Brothers For Life Quotes

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The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Dreams are always crushing when they don't come true. But it's the simple dreams that are often the most painful because they seem so personal, so reasonable, so attainable. You're always close enough to touch, but never quite close enough to hold and it's enough to break your heart.
Nicholas Sparks (Three Weeks With My Brother)
We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers - but never blame yourself. It's never your fault. But it's always your fault, because if you wanted to change you're the one who has got to change.
Katharine Hepburn (Me: Stories of My Life)
Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother's was worth a pocket watch.
Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray)
Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
When I'm with you, my world is complete. When I touch you, I understand the meaning of life. When I lost you, I completely shattered. You. Own. Me.
Abbi Glines (The Vincent Brothers (The Vincent Boys, #2))
Never forget that anticipation is an important part of life. Work's important, family's important, but without excitement, you have nothing. You're cheating yourself if you refuse to enjoy what's coming.
Nicholas Sparks (Three Weeks With My Brother)
There is one other book, that can teach you everything you need to know about life... it's The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, but that's not enough anymore.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
To lose a brother is to lose someone with whom you can share the experience of growing old, who is supposed to bring you a sister-in-law and nieces and nephews, creatures who people the tree of your life and give it new branches. To lose your father is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports its branches. To lose your mother, well, that is like losing the sun above you. It is like losing--I'm sorry, I would rather not go on.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
You see it, don't you, James? Without Tessa there is nothing for me--no joy, no light, no life. If you loved me, you would let me have her. You can't love her as I do. No one could. If you are truly my brother, you would do this for me.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
When Ronan thought of Gansey, he thought of moving into Monmouth Manufacturing, of nights spent in companionable insomnia, of a summer searching for a king, of Gansey asking the Gray Man for his life. Brothers.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
You should have taken me with you," I whisper to him. Then I lean my head against his and begin to cry. In my mind, I make a silent promise to my brother's killer. I will hunt you down. I will scour the streets of Los Angeles for you. Search every street in the Republic if I have to. I will trick you and deceive you, lie, cheat and steal to find you, tempt you out of your hiding place, and chase you until you have nowhere else to run. I make you this promise: your life is mine.
Marie Lu (Legend (Legend, #1))
When it was over, she gathered him in her arms. And told him the terrible irony of her life. That she had wanted to be dead all those years while her brother had been alive. That had been her sin. And this was her penance. Wanting to live when everyone else seemed dead.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
Life is a disease, brother, and death begins already at birth. Every breath, every heartbeat, is a moment of dying - a little shove toward the end.
Erich Maria Remarque (Three Comrades)
It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Denial is an ugly thing.
Nicholas Sparks (Three Weeks With My Brother)
We are all equal in the fact that we are all different. We are all the same in the fact that we will never be the same. We are united by the reality that all colours and all cultures are distinct & individual. We are harmonious in the reality that we are all held to this earth by the same gravity. We don't share blood, but we share the air that keeps us alive. I will not blind myself and say that my black brother is not different from me. I will not blind myself and say that my brown sister is not different from me. But my black brother is he as much as I am me. But my brown sister is she as much as I am me.
C. JoyBell C.
But I always liked side-paths, little dark back-alleys behind the main road- there one finds adventures and surprises, and precious metal in the dirt.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Love life more than the meaning of it?
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Life is paradise, and we are all in paradise, but we refuse to see it.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
She was made up of more, too. She was the books she read in the library. She was the flower in the brown bowl. Part of her life was made from the tree growing rankly in the yard. She was the bitter quarrels she had with her brother whom she loved dearly. She was Katie's secret, despairing weeping. She was the shame of her father stumbling home drunk. She was all of these things and of something more...It was what God or whatever is His equivalent puts into each soul that is given life - the one different thing such as that which makes no two fingerprints on the face of the earth alike.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
He is more worth to you, perhaps. But the stranger is someone else's friend and brother. So which life is more important?
Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
Watching Abby own my brothers--hand after hand was turning me on. I'd never seen a woman so sexy in my life, and this one happened to be my girlfriend.-pg 257/ARC
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he'd had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
I punish myself for my whole life, my whole life I punish.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
The acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook on life. That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ -- all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least among them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all the offenders, the very enemy himself -- that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness -- that I myself am the enemy who must be loved -- what then? As a rule, the Christian's attitude is then reversed; there is no longer any question of love or long-suffering; we say to the brother within us "Raca," and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide it from the world; we refuse to admit ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves.
C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my brothers. I had to fight my cousins and my uncles. A girl child ain't safe in a family of men. But I never thought I'd have to fight in my own house. She let out her breath. I loves Harpo, she say. God knows I do. But I'll kill him dead before I let him beat me.
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
Did you know that in space it's very, very cold? And there's no oxygen? And if an astronaut fell out of a shuttle without his suit he'd die right away?" I'm a fast learner. "But that would never happen. Because astronauts are really, really careful." George gives me a smile, the same dazzling sweet smile as his big brother, although at this point, with green teeth. "I might marry you," he allows. "Do you want a big family?
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
Being a Silent Brother is life, Clary Fray. But if you mean I remember my life before the Brotherhood, I do. Clary took a deep breath. “Were you ever in love? Before the Brotherhood? Was there ever anyone you would have died for?” There was a long silence. Then: Two people, said Brother Zachariah. There are memories that time does not erase, Clarissa. Ask your friend Magnus Bane, if you do not believe me. Forever does not make loss forgettable, only bearable.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
The great love is gone. There are still little loves - friend to friend, brother to sister, student to teacher. Will you deny yourself comfort at the hearthfire of a cottage because you may no longer sit by the fireplace of a palace? Will you deny yourself to those who reach out to you in hopes of warming themselves at your hearthfire?
Mercedes Lackey (Magic's Pawn (The Last Herald-Mage #1))
I have given my word that only death will take me from you.
Philippa Gregory
What an impossible and miraculous and hideous thing this was. An ugly plan hatched by an ugly boy now dreamt into ugly life. From dream to reality. How appropiate it was that Ronan, left to his own devices, manifested beautiful cars and beautiful birds and tenderhearted brothers, while Adam, when given the power, manifested a filthy string of perverse murders.
Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3))
I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.
Brother Lawrence
Mum used to say we were the same soul split in two and walking around on four legs. It seems unnatural being born together and then dying apart.
Melodie Ramone (After Forever Ends)
Yours in life, Kishan." "Yours in death, Dhiren
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Destiny (The Tiger Saga, #4))
Cal will never turn his back on his crown, on your father." "I know my brother. If it comes down to it, to saving your life or saving his crown, we both know what he will choose." "He would never choose me.
Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen (Red Queen, #1))
I was used to being invisible. People rarely saw me, and if they did, they never looked close. I wasn't shiny and charming like my brother, stunning and graceful like my mother, or smart and dynamic like my friends. That's the thing, though. You always think you want to be noticed. Until you are.
Sarah Dessen (Saint Anything)
Why Not You? Today, many will awaken with a fresh sense of inspiration. Why not you? Today, many will open their eyes to the beauty that surrounds them. Why not you? Today, many will choose to leave the ghost of yesterday behind and seize the immeasurable power of today. Why not you? Today, many will break through the barriers of the past by looking at the blessings of the present. Why not you? Today, for many the burden of self doubt and insecurity will be lifted by the security and confidence of empowerment. Why not you? Today, many will rise above their believed limitations and make contact with their powerful innate strength. Why not you? Today, many will choose to live in such a manner that they will be a positive role model for their children. Why not you? Today, many will choose to free themselves from the personal imprisonment of their bad habits. Why not you? Today, many will choose to live free of conditions and rules governing their own happiness. Why not you? Today, many will find abundance in simplicity. Why not you? Today, many will be confronted by difficult moral choices and they will choose to do what is right instead of what is beneficial. Why not you? Today, many will decide to no longer sit back with a victim mentality, but to take charge of their lives and make positive changes. Why not you? Today, many will take the action necessary to make a difference. Why not you? Today, many will make the commitment to be a better mother, father, son, daughter, student, teacher, worker, boss, brother, sister, & so much more. Why not you? Today is a new day! Many will seize this day. Many will live it to the fullest. Why not you?
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
Chiron had said once that nations were the most foolish of mortal inventions. “No man is worth more than another, wherever he is from.” “But what if he is your friend?” Achilles had asked him, feet kicked up on the wall of the rose-quartz cave. “Or your brother? Should you treat him the same as a stranger?” “You ask a question that philosophers argue over,” Chiron had said. “He is worth more to you, perhaps. But the stranger is someone else’s friend and brother. So which life is more important?” We had been silent. We were fourteen, and these things were too hard for us. Now that we are twenty-seven, they still feel too hard. He is half of my soul, as the poets say. He will be dead soon, and his honor is all that will remain. It is his child, his dearest self. Should I reproach him for it? I have saved Briseis. I cannot save them all. I know, now, how I would answer Chiron. I would say: there is no answer. Whichever you choose, you are wrong.
Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
We don't understand that life is heaven, for we have only to understand that and it will at once be fulfilled in all its beauty, we shall embrace each other and weep.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
I don't despise you for what you allowed to happen to me. I despise you because when I was released, you refused to be found and I needed you more than anything in my life. Not to mend my broken bones, Arjuro. I needed my brother to mend my broken spirit.
Melina Marchetta (Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2))
It is my wish that you may have at better and freer life than I have had. Recommend virtue to your children; it alone, not money, can make them happy. I speak from experience; this was what upheld me in time of misery.
Ludwig van Beethoven
I think I could stand anything, any suffering, only to be able to say and to repeat to myself every moment, 'I exist.' In thousands of agonies -- I exist. I'm tormented on the rack -- but I exist! Though I sit alone in a pillar -- I exist! I see the sun, and if I don't see the sun, I know it's there. And there's a whole life in that, in knowing that the sun is there.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
There's a long road of suffering ahead of you. But don't lose courage. You've already escaped the gravest danger: selection. So now, muster your strength, and don't lose heart. We shall all see the day of liberation. Have faith in life. Above all else, have faith. Drive out despair, and you will keep death away from yourselves. Hell is not for eternity. And now, a prayer - or rather, a piece of advice: let there be comradeship among you. We are all brothers, and we are all suffering the same fate. The same smoke floats over all our heads. Help one another. It is the only way to survive.
Elie Wiesel (Night (The Night Trilogy, #1))
If Socrates leaves his house today he will find the sage seated on his doorstep. If Judas go forth tonight it is to Judas his steps will tend.’ Every life is many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-law. But always meeting ourselves.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
This is terrific! What fun! Maybe tomorrow I can go to the prom with my brother. The day after, perhaps I can wear white pants and unexpectedly get my period.
Jen Lancaster (Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, or Why Pie Is Not the Answer)
How I treat a brother or sister from day to day, how I react to the sin-scarred wino on the street, how I respond to interruptions from people I dislike, how I deal with normal people in their normal confusion on a normal day may be a better indication of my reverence for life than the antiabortion sticker on the bumper of my car.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
You must know that there is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome and good for life in the future than some good memory, especially a memory of childhood, of home. People talk to you a great deal about your education, but some good, sacred memory, preserved from childhood, is perhaps the best education. If a man carries many such memories with him into life, he is safe to the end of his days, and if one has only one good memory left in one's heart, even that may sometime be the means of saving us.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
How good life is when one does something good and just!
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription, who has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer - even if it's not my grandparent. If there's an Arab-American or Mexican-American family being rounded up by John Ashcroft without benefit of an attorney or due process, I know that that threatens my civil liberties. And I don't have to be a woman to be concerned that the Supreme Court is trying to take away a woman's right, because I know that my rights are next. It is that fundamental belief - I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper - that makes this country work.
Barack Obama
And now brothers, I will ask you a terrible question, and God knows I ask it also of myself. Is the truth beyond all truths, beyond the stars, just this: that to live without him is the real death, that to die with him the only life?
Frederick Buechner (The Magnificent Defeat)
I might have been more worried if I hadn't been defending myself against six brothers my whole life. And if I didn't have a mother who thought she was a ninja.
Alyxandra Harvey (Blood Feud (Drake Chronicles, #2))
The most important-' I was almost too outraged to string a sentence together. 'Liam's life is worth more than that stupid flash drive!' 'My, my.' A feral grin spread across Cole's face. 'Little brother must be a good kisser.
Alexandra Bracken (Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2))
Some people live in cages with bars built from their own fears and doubts. Some people live in cages with bars built from other people's fears and doubts; their parents, their friends, their brothers and sisters, their families. Some people live in cages with bars built from the choices others made for them, the circumstances other people imposed upon them. And some people break free.
C. JoyBell C.
Nothing, nothing mattered, and I knew why. So did he. Throughout the whole absurd life I'd lived, a dark wind had been rising toward me from somewhere deep in my future, across years that were still to come, and as it passed, this wind leveled whatever was offered to me at the time, in years no more real than the ones I was living. What did other people's deaths or a mother's love matter to me; what did his God or the lives people choose or the fate they think they elect matter to me when we're all elected by the same fate, me and billions of privileged people like him who also called themselves my brothers? Couldn't he see, couldn't he see that? Everybody was privileged. There were only privileged people. The others would all be condemned one day. And he would be condemned, too.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
The centripetal force on our planet is still fearfully strong, Alyosha. I have a longing for life, and I go on living in spite of logic. Though I may not believe in the order of the universe, yet I love the sticky little leaves as they open in spring. I love the blue sky, I love some people, whom one loves you know sometimes without knowing why. I love some great deeds done by men, though I’ve long ceased perhaps to have faith in them, yet from old habit one’s heart prizes them. Here they have brought the soup for you, eat it, it will do you good. It’s first-rate soup, they know how to make it here. I want to travel in Europe, Alyosha, I shall set off from here. And yet I know that I am only going to a graveyard, but it’s a most precious graveyard, that’s what it is! Precious are the dead that lie there, every stone over them speaks of such burning life in the past, of such passionate faith in their work, their truth, their struggle and their science, that I know I shall fall on the ground and kiss those stones and weep over them; though I’m convinced in my heart that it’s long been nothing but a graveyard. And I shall not weep from despair, but simply because I shall be happy in my tears, I shall steep my soul in emotion. I love the sticky leaves in spring, the blue sky — that’s all it is. It’s not a matter of intellect or logic, it’s loving with one’s inside, with one’s stomach.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
2. WHAT I AM NOT My brother and I used to play a game. I'd point to a chair. "THIS IS NOT A CHAIR," I'd say. Bird would point to the table. "THIS IS NOT A TABLE." "THIS IS NOT A WALL," I'd say. "THAT IS NOT A CEILING." We'd go on like that. "IT IS NOT RAINING OUT." "MY SHOE IS NOT UNTIED!" Bird would yell. I'd point to my elbow. "THIS IS NOT A SCRAPE." Bird would lift his knee. "THIS IS ALSO NOT A SCRAPE!" "THAT IS NOT A KETTLE!" "NOT A CUP!" "NOT A SPOON!" "NOT DIRTY DISHES!" We denied whole rooms, years, weathers. Once, at the peak of our shouting, Bird took a deep breath. At the top of his lungs, he shrieked: "I! HAVE NOT! BEEN! UNHAPPY! MY WHOLE! LIFE!" "But you're only seven," I said.
Nicole Krauss
So we dream on. Thus we invent our lives. We give ourselves a sainted mother, we make our father a hero; and someone’s older brother and someone’s older sister – they become our heroes too. We invent what we love and what we fear. There is always a brave lost brother – and a little lost sister, too. We dream on and on: the best hotel, the perfect family, the resort life. And our dreams escape us almost as vividly as we can imagine them… That’s what happens, like it or not. And because that’s what happens, this is what we need: we need a good, smart bear… Coach Bob knew it all along: you’ve got to get obsessed and stay obsessed. You have to keep passing the open windows.
John Irving (The Hotel New Hampshire)
It’s in our nature to want to watch our human frailties played out on a huge, epic canvas. Ancient societies had anthropomorphic gods: a huge pantheon expanding into centuries of dynastic drama: fathers and sons, star-crossed lovers, warring brothers, martyred heroes. Tales that taught us the danger of hubris and the primacy of humility. It’s the everyday stuff of everyman’s life, but it’s writ large, and we love it.
