Beginning Of Fall Quotes

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Every flight begins with a fall.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
Dare to Be When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully. When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light. When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it. When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway. When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back. When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some. When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going. When times are tough, dare to be tougher. When love hurts you, dare to love again. When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal. When another is lost, dare to help them find the way. When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand. When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile. When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too. When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best. Dare to be the best you can – At all times, Dare to be!
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
The only obsession everyone wants: 'love.' People think that in falling in love they make themselves whole? The Platonic union of souls? I think otherwise. I think you're whole before you begin. And the love fractures you. You're whole, and then you're cracked open.
Philip Roth (The Dying Animal)
The splendid thing about falling apart silently... is that you can start over as many times as you like.
Sanober Khan (A Thousand Flamingos)
Someday no one will remember that she ever existed, I wrote in my notebook, and then, or that I did. Because memories fall apart, too. And then you're left with nothing, left not even with a ghost but with its shadow. In the beginning, she had haunted me, haunted my dreams, but even now, just weeks later, she was slipping away, falling apart in my memory and everyone else's, dying again.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
God made the world for the delight of human beings-- if we could see His goodness everywhere, His concern for us, His awareness of our needs: the phone call we've waited for, the ride we are offered, the letter in the mail, just the little things He does for us throughout the day. As we remember and notice His love for us, we just begin to fall in love with Him because He is so busy with us -- you just can't resist Him. I believe there's no such thing as luck in life, it's God's love, it's His.
Mother Teresa
Floating, falling, sweet intoxication. Touch me, trust me, savor each sensation. Let the dream begin, let your darker side give in to the power of the music of the night.
Charles Hart (The Phantom of the Opera: Piano/Vocal)
God Layken. How do you do it? she says. She blows her nose and grabs another tissue out of the box. How do I do what? I sniff as I continue to wipe the tears from my eyes. How do you not fall in love with him? The tears begin flowing just as quickly as they had ceased. I grab yet another tissue. I don't not fall in love with him. I don't not fall in love with him a lot!
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
Never fall in love with someone that won't fight for you because when the real battles begin they won't pull your heart to safety, but they will their own.
Shannon L. Alder
I want to fall to sleep with you, and I could care less whether it is in layers upon layers of clothing or only our skin - all I really want is to wake up not knowing where I end and you begin.
Beau Taplin
[T]hat old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air ... Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year's mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.
Wallace Stegner (Angle of Repose)
Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.
Alfred
Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you...it means that you do not treat your body as a commodity with which to purchase superficial intimacy or economic security; for our bodies to be treated as objects, our minds are in mortal danger. It means insisting that those to whom you give your friendship and love are able to respect your mind. It means being able to say, with Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre: "I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all the extraneous delights should be withheld or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give. Responsibility to yourself means that you don't fall for shallow and easy solutions--predigested books and ideas...marrying early as an escape from real decisions, getting pregnant as an evasion of already existing problems. It means that you refuse to sell your talents and aspirations short...and this, in turn, means resisting the forces in society which say that women should be nice, play safe, have low professional expectations, drown in love and forget about work, live through others, and stay in the places assigned to us. It means that we insist on a life of meaningful work, insist that work be as meaningful as love and friendship in our lives. It means, therefore, the courage to be "different"...The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.
Adrienne Rich
Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. When there's a big disappointment, we don't know if that's the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure. Life is like that. We don't know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really we just don't know.
Pema Chödrön (When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times)
I miss her all the time. I know in my head that she has gone. The only difference is that I am getting used to the pain. It's like discovering a great hole in the ground. To begin with, you forget it's there and keep falling in. After a while, it's still there, but you learn to walk round it.
Rachel Joyce (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Harold Fry, #1))
How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us. So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloudshadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any miseries, or any depressions? For after all, you do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
Fear no more, says the heart, committing its burden to some sea, which sighs collectively for all sorrows, and renews, begins, collects, lets fall
Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway)
Know that transformation sometimes begins with a fall. So never curse the fall.
Yasmin Mogahed (Reclaim Your Heart: Personal Insights on Breaking Free from Life's Shackles)
When you start to really know someone, all his physical characteristics start to disappear. You begin to dwell in his energy, recognize the scent of his skin. You see only the essence of the person, not the shell. That's why you can't fall in love with beauty. You can lust after it, be infatuated by it, want to own it. You can love it with your eyes and body but not your heart. And that's why, when you really connect with a person's inner self, any physical imperfections disappear, become irrelevant.
Lisa Unger (Beautiful Lies (Ridley Jones #1))
The first time it was reported that our friends were being butchered there was a cry of horror. Then a hundred were butchered. But when a thousand were butchered and there was no end to the butchery, a blanket of silence spread. When evil-doing comes like falling rain, nobody calls out "stop!" When crimes begin to pile up they become invisible. When sufferings become unendurable the cries are no longer heard. The cries, too, fall like rain in summer.
Bertolt Brecht (Selected Poems)
I caught myself thinking about falling in love with someone who I hoped was out there right now thinking about the possibility of me, but I quickly banished the notion. It was that kind of thinking that landed me in this situation to begin with. Hope can ruin you.
Perry Moore (Hero)
Afterward, Isabel drove me home and I shut myself in the study with Rilke, and I read and I wanted. And leaving you (there arent words to untangle it) Your life, fearful and immense and blossoming, So that, sometimes frustrated, and sometimes understanding Your life is sometimes a stone in you, and then, a star I was beginning to undertand poetry.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
Some madness doesn't act mad to begin with, sometimes it will knock politely at the door, and when you let it in, it'll simply sit in the corner without a fuss - and grow.
Nathan Filer (The Shock of the Fall)
Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love - that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one's very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." [Letter to Miss Lewis, Oct. 1, 1841]
George Eliot (George Eliot's Life, as Related in Her Letters and Journals)
If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.
Flavia Weedn
And when the universe has finished exploding all the stars will slow down, like a ball that has been thrown into the air, and they will come to a halt and they will all begin to fall towards the centre of the universe again. And then there will be nothing to stop us seeing all the stars in the world because they will all be moving towards us, gradually faster and faster, and we will know that the world is going to end soon because when we look up into the sky at night there will be no darkness, just the blazing light of billions and billions of stars, all falling.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time)
Now begins to rise in me the familiar rhythm; words that have lain dormant now lift, now toss their crests, and fall and rise, and falls again. I am a poet, yes. Surely I am a great poet.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves (Annotated))
It's never fifty-fifty in a marriage. Someone falls in love first. Someone puts someone else up on a pedestal. Someone works hard to keep things rolling smoothly, someone else sails along for the ride. Someone who would do anything to keep it the way it was in the beginning.
Jodi Picoult
I have realized; it is during the times I am far outside my element that I experience myself the most. That I see and feel who I really am, the most! I think that's what a comet is like, you see, a comet is born in the outer realms of the universe! But it's only when it ventures too close to our sun or to other stars that it releases the blazing "tail" behind it and shoots brazen through the heavens! And meteors become sucked into our atmosphere before they burst like firecrackers and realize that they're shooting stars! That's why I enjoy taking myself out of my own element, my own comfort zone, and hurling myself out into the unknown. Because it's during those scary moments, those unsure steps taken, that I am able to see that I'm like a comet hitting a new atmosphere: suddenly I illuminate magnificently and fire dusts begin to fall off of me! I discover a smile I didn't know I had, I uncover a feeling that I didn't know existed in me... I see myself. I'm a shooting star. A meteor shower. But I'm not going to die out. I guess I'm more like a comet then. I'm just going to keep on coming back.
C. JoyBell C.
What happens with you when you begin to feel uneasy, unsettled, queasy? Notice the panic, notice when you instantly grab for something. (51)
Pema Chödrön (When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times)
Fight. Fight through everything. Don’t leave the house angry or go to bed mad. Fight until it’s settled. The end of fighting is the beginning of giving up.
Penelope Douglas (Rival (Fall Away, #2))
Most of the time one night blends into the next and weeks blend into weeks and months into other months. And sooner or later we all die. But at the beginning of the night anything’s possible.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil. But for my part I have long perceived the nature of good and its nobility, the nature of evil and its meanness, and also the nature of the culprit himself, who is my brother (not in the physical sense, but as a fellow creature similarly endowed with reason and a share of the divine); therefore none of those things can injure me, for nobody can implicate me in what is degrading. Neither can I be angry with my brother or fall foul of him; for he and I were born to work together, like a man’s two hands, feet or eyelids, or the upper and lower rows of his teeth. To obstruct each other is against Nature’s law – and what is irritation or aversion but a form of obstruction.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
It's risky, falling in love." "I know that," I answered. "I've been in love before. It's like a narcotic. At first it brings the euphoria of complete surrender. The next day, you want more. You're not addicted yet, but you like the sensation, and you think you can still control things. You think about the person you love for two minutes, and forget them for three hours. "But then you get used to that person, and you begin to be completely dependent on them. Now you think about him for three hours and forget him for two minutes. If he's not there, you feel like an addict who can't get a fix. And just as addicts steal and humiliate themselves to get what they need, you're willing to do anything for love." "What a horrible way to put it," he said.
Paulo Coelho (By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept)
How do you not fall in love with him?" The tears begin flowing just as quickly as they were ceasing. I grab yet another tissue.  "I don't not fall in love with him. I don't not fall in love with him a lot!
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
Love is infinite. There is no beginning and no end. There's no starting point and no finishing line. Love just is. Love is born, grows, matures, and sometimes it dies. But the memory will remain with you for the rest of your breathing hours. You will fall in love, you will fall out of love. But you will love again. You always do.
Mia Asher (Arsen: A Broken Love Story)
For, after all, every one who wishes to gain true knowledge must climb the Hill Difficulty alone, and since there is no royal road to the summit, I must zigzag it in my own way. I slip back many times, I fall, I stand still, I run against the edge of hidden obstacles, I lose my temper and find it again and keep it better, I trudge on, I gain a little, I feel encouraged, I get more eager and climb higher and begin to see the widening horizon. Every struggle is a victory. One more effort and I reach the luminous cloud, the blue depths of the sky, the uplands of my desire.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life)
It is still summer, but the summer is no longer alive. It has come to a standstill; nothing withers, and fall is not ready to begin. There are no stars yet, just darkness.
Tove Jansson (The Summer Book)
Heaven help the roses if the bombs begin to fall
Stevie Wonder
If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees. Instead we entangle ourselves in knots of our own making and struggle, lonely and confused. So like children, we begin again... to fall, patiently to trust our heaviness. Even a bird has to do that before he can fly.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God)
When love first happens, the individuals are giving each other energy unconsciously and both people feel buoyant and elated. That's the incredible high we call being ‘in love.’ Unfortunately, once they expect this feeling to come from another person, they cut themselves off from the energy in the universe and begin to rely even more on the energy from each other--only now there doesn’t seem to be enough and so they stop giving each other energy and fall back into their dramas in an attempt to control each other and force the other’s energy their way.
James Redfield (The Celestine Prophecy (Celestine Prophecy, #1))
The thing I was beginning to figure out about Sam and Grace, the thing about Sam not being able to function without her, was that that sort of love only worked when you were sure both people would always be around for each other. If one half of the equation left, or died, or was slightly less perfect in their love, it became the most tragic, pathetic story invented, laughable in its absurdity. Without Grace, Sam was a joke without a punch line.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
Truly, Autumn is my season,” the scarlet beast chorted. “Spring and Summer and Winter all begin with such late letters! But Autumn and Fall, I have loved best, because they are best to love.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
If a prince on a white horse actually appeared in front of me...I think I'd like to see him fall off that horse. But..if he wasn't a prince on a white horse to begin with...what would I want then?
QuinRose (Alice in the Country of Hearts, Vol. 01 (Alice in the Country of Hearts, #1))
It's a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately fill up the space. By waiting, we begin to connect with fundamental restlessness as well as fundamental spaciousness. -Pema Chodron, from "When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chödrön
Before you marry, you have to get shot by an arrow and fall in love,” the boy explained. He paused thoughtfully. “But I don’t think the rest of it hurts as much as the beginning.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
You told me once of the plants that lie dormant through the drought, that wait, half-dead, deep in the earth. The plants that wait for the rain. You said they'd wait for years, if they had to; that they'd almost kill themselves before they grew again. But as soon as those first drops of water fall, those plants begin to stretch and spread their roots. They travel up through the soil and sand to reach the surface. There's a chance for them again.
Lucy Christopher (Stolen: A Letter to My Captor)
It’s funny how one summer can change everything. It must be something about the heat and the smell of chlorine, fresh-cut grass and honeysuckle, asphalt sizzling after late-day thunderstorms, the steam rising while everything drips around it. Something about long, lazy days and whirring air conditioners and bright plastic flip-flops from the drugstore thwacking down the street. Something about fall being so close, another year, another Christmas, another beginning. So much in one summer, stirring up like the storms that crest at the end of each day, blowing out all the heat and dirt to leave everything gasping and cool. Everyone can reach back to one summer and lay a finger to it, finding the exact point when everything changed. That summer was mine.
Sarah Dessen (That Summer)
Time and time again does the pride of man influence his very own fall. While denying it, one gradually starts to believe that he is the authority, or that he possesses great moral dominion over others, yet it is spiritually unwarranted. By that point he loses steam; in result, he falsely begins trying to prove that unwarranted dominion by seizing the role of a condemner.
Criss Jami (Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile)
In that moment Ged understood the singing of the bird, and the language of the water falling in the basin of the fountain, and the shape of the clouds, and the beginning and end of the wind that stirred the leaves; it seemed to him that he himself was a word spoken by the sunlight.
Ursula K. Le Guin (A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1))
If I had to tell you how humans made their way to Earth, it would go like this: In the beginning, there was nothing at all but the moon and the sun. And the moon wanted to come out during the day, but there was something so much brighter that seemed to fill up all those hours. The moon grew hungry, thinner and thinner, until she was just a slice of herself, and her tips were as sharp as a knife. By accident, because that is the way most things happen, she poked a hole in the night and out spilled a million stars, like a fountain of tears. Horrified, the moon tried to swallow them up. And sometimes this worked, because she got fatter and rounder.. But mostly it didn't, because there were just so many. The stars kept coming, until they made the sky so bright that the sun got jealous. He invited the stars to his side of the world, where it was always bright. What he didn't tell them, though, was that in the daytime, they'd never be seen. So the stupid ones leaped from the sky to the ground, and they froze under the weight of their own foolishness. The moon did her best. She carved each of these blocks of sorrow into a man or a woman. She spent the rest of her time watching out so that her other stars wouldn't fall. She spent the rest of her time holding onto whatever scraps she had left.
Jodi Picoult
Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.
Phyllis Diller
If you begin to rely upon yourself and become arrogant in your skill, that is the day you will fall.
