Beautiful Birthday Quotes

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If a girl says not to get her a birthday present that means get me a birthday present and make sure it's jewelry.
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
Abby touched her palm to my cheek. "You know what, Mr. Maddox?" "What, baby?" Her expression turned serious. "In another life, I could love you." I watched her for a moment, staring into her glassed over eyes. She was drunk, but just for a moment it didn't seem wrong to pretend that she meant it. "I might love you in this one.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
Don't lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don't have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue. You are a writer because you write. Keep writing and quit your bitching. Your book has a birthday. You don't know what it is yet.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
Link says if a girl says not to get her a birthday present that means get me a birthday present and make sure it’s jewelry.
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
There's a gift in your lap and it's beautifully wrapped and it's not your birthday. You feel wonderful, you feel like somebody knows you're alive, you feel fear because it could be a bomb, because you think you're that important.
Aimee Bender (The Girl in the Flammable Skirt)
You tell me I'm beautiful,and that you like my hair and you like my smile. You rest your leg against mine in darkened theaters,and then you act as if nothing happened when the lights go up.You slept in my bed for three nights straight,and then you just...blew me off for the next month.What am I supposed to do with that,St. Clair? You said on my birthday that you were afraid of being alone,but I've been here this whole time.This whole time.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Ego Tripping I was born in the congo I walked to the fertile crescent and built the sphinx I designed a pyramid so tough that a star that only glows every one hundred years falls into the center giving divine perfect light I am bad I sat on the throne drinking nectar with allah I got hot and sent an ice age to europe to cool my thirst My oldest daughter is nefertiti the tears from my birth pains created the nile I am a beautiful woman I gazed on the forest and burned out the sahara desert with a packet of goat's meat and a change of clothes I crossed it in two hours I am a gazelle so swift so swift you can't catch me For a birthday present when he was three I gave my son hannibal an elephant He gave me rome for mother's day My strength flows ever on My son noah built new/ark and I stood proudly at the helm as we sailed on a soft summer day I turned myself into myself and was jesus men intone my loving name All praises All praises I am the one who would save I sowed diamonds in my back yard My bowels deliver uranium the filings from my fingernails are semi-precious jewels On a trip north I caught a cold and blew My nose giving oil to the arab world I am so hip even my errors are correct I sailed west to reach east and had to round off the earth as I went The hair from my head thinned and gold was laid across three continents I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal I cannot be comprehended except by my permission I mean...I...can fly like a bird in the sky...
Nikki Giovanni
The circumstances surrounding your birth is not as important as the opportunity to live life.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
No, sitting up with you when you were sick, and you falling asleep in my lap, was one of my best nights. It wasn’t comfortable, I didn’t sleep worth a shit, but I brought in your nineteenth birthday with you, and you’re actually pretty sweet when you’re drunk.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
I had never wanted to kiss a girl so much in my life. “Happy birthday, Pigeon,” I said, trying very hard not to press my lips against hers.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
Shepley walked out of his bedroom pulling a T-shirt over his head. His eyebrows pushed together. “Did they just leave?” “Yeah,” I said absently, rinsing my cereal bowl and dumping Abby’s leftover oatmeal in the sink. She’d barely touched it. “Well, what the hell? Mare didn’t even say goodbye.” “You knew she was going to class. Quit being a cry baby.” Shepley pointed to his chest. “I’m the cry baby? Do you remember last night?” “Shut up.” “That’s what I thought.” He sat on the couch and slipped on his sneakers. “Did you ask Abby about her birthday?” “She didn’t say much, except that she’s not into birthdays.” “So what are we doing?” “Throwing her a party.” Shepley nodded, waiting for me to explain. “I thought we’d surprise her. Invite some of our friends over and have America take her out for a while.” Shepley put on his white ball cap, pulling it down so low over his brows I couldn’t see his eyes. “She can manage that. Anything else?” “How do you feel about a puppy?” Shepley laughed once. “It’s not my birthday, bro.” I walked around the breakfast bar and leaned my hip against the stool. “I know, but she lives in the dorms. She can’t have a puppy.” “Keep it here? Seriously? What are we going to do with a dog?” “I found a Cairn Terrier online. It’s perfect.” “A what?” “Pidge is from Kansas. It’s the same kind of dog Dorothy had in the Wizard of Oz.” Shepley’s face was blank. “The Wizard of Oz.” “What? I liked the scarecrow when I was a little kid, shut the fuck up.” “It’s going to crap every where, Travis. It’ll bark and whine and … I don’t know.” “So does America … minus the crapping.” Shepley wasn’t amused. “I’ll take it out and clean up after it. I’ll keep it in my room. You won’t even know it’s here.” “You can’t keep it from barking.” “Think about it. You gotta admit it’ll win her over.” Shepley smiled. “Is that what this is all about? You’re trying to win over Abby?” My brows pulled together. “Quit it.” His smile widened. “You can get the damn dog…” I grinned with victory. “…if you admit you have feelings for Abby.” I frowned in defeat. “C’mon, man!” “Admit it,” Shepley said, crossing his arms. What a tool. He was actually going to make me say it. I looked to the floor, and everywhere else except Shepley’s smug ass smile. I fought it for a while, but the puppy was fucking brilliant. Abby would flip out (in a good way for once), and I could keep it at the apartment. She’d want to be there every day. “I like her,” I said through my teeth. Shepley held his hand to his ear. “What? I couldn’t quite hear you.” “You’re an asshole! Did you hear that?” Shepley crossed his arms. “Say it.” “I like her, okay?” “Not good enough.” “I have feelings for her. I care about her. A lot. I can’t stand it when she’s not around. Happy?” “For now,” he said, grabbing his backpack off the floor.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
Life is defined by time, appreciate the beauty of time; A time to plant, a time to harvest. A time to cry, a time to laugh. A time to be sad, a time to be happy. A time to be born, a time to die.
Lailah Gifty Akita
Here’s to honor. Get on her. Stay on her. If you fall off. Get back on her. If you can’t cum in her. Cum on her! Happy Birthday Man!
Kimberly Lauren
For Jenn At 12 years old I started bleeding with the moon and beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts. I fought with my knuckles white as stars, and left bruises the shape of Salem. There are things we know by heart, and things we don't. At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke. I'd watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos, but I could never make dying beautiful. The sky didn't fill with colors the night I convinced myself veins are kite strings you can only cut free. I suppose I love this life, in spite of my clenched fist. I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree, and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers, and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath the first time his fingers touched the keys the same way a soldier holds his breath the first time his finger clicks the trigger. We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe. But my lungs remember the day my mother took my hand and placed it on her belly and told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister's heartbeat. And I knew life would tremble like the first tear on a prison guard's hardened cheek, like a prayer on a dying man's lips, like a vet holding a full bottle of whisky like an empty gun in a war zone… just take me just take me Sometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much, the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood. We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways, but you still have to call it a birthday. You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recess and hope she knows you can hit a baseball further than any boy in the whole third grade and I've been running for home through the windpipe of a man who sings while his hands playing washboard with a spoon on a street corner in New Orleans where every boarded up window is still painted with the words We're Coming Back like a promise to the ocean that we will always keep moving towards the music, the way Basquait slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain. Beauty, catch me on your tongue. Thunder, clap us open. The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks. Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert, then wake us washing the feet of pregnant women who climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun. I know a thousand things louder than a soldier's gun. I know the heartbeat of his mother. Don't cover your ears, Love. Don't cover your ears, Life. There is a boy writing poems in Central Park and as he writes he moves and his bones become the bars of Mandela's jail cell stretching apart, and there are men playing chess in the December cold who can't tell if the breath rising from the board is their opponents or their own, and there's a woman on the stairwell of the subway swearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn, and I'm remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrun with strip malls and traffic and vendors and one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it. Ya'll, I know this world is far from perfect. I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon. I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic. But every ocean has a shoreline and every shoreline has a tide that is constantly returning to wake the songbirds in our hands, to wake the music in our bones, to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river that has to run through the center of our hearts to find its way home.
Andrea Gibson
The guests cheered, and America started a drunken rendition of “Happy Birthday to You.” When it got to the part for her name, the entire room sang “Pigeon.” It made me kinda proud.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
The guests cheered, and America started a drunken rendition of Happy Birthday. I laughed when the part came to say my name and the entire room sang “Pigeon”.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
I sip my coffee. I look at the mountain, which is still doing its tricks, as you look at a still-beautiful face belonging to a person who was once your lover in another country years ago: with fond nostalgia, and recognition, but no real feelings save a secret astonishment that you are now strangers. Thanks. For the memories. It is ironic that the one thing that all religions recognize as separating us from our creator--our very self-consciousness--is also the one thing that divides us from our fellow creatures. It was a bitter birthday present from evolution, cutting us off at both ends.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
His lyrical whistle beckoned me to adventure and forgetting. But I didn't want to forget. Hugging my grudge, ugly and prickly, a sad sea urchin, I trudged off on my own, in the opposite direction toward the forbidding prison. As from a star I saw, coldly and soberly, the separateness of everything. I felt the wall of my skin; I am I. That stone is a stone. My beautiful fusion with the things of this world was over. The Tide ebbed, sucked back into itself. There I was, a reject, with the dried black seaweed whose hard beads I liked to pop, hollowed orange and grapefruit halves and a garbage of shells. All at once, old and lonely, I eyed these-- razor clams, fairy boats, weedy mussels, the oyster's pocked gray lace (there was never a pearl) and tiny white "ice cream cones." You could always tell where the best shells were-- at the rim of the last wave, marked by a mascara of tar. I picked up, frigidly, a stiff pink starfish. It lay at the heart of my palm, a joke dummy of my own hand. Sometimes I nursed starfish alive in jam jars of seawater and watched them grow back lost arms. On this day, this awful birthday of otherness, my rival, somebody else, I flung the starfish against a stone. Let it perish.
Sylvia Plath (Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Prose and Diary Excerpts)
The circumstances surrounding your birth are not as important as the opportunity to live life.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Travis lifted me off the ground, twirling me around. “Happy birthday, Pigeon,” he said with a soft expression. I stared into his warm, brown eyes for a moment, feeling lost inside of them. The room was frozen in time as we stared at each other, so close I could feel his breath on my skin.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
You hate birthdays yet pee your pants over presents. There is clearly something wrong with you," Garrett joked.
Tara Sivec (A Beautiful Lie (Playing with Fire, #1))
The psychotic clown I sent for his birthday will feel like a feather falling on a pillow atop a cloud. The laxative in my lunch? Child's play. If you think it was bad when I sent that fake resume for his open assistant position and the stripper came for the interview? No. We're talking Defcon Five, Vietcong-level mind fucking, do you hear me, Chloe?
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Beginning (Beautiful Bastard, #3.5))
Birthday, celebration of life. Celebrate who you are. Celebrate your uniqueness. Celebrate your achievement. Celebrate all that you are capable of becoming.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
I know when a festival comes, I'm just searching for a beautiful birthday quote for her.
Balakoteswara Panchakshari
Ky gives me three gifts for my birthday. A poem, a kiss and the hopeless, beautiful belief that things might work. When I open my eyes... I say, "I didn't give you anything for your birthday, i don't even know when it is." And he says, "Don't worry about that" and I say, "What can I do?" and he answers, "Let me believe in this, all of this, and you believe it too." And I do.
Ally Condie (Matched (Matched, #1))
Thanks for staying with me last night,” I said, stroking Toto’s soft fur. “You didn’t have to sleep on the bathroom floor.” “Last night was one of the best nights of my life.” I turned to see his expression. When I saw that he was serious, I shot him a dubious look. “Sleeping in between the toilet and the tub on a cold, hard tile floor with a vomiting idiot was one of your best nights? That’s sad, Trav.” “No, sitting up with you when you’re sick, and you falling asleep in my lap was one of my best nights. It wasn’t comfortable, I didn’t sleep worth a shit, but I brought in your nineteenth birthday with you, and you’re actually pretty sweet when you’re drunk.” “I’m sure between the heaving and purging I was very charming.” He pulled me close, patting Toto who was snuggled up to my neck. “You’re the only woman I know that still looks incredible with your head in the toilet. That’s saying something.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
My mom was never the type to write me long letters or birthday cards. We never got mani-pedis together, she never gave me a locket with our picture in it. She wouldn't tell me I looked beautiful, or soothe me when a boy broke my heart. But she was there. She kept me safe. She did her best to make me tough. She fed me the most delicious home-cooked meals. For lunch, she'd pack me rare sliced steak over white rice and steamed broccoli. She sent me to private school from kindergarten through twelfth grade. She is still there for me. She will always be there for me, as long as she's able. That's a great mom.
Ali Wong (Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life)
-You know how to call me although such a noise now would only confuse the air Neither of us can forget the steps we danced the words you stretched to call me out of dust Yes I long for you not just as a leaf for weather or vase for hands but with a narrow human longing that makes a man refuse any fields but his own I wait for you at an unexpected place in your journey like the rusted key or the feather you do not pick up.- -I WILL NEVER FIND THE FACES FOR ALL GOODBYES I'VE MADE.- For Anyone Dressed in Marble The miracle we all are waiting for is waiting till the Parthenon falls down and House of Birthdays is a house no more and fathers are unpoisoned by renown. The medals and the records of abuse can't help us on our pilgrimage to lust, but like whips certain perverts never use, compel our flesh in paralysing trust. I see an orphan, lawless and serene, standing in a corner of the sky, body something like bodies that have been, but not the scar of naming in his eye. Bred close to the ovens, he's burnt inside. Light, wind, cold, dark -- they use him like a bride. I Had It for a Moment I had it for a moment I knew why I must thank you I saw powerful governing men in black suits I saw them undressed in the arms of young mistresses the men more naked than the naked women the men crying quietly No that is not it I'm losing why I must thank you which means I'm left with pure longing How old are you Do you like your thighs I had it for a moment I had a reason for letting the picture of your mouth destroy my conversation Something on the radio the end of a Mexican song I saw the musicians getting paid they are not even surprised they knew it was only a job Now I've lost it completely A lot of people think you are beautiful How do I feel about that I have no feeling about that I had a wonderful reason for not merely courting you It was tied up with the newspapers I saw secret arrangements in high offices I saw men who loved their worldliness even though they had looked through big electric telescopes they still thought their worldliness was serious not just a hobby a taste a harmless affectation they thought the cosmos listened I was suddenly fearful one of their obscure regulations could separate us I was ready to beg for mercy Now I'm getting into humiliation I've lost why I began this I wanted to talk about your eyes I know nothing about your eyes and you've noticed how little I know I want you somewhere safe far from high offices I'll study you later So many people want to cry quietly beside you
Leonard Cohen (Flowers for Hitler)
Is anyone anywhere happy? No, not unless they are living in a dream or in an artifice that they or someone else has made. For a time I was lulled in the arms of a blind organism with breasts full of champagne and nipples made of caviar. I thought she was true, and that the true was the beautiful. But the true is the ugly mixed up everywhere, like a peck of dirt scattered through your life. The true is that there is no security, no artifice to stop the unsavory changes, the rat race, the death unwish - the winged chariot, the horns and the motors, the Devil in the clock. Love is a desperate artifice to take the place of those two original parents who turned out not to be omnisciently right gods, but a rather pedestrian pair of muddled suburbanites who, no matter how bumbling they tried, never could quite understand how or why you grew up to your 21st birthday.
Sylvia Plath
Don’t get offended at me for this,” he whispered, then his warmth disappeared and I whimpered at the loss. The hand not holding the shot glass came around my hips and squeezed me in close to let me know he heard that. “Here’s to honor. Get on her. Stay on her. If you fall off. Get back on her. If you can’t cum in her. Cum on her! Happy Birthday Man!” Jaxon shouted in his deep voice.
Kimberly Lauren (Beautiful Broken Rules (Broken, #1))
Tommy’s three years old today, that means you raised him for three years. You. And you did an amazing job because look at him,” she says, pointing to the pictures. “Look how beautiful he is. How happy he is. You did that, Josh. You gave him a life worth smiling about.” She pauses a beat. “We’re not just here to celebrate Tommy’s birthday. We’re all here to celebrate you.
Jay McLean (Kick, Push (Kick Push, #1))
Once upon a time there was a king who had three beautiful daughters. No, no, wait. Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a wee house in the woods. Once upon a time there were three soldiers, tramping together down the road after the war. Once upon a time there were three little pigs. Once upon a time there were three brothers. No, this is it. This is the variation I want. Once upon a time there were three Beautiful children, two boys and a girl. When each baby was born, the parents rejoiced, the heavens rejoiced, even the fairies rejoiced. The fairies came to christening parties and gave the babies magical gifts. Bounce, effort, and snark. Contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. Sugar, curiosity, and rain. And yet, there was a witch. There's always a witch. This which was the same age as the beautiful children, and as she and they grew, she was jealous of the girl, and jealous of the boys, too. They were blessed with all these fairy gifts, gifts the witch had been denied at her own christening. The eldest boy was strong and fast, capable and handsome. Though it's true, he was exceptionally short. The next boy was studious and open hearted. Though it's true, he was an outsider. And the girl was witty, Generous, and ethical. Though it's true, she felt powerless. The witch, she was none of these things, for her parents had angered the fairies. No gifts were ever bestowed upon her. She was lonely. Her only strength was her dark and ugly magic. She confuse being spartan with being charitable, and gave away her possessions without truly doing good with them. She confuse being sick with being brave, and suffered agonies while imagining she merited praise for it. She confused wit with intelligence, and made people laugh rather than lightening their hearts are making them think. Hey magic was all she had, and she used it to destroy what she most admired. She visited each young person in turn in their tenth birthday, but did not harm them out right. The protection of some kind fairy - the lilac fairy, perhaps - prevented her from doing so. What she did instead was cursed them. "When you are sixteen," proclaimed the witch in a rage of jealousy, "you shall prick your finger on a spindle - no, you shall strike a match - yes, you will strike a match and did in its flame." The parents of the beautiful children were frightened of the curse, and tried, as people will do, to avoid it. They moved themselves and the children far away, to a castle on a windswept Island. A castle where there were no matches. There, surely, they would be safe. There, Surely, the witch would never find them. But find them she did. And when they were fifteen, these beautiful children, just before their sixteenth birthdays and when they're nervous parents not yet expecting it, the jealous which toxic, hateful self into their lives in the shape of a blonde meeting. The maiden befriended the beautiful children. She kissed him and took them on the boat rides and brought them fudge and told them stories. Then she gave them a box of matches. The children were entranced, for nearly sixteen they have never seen fire. Go on, strike, said the witch, smiling. Fire is beautiful. Nothing bad will happen. Go on, she said, the flames will cleanse your souls. Go on, she said, for you are independent thinkers. Go on, she said. What is this life we lead, if you did not take action? And they listened. They took the matches from her and they struck them. The witch watched their beauty burn, Their bounce, Their intelligence, Their wit, Their open hearts, Their charm, Their dreams for the future. She watched it all disappear in smoke.
