroyed by it? Why was I spared?—questions that can initiate in a writer the quest for meaning and purpose. “But this quest born out of trauma doesn’t simply lead the survivor forward,” he writes. “First it leads him or her backward, back to the scene of the trauma where the struggle must take place with the demon or angel who incarnates the mystery of violence and the mystery of rebirth and transformation.” He is referring to Lorca’s idea of duende: a demon that drives an artist, causing trouble or pain and an acute awareness of death. Of the demon’s effect on an artist’s work, Lorca wrote: “In trying to heal the wound that never heals lies the strangeness.
Natasha Trethewey (Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir)
The older I become, the more I understand Mr. Girandole's look of sadness and what he must have been thinking then. These games with tangerine peels... the times of little wide-eyed girls arriving on the terrace, and boys with notebooks... none of it lasted for more than a breath. Time never turned backward. Summer gave way to winter, and summer came again, and year by year, the vines lengthened, and the sharp detail faded from the statues- scales becoming ripples, passion becoming tranquility. Each time Mr. Girandole saw Grandmother, he looked at her like we all ought to look at one another, every time.
Frederic S. Durbin (A Green and Ancient Light)
I thought of Thee, my partner and my guide, As being past away.—Vain sympathies! For, backward, Duddon! as I cast my eyes, I see what was, and is, and will abide; Still glides the Stream, and shall for ever glide; The Form remains, the Function never dies; While we, the brave, the mighty, and the wise, We Men, who in our morn of youth defied The elements, must vanish;—be it so! Enough, if something from our hands have power To live, and act, and serve the future hour; And if, as toward the silent tomb we go, Through love, through hope, and faith's transcendent dower, We feel that we are greater than we know.
William Wordsworth
That is the trick of it. You see, Time works differently in Chess.” He pulled out his pocket watch and let it dangle like a pendulum over his desk. “Sometimes he moves forward and sometimes he moves backward, sometimes he goes fast or slow and sometimes he pauses altogether. But as long as I keep moving, as long as I am always moving in the opposite direction from Time, he can never find me, and I can never meet my fate.
Marissa Meyer (Heartless)
As one instance of this, be always ready to own any fault you have been in. If you have at any time thought, spoken, or acted wrong, be not backward to acknowledge it. Never dream that this will hurt the cause of God; no, it will further it. Be therefore open and frank when you are taxed with anything; do not seek either to evade or disguise it; but let it appear just as it is, and you will thereby not hinder but adorn the Gospel.
John Wesley (John Wesley: A Plain Account of Christian Perfection)
One night, Ye was working the night shift. This was the loneliest time. In the deep silence of midnight, the universe revealed itself to its listeners as a vast desolation. What Ye disliked most was seeing the waves that slowly crawled across the display, a visual record of the meaningless noise Red Coast picked up from space. Ye felt this interminable wave was an abstract view of the universe: one end connected to the endless past, the other to the endless future, and in the middle only the ups and downs of random chance—without life, without pattern, the peaks and valleys at different heights like uneven grains of sand, the whole curve like a one-dimensional desert made of all the grains of sand lined up in a row, lonely, desolate, so long that it was intolerable. You could follow it and go forward or backward as long as you liked, but you’d never find the end.
Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1))
I wanted to throw up. But I would have had to get out of bed to run to the bathroom. And I felt like I never wanted to leave that bed again. I love animals. I've been raised all my life around them. I love nature. But what did I really know about it? I have been more animals than many people ever see in a lifetime. I have flown with the wings of an osprey. I've raced through the ocean in the body of a dolphin. I've seen the world through the eyes of an owl at night, and smelled the wind with all the keen senses of a wolf. I've flown upside down and backward in the body of a fly. Sometimes I go out into the far fields at night and become a horse and run through the grass. And everything I've been, every animal, is either killer or killed. In a million, million battles all around the world, on every continent, in every square inch of space, there was killing. From the great cats in Africa that cold-bloodedly search out the young and weak gazelles, to the terrible wars that are fought out in anthills and termite colonies. All of nature was at war. And, at the top of all that destruction, humans killed each other as well as other species, and now those same people have been enslaved and destroyed by the Yeerks. Nature at its finest. Cute, cuddly animals who slaughtered to live. The color of nature wasn't green. It was red. Blood-red.
K.A. Applegate (The Secret (Animorphs, #9))
We entered the cool cave of the practice space with all the long-haired, goateed boys stoned on clouds of pot and playing with power tools. I tossed my fluffy coat into the hollow of my bass drum and lay on the carpet with my worn newspaper. A shirtless boy came in and told us he had to cut the power for a minute, and I thought about being along in the cool black room with Joey. Let's go smoke, she said, and I grabbed the cigarettes off the amp. She started talking to me about Wonder Woman. I feel like something big is happening, but I don't know what to do about it. With The Straight Girl? I asked in the blankest voice possible. With everything. Back in the sun we walked to the edge of the parking lot where a black Impala convertible sat, rusted and rotting, looking like it just got dredged from a swamp. Rainwater pooling on the floor. We climbed up onto it and sat our butts backward on the edge of the windshield, feet stretched into the front seat. Before she even joined the band, I would think of her each time I passed the car, the little round medallions with the red and black racing flags affixed to the dash. On the rusting Chevy, Joey told me about her date the other night with a girl she used to like who she maybe liked again. How her heart was shut off and it felt pretty good. How she just wanted to play around with this girl and that girl and this girl and I smoked my cigarette and went Uh-Huh. The sun made me feel like a restless country girl even though I'd never been on a farm. I knew what I stood for, even if nobody else did. I knew the piece of me on the inside, truer than all the rest, that never comes out. Doesn't everyone have one? Some kind of grand inner princess waiting to toss her hair down, forever waiting at the tower window. Some jungle animal so noble and fierce you had to crawl on your belly through dangerous grasses to get a glimpse. I gave Joey my cigarette so I could unlace the ratty green laces of my boots, pull them off, tug the linty wool tights off my legs. I stretched them pale over the car, the hair springing like weeds and my big toenail looking cracked and ugly. I knew exactly who I was when the sun came back and the air turned warm. Joey climbed over the hood of the car, dusty black, and said Let's lie down, I love lying in the sun, but there wasn't any sun there. We moved across the street onto the shining white sidewalk and she stretched out, eyes closed. I smoked my cigarette, tossed it into the gutter and lay down beside her. She said she was sick of all the people who thought she felt too much, who wanted her to be calm and contained. Who? I asked. All the flowers, the superheroes. I thought about how she had kissed me the other night, quick and hard, before taking off on a date in her leather chaps, hankies flying, and I sat on the couch and cried at everything she didn't know about how much I liked her, and someone put an arm around me and said, You're feeling things, that's good. Yeah, I said to Joey on the sidewalk, I Feel Like I Could Calm Down Some. Awww, you're perfect. She flipped her hand over and touched my head. Listen, we're barely here at all, I wanted to tell her, rolling over, looking into her face, we're barely here at all and everything goes so fast can't you just kiss me? My eyes were shut and the cars sounded close when they passed. The sun was weak but it baked the grime on my skin and made it smell delicious. A little kid smell. We sat up to pop some candy into our mouths, and then Joey lay her head on my lap, spent from sugar and coffee. Her arm curled back around me and my fingers fell into her slippery hair. On the February sidewalk that felt like spring.
Michelle Tea
Orientalism is never far from what Denys Hay has called the idea of Europe,3 a collective notion identifying “us” Europeans as against all “those” non-Europeans, and indeed it can be argued that the major component in European culture is precisely what made that culture hegemonic both in and outside Europe: the idea of European identity as a superior one in comparison with all the non-European peoples and cultures. There is in addition the hegemony of European ideas about the Orient, themselves reiterating European superiority over Oriental backwardness, usually overriding the possibility that a more independent, or more skeptical, thinker might have had different views on the matter.
Edward W. Said (Orientalism)
American planes full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation. The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires gathered them into cylindrical steel containers and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans though and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France though German fighters came up again made everything and everybody as good as new. When the bombers got back to their base the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America where factories were operating night and day dismantling the cylinders separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground to hide them cleverly so they would never hurt anybody ever again.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
Have you ever heard of the madman who on a bright morning lighted a lantern and ran to the market-place calling out unceasingly: "I seek God! I seek God!"—As there were many people standing about who did not believe in God, he caused a great deal of amusement. Why! is he lost? said one. Has he strayed away like a child? said another. Or does he keep himself hidden? Is he afraid of us? Has he taken a sea-voyage? Has he emigrated?—the people cried out laughingly, all in a hubbub. The insane man jumped into their midst and transfixed them with his glances. "Where is God gone?" he called out. "I mean to tell you! We have killed him,—you and I! We are all his murderers! But how have we done it? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the whole horizon? What did we do when we loosened this earth from its sun? Whither does it now move? Whither do we move? Away from all suns? Do we not dash on unceasingly? Back-wards, sideways, forewards, in all directions? Is there still an above and below? Do we not stray, as through infinite nothingness? Does not empty space breathe upon us? Has it not become colder? Does not night come on continually, darker and darker? Shall we not have to light lanterns in the morning? Do we not hear the noise of the grave-diggers who are burying God? Do we not smell the divine putrefaction?—for even Gods putrefy! God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him! How shall we console ourselves, the most murderous of all murderers? The holiest and the mightiest that the world has hitherto possessed, has bled to death under our knife,—who will wipe the blood from us? With what water could we cleanse ourselves? What lustrums, what sacred games shall we have to devise? Is not the magnitude of this deed too great for us? Shall we not ourselves have to become Gods, merely to seem worthy of it? There never was a greater event,—and on account of it, all who are born after us belong to a higher history than any history hitherto!"—Here the madman was silent and looked again at his hearers; they also were silent and looked at him in surprise. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, so that it broke in pieces and was extinguished. "I come too early," he then said, "I am not yet at the right time. This prodigious event is still on its way, and is travelling,—it has not yet reached men's ears. Lightning and thunder need time, the light of the stars needs time, deeds need time, even after they are done, to be seen and heard. This deed is as yet further from them than the furthest star,—and yet they have done it!"—It is further stated that the madman made his way into different churches on the same day, and there intoned his Requiem æternam deo. When led out and called to account, he always gave the reply: "What are these churches now, if they are not the tombs and monuments of God?