Chuck Black (Kingdom's Dawn (Kingdom, #1))
When she saw him face to face their eyes met and brushed like birds’ wings. After that everything was all right, everything was wonderful, she knew that he was beginning to fall in love with her.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tender Is the Night)
Only in our darkest hour do we find the light. Humans are destructive by nature. The world is lacking balance. Terrors are beginning to triumph over the simple joys. Stand back and watch, because you're going to be here when we fall.
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
[Baseball] breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall all alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.
A. Bartlett Giamatti (Take Time For Paradise: Americans And Their Games)
I've lost track of where friendship ends and falling begins. (this is the foolish refrain of the hopelessly devoted.) there are times I want to kiss you midsentence. undo the not-doing with one gesture.
David Levithan (The Realm of Possibility)
I'm a nonperson, a shadow, a ghost. Even before the accident I'm not sure that I was a whole person - that's what I'm realizing now. And I'm not sure where the damage begins.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
No clear line separates healing from upgrading. Medicine almost always begins by saving people from falling below the norm, but the same tools and know-how can then be used to surpass the norm.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
For a moment I feel as though I exist outside of my body, as if I'm looking at myself from his perspective. I see my face, my injured arm, these legs that suddenly seem unable to carry my weight. Cracks begin to form along my face, all the way down my arms, my torso, my legs. I imagine this is what it's like to fall apart.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
There's an old Jewish story that says in the beginning God was everywhere and everything, a totality. But to make creation, God had to remove Himself from some part of the universe, so something besides Himself could exist. So He breathed in, and in the places where God withdrew, there creation exists." So God just leaves?" No. He watches. He rejoices. He weeps. He observes the moral drama of human life and gives meaning to it by caring passionately about us, and remembering." Matthew ten, verse twenty-nine: Not one sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it." But the sparrow still falls.
Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1))
This is the first day of my new beginning. From now on I'm going to do things right. I'm going to be a different person, a good person. I'm going to be the kind of person who would be remembered well, not just remembered.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
There is no better time than the autumn to begin forgetting the things that trouble us, allowing them to fall away like dried leaves. There is no better time to dance again, to make the most of every crumb of sunlight and warm body and soul with its rays before it falls asleep and becomes only a dim light bulb in the skies.
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
It was like the part of me that had enjoyed those friends had evaporated, leaving behind a huge, echoing emptiness, and I was scrabbling on the edge of it, trying not to fall into the hole within myself because I was terrified to find out how far down it went.
Robyn Schneider (The Beginning of Everything)
Grow strong, my comrade … that you may stand Unshaken when I fall; that I may know The shattered fragments of my song will come At last to finer melody in you; That I may tell my heart that you begin Where passing I leave off, and fathom more.
Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers)
All systems have failed me. In five minutes I'll be fine again for a while, but right now the inside of my head feels like Niagara Falls without the noise, just this mist and churning and no real sense of where earth ends and heaven begins.
Douglas Coupland
This coffee falls into your stomach, and straightway there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move like the battalions of the Grand Army on the battlefield, and the battle takes place. Things remembered arrive at full gallop, ensign to the wind. The light cavalry of comparisons deliver a magnificent deploying charge, the artillery of logic hurry up with their train and ammunition, the shafts of wit start up like sharpshooters. Similes arise, the paper is covered with ink; for the struggle commences and is concluded with torrents of black water, just as a battle with powder.
Honoré de Balzac
A woman gasped. Through the open door I could see a sliver of carolers, some faces peering inside at the scattered tatters of money, some faces turned to the sky and the snow, now beginning to fall. And there, in front of them, in the room with us, stood the family, their outlines barely visible within the weight of the rooms light. It was a light that shone over our faces, our wounds and scars. It was a light so brilliant and white it could have been beamed from heaven, and Brian and I could have been angels basking in it. But it wasn’t and we weren’t.
Scott Heim
None of us will become perfect in a day or a month or a year. We will not accomplish it in lifetime, but we can begin now, starting with our more obvious weaknesses and gradually converting them to strengths as we go forward with our lives. this quest may be a long one: in fact, it will be lifelong. It may be fraught with many mistakes, with falling down and getting back up again. And it will take much effort. But we must not sell ourselves short. We must make a little extra effort. We would be wise to kneel before our God in supplication. He will help us. He will bless us. He will comfort and sustain us. He will help us to do more, and be more, than we can ever accomplish or be on our own.
Gordon B. Hinckley
A man of words and not of deeds Is like a garden full of weeds And when the weeds begin to grow It's like a garden full of snow And when the snow begins to fall It's like a bird upon the wall And when the bird away does fly It's like an eagle in the sky And when the sky begins to roar It's like a lion at the door And when the door begins to crack It's like a stick across your back And when your back begins to smart It's like a penknife in your heart And when your heart begins to bleed You're dead, and dead, and dead indeed.
Percy B. Green
It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. Today, October 2, a Sunday of rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains and slick streets, it stopped and summer was gone.
A. Bartlett Giamatti
Why do we Fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.
Christopher J. Nolan
I cannot become modest; too many things burn in me; the old solutions are falling apart; nothing has been done yet with the new ones. So I begin, everywhere at once, as if I had a century ahead of me.
Elias Canetti
We fall into each other. All the other voices in my head--the fear, the doubt, the worry--are drowned out. I die at the end of each kiss and am brought gasping back to life at the beginning of the next. I close my eyes and the entire world fades away.
Beth Revis (Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3))
There is neither source nor end, for all things are in the Center of Time. As all the stars may be reflected in a round raindrop falling in the night: so too do all the stars reflect the raindrop. There is neither darkness nor death, for all things are, in the Light of the Moment, and their end and their beginning are one.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4))
It's not how many times you fall. And it's not how many times you get back up. It's about how much money you have to pay people to admit that the whole incident didn't even occur to begin with.
Carroll Bryant
You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity. Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There's been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away -- all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in Arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. It might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety. Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears the earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It's powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. Do you think this is the first time that's happened? Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive glass, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park / Congo)
Once the rain starts falling it's hard to tell it to stop...
Samantha Young (On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1))
Some people fall head over heels. Other people begin to fall without even knowing it—love grows like a spring flower beneath last autumn’s leaves and catches them by surprise.
Elizabeth Chandler (Summer in the City)
When the Deep Purple falls, Over sleepy garden walls, And the stars begin to flicker in the sky, Thru the mist of a memory You wander back to me, Breathing my name with a sigh. In the still of the night, Once again I hold you tight, Tho' you're gone, your love lives on When moonlight beams. And as long as my heart will beat Lover, we'll always meet Here in my Deep Purple dreams.
Rebecca Wells
August was nearly over - the month of apples and falling stars, the last care-free month for the school children. The days were not hot, but sunny and limpidly clear - the first sign of advancing autumn.
Viktor Nekrasov
There is an old joke that went around- it goes, in the beginning God made man in His own image, and since the fall, man has been seeking to return the compliment.
Alistair Begg
True devotion and humility is when you carelessly allow yourself to fall in love with things you consider will make you look inferior, which in essence, makes you superior.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Like the muscles knew from the beginning that it would end with this, this inevitable falling apart... It's sad, but a relief as well to know that two things so closely bound together can separate with so little violence, leaving smooth surfaces instead of bloody shreds.
Julie Powell (Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession)
Bianca, camp is cool! It's got a pegasus stable and a sword-fighting arena and… I mean, what do you get by joining the Hunters?" To begin with," Zoe said, "immortality." I stared at her, then at Artemis. "She's kidding, right?" Zoe rarely kids about anything," Artemis said. "My Hunters follow me on my adventures. They are my maidservants, my companions, my sisters-in-arms. Once they swear loyalty to me, they are indeed immortal… unless they fall in battle, which is unlikely. Or break their oath." What oath?" I said. To foreswear romantic love forever," Artemis said. To never grow up, never get married. To be a maiden eternally." Like you?" The goddess nodded. I tried to imagine what she was saying. Being immortal. Hanging out with only middle-school girls forever. I couldn't get my mind around it.
Rick Riordan (The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3))
The Nobodies Fleas dream of buying themselves a dog, and nobodies dream of escaping poverty: that one magical day good luck will suddenly rain down on them---will rain down in buckets. But good luck doesn't rain down yesterday, today, tomorrow, or ever. Good luck doesn't even fall in a fine drizzle, no matter how hard the nobodies summon it, even if their left hand is tickling, or if they begin the new day with their right foot, or start the new year with a change of brooms. The nobodies: nobody's children, owners of nothing. The nobodies: the no ones, the nobodied, running like rabbits, dying through life, screwed every which way. Who are not, but could be. Who don't speak languages, but dialects. Who don't have religions, but superstitions. Who don't create art, but handicrafts. Who don't have culture, but folklore. Who are not human beings, but human resources. Who do not have faces, but arms. Who do not have names, but numbers. Who do not appear in the history of the world, but in the police blotter of the local paper. The nobodies, who are not worth the bullet that kills them.
Eduardo Galeano (Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent)
But what if I fail of my purpose here? It is but to keep the nerves at strain, to dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall, and baffled, get up and begin again.
Robert Browning
Afterward, I curl around her. We lie in silence until darkness falls, and then, haltingly, she begins to talk...She speaks without need or even room for response, so I simply hold her and stroke her hair. She talks of the pain, grief, and horror of the past four years; of learning to cope with being the wife of a man so violent and unpredictable his touch made her skin crawl and of thinking, until quite recently, that she'd finally managed to do that. And then, finally, of how my appearance had forced her to realize she hadn't learned to cope at all.
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
You told me once of t he plants that lie dormant through the drought; that wait, half dead, deep in the earth. The plants that wait for the rain. You said they'd wait for years, if they had to; that they'd almost kill themselves before they grew again. But as soon as those first drops of water fall, those plants begin to stretch and spread their roots. They travel up through the soil and sand to reach the surface. There's a chance for them again. One day they'll let you out of that dry, empty cell. You'll return to the Separates, without me, and you'll feel the ram once more. And you'll grow straight, this time, towards this sunlight. I know you will." - Gemma
Lucy Christopher (Stolen: A Letter to My Captor)
It hurts to let go, to say goodbye for the final time and remain distant in your closure, it may even tear your heart out to the point of insanity; but somehow in it all you find the pieces of your worth and you start creating yourself again, and in that journey of transformation you find the essence of what truly matters, inner happiness. It's life, we all fall at some stage but it's up to you, to decide how long you want to stay there.
Nikki Rowe
At the beginning of the semester, when you asked who I loved the most, an image of my mother popped in my head. When you asked me who I loved the most for the second time, it wasn’t an image of my mother. Instead, it was replaced by an image of a strawberry blonde with big, blue eyes. It took me a long time to figure out the exact moment I fell in love with her, partly because I denied that I did until it was too late. I fucked up so badly and did so many things wrong, to the point of no return, so I let her go. The selfless part inside of me wants to say I did the right thing, and the selfish part of me thinks I made the biggest mistake of my life. I guess the selfless side won out because, every time I look at her and see what I did, I realize I don’t deserve her. I was never supposed to fall in love with her, but that was the best mistake of my life. I will always love her; I have ever since I purposely bumped into her in the hallway.
Sarah Brianne (Nero (Made Men, #1))
The Cloud Maze. “ An Excursion in Dimension A Climb Though the Firmament; There Is No Beginning There Is No End Enter Where You Please Leave When You Wish Have No Fear of Falling
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
Inner resistance to whatever arises in the present moment pulls you back into unconsciousness. Inner resistance is some form of negativity, complaining, fear, aggression, or anger. This is important because whenever you complain about what somebody else does you're already beginning to fall into that trap of unconsciousness.
Eckhart Tolle
How long does a building stand before it falls? How long does a contract last? How long will brothers share the inheritance before they quarrel? How long does hatred, for that matter, last? Time after time the river has risen and flooded. The insect leaves the cocoon to live but a minute. How long is the eye able to look at the sun? From the very beginning nothing at all has lasted.
David Ferry (The Epic of Gilgamesh)
I knew from the beginning that we’d be addicted after all.” His amber eyes bore straight through me. “I just didn’t know whether we’d be at a better place than we were before.” We are. I don’t even have to say the words. He knows the answer too. We’re at the best place we’ve ever been, reaching a stasis together. It’s beautiful up here, and even if I fear falling, it’s nice to know I’ve been down that road before. And I can always walk to the top again.
Krista Ritchie (Addicted After All (Addicted #5))
Bodies count, of course - they count more than we're willing to admit - but we don't fall in love with bodies, we fall in love with each other. We all know that, but the moment we go beyond a catalogue of surface qualities and appearances, words begin to fail us, to crumble apart in mystical confusions and cloudy, unsubstantial metaphors.
Paul Auster (Oracle Night)
Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be, whether a long string of perfectly blue days that begin and end in golden dimness, the most seemingly chaotic political acts, the rise of a great city, the crystalline structure of a gem that has never seen the light, the distributions of fortune, what time the milkman gets up, the position of the electron, or the occurrence of one astonishing frigid winter after another. Even electrons, supposedly the paragons of unpredictability, are tame and obsequious little creatures that rush around at the speed of light, going precisely where they are supposed to go. They make faint whistling sounds that when apprehended in varying combinations are as pleasant as the wind flying through a forest, and they do exactly as they are told. Of this, one is certain. And yet, there is a wonderful anarchy, in that the milkman chooses when to arise, the rat picks the tunnel into which he will dive when the subway comes rushing down the track from Borough Hall, and the snowflake will fall as it will. How can this be? If nothing is random, and everything is predetermined, how can there be free will? The answer to that is simple. Nothing is predetermined, it is determined, or was determined, or will be determined. No matter, it all happened at once, in less than an instant, and time was invented because we cannot comprehend in one glance the enormous and detailed canvas that we have been given - so we track it, in linear fashion piece by piece. Time however can be easily overcome; not by chasing the light, but by standing back far enough to see it all at once. The universe is still and complete. Everything that ever was is; everything that ever will be is - and so on, in all possible combinations. Though in perceiving it we image that it is in motion, and unfinished, it is quite finished and quite astonishingly beautiful. In the end, or rather, as things really are, any event, no matter how small, is intimately and sensibly tied to all others. All rivers run full to the sea; those who are apart are brought together; the lost ones are redeemed; the dead come back to life; the perfectly blue days that have begun and ended in golden dimness continue, immobile and accessible; and, when all is perceived in such a way as to obviate time, justice becomes apparent not as something that will be, but something that is.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
It’s in our nature, Julian would say. We destroy. It’s the constant of our kind. No matter the color of blood, man will always fall. I didn’t understand that lesson a few days ago, but now, with Cal’s hands in mine, guiding me with the lightest touch, I’m beginning to see what he meant. I can feel myself falling.
Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen (Red Queen, #1))
The universe sings a deep, eternal song, sound in waves, in deep sighs, in whispers, in swirling chords and rising, falling tones. The music of the worlds, weaving in a pattern that is both chaos and order, both beauty and terror, without beginning, without end.
Jessica Khoury (The Forbidden Wish)
I knew he wouldn't come, but I howled anyway, and when I did, the other wolves would pass images of him to me of what he looked like: lithe, gray, yellow-eyed. I would pass back images of my own, of a wolf on the edge of the woods, silent and cautious, watching me. The images, clear as the slender-leaved trees in front of me, made finding him seem urgent, but I didn't know how to begin to look.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
Have you ever seen a child sitting on its mother’s knee listening to fairy stories? As long as the child is told of cruel giants and of the terrible suffering of beautiful princesses, it holds its head up and its eyes open; but if the mother begins to speak of happiness and sunshine, the little one closes its eyes and falls asleep with its head against her breast. . . . I am a child like that, too. Others may like stories of flowers and sunshine; but I choose the dark nights and sad destinies.
Selma Lagerlöf (Gösta Berling's Saga)
In moments Akiva was up in the ether, scarcely feeling the sting of ice crystals in the thin air. He let his glamour fall away, and his wings were like sheets of fire sweeping the black of the heavens. He moved at speed, onward toward another human city to find another doorway bitter with the devil's magic, and after that another, until all bore the black handprint....Once all the doors were marked, the end would begin. And it would begin with fire.
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
Quiet descended on her, calm, content, as her needle, drawing the silk smoothly to its gentle pause, collected the green folds together and attached them, very lightly, to the belt. So on a summer’s day waves collect, overbalance, and fall; collect and fall; and the whole world seems to be saying “that is all” more and more ponderously, until even the heart in the body which lies in the sun on the beach says too, That is all. Fear no more, says the heart. Fear no more, says the heart, committing its burden to some sea, which sighs collectively for all sorrows, and renews, begins, collects, lets fall. And the body alone listens to the passing bee; the wave breaking; the dog barking, far away barking and barking.
Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway)
NOT CAUSING HARM obviously includes not killing or robbing or lying to people. It also includes not being aggressive—not being aggressive with our actions, our speech, or our minds. Learning not to cause harm to ourselves or others is a basic Buddhist teaching on the healing power of nonaggression. Not harming ourselves or others in the beginning, not harming ourselves or others in the middle, and not harming ourselves or others in the end is the basis of enlightened society.
Pema Chödrön (When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics))
Everything I want to say and everything I've wished to say begins to take shape, falling to the floor and scrambling upright. Paragraphs and paragraphs begin building walls around me, blocking and justifying as they find ways to fit together, linking and weaving and leaving no room for escape. And every single space between every unspoken word clambers up and into my open mouth, down my throat and into my chest, filling me with so much emptiness I think I might just float away.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
Beginnings are always ripe with possibilities, for they hold the promise of completion. Through love we imagine a new way of being. You see me as I’ve never seen myself. You airbrush my imperfections, and I like what you see. With you, and through you, I will become that which I long to be. I will become whole. Being chosen by the one you chose is one of the glories of falling in love. It generates a feeling of intense personal importance. I matter. You confirm my significance.
Esther Perel (Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic)
Stories come alive in the telling. Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, they had no existence in our world. They were like seeds in the beak of a bird, waiting to fall to earth. Or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their music into being. They lay dormant, hoping for the chance to emerge. Once someone started to read them, they could begin to change. They could take root in the imagination and transform the reader. Stories wanted to be read. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
It's only just beginning to occur to me that it's important to have something going on somewhere, at work or at home, otherwise you're just clinging on. [...] You need as much ballast as possible to stop you floating away; you need people around you, things going on, otherwise life is like some film where the money ran out, and there are no sets, or locations, or supporting actors, and it's just one guy on his own staring into the camera with nothing to do and nobody to speak to, and who'd believe in this character then? I've got to get more stuff, more clutter, more detail in here, because at the moment I'm in danger of falling off the edge.
Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)
Know the story before you fall in love with your first sentence. If you don’t know the story before you begin the story, what kind of a storyteller are you? Just an ordinary kind, just a mediocre kind – making it up as you go along, like a common liar.
John Irving
Finally, to hinder the description of illness in literature, there is the poverty of the language.  English, which can express the thoughts of Hamlet and the tragedy of Lear, has no words for the shiver and the headache.  It has all grown one way.  The merest schoolgirl, when she falls in love, has Shakespeare or Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry.  There is nothing ready made for him.  He is forced to coin words himself, and, taking his pain in one hand, and a lump of pure sound in the other (as perhaps the people of Babel did in the beginning), so to crush them together that a brand new word in the end drops out.  Probably it will be something laughable.
Virginia Woolf (On Being Ill)
...the first thing you do at the end is reflect on the beginning. Maybe it's some form of reverse closure, or just the basic human impulse toward sentimentality, or masochism, but as you stand there shell-shocked in the charred ruins of your life, your mind will invariably go back to the time when it all started. And even if you didn't fall in love in the eighties, in your mind it will fee like the eighties, all innocent and airbrushed, with bright colors and shoulder pads and Pat Benatar or The Cure on the soundtrack.
Jonathan Tropper (This is Where I Leave You)
Not cry. Fly. “I can’t fly,” Bran said. “I can’t, I can’t…” How do you know? Have you ever tried? The voice was high and thin. Bran looked around to see where it was coming from. A crow was spiraling down with him, just out of touch, following him as he fell. “Help me,” he said. I’m trying, the crow replied… The crow took to the air and flapped around Bran’s hand. “You have wings,” Bran pointed out. Maybe you do too. Bran felt along his shoulders, groping for feathers. There are different kinds of wings, the crow said… Bran was falling faster than ever. The grey mists howled around him as he plunged toward the earth below. “What are you doing to me?” he asked the crow, tearful. Teaching you how to fly. “I can’t fly!” You’re flying right now. “I’m falling!” Every flight begins with a fall, the crow said. Look down.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
It's possible, and I stress possible, that such a moment may never come: you may not fall in love, you may not be able to or you may not wish to give your whole life to anyone, and, like me, you may turn forty-five one day and realize that you're no longer young and you have never found a choir of cupids with lyres or a bed of white roses leading to the altar. The only revenge left for you then will be to steal from life the pleasure of firm and passionate flesh - a pleasure that evaporates faster than good intentions and is the nearest thing to heaven you will find in this stinking world where everything decays, beginning with beauty and ending with memory.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Angel's Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2))
Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of, the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied only by the last words of the looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends, and a more-than minor life. And then i screwed up and the Colonel screwed up and Takumi screwed up and she slipped through our fingers. And there's no sugar-coating it: She deserved better friends. When she fucked up, all those years ago, just a little girl terrified. into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself. And I could have done that, but I saw where it led for her. So I still believe in the Great Perhaps, and I can believe in it spite of having lost her. Beacause I will forget her, yes. That which came together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly, and I will forget, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and everyone but herself and her mom in those last moments she spent as a person. I know that she forgives me for being dumb and sacred and doing the dumb and scared thing. I know she forgives me, just as her mother forgives her. And here's how I know: I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something's meal. What was her-green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs-would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just a matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirety. There is a part of her knowable parts. And that parts has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, One thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself -those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Eidson's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
We are meaning-seeking creatures. Dogs, as far as we know, do not agonise about the canine condition, worry about the plight of dogs in other parts of the world, or try to see their lives from a different perspective. But human beings fall easily into despair, and from the very beginning we invented stories that enabled us to place our lives in a larger setting, that revealed an underlying pattern, and gave us a sense that, against all the depressing and chaotic evidence to the contrary, life had meaning and value
Karen Armstrong (A Short History of Myth)
The man who has not the habit of reading is imprisoned in his immediate world, in respect to time and space. His life falls into a set routine; he is limited to contact and conversation with a few friends and acquaintances, and he sees only what happens in his immediate neighbourhood. From this prison there is no escape. But the moment he takes up a book, he immediately enters a different world, and if it is a good book, he is immediately put in touch with one of the best talkers of the world. This talker leads him on and carries him into a different country or a different age, or unburdens to him some of his personal regrets, or discusses with him some special line or aspect of life that the reader knows nothing about. An ancient author puts him in communion with a dead spirit of long ago, and as he reads along, he begins to imagine what the ancient author looked like and what type of person he was.
Lin Yutang (The Importance of Living)
Today you can buy the Dialogues of Plato for less than you would spend on a fifth of whiskey, or Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire for the price of a cheap shirt. You can buy a fair beginning of an education in any bookstore with a good stock of paperback books for less than you would spend on a week's supply of gasoline.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man)
I see fashion as a proclamation or manifestation of identity, so, as long as identities are important, fashion will continue to be important. The link between fashion and identity begins to get real interesting, however, in the case of people who don't fall clearly into a culturally-recognized identity.
Kate Bornstein (Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us)
I meditated on love and reasoned it out. I realized what is wrong with us. Men fall in love for the first time. And what do they fall in love with? ...They fall in love with a woman. They start at the wrong end of love. They begin at the climax. Can you wonder it is so miserable? Do you know how men should love? A tree. A rock. A cloud.
Carson McCullers (A Tree, a Rock, a Cloud)
Algebra applies to the clouds, the radiance of the star benefits the rose--no thinker would dare to say that the perfume of the hawthorn is useless to the constellations. Who could ever calculate the path of a molecule? How do we know that the creations of worlds are not determined by falling grains of sand? Who can understand the reciprocal ebb and flow of the infinitely great and the infinitely small, the echoing of causes in the abyss of being and the avalanches of creation? A mite has value; the small is great, the great is small. All is balanced in necessity; frightening vision for the mind. There are marvelous relations between beings and things, in this inexhaustible whole, from sun to grub, there is no scorn, each needs the other. Light does not carry terrestrial perfumes into the azure depths without knowing what it does with them; night distributes the stellar essence to the sleeping plants. Every bird that flies has the thread of the infinite in its claw. Germination includes the hatching of a meteor and the tap of a swallow's beak breaking the egg, and it guides the birth of the earthworm, and the advent of Socrates. Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has a greater view? Choose. A bit of mold is a pleiad of flowers; a nebula is an anthill of stars. The same promiscuity, and still more wonderful, between the things of the intellect and material things. Elements and principles are mingled, combined, espoused, multiplied one by another, to the point that the material world, and the moral world are brought into the same light. Phenomena are perpetually folded back on themselves. In the vast cosmic changes, universal life comes and goes in unknown quantities, rolling everything up in the invisible mystery of the emanations, using everything, losing no dream from any single sleep, sowing a microscopic animal here, crumbling a star there, oscillating and gyrating, making a force of light, and an element of thought, disseminated and indivisible dissolving all, that geometric point, the self; reducing everything to the soul-atom; making everything blossom into God; entangling from the highest to the lowest, all activities in the obscurity of a dizzying mechanism, linking the flight of an insect to the movement of the earth, subordinating--who knows, if only by the identity of the law--the evolutions of the comet in the firmament to the circling of the protozoa in the drop of water. A machine made of mind. Enormous gearing, whose first motor is the gnat, and whose last is the zodiac.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
When you fall out of love, it doesn’t mean that you stop loving someone. They just don’t make your heart beat faster. You don’t crave them until you don’t know where they end and you begin. I don’t know that I ever fell out of love with Ben, but I do know that I fell in love with Arsen along the way. Or maybe I confused fucking and lust for love. I don’t know. I don’t think I will ever know.
Mia Asher (Arsen: A Broken Love Story)
The whole idea of it makes me feel like I'm coming down with something, something worse than any stomach ache or the headaches I get from reading in bad light-- a kind of measles of the spirit, a mumps of the psyche, a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul. You tell me it is too early to be looking back, but that is because you have forgotten the perfect simplicity of being one and the beautiful complexity introduced by two. But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit. At four I was an Arabian wizard. I could make myself invisible by drinking a glass of milk a certain way. At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince. But now I am mostly at the window watching the late afternoon light. Back then it never fell so solemnly against the side of my tree house, and my bicycle never leaned against the garage as it does today, all the dark blue speed drained out of it. This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself, as I walk through the universe in my sneakers. It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends, time to turn the first big number. It seems only yesterday I used to believe there was nothing under my skin but light. If you cut me I could shine. But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life, I skin my knees. I bleed.
Billy Collins
He turns the pages from right to left. He begins at the beginning and ends at the end. This makes a quirky sense to me—but Mikio and I are definitely in the minority here. And how can we two be right? It would make so many others wrong. Water moves upward. It seeks the highest level. What did you expect? Smoke falls. Things are created in the violence of fire. But that’s all right. Gravity still pins us to the planet.
Martin Amis (Time's Arrow)
I know already that I will return to this day whenever I want to. I can bid it alive. Preserve it. There is a still point where the present, the now, winds around itself, and nothing is tangled. The river is not where it begins or ends, but right in the middle point, anchored by what has happened and what is to arrive. You can close your eyes and there will be a light snow falling in New York, and seconds later you are sunning upon a rock in Zacapa, and seconds later still you are surfing through the Bronx on the strength of your own desire. There is no way to find a word to fit around this feeling. Words resist it. Words give it a pattern it does not own. Words put it in time. They freeze what cannot be stopped. Try to describe the taste of a peach. Try to describe it. Feel the rush of sweetness: we make love.
Colum McCann (Let the Great World Spin)
For Someone Awakening To The Trauma of His or Her Past: For everything under the sun there is a time. This is the season of your awkward harvesting, When the pain takes you where you would rather not go, Through the white curtain of yesterdays to a place You had forgotten you knew from the inside out; And a time when that bitter tree was planted That has grown always invisibly beside you And whose branches your awakened hands Now long to disentangle from your heart. You are coming to see how your looking often darkened When you should have felt safe enough to fall toward love, How deep down your eyes were always owned by something That faced them through a dark fester of thorns Converting whoever came into a further figure of the wrong; You could only see what touched you as already torn. Now the act of seeing begins your work of mourning. And your memory is ready to show you everything, Having waited all these years for you to return and know. Only you know where the casket of pain is interred. You will have to scrape through all the layers of covering And according to your readiness, everything will open. May you be blessed with a wise and compassionate guide Who can accompany you through the fear and grief Until your heart has wept its way to your true self. As your tears fall over that wounded place, May they wash away your hurt and free your heart. May your forgiveness still the hunger of the wound So that for the first time you can walk away from that place, Reunited with your banished heart, now healed and freed, And feel the clear, free air bless your new face.
John O'Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings)
It's quite simple really. Being always transcends appearance-that which only seems to be. Once you begin to know the being behind the very pretty or very ugly face, as determined by your bias, the surface appearances fade away until they simple no longer matter. That is why Elousia is such a wonderful name. God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things-ultimately emerging as the real-and appearances that mask that reality will fall away.