Tom Hiddleston
I can't go underground for a year, ten years, my whole life, waiting for freedom to be handed to me. Freedom is something you have to take for yourself.
Cory Doctorow (Little Brother (Little Brother, #1))
You’re human. No one cares if you sleep with a whore. (Artemis) (Tory did something she’d never in her life done before. She slapped another person.) You ever insult Acheron again and so help me, I’ll do to you what you allowed your brother to do to him. I’ll cut your tongue out for it. Acheron is the man I love and no one, ever, takes issue with him without having issues with me. (Tory)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
She could hear, some way off, her brothers calling to each other in the woods behind the house. She hoped desperately that their game wouldn't bring them any closer, that they wouldn't scare the birds away. Somehow she knew that you didn't get many moments like this in your life: moments when you knew, without any doubt, that you were alive, when you felt the air in your lungs and the wet grass beneath your feet and the cotton on your skin; moments when you were completely in the present, when neither the past nor the future mattered. She tried to slow her breathing, hoping somehow to make this moment last forever.
Neil Gaiman (Stardust)
Do you know I've been sitting here thinking to myself: that if I didn't believe in life, if I lost faith in the woman I love, lost faith in the order of things, were convinced in fact that everything is a disorderly, damnable, and perhaps devil-ridden chaos, if I were struck by every horror of man's disillusionment -- still I should want to live. Having once tasted of the cup, I would not turn away from it till I had drained it! At thirty though, I shall be sure to leave the cup even if I've not emptied it, and turn away -- where I don't know. But till I am thirty I know that my youth will triumph over everything -- every disillusionment, every disgust with life. I've asked myself many times whether there is in the world any despair that could overcome this frantic thirst for life. And I've come to the conclusion that there isn't, that is until I am thirty.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
People have forgotten to use their memories. They look at life through the lens of a camera or the screen of a cell phone instead of remembering how it looks, how it smells
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Sacrifice (The Maddox Brothers, #3))
There’s always that one guy who gets a hold on you. Not like your best friend’s brother who gets you in a headlock kind of hold. Or the little kid you’re babysitting who attaches himself to your leg kind of hold. I’m talking epic. Life changing. The “can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t do your homework, can’t stop giggling, can’t remember anything but his smile” kind of hold. Like, Wesley and Buttercup proportions. Harry and Sally. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. The kind of hold in all your favorite ’80s songs, like the “Must Have Been Love”s, the “Take My Breath Away”s, the “Eternal Flame”s—the ones you sing into a hairbrush-microphone at the top of your lungs with your best friends on a Saturday night.
Jess Rothenberg (The Catastrophic History of You and Me)
Let us doom and gloom not creep into our day and lust for life not wither away. With the future as brother-in-arms, steps in the unknown should not frighten. ("Steps in the unknown" )
Erik Pevernagie
The band has decided to give him and his wife a much needed break from the road to start a life and have a proper honeymoon and do all the things a newlywed couple should do. I'm very proud to announce my brother's recent marriage. Watching him grow up into a man and finding love makes me the happiest brother alive. I know this is upsetting news, as it is for us, but we will continues to tour with a temporary replacement until he has situated himself in his new life.
Gerard Way
If you’re being punished,” Clary said, “then so am I. Because all those things you felt, I felt them too, but we can’t—we have to stop feeling this way, because it’s our only chance.” Jace’s hands were tight at his sides. “Our only chance for what?” “To be together at all. Because otherwise we can’t ever be around each other, not even just in the same room, and I can’t stand that. I’d rather have you in my life even as a brother than not at all
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
We have to live a life that is more revolutionary than that of the revolutionaries.
Brother Andrew
What I really want to say is who the hell are you and who are you to decide who gets to die. Who are you to decide who should be killed. Who are you tell me which father I should destroy and which child I should orphan and which mother should be left without her son, which brother should be left without a sister, which grandmother should spend the rest of her life crying in the early hours of the morning because they body of her grandchild was buried in the ground before her own.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Let us think often that our only business in this life is to please God. Perhaps all besides is but folly and vanity.
Brother Lawrence
A 'very good friend' is a dangerous category with Indian girls. From here you can either make fast progress or if you play it wrong, you can go down to the lowest category invented by the Indian women ever - rakhi brother. Rakhi brother really means 'you can talk to me, but don't even freaking think about anything else you bore'.
Chetan Bhagat (The 3 Mistakes of My Life)
It was my first clue that atheists are my brothers and sisters of a different faith. Like me, they go as far as the legs of reason will carry them - and then they leap. I'll be honest about it. It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics. Doubt is useful for awhile. We must all pass through the garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" then surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
What do you think it would have been like if Valentine had brought you up along with me? Would you have loved me?" Clary was very glad she had put her cup down, because if she hadn't, she would have dropped it. Sebastian was looking at her not with any shyness or the sort of natural awkwardness that might be attendant on such a bizarre question, but as if she were a curious, foreign life-form. "Well," she said. "You're my brother. I would have loved you. I would have...had to.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
I exist.’ In thousands of agonies — I exist. I’m tormented on the rack — but I exist! Though I sit alone in a pillar — I exist! I see the sun, and if I don’t see the sun, I know it’s there. And there’s a whole life in that, in knowing that the sun is there.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Do you know when they say soul-mates? Everybody uses it in personal ads. "Soul-mate wanted". It doesn't mean too much now. But soul mates- think about it. When your soul-whatever that is anyway-something so alive when you make music or love and so mysteriously hidden most of the rest of the time, so colorful and big but without color or shape-when your soul finds another soul it can recognize even before the rest of you knows about it. The rest of you just feels sweaty and jumpy at first. And your souls get married without even meaning to-even if you can't be together for some reason in real life, your souls just go ahead and make the wedding plans. A soul's wedding must be too beautiful to even look at. It must be blinding. In must be like all the weddings in the world-gondolas with canopies of doves, champagne glasses shattering, wings of veils, drums beating, flutes and trumpets,showers of roses. And after that happens-that's it, this is it. But sometimes you have to let that person go. When you are little, people , movie and fairy tales all tell you that one day you're going to meet this person. So you keep waiting and it's a lot harder than they make it sound. Then you meet and you think, okay, now we can just get on with it but you find out that sometimes your sould brother partner lover has other ideas about that.
Francesca Lia Block (Dangerous Angels (Weetzie Bat, #1-5))
Paradise is hidden in each one of use, it is concealed within me too, right now, and if I wish, it will come for me in reality, tomorrow even, and for the rest of my life.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
In all Gabriel’s life he could not remember his brother giving even the prettiest of Shadowhunter girls a second glance. Yet he looked at this scarred mundane servant as if she were the sun rising. It was inexplicable, but it was also undeniable. He could see the horror on his brother’s face as Sophie’s good opinion of him shattered before his eyes.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
She rests her hand on the ruffled costume beside her. “Just answer this one question. My brother never got over you. Did you ever get over him?”I swallow. “There are some people in life that you can’t get over.” “Good.” Calliope stands and gives me a grim smile. “But break Cricket’s heart? I’ll break your face.
Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2))
Brother, I’m not depressed and haven’t lost spirit. Life everywhere is life, life is in ourselves and not in the external. There will be people near me, and to be a human being among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter – this is what life is, herein lies its task.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
He was about to go home, about to return to the place where he had had a family. It was in Godric’s Hollow that, but for Voldemort, he would have grown up and spent every school holiday. He could have invited friends to his house. . . . He might even have had brothers and sisters. . . . It would have been his mother who had made his seventeenth birthday cake. The life he had lost had hardly ever seemed so real to him as at this moment, when he knew he was about to see the place where it had been taken from him.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Life leaves scars. Sometimes you don’t see them until later. Sometimes you don’t know where they’ve come from. Sometimes they fade before your eyes. But the world leaves its mark on us.
Karina Halle (The Pact (The McGregor Brothers, #1))
If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio. WILBUR WRIGHT
David McCullough (The Wright Brothers)
‗In life, at sometime or another we come to a point where all relationships cease—where there is only us and Allah. There are no parents, brother or sister, or any friend. Then we realise that there is no earth under us nor is there sky above, but only Allah who is supporting us in this emptiness. Then we realise our worth – it is not more than a grain of sand or the leaf of a plant. Then we realise our existence is only confined to our being. Our demise makes not a whit of difference to the world around us, nor to the scheme of things.
Umera Ahmed (پیر کامل (Peer-e-Kamil, #1))
I have been a lucky man. To feel the intimacy of brothers is a marvelous thing in life. To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life. But to feel the affection that comes from those whom we do not know, from those unknown to us, who are watching over our sleep and solitude, over our dangers and our weaknesses – that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being, and unites all living things.
Pablo Neruda
Half of the time, the Holy Ghost tries to warn us about certain people that come into our life. The other half of the time he tries to tell us that the sick feeling we get in a situation is not the other person’s fault, rather it is our own hang-ups. A life filled with bias, hatred, judgment, insecurity, fear, delusion and self-righteousness can cloud the soul of anyone you meet. Our job is never to assume,instead it is to listen, communicate, ask questions then ask more, until we know the true depth of someone’s spirit.
Shannon L. Alder
Hush, sweetheart. You don't have a mother anymore, but let me to speak to you with her voice a minute. Listen. Stepon told us what happened in your house. There are men who are wolves inside, and want to eat up other people to fill their bellies. That it what was in your house with you, all your life. But here you are with your brothers, and you are not eaten up, and there is not a wolf inside you. You have fed each other, and you kept the wolf away. That is all we can do for each other in the world, to keep the wolf away.
Naomi Novik (Spinning Silver)
God whispered, "You endured a lot. For that I am truly sorry, but grateful. I needed you to struggle to help so many. Through that process you would grow into who you have now become. Didn't you know that I gave all my struggles to my favorite children? One only needs to look at the struggles given to your older brother Jesus to know how important you have been to me.
Shannon L. Alder
A Psalm of Life Tell me not in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream! For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem. Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest, Was not spoken of the soul. Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, Is our destined end or way; But to act, that each tomorrow Find us farther than today. Art is long, and Time is fleeting, And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating Funeral marches to the grave. In the world's broad field of battle, In the bivouac of Life, Be not like dumb, driven cattle! Be a hero in the strife! Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant! Let the dead Past bury its dead! Act, - act in the living Present! Heart within, and God o'erhead! Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sand of time; Footprints, that perhaps another, Sailing o'er life's solenm main, A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, Seeing, shall take heart again. Let us then be up and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Voices of the Night)
In another universe I probably came out OK, ended up with mad novias and jobs and a sea of love in which to swim, but in this world I had a brother who was dying of cancer and a long dark patch of life like a mile of black ice waiting for me up ahead.
Junot Díaz (This Is How You Lose Her)
Do you know why we have the sunflowers? It’s not because Vincent van Gogh suffered. It’s because Vincent van Gogh had a brother who loved him. Through all the pain, he had a tether, a connection to the world. And that is the focus of the story we need – connection.
Hannah Gadsby
You should have Hugo throw you in the pool." The golem turned his head toward Seth, who shrugged. "Sure, that would be fun." Hugo nodded, grabbed Seth, and, with a motion like a hook shot, flung him skyward. Kendra gasped. They were still thirty or forty feet away from the edge of the pool. She had pictured the golem carrying Seth much closer before tossing him. Her brother sailed nearly as high as the roof of the house before plummeting down and landing in the center of the deep end with an impressive splash. Kendra ran to the side of the pool. By the time she arrived, Seth was boosting himself out of the waster, hair and clothes dripping. "That was the freakiest, awesomest moment in my life!" Seth declared. "But next time, let me take off my shoes.
Brandon Mull (Rise of the Evening Star (Fablehaven, #2))
The first time I was ever called ugly, I was thirteen. It was a rich friend of my brother Carlton's over to shoot guns in the field. 'Why you crying, girl?' Constantine asked me in the kitchen. I told her what the boy had called me, tears streaming down my face. 'Well? Is you?' I blinked, paused my crying. 'Is I what?' 'Now you look a here, Egenia'-because constantien was the only one who'd occasionally follow Mama's rule. 'Ugly live up on the inside. Ugly be a hurtful, mean person. Is you one a them peoples?' 'I don't know. I don't think so,' I sobbed. Constantine sat down next to me, at the kitchen table. I heard the cracking of her swollen joints. She pressed her thumb hard in the palm of my hand, somthing we both knew meant Listen. Listen to me. 'Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision.' Constantine was so close, I could see the blackness of her gums. 'You gone have to ask yourself, Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?' She kept her thumb pressed hard in my hand. I nodded that I understood. I was just smart enough to realize she meant white people. And even though I still felt miserable, and knew that I was, most likely, ugly, it was the first time she ever talked to me like I was something besides my mother's white child. All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
I could go on all night, Lake. I could go on and on and on about all the reasons I’m in love with you. And you know what? Some of them are the things that life has thrown our way. I do love you because you’re the only other person I know who understands my situation. I do love you because both of us know what it’s like to lose your mom and your dad. I do love you because you’re raising your little brother, just like I am. I love you because of what you went through with your mother. I love you because of what we went through with your mother. I love the way you love Kel. I love the way you love Caulder. And I love the way I love Kel. So I’m not about to apologize for loving all these things about you, no matter the reasons or the circumstances behind them. And no, I don’t need days, or weeks, or months to think about why I love you. It’s an easy answer for me. I love you because of you. Because of every single thing about you.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
Brother dear,” I said, “did your soul leave your body while Amos was talking, or did you actually hear him? Egyptian gods real. Red Lord bad. Red Lord’s birthday: very soon, very bad. House of Life: fussy magicians who hate our family because dad was a bit of a rebel, whom you could take a lesson from. Which leaves us—just us—with Dad missing, an evil god about to destroy the world, and an uncle who just jumped off the building—and I can’t actually blame him.” I took a breath. [Yes, Carter, I do have to breathe occasionally.]
Rick Riordan (The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, #1))
This life is difficult. We lose fathers, brothers, mothers, songbirds and pieces of ourselves. Whips strike the innocent, honors go to the guilty, and there is too much loneliness. I would be a fool to pray for my children to escape all of that. Ask for too much and it might actually turn out worse. But I can pray for small things, like fertile fields, a mother’s love, a child’s smile—a life that’s less bitter than sweet.
Nadia Hashimi (The Pearl that Broke Its Shell)
The most experienced psychologist or observer of human nature knows infinitely less of the human heart than the simplest Christian who lives beneath the Cross of Jesus. The greatest psychological insight, ability, and experience cannot grasp this one thing: what sin is. Worldly wisdom knows what distress and weakness and failure are, but it does not know the godlessness of man. And so it also does not know that man is destroyed only by his sin and can be healed only by forgiveness. Only the Christian knows this. In the presence of a psychiatrist I can only be a sick man; in the presence of a Christian brother I can dare to be a sinner. The psychiatrist must first search my heart and yet he never plumbs its ultimate depth. The Christian brother knows when I come to him: here is a sinner like myself, a godless man who wants to confess and yearns for God’s forgiveness. The psychiatrist views me as if there were no God. The brother views me as I am before the judging and merciful God in the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
I have come to see clearly that life is more than self. It is more than doing what I want, striving for what will benefit me, dreaming of all I can be. Life is all about my relationship with God. There is no higher calling, no loftier dream, and no greater goal than to live, breathe, and be poured out for Jesus Christ." --Jamie in Brother Andrew's "The Calling
Brother Andrew (The Narrow Road: Stories of Those Who Walk This Road Together)
To no man does the earth mean so much as to the soldier. When he presses himself down upon her long and powerfully, when he buries his face and his limbs deep in her from the fear of death by shell-fire, then she is his only friend, his brother, his mother; he stifles his terror and his cries in her silence and her security; she shelters him and releases him for ten seconds to live, to run, ten seconds of life; receives him again and again and often forever.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
Grace is the celebration of life, relentlessly hounding all the non-celebrants in the world. It is a floating, cosmic bash shouting its way through the streets of the universe, flinging the sweetness of its cassations to every window, pounding at every door in a hilarity beyond all liking and happening, until the prodigals come out at last and dance, and the elder brothers finally take their fingers out of their ears.