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
Later, I interviewed a prominent psychoanalyst, who told me that trauma destroys the fabric of time. In normal time, you move from one moment to the next, sunrise to sunset, birth to death. After trauma, you may move in circles, find yourself being sucked backwards into an eddy, or bouncing about like a rubber ball from now to then and back again. August is June, June is December. What time is it? Guess again. In the traumatic universe, the basic laws of matter are suspended: ceiling fans can be helicopters, car exhaust can be mustard gas. Another odd feature of traumatic time is that it doesn’t just destroy the flow of the present into the future, it corrodes everything that came before, eating at moments and people from your previous life, until you can’t remember why any of them mattered. What I previously found inconceivable is now inescapable: I have been blown up so many times in my mind that it is impossible to imagine a version of myself that has not been blown up. The man on the other side of the soldier’s question is not me. In fact, he never existed. The war is gone now, but the event remains, the happening that nearly erased the life to come and thus erased the life that came before. The soldier’s question hangs in the air the way it always has. The way it always will.   Have you ever been blown up before, sir?
David J. Morris (The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Old Rekohu’s claim to singularity, however, lay in its unique pacific creed. Since time immemorial, the Moriori’s priestly caste dictated that whosoever spilt a man’s blood killed his own mana - his honor, his worth, his standing & his soul. No Moriori would shelter, feed, converse with, or even see the persona non grata. If the ostracized murderer survived his first winter, the desperation of solitude usually drove him to a blowhole on Cape Young, where he took his life. Consider this, Mr. D’Arnoq urged us. Two thousand savages (Mr. Evans’s best guess) enshrine “Thou Shalt Not Kill” in word & in deed & frame an oral “Magna Carta” to create a harmony unknown elsewhere for the sixty centuries since Adam first tasted the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. War was as alien a concept to the Moriori as the telescope is to the Pygmy. Peace, not a hiatus betwixt wars but millennia of imperishable peace, rules these far-flung islands. Who can deny Old Rekohu lay closer to More’s Utopia than our States of Progress governed by war-hungry princelings in Versailles & Vienna, Washington & Westminster? “Here,” declaimed Mr. D’Arnoq, “and where only, were those elusive phantasms, those noble savages, framed in flesh & blood!” (Henry, as we later made our back to the Musket confessed, “I could never describe a race of savages too backwards to throw a spear as ‘noble.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
My Dearest, Can you forgive me? In a world that I seldom understand, there are winds of destiny that blow when we least expect them. Sometimes they gust with the fury of a hurricane, sometimes they barely fan one’s cheek. But the winds cannot be denied, bringing as they often do a future that is impossible to ignore. You, my darling, are the wind that I did not anticipate, the wind that has gusted more strongly than I ever imagined possible. You are my destiny. I was wrong, so wrong, to ignore what was obvious, and I beg your forgiveness. Like a cautious traveler, I tried to protect myself from the wind and lost my soul instead. I was a fool to ignore my destiny, but even fools have feelings, and I’ve come to realize that you are the most important thing that I have in this world. I know I am not perfect. I’ve made more mistakes in the past few months than some make in a lifetime. I was wrong to deny what was obvious in my heart: that I can’t go on without you. You were right about everything. I tried to deny the things you were saying, even though I knew they were true. Like one who gazes only backward on a trip across the country, I ignored what lay ahead. I missed the beauty of a coming sunrise, the wonder of anticipation that makes life worthwhile. It was wrong of me to do that, a product of my confusion, and I wish I had come to understand that sooner. Now, though, with my gaze fixed toward the future, I see your face and hear your voice, certain that this is the path I must follow. It is my deepest wish that you give me one more chance. For the first few days after you left, I wanted to believe that I could go on as I always had. But I couldn’t. I knew in my heart that my life would never be the same again. I wanted you back, more than I imagined possible, yet whenever I conjured you up, I kept hearing your words in our last conversation. No matter how much I loved you, I knew it wasn’t going to be possible unless we—both of us—were sure I would devote myself fully to the path that lay ahead. I continued to be troubled by these thoughts until late last night when the answer finally came to me. Oh, I am sorry, so very sorry, that I ever hurt you. Maybe I’m too late now. I don’t know. I love you and always will. I am tired of being alone. I see children crying and laughing as they play in the sand, and I realize I want to have children with you. I am sick and sad without you. As I sit here in the kitchen, I am praying that you will let me come back to you, this time forever.
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
Wow.You two seem to be right as rain again," Cole said from behind us. I could hear the undercurrent of rage beneath his voice. "I hate to interrupt this sudden case of the touchy-feelies, but with the three of us standing here, it almost feels like that spring day so long ago.Almost as if Jack hand't left for camp.Almost as if Jack had nothing to do with you going under,Nik." Jack winced, but he kept his eyes on me. "You should've seen her.Did you know that when she left your dorm that night, she came straight to me? Begged to go with me. Barely able to breathe for the pain." He enunciated each word. I studied Jack's face and shook my head. Jack dropped his arm from my shoulders. "You never let me explain. I ran to you,but you drove off.You didn't trust me." There was silence for a few long moments. "Would either of you care to know my opinion?" Cole said. "Shut up," we replied at the same time. Cole shrugged. "You know where to find me." He turned and walked across the parking lot to the sidewalk that led around the corner of the post office. I watched him until he disappeared, than I faced Jack again. Jack rougly ran both of his hands through his hair. "This is a mess." It sounded like he was talking to himself, not to me. "I know how it looked, but you should've let me explain. I hated you for leaving." He looked up at the sky. "I hated you." Jack took a step backward, away from me, and as he did,a voice called out to us. "Don't let him drive you apart!" We both turned toward the sound. Mary was sitting on a bench under the shelter of the bus stop. I hadn t noticed her before.She'd been watching us. She stood and came over. "That's what he wants. He's scared of anchors. I told you I have a theory about anchors.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
Even the few days I spend reminiscing in Mexico City seem like memories or dreams. Everything looks different and backward without [him] and his uncertainties. I could have even stayed at the same hotels, in the same rooms even, yet would have never known the difference. Traffic and weather seem painted onto this dull grey canvas of highway, detached from any near past. Nietzsche calls it the separation of body and soul - the improbability of two separate worlds. I was incapable of fitting in anywhere. I was in search of expiation. I would never find it - it had never been there.
Daniel Kine (Between Nowhere and Happiness)
Even if a particle could travel backward in time, information could not. Retrocausality will be replaced by something more sophisticated. There are no perfect symmetries, there is no pure randomness everything is an approximation of something else. Information may appear in a digital form but meaning never does. Spacetime is built up from approximations, not discrete ones and zeros, and the only constant may be ratios. Quantum entanglement and geometry; if we think of a particle as being at one pole of an expanding sphere that is not perfectly symmetrical, this surface would be "rippling" like the surface of the ocean (in the audio world this is called dithering), at the other pole is the entangled particle's pair and it is a property of the sphere that gives the illusion of connectivity. This is not a physical geometry, it is a computational geometry. Is spacetime a product of entanglement? Renate Loll believes that time is not perfectly symmetrical. Her computer models require causality. Possibly some form of quantum random walk in state space. If a photon is emitted by an electron inside of a clock on Earth and it travels to a clock four light years away, time stops for the clock on Earth and time jumps forward eight years for the distant clock also, the electron that will capture the photon becomes infinitely large relative to the photon but the electron that emitted it does not become infinitely small therefore, time is not perfectly symmetrical.
Rick Delmonico
Goodbye,Nick," she said, starting to close the door. "And thank you for stopping by." He accepted her decision with a slight inclination of his head, and Lauren made herself finish closing the door. She forced herself to walk away on legs that felt like lead, reminding herself at the same time how insane it would be to let him near her. But halfway across the living room she lost the internal battle. Pivoting on her heel, she raced for the door, yanked it open and hurtled straight into Nick's chest. He was lounging with one hand braced high against the doorframe, gazing down at her flushed face with a knowing, satisfied grin. "Hello,Lauren.I happened to be in the neighborhood and decided to drop by." "What do you want,Nick?" she sighed, her blue eyes searching his. "You." Resolutely she started to close the door again, but his hand shot out to stop her. "Do you really want me to go?" "I told you on Wednesday that what I want has nothing to do with it. What matters is what's best for me, and-" He interrupted her with a boyish grin. "I promise I'll never wear your clothes,and I won't steal your allowances or your boyfriends either." Lauren couldn't help starting to smile as he finished, "And if you swear never to call me Nicky again, I won't bite you." She stepped aside and let him in, then took his jacket and hung it in the closet. When she turned, Nick was leaning against the closed front door, his arms crossed over his chest. "On second thought," he grinned, "I take part of that back.I'd love to bite you." "Pervert!" she returned teasingly, her heart thumping so much with excitement that she hardly knew what she was saying. "Come here and I'll show you just how perverted I can be," he invited smoothly. Lauren took a cautious step backward. "Absolutely not.