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)
There are many beautiful songs but I do not dedicate any of them to you because they do not describe the infinite love I feel for you. It is better that I tell you that myself, that I love you with all my strength. Have a happy birthday.
Oscar Auliq-Ice
The ecstatic beauty and soulful grace of Rumi’s poetry inspires human hearts to believe in possibilities beyond the predictably fatal.
Aberjhani (Illuminated Corners: Collected Essays and Articles Volume I.)
So what if I have more regrets Than birthdays I am old
Morgan Parker (There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce)
You won't always spoil her .or treat her like a princess.You won't tell her she's beautiful everyday.You won't make her smile every night and you won't always want her the way you do now.That fades.Those giddy little stomach flutters fade and you're then left with reality.There will be day's you will forget to tell her she's beautiful,even though she needs to hear it.There will be days you'll to say i love you.There will be days you'll forget a birthday or an anniversary.There will be a time when she will walk past you and you won;t want to ravish her, the way you do now.Those things fade, and when they do, what's left is what's truly worth fighting for Love isn't always beautiful, heck,it's not even close to being perfect half the time,feelings change, the spark dies down and what you're left with is something you either chose to fight for you don't When you know that even through those things are gone,you're still willing to fight for every breath ,then you know the love is real.
Bec Botefuhr (Racing for Freedom)
This is it, I think, this is it, right now, the present, this empty gas station, here, this western wind, this tang of coffee on the tongue, and I am petting the puppy, I am watching the mountain. And the second I verbalize this awareness in my brain, I cease to see the mountain or feel the puppy. I am opaque, so much black asphalt. But at the same second, the second I know I've lost it, I also realize that the puppy is still squirming on his back under my hand. Nothing has changed for him. He draws his legs down to stretch the skin taut so he feels every fingertip's stroke along his furred and arching side, his flank, his flung-back throat. I sip my coffee. I look at the mountain, which is still doing its tricks, as you look at a still-beautiful face belonging to a person who was once your lover in another country years ago: with fond nostalgia, and recognition, but no real feeling save a secret astonishment that you are now strangers. Thanks. For the memories. It is ironic that the one thing that all religions recognize as separating us from our creator--our very self-consciousness--is also the one thing that divides us from our fellow creatures. It was a bitter birthday present from evolution, cutting us off at both ends. I get in the car and drive home.
Annie Dillard
As much as a child's birthday is important to a parent, as much as twenty one meant to me, a year in recovery means more.
David Sheff (Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction)
The result is rather typical of modern technology, an overall dullness of appearance so depressing that it must be overlaid with a veneer of "style" to make it acceptable. And that, to anyone who is sensitive to romantic Quality, just makes it all the worse. Now it's not just depressingly dull, it's also phony. Put the two together and you get a pretty accurate basic description of modern American technology: stylized cars and stylized outboard motors and stylized typewriters and stylized clothes. Stylized refrigerators filled with stylized food in stylized kitchens in stylized homes. Plastic stylized toys for stylized children, who at Christmas and birthdays are in style with their stylish parents. You have to be awfully stylish yourself not to get sick of it once in a while. It's the style that gets you; technological ugliness syruped over with romantic phoniness in an effort to produce beauty and profit by people who, though stylish, don't know where to start because no one has ever told them there's such a thing as Quality in this world and it's real, not style. Quality isn't something you lay on top of subjects and objects like tinsel on a Christmas tree. Real Quality must be the source of the subjects and objects, the cone from which the tree must start.
Robert M. Pirsig
Birthday, Birthday, Birthday! Celebrate your day of birth, no matter the circumstances of your birth. Be thankful and joyful for the gift of life on this divine day.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
I was in the fifth grade the first time I thought about turning thirty. My best friend Darcy and I came across a perpetual calendar in the back of the phone book, where you could look up any date in the future, and by using this little grid, determine what the day of the week would be. So we located our birthdays in the following year, mine in May and hers in September. I got Wednesday, a school night. She got a Friday. A small victory, but typical. Darcy was always the lucky one. Her skin tanned more quickly, her hair feathered more easily, and she didn't need braces. Her moonwalk was superior, as were her cart-wheels and her front handsprings (I couldn't handspring at all). She had a better sticker collection. More Michael Jackson pins. Forenze sweaters in turquoise, red, and peach (my mother allowed me none- said they were too trendy and expensive). And a pair of fifty-dollar Guess jeans with zippers at the ankles (ditto). Darcy had double-pierced ears and a sibling- even if it was just a brother, it was better than being an only child as I was. But at least I was a few months older and she would never quite catch up. That's when I decided to check out my thirtieth birthday- in a year so far away that it sounded like science fiction. It fell on a Sunday, which meant that my dashing husband and I would secure a responsible baby-sitter for our two (possibly three) children on that Saturday evening, dine at a fancy French restaurant with cloth napkins, and stay out past midnight, so technically we would be celebrating on my actual birthday. I would have just won a big case- somehow proven that an innocent man didn't do it. And my husband would toast me: "To Rachel, my beautiful wife, the mother of my chidren and the finest lawyer in Indy." I shared my fantasy with Darcy as we discovered that her thirtieth birthday fell on a Monday. Bummer for her. I watched her purse her lips as she processed this information. "You know, Rachel, who cares what day of the week we turn thirty?" she said, shrugging a smooth, olive shoulder. "We'll be old by then. Birthdays don't matter when you get that old." I thought of my parents, who were in their thirties, and their lackluster approach to their own birthdays. My dad had just given my mom a toaster for her birthday because ours broke the week before. The new one toasted four slices at a time instead of just two. It wasn't much of a gift. But my mom had seemed pleased enough with her new appliance; nowhere did I detect the disappointment that I felt when my Christmas stash didn't quite meet expectations. So Darcy was probably right. Fun stuff like birthdays wouldn't matter as much by the time we reached thirty. The next time I really thought about being thirty was our senior year in high school, when Darcy and I started watching ths show Thirty Something together. It wasn't our favorite- we preferred cheerful sit-coms like Who's the Boss? and Growing Pains- but we watched it anyway. My big problem with Thirty Something was the whiny characters and their depressing issues that they seemed to bring upon themselves. I remember thinking that they should grow up, suck it up. Stop pondering the meaning of life and start making grocery lists. That was back when I thought my teenage years were dragging and my twenties would surealy last forever. Then I reached my twenties. And the early twenties did seem to last forever. When I heard acquaintances a few years older lament the end of their youth, I felt smug, not yet in the danger zone myself. I had plenty of time..
Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel, #1))
Don’t lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don’t have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue. You are a writer because you write. Keep writing and quit your bitching. Your book has a birthday. You don’t know what it is yet.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
This would be a perfect day if Ray were here with us, but he's not far away. He's doing well, and I know he'd like to enjoy yourself, Ana. To all of you, thank you for coming to share my beautiful wife's birthday, the first of many to come. Happy birthday, my love." - Christian Grey
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3))
When Sister Bear received a beautiful golden locket for her birthday, she was surprised and pleased. It was shaped like a heart, and it had her name on it. “Happy birthday, dear!” said Mama and Papa Bear, giving her a big hug.
Stan Berenstain (The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule (Berenstain Bears/Living Lights))
Celebrate your day of birthday as special day.Make a specific birthday wishes and write it down.You will be amazed about the power of pen and inner strength to accomplish the wishes. This will be a special gift for yourself on each birthday.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Silas baked me a cake for my birthday. It was awful. I think he forgot the eggs. But it was the most beautiful chocolate failure I’ve ever seen. I was so happy that I didn’t even make a gag face when I ate a slice. But, oh god, it was so bad. Best boyfriend ever.
Tarryn Fisher (Never Never: Part Two (Never Never, #2))
Every child born into the world has a divine mission to fulfill. As the child grows into adulthood, he or she must act to fulfill the divine mission.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Every day we are reborn.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
A child s a special possession from God.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
The next morning I told Mom I couldn't go to school again. She asked what was wrong. I told her, “The same thing that’s always wrong.” “You’re sick?” “I'm sad.” “About Dad?” “About everything.” She sat down on the bed next to me, even though I knew she was in a hurry. “What's everything?” I started counting on my fingers: “The meat and dairy products in our refrigerator, fistfights, car accidents, Larry–” “Who's Larry?” “The homeless guy in front of the Museum of Natural History who always says ‘I promise it’s for food’ after he asks for money.” She turned around and I zipped her dress while I kept counting. “How you don’t know who Larry is, even though you probably see him all the time, how Buckminster just sleeps and eats and goes to the bathroom and has no ‘raison d’etre’, the short ugly guy with no neck who takes tickets at the IMAX theater, how the sun is going to explode one day, how every birthday I always get at least one thing I already have, poor people who get fat because they eat junk food because it’s cheaper…” That was when I ran out of fingers, but my list was just getting started, and I wanted it to be long, because I knew she wouldn't leave while I was still going. “…domesticated animals, how I have a domesticated animal, nightmares, Microsoft Windows, old people who sit around all day because no one remembers to spend time with them and they’re embarrassed to ask people to spend time with them, secrets, dial phones, how Chinese waitresses smile even when there’s nothing funny or happy, and also how Chinese people own Mexican restaurants but Mexican people never own Chinese restaurants, mirrors, tape decks, my unpopularity in school, Grandma’s coupons, storage facilities, people who don’t know what the Internet is, bad handwriting, beautiful songs, how there won’t be humans in fifty years–” “Who said there won't be humans in fifty years?” I asked her, “Are you an optimist or a pessimist?” She looked at her watch and said, “I'm optimistic.” “Then I have some bed news for you, because humans are going to destroy each other as soon as it becomes easy enough to, which will be very soon.” “Why do beautiful songs make you sad?” “Because they aren't true.” “Never?” “Nothing is beautiful and true.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
...the charming rainbow waltz of the lovely ocean world, and the thousands of butterflies fluttering among the glittering pearls at the gentle rays of the sunset, wish you a MESMERIZINGLY BEAUTIFUL BIRTHDAY illuminated by enchanted, sparkling rainbows!
Gabriella Eva Nagy (Enchanted Rainbows)
For her next birthday she'd asked for a telescope. Her mother had been alive then, and had suggested a pony, but her father had laughed and bought her a beautiful telescope, saying: "Of course she should watch the stars! Any girl who cannot identify the constellation of Orion just isn't paying attention!" And when she started asking him complicated questions, he took her along to lectures at the Royal Society, where it turned out that a nine-year-old girl who had blond hair and knew what the precession of the equinoxes was could ask hugely bearded famous scientists anything she liked. Who'd want a pony when you could have the whole universe?
Terry Pratchett
On my last birthday I was ninety-three years old. That is not young, of course. In fact, it is older than ninety. But age is a relative matter. If you continue to work and to absorb the beauty in the world about you, you find that age does not necessarily mean getting old. At least, not in the ordinary sense. I feel many things more intensely than ever before, and for me life grows more fascinating.
Pablo Casals
The trouble is, we have up-close access to women who excel in each individual sphere. With social media and its carefully selected messaging, we see career women killing it, craft moms slaying it, chef moms nailing it, Christian leaders working it. We register their beautiful yards, homemade green chile enchiladas, themed birthday parties, eight-week Bible study series, chore charts, ab routines, “10 Tips for a Happy Marriage,” career best practices, volunteer work, and Family Fun Night ideas. We make note of their achievements, cataloging their successes and observing their talents. Then we combine the best of everything we see, every woman we admire in every genre, and conclude: I should be all of that. It is certifiably insane.
Jen Hatmaker (For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards)
Having buck teeth in junior high,” she rounded up unsteadily, “must be ideal preparation for getting old. For pretty people, aging is a dumb shock. It’s like, what’s going on? Why doesn’t anyone smile at me at checkout anymore? But it won’t be a shock for me. It’ll be, oh that. That again. Teeth.
Lionel Shriver (The Post-Birthday World)
Conception is a blessed event. Fertilization is divine intervention. The development of embryo is a miraculous encounter. The birth of a child is supernatural spiritual event.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Children are the greatest blessing from God.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Isn’t it wonderful to give birth to your own kind?
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Birthday is a glorious day.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
The day of birth is day of life.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Life begins at the day of birth. Birthday is a great day of honour.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
The birth of a new born baby is a great joy.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Could anyone fully understand the wonders of how a baby develops in the womb of a woman? This is the mystery about birth. Birth is by divine power of God.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
The sacred gift of parenthood is inscribe in the universal words ‘Papa’ and ‘Mama’.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
You're beautiful," I whisper as I carefully roll her onto her back so I'm hovering above her. "I feel like it's my birthday too and you're my present.
Monica Murphy (His Reverie (Reverie, #1))
I've never done this before," she confessed. He stopped and rounded them both into dance position. "You're so beautiful tonight, no one will notice if you misstep. And by the way,happy birthday.
Charlotte McPherren (Song of the Willow)
The small Japanese immortal sat cross-legged, his two swords resting flat on the ground before him. He folded his hands in his lap, closed his eyes and breathing through his nose, forcing the chill night air deep into his chest. He held it for a count of five, then shaped his lips into an O and blew it out again, puncturing a tiny hole in the swirling fog before his face. Even though he would never admit it to anyone, Niten loved this moment. He had no affection for what was to come, but this brief time, when all preparations for battle were made and there was nothing left to do but wait, when the world felt still, as if it was holding its breath, was special. This moment, when he was facing death, was when he felt completely, fully alive. He’d still been called Miyamoto Musashi and had been a teenager when he’d first discovered the genuine beauty of the quiet moment before a fight. Every breath suddenly tasted like the finest food, every sound was distinct and divine, and even on the foulest battlefields, his eyes would be drawn to something simple and elegant: a flower, the shape of a branch, the curl of a cloud. A hundred years ago, Aoife had given him a book as a birthday present. He hadn’t had the heart to tell her that she’d missed his birthday by a month, but he had treasured the book, the first edition of The Professor by Charlotte Bronte. It included a line he had never forgotten: In the midst of life we are in death. Years later, he’d heard Ghandi take the same words and shift them around to create something that resonated deeply within him: In the midst of death life persists.
Michael Scott (The Enchantress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #6))
Life is wonderful and strange...and it’s also absolutely mundane and tiresome. It’s hilarious and it’s deadening. It’s a big, screwed-up morass of beauty and change and fear and all our lives we oscillate between awe and tedium. I think stories are the place to explore that inherent weirdness; that movement from the fantastic to the prosaic that is life.... What interests me—and interests me totally—is how we as living human beings can balance the brief, warm, intensely complicated fingersnap of our lives against the colossal, indifferent, and desolate scales of the universe. Earth is four-and-a-half billion years old. Rocks in your backyard are moving if you could only stand still enough to watch. You get hernias because, eons ago, you used to be a fish. So how in the world are we supposed to measure our lives—which involve things like opening birthday cards, stepping on our kids’ LEGOs, and buying toilet paper at Safeway—against the absolutely incomprehensible vastness of the universe? How? We stare into the fire. We turn to friends, bartenders, lovers, priests, drug-dealers, painters, writers. Isn’t that why we seek each other out, why people go to churches and temples, why we read books? So that we can find out if life occasionally sets other people trembling, too?
Anthony Doerr
Languor is underrated. It is not possible to be immobile in modern society except by dint of constant effort. Holding on tightly to the riverbank and fighting the current is not languor. Nobody likes that. But bone-lazy idleness hours and hours spent staring at the sky and remembering books and birthdays and great kisses: this is a pure pleasure that eludes the productive in all their confident superiority. Languor s sunny and hot. It is at home near the sea and is best appreciated in environments of beauty and limited promise. It contains within it the idea of boredom but is also colored by idle fancy and the understanding that some things proceed best with limited attention.
Kevin Patterson (The Water in Between: A Journey at Sea)
Chato visualised strangling her thin neck with the same underwear; tying it around her collar like a luscious red bow on a birthday present. Pesto gasped for air, her reptile like tongue sticking out, her face turning to a beautiful shade of onion pink as she choked on Chato’s kachcha. What a lovely contrast of that delicate pink against that gaudy red and green underwear. Poetry in motion, Chato thought, smiling. What an exquisite and intense way to die.
Nishta Kochar (Cinnamon Bizarre : Collection of Short Stories)
For him time stood still and then every few years accelerated in a rush, like the quick re-wind of a film, but for Nicole the years slipped away by clock and calendar and birthday, with the added poignance of her perishable beauty.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tender Is the Night)
These days, I haven't been sleepin' Stayin' up playin' back myself leavin' When your birthday passed and I didn't call Then I think about summer, all the beautiful times I watched you laughin' from the passenger's side And realized I loved you in the fall And then the cold came, the dark days When fear crept into my mind You gave me all your love and all I gave you was goodbye So this is me swallowin' my pride Standin' in front of you sayin' I'm sorry for that night And I go back to December all the time It turns out freedom ain't nothin' but missin' you Wishin' I'd realized what I had when you were mine I'd go back to December, turn around and change my own mind I go back to December all the time
Hearts Can Break and Never Make a Sound
But like all beautiful faces Emily's made you believe that its possessor was a better person than she was. It allowed her to pass for stoical when she was petrified, and mysterious and aloof when she was so filled with self-doubt that she bought presents for other people when it was her birthday, framed most of her conversation in terms of apology and regret, and for all her talent could no longer manage to string twenty-five paragraphs fo prose together to make a short story.