Robert Farrar Capon (Between Noon & Three: Romance, Law & the Outrage of Grace)
A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
I learned early that crying out in protest could accomplish things. My older brothers and sister had started to school when, sometimes, they would come in and ask for a buttered biscuit or something and my mother, impatiently, would tell them no. But I would cry out and make a fuss until I got what I wanted. I remember well how my mother asked me why I couldn't be a nice boy like Wilfred; but I would think to myself that Wilfred, for being so nice and quiet, often stayed hungry. So early in life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.
Malcolm X (The Autobiography of Malcolm X)
When a man takes a woman as his property, it’s not about owning her,” he continued, eyes searching my face. “It’s about trusting her. This is my life I’m handing you, Sophie. Not just my life—my brothers’ lives, too. It means I’m responsible for everything you do. You fuck up, I’ll pay. You need help, we’re there. You’re the only woman I’ve ever met that I’d consider giving that kind of power to. Hell, I’m not just considering it, I’m desperate for you to take it.
Joanna Wylde (Reaper's Legacy (Reapers MC, #2))
Whether you believe in God or not does not matter so much, whether you believe in Buddha or not does not matter so much; as a Buddhist, whether you believe in reincarnation or not does not matter so much. You must lead a good life. And a good life does not mean just good food, good clothes, good shelter. These are not sufficient. A good motivation is what is needed: compassion, without dogmatism, without complicated philosophy; just understanding that others are human brothers and sisters and respecting their rights and human dignity.
Dalai Lama XIV
You are aware of only one unrest; Oh, never learn to know the other! Two souls, alas, are dwelling in my breast, And one is striving to forsake its brother. Unto the world in grossly loving zest, With clinging tendrils, one adheres; The other rises forcibly in quest Of rarefied ancestral spheres. If there be spirits in the air That hold their sway between the earth and sky, Descend out of the golden vapors there And sweep me into iridescent life. Oh, came a magic cloak into my hands To carry me to distant lands, I should not trade it for the choicest gown, Nor for the cloak and garments of the crown.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust, First Part)
Right. Lack of opportunities," Daddy says. "Corporate America don't bring jobs to our communities, and they damn sure ain't quick to hire us. Then, shit, even if you do have a high school diploma, so many of the schools in our neighborhoods don't prepare us well enough. That's why when your momma talked about sending you and your brothers to Williamson, I agreed. Our schools don't get the resources to equip you like Williamson does. It's easier to find some crack that it is the find a good school around here. "Now, think 'bout this," he says. "How did the drugs even get in our neighborhood? This is a multibillion-dollar industry we talking 'bout, baby. That shit is flown into our communities, but I don't know anybody with a private jet. Do you?" "No." "Exactly. Drugs come from somewhere, and they're destroying our community," he says. "You got folks like Brenda, who think they need them survive, and then you got the Khalils, who think they need to sell them to survive. The Brendas can't get jobs unless they're clean, and they can't pay for rehab unless they got jobs. When the Khalils get arrested for selling drugs, they either spend most of their life in prison, another billion-dollar industry, or they have a hard time getting a real job and probably start selling drugs again. That's the hate they're giving us, baby, a system designed against us. That's Thug Life.
Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1))
Laurent stopped. Damen could see the moment when Laurent decided to continue. It was deliberate, his eyes meeting Damen's, his tone subtly changed. 'Damianos of Akielos was commanding troops at seventeen. At nineteen, he rode onto the field, cut a path through our finest men, and took my brother's life. They say--they said--he was the best fighter in Akielos. I thought, if I was going to kill someone like that, I would have to be very, very good.
C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince: Volume Two (Captive Prince, #2))
Today, I slept in until 10, Cleaned every dish I own, Fought with the bank, Took care of paperwork. You and I might have different definitions of adulthood. I don’t work for salary, I didn’t graduate from college, But I don’t speak for others anymore, And I don’t regret anything I can’t genuinely apologize for. And my mother is proud of me. I burnt down a house of depression, I painted over murals of greyscale, And it was hard to rewrite my life into one I wanted to live But today, I want to live. I didn’t salivate over sharp knives, Or envy the boy who tossed himself off the Brooklyn bridge. I just cleaned my bathroom, did the laundry, called my brother. Told him, “it was a good day.
Kait Rokowski
When you go out hunting wicked spirits, it's the simple things that matter most. The silvered point of your rapier flashing in the dark; the iron filings scattered on the floor; the sealed canisters of best Greek Fire, ready as a last resort... But tea bags, brown and fresh and plenty of them, and made (for preference) by Pitkin Brothers of Bond Street, are perhaps the simplest and best of all. OK, they may not save your life like a sword-tip or an iron circle can, and they haven't the protective power of a sudden wall of fire. But they do provide something just as vital. They help keep you sane.
Jonathan Stroud (The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., #1))
... active love is a harsh and fearful thing compared with the love in dreams. Love in dreams thirsts for immediate action, quickly performed, and with everyone watching. Indeed, it will go as far as the giving even of one's life, provided it does not take long but is soon over, as on stage, and eveyone is looking on and praising. Whereas active love is labor and persistence, and for some people, perhaps, a whole science.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died young—alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross–roads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here to–night, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh. This opportunity, as I think, it is now coming within your power to give her. For my belief is that if we live another century or so—I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals—and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting–room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky. too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we look past Milton’s bogey, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born. As for her coming without that preparation, without that effort on our part, without that determination that when she is born again she shall find it possible to live and write her poetry, that we cannot expect, for that would he impossible. But I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worth while.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
Because who knows? Who knows anything? Who knows who's pulling the strings? Or what is? Or how? Who knows if destiny is just how you tell yourself the story of your life? Another son might not have heard his mother's last words as a prophecy but as drug-induced gibberish, forgotten soon after. Another girl might not have told herself a love story about a drawing her brother made. Who knows if Grandma really thought the first daffodils of spring were lucky or if she just wanted to go on walks with me through the woods? Who knows if she even believed in her bible at all or if she just preferred a world where hope and creativity and faith trump reason? Who knows if there are ghosts (sorry, Grandma) or just the living, breathing memories of your loved ones inside you, speaking to you, trying to get your attention by any means necessary? Who knows where the hell Ralph is? (Sorry, Oscar.) No one knows. So we grapple with the mysteries, each in our own way.
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
I think everyone must love life more than anything else in the world.' 'Love life more than the meaning of it?' 'Yes, certainly. Love it regardless of logic, as you say. Yes, most certainly regardless of logic, for only then will I grasp its meaning. That's what I've been vaguely aware of for a long time. Half your work is done, Ivan: you love life. Now you must try to do the second half and you are saved.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
But I can't kill anyone,' said Jonathan, 'you know that Orvar!' 'Not even if it means your life?' asked Orvar. 'No, not even then,' said Jonathan. Orvar couldn't understand this and Mattias hardly could, either. 'If everyone were like you,' said Orvar, 'then evil would rule for all eternity!' But then I said that if everyone were like Jonathan, then there would be no evil.
Astrid Lindgren (The Brothers Lionheart)
Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky, and water was a real and active principle. In the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept us safe among them... The animals had rights - the right of man's protection, the right to live, the right to multiply, the right to freedom, and the right to man's indebtedness. This concept of life and its relations filled us with the joy and mystery of living; it gave us reverence for all life; it made a place for all things in the scheme of existence with equal importance to all.
Luther Standing Bear
It may sound dorky, but I love books--the feel of the paper, the old, musty smell, and especially the way the words roll over you and take you somewhere altogether different. They've been my escape as long as I can remember. Whether I need a break from schoolwork or my brother or just life in general, there's always a books that can take me someplace far away.
Cheryl Renee Herbsman (Breathing)
I've proved my point. I've demonstrated there's no difference between me and everyone else! All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once, am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed. Why else would you dress up as a flying rat? You had a bad day, and it drove you as crazy as everybody else... Only you won't admit it! You have to keep pretending that life makes sense, that there's some point to all this struggling! God you make me want to puke. I mean, what is it with you? What made you what you are? Girlfriend killed by the mob, maybe? Brother carved up by some mugger? Something like that, I bet. Something like that... Something like that happened to me, you know. I... I'm not exactly sure what it was. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice! Ha ha ha! But my point is... My point is, I went crazy. When I saw what a black, awful joke the world was, I went crazy as a coot! I admit it! Why can't you? I mean, you're not unintelligent! You must see the reality of the situation. Do you know how many times we've come close to world war three over a flock of geese on a computer screen? Do you know what triggered the last world war? An argument over how many telegraph poles Germany owed its war debt creditors! Telegraph poles! Ha ha ha ha HA! It's all a joke! Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for... it's all a monstrous, demented gag! So why can't you see the funny side? Why aren't you laughing?
Alan Moore (Batman: The Killing Joke)
I brought your son back from the dead!" shouted Kell, lunging to his feet. "I did it knowing it would bind our lives, knowing what it would mean for me, what I would become, knowing that the resurrection of his life would mean the end of mine, and I did it anyway, because he is my brother and your son and the future king of Arnes." Kell gasped for breath, tears streaming down his face "What more could I possibly do?
V.E. Schwab (A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2))
Every road ends in death. Or worse. Every friendship. Every love. Torment, betrayal, loss, suffering, pain, age, indignity, and hideous lingering illness. All with a single conclusion. For you and for every one and every thing that you have chosen to care for. There's the true brotherhood. The true fellowship. And everyone is a member for life. You tell me that my brother is my salvation? My salvation? Well then damn him. Damn him in every shape and form and guise. Do I see myself in him? Yes. I do. And what I see sickens me. Do you understand me? Can you understand me?
Cormac McCarthy (The Sunset Limited)
One day, quite some time ago, I happened on a photograph of Napoleon’s youngest brother, Jerome, taken in 1852. And I realized then, with an amazement I have not been able to lessen since: ‘I am looking at eyes that looked at the Emperor.’ Sometimes I would mention this amazement, but since no one seemed to share it, nor even to understand it (life consists of these little touches of solitude), I forgot about it.
Roland Barthes (Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography)
I got schooled this year. By everyone. By my little brother... by The Avett Brothers... by my mother, my best friend, my teacher, my father, and by a boy. a boy that I'm seriously, deeply, madly, incredibly, and undeniably in love with... I got so schooled this year. By a nine-year-old. He taught me that it's okay to live life a little backwards. And how to laugh At what you would think is un-laughable. I got schooled this year By a Band! They taught me how to find that feeling of feeling again. They taught me how to decide what to be And go be it. I got schooled this year. By a cancer patient. She taught me so much. She's still teaching me so much. She taught me to question. To never regret. She taught me to push my boundaries, Because that's what they're there for. She told me to find a balance between head and heart And then she taught me how... I got schooled this year By a Foster Kid She taught me to respect the hand that I was dealt. And to be grateful I was even dealt a hand. She taught me that family Doesn't have to be blood. Sometimes your family are your friends. I got schooled this year By my teacher He taught me That the points are not the point, The point is poetry... I got schooled this year By my father. He taught me that hero's aren't always invincible And that the magic is within me.. I got schooled this year by a Boy. a boy that I'm seriously, deeply, madly, incredibly, and undeniably in love with. And he taught me the most important thing of all... To put the emphasis On life.
Colleen Hoover
Love casts out fear; but conversely fear casts out love. And not only love. Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth. What remains in the bum or studiedly jocular desperation of one who is aware of the obscene Presence in the corner of the room and knows that the door is locked, that there aren’t any windows. And now the thing bears down on him. He feels a hand on his sleeve, smells a stinking breath, as the executioner’s assistant leans almost amorously toward him. “Your turn next, brother. Kindly step this way.” And in an instant his quiet terror is transmuted into a frenzy as violent as it is futile. There is no longer a man among his fellow men, no longer a rational being speaking articulately to other rational beings; there is only a lacerated animal, screaming and struggling in the trap. For in the end fear casts out even a man’s humanity. And fear, my good friends, fear is the very basis and foundation of modern life. Fear of the much touted technology which, while it raises out standard of living, increases the probability of our violently dying. Fear of the science which takes away the one hand even more than what it so profusely gives with the other. Fear of the demonstrably fatal institutions for while, in our suicidal loyalty, we are ready to kill and die. Fear of the Great Men whom we have raised, and by popular acclaim, to a power which they use, inevitably, to murder and enslave us. Fear of the war we don’t want yet do everything we can to bring about.
Aldous Huxley (Ape and Essence)
Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth. Thus I beg and beseech you. Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do—back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning.
Friedrich Nietzsche
I don't believe in God. Can you understand that? Look around you man. Cant you see? The clamor and din of those in torment has to be the sound most pleasing to his ear. And I loathe these discussions. The argument of the village atheist whose single passion is to revile endlessly that which he denies the existence of in the first place. Your fellowship is a fellowship of pain and nothing more. And if that pain were actually collective instead of simply reiterative then the sheer weight of it would drag the world from the walls of the universe and send it crashing and burning through whatever night it might yet be capable of engendering until it was not even ash. And justice? Brotherhood? Eternal life? Good god, man. Show me a religion that prepares one for death. For nothingness. There's a church I might enter. Yours prepares one only for more life. For dreams and illusions and lies. If you could banish the fear of death from men's hearts they wouldnt live a day. Who would want this nightmare if not for fear of the next? The shadow of the axe hangs over every joy. Every road ends in death. Or worse. Every friendship. Every love. Torment, betrayal, loss, suffering, pain, age, indignity, and hideous lingering illness. All with a single conclusion. For you and for every one and everything that you have chosen to care for. There's the true brotherhood. The true fellowship. And everyone is a member for life. You tell me that my brother is my salvation? My salvation? Well then damn him. Damn him in every shape and form and guise. Do I see myself in him? Yes. I do. And what I see sickens me. Do you understand me? Can you understand me?
Cormac McCarthy (The Sunset Limited)
London The Institute Year of Our Lord 1878 “Mother, Father, my chwaer fach, It’s my seventeenth birthday today. I know that to write to you is to break the law, I know that I will likely tear this letter into pieces when it is finished. As I have done on all my birthdays past since I was twelve. But I write anyway, to commemorate the occasion - the way some make yearly pilgrimages to a grave, to remember the death of a loved one. For are we not dead to each other? I wonder if when you woke this morning you remembered that today, seventeen years ago, you had a son? I wonder if you think of me and imagine my life here in the Institute in London? I doubt you could imagine it. It is so very different from our house surrounded by mountains, and the great clear blue sky and the endless green. Here, everything is black and gray and brown, and the sunsets are painted in smoke and blood. I wonder if you worry that I am lonely or, as Mother always used to, that I am cold, that I have gone out into the rain again without a hat? No one here worries about those details. There are so many things that could kill us at any moment; catching a chill hardly seems important. I wonder if you knew that I could hear you that day you came for me, when I was twelve. I crawled under the bed to block out the sound of you crying my name, but I heard you. I heard mother call for her fach, her little one. I bit my hands until they bled but I did not come down. And, eventually, Charlotte convinced you to go away. I thought you might come again but you never did. Herondales are stubborn like that. I remember the great sighs of relief you would both give each time the Council came to ask me if I wished to join the Nephilim and leave my family, and each time I said no and I send them away. I wonder if you knew I was tempted by the idea of a life of glory, of fighting, of killing to protect as a man should. It is in our blood - the call to the seraph and the stele, to marks and to monsters. I wonder why you left the Nephilim, Father? I wonder why Mother chose not to Ascend and to become a Shadowhunter? Is it because you found them cruel or cold? I have no fathom side. Charlotte, especially, is kind to me, little knowing how much I do not deserve it. Henry is mad as a brush, but a good man. He would have made Ella laugh. There is little good to be said about Jessamine, but she is harmless. As little as there is good to say about her, there is as much good to say about Jem: He is the brother Father always thought I should have. Blood of my blood - though we are no relation. Though I might have lost everything else, at least I have gained one thing in his friendship. And we have a new addition to our household too. Her name is Tessa. A pretty name, is it not? When the clouds used to roll over the mountains from the ocean? That gray is the color of her eyes. And now I will tell you a terrible truth, since I never intend to send this letter. I came here to the Institute because I had nowhere else to go. I did not expect it to ever be home, but in the time I have been here I have discovered that I am a true Shadowhunter. In some way my blood tells me that this is what I was born to do.If only I had known before and gone with the Clave the first time they asked me, perhaps I could have saved Ella’s life. Perhaps I could have saved my own. Your Son, Will
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
On Stripping Bark from Myself (for Jane, who said trees die from it) Because women are expected to keep silent about their close escapes I will not keep silent and if I am destroyed (naked tree!) someone will please mark the spot where I fall and know I could not live silent in my own lies hearing their 'how nice she is!' whose adoration of the retouched image I so despise. No. I am finished with living for what my mother believes for what my brother and father defend for what my lover elevates for what my sister, blushing, denies or rushes to embrace. I find my own small person a standing self against the world an equality of wills I finally understand. Besides: My struggle was always against an inner darkness: I carry within myself the only known keys to my death – to unlock life, or close it shut forever. A woman who loves wood grains, the color yellow and the sun, I am happy to fight all outside murderers as I see I must.