William Paul Young (The Shack)
The Hmong have a phrase, hais cuaj txub kaum txub, which means “to speak of all kinds of things.” It is often used at the beginning of an oral narrative as a way of reminding the listeners that the world is full of things that may not seem to be connected but actually are; that no event occurs in isolation; that you can miss a lot by sticking to the point; and that the storyteller is likely to be rather long-winded.
Anne Fadiman (The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures)
Man no longer lives in the beginning--he has lost the beginning. Now he finds he is in the middle, knowing neither the end nor the beginning, and yet knowing that he is in the middle, coming from the beginning and going towards the end. He sees that his life is determined by these two facets, of which he knows only that he does not know them
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Creation and Fall Temptation: Two Biblical Studies)
When the human race learns to read the language of symbolism, a great veil will fall from the eyes of men. They shall then know truth and, more than that, they shall realize that from the beginning truth has been in the world unrecognized, save by a small but gradually increasing number appointed by the Lords of the Dawn as ministers to the needs of human creatures struggling co regain their consciousness of divinity.
Manly P. Hall (Melchizedek and the Mystery of Fire)
When we understand the character of God, when we grasp something of His holiness, then we begin to understand the radical character of our sin and hopelessness. Helpless sinners can survive only by grace. Our strength is futile in itself; we are spiritually impotent without the assistance of a merciful God. We may dislike giving our attention to God's wrath and justice, but until we incline ourselves to these aspects of God's nature, we will never appreciate what has been wrought for us by grace. Even Edwards's sermon on sinners in God's hands was not designed to stress the flames of hell. The resounding accent falls not on the fiery pit but on the hands of the God who holds us and rescues us from it. The hands of God are gracious hands. They alone have the power to rescue us from certain destruction.
R.C. Sproul (The Holiness of God)
Today is tomorrow, and present is past. Nothing exists and everything will last. There is no beginning, there was no end. No depth to fall, no height to ascend. There is only this moment, this flicker of light That illuminates nothing, but oh! So bright! For we are the spark that flutters in space, Consuming an eternity of a moment’s grace. For today is tomorrow and present and past. Nothing exists and everything will last.
Jane Roberts
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))
The finished clock is resplendent. At first glance it is simply a clock, a rather large black clock with a white face and a silver pendulum. Well crafted, obviously, with intricately carved woodwork edges and a perfectly painted face, but just a clock. But that is before it is wound. Before it begins to tick, the pendulum swinging steadily and evenly. Then, then it becomes something else. The changes are slow. First, the color changes in the face, shifts from white to grey, and then there are clouds that float across it, disappearing when they reach the opposite side. Meanwhile, bits of the body of the clock expand and contract, like pieces of a puzzle. As though the clock is falling apart, slowly and gracefully. All of this takes hours. The face of the clock becomes a darker grey, and then black, with twinkling stars where numbers had been previously. The body of the clock, which has been methodically turning itself inside out and expanding, is now entirely subtle shades of white and grey. And it is not just pieces, it is figures and objects, perfectly carved flowers and planets and tiny books with actual paper pages that turn. There is a silver dragon that curls around part of the now visible clockwork, a tiny princess in a carved tower who paces in distress, awaiting an absent prince. Teapots that pour into teacups and minuscule curls of steam that rise from them as the seconds tick. Wrapped presents open. Small cats chase small dogs. An entire game of chess is played. At the center, where a cuckoo bird would live in a more traditional timepiece, is the juggler. Dress in harlequin style with a grey mask, he juggles shiny silver balls that correspond to each hour. As the clock chimes, another ball joins the rest until at midnight he juggles twelve balls in a complex pattern. After midnight, the clock begins once more to fold in upon itself. The face lightens and the cloud returns. The number of juggled balls decreases until the juggler himself vanishes. By noon it is a clock again, and no longer a dream.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
Life In Love Escape me? Never--- Beloved! While I am I, and you are you, So long as the world contains us both, Me the loving and you the loth While the one eludes, must the other pursue. My life is a fault at last, I fear: It seems too much like a fate, indeed! Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed. But what if I fail of my purpose here? It is but to keep the nerves at strain, To dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall, And, baffled, get up and begin again,--- So the chace takes up one's life ' that's all. While, look but once from your farthest bound At me so deep in the dust and dark, No sooner the old hope goes to ground Than a new one, straight to the self-same mark, I shape me--- Ever Removed!
Robert Browning
Most people who fall obsessively in love claim that it happens precipitously, unexpectedly [...] But I believe there's almost always a prerequisite. Falling in love in this way will usually occur at a time of transition. We may not be conscious of it, but something has ended and something new must begin. Romantic obsession is like a cataclysm breaking up the empty landscape. Like a strange exotic plant, it grows in arid soil. (pp. 27-28)
Rosemary Sullivan (Labyrinth of Desire: Women, Passion, and Romantic Obsession)
All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you. I never had a selfless thought since I was born. I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through: I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn. Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek, I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin: I talk of love --a scholar's parrot may talk Greek-- But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin. Only that now you have taught me (but how late) my lack. I see the chasm. And everything you are was making My heart into a bridge by which I might get back From exile, and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking. For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains You give me are more precious than all other gains.
C.S. Lewis (Poems)
It faded slowly, ebbing like the tide. He rolled onto his back, staring up, his head still aching. The black clouds were beginning to roll back, showing a widening strip of blue; the Angel was gone, the lake surging under the growing light as if the water were boiling. Simon began to sit up slowly, his eyes squinted painfully against the sun. He could see someone racing down the path from the farmhouse to the lake. Someone with long black hair, and a purple jacket that flew out behind her like wings. She hit the end of the path and leaped onto the lakeside, her boots kicking up puffs of sand behind her. She reached him and threw herself sand behind her. She reached him and threw herself down, wrapping her arms around him. “Simon,” she whispered. He could feel the strong, steady beat of Isabelle’s heart. “I thought you were dead,” she went on. “I saw you fall down, and—I thought you were dead.” Simon let her hold him, propping himself up on his hands. He realized he was listing like a ship with a hole in the side, and tried not to move. He was afraid that if he did, he would fall over. “I am dead.” “ I know,” Izzy snapped. “I mean more dead than usual.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
What do you love most about the world?” Ida smiles. “I love that every generation thinks they’ve invented it. They think they’re the first ones to fall in love and get their hearts broken, to feel loss and passion and pain. And in a way, they are. We’ve been there before, of course. But for young people, that doesn’t matter. Everything is new. Which I love, because it means everything is always beginning again. It’s hopeful, I think. At least to me.
Jennifer E. Smith (Field Notes on Love)
For I have known them all already, known them all - Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons; I know the voices dying with a dying fall Beneath the music from a farther room. So how should I presume? And I have known the eyes already, known them all - The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase, And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin, When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall, Then how should I begin To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways? And how should I presume?
T.S. Eliot (T.S. Eliot Reads: The Wasteland, Four Quartets and Other Poems)
They're all gone, my tribe is gone. Those blankets they gave us, infected with smallpox, have killed us. I'm the last, the very last, and I'm sick, too. So very sick. Hot. My fever burning so hot. I have to take off my clothes, feel the cold air, splash water across my bare skin. And dance. I'll dance a Ghost Dance. I'll bring them back. Can you hear the drums? I can hear them, and it's my grandfather and grandmother singing. Can you hear them? I dance one step and my sister rises from the ash. I dance another and a buffalo crashes down from the sky onto a log cabin in Nebraska. With every step, an Indian rises. With every other step, a buffalo falls. I'm growing, too. My blisters heal, my muscles stretch, expand. My tribe dances behind me. At first they are no bigger than children. Then they begin to grow, larger than me, larger than the trees around us. The buffalo come to join us and their hooves shake the earth, knock all the white people from their beds, send their plates crashing to the floor. We dance in circles growing larger and larger until we are standing on the shore, watching all the ships returning to Europe. All the white hands are waving good-bye and we continue to dance, dance until the ships fall off the horizon, dance until we are so tall and strong that the sun is nearly jealous. We dance that way.
Sherman Alexie (The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven)
It's probably wrong to believe there can be any limit to the horror which the human mind can experience. On the contrary, it seems that some exponential effect begins to obtain as deeper and deeper darkness falls-as little as one may like to admit it, human experience tends, in a good many ways, to support the idea that when the nightmare grows black enough, horror spawns horror, one coincidental evil begets other, often more deliberate evils, until finally blackness seems to cover everything. And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity. That such events have their own Rube Goldberg absurdity goes almost without saying. At some point, it all starts to become rather funny. That may be the point at which sanity begins either to save itself or to buckle and break down; that point at which one's sense of humor begins to reassert itself.
Stephen King (Pet Sematary)
Out of the cradle endlessly rocking, Out of the mocking-bird’s throat, the musical shuttle, Out of the Ninth-month midnight, Over the sterile sands, and the fields beyond, where the child, leaving his bed, wander’d alone, bare-headed, barefoot, Down from the shower’d halo, Up from the mystic play of shadows, twining and twisting as if they were alive, Out from the patches of briers and blackberries, From the memories of the bird that chanted to me, From your memories, sad brother—from the fitful risings and fallings I heard, From under that yellow half-moon, late-risen, and swollen as if with tears, From those beginning notes of sickness and love, there in the transparent mist, From the thousand responses of my heart, never to cease, From the myriad thence-arous’d words, From the word stronger and more delicious than any, From such, as now they start, the scene revisiting, As a flock, twittering, rising, or overhead passing, Borne hither—ere all eludes me, hurriedly, A man—yet by these tears a little boy again, Throwing myself on the sand, confronting the waves, I, chanter of pains and joys, uniter of here and hereafter, Taking all hints to use them—but swiftly leaping beyond them, A reminiscence sing.
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
This is where I would've taken Daniel. I would've told him to write poetry about space rocks and impact craters. The sheer number of actions and reactions it's taken to form our solar system, our galaxy, our universe, is astonishing. The number of things that had to go exactly right is overwhelming. Compared to that, what is falling in love? A series of small coincidences that we say means everything because we want to believe that our tiny lives matter on a galactic scale. But falling in love doesn't even begin to compare to the formation of the universe. It's not even close
Nicola Yoon (The Sun Is Also a Star)
The truly apocalyptic view of the world is that things do not repeat themselves. It isn’t absurd, e.g., to believe that the age of science and technology is the beginning of the end for humanity; that the idea of great progress is delusion, along with the idea that the truth will ultimately be known; that there is nothing good or desirable about scientific knowledge and that mankind, in seeking it, is falling into a trap. It is by no means obvious that this is not how things are.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (Culture and Value)
It is God's earth out of which man is taken. From it he has his body. His body belongs to his essential being. Man's body is not his prison, his shell his exterior, but man himself. Man does not "have" a body; he does not "have" a soul; rather he "is" body and soul. Man in the beginning is really his body. He is one. He is his body, as Christ is completely his body, as the Church is the body of Christ
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Creation and Fall Temptation: Two Biblical Studies)
I smiled sweetly at his embarressment, beginning to walk again, kicking up golden leaves. I heard him scuffling leaves behind me. "And what was the point of this again?" Forget it!" Sam said. "Do you you like this place or not?" I stoped in my tracks, spinning to face him. "Hey." I pointed at him; he raised his eyebrows and stopped in his tracks. "You didn't think Jack would be here at all, did you?" His thick black eyebrows went up even farther. Did you evan intend to look for him at all?" He held his hands up as if a surrender. "What do you want me to say?" You were trying to see if I would reconize it, wern't you?" I took anouther step, colsing the distance between us. I could feel the heat of his body, even without touching him, in the increasing cold of the day. "YOU told me about this wood somehow. How did you show it to me?" I keep trying to tell you. You wont listen. Because you're stubbon. It's how we speek- it's the only words we have. Just pictures. Just simple little picters. You HAVE changed Grace. Just not your skin. I want you to believe me." His hands were still raise, but he was starting to grin at me in the failing light. So you brought me here to see this." I stepped forward again, and he stepped back. Do you like it?" Under false pretence." Anouther step forward; anouther back. The grine widened So do you like it?" When you knew we wouldn't come across anybody else." His teeth flashed in his grin. "Do you like it?" I punched my hands into his chest. "You know I love it. You knew I would." I went to punch him, and he grabed my wrists. For a moment we stood there like that, him looking down at me with a grin half-caught on his face, and me lookingup at him: Still Life with Boy and Girl. It would've been the perfect moment to kiss me, but he didn't. He just looked at me and looked at me, and by the time I relizeed I could just as easily kiss him, I noticed that his grin was slipping away. Sam slowly lowered my wrists and relesed them. "I'm glad." he said very quietly. My arms still hung by my sides, right where Sam had put them. I frowned at him. "You were supposed to kiss me." I thought about it." I just kept looking at the soft, sad shape of his lips, looking just like his voice sounded. I was probably staring, but I couldn't stop thinking about how much I wanted him to kiss me and how stupide it was to want it so badly. "Why don't you?" He leaned over and gave mr the lightest of kisses. His lips, cool and dry, ever so polite and incredibly maddening. "I have to get inside soon," he whispered "It's getting cold
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
The big system can be pretty overwhelming. We know that we can’t beat them by competing with them. What we can do is build small systems where we live and work that serve our needs as we define us and not as they ‘re defined for us. The big boys in their shining armor are up there on castle walls hurling their thunderbolts. We’re the ants patiently carrying sand a grain at a time from under the castle wall. We work from the bottom up. The knights up there don’t see the ants and don’t know what we’re doing. They’ll figure it out only when the wall begins to fall. It takes time and quiet persistence. Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time
Utah Phillips
This is an ode to all of those that have never asked for one. A thank you in words to all of those that do not do what they do so well for the thanking. This is to the mothers. This is to the ones who match our first scream with their loudest scream; who harmonize in our shared pain and joy and terrified wonder when life begins. This is to the mothers. To the ones who stay up late and wake up early and always know the distance between their soft humming song and our tired ears. To the lips that find their way to our foreheads and know, somehow always know, if too much heat is living in our skin. To the hands that spread the jam on the bread and the mesmerizing patient removal of the crust we just cannot stomach. This is to the mothers. To the ones who shout the loudest and fight the hardest and sacrifice the most to keep the smiles glued to our faces and the magic spinning through our days. To the pride they have for us that cannot fit inside after all they have endured. To the leaking of it out their eyes and onto the backs of their hands, to the trails of makeup left behind as they smile through those tears and somehow always manage a laugh. This is to the patience and perseverance and unyielding promise that at any moment they would give up their lives to protect ours. This is to the mothers. To the single mom’s working four jobs to put the cheese in the mac and the apple back into the juice so their children, like birds in a nest, can find food in their mouths and pillows under their heads. To the dreams put on hold and the complete and total rearrangement of all priority. This is to the stay-at-home moms and those that find the energy to go to work every day; to the widows and the happily married. To the young mothers and those that deal with the unexpected announcement of a new arrival far later than they ever anticipated. This is to the mothers. This is to the sack lunches and sleepover parties, to the soccer games and oranges slices at halftime. This is to the hot chocolate after snowy walks and the arguing with the umpire at the little league game. To the frosting ofbirthday cakes and the candles that are always lit on time; to the Easter egg hunts, the slip-n-slides and the iced tea on summer days. This is to the ones that show us the way to finding our own way. To the cutting of the cord, quite literally the first time and even more painfully and metaphorically the second time around. To the mothers who become grandmothers and great-grandmothers and if time is gentle enough, live to see the children of their children have children of their own. To the love. My goodness to the love that never stops and comes from somewhere only mothers have seen and know the secret location of. To the love that grows stronger as their hands grow weaker and the spread of jam becomes slower and the Easter eggs get easier to find and sack lunches no longer need making. This is to the way the tears look falling from the smile lines around their eyes and the mascara that just might always be smeared with the remains of their pride for all they have created. This is to the mothers.