Michael Chabon (Wonder Boys)
I’m not sure, though, what “for later” means anymore. Something changed in the world. Not too long ago, it changed, and we know it. We don’t know how to explain it yet, but I think we all can feel it, somewhere deep in our gut or in our brain circuits. We feel time differently. No one has quite been able to capture what is happening or say why. Perhaps it’s just that we sense an absence of future, because the present has become too overwhelming, so the future has become unimaginable. And without future, time feels like only an accumulation. An accumulation of months, days, natural disasters, television series, terrorist attacks, divorces, mass migrations, birthdays, photographs, sunrises. We haven’t understood the exact way we are now experiencing time. And maybe the boy’s frustration at not knowing what to take a picture of, or how to frame and focus the things he sees as we all sit inside the car, driving across this strange, beautiful, dark country, is simply a sign of how our ways of documenting the world have fallen short. Perhaps if we found a new way to document it, we might begin to understand this new way we experience space and time. Novels and movies don’t quite capture it; journalism doesn’t; photography, dance, painting, and theater don’t; molecular biology and quantum physics certainly don’t either. We haven’t understood how space and time exist now, how we really experience them. And until we find a way to document them, we will not understand them.
Valeria Luiselli (Lost Children Archive)
On the morning of what should have been Amelia Ashley's birthday, the river valley that had once housed High Bridge changed for Joshua Mayhew. For the first time in many years, it seemed beautiful to him. For the first time in many years, it was beautiful.
Tara Hudson (Elegy (Hereafter #3))
You're beautiful, and I bet you..." He thought for a long moment and then he said, "I bet you another kiss on your eighteenth birthday, you are going to be beating guys off with a stick." "Another kiss?" I laughed and heard it echo back at me through the woods. "I haven't been kissed yet. How can there be-" Then it happened. I felt his tongue against my lips, and I panicked. What do I do? What do I do? I pulled away and exclaimed, "I don't know how!" He chuckled and brought my head back to his. Then he showed me how.
J.B. Hartnett (The Morbid and Sultry Tales of Genevieve Clare)
October 22, 2002 Yesterday, Alma, when at last we could meet to celebrate our birthdays, I could see you were in a bad mood. You said that all of a sudden, without us realizing it, we have turned seventy. You are afraid our bodies will fail us, and of what you call the ugliness of age, even though you are more beautiful now than you were at twenty-three. We’re not old because we are seventy. We start to grow old as soon as we are born, we change every day, life is a continuous state of flux. We evolve. The only difference is that now we are a little closer to death. What’s so bad about that? Love and friendship do not age. Ichi
Isabel Allende (The Japanese Lover)
SELF-HELP FOR FELLOW REFUGEES If your name suggests a country where bells might have been used for entertainment, or to announce the entrances and exits of the seasons and the birthdays of gods and demons, it's probably best to dress in plain clothes when you arrive in the United States. And try not to talk too loud. If you happen to have watched armed men beat and drag your father out the front door of your house and into the back of an idling truck, before your mother jerked you from the threshold and buried your face in her skirt folds, try not to judge your mother too harshly. Don't ask her what she thought she was doing, turning a child's eyes away from history and toward that place all human aching starts. And if you meet someone in your adopted country and think you see in the other's face an open sky, some promise of a new beginning, it probably means you're standing too far. Or if you think you read in the other, as in a book whose first and last pages are missing, the story of your own birthplace, a country twice erased, once by fire, once by forgetfulness, it probably means you're standing too close. In any case, try not to let another carry the burden of your own nostalgia or hope. And if you're one of those whose left side of the face doesn't match the right, it might be a clue looking the other way was a habit your predecessors found useful for survival. Don't lament not being beautiful. Get used to seeing while not seeing. Get busy remembering while forgetting. Dying to live while not wanting to go on. Very likely, your ancestors decorated their bells of every shape and size with elaborate calendars and diagrams of distant star systems, but with no maps for scattered descendants. And I bet you can't say what language your father spoke when he shouted to your mother from the back of the truck, "Let the boy see!" Maybe it wasn't the language you used at home. Maybe it was a forbidden language. Or maybe there was too much screaming and weeping and the noise of guns in the streets. It doesn't matter. What matters is this: The kingdom of heaven is good. But heaven on earth is better. Thinking is good. But living is better. Alone in your favorite chair with a book you enjoy is fine. But spooning is even better.
Li-Young Lee (Behind My Eyes [With CD])
As he sat on the side of the bed, he felt the room, the house and the night as empty. In the next room Nicole muttered something in her sleep. For him time stood still and then every few years accelerated in a rush, like the quick re-wind of a film, but for Nicole the years slipped away by clock and calendar and birthday, with the added poignance of her perishable beauty.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tender Is the Night)
A few days earlier, in front of his guests at his own birthday celebration, this man had started smashing his own crockery and tearing his and his wife's clothes, because he was not offered enough vodka; then he went on to break every stick of furniture in his house and smash all the windows, and he did it all for the "beauty" of the gesture, as Mr. Karamazov had just now.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
As a first-generation Ethiopian immigrant, Sheba had lived in Charleston since she turned five years of age. She was Ethiopian by birth, but American by preference. She had worked hard, studied and sacrificed plenty to get where she was today, no easy feat for someone who had just celebrated her twenty-sixth birthday. According to her friends, Sheba was a beauty, though when she looked in the mirror, she saw inevitable flaws; her cheekbones were too pronounced, her mouth a little too wide, her nose with that perturbing slant to it. Still, she accepted compliments gratefully, especially from her roommate, Janelle. Janelle was the true beauty, Sheba thought, with dark ebony skin so smooth that she could be a walking ad for Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate.
Joanna Hynes (My Song Of Songs: Solomon's Touch (Interracial Romance))
You’re wrong Lucas,” Slade says, his voice low. “You won't always spoil her, or treat her like a princess. You won't tell her she's beautiful every day. You won't make her smile every night and you won't always want her the way you do now. That fades. Those giddy little stomach flutters fade and you're then left with reality. There will be days you will forget to tell her she's beautiful, even though she needs to hear it. There will be days you'll forget to say I love you. There will be days when you forget a birthday or an anniversary. There will be a time when she will walk past you, and you won't want to ravish her, the way you do now. Those “things fade, and when they do, what's left is what's truly worth fighting for. Love isn't always beautiful, heck, it's not even close to being perfect half the time. Feelings change, the spark dies down and what you're left with is something you either chose to fight for or you don't. When you know that even though those things are gone, you're still willing to fight for her every breath, then you know the love is real.” Excerpt From: Botefuhr, Bec. “Racing For Freedom.” iBooks. This material may be protected by copyright.
Bec Botefuhr (Racing for Freedom)
Monsoon Love is a love story with a few comic twists. The idea for this story came to me when I went into the local town of Pokhara with a friend to buy his son a birthday present. We had just arrived at the shops when a heavy down pour began, and as we had arrived on his motorbike and didn’t have raincoats or umbrellas so we had to wait for the rain to stop. We were standing under a awning watching the street while we waited, and I noticed this very beautiful young woman walk past me dressed in a t-shirt and jeans with the cuffs rolled half up her legs, but the way she held her umbrella made it impossible to see her face, though with the nice body she had her face must have been just as lovely. Then I though, imagine some guy stuck working in an office, and seeing a view like that every day of the same woman, and falling in love with her despite not seeing her face.
Andrew James Pritchard
Mum bought me �kite for my sixth birthday. It was beautiful. Snowy white with � long tail of ribbons. She held the string, and I� ran and ran as fast as I �could, but it kept dropping to� clumsy heap on the ground. When� I got tired Mum took over, holding it high above her head and running and running until, all at once, �sudden wonderful gust of wind took the kite soaring high, high into the sky, so� I had to squint to see it. “Hold on, Rosie!” Mum had called. “Hold tight!” And �I did, gripping the string with all my might as the kite danced high up above, gleaming bright white against the blue sky, its ribbons sparkling in the sunlight as it flew, soaring and dipping like �bird, forever pulling at the string in my hand —higher, higher — tugging to get free. Then� I let go.The string snapped from my grip and was gone. Mum raced after it,but it was too fast,soaring up,up and away, higher than the trees. She scooped me up in �hug and told me it was all right, she'd buy me another one. But� I didn't want another one. That was my kite,and it was free. I’d let it go.It’d wanted so much to be free that I just couldn't hold on, couldn’t hold it down.� I smiled as I� watched it whirl away — above the trees, above the birds, above the clouds, sparkling into the heavens, dancing free. It was the most beautiful thing I �have ever seen.
Katie Dale (Someone Else's Life)
Martha spoke again. “In case you’ve forgotten, here are the rules, Beast, laid out by all the sisters: You must love her and that love must be returned with true love’s kiss, before your twenty first birthday. She may use the mirror as you do, to see into the world beyond your kingdom, but she must never know the details of the curse or how it’s to be broken. You will notice she sees the castle and its enchantments differently than yourself. The most terrifying aspects of the curse are reserved for you.
Serena Valentino (The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince)
It’s not uncommon for distinguished French actresses to make their first films while still in their teens. Isabelle Adjani, Isabelle Carré, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Marie Gillain, Sophie Marceau, and Ludivine Sagnier—you’ll hear more about them later—all made an impression before their twentieth birthday. That teenage actresses can regularly, naturally and seamlessly move into adult roles is illustrative of French cinema’s way of seeing a woman’s life as all of a piece, as one smooth flow from childhood to youth to maturity to old age.
Mick LaSalle (The Beauty of the Real: What Hollywood Can Learn from Contemporary French Actresses)
Fred had first come to Fire Island Pines when he was thirty. He wasn’t ready for such beauty, such potential, such unlimited choice. The place scared him half to death. It was a warm and sunny weekend and there were one thousand bathing-suited handsomenesses on The Botel deck at Tea Dance. They all seemed to know each other and to touch and greet and smile at each other. And there he was, alone. Though he had acquired his 150-pound body for the first time (of his so-far three: the first for himself, the second for Feffer, number three, with muscles, for Dinky), he still felt like Mrs. Shelley’s monster, pale, and with a touch of leprosy thrown in. Not only had he no one to talk to, not only did the overwhelmingness of being confronted by so much Grade A male flesh, most of which seemed superior to his, which would make it difficult to talk to, even if he could utter, which he could not, floor him, but everyone else seemed so secure, not only with their bodies (all thin and no doubt well-defined since birth), tans, personalities, their smiles and chat, but also with that ability to use their eyes, much like early prospectors must have looked for gold, darting them hither and yon, seeking out the sparkling flecks, separating the valued from the less so, meaning, he automatically assumed, him. Their glances his way seemed like disposable bottles, no deposit, no return. He felt like Mr. Not Wanted On The Voyage, even though it was, so be it, his birthday. Many years would pass before he would discover that everybody else felt exactly the same, but came out every weekend so to feel, thus over the years developing more flexible feelings in so feeling.
Larry Kramer (Faggots)
What is this, behind this veil, is it ugly, is it beautiful? It is shimmering, has it breasts, has it edges? I am sure it is unique, I am sure it is what I want. When I am quiet at my cooking I feel it looking, I feel it thinking 'Is this the one I am too appear for, Is this the elect one, the one with black eye-pits and a scar? Measuring the flour, cutting off the surplus, Adhering to rules, to rules, to rules. Is this the one for the annunciation? My god, what a laugh!' But it shimmers, it does not stop, and I think it wants me. I would not mind if it were bones, or a pearl button. I do not want much of a present, anyway, this year. After all I am alive only by accident. I would have killed myself gladly that time any possible way. Now there are these veils, shimmering like curtains, The diaphanous satins of a January window White as babies' bedding and glittering with dead breath. O ivory! It must be a tusk there, a ghost column. Can you not see I do not mind what it is. Can you not give it to me? Do not be ashamed--I do not mind if it is small. Do not be mean, I am ready for enormity. Let us sit down to it, one on either side, admiring the gleam, The glaze, the mirrory variety of it. Let us eat our last supper at it, like a hospital plate. I know why you will not give it to me, You are terrified The world will go up in a shriek, and your head with it, Bossed, brazen, an antique shield, A marvel to your great-grandchildren. Do not be afraid, it is not so. I will only take it and go aside quietly. You will not even hear me opening it, no paper crackle, No falling ribbons, no scream at the end. I do not think you credit me with this discretion. If you only knew how the veils were killing my days. To you they are only transparencies, clear air. But my god, the clouds are like cotton. Armies of them. They are carbon monoxide. Sweetly, sweetly I breathe in, Filling my veins with invisibles, with the million Probable motes that tick the years off my life. You are silver-suited for the occasion. O adding machine----- Is it impossible for you to let something go and have it go whole? Must you stamp each piece purple, Must you kill what you can? There is one thing I want today, and only you can give it to me. It stands at my window, big as the sky. It breathes from my sheets, the cold dead center Where split lives congeal and stiffen to history. Let it not come by the mail, finger by finger. Let it not come by word of mouth, I should be sixty By the time the whole of it was delivered, and to numb to use it. Only let down the veil, the veil, the veil. If it were death I would admire the deep gravity of it, its timeless eyes. I would know you were serious. There would be a nobility then, there would be a birthday. And the knife not carve, but enter Pure and clean as the cry of a baby, And the universe slide from my side.
Sylvia Plath
To protect them from Hitler’s bombers, the curators secreted Wallace’s and Darwin’s bird skins in unmarked lorries to manors and mansions throughout the English countryside. Among the safe houses was a private museum in the tiny town of Tring, built by one of the richest men in history as a twenty-first-birthday present for his son. Lionel Walter Rothschild would grow up to earn many distinctions: the Right Honorable Lord, Baron de Rothschild, member of Parliament, adulterer, blackmail victim, and one of the most tragically obsessive bird collectors ever to roam the earth.
Kirk Wallace Johnson (The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century)
A day did not go by without my thinking of that little girl and how beautiful she looked when they took her away from me, all wrapped up in that pink blanket. I had grieved for her long after I had grieved for her father, and yet they were so undeniably connected to one another, I’d be forever connected to him. That is why I had such a difficult time for so long and why I couldn’t trust again, open my heart, for fear of losing all the people that I cared about. That was why a memory could take me back to him at any given moment—on her birthday, when I’d hear a song on the radio, when I’d breathe.
Rochelle B. Weinstein (What We Leave Behind)
coconut sunblock, a five-year-old showing you the spot where his front tooth used to be, a home-cooked meal, when your love kisses that exact spot on your neck, a grandmother’s handwriting, a job well done, the kindness of strangers, the human spirit, an Appaloosa horse, the ritual of your faith, laughing until you pee your pants a little, holiday dessert tables, first birthday parties, a perfect cup of coffee with a view. What’s good will always be good, and one of the most awful, beautiful things about the hard seasons is that unless we experience hardship, we’ll never truly appreciate and remember the good that was always good.
Rachel Hollis (Didn't See That Coming: Putting Life Back Together When Your World Falls Apart)
Cecily let her cheek fall to Leta’s shoulder and hugged her back. It felt so nice to be loved by someone in the world. Since her mother’s death, she’d had no one of her own. It was a lonely life, despite the excitement and adventure her work held for her. She wasn’t openly affectionate at all, except with Leta. “For God’s sake, next you’ll be rocking her to sleep at night!” came a deep, disgusted voice at Cecily’s back, and Cecily stiffened because she recognized it immediately. “She’s my baby girl,” Leta told her tall, handsome son with a grin. “Shut up.” Cecily turned a little awkwardly. She hadn’t expected this. Tate Winthrop towered over both of them. His jet-black hair was loose as he never wore it in the city, falling thick and straight almost to his waist. He was wearing a breastplate with buckskin leggings and high-topped mocassins. There were two feathers straight up in his hair with notches that had meaning among his people, marks of bravery. Cecily tried not to stare at him. He was the most beautiful man she’d ever known. Since her seventeenth birthday, Tate had been her world. Fortunately he didn’t realize that her mad flirting hid a true emotion. In fact, he treated her exactly as he had when she came to him for comfort after her mother had died suddenly; as he had when she came to him again with bruises all over her thin, young body from her drunken stepfather’s violent attack. Although she dated, she’d never had a serious boyfriend. She had secret terrors of intimacy that had never really gone away, except when she thought of Tate that way. She loved him… “Why aren’t you dressed properly?” Tate asked, scowling at her skirt and blouse. “I bought you buckskins for your birthday, didn’t I?” “Three years ago,” she said without meeting his probing eyes. She didn’t like remembering that he’d forgotten her birthday this year. “I gained weight since then.” “Oh. Well, find something you like here…” She held up a hand. “I don’t want you to buy me anything else,” she said flatly, and didn’t back down from the sudden menace in his dark eyes. “I’m not dressing up like a Lakota woman. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m blond. I don’t want to be mistaken for some sort of overstimulated Native American groupie buying up artificial artifacts and enthusing over citified Native American flute music, trying to act like a member of the tribe.” “You belong to it,” he returned. “We adopted you years ago.” “So you did,” she said. That was how he thought of her-a sister. That wasn’t the way she wanted him to think of her. She smiled faintly. “But I won’t pass for a Lakota, whatever I wear.” “You could take your hair down,” he continued thoughtfully. She shook her head. She only let her hair loose at night, when she went to bed. Perhaps she kept it tightly coiled for pure spite, because he loved long hair and she knew it. “How old are you?” he asked, trying to remember. “Twenty, isn’t it?” “I was, give years ago,” she said, exasperated. “You used to work for the CIA. I seem to remember that you went to college, too, and got a law degree. Didn’t they teach you how to count?” He looked surprised. Where had the years gone? She hadn’t aged, not visibly.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
You are a thoughtless person with no consideration for the feelings of others. Your best quality is someday you’re gonna die. If you were a planet in the solar system among millions of beautiful heavenly bodies, you’d still choose to revolve around yourself. If every day was Christmas, you’d give yourself 366 gifts, two on your birthday. If you thought about looking into your soul to become a better person, you’d change your mind because there’s no mirror attached and you couldn’t admire your face or flexed muscles. If rulers could measure a man’s character, you’d be a centimeter. And if you ever again decide to call me a name, next time try Liz.