Alice Walker (Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems 1965-1990 Complete)
Do not forget, do not ever forget, that you have promised me to use the money to make yourself an honest man.' Valjean, who did not recall having made any promise, was silent. The bishop had spoken the words slowly and deliberately. He concluded with a solemn emphasis: Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to what is evil but to what is good. I have bought your soul to save it from black thoughts and the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
BETRAYAL No failure in Life, whether of love or money, is ever really that simple; it usually involves a type of a shadowy betrayal, buried in a secret, mass grave of shared hopes and dreams. That universal mass grave exists in a private cemetery that most... both those suffering from the loss, but especially those committing the betrayal, refuse to acknowledge its existence. When you realize you've been deeply betrayed, fear really hits you. That's what you feel first. And then it's anger and frustration. Then disspointment and disilussionment. Part of the problem is how little we understand about the ultimate effects and consequences of betrayal on our hearts and spirits; and on trust and respect for our fellow brothers and sisters. In writing, there are only really a few good stories to tell, and in the end, and betrayal and the failure of love is one of the most powerful stories to tell. Tragedy in life normally comes with betrayal and compromise- by trading in our integrity and failing to treat life and others in our life, with respect and dignity. That's really where the truest and the most tragic failures comes from... they come making the choice to betray another soul, and in turn, giving up a peice of your own.
José N. Harris (Mi Vida)
I stand there for a while, then sit cross-legged before it and bow my head. "Hi, Metias," I say in a soft voice. "Today's my birthday. Do you know how old I am now?" I close me eyes, and through the silence surrounding me I think I can sense a ghostly hand on my shoulder, my brother's gentle presence that I'm able to feel every now and then, in these quiet moments. I imagine him smiling down at me, his expression relaxed and free. "I'm twenty-seven today," I continue in a whisper. My voice catches for a moment. "We're the same age now." For the first tine in my life, I am no longer his little sister. Next year I will step across the line and he will still be in the same place. From now on, I will be older than he ever was. I try to move on to other thoughts, so I tell my brother's ghost about my year, my struggles and successes in commanding my own patrols, my hectic workweeks. I tell him, as I always do, that I miss him. And as always, I can hear the whisper of his ghost against my ear, his gentle reply that he misses me too. That he's looking out for me, from wherever he is.
Marie Lu (Champion (Legend, #3))
You want to know what hell is? What brimstone and burining really is?" Yes" Hell is the perfect recollection of every evil thing you've done in your life, every thoughtless word, every cruel, evil thought or action. It's knowing that you could have helped your brother and didn't. Hell is clarity, Bob. It's nothing more than clarity." He leaned forward as if to confide in me, his gaze intense. "Do you want to know what heaven is?" I was locked into his gaze. "Yes." His voice was barely above a whisper, "It's the same thing.
Richard Paul Evans (A Perfect Day)
Dear Goat, How does one fall in love? Do you trip? Do you stumble, lose your balance and drop to the sidewalk, graze your knee, graze your heart? Do you crash to the stony ground? Is there a precipice, from which you float, over the edge, forever? I know I'm in love when I see you, I know when I long to see you. Not a muscle has moved. Leaves hang unruffled by any breeze. The air is still. I have fallen in love without taking step. When did this happen? I haven't even blinked. I'm on fire. Is that too banal for you? It's not, you know. You'll see. It's what happens. It's what matters. I'm on fire. I no longer eat, I forget to eat. Food looks silly to me, irrelevant. If I even notice it. But I notice nothing. My thoughts are full and raging, a house full of brothers, related by blood, feuding blood feuds: "I'm in love." "Typically stupid choice." "I am, though, I'm racked by love as if love were pain." "Go ahead. Fuck up your life. It's all wrong and you know it. Wake up. Face it." "There's only one face, it's all I see, awake or asleep." I threw the book out the window last night. I tried to forget. You are all wrong for me, I know it, but I no longer care for my thoughts unless they're thoughts of you. When I'm close to you, in your presence, I feel your hair brush my cheek when it does not. I look away from you, sometimes. Then I look back. When I tie my shoes, when I peel an orange, when I drive my car, when I lie down each night without you, I remain, As ever, Ram
Cathleen Schine (The Love Letter)
The fragility of crystal is not a weakness but a fineness. My parents understood that fine crystal glass had to be cared for or may be shattered. But when it came to my brother, they didn’t seem to know or care that their course of their secret action brought the kind of devastation that could cut them. Their fraudulent marriage and our father’s denial of his other son was for Chris a murder of every day’s truth. He felt his whole life turned like a river suddenly reversing the direction of its flow. Suddenly running uphill. These revelations struck at the core of Chris’s sense of identity. They made his entire childhood seem like fiction. Chris never told them he knew and made me promise silence as well.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
Kelsier exhaled in exasperation. “Elend Venture? You risked your life—risked the plan, and our lives—for that fool of a boy?” Vin looked up, glaring at him. “Yes.” “What is wrong with you, girl?” Kelsier asked. “Elend Venture isn’t worth this.” She stood angrily, Sazed backing away, the cloak falling the floor. “He’s a good man!” “He’s a nobleman!” “So are you!” Vin snapped. She waved a frustrated arm toward the kitchen and the crew. “What do you think this is, Kelsier? The life of a skaa? What do any of you know about skaa? Aristocratic suits, stalking your enemies in the night, full meals and nightcaps around the table with your friends? That’s not the life of a skaa!” She took a step forward, glaring at Kelsier. He blinked in surprise at the outburst. “What do you know about them, Kelsier?” she asked. “When’s the last time you slept in an alley, shivering in the cold rain, listening to the beggar next to you cough with a sickness you knew would kill him? When’s the last time you had to lay awake at night, terrified that one of the men in your crew would try to rape you? Have you ever knelt, starving, wishing you had the courage to knife the crewmember beside you just so you could take his crust of bread? Have you ever cowered before your brother as he beat you, all the time feeling thankful because at least you had someone who paid attention to you?” She fell silent, puffing slightly, the crewmembers staring at her. “Don’t talk to me about noblemen,” Vin said. “And don’t say things about people you don’t know. You’re no skaa— you’re just noblemen without titles.” She turned, stalking from the room. Kelsier watched her go, shocked, hearing her footsteps on the stairs. He stood, dumbfounded, feeling a surprising flush of ashamed guilt. And, for once, found himself without anything to say.
Brandon Sanderson (The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1))
We should fix ourselves firmly in the presence of God by conversing all the time with Him...we should feed our soul with a lofty conception of God and from that derive great joy in being his. We should put life in our faith. We should give ourselves utterly to God in pure abandonment, in temporal and spiritual matters alike, and find contentment in the doing of His will,whether he takes us through sufferings or consolations.
Brother Lawrence
This was not the time to say “I don’t know.” The brothers had begging, hungry looks, like dogs waiting to be fed. They wanted an answer. It would be nice if it was the right answer, but if it couldn’t be, then any answer would do, because then we would stop being worried...and then his mind caught alight. That’s what the gods are! An answer that will do! Because there’s food to be caught and babies to be born and life to be lived and so there is no time for big, complicated, and worrying answers! Please give us a simple answer, so that we don’t have to think, because if we think, we might find answers that don’t fit the way we want the world to be.
Terry Pratchett (Nation)
Dr. Webb says that losing a sibling is oftentimes much harder for a person than losing any other member of the family. "A sibling represents a person's past, present, and future," he says. "Spouses have each other, and even when one eventually dies, they have memories of a time when they existed before that other person and can more readily imagine a life without them. Likewise, parents may have other children to be concerned with--a future to protect for them. To lose a sibling is to lose the one person with whom one shares a lifelong bond that is meant to continue on into the future.
John Corey Whaley (Where Things Come Back)
if they hadn’t both been pretending, but had had what is called a heart-to-heart talk, that is, simply told each other just what they were thinking and feeling, then they would just have looked into each other’s eyes, and Constantine would only have said: ‘You’re dying, dying, dying!’ – while Nicholas would simply have replied: ‘I know I’m dying, but I’m afraid, afraid, afraid!’ That’s all they would have said if they’d been talking straight from the heart. But it was impossible to live that way, so Levin tried to do what he’d been trying to do all his life without being able to, what a great many people could do so well, as he observed, and without which life was impossible: he tried to say something different from what he thought, and he always felt it came out false, that his brother caught him out and was irritated by it.
Leo Tolstoy
Tessa reached to brush the damp hair from his forehead. He leaned into her touch, his eyes closing. “Jem—have you ever—” She hesitated. “Have you ever thought of ways to prolong your life that are not a cure for the drug?”   At that his eyelids flew open. “What do you mean?”   She thought of Will, on the floor of the attic, choking on holy water. “Becoming a vampire. You would live forever—”   He scrambled upright against the pillows of the bed. “Tessa, no. Don’t—you can’t think that way.”    “Is the thought of becoming a Downworlder truly so horrible to you?”   “Tessa …” He exhaled slowly. “I am a Shadowhunter. Nephilim. Like my parents before me. It is the heritage I claim, just as I claim my mother’s heritage as part of myself. It does not mean I hate my father. But I honor the gift they gave me, the blood of the Angel, the trust placed in me, the vows I have taken. Nor, I think, would I make a very good vampire. [redacted for spoilers] I would no longer be Will’s parabatai, no longer be welcome in the Institute. No, Tessa. I would rather die and be reborn and see the sun again, than live to the end of the world without daylight.”   “A Silent Brother, then,” she said.    His eyes softened slightly. “The path of Silent Brotherhood is not open to me.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
The difficulties of life do not have to be unbearable. It is the way we look at them - through faith or unbelief - that makes them seem so. We must be convinced that our Father is full of love for us and that He only permits trials to come our way for our own good. Let us occupy ourselves entirely in knowing God. The more we know Him, the more we will desire to know Him. As love increases with knowledge, the more we know God, the more we will truly love Him. We will learn to love Him equally in times of distress or in times of great joy.
Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God)
Remember this, my darling—remember this. What you achieve on earth is only a small part of the deal. If there's a secret I could whisper, and that you could keep, it would be that it's all inside you already. Every single thing you need. Earth is just a stopover. A kind of game. Make it a star game. If I could give you a gift, it would be to teach you how to stay free inside that game, to find the glory inside yourself, beyond the roles and the drama, so you can dance the dance of the game of life with a little more rhythm, a little more abandon, a little more shaking-those-hips.
Annie Kagan (The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved to Me There's Life After Death)
I did not think you would be angry, Jem burst out, and it was like ice cracking across a frozen waterfall, freeing a torrent. We were engaged, Tessa. A proposal-an offer of marriage-is a promise. A promise to love and care for someone always. I did not mean to break mine to you. But it was that or die. I wanted to wait, to be married to you and live wit you for years, but that wasn't possible. I was dying too fast. I would have given it up-all of it up-to be married to you for a day. A day that would never have come. You are a reminder-a reminder of everything I am losing. The life I will not have.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
I met a girl in a U-Haul. A beautiful girl And I fell for her. I fell hard. Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way. Life definitely got in my way. It got all up in my damn way, Life blocked the door with a stack of wooden 2x4's nailed together and attached to a fifteen inch concrete wall behind a row of solid steel bars, bolted to a titanium frame that no matter how hard I shoved against it- It wouldn't budge. Sometimes life doesn't budge. It just gets all up in your damn way. It blocked my plans, my dreams, my desires, my wishes, my wants, my needs. It blocked out that beautiful girl That I fell so hard for. Life tries to tell you what's best for you What should be most important to you What should come in first Or second Or third. I tried so hard to keep it all organized, alphabetized, stacked in chronological order, everything in its perfect space, its perfect place. I thought that's what life wanted me to do. This is what life needed for me to do. Right? Keep it all in sequence? Sometimes, life gets in your way. It gets all up in your damn way. But it doesn't get all up in your damn way because it wants you to just give up and let it take control. Life doesn't get all up in your damn way because it just wants you to hand it all over and be carried along. Life wants you to fight it. It wants you to grab an axe and hack through the wood. It wants you to get a sledgehammer and break through the concrete. It wants you to grab a torch and burn through the metal and steel until you can reach through and grab it. Life wants you to grab all the organized, the alphabetized, the chronological, the sequenced. It wants you to mix it all together, stir it up, blend it. Life doesn't want you to let it tell you that your little brother should be the only thing that comes first. Life doesn't want you to let it tell you that your career and your education should be the only thing that comes in second. And life definitely doesn't want me To just let it tell me that the girl I met, The beautiful, strong, amazing, resilient girl That I fell so hard for Should only come in third. Life knows. Life is trying to tell me That the girl I love, The girl I fell So hard for? There's room for her in first. I'm putting her first.
Colleen Hoover
Damn right! The time of your life! Gotta wrap up all those life events, all those parties, into one - birthdays, wedding, funeral." THen he turns to their father. "Very efficient, right, Dad?".... "Here's to my brother, Lev," Marcus says. "And to our parents! Who have always done the right thing. The appropriate thing. Who have always given generously to charity. Who have always given 10 percent of everything to our church. Hey, Mom - we're lucky you had ten kids instead of five, otherwise we'd end up having to cut Lev off at the waist!
Neal Shusterman (Unwind (Unwind, #1))
Everyone wants to fall in love. But I think more people are in love with the theory of love. If you’re looking in from the outside, it looks so beautiful. On the inside, it’s scary because it can take over your life. It’s the strongest emotion but also the darkest. It can put you on a high for days, but it can wrap an anchor around your feet and drown you in less than a minute. If everyone knew the truth no one would really ask for love. But when it drops into your life, you can only hope that you have enough strength to hang on.
Calia Read (Breaking the Wrong (Sloan Brothers, #2))
...he asked, "Where are you today, right now?" Eagerly, I started talking about myself. However, I noticed that I was still being sidetracked from getting answers to my questions. Still, I told him about my distant and recent past and about my inexplicable depressions. He listened patiently and intently, as if he had all the time in the world, until I finished several hours later. "Very well," he said. "But you still have not answered my question about where you are." "Yes I did, remember? I told you how I got to where I am today: by hard work." "Where are you?" "What do you mean, where am I?" "Where Are you?" he repeated softly. "I'm here." "Where is here?" "In this office, in this gas station!" I was getting impatient with this game. "Where is this gas station?" "In Berkeley?" "Where is Berkeley?" "In California?" "Where is California?" "In the United States?" "On a landmass, one of the continents in the Western Hemisphere. Socrates, I..." "Where are the continents? I sighed. "On the earth. Are we done yet?" "Where is the earth?" "In the solar system, third planet from the sun. The sun is a small star in the Milky Way galaxy, all right?" "Where is the Milky Way?" "Oh, brother, " I sighed impatiently, rolling my eyes. "In the universe." I sat back and crossed my arms with finality. "And where," Socrates smiled, "is the universe?" "The universe is well, there are theories about how it's shaped..." "That's not what I asked. Where is it?" "I don't know - how can I answer that?" "That is the point. You cannot answer it, and you never will. There is no knowing about it. You are ignorant of where the universe is, and thus, where you are. In fact, you have no knowledge of where anything is or of What anything is or how is came to be. Life is a mystery. "My ignorance is based on this understanding. Your understanding is based on ignorance. This is why I am a humorous fool, and you are a serious jackass.
Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives)
one day Manuel returned to the place, and she was gone - no argument, no note, just gone, all her clothes all her stuff, and Manuel sat by the window and looked out and didn't make his job the next day or the next day or the day after, he didn't phone in, he lost his job, got a ticket for parking, smoked four hundred and sixty cigarettes, got picked up for common drunk, bailed out, went to court and pleaded guilty. when the rent was up he moved from Beacon street, he left the cat and went to live with his brother and they'd get drunk every night and talk about how terrible life was. Manuel never again smoked long slim cigars because Shirley always said how handsome he looked when he did.
Charles Bukowski (Love Is a Dog from Hell)
But the older he grew and the more intimately he came to know his brother, the oftener the thought occurred to him that the power of working for the general welfare – a power of which he felt himself entirely destitute – was not a virtue but rather a lack of something: not a lack of kindly honesty and noble desires and tastes, but a lack of the power of living, of what is called heart – the aspiration which makes a man choose one out of all the innumerable paths of life that present themselves, and desire that alone.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
When I asked him the meaning of life, Dr. Webb got very quiet and then told me life has no one meaning, it only has whatever meaning each of us puts on our own life. I'll tell you now that I still don't know the meaning of mine. And Lucas Cader, with all his brains and talent, doesn't know the meaning of his, either. But I'll tell you the meaning of all this. The meaning of some bird showing up and some boy disappearing and you knowing all about it. The meaning of this was not to save you, but to warn you instead. To warn you of confusion and delusion and assumption. To warn you of psychics and zombies and ghosts of your lost brother. To warn you of Ada Taylor and her sympathy and mothers who wake you up with vacuums. To warn you of two-foot-tall birds that say they can help, but never do.
John Corey Whaley (Where Things Come Back)
If you keep silent, keep silent by love: if you speak, speak by love; if you correct, correct by love; if you pardon, pardon by love; let love be rooted in you, and from the root nothing but good can grow. Love and do what you will. Love endures in adversity, is moderate in prosperity; brave under harsh sufferings, cheerful in good works; utterly reliable in temptation, utterly open-handed in hospitality; as happy as can be among true brothers and sisters, as patient as you can get among the false one's. The soul of the scriptures, the force of prophecy, the saving power of the sacraments, the fruit of faith, the wealth of the poor, the life of the dying. Love is all.
Augustine of Hippo
Jason took me by the shoulders—not out of anger, or in a clinging way, but as a brother. “Promise me one thing. Whatever happens, when you get back to Olympus, when you’re a god again, remember. Remember what it’s like to be human.” A few weeks ago, I would have scoffed. Why would I want to remember any of this? At best, if I were lucky enough to reclaim my divine throne, I would recall this wretched experience like a scary B-movie that had finally ended. I would walk out of the cinema into the sunlight, thinking Phew! Glad that’s over. Now, however, I had some inkling of what Jason meant. I had learned a lot about human frailty and human strength. I felt…different toward mortals, having been one of them. If nothing else, it would provide me with some excellent inspiration for new song lyrics!
Rick Riordan (The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3))
I am writing this book because we're all going to die - In the loneliness of my own life, my father dead, my brother dead, my mother faraway, my sister and my wife far away, nothing here but my own tragic hands that once were guarded by a world, a sweet attention, that now are left to guide and disappear their own way into the common dark of all our deaths, sleeping in me raw bed, alone and stupid: with just this one pride and consolation: my broke heart in the general despair and opened up inwards to the Lord, I made a supplication in this dream
Jack Kerouac (Visions of Cody)
Private Parts The first love of my life never saw me naked - there was always a parent coming home in half an hour - always a little brother in the next room. Always too much body and not enough time for me to show it. Instead, I gave him my shoulder, my elbow, the bend of my knee - I lent him my corners, my edges, the parts of me I could afford to offer - the parts I had long since given up trying to hide. He never asked for more. He gave me back his eyelashes, the back of his neck, his palms - we held each piece we were given like it was a nectarine that could bruise if we weren’t careful. We collected them like we were trying to build an orchid. And the spaces that he never saw, the ones my parents half labeled “private parts” when I was still small enough to fit all of myself and my worries inside a bathtub - I made up for that by handing over all the private parts of me. There was no secret I didn’t tell him, there was no moment I didn’t share - and we didn’t grow up, we grew in, like ivy wrapping, moulding each other into perfect yings and yangs. We kissed with mouths open, breathing his exhale into my inhale - we could have survived underwater or outer space. Breathing only of the breathe we traded, we spelled love, g-i-v-e, I never wanted to hide my body from him - if I could have I would have given it all away with the rest of me - I did not know it was possible. To save some thing for myself. Some nights I wake up knowing he is anxious, he is across the world in another woman’s arms - the years have spread us like dandelion seeds - sanding down the edges of our jigsaw parts that used to only fit each other. He drinks from the pitcher on the night stand, checks the digital clock, it is 5am - he tosses in sheets and tries to settle, I wait for him to sleep. Before tucking myself into elbows and knees reach for things I have long since given up.
Sarah Kay
When did they stop putting toys in cereal boxes? When I was little, I remember wandering the cereal aisle (which surely is as American a phenomenon as fireworks on the Fourth of July) and picking my breakfast food based on what the reward was: a Frisbee with the Trix rabbit's face emblazoned on the front. Holographic stickers with the Lucky Charms leprechaun. A mystery decoder wheel. I could suffer through raisin bran for a month if it meant I got a magic ring at the end. I cannot admit this out loud. In the first place, we are expected to be supermoms these days, instead of admitting that we have flaws. It is tempting to believe that all mothers wake up feeling fresh every morning, never raise their voices, only cook with organic food, and are equally at ease with the CEO and the PTA. Here's a secret: those mothers don't exist. Most of us-even if we'd never confess-are suffering through the raisin bran in the hopes of a glimpse of that magic ring. I look very good on paper. I have a family, and I write a newspaper column. In real life, I have to pick superglue out of the carpet, rarely remember to defrost for dinner, and plan to have BECAUSE I SAID SO engraved on my tombstone. Real mothers wonder why experts who write for Parents and Good Housekeeping-and, dare I say it, the Burlington Free Press-seem to have their acts together all the time when they themselves can barely keep their heads above the stormy seas of parenthood. Real mothers don't just listen with humble embarrassment to the elderly lady who offers unsolicited advice in the checkout line when a child is throwing a tantrum. We take the child, dump him in the lady's car, and say, "Great. Maybe YOU can do a better job." Real mothers know that it's okay to eat cold pizza for breakfast. Real mothers admit it is easier to fail at this job than to succeed. If parenting is the box of raisin bran, then real mothers know the ratio of flakes to fun is severely imbalanced. For every moment that your child confides in you, or tells you he loves you, or does something unprompted to protect his brother that you happen to witness, there are many more moments of chaos, error, and self-doubt. Real mothers may not speak the heresy, but they sometimes secretly wish they'd chosen something for breakfast other than this endless cereal. Real mothers worry that other mothers will find that magic ring, whereas they'll be looking and looking for ages. Rest easy, real mothers. The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one.
Jodi Picoult (House Rules)
It's God that's worrying me. That's the only thing that's worrying me. What if He doesn't exist? What if Rakitin's right -that it's an idea made up by men? Then, if He doesn't exist, man is the king of the earth, of the universe. Magnificent! Only how is he going to be good without God? That's the question. I always come back to that. Who is man going to love then? To whom will he be thankful? To whom will he sing the hymn? Rakitin laughs. Rakitin says that one can love humanity instead of God. Well, only an idiot can maintain that. I can't understand it. Life's easy for Rakitin. 'You'd better think about the extension of civic rights, or of keeping down the price of meat. You will show your love for humanity more simply and directly by that, than by philosophy.' I answered him: 'Well, but you, without a God, are more likely to raise the price of meat if it suits you, and make a rouble on every penny.' He lost his temper. But after all, what is goodness? Answer that, Alyosha. Goodness is one thing with me and another with a Chinaman, so it's relative. Or isn't it? Is it not relative? A treacherous question! You won't laugh if I tell you it's kept me awake for two nights. I only wonder now how people can live and think nothing about it. Vanity!
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Then I thought of the drive back, late at night, along the starlit river to this rickety antique New England hotel on a shoreline that I hoped would remind us both of the bay of B., and of Van Gogh's starry nights, and of the night I joined him on the rock and kissed him on the neck, and of the last night when we walked together on the coast road, sensing we'd run out of last-minute miracles to put off his leaving. I imagined being in his car asking myself, Who knows, would I want to, would he want to, perhaps a nightcap at the bar would decide, knowing that, all through dinner that evening, he and I would be worrying about the same exact thing, hoping it might happen, praying it might not, perhaps a nightcap would decide - I could just read it on his face as I pictured him looking away while uncorking a bottle of wine or while changing the music, because he too would catch the thought racing through my mind and want me to know he was debating the exact same thing, because, as he'd pour the wine for his wife, for me, for himself, it would finally dawn on us both that he was more me than I had ever been myself, because when he became me and I became him in bed so many years ago, he was and would forever remain, long after every forked road in life had done its work, my brother, my friend, my father, my son, my husband, my lover, myself. In the weeks we'd been thrown together that summer, our lives had scarcely touched, but we had crossed to the other bank, where time stops and heaven reaches down to earth and gives us that ration of what is from birth divinely ours. We looked the other way. We spoke of everything but. But we've always known, and not saying anything now confirmed it all the more. We had found the stars, you and I. And this is given once only.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
Zhi yin. Jem had told her once that it meant understanding music, and also a bond that went deeper than friendship. Jem played, and he played the years of Will's life as he had seen them. He played two little boys in the training room, one showing the other how to throw knives, and he played the ritual of parabatai: the fire and the vows and burning runes. He played two young men running through the streets of London in the dark, stopping to lean up against a wall and laugh together. He played the day in the library when he and Will had jested with Tessa about ducks, and he played the train to Yorkshire on which Jem had said that parabatai were meant to love each other as they loved their own souls. He played that love, and he played their love for Tessa, and hers for them, and he played Will saying, In your eyes I have always found grace. He played the too few times he had seen them since he had joined the Brotherhood- the brief meetings at the Institute; the time when Will had been bitten by a Shax demon and nearly died, and Jem had come from the Silent City and sat with him all night, risking discovery and punishment. And he played the birth of their first son, and the protection ceremony that had been carried out on the child in the Silent City. Will would have no other Silent Brother but Jem perform it. And Jem played the way he had covered his scarred face with his hands and turned away when he'd found out the child's name was James. He played of love and loss and years of silence, words unsaid and vows unspoken, and all the spaces between his heart and theirs; and when he was done, and he'd set the violin back in its box, Will's eyes were closed, but Tessa's were full of tears. Jem set down his bow, and came toward the bed, drawing back his hood, so she could see his closed eyes and his scarred face. And he had sat down beside them on the bed, and taken Will's hand, the one that Tessa was not holding, and both Will and Tessa heard Jem's voice in their minds. I take your hand, brother, so that you may go in peace. Will had opened the blue eyes that had never lost their color over all the passing years, and looked at Jem and then Tessa, and smiled, and died, with Tessa's head on his shoulder and his hand in Jem's.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?“ Winston thought. “By making him suffer”, he said. “Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but MORE merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy – everything. Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed.
George Orwell (1984)
Froi saw the rage in Arjuro’s eyes, his clenched fists. ‘If I could find the men who did those things to you as a child I would tear them limb from limb.’ Froi embraced him. ‘One day,’ Froi said, clearing his voice of emotion, ‘I’ll introduce you to my queen and my king and my captain; and Lord August and Lady Abian, who have given me a home; and the Priestking and Perri and Tesadora and my friend Lucian; and then you’ll understand that I would never have met them if you hadn’t journeyed to Sarnak all those years ago, Arjuro. And if the gods were to give me a choice between living a better life, having not met them, or a wretched life with the slightest chance of crossing their path, then I'd pick the wretched life over and over again.’ He kissed Arjuro’s brow. Finnikin called it a blessing between two male blood kin. It always had made Froi ache seeing it between Finnikin and Trevanion. ‘I'd live it again just to have crossed all of your paths. Keep safe, Arjuro. Keep safe so I can bring your brother home to you.
Melina Marchetta (Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles, #3))
The chanting grew louder, deep male voice pumping. She looked to the brothers, the tall, fierce men who were now part of her life. Wrath pivoted and put his arm around her. Together, they swayed to the rhythm that swelled, filling the air. The brothers were as one as they paid homage in their language, a single powerful entity. But then, in a high, keening call, one voice broke out, lifting above the others, shooting higher and higher. The sound of the tenor was so clear, so pure, it brought shivers to the skin, a yearning warmth to the chest. The sweet notes blew the ceiling off with their glory, turning the chamber into cathedral, the brothers into a tabernacle. Bringing the very heavens close enough to touch. It was Zsadist. His eys closed, his head back, his mouth wide open, he sang. The scarred one, the soulless one, had the voice of an angel.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
You don't notice the dead leaving when they really choose to leave you. You're not meant to. At most you feel them as a whisper or the wave of a whisper undulating down. I would compare it to a woman in the back of a lecture hall or theater whom no one notices until she slips out.Then only those near the door themselves, like Grandma Lynn, notice; to the rest it is like an unexplained breeze in a closed room. Grandma Lynn died several years later, but I have yet to see her here. I imagine her tying it on in her heaven, drinking mint juleps with Tennessee Williams and Dean Martin. She'll be here in her own sweet time, I'm sure. If I'm to be honest with you, I still sneak away to watch my family sometimes. I can't help it, and sometimes they still think of me. They can't help it.... It was a suprise to everyone when Lindsey found out she was pregnant...My father dreamed that one day he might teach another child to love ships in bottles. He knew there would be both sadness and joy in it; that it would always hold an echo of me. I would like to tell you that it is beautiful here, that I am, and you will one day be, forever safe. But this heaven is not about safety just as, in its graciousness, it isn't about gritty reality. We have fun. We do things that leave humans stumped and grateful, like Buckley's garden coming up one year, all of its crazy jumble of plants blooming all at once. I did that for my mother who, having stayed, found herself facing the yard again. Marvel was what she did at all the flowers and herbs and budding weeds. Marveling was what she mostly did after she came back- at the twists life took. And my parents gave my leftover possessions to the Goodwill, along with Grandma Lynn's things. They kept sharing when they felt me. Being together, thinking and talking about the dead, became a perfectly normal part of their life. And I listened to my brother, Buckley, as he beat the drums. Ray became Dr. Singh... And he had more and more moments that he chose not to disbelieve. Even if surrounding him were the serious surgeons and scientists who ruled over a world of black and white, he maintained this possibility: that the ushering strangers that sometimes appeared to the dying were not the results of strokes, that he had called Ruth by my name, and that he had, indeed, made love to me. If he ever doubted, he called Ruth. Ruth, who graduated from a closet to a closet-sized studio on the Lower East Side. Ruth, who was still trying to find a way to write down whom she saw and what she had experienced. Ruth, who wanted everyone to believe what she knew: that the dead truly talk to us, that in the air between the living, spirits bob and weave and laugh with us. They are the oxygen we breathe. Now I am in the place I call this wide wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort. So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wide roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Love, he realized, was like the daggers he made in his forge: When you first got one it was shiny and new and the blade glinted bright in the light. Holding it against your palm, you were full of optimism for what it would be like in the field, and you couldn't wait to try it out. Except those first couple of nights out were usually awkward as you got used to it and it got used to you. Over time, the steel lost its brand-new gleam, and the hilt became stained, and maybe you nicked the shit out of the thing a couple of times. What you got in return, however, saved your life: Once the pair of you were well acquainted, it became such a part of you that it was an extension of your own arm. It protected you and gave you a means to protect your brothers; it provided you with the confidnece and the power to face whatever came out of the night; and wherever you went, it stayed with you, right over your heart, always there when you needed it. You had to keep the blade up, however. And rewrap the hilt from time to time. And double-check the weight. Funny...all of that was well, duh when it came to weapons. Why hadn't it dawned on him that matings were the same? (From the thoughts of Vishous)
J.R. Ward (Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9))
We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge. Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution. But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.