Judith McNaught (Double Standards)
For one who sets himself to look at all earnestly, at all in purpose toward truth, into the living eyes of a human life: what is it he there beholds that so freezes and abashes his ambitious heart? What is it, profound behind the outward windows of each one of you, beneath touch even of your own suspecting, drawn tightly back at bay against the backward wall and blackness of its prison cave, so that the eyes alone shine of their own angry glory, but the eyes of a trapped wild animal, or of a furious angel nailed to the ground by his wings, or however else one may faintly designate the human 'soul,' that which is angry, that which is wild, that which is untamable, that which is healthful and holy, that which is competent of all advantaging within hope of human dream, that which most marvelous and most precious to our knowledge and most extremely advanced upon futurity of all flowerings within the scope of creation is of all these the least destructible, the least corruptible, the most defenseless, the most easily and multitudinously wounded, frustrated, prisoned, and nailed into a cheating of itself: so situated in the universe that those three hours upon the cross are but a noble and too trivial an emblem how in each individual among most of the two billion now alive and in each successive instant of the existence of each existence not only human being but in him the tallest and most sanguine hope of godhead is in a billionate choiring and drone of pain of generations upon generations unceasingly crucified and is bringing forth crucifixions into their necessities and is each in the most casual of his life so measurelessly discredited, harmed, insulted, poisoned, cheated, as not all the wrath, compassion, intelligence, power of rectification in all the reach of the future shall in the least expiate or make one ounce more light: how, looking thus into your eyes and seeing thus, how each of you is a creature which has never in all time existed before and which shall never in all time exist again and which is not quite like any other and which has the grand stature and natural warmth of every other and whose existence is all measured upon a still mad and incurable time; how am I to speak of you as 'tenant' 'farmers,' as 'representatives' of your 'class,' as social integers in a criminal economy, or as individuals, fathers, wives, sons, daughters, and as my friends and as I 'know' you?
James Agee (Let Us Now Praise Famous Men)
Nobody in Faha could remember when it started. Rain there on the western seaboard was a condition of living. It came straight-down and sideways, frontwards, backwards and any other wards God could think of. It came in sweeps, in waves, sometimes in veils. It came dressed as drizzle, as mizzle, as mist, as showers, frequent and widespread, as a wet fog, as a damp day, a drop, a dripping, and an out-and-out downpour. It came the fine day, the bright day, and the day promised dry. It came at any time of the day and night, and in all seasons, regardless of calendar and forecast, until in Faha your clothes were rain and your skin was rain and your house was rain with a fireplace. It came off the grey vastness of an Atlantic that threw itself against the land like a lover once spurned and resolved not to be so again. It came accompanied by seagulls and smells of salt and seaweed. It came with cold air and curtained light. It came like a judgment, or, in benign version, like a blessing God had forgotten he had left on. It came for a handkerchief of blue sky, came on westerlies, sometimes—why not?—on easterlies, came in clouds that broke their backs on the mountains in Kerry and fell into Clare, making mud the ground and blind the air. It came disguised as hail, as sleet, but never as snow. It came softly sometimes, tenderly sometimes, its spears turned to kisses, in rain that pretended it was not rain, that had come down to be closer to the fields whose green it loved and fostered, until it drowned them.
Niall Williams (This is Happiness)
I never did try to make my daddy understand why I left for the army the way I did. I just thought, because he loved me, he should let it go, and if he couldn’t, well then he didn’t love me like I thought. Young folks get love and understandin’ backward, don’t they? Love don’t come galloping across fresh pastures like a fine white horse with understandin’ riding soft and easy on its back. Understandin’ plods in like an old plow mule, breaking sod. It shades the earth with its body, and waters it with sweat. Love grows up in the furrow that’s left behind. It takes some patience. I was an impatient young man. ~Claude Fisher
Lisa Wingate (A Month of Summer (Blue Sky Hill #1))
I don't think Gregori really knows what to do with you." Gary's heart jumped. He cleared his throat. "I hope you mean that positively." Savannah's eyes laughed at him. "Do you really think he'll harm you? He can read your mind. If you were an enemy, he would've killed you back in that warehouse." Wickedly she leaned across the table. "Of course, ie really is afully unpredictable, so you never know what he might do or where he is-" She broke off, laughing, as her arm wasflung into the air as if something had shackled her wrist and jerked her backward. Savannah was dragged by something unseen from the kitchen. She was laughing, her blue eyes dancing with mischief. Gregori tugged at her wrist, taking her out into the sanctuary of the courtyard with its dense, overgrown plants. Flowers tumbled from the overhead arbors and trailingalong his shoulders as he emerged fully into the night. "You are deliberately scaring that young man to death," he accused. She lifted her face to his, stars from the night sky in the centers of her eyes."Well,really, how could anyone doubt you?" As her palm caressed the hard line of his jaw,one fingertip touched his perfect mouth. "Stop thinking you have to protect me, Savannah. It is enough that I have you. I do not need anyone else.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
ALMOST EVERY FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF LIFE can be expressed in two opposite ways. There are those who say that to attain the highest wisdom we must be still and calm, immovable in the midst of turmoil. And there are those who say that we must move on as life moves, never stopping for a moment either in fear of what is to come or to turn a regretful glance at what has gone. The former are as those who listen to music, letting the flow of notes pass through their minds without trying either to arrest them or to speed them on. Like Chuang-tzu’s perfect man, they employ their minds as a mirror: it grasps nothing; it refuses nothing; it receives, but does not keep. The latter are as those who dance to music, keeping pace with its movement and letting their limbs flow with it as unceasingly and as unhesitatingly as clouds respond to the breath of wind. The one seems to reflect events as they pass, and the other to move forward with them. Both points of view, however, are true, for to attain that highest wisdom we must at once walk on and remain still. Consider life as a revolving wheel set upright with man walking on its tire. As he walks, the wheel is revolving toward him beneath his feet, and if he is not to be carried backward by it and flung to the ground he must walk at the same speed as the wheel turns. If he exceeds that speed, he will topple forward and slip off the wheel onto his face. For at every moment we stand, as it were, on the top of a wheel; immediately we try to cling to that moment, to that particular point of the wheel, it is no longer at the top and we are off our balance. Thus by not trying to seize the moment, we keep it, for the second we fail to walk on we cease to remain still. Yet within this there is a still deeper truth. From the standpoint of eternity we never can and never do leave the top of the wheel, for if a circle is set in infinite space it has neither top nor bottom. Wherever you stand is the top, and it revolves only because you are pushing it round with your own feet.
Alan W. Watts (Become What You Are)
The crowd started going crazy. Like even crazier than when Romeo got up from the hit. I was clinging to the railing, wondering if I would like prison, when Ivy sighed. "I swear. You have all the luck." Confused, I glanced around. Romeo was jogging toward us, helmet in his hands. Quickly, I glanced at the big screen and it was showing a wide shot of me clinging onto the rails and him running toward us. When he arrived, he slapped the guard on his back and said something in his ear. The guard looked at me and grinned and then walked away. Romeo stepped up to where I was. At the height I was at one the railing, for once I was taller than him. "You're killing me, Smalls," he said. "I had to interrupt a championship game to keep you from going to the slammer." "I was worried. You didn't get up." "And so you were just going to march out on the field and what?" God, he looked so… so incredible right then. His uniform stretched out over his wide shoulders and narrow waist. The pads strapped to his body made him look even stronger. He had grass stains on his knees, sweat in his hair, and ornery laughter in his sparkling blue eyes. I swear I'd never seen anyone equal parts of to-die-for good looks and boy-next-door troublemaker. "I was going to come out there and kiss it and make it better." He threw back his head and laughed, and the stadium erupted once more. I was aware that every moment between us was being broadcast like some reality TV show, but for once, I didn't care how many people were staring. This was our moment. And I was so damn happy he wasn't hurt. "So you're okay, then?" I asked. "Takes a lot more than a shady illegal attack to keep me down." Behind him, the players were getting back to the game, rushing out onto the field, and the coach was yelling out orders. "I'll just go back to my seat, then," I said. He rushed forward and grabbed me off the railing. The crown cheered when he slid me down his body and pressed his lips to mine. It wasn't a chaste kiss. It was the kind of kiss that made me blush when I watched it on TV. But I kissed him back anyway. I got lost in him. When he pulled back, I said, "By the way, You're totally kicking ass out there." He chuckled and put me back on the railing and kept one hand on my butt as I climbed back over. Back in the stands, I gripped the cold metal and gave him a small wave. He'd been walking backward toward his team, but then he changed direction and sprinted toward me. In one graceful leap, he was up on the wall and leaning over the railing. "Love you," he half-growled and pressed a swift kiss to my lips. "Next touchdown's for you.