K.L. Brady (Worst Impressions)
Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys Entry One Observation #1: When they’re beautiful, they know they’re beautiful. Like the second-to-oldest one, Evan. He’s a senior. He is perfection personified. And he knows it. You can tell because he just sort of smiles knowingly when you gape at him. Not that I’ve been gaping at him. Not at all. Anyway, too soon yet to tell if it negatively affects his behavior. (Like Mike Blukowsi and his Astrodome-sized ego problem.) Observation #2: They like skin. Especially skin they think they’re not necessarily supposed to be seeing. Like the space between your belly tee and your waistband. Observation #3: They have no problem bringing up events that would mortify me into shamed silence if the roles were reversed. Like Evan totally brought up the wiffleball bat incident, when if that had happened to me, I’d be wishing on every one of my birthday cakes for everyone to forget it. Observation #4: They gossip. Can you believe it? I overheard Finn and Doug in the backyard talking about some girl named Dawn who blew off some guy named Simon for some other guy named Rick for like TWENTY MINUTES! They sounded like those old mole-hair ladies at Sal’s Milkshakes. ‘Member the ones who lectured us for a whole hour that day about how young women shouldn’t wear shorts? Wait, okay, I got sidetracked. Observation #5: The older ones are so cute with the younger ones. They were playing ultimate Frisbee when I first got here and Evan totally let Caleb and Ian tackle him. It was soooooo cute. **sigh.** Observation #6: They’re cliquey. I mean, eye-rolling, secret-handshake, don’t-talk-to-us-unless-you’ve-got-an-X-and-a-Y cliquey. Very schooled in the art of the freeze-out. Observation #7: They have no sense of personal space. I need a lock on my door. STAT. Observation #8: Boys are icky. Do not even get me started on the state of the bathroom. I’m thinking of calling in a haz-mat team. Seriously. Observation #9: They have really freaky things going on down there. Yeah, I don’t think I’m ready to elaborate on that one yet. Observation #10: They know how to make enemies. Big time.
Kate Brian (Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys)
It was a garden, a walled garden. Overgrown but with beautiful bones visible still. Someone had cared for this garden once. The remains of two paths snaked back and forth, intertwined like the lacing on an Irish dancing shoe. Fruit trees had been espaliered around the sides, and wires zigzagged from the top of one wall to the top of another. Hungry, wisteria branches had woven themselves around to form a sort of canopy. Against the southern wall, an ancient and knobbled tree was growing. Cassandra went closer. It was the apple tree, she realized, the one whose bough had reached over the wall. She lifted her hand to touch one of the golden fruit. The tree was about sixteen feet high and shaped like the Japanese bonsai plant Nell had given Cassandra for her twelfth birthday.
Kate Morton (The Forgotten Garden)
hospice. If she is going to take it, she must move today. The doctors still don’t understand what is wrong with her, only that her self and her strength are ebbing away, and there seems no stopping it. Wilson’s afternoon will be spent getting his wife, with whom he’s traveled the world, ready for her final journey. He is making plans himself to move from their large, beautiful home, with its huge kitchen with tiles around the stove and many bedrooms for visiting guests and grandchildren and Debbie’s home office. Preparing to move to a smaller place, Wilson is giving away treasures—he has given Christa and Marion and me coral and shells and books, and donated large specimens to the aquarium. And yet, in the face of looming tragedy, Wilson has chosen to be with us this morning, celebrating the birthdays of these two young,
Sy Montgomery (The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness)
To my children three. Life is like a movie, it starts and it ends.If you are reading this probably i'm gone. but my presence is always with you. All wanted to say how much I loved you. and I wanted to share my life journey with all of you. When I Conceived each of you, I can feel the butterflies in my tummy and I already fail in love with you. When each of you were born, tears dropped of my eye, I know it that was a happy tears. When you said dada, I was excited and happy to hear you saying it over and over. I see you growing like a flower and flying like a bird in front of my eye, in front of the pales a colorful garden who always stay blooming. Slowly you gew wing and all you flew away from the nest. All i'm left with good memories an album full of beautiful of pictures.from you baby showers, 1st word, 1st birthdays,1st trip to Disney or Universal Studios, each of you got to meet your favored TV characters. Your smiley faces was telling me I was doing ok as a parent, although I been told I'm the worst mom. But I know you did not mean that, you meant to say I love you mom. and I love you to my children, It was a nice journey. If I have to go back on time to change the way I raised you, I won't change a thing, beside some of your friends, but you were old enough and free to make your own choices. You have to make your mistakes and i'm pretty sure you learned from them. But at the end I never worry about you, because I'm pretty sure I give 200% as a parent. I know I taught, I armed and I shield you with everything including knowledge you need to survive in world. Remember don't matter how old are you, you always will be my babies. and I always be your Angel ! "Toko - Lock " te ka nana sho. Love Mom & Grandma!
Zybeta "Beta" Metani' Marashi
She went around reading everything- the directions on the grits bag, Tate's notes, and the stories from her fairy-tale books she had pretended to read for years. Then one night she made a little oh sound, and took the old Bible from the shelf. Sitting at the table, she turned the thin pages carefully to the one with the family names. She found her own at the very bottom: There it was, her birthday: Miss Catherine Danielle Clark, October 10, 1945. Then, going back up the list, she read the real names of her brothers and sisters: Master Jeremy Andrew Clark, January 2, 1939. "Jeremy," she said out loud. "Jodie, I sure never thought a' you as Master Jeremy." Miss Amanda Margaret Clark, May 17, 1937. Kya touched the name with her fingers. Repeated it several times. She read on. Master Napier Murphy Clark, April 14, 1936. Kya spoke softly, "Murph, ya name was Napier." At the top, the oldest, Miss Mary Helen Clark, September 19, 1934. She rubbed her fingers over the names again, which brought faces before her eyes. They blurred, but she could see them all squeezed around the table eating stew, passing cornbread, even laughing some. She was ashamed that she had forgotten their names, but now that she'd found them, she would never let them go again. Above the list of children she read: Mister Jackson Henry Clark married Miss Julienne Maria Jacques, June 12, 1933. Not until that moment had she known her parents' proper names. She sat there for a few minutes with the Bible open on the table. Her family before her. Time ensures children never know their parents young. Kya would never see the handsome Jake swagger into an Asheville soda fountain in early 1930, where he spotted Maria Jacques, a beauty with black curls and red lips, visiting from New Orleans.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
...the task was not to choose but to accept, there being no obligation to choose between what was appropriate and what was inappropriate, only to accept that we are not obliged to do anything except to comprehend that the appropriateness of the one great universal process of thinking is not predicated on it being correct, for there was nothing to compare it with, nothing but its own beauty, and it was its beauty that gave us confidence in its truth—and this, said Korin, was what struck him as he walked those hundred furiously-thinking paces on the evening of his birthday: that is to say he understood the infinite significance of faith and was given a new insight into what the ancients had long known, that it was faith in its existence that had both created and maintained the world; the corollary of which was that it was the loss of his own faith that was now erasing it, the result of which realization being, he said, that he experienced a sudden, utterly numbing, quite awful feeling of abundance...
László Krasznahorkai
TO MY BELOVED, Its neither a piece of paper nor a letter, rather it's my small heart which I'm gifting it to you darling.It seems time stood still without ur presence around me. My days and nights have gone worthless. All my heart could do is to recall the memories of time which we have spend together. My heart gets rejoiced whenever your beautiful face comes before my eyes. Your mesmerizing eyes drive me to another world. Your flowing hair looks tantalizing and your rosy lips seems to be meant only for saying lovely words. While having a cup of coffee yesterday, numerous moments striked my heart. Our first meeting, when you were looking like a fairy in white salwar-suit. Still fresh in my mind, your pretty smile and bowing your head down to laugh with your hand on your lips. I confess that your every action was stealing my heart and I couldn't withdraw myself from lookig you. The gift you presented me on my birthday gives me a sigh of relief that you are always there with me. Sweetheart, In the classroom, I cracked useless jokes and PJ's just to see your charming smile. Kept gazing your lips, just to heat some golden words. You had stolen my heart. Dedicated '' I don't know when and how you arrived in my life, Don't know when my heart star beating for you, day n night.... My eyes kept staring the window pane, Wishing one day u'll come in my lane.... Darling you're the only one whom I admire, It's you whom my heart desperately desires... Being with you is my only need, You are now the medicine of my heartbeat... I Craved your name on my heart, The day when I decided not to loose you ever, And I promise you sweetheart that, I love you & i'll love you for ever, ever n ever...... It's true my baby that, i love you like anything. Miss you from very morning 2 the night. MY senses are active to feel you, to hear you, to see you, to taste every sorrow and happiness of your life. Jaana, get embedded in me, in my soul so that i can live with you, for you........ Dying to have your reply..... Truly Your's PK
Prabhat Kumar
Anna: Right. I can only imagine. Etienne: And what, exactly, ist hat supposed to mean? Anna: Forget it. Etienne: No. Let’s not forget it. I’m sick and tired of forgetting it, Anna. Anna: You’re tired of forgetting it? I’ve had to do nothing BUT forget it. Do you think it’s easy sitting in my room every night, thinking about you and Ellie? Do you think any of this has been easy for me? Etienne: I’m sorry. Anna: You tell me I’m beautiful, and that you like my hair and you like my smile. You rest your leg against mine in darkened theatres, and then you acta s if nothing happened when the lights go up. You slept in my bed for three nights straight, and then you jsut … blew me off for the next month. What am I supposed to do with that, St. Clair? You said on my birthday that you were afraid of being alone, but I’ve been here this whole time. This whole time. Etienne: Anna. I am so sorry that I’ve hur you. I’ve made terrible decisions. And I realize it’s possible that I don’t deserve your forgiveness, because it’s taken me this long to get here. But I don’t understand why you’re not giving me the chance. You didn’t even let me explain myself lad weekend. You just tore into me, expected the worst of me. But the only truth I know is what i feel when we’re together. I thought you trusted those feelings, too. I thought you trusted me, I thought you knew me … Anna: But that’s just it! I don’t know you. I tell you everything, St. Clair. About my dad, about Bridgette and Toph, about Matt and Cherrie. I told you about being a virgin. And what have you told me? Nothing! I know nothing about you. Not about your father, not about Ellie … Etienne: You know me better than anyone. Andi f you ever bothered to pay attention, you’d understand that things with my father are beyond shite right now. And I can’t believe you think so poorly of me that you’d assume I’d wait the entire year to kiss you, and then the moment it happened, I’d … I’d be done with you. OF COURSE I was with Ellie that night. I WAS BLODDY BREAKING UP WITH HER! You say that I’m afraid of being alone, and it’s true. I am And I’m not proud o fit. But you need to take a good look at yourself, Anna, because I am not the only one in this room who suffers this problem.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
With Tommy by his side but Anthony Jr. nowhere to be seen, Anthony cranks out an old 8mm projector, and soon choppy black- and-white images appear on the cream wall capturing a few snapshots from the canyon of their life—that tell nothing, and yet somehow everything. They watch old movies, from 1963, 1952, 1948, 1947—the older, the more raucous the children and parents becoming. This year, because Ingrid isn’t here, Anthony shows them something new. It’s from 1963. A birthday party, this one with happy sound, cake, unlit candles. Anthony is turning twenty. Tatiana is very pregnant with Janie. (“Mommy, look, that’s you in Grammy’s belly!” exclaims Vicky.) Harry toddling around, pursued loudly and relentlessly by Pasha—oh, how in 1999 six children love to see their fathers wild like them, how Mary and Amy love to see their precious husbands small. The delight in the den is abundant. Anthony sits on the patio, bare chested, in swimshorts, one leg draped over the other, playing his guitar, “playing Happy Birthday to myself,” he says now, except it’s not “Happy Birthday.” The joy dims slightly at the sight of their brother, their father so beautiful and whole he hurts their united hearts—and suddenly into the frame, in a mini-dress, walks a tall dark striking woman with endless legs and comes to stand close to Anthony. The camera remains on him because Anthony is singing, while she flicks on her lighter and ignites the candles on his cake; one by one she lights them as he strums his guitar and sings the number one hit of the day, falling into a burning “Ring of Fire ... ” The woman doesn’t look at Anthony, he doesn’t look at her, but in the frame you can see her bare thigh flush against the sole of his bare foot the whole time she lights his twenty candles plus one to grow on. And it burns, burns, burns . . . And when she is done, the camera—which never lies—catches just one microsecond of an exchanged glance before she walks away, just one gram of neutral matter exploding into an equivalent of 20,000 pounds of TNT. The reel ends. Next. The budding novelist Rebecca says, “Dad, who was that? Was that Grammy’s friend Vikki?” “Yes,” says Anthony. “That was Grammy’s friend Vikki.” Tak zhivya, bez radosti/bez muki/pomniu ya ushedshiye goda/i tvoi serebryannyiye ruki/v troike yeletevshey navsegda . . . So I live—remembering with sadness all the happy years now gone by, remembering your long and silver arms, forever in the troika that flew by . . . Back
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
The fox has a long history of magic and cunning associated with it. Because it is a creature of the night, it is often imbued with supernatural power. It is often most visible at the times of dawn and dusk, the “Between Times” when the magical world and the world in which we live intersect. It lives at the edges of forests and open land-the border areas. Because it is an animal of the “Between Times and Places,” it can be a guide to enter the Faerie Realm. Its appearance at such times can often signal that the Faerie Realm is about to open for the individual. In the Orient, it was believed that faxes were capable of assuming human form. In ancient Chinese lore, the fox acquires the faculty to become human at the age of 50, and on its hundredth birthday, it becomes either a wizard or a beautiful maiden who will ultimately destroy any man unlucky enough to fall in love with her. “There are several American Indian tribes that tell tales of hunters who accidentally discovered their wives were foxes.”52 This is very symbolic of the idea of magic being born within the feminine energies, and that unless a male can recognize the magic of the feminine-in himself or others-and learn to use it to shapeshift his own life, it will ultimately lead to destruction.
Ted Andrews (Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great and Small)
Can you do something for me? Can you take one moment, right now, and acknowledge how far you've come? Can you appreciate, completely, the lessons that all of your mistakes have already brought you and the wisdom you've collected from all of the pain that seemed so senseless at the time? Can you celebrate your journey and forget, just for a second, about the ever-changing destination? Because the truth is that there will never be a "perfect" time to appreciate yourself. There will not be a magical moment when everything is finally sorted out and you'll be naturally driven to give yourself some space to feel good about what you've been doing. Unless you make that space. Unless you create that moment. There will always be more growing to do. That is the beauty of life. There is always some new opportunity to do something new, to make something old better, to chuck out something useless, to transform something into something else. It's important to spend just as much time seizing these opportunities as appreciating the lessons they teach you and the person you become from seizing them. So do this for me, for yourself, today—celebrate. Just like you'd celebrate a birthday or a graduation, celebrate your endless journey of self-discovery. You deserve it. You need it. We all do.
Vironika Tugaleva
Until my thirtieth year, I lived in a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed with periods of suicidal depression. It feels now as if I am talking about some past lifetime or somebody else’s life. One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train – everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live. ‘I cannot live with myself any longer.’ This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. ‘Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with.’ ‘Maybe,’ I thought, ‘only one of them is real.’ I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words ‘resist nothing,’ as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that. I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I had never heard such a sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make a sound, this is what it would be like. I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marvelling at the beauty and aliveness of it all. That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth, as if I had just been born into this world.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
The back of my neck breaks out in a sweat, and I’m getting nervous. Why is he just standing there, staring at me? “What do you want?” I press, my tone curt. He opens his mouth but then closes it swallowing. “Pike, Jesus—” “The day you left,” he blurts out, and I stop. I wait, listening as a look of fear crosses his eyes. “The house was so empty,” he continues. “Like a quiet that was never there before. I couldn’t hear your footsteps upstairs or your hairdryer or anticipate you walking into a room. You were gone. Everything was…” he drops his eyes, “gone.” A ball lodges in my throat, and I feel tears threaten, but I tense my jaw, refusing to let it out. “But I could still feel you,” he whispers. “You were still everywhere. The container of cookies in the fridge, the backsplash you picked out, the way you put all my pictures back in the wrong spot after you dusted my bookshelves.” He smiles to himself. “But I couldn’t rearrange them, because you were the last to touch them, and I wanted everything the way you had it.” My chin trembles, and I fold my arms over my chest, hiding my balled fists under my arms. He pauses and then goes on. “Nothing would ever go back to the way it was before you came into my house. I didn’t want it to.” He shakes his head. “I went to work, and I came home, and I stayed there every night and all weekend, every weekend, because that’s where we were together. That’s where I could still feel you.” He steps closer, dropping his voice. “That’s where I could wrap myself up in you and hang on to every last thread in that house that proved you were mine for just a little while.” His tone grows thick, and I see his eyes water. “I really thought I was doing what was best,” he says, knitting his brow. “I thought I was taking advantage of you, because you’re young and beautiful and so happy and hopeful despite everything you’d been through. You made me feel like the world was a big place again.” My breathing shakes, and I don’t know what to do. I hate that he’s here. I hate that I love that he’s here. I hate him. “I couldn’t steal your life from you and keep you to myself, you know?” he explains. “But then I realized that you’re not happy or hopeful or making me feel good because you’re young. You are those things and you’re capable of those things, because you’re a good person. It’s who you are.” A tear spills over, gliding down my cheek. “Baby,” he whispers, his hands shaking. “I hope you love me, because I love you like crazy, and I’m going to want you the rest of my life. I tried to stay away, because I thought it was the right thing, but I fucking can’t. I need you, and I love you. This doesn’t happen twice, and I’m not going to be stupid again. I promise.” My chin trembles, and something lodges in my throat, and I try to hold it in, but I can’t. My face cracks, and I break down, turning away from him. The tears come like a goddamn waterfall, and I hate him. I fucking hate him. His arms are around me in a second, and he hugs me from behind, burying his face in my neck. “I’m sorry I took so long,” he whispers in my ear.