Robert F. Kennedy
There is a kind of listening with half an ear that presumes already to know what the other person has to say. It is an impatient, inattentive listening, that despises the brother and is only waiting for a chance to speak and thus get rid of the other person. This is no fulfillment of our obligation, and it is certain that here too our attitude toward our brother only reflects our relationship to God. It is little wonder that we are no longer capable of the greatest service of listening that God has committed to us, that of hearing our brother's confession, if we refuse to give ear to our brother on lesser subjects. Secular education today is aware that often a person can be helped merely by having someone who will listen to him seriously, and upon this insight it has constructed its own soul therapy, which has attracted great numbers of people, including Christians. But Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by Him who is Himself the great listener and whose work they should share. We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
What Huxley teaches is that in the age of advanced technology, spiritual devastation is more likely to come from an enemy with a smiling face than from one whose countenance exudes suspicion and hate. In the Huxleyan prophecy, Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours. There is no need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Fox was here first, and his brother was the wolf. Fox said, people will live forever. If they die they will not die for long. Wolf said, no, people will die, people must die, all things that live must die, or they will spread and cover the world, and eat all the salmon and the caribou and the buffalo, eat all the squash and all the corn. Now one day Wolf died, and he said to the fox, quick, bring me back to life. And Fox said, No, the dead must stay dead. You convinced me. And he wept as he said this. But he said it, and it was final. Now Wolf rules the world of the dead and Fox lives always under the sun and the moon, and he still mourns his brother.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still. For once on the face of the earth let's not speak in any language, let's stop for one second, and not move our arms so much. It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines, we would all be together in a sudden strangeness. Fishermen in the cold sea would not harm whales and the man gathering salt would look at his hurt hands. Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victory with no survivors, would put on clean clothes and walk about with their brothers in the shade, doing nothing. What I want should not be confused with total inactivity. Life is what it is about; I want no truck with death. If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving, and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves and of threatening ourselves with death. Perhaps the earth can teach us as when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive. Now I'll count up to twelve and you keep quiet and I will go.
Pablo Neruda
I think one of the sweetest lessons taught by the Prophet, and yet one of the saddest, occurred close to the time of his death. He was required to leave his plan and vision of the Rocky Mountains and give himself up to face a court of supposed justice. These are his words: 'I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer's morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men' (D&C 135:4). That statement of the Prophet teaches us obedience to law and the importance of having a clear conscience toward God and toward our fellowmen. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught these principles--by example. There was to be one great final lesson before his mortal life ended. He was incarcerated in Carthage Jail with his brother Hyrum, with John Taylor, and with Willard Richards. The angry mob stormed the jail; they came up the stairway, blasphemous in their cursing, heavily armed, and began to fire at will. Hyrum was hit and died. John Taylor took several balls of fire within his bosom. The Prophet Joseph, with his pistol in hand, was attempting to defend his life and that of his brethren, and yet he could tell from the pounding on the door that this mob would storm that door and would kill John Taylor and Willard Richards in an attempt to kill him. And so his last great act here upon the earth was to leave the door and lead Willard Richards to safety, throw the gun on the floor, and go to the window, that they might see him, that the attention of this ruthless mob might be focused upon him rather than the others. Joseph Smith gave his life. Willard Richards was spared, and John Taylor recovered from his wounds. 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends' (John 15:13). The Prophet Joseph Smith taught us love--by example.
Thomas S. Monson
He was a good man... No. He was a great man. A maester of the Citadel, chained and sworn, and Sworn Brother of the Night's Watch, ever faithful. When he was born they named him for a hero who had died too young, but though he lived a long long time, his own life was no less heroic. No man was wiser, or gentler, or kinder. At the Wall, a dozen lords commander came and went during his years of service, but he was always there to counsel them. He counseled kings as well. He could have been a king himself, but when they offered him the crown he told them they should give it to his younger brother. How many men would do that? He was the blood of the dragon, but now his fire has gone out. He was Aemon Targaryen. And now his watch is ended.
George R.R. Martin (A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4))
And St. Francis added: "My dear and beloved Brother, the treasure of blessed poverty is so very precious and divine that we are not worthy to possess it in our vile bodies. For poverty is that heavenly virtue by which all earthy and transitory things are trodden under foot, and by which every obstacle is removed from the soul so that it may freely enter into union with the eternal Lord God. It is also the virtue which makes the soul, while still here on earth, converse with the angels in Heaven. It is she who accompanied Christ on the Cross, was buried with Christ in the Tomb, and with Christ was raised and ascended into Heaven, for even in this life she gives to souls who love her the ability to fly to Heaven, and she alone guards the armor of true humility and charity.
Francis of Assisi (The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi)
Oh, I believe you. It’s too ridiculous not to be true. It’s just that each time my world gets stranger, I think: Right. We’re at maximum oddness now. At least I know the full extent of it. First, I find out my brother and I are descended from the pharaohs and have magic powers. All right. No problem. Then I find out my dead father has merged his soul with Osiris and Why not? Then my uncle takes over the House of Life and oversees hundreds of magicians around the world. Then my boyfriend turns out to be a hybrid magician boy/immortal god of funerals. And all the while I’m thinking, Of course! Keep calm and carry on! I’ve adjusted! And then you come along on a random Thursday, la-di-da, and say, Oh, by the way, Egyptian gods are just one small part of the cosmic absurdity. We’ve also got the Greeks to worry about! Hooray!
Rick Riordan (The Staff of Serapis (Percy Jackson & Kane Chronicles Crossover #2))
I call it Joy. 'Animal-Land' was not imaginative. But certain other experiences were... The first is itself the memory of a memory. As I stood beside a flowering currant bush on a summer day there suddenly arose in me without warning, and as if from a depth not of years but of centuries, the memory of that earlier morning at the Old House when my brother had brought his toy garden into the nursery. It is difficult or find words strong enough for the sensation which came over me; Milton's 'enormous bliss' of Eden (giving the full, ancient meaning to 'enormous') comes somewhere near it. It was a sensation, of course, of desire; but desire for what?...Before I knew what I desired, the desire itself was gone, the whole glimpse... withdrawn, the world turned commonplace again, or only stirred by a longing for the longing that had just ceased... In a sense the central story of my life is about nothing else... The quality common to the three experiences... is that of an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction. I call it Joy, which is here a technical term and must be sharply distinguished both from Happiness and Pleasure. Joy (in my sense) has indeed one characteristic, and one only, in common with them; the fact that anyone who has experienced it will want it again... I doubt whether anyone who has tasted it would ever, if both were in his power, exchange it for all the pleasures in the world. But then Joy is never in our power and Pleasure often is.
C.S. Lewis (Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life)
One cannot prove anything here, but it is possible to be convinced.' How? By what?' By the experience of active love. Try to love your neighbors actively and tirelessly. The more you succeed in loving, the more you'll be convinced of the existence of God and the immortality of your soul. And if you reach complete selflessness in the love of your neighbor, then undoubtedly you will believe, and no doubt will even be able to enter your soul. This has been tested. It is certain... Active love is a harsh and fearful thing compared with love in dreams. Love in dreams thirsts for immediate action, quickly performed, and with everyone watching. Indeed, it will go as far as the giving even of one's life, provided it does not take long but is soon over, as on stage, and everyone is looking on and praising. Whereas active love is labor and perseverance, and for some people, perhaps, a whole science...in that very moment when you see with horror that despite all your efforts, you not only have not come nearer your goal but seem to have gotten farther from it, at that very moment...you will suddenly reach your goal and will clearly behold over you the wonder-working power of the Lord, who all the while has been loving you, and all the while has been mysteriously guiding you.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Naturally, I have no heroes: I am my heroes. I am my brothers and sisters. I feel myself joined by the soul with all beauty. My heart sings with every brave endeavour. With the strange wings of impossible butterflies, with every rock that breathes life into the world. I stand shoulder to shoulder with all denouncers of meanness. I honour spirit and faith and uphold the glorious amateur. I'm in love with desperate men with desperate hands, walking in second-hand shoes searching for God and hearing God and hating God. I'm a desperate man, buckled with fear, I am a desperate man who demands to be listened to, who demands to connect. I'm a desperate man who denounces the dullness of money and status. I'm a desperate man who will not bow down to accolade or success. I'm a desperate man who loves the simplicity of painting and hates galleries and white walls and the dealers in art. Who loves unreasonableness and hotheadedness, who loves contradiction, hates publishing houses and also I am Vincent Van Gogh, Hiroshige and every living artist who dares to draw God on this planet.
Billy Childish
Why is it that it is often easier for us to confess our sins to God than to a brother? God is holy and sinless, He is a just judge of evil and the enemy of all disobedience. But a brother is sinful as we are. He knows from his own experience the dark night of secret sin. Why should we not find it easier to go to a brother than to the holy God? But if we do, we must ask ourselves whether we have not often been deceiving ourselves with our confession of sin to God, whether we have not rather been confessing our sins to ourselves and also granting ourselves absolution...Who can give us the certainty that, in the confession and the forgiveness of our sins, we are not dealing with ourselves but with the living God? God gives us this certainty through our brother. Our brother breaks the circle of self-deception. A man who confesses his sins in the presence of a brother knows that he is no longer alone with himself; he experiences the presence of God in the reality of the other person.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
God did not make this person as I would have made him. He did not give him to me as a brother for me to dominate and control, but in order that I might find above him the Creator. Now the other person, in the freedom with which he was created, becomes the occasion of joy, whereas before he was only a nuisance and an affliction. God does not will that I should fashion the other person according to the image that seems good to me, that is, in my own image; rather in his very freedom from me God made this person in His image. I can never know beforehand how God's image should appear in others. That image always manifests a completely new and unique form that comes solely from God's free and sovereign creation. To me the sight may seem strange, even ungodly. But God creates every man in the likeness of His Son, the Crucified. After all, even that image certainly looked strange and ungodly to me before I grasped it.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
One of the secrets of life is to find joy in the journey." But Grandma, you weren't on *this* journey. It was just crazy--" Grandma held up her hand. "You have six brothers. You got to spend a whole day in the car with them. You're all healthy, well fed, happy... Someday, when you're a little older, I'll bet you'd give anything to be back in that van of yours with all of your brothers, smelly diapers and all." I mulled that over. Well what about Dad?" I pointed out. "He didn't find any joy in the journey. He was yelling at trees." Grandma sat back, "Your father and mother are masters at finding joy in the journey." I didn't understand. Grandma continued, "Do you really think your parents would have had seven kids if they couldn't find joy in the journey?... I would be willing to wager that he'll be laughing about this trip on Monday morning with his friends at work." Grandma took my hands into hers. "There are a lot of people in this life that will try to convince you that they're selling something that will bring you joy. The simple fact of the matter is that *things* don't bring you joy. You have to find joy in life experience. And if you take along somebody you love, then that journey is going to be all the more enjoyable. I can promise you right now that both good and bad things are going to happen to you in your life. Good and bad things happen to everybody. Some people are good at finding the miserable things in life, and some are good at finding the joy. No matter what happens to you, what you remember is up to you.
Matthew Buckley (Chickens in the Headlights)
To encapsulate the notion of Mardi Gras as nothing more than a big drunk is to take the simple and stupid way out, and I, for one, am getting tired of staying stuck on simple and stupid. Mardi Gras is not a parade. Mardi Gras is not girls flashing on French Quarter balconies. Mardi Gras is not an alcoholic binge. Mardi Gras is bars and restaurants changing out all the CD's in their jukeboxes to Professor Longhair and the Neville Brothers, and it is annual front-porch crawfish boils hours before the parades so your stomach and attitude reach a state of grace, and it is returning to the same street corner, year after year, and standing next to the same people, year after year--people whose names you may or may not even know but you've watched their kids grow up in this public tableau and when they're not there, you wonder: Where are those guys this year? It is dressing your dog in a stupid costume and cheering when the marching bands go crazy and clapping and saluting the military bands when they crisply snap to. Now that part, more than ever. It's mad piano professors converging on our city from all over the world and banging the 88's until dawn and laughing at the hairy-shouldered men in dresses too tight and stalking the Indians under Claiborne overpass and thrilling the years you find them and lamenting the years you don't and promising yourself you will next year. It's wearing frightful color combination in public and rolling your eyes at the guy in your office who--like clockwork, year after year--denies that he got the baby in the king cake and now someone else has to pony up the ten bucks for the next one. Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighborhoods, and our joy of living. All at once.
Chris Rose (1 Dead in Attic: Post-Katrina Stories)
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)
Don’t defend him! This is bullshit!” he said as he turned for the door, and then turned back to face me. “I’ve been sitting at work this whole time, staring at those fucking things. I wanted to calm down before I got here, but this is just . . . it’s fucking disrespectful, is what it is! I bust my ass trying to prove to you that I’m better for you than he ever was. But he keeps pulling this shit, and showing up, and . . . I can’t compete with some rich college boy from California. I’m barely getting by, with no degree, and up until a few days ago I still lived with my dad. But I am so fucking in love you, Cami,” he said, reaching for me. “I have been since we were kids. The first time I saw you on the playground, I knew what beauty was. The first time you ignored me was my first broken heart. I thought I was playing this right, from the moment I sat down at your table at the Red. No one has ever wanted someone as much as I want you. For years I . . .” He was breathing hard, and he clenched his jaw. “When I heard about your dad, I wanted to rescue you,” he said, chuckling, but not out of humor. “And that night at your apartment, I thought I’d finally gotten something right.” He pointed to the ground. “That my purpose in life was to love you and keep you safe . . . but I didn’t prepare for having to share you.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Oblivion (The Maddox Brothers, #1))
I understand that you are an accomplished swords-man,” she finally said. He eyed her curiously. Where was she going with this? “I like to fence, yes,” he replied. “I have always wanted to learn.” “Good God,” Gregory grunted. “I would be quite good at it,” she protested. “I’m sure you would,” her brother replied, “which is why you should never be allowed within thirty feet of a sword.” He turned to Gareth. “She’s quite diabolical.” “Yes, I’d noticed,” Gareth murmured, deciding that maybe there might be a bit more to Hyacinth’s brother than he had thought. Gregory shrugged, reaching for a piece of shortbread. “It’s probably why we can’t seem to get her married off.” “Gregory!” This came from Hyacinth, but that was only because Lady Bridgerton had excused herself and followed one of the footmen into the hall. “It’s a compliment!” Gregory protested. “Haven’t you waited your entire life for me to agree that you’re smarter than any of the poor fools who have attempted to court you?” “You might find it difficult to believe,” Hyacinth shot back, “but I haven’t been going to bed each night thinking to myself—Oh, I do wish my brother would offer me something that passes for a compliment in his twisted mind.
Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
And what is a friend? More than a father, more than a brother: a traveling companion, with him, you can conquer the impossible, even if you must lose it later. Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing. It is a friend that you communicate the awakening of a desire, the birth of a vision or a terror, the anguish of seeing the sun disappear or of finding that order and justice are no more. That's what you can talk about with a friend. Is the soul immortal, and if so why are we afraid to die? If God exists, how can we lay claim to freedom, since He is its beginning and its end? What is death, when you come down to it? The closing of a parenthesis, and nothing more? And what about life? In the mouth of a philosopher, these questions may have a false ring, but asked during adolescence or friendship, they have the power to change being: a look burns and ordinary gestures tend to transcend themselves. What is a friend? Someone who for the first time makes you aware of your loneliness and his, and helps you to escape so you in turn can help him. Thanks to him who you can hold your tongue without shame and talk freely without risk. That's it.