Tyler Knott Gregson
Leaves will fall, cold will creep in A circle of life that ends where it begins It may take a thousand years and a thousand poems penned But my hair will someday gray and my back will bend— Then my shadow will join my body in the earth once again. I know not the way, or even the when Or who chooses that day we’re called away to ascend But you bathed me in your bravery and forgave me my sins You made a home in your heart for mine to live in— And in return, my friend, this poem is my oath that a river of love will run through it until the very end.
Ryan Winfield (State of Nature (Park Service Trilogy, #3))
I like to live always at the beginnings of life, not at their end. We all lose some of our faith under the oppression of mad leaders, insane history, pathologic cruelties of daily life. I am by nature always beginning and believing and so I find your company more fruitful than that of, say, Edmund Wilson, who asserts his opinions, beliefs, and knowledge as the ultimate verity. Older people fall into rigid patterns. Curiosity, risk, exploration are forgotten by them. You have not yet discovered that you have a lot to give, and that the more you give the more riches you will find in yourself. It amazed me that you felt that each time you write a story you gave away one of your dreams and you felt the poorer for it. But then you have not thought that this dream is planted in others, others begin to live it too, it is shared, it is the beginning of friendship and love. […] You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them. If it seems to you that I move in a world of certitudes, you, par contre, must benefit from the great privilege of youth, which is that you move in a world of mysteries. But both must be ruled by faith.
Anaïs Nin
West Wind #2 You are young. So you know everything. You leap into the boat and begin rowing. But listen to me. Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without any doubt, I talk directly to your soul. Listen to me. Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and your heart, and heart’s little intelligence, and listen to me. There is life without love. It is not worth a bent penny, or a scuffed shoe. It is not worth the body of a dead dog nine days unburied. When you hear, a mile away and still out of sight, the churn of the water as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the sharp rocks – when you hear that unmistakable pounding – when you feel the mist on your mouth and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls plunging and steaming – then row, row for your life toward it.
Mary Oliver (West Wind)
But, said Lewis, myths are lies, even though lies breathed through silver. No, said Tolkien, they are not. ...just as speech is invention about objects and ideas, so myth is invention about truth. We have come from God (continued Tolkien), and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming a 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil. You mean, asked Lewis, that the story of Christ is simply a true myth, a myth that works on us in the same way as the others, but a myth that really happened? In that case, he said, I begin to understand.
Humphrey Carpenter (J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography)
We have in fact only two certainties in this world—that we are not everything and that we will die. To be conscious of not being everything, as one is of being mortal, is nothing. But if we are without a narcotic, an unbreathable void reveals itself. I wanted to be everything, so that falling into this void, I might summon my courage and say to myself: “I am ashamed of having wanted to be everything, for I see now that it was to sleep.” From that moment begins a singular experience. The mind moves in a strange world where anguish and ecstasy coexist.
Georges Bataille (Inner Experience)
For a while, Criticism travels side by side with the Work, then Criticism vanishes and it's the Readers who keep pace. The journey may be long or short. Then the Readers die one by one and the Work continues on alone, although a new Criticism and new Readers gradually fall into step with it along its path. Then Criticism dies again and the Readers die again and the Work passes over a trail of bones on its journey toward solitude. To come near the work, to sail in her wake, is a sign of certain death, but new Criticism and new Readers approach her tirelessly and relentlessly and are devoured by time and speed. Finally the Work journeys irremediably alone in the Great Vastness. And one day the Work dies, as all things must die and come to an end: the Sun and the Earth and the Solar System and the Galaxy and the farthest reaches of man's memory. Everything that begins as comedy ends in tragedy.
Roberto Bolaño (The Savage Detectives)
The books were legends and tales, stories from all over the Realm. These she had devoured voraciously – so voraciously, in fact, that she started to become fatigued by them. It was possible to have too much of a good thing, she reflected. “They’re all the same,” she complained to Fleet one night. “The soldier rescues the maiden and they fall in love. The fool outwits the wicked king. There are always three brothers or sisters, and it’s always the youngest who succeeds after the first two fail. Always be kind to beggars, for they always have a secret; never trust a unicorn. If you answer somebody’s riddle they always either kill themselves or have to do what you say. They’re all the same, and they’re all ridiculous! That isn’t what life is like!” Fleet had nodded sagely and puffed on his hookah. “Well, of course that’s not what life is like. Except the bit about unicorns – they’ll eat your guts as soon as look at you. those things in there” – he tapped the book she was carrying – “they’re simple stories. Real life is a story, too, only much more complicated. It’s still got a beginning, a middle, and an end. Everyone follows the same rules, you know. . . It’s just that there are more of them. Everyone has chapters and cliffhangers. Everyone has their journey to make. Some go far and wide and come back empty-handed; some don’t go anywhere and their journey makes them richest of all. Some tales have a moral and some don’t make any sense. Some will make you laugh, others make you cry. The world is a library, young Poison, and you’ll never get to read the same book twice.
Chris Wooding (Poison)
He remembered a story Madrigal had told him once: the human tale of the golem. It was a thing shaped of clay in the form of a man, brought to life by carving the symbol aleph into its brow. Aleph was the first symbol of an ancestral human alphabet, and the first letter of the Hebrew word truth; it was the beginning. Watching Karou rise to her feet, radiant in a fall of lapis hai, in a woven dress the colour of tangerines, with a loop of silver beads at her throat and a look of joy and relief and... love... on her beautiful face, Akiva knew that she was his aleph, his truth and beginning. His soul.
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
For it is a mad world and it will get madder if we allow the minorities, be they dwarf or giant, orangutan or dolphin, nuclear-head or water conservationalist, pro-computerologist or Neo-Luddite, simpleton or sage, to interfere with aesthetics. The real world is the playing ground for each and every group, to make or unmake laws. But the tip of the nose of my book or stories or poems is where their rights end and my territorial imperatives begin, run and rule. If Mormons do not like my plays, let them write their own. If the Irish hate my Dublin stories, let them rent typewriters. If teachers and grammar school editors find my jawbreaker sentences shatter their mushmilk teeth, let them eat stale cake dunked in weak tea of their own ungodly manufacture. If the Chicano intellectuals wish to re-cut my "Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" so it shapes "Zoot," may the belt unravel and the pants fall.
Ray Bradbury
There are so many important lessons I’ve learned in my journey to now. Trust your instincts, follow your bliss, make plans, work hard, learn to let things go. Don’t be late. Remember that fortune favors the brave. Live. If you need to run, try and run toward something. Study for tests. Laugh at silly cartoons. Be organized. If you fall seven times, get up eight. Always carry an extra pen. Believe you can do everything. Find your key. And the most valuable lesson I’ve learned will forever live in my heart, right beside my husband. Love the one who proves to you that happily ever after is only the beginning.
Nina Lane (Awaken (Spiral of Bliss, #3))
Listen to me. I know something else. It will begin again. 200,000 dead and 80,000 wounded in nine seconds. Those are the official figures. It will begin again. It will be 10,000 degrees on the earth. Ten thousand suns, people will say. The asphalt will burn. Chaos will prevail. An entire city will be lifted off the ground, and fall back to earth in ashes…I meet you. I remember you. Who are you? You’re destroying me. You’re good for me. How could I know this city was tailor-made for love? How could I know you fit my body like a glove? I like you. How unlikely. I like you. How slow all of a sudden. How sweet. You cannot know. You’re destroying me. You’re good for me. You’re destroying me. You’re good for me. I have time. Please, devour me. Deform me to the point of ugliness. Why not you?
Marguerite Duras (Hiroshima Mon Amour)
My studies have shown that the process of falling into mature love happens in four steps. When you meet a woman, you subconsciously look for cues that she's the kind os person you should be with. That's assumption. If she passes the assumption test, you begin to get to know her to find out if she's appropriate for you. If she is, you're attracted. If, as you get to know her, the attraction is reinforced with joy or pain or both, you'll fall into infatuation. And if you manage to make a connection and attach to each other during infatuation, you'll move into mature, unconditional love.
Jennifer Crusie (Bet Me)
We fall into the great continuing circle of dancers. Some leave the floor, tired but giddy; others have only just arrived. They are eager to wear their new status as ladies, to be paraded about and lauded until they see themselves with new eyes. The fathers beam at their daughters, thinking them perfect flowers in need of their protection, while the mothers watch from the margins, certain this moment is their doing. We create illusions we need to go on. And one day, when they no longer dazzle or comfort, we tear them down, brick by glittering brick, until we are left with nothing but the bright light of honesty. The light is liberating. Necessary. Terrifying. We stand naked and emptied before it. Adn when it is too much for our eyes to take, we build a new illusion to shield us from its relentless truth. But the girls! Their eyes glow with the fever dream of all they might become. They tell themselves this is the beginning of everything. And who am I to say it isn't?
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys. Not that all months aren’t rare. But there be bad and good, as the pirates say. Take September, a bad month: school begins. Consider August, a good month: school hasn’t begun yet. July, well, July’s really fine: there’s no chance in the world for school. June, no doubting it, June’s best of all, for the school doors spring wide and September’s a billion years away. But you take October, now. School’s been on a month and you’re riding easier in the reins, jogging along. You got time to think of the garbage you’ll dump on old man Prickett’s porch, or the hairy-ape costume you’ll wear to the YMCA the last night of the month. And if it’s around October twentieth and everything smoky-smelling and the sky orange and ash gray at twilight, it seems Halloween will never come in a fall of broomsticks and a soft flap of bedsheets around corners.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
But the burning man falling from the sky pulled me from my faraway world. My gaze wandered to the window an instant before he appeared. And then, slowly, like a feather caught on a light breeze, he willowed past my window, turning his grotesque head towards me, his mouth open in a silent scream. He was more than on fire. He was fire. Orange and red flames braided together in the shape of a man, but it was his eyes that caused me to suck in my breath and hold it as I ran to the window. His eyes, scared and imploring, told of a darkness and agony I couldn't begin to understand.
Gwen Hayes (Falling Under (Falling Under, #1))
For me, family means the silent treatment. At any given moment, someone is always not speaking to someone else.' Really,' I said. We're passive-aggressive people,' she explained, taking a sip of her coffee. 'Silence is our weapon of choice. Right now, for instance, I'm not speaking to two of my sisters and one brother... At mine [my house], silence is golden. And common.' To me,' Reggie said, picking up a bottle of Vitamin A and moving it thoughtfully from one hand to the other, 'family is, like, the wellspring of human energy. The place where all life begins.'... Harriet considered this as she took a sip of coffee. 'Huh,' she said. 'I guess when someone else does something worse. Then you need people on your side, so you make up with one person, jsut as you're getting pissed off at another.' So it's an endless cycle,' I said. I guess.' She took another sip. 'Coming together, falling apart. Isn't that what families are all about?
Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key)
A Blessing Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota, Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass. And the eyes of those two Indian ponies Darken with kindness. They have come gladly out of the willows To welcome my friend and me. We step over the barbed wire into the pasture Where they have been grazing all day, alone. They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness That we have come. They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other. There is no loneliness like theirs. At home once more, They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness. I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms, For she has walked over to me And nuzzled my left hand. She is black and white, Her mane falls wild on her forehead, And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist. Suddenly I realize That if I stepped out of my body I would break Into blossom.
James Wright (Above the River: The Complete Poems)
How surely gravity's law, strong as an ocean current, takes hold of the smallest thing and pulls it toward the heart of the world. Each thing--- each stone, blossom, child--- is held in place. Only we, in our arrogance, push out beyond what we each belong to for some empty freedom. If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees. Instead we entangle ourselves in knots of our own making and struggle, lonely and confused. So like children, we begin again to learn from the things, because they are in God's heart; they have never left him. This is what the things can teach us: to fall, patiently to trust our heaviness. Even a bird has to do that before he can fly.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God)
Cold air rises from the ground as the sun goes down.  The eye-burning clarity of the light intensifies. The southern rim of the sky glows to a deeper blue, to pale violet, to purple, then thins to grey.  Slowly the wind falls, and the still air begins to freeze.  The solid eastern ridge is black; it has a bloom on it like the dust on the skin of a grape.  The west flares briefly.  The long, cold amber of the afterglow casts clear black lunar shadows.  There is an animal mystery in the light that sets upon the fields like a frozen muscle that will flex and wake at sunrise.
J.A. Baker (The Peregrine)
When they fall in love with a city it is for forever. As though there never was a time when they didn't love it. The minute they arrive at the train station or get off the ferry and glimpse the wide streets and the wasteful lamps lighting them, they know they are born for it. There, in a city, they are not so much new as themselves, their stronger, riskier selves. And in the beginning when they first arrive, and twenty years later when they and the city have grown up, they love that part of themselvers so much they forget what loving other people was like - if they ever knew, that is.
Toni Morrison (Jazz)
The division of one day from the next must be one of the most profound peculiarities of life on this planet. We are not condemned to sustained flights of being, but are constantly refreshed by little holidays from ourselves. We are intermittent creatures, always falling to little ends and rising to new beginnings. Our soon-tired consciousness is meted out in chapters, and that the world will look quite different tomorrow is, both for our comfort and our discomfort, usually true. How marvelously too night matches sleep, sweet image of it, so nearly apportioned to our need. Angels must wonder at these beings who fall so regularly out of awareness into a fantasm-infested dark. How our frail identities survive these chasms no philosopher has ever been able to explain.
Iris Murdoch (The Black Prince)
I begin to wonder how different "real" love is from my imaginary affair. In any relationship there's both reality and the perception of reality. As long as I see the other person as smart or sexy or handsome or good and as long as I can hang on to the feeling of loving and being loved then it's real. But somehow we're able to hang on to those feelings and beliefs even when objective reality diverges. Actions don't necessarily alter beliefs and beliefs matter more. Before you fall in love you begin to imagine the other person. You create your lover extrapolating on reality dusting him or her with gold. You embellish to the point of perfection and then fall hard for the image you've made. With all my traveling I may have spent more time imagining than others. But a huge amount of all love takes place in the head. In the middle of any relationship we can spend more time hour for hour thinking about the other person than we spend in his presence. And after any breakup there's no telling how long we might pine for someone. Love itself is in the mind's eye.