Cambria Hebert (#Hater (Hashtag, #2))
There’s a misconception that grief is about “looking backward,” mourning someone whose life has been reduced to memories. But grief is also about “looking forward,” realizing and grieving all the future events that your loved one will never get to participate in. Grief is half about mourning the past that was and half about mourning the future that never will be. You’re not weird or crazy for jumping months, years, or decades ahead to envision a life without your loved one present. In fact, when loss happens, we often feel like we’re losing everything all at once—past, present, and future. Sometimes in these moments, it’s comforting to know that while your loved one can no longer follow you into the future, your memories and love for them can.
Shelby Forsythia (Your Grief, Your Way: A Year of Practical Guidance and Comfort After Loss)
Nor did these society people add to Elstir's work in their mind's eye that temporal perspective which enabled them to like, or at least to look without discomfort at, Chardin's painting. And yet the older among them might have reminded themselves that in the course of their lives they had gradually seen, as the years bore them away from it, the unbridgeable gulf between what they considered a masterpiece by Ingres and what they had supposed must forever remain a "horror" (Manet's Olympia, for example) shrink until the two canvases seemed like twins. But we never learn, because we lack the wisdom to work backwards from the particular to the general, and imagine ourselves always to be faced with an experience which has no precedents in the past.
Marcel Proust (The Guermantes Way)
My advice would be to find a good woman and steer well clear of the whole bloody business, and it’s a shame no one told me the same twenty years ago.” He looked sideways at Jezal. “But if, say, you’re stuck out on some great wide plain in the middle of nowhere and can’t avoid it, there’s three rules I’d take to a fight. First, always do your best to look the coward, the weakling, the fool. Silence is a warrior’s best armour, the saying goes. Hard looks and hard words have never won a battle yet, but they’ve lost a few.” “Look the fool, eh? I see.” Jezal had built his whole life around trying to appear the cleverest, the strongest, the most noble. It was an intriguing idea, that a man might choose to look like less than he was. “Second, never take an enemy lightly, however much the dullard he seems. Treat every man like he’s twice as clever, twice as strong, twice as fast as you are, and you’ll only be pleasantly surprised. Respect costs you nothing, and nothing gets a man killed quicker than confidence.” “Never underestimate the foe. A wise precaution.” Jezal was beginning to realise that he had underestimated this Northman. He wasn’t half the idiot he appeared to be. “Third, watch your opponent as close as you can, and listen to opinions if you’re given them, but once you’ve got your plan in mind, you fix on it and let nothing sway you. Time comes to act, you strike with no backwards glances. Delay is the parent of disaster, my father used to tell me, and believe me, I’ve seen some disasters.
Joe Abercrombie (Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2))
Ask her who means freedom, whose name is love. Do not inquire of your intellect, do not search backwards through world history. Your soul will not blame you for having cared too little about politics, for having exerted yourself too little, hated your enemies too little, or too little fortified your frontiers. But she will perhaps blame you for so often having feared and fled from her demands, for never having had time to give her, your youngest and fairest child, no time to play with her, no time to listen to her song, for often having sold her for money, betrayed her for advancement. . . . You will be neurotic and a foe to life---so says your soul---if you neglect me, and you will be destroyed if you do not turn to me with a wholly new love and concern.
Hermann Hesse
Alex, please.” He balls his fists. “Stop saying my name. You don’t know me anymore.” “I do know you.” I’m still crying, swallowing back spasms in my throat, struggling to breathe. This is a nightmare and I will wake up. This is a monster-story, and he has come back to me a terror-creation, patched together, broken and hateful, and I will wake up and he will be here, and whole, and mine again. I find his hands, lace my fingers through his even as he tries to pull away. “It’s me, Alex. Lena. Your Lena. Remember? Remember 37 Brooks, and the blanket we used to keep in the backyard—” “Don’t,” he says. His voice breaks on the word. “And I always beat you in Scrabble,” I say. I have to keep talking, and keep him here, and make him remember. “Because you always let me win. And remember how we had a picnic one time, and the only thing we could find from the store was canned spaghetti and some green beans? And you said to mix them—” “Don’t.” “And we did, and it wasn’t bad. We ate the whole stupid can, we were so hungry. And when it started to get dark you pointed to the sky, and told me there was a star for every thing you loved about me.” I’m gasping, feeling as though I am about to drown; I’m reaching for him blindly, grabbing at his collar. “Stop.” He grabs my shoulders. His face is an inch from mine but unrecognizable: a gross, contorted mask. “Just stop. No more. It’s done, okay? That’s all done now.” “Alex, please—” “Stop!” His voice rings out sharply, hard as a slap. He releases me and I stumble backward. “Alex is dead, do you hear me? All of that—what we felt, what it meant—that’s done now, okay? Buried. Blown away.” “Alex!” He has started to turn away; now he whirls around. The moon lights him stark white and furious, a camera image, two-dimensional, gripped by the flash. “I don’t love you, Lena. Do you hear me? I never loved you.” The air goes. Everything goes. “I don’t believe you.” I’m crying so hard, I can hardly speak. He takes one step toward me. And now I don’t recognize him at all. He has transformed entirely, turned into a stranger. “It was a lie. Okay? It was all a lie. Craziness, like they always said. Just forget about it. Forget it ever happened.” “Please.” I don’t know how I stay on my feet, why I don’t shatter into dust right there, why my heart keeps beating when I want it so badly to stop. “Please don’t do this, Alex.” “Stop saying my name.
Lauren Oliver (Requiem (Delirium, #3))
Do it again," she whispered, tilting her head, offering her mouth to him. Staring down at her swollen bottom lip, he gave it a little lick. A small, soft moan sounded from the back of her throat. "Ask nicely," he whispered. "Please." She gave a lock of hair at his neck an impatient tug. He came undone. Delving his tongue inside her sweet mouth, he walked her backward until her back met one of the pillars. With one hand cradling the back of her head for protection, his other hand held her hip immobilized, under his control. Rhythmically, he sank his tongue into her honeyed depths, mimicking the motion of making love. She whimpered, the sound a desperate plea. Her fingers threaded through the damp hair at the base of his neck; her other hand clutched at his forearm. He squeezed her hip, his long fingers digging into her soft bottom as he rocked her into his arousal. For several moments, she ground her hips against him as he plundered her mouth. The kiss was no longer enough. He wanted to take her. Right here, right now. His fingertips trailed down the back of her neck to caress her shoulder, her arm, her breast. His breath hitched when she pushed herself more firmly into his hand. She wanted his touch. He complied of course: he would never deny her. Gently he kneaded her through the fabric of her dress, purposely passing his thumb over the hardened tip. She made a small sound of pleasure that nearly pushed him over the edge. The manor, the rain, the mud disappeared. Reason and practicality were momentarily suspended. Nothing mattered in those moments. Nothing but the ever-escalating power of their passion.
Olivia Parker (To Wed a Wicked Earl (Devine & Friends, #2))
The Party's all-around intrusion into people's lives was the very point of the process known as 'thought reform." Mao wanted not only external discipline, but the total subjection of all thoughts, large or small. Every week a meeting for 'thought examination' was held for those 'in the revolution." Everyone had both to criticize themselves for incorrect thoughts and be subjected to the criticism of others.The meetings tended to be dominated by self-righteous and petty-minded people, who used them to vent their envy and frustration; people of peasant origin used them to attack those from 'bourgeois' backgrounds. The idea was that people should be reformed to be more like peasants, because the Communist revolution was in essence a peasant revolution. This process appealed to the guilt feelings of the educated; they had been living better than the peasants, and self-criticism tapped into this.Meetings were an important means of Communist control. They left people no free time, and eliminated the private sphere. The pettiness which dominated them was justified on the grounds that prying into personal details was a way of ensuring thorough soul-cleansing. In fact, pettiness was a fundamental characteristic of a revolution in which intrusiveness and ignorance were celebrated, and envy was incorporated into the system of control. My mother's cell grilled her week after week, month after month, forcing her to produce endless self-criticisms.She had to consent to this agonizing process. Life for a revolutionary was meaningless if they were rejected by the Party. It was like excommunication for a Catholic. Besides, it was standard procedure. My father had gone through it and had accepted it as part of 'joining the revolution." In fact, he was still going through it. The Party had never hidden the fact that it was a painful process. He told my mother her anguish was normal.At the end of all this, my mother's two comrades voted against full Party membership for her. She fell into a deep depression. She had been devoted to the revolution, and could not accept the idea that it did not want her; it was particularly galling to think she might not get in for completely petty and irrelevant reasons, decided by two people whose way of thinking seemed light years away from what she had conceived the Party's ideology to be. She was being kept out of a progressive organization by backward people, and yet the revolution seemed to be telling her that it was she who was in the wrong. At the back of her mind was another, more practical point which she did not even spell out to herself: it was vital to get into the Party, because if she failed she would be stigmatized and ostracized.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
something inside me will say no. not this time. you've come so far. don't step backwards now. you will be a mere yard away from me when i shake my head. you will freeze mid-step, and your eyes will go wide with surprise and confusion. "no". the world will stumble from my mouth as if it was an accident. but i will prove that it isn't by turning away from you. you will say, "wait, can't you just talk to me?" there will be a plea in your voice that will make me stop for a moment. it will almost make me turn back to you. it will wrap a fist around my heart and squeeze. but despite the pain, despite the pull i will always feel to you, i will look over my shoulder, and i will meet your gaze with mine one last time. and i will make sure you can feel that fire in me, burning. i will make sure you know that no matter how cold you made me, you never managed to put that fire out. "no", i will say. "but it was good to see you".