Elie Wiesel (The Gates of the Forest)
Buckley followed the three of them into the kitchen and asked, as he had at least once a day, “Where’s Susie?” They were silent. Samuel looked at Lindsey. “Buckley,” my father called from the adjoining room, “come play Monopoly with me.” My brother had never been invited to play Monopoly. Everyone said he was too young, but this was the magic of Christmas. He rushed into the family room, and my father picked him up and sat him on his lap. “See this shoe?” my father said. Buckley nodded his head. “I want you to listen to everything I say about it, okay?” “Susie?” my brother asked, somehow connecting the two. “Yes, I’m going to tell you where Susie is.” I began to cry up in heaven. What else was there for me to do? “This shoe was the piece Susie played Monopoly with,” he said. “I play with the car or sometimes the wheelbarrow. Lindsey plays with the iron, and when you mother plays, she likes the cannon.” “Is that a dog?” “Yes, that’s a Scottie.” “Mine!” “Okay,” my father said. He was patient. He had found a way to explain it. He held his son in his lap, and as he spoke, he felt Buckley’s small body on his knee-the very human, very warm, very alive weight of it. It comforted him. “The Scottie will be your piece from now on. Which piece is Susie’s again?” “The shoe?” Buckley asked. “Right, and I’m the car, your sister’s the iron, and your mother is the cannon.” My brother concentrated very hard. “Now let’s put all the pieces on the board, okay? You go ahead and do it for me.” Buckley grabbed a fist of pieces and then another, until all the pieces lay between the Chance and Community Chest cards. “Let’s say the other pieces are our friends?” “Like Nate?” “Right, we’ll make your friend Nate the hat. And the board is the world. Now if I were to tell you that when I rolled the dice, one of the pieces would be taken away, what would that mean?” “They can’t play anymore?” “Right.” “Why?” Buckley asked. He looked up at my father; my father flinched. “Why?” my brother asked again. My father did not want to say “because life is unfair” or “because that’s how it is”. He wanted something neat, something that could explain death to a four-year-old He placed his hand on the small of Buckley’s back. “Susie is dead,” he said now, unable to make it fit in the rules of any game. “Do you know what that means?” Buckley reached over with his hand and covered the shoe. He looked up to see if his answer was right. My father nodded. "You won’t see Susie anymore, honey. None of us will.” My father cried. Buckley looked up into the eyes of our father and did not really understand. Buckley kept the shoe on his dresser, until one day it wasn't there anymore and no amount of looking for it could turn up.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Girls say to me, very reasonably, 'why isn't it a bunch of girls? Why did you write this about a bunch of boys?' Well, my reply is I was once a little boy - I have been a brother, a father, I am going to be a grandfather. I have never been a sister, or a mother, or a grandmother. That's one answer. Another answer is of course to say that if you - as it were - scaled down human beings, scaled down society, if you land with a group of little boys, they are more ike a scaled-down version of society than a group of little girls would be. Don't ask me why, and this is a terrible thing to say because I'm going to be chased from hell to breakfast by all the women who talk about equality - this is nothing to do with equality at all. I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been. But one thing you can't do with them is take a bunch of them and boil them down, so to speak, into a set of little girls who would then become a kind of image of civilisation, of society. The other thing is - why aren't they little boys AND little girls? Well, if they'd been little boys and little girls, we being who we are, sex would have raised its lovely head, and I didn't want this to be about sex. Sex is too trivial a thing to get in with a story like this, which was about the problem of evil and the problem of how people are to live together in a society, not just as lovers or man and wife.
William Golding
For instance? Well, for instance, what it means to be a man. In a city. In a century. In transition. In a mass. Transformed by science. Under organized power. Subject to tremendous controls. In a condition caused by mechanization. After the late failure of radical hopes. In a society that was no community and devalued the person. Owing to the multiplied power of numbers which made the self negligible. Which spent military billions against foreign enemies but would not pay for order at home. Which permitted savagery and barbarism in its own great cities. At the same time, the pressure of human millions who have discovered what concerted efforts and thoughts can do. As megatons of water shape organisms on the ocean floor. As tides polish stones. As winds hollow cliffs. The beautiful supermachinery opening a new life for innumerable mankind. Would you deny them the right to exist? Would you ask them to labor and go hungry while you yourself enjoyed old-fashioned Values? You—you yourself are a child of this mass and a brother to all the rest. or else an ingrate, dilettante, idiot. There, Herzog, thought Herzog, since you ask for the instance, is the way it runs.
Saul Bellow (Herzog)
You didn't get it. Sacrifice is a part of life. It's supposed to be. It's not something to regret. It's something to aspire to. Little sacrifices. Big sacrifices. A mother works so her son can go to school. A daughter moves home to take care of her sick father... Rabazzo didn't die for nothing, you know. He sacrificed for his country, and his family knew it, and his kid brother went on to become a good soldier and a great man because he was inspired by it. I didn't die for nothing, either. That night, we might have all driven over that land mine. Then the four of use would have been gone.' Eddie shook his head. 'But you...' He lowered his voice. 'You lost your life.' The Captain smacked his tongue on his teeth. 'That's the thing. Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it onto someone else... I shot you, all right... and you lost something, but you gained something as well. You just don't know that yet. I gained something, too... I got to keep my promise. I didn't leave you behind.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
Once upon a time there was a king who had three beautiful daughters. No, no, wait. Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a wee house in the woods. Once upon a time there were three soldiers, tramping together down the road after the war. Once upon a time there were three little pigs. Once upon a time there were three brothers. No, this is it. This is the variation I want. Once upon a time there were three Beautiful children, two boys and a girl. When each baby was born, the parents rejoiced, the heavens rejoiced, even the fairies rejoiced. The fairies came to christening parties and gave the babies magical gifts. Bounce, effort, and snark. Contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. Sugar, curiosity, and rain. And yet, there was a witch. There's always a witch. This which was the same age as the beautiful children, and as she and they grew, she was jealous of the girl, and jealous of the boys, too. They were blessed with all these fairy gifts, gifts the witch had been denied at her own christening. The eldest boy was strong and fast, capable and handsome. Though it's true, he was exceptionally short. The next boy was studious and open hearted. Though it's true, he was an outsider. And the girl was witty, Generous, and ethical. Though it's true, she felt powerless. The witch, she was none of these things, for her parents had angered the fairies. No gifts were ever bestowed upon her. She was lonely. Her only strength was her dark and ugly magic. She confuse being spartan with being charitable, and gave away her possessions without truly doing good with them. She confuse being sick with being brave, and suffered agonies while imagining she merited praise for it. She confused wit with intelligence, and made people laugh rather than lightening their hearts are making them think. Hey magic was all she had, and she used it to destroy what she most admired. She visited each young person in turn in their tenth birthday, but did not harm them out right. The protection of some kind fairy - the lilac fairy, perhaps - prevented her from doing so. What she did instead was cursed them. "When you are sixteen," proclaimed the witch in a rage of jealousy, "you shall prick your finger on a spindle - no, you shall strike a match - yes, you will strike a match and did in its flame." The parents of the beautiful children were frightened of the curse, and tried, as people will do, to avoid it. They moved themselves and the children far away, to a castle on a windswept Island. A castle where there were no matches. There, surely, they would be safe. There, Surely, the witch would never find them. But find them she did. And when they were fifteen, these beautiful children, just before their sixteenth birthdays and when they're nervous parents not yet expecting it, the jealous which toxic, hateful self into their lives in the shape of a blonde meeting. The maiden befriended the beautiful children. She kissed him and took them on the boat rides and brought them fudge and told them stories. Then she gave them a box of matches. The children were entranced, for nearly sixteen they have never seen fire. Go on, strike, said the witch, smiling. Fire is beautiful. Nothing bad will happen. Go on, she said, the flames will cleanse your souls. Go on, she said, for you are independent thinkers. Go on, she said. What is this life we lead, if you did not take action? And they listened. They took the matches from her and they struck them. The witch watched their beauty burn, Their bounce, Their intelligence, Their wit, Their open hearts, Their charm, Their dreams for the future. She watched it all disappear in smoke.
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)
Eventually the Woodsman spoke. ‘We all have our routines,’ he said softly. ‘But they must have a purpose and provide an outcome that we can see and take some comfort from, or else they have no use at all. Without that, they are like the endless pacings of a caged animal. If they are not madness itself, then they are a prelude to it.’ The Woodsman stood and showed David his axe. ‘See here,’ he said, pointing with his finger at the blade. Every morning, I make certain that me axe is clean and keen. I look to my house and check that its windows and doors remain secure. I tend to my land, disposing of weeds and ensuring that the soil is watered. I walk through the forest, clearing those paths that need to be kept open. Where trees have been damaged, I do my best to repair what has been harmed. these are my routines and I enjoy doing them well.’ He laid a hand gently on David’s shoulder, and David saw understanding in his face. ‘Rules and routines are good, but they must give you satisfaction. Can you truly say you gain that from touching and counting?’ David shook his head. ‘No,’ he said, ‘but I get scared when I don’t do them. I’m afraid of what might happen.’ ‘Then find routines that allow you to feel secure when they are done. You told me that you have a new brother: look to him each morning. Look to your father, and your stepmother. Tend to the flowers in the garden, or in the pots upon the window sill. Seek others who are weaker than you are, and try to give them comfort where you can. Let these be your routines, and the rules that govern your life.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
And the child, Francie Nolan, was of all the Rommelys and all the Nolans. She had the violent weaknesses and passion for beauty of the shanty Nolans. She was a mosaic of her grandmother Rommely's mysticism, her tale-telling, her great belief in everything and her compassion for the weak ones. She had a lot of her grandfather Rommely's cruel will. She had some of her Aunt Evy's talent for mimicking, some of Ruthie Nolan's possessiveness. She had Aunt Sissy's love for life and her love for children. She had Johnny's sentimentality without his good looks. She had all of Katie's soft ways and only half of the invisible steel of Katie. She was made up of all these good and these bad things. She was made up of more, too. She was the books she read in the library. She was the flower in the brown bowl. Part of her life was made from the tree growing rankly in the yard. She was the bitter quarrels she had with her brother whom she loved dearly. She was Kitie's secret, desparing weeping. She was the shame of her father staggering home drunk. She was all of these things and of something more that did not come from the Rommelys nor the Nolans, the reading, the observing, the living from day to day. It was something that had been born into her and her only- the something different from anyone else in the two families. It was what God or whatever is His equivalent puts into each soul that is given life- the one different thing such as that which makes no two fingerprints on the face of the earth alike.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
I’ve had a lot of sucks in life A lot My parents died almost four years ago, right after I turned seven With every day that goes by I remember them less and less Like my mom…I remember that she used to sing. She was always happy, always dancing. Other than what I’ve seen of her in pictures, I don’t really remember what she looks like. Or what she smells like Or what she sounds like And my Dad I remember more things about him, but only because I thought he was the most amazing man in the world. He was smart. He knew the answer to everything. And he was strong. And he played the guitar. I used to love lying in bed at night, listening to the music coming from the living room. I miss that the most. His music. After they died, I went to live with my grandma and grandpaul. Don’t get me wrong…I love my grandparents. But I loved my home even more. It reminded me of them. Of my mom and dad. My brother had just started college the year they died. He knew how much I wanted to be home. He knew how much it meant to me, so he made it happen. I was only seven at the time, so I let him do it. I let him give up his entire life just so I could be home. Just so I wouldn’t be so sad. If I could do it all over again, I would have never let him take me. He deserved a shot, too. A shot at being young. But sometimes when you’re seven, the world isn’t in 3-D. So, I owe a lot to my brother. A lot of ‘thank you’d’ A lot of ‘I’m sorry’s’ A lot of ‘I love you’s’ I owe a lot to you, Will For making the sucks in my life a little less suckier And my sweet? My sweet is right now.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
(I pull the second to last item out of my bag. Her purple hair clip. She told me once how much it meant to her, and why she always keeps it.) This purple hair clip? It really is magic…just like your dad told you it was. It’s magic because, no matter how many times it lets you down…you keep having hope in it. You keep trusting it. No matter how many times it fails you, You never fail it. Just like you never fail me. I love that about you, because of you. (I set it back down and pull out a strip of paper and unfold it.) Your mother. (I sigh) Your mother was an amazing woman, Lake. I'm blessed that I got to know her, And that she was a part of my life, too. I came to love her as my own mom…just as she came to love Caulder and I as her own. I didn’t love her because of you, Lake. I loved her because of her. So, thank you for sharing her with us. She had more advice about Life and love and happiness and heartache than anyone I've ever known. But the best advice she ever gave me? The best advice she ever gave us? (I read the quote in my hands) "Sometimes two people have to fall apart, to realize how much they need to fall back together." (She’s definitely crying now. I place the slip back inside the satchel and take a step closer to the edge of the stage as I hold her gaze.) The last item I have wouldn’t fit, because you’re actually sitting in it. That booth. You’re sitting in the exact same spot you sat in when you watched your first performance on this stage. The way you watched this stage with passion in your eyes…I'll never forget that moment. It's the moment I knew it was too late. I was too far gone by then. I was in love with you. I was in love with you because of you. (I back up and sit down on the stool behind me, still holding her stare.) I could go on all night, Lake. I could go on and on and on about all the reasons I'm in love with you. And you know what? Some of them are the things that life has thrown our way. I do love you because you're the only other person I know that understands my situation. I do love you because both of us know what it's like to lose your mom and your dad. I do love you because you're raising your little brother, just like I am. I love you because of what you went through with your mother. I love you because of what we went through with your mother. I love the way you love Kel. I love the way you love Caulder. And I love the way I love Kel. So I'm not about to apologize for loving all these things about you, no matter the reasons or the circumstances behind them. And no, I don’t need days, or weeks, or months to think about why I love you. It’s an easy answer for me. I love you because of you. Because of every single thing about you.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
Now, my dear little girl, you have come to an age when the inward life develops and when some people (and on the whole those who have most of a destiny) find that all is not a bed of roses. Among other things there will be waves of terrible sadness, which last sometimes for days; irritation, insensibility, etc., etc., which taken together form a melancholy. Now, painful as it is, this is sent to us for an enlightenment. It always passes off, and we learn about life from it, and we ought to learn a great many good things if we react on it right. (For instance, you learn how good a thing your home is, and your country, and your brothers, and you may learn to be more considerate of other people, who, you now learn, may have their inner weaknesses and sufferings, too.) Many persons take a kind of sickly delight in hugging it; and some sentimental ones may even be proud of it, as showing a fine sorrowful kind of sensibility. Such persons make a regular habit of the luxury of woe. That is the worst possible reaction on it. It is usually a sort of disease, when we get it strong, arising from the organism having generated some poison in the blood; and we mustn't submit to it an hour longer than we can help, but jump at every chance to attend to anything cheerful or comic or take part in anything active that will divert us from our mean, pining inward state of feeling. When it passes off, as I said, we know more than we did before. And we must try to make it last as short as time as possible. The worst of it often is that, while we are in it, we don't want to get out of it. We hate it, and yet we prefer staying in it—that is a part of the disease. If we find ourselves like that, we must make something ourselves to some hard work, make ourselves sweat, etc.; and that is the good way of reacting that makes of us a valuable character. The disease makes you think of yourself all the time; and the way out of it is to keep as busy as we can thinking of things and of other people—no matter what's the matter with our self.
William James
We did live in dire poverty. And one of the things that I hated was poverty. Some people hate spiders. Some people hate snakes. I hated poverty. I couldn't stand it. My mother couldn't stand the fact that we were doing poorly in school, and she prayed and she asked God to give her wisdom. What could she do to get her young sons to understand the importance of developing their minds so that they control their own lives? God gave her the wisdom. At least in her opinion. My brother and I didn't think it was that wise. Turn off the TV, let us watch only two or three TV programs during the week. And with all that spare time read two books a piece from the Detroit Public Libraries and submit to her written book reports, which she couldn't read but we didn't know that. I just hated this. My friends were out having a good time. Her friends would criticize her. My mother didn't care. But after a while I actually began to enjoy reading those books. Because we were very poor, but between the covers of those books I could go anywhere. I could be anybody. I could do anything. I began to read about people of great accomplishment. And as I read those stories, I began to see a connecting thread. I began to see that the person who has the most to do with you, and what happens to you in life, is you. You make decisions. You decide how much energy you want to put behind that decision. And I came to understand that I had control of my own destiny. And at that point I didn't hate poverty anymore, because I knew it was only temporary. I knew I could change that. It was incredibly liberating for me. Made all the difference.