Elisabeth Eaves (Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents)
In the beginning of a relationship, you see what you want to see. You fall in love with qualities you want in partner, not necessarily qualities your partner actually has. Then, over time, you begin to realise that no, the man in front of you is not the same person you felt in love with, because the person you felt in love with was a spectre, something of your own invention. Now you're left with a real flesh-and-blood human, and he isn't perfect, and now you have to deal with that. It's a stark time. It's not easy to come to grips with these things, but you can't go your whole life pretending this man is everything you built him up to be in your mind.
G.R. Richards (The Long Way Home)
Now begins to rise in me the familiar rhythm; words that have lain dormant now lift, now toss their crests, and fall and rise, and fall and rise again. I am a poet, yes. Surely I am a great poet. Boats and youth passing and distant trees, "the falling fountains of the pendant trees". I see it all. I feel it all. I am inspired. My eyes fill with tears. Yet even as I feel this. I lash my frenzy higher and higher. It foams. It becomes artificial, insincere. Words and words and words, how they gallop - how they lash their long manes and tails, but for some fault in me I cannot give myself to their backs; I cannot fly with them, scattering women and string bags. There is some flaw with me - some fatal hesitancy, which, if I pass it over, turns to foam and falsity. Yet it is incredible that I should not be a great poet.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
The horror of profound depression, and the hopelessness that usually accompanies it, are hard to imagine for those who have not experienced them. Because the despair is private, it is resistant to clear and compelling description. Novelist William Styron, however, in recounting his struggle with suicidal depression, captures vividly the heavy, inescapable pain that can lead to suicide: What I had begun to discover is that, mysteriously and in ways that are totally remote from normal experience, the gray drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain. But it is not an immediately identifiable pain, like that of a broken limb. It may be more accurate to say that despair, owing to some evil trick played upon the sick brain by the inhabiting psyche, comes to resemble the diabolical discomfort of being imprisoned in a fiercely overheated room. And because no breeze stirs this cauldron, because there is no escape from this smothering confinement, it is entirely natural that the victim begins to think ceaselessly of oblivion. (105)
Kay Redfield Jamison (Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide)
Life is a balance. We tend to forget that as we go blithely from day to day. We eat and drink and sleep and assume that we will always rise up the next day, that meals and rest will always replenish us. Injuries we expect to heal, and pain to lessen as times goes by. Even when we are faced with wounds that heal more slowly, with pain that lessens by day only to return in full force at nightfall, even when sleep does not leave us rested, we still expect that somehow tomorrow all will come back into balance and that we will go on. At some point, the exquisite balance has tipped, and despite all our flailing efforts, we begin the slow fall from the body that maintains itself to the body that struggles, nails clawing, to cling to what it used to be.
Robin Hobb (Fool's Errand (Tawny Man, #1))
Wait long enough, and what was once mainstream will fall into obscurity. When that happens, it will become valuable again to those looking for authenticity or irony or cleverness. The value, then, is not intrinsic. The thing itself doesn’t have as much value as the perception of how it was obtained or why it is possessed. Once enough people join in, like with oversized glasses frames or slap bracelets, the status gained from owning the item or being a fan of the band is lost, and the search begins again. You would compete like this no matter how society was constructed. Competition for status is built into the human experience at the biological level. Poor people compete with resources. The middle class competes with selection. The wealthy compete with possessions. You sold out long ago in one way or another. The specifics of who you sell to and how much you make—those are only details.
David McRaney (You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself)
What's your name?" I ask him. We're standing in front of my door. He stops suprised. Lifts his chin almost imperecmptly. Focuses his eyes on my face until I begin to regret my question. "You want to know my name." I don't do it on purpose, but my eyes narrow just a bit. "Warner is your last name, isn't it?" He almost smiles. "You want to know my name" "I didn't realize it was a secret." He steps forward. His lips twitch. His eyes fall, his lips draw in a tight breath. He drops a gloved finger down the apple of my cheek. "I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours," He whispers, too close to my neck. I inch backward. Swallow hard. "You already know my name." He's not looking at my eyes. "You're right. I should rephrase that. What I meant to say was I'll tell you mine if you show me yours." "What?" I'm breathing too fast too suddenly. He begins to pull off his gloves and I begin to panic. "Show me what you can do." My jaw is tight and my teeth have begun to ache. "I won't touch you" "That's all right." He tugs off the other glove. "I don't exactly need your help." "No-" "Don't worry." He grins. "I'm sure it won't hurt you at all." "No," I gasp "No, I won't-I can't-" "Fine," Warner snaps "That's fine. You don't want to hurt me. I'm so utterly flattered." He almost rolls his eyes.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
A man steps out. Strong. Brilliant. Controlled. Predator. Unbreakable. He's everything I admire plus things I can't even put into words. I crush on Jericho Barrons violently. My brain almost shuts down every time I see him and that's a lot of gray matter to stupefy. Used to be, if I couldn't fall asleep I'd fantasize all kinds of ways I'd impress Barrons by killing monsters or saying something really smart or saving the world, and he'd see me as a grown up woman and I'd glow just from the look on his face. But then Ryodan began popping into my fantasies like he had some kind of business being there, and he'd look all, well...like...Ryodan and he'd laugh and do that husky groan thing he did on level four, so I terminated that happy little exercise in somnolence. Now I count sheep. Lately even those buggers look like Ryodan with clear, cold eyes and some weird kind of hypnotic hold on me. Fecker. I'm beginning to think I'm going to have to figure out a way to kill him, permanent-like just to get him out of my head.
Karen Marie Moning (Burned (Fever, #7))
It is my job to create universes, as the basis of one novel after another. And I have to build them in such a way that they do not fall apart two days later. Or at least that is what my editors hope. However, I will reveal a secret to you: I like to build universes which do fall apart. I like to see them come unglued, and I like to see how the characters in the novels cope with this problem. I have a secret love of chaos. There should be more of it. Do not believe — and I am dead serious when I say this — do not assume that order and stability are always good, in a society or in a universe. The old, the ossified, must always give way to new life and the birth of new things. Before the new things can be born the old must perish. This is a dangerous realization, because it tells us that we must eventually part with much of what is familiar to us. And that hurts. But that is part of the script of life. Unless we can psychologically accommodate change, we ourselves begin to die, inwardly. What I am saying is that objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live. And it is the authentic human being who matters most, the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new.
Philip K. Dick
I am beginning to be sorry that I ever undertook to write this book. Not that it bores me; I have nothing else to do; indeed, it is a welcome distraction from eternity. But the book is tedious, it smells of the tomb, it has a rigor mortis about it; a serious fault, and yet a relatively small one, for the great defect of this book is you, reader. You want to live fast, to get to the end, and the book ambles along slowly; you like straight, solid narrative and a smooth style, but this book and my style are like a pair of drunks; they stagger to the right and to the left, they start and they stop, they mutter, they roar, they guffaw, they threaten the sky, they slip and fall... And fall! Unhappy leaves of my cypress tree, you had to fall, like everything else that is lovely and beautiful; if I had eyes, I would shed a tear of remembrance for you. And this is the great advantage in being dead, that if you have no mouth with which to laugh, neither have you eyes with which to cry.
Machado de Assis (Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas)
He acts like an animal, has an animal's habits! Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one! There's even something -sub-human -something not quite to the stage of humanity yet! Yes, something - ape-like about him, like one of those pictures I've seen in - anthropological studies! Thousands and thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is - Stanley Kowalski - survivor of the Stone Age! Bearing the raw meat home from the kill in the jungle! And you - you here - waiting for him! Maybe he'll strike you or maybe grunt and kiss you! That is, if kisses have been discovered yet! Night falls and the other apes gather! There in the front of the cave, all grunting like him, and swilling and gnawing and hulking! His poker night! - you call it - this party of apes! Somebody growls - some creature snatches at something - the fight is on! God! Maybe we are a long way from beng made in God's image, but Stella - my sister - there has been some progress since then! Such things as art - as poetry and music - such kinds of new light have come into the world since then! In some kinds of people some tendered feelings have had some little beginning! That we have got to make grow! And cling to, and hold as our flag! In this dark march towards what-ever it is we're approaching . . . Don't - don't hang back with the brutes!
Tennessee Williams (A Streetcar Named Desire)
Zhuangzi's wife died. When Huizu went to convey his condolences, he found Zhuangzi sitting with his legs sprawled out, pounding on a tub and singing. "You lived with her, she brought up your children and grew old," said Huizu. "It should be enough simply not to weep at her death. But pounding on a tub and singing - this is going too far, isn't it?" Zhuangzi said, "You're wrong. When she first died, do you think I didn't grieve like anyone else? But I looked back to her beginning and the time before she was born. Not only the time before she was born, but the time before she had a body. Not only the time before she had a body, but the time before she had a spirit. In the midst of the jumble of wonder and mystery a change took place and she had a spirit. Another change and she had a body. Another change and she was born. Now there's been another change and she's dead. It's just like the progression of the four seasons, spring, summer, fall, winter. "Now she's going to lie down peacefully in a vast room. If I were to follow after her bawling and sobbing, it would show that I don't understand anything about fate. So I stopped.
Zhuangzi (The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu)
I arrive now at the ineffable core of my story. And here begins my despair as a writer. All language is a set of symbols whose use among its speakers assumes a shared past. How, then, can I translate into words the limitless Aleph, which my floundering mind can scarcely encompass? Mystics, faced with the same problem, fall back on symbols: to signify the godhead, one Persian speaks of a bird that somehow is all birds; Alanus de Insulis, of a sphere whose center is everywhere and circumference is nowhere; Ezekiel, of a four-faced angel who at one and the same time moves east and west, north and south. (Not in vain do I recall these inconceivable analogies; they bear some relation to the Aleph.) Perhaps the gods might grant me a similar metaphor, but then this account would become contaminated by literature, by fiction. Really, what I want to do is impossible, for any listing of an endless series is doomed to be infinitesimal. In that single gigantic instant I saw millions of acts both delightful and awful; not one of them occupied the same point in space, without overlapping or transparency. What my eyes beheld was simultaneous, but what I shall now write down will be successive, because language is successive. Nonetheless, I'll try to recollect what I can.
Jorge Luis Borges
We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us. Has it terrors, they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abysses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love them. And if we could only arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most faithful. How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us. So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloud shadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any miseries, or any depressions? For after all, you do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
In the first movement, our infancy as a species, we felt no separation from the natural world around us. Trees, rocks, and plants surrounded us with a living presence as intimate and pulsing as our own bodies. In that primal intimacy, which anthropologists call "participation mystique," we were as one with our world as a child in the mother's womb. Then self-consciousness arose and gave us distance on our world. We needed that distance in order to make decisions and strategies, in order to measure, judge and to monitor our judgments. With the emergence of free-will, the fall out of the Garden of Eden, the second movement began -- the lonely and heroic journey of the ego. Nowadays, yearning to reclaim a sense of wholeness, some of us tend to disparage that movement of separation from nature, but it brought us great gains for which we can be grateful. The distanced and observing eye brought us tools of science, and a priceless view of the vast, orderly intricacy of our world. The recognition of our individuality brought us trial by jury and the Bill of Rights. Now, harvesting these gains, we are ready to return. The third movement begins. Having gained distance and sophistication of perception, we can turn and recognize who we have been all along. Now it can dawn on us: we are our world knowing itself. We can relinquish our separateness. We can come home again -- and participate in our world in a richer, more responsible and poignantly beautiful way than before, in our infancy.
Joanna Macy (World as Lover, World as Self)
ALONE One of my new housemates, Stacy, wants to write a story about an astronaut. In his story the astronaut is wearing a suit that keeps him alive by recycling his fluids. In the story the astronaut is working on a space station when an accident takes place, and he is cast into space to orbit the earth, to spend the rest of his life circling the globe. Stacy says this story is how he imagines hell, a place where a person is completely alone, without others and without God. After Stacy told me about his story, I kept seeing it in my mind. I thought about it before I went to sleep at night. I imagined myself looking out my little bubble helmet at blue earth, reaching toward it, closing it between my puffy white space-suit fingers, wondering if my friends were still there. In my imagination I would call to them, yell for them, but the sound would only come back loud within my helmet. Through the years my hair would grow long in my helmet and gather around my forehead and fall across my eyes. Because of my helmet I would not be able to touch my face with my hands to move my hair out of my eyes, so my view of earth, slowly, over the first two years, would dim to only a thin light through a curtain of thatch and beard. I would lay there in bed thinking about Stacy's story, putting myself out there in the black. And there came a time, in space, when I could not tell whether I was awake or asleep. All my thoughts mingled together because I had no people to remind me what was real and what was not real. I would punch myself in the side to feel pain, and this way I could be relatively sure I was not dreaming. Within ten years I was beginning to breathe heavy through my hair and my beard as they were pressing tough against my face and had begun to curl into my mouth and up my nose. In space, I forgot that I was human. I did not know whether I was a ghost or an apparition or a demon thing. After I thought about Stacy's story, I lay there in bed and wanted to be touched, wanted to be talked to. I had the terrifying thought that something like that might happen to me. I thought it was just a terrible story, a painful and ugly story. Stacy had delivered as accurate a description of a hell as could be calculated. And what is sad, what is very sad, is that we are proud people, and because we have sensitive egos and so many of us live our lives in front of our televisions, not having to deal with real people who might hurt us or offend us, we float along on our couches like astronauts moving aimlessly through the Milky Way, hardly interacting with other human beings at all.
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
Cynicism creates a numbness toward life. Cynicism begins with a wry assurance that everyone has an angle. Behind every silver lining is a cloud. The cynic is always observing, critiquing, but never engaging, loving, and hoping. ... To be cynical is to be distant. While offering a false intimacy of being "in the know," cynicism actually destroys intimacy. It leads to bitterness that can deaden and even destroy the spirit. ... Cynicism begins, oddly enough, with too much of the wrong kind of faith, with naive optimism or foolish confidence. At first glance, genuine faith and naive optimism appear identical since both foster confidence and hope.But the similarity is only surface deep.Genuine faith comes from knowing my heavenly Father loves, enjoys, and cares for me. Naive optimism is groundless. It is childlike trust without the loving Father. ... Optimism in the goodness of people collapses when it confronts the dark side of life. ... Shattered optimism sets us up for the fall into defeated weariness and, eventually, cynicism. You'd think it would just leave us less optimistic, but we humans don't do neutral well. We go from seeing the bright side of everything to seeing the dark side of everything. We feel betrayed by life. ... The movement from naive optimism to cynicism is the new American journey. In naive optimism we don't need to pray because everything is under control. In cynicism we can't pray because everything out of control, little is possible. With the Good Shepherd no longer leading us through the valley of the shadow of death, we need something to maintain our sanity. Cynicism's ironic stance is a weak attempt to maintain a lighthearted equilibrium in a world gone mad. ... Without the Good Shepherd, we are alone in a meaningless story. Weariness and fear leave us feeling overwhelmed, unable to move. Cynicism leaves us doubting, unable to dream. The combination shuts down our hearts, and we just show up for life, going through the motions.