Penelope Douglas (Birthday Girl)
We end up at an outdoor paintball course in Jersey. A woodsy, rural kind of place that’s probably brimming with mosquitos and Lyme disease. When I find out Logan has never played paintball before, I sign us both up. There’s really no other option. And our timing is perfect—they’re just about to start a new battle. The worker gathers all the players in a field and divides us into two teams, handing out thin blue and yellow vests to distinguish friend from foe. Since Logan and I are the oldest players, we both become the team captains. The wide-eyed little faces of Logan’s squad follow him as he marches back and forth in front of them, lecturing like a hot, modern-day Winston Churchill. “We’ll fight them from the hills, we’ll fight them in the trees. We’ll hunker down in the river and take them out, sniper-style. Save your ammo—fire only when you see the whites of their eyes. Use your heads.” I turn to my own ragtag crew. “Use your hearts. We’ll give them everything we’ve got—leave it all on the field. You know what wins battles? Desire! Guts! Today, we’ll all be frigging Rudy!” A blond boy whispers to his friend, “Who’s Rudy?” The kid shrugs. And another raises his hand. “Can we start now? It’s my birthday and I really want to have cake.” “It’s my birthday too.” I give him a high-five. “Twinning!” I raise my gun. “And yes, birthday cake will be our spoils of war! Here’s how it’s gonna go.” I point to the giant on the other side of the field. “You see him, the big guy? We converge on him first. Work together to take him down. Cut off the head,” I slice my finger across my neck like I’m beheading myself, “and the old dog dies.” A skinny kid in glasses makes a grossed-out face. “Why would you kill a dog? Why would you cut its head off?” And a little girl in braids squeaks, “Mommy! Mommy, I don’t want to play anymore.” “No,” I try, “that’s not what I—” But she’s already running into her mom’s arms. The woman picks her up—glaring at me like I’m a demon—and carries her away. “Darn.” Then a soft voice whispers right against my ear. “They’re already going AWOL on you, lass? You’re fucked.” I turn to face the bold, tough Wessconian . . . and he’s so close, I can feel the heat from his hard body, see the small sprigs of stubble on that perfect, gorgeous jaw. My brain stutters, but I find the resolve to tease him. “Dear God, Logan, are you smiling? Careful—you might pull a muscle in your face.” And then Logan does something that melts my insides and turns my knees to quivery goo. He laughs. And it’s beautiful. It’s a crime he doesn’t do it more often. Or maybe a blessing. Because Logan St. James is a sexy, stunning man on any given day. But when he laughs? He’s heart-stopping. He swaggers confidently back to his side and I sneer at his retreating form. The uniformed paintball worker blows a whistle and explains the rules. We get seven minutes to hide first. I cock my paintball shotgun with one hand—like Charlize Theron in Fury fucking Road—and lead my team into the wilderness. “Come on, children. Let’s go be heroes.” It was a massacre. We never stood a chance. In the end, we tried to rush them—overpower them—but we just ended up running into a hail of balls, getting our hearts and guts splattered with blue paint. But we tried—I think Rudy and Charlize would be proud
Emma Chase (Royally Endowed (Royally, #3))
But then they hand you your beautiful baby, and the baby gazes up at you and says hello, and your heart just melts.” “It talks?” Sophie asked, then remembered Alden telling her months earlier that elvin babies spoke from birth. It sounded even stranger now that she could picture it. “Your speaking caused quite the uproar,” Mr. Forkle told her. “Though luckily no one could understand the Enlightened Language, so they thought you were babbling. I spent the majority of your infancy inventing excuses for the elvin things you did.” “Okay,” Sophie said, wishing he’d stop with the weird-info overload. “But what I mean is . . . I’ve been counting my age from my birthday.” Mr. Forkle didn’t look surprised. “Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked. “How could I? Humans built everything around their birthdays. As long as you were living with them I had to let you do the same. And since you’ve been in the Lost Cities, we’ve had so little contact. I assumed someone would notice, since your proper ID is on your Foxfire record—and in the registry. But I don’t think anyone realized you were counting differently.” “Alden wouldn’t have thought to check,” Della agreed. “Neither of us knew humans didn’t count inception.” “So wait,” Biana jumped in, “does that mean that by our rules Sophie is—” “Thirty-nine weeks older than she’s been saying,” Mr. Forkle finished for her. Fitz cocked his head as he stared at Sophie, like everything had turned sideways. “So then you’re not thirteen . . .” “Not according to the way we count,” Mr. Forkle agreed. “Going by Sophie’s ID, she’s fourteen and a little more than five months old.” Keefe laughed. “Only Foster would find a way to age nine months in a day. Also, welcome to the cool fourteen-year-olds club!” He held out his hand for a high five.
Shannon Messenger (Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #4))
The most poignant lesson, which proved to be the last, was held a few days before the wedding. Diana’s thoughts were on the profound changes ahead. Miss Snipp noted: “Lady Diana rather tired--too many late nights. I delivered silver salt-cellars--present from West Heath school--very beautiful and much admired. Lady Diana counting how many days of freedom are left to her. Rather sad. Masses of people outside of Palace. We hope to resume lessons in October. Lady Diana said: “In 12 days time I shall no longer be me.’” Even as she spoke those words Diana must have known that she had left behind her bachelor persona as soon as she had entered the Palace portals. In the weeks following the engagement she had grown in confidence and self-assurance, her sense of humour frequently bubbling to the surface. Lucinda Craig Harvey saw her former cleaning lady on several occasions during her engagement, once at the 30th birthday party of her brother-in-law, Neil McCorquodale. “She had a distance to her and everyone was in awe of her,” she recalls. It was a quality also noticed by James Gilbey. “She has always been seen as a typical Sloane Ranger. That’s not true. She was always removed, always had a determination about her and was very matter-of-fact, almost dogmatic. That quality has now developed into a tremendous presence.” While she was in awe of Prince Charles, deferring to his every decision, she didn’t appear to be overcome by her surroundings. Inwardly she may have been nervous, outwardly she appeared calm, relaxed and ready to have fun. At Prince Andrew’s 21st birthday party which was held at Windsor Castle she was at her ease among friends. When her future brother-in-law asked where he could find the Duchess of Westminster, the wife of Britain’s richest aristocrat, she joked: “Oh Andrew, do stop name dropping.” Her ready repartee, cutting but not vicious, was reminiscent of her eldest sister Sarah when she was the queen bee of the Society circuit. “Don’t look so serious it’s not working,” joked Diana as she introduced Adam Russell to the Queen, Prince Charles and other members of the royal family in the receiving line at the ball held at Buckingham Palace two days before her wedding. Once again she seemed good humoured and relaxed in her grand surroundings. There wasn’t the slightest sign that a few hours earlier she had collapsed in paroxysms of tears and seriously considered calling the whole thing off.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
Weston, having been born in Chicago, was raised with typical, well-grounded, mid-western values. On his 16th birthday, his father gave him a Kodak camera with which he started what would become his lifetime vocation. During the summer of 1908, Weston met Flora May Chandler, a schoolteacher who was seven years older than he was. The following year the couple married and in time they had four sons. Weston and his family moved to Southern California and opened a portrait studio on Brand Boulevard, in the artsy section of Glendale, California, called Tropico. His artistic skills soon became apparent and he became well known for his portraits of famous people, such as Carl Sandburg and Max Eastman. In the autumn of 1913, hearing of his work, Margrethe Mather, a photographer from Los Angeles, came to his studio, where Weston asked her to be his studio assistant. It didn’t take long before the two developed a passionate, intimate relationship. Both Weston and Mather became active in the growing bohemian cultural scene in Los Angeles. She was extremely outgoing and artistic in a most flamboyant way. Her bohemian sexual values were new to Weston’s conventional thinking, but Mather excited him and presented him with a new outlook that he found enticing. Mather was beautiful, and being bisexual and having been a high-class prostitute, was delightfully worldly. Mather's uninhibited lifestyle became irresistible to Weston and her photography took him into a new and exciting art form. As Mather worked and overtly played with him, she presented a lifestyle that was in stark contrast to Weston’s conventional home life, and he soon came to see his wife Flora as a person with whom he had little in common. Weston expanded his horizons but tried to keep his affairs with other women a secret. As he immersed himself further into nude photography, it became more difficult to hide his new lifestyle from his wife. Flora became suspicious about this secret life, but apparently suffered in silence. One of the first of many women who agreed to model nude for Weston was Tina Modotti. Although Mather remained with Weston, Tina soon became his primary model and remained so for the next several years. There was an instant attraction between Tina Modotti, Mather and Edward Weston, and although he remained married, Tina became his student, model and lover. Richey soon became aware of the affair, but it didn’t seem to bother him, as they all continued to remain good friends. The relationship Tina had with Weston could definitely be considered “cheating,” since knowledge of the affair was withheld as much as possible from his wife Flora May. Perhaps his wife knew and condoned this new promiscuous relationship, since she had also endured the intense liaison with Margrethe Mather. Tina, Mather and Weston continued working together until Tina and Weston suddenly left for Mexico in 1923. As a group, they were all a part of the cozy, artsy, bohemian society of Los Angeles, which was where they were introduced to the then-fashionable, communistic philosophy.
Hank Bracker
I hate it when Penny does this. Honestly, it can be so annoying. She lives it though. She didn't buy clothes for an entire year, her senior year at Reed, because she felt like she was irresponsible with money. She always looked very beautiful anyway, and for her birthday I bought her some mittens at Saturday Market for seven dollars. She wore them like they were from Tiffany's or something. She always talked about them. They weren't that big of a deal, but she hadn't had any new clothes for a year so I think she wore them while she was sleeping or something. Penny is right about spending money though. Penny is right about everything. Penny said if I were to save about twenty dollars a month and give it to Northwest Medical Teams or Amnesty International, I would literally be saving lives. Literally. But that stupid pleasure center goes off in my brain, and it feels like there is nothing I can do about it. I told Penny about the pleasure center and how I needed the remote control car to make the pleasure center light up, and she just took the phone away from her ear and beat it against her chair.
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
Children are adorable.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Children are sacred beings.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
The birth of a child is supernatural spiritual event.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
What a great gladness to welcome a new born baby into the world.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
The ten rules of ikigai We’ll conclude this journey with ten rules we’ve distilled from the wisdom of the long-living residents of Ogimi: 1. Stay active; don’t retire. Those who give up the things they love doing and do well lose their purpose in life. That’s why it’s so important to keep doing things of value, making progress, bringing beauty or utility to others, helping out, and shaping the world around you, even after your “official” professional activity has ended. 2. Take it slow. Being in a hurry is inversely proportional to quality of life. As the old saying goes, “Walk slowly and you’ll go far.” When we leave urgency behind, life and time take on new meaning. 3. Don’t fill your stomach. Less is more when it comes to eating for long life, too. According to the 80 percent rule, in order to stay healthier longer, we should eat a little less than our hunger demands instead of stuffing ourselves. 4. Surround yourself with good friends. Friends are the best medicine, there for confiding worries over a good chat, sharing stories that brighten your day, getting advice, having fun, dreaming … in other words, living. 5. Get in shape for your next birthday. Water moves; it is at its best when it flows fresh and doesn’t stagnate. The body you move through life in needs a bit of daily maintenance to keep it running for a long time. Plus, exercise releases hormones that make us feel happy. 6. Smile. A cheerful attitude is not only relaxing—it also helps make friends. It’s good to recognize the things that aren’t so great, but we should never forget what a privilege it is to be in the here and now in a world so full of possibilities. 7. Reconnect with nature. Though most people live in cities these days, human beings are made to be part of the natural world. We should return to it often to recharge our batteries. 8. Give thanks. To your ancestors, to nature, which provides you with the air you breathe and the food you eat, to your friends and family, to everything that brightens your days and makes you feel lucky to be alive. Spend a moment every day giving thanks, and you’ll watch your stockpile of happiness grow. 9. Live in the moment. Stop regretting the past and fearing the future. Today is all you have. Make the most of it. Make it worth remembering. 10. Follow your ikigai. There is a passion inside you, a unique talent that gives meaning to your days and drives you to share the best of yourself until the very end. If you don’t know what your ikigai is yet, as Viktor Frankl says, your mission is to discover it.
Hector Garcia Puigcerver (Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life)
He leaned over and spoke loud enough in her ear for her to hear. “Hi, Birthday Girl.” She looked up at him, shaking her head in disbelief. She was still in shock when Will leaned in again. “We finally meet.” He smiled. “See, I was right—you are beautiful.
Susan Schussler (Between the Raindrops)
Sometimes we don’t have the luxury of a slippery slope and find, instead, a cliff. Maybe that’s what happened to them that night or maybe, bless their hearts, they had spent a great deal of energy keeping it together—since my tenth birthday, since the seizure, since the beauty convention or the move to Columbus or the first time they met. Who knows? It’s amazing, either way, how quickly you can become a thing you’d never thought of being and may not even want to be.
Casey Gerald (There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir)
Roe could on occasion be dismissively critical of Mughal rule – ‘religions infinite, laws none’ – but he was, despite himself, thoroughly dazzled. In a letter describing the Emperor’s birthday celebrations in 1616, written from the beautiful, half-ruined hilltop fortress of Mandu in central India to the future King Charles I in Whitehall, Roe reported that he had entered a world of almost unimaginable splendour.
William Dalrymple (The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company)
Life is hard. But life is beautiful. And it will always, always be worth the struggle.
Inglath Cooper (That Birthday in Barbados (Take Me There))
Richie Royal, age 15, is an up-and-coming young teen idol in China who has a hit record and many endorsements. He is considered the ideal idol for many young people in China as he is handsome, talented, comes from a good family, and smart. Born in the United States of America and went to school in Arcadia, California until he was 10 years old. He and his family relocated to China and established one of the largest beauty and fashion companies in Asia. “Okay!” I said. “I should be excited to see an actual teen idol here, but I’m not,” I said, looking at Mom, Dad, Auntabelle and Trent. “I don’t know how long this traffic jam is going to be, but we have to make it to Grandpa’s house before the birthday, don’t we, Dad?” - Amazon Lee Adventures in China by Kira G. and Kailin Gow
Kira G, Kailin Gow
That with age, she becomes wise, self assured and confident. Consequently, the happiest women in the world are the ones that understand birthdays are a symbol of beauty. For there is nothing more attractive to a man than a woman who has truly lived. She who wears her age gracefully and with pride. Yes, birthdays for a woman are special. If anything, they announce to the world that you continue to grow more beautiful with time, like a rose coming into full bloom.
Rachel Van Dyken (Upon a Midnight Dream (London Fairy Tales, #1))
A day of birth is a joyful day.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
enthusiasm to the day ahead. After a couple of days of heavy rain, the sun was shining and it promised to be a beautiful day. Jackie, one of the girls in our class had invited a group of friends to her house to celebrate her birthday. She lived on
Katrina Kahler (My Worst Day Ever! (Julia Jones' Diary #1))
The holy time establish the holy-event.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Birthday is a sacred-life celebration.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
I want to hold her. I want to sit her on my lap and read her Christopher Robin and Dr. Seuss. I want to brush her hair and teach her about toothpaste and put Band-Aids on her knees. I want to hug her in the sunset in a room full of puppies while the band plays “Happy Birthday,” and watch her grow up into wonderful beautiful cancer-curing symphony-writing adulthood, and to do that I cannot be who I have always been—and that is fine with me, because I realize one more important thing. I don’t want to be Dark Dexter anymore. The thought is not so much a shock as a completion. I have lived my life moving in one direction and now I am there. I don’t need to do those things anymore. No regrets, but no longer necessary. Now there is Lily Anne and she trumps all that other dancing in the dark. It is time to move on, time to evolve! Time to leave Old Devil Dexter behind in the dust. That part of me is complete, and now— Now
Jeff Lindsay (Dexter is Delicious (Dexter, #5))
I wasn’t ready to be done. Emma’s birthday was the next week. I was going to sit her on my knee and tell her about the time I went to Italy with Julia, long before we had kids. Long before we got married, for that matter. I saw a painting that looked just like Emma; the girl in the painting was a beautiful, regal queen. I wanted Emma to know she was a queen.” If ghosts could cry, Mr. Grumpy would be crying. He looked at Richard. “Do you think she knows she is a queen?
Clare Bohning (The Fleetwood Skies (The Meadowlark Saga, #1))
April 10: Marilyn appears on time for six hours of costume tests for Something’s Got to Give. She is irritated that Cukor is not there to meet her. She looks radiant, and Peter Levathes tells the press, “This will be the best Monroe picture ever. Marilyn is at the peak of her beauty and ability.” But that evening, producer Henry Weinstein finds her sprawled across a bed and unconscious after an overdose of barbiturates. He calls Ralph Greenson, who revives her. It is announced to the press that Marilyn will be part of the entertainment at the president’s Madison Square Garden birthday party. Marilyn agrees to pay $1,440.33 for the cost of producing a dress decorated with hand-stitched rhinestones, beading, and mirrors.