Catarine Hancock (how the words come)
That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school—we never explicitly say what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now and speak of it explicitly. It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty—a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid—not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked—to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated. Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can—if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong—to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition. In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists... You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.
Richard P. Feynman (Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character)
In actuality, myths are neither fiction nor history. Nor are most myths—and this will surprise some people—an amalgamation of fiction and history. Rather, a myth is something that never happened but is always happening. Myths are the plots of the psyche. They are ongoing, symbolic dramatizations of the inner life of the species, external metaphors for internal events. As Campbell used to say, myths come from the same place dreams come from. But because they’re more coherent than dreams, more linear and refined, they are even more instructive. A myth is the song of the universe, a song that, if accurately perceived, explains the universe and our often confusing place in it. It is only when it is allowed to crystallize into “history” that a myth becomes useless—and possibly dangerous. For example, when the story of the resurrection of Jesus is read as a symbol for the spiritual rebirth of the individual, it remains alive and can continually resonate in a vital, inspirational way in the modern psyche. But when the resurrection is viewed as historical fact, an archival event that occurred once and only once, some two thousand years ago, then its resonance cannot help but flag. It may proffer some vague hope for our own immortality, but to our deepest consciousness it’s no longer transformative or even very accessible on an everyday basis. The self-renewing model has atrophied into second-hand memory and dogma, a dogma that the fearful, the uninformed, and the emotionally troubled feel a need to defend with violent action.
Tom Robbins (Wild Ducks Flying Backward)
You know, of course, that as prophesied by Moroni, there are those whose research relating to Joseph Smith is not for the purpose of gaining added light and knowledge but to undermine his character, magnify his flaws, and if possible destroy his influence. Their work product can sometimes be jarring, and so can issues raised at times by honest historians and researchers with no “axe to grind.” But I would offer you this advice in your own study: Be patient, don’t be superficial, and don’t ignore the Spirit. In counseling patience, I simply mean that while some answers come quickly or with little effort, others are simply not available for the moment because information or evidence is lacking. Don’t suppose, however, that a lack of evidence about something today means that evidence doesn’t exist or that it will not be forthcoming in the future. The absence of evidence is not proof. . . . When I say don’t be superficial, I mean don’t form conclusions based on unexamined assertions or incomplete research, and don’t be influenced by insincere seekers. I would offer you the advice of our Assistant Church Historian, Rick Turley, an intellectually gifted researcher and author whose recent works include the definitive history of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. He says simply, “Don’t study Church history too little.” While some honestly pursue truth and real understanding, others are intent on finding or creating doubts. Their interpretations may come from projecting 21st Century concepts and culture backward onto 19th Century people. If there are differing interpretations possible, they will pick the most negative. They sometimes accuse the Church of hiding something because they only recently found or heard about it—an interesting accusation for a Church that’s publishing 24 volumes of all it can find of Joseph Smith’s papers. They may share their assumptions and speculations with some glee, but either can’t or won’t search further to find contradictory information. . . . A complete understanding can never be attained by scholarly research alone, especially since much of what is needed is either lost or never existed. There is no benefit in imposing artificial limits on ourselves that cut off the light of Christ and the revelations of the Holy Spirit. Remember, “By the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things.” . . . If you determine to sit still, paralyzed until every question is answered and every whisper of doubt resolved, you will never move because in this life there will always be some issue pending or something yet unexplained.
D. Todd Christofferson
You say you were lucky that in the critical years between 100 and 800 C.E. Christianity went forward, and we were unlucky that during the same years Judaism went backward. Don’t you see that the real question is forward to what, backward to what?” Cullinane reflected for a moment and said, “By God, I do! That’s what’s been bugging me without my knowing it, because I hadn’t even formulated the question.” “My thought is that in those critical years Judaism went back to the basic religious precepts by which men can live together in a society, whereas Christianity rushed forward to a magnificent personal religion which never in ten thousand years will teach men how to live together. You Christians will have beauty, passionate intercourse with God, magnificent buildings, frenzied worship and exaltation of the spirit. But you will never have that close organization of society, family life and the little community that is possible under Judaism. Cullinane, let me ask you this: Could a group of rabbis, founding their decisions on Torah and Talmud, possibly have come up with an invention like the Inquisition—an essentially anti-social concept?
James A. Michener (The Source)
The difficulties connected with my criterion of demarcation (D) are important, but must not be exaggerated. It is vague, since it is a methodological rule, and since the demarcation between science and nonscience is vague. But it is more than sharp enough to make a distinction between many physical theories on the one hand, and metaphysical theories, such as psychoanalysis, or Marxism (in its present form), on the other. This is, of course, one of my main theses; and nobody who has not understood it can be said to have understood my theory. The situation with Marxism is, incidentally, very different from that with psychoanalysis. Marxism was once a scientific theory: it predicted that capitalism would lead to increasing misery and, through a more or less mild revolution, to socialism; it predicted that this would happen first in the technically highest developed countries; and it predicted that the technical evolution of the 'means of production' would lead to social, political, and ideological developments, rather than the other way round. But the (so-called) socialist revolution came first in one of the technically backward countries. And instead of the means of production producing a new ideology, it was Lenin's and Stalin's ideology that Russia must push forward with its industrialization ('Socialism is dictatorship of the proletariat plus electrification') which promoted the new development of the means of production. Thus one might say that Marxism was once a science, but one which was refuted by some of the facts which happened to clash with its predictions (I have here mentioned just a few of these facts). However, Marxism is no longer a science; for it broke the methodological rule that we must accept falsification, and it immunized itself against the most blatant refutations of its predictions. Ever since then, it can be described only as nonscience—as a metaphysical dream, if you like, married to a cruel reality. Psychoanalysis is a very different case. It is an interesting psychological metaphysics (and no doubt there is some truth in it, as there is so often in metaphysical ideas), but it never was a science. There may be lots of people who are Freudian or Adlerian cases: Freud himself was clearly a Freudian case, and Adler an Adlerian case. But what prevents their theories from being scientific in the sense here described is, very simply, that they do not exclude any physically possible human behaviour. Whatever anybody may do is, in principle, explicable in Freudian or Adlerian terms. (Adler's break with Freud was more Adlerian than Freudian, but Freud never looked on it as a refutation of his theory.) The point is very clear. Neither Freud nor Adler excludes any particular person's acting in any particular way, whatever the outward circumstances. Whether a man sacrificed his life to rescue a drowning, child (a case of sublimation) or whether he murdered the child by drowning him (a case of repression) could not possibly be predicted or excluded by Freud's theory; the theory was compatible with everything that could happen—even without any special immunization treatment. Thus while Marxism became non-scientific by its adoption of an immunizing strategy, psychoanalysis was immune to start with, and remained so. In contrast, most physical theories are pretty free of immunizing tactics and highly falsifiable to start with. As a rule, they exclude an infinity of conceivable possibilities.
Karl Popper
I once read the most widely understood word in the whole world is ‘OK’, followed by ‘Coke’, as in cola. I think they should do the survey again, this time checking for ‘Game Over’. Game Over is my favorite thing about playing video games. Actually, I should qualify that. It’s the split second before Game Over that’s my favorite thing. Streetfighter II - an oldie but goldie - with Leo controlling Ryu. Ryu’s his best character because he’s a good all-rounder - great defensive moves, pretty quick, and once he’s on an offensive roll, he’s unstoppable. Theo’s controlling Blanka. Blanka’s faster than Ryu, but he’s really only good on attack. The way to win with Blanka is to get in the other player’s face and just never let up. Flying kick, leg-sweep, spin attack, head-bite. Daze them into submission. Both players are down to the end of their energy bars. One more hit and they’re down, so they’re both being cagey. They’re hanging back at opposite ends of the screen, waiting for the other guy to make the first move. Leo takes the initiative. He sends off a fireball to force Theo into blocking, then jumps in with a flying kick to knock Blanka’s green head off. But as he’s moving through the air he hears a soft tapping. Theo’s tapping the punch button on his control pad. He’s charging up an electricity defense so when Ryu’s foot makes contact with Blanka’s head it’s going to be Ryu who gets KO’d with 10,000 volts charging through his system. This is the split second before Game Over. Leo’s heard the noise. He knows he’s fucked. He has time to blurt ‘I’m toast’ before Ryu is lit up and thrown backwards across the screen, flashing like a Christmas tree, a charred skeleton. Toast. The split second is the moment you comprehend you’re just about to die. Different people react to it in different ways. Some swear and rage. Some sigh or gasp. Some scream. I’ve heard a lot of screams over the twelve years I’ve been addicted to video games. I’m sure that this moment provides a rare insight into the way people react just before they really do die. The game taps into something pure and beyond affectations. As Leo hears the tapping he blurts, ‘I’m toast.’ He says it quickly, with resignation and understanding. If he were driving down the M1 and saw a car spinning into his path I think he’d in react the same way. Personally, I’m a rager. I fling my joypad across the floor, eyes clenched shut, head thrown back, a torrent of abuse pouring from my lips. A couple of years ago I had a game called Alien 3. It had a great feature. When you ran out of lives you’d get a photo-realistic picture of the Alien with saliva dripping from its jaws, and a digitized voice would bleat, ‘Game over, man!’ I really used to love that.