Paul E. Miller (A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World)
Thank you, Mr. Secretary General, UNICEF Executive Director, Excellencies and distinguished guests from across the world. My name is Kim Nam Jun, also known as RM, the leader of the group BTS. It’s an incredible honour to be invited to an occasion with such significance for today’s young generation. Last November, BTS launched the “Love Myself” campaign with UNICEF, building on our belief that “true love first begins with loving myself.” We have been partnering with UNICEF’s #ENDviolence program to protect children and young people all over the world from violence. Our fans have become a major part of this campaign with their action and enthusiasm. We truly have the best fans in the world! I would like to begin by talking about myself. I was born in Ilsan, a city near Seoul, South Korea. It’s a beautiful place, with a lake, hills, and even an annual flower festival. I spent a happy childhood there, and I was just an ordinary boy. I would look up at the night sky in wonder and dream the dreams of a boy. I used to imagine that I was a superhero, saving the world. In an intro to one of our early albums, there is a line that says, “My heart stopped…I was maybe nine or ten.” Looking back, that’s when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes. I stopped looking up at the stars at night. I stopped daydreaming. I tried to jam myself into moulds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and started to listen to the voices of others. No one called out my name, and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. So, like this, I, we, all lost our names. We became like ghosts. I had one sanctuary, and that was music. There was a small voice in me that said, ‘Wake up, man, and listen to yourself!” But it took me a long time to hear music calling my name. Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were hurdles. Most people thought we were hopeless. Sometimes, I just wanted to quit. I think I was very lucky that I didn’t give it all up. I’m sure that I, and we, will keep stumbling and falling. We have become artists performing in huge stadiums and selling millions of albums. But I am still an ordinary, twenty-four-year-old guy. If there’s anything that I’ve achieved, it was only possible because I had my other BTS members by my side, and because of the love and support of our ARMY fans. Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. I am who I am today, with all my faults. Tomorrow I might be a tiny bit wiser, and that’s me, too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I was, who I am, and who I hope to become. I would like to say one last thing. After releasing the “Love Yourself” albums and launching the “Love Myself” campaign, we started to hear remarkable stories from our fans all over the world, how our message helped them overcome their hardships in life and start loving themselves. These stories constantly remind us of our responsibility. So, let’s all take one more step. We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to "speak yourself". I would like to ask all of you. What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat? Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice, and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, gender identity: speak yourself. Find your name, find your voice by speaking yourself. I’m Kim Nam Jun, RM of BTS. I’m a hip-hop idol and an artist from a small town in Korea. Like most people, I made many mistakes in my life. I have many faults and I have many fears, but I am going to embrace myself as hard as I can, and I’m starting to love myself, little by little. What is your name? Speak Yourself!
Kim Namjoon
eveything that comes together, falls apart," the Old Man said. "Everything. the chair I'm sitting on. It was built, and so it will fall apart. I'm gonna fall apart, probably before this chair. And you're gonna fall apart. the cells and organs and systems that make you you - they came together, grew together and so must fall apart. the buddha knew one thing that science didn't prove for millenia after his dead: entropy increases. Things fall apart." We are all going, I thought, and it applies to turtles and turtlenecks, Alaska the girl and Alaska the place, because nothing can last, not even the earth itself. The buddah said that suffering was caused by desire, we'd learned, and that the cessation of desire meant the cessation of suffering. when you stopped wishing things wouldn't fall apart, you'd stop suffering when they did. Some day no one will remember that she ever existed, i wrote in my notebook, and then, or that I did. Because memories fall apart too. And then you're left with nothing, left not even with a ghost, but with its shadow. In the beginning, she had haunted me, haunted my dreams, but even now, just weeks later, she was slipping away, falling apart in my memory and everyone else's, dying away. (...) I'd tasted her boozy breath. and then something invisible snapped inside her and that which had come together commenced to fall apart. And maybe that was the only asnwer we'd ever have. She fell apart because that's what happens.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
How we hate to admit that we would like nothing better than to be the slave! Slave and master at the same time! For even in love the slave is always the master in disguise. The man who must conquer the woman, subjugate her, bend her to his will, form her according to his desires—is he not the slave of his slave? How easy it is, in this relationship, for the woman to upset the balance of power! The mere threat of self-dependence, on the woman’s part, and the gallant despot is seized with vertigo. But if they are able to throw themselves at one another recklessly, concealing nothing, surrendering all, if they admit to one another their interdependence, do they not enjoy a great and unsuspected freedom? The man who admits to himself that he is a coward has made a step towards conquering his fear; but the man who frankly admits it to every one, who asks that you recognize it in him and make allowance for it in dealing with him, is on the way to becoming a hero. Such a man is often surprised, when the crucial test comes, to find that he knows no fear. Having lost the fear of regarding himself as a coward he is one no longer: only the demonstration is needed to prove the metamorphosis. It is the same in love. The man who admits not only to himself but to his fellowmen, and even to the woman he adores, that he can be twisted around a woman’s finger, that he is helpless where the other sex is concerned, usually discovers that he is the more powerful of the two. Nothing breaks a woman down more quickly than complete surrender. A woman is prepared to resist, to be laid siege to: she has been trained to behave that way. When she meets no resistance she falls headlong into the trap. To be able to give oneself wholly and completely is the greatest luxury that life affords. Real love only begins at this point of dissolution. The personal life is altogether based on dependence, mutual dependence. Society is the aggregate of persons all interdependent. There is another richer life beyond the pale of society, beyond the personal, but there is no knowing it, no attainment possible, without firs traveling the heights and depths of the personal jungle. To become the great lover, the magnetiser and catalyzer, the blinding focus and inspiration of the world, one has to first experience the profound wisdom of being an utter fool. The man whose greatness of heart leads him to folly and ruin is to a woman irresistible. To the woman who loves, that is to say. As to those who ask merely to be loved, who seek only their own reflection in the mirror, no love however great, will ever satisfy them. In a world so hungry for love it is no wonder that men and women are blinded by the glamour and glitter of their own reflected egos. No wonder that the revolver shot is the last summons. No wonder that the grinding wheels of the subway express, though they cut the body to pieces, fail to precipitate the elixir of love. In the egocentric prism the helpless victim is walled in by the very light which he refracts. The ego dies in its own glass cage…
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
If there was a religion of Annaism, and I had to tell you how humans made their way to Earth, it would go like this: In the beginning, there was nothing at all but the moon and the sun. And the moon wanted to come out during the day, but there was something so much brighter that seemed to fill up all those hours. The moon grew hungry, thinner and thinner, until she was just a slice of herself, and her tips were as sharp as a knife. By accident, because that is the way most things happen, she poked a hole in the night and out spilled a million stars, like a fountain of tears. Horrified, the moon tried to swallow them up. And sometimes this worked, because she got fatter and rounder.. But mostly it didn't, because there were just so many. The stars kept coming, until they made the sky so bright that the sun got jealous. He invited the stars to his side of the world, where it was always bright. What he didn't tell them, though, was that in the daytime, they'd never be seen. So the stupid ones leaped from the sky to the ground, and they froze under the weight of their own foolishness. The moon did her best. She carved each of these blocks of sorrow into a man or a woman. She spent the rest of her time watching out so that her other stars wouldn't fall. She spent the rest of her time holding onto whatever scraps she had left.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
Six people went into the house of a sick man to pray for him. He was an Episcopalian vicar, and lay in his bed utterly helpless, without even strength to help himself. He had read a little tract about healing and had heard about people praying for the sick, and sent for these friends, who, he thought, could pray the prayer of faith. He was anointed according to James 5:14, but, because he had no immediate manifestation of healing, he wept bitterly. The six people walked out of the room, somewhat crestfallen to see the man lying there in an unchanged condition. When they were outside, one of the six said, “There is one thing we might have done. I wish you would all go back with me and try it.” They went back and all got together in a group. This brother said, “Let us whisper the name of Jesus.” At first when they whispered this worthy name nothing seemed to happen. But as they continued to whisper, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” the power began to fall. As they saw that God was beginning to work, their faith and joy increased; and they whispered the name louder and louder. As they did so the man arose from his bed and dressed himself. The secret was just thus, those six people had gotten their eyes off the sick man, and they were just taken up with the Lord Jesus Himself, and their faith grasped the power that there is in His name. O, if people would only appreciate the power that there is in this name, there is no telling what would happen.
Smith Wigglesworth (The Teachings of Smith Wigglesworth)
Dear Daniel, How do you break up with your boyfriend in a way that tells him, "I don't want to sleep with you on a regular basis anymore, but please be available for late night booty calls if I run out of other options"? Lily Charlotte, NC Dear Lily, The story's so old you can't tell it anymore without everyone groaning, even your oldest friends with the last of their drinks shivering around the ice in their dirty glasses. The music playing is the same album everyone has. Those shoes, everybody has the same shoes on. It looked a little like rain so on person brought an umbrella, useless now in the starstruck clouded sky, forgotten on the way home, which is how the umbrella ended up in her place anyway. Everyone gets older on nights like this. And still it's a fresh slap in the face of everything you had going, that precarious shelf in the shallow closet that will certainly, certainly fall someday. Photographs slipping into a crack to be found by the next tenant, that one squinter third from the left laughing at something your roommate said, the coaster from that place in the city you used to live in, gone now. A letter that seemed important for reasons you can't remember, throw it out, the entry in the address book you won't erase but won't keep when you get a new phone, let it pass and don't worry about it. You don't think about them; "I haven't thought about them in forever," you would say if anybody brought it up, and nobody does." You think about them all the time. Close the book but forget to turn off the light, just sit staring in bed until you blink and you're out of it, some noise on the other side of the wall reminding you you're still here. That's it, that's everything. There's no statue in the town square with an inscription with words to live by. The actor got slapped this morning by someone she loved, slapped right across the face, but there's no trace of it on any channel no matter how late you watch. How many people--really, count them up--know where you are? How many will look after you when you don't show up? The churches and train stations are creaky and the street signs, the menus, the writing on the wall, it all feels like the wrong language. Nobody, nobody knows what you're thinking of when you lean your head against the wall. Put a sweater on when you get cold. Remind yourself, this is the night, because it is. You're free to sing what you want as you walk there, the trees rustling spookily and certainly and quietly and inimitably. Whatever shoes you want, fuck it, you're comfortable. Don't trust anyone's directions. Write what you might forget on the back of your hand, and slam down the cheap stuff and never mind the bad music from the window three floors up or what the boys shouted from the car nine years ago that keeps rattling around in your head, because you're here, you are, for the warmth of someone's wrists where the sleeve stops and the glove doesn't quite begin, and the slant of the voice on the punch line of the joke and the reflection of the moon in the water on the street as you stand still for a moment and gather your courage and take a breath before stealing away through the door. Look at it there. Take a good look. It looks like rain. Love, Daniel Handler
Daniel Handler
We look back on history, and what do we see? Empires rising and falling; revolutions and counter-revolutions succeeding one another; wealth accumulating and wealth dispersed; one nation dominant and then another. As Shakespeare’s King Lear puts it, “the rise and fall of great ones that ebb and flow with the moon.” In one lifetime I’ve seen my fellow countrymen ruling over a quarter of the world, and the great majority of them convinced – in the words of what is still a favorite song – that God has made them mighty and will make them mightier yet. I’ve heard a crazed Austrian announce the establishment of a German Reich that was to last for a thousand years; an Italian clown report that the calendar will begin again with his assumption of power; a murderous Georgian brigand in the Kremlin acclaimed by the intellectual elite as wiser than Solomon, more enlightened than Ashoka, more humane than Marcus Aurelius. I’ve seen America wealthier than all the rest of the world put together; and with the superiority of weaponry that would have enabled Americans, had they so wished, to outdo an Alexander or a Julius Caesar in the range and scale of conquest. All in one little lifetime – gone with the wind: England now part of an island off the coast of Europe, threatened with further dismemberment; Hitler and Mussolini seen as buffoons; Stalin a sinister name in the regime he helped to found and dominated totally for three decades; Americans haunted by fears of running out of the precious fluid that keeps their motorways roaring and the smog settling, by memories of a disastrous military campaign in Vietnam, and the windmills of Watergate. Can this really be what life is about – this worldwide soap opera going on from century to century, from era to era, as old discarded sets and props litter the earth? Surely not. Was it to provide a location for so repetitive and ribald a production as this that the universe was created and man, or homo sapiens as he likes to call himself – heaven knows why – came into existence? I can’t believe it. If this were all, then the cynics, the hedonists, and the suicides are right: the most we can hope for from life is amusement, gratification of our senses, and death. But it is not all.