Carl Rollyson (Marilyn Monroe Day by Day: A Timeline of People, Places, and Events)
A moving story of shattered dreams in which Barbara March achieved international stardom adored for her dramatic soprano voice of unique beauty and passion. At the peak of her considerable powers adverse circumstances closed that chapter in her life and living with this regret haunted her deeply and emotionally throughout her life As her thoughts centred on the tragic death of her husband Edward feeling somewhat saddened as she approached her sixtieth birthday. Still glamourous and beautiful she decides to go on a cruise and another phase in her life was beginning and what that might hold for her she could only imagine and that was where she befriends Lord Marcus Logan the laird of Glen Haven Castle on the cruise ship Queen Elizabeth 2nd and in the weeks to come on-board ship the emotional attraction was established and strong. Her life was not over a new chapter had begun, a year later they were married. It soon becomes apparent to Marcus that in the shadows of Barbara's life going back into the past and having to recall the loss of her career had hurt her deeply and emotionally, that chapter was one subject on which she found it painful to cope with and she avoided it whenever she could. Glen Haven will take you on an enchanting journey with dear friends with heart-warming thoughts of all times and a great deal of nostalgia, you will never want to lose the stories spell or bid farewell to its wonderful characters. All that I could say of the story to any purpose I have endeavoured to say it.
Margaret L. Lauder
The nature of our culture is such that if you were to look for instruction in how to do any of these jobs, the instruction would always give only one understanding of Quality, the classic. It would tell you how to hold the blade when sharpening the knife, or how to use a sewing machine, or how to mix and apply glue with the presumption that once these underlying methods were applied, “good” would naturally follow. The ability to see directly what “looks good” would be ignored. The result is rather typical of modern technology, an overall dullness of appearance so depressing that it must be overlaid with a veneer of “style” to make it acceptable. And that, to anyone who is sensitive to romantic Quality, just makes it all the worse. Now it’s not just depressingly dull, it’s also phony. Put the two together and you get a pretty accurate basic description of modern American technology: stylized cars and stylized outboard motors and stylized typewriters and stylized clothes. Stylized refrigerators filled with stylized food in stylized kitchens in stylized houses. Plastic stylized toys for stylized children, who at Christmas and birthdays are in style with their stylish parents. You have to be awfully stylish yourself not to get sick of it once in a while. It’s the style that gets you; technological ugliness syruped over with romantic phoniness in an effort to produce beauty and profit by people who, though stylish, don’t know where to start because no one has ever told them there’s such a thing as Quality in this world and it’s real, not style. Quality isn’t something you lay on top of subjects and objects like tinsel on a Christmas tree. Real Quality must be the source of the subjects and objects, the cone from which the tree must start.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)
I do not say this is a decree,” she wrote, her beautiful writing brushing the page with firm yet delicate strokes. “Let it be greeting and invitation, a hope that we may meet again with quiet hearts and wise minds. Come, then, before the ceremonies for my sixtieth birthday. Let us spend an hour together before we mingle with the Court.
Pearl S. Buck (Imperial Woman: The Story of the Last Empress of China)
I'm not tootin' my own horn or anything, but I gotta say the buffet we set up on my dining room table with a blue-checkered cloth and some fresh daisies couldn't have looked more beautiful. Used my large, glazed, tobacco-spit pottery dish for the casserole, and with the crusty, buttered bread crumb topping, it was appetizing enough to be photographed for a food magazine. For the grits, I'd decided to sprinkle extra Parmesan over the top, so they were not only soft and creamy inside but a crispy golden brown outside. The congealed salad I fixed in a glass mold the shape of a pinecone, so when I turned it out on a plain white platter lined with leaves of romaine, the peaches and pecans could be clearly seen suspended in the lemony aspic in an interesting design. This time my hot buttermilk biscuits were as high and fluffy as Mama's, and next to the cloth-lined straw basket I had a big slab of the sweetest local country butter in the state of Texas, which I buy every weekend at the farmers' market out off Eldridge Parkway. We transferred Rosemary's yummy cake to the cut-crystal plate with tiny legs I remember my grandmamma using for birthday parties, and to tell the truth, I wondered how in hell I was gonna get through that lunch without cuttin' myself more than just a sliver of that mouthwatering caramel layer cake.
James Villas (Hungry for Happiness)
M" Mnemosyne’s silent M drives me to the dictionary Her baby sister makes an n run. Youth does not tarry Those diaphanous, luminescent water jellies, Mnemiopsis, small as sneezes, I can only conjure as Knee me up, Sis Spelling? Easier to recall these beauties as invasive carnivorous, cannibalistic, and hermaphroditic (They eat each other and fuck themselves) Mnemonic is a device that helps me remember birthdays and phone numbers of those I no longer love but can recall in traces Or how to sequence pi to a thousand places as Guinness names me a mnemonist. Or my own birthday because my mother died the day before Just a handful of words end in mn, and the soul they limn: autumn, solemn, damn, condemn, the a capella hymn But hundreds contain mn. A standout: that Jurassic cephalopod, belemnite, long gone, yet its name and phallic fossil live on And should those Siamnese twins stand at the head, they’re led by a vowel that takes m by the hand and leaves n to bed another syllable. Amnesia. You are what you forget Still, the mother of all muses has a name hard to set Mnemiopsis, mnemonist, mnemonic, Mnemosyne— such elegance I should be able to recall: these words all begin with silence Perhaps her name once began with A: Out one day, bathing carefree in the Aegean, she fell for a creature she could feel but not see— say, a tentacled jelly—got entangled with the beast, lost the A, Tore her chiton, and returned in disarray Zeus said, Where’s the A I gave you on the birth of Calliope? She, recalling his trysts, yet savoring her berth, wanted no scene Saw in backward glance, the gem wedged in coral’s gritty teeth A’s so plebeian. Words are rife. Alcmene, Europa, Hera, adultery Few can spell my name yet spell I cast when lives are spent I am the Titan Mnemosyne, Goddess of All Memory, and off she went leaving Zeus to rue her gift and curse Yet wise manager, was hers not the golden purse?
Laura Glen Louis
It was Colomba who had coined the nickname stecchetto, little toothpick, for Livia, because she was so scrawny. She had filled out a little since her sixteenth birthday, but she would never have Colomba's curves. Then she saw Enzo was getting up from his place and coming toward her. She turned away. He did not stop, but as he passed her he whispered, "I was right the first time, when I called you an angel. Because surely only an angel could cook like that." "Save your flattery for whoever wins the beauty contest," she said. But she flushed with pleasure despite herself, and when she saw Colomba Farelli looking at her with daggers in her eyes, it was nice to be able to smile sweetly in return.
Anthony Capella (The Wedding Officer: A Novel of Culinary Seduction)
stylized cars and stylized outboard motors and stylized typewriters and stylized clothes. Stylized refrigerators filled with stylized food in stylized kitchens in stylized houses. Plastic stylized toys for stylized children, who at Christmas and birthdays are in style with their stylish parents. You have to be awfully stylish yourself not to get sick of it once in a while. It’s the style that gets you; technological ugliness syruped over with romantic phoniness in an effort to produce beauty and profit by people who, though stylish, don’t know where to start because no one has ever told them there’s such a thing as Quality in this world and it’s real, not style.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)
Like most of us, I often assume that I am perfect. I tell myself I am the greatest friend in the world, that I have never done anything wrong, and that any person who interacts with me is blessed and lucky and being smiled down upon by whatever higher power they believe in. And then, after a few moments of beautiful delusion, I convince myself that my friends will all soon realize that I'm not as great as they thought I was, and my next birthday party will consist of them telling me why we'll never speak again. (this is why I'll never have a birthday party.) Which isn't a totally unfounded fear. While I know even the best and longest friendships have peaks and valleys, I have lived that valley life hard. My long journeys to the bottom would justify "accidentally" deleting this chapter in lieu of trying to put a positive spin on all the friendship lessons I've learned, bless us, every one.
Anne T. Donahue (Nobody Cares)
LIFE WITHOUT A FAITH IS LIKE THAT NEW BEAUTIFUL RED SHINE CAR, YOU SEE IT PULLING ON YOUR DRIVEWAY, IT'S FINLEY WRAPPED WITH A BIG RED BOW ON TOP. THE HOUSE DOOR KNOCKS, YOU OPEN THE DOOR AND IS YOUR FATHER WALKS IN HANDLE YOU A SET OF KEYS AND TELL YOU "HAPPY SWEET 16TH BIRTHDAY" YOU ARE SO EXCITED AND RUN TO THE CAR WHEN YOU OPEN THE DOOR YOU FIND OUT THE CAR IS COMPLETELY EMPTY WITHOUT SEATS, AND WITHOUT A STARING WHEEL.
Beta Metani'Marashi
The Christ Child in a nation is like the presence of the child in the house: everything centres upon his youth; and he fills everything with his life. If he goes away, the child's values go, too, such as the sense of wonder, mystery, beauty, and adventure: the poetry which, free from materialism, is the most complete realism. In England there are traces of where the Child once lived: there are remnants of the Faith; but not the certainty of the Faith that there once was. There is a wistful longing to believe; but not the joyful freedom of living in belief. There is the desire to set up laws of justice for everyone's happiness; but not the spirit of the Child's obedience to God's Law in the heart of all men: and indeed without that no codes and laws can have value; because those who make them have not the capacity to keep them. The absence of supernatural joy on our feast days shows more than anything else that the Divine Child is absent. Christmas is no longer Christ's birthday, except to a few people. It is no longer the time in which everyone, young and old, is born again; no longer the time when the instinct is to find a home where there is a Christmas tree, lit up with tinsel and little candles and with a crowned bambino on top of it; and children standing at the foot of the tree, looking at it with faces suffused with joy.
Caryll Houselander (The Reed of God: A New Edition of a Spiritual Classic)
LIFE WITHOUT A FAITH IS LIKE THAT NEW BEAUTIFUL RED SHINE CAR, YOU SEE IT PULLING ON YOUR DRIVEWAY, IT'S FINLEY WRAPPED WITH A BIG RED BOW ON TOP. THE HOUSE DOOR KNOCKS, YOU OPEN THE DOOR AND IS YOUR FATHER WALKS IN HANDLE YOU A SET OF KEYS AND TELL YOU "HAPPY SWEET 16TH BIRTHDAY" YOU ARE SO EXCITED AND RUN TO THE CAR WHEN YOU OPEN THE DOOR YOU FIND OUT THE CAR IS COMPLETELY EMPTY WITHOUT SEATS, AND WITHOUT A STARING WHEEL
Beta Metani'Marashi
Let’s say a man really loves a woman; he sees her as his equal, his ally, his colleague; but she enters this other realm and becomes unfathomable. In the krypton spotlight, which he doesn’t even see, she falls ill, out of his caste, and turns into an untouchable. He may know her as confident; she stands on the bathroom scale and sinks into a keening of self-abuse. He knows her as mature; she comes home with a failed haircut, weeping from a vexation she is ashamed even to express. He knows her as prudent; she goes without winter boots because she spent half a week’s paycheck on artfully packaged mineral oil. He knows her as sharing his love of the country; she refuses to go with him to the seaside until her springtime fast is ended. She’s convivial; but she rudely refuses a slice of birthday cake, only to devour the ruins of anything at all in a frigid light at dawn. Nothing he can say about this is right. He can’t speak. Whatever he says hurts her more. If he comforts her by calling the issue trivial, he doesn’t understand. It isn’t trivial at all. If he agrees with her that it’s serious, even worse: He can’t possibly love her, he thinks she’s fat and ugly. If he says he loves her just as she is, worse still: He doesn’t think she’s beautiful. If he lets her know that he loves her because she’s beautiful, worst of all, though she can’t talk about this to anyone. That is supposed to be what she wants most in the world, but it makes her feel bereft, unloved, and alone. He is witnessing something he cannot possibly understand. The mysteriousness of her behavior keeps safe in his view of his lover a zone of incomprehension. It protects a no-man’s-land, an uninhabitable territory between the sexes, wherever a man and a woman might dare to call a ceasefire. Maybe he throws up his hands. Maybe he grows irritable or condescending. Unless he enjoys the power over her this gives him, he probably gets very bored. So would the woman if the man she loved were trapped inside something so pointless, where nothing she might say could reach him. Even where a woman and a man have managed to build and inhabit that sand castle—an equal relationship—this is the unlistening tide; it ensures that there will remain a tag on the woman that marks her as the same old something else, half child, half savage.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
Birthday Card To #Barbados You are 166 sq miles of sweet, undulating beauty- replete with richness and contradiction. I could never be all I am... without you, Never knew how hard I'd fall - especially when I am away from you. Happy Birthday, Bim
Sandra Sealy (Chronicles Of A Seawoman: A Collection Of Poems)
He stopped our walk to peer inside a splendid white, wrought-iron gate with gold spokes, through which we could glimpse a building that looked like Buckingham Palace in London. The grounds were lush and parklike, surrounded by trees. Kenji said, "Tōgū Palace is through those gates. It's a state guesthouse now. You can't see it from here, but the crown prince and his family live on the grounds farther back behind the palace." "Can we take a tour here sometime?" "It's only open for visitors on New Year's Day and the emperor's birthday. The Imperial Palace, closer to where we live, has more access for tourists. It's even got a moat surrounding it. Beautiful gardens year-round but especially in spring when the cherry blossoms bloom.
Rachel Cohn (My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life)
I look away when the Russian nurse comes in, holding a tray with Mom’s dinner on it. “Good evening, Mrs. Messing,” she says, her accent thick. Mom eyes her suspiciously. “I hope there’s plenty of sauce this time.” The nurse is polite and patient, even goes back to the kitchen to see if they have cracked pepper instead of the little packets. While Mom eats she talks about the parties she and Dad used to throw at the house. Those were the days, she says, sighing. Composers and producers; actresses like her and screenwriters like Dad, all of them vibrating with youth and beauty. The world was going to be ours. I readjust the napkin so that it covers a larger section of her blouse. How cute the two of you were in your matching outfits, she says about Emily and me. I refill her water cup, ask the nurse for more Parmesan cheese. Everyone said I was crazy to have daughters so close in age, but I thought one could watch out for the other. And you were always so mature, so it worked out. I dress her salad, tossing it with the flimsy plastic fork. Do you remember demanding white wine spritzers at your twelfth birthday party? Yes. I nod.
Liska Jacobs (The Worst Kind of Want)
Instead of thinking of birthdays as linear phenomenon we experience, we should see them as threads woven into the  beautiful fabric of our lives.
Donald T Iannone, D.Div.
‘What’s that?’ Alex asks.‘Today, we’re going to make a chocolate cake. You like chocolate cake, don’t you?’‘I don’t know,’ he smiles. ‘Probably.’I start unpacking the food I’ve brought with me onto the table while Alex sits on a high stool and watches my every move with a smile. His eyes are an ocean of warmth, tenderness and love. ‘Have you got a blender?’ I ask.‘I don’t even know what that is,’ he replies, without taking his beautiful eyes off me, his face one big smile.There is so much awe in his gaze that I feel like a Christmas tree.‘Just as I thought,’ I tell him. ‘That’s why you’re going to help me.’ And I hand him a whisk.He perks up and it even seems as if the shadow of sadness in his eyes evaporates. They are lit up with enthusiasm and the desire to learn something new, which Alex loves like nothing else.I separate the egg whites from the yolks, hand him the bowl and say, ‘Whisk!’He is at a loss for a while, but I deliberately don’t show him what to do and he quickly works it out and starts beating the soon-to-be sponge cake.
Victoria Sobolev (Monogamy Book One. Lover (Monogamy, #1))
The birds had multiplied. She'd installed rows upon rows of floating melamine shelves above shoulder height to accommodate the expression of her once humble collection. Though she'd had bird figurines all over the apartment, the bulk of her prized collection was confined to her bedroom because it had given her joy to wake up to them every morning. Before I'd left, I had a tradition of gifting her with bird figurines. It began with a storm petrel, a Wakamba carving of ebony wood from Kenya I had picked up at the museum gift shop from a sixth-grade school field trip. She'd adored the unexpected birthday present, and I had hunted for them since. Clusters of ceramic birds were perched on every shelf. Her obsession had brought her happiness, so I'd fed it. The tiki bird from French Polynesia nested beside a delft bluebird from the Netherlands. One of my favorites was a glass rainbow macaw from an Argentinian artist that mimicked the vibrant barrios of Buenos Aires. Since the sixth grade, I'd given her one every year until I'd left: eight birds in total. As I lifted each member of her extensive bird collection, I imagined Ma-ma was with me, telling a story about each one. There were no signs of dust anywhere; cleanliness had been her religion. I counted eighty-eight birds in total. Ma-ma had been busy collecting while I was gone. I couldn't deny that every time I saw a beautiful feathered creature in figurine form, I thought of my mother. If only I'd sent her one, even a single bird, from my travels, it could have been the precursor to establishing communication once more. Ma-ma had spoken to her birds often, especially when she cleaned them every Saturday morning. I had imagined she was some fairy-tale princess in the Black Forest holding court over an avian kingdom. I was tempted to speak to them now, but I didn't want to be the one to convey the loss of their queen. Suddenly, however, Ma-ma's collection stirred. It began as a single chirp, a mournful cry swelling into a chorus. The figurines burst into song, tiny beaks opening, chests puffed, to release a somber tribute to their departed beloved. The tune was unfamiliar, yet its melancholy was palpable, rising, surging until the final trill when every bird bowed their heads toward the empty bed, frozen as if they hadn't sung seconds before. I thanked them for the happiness they'd bestowed on Ma-ma.
Roselle Lim (Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune)
At first, as I met her, l thought she was lost until she said, "Of the rest of world, I am not afraid, Some of those who inspired me where not from here People come to me not to become, but to be I like them the way they are, they add colour to my blue sea I am the friend of the restless, see them as brighter as they can be See them as they see me Restful in my arms, yet invisible is my nurturing light They smile now, nothing more precious to a mother than a happy child who is polite I am the star you want to see, the hope you want to set free Mine is the Commonwealth of the world to be" Before she walked away, she flipped a toonie into my direction and said, "Not much, but remember to give back." Those who know her are smitten by her grace Those who don't know her seek her embrace It is said that she watches over the northern abode of the gods, the gates of which, when she blushes, are marked by northern lights A rising majestic colourful totem of peace signals her tempered western profile It is her birthday tomorrow and I ask, "What do you give a beautiful lady who has everything?" Lady Canada says, "just a genuine smile.