Alex Garland
Remus,” said Hermione tentatively, “is everything all right . . . you know . . . between you and—” “Everything is fine, thank you,” said Lupin pointedly. Hermione turned pink. There was another pause, an awkward and embarrassed one, and then Lupin said, with an air of forcing himself to admit something unpleasant, “Tonks is going to have a baby.” “Oh, how wonderful!” squealed Hermione. “Excellent!” said Ron enthusiastically. “Congratulations,” said Harry. Lupin gave an artificial smile that was more like a grimace, then said, “So . . . do you accept my offer? Will three become four? I cannot believe that Dumbledore would have disapproved, he appointed me your Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, after all. And I must tell you that I believe that we are facing magic many of us have never encountered or imagined.” Ron and Hermione both looked at Harry. “Just—just to be clear,” he said. “You want to leave Tonks at her parents’ house and come away with us?” “She’ll be perfectly safe there, they’ll look after her,” said Lupin. He spoke with a finality bordering on indifference. “Harry, I’m sure James would have wanted me to stick with you.” “Well,” said Harry slowly, “I’m not. I’m pretty sure my father would have wanted to know why you aren’t sticking with your own kid, actually.” Lupin’s face drained of color. The temperature in the kitchen might have dropped ten degrees. Ron stared around the room as though he had been bidden to memorize it, while Hermione’s eyes swiveled backward and forward from Harry to Lupin. “You don’t understand,” said Lupin at last. “Explain, then,” said Harry. Lupin swallowed. “I—I made a grave mistake in marrying Tonks. I did it against my better judgment and I have regretted it very much ever since.” “I see,” said Harry, “so you’re just going to dump her and the kid and run off with us?” Lupin sprang to his feet: His chair toppled over backward, and he glared at them so fiercely that Harry saw, for the first time ever, the shadow of the wolf upon his human face. “Don’t you understand what I’ve done to my wife and my unborn child? I should never have married her, I’ve made her an outcast!” Lupin kicked aside the chair he had overturned. “You have only ever seen me amongst the Order, or under Dumbledore’s protection at Hogwarts! You don’t know how most of the Wizarding world sees creatures like me! When they know of my affliction, they can barely talk to me! Don’t you see what I’ve done? Even her own family is disgusted by our marriage, what parents want their only daughter to marry a werewolf? And the child—the child—” Lupin actually seized handfuls of his own hair; he looked quite deranged. “My kind don’t usually breed! It will be like me, I am convinced of it—how can I forgive myself, when I knowingly risked passing on my own condition to an innocent child? And if, by some miracle, it is not like me, then it will be better off, a hundred times so, without a father of whom it must always be ashamed!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Gabriel was stunned by Pandora's compassion for a man who had caused her such harm. He shook his head in wonder as he stared into her eyes, as dark as cloud-shadow on a field of blue gentian. "That doesn't excuse him," he said thickly. Gabriel would never forgive the bastard. He wanted vengeance. He wanted to strip the flesh from the bastard's corpse and hang up his skeleton to scare the crows. His fingers contained a subtle tremor as he reached out to trace the fine edges of her face, the sweet, high plane of her cheekbone. "What did the doctor say about your ear? What treatment did he give?" "It wasn't necessary to send for a doctor." A fresh flood of rage seared his veins as the words sunk in. "Your eardrum was ruptured. What in God's name do you mean a doctor wasn't necessary?" Although he had managed to keep from shouting, his tone was far from civilized. Pandora quivered uneasily and began to inch backward. He realized the last thing she needed from him was a display of temper. Battening down his rampaging emotions, he used one arm to bring her back against his side. "No, don't pull away. Tell me what happened." "The fever had passed," she said after a long hesitation, "and... well, you have to understand my family. If something unpleasant happened, they ignored it, and it was never spoken of again. Especially if it was something my father had done when he'd lost his temper. After a while, no one remembered what had really happened. Our family history was erased and rewritten a thousand times. But ignoring the problem with my ear didn't make it disappear. Whenever I couldn't hear something, or when I stumbled or fell, it made my mother very angry. She said I'd been clumsy because I was hasty or careless. She wouldn't admit there was anything wrong with my hearing. She refused even to discuss it." Pandora stopped, chewing thoughtfully on her lower lip. "I'm making her sound terrible, and she wasn't. There were times when she was affectionate and kind. No one's all one way or the other." She flicked a glance of dread in his direction. "Oh God, you're not going to pity me, are you?" "No." Gabriel was anguished for her sake, and outraged. It was all he could do to keep his voice calm. "Is that why you keep it a secret? You're afraid of being pitied?" "That, and... it's a shame I'd rather keep private." "Not your shame. Your father's." "It feels like mine. Had I not been eavesdropping, my father wouldn't have disciplined me." "You were a child," he said brusquely. "What he did wasn't bloody discipline, it was brutality." To his surprise, a touch of unrepentant amusement curved Pandora's lips, and she looked distinctly pleased with herself. "It didn't even stop my eavesdropping. I just learned to be more clever about it." She was so endearing, so indomitable, that Gabriel was wrenched with a feeling he'd never known before, as if all the extremes of joy and despair had been compressed into some new emotion that threatened to crack the walls of his heart.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
She'd gone and let her hair loose, he thought. Why did she have to do that? It made his hands hurt, actually hurt with wanting to slide into it. "That's good." She stepped in, shut the door. And because it seemed too perfect not to, audibly flipped the lock. Seeing a muscle twitch in his jaw was incredibly satisfying. He was a drowning man, and had just gone under the first time. "Keeley, I've had a long day here.I was just about to-" "Have a nightcap," she finished. She'd spotted the teapot and the bottle of whiskey on the kitchen counter. "I wouldn't mind one myself." She breezed past him to flip off the burner under the now sputtering kettle. She'd put on different perfume, he thought viciously. Put it on fresh, too, just to torment him. He was damn sure of it.It snagged his libido like a fish-hook. "I'm not really fixed for company just now." "I don't think I qualify as company." Competently she warmed the pot, measured out the tea and poured the boiling water in. "I certainly won't be after we're lovers." He went under the second time without even the chance to gulp in air. "We're not lovers." "That's about to change." She set the lid on the pot, turned. "How long do you like it to steep?" "I like it strong, so it'll take some time. You should go on home now." "I like it strong, too." Amazing, she thought,she didn't feel nervous at all. "And if it's going to take some time, we can have it afterward." "This isn't the way for this." He said it more to himself than her. "This is backward, or twisted.I can't get my mind around it. no,just stay back over there and let me think a minute." But she was already moving toward him, a siren's smile on her lips. "If you'd rather seduce me, go ahead." "That's exactly what I'm not going to do." Thought the night was cool and his windows were open to it, he felt sweat slither down his back. "If I'd known the way things were, I'd never have started this." That mouth of his, she thought. She really had to have that mouth. "Now we both know the way things are, and I intend to finish it.It's my choice." His blood was already swimming. Hot and fast. "You don't know anything, which is the whole flaming problem." "Are you afraid of innocence?" "Damn right." "It doesn't stop you from wanting me. Put your hands on me,Brian." She took his wrist,pressed his hand to her breast. "I want your hands on me." The boots clattered to the floor as he went under for the third time.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
To be ridiculously sweeping: baby boomers and their offspring have shifted emphasis from the communal to the individual, from the future to the present, from virtue to personal satisfaction. Increasingly secular, we pledge allegiance to lowercase gods of our private devising. We are concerned with leading less a good life than the good life. In contrast to our predecessors, we seldom ask ourselves whether we serve a greater social purpose; we are more likely to ask ourselves if we are happy. We shun self-sacrifice and duty as the soft spots of suckers. We give little thought to the perpetuation of lineage, culture or nation; we take our heritage for granted. We are ahistorical. We measure the value of our lives within the brackets of our own births and deaths, and we’re not especially bothered by what happens once we’re dead. As we age—oh, so reluctantly!—we are apt to look back on our pasts and question not did I serve family, God and country, but did I ever get to Cuba, or run a marathon? Did I take up landscape painting? Was I fat? We will assess the success of our lives in accordance not with whether they were righteous, but with whether they were interesting and fun. If that package sounds like one big moral step backward, the Be Here Now mentality that has converted from sixties catchphrase to entrenched gestalt has its upsides. There has to be some value in living for today, since at any given time today is all you’ve got. We justly cherish characters capable of living “in the moment.”…We admire go-getters determined to pack their lives with as much various experience as time and money provide, who never stop learning, engaging, and savoring what every day offers—in contrast to the dour killjoys who are bitter and begrudging in the ceaseless fulfillment of obligation. For the role of humble server, helpmate, and facilitator no longer to constitute the sole model of womanhood surely represents progress for which I am personally grateful. Furthermore, prosperity may naturally lead any well-off citizenry to the final frontier: the self, whose borders are as narrow or infinite as we make them. Yet the biggest social casualty of Be Here Now is children, who have converted from requirement to option, like heated seats for your car. In deciding what in times past never used to be a choice, we don’t consider the importance of raising another generation of our own people, however we might choose to define them. The question is whether kids will make us happy.