Malcolm Muggeridge
I AM ROWING (a hex poem) i have cursed your forehead, your belly, your life i have cursed the streets your steps plod through the things your hands touch i have cursed the inside of your dreams i have placed a puddle in your eye so that you cant see anymore an insect in your ear so that you cant hear anymore a sponge in your brain so that you cant understand anymore i have frozen you in the soul of your body iced you in the depths of your life the air you breathe suffocates you the air you breathe has the air of a cellar is an air that has already been exhaled been puffed out by hyenas the dung of this air is something no one can breathe your skin is damp all over your skin sweats out waters of great fear your armpits reak far and wide of the crypt animals drop dead as you pass dogs howl at night their heads raised toward your house you cant run away you cant muster the strength of an ant to the tip of your feet your fatigue makes a lead stump in your body your fatigue is a long caravan your fatigue stretches out to the country of nan your fatigue is inexpressible your mouth bites you your nails scratch you no longer yours, your wife no longer yours, your brother the sole of his foot bitten by an angry snake someone has slobbered on your descendents someone has drooled in the mouth of your laughing little girl someone has walked by slobbering all over the face of your domain the world moves away from you i am rowing i am rowing i am rowing against your life i am rowing i split into countless rowers to row more strongly against you you fall into blurriness you are out of breath you get tired before the slightest effort i row i row i row you go off drunk tied to the tail of a mule drunkenness like a huge umbrella that darkens the sky and assembles the flies dizzy drunkenness of the semicircular canals unnoticed beginnings of hemiplegia drunkeness no longer leaves you lays you out to the left lays you out to the right lays you out on the stony ground of the path i row i row i am rowing against your days you enter the house of suffering i row i row on a black blinfold your life is unfolding on the great white eye of a one eyed horse your future is unrolling I AM ROWING
Henri Michaux
there was a sort of embarrassment about storytelling that struck home powerfully about one hundred years ago, at the beginning of modernism. We see a similar reaction in painting and in music. It's a preoccupation suddenly with the surface rather than the depth. So you get, for example, Picasso and Braque making all kinds of experiments with the actual surface of the painting. That becomes the interesting thing, much more interesting than the thing depicted, which is just an old newspaper, a glass of wine, something like that. In music, the Second Viennese School becomes very interested in what happens when the surface, the diatonic structure of the keys breaks down, and we look at the notes themselves in a sort of tone row, instead of concentrating on things like tunes, which are sort of further in, if you like. That happened, of course, in literature, too, with such great works as James Joyce's Ulysses, which is all about, really, how it's told. Not so much about what happens, which is a pretty banal event in a banal man's life. It's about how it's told. The surface suddenly became passionately interesting to artists in every field about a hundred years ago. In the field of literature, story retreated. The books we talked about just now, Middlemarch, Bleak House, Vanity Fair -- their authors were the great storytellers as well as the great artists. After modernism, things changed. Indeed, modernism sometimes seems to me like an equivalent of the Fall. Remember, the first thing Adam and Eve did when they ate the fruit was to discover that they had no clothes on. They were embarrassed. Embarrassment was the first consequence of the Fall. And embarrassment was the first literary consequence of this modernist discovery of the surface. "Am I telling a story? Oh my God, this is terrible. I must stop telling a story and focus on the minute gradations of consciousness as they filter through somebody's..." So there was a great split that took place. Story retreated, as it were, into genre fiction-into crime fiction, into science fiction, into romantic fiction-whereas the high-art literary people went another way. Children's books held onto the story, because children are rarely interested in surfaces in that sort of way. They're interested in what-happened and what-happened next. I found it a great discipline, when I was writing The Golden Compass and other books, to think that there were some children in the audience. I put it like that because I don't say I write for children. I find it hard to understand how some writers can say with great confidence, "Oh, I write for fourth grade children" or "I write for boys of 12 or 13." How do they know? I don't know. I would rather consider myself in the rather romantic position of the old storyteller in the marketplace: you sit down on your little bit of carpet with your hat upturned in front of you, and you start to tell a story. Your interest really is not in excluding people and saying to some of them, "No, you can't come, because it's just for so-and-so." My interest as a storyteller is to have as big an audience as possible. That will include children, I hope, and it will include adults, I hope. If dogs and horses want to stop and listen, they're welcome as well.
Philip Pullman
To the extent that you actually realize that you are not, for example, your anxieties, then your anxieties no longer threaten you. Even if anxiety is present, it no longer overwhelms you because you are no longer exclusively tied to it. You are no longer courting it, fighting it, resisting it, or running from it. In the most radical fashion, anxiety is thoroughly accepted as it is and allowed to move as it will. You have nothing to lose, nothing to gain, by its presence or absence, for you are simply watching it pass by. Thus, any emotion, sensation, thought, memory, or experience that disturbs you is simply one with which you have exclusively identified yourself, and the ultimate resolution of the disturbance is simply to dis-identify with it. You cleanly let all of them drop away by realizing that they are not you--since you can see them, they cannot be the true Seer and Subject. Since they are not your real self, there is no reason whatsoever for you to identify with them, hold on to them, or allow your self to be bound by them. Slowly, gently, as you pursue this dis-identification "therapy," you may find that your entire individual self (persona, ego, centaur), which heretofore you have fought to defend and protect, begins to go transparent and drop away. Not that it literally falls off and you find yourself floating, disembodied, through space. Rather, you begin to feel that what happens to your personal self—your wishes, hopes, desires, hurts—is not a matter of life-or-death seriousness, because there is within you a deeper and more basic self which is not touched by these peripheral fluctuations, these surface waves of grand commotion but feeble substance. Thus, your personal mind-and-body may be in pain, or humiliation, or fear, but as long as you abide as the witness of these affairs, as if from on high, they no longer threaten you, and thus you are no longer moved to manipulate them, wrestle with them, or subdue them. Because you are willing to witness them, to look at them impartially, you are able to transcend them. As St. Thomas put it, "Whatever knows certain things cannot have any of them in its own nature." Thus, if the eye were colored red, it wouldn't be able to perceive red objects. It can see red because it is clear, or "redless." Likewise, if we can but watch or witness our distresses, we prove ourselves thereby to be "distress-less," free of the witnessed turmoil. That within which feels pain is itself pain-less; that which feels fear is fear-less; that which perceives tension is tensionless. To witness these states is to transcend them. They no longer seize you from behind because you look at them up front.
Ken Wilber (No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth)
NINA Your life is beautiful. TRIGORIN I see nothing especially lovely about it. [He looks at his watch] Excuse me, I must go at once, and begin writing again. I am in a hurry. [He laughs] You have stepped on my pet corn, as they say, and I am getting excited, and a little cross. Let us discuss this bright and beautiful life of mine, though. [After a few moments' thought] Violent obsessions sometimes lay hold of a man: he may, for instance, think day and night of nothing but the moon. I have such a moon. Day and night I am held in the grip of one besetting thought, to write, write, write! Hardly have I finished one book than something urges me to write another, and then a third, and then a fourth--I write ceaselessly. I am, as it were, on a treadmill. I hurry for ever from one story to another, and can't help myself. Do you see anything bright and beautiful in that? Oh, it is a wild life! Even now, thrilled as I am by talking to you, I do not forget for an instant that an unfinished story is awaiting me. My eye falls on that cloud there, which has the shape of a grand piano; I instantly make a mental note that I must remember to mention in my story a cloud floating by that looked like a grand piano. I smell heliotrope; I mutter to myself: a sickly smell, the colour worn by widows; I must remember that in writing my next description of a summer evening. I catch an idea in every sentence of yours or of my own, and hasten to lock all these treasures in my literary store-room, thinking that some day they may be useful to me. As soon as I stop working I rush off to the theatre or go fishing, in the hope that I may find oblivion there, but no! Some new subject for a story is sure to come rolling through my brain like an iron cannonball. I hear my desk calling, and have to go back to it and begin to write, write, write, once more. And so it goes for everlasting. I cannot escape myself, though I feel that I am consuming my life. To prepare the honey I feed to unknown crowds, I am doomed to brush the bloom from my dearest flowers, to tear them from their stems, and trample the roots that bore them under foot. Am I not a madman? Should I not be treated by those who know me as one mentally diseased? Yet it is always the same, same old story, till I begin to think that all this praise and admiration must be a deception, that I am being hoodwinked because they know I am crazy, and I sometimes tremble lest I should be grabbed from behind and whisked off to a lunatic asylum. The best years of my youth were made one continual agony for me by my writing. A young author, especially if at first he does not make a success, feels clumsy, ill-at-ease, and superfluous in the world. His nerves are all on edge and stretched to the point of breaking; he is irresistibly attracted to literary and artistic people, and hovers about them unknown and unnoticed, fearing to look them bravely in the eye, like a man with a passion for gambling, whose money is all gone. I did not know my readers, but for some reason I imagined they were distrustful and unfriendly; I was mortally afraid of the public, and when my first play appeared, it seemed to me as if all the dark eyes in the audience were looking at it with enmity, and all the blue ones with cold indifference. Oh, how terrible it was! What agony!
Anton Chekhov (The Seagull)
It is lonely behind these boundaries. Some people-particularly those whom psychiatrists call schizoid-because of unpleasant, traumatizing experiences in childhood, perceive the world outside of themselves as unredeemably dangerous, hostile, confusing and unnurturing. Such people feel their boundaries to be protecting and comforting and find a sense of safety in their loneliness. But most of us feel our loneliness to be painful and yearn to escape from behind the walls of our individual identities to a condition in which we can be more unified with the world outside of ourselves. The experience of falling in love allows us this escapetemporarily. The essence of the phenomenon of falling in love is a sudden collapse of a section of an individual's ego boundaries, permitting one to merge his or her identity with that of another person. The sudden release of oneself from oneself, the explosive pouring out of oneself into the beloved, and the dramatic surcease of loneliness accompanying this collapse of ego boundaries is experienced by most of us as ecstatic. We and our beloved are one! Loneliness is no more! In some respects (but certainly not in all) the act of falling in love is an act of regression. The experience of merging with the loved one has in it echoes from the time when we were merged with our mothers in infancy. Along with the merging we also reexperience the sense of omnipotence which we had to give up in our journey out of childhood. All things seem possible! United with our beloved we feel we can conquer all obstacles. We believe that the strength of our love will cause the forces of opposition to bow down in submission and melt away into the darkness. All problems will be overcome. The future will be all light. The unreality of these feelings when we have fallen in love is essentially the same as the unreality of the two-year-old who feels itself to be king of the family and the world with power unlimited. Just as reality intrudes upon the two-year-old's fantasy of omnipotence so does reality intrude upon the fantastic unity of the couple who have fallen in love. Sooner or later, in response to the problems of daily living, individual will reasserts itself. He wants to have sex; she doesn't. She wants to go to the movies; he doesn't. He wants to put money in the bank; she wants a dishwasher. She wants to talk about her job; he wants to talk about his. She doesn't like his friends; he doesn't like hers. So both of them, in the privacy of their hearts, begin to come to the sickening realization that they are not one with the beloved, that the beloved has and will continue to have his or her own desires, tastes, prejudices and timing different from the other's. One by one, gradually or suddenly, the ego boundaries snap back into place; gradually or suddenly, they fall out of love. Once again they are two separate individuals. At this point they begin either to dissolve the ties of their relationship or to initiate the work of real loving.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
To all who walk the dark path, and to those who walk in the sunshine but hold out a hand in the darkness to travel beside us: Brighter days are coming. Clearer sight will arrive. And you will arrive too. No, it might not be forever. The bright moments might be for a few days at a time, but hold on for those days. Those days are worth the dark. In the dark you find yourself, all bones and exhaustion and helplessness. In the dark you find your basest self. In the dark you find the bottom of watery trenches the rest of the world only sees the surface of. You will see things that no normal person will ever see. Terrible things. Mysterious things. Things that try to burrow into your mind like a bad seed. Things that whisper dark and horrid secrets that you want to forget. Things that scream lies. Things that want you dead. Things that will stop at nothing to pull you down further and kill you in the most terrible way of all … by your own trembling hand. These things are fearsome monsters … the kind you always knew would sink in their needle-sharp teeth and pull you under the bed if you left a dangling limb out. You know they aren’t real, but when you’re in that black, watery hole with them they are the realest thing there is. And they want us dead. And sometimes they succeed. But not always. And not with you. You are alive. You have fought and battled them. You are scarred and worn and sometimes exhausted and were perhaps even close to giving up, but you did not. You have won many battles. There are no medals given out for these fights, but you wear your armor and your scars like an invisible skin, and each time you learn a little more. You learn how to fight. You learn which weapons work. You learn who your allies are. You learn that those monsters are exquisite liars who will stop at nothing to get you to surrender. Sometimes you fight valiantly with fists and words and fury. Sometimes you fight by pulling yourself into a tiny ball, blotting out the monsters along with the rest of the world. Sometimes you fight by giving up and turning it over to someone else who can fight for you. Sometimes you just fall deeper. And in the deepest, night-blind fathoms you’re certain that you’re alone. You aren’t. I’m there with you. And I’m not alone. Some of the best people are here too … feeling blindly. Waiting. Crying. Surviving. Painfully stretching their souls so that they can learn to breathe underwater … so that they can do what the monsters say is impossible. So that they can live. And so that they can find their way back to the surface with the knowledge of things that go bump in the night. So that they can dry themselves in the warm light that shines so brightly and easily for those above the surface. So that they can walk with others in the sunlight but with different eyes … eyes that still see the people underwater, allowing them to reach out into the darkness to pull up fellow fighters, or to simply hold their cold hands and sit beside the water to wait patiently for them to come up for air. Ground zero is where the normal people live their lives, but not us. We live in the negatives so often that we begin to understand that life when the sun shines should be lived full throttle, soaring. The invisible tether that binds the normal people on their steady course doesn’t hold us in the same way. Sometimes we walk in sunlight with everyone else. Sometimes we live underwater and fight and grow. And sometimes …  … sometimes we fly.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
The hills below crouched on all fours under the weight of the rainforest where liana grew and soldier ants marched in formation. Straight ahead they marched, shamelessly single-minded, for soldier ants have no time for dreaming. Almost all of them are women and there is so much to do - the work is literally endless. So many to be born and fed, then found and buried. There is no time for dreaming. The life of their world requires organization so tight and sacrifice so complete there is little need for males and they are seldom produced. When they are needed, it is deliberately done by the queen who surmises, by some four-million-year-old magic she is heiress to, that it is time. So she urges a sperm from the private womb where they were placed when she had her one, first and last copulation. Once in life, this little Amazon trembled in the air waiting for a male to mount her. And when he did, when he joined a cloud of others one evening just before a summer storm, joined colonies from all over the world gathered fro the marriage flight, he knew at last what his wings were for. Frenzied, he flied into the humming cloud to fight gravity and time in order to do, just once, the single thing he was born for. Then he drops dead, having emptied his sperm into his lady-love. Sperm which she keeps in a special place to use at her own discretion when there is need for another dark and singing cloud of ant folk mating in the air. Once the lady has collected the sperm, she too falls to the ground, but unless she breaks her back or neck or is eaten by one of a thousand things, she staggers to her legs and looks for a stone to rub on, cracking and shedding the wings she will never need again. Then she begins her journey searching for a suitable place to build her kingdom. She crawls into the hollow of a tree, examines its walls and corners. She seals herself off from all society and eats her own wing muscles until she bears her eggs. When the first larvae appear, there is nothing to feed them, so she gives them their unhatched sisters until they are old enough and strong enough to hunt and bring their prey back to the kingdom. That is all. Bearing, hunting, eating, fighting, burying. No time for dreaming, although sometimes, late in life, somewhere between the thirtieth and fortieth generation she might get wind of a summer storm one day. The scent of it will invade her palace and she will recall the rush of wind on her belly - the stretch of fresh wings, the blinding anticipation and herself, there, airborne, suspended, open, trusting, frightened, determined, vulnerable - girlish, even, for and entire second and then another and another. She may lift her head then, and point her wands toward the place where the summer storm is entering her palace and in the weariness that ruling queens alone know, she may wonder whether his death was sudden. Or did he languish? And if so, if there was a bit of time left, did he think how mean the world was, or did he fill that space of time thinking of her? But soldier ants do not have time for dreaming. They are women and have much to do. Still it would be hard. So very hard to forget the man who fucked like a star.
Toni Morrison (Tar baby)