Ben Carson
76. David Hume – Treatise on Human Nature; Essays Moral and Political; An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding 77. Jean-Jacques Rousseau – On the Origin of Inequality; On the Political Economy; Emile – or, On Education, The Social Contract 78. Laurence Sterne – Tristram Shandy; A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy 79. Adam Smith – The Theory of Moral Sentiments; The Wealth of Nations 80. Immanuel Kant – Critique of Pure Reason; Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals; Critique of Practical Reason; The Science of Right; Critique of Judgment; Perpetual Peace 81. Edward Gibbon – The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; Autobiography 82. James Boswell – Journal; Life of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D. 83. Antoine Laurent Lavoisier – Traité Élémentaire de Chimie (Elements of Chemistry) 84. Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison – Federalist Papers 85. Jeremy Bentham – Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation; Theory of Fictions 86. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Faust; Poetry and Truth 87. Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier – Analytical Theory of Heat 88. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel – Phenomenology of Spirit; Philosophy of Right; Lectures on the Philosophy of History 89. William Wordsworth – Poems 90. Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Poems; Biographia Literaria 91. Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice; Emma 92. Carl von Clausewitz – On War 93. Stendhal – The Red and the Black; The Charterhouse of Parma; On Love 94. Lord Byron – Don Juan 95. Arthur Schopenhauer – Studies in Pessimism 96. Michael Faraday – Chemical History of a Candle; Experimental Researches in Electricity 97. Charles Lyell – Principles of Geology 98. Auguste Comte – The Positive Philosophy 99. Honoré de Balzac – Père Goriot; Eugenie Grandet 100. Ralph Waldo Emerson – Representative Men; Essays; Journal 101. Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter 102. Alexis de Tocqueville – Democracy in America 103. John Stuart Mill – A System of Logic; On Liberty; Representative Government; Utilitarianism; The Subjection of Women; Autobiography 104. Charles Darwin – The Origin of Species; The Descent of Man; Autobiography 105. Charles Dickens – Pickwick Papers; David Copperfield; Hard Times 106. Claude Bernard – Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine 107. Henry David Thoreau – Civil Disobedience; Walden 108. Karl Marx – Capital; Communist Manifesto 109. George Eliot – Adam Bede; Middlemarch 110. Herman Melville – Moby-Dick; Billy Budd 111. Fyodor Dostoevsky – Crime and Punishment; The Idiot; The Brothers Karamazov 112. Gustave Flaubert – Madame Bovary; Three Stories 113. Henrik Ibsen – Plays 114. Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace; Anna Karenina; What is Art?; Twenty-Three Tales 115. Mark Twain – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; The Mysterious Stranger 116. William James – The Principles of Psychology; The Varieties of Religious Experience; Pragmatism; Essays in Radical Empiricism 117. Henry James – The American; The Ambassadors 118. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche – Thus Spoke Zarathustra; Beyond Good and Evil; The Genealogy of Morals;The Will to Power 119. Jules Henri Poincaré – Science and Hypothesis; Science and Method 120. Sigmund Freud – The Interpretation of Dreams; Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis; Civilization and Its Discontents; New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis 121. George Bernard Shaw – Plays and Prefaces
Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading)
And so we know the satisfaction of hate. We know the sweet joy of revenge. How it feels good to get even. Oh, that was a nice idea Jesus had. That was a pretty notion, but you can't love people who do evil. It's neither sensible or practical. It's not wise to the world to love people who do such terrible wrong. There is no way on earth we can love our enemies. They'll only do wickedness and hatefulness again. And worse, they'll think they can get away with this wickedness and evil, because they'll think we're weak and afraid. What would the world come to? But I want to say to you here on this hot July morning in Holt, what if Jesus wasn't kidding? What if he wasn't talking about some never-never land? What if he really did mean what he said two thousand years ago? What if he was thoroughly wise to the world and knew firsthand cruelty and wickedness and evil and hate? Knew it all so well from personal firsthand experience? And what if in spite of all that he knew, he still said love your enemies? Turn your cheek. Pray for those who misuse you. What if he meant every word of what he said? What then would the world come to? And what if we tried it? What if we said to our enemies: We are the most powerful nation on earth. We can destroy you. We can kill your children. We can make ruins of your cities and villages and when we're finished you won't even know how to look for the places where they used to be. We have the power to take away your water and to scorch your earth, to rob you of the very fundamentals of life. We can change the actual day into actual night. We can do these things to you. And more. But what if we say, Listen: Instead of any of these, we are going to give willingly and generously to you. We are going to spend the great American national treasure and the will and the human lives that we would have spent on destruction, and instead we are going to turn them all toward creation. We'll mend your roads and highways, expand your schools, modernize your wells and water supplies, save your ancient artifacts and art and culture, preserve your temples and mosques. In fact, we are going to love you. And again we say, no matter what has gone before, no matter what you've done: We are going to love you. We have set our hearts to it. We will treat you like brothers and sisters. We are going to turn our collective national cheek and present it to be stricken a second time, if need be, and offer it to you. Listen, we-- But then he was abruptly halted.
Kent Haruf (Benediction (Plainsong, #3))
I was in the fifth grade the first time I thought about turning thirty. My best friend Darcy and I came across a perpetual calendar in the back of the phone book, where you could look up any date in the future, and by using this little grid, determine what the day of the week would be. So we located our birthdays in the following year, mine in May and hers in September. I got Wednesday, a school night. She got a Friday. A small victory, but typical. Darcy was always the lucky one. Her skin tanned more quickly, her hair feathered more easily, and she didn't need braces. Her moonwalk was superior, as were her cart-wheels and her front handsprings (I couldn't handspring at all). She had a better sticker collection. More Michael Jackson pins. Forenze sweaters in turquoise, red, and peach (my mother allowed me none- said they were too trendy and expensive). And a pair of fifty-dollar Guess jeans with zippers at the ankles (ditto). Darcy had double-pierced ears and a sibling- even if it was just a brother, it was better than being an only child as I was. But at least I was a few months older and she would never quite catch up. That's when I decided to check out my thirtieth birthday- in a year so far away that it sounded like science fiction. It fell on a Sunday, which meant that my dashing husband and I would secure a responsible baby-sitter for our two (possibly three) children on that Saturday evening, dine at a fancy French restaurant with cloth napkins, and stay out past midnight, so technically we would be celebrating on my actual birthday. I would have just won a big case- somehow proven that an innocent man didn't do it. And my husband would toast me: "To Rachel, my beautiful wife, the mother of my chidren and the finest lawyer in Indy." I shared my fantasy with Darcy as we discovered that her thirtieth birthday fell on a Monday. Bummer for her. I watched her purse her lips as she processed this information. "You know, Rachel, who cares what day of the week we turn thirty?" she said, shrugging a smooth, olive shoulder. "We'll be old by then. Birthdays don't matter when you get that old." I thought of my parents, who were in their thirties, and their lackluster approach to their own birthdays. My dad had just given my mom a toaster for her birthday because ours broke the week before. The new one toasted four slices at a time instead of just two. It wasn't much of a gift. But my mom had seemed pleased enough with her new appliance; nowhere did I detect the disappointment that I felt when my Christmas stash didn't quite meet expectations. So Darcy was probably right. Fun stuff like birthdays wouldn't matter as much by the time we reached thirty. The next time I really thought about being thirty was our senior year in high school, when Darcy and I started watching ths show Thirty Something together. It wasn't our favorite- we preferred cheerful sit-coms like Who's the Boss? and Growing Pains- but we watched it anyway. My big problem with Thirty Something was the whiny characters and their depressing issues that they seemed to bring upon themselves. I remember thinking that they should grow up, suck it up. Stop pondering the meaning of life and start making grocery lists. That was back when I thought my teenage years were dragging and my twenties would surealy last forever. Then I reached my twenties. And the early twenties did seem to last forever. When I heard acquaintances a few years older lament the end of their youth, I felt smug, not yet in the danger zone myself. I had plenty of time..
Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel, #1))
Hardly had the light been extinguished, when a peculiar trembling began to affect the netting under which the three children lay. It consisted of a multitude of dull scratches which produced a metallic sound, as if claws and teeth were gnawing at the copper wire. This was accompanied by all sorts of little piercing cries. The little five-year-old boy, on hearing this hubbub overhead, and chilled with terror, jogged his brother's elbow; but the elder brother had already shut his peepers, as Gavroche had ordered. Then the little one, who could no longer control his terror, questioned Gavroche, but in a very low tone, and with bated breath:-- "Sir?" "Hey?" said Gavroche, who had just closed his eyes. "What is that?" "It's the rats," replied Gavroche. And he laid his head down on the mat again. The rats, in fact, who swarmed by thousands in the carcass of the elephant, and who were the living black spots which we have already mentioned, had been held in awe by the flame of the candle, so long as it had been lighted; but as soon as the cavern, which was the same as their city, had returned to darkness, scenting what the good story-teller Perrault calls "fresh meat," they had hurled themselves in throngs on Gavroche's tent, had climbed to the top of it, and had begun to bite the meshes as though seeking to pierce this new-fangled trap. Still the little one could not sleep. "Sir?" he began again. "Hey?" said Gavroche. "What are rats?" "They are mice." This explanation reassured the child a little. He had seen white mice in the course of his life, and he was not afraid of them. Nevertheless, he lifted up his voice once more. "Sir?" "Hey?" said Gavroche again. "Why don't you have a cat?" "I did have one," replied Gavroche, "I brought one here, but they ate her." This second explanation undid the work of the first, and the little fellow began to tremble again. The dialogue between him and Gavroche began again for the fourth time:-- "Monsieur?" "Hey?" "Who was it that was eaten?" "The cat." "And who ate the cat?" "The rats." "The mice?" "Yes, the rats." The child, in consternation, dismayed at the thought of mice which ate cats, pursued:-- "Sir, would those mice eat us?" "Wouldn't they just!" ejaculated Gavroche. The child's terror had reached its climax. But Gavroche added:-- "Don't be afraid. They can't get in. And besides, I'm here! Here, catch hold of my hand. Hold your tongue and shut your peepers!
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
My task is to explain to you as quickly as possible my essence, that is, what sort of man I am, what I believe in, and what I hope for, is that right? And therefore I declare that I accept God pure and simple. But this, however, needs to be noted: if God exists and if he indeed created the earth, then, as we know perfectly well, he created it in accordance with Euclidean geometry, and he created human reason with a conception of only three dimensions of space. At the same time there were and are even now geometers and philosophers, even some of the most outstanding among them, who doubt that the whole universe, or, even more broadly, the whole of being, was created purely in accordance with Euclidean geometry; they even dare to dream that two parallel lines, which according to Euclid cannot possibly meet on earth, may perhaps meet somewhere in infinity. I, my dear, have come to the conclusion that if I cannot understand even that, then it is not for me to understand about God. I humbly confess that I do not have any ability to resolve such questions, I have a Euclidean mind, an earthly mind, and therefore it is not for us to resolve things that are not of this world. And I advise you never to think about it, Alyosha my friend, and most especially about whether God exists or not. All such questions are completely unsuitable to a mind created with a concept of only three dimensions. And so, I accept God, not only willingly, but moreover I also accept his wisdom and his purpose, which are completely unknown to us; I believe in order, in the meaning of life, I believe in eternal harmony, in which we are all supposed to merge, I believe in the Word for whom the universe is yearning, and who himself was 'with God,' who himself is God, and so on and so forth, to infinity. Many words have been invented on the subject. It seems I'm already on a good path, eh? And now imagine that in the final outcome I do not accept this world of God's, created by God, that I do not accept and cannot agree to accept. With one reservation: I have a childlike conviction that the sufferings will be healed and smoothed over, that the whole offensive comedy of human contradictions will disappear like a pitiful mirage, a vile concoction of man's Euclidean mind, feeble and puny as an atom, and that ultimately, at the world's finale, in the moment of eternal harmony, there will occur and be revealed something so precious that it will suffice for all hearts, to allay all indignation, to redeem all human villainy, all bloodshed; it will suffice not only to make forgiveness possible, but also to justify everything that has happened with men--let this, let all of this come true and be revealed, but I do not accept it and do not want to accept it! Let the parallel lines even meet before my own eyes: I shall look and say, yes, they meet, and still I will not accept it.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Fairy tales are about trouble, about getting into and out of it, and trouble seems to be a necessary stage on the route to becoming. All the magic and glass mountains and pearls the size of houses and princesses beautiful as the day and talking birds and part-time serpents are distractions from the core of most of the stories, the struggle to survive against adversaries, to find your place in the world, and to come into your own. Fairy tales are almost always the stories of the powerless, of youngest sons, abandoned children, orphans, of humans transformed into birds and beasts or otherwise enchanted away from their own lives and selves. Even princesses are chattels to be disowned by fathers, punished by step-mothers, or claimed by princes, though they often assert themselves in between and are rarely as passive as the cartoon versions. Fairy tales are children's stories not in wh they were made for but in their focus on the early stages of life, when others have power over you and you have power over no one. In them, power is rarely the right tool for survival anyway. Rather the powerless thrive on alliances, often in the form of reciprocated acts of kindness -- from beehives that were not raided, birds that were not killed but set free or fed, old women who were saluted with respect. Kindness sewn among the meek is harvested in crisis... In Hans Christian Andersen's retelling of the old Nordic tale that begins with a stepmother, "The Wild Swans," the banished sister can only disenchant her eleven brothers -- who are swans all day look but turn human at night -- by gathering stinging nettles barehanded from churchyard graves, making them into flax, spinning them and knitting eleven long-sleeved shirts while remaining silent the whole time. If she speaks, they'll remain birds forever. In her silence, she cannot protest the crimes she accused of and nearly burned as a witch. Hauled off to a pyre as she knits the last of the shirts, she is rescued by the swans, who fly in at the last moment. As they swoop down, she throws the nettle shirts over them so that they turn into men again, all but the youngest brother, whose shirt is missing a sleeve so that he's left with one arm and one wing, eternally a swan-man. Why shirts made of graveyard nettles by bleeding fingers and silence should disenchant men turned into birds by their step-mother is a question the story doesn't need to answer. It just needs to give us compelling images of exile, loneliness, affection, and metamorphosis -- and of a heroine who nearly dies of being unable to tell her own story.
Rebecca Solnit (The Faraway Nearby)
I’M LOSING FAITH IN MY FAVORITE COUNTRY Throughout my life, the United States has been my favorite country, save and except for Canada, where I was born, raised, educated, and still live for six months each year. As a child growing up in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, I aggressively bought and saved baseball cards of American and National League players, spent hours watching snowy images of American baseball and football games on black and white television and longed for the day when I could travel to that great country. Every Saturday afternoon, me and the boys would pay twelve cents to go the show and watch U.S. made movies, and particularly, the Superman serial. Then I got my chance. My father, who worked for B.F. Goodrich, took my brother and me to watch the Cleveland Indians play baseball in the Mistake on the Lake in Cleveland. At last I had made it to the big time. I thought it was an amazing stadium and it was certainly not a mistake. Amazingly, the Americans thought we were Americans. I loved the United States, and everything about the country: its people, its movies, its comic books, its sports, and a great deal more. The country was alive and growing. No, exploding. It was the golden age of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American dream was alive and well, but demanded hard work, honesty, and frugality. Everyone understood that. Even the politicians. Then everything changed. Partly because of its proximity to the United States and a shared heritage, Canadians also aspired to what was commonly referred to as the American dream. I fall neatly into that category. For as long as I can remember I wanted a better life, but because I was born with a cardboard spoon in my mouth, and wasn’t a member of the golden gene club, I knew I would have to make it the old fashioned way: work hard and save. After university graduation I spent the first half of my career working for the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. The second half was spent with one of the smallest oil companies in the world: my own. Then I sold my company and retired into obscurity. In my case obscurity was spending summers in our cottage on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, Ontario, and winters in our home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. My wife, Ann, and I, (and our three sons when they can find the time), have been enjoying that “obscurity” for a long time. During that long time we have been fortunate to meet and befriend a large number of Americans, many from Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.” One was a military policeman in Tokyo in 1945. After a very successful business carer in the U.S. he’s retired and living the dream. Another American friend, also a member of the “Greatest Generation”, survived The Battle of the Bulge and lived to drink Hitler’s booze at Berchtesgaden in 1945. He too is happily retired and living the dream. Both of these individuals got to where they are by working hard, saving, and living within their means. Both also remember when their Federal Government did the same thing. One of my younger American friends recently sent me a You Tube video, featuring an impassioned speech by Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida. In the speech, Rubio blasts the spending habits of his Federal Government and deeply laments his country’s future. He is outraged that the U.S. Government spends three hundred billion dollars, each and every month. He is even more outraged that one hundred and twenty billion of that three hundred billion dollars is borrowed. In other words, Rubio states that for every dollar the U.S. Government spends, forty cents is borrowed. I don’t blame him for being upset. If I had run my business using that arithmetic, I would be in the soup kitchens. If individual American families had applied that arithmetic to their finances, none of them would be in a position to pay a thin dime of taxes.
Stephen Douglass