Lionel Shriver
But mostly, finally, ultimately, I'm here for the weather. As a result of the weather, ours is a landscape in a minor key, a sketchy panorama where objects, both organic and inorganic, lack well-defined edges and tent to melt together, creating a perpetual blurred effect, as if God, after creating Northwestern Washington, had second thoughts and tried unsuccessfully to erase it. Living here is not unlike living inside a classical Chinese painting before the intense wisps of mineral pigment had dried upon the silk - although, depending on the bite in the wind, they're times when it's more akin to being trapped in a bad Chinese restaurant; a dubious joint where gruff waiters slam chopsticks against the horizon, where service is haphazard, noodles soggy, wallpaper a tad too green, and considerable amounts of tea are spilt; but in each and every fortune cookie there's a line of poetry you can never forget. Invariably, the poems comment on the weather. In the deepest, darkest heart of winter, when the sky resembles bad banana baby food for months on end, and the witch measles that meteorologists call "drizzle" are a chronic gray rash on the skin of the land, folks all around me sink into a dismal funk. Many are depressed, a few actually suicidal. But I, I grow happier with each fresh storm, each thickening of the crinkly stratocumulus. "What's so hot about the sun?" I ask. Sunbeams are a lot like tourists: intruding where they don't belong, promoting noise and forced activity, faking a shallow cheerfulness, dumb little cameras slung around their necks. Raindrops, on the other hand, introverted, feral, buddhistically cool, behave as if they were locals. Which, of course, they are.
Tom Robbins (Wild Ducks Flying Backward)
Timing is something that none of us can seem to get quite right with relationships. We meet the person of our dreams the month before they leave to go study abroad. We form an incredibly close friendship with an attractive person who is already taken. One relationship ends because our partner isn’t ready to get serious and another ends because they’re getting serious too soon. “It would be perfect,” We moan to our friends, “If only this were five years from now/eight years sooner/some indistinct time in the future where all our problems would take care of themselves.” Timing seems to be the invariable third party in all of our relationships. And yet we never stop to consider why we let timing play such a drastic role in our lives. Timing is a bitch, yes. But it’s only a bitch if we let it be. Here’s a simple truth that I think we all need to face up to: the people we meet at the wrong time are actually just the wrong people. You never meet the right people at the wrong time because the right people are timeless. The right people make you want to throw away the plans you originally had for one and follow them into the hazy, unknown future without a glance backwards. The right people don’t make you hmm and haw about whether or not you want to be with them; you just know. You know that any adventure you had originally planned out for your future isn’t going to be half as incredible as the adventures you could have by their side. That no matter what you thought you wanted before, this is better. Everything is better since they came along. When you are with the right person, time falls away. You don’t worry about fitting them into your complicated schedule, because they become a part of that schedule. They become the backbone of it. Your happiness becomes your priority and so long as they are contributing to it, you can work around the rest. The right people don’t stand in the way of the things you once wanted and make you choose them over them. The right people encourage you: To try harder, dream bigger, do better. They bring out the most incredible parts of yourself and make you want to fight harder than ever before. The right people don’t impose limits on your time or your dreams or your abilities. They want to tackle those mountains with you, and they don’t care how much time it takes. With the right person, you have all of the time in the world. The truth is, when we pass someone up because the timing is wrong, what we are really saying is that we don’t care to spend our time on that person. There will never be a magical time when everything falls into place and fixes all our broken relationships. But there may someday be a person who makes the issue of timing irrelevant. Because when someone is right for us, we make the time to let them into our lives. And that kind of timing is always right.
Heidi Priebe (This Is Me Letting You Go)
Your butler informed me you were here. I thought-that is, I wondered how things were going.” “And since my butler didn’t know,” Ian concluded with amused irritation, “you decided to call on Elizabeth and see if you could discover for yourself?” “Something like that,” the vicar said calmly. “Elizabeth regards me as a friend, I think. And so I planned to call on her and, if you weren’t here, to put in a good word for you.” “Only one?” Ian said mildly. The vicar did not back down; he rarely did, particularly in matters of morality or justice. “Given your treatment of her, I was hard pressed to think of one. How did matters turn out with your grandfather?” “Well enough,” Ina said, his mind on meeting with Elizabeth. “He’s here in London.” “And?” “And,” Ian said sardonically, “you may now address me as ‘my lord.’” “I’ve come here,” Duncan persisted implacably, “to address you as ‘the bridegroom.’” A flash of annoyance crossed Ian’s tanned features. “You never stop pressing, do you? I’ve managed my own life for thirty years, Duncan. I think I can do it now.” Duncan had the grace to look slightly abashed. “You’re right, of course. Shall I leave?” Ian considered the benefits of Duncan’s soothing presence and reluctantly shook his head. “No. In fact, since you’re here,” he continued as they neared the top step, “you may as well be the one to announce us to the butler. I can’t get past him.” Duncan lifted the knocker while bestowing a mocking glance on Ian. “You can’t get past the butler, and you think you’re managing very well without me?” Declining to rise to that bait, Ian remained silent. The door opened a moment later, and the butler looked politely from Duncan, who began to give his name, to Ian. To Duncan’s startled disbelief, the door came crashing forward in his face. An instant before it banged into its frame Ian twisted, slamming his shoulder into it and sending the butler flying backward into the hall and ricocheting off the wall. In a low, savage voice he said, “Tell your mistress I’m here, or I’ll find her myself and tell her.” With a glance of furious outrage the older man considered Ian’s superior size and powerful frame, then turned and started reluctantly for a room ahead and to the left, where muted voices could be heard. Duncan eyed Ian with one gray eyebrow lifted and said sardonically, “Very clever of you to ingratiate yourself so well with Elizabeth’s servants.” The group in the drawing room reacted with diverse emotions to Bentner’s announcement that “Thornton is here and forced his way into the house.” The dowager duchess looked fascinated, Julius looked both relived and dismayed, Alexandra looked wary, and Elizabeth, who was still preoccupied with her uncle’s unstated purpose for his visit, looked nonplussed. Only Lucinda showed no expression at all, but she laid her needlework aside and lifted her face attentively toward the doorway.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
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))
He concluded the speech with an irritated motion of his hands. Unfortunately, Evie had been conditioned by too many encounters with Uncle Peregrine to discern between angry gestures and the beginnings of a physical attack. She flinched instinctively, her own arms flying up to shield her head. When the expected pain of a blow did not come, she let out a breath and tentatively lowered her arms to find Sebastian staring at her with blank astonishment. Then his face went dark. “Evie,” he said, his voice containing a bladelike ferocity that frightened her. “Did you think I was about to…Christ. Someone hit you. Someone hit you in the past—who the hell was it?” He reached for her suddenly—too suddenly—and she stumbled backward, coming up hard against the wall. Sebastian went very still. “Goddamn,” he whispered. Appearing to struggle with some powerful emotion, he stared at her intently. After a long moment, he spoke softly. “I would never strike a woman. I would never harm you. You know that, don’t you?” Transfixed by the light, glittering eyes that held hers with such intensity, Evie couldn’t move or make a sound. She started as he approached her slowly. “It’s all right,” he murmured. “Let me come to you. It’s all right. Easy.” One of his arms slid around her, while he used his free hand to smooth her hair, and then she was breathing, sighing, as relief flowed through her. Sebastian brought her closer against him, his mouth brushing her temple. “Who was it?” he asked. “M-my uncle,” she managed to say. The motion of his hand on her back paused as he heard her stammer. “Maybrick?” he asked patiently. “No, th-the other one.” “Stubbins.” “Yes.” Evie closed her eyes in pleasure as his other arm slid around her. Clasped against Sebastian’s hard chest, with her cheek tucked against his shoulder, she inhaled the scent of clean male skin, and the subtle touch of sandalwood cologne. “How often?” she heard him ask. “More than once?” “I…i-it’s not important now.” “How often, Evie?” Realizing that he was going to persist until she answered, Evie muttered, “Not t-terribly often, but…sometimes when I displeased him, or Aunt Fl-Florence, he would lose his temper. The l-last time I tr-tried to run away, he blackened my eye and spl-split my lip.” “Did he?” Sebastian was silent for a long moment, and then he spoke with chilling softness. “I’m going to tear him limb from limb.” “I don’t want that,” Evie said earnestly. “I-I just want to be safe from him. From all of them.” Sebastian drew his head back to look down into her flushed face. “You are safe,” he said in a low voice. He lifted one of his hands to her face, caressing the plane of her cheekbone, letting his fingertip follow the trail of pale golden freckles across the bridge of her nose. As her lashes fluttered downward, he stroked the slender arcs of her brows, and cradled the side of her face in his palm. “Evie,” he murmured. “I swear on my life, you will never feel pain from my hands. I may prove a devil of a husband in every other regard…but I wouldn’t hurt you that way. You must believe that.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