Lamine Pearlheart (The Sunrise Scrolls)
Birthday is special day of one's life
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
The Golden Apple for Margarita Teresa’s seventeenth birthday (a special present from ‘uncle’), to which Leopold himself contributed several genuinely beautiful arias. This opera must have been something to see, so scenically unwieldy that it took two days to put on, but with spectacles of flames, thunderclaps, flying dragons and shipwrecks of a dangerousness and scale that we are sadly sheltered from today. Cesti’s
Simon Winder (Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe)
Hope is the assurance of positive expectations.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Every day were reborn.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
A child of God, special possession.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
The day of birth is a sacred day.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
imagine never leaving North Idaho again. He’s got his coffee and he’s got his ritual, his work around the cabin, and with the new satellite dish Lydia buys him for his birthday, he’s got nine hundred channels and he’s got Netflix,
Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins)
Happy birthday, my love.
Tiffany Reisz (A Beautiful Thing (The Original Sinners, #0.75))
in my campaign launch speech on Roosevelt Island, I took the opportunity to talk about my mother. When I thought about the sweep of history, I thought about her. Her birthday had just passed a few days earlier. She was born on June 4, 1919—the exact same day that Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, finally granting women the right to vote. “I really wish my mother could be here tonight,” I told the crowd in Brooklyn. I had practiced this part several times, and each time, I teared up. “I wish she could see what a wonderful mother Chelsea has become, and could meet our beautiful granddaughter, Charlotte.” I swallowed hard. “And, of course, I wish she could see her daughter become the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (What Happened)
Entertaining is a way of life for the Southern girl. We’ve been doing it for over three hundred years now, and we’re not too shy to say we’re just about the best in the world at it. There really doesn’t have to be an occasion to entertain in the South. Just about any excuse will do, from the anniversary of your friend’s divorce (a “comfort” party) to national flag day (Southern girls are always eager to show the flag the respect it’s due). Parties in the South have always been big affairs. In pre--Civil War days, it was a long way between plantations on bad roads (or no roads at all), so parties lasted for days on end. The hostess spared no expense, with lavish dances, beautiful dresses, and meals that went on and on, with all the best dishes the South had to offer: from whole roast pig to wild game stew. After all, plantation parties were a circuit. You might go to twenty parties a year, but you were only going to throw one--so you better make it memorable, darlin’. Grits work hard to keep this tradition alive. The Junior League and Debutante balls are not just coming out parties for our daughters, god bless them, they are the modern version of old Southern plantation balls. The same is true of graduation, important birthdays, yearly seasonal galas, and of course our weddings.
Deborah Ford (Grits (Girls Raised in the South) Guide to Life)
I beg your pardon, my ladies, Mr. Trottenham. I did not realize I’d be intruding unannounced.” “Deene, good day.” Trottenham rose and bowed, smacking his heels together audibly. “The more the merrier, I say, what? Saw your colt beat Islington’s by two lengths. Well done, jolly good and all that. Islington’s made a bit too much blunt off that animal in my opinion.” Trottenham apparently had a nervous affliction of the eyebrows, for they bounced up and down as he spoke, suggesting either a severe tic or an attempt to indicate some sort of shared confidence. “Perhaps the ladies would rather we save the race talk for the clubs?” “The ladies would indeed,” Louisa said. “Sit you down, Deene, and do the pretty. Mr. Trottenham was just leaving.” She gave a pointed look at the clock, while Eve, who had said nothing, busied herself pouring tea, which Deene most assuredly did not want. “Leaving?” Trottenham’s eyebrows jiggled around. “Suppose I ought, but first I must ask Lady Eve to join me at the fashionable hour for a drive around The Ring. It’s a beautiful day, and I’ve a spanking pair of bays to show off.” Deene accepted his cup of tea with good grace. “Afraid she’s not in a position to oblige, Trottenham, at least not today.” He smiled over at Eve, who blinked once then smiled back. Looking just a bit like Louisa when she did. “Sorry, Mr. Trottenham.” She did not sound sorry to Deene. “His lordship has spoken for my time today.” Trottenham’s smile dimmed then regained its strength. “Tomorrow, then?” Jenny spoke up. “We’re supposed to attend that Venetian breakfast with Her Grace tomorrow.” “And the next day is His Grace’s birthday. Couldn’t possibly wander off on such an occasion as that,” Louisa volunteered. “Why don’t I see you out, Mr. Trottenham, and you can tell me where you found these bays.” She rose and took him by the arm, leaving a small silence after her departure, in which Deene spared a moment to pity poor Trottenham. “I have an appointment at the modiste,” Lady Jenny said, getting to her feet. “Lucas, I’m sure you’ll excuse me.” She swanned off, leaving Eve sitting before the tea tray and Deene wondering what had just happened. “Did you tell them I’ve a preference for leeks?” “I did not, but I cannot vouch for the queer starts my sisters take.
Grace Burrowes (Lady Eve's Indiscretion (The Duke's Daughters, #4; Windham, #7))
What sort of answer would you like to hear?” “An honest one.” “Are you certain? It’s my experience that young ladies vastly prefer fictions. Little stories, like Portia’s gothic novel.” “I am as fond of a good tale as anyone,” she replied, “but in this instance, I wish to know the truth.” “So you say. Let us try an experiment, shall we?” He rose from his chair and sauntered toward her, his expression one of jaded languor. His every movement a negotiation between aristocratic grace and sheer brute strength. Power. He radiated power in every form—physical, intellectual, sensual—and he knew it. He knew that she sensed it. The fire was unbearably warm now. Blistering, really. Sweat beaded at her hairline, but Cecily would not retreat. “I could tell you,” he said darkly, seductively, “that I kissed you that night because I was desperate with love for you, overcome with passion, and that the color of my ardor has only deepened with time and separation. And that when I lay on a battlefield bleeding my guts out, surrounded by meaningless death and destruction, I remembered that kiss and was able to believe that there was something of innocence and beauty in this world, and it was you.” He took her hand and brought it to his lips. Almost. Warm breath caressed her fingertips. “Do you like that answer?” She gave a breathless nod. She was a fool; she couldn’t help it. “You see?” He kissed her fingers. “Young ladies prefer fictions.” “You are a cad.” Cecily wrenched her hand away and balled it into a fist. “An arrogant, insufferable cad.” “Yes, yes. Now we come to the truth. Shall I give you an honest answer, then? That I kissed you that night for no other reason than that you looked uncommonly pretty and fresh, and though I doubted my ability to vanquish Napoleon, it was some balm to my pride to conquer you, to feel you tremble under my touch? And that now I return from war, to find everything changed, myself most of all. I scarcely recognize my surroundings, except . . .” He cupped her chin in his hand and lightly framed her jaw between his thumb and forefinger. “Except Cecily Hale still looks at me with stars in her eyes, the same as she ever did. And when I touch her, she still trembles.” Oh. She was trembling. He swept his thumb across her cheek, and even her hair shivered. “And suddenly . . .” His voice cracked. Some unrehearsed emotion pitched his dispassionate drawl into a warm, expressive whisper. “Suddenly, I find myself determined to keep this one thing constant in my universe. Forever.” She swallowed hard. “Do you intend to propose to me?” “I don’t think so, no.” He caressed her cheek again. “I’ve no reason to.” “No reason?” Had she thought her humiliation complete? No, it seemed to be only beginning. “I’ll get my wish, Cecy, whether I propose to you or not. You can marry Denny, and I’ll still catch you stealing those starry looks at me across drawing rooms, ten years from now. You can share a bed with him, but I’ll still haunt your dreams. Perhaps once a year on your birthday—or perhaps on mine—I’ll contrive to brush a single fingertip oh-so-lightly between your shoulder blades, just to savor that delicious tremor.” He demonstrated, and she hated her body for responding just as he’d predicted. An ironic smile crooked his lips. “You see? You can marry anyone or no one. But you’ll always be mine.” “I will not,” she choked out, pulling away. “I will put you out of my mind forever. You are not so very handsome, you know, for all that.” “No, I’m not,” he said, chuckling. “And there’s the wonder of it. It’s nothing to do with me, and everything to do with you. I know you, Cecily. You may try to put me out of your mind. You may even succeed. But you’ve built a home for me in your heart, and you’re too generous a soul to cast me out now.” She shook her head. “I—” “Don’t.” With a sudden, powerful movement, he grasped her waist and brought her to him, holding her tight against his chest. “Don’t cast me out.” His
Tessa Dare (How to Catch a Wild Viscount)
Lying in my tent alone that night I wept quietly, as all the emotion seeped out of me. For the second time in recent years, I knew I should have died. I wrote: March 31, midnight. The emotions of today have been crazy. And through it all, I just can’t quite fathom how the rope held my fall. Over supper this evening, Nima spoke in rapid, dramatic gestures as he recounted the episode to the other Sherpas. I received double rations from Thengba, our hard-of-hearing cook, which I think was his way of reassuring me. Sweet man. He knows from experience how unforgiving this mountain can be. My elbow is pretty darned sore where I smashed it against the crevasse, and I can feel small bits of bone floating around inside a swollen sack of fluid beneath it, which is slightly disconcerting. The doctor says you can’t do much about an elbow apart from medicate and let time try to heal. At least it wasn’t my head! I can’t get to sleep at the moment--I just keep having this vision of the crevasses beneath me--and it’s terrifying when I close my eyes. Falling is such a horrible, helpless feeling. It caused me the same terror that I felt during my parachute accident. I don’t think I have ever felt so close to being killed as I did today. Yet I survived--again. It leaves me with this deep gratitude for all the good and beautiful things in my life, and a conviction that I really don’t want to die yet. I’ve got so much to live for. I just pray with my whole heart never to go through such an experience again. Tonight, alone, I put in words, thank you my Lord and my friend. It’s been a hell of a way to start the climb of my life. P.S.: Today is my Shara’s birthday. Bless her, wherever she is right now.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
One day I saw him going into one of the lecture halls, I followed. I thought it was you when I first noticed him. I sat some distance away from the boy at the lecture hall. He was a freshman law student from a well to do family in the Philippines. I stalked him for a day before I introduced myself. Toby was new at campus and was finding his way around. We started hanging out after classes. He was attractive, charming and pleasant but lacked a certain je ne se quoi which you possess. As much as I like him I had a hunch that he wasn’t altogether the kind of man I would be totally happy in a long term relationship. My loneliness and heartaches got the better of me and I pursued this relationship half-heartedly; thinking our emotional affinity would improve with time. One evening, a week after we met we were at a pub celebrating a friend’s birthday. I was intoxicated trying to drown my sorrows from missing you. He had a wee bit too much to drink at the celebration. We ended up in my flat with our clothes scattered around us. He had a beautiful physique like yours. I began seeing you in him when we became intimate. I longed for your sweet lips and wanted to believe I was making love to you instead of Toby. Ignoring my premonitions, I plunged full steam ahead. I kissed him passionately like I did you when we were a couple. With my eyes clammed shut, I imagine holding you in my arms, caressing you and submerging fully in you. I desired no other only you.
Young (Unbridled (A Harem Boy's Saga, #2))
There’s a tap on my shoulder. I turn around and get lost in a sea of blue. A Jersey-accented voice says, “It’s about time, kid,” and Frank Sinatra rattles the ice in his glass of Jack Daniel’s. Looking at the swirling deep-brown liquid, he whispers, “Ain’t it beautiful?” This is my introduction to the Chairman of the Board. We spend the next half hour talking Jersey, Hoboken, swimming in the Hudson River and the Shore. We then sit down for dinner at a table with Robert De Niro, Angie Dickinson and Frank and his wife, Barbara. This is all occurring at the Hollywood “Guinea Party” Patti and I have been invited to, courtesy of Tita Cahn. Patti had met Tita a few weeks previous at the nail parlor. She’s the wife of Sammy Cahn, famous for such songs as “All The Way,” “Teach Me Tonight” and “Only the Lonely.” She called one afternoon and told us she was hosting a private event. She said it would be very quiet and couldn’t tell us who would be there, but assured us we’d be very comfortable. So off into the LA night we went. During the evening, we befriend the Sinatras and are quietly invited into the circle of the last of the old Hollywood stars. Over the next several years we attend a few very private events where Frank and the remaining clan hold forth. The only other musician in the room is often Quincy Jones, and besides Patti and I there is rarely a rocker in sight. The Sinatras are gracious hosts and our acquaintance culminates in our being invited to Frank’s eightieth birthday party dinner. It’s a sedate event at the Sinatras’ Los Angeles home. Sometime after dinner, we find ourselves around the living room piano with Steve and Eydie Gorme and Bob Dylan. Steve is playing the piano and up close he and Eydie can really sing the great standards. Patti has been thoroughly schooled in jazz by Jerry Coker, one of the great jazz educators at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. She was there at the same time as Bruce Hornsby, Jaco Pastorius and Pat Metheny, and she learned her stuff. At Frank’s, as the music drifts on, she slips gently in on “My One and Only Love.” Patti is a secret weapon. She can sing torch like a cross between Peggy Lee and Julie London (I’m not kidding). Eydie Gorme hears Patti, stops the music and says, “Frank, come over here. We’ve got a singer!” Frank moves to the piano and I then get to watch my wife beautifully serenade Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan, to be met by a torrent of applause when she’s finished. The next day we play Frank’s eightieth birthday celebration for ABC TV and I get to escort him to the stage along with Tony Bennett. It’s a beautiful evening and a fitting celebration for the greatest pop singer of all time. Two years later Frank passed away and we were generously invited to his funeral. A
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
Chase - ‘You look beautiful today.’ Me - ‘Were you watching me?’ Chase - ‘Maybe. I finally got to give you your lilies.’ Me - ‘You already gave me my lilies a few months ago, remember?’ Chase - ‘I couldn’t forget that day even if I tried.’ Me - ‘Well you could have given these to me yourself you know. I would have liked to see you.’ Chase - ‘It was worth it to see that smile on your face’ Me - ‘:) Thank you for my flowers. I love them’ Chase - ‘What are you doing for your Birthday?’ Me - ‘Dinner with your fam tonight, movies at the house after. You’re invited.’ Chase - ‘I’ll see what I can do.’ Once
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
From The Bridge” by Captain Hank Bracker Mundane Happenings Life is just packed with “Mundane Happenings!” It’s the mundane happenings that usually take the most time and they always seem to interfere, just about when you want to do something really important. Let’s start with mundane things that are routine, like doing the dishes and taking out the garbage. The list for a single person might be a little less involved or complicated but it would be every bit as important as that of a married couple or people with lots of children or even pets. Oh yes, for some the list of mundane responsibilities would include washing clothes and taking the children to their activities. You know what I mean… school, sports, hobbies, their intellectual endeavors and the like. For most of us beds have to be made, the house has to be kept clean, grass has to be cut and the flowers have to be pruned. Then there are the seasonal things, such as going trick or treating, buying the children everything they need before school starts or before going to summer camp. Let’s not forget Christmas shopping as well as birthdays and anniversaries. This list is just an outline of mundane happenings! I’m certain that you can fill in any of these broad topics with a detailed account of just how time consuming these little things can be. Of course we could continue to fill in our calendar with how our jobs consume our precious time. For some of us our jobs are plural, meaning we have more than one job or sometimes even more than that. I guess you get the point… it’s the mundane happenings that eat up our precious time ferociously. Blink once and the week is gone, blink twice and it’s the month and then the year and all you have to show for it, is a long list of the mundane things you have accomplished. Would you believe me, if I said that it doesn’t have to be this way? Really, it doesn’t have to, and here is what you can do about it. First ask yourself if you deserve to recapture any of the time you are so freely using for mundane things. Of course the answer should be a resounding yes! The next question you might want to ask yourself is what would you do with the time you are carving out for yourself? This is where we could part company, however, whatever it is it should be something personal and something that is fulfilling to you! For me, it became a passion to write about things that are important to me! I came to realize that there were stories that needed to be told! You may not agree, however I love sharing my time with others. I’m interested in hearing their stories, which I sometimes even incorporate into my writings. I also love to tell my stories because I led an exciting life and love to share my adventures with my friends and family, as well as you and future generations. I do this by establishing, specifically set, quiet time, and have a cave, where I can work; and to me work is fun! This is how and where I wrote The Exciting Story of Cuba, Suppressed I Rise, now soon to be published as a “Revised Edition” and Seawater One…. Going to Sea! Yes, it takes discipline but to me it’s worth the time and effort! I love doing this and I love meeting new friends in the process. Of course I still have mundane things to do…. I believe it was the astronaut Allen Shepard, who upon returning to Earth from the Moon, was taking out the garbage and looking up saw a beautifully clear full Moon and thought to himself, “Damn, I was up there!” It’s the accomplishment that makes the difference. The mundane will always be with us, however you can make a difference with the precious moments you set aside for yourself. I feel proud about the awards I have received and most of all I’m happy to have recorded history as I witnessed it. My life is, gratefully, not mundane, and yours doesn’t have to be either.” Captain Hank Bracker, author of the award winning book “The Exciting Story of Cuba.