The tornadic bundle of legs and arms and feet and hands push farther into the kitchen until only the occasional flailing limb is visible from the living room, where I can’t believe I’m still standing. A spectator in my own life, I watch the supernova of my two worlds colliding: Mom and Galen. Human and Syrena. Poseidon and Triton. But what can I do? Who should I help? Mom, who lied to me for eighteen years, then tried to shank my boyfriend? Galen, who forgot this little thing called “tact” when he accused my mom of being a runaway fish-princess? Toraf, who…what the heck is Toraf doing, anyway? And did he really just sack my mom like an opposing quarterback? The urgency level for a quick decision elevates to right-freaking-now. I decide that screaming is still best for everyone-it’s nonviolent, distracting, and one of the things I’m very, very good at. I open my mouth, but Rayna beats me to it-only, her scream is much more valuable than mine would have been, because she includes words with it. “Stop it right now, or I’ll kill you all!” She pushed past me with a decrepit, rusty harpoon from God-knows-what century, probably pillaged from one of her shipwreck excursions. She waves it at the three of them like a crazed fisherman in a Jaws movie. I hope they don’t notice she’s got it pointed backward and that if she fires it, she’ll skewer our couch and Grandma’s first attempt at quilting. It works. The bare feet and tennis shoes stop scuffling-out of fear or shock, I’m not sure-and Toraf’s head appears at the top of the counter. “Princess,” he says, breathless. “I told you to stay outside.” “Emma, run!” Mom yells. Toraf disappears again, followed by a symphony of scraping and knocking and thumping and cussing. Rayna rolls her eyes at me, grumbling to herself as she stomps into the kitchen. She adjusts the harpoon to a more deadly position, scraping the popcorn ceiling and sending rust and Sheetrock and tetanus flaking onto the floor like dirty snow. Aiming it at the mound of struggling limbs, she says, “One of you is about to die, and right now I don’t really care who it is.” Thank God for Rayna. People like Rayna get things done. People like me watch people like Rayna get things done. Then people like me round the corner of the counter as if they helped, as if they didn’t stand there and let everyone they love beat the shizzle out of one another. I peer down at the three of them all tangled up. Crossing my arms, I try to mimic Rayna’s impressive rage, but I’m pretty sure my face is only capable of what-the-crap-was-that. Mom looks up at me, nostrils flaring like moth wings. “Emma, I told you to run,” she grinds out before elbowing Toraf in the mouth so hard I think he might swallow a tooth. Then she kicks Galen in the ribs. He groans, but catches her foot before she can re-up. Toraf spits blood on the linoleum beside him and grabs Mom’s arms. She writhes and wriggles, bristling like a trapped badger and cussing like sailor on crack. Mom has never been girlie. Finally she stops, her arms and legs slumping to the floor in defeat. Tears puddle in her eyes. “Let her go,” she sobs. “She’s got nothing to do with this. She doesn’t even know about us. Take me and leave her out of this. I’ll do anything.” Which reinforces, right here and now, that my mom is Nalia. Nalia is my mom. Also, holy crap.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
Hermione!” She stirred, then sat up quickly, pushing her hair out of her face. “What’s wrong? Harry? Are you all right?” “It’s okay, everything’s fine. More than fine. I’m great. There’s someone here.” “What do you mean? Who--?” She saw Ron, who stood there holding the sword and dripping onto the threadbare carpet. Harry backed into a shadowy corner, slipped off Ron’s rucksack, and attempted to blend in with the canvas. Hermione slid out of her bunk and moved like a sleepwalker toward Ron, her eyes upon his pale face. She stopped right in front of him, her lips slightly parted, her eyes wide. Ron gave a weak, hopeful smile and half raised his arms. Hermione launched herself forward and started punching every inch of him that she could reach. “Ouch--ow--gerroff! What the--? Hermione--OW!” “You--complete--arse--Ronald--Weasley!” She punctuated every word with a blow: Ron backed away, shielding his head as Hermione advanced. “You--crawl--back--here--after--weeks--and--weeks--oh, where’s my wand?” She looked as though ready to wrestle it out of Harry’s hands and he reacted instinctively. “Protego!” The invisible shield erupted between Ron and Hermione: The force of it knocked her backward onto the floor. Spitting hair out of her mouth, she leapt up again. “Hermione!” said Harry. “Calm--” “I will not calm down!” she screamed. Never before had he seen her lose control like this; she looked quite demented. “Give me back my wand! Give it back to me!” “Hermione, will you please--” “Don’t you tell me what to do, Harry Potter!” she screeched. “Don’t you dare! Give it back now! And YOU!” She was pointing at Ron in dire accusation: It was like a malediction, and Harry could not blame Ron for retreating several steps. “I came running after you! I called you! I begged you to come back!” “I know,” Ron said, “Hermione, I’m sorry, I’m really--” “Oh, you’re sorry!” She laughed, a high-pitched, out-of-control sound; Ron looked at Harry for help, but Harry merely grimaced his helplessness. “You come back after weeks--weeks--and you think it’s all going to be all right if you just say sorry?” “Well, what else can I say?” Ron shouted, and Harry was glad that Ron was fighting back. “Oh, I don’t know!” yelled Hermione with awful sarcasm. “Rack your brains, Ron, that should only take a couple of seconds--” “Hermione,” interjected Harry, who considered this a low blow, “he just saved my--” “I don’t care!” she screamed. “I don’t care what he’s done! Weeks and weeks, we could have been dead for all he knew--” “I knew you weren’t dead!” bellowed Ron, drowning her voice for the first time, and approaching as close as he could with the Shield Charm between them. “Harry’s all over the Prophet, all over the radio, they’re looking for you everywhere, all these rumors and mental stories, I knew I’d hear straight off if you were dead, you don’t know what it’s been like--” “What it’s been like for you?” Her voice was now so shrill only bats would be able to hear it soon, but she had reached a level of indignation that rendered her temporarily speechless, and Ron seized his opportunity. “I wanted to come back the minute I’d Disapparated, but I walked straight into a gang of Snatchers, Hermione, and I couldn’t go anywhere!” “A gang of what?” asked Harry, as Hermione threw herself down into a chair with her arms and legs crossed so tightly it seemed unlikely that she would unravel them for several years.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
You choose this moment to act like the Abnegation?” His voice fills the room and makes fear prickle in my chest. His anger seems too sudden. Too strange. “All that time you spent insisting that you were too selfish for them, and now, when your life is on the line, you’ve got to be a hero? What’s wrong with you?” “What’s wrong with you? People died. They walked right off the edge of a building! And I can stop it from happening again!” “You’re too important to just…die.” He shakes his head. He won’t even look at me--his eyes keep shifting across my face, to the wall behind me or the ceiling above me, to everything but me. I am too stunned to be angry. “I’m not important. Everyone will do just fine without me,” I say. “Who cares about everyone? What about me?” He lowers his head into his hand, covering his eyes. His fingers are trembling. Then he crosses the room in two long strides and touches his lips to mine. Their gentle pressure erases the past few months, and I am the girl who sat on the rocks next to the chasm, with river spray on her ankles, and kissed him for the first time. I am the girl who grabbed his hand in the hallway just because I wanted to. I pull back, my hand on his chest to keep him away. The problem is, I am also the girl who shot Will and lied about it, and chose between Hector and Marlene, and now a thousand other things besides. And I can’t erase those things. “You would be fine.” I don’t look at him. I stare at his T-shirt between my fingers and the black ink curling around his neck, but I don’t look at his face. “Not at first. But you would move on, and do what you have to.” He wraps an arm around my waist and pulls me against him. “That’s a lie,” he says, before he kisses me again. This is wrong. It’s wrong to forget who I have become, and to let him kiss me when I know what I’m about to do. But I want to. Oh, I want to. I stand on my tiptoes and wrap my arms around him. I press one hand between his shoulder blades and curl the other one around the back of his neck. I can feel his breaths against my palm, his body expanding and contracting, and I know he’s strong, steady, unstoppable. All things I need to be, but I am not, I am not. He walks backward, pulling me with him so I stumble. I stumble right out of my shoes. He sits on the edge of the bed and I stand in front of him, and we’re finally eye to eye. He touches my face, covering my cheeks with his hands, sliding his fingertips down my neck, fitting his fingers to the slight curve of my hips. I can’t stop. I fit my mouth to his, and he tastes like water and smells like fresh air. I drag my hand from his neck to the small of his back, and put it under his shirt. He kisses me harder. I knew he was strong; I didn’t know how strong until I felt it myself, the muscles in his back tightening beneath my fingers. Stop, I tell myself. Suddenly it’s as if we’re in a hurry, his fingertips brushing my side under my shirt, my hands clutching at him, struggling closer but there is no closer. I have never longed for someone this way, or this much. He pulls back just enough to look into my eyes, his eyelids lowered. “Promise me,” he whispers, “that you won’t go. For me. Do this one thing for me.” Could I do that? Could I stay here, fix things with him, let someone else die in my place? Looking up at him, I believe for a moment that I could. And then I see Will. The crease between his eyebrows. The empty, simulation-bound eyes. The slumped body. Do this one thing for me. Tobias’s dark eyes plead with me. But if I don’t go to Erudite, who will? Tobias? It’s the kind of thing he would do. I feel a stab of pain in my chest as I lie to him. “Okay.” “Promise,” he says, frowning. The pain becomes an ache, spreads everywhere--all mixed together, guilt and terror and longing. “I promise.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))