Hank Bracker (The Exciting Story of Cuba: Understanding Cuba's Present by Knowing Its Past)
Hello,” he said. “…hello,” she replied, perplexed. “I thought I should start off with hello, seeing as I neglected to say it earlier.” Her brow came down in confusion. Where was he going with this? “Not because you took me by surprise,” he continued. “Although you did. But because I didn’t think I needed to have a beginning with you. Since we began so long ago, you see.” One eyebrow rose. “But I was wrong, and for that, I apologize.” His eyes became suddenly sad, and it was all Susannah could do to not reach out and touch his cheek. But she restrained herself. “I was away too long,” he whispered. “Three Christmases, six birthdays. However many weeks…” “One hundred fifty-six.” She found the corner of her mouth ticking up. “You were missed,” she concurred. “At home.” “Did you miss me?” he asked suddenly, and a thrill of heat ran through her. Between them. “Yes.” Her answer was frank. Calm. “Did you miss me?” “I missed far too much of you,” he answered. “I did not even realize how much until I came here and found the little girl that I knew had gone.” “She’s not gone,” Susannah conceded. “Not entirely. I still ride Clarabelle at home.” “Do you now?” The corner of his mouth ticked up. “In breeches,” she whispered. Something lit in his eyes. Some kind of… anticipation. And now she knew why her Aunt Julia had ordered her to not wear breeches while riding with other people. Not because they would offend. But because they could entice. She blushed at the thought, broke his gaze, looked at her shoes, at the little bench, and the candles dripping festive red wax in the wall sconce, looked at the eave they stood under, and the vines of ivy and garland that hung there. “I want the chance to start again with you, Susannah,” Sebastian whispered. “This new Susannah. I am a bit off-kilter here, and if you would simply give me the opportunity to catch up, I think you and I… I think we could…” He let that sentence drift off. Left her breathless at what he might have said. “Oh, I’m making a complete bungle of it, aren’t I?” He dropped her hand – had he been holding it this whole time? Ever since he pulled her in here? – and crossed his arms over his chest. “No, you’re not.” She reached out and put her hand on his arm, unwilling to break the connection. “And yes, I suppose a fresh start is fair.” After all, she reasoned, she’d had years to nurse her feelings. He’d had approximately ten minutes. A grin spread across his face, sending her heart into a hummingbird’s pace. She found herself smiling too. No, it was not him falling to his knees professing his love. But it was a start. “Then perhaps I should ask the beautiful Miss Westforth to dance.” The fast-paced reel was in its final notes now. A new dance would start up in minutes. “I would love to.” After
Anna Campbell (A Grosvenor Square Christmas)
A Tribute to my Daughter well well well....twenty nine years have come and gone and oh so too quickly.... I tearfully remember my very first child and the dramatic night you came into our lives...you changed us forever Xio...you Blessed our lives....I remember also the first day you looked me straight in my eyes.. you were being held in my right hand after a bath..you turned your head towards me and stared at me like you had never done before...the instant that happened I knew you were acknowledging the fact that I was yours...that's how that look felt... you placed the stamp of your soul in my hands... I knew in that moment that my role as a Father had truly begun... that look told me so... you made it very clear.....no person on this planet ever touched my very soul the way my baby girl did with that first stare..the beautiful brown eyes.. the inquisitive little look that quickly turned in to a very meaningful stare... I actually had to take a sharp breath....I was hooked...hooked for life... now you have grown from the baby we so loved and took care of... the little girl we watched grow...the smart little teenager you became.. I remember our lovely trip to England and Paris.. somehow that trip was meant to be...just the two of us...my little girl and me....you were so very young....I remember the flight...the landing...the excitement in your face...the look in your eyes...and somehow on that trip as we walked along the Champs-Elysees in Paris....I caught a glimpses of the young lady that was in you... I saw the big heart, the loving smiles. the kindness you so openly show... and here we are now.. many years later....you have matured into a very fine young woman.. a bright future... a work of art. At 58 I have met many souls, thousands I think... people of so many types and personalities...so many differences, in so many different places.. yet every time I look at you and especially when I see that beautiful smile...I think to myself... God is real...and man oh man He's really...really....good. I wish you a wonderful Birthday Xio and many many more to come....God Bless you Xio... God Bless you. Love you this much, Dad
Chris Robertson Trinidad
Then there was that year you fell in love. The one where there weren't any candles - just you walking late at night through the city streets with your heart in pieces, wanting to give yourself to the first stranger who called you beautiful.
Leav Lang
At first, as I met her, l thought she was lost until she said, "Of the rest of world, I am not afraid, Some of those who inspired me where not from here People come to me not to become, but to be I like them the way they are, they add color to my blue sea I am the friend of the restless, see them as brighter as they can be See them as they see me Restful in my arms, yet invisible is my nurturing light They smile now, nothing more precious to a mother than a happy child who is polite I am the star you want to see, the hope you want to set free Mine is the Commonwealth of the world to be" Before she walked away, she flipped a toonie into my direction and said, "Not much, but remember to give back." Those who know her are smitten by her grace Those who don't know her seek her embrace It is said that she watches over the northern abode of the gods, the gates of which, when she blushes, are marked by northern lights A rising majestic colourful totem of peace signals her tempered western profile It is her birthday tomorrow and I ask, "What do you give a beautiful lady who has everything?" Lady Canada says, "just a genuine smile.
Lamine Pearlheart (The Sunrise Scrolls: To Life from the Shadows II)
The next morning I told Mom I couldn’t go to school again. She asked what was wrong. I told her, “The same thing that’s always wrong.” “You’re sick?” “I’m sad.” “About Dad?” “About everything.” She sat down on the bed next to me, even though I knew she was in a hurry. “What’s everything?” I started counting on my fingers: “The meat and dairy products in our refrigerator, fistfights, car accidents, Larry—” “Who’s Larry?” “The homeless guy in front of the Museum of Natural History who always says ‘I promise it’s for food’ after he asks for money.” She turned around and I zipped her dress while I kept counting. “How you don’t know who Larry is, even though you probably see him all the time, how Buckminster just sleeps and eats and goes to the bathroom and has no raison d’être, the short ugly guy with no neck who takes tickets at the IMAX theater, how the sun is going to explode one day, how every birthday I always get at least one thing I already have, poor people who get fat because they eat junk food because it’s cheaper . . . ” That was when I ran out of fingers, but my list was just getting started, and I wanted it to be long, because I knew she wouldn’t leave while I was still going. “ . . . domesticated animals, how I have a domesticated animal, nightmares, Microsoft Windows, old people who sit around all day because no one remembers to spend time with them and they’re embarrassed to ask people to spend time with them, secrets, dial phones, how Chinese waitresses smile even when there’s nothing funny or happy, and also how Chinese people own Mexican restaurants but Mexican people never own Chinese restaurants, mirrors, tape decks, my unpopularity at school, Grandma’s coupons, storage facilities, people who don’t know what the Internet is, bad handwriting, beautiful songs, how there won’t be humans in fifty years—
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
THERE IS ONE mirror in my house. It is behind a sliding panel in the hallway upstairs. Our faction allows me to stand in front of it on the second day of every third month, the day my mother cuts my hair. I sit on the stool and my mother stands behind me with the scissors, trimming. The strands fall on the floor in a dull, blond ring. When she finishes, she pulls my hair away from my face and twists it into a knot. I note how calm she looks and how focused she is. She is well-practiced in the art of losing herself. I can’t say the same of myself. I sneak a look at my reflection when she isn’t paying attention—not for the sake of vanity, but out of curiosity. A lot can happen to a person’s appearance in three months. In my reflection, I see a narrow face, wide, round eyes, and a long, thin nose—I still look like a little girl, though sometime in the last few months I turned sixteen. The other factions celebrate birthdays, but we don’t. It would be self-indulgent. “There,” she says when she pins the knot in place. Her eyes catch mine in the mirror. It is too late to look away, but instead of scolding me, she smiles at our reflection. I frown a little. Why doesn’t she reprimand me for staring at myself? “So today is the day,” she says. “Yes,” I reply. “Are you nervous?” I stare into my own eyes for a moment. Today is the day of the aptitude test that will show me which of the five factions I belong in. And tomorrow, at the Choosing Ceremony, I will decide on a faction; I will decide the rest of my life; I will decide to stay with my family or abandon them. “No,” I say. “The tests don’t have to change our choices.” “Right.” She smiles. “Let’s go eat breakfast.” “Thank you. For cutting my hair.” She kisses my cheek and slides the panel over the mirror. I think my mother could be beautiful, in a different world.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
After agreeing to meet in an hour’s time, I returned to my quarters, then sent for Sahdienne. Too exhilarated to wait for her, I entered my bedroom and threw wide my wardrobe, hunting for a gown to suit the occasion. I hesitated before coming to a decision, my hand clutched around the fabric of the garment I was considering. It was my most beautiful gown--the one Steldor had given me for my sister’s seventeenth birthday party. In cream-and-gold fabric that matched my gold-and-pearl tiara, it was striking, with bell sleeves and a daringly cut neckline. It was the obvious choice--just as Steldor had been to be King. Sahdienne arrived at that moment, pulling me from my muddled memories. She had always loved the particular gown I’d chosen and had been enamored with my husband’s extraordinary taste. Now she eagerly assisted with my preparations, draping the beautiful gold-and-pearl necklace Steldor had given me to wear with the dress around my neck and styling my hair into an elegant roll at the back before fixing my tiara in place. With a quick curtsey, she departed and I walked into the parlor where my mother was waiting for me. I had not been informed of her arrival and immediately began to apologize. “I’m sorry to have kept you waiting, but…” I hesitated, for she was studying me with the strangest light in her blue eyes, and I wondered if I were overdressed. “Should I--? I mean, I can change into something else.” “No,” she said, approaching me to smooth my dark hair. “You’re perfect, dear. You’ve grown into such a beautiful woman.” I blushed, slightly embarrassed, but she candidly continued. “Since you and Steldor parted ways, I’ve often wondered if you’re lonely. No person has a whole heart until they find their match.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
But I don’t know what my side is, he thought, as he went back to his chair by the window. The Liberation, of course, yes, but what is the Liberation? Not an ideal, the freedom of the enslaved. Not now. Never again. Since the Uprising, the Liberation is an army, a political body, a great number of people and leaders and would-be leaders, ambitions and greed clogging hopes and strength, a clumsy amateur semi-government lurching from violence to compromise, ever more complicated, never again to know the beautiful simplicity of the ideal, the pure idea of liberty. And
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Birthday of the World and Other Stories)
When we give over our (false sense of) control, and just allow, each change and each new experience becomes less of a worry and more of an exciting new adventure. It can be likened to awaiting Christmas (or birthday) morning as a child: Anticipation of unwrapping a beautiful new gift.
Camille Lucy (The (Real) Love Experiment: Explore Love, Relationships & The Self)
But it was this very politeness that finally first began to grate upon my nerves, and hen to cause despair to rise up within my throat and threaten to choke me. For, no matter how smooth and correct the words issuing from the courtiers' mouths were, they couldn't quite hide the scorn or laughter in their eyes. And so, on the night of my sixteenth birthday, I saw myself as they saw me for the very first time.
Cameron Dokey (Beauty Sleep)
a man approached me once with a manuscript. He felt it could be the Next Big Thing if it had the right agent. It featured a toddler he’d left after a failed relationship. The book’s opening had him arriving home in happier times, which meant verbatim dialogue between ‘Mommeeeee’ and ‘Daddeeeeee’ and ‘Widdle babieeeeeee’. It was as heartbreaking to read as the man’s relationship must have been to live, but in a bad way. And the man wasn’t crazy. He loved books, was well read – but his writing in this case played thunderous notes on an inner piano that the rest of us just don’t have. It’s not to say the story couldn’t be beautifully told, that it couldn’t give us those feelings – but it would have to build that piano first. It means the energy from our feelings can’t always be spat directly onto a page, except to write a letter we never send. That energy instead has to propel us through the journey of writing as well as we can. It means we have to be able to stand back and see our theme in all its dimensions. It means the book about the psycho lover also shows his good qualities and isn’t a straight assassination. Before starting to write we need to assure ourselves that we’re not out to settle a score (or if we are, to make sure we do it symbolically or indirectly and with craft), and that we’re not stuck in a feeling-land where little Archie’s first birthday party would feel just as amazing to everyone else as it did to us. Nobody is interested in little Archie unless something big happens at the party.
D.B.C. Pierre (Release the Bats: Writing Your Way Out Of It)
Happy Birthday to my beautiful twins granddaughters, my super heroes forever. May God bless you and cover you with His divine garment of protection all the days of lives.Grandma loves you and misses you so much.
Euginia Herlihy
I hate it when Penny does this. Honestly, it can be so annoying. She lives it though. She didn't buy clothes for an entire year, her senior year at Reed, because she felt like she was irresponsible with money. She always looked very beautiful anyway, and for her birthday I bought her some mittens at Saturday Market for seven dollars. She wore them like they were from Tiffany's or something. She always talked about them. They weren't that big of a deal, but she hadn't had any new clothes for a year so I think she wore them while she was sleeping or something. Penny is right about spending money though. Penny is right about everything. Penny said if I were to save about twenty dollars a month and give it to Northwest Medical Teams or Amnesty International, I would literally be saving lives. Literally. But that stupid pleasure center goes off in my brain, and it feels like there is nothing I can do about it. I told Penny about the pleasure center and how I needed the remote control car to make the pleasure center light up, and she just took the phone away from her car and beat it against her chair.
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
The birthday of a friend, mom or dad, brother, sister, cousin, child... it's always a puzzle! How to find beautiful birthday gifts photos that come from the heart and that gives pleasure? What would make her happy without breaking the bank? My photo print, we found the solution for the best gift!
My Photo Print
Suppose you could speak nothing but money And acrimony. Suppose all the sunflowers Van Gogh destroyed, all the stones in Virginia’s Pockets & all the stones Georgia painted as vaginas Were simply a matter of making something greater Than money. Prince taught us a real man has A beautiful woman in him. Suppose we cannot Forget what happened in Money. Suppose You’re someone who celebrates Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday. Suppose he was someone whose love For a black woman was blinded by blackness, Hers & his, yours & mine. I ain’t mad at you, Assassin. It’s not the bad people who are brave I fear, it’s the good people who are afraid.
Terrance Hayes (American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin)
I waited for her outside her house and saw her approaching in the aqua-blue dress I had gifted her on her last birthday. She obviously remembered my love for that colour on her and how I always told her that it complimented her skin beautifully. My heartbeat increased just a little as she sat in my car and the scent of her signature perfume- Chanel No 5- diffused in the air of my car. Her sleek-straight hair fell on her face. "Hi Neel. How have you been?" I thought about the first month of sleepless nights, crying, sulking and overthinking and said, "I've been okay.
Insha Juneja (Imperfect Mortals : A Collection of Short Stories)
481 - You Are My Life ( Scarlett Johansson Mix ) I’m so proud of this soundtrack , this is the true perfection in creating music , it took my years to reach this level of doing whatever I want in creating an endless beauty of music , I’m so proud that I taught my self this greatness of creating a super musical piece , no one will ever teach you that . enjoy it and it’s a special dedication to my only love in this life Scarlett Johansson for her FORTHCOMING Birthday 11- 22 – 1984 , god gave us amazing things in 1984 , the birth of Modern Talking the most amazing band of all times and Scarlett Johansson my eternal love and inspiration
Sami Abouzid
Anne laughed -- then shivered. "I can never forget the night I thought you were dying, Gilbert. Oh, I knew -- I KNEW then -- and I thought it was too late." "But it wasn't, sweetheart. Oh, Anne, this makes up for everything, doesn't it? Let's resolve to keep this day sacred to perfect beauty all our lives for the gift it has given us." "It's the birthday of our happiness," said Anne softly.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of the Island / Anne of Windy Willows)
They roast a pig, four chickens, half a dozen guinea pigs (cuy, Ecuadorian specialty!), set out soups and tamales and empanadas and llapingachos, four pots of beans and rice. Mami has even baked a belated birthday cake for Essy, decorated with jelly beans and Jell-O and mini-marshmallows. And when they sing, feliz cumpleaños, it’s like a full-on chorus
Mira T. Lee (Everything Here Is Beautiful: A Novel)
The museum’s staff resiliently worked throughout the night to sweep away the damage, but it was clear that their specimens were imperiled. To protect them from Hitler’s bombers, the curators secreted Wallace’s and Darwin’s bird skins in unmarked lorries to manors and mansions throughout the English countryside. Among the safe houses was a private museum in the tiny town of Tring, built by one of the richest men in history as a twenty-first-birthday present for his son. Lionel Walter Rothschild would grow up to earn many distinctions: the Right Honorable Lord, Baron de Rothschild, member of Parliament, adulterer, blackmail victim, and one of the most tragically obsessive bird collectors ever to roam the earth.
Kirk Wallace Johnson (The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century)
Rapunzel woke up to the dazzling, sparkling, gently chiming display with more cheer than anyone really should who had spent the last six thousand and approximately nine hundred days in a lonely tower. "This birthday is going to be great. I just know it!" She only really knew about birthdays because she had read about them in one of the thirty-seven books she owned: Book #3: Stories from Rome and Other Great Empires. Marc Antony apparently had splendid birthdays, and Cleopatra gave him the most cunning gifts. Anyway, they seemed like a marvelous idea, and she had adopted this time of year as her own. Had there been anyone around, they would have been amazed at the hermit's beauty. For one thing, her cheeks were surprisingly rosy for a girl who had been indoors her whole life. (This was because on sunny Wednesday and Saturday afternoons she carefully followed the window-shaped spot of sun around her room, lying down and soaking in the warm rays.) Her eyes were large and green because of parents she had never known. Her lips were usually set in an expectant smile because she was Rapunzel; good-natured, lighthearted, with a quick mind that constantly refused to be crushed by her circumstances.
Liz Braswell (What Once Was Mine)
Then she dove into the morning cleaning. There weren't many rooms in the tower, which made it easy, but she liked to be thorough. Sweep, mop, polish. The garderobe and her mirror got sparkly from scrubbing with a bit of vinegar (a trick she learned from Book #14: Useful Recipes for Master Servants). She transferred a day dress that was soaking in a soapy bucket to a clean water bucket, scrubbing out the bit of lingonberry juice stain from breakfast on Monday. 7:00: Personal ablutions. She washed her face and nails and applied cream to her cuticles and everywhere on her face but the T-zone, which was, despite her fairy-tale beauty, just a tad prone to breaking out. 8:00: Reading. She (re)read Book #26, Sidereus Nuncius by Galileo. More a pamphlet than a book, but it counted. 8:30: Art! Lacking a proper canvas (or piece of wall space) she chose to spend her painting time decorating the mop handle. It might not be dry enough to actually use the next day, but that was all right. Birthday weeks meant the occasional break from routine-- that was part of the fun!
Liz Braswell (What Once Was Mine)
Lately,” he said in the same low, contemplating voice. “I find myself living just for those beautiful glimpses of your soul, Lori. The pieces of your true self.
Marina Simcoe (My Birthday Getaway (My Holiday Tails))